Short Travel trail bike

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Short Travel trail bike
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Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 8:49 Quote
Hi all. I'm in the market for a short travel trail bike. I've been looking at the Ibis Ripley and Santa Cruz Tallboy, maybe even the Norco Optic Definitely want 29" wheels and the ability to upgrade later if I want. The trails I ride are typically Rocky and rooty single track with the occasional fire road. I don't hit bigger features as I have had too many injuries and want to keep riding longer, therefore I like staying calmer. Any thoughts would be awesome.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 9:16 Quote
Hey man - normally you're better off posting in existing threads on Pinkbike, rather than making a new thread for every question. People normally don't check the forums that often for new threads so you might not get many responses.


All the bikes you mentioned are great bikes. I personally really like the Optic. I think it's great looking and the short travel paired with the aggressive geo would be super fun, but I definitely think the Optic has been designed for getting rowdy on short travel - and maybe rowdy isn't you?


I know the optic doesn't have a climb switch - which is annoying for people who ride fireroads a lot. The other two might be better bikes to pedal, maybe a bit lighter and perhaps just as fun for you? If you're not planning on getting the wheels off the ground much or plowing into stuff then you won't really benefit from the aggressive geo.


I think any of the three mentioned would be great options and other couple to consider is a Trek top fuel and an orbea rallon. Perhaps just see what you can get a good price on, which comes in the colours you like best and all that sort of thing. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those!

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 16:12 Quote
Thanks for the info. I typically do try to keep the wheels within a few inches of the ground. But I do enjoy going fast down the trails, but I don't look for jumps or things to pop off of while going down. I know I can demo a tallboy when the snow disappears and another shop has Norco but I'm unsure of demos. I'll have to go to the trek store to check their demo status. The Ibis and Orbea have shops that can order them but don't hold any stock of any of their bikes. A lighter bike might win the day but the reviews I have seen on the Norco seem really positive. Thanks again, have a great day

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 16:37 Quote
the right bike can have you popping off small stuff and still be pretty darn safe. I actually got back to mtn biking after a neck injury in '14 to gain my strength back. I am 50 now and went from a Tallboy last year to a HighTower LT. It just wants to go fast downhill and pop off stuff. However, I know that is not what you are looking at. The TB is very capable and handled the fairly mild terrain here in the foothills of NC very well. It is fast and precise. The longer travel is just a little more comfortable for me now. I would really like to add another TB to the mix, but cannot justify 2 bikes. I ran a 120 fork as a 29'r. It was an 18 CC model.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 18:38 Quote
Thanks for the info. My good friend is a santa Cruz guy and can't stop talking about them. I myself have had 4 Ortho surgeries now with the most recent being 6 weeks ago on my elbow. Thankfully it's winter up here and I have time to recover.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 19:35 Quote
For good reason. My 2001 Superlight is still in the garage and still rideable...if I wanted. LOL

OT, but I have had 1 ACL reconstruct on my left knee, one scope on same knee, not much cartilege left, and C4/C5 fusion with permanent nerve damage on my right side. Not to mention sciatic nerve pain. Haha

Ride as many as you can if you do not have a brand preference. Good luck. Lots of good options these days. Been on Santa Cruz so long it is hard to ride something else.

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 at 8:31 Quote
I went with the ripley and I liked it a lot better than the Tallboy I was faster on the ripley in all sections per strava just my input

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