“Down Country” Bikes who’s got em’ and what’s your opinion on these

PB Forum :: 29ers
“Down Country” Bikes who’s got em’ and what’s your opinion on these
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Posted: Jan 9, 2020 at 17:58 Quote
First post (I think Big Grin . So I have an Evil Following MB, built as light as I could, I love it but it’s a bruiser. I’ve tried lighter tires but it want’s to be an Evil and I’m good with that, it’s fun but not fast uphill. But when I want to ride “fast(er)” with the crew, I’m suffering on the 28.5 pounder in NY. -a lot of them are road riders too or on light bikes. I can do it but it would be more fun if I had a quiver bike like: Sb100 (very expensive in a T2 build w/ carbon wheels), Spot Ryve, not much out there (saw another thread with 2 comments), Niner RKT RDO, Intense Sniper Trail Expert build (very good value for build), Ibis Ripley V4 built very light w/ a 120 Stepcast fork (also very expensive). Rockey Mountain Element 70 or 90 builds. Ok they’re all 5000-7000 bikes and All great bikes. Fast, Light and affordable is not a “thing” in the biking world (I was hoping I’d find something out there that was well reviewed and a bit more reasonable..so who’s riding what? I’m trying to get a bike around to 25.5 Lbs or lower and still be capable (XC/Trail). And any insight or suggestions would be appreciated. I can demo the ripley and intense through a friend of a friend and the RM Element at a shop as a demo but the Spot and Niner are not possible. And it’s 19 degrees out too ....so I’m posting until I can get out there. Sorry if this has been beaten to death in another thread, lmk Cheers

Thanks in advance!

Posted: Jan 11, 2020 at 14:08 Quote
This whole "Down Country" thing is a little ridiculous. Not that I don't know what you're asking. Anyway, I think the whole 25lb trail bike is a rarity now. We used to call them cross country bikes. I think a lot of people are just "over" the whole weight weenie thing. Granted, you don't want a bike that's overly heavy. I'm not sure what type of trails you're riding but I'd imagine that NY is similar to New England where I am. Short travel, light XC bikes just aren't going to make you that much faster and can beat you up more. I don't mind a bike that's a little heavy but I do believe in the lightest wheelset you can get away with. Tires as well.

Posted: Jan 11, 2020 at 15:58 Quote
I have a Sniper Trail. It is a great bike for what I want it for which is XC racing. Just know the 2019 model has a flex issue that has been taken care of with an additional linkage brace. That being said if you are a heavier rider I wouldn't head that way as it is a light bike made to go fast. Mine is currently built up at 23# w/o pedals. The new T version would be better, but more expensive.

Right now I would go with the Expert build from 2019. Comes with an extra set of e13 carbon wheels which should get you under 25# for $4,500.

I also looked at all the bikes you mentioned and had issues with all of them. Yeti is too expensive and has its own issues. The rest didn't have the geo or 2 bottle mounts (requirement for my XC race bike.

I would also check out Fezzari's Signal Peak. It can be had for relatively reasonable price and is a more stout bike than the Sniper. I didn't go that route because it is heavier and won't pedal as well being a horst link.

Lastly 28lbs isn't too heavy, you can always lose 4# off your body easier and get in better shape. My regular trail bike is a stumpy coil at 32#. I run into few riders I can't hang with on that bike outside of races.

Posted: Jan 12, 2020 at 15:45 Quote
Currently I have the 2019 Rocky Mountain instinct c70. It’s 140mm front and rear. I switched out the wheels, bars and drivetrain to carbon and sits at 26.7lb with 2.6 reckons front and back. Swapping the tires to 2.25 and a few other components this bike can get down to under 25lb which is pretty good for a 140mm trail bike. All depends what kind of money u want to put into it.

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 at 18:24 Quote
Tinshield wrote:
This whole "Down Country" thing is a little ridiculous. Not that I don't know what you're asking. Anyway, I think the whole 25lb trail bike is a rarity now. We used to call them cross country bikes. I think a lot of people are just "over" the whole weight weenie thing. Granted, you don't want a bike that's overly heavy. I'm not sure what type of trails you're riding but I'd imagine that NY is similar to New England where I am. Short travel, light XC bikes just aren't going to make you that much faster and can beat you up more. I don't mind a bike that's a little heavy but I do believe in the lightest wheelset you can get away with. Tires as well.

I hear you, every new bike is getting longer reach, wheelbase and heavier. Part of me want a fun “ripmo” bike but i dont hit the bike parks and in NY or NE it’s not gonna be what I will enjoy most. And it’s not that much bigger than my evil if I put a 140 air spring in the fork.... So the other side of it was the idea of a faster trail bike. Yes 28.5 isn’t that heavy but thats with light tires and Ibis carbon hoops and i9 hubs so i can’t get any lighter. Tried, getting away from DHR and DHR 2.4 and 2.5 and dropped a pound (down to 28.5) with 2.35 nobby nics or a recon on it. I really enjoyed the 2.6’s I had on my previous Ibis Mojo 3, the stability and grip was very nice but I sold that bike. I hear you on shorter travel beating you up.I’ve got a carbon Borealis Crestone fatbike w/ carbon wheels and a 100mm bluto fork, it’s a hard tail (selling it here) a lot of fun to ride but it beats you up and not enough snow to justify having it sitting around most of the year.]. Thanks for the input, was just curious. Of other’s opinions - thanks!

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 at 18:27 Quote
yourrealdad wrote:
I have a Sniper Trail. It is a great bike for what I want it for which is XC racing. Just know the 2019 model has a flex issue that has been taken care of with an additional linkage brace. That being said if you are a heavier rider I wouldn't head that way as it is a light bike made to go fast. Mine is currently built up at 23# w/o pedals. The new T version would be better, but more expensive.

Right now I would go with the Expert build from 2019. Comes with an extra set of e13 carbon wheels which should get you under 25# for $4,500.

I also looked at all the bikes you mentioned and had issues with all of them. Yeti is too expensive and has its own issues. The rest didn't have the geo or 2 bottle mounts (requirement for my XC race bike.

I would also check out Fezzari's Signal Peak. It can be had for relatively reasonable price and is a more stout bike than the Sniper. I didn't go that route because it is heavier and won't pedal as well being a horst link.

Lastly 28lbs isn't too heavy, you can always lose 4# off your body easier and get in better shape. My regular trail bike is a stumpy coil at 32#. I run into few riders I can't hang with on that bike outside of races.

Thanks for the info, I was very close to buying the intense, it’s a great deal for sure. not too much weight left to lose, rolling mass in wheels and cranks tend to hold more weight than body weight (I guess) thanks for the info on your sniper!

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 at 18:28 Quote
abambury wrote:
Currently I have the 2019 Rocky Mountain instinct c70. It’s 140mm front and rear. I switched out the wheels, bars and drivetrain to carbon and sits at 26.7lb with 2.6 reckons front and back. Swapping the tires to 2.25 and a few other components this bike can get down to under 25lb which is pretty good for a 140mm trail bike. All depends what kind of money u want to put into it.

That’s pretty light for a 140 bike! Nice. Thanks for the input.

Posted: May 18, 2020 at 13:18 Quote
has anyone ridden both the Ryve and the Sniper? seems like those are the 2 top options for "long travel" XCish bikes in this category. Anything else I have found worth considering in this category only has 100mm rear travel which is pretty limiting

Posted: May 19, 2020 at 7:30 Quote
SpaceAntelope wrote:
has anyone ridden both the Ryve and the Sniper? seems like those are the 2 top options for "long travel" XCish bikes in this category. Anything else I have found worth considering in this category only has 100mm rear travel which is pretty limiting

I have not ridden the Ryve, but it was #3 for me out of my choices. Which hurt a little cause it would have been nice to support the local company. PB just had a review on it that was decent.

There are a few other bikes out there that are 115-120mm. The Fezzari Signal Peak, Orbea Oiz TR, Trek Top Fuel (115), probably some more I can't remember off the top of my head.

Let me know if you want to know more about the Sniper. I love it and am sad it doesn't get to do any racing right now.

Posted: Oct 11, 2020 at 9:46 Quote
I had a 2019 Ibis Ripley with carbon wheels/Ibis hubs and Fax Factory suspension upgrades in a GX build. Despite the upgrades, it felt a "little" chunky huffing on uphils, although that's probably just my fitness level. I LOVE this bike at bike parks like Keystone and Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park. It's like an auto-pilot on the downhill sections. That said, I'm not an enduro rider. My favorite trail in Colorado is Mt Carbon Loop at Bear Creek Lake, a very XC-oriented trail.

Due to a theft at my condo, I test rode a Spot Ryve in 2020 at their headquarters in Golden, CO. The Ripley is a good climber. That said, the Spot Ryve is just a cheetah on the uphill sections. It's lighter in a comparible build, and the suspension design lends itself to forward momentum. In the end, my 2020 insurance money went to Ibis. As my test ride on the Spot turned into a thunderstorm at the top of Green Mountain, and I had to pedal for dear life to get to a safer elevation. On that descent, the Ryve's steeper headtube angle didn't do it any favors. I just couldn't descend as effortlessly as the Ripley. I was slower and more cautious. If you're an XC guy, go for the Spot or the Evil. If you want 1 bike that can do it all, the Ibis Ripley fits that bill nicely.

Posted: Oct 12, 2020 at 1:59 Quote
Don’t get sucked into the weight thing too much. Efficient geometry and appropriate tyres coupled with correct suspension tune /damping will have a much bigger effect on forward momentum overall than dropping a couple of pounds. Everything is a compromise if you want one bike so it’s case of prioritisation.

Your evil has a slack seat tube angle ( ignore the manufacturers effective numbers they are usually over optimistic) which will inhibit both climbing and efficiency.

If you are riding with roadies on XC bikes with XC tyres then your going to have to accept they will be quicker on flat climbs and roads. I ride with a similar bunch and lag along behind on the road because I’m not as fit And pushing more rubber BUT when it comes to tech climbs and anything remotely technical I’ve caught them up.

Why not build a second wheel set or just a rear wheel with a fast XC tyre to chuck on for those rides?

Posted: Oct 12, 2020 at 12:38 Quote
Pigglet13 wrote:
Don’t get sucked into the weight thing too much. Efficient geometry and appropriate tyres coupled with correct suspension tune /damping will have a much bigger effect on forward momentum overall than dropping a couple of pounds.

This so much. Another guy in a german forum made a test. He rode his 9kg hardtail and his 14kg Endurobike with the (almost) same tires up a hill. He used watt meter and constantly hold 285Watt. The difference in 10 minutes climb was, that the hardtail was 20sec faster. 20 sec for almost 5kg!!

Believe it or not, weight doesnt matter as much as tires/suspension/geometry/kinematic, which are all far more important then weight.

I for myself have a Whyte S120c works on order with not much room for upgrading, it will weigh about 12.5kg w/o pedals, but i am shure it will be such a good bike, up- and of course downhill.

Posted: Oct 13, 2020 at 16:23 Quote
That pivot mach4SL still catches my eye for the 1 quiver rigs that lean towards XC

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 at 0:57 Quote
What squire requires is a NS bikes Synapse xc/trail bike

Whippet at trail & xc a like.

Posted: Nov 2, 2020 at 8:41 Quote
I have a 2021 Epic Evo Comp and it is the perfect bike for me but maybe not that many others. I say this based on what I see at my local trails. Most people are on longer travel trail bikes and seem to be happy with what they have. I on the other hand I fall into the older rider category (50) and started everything off racing BMX in ‘82 then into a ridged bike in the late 80s to a hardtail for the next 30+ years to the Evo. With my background as an XC rider that does longer rides and enjoys technical climbs and long fire road days deep into the mountains the “down country” bike is perfect. I am faster than I ever have been in the past on the Evo going down hill and I push myself. But, I am not into MTBing to bomb down trail and I’ll just not be as fast as the 140+ travel bikes. I’m good with that though. I am looking at light wheels now, have the money sitting waiting for me to pull the trigger just haven’t settled on the right ones. The stock comp Evo in medium is 26.5 LBS with XT spd pedals so wheels that weigh in at 1300 grams will shed nearly 2 pounds off the bike. The weight and the geometry with short travel is why I went with a down country bike. I can pedal from my driveway into the mountains climb 3500 feet, make a 40 mile loop and be back home and feel pretty good, on my old 26” hardtail this ride left me beat for a day. It’s the perfect bike for me.

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