Classic "Downcountry vs this-bike" question (Spur? Aeris? Spectral? Epic Evo?)

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Classic "Downcountry vs this-bike" question (Spur? Aeris? Spectral? Epic Evo?)
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Posted: Sep 10, 2021 at 13:24 Quote
16rally wrote:
Kruton wrote:
I also live in CO and have ridden your local trails a decent bit! Some fun loops to be had there.

If you're shooting for an all-arounder, I'd go for something with at least 130mm travel in the rear but probably closer to 140 or 150mm. I'd also probably aim for 29er, though a 27.5 would definitely work.

Bikes climb so well these days that, as a mostly casual rider, you aren't really giving up too much on the climbs. For bikes that would do well anywhere from your highlands trails, to buffalo creek, to the high country and downhill at trestle, I'd look at:

SC Hightower, Ibis Ripmo, Pivot Switchblade, Canyon Spectral 29, YT Jeffsy 29, Yeti SB130, Privateer 141, Revel Rascal (try to ride one before you buy though, the geo is a bit on the dated side), Specialized Stumpjumper or SJ Evo, or Trek Slash.

I haven't ridden a commencal Meta TR29 but I would bet it would be underwhelming on the local trails. It seems to be made more for going up then going down.

If you're shooting for value, I'd try to land a Ripmo AF or Privateer 141. Both have aluminum frames but the steep seat tub angle and high-quality suspension will make climbing feel like a breeze.
I ask because I'm also shopping for a trail bike.
Is there a reason why the Giant Trance or Trance X did not make your list?
According to my LBS there is better availability for those.

For context, I currently have an order in for a Jeffsy which is not scheduled for delivery until March of 2022.

I can't speak to 16rally's choice of bikes but those are pretty common ones I see recommended or riding around Colorado. Might be a location thing or wanting to support smaller brands vs the big box brands but the Trans X looks like a solid rig for this area. I think the Trance's seat tub is too slack, at least for me

Posted: Sep 10, 2021 at 21:42 Quote
Kruton wrote:
If you're shooting for an all-arounder, I'd go for something with at least 130mm travel in the rear but probably closer to 140 or 150mm. I'd also probably aim for 29er, though a 27.5 would definitely work.

Bikes climb so well these days that, as a mostly casual rider, you aren't really giving up too much on the climbs. For bikes that would do well anywhere from your highlands trails, to buffalo creek, to the high country and downhill at trestle, I'd look at:

SC Hightower, Ibis Ripmo, Pivot Switchblade, Canyon Spectral 29, YT Jeffsy 29, Yeti SB130, Privateer 141, Revel Rascal (try to ride one before you buy though, the geo is a bit on the dated side), Specialized Stumpjumper or SJ Evo, or Trek Slash.

Great info Kruton! That's exactly what I want to hear. I think my rare race times will improve more with fitness/conditioning rather than with $$$, and the all-rounder trail bikes like the Canyon Spectral 29 or YT Jeffsy sound like the way to go. I found a bike shop that will demo the Revel Rascal, and the Hightower can get demo'd anywhere too, but I think it will be hard to find a Spectral to even sit on before I buy one. I've got a BYOB OuterBike ticket to Moab next month, so hopefully I can beg them to let me sit on a Large to make sure it fits well and bite the bullet for a Christmas present to myself. =)

Posted: Sep 10, 2021 at 21:44 Quote
dieskim wrote:
Mate, I would suggest you go and visit the guys at Spot bikes, Golden CO. Their Ryve 115 is a weapon of sorts!
Oh man, I read about that bike and now I have an itch to ride the Leadville 100! Maybe when my kiddos get older in a few years, I can find time to train for something like that, but 6 months of train-up to ride in something like that race just isn't in the cards at the moment, early in my career. Frown

Posted: Sep 13, 2021 at 7:19 Quote
Every time I talk to my accountant (my wife) she reminds me that I don't like to settle for "all-rounders" and I should just get the XC/DC bike now, and wait on an all-mountain/enduro bike later when the kids are older and we can spend more time at the bike park. For example, I have a pair of short skinny snow skis for skiing park and moguls, and lighter fat skis for powder/trees. I really came here to see if I would be happy on a trail bike in my limited races, and she thinks I won't be happy unless I'm on a "racy" bike so I should probably get out and rent some downcountry/XC bikes to see what I can look for on the PinkBike BuySell pages in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their advice! I'm still going to try my local race loop on a trail bike, and if it's only a minute or two different, I may still go with one.

Posted: Sep 13, 2021 at 14:15 Quote
KiyoshiAphelion wrote:
Every time I talk to my accountant (my wife) she reminds me that I don't like to settle for "all-rounders" and I should just get the XC/DC bike now, and wait on an all-mountain/enduro bike later when the kids are older and we can spend more time at the bike park. For example, I have a pair of short skinny snow skis for skiing park and moguls, and lighter fat skis for powder/trees. I really came here to see if I would be happy on a trail bike in my limited races, and she thinks I won't be happy unless I'm on a "racy" bike so I should probably get out and rent some downcountry/XC bikes to see what I can look for on the PinkBike BuySell pages in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their advice! I'm still going to try my local race loop on a trail bike, and if it's only a minute or two different, I may still go with one.

I think this is the best advice. Bikes are so good now that the question is less"Can this bike handle what I want to do?" and more "Will this bike be fun on what I want to do?" and fun is purely subjective! Trying out a different types of bikes on what you want to ride is the best way to end up with a bike you like

Posted: Sep 16, 2021 at 11:17 Quote
KiyoshiAphelion wrote:
Every time I talk to my accountant (my wife) she reminds me that I don't like to settle for "all-rounders" and I should just get the XC/DC bike now, and wait on an all-mountain/enduro bike later when the kids are older and we can spend more time at the bike park. For example, I have a pair of short skinny snow skis for skiing park and moguls, and lighter fat skis for powder/trees. I really came here to see if I would be happy on a trail bike in my limited races, and she thinks I won't be happy unless I'm on a "racy" bike so I should probably get out and rent some downcountry/XC bikes to see what I can look for on the PinkBike BuySell pages in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their advice! I'm still going to try my local race loop on a trail bike, and if it's only a minute or two different, I may still go with one.

Demoing, if you can, is the best way to go. When I was bike shopping, it was hard to locate demos but that was in peak quarantine.

I do think that if you're ONLY riding your local trails or similar, then a 120MM bike like a tallboy is great. I demo'd a tallboy at Hall Ranch and had a TON of fun on it but I could definitely tell that it would be overwhelmed at the speed I like to ride when going down places like Apex Park in Golden.

The thing about all rounders in Colorado for me is, in my opinion, they are the best for Colorado. There are lots of trails that are not only big 3000' climbs, but also rowdy descents. So even if I did have the means to have both a downcountry bike and an enduro, I would personally still just reach for the all arounder 99% of the time.

In fact, for my style of riding, if I could have 2 bikes, I'd probably get a downcountry and an all arounder as I think a high quality all arounder can handle most of my descents.

Posted: Sep 16, 2021 at 22:41 Quote
Kruton wrote:
Demoing, if you can, is the best way to go. When I was bike shopping, it was hard to locate demos but that was in peak quarantine.

I do think that if you're ONLY riding your local trails or similar, then a 120MM bike like a tallboy is great. I demo'd a tallboy at Hall Ranch and had a TON of fun on it but I could definitely tell that it would be overwhelmed at the speed I like to ride when going down places like Apex Park in Golden.

The thing about all rounders in Colorado for me is, in my opinion, they are the best for Colorado. There are lots of trails that are not only big 3000' climbs, but also rowdy descents. So even if I did have the means to have both a downcountry bike and an enduro, I would personally still just reach for the all arounder 99% of the time.

In fact, for my style of riding, if I could have 2 bikes, I'd probably get a downcountry and an all arounder as I think a high quality all arounder can handle most of my descents.

I like this line of thinking. I got a rental half-day on a Transition Spur coming up to see if I can see my self racing XC on it occasionally, and hopefully I can find a nice trail bike to rent for my one-day Moab adventure in a couple weekends. A downcountry bike and an enduro-rated trail bike (Canyon Spectral?) sound like a perfect combo for CO.

Posted: Sep 17, 2021 at 5:20 Quote
KiyoshiAphelion wrote:
Kruton wrote:
Demoing, if you can, is the best way to go. When I was bike shopping, it was hard to locate demos but that was in peak quarantine.

I do think that if you're ONLY riding your local trails or similar, then a 120MM bike like a tallboy is great. I demo'd a tallboy at Hall Ranch and had a TON of fun on it but I could definitely tell that it would be overwhelmed at the speed I like to ride when going down places like Apex Park in Golden.

The thing about all rounders in Colorado for me is, in my opinion, they are the best for Colorado. There are lots of trails that are not only big 3000' climbs, but also rowdy descents. So even if I did have the means to have both a downcountry bike and an enduro, I would personally still just reach for the all arounder 99% of the time.

In fact, for my style of riding, if I could have 2 bikes, I'd probably get a downcountry and an all arounder as I think a high quality all arounder can handle most of my descents.

I like this line of thinking. I got a rental half-day on a Transition Spur coming up to see if I can see my self racing XC on it occasionally, and hopefully I can find a nice trail bike to rent for my one-day Moab adventure in a couple weekends. A downcountry bike and an enduro-rated trail bike (Canyon Spectral?) sound like a perfect combo for CO.

I would go even further and say you could probably get away with a Enduro rated trail bike for trail and park days and then a race ready XC bike. I think you are on the right path though

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 15:54 Quote
ssantana wrote:
I would go even further and say you could probably get away with a Enduro rated trail bike for trail and park days and then a race ready XC bike. I think you are on the right path though
Truth. I think all the marketing is playing tricks on my brain, making me want a "latest and greatest" downcountry bike. I should just get a used XC race bike on PB and try out some of the other trail bikes with demo days.

Posted: Oct 11, 2021 at 7:08 Quote
Ok follow up time: I'm definitely leaning towards two bikes now, buying one now for racing/family, and an all mountain/enduro a few years down the line for trail/park use, and I tried out a Giant Reign and a Transition Spur recently (sadly I tried the Spur in a Large and found out I should really be on a Medium) and now I'm trying to decide between getting a few-years used XC bike or being able to pick my own spec on something like a new Spur or Canyon Lux Trail and down-specing it a bit to keep it in the $4k range.

Is it better to buy a used $4k XC bike, or get a newer downcountry bike lower on the component tree? I'm thinking I'm not advanced or racing enough for it to matter if I have the best dampeners right now, so it might be ok to do the cheaper new bike. Skill level update: I was able to ride most of Captain Ahab in Moab, only having to walk some of the biggest drops.

Posted: Oct 12, 2021 at 7:43 Quote
How's about getting a used transition smuggler carbon....like a spur in geometry but allows for a 140 mm fork as apposed to the spurs 120. I have one and it feels way more bike than the travel numbers suggest. Don't be fooled into the 150/160+ longer travel equals better bike....I've been there trust me. Even if your not caring about times if your going faster on a lighter bike your having more fun. This smuggler can handle more than I can dish out and the pinkbike review shows kazimer riding a decent enough drop with no issues so unless your looking to charge down rampage like trails and actually like pedalling up things I would suggest the lighter bike with good geometry over a heavier longer travel rig that is unless you only want to ride down stuff at the cost of any decent long bike ride trade offs.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 at 9:33 Quote
KiyoshiAphelion wrote:
Ok follow up time: I'm definitely leaning towards two bikes now, buying one now for racing/family, and an all mountain/enduro a few years down the line for trail/park use, and I tried out a Giant Reign and a Transition Spur recently (sadly I tried the Spur in a Large and found out I should really be on a Medium) and now I'm trying to decide between getting a few-years used XC bike or being able to pick my own spec on something like a new Spur or Canyon Lux Trail and down-specing it a bit to keep it in the $4k range.

Is it better to buy a used $4k XC bike, or get a newer downcountry bike lower on the component tree? I'm thinking I'm not advanced or racing enough for it to matter if I have the best dampeners right now, so it might be ok to do the cheaper new bike. Skill level update: I was able to ride most of Captain Ahab in Moab, only having to walk some of the biggest drops.

If it were me, I'd get the newer one with better geo.

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