The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview

Oct 1, 2020
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich


While our last Field Test series saw us pit a handful of the latest short-travel bikes against each other in a Lycra-inspired cage match, you can expect more suspension and less exposed skin as we get back to trail and enduro bikes for the next Field Test.

The trail-ish category that I'll be on includes Giant's Live Valve-equipped Trance X Pro Advanced, Salsa's very purple Blackthorn, Ibis' fourth-generation Mojo, Actofive's P-Trail for a wildcard, and another soon-to-be-released machine. On the enduro front, @mikekazimer has got himself Trek's new Slash and Rocky Mountain's new Altitude, Propain's big-travel Spindrift, Kavenz's high-pivot machine, and two more mystery bikes that you'll find out about in a few weeks. All of them will get the Field Test treatment, including control tires and so many timed laps that I'm getting tired just thinking about it. We'll be timing everything, of course, including splits for different climbing and descending sections, and @brianpark says that I have to do an improved version of the Efficiency Test. There's the Huck to Flat as well, and I feel like I need to make amends for that last Impossible Climb...

Episode 25 is all about our upcoming trail and enduro bike Field Test!

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever else you get your podcasts.




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 25 - FALL FIELD TEST PREVIEW
Oct 1st, 2020

Should we wear Lycra anyway?

Hosted by Mike Levy (usually) and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike Podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?


123 Comments

  • 67 7
 Upvote me if you want to be called a pinker
  • 13 0
 Pinker and the Brian (Park). A sort of tribute to that old cartoon.
  • 14 0
 You've sealed Levy's fate, we're going to make him read so many terrible ads.
  • 9 0
 I’d rather be called a pinker than a stinker...Smile
  • 28 0
 I just want a downhill bike field test :/
  • 20 0
 Me too. Hopefully next year. The border closures / 'rona restrictions threw a wrench in the works this season.
  • 8 3
 @mikekazimer: what we really want to find out is how fast/faster/slower are the big enduro/super enduro/new freeride/whatever naming bikes are(180-190 SCs) comparing them, on one side with enduro bikes(160-170mm SCs) and, on the other side with full DHs(maybe 190 idk, 200+ DCs);
Full laps for the comparison with the enduros(timed ups and downs); full timed downs for the comparo with the DHs.

I, for one, believe a 180-190mm 29er is basically a DH bike disguising as a SC but, if it pedals 95% as an enduro bike..then, voila, the golden goblet has been found and we all can rest easy now, as 99% of us aren't racers and we don't nees that extra 5% on the climbs. We just need a big DH bike that we can pedal back up the hill or pedal towards that high alpin trail that's 12 miles long with 1500+ ft of descending.
  • 1 0
 Yes, we need this
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: there's a great comparison on Vital between SC and DC forks
  • 1 1
 @jaydawg69: I'll check, thx.
I don't have any questions regarding the diff in stiffness, I know that DC is stiffer than SC.

What I really want to know is the actual diff in speed and capability in hard-core terrain btw enduro(160-170mm), enduro-FR-whatever(180-190mm) and DH.
I think it is easier to have a 130-140mm(with something like a 150mm fork) trail bike and something big like a 180-190mm...which you can use in the occasional enduro race as well as on epic alpine tours or park laps instead of compromising on either capability(enduro) or usability(DH). If you just want to ride and you're not a racer, either DH or enduro, which will require specific tool(bike), this trail+new FR seems like a good one.
  • 12 0
 I have a question for the crew. How do you try to keep secret about pre release products that you recive? Do you have to cover it with a tarp or something when driving to the trails. Or what if you have a not yet released part on your bike or an entire unreleased bike, and you are having a friendly conversation with a stranger out on the trails? If they say "Hey whats that" what do you say? This i really want to know.
  • 2 0
 Have always wondered this as well - Seems like Squamish / B-Ham are places where people know whats up and would be snapping pics.
  • 7 1
 Did a shuttle lap with the SRAM guys when they were testing AXS Reverb's, they told us not to take pics and don't ask any questions. Kind of dicks about it
  • 25 0
 @mtbgreg80302: ah yes testing the dropper post on the downhills only
  • 16 0
 @mtbgreg80302: the industry too cool bro thing needs to stop. Its what Brian was talking about in the bike shop episode a while back and the comments ripped him apart about it ironically.
  • 14 1
 It's just mountain bikes. It's not like there are paparazzi hiding in the bushes along trails to snap a photo of a new bike. When asked on the trails they probably just say its a new session, and the questioner will be like "oh yeah, it looks like a session"
  • 2 1
 @kcy4130: I understand what you mean but I respectfully disagree, kind of. Yeah you could just say that in some cases, but with other things you just cant hide it, like from the old gambler to the newer one that looks completly different, or a new drivetrain with a larger range than before, or a thicker stanctioned fork. Also considering that there some leaked photos taken in lift lines(could be planned) somebody might just take a pic of a bike. I hope I dont seem rude.
  • 5 0
 @Apersonwhoenjoysbiking: The "looks like a session" was tongue in cheek. And this is the internet, you can disagree as disrespectfully as you like!
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: I figured mentioning the sesion was a joke. I just also imagined that session was a placeholder name for any other bike.
  • 16 0
 I spend a lot of time riding alone, and typically avoid mega group rides with strangers at all costs.

At the end of the day, like @kcy4130 said, it’s just mountain biking. It’s pretty easy to fly under the radar out in the woods.
  • 3 0
 I can tell you how others do it. I once put on an event for NFL and a major sports brand you are probably already thinking of right now to reveal product about 6 months ahead of public release. We showed product to 300 folks from the industry by flying them all to a private location, purpose built for the reveal. Literally took peoples phones from them, locked them up, issued NDA's. It was a huge effort but went really well. Big brands take that stuff very seriously.
  • 3 0
 Where I live (Front Range CO) dudes would notice a thicker layup on the inside of your chainstay. People are obsessive and we have hella crowded trails. Better trail systems thin out the riders in Bellingham/Squamish though.
  • 3 0
 @mtbgreg80302: I can respect them if they are cool and ask nicely - I mean if it is that big a secret, don't shuttle with others. But if they were dicks about it for no reason...
Spy shots all the way.
Not compromising national security here. And deep down, you know they want to generate online buzz.
  • 4 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I also rode with SRAM boys when they were developing AXS drivetrain. They were super chill about it. Same thing with another new product that will be coming out shortly. I just teased them about it and they laughed and said, "You see nothing here."
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: Just going by that post...
I'm just saying they should be chill about it. Ultimately, mountain bikes are just toys...awesome, incredibly fun toys...but just toys.
  • 3 0
 @Bakemaster: would explain the horrible reputation Reverbs have on the reliability front.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: HELLA crowded, huh? Maybe it would be less crowded if people from CA would stop moving here. Wink
  • 1 0
 @davec113: HELLA crowded is right. There should be a tax levied on Californians and Texans.
  • 9 0
 Any possibility to include the winners from last year in the field test or at least make some comparisons to them? Particularly with the spec enduro getting near universal praise, it would be nice to see how it compares to this year's crop of bikes.
  • 6 0
 Also I hope its not Forbidden to have two high pivot bikes in the enduro category. ;P
  • 3 0
 It would be great to compare against the new Meta TR, that's definitely in the Trail-ish category and was a big hit on the Budget Test last year!
  • 1 4
 Add the Ransom to that list.
  • 17 0
 Yes, we’ll be including comparisons to the Enduro, since it was a standout at last year’s test.
  • 6 3
 @TerrapinBen: No one gives cares about the Ransom except for try-hard wanna-be racers on the front range.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Yea should have waited to comment until after listening, you guys covered it in the podcast. Love the podcasts by the way, great to hear more in depth and behind the scenes stuff.
  • 8 0
 Question for the crew (I'm going to follow my Canadian roots and apologize if this has already been asked) :

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is most influential; how influential do you think your (and other sites) bike reviews are on the market today? For example, if the new Rocky Mountain Altitude were to be rated and reviewed by Pinkbike, would you sway the sales at all?

Cheers!
  • 6 0
 Oh man that's a good question. I've got some things to say, maybe I'll wait for a future podcast so I don't put my foot in my mouth.
  • 14 0
 Speaking for myself. Besides the actual hard numbers and geometry of a bike, the vital and PB reviews are a really big factor. Significantly more so than race results.
  • 5 0
 @nskerb: for me it may put something on my list that i haven't thought about before or bring up questions about my riding style that i should probably consider.
  • 7 0
 OOOOO.EEEMMMMM.GGGGEEEEE I CANT BELIEVE YOU DIDNT TEST [INSERT CURRENT BIKE OR BIKE YOU WANT TO BUY], HOW IS THIS EVEN A CURRENT FIELD TEST! ; )

Great job on this POD guys and girls, always look forward to my commute when this appears
  • 4 0
 It Would be interesting to have a podcast about youth/NICA development. Compare between the countries, what disciplines it should be, Limiting budget for bikes etc.
We see the dominance of French in all sort of bike racing. Their system for youth includes all disciplines, xc trial DH... one need to be licences through a club or association. It would be interesting to have other point if views.
  • 1 0
 I agree, this would be interesting. But perhaps an article would be a better format for it than a podcast.
  • 4 0
 Dear @mikelevy

Thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me. While it in no way lessens the guilt I feel for putting my own feeble attempts at happiness above Dailly's hopes and dreams, your kindness and chuckles have sent a few rays of sunshine through the cloud of despair hanging over me.

With gratitude,
Me again
  • 4 0
 So > XC, Downcountry, Trail bike, (long travel trail bike / short travel enduro bike), Enduro, Super Enduro, Freeride...

What happened to All-mountain and why isn’t that still a category between Trail and Enduro?

The name All Mountain implies longer rides with climbing and descending on steep natural terrain, but without the focus on racing that Enduro bikes prioritize. Seems pretty apt to me.

Am I missing something in mtb history? ... Was it a term coined by a cheeky mtb journalist that no one ever felt entirely comfortable embracing?
  • 7 12
flag brianpark Mod Plus (Oct 1, 2020 at 11:45) (Below Threshold)
 Because in a lot of places all mountain isn't really "before" enduro. It's really more like slow enduro, or enduro with shitty angles. It's the bikes for markets that demand 150mm+ of travel, Kashima coated Fit4 forks, all the lockouts, and 67° headtube angles because long wheelbases are scary.

I've always advocated for trail>aggressive trail>enduro. Everyone understands what that is. But I'm unimaginative like that.
  • 36 0
 @vaedwards, I still like the term, even though Brian has a personal vendetta against it. It makes a lot of sense to me. "Aggressive trail" just sounds like you're out there pedaling around and shouting at the ground in front of you.
  • 4 0
 All mountain is what enduro bikes were before they tried to become downhill bikes.

Full disclosure: I ride all-mountain and have a downhill bike...long wheel bases are boring on regular trails, not scary...
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer:
Agreed, the term "agressive" is full cringe and should die.

It refers to slack HA geometry in MTB, steep HA geometry in BMX, and people behaving like a*sholes in the real world.
  • 6 3
 @mikekazimer: you don't shout at the ground during your rides?
  • 1 1
 @brianpark: "aggressive trail" sounds like marketing bro speak to me. "all mountain" is too vague and requires an explanation as to where it fits in. Perhaps "short travel enduro" would be better.
  • 1 0
 What about Super-D racing? Who remembers that?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy should every bike have a swat box? What are the pros and cons of the seat bag/truck nuts compared to strapping a tube on a frame? How angry do you get when you see a bike without room for a water bottle?
  • 3 0
 Maybe this has been answered before, but how is it decided which bikes end up getting a long-term full review? I see a lot of First Ride articles, but some never seem to get the long term review even though it seems implied that there will be one (new gen Pivot Switchblade, Transition Scout)
  • 6 0
 New stump jumper is due in the next couple of weeks
  • 2 0
 This is an accurate statement.
  • 2 0
 France and Italie Enduro requires sanctioned full face, knee pad and back protector. It is linked to the fact those countries use UCI licences. So if the race is national federation sanctioned, those armor are required. At least it was last I raced over there.
  • 3 1
 ok answer me this, are the seat tube angle police justified? a lot of people here bash on all these bikes but I feel like its unfounded. you guys kinda mention it on reviews but by far you dont make it seem as bad as some "pinkers" do. Is it the whole package? or is it really this magic metric?
  • 8 0
 If you're tall, the combination of slack actual STAs and proportionally short rear triangles can make the climbing position absolute shit. I am not tall, so it's less of a big deal for me. But I do really appreciate my Raaw's pedaling position.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I see, that makes sense, I'm 5'8 so thats probably why Ive never really cared that much.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: 5'-8" Here and agree. We are not as affected. But my new Norco Sight with a pretty steep STA is so good.
  • 2 0
 I know this is annoying but was seriously hoping that the new Wreckoning, possibly the new Ripmo or that new Rōwl would be in the new field test. I also haven't seen a Nukeproof Mega in a field test, I could be wrong though. Really glad to see the new Spindrift is in there though.
  • 2 0
 For some reason evil refuses to give them test bikes for any length of time. It's a shame
  • 1 0
 They are including the Wriply and not the Ripmo... kind of strange, the Ripmo would match up better with the other bikes in the test
  • 2 0
 You'll never be able to just download a bike and have a machine shop make it. The CNC machine and the billet piece of aluminum are only a small part of the equation. There is often a considerable amount of custom machined tooling required to CNC mill a part. The cost of that tooling is significant, so sadly, the CNC bike concept will live solely with the bike manufacturer since they have all of the tooling for the CNC machine to rig up the billet correctly to machine the frame. Subtractive manufacturing (CNC milling) is very different from additive manufacturing (3D printing). You could download a bike and have a shop make it they used a metal 3D printer, but then again a frame manufactured that way would be insanely expensive (the CNC one will also be crazy expensive since the throughput is so slow).
  • 5 0
 I disagree. I've seen enough shots of the frames to know there is no magic tooling involved. The mill would have to be fairly large to have enough space but once the piece is clamped and zeroed there isn't much to it. CNC production is neither slow nor costly compared to manual machining, the billet stock isn't cheap. But any decent operator could slap out a dozen frames a day one the jig is sorted
  • 1 0
 I think 3D printing would happen before machining. Once the materials and tooling are affordable I could see being able to order something and your shop prints is out and cleans it up. I know nothing about the process, i do think it’s super near though. Maybe my kids will be interested in the process. My 7 year old is taking a robotics class and loves it so far.
  • 1 0
 I’m a mechanic for a wind farm and fix everything. We have two fire trucks from late 60’s. Parts are rare no impossible to get. Having the capacity to print a new one out would be incredible. As of now I fix them with my mediocre metal working skills. Or adapt new parts into the system with my mediocre engineering skills.
  • 1 0
 whats the name of the CNC'd bike? acti 5? active five?
  • 4 0
 I really hope that the new Esker Rowl is in the mix for the trail bike category.
  • 5 0
 Is there gonna be a banshee in there?
  • 1 0
 I have a question that pertains to the dh bike episode from a couple of weeks ago. I have noticed that there is a distinction between "park" dual crown bikes and "race" dual crown bikes; some companies even sell both. If I am casually in the market for a dh bike I feel like it would make sense to get something in the middle of the two as I like tech at the park and may want to hop in a race in the future and branch out from enduro, whule still having a good bike for jumping. Do you have any suggestions on models? am I correct in seeing a distinction? What is the pb podcast staffs' experiences with the different dh bikes? thanks for any info.
  • 1 0
 Being 5'11" I always buy a large (longer torso than legs) but I finally bought my first medium, the Evil Wreckoning and the whole bike feels great size wise except I would like maybe 10 more millimeters of reach (and while we're at it adjustable chainstay length would be nice too). I had the S4 (Large) Enduro and it was exceptional at going straight down the hill but not nearly as agile as I would like. I rode a friend's medium Hightower and I was surprised at how fun it was but the reach was way too short. It seems as though a Medium-Large would be the ticket for me.

Am I the only one that's been having these sizing issues with these new breed of bikes and geo? A little caveat being my large Ripley V4 felt great size wise. My question is since 5'10" is about the average male height why don't more companies make a medium-large like the new Trek Slash? Or is that more the point that they want to give people the option of a more agile ride (medium) or more stable (large)?
  • 1 0
 Stems come in different lengths for exactly this reason. Buy a stem that’s 10mm longer.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: Yes, I use that as well stack and other means to get a good fit. ETT and just the overall feel is different with these sizes...at least for me.
  • 1 0
 I would *love* to see you guys do a Field Test someplace flat (maybe hardtails?). It might not be exciting, but there are lots of us who live places without actual mountains and lots of us live in flat and flat-ish places.

It’s hard for me to understand reviews of bikes that talk about things like “descending” when the biggest hill hereabouts is something like 100 feet ????
  • 1 0
 I have to say, I was a little freaked out in that the day before this podcast I had randomly googled "Mountain Cycle" in that I'm in the market for a new bike and wondered if the company was still in business just out of curiosity..........then the words "San Andreas" were mentioned in the show............ That's 25 years with no mention in my world of Mountain Cycle, then 2X in two days! Maybe the universe wants them to come back???..........well, maybe not.
  • 2 1
 Brian, "in it to win it" doesn't apply when there are things far removed from actual mountain bike riding. Hucking yourself down an enduro course is quite different from putting your health at risk flying halfway around the globe and being separated from your family for significantly more time than the actual bike races take up. That sentiment completely ignores the sacrifices made by the riders who did skip racing: a year of rustiness regarding actual racing, missed business opportunities (remember that this is a job for professional riders), potentially less pay due to missing sponsor exposure. "In in to win it" in any other year required vastly less sacrifice, and differing national reactions to the pandemic have also cause these extra sacrifices to become quite uneven in some cases (it can take quite a while to get back into some countries). A couple seasons ago, the Enduro Wet Series, that required a good chunk of "in it to win it" to push through those conditions. However, it was even for all competitors: _everyone_ had to ride through the same wet and muddy slop; and coming from Australia, for example, didn't mean you suddenly got wetter and dirtier than everyone else.

Jesse killed it, congrats to him with the sweep, but yeah, there is a bit of an asterisk.
  • 1 0
 Question for you guys. Why don't the makers of department store bikes use their same spec but modern geometry? @brianpark amirite? On the topic of spec - would you guys prefer to ride a slack rigid hardtail or a department store bike with their typical head angle and suspension fork?
  • 1 0
 With all the longer travel bikes getting better at climbing, why haven’t we seen a re-emergence of the “Dual Position” fork.
I ran a 36 Talas on my ole Hightower and it was great.
A 150/130 was a perfect fit. XC on the way up and DH on the way down.
  • 1 0
 Question for a future pod cast: I did the BC Bike Race a couple years ago and it was an absolutely amazing event. Assuming traveling is some-what normal next year, what stage race would you sign up for next year that isn't the BC Bike Race? I'm interested in either XC or Enduro.
  • 3 0
 So you’re telling me the new range/shore will be out in the next few weeks?
  • 3 0
 already leaked in a shop, maybe a week or two
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: taken down few days ago
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd: I saw it. Just want to see it actually released! The optic and sight were released the 15th and 30th(I think) of october last year.
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: What was it like?
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: 4 bar high-ish pivot with an idler. Check out the vital tech rumor thread. Lots of pics of it.
  • 2 0
 You guys forgot the millyard racing bike! Who wouldn’t want to ride the wild sealed drivetrain single sided rear end, with oleo dampers on both ends.
  • 2 0
 I'm looking forward to this new segment. Sounds like an interesting batch of bikes. Kind of bummed the Deviate Highlander isn't in there though.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully something from Forbidden - either the Druid and/or their soon to be unveiled longer travel steed - will be included. Not doing so may amount to overlooking what some consider to be truly world class design.
  • 1 0
 Sadly I don't think it will be, they mention in the podcast that the two remaining bikes have small wheels (and from Lewis's vids we know for sure its 29 and can also be run mullet). Its very possible the forbidden wasn't ready in time. They may only have a couple protos.
  • 1 0
 You guys need to review the Commencal Clash, seems like a great long travel enduro bike but reviews are non existent. Been thinking about getting one but would like to see some more reviews.
  • 3 0
 Why no Meta TR for the trail(-ish) field bike test?
  • 2 0
 I would like to see a ride comparison for the Transition sentinel vs the Trek Slash.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer Can you guys take a look at the sun race RDMZ 600 12 speed rear derailleur. They look interesting and I am curious to see how they preform.
  • 1 0
 A full set of protection kit is definitley also a rule for racing in Germany. You're not even allowed in most bikeparks without a full set of protectors
  • 3 1
 Stump jumper for sure. Looks rad to.
  • 1 0
 I'm so happy you mentioned the best helmet of all time, Giro Switchblade. Incredible.
  • 1 0
 Would like to see a non live valve Trance in test. Or is that being saved for the best bikes under $3500 test
  • 1 0
 Let us guess....mmm...new Mega and maybe the new Nomad?
  • 2 0
 About time, while I love my Nomad, it would be good to see an update.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: too bad it will still be a 27.5 bike
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: confirmed or rumour mill?
  • 2 0
 @noplacelikeloam: rumour but, somewhat logic; think about it...tallboy 29er, 5010 27.5, hightower 29er, bronson 27.5, megatower 29er....nomad..probably 27.5.
personally, I would prefer a 29er 170-180 or 180-190..but, I think it will be maximum a 170-180mm 27.5
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: makes sense!
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: hopefully we will see most future bikes designed for aggressive riding be able to accept different wheel sizes.
29ers make so much sense in the smaller travel categories but for these kind of bikes rider height, style and the type of trails you ride make it much more personal.
At 5'7 I'm on a mullet currently and don't see myself ever riding anything else on a long travel rig.
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: at 5.75(5.8 in a good day) I would love to try a well designed mullet as I do get some tire buzz on my pants from my 29er on really steep stuff. But, beside that, the bike feels so much capable, so much faster that I wouldn't know why I'd ever want to return to a 27.5 wheeled bike. For me, it was/is proof that a well designed 29er is the best solution for mtb-ing(from xc to DH); and that's coming from someone who used to race(amateurly) on 27.5 HTs and FSs. A couple of years ago, I fully embraced the 27.5 "solution", after testing some 29ers and deciding that they are slow, cumbersome and unpleasant to ride. Then, in 2018 I tested(and the buy) my first 'new school' xc 29er bike and after it, all my bikes became 29ers. Beside the occasionally tire buzz, I don't see any problem with them and the handling is at least as good as any 27.5(or, I'm so slow I can't tell the difference ahahahaha).
  • 3 0
 @eugenux: I should preface this with the fact that I have a short inseam for my height.
The problem for me want tire buzz on the steeps but when trying to squash jumps, drops and those little trail features that want to pop you up in the air when going really fast right as you want to keep your wheels on the ground. It was mostly just irritating but I eventually had a pretty spooky crash of a decent drop that knocked my confidence.
I loved how confident the 29er was rolling into rocky steeps and high speed chatter and in no way did I want to give up that big front wheel.
By chance guerilla gravity (who are local to me) had a Megatrail (their 165mm 27.5) built up as a mullet on one of to their demo rigs in my size. They already build bikes with the same front triangle on both wheel sizes by using different sized spacers on the bottom of the headset, so building a mullet without compromising Geo was already possible for them.
I got the bike on a 3 day demo and despite the fact that I actually had no intention of buying a new bike I was swiping my credit card at the end of the third day.
My thoughts, like you I would assume that 29ers are overall the fastest bikes. Looking at how some DH and Enduro racers (who have the ability to do back to back testing) have moved to mullets this is probably not true for all people.
For me the mullet seems (marginally) slower through high speed straight chatter and (marginally) faster in tighter turns. It's just as confident in steep rocky stuff. For somebody of my stature there is a lot more room to move the bike around in the air.
Lastly (I know people always go on about this in the internet!) It's a lot more fun to ride, the ease with which the rear wheel breaks loose and the stability it still has when it does this is unbelievable. I'm not a particularly talented rider and cornering is probably my week point but I pull pretty sweet drifts around turns almost every ride in this thing. Is that faster? Probably not but it feels so good.
IMO 29ers for all short travel bikes. For long travel, 29ers for the tall, mullets for the short and for those in-between in depends on your trails and your style.
Maybe the mullet will kill the full 27.5 because I really don't notice any down sides to the big front wheel.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: it could also be one of the new nukeproofs, Mega and Giga(or both).
  • 1 0
 Stop teasing the Salsas and show me the info!
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Yeah, yeah. I watched that video when it came out and teased the "we're going to ride it later" bit.
  • 1 0
 Norco Alloy High Pivot.....The Shore is back!
#augmentlegend
  • 2 1
 Pinkers are Stinkers.
  • 1 1
 MTB is definitely dorky. C'mon.
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