We're halfway through the latest Field Test, which means it's time to sit down and chat about the six down-country bikes that Henry Quinney and I reviewed in Pemberton. There's a lot to cover, and we've brought Mike Kazimer and Alicia Leggett on the show to ask us some tough questions, as well as a bunch that readers have posted in the comment sections under the reviews. Episode 95 sees us talk about the Field Test bikes we wanted to keep, why we didn't get on with a few of them, and what we'd change to make them even better.
Waiting for the trail bike reviews? Those will start to roll out next week.
THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 95 - FIELD TEST DOWN-COUNTRY BIKE DEBRIEF Dec 9th, 2021
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.
I don't know if I just look like I'm old or struggling or there's some culture of support or what, but there are way more people shouting affirmations and encouragement at me while I'm riding these days and it annoys me. I'm not opposed to friendliness and I greet everyone I pass on trails, the encouragement/affirmations just feel sort of ...condescending?...weird?...I don't know.
I've been riding for ages and the trails are no big deal for me. Maybe it's just because there are more people.
Thanks for the life advice though.
Hypothetical question: You have the best performing bike in the history of bikes, but it says 'Live Love Laugh' on the downtube in huge letters and is painted a color that makes you want to throw it into the ocean... do you mind?
I'd like a top frame sticker that said ya know: 1) you suck, 2) nice underwear, 3) consider an e-bike. Just respond better to a bit of derision I guess. Thanks Dad!
I doubt this would work in park conditions we all ride bigger bikes in, but for the gnarly steep stuff with drops and roots, the Spur seems to not only juke the rest of our crew on enduro schoolbuses (by speed), but allow our bud to go even faster ,tighter / faster turns - and climb better. Anyone else finding this too? I'm debating dumping the YT Capra and getting a Spur or Izzo (or whatever) now...but damn, the costs are so high.
*for a person of average height range
I’m putting this question here from the “ask us anything” article, since you guys didn’t anwser it (lol)
Loking for your honest opinion here, Levy often talks about the kona process 111 as one of the first downcountry bikes made.
How does it compare to downcountry bikes these days?
If you update some parts for a 2015 Kona Process 111 for instance, like 12 speed drivetrain, dropper post and 4 pot disc brakes, or even using offset bushings for the rear shock and a angleset up front, could it still be a considered a modern-ish bike?
And does it make more sense to you guys buying a used Process 111, and update it were it makes sense, or buy a lower end 2022 29er with similar caracteristics.
Love the podcast guys! Keep it up!
The weight is one hurdle - that aluminum frame isn’t light, and unfortunately a carbon version never emerged. The geometry was ahead of its time, but nowadays the seat angle looks really slack, and the head tube angle is on the steep side.
I’d love to see an updated version of the 111 - it’s become something of a cult classic for a reason.
How was the spark vs the blurr and element? Im looking at these 3 for my next bike for the midwest.
I think one really has to take ETT into more account with these newer, more progressive bikes, as the STA varies a lot from bike to bike, and you don’t really see anyone ramming the saddle back on the rails, as it would make a bike with long reach and slack head angle just understeer every turn, and you’d fall off the back climbing.
Nobody had seen the Rocky review when this popped up... Was this an attempt at getting a bunch of interaction?
Waited for the Rocky review before I started listening to this..
It is very light, though, and definitely a fun, fast bike, it's just not quite at the same level on steeper terrain.
And don't give me the "SC gives you free bearings for life" line. A set of bearings will set up back $30-$50ish. It's not like Santa Cruz removes and presses the new ones in for free.
I like Santa Cruz bikes - they release solid, well built bikes, they have a well earned reputation for solid customer service, and they do a lot of good stuff to promote the sport and a lot of worthy initiatives around trail access, inclusion/diversity, and sustainability. All around solid citizen. But that whole "bearings are free for life" thing and the big deal being made about it rankles me. If you can't trust your licensed dealers to tell you that hey, here's a customer with a busted bearing, I'll send it to you, please credit me on my next invoice and I'll give them a fresh one to get them back on the trail, then you're missing an opportunity for good customer service and making it harder for your LBS partners.
Jokes aside, it would indeed be very interesting to see how the bikes might rank under a heavier but strong rider.
Also I would really like to hear limb length and/or ape index talked about when it comes to sizing. At 5'8" with exceptionally short legs and long arms for my height, I find my current 485mm reach to feel great. I realized that I need a "bigger" bike than my buddy who's 5'10 but with longer legs (by 2") and shorter wingspan (also by about 2"). His 465mm M/L reach Slash feels a bit cramped to me, while he's overly stretched out on my bike. Longer and lower is perfect for me.
Cross country race
Can’t wait for E-comfort country bikes
I don’t race. Which of these bikes is best for long pedally days, with speed but also some comfort?
But in reality we should all get ourselves a downcountry bikes. I was always looking for a 4x bike that could climb but 15y ago it just wasnot the right time for that.
Basically if i was to put some lighter tires/ lightweight wheels and a 120mm SID on a aggro hardtail i hit the downcountry mark, but when i put some meatier tires, higher travel trail fork on a xc superlight carbon hardtail i now allso have a downcountry bike. The weight between those two builds will be 1:1, comparing the geos, not much change between those two.