How does it compare?
I've received a number of messages from riders trying to decide which way to go - the shorter travel Optic, or the longer travel Sight. The Sight's extra travel, combined with its slacker head angle and slightly longer chainstays means that it doesn't have the same level of responsiveness when pedaling or in terrain that you really need to pump through compared to the Optic.
The geometry may not be dramatically different, but the Optic does feel more energetic, and if I was heading out for a big, more XC-oriented ride I'd rather be on the Optic. On the flip side, for rougher, steeper trails, the Sight is the way to go - that 160mm Lyrik can plow through obstacles that the 140mm Pike can't, and the longer wheelbase does make it easier to turn off your brain and let go of the brakes.
I've also been spending time on a new Banshee Titan
lately, so let's throw that into the mix. The Titan has 155mm of rear travel and a 170mm fork, with a 64.5-degree head angle, a 470mm reach on a size large, and 452mm chainstays. While there are geometry differences in a few key areas, there's only a 3mm difference when it comes to the overall wheelbase. That doesn't mean they handle the same, though.
The Titan feels more like a freeride bike, an aluminum machine that's happiest plowing through obstacles rather than going over them, and it has an impressive ability to soak up hard landings without skipping a beat. It's not the quickest in tighter turns – those long chainstays are noticeable, and the Sight feels more manageable at slower speeds and on less steep terrain.
The Sight’s pedaling position is similar to the Titan’s, and they both pedal decently while seated, but when it comes to standing up and putting the power down, the Sight feels more efficient – the Titan cycles deeper into its travel during those hard efforts.