I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Discuss & ask about mountain bikes and frames here. Need help with what MTB to buy, model specific questions/comparisons, or just want to discus your bike modifications & builds.
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I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby ACLakey » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:04 am

I am interested in a new All Mountain bike and have some questions regarding the following bikes.

Santa Cruz Nomad
Intense Tracer
Rocky Mountain Slayer 70
Giant Reign
Pivot Mach 5.7

I am interested in observations and comparisons, not in brand bashing. I intend to travel around the area and test ride as many as I can but have questions regarding comparisons between the bikes. I understand some have similar suspension setups, what are the advantages of one over another(climbing ability is more important to me)? I ride all mountain conditions with climbs and descents on almost every ride. The bike must be a strong climber over a great downhiller for me. I am a bigger guy at 6' and find I am always in between a medium and large frame. Which bikes have a roomier cockpit per say?

Any comparisons would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the time.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby maddslacker » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:02 pm

ACLakey wrote:The bike must be a strong climber over a great downhiller for me. I am a bigger guy at 6' and find I am always in between a medium and large frame.

Why aren't you looking at 29ers?
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby ACLakey » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:40 pm

The majority of terrain around here is rocky and technical. I test rode a couple 29er bikes and they did not feel as at home on this type of terrain for me. I did however really enjoy the 29er on the smoother and longer trails I tried them on.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby abegold » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:28 pm

I try every bike I can that fits me. I ride a large and don't learn much by riding a medium. Different bikes have differnt ride characteristics that you have to feel. All have different dimensions, some will fit your body better than others.
Big wheels do make you faster. I demoed mountain bikes for a week for Outside Magazine (and got paid for it). The only time my old body kept near the 20+ year old riders was on an Ellsworth 29er. The $7400 (now $1000 more) Trek 9.9 sure climbed great. A $5000 Moots 96er, the Gristle was as fun to ride as anything, even my great handling Turner.
Giant gives you a good deal with their frames but I haven't ridden one in years. My Turner is much more precise handling than anything I've almost ever ridden except the Trek which had much more expensive and newer parts. Intense are interesting and handle well, haven't tried a Pivot.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby John Fisch » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:36 pm

You should throw a leg over each in your list. That's the only way you'll know if it feels right to you. Some of those are boutique brands and not always easy ti find, so it may be tough to get access.


You can always extend your cockpit with a longer stem, but I find I don't like the steering characteristcs of an AM bike with a long stem. I'm exactly 6' and usually like large frames with short stems.

I haven't ridden a Nomad, but as a general rule, SCs tend to have short cockpits relative to their frame size--probably not what you're looking for. In my experience, the same goes for Intense, but to a lesser degree.

The Rocky has their "Straight Up" geometry, which really does make long climbs easier. Since the Slayer is a longer travel bike with a long fork, the geometry can help compensate for the lower "climbability" of some AM bikes. You do lose a bit of stability on the downhill compared to some other AM bikes, though, but it sounds like you're more interested in aclimber anyway.

The Giant tends to be a good, solid middle of the trail kind of bike. Nothing extreme on either end. If you settle in comfortably on a neutral riding frame, this may be a good choice--you'll have to go for the large to get the cockpit room you seek.

I've never thrown a leg over a Pivot, but have heard mostly good things.

If you're looking for an excellent climbing AM bike with good room in the cockpit, you might want to add the Yeti SB-66 to your check-it-out list.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby ACLakey » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 pm

Thank you for the replies, that is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I do intend to try all the bikes but this will help me make a short list. The local dealers carry Giant, Cannondale, Specialized and Kona...any of the others requires me to make a 2-3hr drive.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby element22 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:13 pm

I own a SC Nomad Carbon..I don't think the top tube is short...Anyhow I am 5'9" and ride a medium comfortably. I use a short 70mm stem and am considering shorter. I also use a 750mm wide bar.. Loving the ride. Good control over the terrain, climbs very well and you can even order the bike on line without the need for a shop near by. That way you can order the bike, choose the color, choose the component group as well.. A test ride on all those bikes you mentioned would be wise.. RM new Slayer is pretty cool, I tried a Tracer but ( i guess the build was bad) it felt nervous.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby JSatch » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:18 pm

if climbing takes precedent over going down, i would suggest staying in the under 6" category. at 6"+, bikes tend to steroid-up more towards a light downhill/freeride/rock gardens/etc machine. their geo also gets slacker. more fun to ride fast, but climb, not as much.

so for the nomad, i can't believe i'm saying this as the nomad is uber delicious, but look at the blur lt. and for the giant, again the reign (x) is insane, look more towards the trance x.

speshi makes some great bikes too. arguably the best rear sus on the market (please don't stone me).

intense tracer. this can also go above what you want it for, but save yer pennies cause if you ride it nothing else may do. travel is also adjustable so if you move to a more dh than uphill preference, it'll be there. hand made in beautiful socal, usa.

sc, giant and intense all have very similar rear sus designs.

pivot is a different sus once used on some pretty heady, unfortunately now departed, iron horse bikes. i've never ridden a pivot or the rocky mtn you mentioned so i can't comment about them.

good luck!
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby ecwashere7 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:45 pm

I would consider adding the Yeti SB-66 to your list of bikes to investigate. I am also looking at bikes in a similar category (maybe more in the direction of XC) and the SB-66 blew me away on a test ride. It climbed phenomenally well considering it has 6 inches of travel. Yeti's Switch suspension is the real deal.
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Re: I have lots of questions and need comparisions

Postby maddslacker » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:24 am

A friend of mine just got the SB66 and he loves it for Colorado all mountain riding, which includes a ton of climbing.
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