Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I think I finally want to try a 29er. I have demoed a few bikes.....Hightower, Tallboy V3, Smuggler and they just didn’t convince me I wanted to make the switch. Fast forward to the two bikes in the title and these bikes really talk to me and what I want from a trail bike.

My current bike is a 150/130 27.5 bike that I will be keeping, and selling my 160/150 27.5 bike and getting the 29er. As I get a little older, and more grounded about the riding I do, and should be doing, I see that I really need to focus on a dedicated trail bike that is more efficient, but still a ton of fun. I don’t need a race bike or XC machine, but these two bikes seem to have not only the efficiency I’m looking for, but also the ability to get a little rowdy, if if my rowdy isn’t what it used to be. I just don’t need a bike like my 160/150 one.

So anyway, I’ve been reading a lot about the Tallboy V4 since it’s been out awhile now. I have owned a bunch of Santa Cruz bikes so I like their bikes, especially the lower shock mounted VPP.

I also owned a couple Transitions Bikes and like their bikes as well.

Really don’t think I can go wrong with either one.....price for the builds will be identical....so which should I get?

Looking for some insightful opinions on which to get.
 

·
Wanna ride bikes?
Joined
·
9,169 Posts
Interesting that you've ridden the Smuggler and V3 and didn't like either but are interested in both the Spur and V4.

Transition built an Endurance XC race bike for people don't wear spandex and want to party in the woods. Santa Cruz built a... actually I don't know exactly what the current geo Tallboy is all about. I've only read mixed reviews based on previous Tallboy owners who didn't like the updates. Rumor is it's less XC and more Trail.

Based on your previous bike experience and desire for a bike that is more efficient, the Spur is likely more efficient and up your alley.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting that you've ridden the Smuggler and V3 and didn't like either but are interested in both the Spur and V4.
The demos I did were kind of short and inconclusive at the time. I can see the benefits of the larger wheel size but what I really want is a bike that has the playful character of a 27.5. The reason I'm leaning towards these
two bikes is I'm hoping the limited travel will mimic/resemble that feeling I get when I ride my shorter/mid travel 27.5er.

The Smuggler wasn't far off from my TR Scout, it had similar travel so it felt......similar but sluggish with larger wheels.

TB3 was a small bike even in a Large, just didn't feel comfortable.

Both of these bikes seem to be more trail than XC, plenty playful, and rewarding when taken up to speed, but very manageable when your just pedaling around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,967 Posts
Well, depending on which build you're going with you have a bit of a choice in regards to suspension brand with Santa Cruz and only 1 Rock Shox SID with Transition.

Granted, we all can swap things out to get the desired build but dammit it can be a pain in the azz!

-Personally, I've had not-so-good experiences withe R.S. Rear shocks in the past, they seem to be a lot better now but I'm just squarely in the Fox-camp. And you have a Shimano option at Santa Cruz too!

I guess 1) Try to ride BOTH. 2) Buy the one you can get a better deal on & make it "yours" from there......

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, depending on which build you're going with you have a bit of a choice in regards to suspension brand with Santa Cruz and only 1 Rock Shox SID with Transition.

Granted, we all can swap things out to get the desired build but dammit it can be a pain in the azz!

-Personally, I've had not-so-good experiences withe R.S. Rear shocks in the past, they seem to be a lot better now but I'm just squarely in the Fox-camp. And you have a Shimano option at Santa Cruz too!

I guess 1) Try to ride BOTH. 2) Buy the one you can get a better deal on & make it "yours" from there......

:thumbsup:
Transition Demo is rare in Upstate NY. I don't have many dealers that carry a lot of bikes let alone have demos. I bought one bike from a dealer that is 3 1/2 hrs away. Another I bought online from TR....no demo...leap of faith purchase.

Santa Cruz I can probably get a demo.....maybe. There are much more opportunities to take a ride on SC bikes.

I'm looking at the C S build and GX build respectively, so swapping out parts is common for me.

The few reviews I have read about the TR Spur remind me how I felt about my Scout V1. The Spur seems to be more.....edgy/polarizing/cutting edge.

The Tallboy is definitely polarizing, but more on the conservative side.
 

·
Formerly of Kent
Joined
·
12,847 Posts
Very different bikes.

Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very different bikes.

Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
Majority of the climbing we do is short, punchy, tech stuff. There are a few places that have long sustained climbs, but not many places. We have a lot of grind up, grind down riding that really has few opportunities to open it up. That's why I am considering these two bikes. I would like the roll over capabilities of the larger wheel size to help in those rocky/rooty old school tech we have, but in the short instances the speed turns up a little you can let it go.....briefly....not plow through....just open it up where you can pick the line and scoot, rather than plow the section.

The geo of these bikes is similar to my bikes now....both should be pretty fun for the travel they have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Very different bikes.

Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
I completely disagree with statement of Tallboy "surviving on the climbs." No it's not a race bike but climbs extremely well. I am faster on the T4 than my previous Tallboy1 that was 4-5 pounds lighter. My rides are least 2,000 feet of climbing and I am keeping up no problem with guys on XC race bikes. Oh and I older too!! That said the Spur looks sweet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
I completely disagree with statement of Tallboy "surviving on the climbs." No it's not a race bike but climbs extremely well. I am faster on the T4 than my previous Tallboy1 that was 4-5 pounds lighter. My rides are least 2,000 feet of climbing and I am keeping up no problem with guys on XC race bikes. Oh and I older too!! That said the Spur looks sweet.
Just saying your rides are at least 2000 feet of climbing doesn't really mean much without providing more context. Are you sitting and spinning up two 1000 ft. climbs and then bombing down or are you standing and hammering up twenty 100 ft. climbs?

I live in SE MI and it is considered essentially "flat" here yet on my 35 mile ride last week I had over 2200 feet of climbing. That was on a trail system where the biggest climb is barely over 100 ft.

A good friend of mine rode an earlier gen Tallboy for years. But when he went to replace it and demo'd both the new Tallboy and the Blur he said it was no contest, the Blur was a much better choice for him given the short punchy out of the saddle efforts our trails require.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,080 Posts
The Tallboy may not pedal as well as the Blur or other XC bikes because it's a trail bike. The Tallboy is a bike I feel confident sending 15-20 ft gap jumps on. It's nearly just as capable as my old Hightower LT (150mm travel). However, it's not an enduro bike that's only good for spinning up smooth climbs either. It's faster and more efficient than my 130mm steel hardtail and way faster than any enduro bike I've ridden. It does great on rolling terrain. So yeah, it's not an XC race bike but that doesn't mean it's an enduro sled either. Personally, I wouldn't want to give up any more capability for efficiency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Just saying your rides are at least 2000 feet of climbing doesn't really mean much without providing more context. Are you sitting and spinning up two 1000 ft. climbs and then bombing down or are you standing and hammering up twenty 100 ft. climbs?

I live in SE MI and it is considered essentially "flat" here yet on my 35 mile ride last week I had over 2200 feet of climbing. That was on a trail system where the biggest climb is barely over 100 ft.

A good friend of mine rode an earlier gen Tallboy for years. But when he went to replace it and demo'd both the new Tallboy and the Blur he said it was no contest, the Blur was a much better choice for him given the short punchy out of the saddle efforts our trails require.
Yes I live in the mountains and some climbs are over an hour long. My point was "surviving the climbs" was a major exaggeration. The Tallboy & Blur are completely different bikes. Sounds like you should get a more XC focused bike for your terrain. Lots of good ones these days. Specialized Epic Evo & trek top fuel as well as transition Spur.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
Yes I live in the mountains and some climbs are over an hour long. My point was "surviving the climbs" was a major exaggeration. The Tallboy & Blur are completely different bikes. Sounds like you should get a more XC focused bike for your terrain. Lots of good ones these days. Specialized Epic Evo & trek top fuel as well as transition Spur.
Got it. I do ride an XC bike. The point of my post was to help get clarity on your 2000 ft of climbing comment so the OP would have better context to help him/her make a well informed choice between the two subject bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Owning a TB4, it is a super versatile bike down for whatever (within reason). The thing is, people compare its climbing manners with pure xc bikes. Yes in that context it is not the bike that will fly up climbs but it has loads of grip and goes about the task efficiently if you sit and spin.
Its mainly on very mellow terrain climbs or for example gravel / tarmac sections were I wish it was a bit more XC rapid, but as soon as I get out on the trail boy does she go and once the trail starts to point downhill you will wave good bye to your XC pals. I have ridden bike parks, xc trail centers, enduro tracks and lots of sweet single track on mine and there is very little terrain were I would not ride the TB4.
Granted you have to adapt your riding style to the situation :)

I have not ridden the Spur but just looking at geo they are really close so I think it is more a matter of the different linkages giving different characteristics.
The TB4 allows for up to a 140 fork - not sure how the Spur handles a longer fork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.
I wouldn't limit myself to those two, besides the mentioned Ripley, a Revel Ranger would be on my list. I had a V1 Tallboy and I'm one of those that think they went too far on the V4.
I know there are a lot of great bikes out there and limiting to the SC and TR is shortsighted, however, I have owned a bunch of SC's and two TR's.......both of these companies have taken care of me with not only warranty issues, but parts and service issues. The TR guys especially have THE BEST support from any company I have dealt with. SC has been good for my warranty issues, not so much on the support and asking advice and questions like TR.

Both of these companies offer lifetime warranties on the frames....which is important. Lifetime bearings from SC.

I really like TR as a company...not many places you can call and actually talk with someone about setting up your bike properly. Last bike I bought from them I had an issue with the internals of my shifter, called them and they walked me through how to untangle the cable, then sent me a replacement cable and a sticker for my troubles. Kind of what to give them my business again.

Catching a demo on the Spur may not happen any time soon. I messaged a TR dealer about pre ordering a Spur and got an estimate for October/November.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.
Capital District and north of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Same, I ride Saratoga and north.
Then we probably crossed paths. One of my riding crew stops everyone riding a Ripley to ask questions about it. He ended up buying one from High Adventure Ski and Bike. I remember talking with someone at Gurney and Daniels Rd.

That's another reason I can't get a Ibis......can't have the same bike as my buddy.....there would be no way to make excuses when he cleared a section and I couldn't on the exact same bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,756 Posts
I know there are a lot of great bikes out there and limiting to the SC and TR is shortsighted, however, I have owned a bunch of SC's and two TR's.......both of these companies have taken care of me with not only warranty issues, but parts and service issues. The TR guys especially have THE BEST support from any company I have dealt with. SC has been good for my warranty issues, not so much on the support and asking advice and questions like TR.

Both of these companies offer lifetime warranties on the frames....which is important. Lifetime bearings from SC.

I really like TR as a company...not many places you can call and actually talk with someone about setting up your bike properly. Last bike I bought from them I had an issue with the internals of my shifter, called them and they walked me through how to untangle the cable, then sent me a replacement cable and a sticker for my troubles. Kind of what to give them my business again.

Catching a demo on the Spur may not happen any time soon. I messaged a TR dealer about pre ordering a Spur and got an estimate for October/November.
Ibis is similar- just an example: I bought a Mojo 3 Frame & Wheels after being on 29ers for several years. Didn't really care for it and then bought a Ripley frame & wheels. When it was build I was getting some awful resonance from the rear brake. I called Ibis and asked if anything had changed with the frames that would cause this since the rotor had been on another bike as well before the M3.
Of course they said it was the rotor, I mentioned all the parts came from the M3 except wheels and I seriously doubted it was the rotor since it didn't make noise on the M3. I said I didn't want to buy a rotor to find out it wasn't the issue.

Sent me a new rotor and that solved the problem. Since I only bought a frame, I offered to pay for the rotor since it was the issue and they said no.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top