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Discussion Starter #1
I have a full squish that I ride most of the time but looking to get an n+1 for PR chasing and race days. Obviously thinking a 29er hardtail is my best bet, priorities being: 1. as light as possible but still burly enough to stand up to my 210#, and 2. modern-ish geometry so I can still have some fun on the the downhills (if it's too steep/aggressive I'll just never want to take it out).

Any recommendations? I don't really stay up on the XC bikes too much and seems like no one really reviews them anymore haha.
 

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Cannondale F-Si is an awesome bike. I raced and rode trails on one for a while before I got into full suspension bikes.

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Scott scale 920

Hard to beat the build/price.

Carbon frame, GX eagle and stepcast fork.

Easy to upgrade and get down under 22 pounds down the road with Carbon wheelset, carbon Cranks, cassettes.

The low hanging fruit:
Stock steel chainring is 100 grams savings switching to an aluminum absolute black oval.
Carbon Bar from MT Zoom 80-100g savings
Lightweight foam grips. 30-50g
Kabolt front axle 40 grams.


All of these items average less than a $1 per gram saved fo it’s good for planning.


The 930 is closer to your price point, but it has a regular fox float. Worse brakes, Shimano freehub and SX cassette. It’s a much worse foundation.



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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all! Yea, that Scale 920 is a great package. I have a preference for Shimano but could probably get the LBS to swap out to an 11-spd XT and maybe even upgrade the brakes to XT for the same price. Hmm...

I do like the Cannondale F-Si—my buddy has one and I've put some miles on it—I just don't know if I can buy another Cannondale because I had a BOTE that cracked on me after 1 year.

Hei Hei is a great bike but too close to what I already have—Alchemy Arktos 29 ST. For my n+1 I'm looking for a full-on hardtail rocket. Something that, if I don't beat my fast friend up a climb, I can't blame the bike ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Follow-up question: do Scott Scales ever go on sale? Do any online retailers carry them?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I’ve never really understood the big deal with reach, particularly on an XC bike. I’m 6’2” and have ridden L bikes, never felt like they were too “short” or anything like that. What would you say is the major drawback? My Arktos is 20mm longer but 2 degrees slacker STA. That should put the effective reach more or less the same, right? And with an XC bike you’d typically want a bit shorter reach for maneuverability, no? Am I way off?
 

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XC bikes like the Spark and Top Fuel have replaced hardtail bikes in XCO World Cup racing. Courses are more technical and some rear compliance is faster now. Slacker head tube angles add more downhill speed. Geo is still able to make handling quick.
Hardtails like the Scale are still used for the flat track sprint events. . . .And then there's wider rims and wider tires. Nino uses 30mm inner rim wheels. This bike has 25mm and 2.25 tires. Watch this guy ride challenging terrain on a SC Chameleon.



If Scott would update the Scale with 2.5 rear tire space and slacker ht> steeper seat tube> with more reach without increasing the price it would be a great choice.

Reach on this bike and the L bikes you've ridden may work when a longer stem of 80-110mm is used. Current geo bikes are designed for 45 + or - stems.
 

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I’ve never really understood the big deal with reach, particularly on an XC bike. I’m 6’2” and have ridden L bikes, never felt like they were too “short” or anything like that. What would you say is the major drawback? My Arktos is 20mm longer but 2 degrees slacker STA. That should put the effective reach more or less the same, right? And with an XC bike you’d typically want a bit shorter reach for maneuverability, no? Am I way off?
Yup...you can't just look at the reach alone. If you just looked at reach only and didn't consider the STA...you could end up with a too short ETT and be cramped when seated. With a longer front center bike...your body basically gets shifted forward. The top tubes on some of the long reach bikes are actually getting shorter because of the steep seat tube angles...not longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I hear you on the benefits of FS and slacker bikes, generally. In fact, I just sold a 27+ Chameleon which I loved as a do-it-all, but moved to an area where the local trails are a bit gnarlier so decided to go with the Arktos ST. I seriously considered keeping the Chameleon and potentially making it a little racier, but I figure if I’m gonna have an n+1, I want it to be in a completely different category from my Arktos. If I’m doing anything where a hardtail race bike is going to beat me up too much, I’ll just take the Arktos.
 

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Thanks all! Yea, that Scale 920 is a great package. I have a preference for Shimano but could probably get the LBS to swap out to an 11-spd XT and maybe even upgrade the brakes to XT for the same price. Hmm...

I do like the Cannondale F-Si—my buddy has one and I've put some miles on it—I just don't know if I can buy another Cannondale because I had a BOTE that cracked on me after 1 year.

Hei Hei is a great bike but too close to what I already have—Alchemy Arktos 29 ST. For my n+1 I'm looking for a full-on hardtail rocket. Something that, if I don't beat my fast friend up a climb, I can't blame the bike ;)
Rocky Mountain Vertex
https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/vertex/2020

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks but that’s a bit rich for my blood. I know they’ve got one priced at $2,999 but the components aren’t great. For that price Canyon gives you GX, a SID, carbon wheels, and 23lbs (for an XL). That’s tough to beat if spending that much.
 

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Thanks but that’s a bit rich for my blood. I know they’ve got one priced at $2,999 but the components aren’t great. For that price Canyon gives you GX, a SID, carbon wheels, and 23lbs (for an XL). That’s tough to beat if spending that much.
You are correct. Sorry bad suggestion forgot about price.

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Discussion Starter #17
Anyone ridden/have opinions on the 2020 Canhon Exceed? The build on the 7.0 for $2,999 is just insane.
 

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I would of said the Air9 too but for the price point no dropper nx groupset and a judy fork... = meh for me...
 
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