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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm sure this topic has been beat to death but I thought better ask people who have knowledge on the subject rather than hold it in. Ive been looking to start MTBing and I've this one has really caught my eye. Curious to what more advanced riders or mechanics may think about the bike spec wise and for the price it's at. It's either the Rocky Mountain or a Specialized Fuse.
Thanks for any and all advice:
https://www.bikeexchange.com/a/hard...ar/rogers/rocky-mountain-growler-50/135388611
 

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One way to compare bikes is to compare the geometry, specifically the head angle, seat angle, effective top tube, wheel base and chainstay length. These 2 bikes are quite similar with a 1/2 deg difference in the head tube angle for the Fuse. The rocky mountain bike has a 5mm longer chainstay so with these changes it has a slightly longer wheelbase. I would wager at these minor changes they will ride very similarly. The geometry on both is modern with a slack head angle and a steeper seat angle, though not as extreme as some bikes are approaching. It will descend well and be stable but should climb sufficiently as well.

With this comparison you are pretty much left with availability, part spec, sizing, price, and of course the most important factor: aesthetics.

If they are both available in the size you want then look at the spec. If one is speced better or you want shimano vs. sram, then this will put you on one over the other. If price is ultimate pick the one that fits and you should be good to go. Then there is aesthetics, which one do you drool over?

If you can ride both, try them but remember that bikes can feel horrible in the parking lot because the handlebars are rotated poorly or the saddle is a little too nose down or up or too far back on the rails. Ride the bike around and feel it out. If you feel too stretched our or too cramped in the cockpit, look at the saddle, make sure that it isn't all the way forward or backwards, makes sure it is the right height. If it is try another size. Have the bike shop tinker with the set up before rejecting it.

Then try the other bike if possible. Do the same. If one just feels better after all the tinkering then go for that one. Good fit beats our a good deal or good looks any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Absolutely fantastic advice, thank you. I will admit the beginning of your post did not make a whole lot of sense to me, but some day it will, and I appreciate that lol.

So the Rocky Mountain is at a local shop, only one left period and it just so happens to be in my size. The Specialized Fuse have several left in all sizes. I guess the reason I asked the question is because the price of the Rocky Mountain is showing around $1,700 retail, but marked down to around $1,230 on this website because it is a 2018 model and I'm sure they are wanting to get rid of it. So taking the $1,700 price in to count, thats almost 700 more than the fuse. Is there no real positive spec wise the Rocky has over the Fuse for that price point?

I really don't know a lot about what is "good" bike spec wise, I understand my price point is lower end, but obviously I'm trying to work with what I want to start my "biking" career with. The only thing I know I was someday is Fox forks, as I want them to match the Fox suspension on my Raptor, tehehe.
 

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Absolutely fantastic advice, thank you. I will admit the beginning of your post did not make a whole lot of sense to me, but some day it will, and I appreciate that lol.

So the Rocky Mountain is at a local shop, only one left period and it just so happens to be in my size. The Specialized Fuse have several left in all sizes. I guess the reason I asked the question is because the price of the Rocky Mountain is showing around $1,700 retail, but marked down to around $1,230 on this website because it is a 2018 model and I'm sure they are wanting to get rid of it. So taking the $1,700 price in to count, thats almost 700 more than the fuse. Is there no real positive spec wise the Rocky has over the Fuse for that price point?

I really don't know a lot about what is "good" bike spec wise, I understand my price point is lower end, but obviously I'm trying to work with what I want to start my "biking" career with. The only thing I know I was someday is Fox forks, as I want them to match the Fox suspension on my Raptor, tehehe.
Which fuse model were you considering? If it is the Fuse 27.5+ base I would say that the Rocky has a much better spec, better fork, etc. If it is next higher price Fuse then the specs are similar, but still a good deal.

So TL;DR version: Rocky good deal for what you get. Especially if you want to spend similar $$ on specialized option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is the specialized I was considering, the base model: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/fuse-27-5/p/154361?color=236324-154361

I think i'll pry pull the trigger on the Rocky then. Let me ask you this one last thing, I've read at my heigh, 6'2, a 29er is probably the better bet regardless. Coming from a complete noob, literally have never ridden a trail, can you confirm this? Or does it truly matter.
 

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I dont see how wheel size would effect size, I like 29ers and thats what I own/buy but not for size reasons... The Specialized is in 27.5 plus, outer diameter of the wheel/tire is pretty close to a 29er. I personally would go with the Specialized, for the higher stack hight (Im also tall/6'3) and I really like dropper posts. Like I said I have 29ers but they are full suspension, for a hard tail I would be looking at 27.5 plus for sure... the extra volume would probably be real nice with out a rear shock.

This is the specialized I was considering, the base model: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/fuse-27-5/p/154361?color=236324-154361

I think i'll pry pull the trigger on the Rocky then. Let me ask you this one last thing, I've read at my heigh, 6'2, a 29er is probably the better bet regardless. Coming from a complete noob, literally have never ridden a trail, can you confirm this? Or does it truly matter.
 

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27.5+ tires are close to the diameter of a 29'er tire. And for Hardtails the extra air volume means you can run the pressures lower, and it makes the trail a bit smoother. Its not a replacement for rear suspension, but it does help.

For shorter riders, 29in tires can be "too large", mostly because they can't get too close to the rear tire when going down steep hills/etc. This is why on some bikes, you can only get 29in wheels/tires on sizes medium and above.

But for taller riders, you can really ride whichever you want.

I'm 6'1". And if I was looking for myself, if the 29in version could run 2.6in width tire, I'd likely go with the 29'er as the air volume is pretty close to a 27.5x2.8in tire. If its limited to 29x2.3 or 2.4in wide, I'd go the 27.5 model.
 

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The Vitus Sentier is a great bike. Its on the list of "best budget hardtails" pretty much everywhere.

For almost the exact same amount of money, check out the Nukeproof Scout, and Ragley Marley and Ragley Big Al (basically the same bike, just one is 27.5, the other 29in wheels).

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/ragley-marley-2-0-hardtail-bike-2019/rp-prod176525

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/ragley-big-al-hardtail-bike-2019/rp-prod176554

You can also find the Vitus at the same store, as well as the nukeproof. All models of Nukeproof scout though are currently out of stock (must be selling well :)).

I think you're well on your way to getting a great bike.

Oh, and for what its worth... I'd get any of those bikes above over the rocky mountain personally. The Rocky mountain is ever so slightly nicer in spec (1x11 drivetrain, vs 1x10, maybe better brakes, but still missing important things like a dropper post), but the geometry isn't what I'd be looking for. The rocky mountain has a short reach, steeper head tube angle, slacker seat tube angle, and longer chainstays.

Not to say its a bad bike (its not). Its just that I feel the others are more "modern" in their geometry and sizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks so much for the information man, this has been a wild ride and I appreciate all of the help in the decision, truly!

I have checked out both the Ragleys and the Nukeproof, both look like awesome bikes! I've never heard either one of those brands that's why I was hesitant to dig more into them.

Back to the 27.5 - 29er debate, I'm still on the fence about what choice I should make in this regard. How come you can't just interchange between 27.5 and 29? Is it because the forks on certain bikes aren't wide enough? It's rather confusing lol.
 

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Nukeproof and Vitus are both kind of "house" brands for chainreactioncycles at this point in time. That said... they're totally valid, and a good brand.

One of the winning-est enduro world series riders of all time, is factory sponsored by ChainReactionCycles, and rides on a NukeProof Mega (his name is Sam Hill). So they aren't exactly walmart/department store bikes.

Ragley is one of the manufacturers that really helped get the "hardcore hardtail" genre get kicked off. In general, you see a lot more agressive hardtails in the UK (maybe the weather, or terrain? not sure, but you see LOTS more of them over there), and both Ragley, and Vitus/Nukeproof are from the UK. Thats likely why you've never really heard of them.

As for tires and wheel sizes...

Basically, yes, you've got why. Its usually a clearance issue with the forks, or the frames, which prevents them from being used. That said, "most" of the time, a bike designed for 2.8in wide 27.5 tires, will "usually" fit a 29x2.3 or so. Some bikes are actually designed to do "both" sizes.

On a full suspension bike, many manufacturers have a "flip chip", or little adjustment piece, that adjusts how the bike sits, to compensate for the different tire sizes. On a hardtail, you can't do that. So the bike is kind of either designed for 29, or 27.5+ from the get go.

The main difference between the hardtails that offer both a 27.5+, and 29'er version, is usually the "bottom bracket drop", which is how far bottom bracket (where the cranks are connected to the bike) is below the centerline of the axle height.

You want the bottom bracket to be below that centerline, for stability/balance reasons.

The Nukeproof scout 29'er model has something like 15mm more bottom bracket drop than the 27.5+ version. So that means that even though you could likely put 29in tires on the 27.5+ bike, you'd be less stable as your center of gravity would be higher.

Conversely, if you bought the 29'er version, and put 27.5+ tires on it, you'd end up with REALLY low pedals, and would likely hit them on the ground a lot.

Clear as mud?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Goodness gracious. My mind if being filled with wonderful knowledge, thanks again lol. You definitely know your stuff and that's very helpful for a rook!

I guess my main question regarding the 27.5 vs 29er vs 27.5+ is for what i'm using the bike for, what should I truly consider. I'm 6'2 around 205lbs. I live near the Northwest Arkansas area where there is a lot of downhill single tracks and minor jumping. I just don't want to buy one or the other and then regret the decision, wishing I would have bought xy or z. It somewhat seems like the 27.5+ is kinda of like the "best of both worlds" in terms of getting a little bit of the 29er traction and momentum and the 27.5s agility and light weight.

Thanks again for all the information and it really has helped tremendously. The Rocky Mountain is close to where I live and it seemed like a pretty good discount even though it's a 2018. I'm assuming it has to have some better parts if it was listed at $1,700 compared to the $1,000 price point of the Vitus etc.
 

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Goodness gracious. My mind if being filled with wonderful knowledge, thanks again lol. You definitely know your stuff and that's very helpful for a rook!

I guess my main question regarding the 27.5 vs 29er vs 27.5+ is for what i'm using the bike for, what should I truly consider. I'm 6'2 around 205lbs. I live near the Northwest Arkansas area where there is a lot of downhill single tracks and minor jumping. I just don't want to buy one or the other and then regret the decision, wishing I would have bought xy or z. It somewhat seems like the 27.5+ is kinda of like the "best of both worlds" in terms of getting a little bit of the 29er traction and momentum and the 27.5s agility and light weight.

Thanks again for all the information and it really has helped tremendously. The Rocky Mountain is close to where I live and it seemed like a pretty good discount even though it's a 2018. I'm assuming it has to have some better parts if it was listed at $1,700 compared to the $1,000 price point of the Vitus etc.
Sorry, I'm long winded sometimes :/.

I honestly think both would work fine for your uses. A 27.5+ tire is smaller, but wider, so I don't think it has any weight advantage over 29'er. I'd consider fit more important honestly.

If it helps any...

I'm 6'1", and about 200lbs in riding gear.

My current bike has 475mm of reach, and I sometimes wish I'd gotten the XL. When I look at the geometry chart, I see that the XL Growler has 463mm of reach.

Which means that for my body proportions/preferences, the XL even looks a tiny bit on the small side. Your body proportions may be a bit different though, so it could fit you fine. You have the benefit of having it locally, and being able to sit on it/test it out.

If it fits you fine, and you like the feel, I'd go with that. If you find it small, I may look at one of the other options. The vitus has 8mm more reach, while the ragley has 17mm more reach (both in XL).

About price:

Original price doesn't always tell the whole story. Brands that sell in brick and mortar stores, typically have higher MSRP's, as the dealer has to make some money off of the sale. Internet direct sellers (Nukeproof, Vitus, etc), don't have that cost, so they can offer similar specifications for lower price points.

I just pulled up the spec sheets to compare them, and they look very similar in most respects.

They both have Recon RL forks, both have entry level hydralic disk brakes (Vitus with SHimano MT400, Growler with SRAM Level), and both have entry level drivetrains, and no dropper posts.

The biggest "real" difference I could find is that vitus drivetrain is 1x10, while the growler is 1x11 (the growler has one more gear on the back of the bike).

However, the range on the vitus cassette (the gears on the back of the bike) ranges from 11-46, while SRAM NX on the growler is 11-42. This means that while the Vitus has less gears, it actually has a wider range of gears, meaning it will be easier to climb up steeper hills.

Good luck making a choice :).
 

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I see lots of info being offered that the OP clearly doesn’t understand. Not bashing anyone, everyone seems to be genuinely trying to help.

Leftsidej, you can go about this journey in a couple of different ways...

1. Stop worrying about component spec, geometry and other details like this. Make your life simple and buy an inexpensive bike after getting solid guidance from a local bike shop coupled with some test rides. Check a few stores and a few different brands since most stores only carry a few brands. Ask Lots of general questions and try to narrow down the best bike for you.

Wait and see if you really get into the sport. If so, Start reading about bikes, riding styles, trail types etc. Learn what you like and save up your cash. Once you feel like you have a handle on your preferences, geometry, etc. you can spend money wisely on a bike since you’ll actually understand.

2. Hang tight and spend a few weeks learning as much as humanly possible. Demo, demo, demo and learn some more. Buy a nice bike and be happy with it for the next few years.

Asking on the Internet which bike to buy when you have zero frame of understanding can get you into trouble with a bike that isn’t really for you. Hope this helps.
 

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Maybe I have just been unlucky, for 15 years but the advice/help oncLogan is posting is better than what I experienced or just overheard at bike shops. May not be every little detail OP should consider but enough to start searching the forum with. I feel like people over think buying first bikes, its going to go 1 of 2 ways... you love the sport and end up buying a better/different bike (bikes) or its not for you and whatever you buy sits untouched regardless of how awesome it is :O
 

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I see lots of info being offered that the OP clearly doesn't understand. Not bashing anyone, everyone seems to be genuinely trying to help.

Leftsidej, you can go about this journey in a couple of different ways...

1. Stop worrying about component spec, geometry and other details like this. Make your life simple and buy an inexpensive bike after getting solid guidance from a local bike shop coupled with some test rides. Check a few stores and a few different brands since most stores only carry a few brands. Ask Lots of general questions and try to narrow down the best bike for you.

Wait and see if you really get into the sport. If so, Start reading about bikes, riding styles, trail types etc. Learn what you like and save up your cash. Once you feel like you have a handle on your preferences, geometry, etc. you can spend money wisely on a bike since you'll actually understand.

2. Hang tight and spend a few weeks learning as much as humanly possible. Demo, demo, demo and learn some more. Buy a nice bike and be happy with it for the next few years.

Asking on the Internet which bike to buy when you have zero frame of understanding can get you into trouble with a bike that isn't really for you. Hope this helps.
Feedback received, and I appreciate the tone :).

Its hard to gauge how much detail to include at times. At least when I started, I didn't even know enough about things to know what to look up/research effectively. So long posts took me a while to get through, but did help me. It may not work for everyone though. I'll try to work on being too wordy.

I agree that starting with something inexpensive and not too specialized is a great first bike. Without a bike, its impossible to figure out your preferences for riding style, trails, etc. And since you don't know what you exactly want, it could be an expensive mistake if you buy something too pricey and "wrong".

Once you get more riding under your belt, you'll have some preferences, and can go from there.

Both of the bikes the OP are considering are good quality bikes, on the more inexpensive end of the spectrum. I'd go with whatever bike fits you better, as fit is more important than the small differences between these bikes parts (imo).

Good luck to the OP, I'm sure you'll get something figured out :).
 
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