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I used to be a Giant rider and thought they had the best bang for the buck. I still believe they are a good buy but I recently got a Salsa Timberjack for my girl and have been enjoying it and it’s not that much of a difference than a comparable Giant.


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Trail Ninja
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That Sentier 27 has really capable geo (similar to San Quentin), much shorter chainstays than the 29er version, and is a great value, not really screaming for any upgrades. Less money spent in the long run, and fewer bad habits cultivated regarding window shopping and hotrodding. More time riding, being satisfied. Mainstream level FS would be the next step (2500+).

10-15mm in excessively long (or excessively short) CSL more than breaks deals for me, considering what kind of bike handling I want (not a cruiser). 29 vs 27.5, not so much. If 29er was a must-have on the checklist, Honzo's prob the cheapest I can think of. 2020 Spec Fuze kind of pricey.

The San Quentin 3 is like the Nucleus 27. Lack of tubeless compatibility on top of being QR rear really drives up the time, money, and sanity costs in the long run. I would be so frustrated with such an ownership experience that I doubt they could even pay me to live with it. I admit that I've been spoiled by all the existing tech, though (e.g. 1x drivetrain *with* RD clutch).
 

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im interested about how you ride will go, but im more interested at the idea of a 29in wheels. since none of my friends ride them i don't know how they are, or how they jump. it'd be interesting to find out!
I did Ahab today. Cleaned all of the descent on the Honzo. \m/. One of the best rides of my life, honestly. :D

Really, it was eye opening. There is nothing that gnarly in my state, except for at lift-served resorts. All of the most techy, steep lines were rollable. I might have felt different if some of them were mandatory drops — that hurts on an HT. It was very enjoyable though. I wouldn’t say I was flying through the chunk by any means, just picking good lines and maintaining flow. I got one puncture toward the end, but it was on a high speed up over a ledge and my rear tire slammed a square edged rock. I don’t know how fast I compared to others because Strava failed to track the Ahab portion of the ride unfortunately. It definitely wasn’t slow. I got a PR on the Amasa climb though.

Hardtails are still relevant. Back home I’m going to be real fast on the Honzo.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #26
That Sentier 27 has really capable geo (similar to San Quentin), much shorter chainstays than the 29er version, and is a great value, not really screaming for any upgrades. Less money spent in the long run, and fewer bad habits cultivated regarding window shopping and hotrodding. More time riding, being satisfied. Mainstream level FS would be the next step (2500+).

10-15mm in excessively long (or excessively short) CSL more than breaks deals for me, considering what kind of bike handling I want (not a cruiser). 29 vs 27.5, not so much. If 29er was a must-have on the checklist, Honzo's prob the cheapest I can think of. 2020 Spec Fuze kind of pricey.

The San Quentin 3 is like the Nucleus 27. Lack of tubeless compatibility on top of being QR rear really drives up the time, money, and sanity costs in the long run. I would be so frustrated with such an ownership experience that I doubt they could even pay me to live with it. I admit that I've been spoiled by all the existing tech, though (e.g. 1x drivetrain *with* RD clutch).
i like the idea of the sentier 27, but its still out of my price range, i was actually going to pick of a san quentin 1 and upgrade the fork when i have the time and resources. i want something that rides stable on rocky terrain but can jump better than an entry-level xc hardtail
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I did Ahab today. Cleaned all of the descent on the Honzo. \m/. One of the best rides of my life, honestly. :D

Really, it was eye opening. There is nothing that gnarly in my state, except for at lift-served resorts. All of the most techy, steep lines were rollable. I might have felt different if some of them were mandatory drops — that hurts on an HT. It was very enjoyable though. I wouldn’t say I was flying through the chunk by any means, just picking good lines and maintaining flow. I got one puncture toward the end, but it was on a high speed up over a ledge and my rear tire slammed a square edged rock. I don’t know how fast I compared to others because Strava failed to track the Ahab portion of the ride unfortunately. It definitely wasn’t slow. I got a PR on the Amasa climb though.

Hardtails are still relevant. Back home I’m going to be real fast on the Honzo.:)
are you running tubeless? its reasurring to see someone on a hardtail actually shredding, since fs is so mainstream.
 

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are you running tubeless? its reasurring to see someone on a hardtail actually shredding, since fs is so mainstream.
Yeah, running tubeless. But my rear tire is an Ardent Race 2.35, which is not ideal for Moab chunk, lol. I had it around 35psi to protect the rim. I would run 2.5 Minions with a cushcore in the rear if I was going to ride this kind of stuff often on an HT.

Back home we have higher speed, loamier trails with some rocks and roots, but nothing with sustained extreme chunk like Ahab.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I get some PRs on descents this year, and beat my enduro bike times.
 

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jensonusa has the 2019 GT Force Comp aluminum on sale for $1840. I was close to buying that bike but I went with the 2019 Commencal Meta AM v4.2 instead. So far loving the Meta v4.2, but it was $3000 compared to the GTs $1840.

The GT Force is a 160/150 bike with some decent components for the price.

I also have a DRT1.2 and both the Force and v4.2 are very similar body position wise from medium size to medium size, which is what I ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Yeah, running tubeless. But my rear tire is an Ardent Race 2.35, which is not ideal for Moab chunk, lol. I had it around 35psi to protect the rim. I would run 2.5 Minions with a cushcore in the rear if I was going to ride this kind of stuff often on an HT.

Back home we have higher speed, loamier trails with some rocks and roots, but nothing with sustained extreme chunk like Ahab.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I get some PRs on descents this year, and beat my enduro bike times.
I've run tubes for a while and haven't had issues, even when running them at 20 psi, i actually just got back from a ride and rode some double black diamond tech on a fs, but I like the way my hardtail felt on the berms and drops, it seems like hardtails are just a better ride on rough, rooty sections, which is weird. maybe it's just more experienced me riding old trails?
 

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I've run tubes for a while and haven't had issues, even when running them at 20 psi, i actually just got back from a ride and rode some double black diamond tech on a fs, but I like the way my hardtail felt on the berms and drops, it seems like hardtails are just a better ride on rough, rooty sections, which is weird. maybe it's just more experienced me riding old trails?
-20psi tubes
-double black diamonds
-familiar hardtail seems better for rough terrain

Dude pick 2.
 

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I've run tubes for a while and haven't had issues, even when running them at 20 psi, i actually just got back from a ride and rode some double black diamond tech on a fs, but I like the way my hardtail felt on the berms and drops, it seems like hardtails are just a better ride on rough, rooty sections, which is weird. maybe it's just more experienced me riding old trails?
I rode Ahab again today, and Jackson’s (nasty, exposed DH trail), but this time on my trusty old 180mm enduro/light DH bike. I can’t say I had any more fun than yesterday on the Honzo. I suppose I took the nastiest sections a bit faster, but it wasn’t necessarily more fun that way. And I didn’t enjoy the climbing near as much.

It took a little bit to get back used to having so much travel— didn’t feel as connected to the trail. Still a great time, of course.

Double-Black trails are different depending on where you are. Locally we have a few, but compared to what I rode today they’re much higher speed with more high frequency chatter and steeper. I almost see a need for suspension more there. For the relatively slower speed but big chunk type trails I have to say a modern HT is pretty capable. Especially with 29” wheels.
 

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Formerly of Kent
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I wouldn’t expect Ahab to be a great test of FS vs hardtail. If you lift and pump you don’t need much suspension at all to go fast. Relatively few broken rocks there. Just slab rollers, both up and down.

Sure, there are alt lines where I’d want a longer travel bike, but I’m only marginally faster on my older XC FS vs my hardtail. Now, comfort wise? Massive difference.




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-20psi tubes
-double black diamonds
-familiar hardtail seems better for rough terrain

Dude pick 2.
If they've been doing this for a while without issues, why should they pick? Is there an issue that hasn't occurred that they (and I) should be worried about? I hardtail with tubes too!
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I've run tubes for a while and haven't had issues, even when running them at 20 psi, i actually just got back from a ride and rode some double black diamond tech on a fs, but I like the way my hardtail felt on the berms and drops, it seems like hardtails are just a better ride on rough, rooty sections, which is weird. maybe it's just more experienced me riding old trails?
Seriously, tubeless is great. Been using tubeless for quite some time and the biggest improvement isn't reduced tire pressures, either. My tire pressure varies more depending on tire casing and tire volume. Also, tire inserts that save the rim are bigger for allowing reduced pressures than tubes/no tubes. No, the biggest deal with tubeless is that you have MUCH reduced puncture frequency. And when you do, either the sealant deals with them or you can use a tire plug which is way faster than changing out a tube. I still keep a tube for emergencies, but using it is super rare.

I'll definitely agree that double black means different things depending on where you are. Some places, I'll do double black no problem on whatever bike I've got. Others, I'm walking that $hit.

I ride a rowdy hardtail that's VERY well-equipped and riding it on tech is different than a FS. Oh larger, well-spaced drops and things, mine feels really nice. On high-speed chatter, though, the lack of rear suspension becomes VERY apparent. Also on really nasty climbing tech, I notice the lack of rear suspension. Climbing really chunky stuff is harder on a hardtail. Thankfully, I don't have a ton of that where I ride, so I do okay. I have to either slow way down to avoid losing control, or I need to jump as much of the chatter as I can. The hardtail is certainly more sensitive to line selection than any FS I've ever ridden, too.

I ride a medium frame in most bikes, and while my hardtail with big 29er wheels/tires is very stable in the air, it's definitely not ideal for being playful in the air, or getting max height off stuff.

I did a much more xc-oriented ride a few days ago with some friends, and passed another group on the trail. One guy noticed my bike and was asking me about it. One of his questions was how my back feels, considering that there's a good bit of rough terrain where I ride. I don't have back problems, so my back doesn't care if I ride a hardtail or not. Riding big, rowdy stuff on the hardtail results in some fatigue/soreness in my legs from absorbing the terrain, but not once has my back ever been sore from riding anything.

What it is, though, is definitely fun.
 
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