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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need help deciding something here...

I want to stay with Intense. I need to replace my C29 with something newer that puts me in a better climbing position, and with a better suspension curve.

As much as I want a Carbine, the wheelbase on the large is deterring me; some of these switchbacks I have to climb are tight. That's my biggest concern. The trails I ride are up on the North Shore of Vancouver. There's no shuttling for me and I avoid the fire road climbs because they're mind-numbing to climb.

Bring in the Primer. With all this talk of switching it to 140mm with the Recluse link and a 2.25 shock, I started thinking this could also be an option. It would make a wicked trail bike but would suffer on the downs for sure, but man it would ride well I'm sure.

I would swap all my parts over, including a Fox 36 160mm. For the Primer, I could knock it down to 150mm and transfer over my Avalanche tuned Float X and my Works Components - 1deg headset.

I'm torn. I want an upgrade but don't know if the Carbine will be too much of a pig to pedal around.
 

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I bought a large Carbine a few months ago. It's a BIG bike. Awesome for going fast, charging through rock gardens, drops, jumps. Coming from a Stumpjumper, I can say the Carbine is not as good of a climber, but by no means a bad climber for being a 155mm travel bike. It does NOT like slow speed, technical, tight stuff. But that is not what I bought it for. I bought it to smash through and over stuff. It's a lot to swing around. Just my $.02, but I would say if you are going to be doing a lot of climbing, especially tight, techy stuff, get a Primer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Hmmm... Yeah some of the trails I'm on can be a little slow. But then again, some trails can have some serious downs.

While I like the seat tube angle of the Primer, putting on a 160mm fork would slacken it back out. I'd have to go down to 150mm just to keep the bike balanced.

I wonder if this new Primer will be closer to 150mm travel or so.

Anyone else?
 

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For me the decision would be easy. I'd get the carbine and blaze the down and ride the up not worrying about whether i could be going slightly faster on a smaller travel bike going up. Because on the down,,,,,, I'd be grinning like a school boy whose just discovered pornhub.

You don't talk about how important descending is to you or the level of tech trail you ride.
Yet those 2 aspects are going to make the decision for you.

Do you live for the climb or the down? Are your tracks easy or hard?

If you live for the down get the carbine, live for the up.... Primer.
Easy tracks where you live ..... primer
Tech tracks...... carbine.
 

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I'd wait till August if possible. The new Primer will likely be more capable.
Is that some insider info? Quite interesting. Lol.

To me, the Primer is more versatile bike if you climb. Fairly light and nimble. It can still handle the technical downhills well. I just got one and getting to know it.

The Carbine is a monster truck. Just plows everything. Almost like a park bike. Won't be the easiest pedaling because of the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ha... I guess I never did mention anything about wanting to ride the downs. I suppose that's the whole point of me going out for a ride... To ride up to the top so I can blast down. I do enjoy some of the climbs because they're challenging and it is part of "mountain biking". But since I've mostly always had a DH bike for the bike parks, I descend a certain way that brings me to the limit of the trail bike. Whereas the limiting speed factor on my DH bike is me.

I have a feeling the new Primer will be closer to 150mm to bridge the gap a little between the all-mountain/trail bike and the enduro bike.

Either way, I'll go to a local place that has Carbines in stock and sit on a medium and a large to see how they are. I'm 5'10.5 with long legs and arms...the medium Carbine matches the geometry of my current large C29 except the reach is 1/4" shorter. Whereas the large is a monster in comparison.

All my parts can transfer over which are fairly light, including a 44mm offset F36.
 

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As I said in a different post, I think the (L) Carbine climbs really well for a "big bike". I did the BC bike race on it, and one of the stages were in North Van and we stayed there for a week to ride tracks and have fun as well and it did climb everything, does involve slightly more effort on the really tight switchbacks, but it can do it and so much fun on the way back down.
 

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You could also consider doing what i have done. Build up the big bike light. Put some light wheels, tires on there and your climbing will be similar to less travel bike with biger tires. But on the down suspension trumps tires for performance.

More travel, less rolling weight and resistance for the win I recon.
 

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I have a Tracer and a Primer (as well as a Yeti SB5) and I've had a myriad of bikes over the last 7-8 years and I'd have to say that the Primer is the most versatile I've ever owned. I've kept it at 140/130 and have (2) wheelsets, one set up XC and the other with a beefy E13 up front. This bike does great EVERYWHERE. The only place I'd give pause is big jumps or drops.

All the above being said, my 59 year old buddy who was fresh off a heart attack, bought a 2019 Carbine and absolutely loves it. He's not going to win any races going uphill but he does just fine. I doubt you can go wrong with your choice; it's all about bike set-up *BUT* like others have mentioned, I'd wait and see what the new Primer offers before pulling the trigger. Worse case scenario if it's like the Tracer, they'll at least discount the 2019 stuff another $500.
 

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I have a medium Primer and Carbine and have previously had a Primer set up as monster truck. (160/140). The reach difference between the primer and carbine is noticeable when swapping between the two bikes. The Carbine you tend to sit in the bike more than on top with the Primer. Climbing wise, as has been stated the carbine still climbs very well, and probably better than the monster primer.

having ridden all three I would go with the Carbine. (actually selling my Primer and will just have a Carbine and trail geo hardtail).
 

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Ha... I guess I never did mention anything about wanting to ride the downs. I suppose that's the whole point of me going out for a ride... To ride up to the top so I can blast down. I do enjoy some of the climbs because they're challenging and it is part of "mountain biking". But since I've mostly always had a DH bike for the bike parks, I descend a certain way that brings me to the limit of the trail bike. Whereas the limiting speed factor on my DH bike is me.

I have a feeling the new Primer will be closer to 150mm to bridge the gap a little between the all-mountain/trail bike and the enduro bike.

Either way, I'll go to a local place that has Carbines in stock and sit on a medium and a large to see how they are. I'm 5'10.5 with long legs and arms...the medium Carbine matches the geometry of my current large C29 except the reach is 1/4" shorter. Whereas the large is a monster in comparison.

All my parts can transfer over which are fairly light, including a 44mm offset F36.
If you are 5' 10.5", go with the large Carbine. I'm 5' 9.5" and did a large with a 35mm stem and slid seat forward. I tend to size up. Wanted as short as stem as possible. With the medium I would have had to either gone with a longer than stock (45mm) stem and slammed seat back. Given the seat tube angle, that would have put me too far over the rear wheel.
 
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