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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any extensive riding time on an El Guapo and the VF2 or XCL from the other Horst linkage guys?

I'm a recovering DW Link rider and I'm looking to replace my IronHorse MKIII. Alan revealed some of the industry’s common suspension ratio’s all graphed out on the blog and that explains a lot of why I still prefer the feel of a more-linear ratio H-Link.

After several rounds of drudging through what's available I'm back at these 2~3 bikes each time. Both because they're "correctly" executed horst link bikes, have a reputation to be efficient and plush, and strong.

I'm appx 230 w/ gear at my heaviest. I'm spoiled by my '03 BigHit Comp with 160mm rear travel. Also spoiled by the ridiculous efficiency of my '01 Ellsworth Truth.
I'm too heavy for the Truth and too weak to take the BigHit on 7hr epics.

I rode both vf2 and xcl in the parking lot at Adrenaline Bikes. They didn't necessarily feel plush going up and down curbs. They did bob when accelerating under power!
Clarification: the rp23 not being broken in may have an impact and you prolly can't get a good feel for a bike's plushness in a parking lot. Perhaps 5in is just not enough for me anymore b/c BigHit?
I watched the shock compress a lot without propdl off and even still some with ppdl on (w/ correct sag settings).

Haven't been able to try the Guapo at all.

Please pass down some wisdom here, especially if you've got good saddle time in both the xcl/guapo.

Btw. Why am I not looking at the EVO? I'm afraid to know it's weight as the Guapo's a built up to be pretty light ~31lbs.
 

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No time on the XCL or VF2, although the Evo looks very tasty, but I can tell you that the EG is a very efficient Horst Link design, not much bobbing at all with propedal engaged. Flip the lever on the downhills and let it rip, I do have one caveat though and that is that you MUST ride the EG with a coil over to appreciate it's abilities. I'm about your same weight btw, and this bike is SOLID!!!!

And like Berkley said, the proper comparison would be Evo to Guap'.

Oh, and one more thing; you can't have your cake and eat it too! AKA there's a compromise between performance and weight when you try to get your bike too light. I'd say it's better to have a great riding 33-39 lb bike than a lousy riding 30 lb bike.....but I'm just rambling now :D
 

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Never ridden a Chumba, but FWIW, I have been riding a 5.5 evp for 2 years, and just recently built an '09 El Guapo. I'm fortunate to be in a position to keep both bikes, and I love both of 'em. The 5.5 is more of a snappy, long-travel XC bike (28.5 lbs), and the EG is just a rock solid, roll-over-any-thing-with-ease bike (31.5 lbs). But I have to say, if I had to keep just one, it would be the EG. It's simply more fun to ride, and despite the added weight, its pedaling efficiency blows me away. I've never been a fan of propedal, and other than a few early attempts, never used it on the 5.5. I thought for sure I'd need it on the EG....but the bob is even less noticeable than the vpp set-up. As Wasea04 says, the EG is a very efficient pedaler.

BTW, I'm also in the 225 lb range geared up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wasea and Betard.
Cool getting feedback from riders around the same weight.
You guys have just about sold me on the Guap:thumbsup:

Betard,
Can you post a Pic of your Guapo and a spec list?
I'd like to build mine to about your weight!
 

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Any bike will bob in a parking lot

Its a matter of physics, you jump on the bike and expect it to not bob when you mash on the pedals, it just doesnt happen that way, even with the propedal on. Now if you rode up a hill with a smooth circular spin, that would be a better representation of that bikes suspension design. I rode an Evo at Interbike in 08, worst bike I rode that year. It had a horribly high center of gravity and handled horribly at low speed. How high is that BB anyway? It looks like 16"! Never rode the XCL or the VF2 but I have ridden El Guapos set up for both Freeride and Trail, its a great bike. I have a Knolly DT built up for freeride and I just built up a 2010 EG for trail becasue I think its the best trail bike out there. With my build at about 31 pounds I could probably hit some pretty big gaps and drops but also take it on all day epics.
 

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Trophy Husband
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I owned a XCL. Great bike! Pretty burly 5" bike, probably not as burly as the Guapo, but close. For the record, I have never ridden a Guapo, but own a Titus Supermoto.

I liked the suspension action of the XCL, but liked the Supermoto better...so I sold the Chumba. Not exactly the comparison you were looking for, but it is what I have. The XCL didn't have any aggressive bobbing tendencies and still felt pretty plush...this was with a DHX air (small air can). I would stay away from the DHX air if you are heavier than 210 pounds.

I bet the Guapo is the stiffer frame. The XCL is pretty stiff, but my Supermoto was stiffer and reports are the Guapo is stiffer than the SuMo.

Good luck on your search. Both are quality bikes which can be built up for similar uses despite their differences in travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Craigstr

Thanks for your input. What you say about the parking lot test makes sense, however, on my truth, the suspension will not compress due to any pedalling forces on flat. That's the way it should be to an extent...but if I shift my weight around or have poor pdlng form it surely bobs, just not from any pedalling forces.

you have a 160mm fr bike in the DT;
and a 155mm trail bike in the guapo:
-that would be the exact setup I'd have if I end up with the Guap...and I won't be alone.

I recently read your interbike review. I think it was you...and you were compelled to snatch the DT on the spot. Wouldn't blame you. I'm surprised you got the Guapo because your review on it was a bit hohum...that it did every thing well but not so much better than your other bike you had. but now you have the Guapo! What changed your mind (if that was you)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
interesting

geolover said:
I owned a XCL. Great bike! Pretty burly 5" bike, probably not as burly as the Guapo, but close. For the record, I have never ridden a Guapo, but own a Titus Supermoto.

I liked the suspension action of the XCL, but liked the Supermoto better...so I sold the Chumba. Not exactly the comparison you were looking for, but it is what I have. The XCL didn't have any aggressive bobbing tendencies and still felt pretty plush...this was with a DHX air (small air can). I would stay away from the DHX air if you are heavier than 210 pounds.

I bet the Guapo is the stiffer frame. The XCL is pretty stiff, but my Supermoto was stiffer and reports are the Guapo is stiffer than the SuMo.

Good luck on your search. Both are quality bikes which can be built up for similar uses despite their differences in travel.
This is very helpful! Comparative feedback Linking the xcl-SuMo-EG in stiffness. Works for me!

Why do you not r'c the dhx air for riders over 210?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
geolover said:
I owned a XCL. Great bike! Pretty burly 5" bike, probably not as burly as the Guapo, but close. For the record, I have never ridden a Guapo, but own a Titus Supermoto.

I liked the suspension action of the XCL, but liked the Supermoto better...so I sold the Chumba. Not exactly the comparison you were looking for, but it is what I have. The XCL didn't have any aggressive bobbing tendencies and still felt pretty plush...this was with a DHX air (small air can). I would stay away from the DHX air if you are heavier than 210 pounds.

I bet the Guapo is the stiffer frame. The XCL is pretty stiff, but my Supermoto was stiffer and reports are the Guapo is stiffer than the SuMo.

Good luck on your search. Both are quality bikes which can be built up for similar uses despite their differences in travel.
Also, Geolover, did you feel you didn't need the Chumba anymore because you're somewhat spoiled by the supermoto's extra travel/plushness?
 

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epicjurneez said:
Why do you not r'c the dhx air for riders over 210?
Thanks!
The DHX air provides poor mid-stroke support and tends to wallow (feels mushy)...this trait seems to be exaggerated by riders heavier than 210 pounds and on bikes with leverage ratios higher than 2.6:1. That is sort of a generalization and there are other factors involved. Many people hate the DHX air, but I have had pretty good luck with it on my Supermoto and the XCL. (I'm 185 and the SuMo leverage ratio is ~2.2:1)

Also, Geolover, did you feel you didn't need the Chumba anymore because you're somewhat spoiled by the supermoto's extra travel/plushness?
Extra travel? No, not really. The Supermoto has adjustable travel and I often ride it in "short" travel mode (5.5"). The SuMo does feel "plusher" though...it has a more linear feel through the suspension cycle (best suspension feel of any bike, IMO).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Extra travel? No, not really. The Supermoto has adjustable travel and I often ride it in "short" travel mode (5.5"). The SuMo does feel "plusher" though...it has a more linear feel through the suspension cycle (best suspension feel of any bike, IMO).[/QUOTE]

Have you heard comparisions in plushness btw the SuMo and EG?
 

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As requested, here's my El Guapo. Rather than a full blown AM ride, I aimed more for an "aggressive XC" build....to suit my style of happily tackling the steep, technical stuff, but keeping the airtime to a minimum.

I won't disagree with Wasea that a coil-over suspension on this frame would make the EG come alive on descents like nothing else, but alas, at 48 and 225 lbs, I look forward to the climb as much as the descent, and I'd like to keep it that way for a few more years;)
Unlike my 5.5, I have the sag set to about 30%, which makes for a surprisingly plush ride for air suspension.

My build:
Frame: '09 Large EG
Shock: Fox RP23
Fork: '10 Fox 36 Talas RC2, tapered steerer, 20mm thru axle
Headset: Chris King Devolution
Brakes: Magura Marta SL's, 180mm front & rear
Drivetrain: XTR
Seatpost: Thompson setback
Bars: Easton Monkeylight XC
Wheels: Mavic Crossline
Tires: Kenda Nevegals, 2.35
Seat: WTB Laser
Stem: Easton AM
Pedals: Time (their platform/clipless combo)

The wheelset is pretty much the only weak link in terms of weight. I'm aiming to upgrade to Crossmax SL's, and I'll lose nearly a pound right there, not to mention the improved rotating mass factor.

You gotta love the versatility of this bike. I read about guys going full AM, with coil suspensions, hitting 36-37 lbs, and absolutely raving about how well it still climbs. And on the other hand, I've got one of the most solid, capable, and FUN XC rides around at just over 31 lbs. Not a lot of bikes cover the spectrum like that.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Betarad;

For a large frame, that's impressive weight!

if you've acheived such a low weight already, you must be on the fence about the sl's. Seems like a good strong match for your weight. The sl's lack of mass seems a bit sketchy to me but you said you don't huck and Djump.

Thanks for the build info. Nice looking ride btw!
One thing that I don't have personal experience with is the carbon bits. I've heard mixed reviews on h-bars. What's your experience with the easton xc's have you ever crashed and slammed them on rocks or anything like that?
 

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if you've acheived such a low weight already, you must be on the fence about the sl's. Seems like a good strong match for your weight. The sl's lack of mass seems a bit sketchy to me but you said you don't huck and Djump.
Oops, your right about the SL's, it's the SX's I meant. Yeah, with my weight I try to stay away from the super light stuff. The Crosslines are certainly stout wheels, but I can tell the bike is a bit sluggish because of them....I'd still like to upgrade to a happy medium.

As far as the carbon bars, I've been using monkey lights (again, not the SL version, but the next one up in strength) for years with no problems at all. I ride pretty hard on technical terrain, but little to no hucking, and luckily, not a lot of crashing either.

The El Guapo continues to amaze me with it's climbing ability on technical stuff. Just yesterday afternoon I once again cleaned a very technical, rooty, rutted 20 minute climb that I frequent....one that I could only occasionally clean on my 5.5. This is where I took the EG on my very first ride a few months back....cleaned it then, and have been cleaning it ever since. I knew the EG would dominate the descents, but it kinda defies logic that it outperforms the lighter and highly capable 5.5 EVP on the climbs too.
 

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Same experience going from a 5.5 EVP to an EG. The EG significantly outclimbed the EVP, no comparison. At 175 lbs, the RP23 (pushed) works well on the descents. To much more weight and I would go for the coil as well.
 

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Betarad....dang! That seatpost has grown 2 inches since the last pic I saw! I seriously think I would dislocate my neck if I tried to get back behind that thing on the downhills!!! Props for making the XL work for ya...
 
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