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Look into a Ripley V3 or a Following MB. Both bikes ride better than their "short" numbers would dictate. Both bikes are still plenty capable when the descents get sketchy...especially the Following. I've seen clean used ones on Pinkbike.
 

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I don't run a bike shop, so I'm probably talking out of my ass, but could a shop order a bike a customer thinks they want and treat it like a bike in a demo fleet, where they let them ride it for a few months, and if they don't really mesh with it, take it back into the demo fleet? It could then be used for more demos for other customers where they could eventually sell it as a new bike with a warranty, just at the typical discount of a demo bike. Demo bikes in a fleet get ridden plenty of times by different people, the only difference here is it's the same person riding the demo bike the whole time. If the purchase doesn't work out, the money the customer spent on the bike stays with the shop until they get another bike, at which point that money applies to the new purchase.
Obviously, this isn't going to happen now since bike shops are having trouble just getting bikes. I don't even think this would be feasible in normal times because there is not enough margin on bikes for the bike shops. My understanding is that they make most of their money on service, so it wouldn't make sense for them to basically loan a bike out for such a long period of time.
 

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fraid of heights
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so right! All these people proposing you make the "wrong bike fit" are missing the entire point of bike geometry being about everything working right as a whole. And for many of us, that is NOT the modern long, low, and slack trend...
The market is what the market is. Bike companies do their best to provide bikes that people want to buy because they want to make money. If long, low and slack bikes were collecting dust while short and steep bikes were flying off the sales floor then bike shops would change what they are ordering and bike manufactures would change what they are making. AND... there has always been enough niche bikes out there to fill everyone's need. Sure you might have to work harder to find something specific if it doesn't have a broader appeal. But again, that's how the market works...

As far as bike geometry "working right as a whole". According to who? There are a million philosophies on bike geo. And as far as making the "wrong bike fit", a very large percentage of pro riders, many of them who even work on bike geo with their sponsors still end up modding and customizing their bikes for fit or performance.

I mean I get your frustration. I think Shimano MT52's were the best mountain bike shoes ever made. I bought 2 pairs when they stopped making them. For the life of me I don't understand why most mountain bikers ride in low tops with no ankle protection instead of 3/4er tops. Tall socks don't protect your ankles, tall shoes DO. Makes ZERO sense to me...

But obviously I'm in the minority in that regard and the market shows it.

I had a 2016 Fuel EX 9.8 with 27.5 wheels. I wanted to like it, but after 400 miles, I knew I didn't like it. It may have been too small for me... I had the 18.5 virtual 17.5 actual and probably needed the next size up, but I also didn't like the feel of the wheels. I could tell a difference in effort/speed compared to my Niner, so it's 29ers for me.



I've thought about custom, but I haven't ridden enough full suspensions to know what works for me. I'd be guessing. Might as well chunk a dart wearing a blindfold for all the good it would do me.



That's a decent option, but it's sort of like the difficulty in getting two married couples with children together in the same place at the same time... There are so many variables in the scenario. The likelihood of me finding exactly what I want within a half day's drive and that person wanting exactly what I have is probably pretty slim.



I've mentioned this before... Rant imminent... I think it should be a thing in any bike shop where they keep a demo fleet, and any rental money you spend on a demo racks up toward the purchase of that bike or another one if it's a bike you find out you don't like. After having bought two bikes now (used, not new) that haven't really been my thing, I refuse to get stuck spending retail on a bike unless I can ride it a bunch of times to know I want to pull the trigger on it.

I don't run a bike shop, so I'm probably talking out of my ass, but could a shop order a bike a customer thinks they want and treat it like a bike in a demo fleet, where they let them ride it for a few months, and if they don't really mesh with it, take it back into the demo fleet? It could then be used for more demos for other customers where they could eventually sell it as a new bike with a warranty, just at the typical discount of a demo bike. Demo bikes in a fleet get ridden plenty of times by different people, the only difference here is it's the same person riding the demo bike the whole time. If the purchase doesn't work out, the money the customer spent on the bike stays with the shop until they get another bike, at which point that money applies to the new purchase.

The problem I have with buying new is that the sort of bike I want to buy (not specific to head angles or geo or anything, just the type of bike) isn't stocked in the shop. Most bike shops churn and burn entry level stuff, like hybrids with quill stems, and if they carry mountain bikes, they're always entry level hardtails. I can't go into my local Trek dealer and see the Slash, Remedy, Roscoe, Supercaliber, Fuel EX, Top Fuel, or Procaliber in different sizes sitting on the floor. I couldn't do that in times of plenty before Covid supply issues. They just had Marlins. If you wanted a better mountain bike, you ordered it, paid for it, and you were stuck with it. I get it... those bikes are high dollar and they don't want three sizes of each of them sitting in inventory to possibly not sell, but there needs to be some sort of a better option for a customer. Bike fit is such a tricky thing these days, and new geo complicates it even further. Years ago you just bought a certain size bike based on your height and it worked. I'm not paying for a new bike, at retail, if I haven't even sat on it.
So again, I do get your frustration. It is a bummer that at least larger brands don't have a better way for a shop to order a special size and model and then if the customer doesn't buy it let the shop box it up and send it back without anyone being on the hook for it. But what happens is the shop is buying it from their distributor only because your buying it from them. And so 98% of the time your stuck with it. From experience I know that SUCKS... But even if you weren't "locked" into buying the bike it still has to stay NEW to be sold as NEW. So riding that bike would have to be pretty limited so your not going to find your "months" of ride experience without paying for it. Other then doing rentals of which your only going to be getting your first or at most second rental fee applied to the bike purchase. (which makes sense because your getting something for your money and the bike is becoming "more used" and less valuable every time it's ridden) The other thing is Ferrazzi again, they have a 30 day return policy. The bike still has to be in new condition. So I don't know if they'd prorate the refund based on the condition or what. But I don't know of any other mountain bike sales that have a 30 day return??

At this point I think you have been given all kinds of reasonable options to "fix" your issue. Sure it may not be what you want. It sounds like at the very least your gonna have to start driving farther to different bike shops. BUT if you think you can make money offering short 72 degree head angle mountain bikes where you let the customer ride it for a few months and bring it back if they don't like it I encourage you to start that business! You never know, maybe you will become the Jeff Bezo's of the bike industry...??? :)
 

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After a year on my 2018 Scott Spark, I've realized for the trails I ride 98 percent of the time, the bike is too big, long, and slack... for me.
+1 for sizing down. Today's MTB bike sizes are basically one size up from what they were five years ago. I was comparing the geometry of my Bronson v2 size medium to a Revel Rascal size Small and the numbers are almost identical.

I think you'll find that even with the slacker head tube, sizing down on reach will make it handle much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
But even if you weren't "locked" into buying the bike it still has to stay NEW to be sold as NEW.
I said I don't run a shop so I was probably talking out of my ass.

But...

Before covid, there was a Trek shop 5 hours away that had rental/demo bikes. I called them in 2020 when lockdown had just started catching up to standing inventory, so they had sold everything they had. I was wanting to spend a couple of days in town on a Top Fuel to see if it was what I wanted, but since the option wasn't there, I just talked to the shop manager on the phone to pick his brain.

They keep the demo bikes for a season. They get rented as many times as they do, some more, some less. Around August or September they sell them at a deep discount and the buyer gets all the same benefits of buying a new bike. I don't know everything, but I think this is pretty much standard practice for shops that have demo bikes.

Obviously, if people "buy" a bike and ride it for a season, turn it in and get another one every year, that one customer isn't spending any extra money on each new bike. That part of it wouldn't support a shop, but the part where the shop gets the bike back and another customer buys it at a discount with an as new warranty would.

If shops that have rental fleets can sustain themselves laying out their cash to buy the rental bikes, in theory my idea should work because the customer in my scenario is laying out the cash for the purchase of the rental bike instead of the shop. If the first customer doesn't feel it's the right bike, the shop now has a bike in stock they didn't pay for, and when they sell it to someone else, they then make a profit.

I'm sure if it would work that way in reality shops would do it, so there are probably hang ups that would keep it from being viable. Maybe force the first purchaser into scheduled maintenance schedules where the customer pays a premium on the labor to pad the shop's end in the transaction... I'd spend a bit more money over a few months if it meant after a year on the bike I could move into something that better suited me if the bike wasn't a good fit.

Just ideas. Probably delusional ones. It's obvious to many around here I'm a complete tool, so I have to wonder if my thoughts are just smells wafting off of all the crap I'm full of.
 

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Size down+angle set. You don't want old school ST angles. They are quite annoying once you get used to 75 range. 75ish has been with us since 2015 so you have lots of used options to choose from. I've been sizing down since long became a thing, but I'm onboard with slack HA's and steep ST"s. I would prefer it if BB's would go up a bit, but overall I like new geo just without the stretched limo wheelbase/reach.
Sounds like a fellow New England rider to me. Yours is EXACTLY my opinion as well. Love my medium Ripley 4 (at 5'9" I'm on the cusp of M/L) but had to replace the ridiculously long 175mm cranks. I'd appreciate a higher BB but the head angle and especially seat tube angle make it the best all around bike I've ever owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
So this here thread made the MTBR Facebooks page yesterday...
Hhhmmm... I guess that's pretty cool. I'm thinking it's a conversation that needs to be had in the industry. Because, well, The Grim Donut.

By the way, I actually closed the deal on a nice ten year old full suspension bike since I started this thread. 100mm front, 80mm rear. 72 degree head angle. I'll try it out for a while.
 

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Man, I love my 2018 Spark! Is it more than needed for most XC riding? Maybe, but I sure don't feel that I am "over biked". The beauty of the Spark is the TwinLoc system. I probably do 70% of my riding in the trail position, locking it out for non technical climbs and opening it up for chunky downhills. Hoping to get my hands on the new '22 when it's available.
 

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For the right trails, those things make sense, but for the XC trails that have been around for decades, are most people over biked with average modern bikes? Do I have to try and find a 10 year old full suspension bike to get what I want?


[/QUOTE]
I think today's bikes are mostly more than most folks need, like you said majority are weekend warrior XC riding. I've ridden with guys that just keep maintaining their 20+ year old 26" aluminum Stump Jumpers hard tails, kick ass on people riding fancy carbon 29ers all the time.
 

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Has anyone suggested or tried the PIVOT TRAIL 429? Enduro vs non? Thoughts?
higher bottom bracket than most if not all bikes today, so not a crank arm catcher leading to a crash or destroyer of pedals and cranks, no crazy geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Man, I love my 2018 Spark! Is it more than needed for most XC riding? Maybe, but I sure don't feel that I am "over biked".
I didn't say I didn't like the bike. I think it's a great bike. If my local trails had more downhill stuff in mostly straight lines it would suit me better, but I ride stuff where I'm pedaling nearly 100 percent of the time. I've got a lot of tight twisty stuff and the Spark feels like I'm trying to pilot a container ship around trees and through the twists. It takes a lot of the fun out of the ride when I know I'd be carving sharp lines on the Niner because it feels like the bike itself bends around tight stuff compared to the Spark. If I could get the handling of the Niner with the comfort of the Spark, I'd be really pleased.

There is probably a lot to be said for the Spark being a large and the Niner a medium. That older full suspension I just bought is a medium, so hopefully like most people are saying sizing down will help.

I don't think the Spark has too much suspension for what it is, I just don't need that much. The Niner has a 100mm fork and is a hardtail and it was fine for years. I only made the jump to full suspension for comfort as I've gotten older. I'm like you in that the twinlock is awesome, but it doesn't make up for the bike being so big and long.

When I look at full suspensions with 20mm more travel in the rear than my hardtail has up front, it just seems like it's too much to me. Modern "XC" bikes are coming with at least 120mm in the rear these days and all the geo that has to accomodate that. A lot of them are spec'd with 2.6 tires too. They just seem like behemoths. I don't know if that comes out of legitimate needs riders face or if it's trendy marketing making everybody think that's what they need.

While there are options closer to what I'd prefer, like the Supercaliber maybe, they're getting fewer and farther between. Like Ford stopped making cars except for the Mustang, the market must be pushing that trend, but I'm not sure where I fall on the chicken or the egg with what modern bikes have become.
 

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I didn't say I didn't like the bike. I think it's a great bike. If my local trails had more downhill stuff in mostly straight lines it would suit me better, but I ride stuff where I'm pedaling nearly 100 percent of the time. I've got a lot of tight twisty stuff and the Spark feels like I'm trying to pilot a container ship around trees and through the twists. It takes a lot of the fun out of the ride when I know I'd be carving sharp lines on the Niner because it feels like the bike itself bends around tight stuff compared to the Spark. If I could get the handling of the Niner with the comfort of the Spark, I'd be really pleased.

There is probably a lot to be said for the Spark being a large and the Niner a medium. That older full suspension I just bought is a medium, so hopefully like most people are saying sizing down will help.

I don't think the Spark has too much suspension for what it is, I just don't need that much. The Niner has a 100mm fork and is a hardtail and it was fine for years. I only made the jump to full suspension for comfort as I've gotten older. I'm like you in that the twinlock is awesome, but it doesn't make up for the bike being so big and long.

When I look at full suspensions with 20mm more travel in the rear than my hardtail has up front, it just seems like it's too much to me. Modern "XC" bikes are coming with at least 120mm in the rear these days and all the geo that has to accomodate that. A lot of them are spec'd with 2.6 tires too. They just seem like behemoths. I don't know if that comes out of legitimate needs riders face or if it's trendy marketing making everybody think that's what they need.

While there are options closer to what I'd prefer, like the Supercaliber maybe, they're getting fewer and farther between. Like Ford stopped making cars except for the Mustang, the market must be pushing that trend, but I'm not sure where I fall on the chicken or the egg with what modern bikes have become.
The new school bikes aren't so great on those twisty old school trails.

The trails around me have changed as much as the bikes have over the years.
 

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Username checks out.

Cheapskate is right though, time to score a sick barely used garage queen 7 year old super bike. Cannondale Scapel or the like.

GL!
Just sold one on pink bike, too. 2000 Cannondale Scalpel XC Race. Paint was mint AF with “classic” geometry. If you’re patient enough, you can find a bangin’ deal for a fraction of today’s bike prices. It’s bonkers.
 

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I said I don't run a shop so I was probably talking out of my ass.

But...

Before covid, there was a Trek shop 5 hours away that had rental/demo bikes. I called them in 2020 when lockdown had just started catching up to standing inventory, so they had sold everything they had. I was wanting to spend a couple of days in town on a Top Fuel to see if it was what I wanted, but since the option wasn't there, I just talked to the shop manager on the phone to pick his brain.

They keep the demo bikes for a season. They get rented as many times as they do, some more, some less. Around August or September they sell them at a deep discount and the buyer gets all the same benefits of buying a new bike. I don't know everything, but I think this is pretty much standard practice for shops that have demo bikes.

Obviously, if people "buy" a bike and ride it for a season, turn it in and get another one every year, that one customer isn't spending any extra money on each new bike. That part of it wouldn't support a shop, but the part where the shop gets the bike back and another customer buys it at a discount with an as new warranty would.

If shops that have rental fleets can sustain themselves laying out their cash to buy the rental bikes, in theory my idea should work because the customer in my scenario is laying out the cash for the purchase of the rental bike instead of the shop. If the first customer doesn't feel it's the right bike, the shop now has a bike in stock they didn't pay for, and when they sell it to someone else, they then make a profit.

I'm sure if it would work that way in reality shops would do it, so there are probably hang ups that would keep it from being viable. Maybe force the first purchaser into scheduled maintenance schedules where the customer pays a premium on the labor to pad the shop's end in the transaction... I'd spend a bit more money over a few months if it meant after a year on the bike I could move into something that better suited me if the bike wasn't a good fit.

Just ideas. Probably delusional ones. It's obvious to many around here I'm a complete tool, so I have to wonder if my thoughts are just smells wafting off of all the crap I'm full of.
I'm glad you found a used bike that suits your taste. That's great! Enjoy... I have access to a couple of my old bikes and ride them every so often, no denying they feel really nimble!

You only get the warranty on an ex demo bike because it's coming through the shop and distributor. And because the bike is in the hands of the shop most days of the week. Maintenance and general upkeep are constant from shop mechanics with the right tools and knowledge for the job. General warranty work is done, anything out of warranty the customer who rented the bike has to pay for replacements to get the bike back to demo fleet condition. And a lot of shops, and always at bike parks you can get insurance! (and sometimes it's included in the cost or you have to get insurance) Those bikes are a source of rental income, also they are a sales tool to get people to buy new bikes. (and gloves, helmets, water bottles, coffee, food, etc.) So hopefully they are making the shop money the whole time. Then they get a rebuild, new tires, grips, etc. and are sold at a discount but overall the shop has made money off the bike.

But ifyou instead buy the bike with the concept that the shop will buy it back. 99.9% of the time the warranty only applies to that original sale. (every once in a while you find transferable warranties, but it's rare, and often that is just the frame and not all of the parts on the bike) If that bike is sold back to the shop and then sold again to another customer they are not very likely to have any warranty.

Then you have no way to guarantee maintenance and upkeep since the bikes no longer in a shop with mechanics. Sure the shop could go over the bike when you bring it back and do an "inspection" and any repairs/replacements could be done at that time. But either you'd have to pay for that, or that money would come out of what the shop is buying the bike back for.

But I think the biggest thing is just that every time the bike is sold it's value depreciates. So if you bring it back after 3 months and decide you don't like it and the shop buys it back. Not only to they need to offer you less money due to it being used/depreciation. They also need to be able to make money when they sale the bike again, so they are buying the bike at much less then what you paid for. (and although it happens less often these days, there are still shops that buy used bikes or take trade ins)

And then the other thing is mountain biking is very seasonal. You have a 3 month peak during summer and a few months on either side of that. Most shops have to make their money in summer other then the Christmas bump. So if someone buys a bike and rides it three months in summer that's pretty much the most valuable part of that bikes life. A shop buying a bike back at the end of summer has to consider that they may not sell it until next summer when all the new models come in. That's quite a gamble and again they have to offer you less money to make sure they make money on the deal.

So In the end I think your better off just selling the bike yourself outright and recoup as much money as you can? And even though I mentioned some bike shops do still buy used or take trade ins it's not that common anymore so I have to assume it's not a great business model for most bike shops???

Now I could see a niche thing with bikes hitting 20 grand where there is a rise in "leased" mountain bikes. Your pretty much just paying a fixed monthly rental fee; you'd probably have to bring the bike in for maintenance and inspection every so often and you'd still be on the hook if something is damaged and have to pay to get it repaired. Or have insurance for that. But at least the ownership stays with the shop and so the warranty could go through when the bike is finally sold?

Anyway, never know. Maybe it could work...??? Maybe the "lease" thing could work at lower price points?? At any rate, I think I've let it warm up enough outside to finally get out of bed and go ride! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Now I could see a niche thing with bikes hitting 20 grand where there is a rise in "leased" mountain bikes. Your pretty much just paying a fixed monthly rental fee; you'd probably have to bring the bike in for maintenance and inspection every so often and you'd still be on the hook if something is damaged and have to pay to get it repaired. Or have insurance for that. But at least the ownership stays with the shop and so the warranty could go through when the bike is finally sold?
Something along these lines is what I'm thinking. I don't have all the solutions, but they're just too expensive to get stuck with if they don't work out, so I'll keep buying used.
 

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revel rascal is one of the shorter modern bikes but the 66deg head angle is more enduro than xc. it's either that or you go full XC into the yeti sb115, trek top fuels and the like. pivot trail 429 could be a good option as well if you could ever find one. it doesn't even seem like demand is crazy high. there is simply no production for whatever reason
 
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