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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to get my dream enduro bike. Some context:
  • I'm ignoring whether bikes are in stock or not as I am happy to wait (even if it means for next year's model)
  • Budget up to £5000
  • I will be overbiked most of the time and I am ok with that
  • 75% of my riding will be in the Surrey Hills, 20% in Bike parks (Wales, Rogate, Windhill), 5% or less will be in the alps

Looking for at least 160mm of travel and 29er wheels. Don't mind too much about weight within reason.

Nukeproof Giga Elite 290 - I was considering the Mega but it seems the general consensus is that this is as easy to pedal and should be more capable on the descents.
Transition Spire GX Alloy - Similarly specced, did well in Pinkbike's field test. Just hate both colour schemes...
Commencal Meta AM Team - Similar spec again, don't love the colour scheme.
Propain Spindrift AL - Can spec this up to ridiculous levels using the configurator. Both this and the Commencal will require me to pay import duties which will bump up their prices to my budget limit.
Wildcard: Forbidden Dreadnaught SLX - Probably the least well specced but for some reason I loved this bike from the moment I saw it. I have seen some reviews from the UK saying that mud flies right into the pulley wheel and grinds away which put me off a little. Overall I feel it wouldn't be the most sensible choice but it's the one that makes me most excited.

Dreadnaught aside, the only reason I am not buying the Spindrift right away is the head angle, it's a 64.5 degree head angle. I know it's not actually steep but the others are all at least a degree slacker (well, 0.9) - I have a feeling that this will make it feel more outdated more quickly

I'm in no rush so if anyone wanted to confuse me more by providing more options, feel free!
 

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How tall are you? And what is your inseam?

Im 6’1” (185cm) barefoot, with long legs (36.25in inseam). I find with my proportions and riding style, that I short chainstays make it hard to weight the bike correctly.

So for me, I’d be skipping the commencal. They all have super long front centers, and really short rear centers, especially in the size L/XL I’m usually considering. And IMO that makes them somewhat unbalanced.

All your other options are pretty good actually. All are kind of reviewed as being more versatile than you’d think, and still that “almost a DH” bike sort of downhill capability.

To make things more confusing, have you looked at the Privateer 161?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How tall are you? And what is your inseam?

Im 6'1" (185cm) barefoot, with long legs (36.25in inseam). I find with my proportions and riding style, that I short chainstays make it hard to weight the bike correctly.

So for me, I'd be skipping the commencal. They all have super long front centers, and really short rear centers, especially in the size L/XL I'm usually considering. And IMO that makes them somewhat unbalanced.

All your other options are pretty good actually. All are kind of reviewed as being more versatile than you'd think, and still that "almost a DH" bike sort of downhill capability.

To make things more confusing, have you looked at the Privateer 161?
How tall are you? And what is your inseam?

Im 6'1" (185cm) barefoot, with long legs (36.25in inseam). I find with my proportions and riding style, that I short chainstays make it hard to weight the bike correctly.

So for me, I'd be skipping the commencal. They all have super long front centers, and really short rear centers, especially in the size L/XL I'm usually considering. And IMO that makes them somewhat unbalanced.

All your other options are pretty good actually. All are kind of reviewed as being more versatile than you'd think, and still that "almost a DH" bike sort of downhill capability.

To make things more confusing, have you looked at the Privateer 161?
Good question, I am just a tiny bit shy of 6ft, 5ft11 and a bit. But I have short legs (no tape measure to hand) so in modern geo terms I will be on a Large but an old geo Large would always be too big for my legs/stand over. I imagine that might mean I'm OK with a short rear center. To be honest I haven't ridden many new geo bikes so I will try and get a demo on some of these.

I have looked at a privateer, and I really like the look. It comes in quite nicely under budget for the SLX/XT build and has top spec - at risk of sounded like a bit of a dick I feel it's got slightly less finesse/premium feel with the routing etc
 

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I think you kinda answered your own question. If the Forbidden makes you the most excited, why not go with that? They're all great bikes, there's not a bad one in the bunch. I do agree with the above Commencal comment, and I get the specs, but it's a great bike and there's obviously something in you that likes it, so that's what I'd go with ... I mean, 99% of us are probably overbiked, so might as well get whichever one you like most.
 

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The answer is Nukeproof. I have two of their bikes now (AL Mega 275, Scout 275) and have been nothing but impressed with their performance let alone value compared to similarly spec’d bikes. The in-house components are dank.

As far as Mega vs Giga it’s your call and gonna be your bike but I’d say Mega based on the fact that it’s a multiple EWS championship winning design and do any of us need anything more capable than that? I love mine and will replace it with another without hesitation when the time comes.
 

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Id skip the dreadnought. as you said, UK mud getting into the pulley wheel sounds like a very noisy/grindy affair, and from what i've seen, UK mud is pretty common.

Commencals are solid options (and heavy compared to your other options), but chainstays are relatively short in today's market. The DTC allows you a nicer spec, so kind of your own preference there. if you're ordering a large it may not be the worst thing in the world, as the reach isn't quite so big in comparison, but it's your own decision ultimately. a lot of people prefer shorter chainstays.

i don't know anything about nukeproof personally, just seem like pretty regular fsr bikes. the reviews seem fine? Sam hill likes them but i think he could win on anything.

The Spire sounds like a sick bike if you can get a hold of one, but I would consider going with a sentinel v2 instead (especially if you dont like the colors of the spire). it's even more versatile/all-around than the spire, but i also know a guy that rides one down some properly scary stuff and he's very fast on it, so i wouldn't count it out as an option.
 

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Id skip the dreadnought. as you said, UK mud getting into the pulley wheel sounds like a very noisy/grindy affair, and from what i've seen, UK mud is pretty common.

Commencals are solid options (and heavy compared to your other options), but chainstays are relatively short in today's market. The DTC allows you a nicer spec, so kind of your own preference there. if you're ordering a large it may not be the worst thing in the world, as the reach isn't quite so big in comparison, but it's your own decision ultimately. a lot of people prefer shorter chainstays.

i don't know anything about nukeproof.
The Spire sounds like a sick bike if you can get a hold of one, but I would consider going with a sentinel v2 instead (especially if you dont like the colors of the spire). it's even more versatile/all-around than the spire, but i also know a guy that rides one down some properly scary stuff and he's very fast on it, so i wouldn't count it out as an option.

 

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Good question, I am just a tiny bit shy of 6ft, 5ft11 and a bit. But I have short legs (no tape measure to hand) so in modern geo terms I will be on a Large but an old geo Large would always be too big for my legs/stand over. I imagine that might mean I'm OK with a short rear center. To be honest I haven't ridden many new geo bikes so I will try and get a demo on some of these.

I have looked at a privateer, and I really like the look. It comes in quite nicely under budget for the SLX/XT build and has top spec - at risk of sounded like a bit of a dick I feel it's got slightly less finesse/premium feel with the routing etc
Yeah, at about 6ft, you're solidly on a large for most brands. And you having short legs does help a bit.

And, if the Privateer 161 isn't your jam, thats fine. But to be clear, cable routing is a preference, not really a "more or less premium" thing.

People like internal routing because of looks, and potentially less likely to snag on something (seems unlikely either way), and people like external routing for ease of maintenance/replacement, and less noise (no rattling cables in the frame... although not all frames with internal routing have this problem). The Privateer 161 is designed as a race bike for people without professional mechanics doing their maintenance, so they went with something that takes less time/effort to route cables on.

Personally I like external cables, but understand if they bug you aesthetically.

But, either way, I'd absolutely try to get a demo in on something similar to what you're considering before you pull the trigger.

The Propain is lauded as a bike that pedals/rides like it has less suspension travel than it does (in a good way). So I'd imagine its the best all-rounder in the list. But they do have kind of long seat tubes (460mm on size L, vs 430mm on the Spire, and 440mm on the Giga), which could be a problem for you depending on your actual inseam.

Which means I'd probably go with the Nukeproof Giga if I were you. In size L, its got a more balanced Front/Rear center ratio than the Transition, and its head tube angle is a bit more conservative (lol, we've gotten to the point that a 63.5 degree HTA is "conservative" :p). So It should handle better on your more mellow trails that you ride. And its a linkage driven single pivot, so one less set of bearings to service as well :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, at about 6ft, you're solidly on a large for most brands. And you having short legs does help a bit.

And, if the Privateer 161 isn't your jam, thats fine. But to be clear, cable routing is a preference, not really a "more or less premium" thing.

People like internal routing because of looks, and potentially less likely to snag on something (seems unlikely either way), and people like external routing for ease of maintenance/replacement, and less noise (no rattling cables in the frame... although not all frames with internal routing have this problem). The Privateer 161 is designed as a race bike for people without professional mechanics doing their maintenance, so they went with something that takes less time/effort to route cables on.

Personally I like external cables, but understand if they bug you aesthetically.

But, either way, I'd absolutely try to get a demo in on something similar to what you're considering before you pull the trigger.

The Propain is lauded as a bike that pedals/rides like it has less suspension travel than it does (in a good way). So I'd imagine its the best all-rounder in the list. But they do have kind of long seat tubes (460mm on size L, vs 430mm on the Spire, and 440mm on the Giga), which could be a problem for you depending on your actual inseam.

Which means I'd probably go with the Nukeproof Giga if I were you. In size L, its got a more balanced Front/Rear center ratio than the Transition, and its head tube angle is a bit more conservative (lol, we've gotten to the point that a 63.5 degree HTA is "conservative" :p). So It should handle better on your more mellow trails that you ride. And its a linkage driven single pivot, so one less set of bearings to service as well :).
You're absolutely right re routing. It's not a cost saving type of measure - it's intentional and makes sense. That was clumsily put.

Just got my inseam measurement as 31 inch, although I'm not currently sure how to apply that to a bike's sizing to be honest!

Definitely leaning towards the Giga right now. Found a LBS who do sell the Giga, Transition and Dreadnaught but they won't be able to do test rides this year due to stock.

Thanks for the detailed advice!
 

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You're absolutely right re routing. It's not a cost saving type of measure - it's intentional and makes sense. That was clumsily put.

Just got my inseam measurement as 31 inch, although I'm not currently sure how to apply that to a bike's sizing to be honest!

Definitely leaning towards the Giga right now. Found a LBS who do sell the Giga, Transition and Dreadnaught but they won't be able to do test rides this year due to stock.

Thanks for the detailed advice!
Oh, no worries. I'm not like offended by you not liking external routing. Just sometimes its hard to tell how much experience people have with things over the internet/text, so was wanting to make it clear its just a design difference is all. I have a slight preference for external routing, but nothing major.

Usually shorter legs means longer torso, which would mean you would potentially like a bike with longer reach than someone else of more average proportions for your height (ie, when hinged at your hips, you basically are longer than the other person). It would also probably mean you're less sensitive to chainstay length, since your legs put you less over the back than they are for me, even though we're close to the same height.

I think you should be able to do the math on how much seat tube you need to have. I've never bothered really, as I've got like 40-50mm of dropper post still exposed above the clamp on my bike with a 450mm seat tube, and 170mm dropper. But in theory, it should be something like inseam - crank length + half the thickness of your pedal - seat tube length == length of seat post above the clamp. Maybe with the height of your saddle (from the seat rails to top of seat) in there as well.

Thats great that you have a place that sells them local to you. Can you at least go get a sit down on the bikes, even if you can't demo one? Or can you find something similar to rent somewhere else?

I'm in the same sort of situation. I'm looking for a frame to build, but the frames I'm interested in I can't demo locally (Privateer, and Banshee). So I'm stuck trying to find a rental on a bike that is similar in geo to get an idea.
 

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You're absolutely right re routing. It's not a cost saving type of measure - it's intentional and makes sense. That was clumsily put.

Just got my inseam measurement as 31 inch, although I'm not currently sure how to apply that to a bike's sizing to be honest!

Definitely leaning towards the Giga right now. Found a LBS who do sell the Giga, Transition and Dreadnaught but they won't be able to do test rides this year due to stock.

Thanks for the detailed advice!
Stand over has next to nothing to do with sizing a bike anymore especially when it comes to Enduro etc. It's all about Reach and Stack and I've found Nukeproof's size charts to be bang on. I'd put you on a L Giga myself all day.
Fwiw I've also had two excellent experiences with ChainReaction now and that's ordering from the states.
 

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Stand over has next to nothing to do with sizing a bike anymore especially when it comes to Enduro etc. It's all about Reach and Stack and I've found Nukeproof's size charts to be bang on. I'd put you on a L Giga myself all day.
Fwiw I've also had two excellent experiences with ChainReaction now and that's ordering from the states.
Yeah, standover isn't really an issue for most people (although I do appreciate low standover, but more because its easier to get more body-bike separate in turns/etc). The inseam question to me was making sure that the seatpost length of the Propain wouldn't be an issue (potentially preventing a "normal" length dropper for him), as he's got proportionally somewhat short legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By way of an update. I went into a shop nearish me to talk through the options as they do the dreadnaught, nukeproofs and the spire. None available to demo atm but I was able to try some out for size. He had just built up a Transition Patrol for himself and was raving about it (we ride the same trails) so I spent some time on one and the fit just felt perfect. So I came away to consider my options and have since put a deposit down on it. It ended up being a choice in my mind between that or the spire and for various reasons I went with the Patrol.

I'll report back when I have some rides on it!
 

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From your list, the Patrol. Several friends of mine love theirs.

Adding to it: the Canfield Lithium. I ride its little wheeled brother, the Balance, and it pedals really well for a long travel bike and descends even better.

The Lithiums I’ve heard are really good but i struggle with the big wheels.
 

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By way of an update. I went into a shop nearish me to talk through the options as they do the dreadnaught, nukeproofs and the spire. None available to demo atm but I was able to try some out for size. He had just built up a Transition Patrol for himself and was raving about it (we ride the same trails) so I spent some time on one and the fit just felt perfect. So I came away to consider my options and have since put a deposit down on it. It ended up being a choice in my mind between that or the spire and for various reasons I went with the Patrol.

I'll report back when I have some rides on it!
I see loads of Patrols on the trails around here , everyone loves them. We also have UK levels of mud here and the Transition bikes are made for it.
 

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I second the Canfield Lithium. Amazing long-travel 29er. It climbs unbelievably well for how much bike it is, and you can ride it on mellower trails and still have fun. It doesn't feel like a big bike until you point it into the nasty stuff and open it up. One of my buddies bought a Lithium to replace his other enduro bike, but planned on keeping his 130 bike for more XC/trail riding. He sold it after about two weeks on the Lithium because the Lithium actually climbed better.

I feel like the bike has a dual personality of loving to go fast and feeling stable, yet being really quick side to side through corners and being able to jib and play and easily go where you want it to. The CBF tune is also fairly poppy and supportive, so it doesn't feel wallowy like other long-travel bikes I've ridden. Even with a coil shock, it's very supportive pumping through things, coming out of corners, etc., yet still eats the chunk.

Every time I ride a trail I know well on the Lithium the first time, I'm blown away. So much fun and PRs without even trying.
 
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