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Former xc racer with bad back & no number plate future seeks 1st 29er 4" travel

Read one too many posts of "which 29er should I get" so I'm simply going to ask for opinions. A little bit about me.

Former xc racer who craved the hillclimbs. Even though my background is off-road motorcycle racing I was/am very cautious on the technical stuff. I have a bad back and a HT reminds me of it after 1 ride. More smooth than anything else which is good for downhills with berms and carrying momentum. I was not a good freerider nor did I like to huck even the smallest of gaps. I was the type to stay seated and either power or spin through everything. I'd rather cycloross it across a rocky dropoff than stay clipped in and clear it.

I am a fan of DW Link having owned a heavy Iron Horse MKIII and then a nice Ibis Mojo Carbon. Before that was a Giant NRS before realizing I liked a true Horst Link which led me to an Intense Tracer before the DW Link stuff came along. I have never ridden anything from the likes of Pivot or Fisher which I've read good things about.

I will never race any form of mountain bikes other than trying to get top bragging rights with the local group of guys I ride with whom are all extremely competitive athletes in other sports. My riding terrain is a lot of stem-in-the-nose-taint-on-the-tip of my seat and the downhills are either littered with sand and rocks the size of baseballs. I enjoy climbing and having my heart rate on the brink of exploding. Pain is a good thing when you look back and your best friend is suffering even more. :D

It'd be simple to get a 26" Anthem or another Mojo, but I believe a 4" full suspension 29er set up with good tires and proper suspension setup is what I want.

I doubt my bank account will like a 29er Mojo and I can't wait for whenever it comes out.

I don't need to pay an extra $500 to save 30 grams on a lighter seatpost when I know taking a dump or carrying one less energy bar does the same so bikes with the words "World Cup" or "Limited". I usually go for SRAM X9 or XT but XO and XTR in select places is fine but my budget likes real-world sensible stuff even though the former wannabe racer in me likes the racey race parts.

Based on what I have written what should I consider?
 

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i would suggest the following...

more cost but better quality = Turner Sultan

"it's all about performance" = Specialized Epic

low cost option = Voodoo Canzo
 

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AnthemX 29er, simple, fits your desired usage, uses a multi-link suspension and is easy on the budget. Upgrade when you wear out or break parts.
 

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4" niner

I would suggest an Ellsworth Evolve. Not the gotta have newest technology but my truth and Evolve have been great climbers. The ICT suspension soaks everything up on the downhills and makes for an efficient climber.

The Sultan is now 120mm and that DW Link is tough to clean with all those nooks and crannies.

The epic, nothing bad to say other then tough finding a frameset and it may be too race like for that back of yours.

Ride safe,

Robert
 

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Based on what you have written I would suggest an Ellsworth.
 

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You're a fan of the DW link. You want a FS29er. Racing is not your BIGGEST priority...riding is. Though you still want to go fast, climb well, and maybe get better at gnarly descents. And protect your back.

Turner DW Sultan is on sale at Competitive Cyclist.

Yea, it's 120mm of travel and more CAPABLE than alot of 100mm bikes, but frankly I'd rather have 20mm of extra efficient travel than not. And Turner's journal bearing system is best in it's class. Way better than cartridge bearings IMHO.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Are you averse to cannabalizing one of your old bikes for parts? If not then building from the ground up may be the way to go. Any particular reason that you like DW link over anything else (just out of curiosity)? Of the ones that I have seen I like the Canzo and Anthem best (test rode the Anthem in the parking lot at my LBS) but really depends on your back and how you feel.
 

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My Pivot Mach 429 and the Turner Sultan are both great DW Link bikes. The 429 is faster on smoother surfaces and the handling is a little bit more responsive than the Sultan. The Sultan is a better climber on loose surfaces and in steep sections where the rear end's ability to find traction is great. I find the Sultan is a more confident descender due to its stability at higher speeds. The tradeoff is that in tight sections the Sultan is a bit more of a handful where I need to initiate turns sooner than the 429.
 

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the mayor said:
I bet no one on here even knows who you're talking about
I know who bradshaw is. The only thing that points that it might be bradshaw is the "used to race off-road motorcycles" but if it was bradshaw he would have wrote used to be a top pro motorcrosser. So I am guessing its not but who knows.
 
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