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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided I wanted to get back into the FS thing after a long spell of riding a single speed rigid bike. It's been a major adjustment to say the least. I had taken for granted the flickability and acceleration of the SS, but all was forgiven once I went downhill.



Previous to this bike, I owned a Santa Cruz Heckler and a Turner Burner. The Rize beats both easily, in terms of plushness. The travel feels comparatively bottomless and the Fox RP2 has much better compression damping than the 5th Element or Swinger that I previously used.

I have found that I don't like using the platform for most riding on the Rize- in fact, there isn't a huge difference between the two modes, unless I'm mashing. Bob central. A flick of the propedal does the trick in these cases. For the most part, I spin and the Rize is very well controlled, with little bob and very good efficiency.



The overall handling of the bike reminds me a great deal of the Turner. Both are very nimble, fast bikes that carve beautifully and have a great combination of speed and maneuverability with a plush, active suspension that really makes you want to ride, jump and berm off anything you can find.

In comparison, the Blur I rode felt very dead and not terribly inspiring (IMO). My old Heckler had a heavy feel and was burdened by the terrible 5th Element shock. I guess I don't like Santa Cruzes

I ended up buying the Rize 4, because I don't have it in me to spend 5 grand on a mountain bike right now. I switched out the saddle and added a Thomson stem as well as some Crossmax SLRs and Hutchinson Scorpion UST tires. Weight right now is 27.9 pounds. Not light, but not terrible. Still much heavier than my 19 lb SS, but to be able to just let go when riding downhill has been such a blast after over a year of methodical, technical rigid riding.



Recommended :thumbsup:
 

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Do you like those slr wheels? Are they worth the money?Are hubs rolling better than normal lefty hubs or cannondale rear hubs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hotel12 said:
Do you like those slr wheels? Are they worth the money?Are hubs rolling better than normal lefty hubs or cannondale rear hubs?
I am personally a big fan of Crossmaxes and have used them for a few years. I have used SLRs for a few years on other bikes I owned and I have found them to be sturdy and trouble free. The SLR hub is very smooth and the engagement is solid. It doesn't have tons of engagement points like a King or I9, but it's enough for me. I don't have much experience with Cannondale hubs -- I've previously used King hubs and AM classic hubs - the SLRs are super smooth compared to Kings.

Considering the rims on the SLRs are true UST rims, these wheels are pretty lightweight too - I don't like dealing with Stan's strips if I can help it.
 

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I agree with you Robo, I just went from a Heckler to a Rize 3. Rize 3 feels so much more plush...climbing is greatly superior as well. Rize almost makes my old Heckler feel like a tank.

Have you noticed a big difference with the wheelset change?

Changes I'm contemplating:

1. New bars (carbon) with grips: No brainer to me, the FSA bars with included grips feel like stone to my hands.

2. Jury is still out on the wheels. DT Swiss wheelset on the Rize 3...I'll see how it holds up on some of the tougher days. SLR's would be a sweet (albeit expensive) upgrade to an already expensive bike.

I really tried to like the current offerings from Santa Cruz, but ended up going with the Cannondale.
 

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T4343 said:
I agree with you Robo, I just went from a Heckler to a Rize 3. Rize 3 feels so much more plush...climbing is greatly superior as well. Rize almost makes my old Heckler feel like a tank.

Have you noticed a big difference with the wheelset change?

Changes I'm contemplating:

1. New bars (carbon) with grips: No brainer to me, the FSA bars with included grips feel like stone to my hands.

2. Jury is still out on the wheels. DT Swiss wheelset on the Rize 3...I'll see how it holds up on some of the tougher days. SLR's would be a sweet (albeit expensive) upgrade to an already expensive bike.

I really tried to like the current offerings from Santa Cruz, but ended up going with the Cannondale.
On 1: go for the new bars, carbon is a very different feel and I noticed it right away. You drop some weight as a bonus

On 2: Think about the Xmax ST wheelset. Not quite as light, but a 19 mm rim vs 17 mm of the SLR. This allows a wider tire. My Lefty ST front came in at 760 gr vs 704 for the SLR I saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
T4343 said:
I agree with you Robo, I just went from a Heckler to a Rize 3. Rize 3 feels so much more plush...climbing is greatly superior as well. Rize almost makes my old Heckler feel like a tank.

Have you noticed a big difference with the wheelset change?

Changes I'm contemplating:

1. New bars (carbon) with grips: No brainer to me, the FSA bars with included grips feel like stone to my hands.

2. Jury is still out on the wheels. DT Swiss wheelset on the Rize 3...I'll see how it holds up on some of the tougher days. SLR's would be a sweet (albeit expensive) upgrade to an already expensive bike.

I really tried to like the current offerings from Santa Cruz, but ended up going with the Cannondale.
I would definitely go with a different set of bars -- I am not a fan of oversize alloy bars. The grips are fairly crappy. I will be getting some carbon bars and Oury grips. That should increase the comfort a goot bit and lighten up the front end. The stock FSAs are pretty heavy.

I'm a big Crossmax fan, but I tend to ride light after coming off a rigid, plus I'm not too heavy (<170lbs), so the wheels are plenty durable for me. In my experience, spending money on wheels is money well spent. The stock Speed Disc/Deore wheels are absolute anchors and switching to Crossmaxes with tubeless Scorpions saved about 2 lbs of wheel weight. It really took the bike to the next level - now it's much more lively and climbing is eons better.

Not sure about the Rize 3 DT swiss wheels. The reality is that stock wheels on any bike (other than some $5000 monsters) are probably going to be pretty heavy.
 

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The stock wheels are just too soft, weight isn't even an issue - 2 months and i replaced mine.
They don't hold up well to any abuse (3ft to flat drops... not even that abusive).

That's a gorgeous looking rize, I really wish I had gotten the 4 sometimes, the lefty is a major pain w/ fork mount rack and all - but i do love having a red bike, and it feels great. it's my first real MTB so no ride time on a real fork is what makes me curious... Great work!
 

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rvmdmechanic said:
The stock wheels are just too soft, weight isn't even an issue - 2 months and i replaced mine.
They don't hold up well to any abuse (3ft to flat drops... not even that abusive).

That's a gorgeous looking rize, I really wish I had gotten the 4 sometimes, the lefty is a major pain w/ fork mount rack and all - but i do love having a red bike, and it feels great. it's my first real MTB so no ride time on a real fork is what makes me curious... Great work!
I give it an hour before people start crying that you talked smack about the lefty:D waaahhh waaahhh waaahhh. lol!
 

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You talking smack about Leftys?

Your wrong it was more like 3 to 4 hours :D But really I can see what you mean about your rack. Luckily I have a Saris bones trunk rack the works it well enough but you have to admit the Lefty rides like a dream :thumbsup: It's also neat when people see it they can't believe what they are looking at :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had one of those perfect days today. I just love it when you get a new bike finally dialed in.

I am amazed at how quick and easy I got this bike zoned in. The last few FS bikes I owned, it took weeks to finally get them where I wanted them. Not the case with this bike - it feels absolutely perfect now. Since my initial review, I've set in more sag (55lb front/150lb rear) and got a new set of carbon risers.

This is a really fantastic bike. I have to say it's the best I've ever owned. I've finally found something better than my beloved Turner - which was very similar in the way it handled. A little fine tuning and the bike just explodes on climbs and is incredibly plush and controlled on descents.

This is the first time in a long time that I've ridden a bike that felt flawless.

My next upgrade will be the brakes, which are heavy and have poor modulation.
 

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robotkiller said:
Had one of those perfect days today. I just love it when you get a new bike finally dialed in.

I am amazed at how quick and easy I got this bike zoned in. The last few FS bikes I owned, it took weeks to finally get them where I wanted them. Not the case with this bike - it feels absolutely perfect now. Since my initial review, I've set in more sag (55lb front/150lb rear) and got a new set of carbon risers.

This is a really fantastic bike. I have to say it's the best I've ever owned. I've finally found something better than my beloved Turner - which was very similar in the way it handled. A little fine tuning and the bike just explodes on climbs and is incredibly plush and controlled on descents.

This is the first time in a long time that I've ridden a bike that felt flawless.

My next upgrade will be the brakes, which are heavy and have poor modulation.
Whats the bell for? I have never seen anything like that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
iamzap said:
what size are your tires? I got a SLR for my Rize 4 too.
Hutchinson Scorpion Tubeless Light 2.0 -- pretty big volume though; bigger than some 2.1 tires I've had. Lightweight for a tubeless (695g) and cheap ($18). I like them - they're fast for a knobby, have decent grip and clear mud pretty nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
amillmtb said:
Whats the bell for? I have never seen anything like that...
It's a mixed use trail and bidirectional -- my guess is that it's there to give the heads up that Hell is coming through. ;)
 
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