Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Freezer
Joined
·
585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding my Yeti SB4.5 for the last week in Tahoe, hitting trails like TRT, Glass Mountain, Upper and Lower Big Chief, etc, and have come to the conclusion that the SB4.5 is a bit undergunned for the chunk up here. Home is Marin, where the SB4.5 is ideal, but not so much in Tahoe. I'll be making regular trips to Tahoe and Sedona, so I'm thinking what would be better for trips, and want to get some opinions from Tahoe regulars.

Initial thoughts would be something with around 130mm-145mm rear travel to handle the chunk, but still climbs well like an SB130, Ripmo, Switchblade, Offering, etc.. I'm set on 29ers- had a Pivot Mach 5.5 but wasn't into the smaller wheels. What do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
I've been riding my Yeti SB4.5 for the last week in Tahoe, hitting trails like TRT, Glass Mountain, Upper and Lower Big Chief, etc, and have come to the conclusion that the SB4.5 is a bit undergunned for the chunk up here. Home is Marin, where the SB4.5 is ideal, but not so much in Tahoe. I'll be making regular trips to Tahoe and Sedona, so I'm thinking what would be better for trips, and want to get some opinions from Tahoe regulars.

Initial thoughts would be something with around 130mm-145mm rear travel to handle the chunk, but still climbs well like an SB130, Ripmo, Switchblade, Offering, etc.. I'm set on 29ers- had a Pivot Mach 5.5 but wasn't into the smaller wheels. What do you guys think?
I agree with your take on riding in the area and your direction.

Bad bikes are hard to find these days. I've been kicking around on a alum GG Smash since last year - it slots right into the category you're pondering, and it works super well around here as my only bike. Fifty-plus mile/8+ hour rides, no issue. Obviously kills the DHs, but great climber and all-day pedaler. US made if that matters; the others will all be imported.

Hard to go too far wrong if you get something pretty new. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
You'll probably find that the SB4.5 will suit you better in Sedona. Mostly XC riding, not too chunky there.

Also most of Tahoe's trails aren't too chunky, you may benefit from larger tires more than more suspension
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Offering or Ripmo. Both are great options. I have an Offering and I think the geometry is perfect. I wouldn't get too much more aggressive than that. Climbing at altitude is real and there aren't very many truly steep trails in Tahoe, like you'd find at UCSC, etc.
 

·
Formerly of Kent
Joined
·
13,080 Posts
I guess it depends on what you're used to; I wouldn't need or want anything more than 120mm for anything other than bike park riding in Tahoe.

Now, I haven't ridden everything, but I've ridden stuff like Armstrong, the TRT in both rirections, Van Sickle, Marlette Lake, Incline-Flume, Star Lake, Mr. Toad's, and most of the trails north of Kings Beach and Tahoe City (Brockway, Kings Beach Superloop, etc). Never ridden south of Tahoe City and west of 50/SLT, i.e., anything on the west shore.

Don't need or want a big, slow bike for XC trails. If I was doing a weekend of Northstar AND backcountry riding, that would be a reason to bring the bigger bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,298 Posts
I've been playing around with the suspension and tire set up on my SB130. I think by varying those two factors I can have a great MidPen/UC bike (where I ride 90% of the time) and a great Tahoe/chunky terrain bike all in one package.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Offering or Ripmo. Both are great options. I have an Offering and I think the geometry is perfect. I wouldn't get too much more aggressive than that. Climbing at altitude is real and there aren't very many truly steep trails in Tahoe, like you'd find at UCSC, etc.
You might be riding the wrong trails on Tahoe... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Interestingly enough, I have come to the same conclusion as the OP, i.e. when riding the chunkier trails in Tahoe (or other parts), my current 130mm 29er feels undergunned. Well, maybe not undergunned but certainly, it would be nice to smooth out the trail when the speeds get higher. Played around with getting a Kona Process 27.5 or Bronson V3 as a 2nd bike or upgrading to the Megatower but after honestly assessing majority of my riding, I settled on the new Hightower with a 160mm fork. We'll see how it goes! Love the way the Bronson and Megatower ride so hoping Hightower with a 160mm fork is somewhere in the middle of those two.
 

·
carpe mañana
Joined
·
7,307 Posts
Short list would be:

Yeti SB130; climbs amazing, more than decently capable on the way down.

New Hightower; improved leverage rate curve over last model, pedals great, very capable down.

Revel Rascal; haven't thrown a leg over one but Canfield suspension is claimed to be the best pedaling linkage and very capable going down.

The new carbon Guerilla Gravity can be customized for any need with a chainstay and shock swap.

_MK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
In contrast to the "all anybody needs is 120mm" person :rolleyes: I'd say that bike geometry and suspension damping is so damned good these days there's little reason not to be a wee bit over-forked and over-shocked. Partially for comfort (the rocks up here can give you a beating on a long ride) and partially for those times when ambition exceeds talent. If you're willing to pay for the latest and greatest (which you clearly are since you're already riding a nice Yeti) then you can get the capable suspension while sacrificing very little in the climbing department. Go for 150mm 29er with a 150 or 160 fork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
In contrast to the "all anybody needs is 120mm" person :rolleyes: I'd say that bike geometry and suspension damping is so damned good these days there's little reason not to be a wee bit over-forked and over-shocked. Partially for comfort (the rocks up here can give you a beating on a long ride) and partially for those times when ambition exceeds talent. If you're willing to pay for the latest and greatest (which you clearly are since you're already riding a nice Yeti) then you can get the capable suspension while sacrificing very little in the climbing department. Go for 150mm 29er with a 150 or 160 fork.
Agreed. I spent the earlier part of summer riding Jellystone, Big Chief, and some of the Tahoe Donner off-the-map trails on a Pivot Mach 429 Trail with 116mm of suspension. Even with the 140 fork I run on it, my back was absolutely killing me by the end of the rides from the high speed chatter and harsh bottom outs. Even though this bike is fine for 95% of the Bay Area riding I do, it still convinced me to go out and buy a bigger bike for Tahoe/Downie trips. So I'm picking up a new Kona Process 153 Cr 29 this weekend tricked out with a bunch of carbon bits to help out on the big high altitude climbs. Can't wait to get it out there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
You'll probably find that the SB4.5 will suit you better in Sedona. Not too chunky there...

Also most of Tahoe's trails aren't too chunky, you may benefit from larger tires more than more suspension
Agree 100% on Tahoe and tire size. Ride a 29er with 120/140 rear and 130/140 front with 2.5-2.6 tire with the appropriate casing.
 

·
wretch
Joined
·
2,126 Posts
Always been on 160/160 and 29 for as long as possible. Slog up the climbs, rip down. The new bigger bikes as mentioned climb very well. However, just switched to 140/140 and loved it. Set that same bike up 150/140 and in x-low and it's absolutely dialed. (33lb's, cushcore, dh c

I like to say that 90-95% of my rides (and actual riding) benefit from the shorter travel yet aggressive geo. Recently going to 150 up front helps take the edge of long descents like Downieville or Martis shuttles.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top