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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been looking for a 160mm rear travel bike for a while now.

It will mainly be used in the Alps ( Chamonix, Morzine, Sauze D'oux, Pila etc ) I like to do a climb up in the morning then spend the rest of the day doing runs down using the lifts. It needs to be able to do the odd lift free day too.

Last Summer I took my Took my Intense Tracer with Fox 32 Talas 150 QR15 on the front. This bike is great for UK trail centres but i felt the this set up couldn't hack it in the Alps. It climbed well but on the decents both ends just felt a bit out of their depth and flexy. This surprised me as i'm no Steve Peat ( a 2 foot drop max ). I have to pick my way down a descent rather than blast it.

So i'm looking for something a big beefier but still able to get up the hill.

I've had a ride on the new Santa Cruz Nomad (monarch shock & 160mm lyriks ) which i enjoyed, if anyone has ridden both i would appreciate their views

My thoughts are
Large ano Helius AM with RP23 or Monarch
Fox 36 Talas RC2
Hope Pro 11 with flow rims / 2.35 Kenda Nevagals
double and bash
target weight 31 lbs

So my questions ?

RP23 or Monarch ?
How would it ride uphill ?
stiffness and bearing life ?
How would it ride downhill ? - would the air shocks be found lacking
comparison to the Nomad ?

Thanks
 

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It depends how hard you RIP buddy but if all I did was one climb a day I would be looking at the AFR.

Even on the FR i felt a bit pinged around on the descents riding Pila and Prt Du Sol. The FR is my trail bike so the AFR which apparently climbs as well should handle daily hacks no worries.

It depends how much you value your descending time.... for me its "everything" so i dont mind going a bit slacker and heavier then most.
 

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Although you're not blasting the descents on the Tracer an AM should instill more confidence over the rough stuff. I'd also consider sacrificing some weight for a coil set up. An extra couple of pounds won't be that noticeable when you aren't using the lifts.
 

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steep fast and loose :)
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RP23 or Monarch ? Monarcj ime. More range of adjustability.
How would it ride uphill ? Fine - Especially with the TALAS reduced from 160 to 130mm
stiffness and bearing life ? - Stunning - Incomparable to anything out there.
How would it ride downhill ? - would the air shocks be found lacking
comparison to the Nomad ? Not at all.

31`lbs is achievable - mine comes in just under on Monarch and about 33.2lbs on the CCDB.
 

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steep fast and loose :)
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gratuitous pic, as mine is similar to your spec [large AM on TALAS 36] :



fwiw, the AFR is a different beast altogether and would struggle to keep below 37lbs without dramatic compromise. fine if you like your trail riding to be sluggish and devoid of feedback :D
 
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