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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm contemplating selling my Salsa Big Mama. It's a great bike but I find the XL size too small for me. The choice - in my mind - comes down to Behemoth or Sultan in XXL. Has anyone been lucky enough to ride both? What are your impressions?

The pics show the type of riding in my neck of the woods. Loose, chunky and tight switchbacks.

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

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I would have thought going bigger than XL will make things more difficult in the switchbacks, plus the 'moth has a very high BB which will compound that a little.

Although, having owned a Behemoth for a few months it seems very nimble in all the tightest spots...

You must be very tall :eek:
 

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Yeah, I'll be no help in sizing for you. I have a large Sultan and had a medium Behemoth. The Behemoth was maybe an inch shorter so obviously more nimble than the large Sultan. I found the large Behemoth to be less nimble so in that regard, they will probably be close if the sizing is similar.

The Behemoth is a well-built bike as well but the main differences lie in the pivot placements, suspension design and basic geometry. The Behemoth has a much lighter front-end. Whle very nice for climbing up big obstacles where you constantly lift the front a lot at slower speeds, the front can be tough to keep down on steep climbs. It tends to wander and isn't a no-brainer like the Sultan. This can be a positive for some. I liked it on certain trails and the medium was really easy to snake through slow-techy stuff so size down if that is a concern. With the Sultan, you just have to pedal till you collapse and it will keep going on its line and give you amazing seated traction.

EDIT (lost ISP connection)

Pedaling- Sultan wins hands-down. It is a faster bike with a better suspension design. It can climb faster as well. My experience was that with the rearward weight bias and pivot placement of the Moth, it tended to feel like I was exerting more energy pedaling it. That I had a problem with, but only on steeper climbs and I have not heard others on this forum say that. However, it was fine on flatter ground and not-so-steep climbs. The steep climbing bothered me. I think the Ibis Mojo, Niner RIP9, and Sultan have spoiled me- they all pedal like I prefer.

Stiffness and construction- they are very similar and feel pretty solid. The Behemoth did feel very solid and well built. On fast downhills, they both do well but the Sultan (with a longer WB and CS) rails like no other 4"-5" bike I have ridden. The Behemoth was shorter so a bit more focus was needed but it can run with the best of them in that travel range due to the slack HA and stiff frame.

I thought the bikes has enough differences and really liked the nible nature of the Moth but I sized down and the overall ETT and WB was over an inch shorter than the Sultan- that is a huge difference. Moth was more flickable and coud be moved around easier while the Sultan just rails through with no real desire or need to be BMX-ed around unless you're a skilled bike handler who likes that type of thing.

The medium Moth was a bit small (6'/34" inseam) for me but I was trying to build up a technical-trails bike that did really well at slow-speed stuff. I was a bit surprised at how short the TT was. My Racer-X has 24" ETT while the Moth had a 23.4" ETT (I think). With the same stem and seat and seat position, the Moth was over an inch shorter and that was with a layback Thompson seatpost on the Moth and a straight seatpost on the Sultan and Racer-X.

The fit was compact so long rides felt cramped after a couple of hours. All weekend rides are really long so that was a bit of a problem- I like ETTs in the 24" range....not the poor Moth's fault.

I'm rambling now so it is time for coffee and a really late entrance to the office....be lucky to get there by 9:30 today.
 

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rider
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Would a 25.4" ETT work for you? If it is in the range check out the Astrix Monk:

http://astrixsports.com/monk.html

Shortish CS's at 17.7" & 115mm of plush rear squish. I have a HD build on mine and it just rails in the trail conditions you describe. Elevated CS design is really easy to live with, no chainsuck isues. Save a big pile of cash as well, MSRP is only $1099 & it can be bought for a bit less.
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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Behemoth has deeper travel, shorter stays. I can't comment on single-pivot vs. DW but I can say that I "get by" on single-pivots just fine with no drawbacks I can tell.

Also, the Beho is lighter which seals the deal for me.

Sultan BB was a bit low for my taste also. A nod to Turner for putting XXL headtubes and toptubes on an XXL bike. He's a genius.
 

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I know it isn't quite as blingy as either of these, but for rough terrain and tight switchbacks, ride Rumblefish as soon as you can.

Should be on your list.
 

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Flyer said:
Yeah, I'll be no help in sizing for you. I have a large Sultan and had a medium Behemoth. The Behemoth was maybe an inch shorter so obviously more nimble than the large Sultan. I found the large Behemoth to be less nimble so in that regard, they will probably be close if the sizing is similar.

The Behemoth is a well-built bike as well but the main differences lie in the pivot placements, suspension design and basic geometry. The Behemoth has a much lighter front-end. Whle very nice for climbing up big obstacles where you constantly lift the front a lot at slower speeds, the front can be tough to keep down on steep climbs. It tends to wander and isn't a no-brainer like the Sultan. This can be a positive for some. I liked it on certain trails and the medium was really easy to snake through slow-techy stuff so size down if that is a concern. With the Sultan, you just have to pedal till you collapse and it will keep going on its line and give you amazing seated traction.

EDIT (lost ISP connection)

Pedaling- Sultan wins hands-down. It is a faster bike with a better suspension design. It can climb faster as well. My experience was that with the rearward weight bias and pivot placement of the Moth, it tended to feel like I was exerting more energy pedaling it. That I had a problem with, but only on steeper climbs and I have not heard others on this forum say that. However, it was fine on flatter ground and not-so-steep climbs. The steep climbing bothered me. I think the Ibis Mojo, Niner RIP9, and Sultan have spoiled me- they all pedal like I prefer.

Stiffness and construction- they are very similar and feel pretty solid. The Behemoth did feel very solid and well built. On fast downhills, they both do well but the Sultan (with a longer WB and CS) rails like no other 4"-5" bike I have ridden. The Behemoth was shorter so a bit more focus was needed but it can run with the best of them in that travel range due to the slack HA and stiff frame.

I thought the bikes has enough differences and really liked the nible nature of the Moth but I sized down and the overall ETT and WB was over an inch shorter than the Sultan- that is a huge difference. Moth was more flickable and coud be moved around easier while the Sultan just rails through with no real desire or need to be BMX-ed around unless you're a skilled bike handler who likes that type of thing.

The medium Moth was a bit small (6'/34" inseam) for me but I was trying to build up a technical-trails bike that did really well at slow-speed stuff. I was a bit surprised at how short the TT was. My Racer-X has 24" ETT while the Moth had a 23.4" ETT (I think). With the same stem and seat and seat position, the Moth was over an inch shorter and that was with a layback Thompson seatpost on the Moth and a straight seatpost on the Sultan and Racer-X.

The fit was compact so long rides felt cramped after a couple of hours. All weekend rides are really long so that was a bit of a problem- I like ETTs in the 24" range....not the poor Moth's fault.

I'm rambling now so it is time for coffee and a really late entrance to the office....be lucky to get there by 9:30 today.
This is by far the best review I have seen showing the positives and negatives of both frames.

It comes down to personal preference. I found that I prefer the handling/nimbleness of the Behemoth enough that I "got over" the slightly worse pedaling performance. Flyer chose the opposite compromise. The differences are slight and one must decide what is going to bug you more during the course of a ride. For me, a heavy front end and lack of small bike whoop-de-doo-ness bothered me more than low single pivot pedaling characteristics. For Flyer, he was bugged more by pedaling performance. The OP needs to decide what he wants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the coments. Flyer, that was an excellent write-up! Greatly appreciated guys.
 

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Working Man's Toilet
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I have had a moth and an El Cap-
From reading Flyer's description, this is a similar to what I would say about those 2 bikes. The El Cap just railed like a train, but trains are not nimble.
The moth is much more nimble, I think Enel or someone called it "flickable".
I agree w/ Padre on the climbing- anything I have every lost in the climbing prowess of the moth (which is very minimal), I have gained 10 fold over, for the descending fun.
 

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Working Man's Toilet
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Enel said:
For me, a heavy front end and lack of small bike whoop-de-doo-ness bothered me more than low single pivot pedaling characteristics.
My sentiments exactly
 

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Enel said:
This is by far the best review I have seen showing the positives and negatives of both frames.

It comes down to personal preference. I found that I prefer the handling/nimbleness of the Behemoth enough that I "got over" the slightly worse pedaling performance. Flyer chose the opposite compromise. The differences are slight and one must decide what is going to bug you more during the course of a ride. For me, a heavy front end and lack of small bike whoop-de-doo-ness bothered me more than low single pivot pedaling characteristics. For Flyer, he was bugged more by pedaling performance. The OP needs to decide what he wants.
Maybe I drew the wrong conclusion...but it seemed like if flyer had purchased a medium sultan he would have had his perfect bike. :confused:
 

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Bodhisattva
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jncarpenter said:
Maybe I drew the wrong conclusion...but it seemed like if flyer had purchased a medium sultan he would have had his perfect bike. :confused:
You did draw the wrong conclusion.

I have ridden with Flyer and can attest that he will NEVER find his perfect bike :D
 

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Wheelies

Having a shorter TT / Stem will allow you to pull the front end up easier.............CS length is only part of the whole picture.
:)
 

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Yeah, so there are two things- wheelies/manuals and nimbleness

Manuals are made easier with a higher BB and a shorter CS....and a shorter stem and setback seatpost if needed.
Nimbleness can be as easy as a shorter wheelbase, though of course, a shorter CS contributes to that.

I would prefer to actually be in the middle of the two CSs- not as long as 18.2 and {gasp} not as short as 17.3 for the riding I do. I do not have problems with the Sultan even though it is not as easy as the Moth. I do have to work more in the slow-techy stuff since the Sultan WB is long. HOWEVER, if I had a large Moth, would it be more nimble? Probably not, thought I suspect the front would still be lighter. I felt the large was pretty long so some or most of the nimbleness may be attributed to a short WB versus a long WB but I did have diff sizes in each bike....on purpose.

I did have some trouble keeping the front down on techy climbs while I simply lean a bit forward and power through on the Sultan. On the Moth, the weight bias is much more rearward so there is a different feel and different style required in my case. My Racer-X falls in the middle and even with a close-to-18 CS, is really easy to lift the front over stuff. That does not bother me much, as I am able to climb anything I think I can or want to climb up (I do bail as needed).

If I had to change anything on the Sultan, it would be to reduce the CS down to 17.8 or 17.9 and raise the BB a few mm.

If I had to change the Moth, I'd say lengthen the CS to 17.6 or so and slap on a DWL or CVA suspension on it. :)
 

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T , V , & K Rider
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Flyer said:
Yeah, I'll be no help in sizing for you. I have a large Sultan and had a medium Behemoth. The Behemoth was maybe an inch shorter so obviously more nimble than the large Sultan. I found the large Behemoth to be less nimble so in that regard, they will probably be close if the sizing is similar.

The Behemoth is a well-built bike as well but the main differences lie in the pivot placements, suspension design and basic geometry. The Behemoth has a much lighter front-end. Whle very nice for climbing up big obstacles where you constantly lift the front a lot at slower speeds, the front can be tough to keep down on steep climbs. It tends to wander and isn't a no-brainer like the Sultan. This can be a positive for some. I liked it on certain trails and the medium was really easy to snake through slow-techy stuff so size down if that is a concern. With the Sultan, you just have to pedal till you collapse and it will keep going on its line and give you amazing seated traction.

EDIT (lost ISP connection)

Pedaling- Sultan wins hands-down. It is a faster bike with a better suspension design. It can climb faster as well. My experience was that with the rearward weight bias and pivot placement of the Moth, it tended to feel like I was exerting more energy pedaling it. That I had a problem with, but only on steeper climbs and I have not heard others on this forum say that. However, it was fine on flatter ground and not-so-steep climbs. The steep climbing bothered me. I think the Ibis Mojo, Niner RIP9, and Sultan have spoiled me- they all pedal like I prefer.

Stiffness and construction- they are very similar and feel pretty solid. The Behemoth did feel very solid and well built. On fast downhills, they both do well but the Sultan (with a longer WB and CS) rails like no other 4"-5" bike I have ridden. The Behemoth was shorter so a bit more focus was needed but it can run with the best of them in that travel range due to the slack HA and stiff frame.

I thought the bikes has enough differences and really liked the nible nature of the Moth but I sized down and the overall ETT and WB was over an inch shorter than the Sultan- that is a huge difference. Moth was more flickable and coud be moved around easier while the Sultan just rails through with no real desire or need to be BMX-ed around unless you're a skilled bike handler who likes that type of thing.

The medium Moth was a bit small (6'/34" inseam) for me but I was trying to build up a technical-trails bike that did really well at slow-speed stuff. I was a bit surprised at how short the TT was. My Racer-X has 24" ETT while the Moth had a 23.4" ETT (I think). With the same stem and seat and seat position, the Moth was over an inch shorter and that was with a layback Thompson seatpost on the Moth and a straight seatpost on the Sultan and Racer-X.

The fit was compact so long rides felt cramped after a couple of hours. All weekend rides are really long so that was a bit of a problem- I like ETTs in the 24" range....not the poor Moth's fault.

I'm rambling now so it is time for coffee and a really late entrance to the office....be lucky to get there by 9:30 today.

I vote you as Chief Pro Reviewer on Foshizzle's Blahg ! :)

Having to deal with a light ,wandering front end is one thing I really , really hate on steeper climbs.......okay for playbike action but stupid for trails ( just my opinion ) for my needs anyway ! The DWL Sultan is working out great for me ! TIG.
 

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Enel said:
This is by far the best review I have seen showing the positives and negatives of both frames.

It comes down to personal preference. I found that I prefer the handling/nimbleness of the Behemoth enough that I "got over" the slightly worse pedaling performance. Flyer chose the opposite compromise. The differences are slight and one must decide what is going to bug you more during the course of a ride. For me, a heavy front end and lack of small bike whoop-de-doo-ness bothered me more than low single pivot pedaling characteristics. For Flyer, he was bugged more by pedaling performance. The OP needs to decide what he wants.
:lol: This is by far the best characteristic description I have seen :lol:
 
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