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Doesn't the JET 9 fit the bill for what you seek? Or are you not a fan of the mini-link type suspension designs?

Isn't the KHS Flagstaff a 3.5" fully? Or is that frame design too heavy to accomplish what you desire?


Are you wishing for a slightly updated and refined version of the old Fisher 293/293 (Sugar-style design) but in a short travel format?


What is "affordable" for a frame like this? $1K threshold? Perhaps your critieria makes it financially unfeasible for a bike company to produce such a frame. Is Scandium pricier to spec that 7005 or 6061 AL?

Just pondering "out loud" to add to your thread a bit.
 

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There will be more players entering the market.
First the economy has to perk up a bit.
And the 29er thing...whether a fad or not...will have to keep growing....and another "the next big thing" can't come along a dilute it.
 

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What I want is beyond a bike that feels like a 'hardtail with a low pressure rear tire', the comment made about most softails.
That is pretty much how the Milk Money feels to me.

What exactly do you want that your 3" Lev does not give you? It seems ideal.

Do you want a frame like that from a major producer at a low price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MMcG said:
Doesn't the JET 9 fit the bill for what you seek? Or are you not a fan of the mini-link type suspension designs?

The JET9 should have been the slam dunk, but it is not, and I am not the only one who feels that way from what I have read. I had hoped the Pivot would be...not. Frankly the Racer X comes closest in my mind.

Isn't the KHS Flagstaff a 3.5" fully? Or is that frame design too heavy to accomplish what you desire?


I don't know that much about it except for a brief ride at a demo day. Meh!

Are you wishing for a slightly updated and refined version of the old Fisher 293/293 (Sugar-style design) but in a short travel format?


Maybe I am. I think about the old K2 stuff before they went Walmart...the Razorbak or something like that?

What is "affordable" for a frame like this? $1K threshold? Perhaps your critieria makes it financially unfeasible for a bike company to produce such a frame. Is Scandium pricier to spec that 7005 or 6061 AL?


Well, I threw out Scandium as a way to get stiffness and durability, but 6061 works for me. I would not expect that frame at 1K, but under the 1500 mark would be nice.

Just pondering "out loud" to add to your thread a bit.
Yeah, good questions.

What I want make not make sense. But I see 29ers going in the direction of becoming big wheeled 26ers in some ways and I think the sweet spot for big wheels is the way they allow you to do more with less.

However the cost to make a 4" travel bike is likely the same as a 2.76589" travel (or whatever) bike and once you get all those linky things and pivots in there it may be hard to hit the mark I am aiming at. Or maybe that mark does not exist given the constraints of engineering VS. function VS. cost VS. market share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Enel said:
That is pretty much how the Milk Money feels to me.

What exactly do you want that your 3" Lev does not give you? It seems ideal.

Do you want a frame like that from a major producer at a low price?
I could do with less travel then the Lev 3.0 has, or at least, I am willing to compromise depth of travel for a snappier ride. Case in point: I ride with the ProPedal on 90% of the time. Am I getting full travel...maybe, but the reduced suppleness does not bother me at all and I could live with it all the time if that was the requirement to get the rest of the package.

Ah...yes to your second point. Good observation. Why not?
 

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Rohloff
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I feel you. Some options currently availible are the Jet 9 at 3", Milk Money at 3", Silk Ti at 1.75". The Silk Ti seems real nice but it's very costly. Now if Castellano offered a Fango 29er with 1.75" of travel, we might be onto something.
 

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What are you reading about the JET9?

What about something like this but in 2.5 or 3" travel guise and 29er wheels?

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MMcG said:
What are you reading about the JET9?

What about something like this but in 2.5 or 3" travel guise and 29er wheels?

Reading some disappointments in weight and flex. Flex will likely get fixed over time and with refinements like the RIP went through. Weight....well, that may be the ceiling getting bumped into. I am not sure.

EDIT: I have ridden the JET on two occasions and I liked it, so it is not like I have just been internet testing bikes. If it ever gets a bit stiffer in the back end for bigger guys like me, I would rank it a bit higher.

Maybe that pic is the thing. but I keep coming back to that Scalpel. I saw one on a trail ride the other day and I thought "that is a weapon, right there."

Meh, I could be completely wrong. Not the first time my mind has deluded me and reality taught me the difference!
 

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mtroy said:
I could do with less travel then the Lev 3.0 has, or at least, I am willing to compromise depth of travel for a snappier ride. Case in point: I ride with the ProPedal on 90% of the time. Am I getting full travel...maybe, but the reduced suppleness does not bother me at all and I could live with it all the time if that was the requirement to get the rest of the package.
I think you've already found your sweet spot, you just can't help letting your eyes wander.

With PP on, unless you land a drop HARD, you're not likely getting more than ~2.25" of travel. The Lev 3.0 is a VERY rampy design, even when run wide open it's still not often that you get all 3".

Going to something like a Jet or BM adds weight and/or flex and will most likely have a less snappy/racy feel, and the softtails will weigh and cost almost as much (if not more) than what you currently have, with little (or no) on-trail benefit.

Methinks (and yes, it's just my opinion) that you need to lighten your Lev up! 28lbs?!! It is very, very easy to get an XL Lev into the low 26's without throwing stupid amounts of money at it. I'm not talking about stupid light weight weenie disposable or flex-o-matic parts either--I'm talking about stuff that can be ridden day in/day out by adult sized human beings that don't always hit their lines just right.

Keep us posted...

MC
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
mikesee said:
I think you've already found your sweet spot, you just can't help letting your eyes wander.

With PP on, unless you land a drop HARD, you're not likely getting more than ~2.25" of travel. The Lev 3.0 is a VERY rampy design, even when run wide open it's still not often that you get all 3".

Going to something like a Jet or BM adds weight and/or flex and will most likely have a less snappy/racy feel, and the softtails will weigh and cost almost as much (if not more) than what you currently have, with little (or no) on-trail benefit.

Methinks (and yes, it's just my opinion) that you need to lighten your Lev up! 28lbs?!! It is very, very easy to get an XL Lev into the low 26's without throwing stupid amounts of money at it. I'm not talking about stupid light weight weenie disposable or flex-o-matic parts either--I'm talking about stuff that can be ridden day in/day out by adult sized human beings that don't always hit their lines just right.

Keep us posted...

MC
You may well be right. It may not get better than the 3.0 Lev. Making it lighter would just take money. It has very solid parts and some nice stuff too, but there is room in the brakes and other odds and ends to shave grams.

It is an amazingly satisfactory ride for my needs. It makes me wonder, "why the rush to bigger travel 29ers", but that is filtered through the lens of my priorities.
 

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As much as I like my GF Supercal at 3" travel, I would have loved to see them stick with the design long enough to refine it and stiffin it up some. I still think it is a great bike for me, even with the bit of flex in the design.

G
 

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Rohloff
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mtroy said:
It makes me wonder, "why the rush to bigger travel 29ers", but that is filtered through the lens of my priorities.
It all depends on who you are and what you ride. I never understood why someone would want a hardtail, then I found myself in a pine forest with a bed of needles over soft dirt. I swear the ground felt like it had two inches of travel. For me (old and fat), 3-4" of travel works well for most of my riding (hard and chunky). If I were throwing myself down rougher terrain, I'd look for more travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bsdc said:
It all depends on who you are and what you ride. I never understood why someone would want a hardtail, then I found myself in a pine forest with a bed of needles over soft dirt. I swear the ground felt like it had two inches of travel. For me (old and fat), 3-4" of travel works well for most of my riding (hard and chunky). If I were throwing myself down rougher terrain, I'd look for more travel.

Agreed and noted in my comments earlier. In fact, the other day I did a ride that I finally came to appreciate the call to stiffer and better forks for 29ers (running a classic Reba). It was like trying to wrassle a snake and keep it pointed straight. If I rode chunky, deep stuff all the time we would not be having this conversation.

But, I still wonder if the rush to bigger and better is not all that better for a LOT of folks, they just don't know it. It reminds me of all the guys I ride with that never use the 5-6" of travel in the bikes they thought they had to have to be a mtn biker, so now they suffer on long climbs with a 30+lb bike and think they are really using up that all mountain bike on a smooth singletrack....until I drop them on my hardtail SS 29er.
 

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bsdc said:
I feel you. Some options currently availible are the Jet 9 at 3", Milk Money at 3", Silk Ti at 1.75". The Silk Ti seems real nice but it's very costly. Now if Castellano offered a Fango 29er with 1.75" of travel, we might be onto something.
Siren does just under 2" with their softail and is coming out with a new model that's 4" travel with a modified softail design. Blacksheep/Daryl Funk do 4" titanium softails, but they rely heavily on the shock platform by design. From what I've been told about the new Siren design, it should be a very efficient-pedaling design.
 

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The once and future king

To me, the RX 29 is the still the once and future king of the XC 29ers. It's suspension remains active while braking, and it does not "squat" into it's travel under pedaling load on a climb. It's a well balanced design with the 4" fork and 3" rear travel arrangement. The damn thing's pivots/bearings are still rock solid and slop free after @ 120 hrs + of racing in the last year and a half. It may not be the best endurance racing platform around, but it's close, and not giving up much to anything that might be better. Specialized sure seems to think so - that "new" FS 29er of theirs really, really, closely resembles a RX 29.
And FWIW - that front end stiffness deficit that the old Reba's are alleged to have, COMPLETELY disappears with a Mikesee built Edge XC/DT190/RWS skewer front wheel attached to the fork. Basically, no fork is going to "shine" when the front wheel has the torsional rigidity of a warm corn tortilla.

I've stated it more than once, sometimes "new" is just new. I'm happy with my "old" 24.5 lb RX 29
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jms said:
To me, the RX 29 is the still the once and future king of the XC 29ers. It's suspension remains active while braking, and it does not "squat" into it's travel under pedaling load on a climb. It's a well balanced design with the 4' fork and 3" rear travel arrangement. The damn thing's pivots/bearings are still rock solid and slop free after @ 120 hrs + of racing in the last year and a half. It may not be the best endurance racing platform around, but it's close, and not giving up much to anything that might be better. Specialized sure seems to think so - that "new" FS 29er of theirs really, really, closely resembles a RX 29.
And FWIW - that front end stiffness deficit that the old Reba's are alleged to have, COMPLETELY disappears with a Mikesee built Edge XC/DT190/RWS skewer front wheel attached to the fork. Basically, no fork is going to "shine" when the front wheel has the torsional rigidity of a warm corn tortilla.

I've stated it more than once, sometimes "new" is just new. I'm happy with my "old" 24.5 lb RX 29
Right now, if I had to replace my Lev, it would be with a RX 29. Some things just get better with age. It is an excellent, proven, simple design.

Interesting on the wheel deal. I noticed the stiffness in the Edge wheels I tested and that was with the normal QR set up. However, for the cost of the front rim only, I could replace my fork AND get a 9mm set up for my Hope hubs/Flow rims combo.
 
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