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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The short story: I bought a 29er.

The long story:
I am fortunate enough that I was able to spend over 5k on a bike. That gave me a whole lot of options and a very difficult decision to make.

I was 90% sure I was going to by a 27.5, since I have a 29er, and a 26er, and the size seems logical. Since I like 26 and 29, the idea of "best of both worlds" made sense.
I was shopping for a trail bike, or maybe its called Enduro now, or a light All Mountain? I don't even know how they are categorized anymore, but something along the lines of 125mm to 140 mm of travel.

You have to remember that all my opinions are based on my preferences for my style of riding, no one else's.
I like to ride to get out into the wilderness, and for exercise. I am not big downhill screamer, or air catcher, jumper, dropper, or anything like that, but some of my usual trails are very rocky and technical. So, the travel range was chosen to help with the technical stuff, and to ease the jolting on my ageing body, and just because I thought it would be fun since I have never owned a bike with more than 100 mm travel.

27.5's I tested: Turner Burner, Trek Remedy, Norco Sight, Yeti SB 75, Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010.
Bike I bought: Tallboy LTc

My conclusions were that these 27.5 bikes were all great and I would be happy with any of them. But they didn't feel as light and nimble as my 26er.
On the other hand, the Tallboy smashes over rocks or curbs much more easily that the 27.5's, even though it has a bit less travel.

I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have the best of both worlds. I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.

If I was more of jumper, downhiller, dropper, fast rider type of guy, I think 26ers are still the best, and it is a shame they are currently out of favor in this category for heavier, bigger, less nimble 27.5ers.

I understand how the 27.5 will appeal to many people who want a blend of the strengths of the other 2 wheel sizes, but I think many riders should understand that their personal style may very well fit most perfectly with 29 or with 26, and the 27.5 ends up being a compromise that makes you give up more than you get. (Again, depending on your style).

You can do anything on any bike. They are all a compromise. My perfect compromise (I hope) was with a 29er.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of the 27.5s you tested which did you like the best?
It was between the Norco Sight and Trek Remedy, with Norco getting the edge because of value and some kind of hang up I have with buying a big brand like Trek (might seek some therapy for this problem).

I thought the Norco was the best deal. I almost bought it, but the shop sold every last medium they had. Obviously, I'm not the only one who sees it as a great deal. They said they won't have any more til May. They are in demand.
Almost on par was the Remedy. They rode similarly in my mind. I liked them both because they both seemed like they could do all mountain duties, but also be light and nimble enough for cross country type rides.

The Burner seemed a more capable All Mountain type ride, but a bit too burley, heavy, and slack for my type of riding. It is also a bit more expensive than the Remedy or Sight (or about the same price but you get an Al frame vs carbon).

The Bronson was in the same category as the Burner for me. A bit too burly for my riding.

The 5010 (Solo) is a great ride, more my style, but less travel @ 125. I thought the Solo was better than the Yeti SB 75. The Yeti seemed burly, slack, and heavy like a Bronson or a Burner, yet only has 125mm travel like the Solo. Yeti isn't making a carbon version of the SB75 yet.
 

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Yo Steve,
If you want to do some custom schtuff on the LTc, I've been tinkering on mine since the beginning of last summer...ex) getting the rear to go 150mm and still remain "Enduro" :D...give a yell.

What kind of build spec did you get w/ your TB?

Here's a bit of what I've documented: Tallboy-LTc-Photo-Build-Log Photo Album - Pinkbike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yo Steve,
If you want to do some custom schtuff on the LTc, I've been tinkering on mine since the beginning of last summer...ex) getting the rear to go 150mm and still remain "Enduro" :D...give a yell.

What kind of build spec did you get w/ your TB?
XO1 build with the Reverb Stealth dropper post, XT brakes, Kashima fork and shock. :D

Now I'm curious. How'd you increase travel like that?
 

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I completely respect your decision, as things like wheel size, tires, suspension travel, and steering geometry are personal. They are very dependent on riding style and terrain. For myself I went the other way. I've owned many 26ers and 4 different 29ers. My last two 29ers were the Pivot 429 and Intense Spider Comp. I loved them both. In all honesty the Spider Comp was one of the best All Mountain bikes I've ever ridden.

However, in September I put together a Pivot Mach 6. It is an amazing blend of speed, traction and fun for where and how I ride. I liked it so much that I replaced my XC 29er with a Giant Anthem 27.5. Since building the Anthem (6 weeks ago) it has been the only bike I've ridden. It is a super fun rocket ship. Don't miss my 29er at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I forgot to list the Pivot Mach 6 which I rode as well, over at Orange Peel bikes in Steamboat.
Another great ride. I didn't have it on my list because 6" just seemed like more travel than I needed, but after I rode it it seemed as efficient as any of the other choices. A little pricier than some of the others, but who knows what kind of deal can be had on one of those.

I think I tested so many bikes because I almost hated to make a decision. Once you pick a bike, that eliminates all the other possible great bikes you could have!

I know I would have loved any of them, but when I hopped on the Tallboy yesterday I really realized how much I like the feel of those big wheels rolling.

I rode my Spider 29er over to the Bike Cafe (bike shop with a bar!) in Denver to ride the Burner. The Burner was a blast, but on my way home I was enjoying my old 29er so much I really had to wonder why I was even shopping.

I thought about keeping the old 29er and adding a 27.5 to the stable, but I really don't ride enough to justify 3 nice bikes sitting around.
 

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XO1 build with the Reverb Stealth dropper post, XT brakes, Kashima fork and shock. :D

Now I'm curious. How'd you increase travel like that?
So, I discovered that if you just bolt on a 7.875" x 2.25" (200mm x 57mm), when the seat stay come up at near full compression, it would collide w/ the upper link knuckle on the frame. But, if you bolt on a 8" x 2.25" (203mm x 57mm), then it clears. Yeah, I know, 3mm seem trivial, but it clears...frame on frame AND tire to seat tube. And that extra 3mm also clears the link to frame when you push the link back. The best thing tho, is raising the BB up ~ 1/2". I don't know if you've noticed, there's a good bit of pedal strikes w/ the TB. You might want to throw on some of these:
RaceFace Carbon Crank Boots Black Sold in Pairs, Crank and Chainring Parts

The fork (Pike) is pretty self explanatory, altho I'm debating on the benefits of 160 over 150mm. I've been testing it out on GM the past few rides and there doesn't seem to be any steering detriments to the increase. But, my air pressure in the fork went up ~15psi, and I don't now if this is a bad thing yet.

I am having an X-Fusion Vector coil custom tuned for the bike, and travel reduced from 2.25 to 2. Going to experiment w/ coil thrust bearing. Oh, BTW, been running RWC needle bushing...BIG help!
 

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Good for you smilinsteve... you tried a bunch and picked the one that gave you the most OHHHH YEEEAAAAHH

I'm surprised you didn't work a Ripley into your lineup....seems right up your alley with a 140 fork on it. I haven't ridden an LTc but there are a lot of people on my trails who seem to be luv'n them
 

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I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.
Hey Steve. Glad you are loving your LTc. Just wodering about your thoughts that that the LTc is more efficient uphill than say the SOLO / 5010. I haven't had a chance to ride either, but I have spent a lot of time on a Bronson and a Mach 429c head to head and would say that the Bronson doesn't give up much to the 100mm travel 429 on the uphills (the 429 is built with a Pike 140 at the moment). I would think that the 5010 would be a better climber than the Bronson and the LTc gives up a little to the 429.

Problem is bikes these days are so sweet that it's really splitting hairs at this point IMO. Not a bad problem to have though. Can't really go wrong with any of the bikes you listed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Steve. Glad you are loving your LTc. Just wodering about your thoughts that that the LTc is more efficient uphill than say the SOLO / 5010. I haven't had a chance to ride either, but I have spent a lot of time on a Bronson and a Mach 429c head to head and would say that the Bronson doesn't give up much to the 100mm travel 429 on the uphills (the 429 is built with a Pike 140 at the moment). I would think that the 5010 would be a better climber than the Bronson and the LTc gives up a little to the 429.
The only advantage in efficiency the Tallboy would have is that bigger wheels inherently have lower rolling resistance. The Tallboy LT is in between the travel of the Solo and the Bronson (125/135/150), but in terms of pedal bob, there isn't much difference, maybe a bit more for the Bronson.
I also think the Tallboy LT feels less slack, and slack bikes on climbs can feel a little floppy and seem like they can require more attention (to me).
Note that slackness is not just about head angle, since Trail is also related to the wheel size and fork rake, so the 69.5 angle on the TB LT feels more slack than the same angle on a 26er.

Problem is bikes these days are so sweet that it's really splitting hairs at this point IMO. Not a bad problem to have though. Can't really go wrong with any of the bikes you listed.
Exactly
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good for you smilinsteve... you tried a bunch and picked the one that gave you the most OHHHH YEEEAAAAHH

I'm surprised you didn't work a Ripley into your lineup....seems right up your alley with a 140 fork on it. I haven't ridden an LTc but there are a lot of people on my trails who seem to be luv'n them
I probably should have tried a Ripley. If I waited another week, I probably would have ended up buying a different bike.
I went out to buy a Norco Sight yesterday, and came home the proud owner of a Tallboy LT. :)

Part of the reason was that the owner at Mojo Wheels was quite open about wanting to work with me and did a good job to close the deal.
But I was ready to buy, and had thought long and hard about it. I was not certain of what my dream bike was, but I knew that I wasn't going to make any big mistakes picking from the lot of bikes I mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, I discovered that if you just bolt on a 7.875" x 2.25" (200mm x 57mm), when the seat stay come up at near full compression, it would collide w/ the upper link knuckle on the frame. But, if you bolt on a 8" x 2.25" (203mm x 57mm), then it clears. Yeah, I know, 3mm seem trivial, but it clears...frame on frame AND tire to seat tube. And that extra 3mm also clears the link to frame when you push the link back. The best thing tho, is raising the BB up ~ 1/2". I don't know if you've noticed, there's a good bit of pedal strikes w/ the TB. You might want to throw on some of these:
RaceFace Carbon Crank Boots Black Sold in Pairs, Crank and Chainring Parts

The fork (Pike) is pretty self explanatory, altho I'm debating on the benefits of 160 over 150mm. I've been testing it out on GM the past few rides and there doesn't seem to be any steering detriments to the increase. But, my air pressure in the fork went up ~15psi, and I don't now if this is a bad thing yet.

I am having an X-Fusion Vector coil custom tuned for the bike, and travel reduced from 2.25 to 2. Going to experiment w/ coil thrust bearing. Oh, BTW, been running RWC needle bushing...BIG help!

Hey Pau11y!
I found some other threads where you post about this. I'm not even familiar with how the stock LT rides yet, so it will probably be a while before I mess with anything like that.
I had (still have), an old Jamis Dakar I used to mess with different shock lengths and links. I would drill holes in the linkage to try different shock mounting locations, and found different links at swap meets I could make work. Fun stuff, for a an older bike that is out of date anyway.
See you out on the trails!
 

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Interesting decision. You certainly did your homework. The choices are so good today, hard to make a mistake.

Oddly, after dumping a ton of coin into a dream-build Bronson, I'm actually dabbling with the idea of going back to a 29er, too. The Bronson is far and away the best all-around bike I've owned. That said, I remain unconvinced that the 27.5 wheel size is the be-all and end-all. I'm just as fast downhill on a good 29er and I think they climb technical terrain -- if not better -- at least with less effort.

The TBcLT is a good bike. If I could find a new Enduro 29er owner that wanted to try a carbon Bronson, I'd probably trade.
 

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Great thread without becoming a pissing match about what's best. I went the direction of 27.5 and very happy with my choice. For now. I love new bikes and no doubt will be on something different in a couple of years. Maybe the new 28.125" will be the next big thing :p.

I find climbing on the AA1 is so much easier than on my AX1 and really surprised by that. They are within 1/2 pound of each other but seems so much easier on the smaller wheels. Could be many reasons for it and nothing to do with the wheels, but it's an improvement and loving it. But was definitely faster on the 29" wheels descending fast stuff. More confidence that the bigger wheels would get me through things, and a lot less drama. But that's only part of the ride, so for now.....as many have said here....so many good choices in all wheels sizes you really can't go wrong. You can always buy another one :)

mg
 

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I made the same choice. I decided to go balls out and spend 4k on a bike I didnt want carbon so I figured it was s good price poiint. I like to jump and get rowdy on the trails I demoed a Remedy 650b thinking it would be the one.it was more nimble but I used so much energy pedaling trying to keep up with 29ers it wasnt worth it. Went with a fuel ex9
 

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I guess it depends on what you want out of the ride. I went from 26" hardtail, to 26" 140mm full suspension, to lightweight 26" hardtail, to mid-weigh hardtail 29er. I wanted "less drama" as was said above. I was riding less and not really interested in jumps/drops/etc. I wanted my ride uninterrupted by roots and rocks.

I've noticed as my pace has picked up over 6 years of riding, I'm pushing my hardtail 29er past its limits (with me as a rider at least). I see the fork the flex, the wheels flex, the brakes overheat, and i've been "bucked" by my seat too many times to count. That being said, my riding style has changed since I first got the 29er. I'm riding around jumps/drops and technical features not because I don' think I can do them, but because the chances of messing up on the XC geometry 29er are higher.

I'm hoping that the combination of new skills and increased confidence will be complimented with 160/150 travel of the 650b I hope to have by the end of April. If inevitably I find myself getting frustrated by the hang-ups of smaller wheels, I'll sell the frame/fork/wheels and go back to 29er. By that time the current crop should be reasonably priced.
 

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The short story: I bought a 29er.

The long story:
I am fortunate enough that I was able to spend over 5k on a bike. That gave me a whole lot of options and a very difficult decision to make.

I was 90% sure I was going to by a 27.5, since I have a 29er, and a 26er, and the size seems logical. Since I like 26 and 29, the idea of "best of both worlds" made sense.
I was shopping for a trail bike, or maybe its called Enduro now, or a light All Mountain? I don't even know how they are categorized anymore, but something along the lines of 125mm to 140 mm of travel.

You have to remember that all my opinions are based on my preferences for my style of riding, no one else's.
I like to ride to get out into the wilderness, and for exercise. I am not big downhill screamer, or air catcher, jumper, dropper, or anything like that, but some of my usual trails are very rocky and technical. So, the travel range was chosen to help with the technical stuff, and to ease the jolting on my ageing body, and just because I thought it would be fun since I have never owned a bike with more than 100 mm travel.

27.5's I tested: Turner Burner, Trek Remedy, Norco Sight, Yeti SB 75, Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010.
Bike I bought: Tallboy LTc

My conclusions were that these 27.5 bikes were all great and I would be happy with any of them. But they didn't feel as light and nimble as my 26er.
On the other hand, the Tallboy smashes over rocks or curbs much more easily that the 27.5's, even though it has a bit less travel.

I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have the best of both worlds. I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.

If I was more of jumper, downhiller, dropper, fast rider type of guy, I think 26ers are still the best, and it is a shame they are currently out of favor in this category for heavier, bigger, less nimble 27.5ers.

I understand how the 27.5 will appeal to many people who want a blend of the strengths of the other 2 wheel sizes, but I think many riders should understand that their personal style may very well fit most perfectly with 29 or with 26, and the 27.5 ends up being a compromise that makes you give up more than you get. (Again, depending on your style).

You can do anything on any bike. They are all a compromise. My perfect compromise (I hope) was with a 29er.
As you say, to each his own. I bought a TBc last spring because I already had a 650b trail bike and a 26" SS, so a 29" XC Bike made sense on paper. Except that I don't like it, not friendly climbing or descending tight switchbacks. Not easy to get going again after stopping. My bad, bought without demo. But you did it right, testing so many different bikes. That is a word to the wise. Not everyone anywhere has that luxury, but before shelling out big bucks you owe it to yourself to demo, demo, demo if you conceivably can.
 

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I think a lot depends not just on style of riding/terrain but also body dimensions and strength. I am small and feel like the 29er is kinda big for me. It is still a fun bike but not sure if it fits me as well as 27er.
 
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