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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into a new full suspension 29er. Looking for NX drivetrain, Fox 34 front fork. 130mm max front travel, 120-130mm max rear travel.

I don't race. I don't do any parks. Ride mostly in tighter singletrack, fair amount of shoe switchbacks. No big drops (I like to stay below 2' of drops). I am 6' 1" and 220lbs. Test rode a 2019 Spearfish and liked it, but the front fork felt a little flexy.

Looking at the Fezzari Signal Peak. Looked into the Horsethief, but heard it is a little lazy in tighter singletrack.
 

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Being an owner (and lover) of the new Ripley, it wouldn't be my first choice for tighter singletrack riding with the long wheelbase. Actually, you could get a better deal on a Ripley LS, which I also own, and have a better "tight, twisty trail" bike. Riding the new Ripley on trails like Spin Cycle in Park City is a bit of a chore.
 

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Being an owner (and lover) of the new Ripley, it wouldn't be my first choice for tighter singletrack riding with the long wheelbase. Actually, you could get a better deal on a Ripley LS, which I also own, and have a better "tight, twisty trail" bike. Riding the new Ripley on trails like Spin Cycle in Park City is a bit of a chore.
I was going to say previous gen LS
 

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Being an owner (and lover) of the new Ripley, it wouldn't be my first choice for tighter singletrack riding with the long wheelbase. Actually, you could get a better deal on a Ripley LS, which I also own, and have a better "tight, twisty trail" bike. Riding the new Ripley on trails like Spin Cycle in Park City is a bit of a chore.
I recently picked up an LS. I also got a chance to ride the V4 in the same weekend. I think if I rode trails that are a bit steeper and wide open...I would have went with the V4.

Another bike that handles well and can also really shred the downhill is the Evil Following. With the slightly shorter wheelbase...it can handle tight twisty trails pretty well too.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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You should also look at the giant trance 29er.
This. Everyone says the 115mm rear rides like it's deeper than that, and a friend of mine who is all about his XC bikes and just knew the turn-in on the Trance 29 would suck was super impressed with the bike when I let him ride - raved about it in fact. It sounds like it could be exactly what you're looking for.
 

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Yep- Trance is worth a demo for sure. I was expecting a sluggish ride going from a steep front end on my 2011 Epic to the new Trance. Climbs as good as the Epic and corners better. Switchbacks are no problem after you acclimate yourself to the newer geometry. I can huck it off 3-5 foot drops and bomb the downhill sections yet it rails like a XC machine. Great all-around rig.
 

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Having ridden places in the midwest just as described, I can definitely understand how out-of-your-****ing-mind some of the suggests are for a new bike. You are avoiding trees at high speed and have to make critical split-second adjustments, it's not a place for slack, long-travel bikes.
 

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Giant Trance, Transition Smuggler, Kona Process 111 (if you can find one used)...

Know it's not on your list, but a dialed AM HT would fit the bill nicely ;-)

Sent from my Nokia X6
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Being an owner (and lover) of the new Ripley, it wouldn't be my first choice for tighter singletrack riding with the long wheelbase. Actually, you could get a better deal on a Ripley LS, which I also own, and have a better "tight, twisty trail" bike. Riding the new Ripley on trails like Spin Cycle in Park City is a bit of a chore.
Thanks for the info. I have actually read that from a few V4 owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep- Trance is worth a demo for sure. I was expecting a sluggish ride going from a steep front end on my 2011 Epic to the new Trance. Climbs as good as the Epic and corners better. Switchbacks are no problem after you acclimate yourself to the newer geometry. I can huck it off 3-5 foot drops and bomb the downhill sections yet it rails like a XC machine. Great all-around rig.
I just haven't read much about it in the tight stuff. I have honestly read one review that said it was sluggish in the tight stuff. Everyone raves about its rear suspension, but seems the component spec is a little sub par.
 

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I ride central PA singletrack so it tends to be rather tight. I think I'm having good success with a Foes Trail Mixer. The bikes I can compare it to are a 2001 Raleigh HT, a 27.5 Giant Stance and a 29" Stumpjumper all ridden on the same trails.

The Trail Mixer is far better then the StumpJumper, equal to and I think better then the Stance in tight quarters. The 26" Raleigh is a hair better in the real tight stuff partly because the bars are narrower.

Potential problems with the Trail Mixer:

1: It's a 97er, 29 up front and 27.5 in the back. Some people don't want that.
2: Foes likes to sell them as a mostly frame only set so you have to build it up.

I have mine set up with a DVO Sapphire, DVO Topaz, Shimano drive train and a Rekon in the back with a Mcfly up front.
 

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I just haven't read much about it in the tight stuff. I have honestly read one review that said it was sluggish in the tight stuff. Everyone raves about its rear suspension, but seems the component spec is a little sub par.
It seems your primary concern is snappiness in very tight singletrack. I don't know what you are currently riding, but if that is you primary criterion, a 29er just might not be your best choice. As mentioned, I'm on a Trance and evolved into that from a Pivot 5.7c to a Yeti SB5 to my current ride. In 90% of riding, the 29er is measurably superior, I'm a 67 year old getting PR after PR on the Trance....up and down...but that advantage decreases in very tight ST. Like Bman, I ride Park City, and on the downhill on a local trail - John's - it's tight rooty trees. Changing directions on a bigger wheeled bike takes a different dynamic, and now that I've broken the code on it, my times equal smaller wheeled bike times on the tightest of ST going down and is superior on the climbs. But, there's a learning curve. Enough of one that, if you're coming from a 26 or 27.5 and demoing 29ers, you're not necessarily going to feel the love. For that one application, and only that, you may be better off with a 27.5.
 

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I had a 26, demoed a 29 and loved it from the start. The thing is, geos have changed and most all 29rs are longer and slacker than older bikes, irrespective of wheel size. I've strongly been considering a new Ripley, but IMO, the previous version was much better for tighter trails and climbing.
 

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The new Top Fuel is very close in geo to the 2016 Fuel EX, which is one of the bikes I have and really like. Starting in '17 the FEXs got longer/lower/slacker and the '20 is longer and slacker yet.
 
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