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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I originally posted this in the "Drastic..." thread, but it's kinda buried there so I'm starting a new thread.

If anything below isn't clear, check the 'Drastic' thread and it'll probably become crystal.

+ + + +

Much to the chagrin of the rest of the bikes in the garage, I've ridden the new Behemoth for all but two rides in the last month. I'm tired and sore (and happy) because every chance I get to ride (average ~5 days a week right now) I reach for the Behemoth and head to the local tech trails, which are very steep (up and down), techy (in every way possible) and one of my favorite places to ride on this planet.

In a nutshell, I've never owned such a versatile bike. I have two wheelsets for it, two forks, and two rear shocks, effectively giving me two completely different bikes. I have a small garage and most of it is filled with rims and wheelbuilding stuff, so although it'd be *nice* to have a light XC/all day Behemoth and a heavy AM/FR Behemoth, in reality by switching out the wheels, fork, and rear shock (less than 10 minutes from the time I pull it off the hook to the time I'm riding down the driveway) I *do* have two bikes.

The XC version weighs 28 lbs even. It's built with a 130mm WB air fork, Rock Shox MC 3.3 air rear shock, and an XC rated wheelset that can take a lot of abuse in case I forget or can't reign myself in. I ride it this way on our local xc loops or when I head into the mountains for all-day epics in Crested Butte, Durango, etc...

The AM version weighs 32.5 lbs even. It's built with a 135mm (soon to be 140mm) WB single crown FR coil fork, Fox Vanilla R coil rear shock, and a DH rated wheelset that is virtually indestructible. I ride it this way on our local tech loops, as well as in Moab, Gooseberry/Little Creek, Boulder City, etc...

I suspect that most people considering this frame would probably build it with one middle-of the road wheelset, in which case they'd be looking at a ~29lb bike.



The numbers on this bike (HTA, STA, CS, BB, ETT, LMNOP, AEIOU, etc...) were about 97% perfect in every situation that I've encountered so far. Devin asked my opinion on the good and the bad in everything, and he'll be making a few minor changes for the production bikes. Those changes will undoubtedly be some combination of his experience, my experience, and his perception of the market for this bike. Not to mention that WB is extremely likely to be offering a 140mm travel single crown fork, and a 150-160mm travel dual crown. In other words, don't ask me for the exact numbers on the production bike, because I don't know where they'll fall just yet. Some of it will depend on the TBD A-C numbers of the aforementioned WB forks.

Okay, okay--so what about the ride? Well, I gave quite a few ride perceptions (in the "Drastic..." thread). It's an incredibly intuitive bike. And what I mean by that is there is no break in or adjustment period, like many of us have experienced with other 29" FS bikes. Sometimes, on other 29" FS bikes, the adjustment period is only a few minutes, other times it takes a full ride. From the get-go I've been able to hop on and ride as fast, fluid, or aggressively as I choose to, with zero break in period. Current 29" riders will appreciate that fact, and although I don't think Devin envisioned this when he designed this bike, the intuitive feel is a cinch for anyone just converting from 26". The handling doesn't feel different from their current 5 x 5 or 6 x 6 26" ride, but they get the benefit of big wheels. Win/win.



My favorite part about owning/riding this bike is that it cannot be pigeonholed. When I show up at the local tech trails I can ride with the XC geeks (raises hand) or the shuttle monkeys and the bike is equally adept at either. It's not a pure xc bike and it certainly ain't no FR huckin machine, but it can blur the lines between the two like no other bike I've ridden. It doesn't hold me back in the slightest on any climb of any grade, and it is capable of far more on the descents than I'll ever dream of.



I spoke with Devin last night about availability. As we chatted on the phone I could hear his mill cutting away in the background--he was already making some of the small parts in batches so that he could bring this frame to production ASAP. He expected he'd have the first batch done and ready to ship in 6-8 weeks. For the first time in far too long (my opinion--yours may vary), he's raised his prices to reflect the additional labor that goes into this frame (tube bending and significant extra fixturing). Cost will be $1950 for the frame, rear shock (Manitou Swinger 3 Way or Fox RP23 are stock), and seat collar.

If for some reason you'd prefer the original Behemoth design (with 18.3" CS) he said he'd be happy to build it for you.

It was, at times, hard to hear him over the noise of the mill cutting in the background. But if I understood him correctly he said that he's set to introduce a new (or updated??) website sometime this month. That's been a long time coming.

Any questions, don't hesitate.



Apologies for the lack of climbing or carving shots--it's hard to slow down and take those when I'm having this much fun. The only pics I tend to get are where I stop to scope a line and someone has a minute to whip out the camera. Thanks to Scott Morris and Tom Nix for the photos above.

Cheers,

MC
 

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Mike, Devin will be selling the frame with the Fox RP23 or Manitou 3-way rear shock, yet you have been riding the bike with the Rock Shox MC 3.3.

Have you tested the bike with the other two shocks as well? Could you comment on how it affects the riding qualities in XC mode?
 

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Guitar Ted said:
This looks like it could be the ultimate 24hr/ ultra endurance 29"er FS machine. Am I thinkin' straight here?
Sounds pretty close to me.. :thumbsup:

I have been watching the development of this frame and setup with a lot of interest. I believe that Devin is on the edge of producing the ideal "do it all" 29'er suspension frame.

The way Mike has his dual setup is sweet, enabling the owner to quickly switch between XC and FR modes easily to adjust for the ride on the day.

The whole thing makes a lot of sense to me, the frame looks like it can take a bashing and keep on going, and Devins' R&D coupled with Mike's riding feedback looks to have paid off.

The finished production frame should turn out to be a killer setup, imo.

R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the_eleven said:
Mike, Devin will be selling the frame with the Fox RP23 or Manitou 3-way rear shock, yet you have been riding the bike with the Rock Shox MC 3.3.

Have you tested the bike with the other two shocks as well? Could you comment on how it affects the riding qualities in XC mode?
I haven't ridden it with either of those shocks, so I can't comment.

MC

...
 

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Which rim ????

Mike, what rim/spoke count do you use on your "heavy duty" wheel set? What is the strongest rim out there right now for 29ers.

I'm curious as my 36H Delgados don't seem to be cutting it for XC use (I weigh 280#). They go out of true WAY too easily. I've got a 700c Rhynolite on the way to lace up a new rear wheel. The XT/Delgado29 rear will eventually be diassembled and remade into a front wheel. But I would like to know what is really the STRONGEST so I know what to use for a second rear wheel (in addition to an XT/Rhynolite).
 

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mikesee said:
The AM version weighs 32.5 lbs even. It's built with a 135mm (soon to be 140mm) WB single crown FR coil fork, Fox Vanilla R coil rear shock, and a DH rated wheelset that is virtually indestructible.
140mm is sounding pretty nice. It seems that for 29" wheels once you get past 100mm you enter the realm of thru axels, big brakes, beefy wheelsets, etc. In my mind I'd want to have a healthy (5.5 or 6") of travel to make all that worth it.

So you're liking the 'Moth with a Vanilla rear? I thought at one point you didn't like the ride with coil shocks, but maybe you were talking about the Leviathan? :confused: 5.5" and dual coil sounds scrumptious. :D
 

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Since we're cutting and pasting:

Mike:

Thanks for the update. Looks like a winner.

I have been seduced by long travel and have a little wheeled bike in transit with 5" rear and 150mm front travel for the days when I know it's going to be rough, and I'm willing to suffer it up climbs. This bike will have relatively too short for me 17" chainstays, so I can tell it will be work to keep it climbing.

Going back to the Curtana and riding with a stronger friend who recently made a switch to 5X5 26" from years of rigid 29", I found that nothing really climbs like this bike. My friend is a way stronger rider than me, but I just plow up technical steeps that he spins out or otherwise can't get up. He leaves me downhill, however.

Here is a question for you (actually two):

Do you think the climbing improvement seen with 1st generation (read 18+" CS) 29"ers is due more to the long stays/steep SA, or more due to the wheelsize?

I wish I could separate the issues to identify the things I want:

Compare a 18" CS 26" bike to an 18" CS 29"er, or a 17" CS 26" to 17"CS 29"

For my saddle height, there is no doubt that the longer stays and steeper SA's put me where I want to be for climbing, I'm actually worried that if I went to a shorter CS/slacker SA, I would lose that climbing advantage (while gaining some descending improvement). That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but your saddle is no where near as high as mine, and therefore not as far back towards the rear axle. Do you think my concern is unfounded?

Finally, what I really want to see are the long travel forks come out.
It seems the 29"ers are where the 26" bikes were a few years back when frame makers were way ahead of fork makers....6" rears stuck with 3" "long travel" forks.

I have no doubt that I will eventually land in about a 5" rear, 150mm front 29" bike. This for me would be the great "one bike." For now I am going with the proven longer travel 26" technology and "two bikes."

Luckily, I have room for two bikes...5" rear, 4" front 29"er all arounder, and a 5" rear, 6" front 26" for the rough days.
 

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It is doubtful Mikesee's "ideal" bike will be the ideal bike for everyone. Too many differences in riders vis a vis their build, height, weight, skill level, riding terrain etc. I guess it would be boring if this behemoth with a short CS was the be all end all bike to everyone. A bigger rider might be better served by longer chainstays.
 

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richwolf said:
It is doubtful Mikesee's "ideal" bike will be the ideal bike for everyone. Too many differences in riders vis a vis their build, height, weight, skill level, riding terrain etc. I guess it would be boring if this behemoth with a short CS was the be all end all bike to everyone. A bigger rider might be better served by longer chainstays.
That may be so, but Devin's and Mike's R&D on this frame setup is only going to help the handling of 29'ers in general, because once a designer hits on a really good design others tend to follow and copy.

I think that in the long run, any sort of forward thinking R&D on 29'er frames and handling will generally benefit us all as 29'er riders.

R.
 

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Wow. Amazing stuff.

Sooo... (as a shorter guy who stands out of the saddle a lot and likes short chainstays) ... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan?
 

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Finally

a FS 29er that won't steer like a limo. I love the idea. Also,it should hold traction better while standing and hammering than the longer CS bikes.

... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan???[/QUOTE]

I'm curious about this as well. Is Devin considering this? Seems intuitive (to me anyway) that he would have considered this for the Lev (snappier handling for XC) versus the All Mountain Moth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guitar Ted said:
This looks like it could be the ultimate 24hr/ ultra endurance 29"er FS machine. Am I thinkin' straight here?
Depends on the person and terrain, of course. It's certainly one of the more efficient designs out there, although the weight may be a turnoff to some. I'd think a Leviathan would be better suited to that niche, simply because they're ~1lb lighter.

Although, there's a local XC guy that upgraded his Lev frame to a 'moth because he wanted more travel. He's not a full-fledged weight weenie, but he picks his parts deliberately with weight as one of the primary concerns. His 'moth is exactly 27lbs, and it's got room to get lighter.

willtsmith_nwi said:
Mike, what rim/spoke count do you use on your "heavy duty" wheel set? What is the strongest rim out there right now for 29ers.
Kris Holm 36h on both counts. 38mm wide and 870g/rim. Nothing else even comes close.

miles e said:
So you're liking the 'Moth with a Vanilla rear? I thought at one point you didn't like the ride with coil shocks, but maybe you were talking about the Leviathan? :confused: 5.5" and dual coil sounds scrumptious. :D
I've never ridden the Lev with a coil over. The Lev is so active on small stuff that it's not necessary to use a coil--you've already got a supple ride on the smallest of bumps. The Behemoth is less active on small stuff, and the new WB forks have become soooo supple that (IMO) a coil rear was needed to balance it all out.

Enel said:
Do you think the climbing improvement seen with 1st generation (read 18+" CS) 29"ers is due more to the long stays/steep SA, or more due to the wheelsize?
To a small degree, some combination of those is responsible, plus the added stability brought on by their extra weight. That weight is enormous (pardon the pun) in keeping the bike planted and the tire digging. Weight weenies will never get it, but added mass helps technical climbing immensely. The best, most proficient tech climbers I know are on 38lb bikes.

Enel said:
I'm actually worried that if I went to a shorter CS/slacker SA, I would lose that climbing advantage (while gaining some descending improvement). That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but your saddle is no where near as high as mine, and therefore not as far back towards the rear axle. Do you think my concern is unfounded?
I don't know. Too many variables, and I've never ridden with you to see how you handle the bike. Not sure I agree on your estimation of saddle position relative to rear axle. Drop a plumb line from the center of your seat clamp and measure the distance from it's intersection with the chainstays to the center of the rear axle. I'll do the same.

GlowBoy said:
Wow. Amazing stuff.

Sooo... (as a shorter guy who stands out of the saddle a lot and likes short chainstays) ... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan?
(copied and pasted from the Drastic thread...)

The Lev doesn't really need shorter chainstays. The reason Devin shortened the stays on the 'moth is that it's typically ridden with a heavier fork and a heavier, more durable wheel that can take the abuse that people dish out when riding this frame. If you add ~a pound to the front end of the bike, it's suddenly a lot less nimble and it gets a lot more difficult to get the front wheel up quickly, whether climbing a tech track or manualing on short notice.

The Lev is built lighter all the way around, and as such it rides really light and nimble as currently built.

MC
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rainman said:
That may be so, but Devin's and Mike's R&D on this frame setup is only going to help the handling of 29'ers in general, because once a designer hits on a really good design others tend to follow and copy.

I think that in the long run, any sort of forward thinking R&D on 29'er frames and handling will generally benefit us all as 29'er riders.
Good points.

The look on David Turner's face (when he grasped that the CS length was 17.2", not 18.2") was positively priceless.

It may take a few months to as long as a year for the results to show, but any high-end frame builder that wants to stay competitive is already looking at ways to acheive what Devin has done with this frame.

MC
 

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mikesee said:
Good points.

The look on David Turner's face (when he grasped that the CS length was 17.2", not 18.2") was positively priceless.

It may take a few months to as long as a year for the results to show, but any high-end frame builder that wants to stay competitive is already looking at ways to acheive what Devin has done with this frame.

MC
Mike, don't start messing with the homers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
richwolf said:
Mike, don't start messing with the homers!
Not singling anyone out. Bottom line is that Niner, Ventana, Intense, Titus, Turner, et al will need to make some changes to get their handling up to snuff. The only question is how they'll do it, and how long it'll take.

I also wonder how long it'll take until Smellsworse claims to have invented the Behemoth and the Sultan...

For now, the Behemoth sits alone at the top of the trailbike heap.

MC
 

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mikesee said:
Not singling anyone out. Bottom line is that Niner, Ventana, Intense, Titus, Turner, et al will need to make some changes to get their handling up to snuff. The only question is how they'll do it, and how long it'll take.

I also wonder how long it'll take until Smellsworse claims to have invented the Behemoth and the Sultan...

For now, the Behemoth sits alone at the top of the trialbike heap.

MC
Ahhh...lol..:D "Smellsworse"...heheheheh.

On a nicer note...

If only I had the terrain here to make full use of the 'Moth' ... I would probably buy one.

But ... I will have to be content with what I have.. :thumbsup:

As you say ... it will be interesting to see which way the other manufacturers jump now.

R.

[ Ps. If you can get your hot sticky paws on some big 29'er tires for me...let me know. Nevegals or Rampage's, I don't mind...:)]
 

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Rainman said:
:

As you say ... it will be interesting to see which way the other manufacturers jump now.

R.
Not sure I see other manufacturers jumping any time soon...not because Devin's product isn't good but because he can only put out an extremely limited number of frames....that number will in no way scare them into getting in the game.

And again...it can't be said enough that the Behemoth (the "long" and the "short" version) is a frame about 2 years ahead of a fork that can match its prowess.
 
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