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Older & Slower
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned two SC single pivots (Bullit & Heckler), Specialized FSRs, Giant Anthem X, and a Rocky Mountain 29er. I thought the multi-link bikes would blow the single pivots away. They were lighter and did pedal more efficiently, but required more maintenance and always seem to have some negative issues to work out.

I believe the positives of the multi-link frames do not outweigh their negatives. At 210 lbs I am leaning back to the Bantam or Superlight for my next bike.

This is where I need your input: Do the "performance negatives" of the single pivot (pedal bob, brake jack and frame weight) really affect a 40 year-old guy who just wants a solid bike for long days in the saddle. Even though I may race an 8 hour solo or Downieville 1-2 per year, I am not a racer. I don't really care about results. Even though I like to push myself to ride fast/hard, bikes are mostly therapeutic for me. Is the single pivot really gonna put me at a disadvantage compared to a VPP?
 

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I thought brake jack was the single most negative about single Pivot bikes for me. Especially riding down chunky steep stuff. I would never go back to a single Pivot bike. But if your negatives you list don't bother you go for it.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
 

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Older & Slower
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess the question is: Is the VPP so much better that you would regret getting a single pivot? If so, why?
 

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GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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I like and own both (currently TBLT and Bantam, Nomad coming soon, previously Bronson, Blur LT, V10, Driver 8, Nomad 1 - and an Orange Five too).

For me there is not a significant difference in suspension performance - assuming they're tuned appropriately. VPP exhibits less pedal kick back under technical, hard climbing efforts. SP has a more poppy, playful, and preload-happy demeanor. Can't say I find an appreciable difference (in practice) in terms of braking. Both tighten up and sprint forward when you put the gas down.

Alloy VPP and SP bikes weigh the same, but the carbon bikes are significantly lighter and stiffer. The suspension differences are nuanced, the weight and stiffness are more apparent. Personally, for the money, I'd rather have a Bantam with carbon hoops than a carbon 5010 with alloy wheels. But then again, I'd rather have a 5010 with carbon hoops than either of those two - ha.
 

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SP simplicity

DSC00628.jpg I believe you have already answered your question, teach.

as a long time SP guy, who has also recently taken a trip on the high tech side, I have some back to back comparisons...

I bought a heckler last fall, as I didn't want to ride my high zoot carbon ripley during the mud season (see family mud pic!), and after 1 mo of testing back to back, I couldn't justify keeping the ripley. I was a bit slower, maybe 2%, but was that suspension, 3lbs, 29r vs 650b, whatever, I sold it and have really liked bonding w/ my heckler.
yes,
I did own 3 superlights over the last 15 yrs, and my cdale rize (SP), which i rode during my fastest time, winning my class at dville on it. (so I may be bonded to SP and enjoy the intuitive nature of it)
but
i'm choosing to race the sea otter enduro on my santa cruz SP aluminum bike, so I don't think I'm badly handicapped... maybe a couple percent.

I also think that whole brake jake idea is real, but I also think it talks you into riding the brakes less in corners, and that is GOOD thing!

cheers,
Holiday
 

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The type of suspension is only one of several factors that determine how a bike rides. I imagine if you get the right shock and take the time to really dial it in you aren't going to be bummed if you get a SP over a VPP, HL, etc.

I have a TBLT and it has more pedal feedback than just about any other bike I have ridden. So much so that I wasn't sure what was happening at first. It's also my favorite bike I have ever ridden. I think the frame stiffness and geometry have more to do with how much I like the bike as opposed to the suspension design.

I guess I'm in the minority when I say I'm not too concerned about brake jack, especially on anything less than a full on DH run. The only time I noticed what a difference it makes was when I was doing laps at Whistler and had a chance to ride several different bikes. Doing laps at the bike park isn't how I spend much of my riding time, though, so brake jack isn't high on my list of concerns. Yes, it's nice to not have any brake jack, but you get used to it and ride accordingly. I think a little brake jack is worth it when you consider how simple and reliable a good SP is.

So, long story short, unless you are a pro racer or doing a Mega Avalanche I don't think you are at a disadvantage if you go with the SP over a more complicated design. Take a look at this review if you haven't already: 2014 Santa Cruz Heckler: Reviewed - NSMB.com
 

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Older & Slower
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. The shock choice and proper set up has come up multiple times in my research. Does that mean I need something like the Cane Creek double barrel that has been mentioned in another SP thread? I know those have multiple external adjustments. How hard is that shock to set up so I can benefit from it? I'm not the greatest shock tuner.

Can a SP like the Bantam function really well with the stock Fox Evolution series shock?
 

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Mine works just fine w/ the stock shock, but that's a 45yr old XC has been, not a big hit wonder. I use trail mode for the smoother trails, and Des mode for rougher trails, and like it.

cheers,
W
 

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I've had a heckler with a dhx5 coil and a butcher with an RP23 and now own a Blur TR with a tuned CTD kashima and I don't think i'll go back to a single pivot. Sure it's shorter travel but it climbs HEAPS better and is way more fun and flickable
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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Let me start by saying I'm an almost 40, 210 Lb history teacher who likes long days in the saddle, all day rides, and might race 2 or 3 times a summer but isn't too serious about results. :lol: Seriously, you had me at hello.

I just bought a Bantam. I converted it to 1x10 and added a dropper post, and it's the most fun bike I've ever had. I have not noticed any braking issues AT ALL relating to the suspension. The only 'jack' I can think of might be how bad I might jack my face up because it brakes so good. The one negative that I read about that had me a tiny bit concerned was the "slight tug back feeling when climbing over ledgy-type steps" sensation that some complain about. I have lots of years on a hardtail...my take is that what these people were describing was just the actual feeling that the bike is actually going up and over an obstacle... I can't make it give me that feeling that they describe. They must have other bikes that hover? I dunno.

It feels stiff and responsive...I can't imagine being happier with anything else. It climbs like a goat, even in the 'trail' setting on the shock. "Playful" is a great word to describe it.
 
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