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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
New to the forums and hoping to get some help/recommendations. I'm currently riding a 10 year old 26" aluminum hardtail that was low-end when I bought it. I've been inconsistent with mtn biking over the years but last summer I raced my first Xterra which got me stoked on riding again, and it's become clear that my old bike isn't going to cut it. After plenty of research I'm pretty sold on the idea of a 27.5+ hardtail. I ride in the northeast US with lots of roots and rocks, punchy climbing, and a good mix of singletrack/trails and fire road type of stuff. In my price range (>$1,750) it seems like a HT is the way to go. Most of my riding is with friends for fun, but I will throw in the occasional Xterra or local race just for kicks.

I started out out pretty sold on the Norco Torrent 7.2 but after a bunch of reading here I'm concerned that the super slack geometry might be a tad too aggressive for much of the riding I'll be doing. Other options I'm considering include the Specialized Fuse6 comp, Salsa Timberjack, Norco Fluid, Kona Big Honzo, and possibly the CDale BOTE 3 or Stache 5.

Looking for any opinions on any of these options or recommendations on similar bikes, or compelling arguments to go with something other than a plus HT. If it matters, this will likely be my only mtn bike so I'm looking for an all-around performer.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

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I'm also considering a +HT, so I feel your pain. The good news is- there are a ton of choices. The bad news is, there are a ton of choices.

If you're not in a hurry I'd wait til the spring so you can demo a few different bikes to see what you like. And since you're in the NE, you could go to NEMBA Fest in Vermont in June and try a bunch of different bikes. That is what I'm going to do. I'm really looking forward to riding a Stache, a Timberjack, and a Torrent 7.2.

Personally, I'd stay away from anything with a Suntour fork. Also, I'm assuming you meant less than $1,750, not more than? I think for the $$ the Timberjack looks like one of the best deals out there.

I would try and ride some though. Interwebs and reviews are a fun way to fuel the obsession and get some ideas, but nothing beats cheeks on a saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm also considering a +HT, so I feel your pain. The good news is- there are a ton of choices. The bad news is, there are a ton of choices.

If you're not in a hurry I'd wait til the spring so you can demo a few different bikes to see what you like. And since you're in the NE, you could go to NEMBA Fest in Vermont in June and try a bunch of different bikes. That is what I'm going to do. I'm really looking forward to riding a Stache, a Timberjack, and a Torrent 7.2.

Personally, I'd stay away from anything with a Suntour fork. Also, I'm assuming you meant less than $1,750, not more than? I think for the $$ the Timberjack looks like one of the best deals out there.

I would try and ride some though. Interwebs and reviews are a fun way to fuel the obsession and get some ideas, but nothing beats cheeks on a saddle.
No big rush but I think it's unlikely that I'll make it to NEMBA. I agree that the Timberjack looks pretty sweet for the price. And yes I definitely meant less than $1,750!

The Norco Fluid 7.2 also looks like a good option, with slightly less aggressive geometry than the Torrent and a decent build at $1249. Not sure if the QR rear axle would make a difference but I guess you have to sacrifice somewhere at that price point.
 

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I'm a fan the Torrent, but the Fluid 7.1 looks like a sweet bike with a much nicer kit than the Torrent for your money. Not sure where you could demo one, however. The Stache is worth a test ride, and you should easily be able to find someone who will let you demo one. The folks at Belmont Wheelworks will let you take a Fuse into the woods across the street. They carry some Treks, but may not have a Stache in stock. JRA in Medford carries Konas, have a good demo policy, and are considered by many to be the best MTB shop in the Northeast, and they'll steer you right, even if it means sending you elsewhere.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

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I've got a Torrent 7.2 that I love. The geo is aggressive but not so much that it feels uncomfortable to just plod around on. It works well for everything I throw at it (trail riding). The Fluid is a touch less aggressive and might be a better choice if you hit alot of doubletrack and dirt roads. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm a fan the Torrent, but the Fluid 7.1 looks like a sweet bike with a much nicer kit than the Torrent for your money. Not sure where you could demo one, however. The Stache is worth a test ride, and you should easily be able to find someone who will let you demo one. The folks at Belmont Wheelworks will let you take a Fuse into the woods across the street. They carry some Treks, but may not have a Stache in stock. JRA in Medford carries Konas, have a good demo policy, and are considered by many to be the best MTB shop in the Northeast, and they'll steer you right, even if it means sending you elsewhere.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Great info, thanks! I will definitely check those places out.
 

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I've got a Fuse Expert. I was looking between that and the Torrent in September '16 and then Spec in Australia had a massive discount on the Fuse so that was that..
I have zero complaints about the Fuse, it's my only bike and I love it!
 

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Lone Wolf
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2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus
66.5 HT angle
Came Dropper post equipped
Really good tires
All Shimano
Handles great
$1800
 

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Fuse 6fattie... Still see a lot of 2016 in stock.. 1600.00 retail, just picked up the Comp for 999.00 solid bike at that price with Dropper... Not the best components, but easy upgrades as stuff breaks..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus
66.5 HT angle
Came Dropper post equipped
Really good tires
All Shimano
Handles great
$1800
Thanks, I will definitely add this to the list. Looks like there are some good deals on 2016's right now but the upgrades on the '17 seem worth the $$.
 

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I'm also considering 27.5+. I don't wanna spend a lot cause I already have a fatty and a 29er. I don't need a plus bike, but I want one. That being said, I am looking at the Cannonade Cujo, which is very nicely spec'd for the money and the Timberjack. I rode a Stache 5 and it was nice, but just felt really big. I have a Farley 5 in the same size and the Stache felt tall, long and huge. Anyway, test ride everything you can and have fun and good luck racing!
 

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Loser
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With a HT I feel like the geometry tells the story, not saying that test rides aren't important, but if you ride a bike with X geometry then you can be pretty certain that another bike with similar geometry will ride the same (or close enough). I ride in the NE (CT) with those same rocks and roots.

One thing you should consider is that "modern" geometry has much slacker head angle and your weight is going to be further back (short chainstays). I have a friend who was riding an old XC bike, he just bought a Fuse and he is having a REALLY hard time getting used to this new geometry. When I watch him ride I can see him trying really hard to get his weight way further forward than where the bike puts it. He hates his bike, not a good place to be in after you dropped $2K on a bike!

I just got a BotE 2 and I added a Reverb. I really like it, but I mostly bought this over the Fuse or Timberjack (and a few other possible frame build ups) because of an insurance thing that made Cannondale an easier option.

The thing I don't like about this bike is the fork, I'm working with the bike shop to hopefully make some adjustments, but right now the small bump performance seems lacking. I'm used to 4.0's on my Bucksaw and 4.6's on my Fatboy so the 3.0's don't have the same level of bump absorption, I think the Bluto has the same cartridge as the Reba on this bike, but I'm not sure of that.

Anyway - forks are important and at that price point (or even the $2,099 price point of the BotE2) the fork is not great. The other thing that's important is brakes, and an easy place for manufacturers to skimp, bad brakes suck.

I hope that helps.
 

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With a HT I feel like the geometry tells the story, not saying that test rides aren't important, but if you ride a bike with X geometry then you can be pretty certain that another bike with similar geometry will ride the same (or close enough). I ride in the NE (CT) with those same rocks and roots.

One thing you should consider is that "modern" geometry has much slacker head angle and your weight is going to be further back (short chainstays). I have a friend who was riding an old XC bike, he just bought a Fuse and he is having a REALLY hard time getting used to this new geometry. When I watch him ride I can see him trying really hard to get his weight way further forward than where the bike puts it. He hates his bike, not a good place to be in after you dropped $2K on a bike!

I just got a BotE 2 and I added a Reverb. I really like it, but I mostly bought this over the Fuse or Timberjack (and a few other possible frame build ups) because of an insurance thing that made Cannondale an easier option.

The thing I don't like about this bike is the fork, I'm working with the bike shop to hopefully make some adjustments, but right now the small bump performance seems lacking. I'm used to 4.0's on my Bucksaw and 4.6's on my Fatboy so the 3.0's don't have the same level of bump absorption, I think the Bluto has the same cartridge as the Reba on this bike, but I'm not sure of that.

Anyway - forks are important and at that price point (or even the $2,099 price point of the BotE2) the fork is not great. The other thing that's important is brakes, and an easy place for manufacturers to skimp, bad brakes suck.

I hope that helps.
Jisch,
Interesting post your made. I come from years of riding in a longer more stretched out cross country position and have trouble warming up to the new short stem wide bar upright rider position. My 9:zero:7 fatbike is a small, 583 top tube, 110mm stem, 680mm bars. I went with the small for standover in the snow and lost TT length as a trade off. I needed a 110mm stem to acheive my desired cockpit length. I'm in the market for a new 27.5+ and plan on buying one of the 2017 Diamondback Mason models in a medium. The 2017 geomerty is very close to my fatbike and with a longer than stock stem and cutting a little off the bars I should be dialed in with my fit. I'm hoping the bike will handle propery set up like this as the 2017 HA is 68*, not super slack.
 

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Loser
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My friend also went to an extremely long stem on his Fuse. I kind of forgot about cockpit length, all good points!
 

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My friend also went to an extremely long stem on his Fuse. I kind of forgot about cockpit length, all good points!
Let us know how the bike rides with a longer stem. I'm looking at changing to a 90mm for my needs.
Also, not to derail the thread from the original question regarding bike suggestions, Have a look at the Diamondback Mason series. There are buy direct deals on 2016 models and possibly on 2017 models if your employer can get you bikes through the corperate program
 

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I saw him on the long stem a few weeks ago and he was still complaining about the bike. Watching him ride is painful, it looks like he's fighting the bike all the time.
 

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Lone Wolf
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I Started on a 69.5 degree HT angle and a 90 mm stem and 680 mm flat bars before the, "long front center" and wide, 'Hollywood bars' with short stems and super short chain stay's were In style. The bike was IMO twitchy and handles the super slow stuff like a teetering drunk.

Longer stems slow down steering Inputs and add more, 'Tiller' effect,,not good.
Longer stems lower a rider and shift more weight up front making climbing easier. Good Only for old style XCracing climbing IMHO.

Shorter stems speed up steering and lesson the Tiller effect making me feel more precise and takes less effort and less movement at the bars.
Someone new to a shorter stemmed slacker bike would think this, 'Twitchy' but all they would have to do is learn that less steering Input Is more~

As for shorter stems shifting your weight back too far? Yep and this Is why longer top tubes and shorter stems go together....
Putting a short stem on an older style bike works for some but when I tired It I amplified twitchy big time, not my cup of tea.
Shorter stems help with descending and any negative effect when climbing can be eliminated by the rider moving forward a bit more, sitting an inch farther up on the nose of a saddle,,,, 60 mm stem,,,, 90 mm stem,,, Is what,, 1.2 Inches..
You Newer riders following this ?

Slacker Is better In far MORE varied conditions.
Steeper Is better for a lower body race position and for those long grinder climbs

When I moved to a FS bike with a 68.5 HT angle I changed to a 720 wide bar with a 80 mm stem because It felt right and fit me. This bike was better overall.
I did try the Hollywood bars and did not see the humor In them at all.

Now I'm on a very slack bike at 66.5 degree's with a Longer front center, reasonably short but not super short chain stay's, short 60mm stem and a 730 mm carbon handlebar.

And I can now ride as fast as I like on my very stable, very sure footed Hard Tail.
I can lean the bike way WAY over going slow, fast or very fast.
I can ride super slow, I can track stand even middle of a drop.
When I point this bike down a steep hill I smile and let go of the brakes, :D
I can jump and loft the front wheel with little effort,
Had to re adjust my climbing technique some but now I can climb even better.
Slacker Is so much better for me and my widely varied trail conditions.....

This new slacker bike took some adjustment on my part but It happened fast and was easy once I learned to trust the bike and relax.

To relax you must look farther down the trail, to do this,,
You must raise your head, to do this,,
You must arch your back,, to help you do this,
You must GET A DROPPER POST ! LoL
To go fast down hill you must get LOW,, see above line...
To go fast In a corner you must get LOW,, yup, up two lines...
To relax your neck and shoulders you must un-clench your teeth,
To relax your forearms you must hold the grips like you have a dove In each hand and want them to be able to breathe :p
To do this you must move your brake levers Inboard for one finger braking as three fingers wrapped around the grips will let you use a lighter grip.

Light and Loose Is Fast and the Gateway to the Flow~:p

It's getting deep around here..

here-endeth-the-lesson.jpg
 
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