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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, a friend and part time employee of ours, Upgradeitis, aka "Ryan", has a dilema. He's literally sitting in his office right now, staring at the business end of 2 frames. A baby blue Intense 5.5, and a Gray 6-pack. He's really torn. My personal opinion is the Pack/RFX, but thems selfish reasons (I'd get to ride it as well), and I like coil rear shocks, and we already have someone in our group riding a 5.5. So, he's probably surfing here anyway, give him a shout and throw the opinion his way.

His riding style is to climb a lot, but each year he gets a longer travel and heavier bike, because we do some light free-riding, which is a growing sector of biking up here in Maine. I made the mistake of letting him ride my Uzzi last night, and that brought him back to the dark side a bit, when he felt the VPP kick in. I don't think there's a wrong answer.

The parts spec will be the same either way, CK wheelset, yada, yada, so those issues don't matter. Frame over frame, he's probably saving about a pound and a half with the 5.5, but thankfully, we think we've beaten the weight weenie out of him. Regardless....he's going to have a frame to sell....... :D

Have at it.....
 

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Isn't the Intense much closer to the 5 Spot in intended use/weight? If he's having fun on an Uzzi then the 6 Pack is the way to go - does he have any older bikes which are shorter travel/hardtail to contrast with a full-on machine like the Pack?

I'm guessing up in Maine you have a bit of mud occasionally like here in Britain (!) for which I'm also guessing the Pack will have greater clearances. May I recommend the WTB Timberwolf 2.3 for these kind of conditions? Reasonable weight, gert big spiky knobs and bags of grip - I like 'em!
 

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I'm torn...

They're both really nice bikes...just don't know what to do. I know I'd have fun on either one. I've had Turners, but never a VPP bike and was quite interested to try one. I'm leaning towards the Pack, but my question to everyone here is, will I disappointed in the Pack as a "trailbike"? Is it too much bike for that purpose. That is what I do the most of with the occasional trip to the lifts. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I can't comment on the Intense since I haven't ridden it, but I agree wholeheartedly with Turtle's assessment of the Pack as trailbike. I have mine currently built to 32.5 lbs and it's very trail-worthy and can still take a ton of abuse. I'm still beating the rest of my crew up the big climbs, just doing it a bit slower than when I'm on my Titus. But the big grins on the descents make it all worthwhile.
 

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The 5.5 is soooooo xc feeling. If you are torn you obviously need both since they really do not overlap. If you want long travel vpp which seems to bridge the gap, get a Nomad.
 

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I was thinking that if your are between the two, then why not a Yeti 575? I will bet it will climb any hill that a 5.5 will climb, and should be better on the downhills, trailriding it should be pretty close to that of a Pack just lighter. Anyway, your getting a 6'er so I know you will love it. Becareful how you build it though, because if you scimp, you end up with bike thats heavy for a trailbike. Mine weighs just under 33 pounds, about 32.12, my fork is heavier than Sqeaks, Im using a Z1 FR, but Im thinking about tring a Pike on there, dont know about the rest of the parts. A nice TI spring will help and watch your tire choice.

Most of us here are so tapped out with UGI, (just look at the sweet rides) that we cant afford anymore parts changing, so Im sure that we can help spend your dead presidents!
 

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UpgradeItis said:
Basically because we have one in stock and I want to keep the weight reasonable.
BEWARE!!! If you even think about the Fox 36 more than twice, you're probably going to wake up and say you gotta have one. If you get one, you'll be a happy camper-it's beyond great, it's awesome; it's not like any other fork I've owned.

BTW, good choice on the Pack, it's an awesome ride. Most of the stronger riders I know have bikes weighing over 33lbs and are hooking up on serious rides. As a trail bike, the Pack rocks.
turtle
 

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the Intense, of course.

you said he loves to climb. don't let trends sway your friend's love. keep him on the one that's a nicer climber.

if the Turner were a 5-Spot I'd say the Turner, but it's not.

the 6-Pack is not a bike for someone who loves to climb -- from an XC background kind of love of climbing.

it's a bike for someone who has to climb, not someone who loves to climb.

"light freeride" is 5-Spot all the way. or the Intense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, I understand

Good points gonzo, but I'd almost characterize him as "having" to climb, not "loving" to climb. As he gets older with the rest of us, he's noticing that. He was on a 34 pound Salty with 6" rockers and a Z1 FR last year and climbed just fine. I don't think the pack will be much different for him in that regard, with the exception of a Turner decal, and a lower bottom bracket. Its a bike that he'll sell in the "demo/used bike" section of the Bike Boutique when the snow really starts falling here in Maine, oh, in August....just kidding, probably late November it will be out the door and ready for a "longer term" review.

We truly hate the "feels good in the parking lot" review, and prefer a more in depth explanation of a frame/bike. I've seen too many people think they know what they want from a parking lot test, and end up having a $2000+ piece of equipment they aren't totally satisfied on.

As for why not a 36? Well, with climbing to get to the top one of the things he does, the Nixon was the right choice, regardless of the $200 price differential and availability of the Nixon at the shop. With quick ups and downs on his regular trail, that work their way across a ridge to get to the top of an awesome downhill section, I think the Nixon will work out just fine for him, since there will be no knob turning, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the 36 so far, on my Uzzi, but with the wait, the quick travel adjust, and he says (the weight*), I think its a fair choice.

*Special note: We are still beating the weight weenie out of this guy, not to worry, we've gotten him to go from 25 pound xc machines to 34 pound trail bikes in a matter of 3 years. The 40 pound behemouth can't be far behind.....maybe.....we'll get him on our first Knolly when it comes early this summer.
 

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gonzostrike said:
the Intense, of course.

you said he loves to climb. don't let trends sway your friend's love. keep him on the one that's a nicer climber.

if the Turner were a 5-Spot I'd say the Turner, but it's not.

the 6-Pack is not a bike for someone who loves to climb -- from an XC background kind of love of climbing.

it's a bike for someone who has to climb, not someone who loves to climb.

"light freeride" is 5-Spot all the way. or the Intense.
The 5 Spot would definitely seem to be the more appropriate head to head comparison for the 5.5, and either would surely be a zippier climber than the Pack. This would be magnified if instead of being specced identically both bikes were outfitted according to their strenghts, which could easily add up to a +5 pound weight difference.

It bears repeating though that the RFX/Pack is an excellent technical climber, which is what we face more often than not here in the North East. The Pack will not disappoint an experienced and powerful rider when it comes to clearing tough climbs.
 

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miles e said:
The 5 Spot would definitely seem to be the more appropriate head to head comparison for the 5.5, and either would surely be a zippier climber than the Pack. This would be magnified if instead of being specced identically both bikes were outfitted according to their strenghts, which could easily add up to a +5 pound weight difference.

It bears repeating though that the RFX/Pack is an excellent technical climber, which is what we face more often than not here in the North East. The Pack will not disappoint an experienced and powerful rider when it comes to clearing tough climbs.
Boy I can agree with that! I took the Pack out for its second outing yesterday and the trail that I rode was very simular to upper east coast (Maine) conditions. I got to ride a small portion of the trail that runs along the Kangamangas (?) highway by the river in the White Mtns several years ago and the trail I was on yesterday was just like it. Lots of short up and downs, stream crossings, rocks roots sand mud and every other type of obsticle that can be found. Just like the trail in NH.
The Pack was awesome! I cant believe how well it did in that real tight stuff, the only problem that I had is contributed to the Z1 FR's lack of adjustments and the overall ride hieght of the bars. I like my bars high like a FR riders bike, so it can be hard to get the wieght over the front tire. The tall fork made some of the steep uphills a bit tough sometimes, I didnt use the ETA to much, It would have helped some but I dont like the way it rides while its used. All & all, the Pack did great in those conditions. Im thinking more and more now about a fork like a Fox 36, if it were set at 130mm maybe some of those climbs would have been even easier. I think that the Pack will do great in your trails back there. Several times I had to stand up and mash on the pedals, again the Z1 just sunk a mile and robbed me, the rear end did fine. Its hard to believe the Packs ability to track and keep the rear wheel glued to the ground, even over those nasty little round slick baby head rocks crossing streams.
BTW, you guy's should check out the Maxxis Ignitor tires, I have been running one in the rear and it has been great. Its a 2.30 or .35, it does seem like a smaller tire though but has great traction.
 
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