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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at a new trailbike to tackle some gnarly terrain with lots of rocks, up hills, boulders, dropoffs, short steep rocky downs--no man made stuff like ramps or smooth jumps or drop offs with transitions.

We know SS is good at slopestyle riding, hence its name, but what about general trail riding on not smooth single track, but the complex tight trails that infect the northeast US with lots of granite structures formed from glaciers. I used to ride XC years ago, but since I moved this new locale, the terrain here has naturally pushed my riding skills. Therefore I want a bike that can handle trail riding and one that's supremely confident on dropoffs and decents, which is the area that I need most confidence building in.

Can the SS be the right bike for me or will it feel alien climbing and treading trails? How have people used their SS? Or do you think I should stick to the Tracer?
 

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Ideas Above My Station...
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I'd say stick to the tracer if climbing is any notable part of your riding. The SS can climb, don't get me wrong, but the Tracer will climb way better, and not be such a chore.
I ride my SS for everything, DH,FR,4X,Trails,Jumps, it does it all brilliantly and is is such good fun to ride.

Recently i've been doing DH with roots, rocks, drops and rutted berms, and its been great fun, but if i was going to be doing climbing much, i'd want something with a higher BB, Steeper head angle, and lighter weight overall. Obviously, the weight depends on your build but the tracer will build lighter!

There are several (hundred) threads extollign the virtues of the SS as a do-it-all bike, it really is awesome. You feel part of the bike, like your sitting in it, not on it. Its nimble, fast and feels great in the air, the travel feels so smooth and pretty much bottomless and its my favourite bike so far, i can't imagine the tracer being much different!!!!

Buy Intense with confidence, especially now with Vpp2, as thats my only gripe with my SS!!!!
 

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SS needs to be 34-35 lb (tires, chainguide, etc.) to be effective on DH runs. And you will feel all of this when you climb. You got to have strong legs. I use mine as a trail bike, and definitely took a while to get used to climbing on it. Seat angle is also not quite right for climbing.

Other Intense trail bike are usually 28-30lb when built light, but it seems lighter when climbing due to VPP.

As OG says above, if you are climbing a lot or doing long trails that require lots of pedaling, go with Tracer or another trail bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seat Angle...

stumo said:
I think the seat angle is great for climbing, much better than a slacker angle.

I wondered if the head angle would be bad for climbing too but i haven't noticed anything bad about it!
You say the seat tube angle is great for climbing? Cable0guy says it's not. :confused: :confused: Here are the specs from CompetitiveCyclist.

The seat angle on SS is 74.
The seat angle on Tracer VP is 71.5 on 160mm front and 6 inch setting
and seat angle on Tracer VP is 73 on 140mm front and 5 inch setting.
The seat angle on Spider FRO is 73.5.
The seat angle on 6.6 is 73.

The SS is close to the Spider and much steeper than the Tracer at 160mm, both of which I assume are good climbers. I don't see it as a detriment, so there must be other factors. I can see if the seat angle is low it'd shift the rider's weight more on the back wheel and also rearward of the bottom bracket resulting in an unweighted front and loss of leverage on the cranks. Then I could see it as poor climbing.

Or maybe it's the steeper seat tube angle MATED to a slack head tube angle that determines handling. Not Seat tube angle in isolation.
 

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Sounds like the new Uzzi would be a good choice for you. Several posts about the SS as a trail bike and it seems like you need to run a super long seatpost if you want proper leg extension. Even Mr. Intense has commented that this bike is a slopestyle bike not a trail bike.
 

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Aust95 said:
You say the seat tube angle is great for climbing? Cable0guy says it's not. :confused: :confused: Here are the specs from CompetitiveCyclist.

The seat angle on SS is 74.
The seat angle on Tracer VP is 71.5 on 160mm front and 6 inch setting
and seat angle on Tracer VP is 73 on 140mm front and 5 inch setting.
The seat angle on Spider FRO is 73.5.
The seat angle on 6.6 is 73.

The SS is close to the Spider and much steeper than the Tracer at 160mm, both of which I assume are good climbers. I don't see it as a detriment, so there must be other factors. I can see if the seat angle is low it'd shift the rider's weight more on the back wheel and also rearward of the bottom bracket resulting in an unweighted front and loss of leverage on the cranks. Then I could see it as poor climbing.
The riding position becomes in the center of the bike due to the angle. You don't get enough weight on the rear wheel for traction. You need a setback type of seatpost to move the weight back a little. This was pointed out by the way by one of the Intense guys during a demo day. He also rides a SS. SS wasn't designed as a trail bike, but many do due to the straight seat tube.

I also used to own a Uzzi VPX. I had a easier time climbing with that than SS. I just feel more of the full weight of the bike climbing vs. other Intense bikes I had or rode (which includes 5.5, 6.6, Uzzi, Socom). But I love the DH performance, so I am willing to suffer a little climbing.
 

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it's funny but rocky mountain is now selling their all mountain bikes with 74 degree seat angles. their research shows that suspension bikes benefit from a steeper seat angle when climbing. they call it straight up seating and i think they even trademarked the name. some people will like it and some won't. there are people who do like the ss for climbing the only gripe is the short seat tube and the massive amount of post sticking out when you are trail riding with the ss
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not much elevation change here...

250 ft above sea level is considered high where I live, so there's no sustained climbing. Just some irregular steep climbs that need a capable bike.

I appreciate your input. Though I can see the more steep the climbing angle of the ground, the more weight transfer to the rear wheel. In fact, when climbing is very steep, riding on the front of the seat on most trail bikes helps. So with the SS, the same balance might achieved by not having to sit forward on the seat since the rider's weight is already more forward in it's design.

I don't mean to challenge your experience, I'm just trying to understand...and maybe justify the SS as a competent trailbike.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
qbert2000 said:
it's funny but rocky mountain is now selling their all mountain bikes with 74 degree seat angles. their research shows that suspension bikes benefit from a steeper seat angle when climbing. they call it straight up seating and i think they even trademarked the name. some people will like it and some won't. there are people who do like the ss for climbing the only gripe is the short seat tube and the massive amount of post sticking out when you are trail riding with the ss
Same seat angle as the SS. My point exactly ^^^ made in the upper post.
 

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Aust95 said:
250 ft above sea level is considered high where I live, so there's no sustained climbing. Just some irregular steep climbs that need a capable bike.

I appreciate your input. Though I can see the more steep the climbing angle of the ground, the more weight transfer to the rear wheel. In fact, when climbing is very steep, riding on the front of the seat on most trail bikes helps. So with the SS, the same balance might achieved by not having to sit forward on the seat since the rider's weight is already more forward in it's design.

I don't mean to challenge your experience, I'm just trying to understand...and maybe justify the SS as a competent trailbike.:)
What you are saying applies to steep loose sections where you need to move the weight forward. Normal climbing you need to have some of the weight positioned over the front of the rear wheel. Just compare it to other trail bikes with 6" travel like 6.6, Nomad, etc. Or just do a demo or test on a decent climb with SS and regular 6.6. The other thing you should also take account is that most people build SS for more downhill performance (bigger tires, chain guide, bash guard, etc.), where as you would build 6.6 or something similar lighter. So you would be carrying 2-3 lb at least more on a SS. Plus SS frame is heavier as well, especially if you use a coil shock.
 

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Aust95 said:
I'm looking at a new trailbike to tackle some gnarly terrain with lots of rocks, up hills, boulders, dropoffs, short steep rocky downs--no man made stuff like ramps or smooth jumps or drop offs with transitions.

We know SS is good at slopestyle riding, hence its name, but what about general trail riding on not smooth single track, but the complex tight trails that infect the northeast US with lots of granite structures formed from glaciers. I used to ride XC years ago, but since I moved this new locale, the terrain here has naturally pushed my riding skills. Therefore I want a bike that can handle trail riding and one that's supremely confident on dropoffs and decents, which is the area that I need most confidence building in.

Can the SS be the right bike for me or will it feel alien climbing and treading trails? How have people used their SS? Or do you think I should stick to the Tracer?
The SS is a park/jump bike so why are you even considering it for trail riding??? The VPX is more than capable for what you're looking to do. The SS's rear shock is damped for big hits and has a leverage ratio similar to their DH bikes giving it a longer effective stroke. The VPX is setup with perfect damping for what you're looking for. Plus the 66.5 deg HTA of the SS is too slack for a tight handling East Coast trail bike that you'd be better off on IMHO.

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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The difference with the SS is that the 74 degree seat angle, is coupled to a pretty short TT making it feel quite cramped on climbs, and its a bit of an awkward climbing position for me. I run a 65mm stem as i'm tall and the bikes quite compact, which helps. But compared to my Orange 5, climbing is much more of a chore, but to be honest most of thats probably because of the extra weight from the burlier frame and build.

The SS is a brilliant trail bike, don't get me wrong. Its my only bike, so it does whatever i tell it to, but if i were going to be climbing i'd look at the Tracer, or if you still want burly, but more trail friendly, the Uzzi would be my first choice. I may well be getting the Uzzi as my next ride for that very reason. All the goodness of the SS, with a little bit more versatility and the new Vpp2!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
want bike that feeds confidence in dropoffs

Gman086 said:
The SS is a park/jump bike so why are you even considering it for trail riding???
What I'm doing is trail riding but there are many rock features to jump and drop from. I'm a fairly strong trail rider and climber so I don't worry about that part; that said, I'd like a bike to bolster parts of my riding skill I'd like to advance the most in because I feel it's not a strength of mine, and that's in jumping and short rolls with drop offs. The terrain is hard with little to no transitions on landing and mostly brief rolls before drop offs that require one to be 100% reliable on technique. Hence, that's where the SS comes in...isn't it a bike that would be much easier and confidence-inspiring when it comes to such stuff. Below are some pics of the terrain.

I don't want to give up too much in trail ability in a bike though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you think Uzzi will be close to the SS in ease of jumping or doing drop offs? What is frame weight of SS and/or weight range in builds? Ideally I'd like below 35lbs.
 

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Aust95 said:
Hence, that's where the SS comes in...isn't it a bike that would be much easier and confidence-inspiring when it comes to such stuff. Below are some pics of the terrain.
Based on what you've shown in your pix, the SS will simply eat that alive.
 

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I had them both,
From the pic's of the trail I can tell you Go with the VPX.
With the SS (That I love :p ) You will hit the crank on the rocks,
I cant see that the SS is a better jumper, it's a much better Downhiller, with the SS you seat lower so you feel more confidence at the fast parts.
The VPX is more nimble and feel more burlier on the trail you will love it at the slow technical parts (although the higher position).
I sold my VPX and now I am thinking about buying it again (with the new dropouts).

At the pic's, the nice jump with the VPX is a yung boy his name is Aviv.

.
 

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