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[HR][/HR]Hey everybody. I'm looking to purchase a new mid-travel trail bike and I was hoping you could help me finalize my decision. I have been mountain biking for a few months and have been really enjoying it. I've settled on these two bikes based on versatility, value, and fit. I live in Northern California and I tend to ride all types of trails, from flowy to very technical. I value descending more than ascending but I still like trying to smash through technical climbs, and I'm not visiting lifts or shuttles very often.


I would appreciate any first-hand experience or just general advice on which to get. Please feel free to comment on or critique my current standpoint for the bikes. Also, I have test ridden the Stumpjumper and have a family bike shop discount, which is why it's ~$1k cheaper than retail.


Stumpjumper Comp Alloy 29 12 Speed (Large, $2250)
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/mens-stumpjumper-comp-alloy-29-12-speed/p/157617



Pros: LBS warranty and support. Already test ridden. Tires, dropper and other components are great out of the box.


Concerns: STA is a little slack - can this be effectively adjusted by sliding it forward? HTA is upper limit of what I'd like.


Commencal Meta TR 29 Ride (Medium, $2500/$3300)
https://www.commencalusa.com/Mobile/meta-trail-29-ride-2019-c2x26304801



Pros: Geometry seem perfect. Can upgrade the Revelation over time or go with a better build off the bat for very good value. Higher end build is extremely well reviewed.


Concerns: This is the bike "I think I want" with 130mm travel in the back and a larger fork, but I can't test ride it. It seems perfect, but most of the reviews state that this is a heavy, burly bike made for going downhill- which is cool, but seems to go against the versatility of the 130mm frame. Tires aren't very good and dropper is only 125mm on Medium. Complaints about heel rub from the wide chainstay. Internet direct means I can't test ride, and have the other shipping/warranty downsides.


Bonus: YT Jeffsy 29 CF Comp (Medium, $3500)
https://us.yt-industries.com/detail/index/sArticle/2120/sCategory/511



Pros: Extremely well reviewed. Carbon.


Concerns: I'm not opposed to spending this much on a bike, but I'm not sure that I would notice the $1k difference from this and other ~$2.5k bikes, especially just for carbon. Wheels are only 27mm ID. Same internet direct issues as Commencal.

Bonus: Ibis Ripmo NX ($4200)
https://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/ripmo/

Pros: Great reviews- supposedly pedals great and is playful while having a lot of travel. Can test ride.

Concerns: Expensive, probably out of my budget unless it's much better than the others. Maybe too much travel.



Other bikes I was considering: Vitus Escarpe 29 VR(X), Polygon Siskiu. I also have a good bike shop where I can demo Yetis, Transition, and Ibis, but those bikes all seem unnecessarily expensive for me.


TL;DR: I was going to order a Meta TR 29 but am skeptical about using it for non-downhill applications, heel-rub, and it being an internet direct brand. I am now considering a Stumpjumper because I get a good discount and I have test ridden it, but I just wish the STA (and maybe HTA) were a little more "modern".
 

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The stumpy is shorter in the top tube/reach than the other bikes, so a slacker STA isn't really going to affect climbing the way it would if it had a crazy long TT/reach. I wouldn't look at one number in isolation and assume it's too steep or too slack. They all work together to make a bike ride a certain way, and if you like the way the Specialized rides you're getting a good deal on it and the benefit of dealer support.
 

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Heck-of-a deal on the Stumpy. Just last year I would have said no to them, but now that they've finally gone away from their proprietary suspension crap and even have gone back to using a real threaded BB, that bike should be a contender IF you like the ride. I believe they are still using a 51mm offset fork, but I test rode one and was pretty comfortable with the overall geometry of bike.
I ended up getting a new Trance 29 as it was a bit more compliant all around imho and was a better climbing bike for my use. Plus I got about the same discount on the Giant that you are being offered on the Stump.
 

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Stumpy.

Since you are relatively new to the sport you'll benefit greatly from going through your LBS. On top of that Spec makes really great bikes. If you run into trouble with the bike, which is not uncommon in our sport with all brands, having the LBS to deal with is golden. Spec takes heat for being an "big brand" but that is mostly nonsense. I've got a little brand bike that is great, and 2 bikes from the biggest, Giant, and they are great too.

Good luck.
 
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