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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was the first kid on my block to buy a 5 spot - I've been happily riding it on the granite strewn trails of the Tahoe area since 2003. I love my bike, but it's showing its age and UGI is going around - I'm afraid I've got it bad.

Dreams of an additional 0.4 inches, a new fork (mmm Pike), new rear shock, and overall new components have me exploring new bike options. The easy choice would be a new '07 5-spot, and that's where I'm leaning. But lately I've been wondering what it would be like to swing my leg over a pair of bigger wheels.

Any Sultan owners or armchair 29 pudits care to discuss why or why not a sultan might be a reasonable change to make? How does that thing feel rolling over big boulders? 71 degree head angle seems pretty steep compared to what I'm used to...

some details - I live and ride in the Tahoe area, mostly on the Rim Trail. For the most part it's pretty damn rocky around here and that's how I like it. I enjoy technical climbing and picking my way down technical lines. Average ride is an hour or two of climbing followed by 30 minutes to an hour of decending. At just under 6' and 150lbs I'm on a large '03 5 spot. If I buy a new 'spot, the old one goes on the auction block to offset the cost. If I go with a Sultan...well I'd probably have to keep the 5-spot just in case.
 

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....I've owned a 5 Spot for 2 years & an RFX for the last year and a half. Currently also own a Sultan...my vote would be the Sultan, hands down. I am even considering selling the RFX I ride it so little these days (mostly rode it in 5.3" mode). IMHO, the sultan feels easily as plush & handles nearly the same steering wise as the 5 Spot. I prefer the Sultan on the descents over the Spot & needless to say, it is a climbing animal!
 

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sometimes eye candy helps lure the soul

Good luck deciding
I'll give you a better idea of what I think in a couple of days as I get some miles under this thing as I just got it out today for the first time.
 

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freebiker said:
Good luck deciding
I'll give you a better idea of what I think in a couple of days as I get some miles under this thing as I just got it out today for the first time.
Nice color choice :thumbsup:
 

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While riding out west I kept thinking that a 29er would have been ideal in most of the terrain we rode (XC/ All Mtn mix). Lots of rocky step-ups/downs with wide open fast sections.

I also really enjoy my 5(and a half) Spot on trails that are steep, rocky, and technical. There are some gap jumps, hips, drops, and tight switch backs thrown in for good measure. We shuttle some parts of these trails and there are a couple fire road climbs we do between downhill sections. I don't know how much I would enjoy that kind of riding on a 29er.

Typically, I don't try to keep two bikes that are basically apples and apples. But in your case, if you do a variety of riding I would consider keeping both. If you are going to use either/or on the trails you have described then I say it's time for the "upgrade."
 

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Nice rig freebiker! So your getting 4.5" with the Mav fork up front? A little birdy told me RS has a couple new 29er forks in the works, I'm hoping for a UTurn model, I think I will probably wait till later in the year to see what's available but I'm jonesing to buy a Sultan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great responses

thanks to all for your thoughts on this issue - just the kind of stoke I was looking for to push me toward the 29" beast. Guess I need to do some additional research on forks and wheels and such. For those of you with some time on the sultan (jncarpenter) - does the head angle feel as steep as it looks on paper? Do you still ride your 5-spot, or is it collecting dust with your RFX?
 

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mtnwater said:
thanks to all for your thoughts on this issue - just the kind of stoke I was looking for to push me toward the 29" beast. Guess I need to do some additional research on forks and wheels and such. For those of you with some time on the sultan (jncarpenter) - does the head angle feel as steep as it looks on paper? Do you still ride your 5-spot, or is it collecting dust with your RFX?
...well, I actually sold the Spot when I purchased my first pack/ rfx.

The Sultan does not feel steep at all. Again, the lack of an appropriate offset fork for the 29er market has the frame manufacturers compensating by steepening the HA. It roughly equates to a 2* difference....so that puts the Sultan HA "feel" at a 69* (basically, it steers almost identically to the Spot in terms of quickness...tho the 29" wheel does add some subtle differences all it's own)

Padre said:
I'd say for everything up to 3' + drops and chairlift riding...the Sultan is the cat's pajamas. When a 20mm fork is availalbe that restriction will be lifted.
...W3rd man! I actually got a pretty eye opening experience on the Sultan the week before my surgery. A group of us rode some pretty technical DH stuff with extended sections littered with boulders & a few drops....the SUltan felt akin to my DH bikes of the past through the stuff. I was truly amazed at how stable & plush it felt. There were guys pushing their AM 26" rigs thru sections that I just blasted. One guy was even heard to yell " WOW, look at those 29er wheels mow over this stuff", to which I could only chuckle to myself :D

I too am awaiting some decent 20mm options, the Reba was certainly the weak link on that particular ride :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Fork Offset?

Can you explain the concept of fork offset? I assume you're talking about the fore-aft angle of the fork, which would effectively slacken the head tube angle? So when the fork manufactures finally get ramped up for the 29 revolution, will they stick with existing offsets, or will new forks correct for this issue, effectively steepening the head angle? Am I making any sense?

Sounds like finding an appropriate fork can be challenging for 29" bikes - any comments about the White Brothers or Maverick offerings?? Thanks again for the quality feedback!
 

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mtnwater said:
Can you explain the concept of fork offset? I assume you're talking about the fore-aft angle of the fork, which would effectively slacken the head tube angle? So when the fork manufactures finally get ramped up for the 29 revolution, will they stick with existing offsets, or will new forks correct for this issue, effectively steepening the head angle? Am I making any sense?

Sounds like the lack of quality fork options is a serious bummer for the 29 bikes - any comments about the White Brothers offerings?? Thanks again for the quality feedback!
I would recommend excluding duc32 from your statement, really, whats yer definition of quality? I was riding today and experienced no serious bummers with my bicycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Edits Made

No offense intended, but what I've read about the Maverick forks converted for 29" use is less than inspiring. Based on hours of reviewing the 29" board and other sources, the consensus seems to be that the Reba is the fork of choice, for now.

There are a few folks out there who swear by other forks (White and Maverick, in particular) but they seem to be in the minority.
 

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No offense taken, convincing you that a duc is the way to go is not my mission in life. I'll drop it. Actions speak louder than words anyways. The only way your gonna know is to get out there and try one. Good luck
 

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mtnwater said:
Any Sultan owners or armchair 29 pudits care to discuss why or why not a sultan might be a reasonable change to make?
Sounds like you're leaning towards the Sultan at this point, but if I may let's back up and start at the beginning. First, a few thoughts about your particular situation:

-Sounds like you keep your rigs for awhile, and want to make sure that whatever purchase you make you're not going to be regretting in a year or two. Otherwise you didn't give any indication as to why you're considering the Sultan. Have you ridden a 29"er?

-No offense, but at 6', 150 you must be pretty lean. I mention this because that suggests you have a lower center of gravity than someone like me, 6', 185 (at the moment :mad: ). One of my favorite things about 29"ers is how they feel less "tippy", but this may be less of an issue for you to begin with.

-Haven't ridden in Tahoe, but aside from your personal dimensions/preferences, terrain will play the biggest role in determining which bike will better serve you. Mind you, I'd take a 29"er over an equivalent travel 26" bike any day, but we're talking 100mm vs. 140mm here, that's a substantial gap.

Unlike JNC I notice a marked difference in the suspension feel between my Sultan and 5 Spot. The overall stability and confidence each bike inspires is roughly the same for me, and I just sold my 5 Spot so you can tell which one I prefer, but the greater travel of the 5 Spot is the one selling point it has over the Sultan as far as I'm concerned.

There's very limited terrain where this would make it a better bike than the Sultan, but it does exist. Think high speed, repeated big hits/jumps, but otherwise relatively smooth and non-technical. It seems like some of the stuff I've seen from Tahoe meets this description, but then a lot of what your describing doesn't. When you say you enjoy "technical climbing and picking my way down technical lines" that makes me think the Sultan would be the better choice.

I love the big wheels in technical, low traction situations, which also tends to be where the advantages of suspension are least pronounced. Motoring your way through rock gardens, picking your line up a technical climb, and rolling down steep rock faces all become noticeably easier with the Sultan. If you're moving the wheels hold their speed much better, and if you're poking along they're less inclined to get caught up on something and throw you over the bars.

Overall I'd say the Sultan would be well worth a try, but I can't promise you won't miss the travel of the Spot at times. For me it wasn't enough to make me want to keep both, but rather get a RFX to supplement the Sultan.
Caveat emptor. :thumbsup:

 

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jncarpenter said:
....I've owned a 5 Spot for 2 years & an RFX for the last year and a half. Currently also own a Sultan...my vote would be the Sultan, hands down. I am even considering selling the RFX I ride it so little these days (mostly rode it in 5.3" mode). IMHO, the sultan feels easily as plush & handles nearly the same steering wise as the 5 Spot. I prefer the Sultan on the descents over the Spot & needless to say, it is a climbing animal!
Man, now you have me thinking that my next frame should be a Sultan instead of an RFX . . . Decisions, decisions!

cactuscorn said:
what??? have you forgotten the whole idea of ugi? buy now, sell and replace later. sheesh!
Keep in mind that CC has something like 47 bikes in his stable . . . :)
 
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