Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 120 Posts

·
Registered
ya like dags?
Joined
·
5,848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently on a 120mm HT, and am possibly in the market for a second bike that can handle steeper, chunkier stuff. Being a HT kinda guy, I'm drawn to these new 63* bikes that are hitting the market. The RSD RS-291 is very intriguing, given how much I enjoyed my Middlechild in the past.

I don't trust online reviews anymore, and was hoping to get some real world feedback from you peoples on here that are currently on bikes along this same vein (the Honzo ESD and such).

This would be a 2nd bike, my 120mm bike would still be my main. This bike would likely only be used for long fire road climbs up to bomb back down. A small percentage of my riding honestly, but much more fun on a bigger bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,327 Posts
IME they’re fun as hell but aren’t awesomely maneuverable. It sounds like your expectations are reasonable – go for it. A pal is smitten with his Moxie after several other HTs and FS, kills the San Gabes on it. Kingdom Vendetta Custom works for me. Sliders for SS of course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SingleSpeedSteven

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
I ride a Sonder Transmitter and went from a 150mm fork to a Lyrik 180mm.

At first I wanted to buy a new air shaft, but after a couple of rides I changed my mind.

I don't feel a difference when climbing, but I do when riding down. The head tube angle is probably below 64 now.

1942745
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
I'm currently on a 120mm HT, and am possibly in the market for a second bike that can handle steeper, chunkier stuff. Being a HT kinda guy, I'm drawn to these new 63* bikes that are hitting the market. The RSD RS-291 is very intriguing, given how much I enjoyed my Middlechild in the past.

I don't trust online reviews anymore, and was hoping to get some real world feedback from you peoples on here that are currently on bikes along this same vein (the Honzo ESD and such).

This would be a 2nd bike, my 120mm bike would still be my main. This bike would likely only be used for long fire road climbs up to bomb back down. A small percentage of my riding honestly, but much more fun on a bigger bike.
Favorite topic these days. Absolutely love my Chromag Rootdown (64/160). The pure feeling of appropriate frame flex on appropriate wheels when cornering/pumping is very satisfying. So much so that I bought a Honzo ESD frame (63/150), supposed to be even more compliant than the beefy Chromag, and started playing with wheel sizes, crank lengths, tire combos, etc.- so much fun.

Currently Rootdown (415 stays) runs mullet with 2.6 Dissectors while the ESD, which has adjustable chain stay lengths either gets super grippy tires in long/Enduro mode (435mm stays) or gets really fast rolling tires with shorter stays (417-420) for XC mode. What's better than ripping passed the dentist on the Epic Evo on your 63 degree steel bruiser and then hucking the 6ft drop just for good measure.

They are "heavy" HTs (31-33 lbs depending on wheel and tires) but unless you're on an Epic or Spur, that doesn't seem heavy these days, and I honestly never feel sluggish (granted, not doing 3+ hr rides on these grip and rip bikes).

Any maneuverability issues seem mostly related to the chain stay length more so than slack HTAs, though I do like the smaller offset forks with these slack angles. Super steeps STAs make climbing way easier than expected. Won't track like an XC bike but it's not hard at all to get used to leaning rather than turning even on the slow speed stuff.

The Sentinel is collecting dust these days as I honestly find it hard to find trails here in VA/MD/DC these HTs can't do well and with more smiles per mile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
I split my rides between a 2008 Trek 69er SS and a 2019 Kona Big Honzo. They are like night and day! That is why you need a quiver of bikes.
As John Denver said, A Man Who Loves Only One Kind of Mountain Bike, Drinks only one kind of Wine!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
I'm currently on a 120mm HT, and am possibly in the market for a second bike that can handle steeper, chunkier stuff. Being a HT kinda guy, I'm drawn to these new 63* bikes that are hitting the market. The RSD RS-291 is very intriguing, given how much I enjoyed my Middlechild in the past.

I don't trust online reviews anymore, and was hoping to get some real world feedback from you peoples on here that are currently on bikes along this same vein (the Honzo ESD and such).

This would be a 2nd bike, my 120mm bike would still be my main. This bike would likely only be used for long fire road climbs up to bomb back down. A small percentage of my riding honestly, but much more fun on a bigger bike.
Hi there!
I'm 179cm on a large Chromag Doctahawk with a 180mm Yari on 27+ Minions since last fall. I progressed over the years, starting with a 2013 Honzo ST (medium) with the stock 120mm RS Revelation, then added a 2016 Honzo TI in large with a 150mm Fox 36 and a 2° angleset and 29x2.6" Minions. The Hawk is a surprisingly good climber, the additional weight compared to the Honzo Ti is barely noticable. I attribute this to the more efficient seat tube angle. So much so that I recently dropped the fork travel on the Honzo Ti to 130mm, which should bring the STA back to the stock figure. but that is still "old school" by now, compared to the Hawk.
I was initially concerned about the longer chainstays on the Hawk (435 static vs. the sliders on the Honzo which I always run at 415), but in combination with the slack head angle and the longer reach (about 500) this has been a non issue so far. Whether high speed or low speed (technical) down hill sections, switchbacks, jumps or drops, everything feels great on the Hawk. I have yet to try 29er wheels, they are already built up but I haven't had the itch to mount them as yet.
One strong recommendation is to use an oval front ring (and flat pedals), which I find really provide for less fatigue over the course of long days in the saddle.
And a second one, which is more obvious: proper rear tires (3C EXO+ for me) and/or inserts are a must.
So if you can get your hands on one of those new school hard tails (ESD, Hawk, Cotic BFEMax) I'd say go for it. The difference to your current rig is significant, so there probably won't be too much overlap (that was the second motivation for my dropping the travel on the Honzo TI).
Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
My do-it-all bike is a 29er HT with 140mm travel and a HA of 63.9. I use it for round the city/forrest tours with my 3 year old on a Feva seat to fast flow and techy ups and downs. I just love that bike on every surface and type of trail.
Yes you have to compensate a bit for that long WB on super tight switch backs but then again I would also need to compensate for fast gnarly descents on a XC bike. Whatever rocks your boat and then go with the matching bike.
1942878
 

·
Pro Coffee Drinker
Joined
·
269 Posts
Slack HT Feedback: Yes.

My Chromag is similar in HTA to your Middlechild, but I wouldn't hesitate to run it with an angleset to a degree slacker at 63.5 or 64. Hasn't held me back on the climbs and it's an absolute riot the rest of the time. The only problem I've found is that it's made me want a new FS bike with similar geometry, so my "buy this bike and be good for a while" turned into me saving up for another bike.

-DS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Slack HT Feedback: Yes.

My Chromag is similar in HTA to your Middlechild, but I wouldn't hesitate to run it with an angleset to a degree slacker at 63.5 or 64. Hasn't held me back on the climbs and it's an absolute riot the rest of the time. The only problem I've found is that it's made me want a new FS bike with similar geometry, so my "buy this bike and be good for a while" turned into me saving up for another bike.

-DS
Same for me. I got the Rootdown in part because I hated feeling so sketchy getting back on a steep HTA hardtail when coming off my 66.5 degree FS. My confidence on the Chromag with a Fox 36 (now a Mezzer) changed my riding so much I switched to a 64 degree FS. Never going back.
 

·
Professional Crastinator
Joined
·
6,824 Posts
Wow! Some sweet rigs here!

I ride a Nimble 9 with a 140 Pike. It's not so slack as most of these, but the HA (along with a dropper) makes even really steep stuff almost comfortable, esp compared to the bikes I used to ride on the same really steep stuff. Cornering is fantastic. There are only a few spots I can think of where I actually get out of control - diagonal root cluster things where I might skip the front tire off something and end up at the edge/off of the trail. It would probably not do that if i didn't run it so stiff, but that's how I like it.
Anything less than 140, IMO, would not be enough (regardless of what frame you have). At that point, I'd probably just go back to rigid. But the N9 will take a 150 at least.
BB height is really good for my riding.
The WB is fine, even on our narrow, twisty trails.
Climbs very well!
And I like short chainstays.
It comes in around 28#(?)

And like someone else said, it's different enough that it will pick up where your other bike leaves off. The thing is, you might start heading for specific trails just to prove to yourself that it was worth it, and you'll forget all about your other bike. 😁

-F
 

·
shy of 60
Joined
·
201 Posts
I have a Norco Torrent A2 on order. So, no ride review here but I can't wait to get it. It will supplement my alloy GG Smash. Hope to put a leg over it sometime this fall/winter (?). But given how most anything related to bikes is delayed, it will probably be arrive next calendar year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
I've had my Honzo ESD since March. It replaced my Honzo AL which had the same 140mm Z2 w/ 44mm offset. Also, I had a -2 Works angled headset so that bike was around a 65 degree HA. Really fun bike after those upgrades…

…But, the ESD is in a whole different class. The 63 degree HA is definitely noticeable on the steeps; hell, it just rails better on everything. I used to think that a bike that slack couldn't climb, but no, the steep seat tube angle sees to that. I can climb everything that I've ever been able to climb on an XC bike. At this point, it has become my main bike, and I only take my enduro bike on the batshit crazy trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Maybe I'm a corner case, but I'm not a huge fan of the slack HTA thing. The slackest I have is my Esker Japhy (about 65 degrees unsagged). Granted, I'm running it rigid singlespeed. The fork is 495 A:C and 49mm offset (bike is designed for 51mm), and weighs in at less than 24 lbs with a 2.6 out back and a 3.25 up front.

The downhill stability on the big chunky/ledgy downhills is great, but I don't think it makes up for the front wheel floppy vagueness when climbing and riding low speed chunk and tech. Also makes it hard to ride skinnies with tight turns ;)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
The slack HTA is definitely not going to be everyone's cup o' tea. However I personally won't go back to a more traditional/steeper bike. After riding my GG Smash I just couldn't get along as well with my old steep DJ hardtail. Built up a 2020 Rootdown last year and absolutely love it. Super fun on gravel trails or rides with my kids, and excels at descending fast gnarly singletrack. Climbs great too. I'd have a hard time picking a favorite between the two bikes at this point, but the Rootdown seems to get at least an equal share of the ride time. It just does everything well.

1942936
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Wow! Some sweet rigs here!

I ride a Nimble 9 with a 140 Pike. It's not so slack as most of these, but the HA (along with a dropper) makes even really steep stuff almost comfortable, esp compared to the bikes I used to ride on the same really steep stuff. Cornering is fantastic. There are only a few spots I can think of where I actually get out of control - diagonal root cluster things where I might skip the front tire off something and end up at the edge/off of the trail. It would probably not do that if i didn't run it so stiff, but that's how I like it.
Anything less than 140, IMO, would not be enough (regardless of what frame you have). At that point, I'd probably just go back to rigid. But the N9 will take a 150 at least.
BB height is really good for my riding.
The WB is fine, even on our narrow, twisty trails.
Climbs very well!
And I like short chainstays.
It comes in around 28#(?)

And like someone else said, it's different enough that it will pick up where your other bike leaves off. The thing is, you might start heading for specific trails just to prove to yourself that it was worth it, and you'll forget all about your other bike. ?

I've had my Honzo ESD since March. It replaced my Honzo AL which had the same 140mm Z2 w/ 44mm offset. Also, I had a -2 Works angled headset so that bike was around a 65 degree HA. Really fun bike after those upgrades…

…But, the ESD is in a whole different class. The 63 degree HA is definitely noticeable on the steeps; hell, it just rails better on everything. I used to think that a bike that slack couldn't climb, but no, the steep seat tube angle sees to that. I can climb everything that I've ever been able to climb on an XC bike. At this point, it has become my main bike, and I only take my enduro bike on the batshit crazy trails.
Amen
 
1 - 20 of 120 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top