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Hey TJ Users!,

New here.. and New Timberjack 2020 XT (size: Medium) owner.. got it today for what I think was great deal considering it was nearly new.. or at least like it wasn't ridden much at all.. Needed to hit the trail on the way home from buying it..

So far so good.. Lots of fun, I have lots to learn as I am roadie/ gravel rider at heart.. I almost flipped backwards climbing some steep stuff, but all in good fun..

Here she is.. Not sure what Mods I"ll do to it as I get better.. But first and for most the long 175mm Crank needs to go.. Pedal strikes galore in the rocky Central East cost here.. I ride 165mm on the road so not sure if I want to go with the same or even shorter..


Anyway, hope the picture uploads...

View attachment 1910932
Great rig, and welcome!

I also went down to 165mm cranks on my TJ, to be easier on a knee that has had issues previously.

Just a heads up, when my LBS went to install the new cranks they had ordered for me, they found the stock chainring wasn’t compatible so I had to shell out for a new chainring as well. Your experience may vary.
 

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Ibis Ripley V4
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I don't think you're going to be able to find lower than 165mm cranks. Honestly, I ran my TJ in the Northeast with 175's and it was fine, technique is key. Unlike road and gravel where you can just keep turning the cranks, you have to plan ahead and sometimes ratchet your way through stuff. 165's can come with some issues on their own, can lead to a higher cadence that's usually not so good for mountain biking, and you technically will give up some leverage gain.

Going to 170's and 29ers I think would help a lot more than putting really small cranks on.

Personally, I found going to 29ers was better for technical, rocky trails. Better rollover and easier to hold speed, all with better ground clearance. I felt like my TJ was a bike that was able to run 27.5+, but it really came into its own with 29ers. If you have a buddy that can lend you some 29ers, it's a good way to find out what wheels you might prefer without having to shell out the money ahead of time.
 

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jcd's best friend
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Hey TJ Users!,

New here.. and New Timberjack 2020 XT (size: Medium) owner.. got it today for what I think was great deal considering it was nearly new.. or at least like it wasn't ridden much at all.. Needed to hit the trail on the way home from buying it..

So far so good.. Lots of fun, I have lots to learn as I am roadie/ gravel rider at heart.. I almost flipped backwards climbing some steep stuff, but all in good fun..

Here she is.. Not sure what Mods I"ll do to it as I get better.. But first and for most the long 175mm Crank needs to go.. Pedal strikes galore in the rocky Central East cost here.. I ride 165mm on the road so not sure if I want to go with the same or even shorter..


Anyway, hope the picture uploads...
Looks great! Welcome to the club! You picked a great bike. It's a jack of all trades kind of bike. I actually do some gravel pounding with my TJ as well. Salsa does make frame bags for the TJ so if you ever want to go bikepacking, you can load the TJ up and have some fun.
 

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Great rig, and welcome!

I also went down to 165mm cranks on my TJ, to be easier on a knee that has had issues previously.

Just a heads up, when my LBS went to install the new cranks they had ordered for me, they found the stock chainring wasn’t compatible so I had to shell out for a new chainring as well. Your experience may vary.
Thank you, yeah reading up on Shimano MTB line is a bit crazy to me.. I am a Sram Road/Gravel user.. Regardless on how some people hate Sram road; it is very straight forward in regard to the tools needed.. Actually you usually just need Allen and Torx for 95% of it minus BB sockets..

The Shimano MTB world or so it seems I already need 4 different tools to remove the MT610 SLX cranks and install XT cranks.. All of these different spline and preload cups and wrenches LoL.. At least Amazon has most of them for Sub $12 each.

And yes, I wont be able to use my CR with the new XT crank as the XT is Direct Mount and the SLX MT610 is 96BCD.. even though the spider does look removable.. We will see, Ill pull it apart when the tool comes in and see what CR I actually need..
 

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I don't think you're going to be able to find lower than 165mm cranks. Honestly, I ran my TJ in the Northeast with 175's and it was fine, technique is key. Unlike road and gravel where you can just keep turning the cranks, you have to plan ahead and sometimes ratchet your way through stuff. 165's can come with some issues on their own, can lead to a higher cadence that's usually not so good for mountain biking, and you technically will give up some leverage gain.

Going to 170's and 29ers I think would help a lot more than putting really small cranks on.

Personally, I found going to 29ers was better for technical, rocky trails. Better rollover and easier to hold speed, all with better ground clearance. I felt like my TJ was a bike that was able to run 27.5+, but it really came into its own with 29ers. If you have a buddy that can lend you some 29ers, it's a good way to find out what wheels you might prefer without having to shell out the money ahead of time.
I agree that 29r wheels will do the trick.. But being vertically challenged at 5,7" (170cm) I felt a bit of knee ache today after my ride.. I ride 165mm on road/gravel and would like to match the pedal dynamics of that when the dropper is in full up position..

But, who knows, I could be wrong in my thinking as MTB'ing is all alien to me :)
 

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Looks great! Welcome to the club! You picked a great bike. It's a jack of all trades kind of bike. I actually do some gravel pounding with my TJ as well. Salsa does make frame bags for the TJ so if you ever want to go bikepacking, you can load the TJ up and have some fun.
I got really lucky, with the TJ.. I agree this will be a do it all MTB,, especially for me having zero skills. I almost made a huge mistake and bought the rare Specialized Status after I test road it last week at the LBS.. It was so cool and aggressive looking. The price was right, and the comps where pretty decent.. I test road it on some steep road climbs to see if the rear-sus and the super slack HA would be a no no for my putting around trail riding style.. I almost convinced myself I could make it work.. But a cool down at home and 4 hours of internet research and videos I realized quickly that the Status was not the bike for me.. There is no way in hell I would be taking jumps like the internet dudes were taking and have no bike parks in my future..
2 days later 2 mint condition TJs showed up local in FB Market place.. one SLX 2020 and XT 2020.. I contacted both and said screw it for the price I was getting them I might as well get the better Comp one with XT.. Literally took it to the trail on the way home and was grinning from ear to ear like a kid crawling over rocks and descending at a lightning pace (minus 5mph) :) and as I was doing this I realized that wow the Status would have been a horrible choice and this bike will check all my boxes, even if I manage to get better, it will still be more than I need.
 

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Here it is with the Fox Perf 34. Just installed it tonight. The fork has stealth black graphics which I may swap to orange for obvious reasons in the future. It's exactly 1/2 lb lighter than the Recon but I haven't got any ride comparison in, or fiddled with the rebound. Measured stanchion is 5.5", which is a plus, and longer than the 130mm advertised.
Did you get a ride in? Curious of your thoughts.
 

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The Timberjack Ti is on my shortlist but I am between a Medium and Large frame. Unfortunately, no shops near me have one in stock for me to throw a leg over. For comparison, I am riding a Large, Rocky Mtn Vertex with a Reach of 435.2mm and 70mm stem. The Reach on the Large Timberjack is 457mm, which is +22mm longer than my current hardtail. I have also read in this thread that the Timberjack rides "smaller" than the geometry numbers indicate. For reference, I am 5'10' with a 32" inseam. Anyone here in the 5'10' or 5'11" range who has a Large? Thoughts?
 

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The Timberjack Ti is on my shortlist but I am between a Medium and Large frame. Unfortunately, no shops near me have one in stock for me to throw a leg over. For comparison, I am riding a Large, Rocky Mtn Vertex with a Reach of 435.2mm and 70mm stem. The Reach on the Large Timberjack is 457mm, which is +22mm longer than my current hardtail. I have also read in this thread that the Timberjack rides "smaller" than the geometry numbers indicate. For reference, I am 5'10' with a 32" inseam. Anyone here in the 5'10' or 5'11" range who has a Large? Thoughts?
I'm 6'2" with a 32" inseam. I ride a large. Mostly because the XL's stand over was 31" something...it was too close to the boys. I don't think it rides small at all. I tried a Roscoe 21.5" and it felt tiny.
 

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jcd's best friend
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I got really lucky, with the TJ.. I agree this will be a do it all MTB,, especially for me having zero skills. I almost made a huge mistake and bought the rare Specialized Status after I test road it last week at the LBS.. It was so cool and aggressive looking. The price was right, and the comps where pretty decent.. I test road it on some steep road climbs to see if the rear-sus and the super slack HA would be a no no for my putting around trail riding style.. I almost convinced myself I could make it work.. But a cool down at home and 4 hours of internet research and videos I realized quickly that the Status was not the bike for me.. There is no way in hell I would be taking jumps like the internet dudes were taking and have no bike parks in my future..
2 days later 2 mint condition TJs showed up local in FB Market place.. one SLX 2020 and XT 2020.. I contacted both and said screw it for the price I was getting them I might as well get the better Comp one with XT.. Literally took it to the trail on the way home and was grinning from ear to ear like a kid crawling over rocks and descending at a lightning pace (minus 5mph) :) and as I was doing this I realized that wow the Status would have been a horrible choice and this bike will check all my boxes, even if I manage to get better, it will still be more than I need.
Yep, the Status is a downhill bike and it's not something you will ride on a regular basis. When they refer to it as a park bike, they refer downhill bike parks where you usually ride on ski lifts to the top. DH bikes are pure beast mode with lots of suspension travel but they are only good for DH trails.
 

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Ibis Ripley V4
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For your height, I would think the large with a 50mm stem would ride nice.

With a 32” inseam, you should be able to fit a 150mm dropper and give you a lot of room to move around the bike and not be so front heavy.

I’ve learned to love longer reach, shorter stem bikes.
 

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The Timberjack Ti is on my shortlist but I am between a Medium and Large frame. Unfortunately, no shops near me have one in stock for me to throw a leg over. For comparison, I am riding a Large, Rocky Mtn Vertex with a Reach of 435.2mm and 70mm stem. The Reach on the Large Timberjack is 457mm, which is +22mm longer than my current hardtail. I have also read in this thread that the Timberjack rides "smaller" than the geometry numbers indicate. For reference, I am 5'10' with a 32" inseam. Anyone here in the 5'10' or 5'11" range who has a Large? Thoughts?
I second that and say go Large, I'm 5'9 and almost feel cramped, I rode the L and it felt just as good, but my instincts went with Salsa recomendation on sizing.
 

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Im thinking of getting a 2nd wheelset for my 2020 TJ in 29” ( already have stock 27.5+).
Would 30 mm internal 29er rims be a smart choice? Or is 35mm more of the way to go? I think I would be going with 2.6” tires if that makes a difference

thanks in advance
 

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One last thing.. What do you guys think of a mullet setup 29er in the front and 27.5+ in the back ?

Caveat: I like to tinker.. Thats what I do :) I am curious if the mullet setup would accomplish 3 things:
1. Slacken the Head angle a bit
2. Raise the BB slightly
3. Fill my need to buy stuff and tinker with my TJ as in the lack of skill to ride it hard, moding makes me happy..
 

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Ibis Ripley V4
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I goofed around a bit with a “mullett” 27.5+ out back and 29 out front. Nothing groundbreaking.

if you’re going to run 2.6” tires, I would say 35mm internal wheels.
 

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DFMBA.org
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Did you get a ride in? Curious of your thoughts.
Well, I don’t have it fully dialed in (messing with tokens and rebound) but it’s miles ahead of the RS Recon that came stock. It’s refreshing to use a fork that maintains traction in corners, and doesn’t get overwhelmed in rock gardens. Well worth the expense. It’s increased the capability of the bike as well, b/c it’s 140mm vs stock 130mm.


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I goofed around a bit with a “mullett” 27.5+ out back and 29 out front. Nothing groundbreaking.

if you’re going to run 2.6” tires, I would say 35mm internal wheels.
So you think 30mm internal for running 2.5-2.6 tires would be to sloppy? Unfortunately, lots of great deals on 28mm-30mm internal MTB wheels as wider is all the new rage lol
 

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So you think 30mm internal for running 2.5-2.6 tires would be to sloppy? Unfortunately, lots of great deals on 28mm-30mm internal MTB wheels as wider is all the new rage lol
It will be possible to do, but the widest I personally like to go on a 30mm internal rim is 2.4". My I9 Enduro 305's are 30.5mm internal and find 2.4" Maxxis tires seem to be perfect. Pretty sure Maxxis suggest 2.4" Wide Trail tires on 30mm rims, when the Wide Trails jump to 2.6" they then suggest 35mm.

Personally, I think 2.4" tires are a good mix of volume and support. As the width gets larger, so does weight. To combat this, a lot of + tires are built with a thinner, less durable carcass. So less sidewall support and easier to damage.

A lot of it will depend on how aggressive you want to ride. I don't ride all that aggressive, but I will get after it sometimes and I just found + tires to be underwhelming in a lot of situations. When I was riding my TJ I had my 27.5+ plus tires for when I wanted all out comfort and 29ers with 2.4" tires for pretty much 95% of my riding.
 

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It will be possible to do, but the widest I personally like to go on a 30mm internal rim is 2.4". My I9 Enduro 305's are 30.5mm internal and find 2.4" Maxxis tires seem to be perfect. Pretty sure Maxxis suggest 2.4" Wide Trail tires on 30mm rims, when the Wide Trails jump to 2.6" they then suggest 35mm.

Personally, I think 2.4" tires are a good mix of volume and support. As the width gets larger, so does weight. To combat this, a lot of + tires are built with a thinner, less durable carcass. So less sidewall support and easier to damage.

A lot of it will depend on how aggressive you want to ride. I don't ride all that aggressive, but I will get after it sometimes and I just found + tires to be underwhelming in a lot of situations. When I was riding my TJ I had my 27.5+ plus tires for when I wanted all out comfort and 29ers with 2.4" tires for pretty much 95% of my riding.

This all makes sense.. Thank you.. I wonder one last thing as it seems to be the better option to go with 35mm on 2.6, would 35mm and 2.4 be okay.. I would hate to buy a set of wheels then have them dependent on tire size especially if I want to test different ones out when they wear out.. I all ready have 2.8 27.5+ so there is probably no need to go to a 2.6 in 29.. So I would like to start in the 2.4-2.5 range.. Just want to get rims that will support my tinkering in the future.
 

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Im thinking of getting a 2nd wheelset for my 2020 TJ in 29” ( already have stock 27.5+).
Would 30 mm internal 29er rims be a smart choice? Or is 35mm more of the way to go? I think I would be going with 2.6” tires if that makes a difference

thanks in advance
I have a set of Bontrager Line Elite 30s on mine (pic is in post #3267) and run a 2.4 Ardent in the back. With the 30s it measures out at an honest 2.5” with plenty of room to spare. The stock 30mm rims held 2.6s just fine. My guess is a 35 would work though.


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