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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! I need the expert opinions of some of the people here on some different FS bike choices. First some background: I weight about 220 (15% bf, so weight isn’t going to go too much lower) I typically ride about 20 miles a day, six days a week. My ride breakdown is roughly 5 miles road, 6 miles XC trail (fire road), 9 miles single track (6 miles is a climb averaging 5.7% grade with some steeper sections, the decent is not all that technical as a whole (quite fast), but has some serious rock garden sections. No real drops over say 3 feet and definitely no head high hucks. My thoughts were to get a good climbing bike (since this is my weakest link) and let the rest kind of sort itself out. I really could care less about shaving off every pound possible on the bike as it’ll cost me a hell of a lot less to lose a couple pounds thought diet than it would on the bike. I am not totally hung up on a price range but I’m looking at about $3K. Ideally I just want a great frame that I can replace parts on as the years wear on and the parts break down.

The bikes I have narrowed it down to (I think) are:

Rocky Mountain ETSX-70
Yeti 575
Turner 5 Spot
Ellsworth Id
SC Blur (the me too bike of my area, which admittedly gives me pause)

I figure I can’t really go too wrong with any of these choices but any recommendations you could make would be greatly appreciated. Also, anything else that I might have overlooked?
 

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You are definetely looking at the right bikes. Couple of other suggestions that are better climbers would be the Turner Burner on closeout for $995 at Supergo (3.6" travel) and the Titus RX-100/Hammer Head 100 with 3.8" of travel. Both use 100mm forks and are comparable to the Blur. The other bikes you listed are designed around 120-130mm forks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll take a look the the Burner too. I've got a really good LBS who carries them and can hook me up with a total bro deal. Unfortunately no one carries Titus it seems, otherwise I would love to take that for a spin as well. Thanks for the advice!
 

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NorCal Rider said:
Help! I need the expert opinions of some of the people here on some different FS bike choices. First some background: I weight about 220 (15% bf, so weight isn't going to go too much lower) I typically ride about 20 miles a day, six days a week. My ride breakdown is roughly 5 miles road, 6 miles XC trail (fire road), 9 miles single track (6 miles is a climb averaging 5.7% grade with some steeper sections, the decent is not all that technical as a whole (quite fast), but has some serious rock garden sections. No real drops over say 3 feet and definitely no head high hucks. My thoughts were to get a good climbing bike (since this is my weakest link) and let the rest kind of sort itself out. I really could care less about shaving off every pound possible on the bike as it'll cost me a hell of a lot less to lose a couple pounds thought diet than it would on the bike. I am not totally hung up on a price range but I'm looking at about $3K. Ideally I just want a great frame that I can replace parts on as the years wear on and the parts break down.

The bikes I have narrowed it down to (I think) are:

Rocky Mountain ETSX-70
Yeti 575
Turner 5 Spot
Ellsworth Id
SC Blur (the me too bike of my area, which admittedly gives me pause)

I figure I can't really go too wrong with any of these choices but any recommendations you could make would be greatly appreciated. Also, anything else that I might have overlooked?
You have some great choices there. As someone else mentioned, include the Burner on your list.....great price.

You'll have to decide whether your future riding will get more technical or just remain the same. If you don't intend to go for bigger and bigger stuff, 4" of trave would probably be best for you. A bike like the 5 Spot could get downright boring on smooth trails.

My recommendations are the Burner with 4" rockers or the 5 Spot. I own a 5 Spot so take this with a grain of salt.
 

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another choice

i am in the same boat, except no turner dealer in the area. i have just about decided on the intense 5.5 (has the VPP like the blur) but the burner is a great choice--it would be really hard if i had a turner dealer anywhere near here :D
 

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I'll make this a little easier for you;

An ID has a bottom bracket height with a 5" fork of nearly 15"

The Turner 5-spot (and foes fxr) have bottom bracket heights of 13.3"

The Id is a "freak of nature" as far as geometry goes. For stability and manuverability, look closely at the geometry of the 5-spot. Unfortunatly, you can't use Ellsworth's "geometry" on their website, because it refers to the bike WITH a rider, which is impossible to compare to other bike's geometry because it is done without a rider so it is easy to compare between them. I'm sure the 575's geometry is in line with the foes and turner, as it should be.
 

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Change the Id to a Moment

NorCal Rider said:
Help! I need the expert opinions of some of the people here on some different FS bike choices. First some background: I weight about 220 (15% bf, so weight isn't going to go too much lower) I typically ride about 20 miles a day, six days a week. My ride breakdown is roughly 5 miles road, 6 miles XC trail (fire road), 9 miles single track (6 miles is a climb averaging 5.7% grade with some steeper sections, the decent is not all that technical as a whole (quite fast), but has some serious rock garden sections. No real drops over say 3 feet and definitely no head high hucks. My thoughts were to get a good climbing bike (since this is my weakest link) and let the rest kind of sort itself out. I really could care less about shaving off every pound possible on the bike as it'll cost me a hell of a lot less to lose a couple pounds thought diet than it would on the bike. I am not totally hung up on a price range but I'm looking at about $3K. Ideally I just want a great frame that I can replace parts on as the years wear on and the parts break down.

The bikes I have narrowed it down to (I think) are:

Rocky Mountain ETSX-70
Yeti 575
Turner 5 Spot
Ellsworth Id
SC Blur (the me too bike of my area, which admittedly gives me pause)

I figure I can't really go too wrong with any of these choices but any recommendations you could make would be greatly appreciated. Also, anything else that I might have overlooked?
I know it is more expensive but this is the best bike I've owned to date and it is number 14. Pedals very well uphill and feels so balanced. See pics here

5 spot was my second choice but I really wanted the option of 6" rear travel. The Moment can also be 5.25" when spec'd with a shorter stroke shock.
 

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I have a Turner XCE with both a romic and fox air propedal shocks.

I just got a Yeti 575.

It is remarkable how similar the two bikes are. Both climb very well and both handle similarly. The yeti just makes larger obstacles disappear with no real penalty in climbing ability or weight. The Yeti is a relative bargain.

If you absolutely don't need 5" then the burner or a blur makes sense. For a 5" bike that climbs on won't be hucked, the 575 is a great choice.

Good luck,
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jm. said:
I'll make this a little easier for you;

An ID has a bottom bracket height with a 5" fork of nearly 15"

The Turner 5-spot (and foes fxr) have bottom bracket heights of 13.3"

The Id is a "freak of nature" as far as geometry goes. For stability and manuverability, look closely at the geometry of the 5-spot. Unfortunatly, you can't use Ellsworth's "geometry" on their website, because it refers to the bike WITH a rider, which is impossible to compare to other bike's geometry because it is done without a rider so it is easy to compare between them. I'm sure the 575's geometry is in line with the foes and turner, as it should be.
Am I to understand this to mean that the ID loses a lot of the lateral control because of such a high bottom bracket? If that is true, short of riding with no weight over the top tube (a la without a seat and post) is there any other part of the frame geometry not consistent with the other frames which would allow you to get back some of the lost tracking (if I'm understanding you correctly).

Thanks!
 

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It makes it more unstable, it makes it harder to manuver

With the 5-spot, you can have a somewhat slack headtube angle (compared to XC race bikes) and with the low bottom bracket and slack headtube angle, you get a lot of stability. With the fairly short stays (compared to more freeride-ish bikes) and low bottom bracket, it makes for a quite manuverable bike(especially going up and down switchbacks and the linke)...the low bottom bracket is key to both of these.

The higher bottom bracket impacts both the stability and controllability. If you are looking for a sweet-handling bike, you can do better, when the bike is weighted the bottom bracket is still 14.something inches, which is extremely high compared to other bikes. Why is it like this? I don't know, but I do know that there are few, if any positive aspects of this compared to other bikes. Anyone who tries to convince themselves that they like a 15" bottom bracket on an trail bike is just fooling themselves IMO.
 

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Intense Spider XVP

If you like the Santa Cruz Blur checkout the Intense Spider XVP. It's the Intense version of the Blur. From what I have read and seen it is slightly better then the Blur. The frame is lighter and the geometry is more aggressive XC but still has the Santa Cruz VPP like the Blur. If you go with the XVP you don't have to worry about being a member of the "me too" Blur crowd. Although I ride a Superlight I can't imagine being in the "me too" crowd could be bad with any bike from Santa Cruz. :D

Intense Spider XVP website
 

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NappyT said:
If you like the Santa Cruz Blur checkout the Intense Spider XVP. It's the Intense version of the Blur. From what I have read and seen it is slightly better then the Blur. The frame is lighter and the geometry is more aggressive XC but still has the Santa Cruz VPP like the Blur. If you go with the XVP you don't have to worry about being a member of the "me too" Blur crowd. Although I ride a Superlight I can't imagine being in the "me too" crowd could be bad with any bike from Santa Cruz. :D

Intense Spider XVP website
Horror of horrors, being in the me to crowd of Santa Cruz. Why is it when a botique manufacture sells their bike for less than the competition and increases production to allow for economies of scale they become a sellout? I see it the other way, why would someone want to spend $2000 for the Intense when the same suspension design from Santa Cruz can be had for $1350?
 

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Jm. said:
It makes it more unstable, it makes it harder to manuver

With the 5-spot, you can have a somewhat slack headtube angle (compared to XC race bikes) and with the low bottom bracket and slack headtube angle, you get a lot of stability. With the fairly short stays (compared to more freeride-ish bikes) and low bottom bracket, it makes for a quite manuverable bike(especially going up and down switchbacks and the linke)...the low bottom bracket is key to both of these.

The higher bottom bracket impacts both the stability and controllability. If you are looking for a sweet-handling bike, you can do better, when the bike is weighted the bottom bracket is still 14.something inches, which is extremely high compared to other bikes. Why is it like this? I don't know, but I do know that there are few, if any positive aspects of this compared to other bikes. Anyone who tries to convince themselves that they like a 15" bottom bracket on an trail bike is just fooling themselves IMO.
Yep, that ID's high BB's definitely something most people won't like. That's why I'm looking at the Ellsworth moment instead. I presently own a 2003 Truth -- it's ICT rear suspension rides better than any other FS design I've tried so far.

As usual, I recommend test riding any rig before plunking down any money.
 

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CDMC said:
Horror of horrors, being in the me to crowd of Santa Cruz. Why is it when a botique manufacture sells their bike for less than the competition and increases production to allow for economies of scale they become a sellout? I see it the other way, why would someone want to spend $2000 for the Intense when the same suspension design from Santa Cruz can be had for $1350?
Well, you don't want to be mistaken for a peasant! :p Next thing you know people'll think you're one of the riff-raffs who ride frames from Taiwan!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
EEKS! God forbid. Before this gets too venomous let me clarify a seemingly innocuous statement. What I meant (can't speak for anybody else) by "me too" in my original post was that it seems to me like the Blur has become a status symbol to a certain degree. Just got a bad vibe from a LBS about "how they should be charging more for the bike cause people are actually fighting over them".

For me, I could give a flying ^&*^ in a rolling donut what people think about me or my bike, I just want to find a bike I can ride with my buddies/wife, enjoy being outside and not get to worked on climbs so my fat a** can catch them on the down slope.

As for the guys at SC, keep on doing exactly what your doing because the guys I know who do ride your stuff, I've never once head anything negative, never.
 

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CDMC said:
Horror of horrors, being in the me to crowd of Santa Cruz. Why is it when a botique manufacture sells their bike for less than the competition and increases production to allow for economies of scale they become a sellout? I see it the other way, why would someone want to spend $2000 for the Intense when the same suspension design from Santa Cruz can be had for $1350?
I think the msrp of the xvp is now a screaming deal at $1750.
 

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NorCal Rider said:
Help! I need the expert opinions of some of the people here on some different FS bike choices. First some background: I weight about 220 (15% bf, so weight isn't going to go too much lower) I typically ride about 20 miles a day, six days a week. My ride breakdown is roughly 5 miles road, 6 miles XC trail (fire road), 9 miles single track (6 miles is a climb averaging 5.7% grade with some steeper sections, the decent is not all that technical as a whole (quite fast), but has some serious rock garden sections. No real drops over say 3 feet and definitely no head high hucks. My thoughts were to get a good climbing bike (since this is my weakest link) and let the rest kind of sort itself out. I really could care less about shaving off every pound possible on the bike as it'll cost me a hell of a lot less to lose a couple pounds thought diet than it would on the bike. I am not totally hung up on a price range but I'm looking at about $3K. Ideally I just want a great frame that I can replace parts on as the years wear on and the parts break down.

The bikes I have narrowed it down to (I think) are:

Rocky Mountain ETSX-70
Yeti 575
Turner 5 Spot
Ellsworth Id
SC Blur (the me too bike of my area, which admittedly gives me pause)

I figure I can't really go too wrong with any of these choices but any recommendations you could make would be greatly appreciated. Also, anything else that I might have overlooked?
Sounds like you ride almost the same ride I do around the Fairfax area in Marin. Almost all the new bikes I see now are Blurs too. There's a good reason, they work really well for our NorCal Coastal Range conditions. They pedal and ride very smooth and climb without squatting at all, both when seated and standing, that goes for the Intense 5.5 and the more race oriented Spider too. The only real problem I found with the Blur (test ridden in Moab) was seated pedaling in the lowest gears while climbing up rolling or rocky terrain which caused nearly full rear travel action producing noticeable pedal stalling, like a very smooth "kickback". A lower monopivot like a Yeti or lower pivot or a modified low pivot path like a Horst link pedals more smoothly in those really rough conditions but bob more. The Blur and VPP's are snappier and quicker climbing in smoother conditions with the same travel than anything else of the same weight. If you could compromise a little of the really rough condition efficiency the VPP's should work really well around here. There is a frequently reported problem of rapid bearing wear, so at your weigh the VPP's may not be the best option unless you don't mind replacing them about every 6 months or so at your rate of riding.

Another bike that has impressed me for climbing efficiency (no bob) with very smooth no kickback big bump action and overall light weight and versatility, is the 4 - 6 inch quick-release adjustable-travel Marin Wolf Ridge.

All the bikes you listed would work exceptionally well in NorCal except the Id. It's extra high BB and steep fork angle are less stable handling and exaggerate the inherent ICT pedal bob especially for a strong heavier rider. The Moment is a stronger built version of the Id with an inch lower BB and slacker fork angle. But the Moment is almost exactly the same geometry copied from the 5 Spot, so the Turner would be a better choice for higher engineering quality and professional warrantee coverage.

I bet the 575 would work really well here too, They've optimized a platform air shock monopivot and I haven't yet seen one in Marin, and they look really clean.

Try to get some demo rides.

- ray
 

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Well said

Blue Shorts said:
You have some great choices there. As someone else mentioned, include the Burner on your list.....great price.

You'll have to decide whether your future riding will get more technical or just remain the same. If you don't intend to go for bigger and bigger stuff, 4" of trave would probably be best for you. A bike like the 5 Spot could get downright boring on smooth trails.

My recommendations are the Burner with 4" rockers or the 5 Spot. I own a 5 Spot so take this with a grain of salt.
I am so impressed that someone with a 5 Spot did not simply reply, "get the 5 Spot" ;) Seriously though, this is very good advice in terms of what your "future" riding may entail. Had I asked that question of myself, I would not have been changing frames each year till now.

I agree that for the intended purpose stated, a Burner would be phenomenal bike and could be a nice build given its current price. I am trying to justify that I need to buy a frame myself and build it up.....though I have not yet figured out the angle with my wife on this one.

Of the bikes mentioned, in the post, I would say the Burner. The geometry sound just perfect and being a bike snob, I would have to go with a made in the USA bike (or Canada). I personally dont like the Blur (note that I also have a Bullit so I am not SC bashing) at all and I am also surprised Derby did not mention the Tracer. I had a Tracer and chose it way above the Blur. This is an incredible bike and if you dont mind a used frame you can save a bunch of money and get a classic that rocks. I am such an idiot to have sold the frame :eek:
 

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Steve71 said:
Check out this thread. Haro FS (Intense Tracer clone made by Intense) for $699 with free shipping. You could get the Fox Float pushed and it's still cheaper that a Burner (also a great choice).

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=37187
I picked that Haro/Intense copy frame up. It's pretty dang light for a burly (well-built) all-mountain trail bike. I'm a Haro fan, but I almost got that Burner with the 3-way. My current Haro has a Swinger 3-way, and it is simply incredible.
 
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