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Captain Climber
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not a big fan of XC Geo unless things have really changed over the past five years. I like fun trail bikes and am looking for a new hard tail. Something that is fun and quick.
 

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I really love my Ragley Big Wig. Fairly progressive geometry. I wish it had slightly shorter chainstains.

I liked the Honzo I demoed but it was a much harsher frame and I didn't find it as fast when the trail pointed down.
 

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Depending on trail conditions, I'm nearly as fast on my 2019 Chameleon 2.8+ tires as I am on my 2016 FSR.
On the chunky stuff I have backed it down for fear of (continued) rim damage.
I was exhausted on Sunay's ride and pulled a 5:01 flow trail downhill run on the Chameleon which is right on par with my average times. I've been sub 5 minutes on both bikes, down around 4:5x.

I'm a bit slower on climbing the Chameleon, however I do have a couple climbing PR's on it.

I don't know if I notice the short chain stay of the Chameleon while riding, but I do feel it when I wheelie.

The geometry is similar to the FSR, but different enough to be different.
Same wheel base
Chameleon longer reach
Chameleon longer stack
Head angle is within 1/4 degree between the two

I can't answer what the fastest bike is because all terrain conditions warrant different speeds and I'm not an expert at all conditions.
Both bikes are fun in their own right though.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,337 Posts
:facepalm:

There's no such thing as the "fastest bike" of any sort so you can leave that part out.

You're looking for a fun trail geo hardtail 29er. We can work with that. But it's still going to give a fairly long list. This long-running, stickied thread might be more useful than asking people for a list where you're only going to get a list of what people own.

https://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/all-mountain-hardtail-thread-post-up-yours-279265.html
 

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Fast up, down, or both? I like going fast up and down, or I guess "net fastest" which results in compromises for the DH. I started with a carbon Honzo and slowly have made it work for me with the following changes:

Light AMish carbon wheels
Extend Pike from 120mm->140mm
Flat carbon bar to bring front end back down
XC tires (typically loads of grip in the rocky desert anyway)

Overall love it, very light weight and rolls fast, while still having geo that allows for good performance and fun on the DH. That would be my suggestion, start with a carbon or ti all mountain style hardtail and go from there.
 

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My vote is for the Stache, currently number one (in use) in my 4-horse stable.
 

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2018 Trek Stache
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I clicked on this thread with the intention of adding Stache. I've never ridden another hardtail that even approaches how fun that bike is.
Same here, I was going to do the same thing. I bought one March 2018 and have since had two buddies get one and every time we get together they tell how much they love it.
 

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Rocks belong
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5,362 Posts
I really love my Ragley Big Wig. Fairly progressive geometry. I wish it had slightly shorter chainstains.
Agreed. To both.

A Big Wig with 420-425mm chainstays? Hardtail perfection.

That being said - of all of the hardtail frames available on the market, I have never been tempted to frame swap my Ragley Big Wig. And trust me, I look at all of the new ones that come out - I have a soft spot for a slack, steel hardtail.

My Surly Instigator 2.0 was touch more 'fun' as that bike had 416mm chainstays and the 27.5 rear wheel was really easy to 'flip' with your hips. I LOVE dropping into chunky stuff and letting that Surly dance underneath me. However, my Ragley Big Wig is faster.

But, I appreciate the 29er front wheel (especially on a hardtail) and my Ragley allows me to run a 3.25 Duro Crux (on a Scraper i45 rim) for packed snow riding.

It's really, really hard to beat the performance/price ratio of a steel Ragley frame!
 

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But, I appreciate the 29er front wheel (especially on a hardtail) and my Ragley allows me to run a 3.25 Duro Crux (on a Scraper i45 rim) for packed snow riding.
So a 27.5+ will fit on the back of a Ragley Big Wig?
 
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