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-   -   Inaugural 2014 Ride - new 650b / 27.5 Carbon Hardtail (

Erwin8r 01-02-14 07:23 PM

Inaugural 2014 Ride - new 650b / 27.5 Carbon Hardtail
Had a very nice ride this morning--on my Christmas present KHS 650b Team. Friends rode by to scoop me up and we hit the local trails early. I was worried about the steep and rough stuff on the hardtail with "only" 120mm of travel up front (coming from a dual suspension), but I was pleasantly surprised. The bike felt great under me. The 27.5 wheels felt like they rolled over stuff a bit easier than my 26 did, and it felt easy to flick around--and it's light! I really wanted a Niner, but this bike really feels like it's "just right." More ride reports/pics to come!

jsigone 01-03-14 12:03 AM

I'm jealous:beer::beer:

Looks like you got the new American Classics, run them tubeless if you haven't's well worth it. What chain rings size are on the fronts?

Erwin8r 01-03-14 12:45 AM

Thanks Jsig! Your 29'er was the inspiration (light, sleek, big wheels). I wanted to "keep it simple" with a carbon hardtail. Was looking at the Niner RDO, but couldn't afford/justify it. This one came up at the right time and for the right price--and I was in love with the front 27.5 on my C'Dale Rize from the moment I got it, so I knew a "real" 27.5 was in my future.

Its a 39/26 up front. We were climbing some pretty steep stuff today to get to the drops, and the bike was climbing like a billy goat. It was the engine that was faltering... Lol! On the descent, it felt sketchy...until I remembered to unlock the forks--doh! We bombed down some seriously steep, bumpy, rutted stuff with tight turns, and the bike didn't complain (or scare me) once--it's very sure-footed for an XC bike. Again, probably the larger wheels at play. I am definitely going to get a shorter stem and a dropper post at some point soon, as the group I ride with likes to go downhill, fast, and I always have to stop and lower my post. This one doesn't have a QR, so I had to leave it as-is and hang my rear up and over it.

I'm definitely going to run it tubeless at the first opportunity. I was in a rush to ride and just pumped up the tubes it came with.

jsigone 01-03-14 09:35 AM

few of my buddies have moved over to full suspension 27.5s from 29er FS. Ironically they all had a Spesh Stumpjumper FRS before. One is on a Intense Tracer 275, Intense Carbine 275, and Banshee Rune. I almost got the Santa Cruz Bronson instead of my CX bike but there would be overlap having my rumblefish, which is a pretty fine bike.

I've ridden the Rune, Tracer and Bronson, all are more flickable then my 29er full suspension going down hill and way more plush with their 150mm travel. I've always wanted to try a HT 650b to see how it is compared to my singlespeed 29er. The Rune climbs the best IMO, but the parts my buddy picked are top notch and the rear shock is HUGE which it's valving is butter on the climbs.

As far as dropper post, stay away from the new Thomson, 1st gen always has issues. Kindshock Lev seems to get thumbs up and same with the Rockshox Reverb

Looks like you have a 90mm stem, I had that on my Rumblefish then went to a 50mm Easton Havac w/ Havoc 28" wide bars. Short stem def give you more control through 95% of the stuff. Only time it really sucks is on the really steep climbs and you have to lean forward some to keep the weight on the front so it doesn't lift. You should be happy going to 50-65mm stubby stem

Erwin8r 01-03-14 12:45 PM

Awesome feedback--thanks Jsig! I am definitely going to address the stem too--you're right, as it seem a to put me a bit too over the wheel when descending. I'll try for a 50mm. Between the two droppers you recommend, which would you prefer? Thx!!

jsigone 01-03-14 02:44 PM

I'm still running the normal alum post, my good buddy is the buyer and deals with RMAs at our LBS. He has high praises for either of those and dealing with customer services. But if I had $$ to spend, I'd get the Kindshock Lev. Real good reviews on it and comes in 100,125,150mm options.

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