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climbhoser 09-19-08 09:36 AM

Good full squish rig for 'do it all' MTB'ing
Well, I'm thinking new MTB, I haven't bought one in a long time and don't really know what's on the market right now.

I have a long history of XC MTB'ing, raced NORBA through the 90's and into the 2000's (Expert class) before getting into other things (rock climbing, ww kayaking, road biking [I know, I know, I know...], etc.). Moved back to Colorado after years in the MW and really want to take advantage of the singletrack again, but I need a bike to do it.

I've always been more of a XC type rider, was big into huge, 60 mile backcountry singletrack trips back in tha day. I'm a bit less hardcore now, looking for some solid 30+ mile days, with an emphasis on singletrack.

Thing is, I love the down, and I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of weight to enjoy it, so I'm looking full squish and not hardtail. I also don't want a XC specific full squish, per se.

I'd like something a bit lighter, but still something that can dance over rock gardens like a magic pillow-ride. Will probably be hitting up some of the ski areas for good up-down rides.

Basically I want a good, all around bike (I know it's a misnomer...jack of all, master of none, right?). Just something that I can have fun with no matter what. Definitely not looking for a free-ride type bike for huge drops and jumps, but like I said I want something a bit more than JUST a XC hardtail.

Cost is, of course, always an issue. Don't hold back on posting super bling frames, but if you can keep cost conscious I would appreciate it. I won't be dropping $5K on a frame.

Fork recommendations would be awesome, too.

I know my componentry, so don't need help there, just recommendations on frame and fork.

Thanks guys.


born2bahick 09-19-08 09:52 AM

Sante Cruz Heckler, Transition Covert, Banshee Pyre, Titus Motolite. All have sturdy frames but can be built light or heavy duty

BFG 09-19-08 10:01 AM

+1 on the Heckler.

dminor 09-19-08 10:11 AM

Don't neglect looking at the Yeti 575 - - sort of an AS-R on steroids.

BFG 09-19-08 10:13 AM

Ummm, that's a pretty gnarly 7x7 bike, a little more than what the OP may have been asking for I think.

Here's a review of the 2006 Heckler, OP

santiago 09-19-08 10:16 AM

Turner Spot. If you head over to the Turner forum you'll see a build thread that has them built in a huge variety of ways.

dirtbikedude 09-19-08 10:20 AM

My favorite do it all bike ...

The Scott Ransom 30 or 40, you could go with the 20, 10 or LTD but Scott did have some problems a while ago with the carbon Ransoms.

Lock out the rear and it climbs like a goat, switch to the 3.5" travel mode and engage the traction control and it climbs great over the rough stuff, switch to the 6.5" travel mode for your descent. The stock 30 or 40 comes in at 33 - 34 lbs.

There are some small quirks you need to pay attention to when setting the rear shock up and changing the travel and because of that there are a few negative reviews because riders do not pay attention.

born2bahick 09-19-08 10:24 AM

I agree on the Yeti 575 and the Turner Spot Great choices in that "do-it-All" category. I'm Ashamed that I left those options out.

climbhoser 09-19-08 10:32 AM

So far the Banshee Pyre looks exactly like what I'm looking for. Can't find a cost online for it, but it'll be a few months paycheck saving before I pop for one anyways.

What do you guys think of the Rocky Mountain Element?

dminor 09-19-08 10:33 AM

Originally Posted by BFG (Post 7502466)
Ummm, that's a pretty gnarly 7x7 bike, a little more than what the OP may have been asking for I think.

You're thinking of the Seven. The 575 is basically the AS-R front with the rear reconfigured to provide 5.75" of rear travel. The ultimate Super-D weapon because it still climbs almost like an XC bike.

climbhoser 09-19-08 10:33 AM

and yeah "do it all" is maybe more than I want to do...less "up for the down" type play, and more "rackin' in the miles" type play. Remember, I am an ex XC rider *** roadie who is going back to twisty, turny dirt&rocks. I like the down, but I like the up just as much ;) 09-19-08 10:39 AM

Scott Ransom FTW

I know bike shop owners who can haz all the bling they want
and Scott is thier do-it-all MTB.

No BS about branding or what
others think, it is the ride.

a lot of bikes fit this description, Scott is not an incorrect choice.

climbhoser 09-19-08 12:25 PM

alright, been outta the loop too long, but I guess what I'm looking for is a full squish "trailbike."

theextremist04 09-19-08 12:32 PM

You could check out the Cove Hustler too.

born2bahick 09-19-08 12:42 PM

How bout, You give us a budget, weight for the finished bike, and how much travel your thinking would work for you.
I have no Idea what your Idea of XC is in Colorado, but it's fun to play these games!

climbhoser 09-19-08 01:24 PM


Budget is $3K, but cheaper is always better ;) Weight: If I can get it to 25 lbs. I'd be stoked. I'm so spoiled by light road bikes that anything over 20 lbs. feels heavy, to be honest. I have a Trek hardtail from like 2001, and it weighs around 22 lbs. and feels like riding a motorcycle to me.

I'm not in need of 8" or anything. I see bikes with 4.5" and that sounds like a crapload to me. I would be happy putting 4.5 - 5 as my range of needs, but that's only because it seems like the norm on bikes these days. Really over 4" is a freakin' miracle.

For reference, the last full squish bike I owned (promise not to make fun of me) was a Pro-Flex 957 back in the late '90s. I think it got 2.5", but felt pretty spongy to me.

I'm not a freerider, like I said. I'm more into billygoating up and down.

XC to me in Colorado is rides like Melee in the Mines in T-ride or a 25 mile loop in C-Springs that includes the Chutes, Bradbury's and Captain Jacks.

Thanks for entertaining me, though...I know it's pretty tough to diagnose online.

But, just to give you my perspective, so far the Rocky Mountain Element Team and the Banchee Pyre have caught my eye. The Rocky Mountain no one has recommended, but I spied it in a shop and it looked like an awesome all day rider.

dminor 09-19-08 02:16 PM

OK - - the Element Team is a full-on XC racing rig. It is not a trailbike. That would be more in the realm of a Slayer.

Don't limit your travel choices so much just because 5" seems "outlandish" to you. There are 6" machines out there now that peddle so much more efficiently than the 3-4s of old. Aim for something that can give you the full range of enjoyment.

Not to beat a dead horse but the Yeti 575 can be spec'd in your price range, under 30 lbs. and was designed in Colorado for your type of riding. It's the whole package.

born2bahick 09-19-08 02:23 PM

Motolite can be built at 25ish for around $3500. I agree with Doug, In your area, XC could dictate 140mm travel or more

climbhoser 09-19-08 02:43 PM

Looking at the Team I also realize that it has 80mm of travel and not the 100mm I saw on the other Elements. There's an Element 50 FS here in Denver on CL and it's my size, was thinking about that as a way to get something nice and save some cash for new tires, saddle, shock pump, etc...

The 575 looks interesting..Looks can be deceiving, but it *looks* heavier than the Elements. I'm more concerned with weight than keeping bob minimized, silly as that sounds. I sure won't be happy with excess bob, but I feel like in the top end bikes they all bob minimally anyways.

FWIW, I'm a 200 lb'er. I'll have to take alook at the Yeti.


santiago 09-19-08 02:55 PM

I think a do-it-all bike these days lies in the 5" travel offerings. The 4" are suited for XC and the 3" bikes are suited more for XC racing. That's what I consider the general rule of thumb. There are obviously exceptions but this is what you will typically find.

I have a 4" travel bike (Turner Flux). If I'd have to do it all over again, I'd go for a 5" bike.

climbhoser 09-19-08 03:01 PM

I'm pickin' up what you guys are layin' down...

Looking more at that Transition Covert. Any words on it?

dirtbikedude 09-19-08 03:15 PM

I am still going to recommend the Scott Ransom. I have been beating the hell out of mine for the last 4 months and it is still going strong. Many drops at least 3 times a week plus a few doubles here and there. I also use it for my long XC rides which can and do include 4k+ of climbing and up to 5 hrs in the saddle.

You can get last years model 40 for 1900$ or the 30 for 2200$, both will weigh 33 or so pounds, then use the extra grand to toss on some lighter parts and it will easily get down to 27/28 lbs.

I will toss another option at you, a Cannondale Rize. The second to lowest model,the Rize 4 (2000$) still has a decent spec sheet and the bike does everything well. It is VERY stable at speed and VERY confident inspiring over rough technical trails. It is also in the high 20's as far as weight.

jeph 09-19-08 03:23 PM

I think this thread could go on for ever as there are as many opinions as there are bikes.

See if there is a demo day near you and ride different bikes and see for yourself. I beleive what works good for one rider may not for someone else.

I know Specilized and Kona do demos here in no.. calif. Also, does your local shop rent bikes? The ones around here will put the rental $$$ towards a purchace.

good luck.


M_S 09-19-08 03:53 PM

I'm considering a GT Force 1.0 for similar purposes, but I think the weight is over what you might want. I'm not sure I'd take anything much less than it (a burly trail bike, basically) to lift accesed terrain, but then again, that type of riding is not my forte. You can rent at most resorts too.

BTW the 575 is also a good choice.

markhr 09-19-08 05:28 PM

A Nicolai Helius FR/ST with either a Rohloff Speedhub or a Nicolai B-boxx/Truvativ Hammerschmidt and derailleur system.

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