I rode somebody else's bike(s) today.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Voodoo Tom, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I completely agree, but for me it hasn't been cockpit components as much as it is suspension and tire setup. I've tried a number of bikes that perhaps were great, but I walked away thinking "well, my bike's suspension is much better." This is a good thing because it makes me appreciate my own bike and not lust after the one I just rode. This was experienced to the extreme when I tested a Norco Range with entry-level suspension, and when my friend Scott demo'd an Ibis Mojo HD3 with X-Fusion front and rear.

    Setting up suspension takes time unless you are familiar with the exact fork or shock. Even the same shock on a different bike needs a different tune due to the kinematics of the suspension design. The Pike was the only demo fork I ever tried that was easy for me to setup and was nails during the test. I had never ridden a Pike before.

    Tires matter because if your demo bike's tires are over-inflated, you will experience more bounce and deflection, and less traction. This is especially magnified on Plus-sized tires where 1-2 psi makes a world of difference.

    Bar width and stem length can make a profound difference in handling too, but I've usually experienced a fairly neutral setup like a 760 bar and 50mm stem.

    Have a great day!
     
    Danmtchl, kioti, UPSed and 1 other person like this.
  2. MattB

    MattB Member

    Name:
    Matt B
    With both bikes in the shop for a while for warranty issues (play in Race Face Next SL cranks), I'm on a demo bike for the first time in a few years. I've intentionally avoided demos since I don't have the budget for a new bike and would rather live in ignorance of anything I might like better than my bikes. I currently ride a 2012 Talboy LTc (135mm rear/15omm front) that I've kept pretty up-to-date with upgrades and a Kona King Kahuna hardtail. The Path set me up on a Pivot Mach 429 SL (100mm rear/120mm front) for now. I've been kind of curious what a 100mm travel XC oriented 29er would be like as a middle ground between my 2 bikes, and I'd never ridden a Pivot, so I was excited to give it a try. Fortunately, I've been able to suppress the new bike urge (mostly) after riding it, but it was really interesting getting to ride something different and new. It gave me a lot to think about on my first ride with it, although a lot of it was about components and set-up as much as the bike itself. My route was at Aliso: Down 5 Oaks, up Cholla, down Rock-it, up Meadows (had to test the 30x50t gearing:eek:), down Meadows, up Mathis, down Rock-it, and out.
    • Dropper posts make bikes more fun (duh!): After riding with a dropper for the last 5 years, including on my hardtail, this proved that they are as important as I thought. When I saw that the bike wasn't spec'd with one, I kept an open mind and thought that I'll try some downhills with the seat post at full XC height like I used to ride for years without a problem. And for steep stuff, I'll just lower the post manually. Here's what I learned. Even for moderate downhills, they're just more fun with the seat out of the way. I could descend them with the seat up and get myself low and behind the seat if needed (like I used to), but I realized this wasn't where I wanted to be. Instead of being in a nice low attack position, I was stretched too far back with my arms stretched out to much. My center of gravity felt off (too far back) and my arms weren't in as good a position for control. Manually lowering the seat worked, but the drop was limited by how far the seat post could drop in the frame, and it wouldn't go as low as my 125mm dropper on my bikes. Also, it got really annoying stopping so often during the ride to mess with the seat (a QR would have helped instead of the bolt). I kept finding myself wanting to just push the button and not interrupt the flow of the ride. This turned out to be the single thing I missed the most from my bike.
    • Eagle is awesome and demos can be great for trying different gearing: I'm used to a SRAM 1x11 set-up on both of my bikes with identical 32 (oval) x 10-42 gearing. I've been toying with the idea of a wide range E13 cassette for my suspension bike just to give some relief on really long rides if I need to conserve my legs. The demo bike was setup with 30 x 10-50 gearing. Having that wide of gearing with all of the benefits of a single chainring (quiet, light, simple, no dropped chains) was great! If I were shopping for a new bike, I would probably go eagle, but for now this confirmed my plan of going with a wide range (9-44 or 9-46) E13 when my cassette wears out on my full suspension bike. It was also really cool to try some new gearing. 30 x 10-50 is lower than I would go on my own bike, even on a 29er. I did feel like I was spinning out faster than I like at the 30x10 end compared to my own 32x10 setup. It wouldn't be a deal breaker, but it was noticeable on the fireroad entrance to Rock-it and anything with a slight downhill slope. 30x50 was kind of a fun experiment in what you could climb, even if it was at walking speed. I don't think I would go quite this low, but I was able to clean the access trail to 5 Oaks (for the first time in a looooong time), Meadows, and a particularly steep line at the top of the dripping cave trail. More than anything, I climbed all of those and then Mathis without blowing up my legs on any of them. I found myself looking for the steepest lines I could find on climbs just to see how steep I could go while maintaining traction and forward movement. I don't think I would go this low on my own bike, but like the idea of a bailout gear lower than what I currently have without sacrificing my top end. I'd have to use willpower not to rely on it too much and lose the strength I've gained on my current setup, but I could see it coming in handy in the right situations.
    • You really have to ride a bike rather than relying on geometry charts: I've heard people talk about this before, but had never felt it for myself. I rode the bike before looking at any of the geometry numbers. After the ride, I was convinced that the bottom bracket was significantly higher than my Tallboy LTc and that chainstay and wheelbase were shorter than my LTc. I was wrong about all of it. According to the geo charts, the BB is 1/2" lower, and WB and CS are almost the same. Somehow, the BB felt noticeably taller and I didn't have a single pedal strike, even in ledgy spots on Cholla where I have to time my pedal strokes on the LTc. I wasn't thrilled about feeling like I was riding higher, but it was cool to pedal over everything without any concern for pedal strikes. I'm guessing that the Mach 429SL must ride higher in its travel. The bike also felt more nimble and shorter in the back end, even though it's not. Between the lack of a dropper, less aggressive tires, and just getting used to a different bike, I didn't push it on steeper, rougher trails where I might have noticed the flip side of that nimble feeling and appreciated the stability of my own bike. I was also turned off seeing a 90mm stem paired with the 800mm bars. I currently run 50mm with 800mm. It just looked weird and I thought it would handle strangely pairing such a long stem with bars that wide. It felt a little weird at first, but once on the trail, it actually worked and felt well balanced on the bike. Lesson learned - try the set-up the manufacturer designed before tweaking it to what you think will be better. I would probably still try a shorted stem if it were my bike, but it opened my eyes a bit.
    • Time to experiment with my suspension, and definitely demo a lot of different suspension designs before my next purchase: I've loved my LTc for the 5 years I've had it, but the 429SL got me thinking. I don't know if it's the DW-link vs the VPP (from 2012), 100mm travel vs 135mm, the suspension settings, or a combination, but the 429SL definitely felt snappier than my LTc. It felt very efficient, but still active on the climbs. Although, I'd have to try it on the steeper, rougher downhills to get a more complete picture and see any trade-offs. Short of a new bike, it's gotten me thinking about revisiting my suspension settings when I get my bike back. With a Cane Creek DB Air CS, I have plenty of settings to play with, and I've got the front (Pike) and rear dialed-in to a very planted, controlled ride. The 429SL has me thinking about tweaking it to be a bit more firm and playful, and seeing how I like it. It also has me thinking about using a shockwiz to see some actual data on how well my setup is performing, as well as experimenting with the profiles (balanced, efficient, etc.) to see which one I prefer.
    • Still like my Pike: I've heard good things about the newer generations of Fox34's since the 2012 model that came on my bike, but I still like my Pike better than the 2017 Fox34 on the demo. In fairness, some of that could be from the extra 30mm of travel.:rolleyes:
     
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  3. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    I may have bumped my head & went to the doc yesterday to be told that I've got a concussion or some sh!t like that but who can pass up the opportunity to ride somebody else's bike? Seems my stepdad(major moto dude who's gonna slay it on an MTB) has been following my fun MTB antics and decided to join in on the fun:thumbsup:. I hate him now cuzz he jumped right in and has a way nicer bike than me.

    Me being the stand up guy & family man that I am thoough offered to go and pickup his new Hightower for him since it was nearby...
    IMG_6086.jpg

    Then I offered to give him a free safety inspection and try out his new helmet since mine is jacked up...
    IMG_6098.jpg

    Don't say I didn't warn ya when some white haired dude shows up to one of our rides and waxes the floor with our ass's on a ride real soon if his mtb skills are anything like his moto skills.
     
    mike, Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl and 7 others like this.
  4. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    You know what they say - Old Guys Rule!!!
     
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  5. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Yeah that's what I'm afraid of...
     
  6. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    I really really really like that color combo. Lucky guy.
     
  7. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Yup looks good...
     
  8. Fueledbyex8

    Fueledbyex8 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier
    Name:
    Albert
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    Well after demoing a 2018 Remedy 9.7 in a 19.5 size today I wasn't feeling quite comfortable riding it like I thought I would, bummer just not sure if this can be a bike I can purchase, after all these years of wanting one

    So I called Fullerton bikes and asked if they had a hightower lt in large I can test ride they did, it was the $8000 XX1/ CC build, not willing to spend that much! He said Buena Park bikes has a large in S/ Carbon C build. Drove over to BP bikes to see the gloss slate and grey hightower lt and right away my jaw dropped!

    First time seeing this bike in person and I was exited to ride it!! oh and the grey in person is really nice looking as well. Right away getting on the bike it just felt perfect, a lil strange riding those 29er. wheels but I could see why they roll so great! If the Canyon Spectral 9.0 Pro I test out in a couple of weeks from now dont
    work out, then I think the Hightower lt in a XE/ Carbor C build Wicklow green and black will be the choice, and that concludes I rode somebody else's bike(s) today. Wish me luck!
     
  9. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    I'm a bit confused.......are you looking for a Hightower or a Hightower LT?
     
    Tom the Bomb and Danmtchl like this.
  10. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Another Santa Cruz... I vote for the Canyon even if it totally sucks, just to be different. :confused:

    The assimilation into the Borg continues. Just glad it's not Speshy that everyone is buying.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl and MrGreedom like this.
  11. Fueledbyex8

    Fueledbyex8 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier
    Name:
    Albert
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    Yes J it' the Hightower lt I'm intrested in, not the regular Hightower.
     
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  12. Fueledbyex8

    Fueledbyex8 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier
    Name:
    Albert
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    I finally got to test ride Canyons Spectral although the build I want is fully loaded w/ good componets head tube is to high and the seat tube could be a bit more slack" that would've sealed the deal! Just not comfortable in the cockpit.
    20180407_103422.jpg
    I got to test ride the regular Hightower last week at the path bike shop when Santa Cruz had their demo ride going on at this point that bike is the winner! Sales person gave me an offer I couldn't refuse.
     
  13. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Awesome! Bike fit is everything to me. So many bikes I demoed over the years and wanted to like but they just didn't fit. Leave it to "Huffy" to make the perfect bike for me. Don't forget to post up pics of your new ride when you get it.
     
  14. Fueledbyex8

    Fueledbyex8 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier
    Name:
    Albert
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    Yeah unfortunately the Spectral was one of those bikes I also wanted to like. I will post up my new bike as soon as I purchase it!
     
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    @fueledbySCHTLT?
     
  16. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    Oh Sh!t Albert, didn't think you'd have to change your branding strategy did you?
     
  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Never customize your license plate or your on-line presence with your favorite equipment. Your tastes will change. :D One of my friends still uses YetiBigTop as an e-mail address. :thumbsup:

    Signed:
    YetiSantaCruzKnollyIntenseGuy2000!
     
  18. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Hopefully Jennifer's tastes don't change. 20180408_174058.jpg
     
  19. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Did you guys argue "Jenifed" "Ediffer" "Jenifed!" "Ediffer!"

    I'm guessing not.
     
  20. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    I argued with Jennifer once. Once. ;)
     
    Luis, Danmtchl, Tom the Bomb and 5 others like this.
  21. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I rode somebody else's bike today. Eminent Cycles Haste demo in Laguna Canyon. Up Stair Steps, down the best suspension test track Rock-It, up to and down 5-Oaks, up Cholla, down Stairs, up Willow, down T and A.

    Not sure where to post my full review. Here. Eminent Cycles thread. Demo thread. Hmmm....

    Click Here for review.
     
  22. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    I signed up for the 4th ride in Crazy Bear's Coffee Grinder series. It was a gravel ride that I intended to do on my MTB as it mostly consisted of the stuff I ride all of the time.

    Well Xavier from Crazy Bear works at JRA and he happened to mention to Vince from JRA that I signed up for the ride and next thing I know Vince is texting me asking if I'd like to use one of the demo gravel bikes at the shop. I said sure. After all it was a "gravel" ride.

    I ended up riding a Van Dessel WTF. WTF is right! It's a steel frame with a carbon fork and equipped with a Shimano Ultegra groupset. Road gears do not belong in the dirt. Or I need to ride more. An 11-32 cassette and a 34/50 crankset makes for a pretty tough granny and boy did I need a granny today! Let's just say the Santa Monicas are not SS friendly. (Though a guy did the ride on a rigid SS with a coaster brake!) I need to ride more remember? Anyways it was a great ride and very well supported though the temps were quite warm from the beginning and we eventually saw a high of 105° at the end.

    As enjoyable as the gravel bikes are I think I'd rather have a rigid flat barred carbon Niner with gears. I could see myself doing big miles on one.

    https://www.relive.cc/view/1828338334

    20180908_071908-1612x1209.jpg IMG_20180908_132146_779.jpg
     
    mike, HBkites, Danmtchl and 11 others like this.
  23. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I done rode me a Pivot Firebird 29er today. Geometry was great. Perfect spec. Suspension was set too stiff (until I fixed it). I took 10 psi out of the fork and 20 out of the shock. Fork was still too progressive (too many spacers?).

    Route: Laguna Canyon - Up Stairs, down Rock -It, up Cholla, down Stairs.

    My take aways?
    • Firebird 29 is still on the short list.
    • Next to geometry - and maybe even superseding it - suspension setup matters greatly when it comes to speed and confidence on chunky terrain.
    • It felt big going up hill. I expected to climb better. I did not. 30 t front, 11-46 rear.
    • Big wheels do make ledges feel smaller
    • 29ers have come a loooooooong way since 2009
    • I love MY bike a lot
    Pretty as a picture:
    Firebird R 11-18-19.JPG
     
  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    For the record, XL bikes look weird. I don't think I need 22" of standover clearance!
     
  25. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Or a 380mm dropper post. :eek::p:D
     
  26. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
  27. littlewave

    littlewave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    Brett
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS
    I rode that bike this morning! I thought it felt great. Only got one run down Lynx then up cholla since my buddy was demoing it but let me take it for a spin.

    I also love my bike, but long travel 29er is on the wish list.
     
    Danmtchl, CBone, Cyclotourist and 5 others like this.
  28. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Driving home Friday night from work I got a text from Vince at JRA. He asked if I was off on Monday and if I wanted to do PCE. I said yes I happen to be on vacation next week. I then asked if I could ride one of his demo bikes just to ride something different. He said sure come in on Saturday and I'll set you up.
    First up was the Ibis Ripmo. And of course as with all of the Ibis bikes I've tried it didn't fit. The reach was too short on the large and the XL just didn't fit quite right.
    Up next was Niner's RIP 9 RDO. It was a perfect fit. I should have guessed that. A perfect fit was one of the main reasons I bought my JET. All we had to do was set suspension sag and seat height and I was good to go.
    I know you can ride most of PCE on just about any bike and have fun but I also know there are a few sections where I wouldn't mind a little bit of extra travel. Unfortunately I don't have @herzalot's writing/riding skills but in a nutshell here are my thoughts.
    Believe it or not the RIP pedals a little better than my JET. Very little suspension movement on the climbs. It feels great off of the small jumps I hit at the start of the ride. The Fox suspension and Maxxis DHF/Aggressor combo kept the bike stuck to the trail like velcro. On the fast chunky sections the faster I went the smoother it got. Of course that's a good and bad thing. You tend to not realize how fast you're going. I'm not the best on the steep chunk but the RIP made me feel like a pro. There was no second guessing whether or not I would make a certain section. I just plowed through. I PR'd almost every segment. Even the dreaded sand wash climb to Dunn.
    At this point I'm not in the market for an Enduro type bike but if I was I seriously would not look any further than the RIP 9. I really don't know why Niner doesn't get more love.
    20190122_063155-1576x1300.jpg
     
  29. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    I've been riding an XL trance 29 pro 1 lately. I'm quite fond of this bike and I will be purchasing the Pro 2 version soon. This thing rides just about as fast as my hightower going downhill and it climbs like a banshee. Room for 29x2.6 tires, 29lbs in an XL (with 900-950g tires) with a gx eagle build and not so fancy parts. This will be replacing my heihei for XC race duties and my hightower for trail bike duties. That will make room for a nomad/process/sentinal on the top end of my stable.

    Overall seriously loving this thing. The 44mm offset fork on a 29r is the real deal.
    nXy3bpi.jpg

    q4FiaMj.jpg
     
  30. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    That's an interesting seat angle...
     
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