The Long Overdue Megatower vs Rail Duel

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by herzalot, Oct 17, 2020.



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  1. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    I have a very long tale to tell to explain why I was comparing a Santa Cruz Megatower to a Revel Rail. Most of you know the story. So I will give a short answer first. Right after this photo!

    Meg a Rail.JPG

    I took both bikes out this morning to do the same trails back to back. I really, really, really wanted to like the Rail better than the Megatower. And whether it's confirmation bias, some weird psychological residue from crashing, or the feedback from friends and my wife who are telling me they sense my preference...I did.

    I have been riding the Rail as a mullet for the past month and have raved about it in that mode, but I put it back to full 27.5 for today's ride.

    The short answer: The Megatower is faster. The Revel is more plush.

    The Megatower is far more demanding, and a momentary lapse of attention can kick you sideways pretty quickly. Is that a function of lateral stiffness? Maybe. The Rail is definitely on the more compliant side in the rear triangle, similar to my Tracer 275. That's usually portrayed as a negative.

    The Revel in full 27.5 mode is very agile. Easy to place where you want it and to change direction. I had never taken the 27.5 version down Stair Steps trail, and I was worried about the biggest drop (which I roll). No worries. Handled it with ease.

    When I went into this test, I was going to have to be blown away by the Megatower to change my mind. But as soon as I hit Rock-It, I could feel that it was not as plush (same shock, fork, tires, tire pressure, handlebar and grips). I could also feel that it was slightly faster. When I climbed Cholla, I didn't do any better than with the Rail - in fact it was harder. Granted, I wasn't feeling very well today period, so not a great test. But my memory of climbing the Meg was that it was solid at the pedals and climbed well. The Rail won the climbing challenge today.

    Since I was not blown away down or up, I decided I was too tired to deal with Stair Steps and I had already made up my mind. So I descended Lynx and called it a day. The Meg definitely wanted to go faster than the Rail, but it required full attention to keep it reined in, and I didn't want another Rock-It airlift scenario.

    I'll tell more in additional posts.
     
    ~JB~, Mikie, Cyclotourist and 17 others like this.
  2. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Time out:

    Are either of those bikes better enough to be considered better than the Intense?

    OK, game on!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Yes. Both are. But mostly because of geometry and improved components.

    And the Tracer is gone - it's a moot point.
     
    Mikie and scan like this.
  4. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Thanks. I asked because you were comparing the earlier demos to the Tracer and the Tracer seemed to come out on top.
     
    Mikie and herzalot like this.
  5. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    So I would imagine you tried to keep shock settings as equal as possible.
     
    Mikie and mtnbikej like this.
  6. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    This would be a much easier decision if one bike was ugly and the other wasn’t...:confused: That said I’d go for the fun’r one.
     
    Mikie, mtnbikej and herzalot like this.
  7. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2020 Specialized Fuse 29
    Keep the green one!
     
    Mikie, Cyclotourist, scan and 3 others like this.
  8. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Always!
     
    Mikie and mtnbikej like this.
  9. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    As you know, some bikes make you feel more confident, and others make you fall down a lot.
     
    Luis, Mikie, Faust29 and 3 others like this.
  10. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Ain’t that the truth. I’d air high five ya but my shoulders hurt too bad.
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Pigs flew, hell froze over, and I used STRAVA.

    Now those of you who didn't just pass out, go into shock or spew beer all over your screen, I figured it might be handy to have some data when doing a bike comparison.

    Turns out not to be very illuminating. I had to adjust line and speed for three or four groups of people on Rock-It in my first run. One group on Lynx. And I was not feeling very well on the climbs, so hard to compare to anything. HOWEVER - I did set 50 PRs today (since it was my first time using STRAVA)!

    2 seconds faster on the Meg on the full 5 minute Rock-It run (but I had 3 or 4 slight diversions on the Rail) and I was actually 7 seconds faster on Lynx on the Rail, when I felt the Meg was ripping. So, there's that.

    Before you all start hunting for my data with which to ridicule me, I set everything to private, followed no-one and turned off all notifications.
     
    Luis, ~JB~, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  12. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    “Kudos”
     
    Luis, Mikie, DangerDirtyD and 3 others like this.
  13. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Exactly let’s flag it as unsafe...
     
    Mikie, tick, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  14. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Hmm 2 seconds on a 5 minute run ain’t :poop: so I know what bike I’d keep...
     
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Well yeah, especially since I had to slow for more than one group and I wasn't trying to set any speed records. So what STRAVA told me is what I thought I felt wasn't necessarily true. I thought the Meg felt substantially faster. Nope.

    So tell all your 6'4" plus friends that they can get a seriously well appointed, not-a-scratch-on-it XXL Megatower with Enve wheels for $3000 off the sticker price!
     
    Mikie, Faust29, UPSed and 3 others like this.
  16. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Did you ask @Tom the Bomb !?

    BTW, please please please lemme see your Strava stats!? I promise I won’t make fun of you!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, Mikie and 5 others like this.
  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    No and Hell No! I am still riding in cautious mode.
     
  18. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Rail....

    Cooler Name
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, Mikie and 2 others like this.
  19. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Ibis Ripley
    I know 29ers dominate the market nowadays and I absolutely LOVE my Ripley but I absolutely concur about the agility of 27.5 bikes. I can’t begin to explain how advantageous it was in the tight chunk and tight corners in extreme exposure areas of Moab and Grand Junction. If I ever address and eliminate the cable rattle in the HD5, I just may proclaim it my favorite bike ever.
     
    Tom the Bomb, ~JB~, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  20. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Just think of all the comments you can give your dear friends here on IMTB, on STRAVA!! :thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Redman and 3 others like this.
  21. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Henderson, Nv
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    @herzalot I'm convinced you had your mind made up long ago... only did the back to back to confirm your assumption. I like the Revel even though I am biased to SC bikes. Looking forward to the day you make your Strava profile public. Lots of fanboys want to follow you and watch your stats.
     
  22. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    You ever try to chase Herzie down a trail in Laguna? I wanna know how one of the most prominent iMTBt Hooligans measures up against some pretty big names in a pretty renowned place.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, mtnbikej and 4 others like this.
  23. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Henderson, Nv
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    Can't say I have tried to "chase" him down. I've tried to follow him a few times in Aliso (does that count as Laguna?) all of which were my first descents. I think I know what your getting at.... you'll have your hands full trying to keep up when he's on his game on an equally familiar trail for both of you's. I'd put my money on @herzalot mainly cause you'll crash out trying so damn hard to finish ahead.:Roflmao
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, mtnbikej and 4 others like this.
  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    True. I was more comfy on the Rail for sure, but since I hadn’t really ridden the Meg since my injury, I wanted to give it one more chance to change my mind.

    Thanks for the props. I will make my profile public right after I get my first KOM.:Roflmao
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, mtnbikej and 5 others like this.
  25. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Henderson, Nv
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    Make it snappy, people are already impatient.

    Serious question... Why did you make Strava private to begin with? What gives?
     
  26. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Gen Xers, man... they're all about the privacy. All the kids with their insta-tweets just don't understand.
    Now get off my lawn!!!
     
  27. doublewide

    doublewide iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    Ride Life Ride Giant
     
    tick, DangerDirtyD, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  28. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    That lead singer is going places I say!
     
    doublewide, DangerDirtyD and herzalot like this.
  29. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    I’ve avoided STRAVA for two primary reasons. I know I will obsess about the data, and I know I will ride faster trying to chase that data. Neither are healthy for my relationships or my trail behavior. Increased risk to self and others.

    I won’t make it public for the same reasons, plus peer pressure or shame. I really only ride for fun. Last thing I need in my life is more abuse from @DangerDirtyD!
     
  30. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Henderson, Nv
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    @herzalot can't say I concur. But, I do understand your reasoning. To each their own, right?

    We all obsess over the data to a degree. I compare my times to others I THINK I am on the same level as. Never have I gone out for a ride with the sole purpose of beating any of my or others times. Never have I looked at a segment just before dropping in. Never have I looked at a segment after finishing. I start Strava and don't look at it until the end of the ride when it's over. Once in a while I'll open it to see where I am mileage wise. I use Trailforks if I need to look at a map for trails, etc. We are all hoping eventually you'll be the same. The novelty will wear off. And, take it as compliment if others want to follow you. ESPECIALLY if they do it to bust your balls. That's usually a sign of jealousy and or admiration.
     
    Tom the Bomb, herzalot, Luis and 5 others like this.
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