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Singletrack Bike Suggestions?

Old 02-02-21, 08:50 PM
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azjpeg
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Singletrack Bike Suggestions?

Hey all. Looking for a bike to primarily use on singletrack trails in Colorado and Arizona (desert and forest). Been riding a Trek Marlin 5 29er and wanting to replace it with something faster and a bit lighter (my Marlin's about 32.5 lbs). Getting overwhelmed researching online, so thought I'd ask here and see if anyone had recommends...

My list:
Hardtail
27.5"
Preferably less than 30 lbs (medium frame)
Preferably 1x drivetrain
Under $1500 USD
More rugged than a gravel bike (no 700c tires)

Here's a list of bikes I've been looking at:
Specialized Rockhopper
Trek X-Caliber
Rocky Mountain Soul, Fusion or Growler
Salsa Rangefinder
Marin Bobcat Trail
Haro Double Peak

Any thoughts on above, or others I should consider? And I know it may be hard to find bikes in stock - I'm ok ordering and waiting. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-21, 09:14 PM
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Pretty hard to know which you'd like best. Can't imagine why you'd want a 27.5 bike but whatever blows your skirt up. 29er mtb wheels are plenty tough. At your price point everything is going to be 1X. They're all good bikes. The X-Cal is a 29er unless you're pretty small...only the XS & SM sizes are 27.5. The bike also weighs 29.5 with tubes...not much under 30.
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Old 02-02-21, 09:37 PM
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I don't think any of those are worth upgrading to. You aren't really going to have any meaningful improvement. Weight doesn't matter unless it is wheel weight, and heavier wheels balance out the slower acceleration with more flywheel effect.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:08 PM
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Air fork 120mm or more and dropper post would be my #1 concern. I've never ridden in that area but every video I see of that area looks rough so I wouldn't want a straight up XC bike. Weight and tire size wouldn't not be a big concern.
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Old 02-02-21, 11:50 PM
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Ride some bikes and tell us what you liked and didn't like. The Rangefinder does have a dropper which is nice. If I was going Spesh I would probably spend a touch more and go with the Chisel it is a really nice frame for aluminum. It looks really clean and is also a pretty light frame. The base model has 12 speed Deore and some other decent components and is only $100 more than the stated number. It is probably the bike you are looking for with what you have said but again test ride some bikes and tell us what you like and don't like about them.
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Old 02-03-21, 12:24 AM
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Cinelli Hobootleg Geo MTN

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Old 02-03-21, 01:17 AM
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You are not going to get a notable weight loss within your price range. You will get a far better fork, and a dropper, and one or two step upgrades in component quality. But its all durability or utility, not weight.

I have the base model Timberjack which was replaced last year by the Rangefinder. I like it a lot. Ive since added a dropper (not included in 2018), replaced worn out tires with much better ones, and found a really great deal on a clapped out premium fork that was easy to fix. Im not looking at any other changes right now.

The forks in this bracket are not light but especially avoid anything with a Rockshox 35 Silver, its a horrid boat anchor pretending to be a Pike
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Old 02-03-21, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
I don't think any of those are worth upgrading to. You aren't really going to have any meaningful improvement.
This! At your budget, I would suggest to look for something in the second hand market that was originally in the $2,500-3,500 range. Very nice, previously-owned 27.5er hardtails are not too difficult to find these days. Many people who bought them later realized that they prefer full-suspension or are now moving up to 29er mid-plus hardtails.

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Old 02-03-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Cinelli Hobootleg Geo MTN

^^^^The 80's called. They want their bike back. 71 degree head angle and no suspension fork. Oh my...
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Old 02-03-21, 09:52 AM
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Appreciate the replies, lots of good points and tips there to think about. Will stop by a couple local shops to see what they've got that I might ride - though that was almost impossible to do last year. Will also check OfferUp etc for second-hand, may be able to ride that way at least...
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Old 02-03-21, 10:35 AM
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Thats the best mountain bike ever lol

If you want noticeable weight savings, it'll mainly be in whatever fork you choose. Suntour forks weigh about 46KG.
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Old 02-03-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by azjpeg View Post
Hey all. Looking for a bike to primarily use on singletrack trails in Colorado and Arizona (desert and forest). Been riding a Trek Marlin 5 29er and wanting to replace it with something faster and a bit lighter (my Marlin's about 32.5 lbs). Getting overwhelmed researching online, so thought I'd ask here and see if anyone had recommends...

My list:
• Hardtail
• 27.5"
• Preferably less than 30 lbs (medium frame)
• Preferably 1x drivetrain
• Under $1500 USD
• More rugged than a gravel bike (no 700c tires)

Here's a list of bikes I've been looking at:
• Specialized Rockhopper
• Trek X-Caliber
• Rocky Mountain Soul, Fusion or Growler
• Salsa Rangefinder
• Marin Bobcat Trail
• Haro Double Peak

Any thoughts on above, or others I should consider? And I know it may be hard to find bikes in stock - I'm ok ordering and waiting. Thanks!
If you're happy with the Trek brand, I highly recommend the Roscoe 7. It meets all your requirements and comes with a dropper post and tubeless ready wheels and tires. I just got mine this past December and love it.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...coe-7/p/28499/


Last edited by metz1295; 02-03-21 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 02-03-21, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Pretty hard to know which you'd like best. Can't imagine why you'd want a 27.5 bike but whatever blows your skirt up. 29er mtb wheels are plenty tough. At your price point everything is going to be 1X. They're all good bikes. The X-Cal is a 29er unless you're pretty small...only the XS & SM sizes are 27.5. The bike also weighs 29.5 with tubes...not much under 30.
At a given price point most bikes very similar but sizing, geometry may vary go to nearest shop get what fits best.
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Old 02-03-21, 09:00 PM
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Are there any particular local bike shops that inspire you? What brands to they carry? What do they expect to have in stock, considering how difficult it is to find anything right now?
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Old 02-07-21, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by metz1295 View Post
If you're happy with the Trek brand, I highly recommend the Roscoe 7. It meets all your requirements and comes with a dropper post and tubeless ready wheels and tires. I just got mine this past December and love it.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...coe-7/p/28499/


a friend bought a Roscoe for his teenage son and i was impressed with it for the price for sure. (Actually impressed Regardless of the price - i really wanted to ride it!). Very nice build quality , frame welds are nice, big ‘ol Eagle cassette , fat tires — the kid has done some serious rides on it so far !
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Old 02-07-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Ride some bikes and tell us what you liked and didn't like. The Rangefinder does have a dropper which is nice. If I was going Spesh I would probably spend a touch more and go with the Chisel it is a really nice frame for aluminum. It looks really clean and is also a pretty light frame. The base model has 12 speed Deore and some other decent components and is only $100 more than the stated number. It is probably the bike you are looking for with what you have said but again test ride some bikes and tell us what you like and don't like about them.
My Chisel Comp is 26.6 lbs with SPD pedals. It seems to list around $1620 which is close to your price point. Its a 1X 29er, great handling bike and is the best climbing bike Ive ever ridden. Good luck finding one.
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Old 02-07-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My Chisel Comp is 26.6 lbs with SPD pedals. It seems to list around $1620 which is close to your price point. Its a 1X 29er, great handling bike and is the best climbing bike Ive ever ridden. Good luck finding one.
Nice my Timberjack Ti build is around 28-30lbs but I weighed it with a frame bag on it on a bathroom scale trying my hardest to just hold it up without adding or removing pressure. No SPDs but dropper post and some crappy wheels.
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Old 02-09-21, 11:17 PM
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Old 02-12-21, 11:52 PM
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Jeez, how much do you have to spend these days not to get a boat anchor? I've ridden some of these modern ~30lb bikes and they feel like total slugs compared to my ancient 26" rim-brake hardtail. Which, without any particularly lightweight parts, is 23.4lbs and cost well under a grand to put together. The new forks are more plush but all the other "progress" is just extra weight to me.
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Old 02-13-21, 09:24 AM
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The progress is more than just weight. Better geometry, better tires, better suspension, better brakes (rim brakes suck). The 30 lbs isn't a thing.
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Old 02-13-21, 09:37 AM
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Best singletrack mountain bike ever made was the Raleigh M80. Also good for sidewalks
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Old 02-13-21, 09:52 AM
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Everything just got bigger and at this price there's a lot of steel where more expensive bikes have aluminum and carbon.

They do ride a lot differently and I don't think faster for most people. But I do think they are a lot more fun.
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Old 02-13-21, 10:07 AM
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I just have to disagree that total weight is not an issue - for me and how I ride. I'm a 5'8 guy who weighs 135 pounds and can tell you that riding my 30+ lb Marlin 29er is more work and less fun than riding my 20-something lb SirrusX or old school Sugar. Up hills and even on straightaways. It's great when it gets going, and love the confidence of rolling over everything with the bigger tires - but I'd like to strike a better balance with performance and ability.
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Old 02-13-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The progress is more than just weight. Better geometry, better tires, better suspension, better brakes (rim brakes suck). The 30 lbs isn't a thing.
Geometry depends on the trail and riding style. Some of the new bikes handle slow and clumsy to me. Better tires? LOL. I'm not riding on 25 year old tires. You know they still make 26" tires, right? Better suspension - agree. Better brakes? Nope. V-brakes are better than any disc I have ever used.

The >30lbs is absolutely "a thing." I weigh 140lbs. I won't claim I can tell a pound or two but 8 or 9 pounds is hugely noticeable. 40% more bike weight is a LOT.

If money were no object I might be able to find one of those carbon wonder bikes I would enjoy. And throw it away every year to buy the new model because the old one is either broken or too "obsolete" to be serviced. But for me, spending less than ten grand on a bike, an old 26" hardtail is better than anything else available.
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Old 02-15-21, 02:16 AM
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