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Jan. 5, 2021, 5:54 a.m. -  Vik Banerjee

I used to do the One Bike To Rule Them All thing. First it was a SC Nomad Mk2 then it was Pivot Mach 6 Mk1 then it was a Knolly Endorphin Mk2. Now I've got a shreddy hardtail \[Cotic BFeMAX\] and a GG Smash either could be my One Bike to Rule Them All. A stiff fork, big brakes and tires that mix traction with fast rolling are key. That way I can shred the gnar and still crank out a 70K day in the saddle. It's easy to build a gnar shredder you don't want to do a big mileage day on or a distance crusher that has you walking the nasty tech. Setting up a bike to do both well is harder, but that makes it The One True Bike for Coastal BC. If I was buying new \[can you even buy a new bike in 2021???\] I'd split the difference and get something like a 140mmFr/120mmRr 29er FS bike with aggressive geo. A little more cush than my HT and a little less cush than my GG.  The only three things you mention that don't resonate with me are dual crown forks, bigger brakes and long CS. With the Lyrik/Zeb and 36/38 Fox options \[and similar from other brands\] I can get all the fork I need from a single crown. I'm running 200mm/180mmm rotors on my bikes and just upgrading the last 2-piston brakes to 4-piston. Lack of braking power is not ever on my mind. I was on the short CS bandwagon until I tried the relatively long \[for me\] 444mm CS on the Cotic. It's not bad and I can see why someone might prefer it, but if I could wave a magic wand I'd shrink those CS to 430mm. On my other HT I have adjustable CS and prefer the 424mm position with that rear wheel tucked in tight. I was looking at a new Knolly the other day and getting sucked into a bit of brand nostalgia for my old Endo before I remembered it takes Super Boosty Boost Trail Max 157mm hubs and I have just...finally...standardized my fleet around 148mm hubs. I just can't go there to 157mm. Sorry I don't get the mullet thing either. I might do that to an old bike I want to tweak without replacing, but if I am buying new I'd rather have a big wheel on both ends. I've got no plans to get a new bike in 2021. For a FS bike the GG ticks all my boxes and this is only season \#4. Seems like I have got it dialed and broken in nicely so it would be a shame to move on now. There are a few things I'd change about the Cotic if I was starting over or could go custom, but really it's pretty excellent as well and I am just being picky. I'd like to get a full year of riding on it and then I'll see what ideas/opinions stick and what changes the more I get used to it. All the best for 2021. I think it'll be crazy like 2020, but at least it won't hit us out of the blue without warning!

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