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Help: Upgrading my wife's bike

March 21, 2019, 9:10 a.m.
Posts: 198
Joined: May 11, 2018

My wife has been riding her V1 Bronson since 2015. She doesn't like to take air or drops but she will clean trails the likes of upper oil can, dales, pingu/pangor etc. She is looking for something to make the downs a little more sure footed. She is 5'7", 120lbs, very fit and likes to climb as much as descend. We put a flat bar and a 55mm stem on the Bronson as she felt too upright with the 50mm stem and 20mm riser the bike came with. Her position on her Bronson is pretty good but she could likely have a little more length without too much difficulty.

We were going back and forth between the sb150 and sb130 as the 150 with the 170 fork seemed like a lot considering her penchant for pedaling tech uphills and the 130 seemed to miss the mark on making the downhills sure footed. The Megatower looks like it might be the ticket. Wondering on peoples thoughts and specifically with sizing. The stack on the megatower is significantly more than her old bronson.  We could go with a flat bar and no spacers and it would probably work out ok. The reach/ETT on the small would still give her a little more length which makes me think the small might be a better fit. Considering the wheelbase is increasing by 7-10 cm, she would probably appreciate the tighter wheelbase on the small with the lower stack.

Anyone think she should definitely go with the Med? I have limited experience on the super long TT's released in the last couple of years. Anyone think she should definitely go with a Yeti? Which one? Why?I included the Geo for the megatower as well as her old geo in bold. I would definitely appreciate peoples thoughts, especially if you've gone through a similar process yourself in the past year or two.

Megatower              vs                 Bronson V1 Med

S                M   

Reach    425mm    450mm                                 403mm

Stack    607mm    616mm                                  594mm

Head Tube Angle    65°    65°                            67°

Seat Tube Length    380mm    405mm           432mm

Front Center    743mm    772mm  

BB Height    343mm    343mm                         346mm

BB Drop    29mm    29mm  

Wheelbase    1178mm    1207mm                   1108mm

Chainstay Length    435mm    435mm            439mm

Head Tube Length    90mm    100mm            90mm

Top Tube Length    567mm    596mm             554mm

Seat Tube Angle    76.8°    76.7°                       73

Standover Height    702mm    714mm           718mm

Eye to Eye Length    230mm    230 mm

March 21, 2019, 10:39 a.m.
Posts: 1270
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

You could wait until Steed gets a demo of the Megatower and have her try one for a day. There is a fee but I think that you get some of it applied against the bike if you purchase.

March 21, 2019, 11:50 a.m.
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Id say get her to throw a leg over and demo anything that fits her priorities and budget.  Fitting a bike based on geometry charts is a crap shoot at best. Dont limit yourself to SC and Yeti, plenty of other great bikes out there.

March 21, 2019, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec. 1, 2008

Given her size, I would never consider a long travel 29er without her trying one in steep terrain first.

There is a reason why a lot of companies don't make that kind of bike in smaller sizes.

[Edit:] Wouldn't a Nomad be a better comparison to the MT? Or a Hightower to the Bronson? And i just remembered that Tim Coleman in his review spoke highly of the Mondraker Foxy as a very good climber with surefooted handling on the descents.


 Last edited by: Timer on March 21, 2019, 4:26 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
March 21, 2019, 3:59 p.m.
Posts: 198
Joined: May 11, 2018

All your comments are well received. We were already planning to demo a few but she is notoriously insensitive to differences between bikes/suspension etc. My plan was to try out a Bronson v3 and a megatower back to back. They charge you 100 per demo and only let you do two so I was going to try and get her on the size megatower that has the best chance of being a great fit.

March 21, 2019, 4:38 p.m.
Posts: 895
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: Timer

Given her size, I would never consider a long travel 29er without her trying one in steep terrain first.

...

Demo'd a Hightower LT from Steed last summer, spent an enlightening day on Cypress. Well worth the $100.

And yup, buy the bike and they'll credit you for the demo.

Personally, if I were 5'7" I would only demo the Bronson.

March 22, 2019, 1:29 a.m.
Posts: 696
Joined: March 18, 2017

Hold out for drunkworks and get to demo all the bikes for free

March 22, 2019, 3:53 p.m.
Posts: 1353
Joined: July 11, 2014

Another vote for demoing the Bronson. The Megatower is going to feel like a HUGE bike to her and small for sure, the medium will be absolutely massive especially on janky shore stuff. I'm 5'10" but with short legs and 29ers are tough for me on steep terrain (ass buzz - even when I try to ride more over the front).

March 23, 2019, 8:14 p.m.
Posts: 198
Joined: May 11, 2018

The Bronson was always on the list but everyone seems to be going gaga over 29ers so much so it seems like 27.5 is dead. I have been looking more closely at the Geo for the Bronson and it seems a little weird. Fits big in the small and Med and fits small in the large and XL. My 2016 Large Honzo has a longer top tube and reach than the large bronson v3 and almost as long as the XL. On the other hand My wife's V1  bronson is signicifacntly shorter than the small V3.

In any case, she is riding her medium V1 with a 55mm ENVE stem (She is not overly stretched out either). I figure she could ride the med v3 with a 35mm and it would probably be excellent. I have been reading some reviews on the V3 and it sounds like it would do well for her, especially with some burly 2.6 rubber.

S                    M                        V1 med
Reach                  419mm            436mm                   403
Stack                    593mm             602mm                   594
Head Tube Angle    65.4°              65.4°                        67
Seat Tube Length    380mm       405mm                   432
Front Center             737mm    761mm   
BB Height                  344mm    344mm                       346
BB Drop                     10mm    10mm   
Wheelbase                 1167mm    1191mm               1108
Chainstay Length        430mm    430mm                  439
Head Tube Length      110mm     120mm                    90
Top Tube Length         574mm    598mm                  554
Seat Tube Angle             75.3°    75.3°                        73
Standover Height        704mm    721mm                718

March 24, 2019, 2:12 a.m.
Posts: 736
Joined: June 29, 2006

Hi,

we were in the same situation in last summer. My wife is a tad under 5'6 (167cm), same weight, fit and able to ride all the black rated and most parts of the double black ones, does small jumps and small drops, but doesn't do the high risk features. She likes to climb, too.

She rode an Orbea Rallon V4 27.5" 160/160mm bike in size Small (420mm Reach with a 30mm Stem, 750mm bars, steep seat tube angle, very short 420mm chain stays) for the last three seasons.

During our 5-week honeymoon in Whistler last summer, she somehow got demoing loads of bikes during Crankworx in her head. She was fascinated by the 29ers (I bought a 29" Rallon last February), because my bike "rolled so well". I thought that the big wheels would be cumbersome for her at her height, but demoing them for free was a no brainer.

She tried around ten bikes, both 27,5 and 29" and small or medium sizes.

And it became crystal clear, that the 29" wheels absolutely work for her, as long as the reach isn't too SHORT!

She was faster on technical climbs (which is somewhat unsurprising), what surprised me a lot: She tried incredibly steep rollers, gnarly off-camber sections without any hesitation on two properly sized 29ers which she didn't try on her dialed-in 27,5" own bike. And that's talking demo bikes with unknown components, only roughly setup suspension etc.

She liked the Santa Cruz Hightower LT size Medium and the Rocky Mountain Instinct best.

She had loads of fun for the remainder of our vacation on her Rallon, but clearly she lusted for a 29er.

Because the Rocky Mountain bikes are not a good deal over here in Europe I got her a Medium Hightower LT CC frame for a good autumn deal and built it with light, but durable components for her birthday.

She's ridden the bike a lot for a little over six months and she couldn't be happier. Buzzing the rear wheel is a non-issue. With a 30mm stem, 10mm of spacers and a 10mm rise bar and 430mm reach there is absolutely no need for her to move back that far, even in steep stuff. She rides tight and technical stuff without problems.

I think bike weigh is key for light riders: you have to keep the components and especially the wheel set and tires lightish (she rides a DHR II 2.3 as a rear tire with a FCK Flats insert). No need for a 2.5", she's light!

Before buying a Megatower or a Bronson I'd take a really good look at the Hightower LT. While it is a beautiful bike, the slack seat tube angle is a nogo for taller riders. BUT in size Medium and without a crazy long inseam, the geometry absolutely works. Chainstay length, head tube angle, stack are perfectly balanced. 160/150mm keep bb-height and rear tire/butt clearance at bay. The head angle is slack enough for a small rider. I'd say that the super slack sub 65° head angle on the Megatower could make the bike too slack for a smaller rider.

So - I'd recommend to also demo a Hightower LT size Medium. A closeout deal with really high-end components could be a great match, maybe even better than a Megatower, because it is more like a 29" Bronson, than a 29" Nomad. Without EWS speed or huge jumps that might be a better compromise.


 Last edited by: Znarf on March 24, 2019, 12:08 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
March 25, 2019, 7:34 p.m.
Posts: 14351
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Posted by: RAHrider

were going back and forth between the sb150 and sb130 as the 150 with the 170 fork seemed like a lot considering her penchant for pedaling tech uphills and the 130 seemed to miss the mark on making the downhills sure footed. The Megatower looks like it might be the ticket. Wondering on peoples thoughts and specifically with sizing. The stack on the megatower is significantly more than her old bronson. We could go with a flat bar and no spacers and it would probably work out ok. The reach/ETT on the small would still give her a little more length which makes me think the small might be a better fit. Considering the wheelbase is increasing by 7-10 cm, she would probably appreciate the tighter wheelbase on the small with the lower stack.

Anyone think she should definitely go with the Med? I have limited experience on the super long TT's released in the last couple of years. Anyone think she should definitely go with a Yeti? Which one? Why?I included the Geo for the megatower as well as her old geo in bold. I would definitely appreciate peoples thoughts, especially if you've gone through a similar process yourself in the past year or two.

I really like my Yeti 5.5, I did demo a large but I'm 5'8" , the large cockpit felt too long and the medium SB 5.5 was defintley the right size,

Assuming the sizing is the same I would bet the medium 150 or 130 is the right size for a 5"7"

one of the guys at the shop sold an SB5.5 to get the SB 150, he sez its almost too much

unless your name is Richie Rude probably the 130 is plenty

April 15, 2019, 5:48 a.m.
Posts: 198
Joined: May 11, 2018

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice, it was super helpful. 

She ended up demoing the following:

Megatower - instant love

SB130 - didn't really like it

Ripmo - not bad, but no megatower

Bronson - best of the non-megatower bikes

I still can't fully exain it. We rode the same loop that had a mixture of steep tech, tech climbing, fast descending. I don't think she weights the front wheel enough to get on top of the sb130 geo. She was figuring it out but just didn't like it. The ibis and Bronson were both ok but when she descended on the megatower it was the one bike that made her more confident - she absolutely loved riding it.

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