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long travel wagon wheelers

Dec. 19, 2018, 9:08 a.m.
Posts: 961
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

I had a beautiful dream last night I was riding Cypress on a...29er. I think I need to buy one.

Would asking about shorter travel (~130mm) wagon wheelers be a total thread derailment?

My test rides this summer taught me that I'm not tall enough to unlock the full potential of a long travel 29, but more importantly, that I would really like to have a shorter travel pedally 29er.

Climbing was just blissful, besides there would be less expectations to compete with the stravasshole friends on the downs.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Dec. 19, 2018, 10 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: "Hi Crime Stoppers", "Hi Steve!"
Dec. 19, 2018, 10:50 a.m.
Posts: 564
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

it's kinda like asking about lower travel 29er that ride kinda like bigger travel bikes, why the hell not? i often wonder the same. rode a Firebird 29 and was, meh. i see a lot of guys, including serious enduro racers riding bikes like the Sight and similar for the versatility fun factor all around. i have the original Smuggler and am dying to try the new one out in anger. if you believe what you read, it's better going up and down. lots of local shredders have the Sentinel, but i'm doubtful i would like it on a lot of our trails.

Dec. 19, 2018, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 442
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: JBV

it's kinda like asking about lower travel 29er that ride kinda like bigger travel bikes, why the hell not? i often wonder the same. rode a Firebird 29 and was, meh. i see a lot of guys, including serious enduro racers riding bikes like the Sight and similar for the versatility fun factor all around. i have the original Smuggler and am dying to try the new one out in anger. if you believe what you read, it's better going up and down. lots of local shredders have the Sentinel, but i'm doubtful i would like it on a lot of our trails.

The Sentinel is 135mm in the rear. It's hardly long travel. I guess it rides like more but not by much. It's got the attitude of a longer travel bike but it gets in over its head as you'd expect. 135 seems like a good balance. That Pole went to 180 on their new bike is mind bending.

Dec. 19, 2018, 11:44 a.m.
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug. 16, 2018

having spent 4 months on a 170/160 mm 29er (yes, the Firebird 29), all over BC and WA state, I can agree that this is a ton of travel on a 29er. do i need that much travel on every ride? definitely not. some days on smoother/mellow trails i do wish for a smaller bike at times.

do i really appreciate the travel when riding Cypress old school gnar, or other off-the-grid gnar zones? absolutely.

do i go faster on this bike than i ever have before, including faster than on my last DH bike? absolutely.

these new long travel 29ers are the bees knees for pedalling up and smashing gnarly descents at speeds that would have been unheard of 10 years ago.

as a single bike i'm not sure they make a ton of sense unless you either really prioritize descending or just ride a lot of gnar.

so this is a long winded way of saying i'm sure that a 130-140 mm 29er is a better option for a lot of people who either don't ride gnar or don't have a lot of those trails nearby!


 Last edited by: oldmanbuilder on Dec. 19, 2018, 11:47 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 19, 2018, 11:54 a.m.
Posts: 629
Joined: March 25, 2011

The 160/140 of the Sentinel is a pretty good sweet spot. I find mine quite nimble. At least for me I don't think the 140mm rear end gets in over its head unless you are smashing medium hits at Mach Chicken, or if you are on the brake bumps in the Park. Other than that it's pretty solid pick for a in between bike. :-)

**disclaimer this style of bike is a rear wheel destroyer. I'm on rear wheel #4.  It takes you into the gnar at all the speed of a bigger bike,,,it's just kinda runs out of travel hahaha


 Last edited by: awesterner on Dec. 19, 2018, 11:57 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 19, 2018, 5:17 p.m.
Posts: 168
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I have been meaning to say it's very interesting to watch the evolution of this thread. It's not even that old, and already many of the bikes that were considered "long travel" 20ers are pretty much mid travel, and mid travel bikes are now basically short travel 29ers. With 160+ 29ers getting more common the whole segment has shifted. We almost need a new thread for the shorter travel bikes!

Dec. 19, 2018, 8:04 p.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: July 18, 2017

Posted by: DemonMike

Posted by: kiwizak

SKS make a "strap on" (LOL) bottle mount kit.

https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/collections/water-bottle-cages/products/sks-anywhere-adapter-water-bottle-cage-mounting-adapter-black

This doesn't appear to be the SKS kit, but

The point of the comment , Huge space in the frame for the builder to fit a bottle and they don,t. Some designs force one to mount a bottle on the bottom of the frame . Been there done that , won,t be happening again LOL. With the amount of $$$ some of these frames cost . I want features like a bottle mount in the frame!!!.

There were a handful of others commenting on lack of water bottle mounts, not just you, to which I offered a solution.

I tend to agree though, there is no excuse for lack of bottle mounts, the latest Remedy even has bottle mounts under the top tube for mounting accessories.

Dec. 20, 2018, 7:18 a.m.
Posts: 934
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Devinci Spartan 29 didn't get the best review on the "PB Field Test". Have any of you guys ridden one? I was hoping it would be my next bike. Definitely going to test ride one in the Spring.

Dec. 20, 2018, 1:05 p.m.
Posts: 35
Joined: Dec. 1, 2008

Posted by: awesterner

The 160/140 of the Sentinel is a pretty good sweet spot. I find mine quite nimble. At least for me I don't think the 140mm rear end gets in over its head unless you are smashing medium hits at Mach Chicken, or if you are on the brake bumps in the Park. Other than that it's pretty solid pick for a in between bike. :-)

**disclaimer this style of bike is a rear wheel destroyer. I'm on rear wheel #4. It takes you into the gnar at all the speed of a bigger bike,,,it's just kinda runs out of travel hahaha

How are you finding the pedalling on the Sentinel? Read a couple of reviews and the gist of it seemed to be that it is more capable than most 140mm bikes, but also that it pedals worse and feels less nimble than similar travel bikes.


 Last edited by: Timer on Dec. 20, 2018, 1:07 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
Dec. 20, 2018, 6:49 p.m.
Posts: 961
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: oldmanbuilder

...

so this is a long winded way of saying i'm sure that a 130-140 mm 29er is a better option for a lot of people who either don't ride gnar or don't have a lot of those trails nearby!

Or maybe if your trail is fairly gnar but you always ride the same memorized lines?

...For years and years because you're old and unoriginal and just want to get to the top of the climb comfortably so you can enjoy your beer before hitting the same exact descent you've hit 1,000 times before...

Dec. 20, 2018, 7:20 p.m.
Posts: 4834
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

^this sounds very familiar.

Dec. 21, 2018, 2:58 a.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug. 15, 2018

Posted by: Timer

Posted by: awesterner

The 160/140 of the Sentinel is a pretty good sweet spot. I find mine quite nimble. At least for me I don't think the 140mm rear end gets in over its head unless you are smashing medium hits at Mach Chicken, or if you are on the brake bumps in the Park. Other than that it's pretty solid pick for a in between bike. :-)

**disclaimer this style of bike is a rear wheel destroyer. I'm on rear wheel #4. It takes you into the gnar at all the speed of a bigger bike,,,it's just kinda runs out of travel hahaha

How are you finding the pedalling on the Sentinel? Read a couple of reviews and the gist of it seemed to be that it is more capable than most 140mm bikes, but also that it pedals worse and feels less nimble than similar travel bikes.

Given it's weight, I found the Sent pedalled as well as could be expected. None of this 'climbs like an XC bike sh*t' but in the mid setting on the shock, it went up fine & had very little bob. I found it still had noticeable wheel flop on slower more techy stuff, but I expected it to, compared to what I am used to.

Where I found it suffered was racing more than anything. It felt very soft and mushy on the pedals, which combined with a low BB meant care was needed when trying to put the power down on something rough. I clipped a lot of pedals on that bike.

I have found the Raaw climbs better so far for comparison, which for an even bigger bike was surprising. When I say climbs better, again, it's all relative, compared to my 26lb Fuel 9.9 it feels heavy, slow, lethargic but for a 15kg monster truck, it just keeps going up stuff I would have trouble taming the front wheel on the Fuel with.

I put it down to the (much) longer stays & mega steep SA. In terms of nimbleness, I don't find these massive 29er's overly nimble, they are a bit more of a 'Hulk Smash' style of riding :)


 Last edited by: HobNob on Dec. 21, 2018, 2:58 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 21, 2018, 9 a.m.
Posts: 30
Joined: May 11, 2017

I'm a year in on my sentinel now and still love it. Climbs better than my last bike (Devinci Troy) weighs a touch more but is much more capable downhill and confidence inspiring with the wheelbase / HA. The Troy at the same travel but 27.5 was plenty capable but it was obviously maxed out 

Lots of complaints on shock set up from others but if you set it up like a 140mm bike it works great. I think the issues come from people trying to get it as plush as a 150/160mm. It suffers a bit in the bike park braking bumps as a result but for an aggressive trail bike its pretty hard to fault.

It is the type of bike that you can't be lazy on though. The shortish stays keep it pretty nimble on the shore but it does mean you need to consciously keep your weight forward the first few rides as you get used to it. It rarely bucks you OTB or gets out of shape but if you get in the back seat you push the front end pretty good.

Dec. 22, 2018, 9:32 a.m.
Posts: 934
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Posted by: MaxRockatansky

I'm a year in on my sentinel now and still love it. Climbs better than my last bike (Devinci Troy) weighs a touch more but is much more capable downhill and confidence inspiring with the wheelbase / HA. The Troy at the same travel but 27.5 was plenty capable but it was obviously maxed out 

Lots of complaints on shock set up from others but if you set it up like a 140mm bike it works great. I think the issues come from people trying to get it as plush as a 150/160mm. It suffers a bit in the bike park braking bumps as a result but for an aggressive trail bike its pretty hard to fault.

It is the type of bike that you can't be lazy on though. The shortish stays keep it pretty nimble on the shore but it does mean you need to consciously keep your weight forward the first few rides as you get used to it. It rarely bucks you OTB or gets out of shape but if you get in the back seat you push the front end pretty good.

Does the 140mm rear travel really make the Sentinel only an "aggressive trail bike". I always thought of the Sentinel as one of the most aggressive "Enduro" bikes... but your post seems to say that it is noticeably less plush than a 160mm bike?

Dec. 22, 2018, 3:35 p.m.
Posts: 168
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Yeah it's wierd you hear so much conflicting info regarding the smuggler and Sentinel. I've heard people say Sentinel is very much a trail bike and gives up nothing to the smuggler on flat trails or climbing, and then I've heard people say the Sentinel is a major DH sled and the smuggler is much more usually day to day unless your day to day is alternating laps of the bike park and cypress shuttles. 

Just goes to show d

Nothing beats beats getting down to bham and doing a demo. I wish NSBS had a couple.

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