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Looking for some input.

Dec. 13, 2017, 10:55 p.m.
Posts: 10970
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: tehllama42

Evenly mixed, if you look at all the results.  Both solutions for wheel diameter work well, just in different ways.  For taller guys, bigger wheels will feel more natural to a larger fraction of people because of the proportionality of those, but somebody wanting agility and travel for chunk may still prefer smaller wheels (conversely some riders prefer wagon wheels no matter what). 

They roll things differently, with different characteristic feels. Big wheels have lower attack angles and tend to feel smoother over moderately rough stuff because less peak energy is involved in getting out of the way, but more unsprung mass and a lankier bike is always a tradeoff. Same deal with feeling in the bike (more bottom bracket drop) versus on the bike (less bb drop, but can initiate direction changes easier). 

For my part, a 29er with 150/140mm travel is able to get me into and out of plenty of trouble, with good tires climbs technical stuff brilliantly, and with modern geometry I can goo stupid fast. Low speed tech and climbing switch backs is basically compromised (but I personally suck at that anyway), and it requires a lot of commitment for frolicking.

Now tell us about how much awesome boost spacing gives us!

Dec. 14, 2017, 2:14 p.m.
Posts: 9189
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I am in my mid 40's, am 6'4" and ride a 135mm 29er....won't go back to smaller wheels. Just because it works great for me, may not mean it works great for you. Most bikes now are pretty awesome, ride a bunch and buy the one that puts the biggest smile on your face.

Dec. 14, 2017, 4:27 p.m.
Posts: 87
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: pedalhound

I am in my mid 40's, am 6'4" and ride a 135mm 29er....won't go back to smaller wheels. Just because it works great for me, may not mean it works great for you. Most bikes now are pretty awesome, ride a bunch and buy the one that puts the biggest smile on your face.

Out of curiosity what bike are you riding? Where are you riding? 

I'm still going back and forth between the Sight and Range. With my current riding, the Sight seems like plenty of bike, but the more I ride the better I'm getting, so will the Sight be enough bike come next year? I know either bike will work regardless, but is it better to be under-gunned or over-gunned? I'm leaning towards the Range again, because buying another bike in the next couple years is NOT an option. So I want to make sure I get this right!

Dec. 18, 2017, 11:56 a.m.
Posts: 1460
Joined: July 11, 2014

OP if you are set on Norco, take the time and demo the 27.5 and 29 versions of both the Sight and Range. Whichever of the four feels best to you, go for that bike. Personally, I would rather be over gunned than under. If I was buying one bike it would be the 27.5 Range. Total capable of everything in the Sea to Sky including the bike park (don't know it till to you try it). I just don't enjoy the feeling of 29er wheels, my personal taste. I'm 37 so a bit younger than you but only really got back into biking seriously about 4 years ago and love the damn park.

Dec. 18, 2017, 6:36 p.m.
Posts: 407
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: grambo

OP if you are set on Norco, take the time and demo the 27.5 and 29 versions of both the Sight and Range. Whichever of the four feels best to you, go for that bike. Personally, I would rather be over gunned than under. If I was buying one bike it would be the 27.5 Range. Total capable of everything in the Sea to Sky including the bike park (don't know it till to you try it). I just don't enjoy the feeling of 29er wheels, my personal taste. I'm 37 so a bit younger than you but only really got back into biking seriously about 4 years ago and love the damn park.

This

Dec. 18, 2017, 10:11 p.m.
Posts: 87
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: grambo

OP if you are set on Norco, take the time and demo the 27.5 and 29 versions of both the Sight and Range. Whichever of the four feels best to you, go for that bike. Personally, I would rather be over gunned than under. If I was buying one bike it would be the 27.5 Range. Total capable of everything in the Sea to Sky including the bike park (don't know it till to you try it). I just don't enjoy the feeling of 29er wheels, my personal taste. I'm 37 so a bit younger than you but only really got back into biking seriously about 4 years ago and love the damn park.

Thank you. 

I've talked to a couple of friends and that state the same thing, better to be over gunned, bike will last longer to! I've switched my mind again!!!

I think I'm going to go with the Norco Range, and most likely the 29er. I demo'd it and it felt fine. If I get a chance I'll demo a 27.5 just make sure. 

Really appreciate everyone's feedback back, it helped me narrow it down

Dec. 19, 2017, 9:04 p.m.
Posts: 8855
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

It's a tough call between trail and enduro if you ask me. I'm personally pretty keen on 29ers with 135 rear and 150 or even 160 up front. Yeti 5.5 and Hightower (non LT) come to mind. That said I had a wicked time last winter on the Tallboy with only 120 front and rear. More versatility, relatively competent on most gnarly Shore lines but occasionally outgunned. A little more fork and a tiny bit more rear travel than that is a very versatile bike.

Dec. 20, 2017, 7:17 a.m.
Posts: 87
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: cam@nsmb.com

It's a tough call between trail and enduro if you ask me. I'm personally pretty keen on 29ers with 135 rear and 150 or even 160 up front. Yeti 5.5 and Hightower (non LT) come to mind. That said I had a wicked time last winter on the Tallboy with only 120 front and rear. More versatility, relatively competent on most gnarly Shore lines but occasionally outgunned. A little more fork and a tiny bit more rear travel than that is a very versatile bike.

It is a tough call!!

The Norco Sight 29 has 140mm/130mm suspension, HA is 67°.  Which is pretty close to the Yeti and Hightower you've suggested. The Range 29 is 160/150mm, HA is 65.5°. The Range is closer to the front suspension you've recommended. For a couple hundred bucks more the Range has better Fork, shock, rims and the Code brakes vs the GuideR. Didn't care much for the GuideR brakes. The Codes felt similar to my XT's.

Still a tough call though!!

Dec. 20, 2017, 10:25 a.m.
Posts: 8855
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

I liked the Range a lot. The only proviso would be that it has a slightly forward axle path (apparently - I was told this and felt evidence of it rather than measured it) which the 650b doesn't have which seemed to make big hits a little harsh. I imagine you could tune that out with a volume spacer reduction to make the end stroke a little less linear.

A very solid performing bike all and all - and with Codes it would be a beast. 

https://nsmb.com/articles/2017-norco-range-29-92/

Dec. 20, 2017, 11:09 a.m.
Posts: 87
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: cam@nsmb.com

I liked the Range a lot. The only proviso would be that it has a slightly forward axle path (apparently - I was told this and felt evidence of it rather than measured it) which the 650b doesn't have which seemed to make big hits a little harsh. I imagine you could tune that out with a volume spacer reduction to make the end stroke a little less linear.

A very solid performing bike all and all - and with Codes it would be a beast. 

https://nsmb.com/articles/2017-norco-range-29-92/

Thanks for the reply and the link to the write-up on the Range. If i get the Range it'll be the A1 model, it comes with the Fox 36 Performance Float and Fox Performance Float DPX2 with LV and EVOL. Do you think with the Fox suspension will fix the problem you mentioned in your article?

Dec. 20, 2017, 1:36 p.m.
Posts: 691
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

My view is if you're certain that a second bike is not in the cards, go big on this one. Get a long travel enduro. You will give up on climbing speed and effort, but you will still be able to pedal it up, and you will retain the ability to hit bigger and steeper stuff than you might think you want right now.

If you get a fun and flippy trail bike with 130/140, whatever, it will probably be a bit more fun on flowy stuff but you will be limited to the go-arounds on some things.

My SWorks E29 is a really big bike, but its limitations were enough for me to get a DH sled in addition. Its easier to ride a bigger Enduro up the hill than a smaller Trail bike through the big stuff!

Case in point, my SWorks Epic (26r) is a nightmare on most of the stuff around here....awesome XC race bike, but its exhausting trying to stay alive on...its too small a bike for most of the stuff here and the HTA will give you seizures. It gets up the hills unlike any other and its lively to the point that its neurotic, but its limitations going down make it almost useless on most of my favorite trails.


 Last edited by: Ddean on Dec. 20, 2017, 1:47 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Dec. 20, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec. 20, 2017

Just thought I'd throw my two cents in as I'm in a very, very similar situation as you.

So to start... I started riding when I was 14, did some racing through teenage years, then stopped. Moved to Whistler to chase the dream for a couple years (pre bike park) then the North Shore after that dream was crushed (haha) (late 90's). Started riding a bit with an old Rocky Mountain hardtail with a 2 inch travel fork... and had a blast. Around that time the Whistler Bike Park opened up, so I bought a bigger cheap Brodie DH-ish rig and had a blast for a few years on the Shore with trips to the WBP.

Because of life, kids, moving for jobs etc... was rarely on the bike for a period of about 10 years or so. Then moved to Victoria 2 years ago and am just getting into riding again. Took my old 45 lb monster for a couple AM rides with friends who are all getting back into things this fall and realized very quickly that I needed a new bike haha!

So I, like you, have been researching like crazy, reading reviews, posting on forums, talking to friends, demoing bikes etc, etc... trying wrap my head around the new bikes, the tech, the angles the 1x drivetrains, etc!

The terrain I'll be riding is mostly AM/Trail crossed with aggressive XC and dabbled with some good Enduro, but I will also make a few trips a year to the Mt Washington Bike Park as well as the Coast Gravity Park and a couple days in Whistler. I'll probably even get a couple days back in my old stomping grounds around the shore.

One other factor I considered while shopping, since I am also only able to own one bike (well, one mtb... I have a commuter as well, I do live in Victoria), was that it needs to be able to work well on a couple extended mtb trips with friends to various parts of BC that will be AM/Trail/Aggressive XC, where I'll need to be able to keep up more on the up and traversing sections and then still have energy for the down!

Anyway, like someone mentioned, I kept my eyes open for good deals on 2017 rides and managed to find a great deal on a 2017 Norco Sight (27.5)... and it was such a good deal I was able to swap out/upgrade/lighten a couple of the parts as well.

Have only taken it out for a couple quick rips... but so far, it feels perfect. 140 (5.5 inches) & 150 (6 inches) is more than enough. Hit a pretty aggressive enduro trail and it handled it amazingly well. Part of it may be me being rusty and slow, part of it may be me being out of touch for 10 years and the tech making leaps and bounds, but part of it was also the bikes capability. And honestly, at my age, with my responsibilities, I'm not going to get out enough that my skills will improve that much, so it feels perfect. The weight is also great... but I wouldn't want it any heavier! And I feel like I still have a ways to go before I'm able to take this bike to it's limits.

My thoughts on 29'rs... the bikes I demo'd were great bikes... just that none felt right to me compared with 27.5. Hard to describe, but the 27.5 versions I rode just felt more... fun I guess? Lively? Jumpy? To each their own though.

Hope this helps... happy hunting!

Dec. 25, 2017, 9:48 a.m.
Posts: 28
Joined: July 20, 2015

Whatever you get, put $100 aside for a good Abus lock. Lock up your bike, even inside.

And think about joining one of the local riding clubs (NSRide for example) and signing up for NSMBA or another local advocacy group. Best way to meet like minded people and make the experience a lot more social. 

And they often have discounts that can save you hundreds.


 Last edited by: qduffy on Dec. 25, 2017, 9:52 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 2, 2018, 6:08 p.m.
Posts: 157
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Posted by: cam@nsmb.com

It's a tough call between trail and enduro if you ask me. I'm personally pretty keen on 29ers with 135 rear and 150 or even 160 up front. Yeti 5.5 and Hightower (non LT) come to mind. That said I had a wicked time last winter on the Tallboy with only 120 front and rear. More versatility, relatively competent on most gnarly Shore lines but occasionally outgunned. A little more fork and a tiny bit more rear travel than that is a very versatile bike.

Agreed, I think if you're not trying to actually race competitively, that's where the fun is. Or 140-160 650B with 160-170 up front. Yes you cannot smash the biggest lines at warp speed, but for for the average dude 100% of your rides don't consist of smashing  blacks and double blacks at warp speed. You want to hit blue trails hard and find things to jump, and maybe ride blacks and double blacks at a pace that doesn't cause your life to flash before your eyes on every run. Ego aside I think most people fall into this category, which in BC means long travel trail bike or and shorter travel enduro rig. 

I also think our terrain is well suited to shorter travel bike with longer travel front forks. increasing front fork travel is cheap and easy in most cases, and bikes these days have such low bottom brackets, which for our rooty rocky trails is not always ideal. I have a Bronson with a 160 front. A 170 would be better, but overall it's just awesome. Does 90% of that an XC bike will do and 90% of what a more gnarly enduro bike would do. I can ride with my group of old fart fitness buddies on their 130mm, 24lb scott xc bikes, and with my group of enduro buddies with Nomads and Reigns, I'm never the fastest in any group but I have lots and lots of fun.

Jan. 4, 2018, 1:14 a.m.
Posts: 87
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

I'm still debating between the Sight and Range, I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on one of them. My gut instinct is to go with the Sight 29. I started looking at YouTube videos of the double black's rides on the Shore and Squamish, I can't see myself riding that stuff! So most likely going with either the Sight A1 or splurging for the C2. When it's time to service the fork, I'll bump up the travel.

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