@twk @heathen - thanks. May try the HG if my LBS doesn't get the FR in soon.
I have had a few rodes on the Verdict and really like it. Seems to grip really well on roots. A couple of riding buddies have put them on as well and really like them. I'm still waiting on the Judge to arrive at my LBS. I usually use Minions (Exo F MG and Exo R2 MT) but WTB maybe my new favourite tyre brand.
After reading the glowing review from Cam (https://nsmb.com/articles/wtb-verdict-29-x-25-front-tire-reviewed-w-judge-rear/) I have purchased Verdict LHG and have a Judge TFR on order for the rear.
I was talking to the owner of my LBS and he rated the combo for our local riding (Surrey UK). As noted above i've been on Minions / Bontys for a while so it will be interesting to see how these go. He did note that the Verdict Wet was great wouldn't run it on a pedal bike (they run them on ebikes).
Vik - my take is that geo trumps travel anyway. I would take a Doctahawk or Hello Dave anyday over a 150mm 20er from 5 years ago. But it is an interesting question as to what constitutes a "little" bike. I'm guessing the OP meant a short travel bike with reasonable geo.
I wouldn't call Walt V2 a "little bike" - it's a bad ass montertruck that just happens to be rigid. It would probably slay most bikes short of an full on enduro rig.
Back to topic tho... I'm on 160/140 29 and a rigid 29. Both are fun and complimentary. I can pretty much ride the same trails on both bikes but one is a whole lot faster. I find if I'm riding hard I get beaten up on both.
XR5 / SE5 F/R combo (Surrey UK so can get away with light casings) probably on 2.3 width.
Assegai Exo+ MG sounds interesting for my 511 wheelset. I ran a DH MG for a while but it was too heavy / draggy for our local riding (lots of flat between trails) but tons of grip.
I'm also on XT levers (785 IIRC) with Zee calipers on my Murmur. They work well. I was running full Zee but swapped to the older XT lever for reach adjustment. I'm running 203 / 183 rotors which is the smallest I would go on any bike.
A cheaper alternative would be the superstar components slackerizer headset. It should be model T7-2, based on the details you posted:
I have just put a Superstar angle set in my frame to replace a Works. So far so good and it was £10 cheaper than the Works.
Posted by: michel77
Posted by: fartymarty
Hey man, thanks. I love it at 130mm, it's pretty much perfect for what I use it for now.
When the Surface was my only bike (for 3 years basically) and I was trying to hang with the guys on bigger bikes, and I'm talking good riders on Nomads and Yeti SB150's, I needed everything I could get. The Fox 36 at 150mm was great for smashing like that but having the Smuggler for that stuff now (and still not keeping up lol), this is where the Surface shines for sure. It can still handle most everything but it's noticeably better on steeper climbs, and it just feels right.
130mm is a nice amount of travel for a "do it all" HT.
My Krampus HT is no longer... its now has a rigid fork as the Pike went onto the Starling Murmur I got in April last year. I do miss it but would rather have two very different bikes than just one.
I've just got a Lezyne 1800i. 1800 proper lumens for €150. I have it helmet mounted and my old lights on the bars.
Posted by: grambo
Posted by: cerealkilla_
And don't think the bespectacled protectors of the frogs who hate all bikes aren't just rubbing their grubby little hands together...
Awesome post that perfectly sums up my feelings and fears on this subject. Nothing to do with getting passed by ebikers (I personally don't give a shit, but I worry about perception by other user groups getting dusted by these guys on Old Buck/BP(s)/single track).
Awesome to see UROC making an unequivocal statement for Cumberland Community Forest... Non-motorized = NO ebikes.
I also agree with cerealkilla_ like it or not ebikes are a sub category of mountain bikes and we need to work together to maintain trail access.
Posted by: syncro
Posted by: nouseforaname
I think some folks just hope that by dropping the gear inches, climbs will stop sucking as much. They don't, the suck just goes on for longer.
the best thing about pushing yourself a bit more is that the climbs get easier and suck less as you get better even though you're actually putting out more effort at the improved pace. pushing hard when you're fit is way easier than pushing hard when you're not.
Climbs don't get easier they just take less time. They still hurt.