I second the Yelli Screamy motion that Vik made!! Not really a hardtail person, but the original YS was one of the most fun bikes ever.
I’m fascinated by user experiences. Clearly a lot of riders like new Shimano stuff. My experience is distinctly opposite. Of the bikes I’ve owned this year, one was full XT 12-speed and one was full SLX. Surprisingly for someone who prefers Magura, both brake sets performed much better than previous Shimano brakes.
For me, the drivetrains were OK. SLX even more so when upgraded to an XT shifter. I wouldn’t immediately pull it off, but I definitely don’t see a performance advantage over Eagle. I have experienced no performance degradation with any SRAM drivetrain GX level or higher and my experience is they Eagle mechs take rock strikes much better than Shimano ( an issue in Phoenix). And I strongly prefer the solid shifting action vs Shimano’s more, uh, delicate approach.
I, too, didn’t have a negative reaction to the PB article, and I make a real effort not to fall down the curmudgeon rabbit hole. I’m perfectly happy to buy or build a couple bikes a year as I enjoy that process and it’s the only hobby that costs money for me so I have the means. Mostly, these bikes all ride really frickin’ great.
Better than 15 years ago? Yes. Better than 10 years ago? Yes. Stoked to be alive and riding awesome rigs.
I say it to anyone who’ll listen: I have a harder time finding a proper helmet than a bike! I’m a tall mammal with a child-size head. And a somewhat long neck. Which makes the majority of modern half-shell helmets look ridiculous.
The original Urge Enduromatic is still the best-fitting helmet I’ve ever worn. No longer available. Now I’m stuck with a TLD A1 and, when it’s cool enough to tolerate, a Fox Dropframe.
One thing that would be super-helpful in this type of review, is to take all product photos from the same angle and distance.
And, at the risk of being pedantic, the word you’re looking for is “jiggly,” not “giggly.”
Those cranks, though. Take my $$$ …
Another data point. I had two Titans, one with the 2020 X2 and the other with the ‘21. The 2020 version was definitely noticeably superior in all aspects.
I’ve run most of the droppers on the market. The newest non-AXS Reverb is the smoothest-feeling post I’ve used when it’s new and before it inevitably stops working.
I’m running a Bikeyoke Revive 185 in my Titan and a OneUp V2 210 on my Spur. The Revive is clearly and easily the superior post from a performance metric. But the OneUp still goes up and down whenever I push the lever.
No experience on the Spur, but it’s arguably the best-looking bike on the market. I have the V4 Tallboy. I wouldn’t want it to be my only bike here in Phoenix gnar. But I can’t tell you how impressed I am with it. Hell, I rode National at South Mountain on it today and it was rad.
Indeed. I bought a pair of those $15 Bolle safety glasses so many riders rave about. I have 20-20 vision and the distortion in those lenses was so bad it was like a bad shroom trip.
I recently took a chance on a new XL Fugitive from a great local shop in Phoenix. I knew about the low stack coming in. I had a sore back within 10 minutes of the first ride. 30mm of spacers and a somewhat ridiculous-looking 40mm rise bar has taken care of that.
I, too, have A LOT of creaking and cable rattle. The internal routing is nice, but it is LOUD. A bunch of cable ties and stuffing the down tube with bubble wrap hasn’t yet solved it.
I LOVE the Leatt pads. On my second pair. The first lasted roughly 18 months or so. Still usable, but the backs were starting to shred.
The tire damping characteristics of CC are really what it's about for me, particularly riding big chunk in Phoenix at speed. I wouldn't call the tire install "painless," but it's relatively straightforward with most tires. I've installed several different Maxxis and Bontrager tires fairly easily. This past weekend, I met my match in a Conti Trail King. I was down to the last 10 inches of bead on the second side. Multiple broken Pedro's levers, zip ties and velcro bindings later, I gave up.
The frame I mentioned above was an aluminum GG Smash. Misaligned rear triangle and the rear brake mount was close to 2mm out of square.
I've had a misaligned expensive aluminum suspension frame produced from a micro-manufacturer in the US. It happens. More importantly, Noel once again proves himself one of the smartest dudes in MTB. Great article.
I guess I am a fanboy, but my first internal question was -- at this price point -- why would anyone buy anything other than Hope. I haven't had stopping power issues on my Tech 3 E4 setup at 190 pounds of geared weight riding big Phoenix rocky gnar.