I experimented with GX Eagle at some point, but ultimately didn't need a 500% range, as either I could as well push the bike once I needed a 30x50t on very, very steep climbs or I could reach crazy speeds with a 34 or 36x10t - and I would only reach these on the road realistically, as I just don't launch these gigantic Grand Canyon gaps. Or if I do, there's usually enough "gravity" or slope involved.
But I had to pedal around a gigantic, clanky cassette with a very long cage derailleur and LOADS of chain length.
I went back to my 10-42t 260g XX1 11spd cassette and a 28t on my LT 29er with 11spd Shimano RD. That works for me even on very steep uphills (Alps) and 28x10t x29" 2.5 tires is plenty of top-speed for me.
I´d love a 10 or even 9spd version, if durability was noticeably better. But I´d guess there'd be a point where gearing differences become coarse. Manageable but coarse...
I don't know if links are permitted on numb.com? But have a look at:
I find the drag and drop and customizable interface really helpful for figuring out gearing and comparing different drivetrains and wheel sizes etc.
I’d be interested if the seat angle is great even for really long-legged people? 76 sounds steep BUT:
My RAAW Madonna sports a 78.2deg effective and 74 actual seat angle. And I feel it is perfect. No need to ride your enduro rig with less sag to not make it slump on steeper climbs, no back pain. And with a 210mm dropper it is fantastic up and down. With less drop the saddle doesn’t move enough, with that steep an angle. (no theories here, I actually tried and tested these combinations a lot over the last couple of years)
I also have a 29er Orbea Rallon which sits around 76degrees, varying with bb settings.
At almost 37“ inseam, 76 is tolerable, but the 78 is really a lot better on a slack bike with lots of rear travel - for climbing and pedaling from and to the trails. Also dropper posts last longer for me on bikes with steep actual ST angles.
Could you maybe measure the actual seat tube angle?
The new Enduro looks great - but this detail could make or break the bike for tall/long-legged folk.
I’ve been riding a Raaw Madonna since March this year. I bought it as a backup for my carbon Orbea Rallon 29 and intended to primarily ride the Orbea and the Raaw for winter rides or when something on the Rallon is broken only.
Since I took delivery of the Madonna I didn’t touch the Orbea once. Even though the Rallon is a great bike, too.
The Madonna felt absolutely spot on for me from the first minute. I have had a lot of nice bikes (instead of owning decent cars) over the years, but very few felt as great from the get go to me.
If you ride a lot, the Madonna is a fantastic bike. It’s incredibly solid, the performance of the rear suspension is absolutely superb! I love the geometry and especially the longer chainstays and absolutely find it strikes a great balance of confidence and flickability. It climbs great, the seat angle is perfect for long legs, even better than the Rallon‘s.
I believe that the bearings and frame parts will last for a couple of seasons, for real! Most bikes I get around a full season max before the bearings are not rough, but stuck! Also, another unexpected side effect of the alloy frame: it stopped my whimsy fussing about getting the frame dinged/scratched/clamped/crushed in transport (train, ferry, roof rack, shuttling, lift) etc. Carbon frames are strong while riding, but I worried (and actually destroyed one) about them all the time...
And yes, it is not cheap, but when handling the frame in person, it’s incredibly well built and in my opinion worth the price.
If there is a chance for a test ride, do it!
I am not sponsored or affiliated with RAAW in any way. I just own one and paid full retail for it.
It would be a gross generalization (and a wrong one imho) that "Europeans accept e-bikes". Most of my serious (bio-biking) buddies don't accept e-bikes. They feel that e-biking is a totally different sport and not the right one for most of them. (on trails for recreation).
There are however TONS of people who never actually rode their bikes and now ride e-bikes a lot. But most of them will not ride trails, only bikepaths or bike lanes. They often lack skill and our endurance to ride the heavy bikes safely on trails.
And then there is the group of e-mountainbikers on trails, which consists mostly of fit-ish younger guys too lazy to ride proper bikes. Some of them don't know trail etiquette, because they just ordered their e-bike online after watching rad youtube-vids with loads of skidding and sick e-bike jumps.
And then there are 0.01% former real bikers, who can't ride because of some health issues or really old age. And if they can ride again on an e-bike, I am all for it. Truth to be told, these cases are pretty rare.
If it was up to me, I´d ban e-bikes on trails, but introduce a special permit for people with a certificate of disability.
For commuting and general recreation riding (not on trails) an e-bike is LOADS more efficient than your average Best-Ager Mercedes Cabriolet - so I am all for it.
@Dolomite - e-lobbying across the big pond, eh?
I live in Southern Germany (and manage and build a legal trail system here) and I travel a lot with my mountain bike, all over Europe and have spent quite a bit of time in BC and North America as well, biking.
Just for the record, I disagree with several of your "conclusions" and "facts".
1. the Dolomites, parts of Austria and South Tyrol DONT have THE best trails in the world. There are great trails in these regions, but that is true for a lot of regions. I don´t know if you´ve ridden all regions world wide a lot, but if you don´t, you just can´t speak of "world´s best".
2. E-Bikes and trail access are absolutely not without trouble (in Europe) and I for example have certainly NOT understood the potential of E-Bikes the way you have. I however understand that there´s a boat load of POSSIBLE trouble.
3. As with guns, not E-bikes kill trails, but some people riding them ;-) I´ve experienced douchebag non-e-bike behaviour on trails over the last twenty years. And I´ve experienced douchebag e-bike behaviour on trails. If you have physical ability as a selecting factor (only dedicated people get to 6000ft mountain tops self propelled) there´s a humbling element. Lazy people just don´t go there a lot. And if you´ve climbed LOADS you just don´t argue. You sit there and nibble your energy bar and some water, content with little stuff.
Add a motor though and things get ugly. I KNOW - riding an e-bike can be very exhausting. And absolutely not everyone who rides one is lazy or a douchebag. In fact, there´s no reason that regular mtbers are douchebags, too. And in lift or shuttle assisted riding areas the douchebag factor is higher as well. But suddenly every "regular" tough climb is not as strenuous as before. You´ll have e-bikers speeding climbing trails. And some who don´t. But what´s the point of lugging 5kgs of motor and battery and NOT speed? You could just ride a regular bike...
Yeah - you can rack five times as much elevation a year with your e-bike. But know what? I could multiply that with my car. And could even do it in the rain, without getting wet. In fact - I could do it with a bike on my roof rack. =)
To be fair, as long as you ride your e-bike responsibly, I couldn´t care less if you ride e or non-e. Have fun and enjoy yourself. But just to give the Canadians here a second, non-e opinion I thought I´d contrast your pro-e-bike european opinion with a european non-e-opinion...
Also try Syntace bars. They come in 12deg also, loads of different rises, widths and materials. Not cheap, but probably the highest quality bars and stems you can buy. Don't know if they're available in Canada though?
Procore actually DOES help against burping and rolling, contrary to what the Cushcore chart says. It's also lighter AND it does protect against pinch flats.
But Cushcore doesn't look bad, too. Especially for park bikes it might be a low maintenance option.
Their website however states, that it should be swapped for a new foam ring every two tires. It has a "service life" as most other performance products, or so the website says.
If you ride a lot, that's not a lot of product life for a 149$.
Not destroying your rims constantly saves a lot of $ though. So maybe it's not that expensive.
I really like this uncle Dave thing. The guy can write and seems like a cool uncle.
Could we have links to those anti 27.5 articles? I'd like to read them 🙂
I am 6ft with long legs and long arms and the large as well fits me perfect with a 70mm stem. And now I start to feel like a parrot 🙂
Great write up btw@boomforreal
I have this exact bike's 26 inch sister. And let me tell you, it is a stellar bike. I even like the elixir trail brakes.
The clamp on the command post ir can be reversed btw. If you want less setback!
Nice bike and write-up!
Is it a Pike RC? Has that a charger damper?
Also - the Hans Dampfs are the "Performance" variant. Probably decent tires, but only from Schwalbes "budget" line.
Understandable at that pricepoint…
That is probably the point about simple machines. They just do their job without us noticing too much.
I can imagine a Heckler does just that.
I always loved mine.
It does come with the 2014 CS DB.
I already rode that in August. Feels good when in the climbing mode. Shock felt a bit dead then, but good for climbing. Too much volume for my liking though. But some spacers might help. Didn´t have the chance for that though …
I love the bike AND the review. So good job Santa Cruz and (very) good job Dave, very nice read!
I owned several Hecklers and loved all of them. If I wasn´t in a situation where I want to treat myself with a new (bling) bike, because I am making real good money for the first time in my life, I´d shop for a Heckler for sure. Even if the value over here in Europe isn´t that outstanding because of import taxes. (Which Santa Cruz can´t be blamed for!)
I bet they´ll sell a boatload of them.