Does the XXL come in an aluminum frame? Many of Santa Cruz's bikes only offer the XXL in carbon.
I also own a bike in this genre, a Norco Torrent HT 2. It was reasonably priced at CAD $2,199 and out-of-the-box includes a few of the upgrades you mention in the article: more capable tires (Maxxis Minions), Tektro brakes and a Race Face crankset.
Regardless of the competition's merits, I love the fact that Rocky Mountain is simply making and selling this bike. Far too many people think they need to spend a lot of money on a mountain bike in order for it to be capable and for them to have fun. This is not the case.
Bikes like the Rocky Growler, Norco Torrent, Specialized Fuse and Kona Big Honzo all prove that manufacturers today have models available that are extremely capable...and still allow you to feed your children.
Beauty. So many little interesting part choices gives it some real personality. Do you walk much with the singlespeed going up?
Andrew, as an aside: I'd like to see a full side profile shot of that sweet Honzo of yours. Looks like a cool bike.
I've had 26", 27.5+" and 29" wheels across many different bikes. My favourite is 27.5+" (x 2.8" to be exact). With it, I get more impact protection, more traction and my weight spread out over a more sizeable patch. As for extra rolling resistance, sure I but don't care anymore. I like fun.
I feel like this would be a good article to write: How to stay sane, ride your bike and still have a family that loves you.
Edit: I did it.
I wrote something called How to stay sane, ride your bike and still have a family that loves you.
Man, the seat tube on that XL is a good 1.5-2" shorter than most XL-sized frames. I get that people are buying bigger bikes for the reach, but c'mon manufacturers you have to start adding a XXL (or larger) to your selections.
There's far too few capable bikes out there for people who are 6'4" and above. And don't say just buy a 170mm dropper. That's still not enough tube.
Apart from Ventana and a few others, who's making big bikes these days? NSMB, I'd love to see a test.
I think you actually can have a small government and still be effective at delivering good services that work well and meet most peoples' needs.
The organization itself "just" needs to be much more efficient to do so...and most governments are not. They are stuck following the same patterns they've stuck to since their beginnings.
Adding more government staff just increases complexity and bloat to the existing broken and/or under-performing service. It's wiser (and at the same time, more complex) to re-design government services from scratch. That, though is hard and beyond most peoples' knowledge and abilities.
> Speaking in broad strokes here I'm always fascinated when people complain about the government but always seem to forget that you get the government that you elect
That's not exactly true.
Citizens don't elect the government staff who actually do the work and provide and support the services. They are simply public sector employees.
The elected officials are the politicians who, again broad strokes give those same employees direction, whether ill-advised or not. This direction often changes when a political party changes.
The public sector employees are the ones who suffer (and at the same time, also make bad decisions) based on the whims of their "bosses".
Government is complicated.
I think the Norco Sight A (aluminum) series is an equally good value. Add that one to your list too!
I too usually seek out a 21” sized seat tube on mountain bikes. What’s interesting is that on Pinkbike they show a photo of the company’s staff and the guy is 6’6” on this bike.
I own a 2016 Kona Hei Hei and am a fairly big guy (6'3", 195 lbs). I took the Hei Hei into my local bike shop this week to get some maintenance done and asked if they could figure out where the creak was coming from. That creaking started in late summer and got worse in the fall, but then the snow came, so...
Anyway, it turns out I have cracked the chainstay on the drive-side, ahead of the rear derailleur. This is the second cracked Hei Hei rear-end that this shop has seen. I'm really hoping that Kona can replace the rear triangle under warranty.
So, the flex definitely is a concern. Although, my Hei Hei was the first generation of the new models. Perhaps they've beefed them up since then, including the chainstays of the Satori.
I ride my fat bike in -30C weather and below, and a carbon handlebar (with cork Ergon grips) makes a very noticeable difference in warmth. Combined with fat pogeys and some reasonably plush gloves, it's an oven in there.
I still have metal brake levers, which are the only cold thing my hands touch. You can definitely feel the aluminum's temperature and thus I try to avoid using the brakes, haha. The sticky fingers above look like a good, much (much) cheaper alternative than carbon brake levers.