I do Love short seat tubes, but it's a funny thing on a bike like the stumpy where the seat tube is interrupted so high up and effectively remains consistent through all sizes due to pivot placement/bent seat tube. This makes the available insertion depth on those small sizes incredibly shallow. Always leaves you with a lot of exposed seat post above the clamp and really impedes droppers for shorter people/smaller sizes. But I agree, most especially on a bike like this it is better to have the seat tube be shorter so the lower saddle height is at least available with a dedicated rigid post for someone that may use this primarily in the bike park. But this thing just doesn't have the insertion depth for a 175-200mm dropper unless you have incredibly long legs, which is a shame given its intended use.
I was imagining having a dedicated chain, crank, and cassette for each bike since that would save the most amount of time and keep this practical, and not cause any uneven wear. I wouldn't want to keep opening up the quick link to move the chain frequently. You would just remove the lower pulley wheel to avoid having to open up the chain every time. Might need a limit screw adjustment, but I think if you are the type of person that would be strongly considering this option, that is probably a 1 minute adjustment at the most. If I could use the AXS shifter and derailleur on 10, 11, and 12 speed cassettes, then that would be a silver bullet.
Sram (or some other aftermarket competitor....ahem wolftooth/oneup please contract an IT developer) would be damn smart if they released a firmware update for the app that allowed you to program the number of speeds for a given bike, etc. I quite like durability of a steel Shimano driver body, and if I could keep a 11-42/46 10/11 speed cassette on this shifting platform (and theoretically any other combo as well), I think I would have this on order already. Sign me up for that. Please. Thank you.
I'm impressed by this group. I haven't had much of a desire to put a top tier drivetrain on my bike since the 90's, when it had a much more profound impact on your riding experience. Nowadays, even the low tier SLX and GX stuff works so damn well, there is just no real value in the top tier options, beyond maybe the shifter pod or the durability of a Saint derailleur.
But the thing about this whole group is that all of a sudden I think it could actually become very feasible and practical to move this group between multiple bikes. At least the drivetrain. Its really two to three bolts and you're done with the swap. That could go a Very long way in convincing me it might be a good investment in the long run if I can use it across any number of bikes and have the same top end shifting experience on each of them. Removing the lower pulley wheel and moving the derailleur and shifter to another bike with no need for an adjustment would be dead simple and barely take more time than lubing and wiping your chain.
The seat could be easy enough as well of course, but its a biiig markup in price over so many proven and reliable options, including the premium ones. And I don't like the idea of having to fuss and adjust my saddle angle and seat height every time I make the swap. Very occasionally sure, but not frequently. At this point, I think I'd rather have a dropper and saddle dedicated to each bike to keep the bike fit dialed in all the time. I guess that could largely depend on what you are starting with though. If you already have the dropper posts, and they work fine, and if you have different seat tube diameters, then swapping becomes a lot less appealing. But if you are building up another frame with a similar seat tube angle/diameter/reach/stack, then it might be a whole lot more sensible.
Very cool regardless. Personally, I think the group will have a lot of success.
Awesome. Thanks for the feedback. I think the 27.5 in L/XL would be the ticket for what I'm looking for.
As sweet as I think the 29'er would be, I'm not sure if a slight rolling advantage would be worth giving up even a little confidence on the steepest and other most committing moments if the rear wheel was buzzing my ass every time.
Yeah exactly. I wonder if less tire rub is a byproduct of increased reach and slacker angles found on the newest generations of bikes? Is that possible? Logic being that you are more centered between the wheels, and also have a much longer front center. Meaning you do not need to move as far back on extra steep terrain with so much bike in front of your BB. Extra reach encourages you to stay more forward and centered, whereas you would have historically found yourself hanging straight off the back to get far enough behind the front axle, that you were directly above if not behind the rear axle as well. If so, is that adjustment enough to avoid tire rub on the wagon wheels?
Hey AJ, couple of questions for you on the 29er DH bikes, and the Aurum HSP in particular I'm hoping you can help me out with (Please!).
Are you getting any real significant rub from the rear tire on really steep terrain, big rollers, g outs, slow drops with heavy rear weight bias/thrust, or other situations? I had a longer travel 29er for a couple of years and though I loved the bike in a lot of situations and found it to be quite fast, I never liked the rub that came with the big wheel in those types of scenarios. For a non-racing focused DH bike, do you think its worth that tire burn? Are you noticing it at all on the DH bike? Do you notice it on 29" trail/enduro bikes? How tall are you and what inseam length/body type? I'm pretty much right at 6' tall with a 32" inseam.
On the Aurum HSP, I'm torn between going for the M/L or the L/XL as I fall right between the two in their setup guide, and it is further complicated by the choice between 27.5 or 29. I've been quite decided on 27.5 for some time, but the points you make have me intrigued if the 29" version would be totally fine, without as much negative as I'm imagining from past experiences. I think i'd be perfectly happy and fine on the 27.5, but I don't want to write anything off without giving it a fair consideration and hearing from others.
I love the reach adjust headset cups on the HSP. Do you think it would be better/more versatile to stay on the longer side, or would the M/L feel fine on a DH bike where both outright speed and fun/playfulness are important?
The new Jeffsy seems really comparable to the Smuggler in terms of design and intentions, despite the 20mm additional rear travel. I'd be inclined to think the Jeffsy has more in reserve for fast and chunky descents, but how would they compare in terms of pedaling/climbing efficiency and traction, making use of pumping the terrain and liveliness on mellower trail type terrain?