Best (smoothest) hardtail ? XTC, Epic, other..

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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fastezzie
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:30 pm

by fastezzie

Hi all considering building a new hardtail for next season. I rode a Scott Scale for several years, excellent bike. Looking for lighter weight (Scale frame was 1300g) more tire clearance, longer reach, and a boost/thru-axle hub.

Top two options now are Giant XTC SL and Spec Epic HT. Anyone have ride quality feedback on these bikes? too close to call? any others I should consider?
Prefer something other than Scott for variety sake.

stoney
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:26 am

by stoney

I love my 2020 Epic hardtail...very comfortable. I came from a 2015 Scott Scale so that is my reference point.

by Weenie


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ghostinthemachine
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 9:18 pm

by ghostinthemachine

1300g for a scale? Last one i had was 950 ish.

santanacorreia
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:47 pm

by santanacorreia

BH hardtail are top notch.
And very, very light.

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fastezzie
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:30 pm

by fastezzie

ghostinthemachine wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:46 am
1300g for a scale? Last one i had was 950 ish.
Mine is size XL and is the cheaper heavier HMF frame. Weighed with PF bb I think.
Last edited by fastezzie on Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

ghostinthemachine
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 9:18 pm

by ghostinthemachine

OK, the one i had was a M or L and the HMX i think from one of the WC models.

grantrstubbs
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:52 pm

by grantrstubbs

I'm interested in this too, problem for us in Australia is not many of the hardtails are available as a frameset.

S-works is the pic for geo and ride I think BUT you are paying a lot for the S Works sticker when the Comp model frame is identical. Probably better to buy the Comp model and strip?

Canyon Exceed is a nice frame too but not available as frame only

Giant XTC looks good but is not available as a frame I don't think

Trek Procaliber probably smoothest wit the ISO Speed Coupler but I recall it being heavy >1300g

viragevitesse
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:52 am

by viragevitesse

I have a 2020 Epic HT, coming off an 2018 XTC before that. The Epic was a hell of an upgrade but could also be a combination of the higher-end build spec and lighter bike weight, but it just felt so much snappier, racier and sharper handling. It takes a 2.4" tyre in the back which I think is a key consideration in buying a hardtail these days. Not much penalty in riding a wider tyre in an already light bike and gives more comfort in the rear end.

fastezzie
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:30 pm

by fastezzie

grantrstubbs wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:04 am
I'm interested in this too, problem for us in Australia is not many of the hardtails are available as a frameset.

S-works is the pic for geo and ride I think BUT you are paying a lot for the S Works sticker when the Comp model frame is identical. Probably better to buy the Comp model and strip?

Canyon Exceed is a nice frame too but not available as frame only

Giant XTC looks good but is not available as a frame I don't think

Trek Procaliber probably smoothest wit the ISO Speed Coupler but I recall it being heavy >1300g
Can rule out the Canyon due to the internal wedge seat clamp. I will never purchase another bike with one of those! Madness! :smartass: Rant over.

fastezzie
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:30 pm

by fastezzie

viragevitesse wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:54 am
I have a 2020 Epic HT, coming off an 2018 XTC before that. The Epic was a hell of an upgrade but could also be a combination of the higher-end build spec and lighter bike weight, but it just felt so much snappier, racier and sharper handling. It takes a 2.4" tyre in the back which I think is a key consideration in buying a hardtail these days. Not much penalty in riding a wider tyre in an already light bike and gives more comfort in the rear end.
I absolutely agree and can't imagine going back to a narrow tire. Even just having mud clearance is crucial. I rode an XTC for a week a few years back and remember liking the ride quality a lot but the head angle was absurd.

Hexsense
Posts: 2322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

Yeah, I still prefer 2.25" tire in the back of full sus mtb. But for hard-tail, it'd be widest tire that fit in there.
Low knobs, speedy and light casing 2.4 or larger is preferred on hardtail over 2.25 with medium knobs all round tires.

jrod88
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:55 pm

by jrod88

Maybe we'll get some specs on the new drop stay Cannondale.
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Tallboy
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 8:54 am
Contact:

by Tallboy

I'm interested in this question too as I run 2.25 usually and definitely find the back wheel bumps around a bit. I find its worst on loose rocky trails (not often in xc races but sometimes on marathon courses here) and field edge paths which tend to be quite rough.
Do you find the comfort and grip outweighs the extra rolling of eg a 2.4? Do you run slightly higher pressure in a bigger tyre to compensate?
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stoney
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:26 am

by stoney

Higher pressure in a tire is only faster on smooth tarmac or a metal drum test. On bumpy trails lower pressure is smoother and faster as the tire can conform to the trail. The men's XC World Championship was won on 2.4 size Maxxis Aspens, so yes 2.4 size tires can be fast. It just depends on the tread pattern and tire compound.

by Weenie


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ghostinthemachine
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 9:18 pm

by ghostinthemachine

I run lower pressures in larger tires.
I would guess most of the top racers (WC) will be running tubeless of that size at between 1.2 and 1.5 bar. I know some of the liter riders in the women's competition are running ~1 bar on some course/tire combinations.

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