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  1. #1
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    SB 165 Alternatives/Thoughts?

    After being on my '18 Slayer for 4 seasons, I was pretty sure I'd be heading in the 29 direction. I've been riding more and more bike park, I still like to do trail rides buts its all winch n plummet style trails now. As much as I love being out in the woods I don't have a ton of time to ride so its pretty focused on the adrenaline side of things, and progressing to bigger jumps and drops.

    I've had some demo time on a couple 29ers including the Specialized Enduro (arguably still one of the most highly regarded of the burly 29ers ready to ride park), and definitely felt the advantages of the larger front wheel especially in steep technical chunk.

    Then I rode the sb165 and it blew my mind. I've never felt so connected to a bike, it literally felt like it was made for me. While it didn't steamroll in the same way the as 29" bikes it seemed to just float over tech in a different way, and I've never felt so comfortable in the air, (even compared to the awesome, Mx V10 which I got to ride in Whistler recently ).

    As far as I can see there's not much else out there right now in this pretty niche category of small wheeled long/travel park ready bikes. With the exception of the v5 Nomad, and the new Evil Insurgent, is there anything else on people's radar? Anyone been on the the Nomad v5 and the SB 165?

    The Yeti is crazy expensive and seems by all accounts to be pretty high maintenance, but its haunting my dreams.

  2. #2
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    I rode a buddy's SB-165 a month ago for a couple days back to back, and had pretty mixed feelings. One caveat: he (IMO incorrectly) sized down to a small instead of a medium despite him being 5'-7", and I definitely felt like it was too short. I felt like the suspension out back was very good, and came away with a favorable impression of the Switch Infinity. But it was noisy as hell in the chunk. I couldn't tell if it was chainslap on the un-ridged protector, his hub, or something else but descending through a series of bomb holes was super unnerving because of the constant "clack clack clack" from the rear end. The first time I stopped to check if I'd broken something. I also found the front end to get knocked around in the rough way more than my MX setup (Megatrail) or full 29ers I've previously owned (Sentinel, Gnarvana). Going into riding the SB-165 I was planning on borrowing a 27.5 front wheel to try full 27.5 on my bike (for first time in a couple years) and afterwards, I had no desire to.

    I'd suggest checking out some of the new MX setups, like the new Transition Patrol. Plenty of travel to cover for poor piloting, a smaller rear end that's easier to move around, but still with the bigger front wheel for roll-over.

  3. #3
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    yeah at 5'8" a medium 5.5 was perfect, i couldn't see going smaller but then they didnt make the 5.5 in small,

    I sold the 5.5 and got a Medium Bullit which is awesume but its a mullet E-bike

    edit: I really liked the switch infinity rear end
    Last edited by XXX-er; 09-17-2021 at 05:52 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
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    Revel Rail might be an option? Probably not much difference price-wise with the SB165, but Iíve been loving mine. Currently have it set up as mullet experiment with a 150mm fork(just one ride so far - I had been on a 170 29er fork) but the 170 27.5 Zeb was super fun too.


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  5. #5
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    It kinda sounds like you just clicked with the 165. I'd put that down mostly to geometry and suspension setup. I'm not sure you'd necessarily get that same sort of connection with another bike, even if it had the same wheel size and travel.

  6. #6
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    how about design ?

    switch infinity is not just a gimick it works and nobody else has it

    I'm not sure if I like VPP or switch infinity more but they are both pretty fucking good
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
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    SB 165 Alternatives/Thoughts?

    Agree with Toast, but Iím also a big big fan of dat Rail. If you can find one to demo or borrow, I highly recommend givin it a go. Speaking of linkages, that CBF is very very good.
    Fear, Doubt, Disbelief, you have to let it all go. Free your mind!

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone, much appreciated. I'm thinking it really was the perfect storm of geo, suspension platform, and set up, getting on it literally felt like leveling up in a video game. Andeh, I didn't have any issues with chain slap (bike was pretty silent) and the 38 up front was incredible, I'm not an overly heavy guy, but the 38 felt worlds different from my Lyrik when things got really rough.

    The Rail is an amazing looking bike, and CBF sounds fantastic from everything I've read. I know numbers aren't everything but I don't think I'm wrong in that the Rail is a little more like a super capable trail bike, then park bike that pedals surprisingly well, I plan to be even more park oriented next year hence leaning towards the more downhill focused yeti.

    The new MX Patrol looks close geo wise, but with the bigger wheel up front, and the mx is appealing. Im only a little reluctant because I was hoping to try out a new suspension design, and I think Transition is (correct me If I'm wrong) just another take on Horst Link like the rocky I'm on. My closet riding buddy just put in a pre-order on the Spire. The Spire and Patrol seem close in intention, so I might be able to get a better feel whether it would be worth the energy to try and seek out a demo, if he's willing to let me take it out for a spin. That bike looks absolutely insane.

  9. #9
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    with the shimano der that has the spragg clutch on the der pivot there is no chain slap cuz it just can't move ime
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shu Shu View Post
    I know numbers aren't everything but I don't think I'm wrong in that the Rail is a little more like a super capable trail bike, then park bike that pedals surprisingly well
    Youíre not, but it does blur that line extremely well
    Fear, Doubt, Disbelief, you have to let it all go. Free your mind!

  11. #11
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    FWIW, I'm loving my Canfield Balance. Wasn't great on the trails (too many pedal strikes even with 165mm cranks) but since I bumped the fork out to 180, it's been so much fun at Angel Fire. That said, I've never thrown a leg over a Yeti, and never will. Might be night & day....
    - Joe

  12. #12
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    I've just got a pivot fire bird. 165 out back can be run as 29, mullet or 27.5

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    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

  13. #13
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    Banshee Rune is another option


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuMexJoe View Post
    FWIW, I'm loving my Canfield Balance. Wasn't great on the trails (too many pedal strikes even with 165mm cranks) but since I bumped the fork out to 180, it's been so much fun at Angel Fire.
    This thing sounds like a DOPE bike park rig! Think Iíd go a similar route for a dedicated park bike if I could afford a quiver. Goals. Also, really, really like that new Firebird, thatís a bike I would LOVE to throw a leg over fer sure!
    Fear, Doubt, Disbelief, you have to let it all go. Free your mind!

  15. #15
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    Thanks for reminding me of the Balance. I remember reading a few stellar reviews when it came out and then it slipped off my radar. It looks like a really fun bike, and that frame looks unreal.

  16. #16
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    If you are trying for a 165 beating ride you gotta actualy ride everything
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
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    No idea what size youíre looking for, but this one popped up on our local CL. Still expensive AF.

    https://bozeman.craigslist.org/bik/d...380920535.html


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  18. #18
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    good used product wil be more expensive than usual

    while brand new will just be the new price

    the thing is there probably is no new inventory
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    If you are trying for a 165 beating ride you gotta actualy ride everything
    ya... it's the other huge challenge. The likelihood of tracking down an east coast demo of the Balance, or any of the more niche free/ride oriented bikes is low.

    All the local and even non-local shops I've contacted re the SB165 are like put a deposit down and we'll see what we get.

  20. #20
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    I managed to get 3800 for my used yeti which was 5400 3-4 years ago

    IME the only maintenance was to pump that switch infinity slider full of grease once a year and use carbon paste on any creaking parts, i had to do the seat post a couple times

    otherwise it was just dealing with Fox & Shimano componenets like any other bike and they were pretty good
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  21. #21
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    I was going to say a Giant Reign might be worth a look... but it appears they only build that in 29" these days. Maybe look for an older 27.5" Reign?

  22. #22
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    after demoing A 165 YETI do you honestly think a Reign is gona wow him?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    after demoing A 165 YETI do you honestly think a Reign is gona wow him?
    <shrug>

    I mean, he did mention "crazy expensive" so I presumed he was looking for something more sanely priced.

  24. #24
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    Get the Evil...

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    I managed to get 3800 for my used yeti which was 5400 3-4 years ago

    IME the only maintenance was to pump that switch infinity slider full of grease once a year and use carbon paste on any creaking parts, i had to do the seat post a couple times

    otherwise it was just dealing with Fox & Shimano componenets like any other bike and they were pretty good
    where abouts states side are you. I'm uk it's always fucking raining and damp, I don't know anyone who ain't had trouble with their Yeti's. it's like they ain't made for our conditions.

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    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

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