Shopping for a "do it all" MTB - recommendations?

The Procaliber is a great bike. One of my friends just got the 9.8SL and he’s over the moon. I’m jealous.
The flexy seatpost and geometry makes it feel super fast and comfortable.

I’m a HT guy because that’s what I grew up with. It’s simpler for me to setup and work on. However, when I tried the Fuel EX, I wanted it. 130mm front/rear, 2x, dropper; it checked all the right boxes for an Enduro bike. That Reactive (sp?) rear shock sold me. Someone else said maybe an updated Fuel EX in July, so I might try to get the outgoing model on clearance.

In the meantime, droppers are great and I have a cheap used one that cost less than a new helmet :wink: If you need to get your weight low, then the dropper moves the seat out of the way, six inches lower makes a huge difference.

I hope this helps. Shopping for a new bike is exciting. Try a bunch of different ones. Think about what terrain you actually ride the most and how you want to progress. If you keep thinking “this seat is in my way” get a dropper. If your back hurts like you’ve been riding bulls instead of bikes, then check into FS.

I would love to ride like Sam Hill, but buying his bike won’t necessarily get me there.

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Me too.

Supposed to be in tomorrow (ordered at the beginning of November, first delivery date was March 15)… a little pissed, but holding out.

If you can pick up an outgoing Fuel model on clearance, go for it.

This is mine a week after I bought it. It’s got a few more scuffs and nicks on it now, but still a sweet bike.


Yea waiting sucks. I hope you get it really soon so you can get out and and hunt down all your strava segments!

Sweet bike!
I think Trek are fitting SRAM Eagle to all MTBs now. 1x makes things simpler and the gearing range is incredible.

I’m sure this is personal but how do you choose geometry that does a bit of everything?

I currently have a 150mm travel enduro bike and its far too much bike and too much travel for me. I like climbing and this bike is hard work.

I’d like something like a 120mm xc bike but worried that with short travel, I’ll lose the slack head angle that gives me confidence on the descents.

Is there such thing as a 120mm xc or trail bike that climbs really well despite a slack head angle, so that it still descends well?

Yes, keep your HTA above 68 degrees and preferably below 70. Also a reasonable stem length preferably below 90mm (though this may be more of a fit thing). Modern XC bikes have HTA at or around 68-69 degrees. SCOTT Sparks are a good mix and the Spark 920 has 120mm travel. My Spark RC 900 WC (100mm f/r) has 68.5 when in trail mode and 68 degrees when fully open with a 80mm stem. You can also get a bit wider bars and/or use a riser bar to instill confidence downhill (740-760mm) as opposed to the traditional 720mm flat bars that come on most XC builds. From there you start playing with the cockpit to dial it in to your riding style. I race XC so I have a -7 degree stem that is slammed to prioritize uphills, but I also feel really confident on descents.


The Evil Following and recently updated Ibis Ripley could be worth a look. They are more trail focused, but feature the “new school geo” that attempts to give way more control on the down with minimal sacrifices on the up.

Both feature Dave Weagle (master MTB suspension guru) designed suspension that works incredibly well to control pedaling and give massive confidence descending.

They are not XC bikes by any measure. But they are masterful trail bikes that offer wide functionality. Make sure to look beyond the simple head tube angle. Its important, but not the only number that matters.

The changes to fork offset, chainstay length and seat tube angle all work to make a bike what it is. And these new bikes feature some unconventional numbers if you come from old school history, like I do. But the new geos are working to make some impressive and capable bikes.

I’m considering the Ibis in particular, as I also wait to see the new Trek models (Top Fuel and Fuel EX seem to be coming soon).

I might have missed above, but the Specialized Stumpjumper ST is a fine bike too.


The Intense Sniper Trail looks like an interesting option:

Don’t see any demos out my way, the HQ is in Southern California.

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Thanks guys! Was expecting the “well you cant have both” type of reply so it was nice to get some sensible suggestions!


Absolutely love my Fuel EX (2016 9.8 version). It’s truly been a do anything bike- I’ve ridden marathons and regular XC races on it as well as big days in Pisgah and casual rides.

With that said, I’m now looking to buy a Procaliber- my outside riding these days is almost exclusively local XC stuff. So if anyone is in North Carolina and wants it, let me know!


I’m going to start a rumor that Trek are putting threaded bottom brackets in MTBs soon. Also, bet they’ll be bsa DUBs. Or so the rumor mill says :wink:

You heard it here first . . .or did you?

You know what they say about rumors… :stuck_out_tongue:

I may or may not have some inside info…

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New Top Fuel also appears to be a good option. No geo or specs yet, but supposedly 115 in the rear and 120 up front. Fixed shock mount instead of full floater.


120mm front & rear. HTs are so much fun, but if you want a bike that will not hold you back based on terrain, then you really should go FS and 120mm or greater. Enjoy!

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Pretty sure that dealer has broken the embargo on that new Top Fuel, it doesn’t get officially launched to the public until next week! Bike looks good though!

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There has been some good suggestions made here, but I missed it if anyone mentioned that some of the modern MTBs have adjustable geometry to steepen or slacken geometry.

I race a 2019 Rocky Mountain c50 Element 120/100mm and the Rockies have what is called the Ride9 link that makes the geometry adjustable. The same link is on various models, Instinct , and the Pipeline that is offered in 27.5 or 29, matter of fact you can get a Pipeline and extra wheelset and have the best of both worlds.

Here is my whip…120/100mm travel with ride9 link


Here is a Instinct… 140/140mm travel with ride9 link

Here is a Pipeline…140/140mm travel with ride9 link

Here is a Thunderbolt 130/130mm travel with Ride9 link


Those Rocky Mountain bikes are sharp!


Sure are. That’s why I have one!