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Cove Hustler vs. Intense 5.5 vs. Santa Cruz Blur LT

ProwlerProwler Posts: 50
edited May 2008 in MTB buying advice
My current trail bike is a Kona dawg matic with a manitou 3-way air swinger and a 100-130mm manitou minute 02 fork. It is a decent bike and good value for money, but I feel as if I've 'grown out' of it. Switching from a hardtail a couple of years ago, four inches of rear suspension felt plush. Now it feels like a choice between constantly bottoming out or running the rear suspension pressure so high it feels as if back on a hardtail.

I've narrowed the choices for a new frame to Cove Hustler, Intense 5.5 and possibly the new SC Blur LT. The fork of choice would be a Pike 454 coil. A test ride, of course, would be ideal, but unfortunately that is out of the question. The specs and the reviews I've read have raised a couple of questions where comments/advice (especially from owners) are most welcome.
    Hustler's head angle? Specced as 67.5 it would be about 1.5-2 degrees slacker than my present ride. Is this even noticeable? My concern is not the long climbs (the terrain I ride has none) but the steep/technical ones. 'Nervous' Intense? Some reviews describe the 5.5's handling as nervous. What is the issue here? VPP (5.5 & blur) vs. four bar (hustler)? Is vpp linkage worth the extra cost? Are there any maintenance issues? Kona's four bar has so far taken abuse and neglect without complaint.

Which frame 0 votes

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Blur LT (new model)
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  • I suspect nobody's replying to this thread cos nobody has experience of these very expensive but great bikes.

    My a leg over each of em before you part with your cash. They're all brilliant I'd say...just a matter of your own personal preference.

    PS-Have heard the Intense can be a bit of a handful for beginners...better off for seasoned riders perhaps?!
  • BeardedDaveBeardedDave Posts: 1,977
    I have a Hustler and run it with Pikes. Can't say that I've ever noticed any issues with the head angle being too slack, even on steep climbs. Great bike and more than handled anything I've ever thrown it at. Only minor complaint is that it does feel like a bus on climbs. Mine's over 32lbs without being a particularly heavy build.

    I can't really make any comparison with the other two bikes you mention as I've never ridden either but I would imagine they're both very good bikes.
    East Anglia Biking Collective!
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    I wouldn't buy any until I sussed out what this is going to be like. I'd also add Heckler to your list
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    can I throw the 2008 Yeti 575 into the mix? They are an absolute stunner of a bike and can be built up fairly light but still take the knocks and climb. I am running mine with Vanilla 32RLCs' and it climbs really well, so with an adjustable travel Pike for example you can drop the nose for the long hauls up and then let rip on the way back down.
    Build quality is superb and you can spec it either with the excellent RP23 or a DHX air.
    Also the anodized frame is only £50 more than the painted compared to Cruz who will charge £150 extra.

    I honestly cannot fault the bike, well worth considering along with the other bikes you have listed.
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    Yeti 575 bit flexi going tight round corners. but like all the above bikes
    you need to try them all out and then out again.

    I know on a MBR frame test for 5 inch trail bikes they could not separate the Orange 5
    or the Hustler and both of these frames received 10 points.

    What i am trying to say is the Hustler frame is a fab frame.
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    are you referring to the old 575? I heard they were a bit flexy but they have stiffened up the rear end a lot through the use of carbon fibre and a redesigned dog bone. I find it handles really well in the tight twisty stuff and takes everything I throw at it.
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    Badblood I did not know they corrected this on the Yeti,
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    HI Grantaway, yes it has undergone a bit of a transformation, see below:

    pre 2008 - yeti_575_turqfl_07_m.jpg

    2008 - Yeti575.JPG

    My LBS said he has sold more Yetis this year than in the previous 4 all rolled up on the back of the 575!!
  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    i got a 575{08} aswell,not suprising they are flying off the shelves they ride and look like the dogs danglies,i'm well made up with mine 8)
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    you going to the Yeti tribe meet Marika?

  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    i've been considering it the last couple of days,not sure really,might if i can get someone to go with,if nothing else it would be a nice excuse to ride some different trails :D
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    I have been thinking about going along, non-yeti owners are welcome so you could take a couple of riding buddies with you
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    Thanks for the pic badblood but yes it was that strange top tube.

    The new one you have looks great, must be a great ride now
    they corrected the frame. Nice bike.
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    cheers Grantway, it is an awesome bike and I am liking it a lot!! I was never too keen on the look of the old one, but this one is the business!!
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    Nicer in black IMO

    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    nicer in silver imo


  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    Thanx badblood yes that weird thing was called a knuckle but in 2006 was
    still rated a great bike

    But these new pics of the bike are pretty kool 8)

    Whats the weight of this dream machine of yours ?

    Marika is that a double crank on your bike?
  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    they are very versatile,they don't ride like a 6" monster so they can be built up light or heavy,but i've had a go on one with fox 36's and it still rode very light,i built mine with revs as i already had them but think i will upgrade later to a talas 36,the revs look kinda a skinny next to the frame

    i just got rid of my outer ring as i don't use it and would rather have the clearance
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    Ok Marika thats why i bought the Orange 5 AM and that has the 36 Talas adjustable
    travel IE 100-130-160 but actually is 110-140-160 and the double crank.

    But the strange thing is I always wonder if I had have bought the right bike.
    Hard to explain but when you find a rough decent open the front fork to 160
    and smile all the way down.

    Marika what sort of riding you do and where do you ride to want the Fox 36's
  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    i just do the usual trail centes,peaks when someone will show me round,local loop in the week to keep me going,i don't think i will get the 36's soon but if i was buying new thats what i would get for this bike,i would probably have to kill my revs to get them as the bike rides great with the revs and 90% of the time you would have the talas 36's at 130 as it feels a bit chopperish at 160 but the downs would be fun :lol:
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528

    posted you a reply to your PM on t'other forum before I read this. Unless you want to ride DH courses or regularly go out to the Alps, I wouldn't put a 36 of your bike as it would sanitize the rest of your riding. However, I do agree that something a bit bigger than a 130 Rev would suit. If I were buying a fork for a 575 now, it would be a Pike 454 air. But I wouldn't buy now. The new lightweight through axle 140s from RS (revelation 140 with maxle light) and the 15mm through axle Foxs look exactly the right mix of travel, stiffness and light-weight that a 575 deserves.

    See for details of new Rev
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    I vote for the black one with 140mm Vanilla RLC's on...a bit like this :-)


  • marikamarika Posts: 392
    what trail?
  • badbloodbadblood Posts: 86
    Osmotherley on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors, found a nice downhill course over there.
  • ProwlerProwler Posts: 50
    Thank you all for your replies, they were very useful.

    For a number of reasons I prefer to purchase the frame from a local shop, which is why e.g. Yeti 575 or Turner 5.5 spot are not on my list.
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