PATHLESSPEDALED - SUPPLE SCORE
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PathLessPedaled SUPPLE SCOREFound this Helpful? Consider Supporting the Channel!Video Explaining Rating System: https://youtu.be/USzKtl8rZGU
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PAYPAL.ME/PATHLESSPEDALED
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PATREON.COM/PATHLESSPEDALEDUtilityHandling Spectrum
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BrandModelTire SizeReview LinkDate of Review0= No Mounts, 1=Rear Only, 2=Rear + Mid Fork OR Front 3 Pack, 3= Rear + Front Mid Fork & 3 Pack1=Super Stable Touring Bike5= Neutral10= Twitchy Road BikeRuss' Supple Summary (WARNING: THINGS IN MAGENTA ARE OPINIONS. )Supple Stars (1-5 scale): 1 - not interested. 5 - I'd buy that. This scale is not objective but reflects my bias towards lively bikes with utility. So bikes with quicker handling generally get a higher rating. Hence, bias. Take it with a grain of salt.
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SalsaWarbird V4650b x 47https://youtu.be/LDz-Y5K03TE12/14/1836V4 Warbird loses some responsiveness from V3 but has big gains in terms of utility and tire size. Great endurance gravel bike or light and fast tourer. Sizing is also different from V3, and for me seems to run shorter than expected. Think of it as a Cutthroat Lite. More responsive than the Cutthroat but takes on its utility with the three pack and low rider mounts in the front.4
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KonaRove NRB DL650b x 47https://youtu.be/JR6hXEN24wY11/29/1817The Rove has a fun all-rounder handling that strikes a great balance between stability and responsiveness. Ideal for long rides on mixed terrain. Could potentially be your only bike as well if you don't need race quickness. Would have been awesome if it had mounts on the fork for touring. Really reminded me of the handling of the Warbird V3 but with nice supple tires. 4.5
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OtsoWaheela S27.5 x 2.1https://youtu.be/3D59XRqR6FM11/14/1818Suspension corrected, adjustable rear chainstay length, super fun! If you like the Midnight Special but want a carbon fork stock, this is a price competitive option. Only bummer is the lack of mounts on the fork. Also, some issues with heel strike on the rear chainstay. I probably wouldn't ever run a suspension fork, so the Warakin would better suit me. 4.5
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Aventon Kijote700x35 / 650b x47https://youtu.be/eyDEMK6WGUM11/08/1827For $600 you get a nice looking bike with a fun riding geometry. It is severely bogged down by weight. Handling is interesting. Front end steering takes some getting use to. Narrow arc of stability, then the bike just turns immediately. Rear end was actually fun, a little on the #tukt side. Also tested with some carbon 650b wheels from Irwin Cycling and the bike was transformed. Would love to see it come stock with 650b. This would take the harshness off the frame. Also had alignment problems with the dropouts. Great first attempt, but lots of room for improvement.2.5
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SpecializedSequoia Expert700x42 / 650 x 50https://youtu.be/cUvJSMqsqsw10/30/1826Ride and chill. Great smooth riding bike. Perfect road/gravel endurance bike. Predictable handling on descents. Doesn't accelerate very well, but will hold speed once you get it there. Stock wheels are a little on the heavy side. Tested with ENVE/Chris King wheelset and the bike came to life. 3.5
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Jones BikesSWB Complete27.5 x 3https://youtu.be/zKUqQkd_THI9/24/1837This bike was a surprise. Not for everyone, but is stupid fun to ride. Nimble and maneuverable for the tire size. No toe overlap even with the big tire and small size frame. Steers with more body english from the hips. Out of the box a little slow feeling with the Maxxis Chronicles. Accelerates better with Terrene Coronados set up tubeless. Comes to life with the Jones Carbon wheels and Schwalbe G-Ones. So good, I may end up buying the demo.4.75
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Spooky Gas Mask700x38https://youtu.be/9ALmKjzzFXc9/2009Fun, fast and responsive. I had qualms about how an aluminum race bike would do on the terrain here in Missoula, but the Gas Mask with the Compass Barlow Passes were a great combo. Fun climbing bike that accelerates well. A little on the rowdy side on the descent. No mounts for touring but a great day/event ride bike.4
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SurlyStraggler 650b650b x 42https://youtu.be/pUHaJhwY7DA9/4/1828Fun yet versatile. The cross-like geometry makes for a lively ride and the 650b x 42 provides some suspension. I appreciate that it has most of the mounts you would want for light touring. Accelerates and climbs well. Takes a little micro managing on rough descents but is fun. Bummer that it won't fit anything larger than the 42. Would have been a ripper with some Schwable G-Ones in 2.1.4
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MoneEl Continente27.5 x 3https://youtu.be/uW3qArQiPiE8/22/1837Cool zooming adjustable chainstay. Nimble give the 27.5+ tires. You feel like you are on top of the rear tire and not slung between the two wheels. This makes for a relatively quick accelerating bike. Front end was also surprisingly maneuverable. Some issues with toe overlap with the smaller size frame. 4
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Velo-OrangePolyvalent650b x 47https://youtu.be/jhhJ0DfSHGY8/17/1836Quintessential all-rounder and a true quiver killer if you are a non-competitive cyclist. The mounting options make it perfect for commuting, front loaded touring or even light gravel road bikepacking duty. Naked, it makes a great road style bike for riding with friends or event rides where you're not competing for the sprint. The quill stem adds some surprising suspension to the front. The ability to also run 26 x 2.3 inch tires makes this bike a great mixed terrain tourer / country bike. So good, I've held on to the demo and may end up purchasing it.4.75
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Masi Speciale Randonneur650b x 47https://youtu.be/mZ2TfCDLmRU8/3/1825+Budget rando bike?! Great neutral handling bike. Front wheel doesn't flop or wander when loaded, making it ideal for handlebar bags or a front load bias. Interesting geometry for a good price. Would love to see an upscale version of this bike from Masi with lighter tubing / components. For my personal preference, would have liked it to be slightly sportier with a shorter chainstay, but current geo works well for long non-competitive rides or a tour. The bike is heavy so you feel that in the climbs.3.75
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NinerRLT700x38https://youtu.be/2oqfQrx4UGA7/23/1828Interesting mix of a fun and utility. Accelerates and climbs well. Would make a great sport tourer or naked gravel event bike. Overall, the front end felt a bit on the stiff side. Would have benefited from wider tires or ability to run 650b. Nothing too crazy or weird about the handling, just a straight forward execution.4
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BreadwinnerG-Road650b x 2.1https://youtu.be/qRoXzymJU0E7/1137+Whoa. Eye opening bike in terms of what a steel bike without overbuilt tubing can feel like. Great balance of responsiveness, stability and utility that you don't usually see all in the same bike. Perfect for event rides, gravel rides and light touring. Only downside is the price. Worth every penny but out of reach for many. If it were my personal bike, I'd probably quicken the rear just a TOUCH. But hey, you can do that with a custom bike!4.9
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SurlyPackratShips w/ 650b x 38; Tested with 650b x 50mmhttps://youtu.be/czDCCOA-31g7/6/1827An interesting bike to say the least. Cantis. Steep head angle. Frontloading bias geometry. Not as quick as you would expect for a bike with 415 chainstays, but still lively. A little tricky at first to handle when unloaded, but put on the front rack and a load and it completely normalizes the ride. Similar to how a Brompton is squirrely without a front bag, but is mellowed out and has improved handling with a front load.3.75
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SpecializedDiverge Sport700x38https://youtu.be/gzpNcc1DO0A6/26/1828Quick, light-ish and fast feeling bike with some ability to mount racks. Would be a great road/gravel event bike and possibly a super light tourer. 42mm tire clearance is a little limiting and not a whole lot of room for mud clearance. Future Shock was a bit of a conundrum. Found myself bottoming out the middle spring and the front felt a little vague and untrustworthy in hard cornering situations. 4
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RitcheyOutback700x40https://youtu.be/FHXP5lFraCE06/14/1808Lively! Lighter weight tubing and non tapered headtube make for a truly supple feeling frame. Really impressed with how much give the front end had compared to the current trend of making headtubes bigger and stiffer. Would make an awesome day ride bike / event bike. Wish it came in 650b flavors and had more utility.4
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All-CityGorilla Monsoon
27.5 x 2.4 / 650b x 50
https://youtu.be/BZG3-yqe4_k5/15/1835-More Gorilla than Monsoon, the bike to me felt strangely overly stable in the front. The stock 2.4 inch tires and general weight of the bike do it no favors. IMO undergeared for touring given its weight. Even when riding it with "narrower" Gravel Kings the steering still felt yacht like. Definitely great for bombing down descents, but laggy getting to the summit. Would love to see an updated Chimp Hurricane which takes the same concepts but adds more snap.3
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Salsa Journeyman27.5 x 2.1https://youtu.be/C5amFBMpbt44/12/1835A good value all-rounder that would make a great commuter, gravel event and drop bikepacking bike. Well balanced and neutral handling. Stable descender. Not race quick. Quick release wheels will be a turn off for some, not necessarily a dealbreak IMO. Marginally quicker feeling IMO than the Salsa Vaya. Great utility. Viable 650b option if shopping for something like the Vaya.3.5
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BreezerDoppler Team650b x 47https://youtu.be/JXyyPrbJvW84/26/1825Classy randonneur inspired bike with Ultegra Hydros. Not the lightest bike, but rides lighter than the weight. Quicker steering front than compared to the rear. Would make a great commuter, tourer or even gravel event bike. Very Cadillac-like chill feel.3
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SurlyMidnight Special650b x47https://youtu.be/He_WNPWZUqQ4/528+You usually don't get supple, utility AND quickness in the same bike. The MS is an absolute riot of a bike and is on the short list for one of my personal faves. Love the ample clearance. Would be a blast with some Schwalbe G-Ones in 2.1. Three big gripes. Wish they would commit either to thru axle or quick release and not use the confusing dropouts they have on there. Also, what is up with picking the most boring color for such a fun bike?! The pipe plumbing unicrown fork cheapens the look of the bike. Atleast something lugged, or steal the bi-plane fork crown from the Gorilla Monsoon. Despite itself, the ride is a blast.4.5
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EndpointCoffee Grinder frame + Hunter Gatherer fork650b x 47https://youtu.be/DFWYpC3aDqg9/25/181 (fork only mounts)8A combo of a roadplus frame with a rando fork = amazingness. Similar to the Midnight Special, you don't usually see this combination of fun handling and utility in the same bike. The rear end is sharp and jumpy, great for accelerations and climbing. The front segmented fork is functional and looks sweet. The ONLY thing that I would change on this bike is to allow for more clearance in the rear. Would love this bike to have the ability to run atleast 2.1s. If it did, I would have ordered one. Gets you close about 80% to the Breadwinner but more affordable. 4.5
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Salsa Cutthroat Apex 2018700x50mmhttps://youtu.be/jeA0lRzAl0o10/16/1725+Envisioned as a bikepacking / dropbar mountain bike it generally rides longer and more stable than the modern gravel race bike. While not the quickest to accelerate, it has comfort in spades and could be the right bike depending on your gravel event. We chose to ride these for Dirty Kanza because we wanted a bike that was easy to control even when tired. I've ridden many miles with the Soma Cazaderos and it makes a great option for a supple tire with some grip and lots of mud clearance. It also excels on rough stuff bikepacking, though the stock gearing is too high for mountainous climbs with loads.4
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Salsa Warbird V3 2016700x45https://youtu.be/h8emZ-Rt6Wo5/6/1707Warbird V3 is one of our favorite handling bikes. Good combo of responsiveness and stableness. Makes a great endurance road bike, gravel event bike and even a lightweight bikepacking bike. 2016 model is unfortunately stripped of any utility. Would love to see this bike in 650b for more suspension and with rack or 3 pack mounts in the fork.4.5
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