Antidote Carbonjack | Blister

Comparisons

Rocky Mountain Altitude

This is a decent comparison in some respects. The fit and handling of the two bikes are relatively similar (or at least can be — the Altitude has an unusual degree of geometry adjustability, and can feel pretty different depending on how you set it up). With the Altitude in its long chainstay setting and near the slacker end of the range on the Ride9 chip, the two become most similar. With those settings, the Altitude is slightly more stable and slower handling, but not by a big margin.

The big difference, though, is in terms of suspension performance. The Carbonjack pedals substantially more efficiently, and favors a relatively firm, lively suspension setup, whereas the Altitude is much more plush and planted.

Santa Cruz Megatower V1

This is also an interesting comparison. The first-generation Megatower feels pretty similar to the Carbonjack in terms of where it falls on the spectrum between quick handling and ultra-stable, and both work best with a fairly firm, supportive suspension setup. (The new Megatower V2 is way more bike overall.) But the Carbonjack works best with a more rearward, upright body position, whereas the Megatower is a bit more neutral in that regard, and the Carbonjack has significantly better small-bump sensitivity and traction under power.

We Are One Arrival

The Arrival feels a bit like a version of the Carbonjack that favors a much more forward stance and more aggressive weighting of the front wheel. But the Arrival is also even more lively and eager to pump and pop off of every little terrain feature than the Carbonjack, and feels a bit quicker handling and easier to throw around, while still being similarly stable at speed. Because of its preference for a fairly forward, aggressive stance, the Arrival feels a little more game-on and demanding, whereas the Carbonjack is more willing to be ridden less aggressively (though neither would be my top choice for riders looking for a super easy-going bike).

Marin Alpine Trail

Super different. The Alpine Trail is more stable and planted than the Carbonjack, and wants an even more forward stance than the Arrival. Both are above average in terms of pedaling efficiency, but the Carbonjack does a better job of maintaining traction under power and has better small-bump sensitivity. Mostly, though, their handling feel and preferred body positioning are wildly different. They’ve got a 20 mm difference in chainstay length — that’s huge — and definitely feel like it.

Orbea Occam LT

Pretty different. The Occam LT pedals substantially better than the Carbonjack, and feels quicker handling, less stable, and generally happier in more rolling, varied terrain. The Carbonjack is substantially more bike, both in terms of offering worse pedaling efficiency and being more capable on steeper, faster, rougher trails.

Santa Cruz Hightower

The Carbonjack is a bit more bike than the Hightower, in that it’s more stable at speed and a little slower handling in tight spots. But the Hightower actually feels more plush and cushy in terms of its suspension performance, whereas the Carbonjack is more supportive and lively. The Carbonjack also pedals a little more efficiently but offers significantly less traction under power.

Santa Cruz Bronson

The Bronson and Carbonjack are similar in terms of where they land on the spectrum between what I guess you’d call “true Trail bikes” and more full-on Enduro sleds, but that’s about it — they go about striking that balance very differently. The Carbonjack pedals more efficiently and its suspension is more supportive and lively, whereas the Bronson is more plush. The Bronson also works with a more forward stance, and while they’re not too far off from each other in terms of straight-line stability, the Bronson feels quicker handling at speed, whereas the Carbonjack is a bit calmer and takes more effort to muscle around.

Guerrilla Gravity Smash

The biggest difference here is in suspension — the Smash is more plush and planted feeling, whereas the Carbonjack is more lively and energetic. The Carbonjack also pedals a little more efficiently, but not by a huge margin. Their preferred body positioning is also a bit different, with the Smash being fairly neutral in that regard, in contrast to the Carbonjack’s preference for a more centered, upright stance. But once you account for their differences in preferred riding style, they’re fairly similar in terms of overall stability vs. handling quickness.

SCOR 4060 LT

Super different. The 4060 LT feels a bit like a Marin Alpine Trail with more plush, cushy suspension. The Carbonjack pedals better, is a little less stable at speed, and works best with much different body positioning and cornering style. The 4060 LT feels much more playful and freeride-oriented, whereas the Carbonjack feels more like a race-oriented Enduro bike that’s been mellowed out a little and made more versatile.