Originally Posted by Whiteroom
Bounce, you might not be sure what it is that you want and probably haven't fully decided what compromises and trade-offs you are willing to make, but you seem pretty clear about what you like and why. You are getting a lot of advice that I like to call "matching shorts*", folks that want to validate their preferences through you. Be careful. Stick to your guns when it comes to how you like to ride, that is unlikely to change.
* http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1192150038.html (OK, maybe I didn't say it first, but this is real. Skip to 'You want to buy a bike'... well read the whole glorious thing, but 'you want to buy..." is the important bit)
Have you considered maybe doing some updates on the current bike, parts that would be easy to swap over to a new frame? What I am thinking is this:
- you have mentioned switching to 1x11 drivetrain. If you can switch the freewheel on your current rear hub to fit an XD driver you can go SRAM X1/ X01/ XX1 which could be used on a new frame. This would most likely drop some weight. The new Shimano 1x doesn't need a new freehub, but it also doesn't (quite) have the gear range.
- you have said you are running some burly tires, maybe try switching to some lighter weight rubber that still has some volume and grip. You can keep lots of the confidence inspiring nature of the Highrollers with tires that actually 'roll' better. This will make a huge impact on the uphill bits (way more than losing equivalent weight off the frame). New tires won't swap over if you decide to get a new 27.5 frame, but it's relatively cheap and a HUGE performance factor.
- are your bar and stem (sounds like they are relatively new) light? Maybe look at dropping a bit of weight if your bars weigh over 300g, same with pedals. If you like flats, that's cool but some flat pedals are way lighter than others. Pedals go around in circles (so do shoes) great place to drop weight that will make a difference, and would swap over to a new bike.
Anyway, making your bike ride 'better' while still maintaining what you like about it might be a great way to finish out this season. The $$ spent would then put onto a new frame/ fork/ wheelset in the future, so no loss.
Did you author that article? It's pretty great.
I've historically liked SRAM because it seems to work better with smaller hands than Shimano (my hands aren't small for a woman, but that's not the standard ...) I'm not sure if that's still true, of course. Generally people have told me that 1x11 - really, just switching drive trains - is so expensive that you might as well buy a new frame to go with it and just do a build kit. Disagree? Aside from minimizing chain slap and fiddling with gears, and being lighter - are those basically all the advantages?
I definitely want to switch tires - now that my DH rig is running 2.3 instead of 2.5, it seems silly for my "XC" bike to be running 2.3 as well. Well, older Maxxis 2.35. The tires are a few years old, anyway (I wasn't able to ride last season because of an ankle injury). That is a cheap enough upgrade that whether I could ever transfer it to another bike isn't really an issue.
I don't think my bar and stem are not-light ...
Answer ProTaper Carbon AM Bar - 720mm x 1.0" Rise x 31.8 Bar Clamp (Black/Gold) - 225g, looks like
Thomson X4 Stem - Black 50mm x 0 Deg x 31.8 Clamp
Pedals are magnesium Diety. My shoes are heavy duty 5.10s, but I really like 'em. They hold traction well when I dab against a rock or have to hike a bike.
Now, my grips are Ergons with the little palm platform - possibly would save weight with traditional clamp-on grips. I fell in love with Ergons when my wrists were bad, but I suspect they're not doing me any favors these days.
I bet just changing my tires would make a huge difference. Maybe a fun project while I'm healing up the next few days.
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
Talking about modern bike design, here is Bike magazines video review of the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC, a very modern trail bike:
This is what I think you are asking for, a bike that 'helps' with the uphill but doesn't detract from the fun of the downhill, the reason any sane person rides up the hill in the first place.
I'm not as big a fan of this bike as they are, but a few of their comments "it's just about the fastest bike I've ridden this entire test" "my best time up the hill and my best time down". This is where bikes are going, downhill performance from geometry and quality suspension dampers, modern shocks are really, really good (along with more grip/ better roll love from slightly bigger wheels) and uphill performance from firm pedaling from good suspension kinematics and less travel (combined with more grip/ better roll over of slightly bigger wheels).
Compare this review to some XC bikes:
I'm projecting my preferences here, but... that just doesn't sound like something I would want to live with. I ride because I love trail riding, all of it... but what I really love is the descent. "It will punish you" isn't what I want in my bike.
Yeah. I think it's clear that "precision at the expense of forgiveness" is probably not my sweet spot - although my bike, the Truth, was also marketed as a race bike. And climbing - I'm so slow. Any climb is done in the granny gear, so I have no "oomph" left to clear technical spots on climbing sections. If I can grind it out and just use body English, I can often pull it off - like say a relatively shallow rock garden or baby heads - but if it's big enough to require an extra push, it's usually going to beat me. I did have some nice successes climbing yesterday. I was with a friend who's new to mountain biking, so it gave me a nice excuse to stop frequently and talk through the approaches, which helped me, too.
On the other hand, "forgiveness at the expense of precision," which is how I understand 29ers, also doesn't sound great to me - I love the feeling of conquering a technical section, up or downhill, and I like attempting tight switchbacks.
As I'm typing this, I remember that I wanted to build up the Truth super light for one specific reason - because my wrists were problematic and I literally couldn't lift my bike onto my car at the time. It's a weird reason to want a light bike, but there you go. These days, my wrists are mostly fine, my shoulders are on and off, but in any case I have a hitch mounted bike rack - no lifting required unless we want to bring a third bike, in which case I have someone along if I don't want to pull the bike off the roof.
Are 26ers a dead end these days? THinking about it, you and others are right - I don't want to be locked into obsolete technology. I wonder what it means for resale value of my Truth. Although damn, that thing is so pretty I'm tempted to wash it off nicely and hang it on the wall once it's no longer in service.
Originally Posted by lonewolf210
What about a Knolly Chilcotin?
Sounds like it would work well for you. My old roommate just built one up and loves it and it was designed exactly for being the kind of bike you want not a burden on the uphill and ready to crush it on the down
Knolly has dealers near me, which is nice. But (see above) I'm not sure if 26" is hanging on to dead end technology?
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
Originally Posted by Scott43
I mean, that's a nice bike..but it's $11k.
I don't like the bike, personally. I was posting the video to show an example of a bike with moderate amounts of travel (120 to 130ish) and 'proper' geometry. It goes up fast, it comes back down fast. There are a bunch of other options. Santa Cruz 5010:
Its 60% less expensive, available for 70% less in the 'carbon' instead of 'carbon c'... but price really isn't the point. Bounceswoosh is looking at an Elsworth... they cost just as much as anything out there. I'm simply trying to provide some perspective as to what bike design has become and what might suit her needs. I don't mean to be saying "buy this bike, I'm saying this is what is out there. Check into this type of bike"
Hey now, wait a minute! My last Ellsworth build was $4.5k. The frame was $2.2k. $11k is more than I paid for my Ducati. I'm not sure I'm willing to go there - damn sure my husband isn't, LOL. There is a point at which price is the point. I may not have realistic prices in my head, though, because I've never shopped for carbon before.
That Santa Cruz 5010 - it looks really tall - am I wrong? Short girl here! I'm especially intrigued because it says it was designed using experience from the Bronson, and a friend of mine suggested a Bronson when I was looking for a bike one step short of a downhill rig. I'm not a huge fan of the look of Santa Cruz bikes, much as I hate saying something so superficial. But I know a lot of people swear by them. Again, there are dealers nearby, which is nice.
Any other suggestions in the "climbs well, descends better than XC" category?