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Sale Season -- If I Were to Get a MTB, What Should It Be? - Page 3

post #61 of 81
Thread Starter 

Thanks Epic, I know it's a bit of a conundrum as I've only riden a MTB once.  As you know, I'm a pretty serious road rider, and I think it'd be fun to mix it up with some MTBing.  Taht being said, I'm a complete NOOB and don't really know what I will eventually find as interesting and acceptable riding for myself.  And, just like I'd never suggest to a novice skier, I'd like to avoid the constant upgrade as I figure it out.  So I know it's a tall order and possibly not really doable.

 

The folk at the Specialized shop where really steering me toward a 26er as opposed to 29er.  They believe that 26ers are more manueverable, have less rotating mass, climb better, and are better on technical stuff than a 29er. 

 

I figure I'll start riding some rather buff trails around Boulder.  I have to figure out how to ride an upright bike, after all.  And I suspect most of my riding will be in the fall/winter, as come spring, I'll need to be back on the road training for my stage ride.

 

Veloscente, as a noob, it'll be a while before I'm tackling truly gnarly stuff.  Also, I'm old.  But that doesn't mean I have any sense -- I've injured myself repeatedly with my recreational pursuits, and I don't pursue them any less aggresively now than I did before.  That being said, being in the air scares me.  I'd like to learn to ride some of the more technical courses.  And I have no current interest in racing.

 

Budget is not really much of a constraint, although I'd prefer to spend less than $4k.

 

Mike

post #62 of 81

I agree with the local shop except that 29er actually accel at technical stuff as long as we arent talking about gaps and drops and the likes. The make some rock gardens that I had lots of problems on 26er REALLY easy. They also take away all the small chatter stuff we have the east coast like roots, and down logs and sticks. I can literally coast away from people on a chunky downhill on my 29er.

 

With that said my 26 inch bike is heaps faster going up and cornering. 

 

post #63 of 81

Well that's a good start, and I like your approach to budgeting. Know thyself. I'm the same way, why buy something now that I'm going to want to replace right away?

 

My advice is look for a 5-6" travel full-sus.

 

Ibis Mojo HD (having ridden the Mojo SL and the HD, I think the HD gives up virtually nothing to the SL)

Giant Trance X and Giant Reign

Santa Cruz Blur LT and Nomad

Intense Tracer

Pivot Mach  5.7

 

Those would all be pretty sweet and probably can fit inside your budget. It's hard to believe that a 6" bike can be a viable option for all-mountain riding, but it really is.

 

Have you seen this site at all? www.leelikesbikes.com Lee lives in your area (I think) and his pictures show some pretty nice riding it looks like you can get some pretty techy ride if you want to, but with plenty of smoother stuff on the way and of course you live within driving distance of some truly stellar riding.

post #64 of 81

I like your budget .

 

You will love MTBing!  I did a lot of road riding before I got my first MTB.  After that, it was probably 20 yrs. before I got on a road bike again.  That was 3 yrs. ago & I still like the MTB better.  I am not saying that will happen to you, but I think you will like the cross training aspect & the off road world it opens up.

 

I have been pretty happy with the Trek bikes I have owned recently.  Currently I am on a Fuel EX9.  The frame cracked after 4 yrs. on the original & they replaced it last year.  It took a couple of months, but I am on a practically new bike now.  I did upgrade the front fork from 4" travel to 5" with the new frame.

 

These guys know way more about the different options out there, but my bike retails in the $3000 range.

 

JF

post #65 of 81


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 Id like to believe other wise as quite often the 29er bike feel kinda of crappy but on the majority of race course local to Western Pa and West Virginia 99 percent of the top 5 in every class in a on 29er. With that said 26 inch wheel are staying with me for longer because the 29er arent the end all to be all.

 

 

I'm in Western Jersey, where rock gardens essentially ARE the trails, and not just an occasional obstacle & agree with you 100% that larger diameter tires and/or wheels are a significant advantage in maintaining your momentum when riding on rocks.  If I were racing XC events on these trails, I'd likely ride a FS 29er, mostly just to spare my body the abuse.

 

That said, when talking about what is empirically faster for XC racing at levels where both athletes and machines are 100% optimized for efficiency (& not concerned with comfort, wear, longevity, etc.), you need to look at what the best World Cup guys are racing, and that's 26" wheels.  Are there a few decent US pros out there racing 29ers?  Sure, but unfortunately guys like JHK get stomped when they go to Europe by guys on 26" wheelsets (quite often ultralight carbon tubular setups).  And yes, on world-class XC courses, rock gardens are isolated obstacles, not the predominant riding surface.

 

That doesn't mean we can't ride or race 29ers for fun, but there are two predominant factors that make an XC bike truly fast: 1) a fast rider, and 2) in the case of rider parity: lighter weight.

 

An honest question for you: I've felt the additional lateral flex in 29er wheels caused by the flatter dish angle due to longer spokes.  How does this affect long-term trueness & durability of wheels when riding on lots of rocks?  I don't know if you have a basis for comparison (same / similar wheel builds on 26" and 29" bikes?), but do you find you have to true the 29er wheels more often than with 26ers when riding rough terrain?

post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post


 

 

I'm in Western Jersey, where rock gardens essentially ARE the trails, and not just an occasional obstacle & agree with you 100% that larger diameter tires and/or wheels are a significant advantage in maintaining your momentum when riding on rocks.  If I were racing XC events on these trails, I'd likely ride a FS 29er, mostly just to spare my body the abuse.

 

That said, when talking about what is empirically faster for XC racing at levels where both athletes and machines are 100% optimized for efficiency (& not concerned with comfort, wear, longevity, etc.), you need to look at what the best World Cup guys are racing, and that's 26" wheels.  Are there a few decent US pros out there racing 29ers?  Sure, but unfortunately guys like JHK get stomped when they go to Europe by guys on 26" wheelsets (quite often ultralight carbon tubular setups).  And yes, on world-class XC courses, rock gardens are isolated obstacles, not the predominant riding surface.

 

That doesn't mean we can't ride or race 29ers for fun, but there are two predominant factors that make an XC bike truly fast: 1) a fast rider, and 2) in the case of rider parity: lighter weight.

 

An honest question for you: I've felt the additional lateral flex in 29er wheels caused by the flatter dish angle due to longer spokes.  How does this affect long-term trueness & durability of wheels when riding on lots of rocks?  I don't know if you have a basis for comparison (same / similar wheel builds on 26" and 29" bikes?), but do you find you have to true the 29er wheels more often than with 26ers when riding rough terrain?


My 29er is a SS so it has clear advantage with wider hubs flanges than a geared hub. I havent trued my wheels once since doing the first post factory true on them to tension them right. I have 600 ish mile on that bike so far. To be fair I almost never had to true any wheel on my 26 inch bike. I to felt the lateral flex for the couple rides but after riding someone bike that had a 20mm maxle and I9 on flows there was no lateral flex. I think the flex you feel is more in the fork than in the wheels. With that said I am sure a 20mm maxle 26er would feel really stiff. 

 

I think JHK gets stomped because he isnt absalon. Nino has ridden a 29er on several courses this year, Decker won downiville AM world champs on a Anthem X29. Willow was leading the world cup standing on her GF 29ers. 

 

On the USA scene 29er have become a dominate force at enduro racing, and 24 hours racing and tons of local home grown race series because they do work better their. 

post #67 of 81

Quote:

Originally Posted by epic View Post

Well that's a good start, and I like your approach to budgeting. Know thyself. I'm the same way, why buy something now that I'm going to want to replace right away?

My advice is look for a 5-6" travel full-sus....


+1 on what Epic said, and an apology for taking the thread off on an XC racing tangent w/ Bushwacker (didn't see the second page of the thread, my bad!).

 

If racing is no concern, and protecting a no-longer-20-something body from abuse is, I'm 100% with Epic on the 5-6" travel range for everyday, all mountain use.

When the aim is primarily fun, comfort & suspension performance, a couple extra pounds on the bike aren't a big deal, and the additional lateral stiffness of 5-6" all mountain platforms vs. 4-5" XC designs (like the Intense Spider), will be a big plus for a rider learning the ropes because there will be less system flex to "finesse" through corners & obstacles and more of a "point and shoot" response.

 

As for the upright position, you'll adapt to that quickly. It's more the adapting to cornering technique (especially having the surface give to your tires, and not the other way around), and learning how to cope with the terrain dictating when you put down the power, and how much, that will take some time to be intuitive to an experienced roadie.

 

You'll encounter plenty of opinions out there while shopping: the US MTB industry is in a sort of "30-Years-War" phase between 29er and 26er devotees, but I have a hard time imagining you will ever regret buying a 5-6" travel all mountain bike with 26" wheels, especially if you don't envision racing XC.

 

Just like on the road, there are a lot of companies make a great bike, but IMO Santa Cruz has proven to have an uncanny ability to put a *really* nice component spec on their bikes at a given price point compared to the competition.  The alloy version of the Blur LT is currently out there with a mixed XT kit for around $2500 street, which in this day & age of $8000+ bikes is quite a value. Santa Cruz also allows you to get modular and chose a different parts "package" and hand pick your frame, fork, & shock, which is nice once you home in on which components / suspension designs you like best.

 

Also in the vein of "no regrets down the road" - since you're willing to spend up to $4000, it's reasonable to aim for XT or SRAM X-9 components (or better).

It's like buying an Ultegra group for the road: you'll never "outgrow" the performance of your componentry - it's merely a trade off of slightly more weight for less money (often a whole lot le$$).

post #68 of 81
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I'm a big believer in good components.  I went with DuraAce on my road bike, and if I had to do it again, I'd probably go with Campy.  So, I'm thinking min spec is a X9 setup. 

 

What do you guys think about doubles versus triples?  I'm a believer in a triple on my road bike, but I'm not the strongest climber; in fact, I'm pretty weak.  That might have something to do with needing to drop another 20 lbs (although I'm already down 45).

 

Mike

post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Thanks.  I'm a big believer in good components.  I went with DuraAce on my road bike, and if I had to do it again, I'd probably go with Campy.  So, I'm thinking min spec is a X9 setup. 

 

What do you guys think about doubles versus triples?  I'm a believer in a triple on my road bike, but I'm not the strongest climber; in fact, I'm pretty weak.  That might have something to do with needing to drop another 20 lbs (although I'm already down 45).

 

Mike


triple just causing shifting problem and most MTB doubles can be geared pretty low. 24/36 with a 11-36 cassette on 26er is a great way to start, for a 29er 24/34 12-36 would probably great. Another reason for doubles in much increased clearance over trail rocks and logs which you have less of out there but still some.  36x11 on 26 inch wheel at 100 rpm is 25 mph. Trust me you will be no where near 25 mph on any singletrack while trying to pedal. your lowest gear(24 F 36 R)if you run a 11-36 rear cassette is about 100 rpms at 5 mph. the other thing you need to realize is climbing on a MTB is quite often not as steep as roads climb because the dirt would fall apart if it was. there will be huge steep up and down the cassette but it doesnt matter. Its MTB perfect candence is really only a misguide roadie thing.

 

Triple really dont make much sense anymore with the new wide range doubles. When you realize some of us go quite fast with only 1 gear the triple seems REALLY dumb. 

 

 

post #70 of 81

Quote:

Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
triple just causing shifting problem and most MTB doubles can be geared pretty low. 24/36 with a 11-36 cassette on 26er is a great way to start, for a 29er 24/34 12-36 would probably great. Another reason for doubles in much increased clearance over trail rocks and logs which you have less of out there but still some.  36x11 on 26 inch wheel at 100 rpm is 25 mph. Trust me you will be no where near 25 mph on any singletrack while trying to pedal. your lowest gear(24 F 36 R)if you run a 11-36 rear cassette is about 100 rpms at 5 mph. the other thing you need to realize is climbing on a MTB is quite often not as steep as roads climb because the dirt would fall apart if it was. ...


I'll start w/ where I agree w/ Bushwacker:

Clearance.  Do the trails you will ride regularly feature lots of large rocks, square-edged-obstacles, & logs?

If so, you probably would be well advised to skip the 40+ tooth front ring and go with a double setup like Bushwacker recommends.

The majority of Moab locals, for example, ride single or double ring front setups, due to the near omnipresence of sandstone outcroppings & large rocks riders have to constantly grind & "leverage" themselves over.

 

I must admit I have to scratch my head at the assertion that offroad climbs tend to be less steep than road climbs. Never mind the 30%+ walls you'll find out on the UT slickrock, I've climbed dirt trails in the 25-30% range on three continents, and with the exception of Lombard St. in SF at 27% (which has been made a pedestrian zone, so the cars don't get stuck) I cannot recall another pitch this steep that road engineers have bothered to pave (roads with sustained pitches over 20% are scarce enough that the Giro organizers have had to resort to racing up gravel roads to Plan de Corones in recent editions).

 

If you're looking predominantly at woodland trails with lots of flow, or lots of long, consistently graded double track descents & climbs, I see no reason why you should limit yourself to a double, unless you score a killer deal on a bike set up that way.

4 out of 5 all-mountain component kits offered by Santa Cruz, for example, feature triples.  Properly set up they work well.

You mention that climbing isn't your strength: 24F/36R rear on a double is pretty much the same gear as 22F/34R you'd likely run on a triple, but of course the triple still offers you the option of "going big" and running the 36R if you chose, plus a 42 or 44 big ring to hammer down long, sustained downhills - in case you're an impatient type like me, who often feels that gravity needs help ;~>

 

My personal philosophy of "broader range = broader smiles" is clearly the polar opposite of the singlespeed mindset Bushwacker is coming from.

As for YOU, you indicate that you like a triple on the road, and aren't a flyweight climber type.

On this basis, I'll go out on a limb and encourage you to likewise go for the widest gear range allowed by local trail conditions.

As I've gotten older, I've extended the gearing range on *all* my bikes, and as a result I experience far less knee pain than I did even in my teens & twenties when I used  to climb with a straight-block on the road.

Some guys seem to be blessed with indestructible joints: if they're happy grinding on an SS, God bless 'em.

For those less blessed, there are always more rings.

post #71 of 81

I'm all for triple cranks. I ride a bike with avery low BB on rocky trails and I am pretty sure I've only hit my big ring once. I don't think I've had a dropped chain all year either. BWPA just doesn't know how to adjust a front derailleur .

post #72 of 81

I was thinking a triple for you would be better. Particularly, because you are riding a triple on the road.

post #73 of 81
Thread Starter 

So, it was a bit of a bummer weekend as far as bike shopping goes.  I rode a short ride yesterday (45 miles) and shorter today (30) so I could do some stuff with the spouse and get some MTB shopping in.  Yesterday was a bust.  I went to 3 bike stores, all of which had VPP's or DW Links, and they had virtually nothing in stock.  So, a strike out on getting to ride anything.  Today, I had to do more stuff to appease the spouse, and so only made it to the bike store at 4:15.  It's kind of shocking that there was virtually nothing in Boulder, one of the biking capitals of the world, but I found nirvana in Golden!  The Golden Bike Shop carries Santa Cruz, Pivot, Intense, and Niner, and they had not only tons of stock, but 50 demo bikes.  But it was too late to demo, and now ski season is here, so I'm kinda thinking I may put this on the back burner until next year.

 

The sales guy was real hot on the Niner Jet.  What do you guys think of that ride?  They also have some great deals on Pivot 5's as well.  He thought that the 5 was a better ride than the 5.7, as the 5.7 is a bit too plush for his taste and the 5 is a stiffer bike.  What do you folk think?

 

I'm not sure how bad the new bike bug has bitten.  We'll see if I have the patience to demo and wait.

 

Mike

post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

So, it was a bit of a bummer weekend as far as bike shopping goes.  I rode a short ride yesterday (45 miles) and shorter today (30) so I could do some stuff with the spouse and get some MTB shopping in.  Yesterday was a bust.  I went to 3 bike stores, all of which had VPP's or DW Links, and they had virtually nothing in stock.  So, a strike out on getting to ride anything.  Today, I had to do more stuff to appease the spouse, and so only made it to the bike store at 4:15.  It's kind of shocking that there was virtually nothing in Boulder, one of the biking capitals of the world, but I found nirvana in Golden!  The Golden Bike Shop carries Santa Cruz, Pivot, Intense, and Niner, and they had not only tons of stock, but 50 demo bikes.  But it was too late to demo, and now ski season is here, so I'm kinda thinking I may put this on the back burner until next year.

 

The sales guy was real hot on the Niner Jet.  What do you guys think of that ride?  They also have some great deals on Pivot 5's as well.  He thought that the 5 was a better ride than the 5.7, as the 5.7 is a bit too plush for his taste and the 5 is a stiffer bike.  What do you folk think?

 

I'm not sure how bad the new bike bug has bitten.  We'll see if I have the patience to demo and wait.

 

Mike

 

personally having ridden both on actually trails the Pivot 429 is better pedaler while still being plusher than the Jet 9, which the Jet 9 is by no means a bad bike its just its short on travel and its not all that light for a 3 inch travel bike. 

 

On the Mach 5 vs 5.7 debate, I have yet to ride the 5.7. The main keys though are this. the 5.7 has lower BB and more travel than the mach 5. Being more plush is a very good thing. In the case of the DW link bikes more plush usually equals better pedaling performance even though it doesnt feel like it to people who are use to hardtails and road bikes. 

 

Pivots are argueably the most advance FS bikes on the market at this point in time, not only do they have DW link they also have burly bearings with zert fitting so you can can lube and clean the bearing with out taking apart the bike. Its more durable and stiffer than anyone else is FS bikes.

 

if you plan to just ride I think the 5.7 would be the most fun. If you plan to dabble in racing at all it should do, but the 429, Mach 5, or Mach 4 would be better for that.
 


Edited by BushwackerinPA - 11/8/10 at 4:47am
post #75 of 81

I wouldn't get the Jet 9. I know they are improved, but I have seen way too many of the earlier ones with cracks in the frames. If you have to get a Niner get a RIP 9. Although, you will may pick up the wrong one, out of the bike rack as you leave the coffee shop. : )

 

Pivot Mach 429. Did you ride it? This is my choice. Good versitility between a trail bike and a Racer. The new ones are coming with the Talus 95mm/120mm fork. That takes care of that problem.

 

I have ridden the Mach 4. Nice bike. I consider this an XC racer. The rear end feels like it has more than 4 inches of travel. It is 'limited' by its 100mm fork. Leaves one wanting a bit more travel at times.

 

Mach 5 would be my choice if going for a 26 inch FS ride. Would be a good all arounder. Could race it XC.

 

Mach 5.7 would be nice as well for some rougher stuff. Wouldn't race it XC

 

post #76 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

On the Mach 5 vs 5.7 debate, I have yet to ride the 5.7. The main keys though are this. the 5.7 has lower BB and more travel than the mach 5. Being more plush is a very good thing. In the case of the DW link bikes more plush usually equals better pedaling performance even though it doesnt feel like it to people who are use to hardtails and road bikes. 


I agree with Bush on this. When I rode the Ibis HD (6") vs the SL (5"), it gave up nothing in the climbing dept and was better everywhere else. That said, I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy one because the Giant that I am riding is awesome. You should be sure to check them out, you can get a well speced Giant Trance X for the cost of teh Pivot frame. I think I'd take the pimpin' XTR Giant over an SLX equipped Pivot.

post #77 of 81

The Pivot's are all nice bikes. I would be happy with any one of them. Or all of them.! 

 

The only really negative thing in comparing the Mach 5 to the 5.7 is the 5.7 seems to be a bit twitchy on technical climbs.

 

I am not sure why. They are both running 140mm forks.

 

maybe we should consider the Phoenix? heh.

 

Along another line, it looks like Titus is in Liquidation!


Edited by Johnnys Zoo - 11/9/10 at 9:08am
post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 SRAM will shift right with a derail hanger bent, with worn out cables, with worn out chains cassette elect. Even if it is nearly broke SRAM shifts right everytime. 1 to 1 over 1- 1.5 anyday.

I do nothing to take care of bikes outside of cleaning every once in awhile. 



This is true.  I used to be a SRAM hater, until I got my hands on a used downhill bike with x5 der and x7 shifter.  The derailler is toast, has at least 30 degrees of play at the knuckle, but I ran a new cable through it with a bit of grease and it shifts great.  I've shifted it under load and it hasn't missed.  I'll still prefer Shimano (especially when comparing low end stuff) but this gave me lots of respect for SRAM.

post #79 of 81

I cannot believe that so may are steering the OP to an expensive FS bike for riding roads and the occasional singletrack (which by all indications will not be very technical). I just don't get this. nonono2.gif

 

My advice is to get a HT, 26er or 29er, whatever you prefer. For the type of riding you plan to do, a 29er would be very nice as long as you have high-end wheels that are light. Nothing is more annoying than heavy 29er wheels on a bike.

post #80 of 81

not trying hijack but I think the CF frame Ibis is making is plenty durable and they stand behind their products. 

post #81 of 81

I hear the Pivot mach 5.7 with SRAM x9 build msrp is about $4300.  It is speced with a 150mm fox float fork, a 38/24 Sram X9 double crankset and a Shimano 11-36 cogset.  That is about as high end as your price range is going to go for a Pivot that also has the lowest geared climbing double crank drive train you sound like you are looking for.  That's what my bike piggy bike is saving for.

 

My two cents worth

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