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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... 29er hardtails and the rough stuff

    Hi,

    I'm a new rider and I'm hooked!

    I first started with a interest in cycling as a hobby to try take my mind off the stress of life.

    I bought a Giant XTC 2013 29er and it was the best ride ever! I found it very stiff and stuck to concrete like glue and pretty quick. It was the first time I rode in 10 years at 27 years of age now I want to be fitter and stronger.

    I took my bike up to the you yangs up in Melbourne's west, and had a blast, I met alot of really nice people who were very friendly and showed me the directions and one especially nice bloke even offered me a lift back! I was dehydrated and one of the nice blokes doing a demo day gave me a can of drink since I was out of water at the end of the day.

    I ride on the road and I love my bike but I'm just a little disappointed that on the downhill rides ( Blue and/or Diamond ) its a little difficult just to get the front up and overcome obstacles. I wanted a Jack of all trades and this bike is a exceptional road and XC bike but for Downhill its lacking the ability for me to quickly jerk the front wheel up when I need to. I think its strong enough at the moment for my level of ability with jumps and drops and stuff.

    I'm looking at options to try get a better downhill ride, I'm a tall bloke at 185cm ( 6'1 feet ) and the geometry of the bike suits me well, I'm a tad stretched over but I know that's what the bikes are like.

    I like hard tails, and I like jumps and drops and obstacles, a bike like the Santa Cruz Jackal in 29er form would be a DREAM for me, though I can't predict how it would handle. That would be my ideal ride for me at the moment, 29er wheel base, can take a battering, hard tail and you can get that front wheel up. Even though it is heavier I'm a bit of a bigger guy weighing in at 90kg so I think I can use my strength and weight to throw this fictional bike around.

    I don't know what to do I have a few ideas:

    1) Upgrade options, I'm thinking of possibly getting a riser bar say 2" and a shortening my stem from 10cm to 6cm to help me get that wheel up. How will this effect my ride on the road and downhill and how will handling be.

    2) Get a 26er Jackal and play with that when I can afford it in the future for downhill only.

    3) Wait for 2014 29er's hardtails that may have the downhill/jump geometry.

    I don't want a dualie yet. I dont like the idea of suspension on the rear at the moment.

    Thanks guys! Any suggestions or ideas would be much apreciated

    And what's the deal with this idiot tony abbot trying to cripple our NBN!

  2. #2
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    Shortening the stem and putting a riser bar on the bike isn't a bad way to start. That will put your weight back a little and get the front end up a bit. That's what I did on my first 29er hard tail.

    After that, I would consider getting an aggressive hardtail 29er frame like the Banshee Paradox or the Canfield Nimble 9 and swap your existing parts over. I have both of those frames and they are LOADS of fun in the rough steep trails, yet still handle cruising the trails as well. They have a shorter rear end and slacker geometry that makes it easy to get the front wheel up and pop off little obstacles in the trails.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottN View Post
    Shortening the stem and putting a riser bar on the bike isn't a bad way to start. That will put your weight back a little and get the front end up a bit. That's what I did on my first 29er hard tail.

    After that, I would consider getting an aggressive hardtail 29er frame like the Banshee Paradox or the Canfield Nimble 9 and swap your existing parts over. I have both of those frames and they are LOADS of fun in the rough steep trails, yet still handle cruising the trails as well. They have a shorter rear end and slacker geometry that makes it easy to get the front wheel up and pop off little obstacles in the trails.
    This is good advice. The more trail/all mountain oriented hardtails are good fun, regardless of wheel size. Definitely different to a more XC bike like an XTC. I've had lots of good riding on my Cotic Soul and BFe and I'm looking forward to trying a Singular Buzzard soon. I'm expecting that to have the fun of the Cotics but with the benefiits of 29" wheels.

    Other bikes you may want to consider are the Kona Honzo (no front derailleur though), Transition Transam, Cotic Solaris (and I'm sure there are others that I've forgotten).

  4. #4
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    Changing the cockpit as suggested above drastically changes the way the bike handles. I've done the same with my xc hardtail to cope with the trails I now like to ride. A more aggresively threaded and higher volume front tyre helps too. It's also way cheeper than a new bike.

    However, if you're 100% sure you need a more playfull bike, forget trying to make the xtc something that it is not, and go for the real thing. Plenty of trail/AM 29er ht's these days, some more aggressive, some still relevant for xc.

    Components can fine tune the bike's feel, but geometry is king.

  5. #5
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    sounds like you want a short chainstay slack headangle frame like mentioned. Quite a few around now...you could probably get a frame and shift all the gear over too, with some tweaking of the cockpit.

  6. #6
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    Re: 29er hardtails and the rough stuff

    A Diamondback Mason would likely suit you well, or a Canfield Yelli. Both are somewhat similar.

    I own th DB. 66 degree head angle with 140mm fork and shorter stays. Dropper post comes standard too. I use it for XC and it's built to go down. Love mine so far. No problem with manuals and hops, either.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider86 View Post
    I wanted a Jack of all trades and this bike is a exceptional road and XC bike but for Downhill its lacking the ability for me to quickly jerk the front wheel up when I need to. I think its strong enough at the moment for my level of ability with jumps and drops and stuff.
    Some good advice form others on equipment changes that would better suite your needs but I wanted to comment on technique with regard to getting your front wheel up and over obstacles. You need to not think of it as "jerking" the front wheel up. To do that you need to be over the handlebars which puts weight over the front. It may seem counter intuitive but you want to "push" the bars forward and away from you. This has the effect of transferring your weight back over the rear wheel and lightening the front. It's like doing a wheelie. You can start practicing by standing next to your bike with both hands on the grips and pushing the bars forward. For the bike to move forward the front wheel needs to come off the ground.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    Some good advice form others on equipment changes that would better suite your needs but I wanted to comment on technique with regard to getting your front wheel up and over obstacles. You need to not think of it as "jerking" the front wheel up. To do that you need to be over the handlebars which puts weight over the front. It may seem counter intuitive but you want to "push" the bars forward and away from you. This has the effect of transferring your weight back over the rear wheel and lightening the front. It's like doing a wheelie. You can start practicing by standing next to your bike with both hands on the grips and pushing the bars forward. For the bike to move forward the front wheel needs to come off the ground.
    Yep best advice I was given for help getting that front wheel in the air. 'Load it up before you lift it up' its is amazing how much easier this makes it

  9. #9
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    29" Enduro HT

    29er hardtails and the rough stuff-8292447282_90955f1842_b.jpg
    Size M
    29er hardtails and the rough stuff-774963d1361695289-2soulscycles-qh-2013-large_qh31.jpg
    Size L
    29er hardtails and the rough stuff-8248526415_988d72d942_b.jpg
    Size XL

  10. #10
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    Hey Rider86

    I have a 2012 XTC 29 0 and have changed the stock wheels to a second hand Crankbrothers cobalt 29 wheelset with an Ardent 2.4 tyre up front and 2.1 Crossmark rear...Carbon bars and ESI foam grips...the front end is super light now and I can hoik it up pretty much anything with ease...the bike rides nice and light in the rough and is easily maneuverable...

  11. #11
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    Just wanted to add another vote for the Yelli Screamy, Paradox type AM 29ers. I have a Yelli and it is a game changer. I'm swerving to pop off rocks and hitting jumps i used to be afraid of. Best bike I've ever had!

  12. #12
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    29er hardtails and the rough stuff

    This isn't a gear problem, it's a skill deficiency. You cannot buy experience, but you can expedite it with practice and a skilled instructor. Gear upgrades and geo is a subtle change to those who already have a good skill base.

    Edit to add: if you buy anything shorter stem should be first on your list, but IMO again is only a subtle change that won't be a miracle change.

  13. #13
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    Skill helps as VTS says, but if you don't have the confidence to try stuff, you'll never increase your skill level The short stayed/Slack angle HT will do that for you, along with a shorter stem <80mm and wider bar 720mm> As others said, something like the Yelli/Nimble, Paradox, Honzo, Mason are all good examples of such HTs and from the OPs description, exactly what he's looking for in terms of the "what" he wants out of his riding.
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