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Thread: Fastest xc mtb?

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    Fastest xc mtb?

    If riding mostly non technical XC, which FS 29er bike would you recommend? Price range between $4,000-$6,000.

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    Expensive != fast / Good rider == fast kemosabi

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    I don't like fast much, I don't race and I'm out there to enjoy the ride. That being said if your looking for fast on non-technical xc you want a carbon hard tail not a FS.

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    Carbon 29er hard tail may be the way to go, Santa Cruz Carbon Highball. If non technical terrain you won't need a FS.

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    Whichever bike the winner is ridding.
    Pedal through it!

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    The one with the best motor...every time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinadill View Post
    If riding mostly non technical XC, which FS 29er bike would you recommend? Price range between $4,000-$6,000.





    Mine.

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    niner air 9 rdo with rdo fork.

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    fastest means most expensive. otherwise, there are many good options.

    you might want to look at the BMC fourstroke in the sram XO build. I think that's in your budget and has one of the best carbon xc frames out there.

    the bike is also pretty versatile and kicks ass as a trail bike, despite it's XC intentions.

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    Turner Czar or Specialized Epic or Fisher Superfly 100.

    For an absolutely pure race machine, I think the Epic might beat the Czar by a nose on smooth courses.

    On bumpier courses, or as an endurance racer, I give the nod to the Czar (and you don't have to pay for the quite expensive and kind of frequent brain servicing).
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    Using your criteria, I would say the Specialized Epic Expert Evo would be the money shot you're looking for. Fast, hard tailish when it's smooth but just squishy enough when the non-techy stuff you prefer.
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    Fastest xc mtb?

    Jet 9 rdo.
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    Pretty sure mine's the fastest, and I'll sell it to you on the low end of your price range.

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    Bike are not fast Cyclists are fast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilerz View Post
    Carbon 29er hard tail may be the way to go, Santa Cruz Carbon Highball. If non technical terrain you won't need a FS.
    I do ride some slightly technical, root pothole, rocky, terrain.

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    I've always figured someone dropping that amount of money on a bike would be experienced enough to have a solid idea about what bike they want. Choices? Sure. Difficulty in deciding? Of course. But at least narrowed down, somewhat, instead of this vague inquiry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randob300 View Post
    I've always figured someone dropping that amount of money on a bike would be experienced enough to have a solid idea about what bike they want. Choices? Sure. Difficulty in deciding? Of course. But at least narrowed down, somewhat, instead of this vague inquiry.
    I am looking real hard at a new 2012 SC TallboyC or Superlight.

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    Would also consider Czar, Epic, or Jet 9 RDO. I'm just looking for some input from you guys. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by chinadill View Post
    I am looking real hard at a new 2012 SC TallboyC or Superlight.

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    Both the Santa Cruz and Niner are both great frames. You can't go wrong there. Make your choice based on what you want! You'll end up satisfied if you pick out what you want to ride not what any of us say..

    One thing I will say.. You should build a frame up with all the goodies you like if you're really dropping that much coin. It will be more expensive if you pay retail all the compenents plus the frame. You can save a ton of money if you can shop Pinkbike for parts. Lots of riders are selling stuff brand new really cheap. Find some good sales too. You will be stoked to ride that thing if you choose every component. Nothing turns me against a sale of a particular bicycle than first looking at a $4000+ price tag then seeing Bontrager handlebars, Roval wheels or any other in house junk speced out

    Be sure to post a picture of your new ride whatever you do!
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    Trek Superfly 100
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Specialized S-Works Epic 29
    Turner Czar
    Felt Edict 9 SL
    Santa Cruz Tallboy
    Rocky Mountain 999 RSL

    What do they have in common? They are all under 25 pounds! There you have it - and I have ridden them ALL....
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinadill View Post
    If riding mostly non technical XC, which FS 29er bike would you recommend? Price range between $4,000-$6,000.
    Hands down the Specialized Epic is the bike to have read ANY review of the bike read ANY test of the bike and the epic 29" bike can't be beat.

    In just this months issue of Velo news the S Works Epic trounced the Trek superfly 100, Felt edict 9 ltd and the Niner jet9 rdo bikes in every category.

    you can get the epic expert carbon comp for in your price range if you can still find a 2013 and you can look on eBay and get a 2011 or 2012 S Works epic in your price range.

    If you can get the front and rear "brains" in sync on the epic the faster you go the better the bike gets it's that good...

    The Specialized haters will come out of the woodwork with my recommendation but there is no 29" full suspension bike currently in production that can beat the Specialized epic PERIOD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinadill View Post
    If riding mostly non technical XC
    It's that mostly that bothers me. Buy a bike that suits 90% of the riding you do. You thought of going for something like a ROS 9 or a Stache 8 over the FS options?
    Sure you can spend $4,000-$6,000 but why would you if you don't have to?

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    Problem with the Epic - 9mm QR front and high-maintenance, proprietary Brain....
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Problem with the Epic - 9mm QR front and high-maintenance, proprietary Brain....
    There are special (i don't know the exact name) "wider" equals more surface area on the roval wheel axle end caps to interface with the rock shox fork drop outs I've been on a S Works epic since 2011 and never have had wheel/fork flex issues perhaps the 2014's will have thru axles perhaps not this is a XC race bike not and "all mountain" bike and not intended or designed to ride the type of terrain that would require a thru-axle fork.

    We currently have three bikes with specialized brain's in our fleet 2011 S Work epic, 2013 S Works epic and a 2013 S Works stumpjumper the 2011 had the fork and the rear shock sent into Specialized for factory service in December of 2012 for a total of a week turnaround which is about the same as sending in a fork or shock to Push Industries. Approximately every 12 to 18 months you should send in the brain equipped suspension to have it serviced.

    If your serious enough rider that is spending $5000, $7000, $10,000 on a mtb then the cost of basic yearly maintenance should not be an issue. As with any high end performance bicycle, motorcycle or automobile the cost of maintenance should always be factored in and expected.

    First Impressions: Specialized S-Works Epic 29er

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    I vote cyclocross. Lighter faster and great for "mostly non technical XC"

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Hands down the Specialized Epic is the bike to have read ANY review of the bike read ANY test of the bike and the epic 29" bike can't be beat.

    In just this months issue of Velo news the S Works Epic trounced the Trek superfly 100, Felt edict 9 ltd and the Niner jet9 rdo bikes in every category.

    you can get the epic expert carbon comp for in your price range if you can still find a 2013 and you can look on eBay and get a 2011 or 2012 S Works epic in your price range.

    If you can get the front and rear "brains" in sync on the epic the faster you go the better the bike gets it's that good...

    The Specialized haters will come out of the woodwork with my recommendation but there is no 29" full suspension bike currently in production that can beat the Specialized epic PERIOD.
    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    There are special (i don't know the exact name) "wider" equals more surface area on the roval wheel axle end caps to interface with the rock shox fork drop outs I've been on a S Works epic since 2011 and never have had wheel/fork flex issues perhaps the 2014's will have thru axles perhaps not this is a XC race bike not and "all mountain" bike and not intended or designed to ride the type of terrain that would require a thru-axle fork.

    We currently have three bikes with specialized brain's in our fleet 2011 S Work epic, 2013 S Works epic and a 2013 S Works stumpjumper the 2011 had the fork and the rear shock sent into Specialized for factory service in December of 2012 for a total of a week turnaround which is about the same as sending in a fork or shock to Push Industries. Approximately every 12 to 18 months you should send in the brain equipped suspension to have it serviced.

    If your serious enough rider that is spending $5000, $7000, $10,000 on a mtb then the cost of basic yearly maintenance should not be an issue. As with any high end performance bicycle, motorcycle or automobile the cost of maintenance should always be factored in and expected.

    First Impressions: Specialized S-Works Epic 29er

    I'm sure your advice isn't at all colored by the fact you are apparently a Specialized fan.
    I find it funny that each year the Brain is touted as the end all be all, but each year, the new tune is so much better than the last.
    While you had a week turn around on your brain, there are plenty of threads complaining about turn around time taking weeks.
    It's not about the maintenance- every bike has that, it's being tied to a proprietary part that only has one source.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Problem with the Epic - 9mm QR front and high-maintenance, proprietary Brain....
    Not everyone needs a 15mm QR on a 100mm bike.

    Not all Americans are 240lbs, on the verge of their next bypass surgery.
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    I don't ride a Epic nor do I race very often, if I did the Epic would be at the top of my race bike list. Would I choose the epic for my riding needs these days, probably not. That being said the down time for maintenance or the 9mm QRs wouldn't affect my decision since winter provides plenty of downtime for maintenance also having ridden both fork setups and finding the difference negligible.
    If I had a black light this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

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    Does an LBS have anything to do with the purchase or is this all online? A cool bike shop can make a big difference. I got an epic partly since the owner of the LBS that deals Specialized is really nice guy to work with and built the bike up just the way I wanted. That counts for a lot. I like my Epic, which is built more to be a fun trail bike that can race sometimes instead of a thoroughbred.

    That said, probably the best thing you could do if you want to get fast is drop some coin on a power meter, stick it on a bike you like to ride, really study up on training, then implement that training...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I'm sure your advice isn't at all colored by the fact you are apparently a Specialized fan.
    No it's colored by the fact that currently there isn't a better XC full suspension 29er out there that can beat the Epic period.

    This isn't my first rodeo and yes I jumped on the brain technology hype in 2003 with a S Works epic after severely being disappointed with the on/off/on/off archaic brain shock I promptly sold the bike shortly after that and moved onto my "boutique" bike phase that lasted till the 2008 Cannondale Scalpel team bikes came out and yes at that time there were nobody that could touch that as a XC bike.

    I took a sip of the 29er kool-aid a year later and never looked back however after riding and researching the various brands full suspension none seemed to have that magical feel as the old scalpel or Titus Racer-X did. I had just ordered a MOOTS RSL as my next XC race bike when the new 2011 epic 29ers came out and I was able to borrow one for the weekend.

    long story short the MOOTS never was built and a S Works epic was my next bike it was and is that good... never have i ridden a bike that begged to be ridden faster and the faster you ride it the better it handles, so much so that a Ti devote and carbon fiber hater as my wife was after she took a demo truck test ride on one in 2012 she was sold.

    Every and I mean every one that I know that has ridden one has bought one even though they either owned another brand or were shopping and riding a variety of bikes to see what one they wanted.

    If someone really does their research and honestly compares apples to apples and ignores the marketing/forum/bike sales guy hype the conclusion will be the same.

    I'm not knocking other brands Cannondale, Scott, Pivot, Niner, Giant, Santa Cruz all make really nice XC oriented full suspension bikes however when compared to the current Specialized Epic none can offer a complete package like epic does if you want a pure XC speed machine with no compromises.

    I'm fortunate in my life right now that I've got the means to own any bike I want and life is too short to have second best so until someone else comes up with something that will topple the Epic damn right I'm a Specialized fan boy.

    But hey don't just take my word for it...

    Final review 2013 epic marathon

    Specialized S-Works Epic 29er, Should Everyone Else Just Stop Trying

    BUYING ADVICE
    Letís cut to the chase. This is the best mountain bike we have ever ridden. An S-Works Epic 29er racer will never get beat because the other rider has a better bike. But the truly amazing aspect of this bike is how well it will serve as most ridersí do-it-all trailbike. Forget about what appears to be the frameís short travel. The large wheels tame trail obstacles that 26ers hang up on, and you are not paying a weight tax with these wheels.
    It takes nerve for a bike company to offer a bike that sells for over 10 grand after taxes, but we are glad Specialized did it. Raising the bar means we will all be riding better mountain bikes in the future. If you are a rider who can drop 10 grand on a bike, Specialized doesnít think you should wait for the future. The S-Works Epic 29er is here now.

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    While I don't disagree that the Epic is a very fast race bike, I wouldn't put stock in anything that MBAction says. It's given some remarkably terrible advice through the years.

    I do agree for a smoother riding, the Epic probably one of the best bikes if you don't want to go HT and don't mind the extra proprietary annoyances. Anything rough, I'd prefer a different bike.

    Edit: It looks like that Buying Advice was just sent over by Specialized marketing, btw (and I don't think that only Specialized is doing that in that particular magazine).

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    Fastest XC MTB?

    It is not the bike that makes the rider fast, it is the rider that makes the bike fast.


    I would split your budget in half - spend half on a mountain bike and half on a road bike. Speed on a mountain bike requires both skill and power. Get the skill from the MTB and the power from the road bike.

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    Re: Fastest xc mtb?

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    No it's colored by the fact that currently there isn't a better XC full suspension 29er out there that can beat the Epic period.
    Trek Superfly 100 SL Pro?

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    An Epic is regularly beaten by a Scott Scale hard tail. Another fast XC bike is a Grand Canyon CF SLX.
    So the problem is a fast XC bike which does not mean a fast XC race bike. The OP has to choose. When you choose fast non race the Epic will be out.

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    lol Some guy is going to tell you what the fastest mountain bike is and then you are going to buy it? Meh. Get Nino Schurter to sell you his.

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    friend has a 11 or 12 lb rigid niner... bike is insanely light and fast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaf View Post
    Trek Superfly 100 SL Pro?

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    The 2013 Superfly SL is too flexy. They shaved off too much material, to knock out one pound, for 2013. The last, uber-stiff SF100 was the 2012 Pro model.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    An Epic is regularly beaten by a Scott Scale hard tail. Another fast XC bike is a Grand Canyon CF SLX.
    So the problem is a fast XC bike which does not mean a fast XC race bike. The OP has to choose. When you choose fast non race the Epic will be out.
    Not when it really counts, like at the Olympics (Epic) or in Nino's own national championships (BMC), just sayin
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    Quote Originally Posted by reydin View Post
    Not when it really counts, like at the Olympics (Epic) or in Nino's own national championships (BMC), just sayin
    Oh good point, the bikes won those. Rider had nothing to do with it.
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    Fast XC bike for non techy riding, one built around this frame Frame Kit Nine FRD - Felt Bicycles
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Oh good point, the bikes won those. Rider had nothing to do with it.

    Haha, wow, thanks for that. Of corse I responding, jokingly I might add, to someone comparing one manufactures victories over another manufacture but I should've waited because it looks like you would have been on it like underware. I am saddend by this knowledge that I can't just go buy a $10,000.00 bike, well the right $10.000.00 bike anyway and be guaranteed a World Cup championship. Dang it I thought that's all I needed to turn my 40 +, sometime top 5 at my local race series but never more than top 30 at Seaotter into a winner. Any way thanks, you just saved me a ton of dough
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    Quote Originally Posted by reydin View Post
    Not when it really counts, like at the Olympics (Epic) or in Nino's own national championships (BMC), just sayin
    Eh - Olympics was all about Nino choosing the wrong line at the finish - bikes had nothing to do with that. As soon as he took the outside line, I knew he had lost that one.

    I'm also not sure the XC World Cup races are really like the trails that alot of us race on. In those races, a hardtail is more efficient/a better bike on 90% of their courses. In Texas (where I race), FS is nice to have with the amount of chunk in some of our courses. Oh, and we have very few climbs here. Makes a big difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    Eh - Olympics was all about Nino choosing the wrong line at the finish - bikes had nothing to do with that. As soon as he took the outside line, I knew he had lost that one.
    Personally I thought it all about Kulhavy being 1st to the top of the last climb and therefore having line choice to the finish but that's just me. That being what ever that was, you do realize I was joking (hence the winking, grinning smiley face) don't you. Well if you didn't, I was joking when I made my Olympic referenced post. Phew, I feel much better now....
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    Quote Originally Posted by reydin View Post
    Personally I thought it all about Kulhavy being 1st to the top of the last climb and therefore having line choice to the finish but that's just me. That being what ever that was, you do realize I was joking (hence the winking, grinning smiley face) don't you. Well if you didn't, I was joking when I made my Olympic referenced post. Phew, I feel much better now....
    Yeah, I knew you were poking fun at it. I just had to give my take on that race because I remember that blunder going into the finish. Felt bad for the guy.

    On the OP's point: Full squish is nice on smoother trails if you plan on long rides, or plan on traveling. Any bike will probably ride well, and I wouldn't be concerned too much with the absolute fastest. You give up very little in terms of speed on any of the bikes mentioned - Anthem, Mach 429C, Epic, etc. I personally prefer DW-Link bikes over any of the others mentioned.

    If you're just looking for the absolute fastest race bike on smooth courses, you want a hardtail. You'll have a much lighter bike with money left over. If you must have a full suspension bike - any of the good 4" travel bikes at that price range will be fairly light and will work well. I would honestly go with a bike around 4k, and spend the leftover on really nice wheels, because that's where you'll see the biggest gains. A nice set of carbon wheels will probably make more difference than any of the suspension gains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaf View Post
    Trek Superfly 100 SL Pro?

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    Read this months Velo news they tested the Trek Superfly 100 and the Felt Edict 9 LTD. the Niner Jet9 RDO and the S Works Epic

    The results after testing handling, efficiency, small hits, large hits, playfulness, value, components, weight and torsional stiffness were.... Trek = 72 Felt = 73 Niner = 74 and Specialized = 77 (higher number = better)

    personally I would of like to see them include a Cannondale scalpel and some DW link bike like a Pivot or Ibis in this test.

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    Thanks fountain and everyone. Here is more info, I should have done this in the first place: I'm 5' 8" 133lb. geared up. I ride fire roads,unimproved roads, and power line rightaways for 3hrs. give or take an hour, so FS is important. No LBS. so I have to order. I have narrowed it down to TBC, Superlight,Jet RDO, Czar,Epic, and Atham. I can get a 2013 black and red Tallboy C SPX XC for $4,900 shipped. What do ya think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinadill View Post
    Thanks fountain and everyone. Here is more info, I should have done this in the first place: I'm 5' 8" 133lb. geared up. I ride fire roads,unimproved roads, and power line rightaways for 3hrs. give or take an hour, so FS is important. No LBS. so I have to order. I have narrowed it down to TBC, Superlight,Jet RDO, Czar,Epic, and Atham. I can get a 2013 black and red Tallboy C SPX XC for $4,900 shipped. What do ya think.
    Huh? Does not compute.

    If you were riding rough, technical terrain, yes, an FS might be important.

    But you're describing HT or rigid terrain, not something that would require an FS bike.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Huh? Does not compute.

    If you were riding rough, technical terrain, yes, an FS might be important.

    But you're describing HT or rigid terrain, not something that would require an FS bike.
    exactly what i was thinking...

    for that type of riding a nice steel CX bike Aka "gravel grinder" is all you need.

    i'm not getting the need for a expensive full suspension bike if all your riding is going to consist of dirt roads




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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    exactly what i was thinking...

    for that type of riding a nice steel CX bike Aka "gravel grinder" is all you need.

    i'm not getting the need for a expensive full suspension bike if all your riding is going to consist of dirt roads



    Our fire trails and high line rightaways can get pretty rough at times. I thought being in the saddle 3 1/2 to 4hrs. a FS would be nice.

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