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  1. #1
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    Need a bike for xc and road, 29er in my future?

    I only have enough money to buy one bike. Ill be moving to utah in a couple of months and want to have a bike i can take on the road or out on the trails. My question though is it possible? Just change tires and im good to go? Or what else would i need?

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    what about a surly ogre? I have a ss karate monkey and i bought a used wheelset and put big apples on those wheels and I swap wheels out and do a fair amount of road riding in spring and fall with the big apples. Ogre has gears and a lot of people seem to really like the versatility of the Ogre.

  3. #3
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    Your best bet is going to be a XC hardtail 29er.

    As for which one - that depends on your budget, which I assume is limited, or you wouldn't be asking about a 1-bike solution.
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    If you want to ride reasonably well on both road and mountain my suggestion is to research monstercross bikes. It'll still be a bit of a compromise but they've been gaining in popularity lately due to their versatility. Check out the Salsa Fargo: Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Fargo 2

  5. #5
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    I ride my Ogre everywhere. Often times I'll ride the paved trail to the mtb trail. It works great on both really. Fast XC tires are still pretty fast on pavement (I like Maxxis Crossmarks). I wouldn't worry about different tires unless you wear them out quickly.

  6. #6
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    I'm out in UT and here is my suggestion:

    Get a mountain bike, and don't worry about riding road (for now). Trails are spectacular and will keep you entertained for a good while. During that time, save money for a proper road bike. Road riding is also awesome here. Having one bike to do two vastly different tasks just won't work out that well.

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    I had this scenario for a while and it's certainly not the most ideal, but it's still fun because you're on a bike.
    To figure out the best do it all bike we'd have to know just how many obstacles you plan on encountering on the trail.
    If you aren't going to encounter rock gardens or logs more than 4-5 inches, I'd go for a cyclocross style bike ranging that on up to the monstercross style with larger volume tires, both with dropped handlebars which are helpful in cutting wind at high speeds and giving you many different hand positions to help with hand fatigue. If you're going to doing more bicycle gymnastics where you need to get your wheels off the ground more often, a straight handlebar will be more suited for the average rider. Certainly there are many riders that can wheelie up a curb or over a log or through a rock garden with dropped handlebars, but it's just a bit easier with traditional mountain bars.

    I tend to pick whatever bike I think can do the things I want it to do at the fastest speed possible. If I can go faster with the bike, then I can be pretty sure it's more efficiently handling what I'm asking it to do. I don't necessarily go as fast as I can all the time, but that's how I judge how appropriate a bike is for a given requirement.

  8. #8
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    Any hardtail will workout fine for the road. I've been on my Intense Hard Eddie for about a month because of a warranty issue with my road bike so that means putting in a lot more road miles then I ever expected to on my mountain bike. With the fork locked out and if it weren't for the fact that I do own a road bike, I could totally see using my mountain bike as a commuter. In my opinion a traditional mountain setup ( non drop bar ) isn't any more limiting on the road than the gearing and wider tires that usually go with a mountain setup. If I were only going to have my mountain bike the only thing I would add would be a second set of wheels with a set of hazard proof road tires more to save wear on my mountain tires than for efficiency.
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    This would be a reasonable option if you aren't going to be on very tech terrain. They do well on pretty much everything and you can put a 29x1.9 tire on it as well. Otherwise, I would stick with a dedicated MTB.

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    I'm gonna add another vote for hardtail mountain bike. When you say "road" I am assuming that it is more for commuting and recreation than for long rides with the spandex and carbon fiber crowd. In that case, just get some fast rolling mountain bike tires and you can do anything. The nice thing about the Surly Ogre is the ability to run a rear rack, which I find essential for running errands and carrying stuff. I have 6 bikes and my commuter is actually a Surly Troll with fat Maxxis Holy Roller tires and a rear rack. It's not the fastest bike in the bike lane, but so what?

  11. #11
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    Hardtail with an extra set of road wheels.

  12. #12
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    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin

    For the price, it really can't be beat. I don't work for Airborne.
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  13. #13
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    Where in Utah?

    Northern Utah: Get a good XC hardtail with XC Race tires that have sidewall protection. Good XC bike with XC tires only gives up 2 mph or so to a road bike. I've ridden the fast local group ride with a HT 29 with XC tires and been just fine.

    Southern Utah: I highly recommend full suspension in Southern Utah. Although I've had fun in St. George on a hardtail, Moab is more fun with squish. I'd go Spark 29er because of the solid lockout and just enough suspension to have fun on just about any trail. Bike also has great geometry. Again with good XC tires that have sidewall protection (Racing Ralph 2.25" with Snake Skin is my suggestion). I've ridden my Spark on the whole Enchilada and it was plenty of bike...although 6" travel would have been more fun.

  14. #14
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    I would say there are more variables in a single use bike than "a bike you can take on the road or out on the trails".

    For instance what types of trails do you plan on taking it out on?
    Utah will have trails of varying difficulty and if you plan on tearing them up, you will want a bike that is going to be durable enough to do so. Of course this bike will not be the best bike for road use even with road tires. However, a hard tail or full rigid mountain bike might be the key. 29" or 26" up to you but I would probably go 29".

    If you are going to do lighter trails and road riding, then a monster cross bike like suggested earlier might be the key. It isn't going to be the bike you want to bomb downhills on but it will handle both trail and road decently well.

    If you want a bike that is going to handle both gnarly downhill and ride the road well then I would pick one discipline and save up for the other.

    Another good question is what is is your budget.
    You may find it is possible to get a little bit cheaper components and get bike for road and one for mtn.

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    Re: Need a bike for xc and road, 29er in my future?

    I ride my old 26er FS with XC tires on the road all the time....and I'm talkin 20 to 60 miles on the pavement...he'll be fine with just about anything other than DH/freeride bike.

    A 29er would be ideal for trail/road though.

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  16. #16
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    OP,

    Do you currently live at altitude or somewhere similar to Utah? My suggestion to you is do not buy a bike and then move to Utah. Move to Utah and then buy a bike after demoing bikes to find what really suits you and your riding style on the terrain you will be riding. Much less chance of spending money on something that isn't quite right. Plus you will be able to start forming a relationship with a LBS...most generally sell used bikes too which will help to maximize your spending.

  17. #17
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    I was in the same situation as you, here was my solution. I bought a Jamis Dragon Sport 29er and upgraded components. Code brakes, xo triggers, xo rear DR, x9 front DR, fork remote lock out, Deore 22-36-48 crank, Thudbuster seat post. I have three sets of wheels and tires. 2.2 Geax Saguros for "the woods", 1.9 Geax Evolutions for every day " streets, construction roads, light trails & gravel roads",which is how I spend most of my time, and 32mm Vittoria Evo Cross XN for "road, some gravel and hardpack". My super bike with great components, built for my riding. No regrets, would do it again, exactly the same.

  18. #18
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    I am coming from a road bike background, but too many car vs. biker incidents for me. I have a couple of cross bikes but want a mountain bike for more off road, trail, single track and maybe even hard beach or west texas riding. I am in south texas. I really only want 1 decent 29er now. I am between a hard tail like the salsa el marachi and something like the new surly krampus or the ogre. Really want steel. I did consider the fargo but it may be too close to my cross bikes.

  19. #19
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    I'm not going to offer a specific solution, just the train of thought I would approach this with. If you want to do mountain biking, buy a bike that won't compromise your experience on the trail. You can take any MTB on the road. Sure it won't necessarily be ideal on the road, but it can handle it, but the opposite isn't true. You can't put a road-ish bike on trail duty, unless it's road riding on dirt. If you start to compromise you're just gonna have something that's not great at either discipline, so as another post before me said, buy an mtb, ride it on the road until you save for a proper road bike.

  20. #20
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    Does not compute - more input required. What are your requirements for the road?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  21. #21
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    Need a bike for xc and road, 29er in my future?

    Quote Originally Posted by GT5050 View Post
    I'm not going to offer a specific solution, just the train of thought I would approach this with. If you want to do mountain biking, buy a bike that won't compromise your experience on the trail. You can take any MTB on the road. Sure it won't necessarily be ideal on the road, but it can handle it, but the opposite isn't true. You can't put a road-ish bike on trail duty, unless it's road riding on dirt. If you start to compromise you're just gonna have something that's not great at either discipline, so as another post before me said, buy an mtb, ride it on the road until you save for a proper road bike.
    You sir have the logic of Spock. Good job.

  22. #22
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    Yes - hardtail with lockout fork AND tall gears (triple chainrings). I always use a triple because I don't have a road bike. A 44T is enough for road with 29er tires. If you go with something like 700x32's for road, you might be close to running out of gears.
    I don't switch tires.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony477g View Post
    I only have enough money to buy one bike. Ill be moving to utah in a couple of months and want to have a bike i can take on the road or out on the trails. My question though is it possible? Just change tires and im good to go? Or what else would i need?
    What is your budget? One thing you can do it to buy nice mtn bike and older used road bike. I bought a used road bike for $500 and ride that on the streets. It it alot better than riding the mtn bike on paved roads. You could probably get by spending as little as $350 on a road bike. At this point you are getting close to the cost of a second set of wheels and tires for a mtn bike.
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  24. #24
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    Take it out of context. If you had only enough money for one car or truck - and had to venture off-road for hobbies or work, what would you buy? My Land Cruiser is pretty good off-road. It won't hang with my CJ. And, it does great on the road, but isn't as nice to drive as my buddie's Audi A6. I'd compare the Land Cruiser to a hardtail XC bike. The CJ, that'd be a downhill bike. The Audi... a sweet road bike.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  25. #25
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    Does anyone else have the pet peeve of mine where on OP makes a request for help and then never returns?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdan View Post
    Does anyone else have the pet peeve of mine where on OP makes a request for help and then never returns?
    I was just thinking the exact same thing
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdinsj View Post
    I was just thinking the exact same thing
    I guess these are the best threads to hijack.
    So, what's better flat pedals or clipless for a commuter/trail bike.

  28. #28
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    sorry to hijack this thread but I couldn't create a new thread since I'm a new member but I'm in somewhat in the same situation as the OP.

    I'm planning on spending the time on the bike split between riding on the roads for commuting and doing non-technical off-road stuff. I like the idea of a monstercross bike because of its adaptability in changing wheels to suit the situation. Originally, I thought about buying a mountain bike and putting drops on it. After giving it some thought and looking at some photos of MTBs w/ drops, I didn't think it would work out based the amount of reach to the handlebars. The only things holding me back on the monstercross is the off-road ride (are they as twitchy as CX bikes) and the straddle height of the bike when doing off-road stuff (feel more comfortable with the low straddle height of MTBs).

    Can someone give me an idea of how monstercross bikes perform on off-road? Do they ride like CX bikes or do they give a more relaxed ride? Are there any MX bikes with lower straddle heights (I was looking at the Specialized Tricross) or do you think it's better to size down and just go with a longer seat post and/or stem?

    Thanks!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alien555 View Post
    sorry to hijack this thread but I couldn't create a new thread since I'm a new member but I'm in somewhat in the same situation as the OP.

    I'm planning on spending the time on the bike split between riding on the roads for commuting and doing non-technical off-road stuff. I like the idea of a monstercross bike because of its adaptability in changing wheels to suit the situation. Originally, I thought about buying a mountain bike and putting drops on it. After giving it some thought and looking at some photos of MTBs w/ drops, I didn't think it would work out based the amount of reach to the handlebars. The only things holding me back on the monstercross is the off-road ride (are they as twitchy as CX bikes) and the straddle height of the bike when doing off-road stuff (feel more comfortable with the low straddle height of MTBs).

    Can someone give me an idea of how monstercross bikes perform on off-road? Do they ride like CX bikes or do they give a more relaxed ride? Are there any MX bikes with lower straddle heights (I was looking at the Specialized Tricross) or do you think it's better to size down and just go with a longer seat post and/or stem?

    Thanks!
    Bigger tire volume means you can run lower pressure which means you'll have a more relaxed ride and better grip on dirt. I don't think it's ever better to size down and I think as long as a top tube isn't way up in your stomach, if everything else fits, then you should ride that bike. Set back seat posts and long ass stems combined with a short wheel base make for a twitchy and nasty ride.

  30. #30
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    I'd say go with this,
    Universal Cycles -- Salsa Spearfish 3 Complete Bike - 2012

    Get on Craigslist and find you a serviceable 10 year old aluminum roadie for $150, you get the best of both worlds for $1500.

  31. #31
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    I had a similar situation as you, I wanted one bike to hit trails with, and be able to ride on rough roads fast. The choice I made was to buy a used XC bike, and dump the rest of my monies into getting a higher geared drive-train, + a Crane Creek Thud Buster... I live next to a dormant volcano... the roads have large 3"+ cracks. The only problem I have had with my choice is the used bike frame cracked... but the components are solid and swap over easily. Instead of spinning out at 30mph I start to spin out at 35-37mph in my highest gear... not nearly the 45mph I could hit on a road bike, but a road bike has an extremely limited riding season here. I recently also got studded tires and am riding year round now... I could not do that on a road bike. One additional note, you will be having to deal with a lot of salt from what I remember of northern Utah... expect to have to do regular maintenance of your drive-train.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Hardtail with an extra set of road wheels.
    I have CX tires on my 2nd set of wheels, it makes for an awesome urban commuter!

  33. #33
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    Look for a drop bar specific 29er: Salsa Fargo, Singular Gryphon, Rawland Drakkar, etc. They can fit big enough tires to be a real mountain bike, and have more standover for off road use, but are designed to be more comfortable with drop bars. Put on some skinnier tires, and you won't give up much, if anything, to a 'cross bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alien555 View Post
    sorry to hijack this thread but I couldn't create a new thread since I'm a new member but I'm in somewhat in the same situation as the OP.

    I'm planning on spending the time on the bike split between riding on the roads for commuting and doing non-technical off-road stuff. I like the idea of a monstercross bike because of its adaptability in changing wheels to suit the situation. Originally, I thought about buying a mountain bike and putting drops on it. After giving it some thought and looking at some photos of MTBs w/ drops, I didn't think it would work out based the amount of reach to the handlebars. The only things holding me back on the monstercross is the off-road ride (are they as twitchy as CX bikes) and the straddle height of the bike when doing off-road stuff (feel more comfortable with the low straddle height of MTBs).

    Can someone give me an idea of how monstercross bikes perform on off-road? Do they ride like CX bikes or do they give a more relaxed ride? Are there any MX bikes with lower straddle heights (I was looking at the Specialized Tricross) or do you think it's better to size down and just go with a longer seat post and/or stem?

    Thanks!

  34. #34
    29ers Forever
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    How about the Cannondale Quick CX.

  35. #35
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    I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned a cyclocross bike...you'd be surprised the off-road places I can take mine in addition to pavement and fire-roads. Being that the OP is moving to Utah though, I'm not sure exactly how advanced the rider's trail intentions are.

  36. #36
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    What are the advantages of a monstercross over a 29er hardtail?

  37. #37
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    I like the versatility of being able to switch out the wheels between road and trails. Like the OP, I don't have the space for two bikes.

    seatboy - thanks for the suggestions. Are those bikes more comfortable with drops because of a shorter top tube? Most MTB with drops I've seen have midge bars or really high and angled stems.

    dirtdan - do you think wider tires (wider than CX tires) and the lower inflation will make more of a traditional MTB ride than a CX ride? I've never ridden CX so I'm just going off what others say about it. That even with CX tires, it takes a bit of finesse to ride them off road because of the responsiveness of the bike.

    Anyway, I was looking through the big monstercross thread and the Surly cross-check seems to be really popular with MX. Anyone know of anything similar to it in terms of versatility and price? I think it will take up to 45mm tires.

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