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  1. #1
    amd
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    Sell me on high end 29ers

    I was out riding today, having fun, and I got to thinking what could possibly be that much better about a high end mountain bike vs. the bike I was riding.

    Component durability/reliability, frame stiffness/weight, wheel weight...

    Anything else? I am getting into more racing and I see guys wo are good rocking HT S-Works bikes and I'm trying to see how I'm at a disadvantage. Care to enlighten me? For an XC race, how is an S-Works Stumpjumper going to out perform my:

    chinese carbon frame (awesome btw)
    xo group
    elixir 5 brakes
    2100g stans wheels
    24ish lbs

    Wrap my head around the truth or the hype....

  2. #2
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    First off, if you like your bike and you're happy with it, it shouldn't matter what else everybody else is riding. As far as racing goes, that's more rider than bike....Lance could be on a 40 lb bike and destroy me no matter how special the bike I was riding on was.

    That being said, I can tell you that EVERY person that had ridden my Tallboy has bought one or said that a Tallboy will be their next bike.

  3. #3
    official eMpTyBRain
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    Most of what your bike is made of is already high end.

    You could afford to lose a bunch of grams with a light weight racing wheel set and tires that you would only use for racing. That could help you sustain your maximum power output for a longer period of time during a race.

  4. #4
    AOK
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    Carbon frame (even no-name) and XO group seems kind of high end already.

    The main thing you gain with higher end parts (i.e. XX vs. XO) is less weight. Both on your bike and in your wallet.

  5. #5
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    Another vote for the Tallboy here...

  6. #6
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    The larger wheels for xc are still light and because 29 inch wheels are larger and a little heavier they stay in motion longer feeling very slightly faster. There is a bit more traction from a larger contact with the dirt and they do roll over rocks and bumps a bit better. Most XC guys have switched over as far as I see out here, the only debate anymore is the all mountain category which seems to be 26 still.Get one, you'll be happy. For what it's worth I was faster (even uphill) on an S works Epic than I was on an S works hardtail.

  7. #7
    conjoinicorned
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    I was out riding today, having fun,

    Wrap my head around the truth or the hype....
    /thread

    Riding, having fun...what else could one possibly ask for?
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  8. #8
    The Missing
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    Ask yourself what are your expectations in racing or pure recreation ? Then ask yourself is it the bike that is holding you back ? or yourself ?

  9. #9
    29er
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    sounds like you already have great equipment

  10. #10
    amd
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    This is true. It's amazing how far $1600 can go if you look for the right deals!

    My question I guess goes to, what changes would you expect from a nicer frame, 5lbs less weight and some better wheels?

  11. #11
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    Your wheels are tanks for a XC race bike. If you threw some light wheels on there for just a mile, you'd be sold. Look for something 1500g or less. The spin up is amazing.

    For perspective, a typical rice rocket is a fairly quick car and will definitely get your heart rate going on the road. However, a stock Ferrari will blow it away in every aspect and will feel better too.
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  12. #12
    I am the Tin Man!
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    24 lbs? I realize there are some rigs that go sub 20 but I look at my 30 lb bike as high end.
    Flying the HiFi...Clyde style.


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  13. #13
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    Lace up a light wheelset and add light race tires to your bike. Train and then train.

  14. #14
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    And lets not forget - especially in racing, its the "engine" powering the bike that will make the biggest difference!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    I was out riding today, having fun, and I got to thinking what could possibly be that much better about a high end mountain bike vs. the bike I was riding.

    Wrap my head around the truth or the hype....
    Truth is expensive bikes are better for parking lot posing. It isn't how you ride your bike, it is how it looks next to you while you sip your mocha frappa espresso latte.
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  16. #16
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    One more vote on a lighter wheelset, are you on Stans Flows? they are kinda heavy

    Pics won't hurt btw

  17. #17
    Dropshot Champ!
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    sounds like you're on the right track! I built up a chinese carbon 29er myself and heck, it has the same warranty as a santa cruz (2yrs). I built my chiner up with very high end stuff for cheap, and it is a fun bike. It's hard to believe people are spending not just a few hundred more, but 3-4 thousand dollars more!

    Definitely do wheels. Tire choice is also key, there is nearly a 2lb difference between a fun big tire combo (purgatory/captain) and 1.95/1.8 renegade or fast trak that won't corner well or handle chunk/rocks very well. If you're racing hardpack, slim some weight on tires.

  18. #18
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    Have to agree with SF on this and also ask which Stans wheelset do you have, 'cause 2100g sure does sound damn heavy for them? My Pro2/Flows weigh about 1800-1900 gs and I wouldn't consider using them if I was serious about racing, def would go for something in the 1500g range, especially at your weight. As others said, that's a pretty nice build you've got there, got the high stuff where you need it IMHO. As to SpecialED bikes, I think they're over priced and would never buy one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Your wheels are tanks for a XC race bike. If you threw some light wheels on there for just a mile, you'd be sold. Look for something 1500g or less. The spin up is amazing..
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    chinese carbon frame (awesome btw)
    xo group
    elixir 5 brakes
    2100g stans wheels
    24ish lbs

    Wrap my head around the truth or the hype....
    Last edited by LyNx; 10-19-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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  19. #19
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    nevermind, there should be a delete comment button

  20. #20
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    What exactly is there to sell? The fact is you get marginally better performance for huge cost increases.

    We can't quantify that ratio. Considering where you are at now, you would likely be looking at single digit percentage increases in performance at a very high cost. Do you have lots of money to spend? Yes, then the answer is yes. No, then the answer is no.

  21. #21
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    I just got a smoking deal on a 2012 Rocky Mountain Element 950. These bikes handle better than any other 29er I've ridden and I could not find a better deal anywhere local or on the web. I live in DFW not sure where you are, but I highly recommend the RM 950 which I picked up for $2,300 and for ~3k, the Tallboy cannot be beat.

  22. #22
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    Can't believe no one has mentioned what shite the elixer 5's are. I am a Shimano man at heart, but I have the X0 brakes on my jumper and I love them. The lower end elixers though... pure shite. Buy some good brakes, it'll make you faster.

  23. #23
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    i thought brakes only made you slow down





    seriously though get some slx or better shimanos w/ the ice tech rotors they are very nice

  24. #24
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    The only way I can think of that a big name brand bike could help is that the geometry could be more suited to your body proportions and allow you to handle the bike more confidently. Until you throw a leg over a few it will be hard to tell.
    Lighter parts will make you go quicker, but their influence is small other than the wheels.

    If you go for better brakes then Formula R1's are the only light ones that work like heavier ones.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrbike View Post
    Can't believe no one has mentioned what shite the elixer 5's are. I am a Shimano man at heart, but I have the X0 brakes on my jumper and I love them. The lower end elixers though... pure shite. Buy some good brakes, it'll make you faster.
    I will second this. Elixir 5's came stock on my 11' model bike and the rear caused me weeks of hassle with trying to remove rear disc rub through various methods. Ultimately the piston was leaky, would not retract, and I replaced it with XT which has been great.

    11' Elixir CR SL come on my second and they are also troublesome and do not have enough stopping power to scrub off speed safely while going fast on the downhills. At least they have not caused me to spend the ~$150 x2 to replace them like the "5".

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