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  1. #1
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    Is there such a thing as a "do-it-all (most)" bike?

    Hey All,

    I've been going around for the better part of a year trying to decide on a road bike or simply upgrading/changing up my mtb for a more "do-it-all" bike.
    I've test ridden several road bikes to include carbon, alum & Ti, where the last was my favorite.
    My problem is I'm a large Clyde at 6'6" 285 lbs and would have to invest a lot of money into a road bike in order to "Clyde proof" it. I've learned the hard way having to replace a few components and wheels on my current mtb, '08 Spesh FSR FS (w/brain).
    The main reason I was looking at a road bike was for exercise and the simplicity of stepping outside and going for ride. So for the time being I've decided to just stick to one bike.
    So my question to you guys, is there a bike that can do it all. I'm not necessary looking for a certain brand I guess, more so for a type of ride. Iím mainly looking for a bike that can do single track XC (roots/rocks) on the East Coast (DC area) but am also able to take on a paved path and knock off some miles for exercise while the trails are too muddy to ride or I just donít have time to get to the trails.
    The stipulations to the bike, it has to be a 29er and FS. Should I be looking at 100mm suspension or 120mm? I've thought about going carbon or Ti for longevity but am a bit hesitant because of my weight.
    So, what do you guys think? Is there such a bike out there?

  2. #2
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    Depending on how much time you will be spending on paved paths to knock out miles I would suggest a geared hardtail 29er.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
    Hey All,

    I've been going around for the better part of a year trying to decide on a road bike or simply upgrading/changing up my mtb for a more "do-it-all" bike.
    I've test ridden several road bikes to include carbon, alum & Ti, where the last was my favorite.
    My problem is I'm a large Clyde at 6'6" 285 lbs and would have to invest a lot of money into a road bike in order to "Clyde proof" it. I've learned the hard way having to replace a few components and wheels on my current mtb, '08 Spesh FSR FS (w/brain).
    The main reason I was looking at a road bike was for exercise and the simplicity of stepping outside and going for ride. So for the time being I've decided to just stick to one bike.
    So my question to you guys, is there a bike that can do it all. I'm not necessary looking for a certain brand I guess, more so for a type of ride. Iím mainly looking for a bike that can do single track XC (roots/rocks) on the East Coast (DC area) but am also able to take on a paved path and knock off some miles for exercise while the trails are too muddy to ride or I just donít have time to get to the trails.
    The stipulations to the bike, it has to be a 29er and FS. Should I be looking at 100mm suspension or 120mm? I've thought about going carbon or Ti for longevity but am a bit hesitant because of my weight.
    So, what do you guys think? Is there such a bike out there?
    Well, something that is good at everything is typically not great at anything...ie - spork...but something like a Salsa Fargo with a sus fork comes pretty close. However, you want a fully, so...

    This year will see the rise of the 'do-all' 29er IMO. The newer offerings like the Specialized Camber Expert Carbon I just rode, the Yeti SB95, or even the new Ibis Ripley will be pretty darn good at everything and still be pretty light. For bike path stuff, just swap tires or get a cheap extra set of wheels with fast commuter tires on em. Or just ride it like you got it set up for normal. It won't be fast, but so what?

    I would not worry about carbon for a big guy. A good carbon frame is likely better for a big guy if it is built well. Wheels are the bigger deal for a heavy rider IMO.
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  4. #4
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    What's wrong with your Specialized? A road bike is a lot more fun on the road than a full suspension mountain bike, so why not keep the Specialized and add a road bike? Any bike that you use for both purposes will be a compromise. A newer, nicer, 29er FS bike may be a little bit better offroad but it will still suck on pavement.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    What's wrong with your Specialized? A road bike is a lot more fun on the road than a full suspension mountain bike, so why not keep the Specialized and add a road bike? Any bike that you use for both purposes will be a compromise. A newer, nicer, 29er FS bike may be a little bit better offroad but it will still suck on pavement.
    I agree with this. Why not just add a road bike? MTB on-road sucks. Especially a fully.

    You can also look into a cyclocross bike, which can be built up a little beefier.

  6. #6
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    I have a geared hard tail 29er that I use as my back up mtb and run slicks on to use as my commuter/road bike. Way more durable than a road bike and it does it "all" for me.

  7. #7
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    I was about to suggest a rigid, geared steel or Ti hardtail, until I saw you also wanted full sus. I can't really seeing that being lots of fun. Something with a good lockout, I'd guess.

    How about a HT with a thudbuster, then swap the thudbuster/seat combo with a rigid post/seat when you hit the road? That's a quick swap that gives you a different feel for each type of riding. You'll also want either another seat of tires (and maybe wheels), or some kind of compromise tire, like a Nano or a Vulpine that rolls pretty well on and off road.

    I can't see any sense in a Ti full sus bike, it seems like the suspension would mute the Ti's ride characteristics. And it would be super pricey.

  8. #8
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    At the moment, a niner RIP or WFO with a TALAS fork would do just about anything.

    If you can wait a year, surely Santa Cruz will release a Tallboy LT in Carbon. Put a 120-140mm fork on that sucker and you'll have your "do anything" bike.

    Failing that, Pivot may release a 529. THAT would be something beautiful......

  9. #9
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    Ummm.......Monster Crosser,anybody?

    (drop bar 29er ht or CX with fat rubber)
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  10. #10
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    USED road or cross bike as a second bike.

  11. #11
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    The do-all bike is the one you already have.

    I ride a rigid 29er and I think that it's a do-all bike.
    If I end up on the road, so what? My tires don't wear out that fast.
    If I end up on a huge gnarly descent and I have to go a little slower, so what? I'll still get down just fine.
    If someone talks me into racing, my placement will def. not be because of my bike. I will still make a good race out of it.
    And while a full susser does look a little out of place on the road, there's nothing wrong with piling on some pavement, path, or gravel miles on it. I guess some susp. lockouts would serve the purpose, but I still don't see that as a requirement.
    Plus, if you're riding down the road and you suddenly get the urge to launch some stairs, or impulsively hit some singletrack, you're already ready already.

    They call them "mountain bikes" (MTBs), but not too long ago they called them All-Terrain Bikes (ATBs). They're still the same thing. Just that ATB does not sound as cool.

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  12. #12
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    As a heavier rider you might like something like a Salsa vaya or one of the new Specialized Tricross bikes that comes equipped with discs as your "road bike" that does everything aside from the trail riding that you would keep a MTB for.

  13. #13
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    Whether a mountain bike 'sucks' on the road is irrelevant, if the OP's goal is fitness. Indeed, you would get a better work out riding something that is not as efficient on the road as a road bike. It will still be fun to ride on the road.

    My suggestion is to look into the Specialized Epic with brain. Depending on the ride you're doing you can adjust the brain incredibly stiff and it will act very close to a hard tail. Get on some single track and adjust it again for more compliance in the bumps. I think the comp is around $2500 but I haven't checked. The Salsa spearfish might be another good option, or I keep seeing ads for the Niner Jet9 for $2800. I think any of the more race oriented full suspension 29er's would serve the duel purpose well in one bike.

  14. #14
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    As others have said...

    You will not like FS on the road.

    A hardtail 29er with a suspension seatpost is a decent option.

    A cyclocross bike is a better option. Note that with a drop handlebar (or similar, maybe a mountain drop bar) will be more comfortable for long road rides.

    Maybe a Salsa Fargo or Vaya (or Vaya Ti). Or Specialized TriCross.

    Something not already brought up: a softail, like a Curtlo Epic Mountaineer (Curtlo Cycles - Epic Mountaineer). The little bit of cush will take the edge off, but not quite so squishy as a full suspension. My buddy's got one and love's it.

    Also note that a custom framebuilder like Curtlo will take your size and weight into account in the build.

  15. #15
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    Pivot Mach 429 is the bike you are looking for.

    Niner RIP would probably be my next recommendation for what you're describing.

  16. #16
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    I was waiting for a new road bike this spring and put some slicks on my HT Ti 29er and I found myself passing a lot of slow roadies climbing

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    USED road or cross bike as a second bike.
    We have a winner. This is the best piece of advice I have seen.

    Leave your nice mtn bike as it is. Theres no since in throwing good money after bad money. Purchasing another set of wheels/tires etc.... trying to convert your mtn bike to a dual ride mtn/road bike is a waste. Everyone I have seen try this comes up disappointed. PITA to swap out wheels. Always disappointed they cant hang with the roadies on thier 14lb bikes. While you pedal a pig with suspension. Robbing you of energy.

    Purchase a cheap used road or cyclecross bike and give it a try. If you like it. You can go from thier. If you don't, youve saved a bunch of money and don't have an expensive ti or carbon bike collecting dust in the garage.

    BTW.......you don't have to have a TI or carbon bike to burn caliries. Take a quick spin around the block. Cruise down to the local convient store. Ease into it speed racer.

  18. #18
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    I'd invest in a dedicated road bike - aluminum and used, ideally. Buy a stout wheelset if necessary. Upgrade later if you get really into it. I wouldn't even consider a mtn bike for road duty, especially FS. And I'm not a big bike nerd (2 bikes)..
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker View Post
    Ummm.......Monster Crosser,anybody?

    (drop bar 29er ht or CX with fat rubber)
    Great idea, add a second set of wheels for road riding.
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  20. #20
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    Test ride whatever bikes you can get your hands on, make sure you find a good and reputable shop who'll help out if something goes wrong, buy the one you like the best and also buy a 2nd wheelset and put some nice 38mm semi slicks on it. When you hit the trails, enjoy, if you have to hit the road/path, then just throw on the 2nd set of wheels and have a pretty decent time. It's all for exercise right, so what's some added weight and resistance, it'll just give you more of a workout.All that being said, I think if you scoured around for a used cross/road bike you'd be better off.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
    Hey All,

    I've been going around for the better part of a year trying to decide on a road bike or simply upgrading/changing up my mtb for a more "do-it-all" bike.
    I've test ridden several road bikes to include carbon, alum & Ti, where the last was my favorite.
    My problem is I'm a large Clyde at 6'6" 285 lbs and would have to invest a lot of money into a road bike in order to "Clyde proof" it. I've learned the hard way having to replace a few components and wheels on my current mtb, '08 Spesh FSR FS (w/brain).
    The main reason I was looking at a road bike was for exercise and the simplicity of stepping outside and going for ride. So for the time being I've decided to just stick to one bike.
    So my question to you guys, is there a bike that can do it all. I'm not necessary looking for a certain brand I guess, more so for a type of ride. Iím mainly looking for a bike that can do single track XC (roots/rocks) on the East Coast (DC area) but am also able to take on a paved path and knock off some miles for exercise while the trails are too muddy to ride or I just donít have time to get to the trails.
    The stipulations to the bike, it has to be a 29er and FS. Should I be looking at 100mm suspension or 120mm? I've thought about going carbon or Ti for longevity but am a bit hesitant because of my weight.
    So, what do you guys think? Is there such a bike out there?
    I'll take the other side of the argument with regard to a full suspension "sucking" on the road. I have a JET 9 and a RIP 9 - both of which see a lot of training time on the pavement (and yes, I own a road bike as well). I have an 8 mile ride to the singletrack, so the mountain bike gets a 16 mile round trip to and from the singletrack on pavement. Ikons, Ralphs, Aspens, Nanoraptors, Ardents, Ravens, etc... - have all seen hundreds of miles to and from the singletrack on the pavement on the FS 29"ers. And I ride a 26 mile pavement ride using the FS as well. So yes, a do-it-all one bike works just fine. I'd probably choose the RIP (120mm front/rear travel) as mine if I had to as the JET is more of a race day bike for me the way I have it set up.

    If I was going for a 40-80 mile road ride, sure - I'd reach for my road bike. But that's rare for me to find enough time to do that with my schedule. So the comfort of the FS and the ride it provides is fine on gravel, dirt, pavement, grass - you name it. Not a bad "do it all" bike at all. No need to run huge tread for off road, so a nice set of lower rolling resistance XC tires would suit you for the dirt, and the pavement days. Not really much that "sucks" about it if you are simply out riding on your own. Probably not what you would want for a group road ride, but that wasn't mentioned in your post - so I assume that is not a need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tws_andrew View Post
    I was waiting for a new road bike this spring and put some slicks on my HT Ti 29er and I found myself passing a lot of slow roadies climbing
    This pops up in every thread like this, and is totally irrelevant. The real point is that YOU will have a much duller and slower road ride on an mtb than YOU would on a road bike.

    Plus, if the road bug hits even just a little bit, you'll want to ride occasionally with others on the road (group rides are a blast), and the mtb idea just kind of falls apart there for so many reasons.

    The used road bike or cross bike is a great idea. Caution -- bikes that were actually used for cross racing can be beat to snot from excessive mud use, no matter how nicely they have been shined up!
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  23. #23
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    Wow guys, this is all great feedback. I seriously appreciate all the good advice. Reading through all the posts again pretty much reflects what I've been tossing around as well.
    Part of me would love to pick up a road bike for the simple purpose that it's made for the road but like one of you said, I'm not necessarily looking for group rides (for now) more so for getting a good workout in and strengthening my legs for XC rides which I can easily do on a mtb. Picking up a used road bike to see if it's something I would like to get into is a very good point. No sense jumping right into a high end bike just to find out it's not my bag. Problem is finding a used 63cm bikes are few and far between.

    I've noticed a few of you are mentioning more of a CX/all mountain bike like the RIP, etc with a 120-140 fork for a do-it-all would be the way to go. I was thinking a race oriented bike like the Niner RDO or an Epic style bike that's geared more towards races would be better suited for longer road rides for exercise? I guess I was thinking that a bike like that would put your body in a more race position and that might be better suited for rides on the road rather than a more stout bike with a bit more upright riding position? @ Bruce, since you mentioned you have both the RIP and a Jet, which one would you prefere on the road?

    This is all great feedback and is definitely helping me narrow down on making a decision on what choice I'm going to make.

  24. #24
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    I think what Bruce was saying is if he had to pick only one of his 2 it would be the RIP as it's a more versatile bike.

    Little info that may not be relevant to you, but in '07 when I was training for Leadville early in the year I was going between my old Trance MTB FS and a old rigid for the road with semi slicks. I then got my RIP about 1 month before I was to leave with Nano Raptors and rode that exclusively off-road and on roads rides in excess of 60 miles and the only thing I did was pump the Nanos up to 65 PSI and flip the lock-outs on. Riding it exclusively for that one month got me accustomed to the new bike and riding a 32lbs FS with Nanos on the road got me even fitter faster than if I'd been doing my road rides on a road bike.

    Running Nanos worked fine for me back then as I didn't quite ride as aggressive as I do now, if I was to do it now, for sure I'd have a 2nd wheelset with different tyres for road/commute duty as those rides are hell fast these days.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
    Wow guys, this is all great feedback. I seriously appreciate all the good advice. Reading through all the posts again pretty much reflects what I've been tossing around as well.
    .................................................. ..................or rides on the road rather than a more stout bike with a bit more upright riding position? @ Bruce, since you mentioned you have both the RIP and a Jet, which one would you prefere on the road?

    This is all great feedback and is definitely helping me narrow down on making a decision on what choice I'm going to make.
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  25. #25
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    Sure, that makes a lot of sense. Another good point I'll have to take into consideration.

  26. #26
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    Swiss Army Knives...

    Have you considered a Salsa Fargo or Surly Ogre as a 2nd bike? I have a Fargo set up with fenders, rack and alternative bars. (Titec H-bar) I use it for commuting (with Vulpines), winter training rides (with Jones Mud X) and may do some mixed road/trail touring someday. I cannot keep up with the fast roadies, but the Fargo is no slouch on the pavement.

    The cool thing about these bikes is they are tough and offer sizes for a clyde. You can mount up to a 29x2.2 on the Fargo and the Ogre will take the biggest 29" tires offered. The Ogre will be available soon and looks like a super versatile machine. The main difference between the Ogre and Fargo boils down to what type of handlebar would you prefer. The Fargo works with alternative bars but is really set up for drops. The Ogre is designed for MTB bars and would probably work well with alt. bars.

    I have ridden a Spearfish and I would not recommend it or any of the other XC race ready 29" full suspension bikes for a guy your size. They all feel like noodles to me at 200 lbs. (Note: I ride a Knolly Delirium, so my gauge of what is a laterally stiff frame may be different than other riders.) Would I replace my FS bike with the Ogre or Fargo? Hell NO, but these types of bikes are great for everything else.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is there such a thing as a "do-it-all (most)" bike?-002.jpg  

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    The do-all bike is the one you already have.
    I agree.....

    Although, if you wanted to spend a LITTLE money you could add a cheap rim set up with road tires and be done. I have some a set of A317's set up with road tires, rotors and cassette so I can just pop my WTB's off and throw those on if I want to hit the street.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
    @ Bruce, since you mentioned you have both the RIP and a Jet, which one would you prefere on the road?

    This is all great feedback and is definitely helping me narrow down on making a decision on what choice I'm going to make.
    I think for a guy your size, the Jet is not the bike for you. Disclaimer: I haven't ridden one, so this opinion is based just on what I've read and the research I did when deciding on which 29er FS would be right for me. That's also why I suggested the 429; for someone your size, I think it'd be the stiffest, most capable bike for you. Try finding a shop to test ride one if you can.

  29. #29
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    Anything will work, a road bike, extra wheel set with slicks. I'd investigate the Salsa Fargo. I have a Rock Lobster that was conceived and built before the Fargo was in production. I have ridden many miles of pavement, gravel roads, fire roads, double track, and single track. It is slower than a FS or HT MTB in the rough stuff, but far more efficient and enjoyable for the road miles.

















    If this is not a do-it-all bike, I don't know what is!

    I do ride a FS and / or HT as well for regular mountain biking.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Anything will work, a road bike, extra wheel set with slicks. I'd investigate the Salsa Fargo. I have a Rock Lobster that was conceived and built before the Fargo was in production. I have ridden many miles of pavement, gravel roads, fire roads, double track, and single track. It is slower than a FS or HT MTB in the rough stuff, but far more efficient and enjoyable for the road miles.

    Really nice bike. How old is it?
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  31. #31
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    Right tool for the job

    Quote Originally Posted by monstertuba View Post
    Whether a mountain bike 'sucks' on the road is irrelevant, if the OP's goal is fitness. Indeed, you would get a better work out riding something that is not as efficient on the road as a road bike. It will still be fun to ride on the road.
    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    It's all for exercise right, so what's some added weight and resistance, it'll just give you more of a workout.
    OP: Yes, if you're remarkably disciplined, a mtn bike on roads will suffice for exercise. But then why not just get the cheapest stationary bike you can find? Every time I get on my road bike, it's brisk acceleration and razor-sharp handling are a real pleasure (especially after riding a mtn bike on trails - they complement each other). That pleasure inspires me to ride roads longer and more often. The appropriate geometry and multiple hand positions are also appreciated. No one's desire to train/exercise is so great that it nullifies the visceral pleasure of the exercise itself and the impact that pleasure has on your desire to ride. One of the great things about mtn biking is that the sheer fun of it makes you exercise more often than you would if sentenced to exercise on a stationary bike. Road riding isn't that different. Bottom line: if you ride roads, you'll be more motivated and ride more miles if you're on a road bike. And a road bike will allow you to ride with other road riders which (again) translates into more exercise.

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    All that being said, I think if you scoured around for a used cross/road bike you'd be better off.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunyan View Post
    Part of me would love to pick up a road bike for the simple purpose that it's made for the road but like one of you said, I'm not necessarily looking for group rides (for now) more so for getting a good workout in and strengthening my legs for XC rides which I can easily do on a mtb.

    I was thinking a race oriented bike like the Niner RDO or an Epic style bike that's geared more towards races would be better suited for longer road rides for exercise? I guess I was thinking that a bike like that would put your body in a more race position and that might be better suited for rides on the road rather than a more stout bike with a bit more upright riding position? @ Bruce, since you mentioned you have both the RIP and a Jet, which one would you prefere on the road?
    Both those FS bikes I have are set up with the same fit (XC race position). Going for a "do-it-all (most)" bike which would include the pavement, my RIP remains the choice over the JET as a do-it-all bike. I wouldn't choose either based on the criteria of riding on the road alone, but being that my JET is set up a few pounds lighter and has a very lightweight wheelset - sure, it rockets along the pavement a tad quicker.

    As I mentioned in my case, the to and from the trails mileage is part of my normal riding routine (minimum of 16 miles round trip on pavement for singletrack) as I hate to load up my bike and haul it to the trails (seems totally incongruent to me that I would involve a car to exercise). And even though I have a road bike, I'll reach for the mountain bike for a pavement/training ride as I prefer to train and ride on the same bike(s) I will race off road. Using the ProPedal and locking out the fork helps me during intervals and I seem to suffer no ill effects riding a full suspension on pavement. Pretty comfortable to boot.

    What's wrong with your Specialized FSR?

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Really nice bike. How old is it?
    It was built in 2006 by another MTBR member, ordered at the NAHBS and he built it in July 2006. Life changed for both and we did a bike swap, I got the Lobster in September 2009, so I have had it for a little more than two years. I ride to work, run errands, haul groceries and tools for trail work with the BoB, and just explore, riding around the back roads, knowing that dirt roads and trails are rideable if I find something interesting.

    Here is the thread after my first trail ride, though I had many dirt and paved road miles already. of lizards and Lobsters
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  34. #34
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    Answer to OPs question is no. There's no one bike that can give you a great single track and road riding experience. 2 different animals. You can do a few road miles on a mountain bike but its not a lot of fun and you won't want to start racking up real milage on one.

    Get 2 bikes...

  35. #35
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    Second that....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan G. View Post
    Depending on how much time you will be spending on paved paths to knock out miles I would suggest a geared hardtail 29er.
    Skinny hybrid bike tires work great on 29ers. I commuted on my geared 29er hardtail for a while with 35c comfort bike skinny tires. It still felt a bit like I was driving a Hummer to the mall, but it worked well enough. I also felt it was too nice a bike to leave locked up unattended for any length of time.

    Bonus points for being able to hang pannier bags on it.

    Swap out the tires and go hit the trails.

  36. #36
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    yes...exactly correct

    Yes to this...

    Quote Originally Posted by fleas View Post
    the do-all bike is the one you already have.

    I ride a rigid 29er and i think that it's a do-all bike.
    If i end up on the road, so what? My tires don't wear out that fast.
    If i end up on a huge gnarly descent and i have to go a little slower, so what? I'll still get down just fine.
    If someone talks me into racing, My placement will def. Not be because of my bike. I will still make a good race out of it.
    And while a full susser does look a little out of place on the road, there's nothing wrong with piling on some pavement, path, or gravel miles on it. I guess some susp. Lockouts would serve the purpose, but i still don't see that as a requirement.
    Plus, if you're riding down the road and you suddenly get the urge to launch some stairs, or impulsively hit some singletrack, you're already ready already.

    They call them "mountain bikes" (mtbs), but not too long ago they called them all-terrain bikes (atbs). They're still the same thing. Just that atb does not sound as cool.

    -f

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    I agree with this. Why not just add a road bike? MTB on-road sucks. Especially a fully.

    You can also look into a cyclocross bike, which can be built up a little beefier.
    my thoughts exactly ...

    my camber pro 29 is fun on the trails but it sucks a bit road riding for any length of time ... not only the lumpy tyres but the suspension either sucks your power or it clangs when you lock it out ...

    i have my salsa el mariachi set up for commuting [ rigid,1x9, big apple tyres] ...

    riding buddy is buying a road bike and although i sold my road bikes many years ago, a cyclo-cross bike is gaining my interest as is a drop-bar 29er ...

    i'm only 6'4" and 230lbs
    "old enough to know better. too old to care."

  38. #38
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    I know what you mean, I've been on a bit of a part-time 'perfect ATB' quest for a while. If your trails are often fairly dry and not too technical, a rigid 29er with H-bars and smooth-ish tyres makes a great all-rounder. I ride a road bike a fair bit as well as off-road and I'm really enjoying longer mix-terrain rides on a rigid (ss) 29er. If I had gears on it, I'be be quite happy doing 30-40 miles of tarmac with a few dirt tracks along the way.

    I think tyre choice is critical, knobbys feel bad on tarmac but something like a Conti race King feels fine. Bar shape is also important, H-bars have a great road-off road mix of hand positions and replicate the road 'on the hoods' position quite well.

    Maybe your FS bike is ok as it is, you just need a clyde-proof 29er / CX style ATB for those longer, less technical 'get out and ride' days? Nothing better than a long day of 'wherever my wheels take me' riding imo. I used to use a CX bike for that, but I find a rigid 29ers a bit more fun off-road and no less fun on tarmac.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Skinny hybrid bike tires work great on 29ers. I commuted on my geared 29er hardtail for a while with 35c comfort bike skinny tires. It still felt a bit like I was driving a Hummer to the mall, but it worked well enough. I also felt it was too nice a bike to leave locked up unattended for any length of time.

    Bonus points for being able to hang pannier bags on it.

    Swap out the tires and go hit the trails.
    Not really, from my perspective...

    You still need to deal with the little gear ratios/chainring on MTBs. Sure, you could run some road wheels/tires on an MTB! But you'd be riding SLOW!

    You can ride a car on along many miles of railroad tracks, but not the best experience.

  40. #40
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    So many good suggestions from the experts so far. I have to say personally I'm thinking about thinning the herd. I've come to the conclusion that "jack of all trades" = "not great at anything." I really is a good to have a dedicated MTB, even if it's a hard tail and a road or cyclocross bike. Good luck on the search.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6guitars View Post
    Not really, from my perspective...

    You still need to deal with the little gear ratios/chainring on MTBs. Sure, you could run some road wheels/tires on an MTB! But you'd be riding SLOW!

    You can ride a car on along many miles of railroad tracks, but not the best experience.
    The OP did not mention "speed" as part of the criteria in having one bike to ride off road, and to ride the same one bike on pavement when the trails are wet/muddy. The amount of watts one can put out and sustain remains the same - no matter what the bike. Without knowing his exact gearing, but assuming it is either a 42 or 44T big ring and an 11T in the rear, how often do you think a 6'6" 285 pound Clyde would be spinning out on the paved bike path he mentioned he would be riding when the trails are muddy on his mountain bike? Maybe in a short duration, down hill interval he could hold that gear for a bit with XC tires on the bike. But my guess/assumption is that gearing would not be much of an issue at all while riding on the bike path for the OP. It certainly isn't for me (100 pounds less than the OP and riding with my largest gear being a 40T/11T combo).

    Nothing against road bikes (I own one and enjoy it), but the OP is interested in being able to ride one bike on the paved bike path when it is muddy for exercise and also use the same one bike off road on the trails when they are in riding condition.

    I contend it is doable, enjoyable and he will be able to accomplish said goal - even without having to change tires to do so. He didn't mention he was cramped for time or that his paved bike path riding experience was under some sort of a clock or need for speed. He did, however, mention that he would enjoy continuing to exercise on his one bike even if the trails were muddy. I think we should all encourage him to pursue continued exercise. I'm taking the side of the argument that he would easily be able to ride off road and on the paved bike path with the same bike and accomplish the goal of getting in his exercise. That you can do with a mountain bike. You can't do that with a road bike.

    If, however, the OP really wants to add an additional bike (and not do the one bike solution) - then perhaps a road bike might indeed be the way for him to go to ride on the paved bike path.

    BB

  42. #42
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    I ride my Alma 29er HT on everything and love it. It sees plenty of commuter duty The Hutchinson Python tires work great for pavement & dirt.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is there such a thing as a "do-it-all (most)" bike?-img_2634.jpg  

    Last edited by chase1963; 10-16-2011 at 02:54 PM.

  43. #43
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    This is my first year back to riding and used my HT for a do everything bike, 70/30 bikepath/singletrack. I am also thinking of getting a road or cross bike however everytime I hit a pothole or a walnut on the bikepath, I am so glad I am on a 29er. There is also alot nice singletrack type trails off the bikepath. It is a shame there are signs along the path saying we are not allow to ride them.

    Usually cruise anywhere from 17-22 on the bike path (passing on the left!). I have no idea what an avg road bike cruising speed is.

    " width="549">

  44. #44
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    I'm a firm believer in a HT or rigid mountain bike. My Surly Karate Monkey does everything. It's set up more like a trail bike, but in the real world where many of us do not live within riding distance of singletrack, it sees plenty of pavement, gravel and forest road use. I plan on doing some bike camping with it very soon as well. The first trip I have planned will be at least 90% pavement. I think the term ATB makes a lot more sense than MTB. I would say get something of this sort. Mine is rigid, but build up a 29er HT with the right tires and you're good.

    Road/CX bikes are very fun on the road, but I like to explore. I just recently found some very short trails that are right along my road route. Wouldn't want to hit those on a road bike.

  45. #45
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    In it's current setup I take this guy anywhere. I do not have a car anymore, mostly because I did not want to pay for it, insure it and fuel it, so I actually ride my bike everywhere. I ride to work with slicks, use the Karmas as a do it all tire for when I want to ride singletrack. The closest trail to my house is about 6 miles away, but I gladly ride there, it's a great warm-up and I really just enjoy being on my bike all that time. I get a little flack from the riders in this area, especially when I show up to the group ride ON my bike, but I make time for me to get there and log some miles. I'll be needing a car when I pick up a new job, or my SO makes me get one...again, but for now I enjoy what I do.

    I guess your do-it-all-bike is whatever bike you ride to do-it-all regardless of what IT may be.

    Planning on replacing it with a KM, because this frame does not have anything for installing accessories, or at least picking up one of those Revelate Designs seat bags. I'm getting a little beat carrying my stuff for work on my back.

    Note: I am still dialing in the fit, until then it's "Holy steerer tube Batman".
    Last edited by rufio; 10-20-2011 at 09:51 PM.

  46. #46
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    I bought a used Fuji Nevada 1.0 29er hard tail as my back up and ride to school bike because my FSR was sticking out like a sore thumb on the bike racks at school. Turns out I haven't touched my FSR once since I got my 29er. The 29er rolls through obstacles with no issues that would slow down even the best of 26er bikes. What's really amazing is how effortlessly they can ride through soft sand. Dirt, path, pavement It doesn't matter, its a swiss army knife of a bike and it is seriously fast even though It weighs 5 pounds more than my FSR. I find my self easily averaging 20mph on the street. I chose another mtb as my commuting bike because I like to jump over curbs and do some urban riding since I used to ride bmx. My FSR is now for sale, I'm hooked on the 29er!

  47. #47
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    One bike? A hardtrail 29er with a suspension fork w/lockout. Frame material and geometry should parallel budget and terrain, respectively. A Rocky Mountain Vector carbon looks sweet to me! Oh, and three wheel sets: street, race, and trail.

    Just don't leave it locked up on the street!
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
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  48. #48
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    One bike or five bikes isn't going to matter if you dont have a cyclecomputer with a cadence counter on it. Back when I got back into riding I was on a 35 lb Giant DS1 I did 300 miles a week and then the guy at the shop got me into road riding it opend up a new world of riding,people that road started asking me to come on road rides and I found that they also did mtb racing and I was off to the races with them. I have had lots of bikes but now I have one road bike and one mtb.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    One bike? A hardtrail 29er with a suspension fork w/lockout. Frame material and geometry should parallel budget and terrain, respectively. A Rocky Mountain Vector carbon looks sweet to me! Oh, and three wheel sets: street, race, and trail.

    Just don't leave it locked up on the street!
    Bunyan (and others) may want to read the Blog post that Guitar Ted and Grannygear put up today and yesterday dubbing the "do-it-all (most)" 29"er with a catchy nomer of "Everybike 29er".

    Here's Grannygear's blog.

    Here's GuitarTed's blog.

    I tried not to get sidetracked in this thread with the mention of "pavement" because the OP said he would ride on a paved bike path if and when the trails were muddy and wondered if there was a 29"er that would serve him well.

    I'm glad to read there are some others posting on blogs about the "do-all" 29"er field. I like Grannygear's thinking that the sweet spot is 120mm front and rear travel.

    I was running down a rocky, rutted trail in Southern France after just enduring a short but intense ascent up a dirt road overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We had gotten to that point by way of a few miles of back alley riding around town. I enjoyed the tight and responsive ride of a sample bike I rode to the trail head with nary a pedal bob or sluggish feel. Then I had saddled up on a carbon FS and ridden the dirt section of the ride enjoying a bike that pedaled really well and was quite light despite the XL frame and less-than-Gucci parts spec. This one climbed very well and I remember thinking that I could race this bike just as it was.

    Now I was on this roller coaster of a downhill ride on a longer travel feeling FS 29er with moderate trailbike angles and thinking that it was almost as good as the Specialized FSR I have on long term test, but it was more agile. This would make a great medium to light/heavy trailbike and would do likely 90% of what the FSR does.

    The thing was, it was all on the same bike. The townie ride, the fast climb, the tricky downhill...no bike changes.


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