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Thread: am vs xc

  1. #1
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    am vs xc

    Hi,
    so im looking to get a new mtb, either xc or am (full squish) on a 5 hour ride id probly be riding 3.5 hours uphill
    about 20km then about 25km downhill, should I be getting a 120mm front rear xc bike or a 140mm am bike
    itll be about 2500 dollars and ill test the bike before I ride it. pros and cons of each (both have simelar specs)
    thanks,
    patrick

  2. #2
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    What kind of trails/terrain will you be riding?

    Ask yourself: "Do you love the downhills?" then if yes: "Do you mind pushing a slightly heavier bike that's slightly less optimized for pedaling uphill for you to enjoy your downhill?" If you answered all yes, then get the am, if not, get the xc.

  3. #3
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Re: am vs xc

    Agree with h2, and to elaborate, one way to think about this - Which way is your riding evolving right now and where do you think you'll be in 3 years?

    Do you like gnarly rooted, rutted, rock garden sections? Do you take the harder line if its faster? Do you try to push the limit on them and go a little faster each time on your dh's? Do you like drops, even little ones? Could you see yourself wanting to get to bigger drops over time? If so, recommend the AM bike.

    Or, do choose smoother lines over faster lines? Do you prefer timing your climbs, beating your loop times, etc? Go xc then.


    I got back into serious mtb a few years ago after somewhat of a hiatus, and started with a trail bike, but, as i got better, and started hitting more difficult trails, i invested in a am bike which really took my riding up a notch. I'm riding the trail bike less and less.
    ------------------------------------------------
    They're justified and they're ancient and they like to roam the land

  4. #4
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    All else equal (which is seldom is), the shorter travel will be more responsive to your riding input, the longer travel will be smoother. For most riding and terrain, it really comes down to your style.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  5. #5
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    I ride similar type terrain (25-30 miles including several 2k foot climbs), and I absolutely love my Santa Cruz Blur LT for this type of riding. The BLT has 150mm of travel up front and 140mm in the back; I'd recommend any of the similarly-spec'd bikes for what you want to do. Check out the Blur LT, Ibis Mojo, Giant Reign/Trance, etc.

  6. #6
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    It really depends on what you want to get out of riding. I ride a 26" HT that some would call XC. It does have 100mm fork on and probably 69 to 70 head angle since it was designed around a 80mm fork and 71 deg angle for XC.

    Anyway... I ride it everywhere and it is fun. My riding goals are to push the climbs hard and fast and also ride the descents clean. That is where I want a light efficient bike. My bike is 25 lbs and climbs well in both smooth steep long climbs and techy climbs as well. Limitations on super hard techy climbs are due to the rider not the bike. On the downhills I find I can ride down anything my skills and bravery allow and the only limitation is speed. However I enjoy picking my way around a downhill rather than blasting down a max speed.

    So any bike will be a compromise and it is best to get one that suits your personal bias. If you only see a climb as a way to get to the top of a descent so the fun can begin then get a bike that will maximize the fun on the descents. If you actually like to climb as fast as you can going 100% pegged the entire way then get a lighter bike so you can enjoy those climbs more even if means going a little slower on the way down.

    You can ride an XC bike , trail bike, or AM bike all on the same trails and have fun. The difference however is what is you definition of fun. No matter how well a 35 bike is said to climb in magazine reviews it is still 10lbs heavier than a 25lbs bike and if you care about getting up a hill fast it will make a difference. Same on the descents. Realize however that in both cases both bikes will be able to climb the same climb and get down the same descent. They just do it differently.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
    offroader
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    Get both. Actually get a 29er full rigid SS for XC and an AM bike for hucking. No one who's serious about biking has only ONE bike.. common.

  8. #8
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    Best of all world... Tallboy LTc. Anyone that pays more than 5k for a bike should be somewhat serious about biking (unless you have money to burn).

    One bike to rule it all. Never had more than one mtb. Never needed one unless I had a pass for Whistler... I'll get a dirt bike before I consider buying a second $6000 bike...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava View Post
    Get both. Actually get a 29er full rigid SS for XC and an AM bike for hucking. No one who's serious about biking has only ONE bike.. common.
    I already have a 26inch hardtail which im keeping, what are exatly the advantages for a twenty niner (considering im small?)

  10. #10
    offroader
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    29er advantages? Better rolling on long flat sections. Better climbing over roots ruts rocks. Imo easier on the legs on long rides. 26er great for quick turns, downhills,and switchbacks. Sluggish climbing, requires too much peddling on the flats.

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