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Thread: Back up bike

  1. #1
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    Back up bike

    Thinking of buying or building a bike as a back up for when my main bike is out of commission for repairs, etc. I have a Bronson C which is great. Trying to figure out a good choice for a back up. Toying with the idea of an AM hardtail, but also thinking I should just get another FS because Idon't want to be disappointed in the hardtail. i ride all over Santa Cruz which is single track and fire roads. I ride up and down and like to launch on little hits and take small drops.

    What should I get? Not to concerned about budget.

  2. #2
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    My main rig is a Heckler. My backup and winter bike is a Yelli. I want a hard tail for a back up because less maintenance overall and especially i winter when it is wetter. I have found it to be a fun change of pace to have the HT as the backup. It is lighter and the riding is different. I also wanted a hard tail for more aggressive riding that could be used on up to 4' drops. I think the Yelli could take more but I am too chicken and my front wheel and fork are not the best.

    The reach on my medium Yelli and my Large Heckler are very close, Heckler is slightly longer, so the feel is very similar when standing.

    If you are interested in hard tails for more aggressive riding there are sommany choices in addition to the Yelli. Trans Am and Honzo both look like great rigs. There are many more and of course you can keep it in the family with a Chameleon, which would get you quite a versatile rig with those drop outs.

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    I've looked at all those bikes and like them all. How is it going from a Heckler to a 29er? Does the wheel size throw you off? I've never ridden one. My main concern is that it wouldn't be as nimble for jumps and drops. What's your experience? I know a lot of folks think a 29er is the way to go on a HT.

  4. #4
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    carbon 29 hardtail for straight out big gear pedal pumpin ...... direct power to the ground. i don't own one but can only imagine.... i do have an old 26 hartail converted to full rigid and its definitely the fastest climbing bike i own. couldn't imagine how fast i would be on a carbon 29er. that would be like my carbon road bike with dirt tires. no contest to something that could sprint as fast where you have to pedal. sometimes its fun generating your own speed with out a downhill. the one condition is if you stay seated for everything I don't think it would be worth it. it would beat you up. im a bit of a punchy rider......till I burn out,,, then im a slow churner.

  5. #5
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    Nomad
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samo831 View Post
    I've looked at all those bikes and like them all. How is it going from a Heckler to a 29er? Does the wheel size throw you off? I've never ridden one. My main concern is that it wouldn't be as nimble for jumps and drops. What's your experience? I know a lot of folks think a 29er is the way to go on a HT.
    I have had no problem switching between the wheel sizes. If anything the Yelli is a little easier to pop the rear wheel given the shorter stays. The heckler has a much slacker HA and for me it has to be ridden with more weight forward, which really complements the Yelli. The Yelli also rewards you getting over the front end and so it becomes more natural.

    You can get the Trans Am and the Chameleon in 27.5" now and that might be ideal for you. In fact had I got my Heckler first then I might have gone that route as it makes the fork and wheels interchangeable, which would be a nice option. But overall, the Yelli is a fun bike to ride, no problem moving on it or with it.

  7. #7
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    Nauc - as tempting as the nomad is, I think it's too close to the Bronson to make it worthwhile.

    Akiracornell - I'm less into a race type bike and more into a AM type ride.

    Thx cjsb - the interchangeability might be the deciding factor. I was thinking if it turns out a hardtail is not my thing, I could use the parts to build another 27.5 FS.

    Thx guys!

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I got started riding Wilder Ranch and Dead Campers. That was long before the Bronson came out. Hardtail was fine for that stuff at the time.

    "Backup bike" has been the job my old bike has fallen into. And honestly, I find going out and buying a 'B' bike kind of a weird idea. What's going to happen to your Bronson that you can't fix or get fixed in a week? Even the really serious stuff, I bet you can solve fast with less application of money than a whole new bike. Or, just rent.

    I guess I shouldn't be one to talk. I already have a few bikes, and can ride the road if my 'A' bike is unrideable, or shuttle home my old one if I break a freehub (never happen! :-p ) and have to wait on a part. Though a complete wheel to tide me over would have been possible for $100 if I didn't have the other bike.

    How many bikes do you have now? How many times a week do you ride?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    AM Hardtail makes a great backup/changeup from a FS.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1

  10. #10
    Chris Bling
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    Do NOT buy a Yelli Screamy unless you want it to turn into your primary bike

    Don't tell me I didn't warn you!
    The obsession of wheels fused with the passion of cycling
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    Andrw - no other bikes right now and I ride every day, so a week would suck big time.

    You guys are starting to convince me on the hardtail.

    Any thoughts on 29 vs 27.5 HT? I'm leaning toward 27.5 so I can swap parts to a FS later. I would not want a 29er FS. But if the 29er HT is a big advantage over a 27.5 HT, I'd have to think hard about it.

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I think another 6" FS would be silly. You have a 6" FS. Think in terms of a bike that does something different. If it does the same thing but not as well, you'll just be bummed out when you have to ride it. Not as much as if you couldn't ride, but I can't believe that the only kind of riding you're ever stoked on is the kind best done on a geared 6" FS.

    My mountain bikes are both XC bikes. Depending on when you ask me, if I was to add a bike, it would probably be something like yours, a rigid 650B+ or a racy singlespeed. Though I also have been having more fun bombing around on my 'cross bike on mixed surface routes lately.

    In other words, be creative.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    I'm with AndrwSwitch. I don't have a backup (mountain) bike right now, but eventually my current bike will likely become my backup when I upgrade. If I was going to get a dedicated backup bike, I'd definitely want something different than my current bike. A AM hardtail sounds like a great choice.

    Between my wife and I, we missed one riding day last year due to equipment failure (and that was because I was a moron). It wouldn't be worth it to me to have two really similar bikes just so one could backup the other (now maybe you go way bigger than me so have more downtime, but the bikes they're putting out now are pretty darn tough). I'd want something that I could get on to change things up a bit (or something to lend out to friends). If I were you I'd probably get either 1. an AM hardtail 2. a more cross country oriented bike for days when you aren't riding places with many hits/drops and covering tons of ground.

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    Im with everyone who say something different. some of the best enduro riders in the world come from a bmx racing backround. full rigid 20" wheels and your body is the instrument of suspension. It may not be your gig...but a hardtail will truly teach you how to pump and flow.....traction will not come from the bike suspension but rather how you pump with your body. I came from a bmx backround so I suppose I identify with the style or techniques I guess you could say. that's why I suggested a carbon 29er. its a different training tool I guess you could say. but I guess it would also really depend on your actual daily trails.

  15. #15
    usually cranky
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    id agree with the main sentimate of getting something different. Personally if i were to add a backup to my stable it would be a plus size hard tail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samo831 View Post
    You guys are starting to convince me on the hardtail.

    Any thoughts on 29 vs 27.5 HT?
    I've posted a few times in a few places that Giant's Maestro is apparently made of magical unicorn farts... so take this with a grain of salt.

    I started with a 29 XCFS, was blown away by the compliance and rollover. But as I got deeper into the AM end of the pool, XC wasn't compliant enough, and the geo was not safe once I entered the red mist.

    I then sat on a 29 AMHT, and yea tho I tried to find something comparable, there was just nothing out there that was close in terms of being a big kid's BMX and still being a crazy capable rock garden stormer.

    So, if you're with me still, I realized my XC bike had to go, and time to upgrade to a 6" FS. Like many, I realized that I had to go to 27.5 just to fit the wheel in the chainstay. And I'm happy I did (after my first OTB when I remembered about the whole rollover thing).

    Incidentally, that's why I'm really pleased with a 29" HT; wagon wheels smooth the ride a bit.

    Then I started becoming a bike nerd, like a car nerd but with two wheels and no engine. And damn if I can't swap anything (thank you Giant OD2) from one bike to the other.

    You know what? I love having two bikes.

    FS/HT
    27.5/29
    dropper/static
    160/130
    TA/QR

    I love everything about both of them.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1

  17. #17
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    In 2014 I was harder on my bikes. Broke things tht took time to repair just waiting for parts and at least one bike was always ride-ready. When I broke the frame on one of my bieks it was even mo helpful to have the 2nd bike. It was almost a worst case scenario type of year on equipment.

    However, that wouldn't be my main reason for having two bikes. I would love to have 13, if I had the budget. But the practical prudent road for me is two bikes. I much prefer a hard tail for wet weather and winter, and we have a fair amount of both of those in VA. So my HT gets ridden a good deal. I like DIY and with a second bike I can order and take my time if I want. HT is a really nice change of pace to me from FS. Prefer FS most of the time but others put it better above, the pump, the flow, etc...i have friends much harder than me on bikes, breaking frames multiple times in a year, but that is probably the third reason on the list for me and I don't expect it to happen to either my Yelli or my Heckler.

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    really appreciate everyone's perspective here. I started out thinking AM HT and it looks like most think that would be a good call, so I think i'm headed that direction.

  19. #19
    Sir crash-a-lot
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    Back up bike

    I think the same thing frequently that I just want a slightly different bike as well as the one I ride all the time.

    I've picked a certain hardtail for price and geo/suspension but it's a 29er which still isn't my favorite. I really want a dback mission pro. It's priced very well for the components and has the perfect geo for playing but it's got wagon wheels which I don't love.

    I'm sure I'll find what I'm looking for eventually in the price point I want to pay but I can understand the want for a "backup".

  20. #20
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    Road Bike or CX

  21. #21
    The White Jeff W
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyduke22 View Post
    Do NOT buy a Yelli Screamy unless you want it to turn into your primary bike

    Don't tell me I didn't warn you!

    Troof. I had a nice Yeti 575 and built a Yelli for a 2nd bike. I sold the Yeti 4 months later.
    No moss...

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    You guys that love the Yelli - do you ride 29ers primarily? I'm nervous that I won't be able to throw around a 29er like a 27.5. I really like popping off little hits and taking drops. I want something that is good in the air - although I don't go very big.

  23. #23
    Chris Bling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samo831 View Post
    You guys that love the Yelli - do you ride 29ers primarily? I'm nervous that I won't be able to throw around a 29er like a 27.5. I really like popping off little hits and taking drops. I want something that is good in the air - although I don't go very big.
    The Yelling is a 29er?

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  24. #24
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    Back up bike

    You could also look at a chromag rootdown. I just built one up as a single speed with a 130 fork. 2 rides in on snow covered trails and I love it. The ride of steel is so much better then aluminum. I've rides some carbon hard tails. But didn't like the ride or how light they were. theres one of it in the stand after I built it and onenof it in the snow. This thing is awesome. I can't wait to get some dry dirt under it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    It is the total package for the Yelli. It is a bike tat wants to get in the air. Id dont get "massive" air. But my main trail is a combination of flow trail with table tops, berms and drops, biggest drop a 3 footer. Second half is a combination of technical climbing and flow with bigger drops probably 4-7' ers. I have not and likely will not try the 6-7 footers. Yelli handles berms and tight switchbacks with no problem. It is a great bike but YMMV and you may need to ride several different bikes to make a good selection for you.

    From your concerns Chameleon may be a good option for you. I thought you said you lived in SoCal, if so I would think The Path or Fulelrton Bikes could set you up with something.

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