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Thread: Confused!

  1. #1
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    Confused!

    I recently got back into MTBing, bought a Kona Honzo ST with 140mm forks. I ride in North Vancouver, sticking to blue's and black runs. The Honzo is doing fine down the runs, but my body feels a bit beat up(hands, ankles and back soreness).

    I'm starting to look for a full suspension bike, I've talked to several bike store for their recommendations, some suggest 29", others 27.5 and 27.5+. For suspension most state 160mm, and a couple stating 140mm.

    I'm 6'1" and 185 lbs. Im not into big jumps, maybe 2-4 footers. So what size tire and amount of suspension are people of similar height and weight prefer? Why?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You will get answers all over the board because it's a personal preference thing. There are folks who claim short people like smaller wheels, but I know a lady who's 5 foot nuthin' and kicks people's butts all day long on the XC course on a 29er. I know a guy who's 6'6" and likes "how playful" 27.5 wheels are. All you can do is go demo some bikes you think you might be interested in, and decide for yourself.

    For me? I'm 6'3", 220 and I'm looking at two bikes - both 29ers, both in the 140-160 travel range. Likewise, no big jumps, but I'm a hard charger and hit some gnarly lines.

  3. #3
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    I would be looking at 27.5 wheels and 160mm travel bikes if I were you, with 2.5" DH tires.

    You are riding the most gnarly trails on the planet -- might as well have the equipment to deal with it. A "blue" run there would be considered "expert only" in the U.S. Not joking. So take any advice you receive in this thread with that thought in mind.

    This is my opinion, but I wouldn't go 29" if I were you. Certainly, they can help roll over gnarly features more smoothly, but IME riding North Van, the trails are very tight with very little "straight line" descending. 29ers DO NOT handle as precisely in those types of situations. I'm sure some will disagree, but then again, they probably don't understand the types of trails you're actually riding. I own a 29er, for what it's worth. It doesn't handle as well in tighter situations; but is awesome when trails straighten out and open up. I haven't liked any 29ers on trails with a lot of rapid cornering.

    Finally, the big travel will help relieve fatigue and help you maintain control even after long days. It isn't there just for big drops and jumps -- its primary function will be smoothing out the gnar. I applaud you for riding a hardtail there; that must be exhausting.

    Which mountain do you ride most? Seymour is a little more opened up and faster, in my experience. That might impact your choice as well. For Fromme, I'd want a full Enduro/light DH setup, like I outlined above.
    Dear U.S. Forest Service: Please ban all wilderness in my riding areas.

  4. #4
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    There is a forum for Western Canada.
    Western Canada - Mtbr.com
    It might be worthwhile to post there also, as they will probably have good input based on the type of terrain and weather where you ride. Also include to what degree you are riding lift served, Vs. trail riding.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    I'm starting to look for a full suspension bike, I've talked to several bike store for their recommendations, some suggest 29", others 27.5 and 27.5+. For suspension most state 160mm, and a couple stating 140mm.
    I live on Van Isle and ride the mainland as well. All the options above could work fine. It's really about selecting for a bike that will work well for you, which can't be locked down based on how big the wheels/tires are or whether it's 140, 150 or 160mm travel.

    Coming from a hardtail any decent 140mm+ FS bike will seem very plush by comparison. Bigger wheels also smooth out the trail for you.

    I'm 5'11" and 190lbs. I've had the following bikes while living here:

    - SC Nomad Mk2 [26er/160mm]
    - Pivot Mach 6 [27.5/155mm]
    - Knolly Endorphin [27.5/130mm]

    I'm faster than ever on the smaller travel bike and hitting all the same features on advanced lines. The bigger travel bikes were more "plush".

    My next bike is shaping up to be a 120-140mm 29er.

    If you can demo some bikes that would be ideal to get a feel for some of the options.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I would be looking at 27.5 wheels and 160mm travel bikes if I were you, with 2.5" DH tires.

    You are riding the most gnarly trails on the planet -- might as well have the equipment to deal with it. A "blue" run there would be considered "expert only" in the U.S. Not joking. So take any advice you receive in this thread with that thought in mind.

    This is my opinion, but I wouldn't go 29" if I were you. Certainly, they can help roll over gnarly features more smoothly, but IME riding North Van, the trails are very tight with very little "straight line" descending. 29ers DO NOT handle as precisely in those types of situations. I'm sure some will disagree, but then again, they probably don't understand the types of trails you're actually riding. I own a 29er, for what it's worth. It doesn't handle as well in tighter situations; but is awesome when trails straighten out and open up. I haven't liked any 29ers on trails with a lot of rapid cornering.

    Finally, the big travel will help relieve fatigue and help you maintain control even after long days. It isn't there just for big drops and jumps -- its primary function will be smoothing out the gnar. I applaud you for riding a hardtail there; that must be exhausting.

    Which mountain do you ride most? Seymour is a little more opened up and faster, in my experience. That might impact your choice as well. For Fromme, I'd want a full Enduro/light DH setup, like I outlined above.
    Right now I'm riding Fromme, it's close and it's great for working on my skills. My Honzo is a 29er and I love how it cruises over things. I've never rode a 27.5 yet and my last full suspension bike was in 2005, the RM switch with Junior T's!

    I wasn't aware the grading system for trails is not universal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I live on Van Isle and ride the mainland as well. All the options above could work fine. It's really about selecting for a bike that will work well for you, which can't be locked down based on how big the wheels/tires are or whether it's 140, 150 or 160mm travel.

    Coming from a hardtail any decent 140mm+ FS bike will seem very plush by comparison. Bigger wheels also smooth out the trail for you.

    I'm 5'11" and 190lbs. I've had the following bikes while living here:

    - SC Nomad Mk2 [26er/160mm]
    - Pivot Mach 6 [27.5/155mm]
    - Knolly Endorphin [27.5/130mm]

    I'm faster than ever on the smaller travel bike and hitting all the same features on advanced lines. The bigger travel bikes were more "plush".

    My next bike is shaping up to be a 120-140mm 29er.

    If you can demo some bikes that would be ideal to get a feel for some of the options.
    So a 29er with 140mm would work well? The only negative I've heard so far about 29ers, is they don't corner as well. I'm not planning on bombing down trails. More speed = more pain if you wipe out!

  8. #8
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    Think about where you ride, and how much climbing it has, how many rock gardens it has etc. Is efficient climbing important to you? Or maybe you don't mind slogging it uphill on a bike that descends better at the expense of weight and pedaling efficiency.
    I have a 29'er and it corners fine, I personally feel like at least with modern designs this might be a bunch of crap. It felt sort of twitchy to me honestly at first, opposite of slow handling. It's a YT Jeffsy. It climbs and pedals great, descends great, eats up the bumps great going up or down or flat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    So a 29er with 140mm would work well? The only negative I've heard so far about 29ers, is they don't corner as well. I'm not planning on bombing down trails. More speed = more pain if you wipe out!
    The color coding of trails is normally for a trail system. So a blue trail is easier that a black trail in the area you are riding. But a blue trail can be harder than a black trail 50miles away.
    I prefer 29er, and the cornering difference comes down to 2 things 29er's have more grip for the same tire as 27.5, a tire that grips needs more input to turn. Also 29ers with heavy trail tiers have more gyroscopic force. So the want to stay upright the faster you go. Since you are on a 29er now, most of this is second nature. If you can test a few bikes and see what feels good to you is always best.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    I recently got back into MTBing, bought a Kona Honzo ST with 140mm forks. I ride in North Vancouver, sticking to blue's and black runs. The Honzo is doing fine down the runs, but my body feels a bit beat up(hands, ankles and back soreness).

    I'm starting to look for a full suspension bike, I've talked to several bike store for their recommendations, some suggest 29", others 27.5 and 27.5+. For suspension most state 160mm, and a couple stating 140mm.

    I'm 6'1" and 185 lbs. Im not into big jumps, maybe 2-4 footers. So what size tire and amount of suspension are people of similar height and weight prefer? Why?

    Thanks.
    Honzos are really cool. Nice long front-center, but still a pretty quick handling hardtail. Certainly, small cockpit changes can affect their handling much more than FS bikes. I hope you don't sell it. Hand soreness can be addressed through attention to tire air pressure, bar height (5mm matters when you're close!), and fork tuning. Back soreness can be explored through saddle position and body awareness... but hardtails are inevitably rougher and not everyone can adapt.


    That said, even a 120mm bike with a similar front-center is going to be a lot more forgiving and easier on the body. The difference between 26 (650b in today's lingo) and 29 will be dictated by the specific trail; if the trails are fast and choppy 29 is a clear winner, otherwise... dunno!




    I think you should demo some bikes and don't get too hung up on wheel size and travel- those things are not very influential when you're interested in the whole riding experience.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  11. #11
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    Demos! I didn't have the opportunity to do it for my recent bike purchase, but a few years ago my snowboard was stolen and I was able to spend the rest of the winter on demos. (The rental shop had a wide variety for a small upcharge.) By the end of the season I knew exactly what I wanted.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Honzos are really cool. Nice long front-center, but still a pretty quick handling hardtail. Certainly, small cockpit changes can affect their handling much more than FS bikes. I hope you don't sell it. Hand soreness can be addressed through attention to tire air pressure, bar height (5mm matters when you're close!), and fork tuning. Back soreness can be explored through saddle position and body awareness... but hardtails are inevitably rougher and not everyone can adapt.


    That said, even a 120mm bike with a similar front-center is going to be a lot more forgiving and easier on the body. The difference between 26 (650b in today's lingo) and 29 will be dictated by the specific trail; if the trails are fast and choppy 29 is a clear winner, otherwise... dunno!




    I think you should demo some bikes and don't get too hung up on wheel size and travel- those things are not very influential when you're interested in the whole riding experience.
    Absolutely no soreness if I just go for a XC ride. Tire pressure is at 26 psi. Approaching 50, the body just can't handle the jarring.
    I think I'm going for a 29er with 140mm.

  13. #13
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    The Guerrilla Gravity Smash would work extremely well on the shore. We have "shore-lite" terrain here and my GG bike is more than capable for everything here.

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