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  1. #1
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    Trail riding these days...need advice

    I posted this in the DH/FR section as that's where I've mainly lived for the past several years but I thought I'd post up here to get some opinions from those who have made similar switches, or for those who ride their overbuilt bikes on the trails...

    Ok so here's my delema I'm finding that do to time limitations (mainly), travel money constraints, terrain(elevation availability), and riding partners, I'm not getting out to do much big bike riding these days... Most the guys I ride with are scattered around, and we are lucky to ride once a week as most of us work full time, and most of them have families. I work full time, college full time, so there's not much time till next summer(when I finish my bachelor's) to travel to "Tha Goods". (Snowshoe, Whiteface, Platekill, etc)

    This being said, I have been doing more xc (2-3 times a week) than DH riding and I'm wondering if I should just huck the Faith and pick up something more trail oriented? My issue is that every xc bike I've ridden, I don't like. I enjoy the geometry of the bigger bikes, I like to sit upright, I like the beefyness for when it's needed, etc. I slapped some 2.3 xc treads on the faith with some xc tubes and the thing rolls pretty nicely around the xc trails. I know it's a bit overkill, but it handles pretty good for how heavy it is. I was looking at some trail/AM bikes such as the Specialized Enduro line, the SX Trail etc, and I'm just wondering if I'd have more fun with a trail bike for the trails I've "Mainly" been riding. I enjoy DH and FR, but I'm realizing that I can only do it once a week at best because our two spots are about an hour to 2 hours south of here, and the rest of the DH stuff is a good 5 hour drive. That being said, Ohio has some epic xc, I just got back from a ride called Findley Lake and it has taken the number one spot for xc that I've ridden for flat land rolling xc.

    Most the xc around here is rolling flatland, however I've managed to keep up a pretty good pace on the Faith with different tires because there's no major climbs. I can't really see myself riding an xc bike, but I could definently drop down to something like the Enduro SX Trail. However, it seems that people have been posting that the thing is a friggin' beast (weight wise), so I'm wondering if it's even worth it.

    The reason I'm looking at Specialized and Trek is because I can get a bike from one of those two companies cheaper than others because I did some work for a guy who owns a shop that really helped him out, being an ex- mechanic and all so he's offered to help me get a trail bike if I want one.

    I like the idea of that Specialized enduro sx, but 40 lbs for that bike seems like a lot of weight, when my faith is in the 45 range with 8 inches of travel and bomb arse parts.

    Would there be a big difference between a 38-42lb bike vs the 45-49lbs I'm pushing? I'm really getting back into trail riding, it's fun, challenging, good for the body, and as long as I'm keeping up a good pace, it keeps my interest. It would be great to have something lighter so I can go faster with the same effort, but it still needs to be bomb proof for when I do get a chance to shred.

    Comments and suggestion's wanted.

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Hey Reamer...yeah I've seen your Giant pics on the DH/FR. Yes, there is a ton of difference from a decent AM bike to a full DH/FR rig...even with the same frame. I had my '03 Bullit fitted out with a longer DHX coil shock and an '03 Monster T and all the other beefier goodies. It weighed 41lbs. which ain't bad for such a build. Now it's in a 32.8lb. package with a 6" fork and DHX-Air shock, CrossMax XL wheels, and other beefy but light parts. The difference in climbing and pedaling is dramatic. I can ride the lighter Bullit all day, while the 41lb. version was putting a hurt on me after 10 trail miles if there was any climbing. I've experimented with several long travel bikes between 32-41lbs., and there seems to be a breaking point around 34lbs. where a noteable difference seems to occur for trail riding when the bike gets heavier.

    I'm not suggesting you make your Giant into a trail bike, as it's a great bike but different than a Bullit. Our shop is also a Trek and Spec dealer...also SC, Haro, Transition, Ells, and Maverick as botique brands. The Enduro SX is a good bike but maybe heavier than what you're looking for. I'd suggest either something like the Enduro Elite or the Trek Remedy in those two brands...decent weight, decent burliness, and 6" of travel. My favorite AM bike at the moment is the Nomad, which I own.

  3. #3
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    I think there is a point that is individual for everyone on what makes a bike xc-able. If you can pedal it uphill steadily, its an xc bike. I have an AC Air Lite that has gone from 30 to 37 lbs over the years, it is still fine going up. I have a lighter wheelset, Mavic 519s/2.4s, rolls pretty fast on the flats... with a dh wheelset its more like 43lbs and does not roll as easily, and is no longer an xc bike for me. The bike's motor has everything to do with how the weight is percieved.

    I think your Faith will be tough to xc-out without changing too many parts, so I'd aim for a low 30 lb trailbike to round out the stable. I just rode with icegeek, who had a Ventana x5, Fox 36, Mavic 823 w/ Trailbear 2.5s, 30 lbs, 6" x 6" travel . This bike seemed to do everything really well, I want one... Of course he's a sick rider, that can help
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    I think there is a point that is individual for everyone on what makes a bike xc-able. If you can pedal it uphill steadily, its an xc bike. I have an AC Air Lite that has gone from 30 to 37 lbs over the years, it is still fine going up. I have a lighter wheelset, Mavic 519s/2.4s, rolls pretty fast on the flats... with a dh wheelset its more like 43lbs and does not roll as easily, and is no longer an xc bike for me. The bike's motor has everything to do with how the weight is percieved.

    I think your Faith will be tough to xc-out without changing too many parts, so I'd aim for a low 30 lb trailbike to round out the stable. I just rode with icegeek, who had a Ventana x5, Fox 36, Mavic 823 w/ Trailbear 2.5s, 30 lbs, 6" x 6" travel . This bike seemed to do everything really well, I want one... Of course he's a sick rider, that can help
    Do you guys see anything noticeably different that makes the trail version of the enduro weigh more than say the elite? I'm a bigger guy, so it would be nice to get the sx trail, and try and lighten it up. I would like to get the trail so that I can still hammer the rough stuff, but have fun on the trails. I'm having a blast on the trail with my Faith, I've got strong legs from all the years of snowboarding and biking so riding the faith around the flat rolling xc isn't really all to bad, but I know that I could be a bit quicker with a lighter bike, especially when I do encounter the hills. The air sprung shocks and forks just seem to weak for someone who's heavier, and who really rides aggressively, not very smoothly. I'm coming off of years on the DH bike, living out west, so now that I"m in Ohio for a bit, there's tons of epic xc so I figured picking up something in between would be ideal. I really want to hold onto my DH roots, but I want to ride more than once a week, with xc, I could potentially ride daily, which I need. Any suggestions in making the trail sx eduro lighter? I can't see myself on a air sprung bike at 225lbs...

  5. #5
    TNC
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    The SX has a coil shock and other heavier components that bring it to nearly 40lbs. I'd bet you can get your Faith down to that with a 66SL fork and a DHX-Air shock, and maybe a few other parts, so it just doesn't make sense to go with that heavy a bike. The two bikes pictured here weigh right at 33lbs. They are not glass slippers. That's a Van 36 on the Nomad and a Marz 6" modified fork on the Bullit. Both bikes are plenty stout, but are capable of all day use. The way you're talking, you're gonna wind up with a bike not far from what you have. And I wouldn't be afraid of these piggyback air shocks that are available now. They're way stronger and more capable of bigger hits than what you might think. They're not XC racing shocks. Reamer, get a burly trail bike. Most of them are tougher than you think. Here's a buddy of mine at Moab on a stock '05 Enduro Expert with the crappy 5th Air shock and a Talas 36. While I'm surprised that the shock hasn't blown, he's had no frame trouble. Most of these 6+ inch AM bikes are pretty darned tough.
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  6. #6
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    build specs?

    Hey TNC can you list build (and bike size) for the 33 lb Nomad. Man I loved Moab for the couple of days i was there. Thanks

  7. #7
    TNC
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    Sure, dahowe. It's a large frame...Van 36 fork...Hone crankset w/MRP-LRP...647 pedals...CrossMax wheels...2.5/2.3 Weirwolf WTB tires, run tubeless...Salsa Shaft seatpost...some Spec BG saddle...Salsa 50mm stem...Easton carbon handlebar...Hayes Mag brakes 8"/6" rotors...SRAM gripshifters w/X7 rear der...FSA headset.

    The Nomad is 33.4lbs. and the Bullit is 32.8lbs.

    Moab is my favorite place. We spend 2 weeks there on a trip every year with a group of riding buddies.

  8. #8
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    do you have a pic of your faith

  9. #9
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    Man, not sure where I could lose much weight off that. I was hoping to build one around 30-31 lbs AND have a 66 light on it. I like the FOX Talus but the travel loss with tork me. It is all starting to seem like a dream...

  10. #10
    TNC
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    Honestly, this bike is easy to pedal, climb, and ride all day at that weight. Heck, I'm 55 and as lazy as the next guy.

  11. #11
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    I have an enduro pro with the fox 36rc and the 5th element shock. with a gravity dropper post and pedals it weighs 34lbs. I weigh 215-225 and ride year round and havent had any trouble exept for 1 broken seatpost. now, I'm not dropping more than 2-3 feet but I'm a pretty aggressive xc rider, I broke my sugar frame and rear triangle , thats why I moved up to the enduro. I wouldnt worry about the fork or the shock ( the reports on the fork losing height seemed to be nit picking to me, mostly 1/4" or less AND fox will repair it if it bothers you) since you allready have a dh bike a 6" bike will be a great addition and it does pedal uphill pretty well

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidd
    do you have a pic of your faith
    I love it, best bike I've had yet, but wanting to do more trail riding and can only afford one bike at the moment it might be going up for sale.
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  13. #13
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    Yeah, I'd have a hard time parting with it, the Maestro suspension should make it pedal alright... If I werent going to get a 2nd bike, I'd get a Marz 66 ETA or SL, a lighter wheelset/tire combo, light cranks, ti spring, etc. for your Faith, you can always put the dh wheelset back on if your riding dh. Selling the 888 should help financially. If you can get it near 40 lb, you might be ok with it, my 37 lb bike is bearable, and I'm not in the best shape right now. I can do 6 hr technical xc rides on it, and it climbs bumpy tech sections really well. Maybe post "How do I make my 50 lb pig lighter?" in the weight weenies forum
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  14. #14
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    I'm 46 and dollars to jelly donuts I am lazier. lol. Actually tried a 38# NOmad while in Moab as a rental. I could not really figure out why they would put a $1k groupo on a $2k frame, but hey, I'm not trying to run a profitable business either. The bike did climb amazingly well, but the motor could not keep up. It was a real pig relative to my 25# superlight back home. So I guess it is all doable, but once you have tasted candy it is hard to settle, and knowing what a reaonably light weight bike can do I'm spoiled. For the most part it would be frame, fork and tire weights that would be the most sig. difference. Seems like I could get around 30. What do you think?

  15. #15
    TNC
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    I don't think 30lbs. is possible without really sacrificing a decent amount of reliability. My wheels, 1800g, and tires, 730g each, are about as light as you can get without going to some stupid light XC wheels and small tires. You could drop a little with some carbon XC crankset, some XC pedals, and maybe an XC saddle...but this wouldn't even get close to 4lbs. If 30lbs. is the goal, I'd got to a 5", or so, bike that starts out lighter.

  16. #16
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    TNC I don't think 30lbs. is possible without really sacrificing a decent amount of reliability. My wheels, 1800g, and tires, 730g each, are about as light as you can get without going to some stupid light XC wheels and small tires. You could drop a little with some carbon XC crankset, some XC pedals, and maybe an XC saddle...but this wouldn't even get close to 4lbs. If 30lbs. is the goal, I'd got to a 5", or so, bike that starts out lighter.
    Agree with TNC balancing components with yr frame choice is key here and you can still get well within reasonable weight limits, my buddy rides an Enduro expert 05 we swapped the 5th air to a DHXa and its dammed tough mistake IMO that theyre changing this model in 07 too much coss over for marketing sake oh well OEM is such an easy target.

    Look at the Turner RFX can be built around 32-34lbs with strong components and is bulet proof in the strength department DT states if you have the b***s it will take it.
    Nomad is top of list too!
    Yeti ASX maybe a little heavier but still a great ride.
    Good luck with yr choice ya couldn't go wrong with any of these imo.
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  17. #17
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    Keep your Faith as it is. You love it. Use it to go big. And get a Stumpy FSR as your second bike for xc. A buddy of mine is 6'4" and 250 pounds and has been hammering on his for two years. He loves it. And while I think $1800 is a lot to spend on a bike, it isn't when you look at what other folks are dropping. My two cents.

  18. #18
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    that's a nice bike reamer.. You may regret it once you sell it.. Why don't you borrow one of your buddies for a couple of rides and see if you really want to switch to a different bike. Goodluck on your decision.

  19. #19
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    I reckon 35 lbs is the top limit for a genuine trailbike and closer to 30 lbs is ideal. Sure you can pedal something heavier around if you're strong, but it will be like dragging a ball and chain around for the hell of it. My bike is close to 33 lbs at the moment and I wouldn't want anything heavier for long rides.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by madgeronimo
    Keep your Faith as it is. You love it. Use it to go big. And get a Stumpy FSR as your second bike for xc. A buddy of mine is 6'4" and 250 pounds and has been hammering on his for two years. He loves it. And while I think $1800 is a lot to spend on a bike, it isn't when you look at what other folks are dropping. My two cents.

    That would be nice but he said he can't afford to keep it and get a new bike.

  21. #21
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    I think you'd be happy on a 5/5.

  22. #22
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    Doh!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_biker
    That would be nice but he said he can't afford to keep it and get a new bike.
    Doh! Doh! Man, that's a tough decision to make.

  23. #23
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    I just got a Scott Ransom and was wondering if people thought it would hold up for MOAB? I've never ridden there -- usually do some xc stuff but have done some DH on it - also some urban with some big drops. Seems to be holding up well but...this is my first FS ride...and my first carbon mt bike....

    Should I be concerned? It's beefy but...man, all it takes is one crumble and it's hurt time.

    Also, anyone here from Moab? I want to plan a pilgramage from VA to hit up Moab and perhaps whistler at some point...maybe fall (cooler)

    wishiwasflying@gmail.com

    would like to find a place to crash and people to ride with....
    Anyone else near VA want to roll out?
    I might buy a VW eurovan if I can sell a kidney and trek out there.....just help with gas....

  24. #24
    TNC
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    Your bike and Moab.

    Quote Originally Posted by whizzif
    I just got a Scott Ransom and was wondering if people thought it would hold up for MOAB? I've never ridden there -- usually do some xc stuff but have done some DH on it - also some urban with some big drops. Seems to be holding up well but...this is my first FS ride...and my first carbon mt bike....

    Should I be concerned? It's beefy but...man, all it takes is one crumble and it's hurt time.

    Also, anyone here from Moab? I want to plan a pilgramage from VA to hit up Moab and perhaps whistler at some point...maybe fall (cooler)

    wishiwasflying@gmail.com

    would like to find a place to crash and people to ride with....
    Anyone else near VA want to roll out?
    I might buy a VW eurovan if I can sell a kidney and trek out there.....just help with gas....
    On your Ransom at Moab, you'll die a splintery carbon fiber death...LOL! Seriously, you shouldn't have any problems on that bike. It may be carbon fiber, but it's made for the very kind of riding Moab offers. Now, like any other place, Moab has some heinous hucks, drops, and jumps that would challenge any bike, but if you're going to ride there in any manner resembling something from this planet, your bike should take it.

    Moab is a great place, and really it should have been the test track for the "real" AM bike. Spring and fall are the best times to go. Winter and summer can have some unpleasant extremes. Camping out in the BLM land is fun and the price is right.

  25. #25
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    What about do'n a budget machine using used parts. There are some sick deals out there. I saw an 03 Uzzi SLX with a ton of extras on ridemonkey the other day for $450.00. You could possibly build a real nice 5"-6" machine for $1200 - 1500. I know thats not "chump-change" but you would still get to keep your Faith for when you can FR/DH.
    Just a thought.
    BTW...Your Faith looks SICK!!!
    [SIZE="4"]Intensecycles[/SIZE]
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    now, go dig a giant hole and bury your dumb ass in it....

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