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  1. #1
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    HT or FS for East Valley area

    Hey guys,

    I joined up a few years ago when I bought my FSR Stumpjumper, but never really took the bike out much when I got into DH, and then stopped doing that when I started training for triathlons lol. But now I miss it a bit too much, and since I'm on a more limited budget, I'm trying to figure out if I should go with a HT or FS. I plan on doing a couple offroad triathlons this year, and have been told by many people that a HT is the way to go.

    Side question: is there a lot of XC type riding around here? Sure the technical stuff is fun, but I love offroad with some speed and think XC is the type of riding I'd do most.

  2. #2
    How much further ???
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    You would be just fine with either if you plan to ride Hawes, Gold Canyon, Picketpost, DC, MMP etc. Since you are on a limited budget Id say go with a solid HT. You can typically get more bike for the $$$ vs a FS.

    There are some realy nice all mountain 29er HT's out there these days.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    I think Douger is right. A good HT will handle just about anything you throw at it and get you the best bang for your buck. I doubt you'd see a huge benefit from a FS on an offroad tri.

  4. #4
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    If you opt for a hardtail, don't buy a 26 incher. Get a 29er, or the 27.5 platform. Your back, and backside, will thank you! Depending on what you want to spend, there are logical full suspension choices out there also. plenty of racers use full suspension.
    RAM speed: UP, UP, and away....!

  5. #5
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    HT or FS for East Valley area

    I prefer 29 HT an SS. That is because I like simplicity. That being said- I have rode most of the chunk in the valley with a hard tail. I too prefer swoopy,fast single track and churning out some miles. I did own two All mountain bikes and found that for the weight vs. the extra bit of speed gained on downhills that I still liked hard tails and was pretty close in speed to most. Hardtail bikes give you more bike for the buck and for the courses I have seen on off road tris areole than capable bikes.


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  6. #6
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    I ride a 26in geared hardtail all over. It works well for my needs since I like to push hard on the climbs and really work the bike on the descents. I did nice descent today on the bike that was mostly loose rock and very tight and narrow. Tons of fun to actively ride the HT leaning the bike around each bush and letting it ride over the rock as I hovered over the saddle. Not resting on the descent and always working it, but that is the way I like it.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
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    Another vote for the 29HT,

    I have a 26 FS, 26HT and 29HT.... For x-c racing I would only ride the 29HT.

    If I had to choose only one bike, it'd the 29HT.

  8. #8
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    Another HT 29er fan.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  9. #9
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    Well it looks like I'll be picking up a 29er HT then! I've been looking at new & used, and most seem to have either 80mm or 100mm forks. Are either okay, or should I opt for a longer travel?

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    With the info given I would agree with the 29 ht suggestion.

    How long are your off road tri's? And what do competitive off road tri racers ride? I ask because many competitive endurance (24 hr solo) bike racers are riding fs 29er's. The fatigue may come into play for tri's as well.

  11. #11
    How much further ???
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    It depends on what you are looking for. Suspension travel is usually determined by frame design and therefore geometry. If you are looking for more of an XC racing machine the frame will have more of a steeper head tube angle and therefore suspension travel in the range of 80mm-100mm. If you opt for more of an AM rig the frame design will include a slacker HA and therefore you will see travel in the range of 120-140mm.
    Personally I went with the later but I like the technical stuff. I weigh decending equally important to my riding so I wanted a bike who's geometry inspires confidence on the down over light weight and ultimate climbing ability. As you see at this point it becomes a personal choice that only you can answer.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    Most likely 12-24 miles. The one in October I really want to do is 13 miles. Seems like everybody says HT 29er, so I'm going to go with that and later on if I need to change things around I can. I just want to get back in the game

  13. #13
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    100 mm travel should do you nicely. I've ridden Morman / National and Milagrosa with mine set at 100mm.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJake View Post
    Well it looks like I'll be picking up a 29er HT then! I've been looking at new & used, and most seem to have either 80mm or 100mm forks. Are either okay, or should I opt for a longer travel?
    Longer travel go with FS.

    For 29HT - 100 mm is the sweet spot-IMO- because most of XC trails have some sketchy/rocky parts. Also geometry is important. For example I love my HA at 69.5 - still climbs like a goat and makes the descents very doable.

    Another bike to consider is a short travel FSer like tallboy, Mach 429 and Ibis ripley. Great xc-bikes that will also tackle rough terrain and still climb very efficiently.

  15. #15
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    I guess a 29er would be preferrable, but man there are so many good deals out there on used 26er bikes and wheelsets... its hard to ignore...
    Below Par on the Gnar

  16. #16
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    I don't think the difference in 29er is so vast that counters the extra cost over a cheap 26er. 26er hardtails are not in fashion these days, but that does not stop them from being good bikes. For general riding HT26 vs HT29 is a wash really. Both work as I have ridden with people with 29ers on my 26er and in the end it comes down to the rider. Even in racing 90% of finish position is based on the rider fitness and skill. I did the whiskey 25 a couple weeks back and I don't believe my bike choice played any roll in my finish time or position. All that was determined by my own riding. Now if I were a pro looking for 2-3 minutes on 3hour course I might care, but for someone out to push hard and have fun it make zero difference.

    Off-road tri will have alot of 29er HT in field. They will be the bike of choice, but who does well on the bike will not be down to the bike, but the rider. If your goal is compete by being in the pack rather than trying for a podium then the bike won't make much difference. I will never win any races or tris myself, but in the 2 mtn bike races and 1 sprint tri (normal road) I held my own and was upper mid pack. Good enough for me there is no bike in the world that will change that.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Good enough for me there is no bike in the world that will change that.
    Try that with my son's 16 inch fixie.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Try that with my son's 16 inch fixie.
    Well I meant I could not get bike better than mine that would make a difference. I could ride the 10k Scott Spark (29er FS) that Kabush used and still not finish much better than what I did. It would not make my 3:42 into a 2:42 or even a 3:15. Maybe it would make it 3:35, but that is in the noise. I could certainly ride coaster brake beach cruiser and go alot slower.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the great info! I ended up picking up a 2010 Gary Fisher Cobia last night. It's pretty beat up and needs some maintenance, but I picked it up for $350 and made the decision to make this a learning bike as much as a riding bike.

    It has some minor issues (fork lock doesn't work, left shifter button broken but still works, and needs basic cleaning) but I figured I can learn how to work on bikes while working/upgrading this one as need be. Last night I took the axle out of the hub and figured out how those work since the front wheel was a bit off but I think I got that figured out. Now I gotta clean the bike, chain, cassette, etc but I think for the price I'll be very happy with it. Any suggestions for cleaning/tuning up/etc would be greatly appreciated!

  20. #20
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    If you're gonna ride in other places and don't want to hate it, ignore all the rigid/SS/29" BS (if there is any, didn't read).
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  21. #21
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    HT or FS for East Valley area

    The Cobia is a good starting point. The shifter button could just e dirty and sticking. Try cleaning it out before replacing. There are lots of knowledgeable folks on here that can guide you and of course having a great shop for backup is always a good plan!


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    The Cobia is a good starting point. The shifter button could just e dirty and sticking. Try cleaning it out before replacing..
    No lol I mean the button is mostly broken off. Just a little piece still on that I can press.

  23. #23
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    HT or FS for East Valley area

    Well then... Guess my advice just sucked lol


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  24. #24
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    I didnt know there were any 29er Gary Fishers ... Have fun.... and to sound cliche... but I sincerely mean this.... If you can reduce your wheelset/tire weight by at least 1 lb ... do IT ! 29ers with light spinning weight are climbing machines...
    Below Par on the Gnar

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJake View Post
    Thanks for all the great info! I ended up picking up a 2010 Gary Fisher Cobia last night. It's pretty beat up and needs some maintenance, but I picked it up for $350 and made the decision to make this a learning bike as much as a riding bike.

    It has some minor issues (fork lock doesn't work, left shifter button broken but still works, and needs basic cleaning) but I figured I can learn how to work on bikes while working/upgrading this one as need be. Last night I took the axle out of the hub and figured out how those work since the front wheel was a bit off but I think I got that figured out. Now I gotta clean the bike, chain, cassette, etc but I think for the price I'll be very happy with it. Any suggestions for cleaning/tuning up/etc would be greatly appreciated!
    Good call. Great starting bike for a great price.

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