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  1. #1
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    Need new race bike, 29 HT? 29 FS? 26 FS?

    I am looking to get a new bike to race this fall, and am really torn as to what to get, a 29" HT, a 29" FS, or a standard really light 26" FS such as a Scott Spark 10. What would you get and why? I am worried about a 29" HT for Arizona racing, as its rocky here, and it may be fine for racing, but everything else you would dread riding it?????

  2. #2
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    What size are you looking for?

  3. #3
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    Large, I am 5' 11''

  4. #4
    Shift less, Pedal more.
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    Are you racing in the MBAA? If so I would go with a 29er HT. I've raced/ridden one for the past year and it's been absolutely awesome. I wouldn't go back to a 26er for XC riding/racing ever again.

    I also ride Sedona and Black Canyon with the same bike no problems. The bigger wheels feel as if it has an inch of suspension. I would go tubeless with some sealant like Stans for riding in AZ. I've even used it on SoMo.

    Ride a couple of bikes and see what you like. For XC racing, 29er HT all the way. 29er FS would be an overkill, and heavier.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  5. #5
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    I have a new large 2010 Superfly If interested let me know.

  6. #6
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    29er HT all the way. There may be a slightly used S-Works carbon 29er going up for sale soon also.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
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  7. #7
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    What class will you be racing in? If you are over 45 and under 60 you should definitely get a 5 or 6 inch travel FS and adorn it with some 2.5 inch wide tires. Check before you buy. If it doesn’t weigh at least 32 pounds forget it.

    If you are over 60 or under 45 then I’d say it depends on how much you can spend. There are some very light carbon FS 29ers out there but they are in the “if you have to ask you probably can’t afford it” range. An aluminum HT 29er can be done at a fairly light weight for less than $3K

    BTW… I just switched from a 26inch FS XC racer to a 29er hard tail. I’ve only just started riding it so the jury is still out on how well I’ll like it. I’m happy so far. I'm planning on riding it at the Tour of the White Mountains this fall.

  8. #8
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    I suggest trying to borrow a 29er for a loop at a trail you know well. There are obviously people on here that have bikes that they might lend someone for a test loop if the person was interested in buying it (let's keep the under the radar spamming under control please!).

    The 29er is a great bike for arizona as the smaller angle of attack of the larger wheel works well with our rocky terrain but so does a lightweight full suspension 26er with fat tires.

    As YMMV best bet is the borrow and test, or rent (I know fairwheel bikes in Tucson rents full suspension and HT 29ers so there must be somewhere in PHX that does the same, they may discount the price of a new bike if you buy from them after the test even).
    Try this: HTFU

  9. #9
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    I appreciate all the input. I am 39 years old BTW, and have several 26" FS bikes already, both cross country and all mountain. I am really just interested in getting a bike to do some races this next year as I am getting really close to being able to enter the over 40 class.

    I thought I was all set to pull the trigger on getting a 29" hardtail, then my brother sends me a link to an write up on cycling news this morning about Todd Wells and he raced the 29" epic this year, and he commented that he felt the 29" hardtail was to harsh, interesting, now I am rethinking the whole hardtail thing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by southmountainbiker
    I appreciate all the input. I am 39 years old BTW, and have several 26" FS bikes already, both cross country and all mountain. I am really just interested in getting a bike to do some races this next year as I am getting really close to being able to enter the over 40 class.

    I thought I was all set to pull the trigger on getting a 29" hardtail, then my brother sends me a link to an write up on cycling news this morning about Todd Wells and he raced the 29" epic this year, and he commented that he felt the 29" hardtail was to harsh, interesting, now I am rethinking the whole hardtail thing.
    My recommendation would be to go and ride the courses, to get a feel for them. IMO, none of the courses are harsh enough warrent a FS, but that's me. I raced the partial MBAA series in the SS open class on a 29er, and my only limitations was myself. I'd considered going geared, and was considering pulling the trigger on the Motobecane Ti 29er, which is an incredible bike for the money:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...TI_29_2010.htm
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  11. #11
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    I'm loving my new 29" HT. I don't race but it climbs like a monkey on crack compared to my 26" FS. Forgot how nice a HT is to climb with.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  12. #12
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    A 29er hardtail works well for pretty much all the courses and thats what I ride all the time... however there are a couple of really nice 29er full suspension bikes that climb fast, are light and more comfortable.

    The motobecane Fly 29er is a good deal, but the frame is super flexy (well, the couple that I rode but they were the larger size frames) and really is a handful to ride down a hill (and scary too)

  13. #13
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    Dude! After 15 years riding and competing in 26 HT & Full I Jump recently, in March to be exact to 29er and not coming back my humble opinion 29er HT is you best choice but also depends on what kind of race you're gonna do I mean endurance or XC you can ride probably both with HT 29er but if you you want to be more confortable in long endurance ride maybe you prefer full 29er. I have a scandium niner air 9 and I love it by the way if you want partner for ride tell me I also live in Laveen

  14. #14
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    Hardtails can be harsh, yeah. Price of efficiency. I'm not sure if the big wheels have anything to do with it. IME I generally roll fastest on my 29" hardtails BUT it's just as harsh as ever.

    Possibly a short-throw 29er FS bike? Like a Jet. What's the one Titus puts out...the Rockstar maybe?
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Hardtails can be harsh, yeah. Price of efficiency. I'm not sure if the big wheels have anything to do with it. IME I generally roll fastest on my 29" hardtails BUT it's just as harsh as ever.

    Possibly a short-throw 29er FS bike? Like a Jet. What's the one Titus puts out...the Rockstar maybe?
    Ditto... could not have expressed it better. AIR 9 for the buff stuff, RIP 9 for the rough stuff.

  16. #16
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    I pulled the trigger on a 2010 Specialized Epic Comp. I can make it fairly stiff, almost as hard as a HT once I lock it all down, rode it this morning on National Trail and for almost no suspension, the thing rocked. I also rode up the pavement from San Juan parking lot to Buena Vista before I went down and then back up the National, and I was able to stand and push pretty hard in the steeper sections and it was efficient, didn't feel like I was loosing much at all. Now I am upgrading components today, started with rims, Stans Crest with ZTR hubs, and now looking to go to the XX drivetrain stuff.

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