Results 1 to 44 of 44
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9

    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Trying to buy a new dually & can't decide - NEED HELP!

    O.k, so up 'till now I've played my bike purchases safe by staying in the hardtail realm...
    After years of being envious of dually riders cruising comfortably past on endurance rides or bombing past me on technical downhill sections of the trail, I've decided to bite the bullet & splash out some hard-earned on a new dual-squish machine (I even have spousal approval - UNBELIEVABLE ).

    I've been dilligently researching brands & options + test-riding for months & seem to be further away from making a decision. Mainly I think because every bike shop I talk to just wants to sell me their latest 'insane deal'. So I thought I'd subscribe to a forum & throw it out there to my fat-tyred-loving comrades. So please, tell me what you think...

    I live in Brisbane & spend most of my time riding Mt Cootha's trails (riding distance from my house), with the odd trip to Daisy Hill, Mt Crosby or Bunya State Forest. For those who aren't familiar, this basically consists of lots of gravelly single track, technically intermediate in most places with a few more technical area's + some man-made terrain w/ decent drop-off's etc.

    To put it simply, I want a bike that'll do everything!
    The main focus would be trail-riding, going down hills faster & getting more air, but I'd also love it if I could find a bike that could be competitive in an endurance or XC race.
    I do have a couple of hardtails including a Giant XTC 1 that could be lightened up from it's current trail spec. to focus more on XC.
    And I've pretty much targeted the 5-inch-travel segment of the market simply because that seems to be the go for what I'm looking for... But maybe not?

    As I've said, I have done heaps of research & have some favourites (both from mass-produced & 'botique' brands), but I'm intentionally not mentioning them in the hope your feedback will help firm up a decision.
    Oh & I wanted to spend between $4 & $5K, but I note there's some 2010 bargains floating around ATM...

    So over to you guys...
    What do you reckon is the best machine to do the job & why. Please don't be afraid of naming brands.
    Hopefully I get the feedback I'm looking for & you guys can participate / contribute to the purchase of my new rig !

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    DoF

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wannabeRacer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,107
    I think any brand with 4 to 5 inch of travel will do the job. With that much budget you'll be on a nice bike. Do some googoleego research and go with what you like and dont listen to anyone telling you thier bike brand is better than others

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    Umm, O.k. I must confess I expected a bit more of an answer than "any bike at that budget will be good"...

    Really looking for peoples suggestions here.
    I want to make sure I get the right bike (there's so much choice out there)!

  4. #4
    Village Idiot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    258
    I'm going through the same process...and I think I'm going Yeti 575
    **** Looking for a Sram 9.0SL rear hub *****

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    So what made your mind up about the Yeti & what sort of riding are you planning to do on it?
    i.e/ Would you use it in an XC / endurance race?

  6. #6
    Village Idiot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    258
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    So what made your mind up about the Yeti & what sort of riding are you planning to do on it?
    i.e/ Would you use it in an XC / endurance race?
    Tapered head tube, ISCG so i can run a chain guide for the 1x10 have a local dealer that stocks them, they climb well, but decend well .... what type of riding...I'm in Dunedin so it's all up and downs, will be using it for the Motatapu
    **** Looking for a Sram 9.0SL rear hub *****

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    54
    I recently purchased a Yeti ASR5C, from the US, with the $$ so good at the moment it makes sense. I went with the 5C over the 575 as 5 inches is more than enough for what I ride which is XC racing, Endurance and trail riding. I dont do downhill or this AM stuff, launching drops etc.

    The reasons for my decision:

    I very rarely do drops or jumps (its not in my blood and I dont have the balls)
    Light for racing
    5 Inch travel is good for trail riding as well as endurance
    Fairly new bike as well.

    PM me if you want the details of the shop in the US. If you buy the bike here like I did in the 2011 Pro build it will set you back $7k AUD, I paid just over 5k AUD landed.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    412
    I'll also recommend an ASR5 because of how it can go up (light) and down (geometry) pretty well.

    To find a bike that descends better you'd have to look at much heavier options... if you're serious about entering enduros that's a major factor.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    54
    I think you are definitely on the money with your decision around 5 inches of travel. It seems to be the real sweet spot at the moment as far as versatility goes.
    In terms of which particular manufacturer produces the best 5 incher, that becomes very subjective.
    In my opinion you want to settle on the geometry of the bike you want first - then worry about the type of suspension. People will go on for ever about vpp vs maestro vs single pivot etc.....Yes that is important but it doesn't matter how good the suspension design is if the angles are all wrong for you.
    I personally love the slack and low design of my stumpjumper - that is my preference. What have you ridden and liked? Why? What have you hated?

    In terms of suspension design you'll need to go out and ride as many different designs as possible. I'm sure someone will chirp in about how amazing this or that one is but to be honest they all act differently and you'll most likely love some and hate others.

    I'm sorry if that was really sitting on the fence but these threads inevitably descend into people telling you how much better their bike is than all the others. Opinions count for nothing....except your own of course!

    Good luck with your choice and i'm sure between the market leaders of Yeti asr5, specialized stumpjumper, santa cruz blur lt, giant trance x and trek fuel ex you'll find one that works well for you.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  10. #10
    fan of maple syrup
    Reputation: nuclear_powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,581
    ^^^ What beardi said is spot-on.

    If your research of brands and options is as diligent as you say, you don't need suggestions - you need advice. Suggestions will just add bikes to your list without getting you closer to a decision.

    You're new here (welcome by the way), so my additional advice would be to read around the forums, searching for folk who are doing the sort of riding you do (watch their vids, check out their pics) and see what they say about their ride. "Which bike should I get?" threads probably start every hour somewhere on mtbr, and I strongly beleive they're a poor substitute for figuring it out for yourself by reading about and trying different platforms in the area you're looking (4 - 5in bikes).

    Don't let that stop you asking around here though - plenty of folk will help and offer suggestions - I just think you'll be better off doing the searching and finding rather than asking. In the end, you'll pick the one you like the look & feel of the most, and it will be no better or worse than anyone elses bike because it will have the unique factor of being 'yours'. (which, coincidentally, is kinda what wannabeRacer suggested in the first place - you were a little quick to dismiss that one).

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    412
    + 1 to both beardi and nuclear_powered. Very well considered responses.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    Yes guys... Great responses, thanks very much.
    Thanks for the welcome to the forum too...
    So to try & elicit more specific input, here's the bikes I've come up with so far & what I think: -

    Turner 5 spot - Great reviews, but yet to find one I can test ride. Slightly over budget too!

    Giant Trance Advanced X SL1 - '10 model for sale @ $4K!!! 9 spd drivetrain though. Pedals well & geometry seems o.k if a little 'isolated' but I'm not sure if the carbon frame's up to bigger hits?

    Santa Cruz Blur LT - Rides great, handles great (geometry), within budget (just) just feels a little heavy for endurance racing.

    Intense Tracer VP - Yet to find one I can test ride... Weight seems right, but Looooong travel potentially not suitable for longer distances??

    Cannondale RZ 120 2 - Another '10 model for sale @ $3.9K!! A lot more lively than the Giant, but again I'm unsure if it can handle bigger hits?

    '09 Pivot Mach 5 - Nice bike, there's an '09 model for sale at one of my local shops, but still (overly?) expensive at $5k...

    Looked at both the Yeti 575 & ASR5 - The ASR5 seemed almost too plush & bouncy for me & the ASR5... Maybe.... Again not sure how strong it is though.

    I just can't get into Specialized for some reason... They ride great, but their pricing seems to be at odds with their 'mass producer' status.
    Same deal with Trek... They always seem at least 0.5kg heavier than their competitors.

    Also not really a carbon fan... I'm a Mechanical Engineer & am still concerned about the impact resistance of carbon.

    As you can probably see, I'm struggling to find the right balance between weight / strength / geometry / suspension.

    So go on guys... Tell me what you think.
    I don't really mind if this degenerates into a 'this bike's better than that bike' discussion. What I'm really looking for is people's opinions.

    Thanks again...

    DoF

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    To put it simply, I want a bike that'll do everything!
    The main focus would be trail-riding, going down hills faster & getting more air, but I'd also love it if I could find a bike that could be competitive in an endurance or XC race.
    You need two bikes.

    A lightweight 4 incher and a second bigger machine based on the roughness of the terrain and how many mistakes you want the bike to make up for on the downhills.

    That second bike will never be competitive in a cross country race.

    If you want to be competitive you're going to want the fastest bike for the courses you want to race that you can afford - so have a look at what everyone else racing those courses is riding, and learn to ride light and without mistakes on the rougher terrain and stay away from actual DH trails; or get the "all mountain" bike and either race your hardtail or care less about being competitive. In that case it doesn't matter what bike you buy, or how many speeds or what suspension or what size wheels it has, as far as anyone else is concerned, as long as you enjoy riding it, which you will.

    Every bike you've listed is a great bike. You've ridden most of them so you already know more about those particular bikes than anyone else on this forum. Have fun choosing.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    117
    Went for the Blur LT myself, (waiting on its arrival)

    They can be built up very light and when I test rode one it certainly didnt feel heavy but I am coming from a FS all mountain machine weighing over 30lbs.

    Loved how smooth it was over all terrain and with the new tapered head tube and fork it will be much stiffer up front than the old model.
    Building mine with a 2x10 SRAM X9 drivetrain which will help keep weight down as well.

    Good luck with your choice, all your options seem good but on the end it comes down to cost and personal preference.

  15. #15
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
    Reputation: ilostmypassword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,161
    Trek fuel or giant trance. That would be my choice

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    70
    I'm currently looking at getting a new dually too.

    I live in Melbourne and currently have a 575.

    I realized that the 575 is a bit too much travel for me (and it's got a squishy back end). I'm getting more into enduro events and long rides out at St Andrews. Though I also enjoy some of the black diamond tracks at the You Yangs.

    I'm looking at the Trek Fuel Ex 9 as it seems like a 120mm bike would fit my needs. I'm going to sell the 575 so I want a one bike solution. (opinions my fellow Vic crew, 120mm or 100mm?)

    I guess the Giant Trance X would also suit but I don't really like the look of Giants, plus I used to own a Trance.

    The pivot mach 4 and the Blur XC is also some bikes I'm considering, I like the virtual pivot system but they are a fair bit more expensive. I demoed the Pivot and dam it's a quick bike that really makes you want to stand up and hammer along.

    I recon the Yeti 5 would probably suit your needs but for me I want something different.

    If your in Melbourne check out www.mymountain.com.au. They have demo bikes you can take out for the day and are really helpful. I really recommend demoing a bike.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    284
    I own a 2006 Trance and it is a great bike. Maybe I am just fussy but I love having two water bottle cages. I fill one with Endura and one with plain water and then can go for long rides from home and drink whichever I feel like. Most new bikes I looked at only have one.

    I did the Scott on the weekend and in the tent next to me was a rider on a Carbon Anthem. It is $5499RRP so not much over your budget, has two drinks bottle holders and when talking to the rider he said it was a great bike for that course which was fairly rough, he mentioned that the main thing I would notice compared to my bike that is also 4inch apart from less weight due to the Carbon frame was the front steering bearings are very solid and the thicker front wheel skewer work well together to make the bike feel very confident with its steering and that the improved steering is likely to be very noticeable to me. Anyway it appeared a very nice bike.

    Another option for you is the Ibis Mojo. A friend used to race both XC and downhill and owned a Trance and a Glory. He used to replace both bikes every year as he thought it better to replace it while it still was looking good and possible to sell. Anyway 3 years ago he replaced the Trance with a Mojo before a XC race and has kept the Mojo since. He then sold his Glory as the Mojo can handle the downhill just as well. Now he is the only person I know who can ride up the XC track to the top of Mt Stromlo and come down the main Downhill track. He said he found the perfect bike that can do everything well. In his opinion it is better at XC than a Trance or Anthem and better at downhill than a Glory.

    I know you don't want Carbon but I was thinking the top of my Reba Boxer World Cup forks are Carbon and that bike has done a lot of riding and are still OK. I do check that part for any cracks etc as I don't want my forks failing and so far have noticed nothing.

  18. #18
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
    Reputation: ilostmypassword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,161
    If you want a bike that does not "wollow" in its travel (not to be mistaken with squishyness ) then the best advice is to get a DW style link such as the mojo, giant, pivot or turner. And avoid single pivot's.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Quote Originally Posted by ilostmypassword
    If you want a bike that does not "wollow" in its travel (not to be mistaken with squishyness ) then the best advice is to get a DW style link such as the mojo, giant, pivot or turner. And avoid single pivot's.
    Or VPP like Santa Cruz or Intense, leaving out only the Cannondale. I'm personally not a fan on the lefty anyway...or single pivots.

    But seriously - is suspension wallow an inherent characteristic of the design, or is it generally a result of poor tuning (too low spring rate, too little rebound, inappropriate shock for the bike)?

  20. #20
    pwg
    pwg is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    14
    Perhaps an odd question, but how tall are you degrees_of_freedom?

    Have you considered some of the new 29er's going around?

    I know you mentioned not being into Specialized, but I just brought a 2011 Stumpy FSR Comp for $3800 (which is only $2800 in the US...) 5 inches of travel, peddles really well and I love it.

    The one that I would look seriously at is the Giant Anthem 29er. At $3400 it is really well spec'd out and seems to be a great bike. Had frame recall problems, which is why I didn't test one properly (frame now fixed), but i'd say it was worth a look.

    The Anthem is 4 inches front and rear, but with a 29er that would possibly do.

    Good luck whatever you buy.

  21. #21
    fan of maple syrup
    Reputation: nuclear_powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,581
    Quote Originally Posted by chris-crisis
    ...the front steering bearings are very solid and the thicker front wheel skewer work well together to make the bike feel very confident with its steering and that the improved steering is likely to be very noticeable to me.
    Just FYI - it sounds like you're referring to a through-axle fork, as opposed to the QR fork that's on your bike. In which case, it's less of a Trance vs Anthem thing, than it is 2006 bike vs 2009+ bike, since 20 & 15mm through axles are becoming the norm for most forks nowdays, with only the ultra lightweight SID, F-series and R7 forks still running QR (to name a few). Inevitably, these will move to through-axles too. It's worth you mentioning this anyway, as these stiffer axles certainly do play a part in making the bike steer through rougher terrain much better as you mention, and the OP should definitely be looking for a bike that comes with a fork with a through axle.
    Quote Originally Posted by chris-crisis
    ...the top of my Reba Boxer World Cup forks are Carbon...
    Boxxer's are the RockShox dual-crown downhill specific fork and don't have any carbon in them as far as I know. I think you just meant Reba World Cup - which has a carbon steerer. Not that this negates your statement at all - there are mountains and mountains of tests showing how strong carbon is these days in MTB components and frames. I think the OP - being an engineer and possibly a little old-skool at that (?) - just has the same unwariness that most folk will have for a time to come, when it comes to carbon fibre in MTB. Personally I think that if they're using it in commercial airliners (entire wings and some of the fuselage as well) then it's pretty safe to ride around offroad. The only reason I own an alloy SC Nomad instead of the incredibly sexy carbon version is because the carbon was a little too expensive to justify losing 0.6lbs for.

    +1 for VPP suspension by the way - after moving to it from Horst Link, I can say with a certainty that I didn't feel I used to have, that I can not only notice the difference, but also that VPP feels better to me. Esp on square-edge hits, and pedaling uphill.

    But still - no single suspension design is better than another. As I've often said - the discipline of MTB which I feel makes the most use of bicycle suspension is Downhill. And consistently top-20 riders in the World Cup ride:
    - Spec Demo (Horst Link)
    - SC V10 (VPP) (Carbon fibre frame too BTW)
    - GT Fury (Single-pivot with isolated BB) (Also carbon fibre frame)
    - Commencal Supreme DH (Single pivot with linkage-assisted knuckle-box type thingy)
    - Transition TR-450 (single pivot)
    - Evit Revolt (single pivot ... but a bit different)
    - Kona Stab Supreme (Faux bar)
    - Intense M6, M9 & 951 (VPP)
    - Yeti 303 (previously sliding rail virtual pivot, then single pivot faux-bar, now back to sliding rail)
    - Trek Session 88 (effectively half-way between faux-bar and horst link, since the rear pivot is concentric with the rear axle. Technically faux-bar with a brake-jack solution)

    ...to name just a few. In the past some other more basic single pivots have been on the podium (Morewood & Orange), even a few Lawill's back in the day (Schwinn Straight8), and more recently the DW-Link ILMP mentioned had a stint with Sam Hill riding an Ironhorse Sunday to 2 (nearly 3) World Championships. Lapierre, Banshee, and Giant have their own designs similar to VPP and DW-link as well. DW-link may make a return if Turner ever get their DH bike in production ... and they find a rider.

    But if any one of those suspension designs were remarkably better than the others, the results would surely show it. And they don't.

  22. #22
    808+909 = Party Good Time
    Reputation: chumbox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,045
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    To put it simply, I want a bike that'll do everything!
    Kona Cadabra or Kona Abra Cadabra

    http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=cadabra
    http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=abra_cadabra

  23. #23
    Aussie Aussie Aussie!
    Reputation: KYjelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    325
    2013 Giant XTC Advanced SL0 Carbon
    2011 TCR Advanced SL
    2012 Omnium
    2013 29CX Frankenbike

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    70
    I think that the difference between single pivot designs and virtual pivot designs is that the back wheel moves in a backward arc.

    This creates chain tension, so is a sort of auto-lockout while you are pushing hard on the pedals, thus it resists bob.

    I think there are pros and cons to both setups (single vs virtual pivot).
    With single pivots I like how when climbing on a loose track the back wheel is pushed into the ground and it seems to grip better.

    With virtual pivot I like how it feels like a hard tail when I stand and hammer.

    But this is just my uneducated opinion, I'm going to do a bit of demoing to work out what I'm after.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Mitigating brake squat/jack is a big issue with single-pivot designs.

    If you put the pivot in a good location a single-pivot design can pedal pretty well over a reasonable range of gears - SC Superlight for example - but brake squat might reduce the performance of the rear brake (the whole "active under brakes" thing). As a result you may use more front brake, and hence more fork travel, than necessary.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    70
    hmm I wonder if Treks active braking system will mitigate the problems?

    the think that single pivot doesn't suffer will though is that it's still active while pedaling hard. I think virtual pivot locks out to a certain extent. not necessarily a bad thing just different.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    Great responses guys... Thanks.

    Yes & I'm targeting either a VPP or DW link style suspension system (haven't been overly impressed with the ride on the single pivots I've ridden, however Yeti seems to have gotten it right through use of the pro-pedal).

    Lots of votes for the Trance... I must confess I do like them (ala Maestro!). Well priced too. Call me picky, but I'm finding myself attracted to the idea of a boutique brand like Ibis, Intense, Turner, Santa Cruz etc (as opposed to the mass produced stuff).

    The only thing that's turned me off most of these is;
    1) Carbon frame construction (maybe I just need to get over it!?);
    2) Lack of / crappy positioning of water bottle mounts (I do have a camelbak, but would prefer having the optionality - Is that a word?)
    3) Price... These things aren't cheap!

    I see the point w.r.t 29ers, but believe me the last thing I need at this point is more choice!
    At 5' 9" I'm a bit of a short-arse too...

    Thanks for the feedback guys... keep it coming.
    Starting to firm up a preference for the Trance Carbon. Anyone got any feedback on the Intense Tracer or Turner 5 Spot?

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    3) Price... These things aren't cheap!
    My opinion:

    If cost is an issue - go with Giant.

    If not - Intense or Santa Cruz.

    If you need another bottle mount get one that mounts on the seatpost.

    If carbon worries you and you can't get over it - buy alloy.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    284
    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_powered
    Just FYI - it sounds like you're referring to a through-axle fork, as opposed to the QR fork that's on your bike. In which case, it's less of a Trance vs Anthem thing, than it is 2006 bike vs 2009+ bike
    Yes I agree it is more a 2009+ bike thing and it is nice to know people think it is a worthwhile thing to look for when buying a new bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_powered
    Boxxer's are the RockShox dual-crown downhill specific fork and don't have any carbon in them as far as I know. I think you just meant Reba World Cup - which has a carbon steerer.
    Yes it is the Reba World Cup fork.

    And thanks your your post I found it interesting.

  30. #30
    fan of maple syrup
    Reputation: nuclear_powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,581
    I say get over the carbon factor. It's really a non-issue these days. At some point in the future we'll all have at least one CF bike, I'd put money on that.
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    I see the point w.r.t 29ers, but believe me the last thing I need at this point is more choice!
    At 5' 9" I'm a bit of a short-arse too...
    The "I'm too short for a 29er" thing is bunk. Willow Koerber podiums on her 29er and she's 5'2". Look in the 29er forum (near the top of the main page), do a search and you'll find HEAPS of shorties (real shorties - none of this 5'9" stuff) smashin it on 29ers. I'm not saying "go grab one now!" by any means, just don't discount them. Go search for some of mikesee's vids gettin round on his Lenz bikes. They're more than capable of putting up with more than you're capable of throwing at them (esp. the PBJ).

    Like I said before - use these forums. Search for stuff. You'll put weight to some of the things you've heard and find that other stuff is misconception.

  31. #31
    808+909 = Party Good Time
    Reputation: chumbox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,045
    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_powered
    I say get over the carbon factor. It's really a non-issue these days. At some point in the future we'll all have at least one CF bike, I'd put money on that.

    The "I'm too short for a 29er" thing is bunk. Willow Koerber podiums on her 29er and she's 5'2". Look in the 29er forum (near the top of the main page), do a search and you'll find HEAPS of shorties (real shorties - none of this 5'9" stuff) smashin it on 29ers. I'm not saying "go grab one now!" by any means, just don't discount them. Go search for some of mikesee's vids gettin round on his Lenz bikes. They're more than capable of putting up with more than you're capable of throwing at them (esp. the PBJ).

    Like I said before - use these forums. Search for stuff. You'll put weight to some of the things you've heard and find that other stuff is misconception.
    +1 to all this. 29ers aren't everyone's bag but don't cross them off the list based on your height, the geometry clearly compensates for this. The reverese arguement would mean that people who are 5'2" should be riding 24inch wheels and that makes no sense.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox
    The reverese arguement would mean that people who are 5'2" should be riding 24inch wheels and that makes no sense.
    Yeah, or that people who are 4'6" (10 year old boys) should ride 20" wheels (BMX bikes)!

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    O.k, o.k... Carbon is officially on the list (thanks everyone for your straightforward opinions).

    I'll buy into the 29er comments & concede that the old days of 29" bikes being for tall people are well & truly over...

    I guess my real reasons for not seriously considering are due partly to ignorance (I've never actually ridden a 29er), but I have a few workmates with them & have done a bit of 'interrogation'.

    So the real question is should I consider a dual suspension 29er...

    29ers ostensibly 'smooth out' smaller trail obstacles & help maintain momentum due to the higher rotating / unsprung inertia, (arguably) at the expense of acceleration & handling responsiveness.
    So far I've stayed from 29ers on the basis a dual-suspension 5-inch travel 26" bike should manage the 'smoothing out' feature to some degree, whilst still retaining the responsiveness & 'flickability' for the fun factor.
    I reckon if I was in the market for a new hardtail to suit my needs as stated, I would definitely consider a 29er as I reckon it'd be well suited to the longer events & still provide something to trail ride on.
    However, given I already have 2 off 26" hardtails & I'm looking for a play bike that's light enough to do the odd XC / endurance race on I'm viewing having dual suspension together with the larger 29" wheels largely redundant for what I want to do.
    There's the interchangeability issue too... I can buy a dually with an AM wheelset & swap out with my hardtail XC wheelset if I want to lighten things up for a race.
    I also reckon there's still a bit of work to do in terms of sorting the geometry for longer-travel 29ers.

    Like I said though that opinion is pretty subjective given I've never ridden one & up 'till now I've been ignoring 29ers to try & reduce my choices.
    I'm having enough trouble making up my mind as it is!

    Interested to hear what people have to say though.
    If you folks reckon there's a strong argument for looking at a 29" bike, I'm all ears.
    The niner RIP 9 & Trek / gary fisher bikes do look tasty...

  34. #34
    Hud
    Hud is offline
    Singletrack minded
    Reputation: Hud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,949
    I've a 26" duallie, 100mm rear 120mm front. Since I have setup my HT 29er with a 100mm fork I've ridden the duallie once, and didn't enjoy it. (well specced Santa Cruz Superlight) A lot of the guys I ride with used to be on duallies too, they're all on 29ers now and the duallies are gone. For me the 29er steamrolls everything. The trails I ride are very narrow, with lots of tight corners and switchbacks, also steep climbs and descents. My setup has a relatively long 'axle to crown' measurement but handling is never a problem for me.
    The 26er is a little more nimble but feels unstable and I have less confidence on it. It gets 'hung up' in everything from rock gardens and rollovers. I find I really need to concentrate on my lines and have to muscle my way through more whereas on the 29er, despite being 'only' a hardtail I'm relaxed in every situation and can have fun hitting alternate lines.
    Despite having never ridden my 29er at the Youies I know it would eat the rock gardens (eg at the bottom of Trav's) much more safely than a small wheeled bike.
    So - a 100mm full sus 29er would have to be all this and more. I'd reccomend having a hard look at a JET9 with 100mm up front.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    50
    I have been riding a Turner Flux for 5 years (an older Horst link model) and it still puts a smile on my face every time. In that time I have had zero noise, or movement in the pivots...they still feel like new. The newer DW link frame apparently ride even better. Expensive yes, but expect years of trouble free service.

    As for 29er.... I'm starting to think that they will be the soon be the norm, they certain do seem to improve handling etc. I'll probably be a hold out with a 26 duallie. I bet in a few years time you'll be back on 26" reminiscing about how much more challenging they are, how they accelerate better, and then start calling them "old school"

  36. #36
    Hud
    Hud is offline
    Singletrack minded
    Reputation: Hud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,949
    Quote Originally Posted by cowleyd
    I bet in a few years time you'll be back on 26" reminiscing about how much more challenging they are, how they accelerate better, and then start calling them "old school"
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  37. #37
    my legs are sore
    Reputation: Rick O'Shay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    Thanks for the feedback guys... keep it coming. Starting to firm up a preference for the Trance Carbon. Anyone got any feedback on the Intense Tracer or Turner 5 Spot?
    Have you taken a look at the Intense Spider 2? It's lighter and slightly less travel than the Tracer. It also has a water bottle mount that's not in a stupid place.
    Every time you clog a toilet you have exceeded someone's expectations.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gunnar Westholm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    123

  39. #39
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
    Reputation: ilostmypassword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,161
    Let's not forget that a 29er (hardtail) is great for for certain trails. Throw in drops, roots, rocky riding and a dually is a better option.

    I've ridden all types of bikes and also hardtails for 15 yrs before going dually. For XC trails a hardtail is fine. For long endurance events including 12 - 24 hr forget it. A hardtail is also great for a weekend ride around a track that's an hour or so- and a XC race.....but if you want to have FUN.....a dually is where it is at.

    Seriously, everyone will sell you what they believe is "best bike" but it's only you that can decide.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: degrees_of_freedom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9
    O.k, I've done some more researching / test riding & have narrowed it down to 2 favourites: -

    1) Santa Cruz Blur LT (alloy; 140mm travel; VPP)
    2) Giant Trance Advanced X SL1 (carbon; 120mm travel; Maestro)

    Both ride great... Trance is a bit lighter & (while both pedal great), seems a bit better going up... Potentially better aligned for endurance races etc.
    The Blur I think is a wicked fun bike. The geometry & suspension shine going down hills & feel bomb-proof, but it also pedals o.k up hills. It does feel a bit heavier though.

    ...Or... a 29'er.
    I was thinking though, If 29 inch wheeled bikes are so great at soaking up hits, why aren't they using them for downhill races yet?
    And for that matter in the powered version of our sport (dirt bikes) why don't they use larger wheels for enduro races or trials where they're constantly thumping into logs, rocks & all manner of things a hell of a lot harder than the hits you see on an MTB?
    I reckon it might be the change-of-direction inertia issue. What do you guys reckon?

    Anyway, gonna test ride some dual-sprung 29ers & see how I like them.

    DoF

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    483
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    And for that matter in the powered version of our sport (dirt bikes) why don't they use larger wheels for enduro races or trials where they're constantly thumping into logs, rocks & all manner of things a hell of a lot harder than the hits you see on an MTB?
    I reckon it might be the change-of-direction inertia issue. What do you guys reckon?
    Well, for one thing dirt bikes are as you say powered...so the increased rolling efficiency of larger wheels is not so important, though the improved traction is useful (note the larger front wheel on dirt bikes). Dirt bikes have about 12 inches of suspension travel to help get over those logs and rocks - if the wheels were much larger the seat might have to be a fair bit higher to fit the wheels in, plus a larger rear wheel might not provide more drive as it would effectively smooth out the knobbies on the tyre much as it does smooth out the bumps on the track. Larger front wheels have been tried on dirt bikes. I don't know anything about it but apparently turning was more effort.

    Now we're onto dirt bikes, for a bit of interest I might suggest the difference between a hardtail (especially a rigid singlespeed) and a dually is a bit like the difference between a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke, and there's always some amount of talk about which is better for what. Someone much more skilled and learned than me put it rather well here (read rigid or hardtail for 2-stroke, dually for 4-stroke, and legs for arms). The summary (last three lines) are bang-on: http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...3&postcount=19.

  42. #42
    fan of maple syrup
    Reputation: nuclear_powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,581
    Quote Originally Posted by degrees_of_freedom
    I was thinking though, If 29 inch wheeled bikes are so great at soaking up hits, why aren't they using them for downhill races yet?
    They are - just not on the World Cup circuit yet. The yanks are the biggest proponents of the 29er platform so far, so that's where you find them being raced the most. They also have bugger all decent riders on the WC circuit (Aaron Gwin being the only one in recent years to podium from memory), so that's why I reckon you're not seeing them on the WC circiut yet, but in any case some 29er DH bikes have appeared in local US DH events over the past 12 months.

    My guess .... only a matter of time before they're rolling under some WC riders. Once said riders start getting up on the podium, the popularity will rise. As the popularity rises, the amount of bikes grows, and so on. It is, as they say, the way of things.

    Last I heard, the longest travel 29er DH bikes were 7inches - 1 inch less than the standard 26er DH rigs. Two I know of are:
    - Lenz PBJ
    - Intense 2951 (prototype at this stage)

    Notice they both run the Dorado 29er - this is the only DC fork custom made for 29ers that I'm aware of. It's got a matching 7in of travel. The next 'biggest' 29er I can think of is the Niner WFO9 at 6in travel.

    EDIT: WFO9 is 5.5in travel - as kgbarth pointed out below

    In my opinion, 29ers may just be the way things are headed. I like analysing trends as a pastime, and I reckon this one has well and truly gone past the fad stage, or the "We'll just offer another wheel size to make more money" stage. I initially thought it would never catch on, but now I can't help but wonder if it will end up becoming more popular than 26ers. If I had the cash, my next bike would be an SC Tallboy. However, it's carbon-only and therefore too $$ive at the moment, so I'm going to build up a 29er HT instead, with the idea being I could transfer the components over in the future when I can afford a Tallboy frame.
    Last edited by nuclear_powered; 10-17-2010 at 06:42 AM. Reason: Factual error

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3
    +1 to nuclear_powered

    The biggest obstacle so far has perhaps been availability of decent parts in the form of forks and tires in particular. The XC side of things are reasonably well covered, but when you start looking for more than 120mm of travel and rougher tires there really hasn't been much to choose from until this year. Now there is a greater choice in tires. There were a number of 2011 longer travel 29er forks shown earlier this year and some of these have been released to the market. These are mostly Fox and RS designs to pick up the gauntlet thrown by Marzocchi with their 44 Ti 29er. The above mentioned Manitou Dorado however, is still the only non-custom 29er downhill fork I am aware of. Downhill 29er tires I am aware of include the Niner exclusive WTB Kodiak tires and the available to all WTB Dissent. Trust the guys on the US DH circut will come up with more for next year. I have ridden the Kodiaks and they rock!!!

    Should you consider a 29 full suspension for your riding - YES

    I went from a HT 26 to a GF HiFi 29er in 2009 and I love it to death. It has had some bad press (not entirely undeserved) from people who have had problems with their frames - in particular 2008 seems to have been bad - but it handles really, really well both uphill and down again. The combination of rolling over obstacles, greater traction and a feeling of being on rails gunning through twisty trails in the forest is phenomenal.
    Being smitten I built up a second bike this year, a Niner WFO9, which is a 140mm travel bike with big burly 2.5 WTB Kodiak tires and this bike rocks. While it can still be ridden actively as a trail bike it will bump and jump, steam roll rockgardens and most surprisingly - it climbs well. However, sounds like an overkill for you.

    From what I read in your post about your riding I would have a look at Niner RIP9, Intense Tracer29 and Santa Cruz Tallboy for the 29er category. But as always, you need to demo them yourselves to find out if they are your cup of tea.

    KG

  44. #44
    Keep Riding !!
    Reputation: AussieRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    167
    Just to throw another into the mix have alook at the BMC Trail Fox

    http://www.kaoscustombikes.com.au/ProdBMCmtbD.shtml

    Not sure who has them in Brisbane though
    Just Ride !

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •