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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Noob what to do question

    I recently got back into biking. I am 42 and haven't had a bike in 25 years. I bought a Trek 7.3 to ride around the neighborhood and get some exercise. Then I found the MTB trails locally. I wanted something to ride on the beginner/int trails. So I found a great deal on a '13 closeout on a Felt six 70. I really like the bike but it is very bouncy over the many roots on my local trails. From doing some research I am finding that the Suntour XCT could be a lot of the issues I am having as it tends to be bouncy. And also in reading I have found that a 29er may take some of the rough ride over the roots better then the 26. I did test drive a 29er but it felt big for me. Not sure if it was just frame size or just overall.

    My question is would upgrading the front shock in the Suntour upgrade program be a great help or should I just wait until spring and look at 29ers? Does the 29" really make a drastic improvement? The 29er would probably be another beginner to int bike. (Trek Mamba or equivalent x-caliber now that the Mamba is gone is about the outside of what I could afford.) Any insight would be appreciated and thanks for reading my long ramble!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mevadus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    The 29er will smooth out the trail. Are you looking at full-suspension or hard-tails? Also, most bike companies design their geometry differently, and you will find some 29ers feel more like a 26" when riding than others. I believe the Giant Anthem is one of the 29ers that has a similar feel on the trail as the 26" version when it comes to control. I would definitely go test ride bikes before buying a nee one, or rven upgrading your fork.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Any local shops have demo or rental bikes? Friends or clubs that would let you borrow a bike ?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    If your going to buy another bike why buy another beginner /int bike, wouldn't you have the same issues.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: masterofnone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    When I switch between riding my 29ers and my old 26er hardtail my brain perceives it as much smaller because that front wheel doesn't protrude as far out front of the bars. I switch between the 26ers and 29ers depending upon the intended terrain and amount of travel needed, some riders like myself can adapt, many cannot. There are endless threads on the merits of the three wheel sizes with hard asses in each camp, personally it makes my head hurt anymore. Your best bet is to find a lbs that will let you take out demos and compare side by side on your trails.
    To appreciate the flowers you must also walk among s**t to know the difference

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Crappy forks actually make the ride worse than just sticking a rigid fork in there. However, the market consistently rejects entry-level rigid bikes. Too bad, but then the Theory of the Intelligent Market basically sucks.

    Getting a rigid fork would help. I haven't ridden Suntour's serious forks, but hear they work well. So that would probably help. Getting a name-brand fork would help, as long as you didn't buy from all the way at the bottom of the line. (Might still help, but IMO not a purchase with sticking power.)

    Other things that help are figuring out "your" tire pressure, getting your riding position nailed, learning how to set your expectations, and technique. Since some forks are actively worse than just riding rigid, I give getting a rigid or nicer fork a pass on "don't buy upgrades."

    For comparison, I weigh about 165 lb right now and put 22.5 and 25 psi in my tires, which are 2.2".
    Technique is a bit harder to try to describe in text. Do you ride with friends?
    Here's something on riding position.
    Bicycling and Pain
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    The fork upgrade would be a major improvement. You could then ride for at least a season without wanting a better bike. But it is still heavy at about 5lbs for the Raidon. An Epicon off ebay is a lighter better performing option.
    The trail usable X-Cal models are the 8 and 9.

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