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  1. #1
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    HT Possible in CO area and Asheville, NC?

    I am from Michigan and I've decided my Michigan riding certainly does not require I purchase a FS bike. Some people may like them and prefer them here, but I'm not looking to drop about $2,000 on something I don't need here. However, I would like to start making annual or bi-annual trips to Asheville, NC and maybe once every 7-10 year trips (or whatever) out to CO and Utah. So is it possible to do these trails with a hardtail?

    I'm not an amazing rider, but I'm not bad either. I just don't want to buy something suitable to trails I will rarely ride and then have "too much" bike on my daily trails here in Michigan.

    I basically have two options in front of me:
    1. Buy a full suspension for around $2,000 and pretty nice components but my daily riding does not call for a FS.
    2. Buy a HT for around $1,500 and get equal to better components and have $500 more in my pocket and this will fit my daily riding needs much better.

    Thanks for your opinions.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardsHockey
    I am from Michigan and I've decided my Michigan riding certainly does not require I purchase a FS bike. Some people may like them and prefer them here, but I'm not looking to drop about $2,000 on something I don't need here. However, I would like to start making annual or bi-annual trips to Asheville, NC and maybe once every 7-10 year trips (or whatever) out to CO and Utah. So is it possible to do these trails with a hardtail?

    I'm not an amazing rider, but I'm not bad either. I just don't want to buy something suitable to trails I will rarely ride and then have "too much" bike on my daily trails here in Michigan.

    I basically have two options in front of me:
    1. Buy a full suspension for around $2,000 and pretty nice components but my daily riding does not call for a FS.
    2. Buy a HT for around $1,500 and get equal to better components and have $500 more in my pocket and this will fit my daily riding needs much better.

    Thanks for your opinions.
    I would say that if you are happy with a HT where you are, then you will be fine with it when you travel. The riding I've done around ashville and out in CO and UT was fun on a FS, but totally doable on a HT. I mean, most MTB destinations have a variety, ranging from things that are more fun on a HT to stuff that an FS is better for.

    However, as far as "too much", there is also the option of an XC-oriented FS which is not "too much" for anything except the road.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    However, as far as "too much", there is also the option of an XC-oriented FS which is not "too much" for anything except the road.
    Would a Giant Anthem be in this category? What are some examples of XC-oriented FS bikes?

    Also, if/when I do go out to CO and down to NC, I definitely want to do the coolest trails and don't want my bike to hold me back. Most of the youtube videos I've watched of "out west" do look very do-able with a HT, but I still just want to make sure from people who have actually been there.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardsHockey
    Would a Giant Anthem be in this category? What are some examples of XC-oriented FS bikes?

    Also, if/when I do go out to CO and down to NC, I definitely want to do the coolest trails and don't want my bike to hold me back. Most of the youtube videos I've watched of "out west" do look very do-able with a HT, but I still just want to make sure from people who have actually been there.
    That is a hard question to answer. If what you are looking for are long epic xc rides that most people will find appropriate for a HT, you will find plenty of them. If you are looking for rides that the HT may feel like the wrong tool for the job, you will find those too. At the same time, some folks prefer the HT regardless of how rough it is. I will say this, though. In general I found the riding I did most places out west more suitable for a HT than on the east coast, especially if those are the trails you want to gravitate towards.

    An Anthem is a good example of a XC FS. Whether you should get one is really a decision only you can make. Is there any way you can borrow a FS to see how you like it? The thing about a FS is that if it is at all rocky and/or rooty, I stay fresher a lot longer.

    What is it that you think these other places may have that makes them less suitable for a HT then where you ride now?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    What is it that you think these other places may have that makes them less suitable for a HT then where you ride now?
    I just wasn't sure how rocky the terrain was on the downhill sections and I wouldn't want to shy away from too many drops. I've done a couple 2 or 3 foot drops here in Michigan, but nothing huge. I guess I just don't want to drive 20+ hours to CO and then have to shy away from the "cooler" trails.

    I've just heard about 4,000 ft elevation changes and mostly downhill - that sounds awesome.

    I would definitely gravitate more towards the East Coast area as Asheville, NC is about 10 hours from me while Denver, CO is 21 hours away.

    Overall my riding style is XC, but that's more of a product of where I live than my choice. I basically want XC-oriented trails with amazing views and some pretty badass downhill sections... where ever I have to drive for that I will go and whatever bike I need to have for that I will get. So that is where my problem lies.

    I appreciate your help. Feel free to ask me any other questions that may help you in helping me decide this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    However, as far as "too much", there is also the option of an XC-oriented FS which is not "too much" for anything except the road.
    I just want to 2nd this. A modern 4" XC FS is not overkill on midwest trails. Sure, you don't "Need" it, but with the modern lightweight designs and platform damping shocks and forks, these aren't the energy-sucking behemoths FS bikes used to be. They can actually outperform a hardtail climbing under certain conditions (rocky/rooty uphills).
    Personally, I think everyone should have at least one hardtail and one FS, but I realize that's not practical for everyone (I have one FS and a whole bunch of hardtails). If you take the big stunts out of the equation (big drops and jumps), you can basically ride anything with anything. There's probably not a popular trail anywhere that someone isn't riding with a rigid singlespeed. It really just comes down to how fast do you want to be able to go through the rough stuff and what are you willing to give up for that. A 4" XC FS is going to allow you to ride more aggressively than a 4" hardtail, but will be a couple of pounds heavier. A 5 or 6" AM FS bike will allow you to go even more aggressively but you add some more weight and the geometry is not quite as great for climbing and riding the flats as the XC bikes.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  7. #7
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    4000 ft elevation changes and mostly downhill.










    First off. If you are looking for it I'm sure CO offers trails with a lot more then 4000 ft of elevation gain.

    Mostly downhill...
    hmmmmmmm, I'm pretty sure the rockies are like the sierra where most downhills end with an uphill and most uphills end with a downhill. Usually repeated about 20X.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3snowboards
    4000 ft elevation changes and mostly downhill.










    First off. If you are looking for it I'm sure CO offers trails with a lot more then 4000 ft of elevation gain.

    Mostly downhill...
    hmmmmmmm, I'm pretty sure the rockies are like the sierra where most downhills end with an uphill and most uphills end with a downhill. Usually repeated about 20X.
    I could be wrong, I dont have firsthand experience of this trail. I just read about it on this message board and it definitely requires a shuttle. Unless the guy who wrote about that trail also claims to have walked to school uphill both ways.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3snowboards
    First off. If you are looking for it I'm sure CO offers trails with a lot more then 4000 ft of elevation gain.
    .
    Your point is.................?

  10. #10
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    I lived in Colorado for a few years and agree with kapusta, you can find all kinds of trails to ride there. I will say though, the perception that people have of Colorado trails is quite often different from what they will find when they get there. Either the HT or a XC oriented FS will work great there for 90% of the trails you will find. But....

    You should pick a price that you are willing to spend on a bike and look at everything that you can find in that range. That may include hardtails all the way to 5"-6" travel FS
    bikes.
    The point is to find a bike that YOU like, not a bike that someone else thinks you need. It is your a$$ that is going to be in the saddle so you may as well enjoy the ride.
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  11. #11
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    If you are coming to CO once every "7-10" years, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy a bike that you think you need for here; that's silly.

    CO and Utah are mountain bike heaven. If you get down here and want to ride stuff that is better suited for a full suspension, any of a multitude of bike shops will happily rent you a VERY NICE rig by the day or week and a reasonable rate (I think something around $65-100 a day with discounts for longer rentals). There's also plenty of stuff that you could tackle on a hardtail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    If you are coming to CO once every "7-10" years, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy a bike that you think you need for here; that's silly.
    It wouldn't just be for CO and Utah, but also for annual to bi-annual trips to Asheville, NC area and other closer areas in the east coast mountains.

    I have read many times (once in this thread too) that the east coast is even more suited for FS than out west. Why is that? How are the trails different? If I fell in love with the Asheville area I would definitely make yearly trips and maybe multiple trips to West Virginia or some other closer mountain location.

  13. #13
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    I think you need to go out an ride those east coast trails with what you currently have then make your decision. As I said before, you can ride just about anything with any bike, what really matters is how you want to ride them. That's a personal decision. 2 or 3 foot drops are fine on either an XC hardtail or an XC FS. If you want to go bigger, you either need to be a smooth rider (know how to control the bike in the air and land properly) or get a beefier rig.

    I wouldn't worry about CO for this bike purchase. If the bike you get for the trails you ride more frequently (your local trails and the East Trails) also works in CO, then you're fine, otherwise you can always rent. I'm assuming you already have a hardtail, so if it's a halfway decent bike, you should keep it and then consider probably either a 4 or 5" FS in addition to your hardtail. That should cover you for most anything. The reality is that if you're basically an XC rider, you're probably not going to go off those big drops in the mountains no matter what bike you're riding. That's pretty much where I'm at. I'm fine getting the wheels 2 or 3 feet off the ground, but I've looked over the edge of some bigger stuff and know that unless I was prepared to gear up (big hit bike and lots of protective gear) and do that kind of stuff regularly, it just ain't in the cards for me.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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