Results 1 to 64 of 64
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87

    Ideal bike for Waterdog Lake

    I know this is going to be super subjective but, I just started riding again after about 5 years and, I'd like some ideas on what people think would be the best bike for Waterdog Lake. I currently ride a 2008 Mojo and I like it but I always hated the brakes and the fact that it doesn't have a dropper seat post. I was going to change those out before I quit but now it doesn't make sense to dump a bunch of money into an outdated bike. I live about 20 houses from the the Waterdog Lake trail head, so that's where 99% of my riding will be. I ride aggressive and I enjoy climbing as much as I do bombing downhill. Hoping for a few ideas so I can narrow down the demo rides.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,227
    I had the most fun out at WD on an aggressive single speed hardtail. This used to be my local ride as I was 15 minutes by bike away. The single speed make up for the lack of serious climbs at dog. But you did say you like bombing downhill, which assume means you do venture out to the cow-mon side. Do you do some of the bigger doubles? If that is the case, a hardtail wont work.

    Pure trail riding, 130mm bike is good. Over the hill, I prefer 160 bikes just because they are more forgiving when you missed.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RBoardman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1,430
    I know someone that rides a rigid single speed out there, and I also know people on DH bikes.

    I would recommend a mid travel (135-150mm) 29er. Your options are endless. Specialized, SC, Ibis, Trek, Norco, Rocky Mountain, Transition, YT, Canyon, Yeti, Pivot, Intense, etc.

    If I ONLY rode Waterdog and had an unlimited budget I would probably get the new SB 100.

  4. #4
    rox
    rox is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,389
    short travel 29er. its not so technical you cant enjoy a hardtail but its got enough rocks and stuff that I think a little squish is more fun. a big bike can be fun too but you have to hump it up all the hills and the descents are relatively short

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    533
    Reality is you're going to branch outside of WD, a lot of the fun stuff around the bay is better with a mid travel bike, most of which pedal pretty good these days.

  6. #6
    ~~~
    Reputation: tburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,998
    Whatever you get, you need one that dodges poison oak with ease, repels ticks, and bunny hops rattlesnakes.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DriverB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    765
    Anything can work there from hardtail to DH. Just depends on your style, have fun.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G925A using Tapatalk
    Marin County, CA

  8. #8
    Chump
    Reputation: Original Goose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    17
    As others have said, pretty much anything will work well in Water Dog proper. I'm on a 120mm 29er and it works great. But a hardtail would probably be fine, as would something with more travel.

    If you branch out only slightly from Water Dog itself, however, the needs are different. If you expect to be spending more time on the downhill and jumps above Carlmont, then you're going to want something slacker with more travel, more into the Enduro category. If you're going to head over to the narrow and twisty singletrack in Laurelwood, then that Enduro bike might be a handful and you're want something more in the Trail category.

    Hard to go wrong though. Have fun. It's nice to have a quality trail network so close to home!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    I had the most fun out at WD on an aggressive single speed hardtail. This used to be my local ride as I was 15 minutes by bike away. The single speed make up for the lack of serious climbs at dog. But you did say you like bombing downhill, which assume means you do venture out to the cow-mon side. Do you do some of the bigger doubles? If that is the case, a hardtail wont work.

    Pure trail riding, 130mm bike is good. Over the hill, I prefer 160 bikes just because they are more forgiving when you missed.
    Interesting: I never thought about getting a single speed but I have wanted a 24" bmx bike for a long time. That might be something that I'd be interested in but I'm not sure for my everyday (or more like every 2-3 day) bike. I won't be hitting any of the big jumps...I have small kids and a stay-at-home-wife so I need to keep my limbs in tact. Over the hill is skeggs or carlmont?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    I know someone that rides a rigid single speed out there, and I also know people on DH bikes.

    I would recommend a mid travel (135-150mm) 29er. Your options are endless. Specialized, SC, Ibis, Trek, Norco, Rocky Mountain, Transition, YT, Canyon, Yeti, Pivot, Intense, etc.

    If I ONLY rode Waterdog and had an unlimited budget I would probably get the new SB 100.
    You're the 2nd person to recommend a Yeti and also a 29er. I was looking at the nomad 4 but I think it's too much bike for me. Have you tried this bike? I rode a Yeti long ago and it didn't take hits or rocks well. I'm sure they're different animals today.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Whatever you get, you need one that dodges poison oak with ease, repels ticks, and bunny hops rattlesnakes.
    lmao that's too funny. The trails are completely overgrown. I was paranoid as heck about ticks and poison oak.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Original Goose View Post
    As others have said, pretty much anything will work well in Water Dog proper. I'm on a 120mm 29er and it works great. But a hardtail would probably be fine, as would something with more travel.

    If you branch out only slightly from Water Dog itself, however, the needs are different. If you expect to be spending more time on the downhill and jumps above Carlmont, then you're going to want something slacker with more travel, more into the Enduro category. If you're going to head over to the narrow and twisty singletrack in Laurelwood, then that Enduro bike might be a handful and you're want something more in the Trail category.

    Hard to go wrong though. Have fun. It's nice to have a quality trail network so close to home!
    Indeed, we're very blessed to have so many trail options in the Bay Area. I'm probably looking at WD 99% of the time and I can always rent if I go out of town for some bigger trails. I'm glad I asked all of you guys because I wasn't even looking at a 29er but that seems to be the consensus.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RBoardman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1,430
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    Interesting: I never thought about getting a single speed but I have wanted a 24" bmx bike for a long time. That might be something that I'd be interested in but I'm not sure for my everyday (or more like every 2-3 day) bike. I won't be hitting any of the big jumps...I have small kids and a stay-at-home-wife so I need to keep my limbs in tact. Over the hill is skeggs or carlmont?
    Carlmont. Literally exit a waterdog trailhead, cross the street, and you will arrive at some jumps and more aggressive DH.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RBoardman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1,430
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    You're the 2nd person to recommend a Yeti and also a 29er. I was looking at the nomad 4 but I think it's too much bike for me. Have you tried this bike? I rode a Yeti long ago and it didn't take hits or rocks well. I'm sure they're different animals today.
    No, but this bike looks super sick with xc pedal-ability and enduro-ish geo.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Carlmont. Literally exit a waterdog trailhead, cross the street, and you will arrive at some jumps and more aggressive DH.
    That's right by my house. The trail head on the other side is where I enter waterdog.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    Indeed, we're very blessed to have so many trail options in the Bay Area. I'm probably looking at WD 99% of the time and I can always rent if I go out of town for some bigger trails. I'm glad I asked all of you guys because I wasn't even looking at a 29er but that seems to be the consensus.
    Might want to just swing by Woodside Bike shop, he's local and will work with you

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Pride View Post
    Might want to just swing by Woodside Bike shop, he's local and will work with you
    Is that where people are going now? I was really bummed to see that Passion Trails closed.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    40
    Before talking about bikes, I'll talk about components since that's relevant in choosing which build to get. 1) A dropper is a game changer at water dog because of the rolling terrain and punchy climbs. 2) You probably don't need serious low-range gearing there since none of the climbs are all that long or steep (except three witches). You don't need Eagle etc for the trails there.

    You could get by with, and have a lot of fun on, a 29er hardtail at Water Dog. I have ridden there quite a lot on mine with only 100mm travel (if I had to do it again, I would've gone for 120mm travel). I would say if you ride there regularly, that might be the route as depending on your skill the trails might get a little boring on an FS if you are really familiar with them and know all the best lines.

    I also have ridden my Yeti SB5 there (mid-travel 27.5 bike). It's fun, but so far I prefer more technical stuff on that bike like Cinderella/Chaparral at JMP.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17
    Short travel 29er as waterdog is a pedally spot.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    Is that where people are going now? I was really bummed to see that Passion Trails closed.
    Yeah, Woodside is the closest, he does yeti, sc and some others

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Pride View Post
    Yeah, Woodside is the closest, he does yeti, sc and some others
    Thanks man. I'll check them out tomorrow. I went to a few chain stores and wasn't impressed

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by rafekett View Post
    the trails might get a little boring on an FS if you are really familiar with them and know all the best lines.

    This is solid advice and something that I hadn't considered

  23. #23
    fc
    fc is offline
    honcho Administrator
    Reputation: fc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1996
    Posts
    29,961
    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Whatever you get, you need one that dodges poison oak with ease, repels ticks, and bunny hops rattlesnakes.
    Yup. And 600mm bars since folks rarely them bushes and it's tight. Maybe a bike with lights in case it gets dark on you??
    IPA will save America

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bob-o's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    581
    Ripley LS would be a solid choice and serve you well for the majority of West Coast trails, Sierras/Tahoe area as well.

  25. #25
    Over it
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,571
    ^^ I'll second that emotion!

    The Waterdog trails will get boring no matter what bike you have. Get a bike that you can grow into in other places.
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  26. #26
    fc
    fc is offline
    honcho Administrator
    Reputation: fc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1996
    Posts
    29,961
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    ^^ I'll second that emotion!

    The Waterdog trails will get boring no matter what bike you have. Get a bike that you can grow into in other places.
    Yeah, Waterdog is an hour ride after work at best. So any bike will do. Dial in a bike for where you plan/aspire to ride.
    IPA will save America

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    62
    A ~130mm 29er with a fairly short wheelbase works great for me there, it seems perfect actually. I have never ridden carlmont though, only heard about it. IMO I never get bored of waterdog though, such nice twisty, fast trails.

    But as others said, i'd get a bike based on other riding areas and just ride it at waterdog. An enduro bike might be overkill at waterdog but it could also handle the corners nicely, so it may not matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Whatever you get, you need one that dodges poison oak with ease, repels ticks, and bunny hops rattlesnakes.
    This is the most truthful post i've read, except i've never seen a rattler at belmont and I seem to be immune to the poison oak. My main concern would be having a bike that saws off those low hanging branches as those branches and I are not friends. And i've only ever had tick problems at waterdog, nowhere else in the bay
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    lmao that's too funny. The trails are completely overgrown. I was paranoid as heck about ticks and poison oak.
    Keep an eye out for ticks there for sure!

  28. #28
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,066
    Permethrin. I spray all my clothes and kids clothes with this stuff. It's good for 6 washes and is deadly to ticks, harmless to humans.

    https://sawyer.com/products/permethr...ent-treatment/

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Yeah, Waterdog is an hour ride after work at best. So any bike will do. Dial in a bike for where you plan/aspire to ride.
    Would something like the new Ibis Ripmo be too much bike in your opinion or should I be looking at the Hightower LT, Yeti 5.5 and Ibis Ripley? My current bike is 26" with 140mm travel so all of them are going to be an upgrade.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Permethrin. I spray all my clothes and kids clothes with this stuff. It's good for 6 washes and is deadly to ticks, harmless to humans.

    https://sawyer.com/products/permethr...ent-treatment/
    Just ordered some on Amazon

  31. #31
    Over it
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,571
    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Permethrin. I spray all my clothes and kids clothes with this stuff. It's good for 6 washes and is deadly to ticks, harmless to humans.
    Harmless? That's what they used to say about Round-up (and a lot of things). I've read some articles that give me pause. I'm still using the buddy system at this point!
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: b0bg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    220
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    You're the 2nd person to recommend a Yeti and also a 29er. I was looking at the nomad 4 but I think it's too much bike for me. Have you tried this bike? I rode a Yeti long ago and it didn't take hits or rocks well. I'm sure they're different animals today.
    I ride a decent amount at waterdog and have done for years. I've ridden a 26" hardtail, the odd short travel demo/loaner, an Intense Tracer, and my current Ibis HD4. The latter 2 are plenty fun on the lake side, but are frankly overkill for these trails. My riding buddies who live next to the park and spend a lot more time at WD than I do ride an older stumpjumper, and a mojoHD, both with less travel and more of a trail geo. I'd say while you can have fun on anything from the HT to the HD4 the ~130mm trail stuff (including 29ers if you like the handling) are the ideal balance between fun and capable, and that's what I'd ride if I was there for most of my riding (ripley, mojoHD, that yeti that's the new hotness). Especially since that would be a great bike for a lot of other close in stuff: demo, skeggs, saratoga, etc.


    If you expect to spend more time on the Carlmont stuff go for a bigger bike, but if you're not a hucker and you get a modern mid-travel trail bike you'll find a lot of short-drive/no-drive spots to take your bike. Like you say if you want to go check out N* you can always rent (on the other hand you'll find plenty of Tahoe stuff that would be a blast on a Ripley or that sb100).

  33. #33
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,066
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Harmless? That's what they used to say about Round-up (and a lot of things). I've read some articles that give me pause. I'm still using the buddy system at this point!
    Post the articles you've read here: Ticks in NorCal: Info, Repellents, and Remedies

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    14
    I ride water dog at least a couple times a week and recently upgraded from a 26" hard trail to a Kona hei hei 29er. 100mm travel rear and 120mm front. Super light and climbs well. Fun in the turns and the short travel and dual remote lockout helps with the fun factor immensely. There's just enough squish to soften the ride but not so much as to make it dead. IMO, the perfect bike for these trails.
    I'm a dad too so I know about having fun without needing to jump everything and risk injury. I don't feel like I need longer travel and the geometry of the Hei Hei is biased to the xc side of things making the bike lively/more responsive to inputs.
    Also, if you haven't yet, you need to explore the trails into Laurelwood accessible to the north of Ralston from the top of water dog. They are sublime!

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    fc
    fc is offline
    honcho Administrator
    Reputation: fc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1996
    Posts
    29,961
    Quote Originally Posted by ladeekus View Post
    I ride water dog at least a couple times a week and recently upgraded from a 26" hard trail to a Kona hei hei 29er. 100mm travel rear and 120mm front. Super light and climbs well. Fun in the turns and the short travel and dual remote lockout helps with the fun factor immensely. There's just enough squish to soften the ride but not so much as to make it dead. IMO, the perfect bike for these trails.
    I'm a dad too so I know about having fun without needing to jump everything and risk injury. I don't feel like I need longer travel and the geometry of the Hei Hei is biased to the xc side of things making the bike lively/more responsive to inputs.
    Also, if you haven't yet, you need to explore the trails into Laurelwood accessible to the north of Ralston from the top of water dog. They are sublime!

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    Yup! Good bike for the dawg!!

    fc
    IPA will save America

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    ...I'm glad I asked all of you guys because I wasn't even looking at a 29er but that seems to be the consensus.
    I ride there a couple times a week, maybe I'll see you around.

    I would recommend test riding a few 27.5 bikes as well as 29ers, and just see what you like best. Most people seem to recommend 29ers these days, at least on this forum, but it really comes down to your style, and how the bikes feel to you. After you test ride, you will know what fits your style better. I went with a 27.5 (Canyon Spectral), because it was the bike that I found most fun to test ride, didn't feel like a huge departure from my 26" bike, liked the low speed handling and acceleration better than the 29er I rode the same day (YT Jeffsy). I rode another 29er another day (Transition Smuggler), and loved it, except for the heel rub on my big feet, but only got half the demo time on it that I did on the Jeffsy, so who knows. There is probably a 29er out there I would love, but I am not sure if it is within my budget, given all the other stuff I want on the bike.

    Like people have mentioned, I was looking at bikes that could branch out from WD and travel around CA, so I was looking at aggressive trail bikes (since I actually enjoy conquering climbs and don't just focus on the descents... but wanted some forgiveness when learning new trails at the same time). This will really depend on what you want to ride in the future, but I wouldn't recommend getting a full on enduro bike just for 1% of your riding, unless you really don't care about climbing. Others will disagree. Again, I think this depends on your budget. I test rode a Transition Patrol, and I got the feeling I would be annoyed with it on climbs, or at least annoyed with having to fiddle with climb switches. It was a blast downhill of course.

    Most of my experience at WD was riding a 25 year old hardtail with a 1" elastomer fork and 26" x 2" tires. I wouldn't recommend it, but after learning about a few tricky spots for traction, it is fine. And, if you find WD boring at some point, ride something like that, or the SS.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by ladeekus View Post
    I ride water dog at least a couple times a week and recently upgraded from a 26" hard trail to a Kona hei hei 29er. 100mm travel rear and 120mm front. Super light and climbs well. Fun in the turns and the short travel and dual remote lockout helps with the fun factor immensely. There's just enough squish to soften the ride but not so much as to make it dead. IMO, the perfect bike for these trails.
    I'm a dad too so I know about having fun without needing to jump everything and risk injury. I don't feel like I need longer travel and the geometry of the Hei Hei is biased to the xc side of things making the bike lively/more responsive to inputs.
    Also, if you haven't yet, you need to explore the trails into Laurelwood accessible to the north of Ralston from the top of water dog. They are sublime!

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    That's reassuring to hear because it sounds like we're in the same boat. I checked out a couple of bike shops today. Iwent in totally unbiased and both of them steered me to the hightower. A little less travel than I was expecting but but seeing that you're rolling 120mm on the same trails that I'll be riding, I'm going to demo it and see how it goes.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by b0bg View Post
    I ride a decent amount at waterdog and have done for years. I've ridden a 26" hardtail, the odd short travel demo/loaner, an Intense Tracer, and my current Ibis HD4. The latter 2 are plenty fun on the lake side, but are frankly overkill for these trails. My riding buddies who live next to the park and spend a lot more time at WD than I do ride an older stumpjumper, and a mojoHD, both with less travel and more of a trail geo. I'd say while you can have fun on anything from the HT to the HD4 the ~130mm trail stuff (including 29ers if you like the handling) are the ideal balance between fun and capable, and that's what I'd ride if I was there for most of my riding (ripley, mojoHD, that yeti that's the new hotness). Especially since that would be a great bike for a lot of other close in stuff: demo, skeggs, saratoga, etc.


    If you expect to spend more time on the Carlmont stuff go for a bigger bike, but if you're not a hucker and you get a modern mid-travel trail bike you'll find a lot of short-drive/no-drive spots to take your bike. Like you say if you want to go check out N* you can always rent (on the other hand you'll find plenty of Tahoe stuff that would be a blast on a Ripley or that sb100).
    good info. I am leaning towards the hightower that was recommended to me by two shops. I also like the ability to run 29 and 27.5+ tire sizes on that bike. Although, none of the shops I went to are selling anything by Ibis, so they could be partial towards Santa Cruz. I don't see myself doing Carlmont all that often, unless I go riding after having too many beers. Mostly looking for a fun way to stay in shape.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeggs1993 View Post
    I ride there a couple times a week, maybe I'll see you around.

    I would recommend test riding a few 27.5 bikes as well as 29ers, and just see what you like best. Most people seem to recommend 29ers these days, at least on this forum, but it really comes down to your style, and how the bikes feel to you. After you test ride, you will know what fits your style better. I went with a 27.5 (Canyon Spectral), because it was the bike that I found most fun to test ride, didn't feel like a huge departure from my 26" bike, liked the low speed handling and acceleration better than the 29er I rode the same day (YT Jeffsy). I rode another 29er another day (Transition Smuggler), and loved it, except for the heel rub on my big feet, but only got half the demo time on it that I did on the Jeffsy, so who knows. There is probably a 29er out there I would love, but I am not sure if it is within my budget, given all the other stuff I want on the bike.

    Like people have mentioned, I was looking at bikes that could branch out from WD and travel around CA, so I was looking at aggressive trail bikes (since I actually enjoy conquering climbs and don't just focus on the descents... but wanted some forgiveness when learning new trails at the same time). This will really depend on what you want to ride in the future, but I wouldn't recommend getting a full on enduro bike just for 1% of your riding, unless you really don't care about climbing. Others will disagree. Again, I think this depends on your budget. I test rode a Transition Patrol, and I got the feeling I would be annoyed with it on climbs, or at least annoyed with having to fiddle with climb switches. It was a blast downhill of course.

    Most of my experience at WD was riding a 25 year old hardtail with a 1" elastomer fork and 26" x 2" tires. I wouldn't recommend it, but after learning about a few tricky spots for traction, it is fine. And, if you find WD boring at some point, ride something like that, or the SS.
    I'm trying to get out to WD a few days a week. I'm on an older carbon Mojo with crossmax wheels and red anodized accents. Holler out at me if you see me riding out there.

    I was just commenting below that I was leaning towards the Hightower (based on recommendations butnot demo'd yet). It can run 27.5 and 29 so that would ease my concerns. I think it'd be fun to swap wheelsets too for different rides. I didn't ask if the suspensions had a switch on them because that was just standard when I was last shopping for a bike. Although, I'm not sure it would bother me since I'm used to it that way. What bike would you recommend in 27.5, say in the $4-5k price range?

    I've ridden Waterdog so many times that it's not exciting for me anymore but it's still such a blast when I'm out there. I think the first reply I got suggested a single speed and that's definitely something I'm going to look into but just not for everyday riding.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    I'm trying to get out to WD a few days a week. I'm on an older carbon Mojo with crossmax wheels and red anodized accents. Holler out at me if you see me riding out there.

    I was just commenting below that I was leaning towards the Hightower (based on recommendations butnot demo'd yet). It can run 27.5 and 29 so that would ease my concerns.
    Right on. The bike I ride now has a big bright orange stripe on the top of the frame. Say hi.

    I thought about the option for a bike that can take 2 different size wheels, and it was appealing, but was a little out of my price range, and I don't really want to ride 27.5 x 2.8", which is what those bikes run stock. I had wondered how a bike like a Hightower would ride with a 27.5 x 2.5 up front and a 27.5 x 2.4 tire in the back... but I didn't wonder hard enough to demo, as I think the pricing didn't work for me when considering the model that has at least the GX Eagle drivetrain.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zuuds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    520
    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    aggressive single speed hardtail.
    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    short travel 29er
    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Pride View Post
    a mid travel bike
    Wrong, wrong, wrong! The OP asked about a bike for Waterdog Lake, this is what he needs:

    Ideal bike for Waterdog Lake-13059_1000x1000.jpg

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by ladeekus View Post
    Also, if you haven't yet, you need to explore the trails into Laurelwood accessible to the north of Ralston from the top of water dog. They are sublime!
    Never heard this before, I wouldn't mind a way to mix up/add mileage to rides down there. Any intel on what the trails are like? Are they similar to the ones at Water Dog? Fire roads or singletrack? Water dog is my go-to "I don't have time/legs to go anywhere else" weekend spot but it gets boring.

  43. #43
    rox
    rox is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,389
    there are no other trails

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Whatever you get, you need one that dodges poison oak with ease, repels ticks, and bunny hops rattlesnakes.
    You're not gonna freakin believe this. I went for a ride at waterdog today. Dropped in from the top of Carlmont and about half way down to the parking lot, I ran over a rattle snake. I stopped to see if I got bit and to warn my friend to avoid the snake. As he came to a stop, he noticed 3 ticks on his legs, so I checked mine and saw one crawling up my shin. Hopefully, I don't get poison oak, as this was the 1st rattle snake I ever encountered there and the 1st tick I ever saw on me.

  45. #45
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,066
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    You're not gonna freakin believe this. I went for a ride at waterdog today. Dropped in from the top of Carlmont and about half way down to the parking lot, I ran over a rattle snake. I stopped to see if I got bit and to warn my friend to avoid the snake. As he came to a stop, he noticed 3 ticks on his legs, so I checked mine and saw one crawling up my shin. Hopefully, I don't get poison oak, as this was the 1st rattle snake I ever encountered there and the 1st tick I ever saw on me.
    I almost rode Waterdog today. Glad I stayed away! LOL!

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by zuuds View Post
    Wrong, wrong, wrong! The OP asked about a bike for Waterdog Lake, this is what he needs:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	13059_1000x1000.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	202.6 KB 
ID:	1197559
    If only the lake was that nice

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    I almost rode Waterdog today. Glad I stayed away! LOL!
    You would have been fine. I went around 1pm so I probably snagged all the thirsty ticks that were hanging off the edges. Nothing after I got on the main trails. But I did see a 2nd snake of some sort on the fire road.

  48. #48
    Axe
    Axe is offline
    Custom User Title
    Reputation: Axe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,354
    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    I had the most fun out at WD on an aggressive single speed hardtail.
    This. Out if several bikes I grab single speed steel hardtail first. Waterdog being my backyard.

  49. #49
    Axe
    Axe is offline
    Custom User Title
    Reputation: Axe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,354
    Quote Originally Posted by rafekett View Post
    Are they similar to the ones at Water Dog?
    Yes. But shorter.

  50. #50
    Axe
    Axe is offline
    Custom User Title
    Reputation: Axe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,354
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Harmless?
    Better than Lyme.

    Too bad they banned DDT. Interesting story how it really happened. That was indeed harmless to humans - when it is not sprayed by tons on everything that grows.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    I almost rode Waterdog today. Glad I stayed away! LOL!
    they've done a lot of cutting back on the brush as well as some more stanitization

  52. #52
    Over it
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,571
    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Better than Lyme.

    Too bad they banned DDT. Interesting story how it really happened. That was indeed harmless to humans - when it is not sprayed by tons on everything that grows.
    Or not: The DDT Story | Pesticide Action Network https://www.newscientist.com/article...alth-problems/

    "All science is lies and propaganda!" ~ Golfer-in-Chief
    Last edited by dirtvert; 1 Week Ago at 04:56 PM.
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SikeMo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    266
    Just rode WD a few days ago and it was only overgrown on the switchbacks of Finch, imo.

    As far as bikes go, if you're riding WD, Skeggs, Tama, CC, SG, any of the newer short travel 29ers or even hard tails are fine. SC Blur, TB3, Yeti SB100, Intense Sniper, Canfield EPO, etc. I really had fun riding hard tails around a few years ago, but my old man back can't take it anymore.

  54. #54
    Axe
    Axe is offline
    Custom User Title
    Reputation: Axe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,354
    Lies and propaganda.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    22
    I used to live in San Carlos and rode WD often - so happy to have that nice trail system nearby!

    To save, you could put a dropper and new brakes on your Mojo for now. Then, pull them off if/when you buy a new rig. Or, live with it as is until you're sure you're ready to plunk down a chunk on a new ride.

    Mike

  56. #56
    Founder: Dirty3hirties
    Reputation: ddraewwg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,016
    My story is similar to yours. Had to quit biking cold turkey for 5 years (had 2 kids). When I had the chance to get back on the bike I dusted off the Mojo and like you, didn't want to invest a lot of money in such an old bike. I got some new XT8000 brakes since they were cheap and I didn't trust my 10 year old Juicy's which showed some corrosion around the master cylinder.

    I live next to Sugarloaf/Laurelwood so I figured WD would be my "home" park. I set out and within the first 10 min I was hooked again. I rode the Mojo for 5 months with my eye on the HD3 and told myself if it went on sale I was gonna grab it. Oct rolled around and snagged one and have never looked back. Now I ride WD 2-3X/week and link all the trails in Sugarloaf/Laurelwood, Belmont Open Space, San Juan Open Space and WD. I can get a 15 mi, 2500 ft of climbing loop right from my house. About 2 hours of riding time. Yes WD is small but for a suburban park it's the best in the bay.

    Re: the oak and ticks, there has been a lot of trail/shrub work in the past 2 weeks. Goats were brought in to eat all the brush and I can tell someone has brought it some heavy machinery to knock down a lot of the oak/overgrown brush.

    Ticks - Odd but during a ride last week with a buddy of mine, we found maybe about 10-12 ticks on us. At one point my buddy had 7 on his lower leg! But we were wearing high socks and shin/knee guards and after thinking about it, that probably made it easier for those bastards to stick to our legs as we passed through the brush. Haven't found any ticks since that one ride and i've been back 3 times since. I wouldn't really let it deter you...just check yourself if you hit a section of trail that has a lot of brush. The stuff in Laurelwood/Sugarloaf/Belmont/San Juan are really tight twisty trails and there is little to no maintenance done at all. Super narrow, super overgrown. That's where you're most likely to pick them up.

    As far as bikes are concerned, it can be anything but the sweet spot is prolly a 130-140mm 27.5 or 100-120mm 29er BUT I don't think you're really hampered by something longer like my HD3. In fact I'm faster everywhere...up and down, on the HD3 than my Mojo C.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    21
    130 rear / 150 front. with dropper post and decent brakes. =) Diamondback release?

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg View Post
    Ticks - Odd but during a ride last week with a buddy of mine, we found maybe about 10-12 ticks on us. At one point my buddy had 7 on his lower leg! But we were wearing high socks and shin/knee guards and after thinking about it, that probably made it easier for those bastards to stick to our legs as we passed through the brush.
    Ha, I thought I was the only one out there (WD) with his socks pulled up, looking like my dad. Did the ticks stay outside the socks?

    BTW- I started treating all my clothes with Permethrin, thanks to another thread in NorCal about ticks.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in SC View Post
    I used to live in San Carlos and rode WD often - so happy to have that nice trail system nearby!

    To save, you could put a dropper and new brakes on your Mojo for now. Then, pull them off if/when you buy a new rig. Or, live with it as is until you're sure you're ready to plunk down a chunk on a new ride.

    Mike
    Great suggestion. The main thing that's keeping me from doing that is the bike has the shiman brake/shifter combo, so I'd have to change my shifters too. Just not work it on a 10 year old bike imo. I'm going to demo the Ripmo and the hightower LT and probably will purchase one of the two.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alexb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg View Post
    My story is similar to yours. Had to quit biking cold turkey for 5 years (had 2 kids). When I had the chance to get back on the bike I dusted off the Mojo and like you, didn't want to invest a lot of money in such an old bike. I got some new XT8000 brakes since they were cheap and I didn't trust my 10 year old Juicy's which showed some corrosion around the master cylinder.

    I live next to Sugarloaf/Laurelwood so I figured WD would be my "home" park. I set out and within the first 10 min I was hooked again. I rode the Mojo for 5 months with my eye on the HD3 and told myself if it went on sale I was gonna grab it. Oct rolled around and snagged one and have never looked back. Now I ride WD 2-3X/week and link all the trails in Sugarloaf/Laurelwood, Belmont Open Space, San Juan Open Space and WD. I can get a 15 mi, 2500 ft of climbing loop right from my house. About 2 hours of riding time. Yes WD is small but for a suburban park it's the best in the bay.

    Re: the oak and ticks, there has been a lot of trail/shrub work in the past 2 weeks. Goats were brought in to eat all the brush and I can tell someone has brought it some heavy machinery to knock down a lot of the oak/overgrown brush.

    Ticks - Odd but during a ride last week with a buddy of mine, we found maybe about 10-12 ticks on us. At one point my buddy had 7 on his lower leg! But we were wearing high socks and shin/knee guards and after thinking about it, that probably made it easier for those bastards to stick to our legs as we passed through the brush. Haven't found any ticks since that one ride and i've been back 3 times since. I wouldn't really let it deter you...just check yourself if you hit a section of trail that has a lot of brush. The stuff in Laurelwood/Sugarloaf/Belmont/San Juan are really tight twisty trails and there is little to no maintenance done at all. Super narrow, super overgrown. That's where you're most likely to pick them up.

    As far as bikes are concerned, it can be anything but the sweet spot is prolly a 130-140mm 27.5 or 100-120mm 29er BUT I don't think you're really hampered by something longer like my HD3. In fact I'm faster everywhere...up and down, on the HD3 than my Mojo C.
    Thanks for sharing your backstory. It sounds like you were in my same boat not too long ago. Did you consider a 29" before going for the HD3? I was always very happy with my mojo, so I probably should add the newer Mojo to my list of bikes to demo. I've never ridden a 650b or a 29" for that matter.

    I'm interested in your ride through San Juan and Laurelwood. Do you have the ride posted anywhere? Would be nice to venture out instead of doing multiple loops at WD.

  61. #61
    Over it
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,571
    ^^ I went from an HD(26) to an HD3(27.5) to a Ripley LS(29). The move to 27.5 was pretty subtle, but the jump to 29 was impressive--much faster on technical descents with no loss of nimbleosity. Try one!
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    473
    Just get a SOLO.
    T275a

  63. #63
    Founder: Dirty3hirties
    Reputation: ddraewwg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,016
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeggs1993 View Post
    Ha, I thought I was the only one out there (WD) with his socks pulled up, looking like my dad. Did the ticks stay outside the socks?

    BTW- I started treating all my clothes with Permethrin, thanks to another thread in NorCal about ticks.
    I only found 1-2 ticks that made it onto my skin....most we found on our shoes, socks or shin/knee guards.

    My buddy uses some repellant on his clothes...don't know if its exactly the same though.

  64. #64
    Founder: Dirty3hirties
    Reputation: ddraewwg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,016
    Quote Originally Posted by alexb650 View Post
    Thanks for sharing your backstory. It sounds like you were in my same boat not too long ago. Did you consider a 29" before going for the HD3? I was always very happy with my mojo, so I probably should add the newer Mojo to my list of bikes to demo. I've never ridden a 650b or a 29" for that matter.

    I'm interested in your ride through San Juan and Laurelwood. Do you have the ride posted anywhere? Would be nice to venture out instead of doing multiple loops at WD.
    At the time....seems like ages ago, I was focused squarely on a 27.5". Call it bias, prejudice, whatever but I had preconceived notions of what a 29er would ride like. Besides that, moving from a 26" to 29" felt like a huge leap into the unknown.

    My rides are posted on Strava. PM me and we can exchange details.

Similar Threads

  1. Waterdog riders - BHCIA meeting - Bike trails in canyons
    By tswitz1234 in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-16-2018, 10:48 AM
  2. PSA - Downed trees: Waterdog - Lake loop
    By ddraewwg in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-20-2016, 08:52 PM
  3. found: bike computer at waterdog
    By rox in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-05-2014, 05:02 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-05-2013, 09:23 AM
  5. 5-0 on Waterdog Lake Road trail
    By zuuds in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-01-2011, 10:21 PM

Members who have read this thread: 202

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.