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  1. #1
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    Mt Tam and beyond...what bike?

    Hi everyone...i posted this in another forum but this one might be more appropriate...

    i live in norcal and have ridden/raced road for the last 20 yrs. i am looking for a fs 26er that is light and doesn't bob. currently im on a soft tail w/ 1.5" of travel but there are times (descending and climbing rocky stuff) when i wished i had more suspension. do you recommend 4" or 5" of travel? i have been thinking 4" as it is more similar to my road position.

    i liked the ibis mojo but i don't know if i really need all that travel plus the placing of the water bottle is a negative. i rode a tricked out scott spark but it bobbed too much. im curious about the trek top fuel 9.9 ssl, turner flux, pivot mach 4 and santa cruz blur xc. i think there is something to the dw link suspension as the ibis rode so well.

    lastly i am looking to get up the climb faster than getting down it. i may do some racing but that would be secondary to just having fun. any and all comments would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    blur xc in my opinion but im a santa cruz guy

  3. #3
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    Also a Santa Cruz guy, but I like how Scott has a line of bikes that will lockout front and rear suspension during climbs. Perhaps that's what you're looking for. If you don't mind "some" weight, here's an option for an all-mountain bike:

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/06/12/...frame-details/

    BTW, Scotts are not the only one that does front/rear lockout. I'm sure other bike lines have them, and I've seen 21 pound full suspension bikes out of the box so if XC
    is your thing, then maybe those would be an option for you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaireau
    Hi everyone...i posted this in another forum but this one might be more appropriate...

    i live in norcal and have ridden/raced road for the last 20 yrs. i am looking for a fs 26er that is light and doesn't bob. currently im on a soft tail w/ 1.5" of travel but there are times (descending and climbing rocky stuff) when i wished i had more suspension. do you recommend 4" or 5" of travel? i have been thinking 4" as it is more similar to my road position.

    i liked the ibis mojo but i don't know if i really need all that travel plus the placing of the water bottle is a negative. i rode a tricked out scott spark but it bobbed too much. im curious about the trek top fuel 9.9 ssl, turner flux, pivot mach 4 and santa cruz blur xc. i think there is something to the dw link suspension as the ibis rode so well.

    lastly i am looking to get up the climb faster than getting down it. i may do some racing but that would be secondary to just having fun. any and all comments would be appreciated!
    The Ibis is really a great all around XC bike with a little more cush than normal. You really won't pay a penalty on the climb, for having the xtra travel.

    That said, if you're hesitant to go with 5.5" travel, the Turner Flux is a great trail bike, and still DW. You absolutely do not need lock out on DW bikes - they pedal that good.

    Bikes that use lock out systems, generally have them for a reason: poor pedalling performance.

    Pivot Mach 4 would be similar to the Turner, but less expensive due to overseas manufacture.

    Santa Cruz Blurr uses virtual pivot point (VPP) suspension and is frankly inferior to DW. Sure, knuckleheads will argue this - but proof is in the pudding. Compare back to back and you will see.

    You should get multi-day demo's set up for any bike you're looking at. Sunshine bikes in Fairfax has Turner demos. Not sure who has Ibis demos - maybe Hank and Frank bikes in Lafayette.

  5. #5
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    Hi All'

    thank you for your input...i will try to line up back to back tests of the flux, mach 4 and sc blur xc...

    while we are at it have any of you ridden mt tam (pine mt and tamarancho) on a 29er? would you recommend a 29er over 26er given that tam is mainly fire roads?

  6. #6
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    Another Santa Cruz guy here to recommend riding a Blur. I have the LT and I ride it all the time without the platform engaged. I will unengage the platform for a downhill and then forget to engage it for the climb and not even notice since the pedaling is so smooth.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaireau
    Hi All'

    thank you for your input...i will try to line up back to back tests of the flux, mach 4 and sc blur xc...

    while we are at it have any of you ridden mt tam (pine mt and tamarancho) on a 29er? would you recommend a 29er over 26er given that tam is mainly fire roads?
    Try to get a ride on one of the Specialized frames that have the brain thing, they aren't cheap and I've heard they need more periodic maintenance than some others but I rode one a few months ago and it is a really trick feature...like a hardtail and then bang it opens up.

    I've been on VPP for 5+ years and it works well so give the Blur a try.
    Romani ite domum

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    Yes, and yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by blaireau
    while we are at it have any of you ridden mt tam (pine mt and tamarancho) on a 29er? would you recommend a 29er over 26er given that tam is mainly fire roads?
    Recently got a 29r ht and tho not saying it's the "do all end all" setup, it definitely has its positives on Tam, and around Tamarancho for tht matter. Did a good portiion of fire road/Tamarancho loops last weekend and felt the benifit of the "better" roll on both terrains. The right tires on these really make all the difference (which I have yet to get.....) A FS/HT is going to be up to your body needs I guess.

    I second fourarms comments on Specialized, though you should not go by his modest recomendation as he forgot to mention he's been railing up climbs on what a 6-7" travel bike?? Same with IHB riding a big travel FOES engineless motorcycle as well as his Flux! Obviously that says alot for their pedaling prowess.

    So yes check them out if you want a fs to act ht when warranted. They are awesome. Try the Epic 29r, or if you still thinking 26, try the SJ Evo. Getting pretty good reviews and noticed shop riders picking them up over the regular SJ for a personal rig as well, not that makes it the go to bike (maybe they just got n inside pro deal ).

    Also in 29 check out the Mach 429, or a Niner Jet 9. I actually took a short spin on one of these yesterday around the lbs inside and out (litterally inside weaving around bikes and display racks too ) and was suprised how nimble it felt and it was a medium and waaayy to big for me . Could be a possibility for me iin the future if I really take the bite on this big wheel adventure.

    Have to figure out your use on majority of the ride areas you'll be hitting. Good luck in the search.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  9. #9
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    Great feedback all! i may have to test ride a specialized also...

  10. #10
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    JMac47 thank you for your input on 29ers on Tam. in reading reviews i thought the pivot 429 might be a good fit for the riding on Tam...i will have to test the 429 next to the mach 4.
    i know it depends on one's technical skills but its good to know that a 29er has no problems cruising through the switchbacks @ tamarancho...

  11. #11
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    Disclaimer.......

    Quote Originally Posted by blaireau
    JMac47 thank you for your input on 29ers on Tam. in reading reviews i thought the pivot 429 might be a good fit for the riding on Tam...i will have to test the 429 next to the mach 4.
    i know it depends on one's technical skills but its good to know that a 29er has no problems cruising through the switchbacks @ tamarancho...
    Mine is a 16" frame so footprint wise it's not too much longer manuvering around the switchbacks then my 26" bike. Now my 6'-6" ride buddy on an XXL Sultan 29r has a bit more of a task with them.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  12. #12
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    Another recommendation for Specialized here. I've had an Epic Comp for a year now, and love it. On the downside, I think my Brain needs servicing, which apparently means the dealer sends it back to Fox, so it takes a couple weeks- I'm told. I've been riding all winter, so taking the time is going to be tough!

  13. #13
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    I'd give the Banshee Spitfire a serious look. An aggressive trail bike that's reigned in stellar reviewson MTBR, and be sure to check out the recent write up in Bike Mags bible of bike reviews. You get boutique quality and north shore performance at a specialized price. Did I mention it has adjustable geometry?


  14. #14
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    I think DW link is what you want if you like the no-bob effect. I never lock out either suspension on my Ibis, not for for xc racing either. So +1 for Turner, Pivot if you don't like Ibis (I know, the water bottle thing sucks...). Just a thought... 20 yrs. of road racing? 5" travel will not harm your climbing ability, trust me. What you need is technical confidence.
    Never use your face as a brake pad.
    -Jake Watson

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