Best test trails for 29" vs 27.5" AM Hardtails on the front range
I am trying to sort through which wheel size is best for me and need some feedback. I know this subject has been beaten to death so I am trying to dodge some of that by focusing on which local trails you all think a certain wheel size has an advantage. I currently ride a very old 26" hardtail that hates the steep so it will not even be part of the tests. My plan is to rent 2 bikes ideally a Kona Honzo and a Kona Explosif but cant seem to find them so I will get as close as I can. Slack HT long travel fork short chain stay is the type of bike I am hunting for.
Some places on the list to test ride are the chutes, ute valley, cheyenne mtn park. any thoughts? I am 6' 205 FWIW.
I have had the chance to test a explosif and a stumpjumper evo around the shops and that just couldn't tell me what I wanted to know. The explosif pedaled well and was playful but wanted to test on something steep. The evo was slow to get going less playful but seemed like it liked going down on the steepest thing I could find.
Either size would work great at your height, might be more options available for that type of bike in 29", but not sure.
I would say that type of bike would shine at Ute or Palmer but you could head up to Monument and ride Mt Herman which has chunky stuff combined with longer climbs/descents. CMSP is a good option too, Chutes is no fun descending as there's too much uphill traffic and there's some nice stuff thru Straton that's way more fun, in my opinion
Thanks for all the suggestions this will get sorted soon. Tom you were probably just being sarcastic but you are right I am a mountain bike noob with a 18 yr old bike that is not even close to serving my needs. I have spent the past few years on the trails with running shoes or on my dirt bike.
Looks like I lucked out and will be getting to test a reeb geared soon. I am excited that is exactly the type of bike I have been wanting to try.
Got out today on the old bike at (Ute Valley) and will be putting some miles in on that as punishment to get me motivated.
I am sure there are fun AM hardtails in 26, 27.5 and 29" and I am hoping to try a few. I swapped out my old stem for a shorter one with some rise and it is a lot more fun to ride now. But it really is just putting bandaids on the real problem.
Really the steel HT bikes I am curious about have geometry like this
HA - 67.5~68.5
Seattube angle 72~73
Skared, I suppose it seems that way but I just wanted to see the strengths and weaknesses exaggerated by certain trail conditions. I will be hitting the trails that I ride now looking to test the harder lines that I want to hit but shy away from now. Part of the problem is I ride a bike that does not inspire me with confidence. It used to throw me over the bars often when I first got it. I did not even ride it for years and recently I changed the stem and it is more fun now.
I suppose some of my thinking on this comes from my experience with motorcycles and different ones excel in different areas. I imagine that bikes with different wheel sizes are very similar. For those that own multiple mountain bikes and sometimes similar types with different wheel sizes will pick one over another to ride on a given day because they want a slightly different experience. That is what I am looking for stuff like my 27.5 is just more playful or I am less tired at the end of the day when I ride my 29er etc. including the little subtle things.
We sell the Explosif and the Honzo, but don't do demos of them. They are both awesome. I'm not sure if Willy the local Kona rep has them in his demo fleet. He is going to be at Fat Tire fest.
Last year, I rode the Spot Honey Badger and had a blast. It's similar to the Honzo Geo if you run a 120mm fork, maybe a bit smoother as the "animal leg" seat stays really do work. Spot has them on sale now, and we have a large demo in stock (SS version though). Mine with a XT build, and stans wheels, basic SID fork was 28 lbs with meaty tires. Kind of surprised me it was that light.
I just switched from a 20 year old bike, a very nice one, but still old. No matter what you choose you will be amazed at the new tech and how much sweeter the rides will be. My suggestions are demo as many as you can and don't take negative reviews of any bike too seriously. Ditto the Monument chunky stuff for test rides. Its my backyard and I think there's enough variety of trails to give a good demo or two or three ...
"If you're getting chased, you don't have to be first, just don't be last!"
2 bikes Hmm.... that is sinking in but I would have to sell my moto. With captain jacks closed I have to trailer to anything technically fun on the moto where as mtn bike trails are all over the place here in the springs.
29er AM with 120mm~140mm fork and 650b FS 5"~6" travel that would make a nice pair.