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  1. #1
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    Bike opinions. CO front range

    I'm sure this was been asked and I did a search but couldn't come up with the answers I want.

    So here goes. I've previously owned several HT bikes for riding in Missouri and now Texas. Pending move to the golden, boulder, Lyons, Louisville, area this spring and will riding a lot of front range, epic rides hopefully with some climbing, of course will enjoy some downhill stuff over passes, etc. i wanna be able to ride the bike in lengthy fireroads and adventure races, trail, climb, singletrack, and flowy trails. I doubt i find myself taking the lifts up and riding a buncha serious downhill jumps. Here are the bikes I'm interested in.

    Tallboy LT alloy
    Stumpjumper FSR 29er comp
    Epic 29 comp
    Rocky Mountain element 29r 770 alloy

    Will I be unhappy with the downhill abilities of either the element or the epic? I'm sure all these bikes climb like billy goats. But I don't want to buy an XC and then be unhappy. Like the brain technology in the epics and in the higher end elite version of the stumpy.

    Probably wont get an opportunity to test ride a RM until February. I have a specialized and a SC dealer right by me... I've already test rode a stumpy and a 12 Tallboy. But would like to ride a tallboyLT soon, as well as an epic.

    Help me out CO people! Thank you!


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  2. #2
    Light freak
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    didn't see a 20" full suspension folding bike in your list - Breaking in the New Guy (Kenosha to Breck)


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  3. #3
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    First off, you don't have to jump from a hardtail to a FS 29er but, OK, that's what you're thinking of. Also consider the Kona Satori.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    First off, you don't have to jump from a hardtail to a FS 29er but, OK, that's what you're thinking of. Also consider the Kona Satori.
    The HT beat me up pretty good on rocky technical terrain we had in Missouri. But maybe the epic would be a nice in between...


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  5. #5
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    You might add the RIP 9 and Pivot 429 to your list.
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  6. #6
    zrm
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    You can set the epic up fairly plush for what it is. It just depends on what you want. The epic is a race bike, it handles quick and requires attention. I personally like that in a bike but if you want something with a lot of suspension and slower handing and suspension that is for just running over stuff get something that has that trait. One thing is for sure, you won't find too many bikes that climb better than the epic.

  7. #7
    friend of Apex
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    you can learn and get fit enough to climb on most anything
    get a bike that is biased towards going downhill, you wont regret it
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  8. #8
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    Ditto what WKD-RDR said. You'll have more fun descending with confidence.
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  9. #9
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    I disagree with my esteemed colleagues...

    I would go with a more climbing-biased bike. You will be spending the majority of your time climbing, unless you go lift-served or shuttle.

    And front range trails just aren't that gnar for the most part to make up for hauling a big bike up the hills. One man's opinion.

    Trade-offs.

    Also, are you sure about the 29 thing? Maybe you should try some of the 650b offerings.

  10. #10
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    salsa spearfish or horsethief would be awesome!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    I disagree with my esteemed colleagues...

    I would go with a more climbing-biased bike. You will be spending the majority of your time climbing, unless you go lift-served or shuttle.

    And front range trails just aren't that gnar for the most part to make up for hauling a big bike up the hills. One man's opinion.

    Trade-offs.

    Also, are you sure about the 29 thing? Maybe you should try some of the 650b offerings.
    I dont disagree - thats why Im asking you guys opinions. Especially those of you who ride alot of front range. I'll be honest I'm leaning towards the Epic at this point!

    As far as the 650B goes - I'd love to ride a few for comparison, they just aren't sitting around my LBS right now. I can tell you I LOVED the 29er wheel size on my fisher. Way more than my previous mtn bikes.

  12. #12
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    It really does come down to personal preferences. I've been riding the whole gamut of front range trails for a long time, and my preferences run strongly toward light bikes and quick handling. I ride a 26" hardtail racing bike, I don't race, and I love it. There are some chernky sections where I would be better off on a different bike, but not enough to make me change.

    One thing you might consider, if you are in-between sizes, is getting a climbing bike with a slightly longer frame than you might normally ride, then put a short stem on it. This changes the handling in interesting ways and will make the bike more easy to handle on descents.

  13. #13
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    Moots Mooto X YBB

  14. #14
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    It's good to get opinions from everyone but it really boils down to your riding style. Some of the bikes i see recommended here i would never even bother throwing a leg over but that is just me. Why not wait until you get here and buy a bike? Golden Bikes will let you demo a bunch of bikes and put the rental fee towards the bike so in essence it's free. What seems great where you are at now might not be the ticket once you move here.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    It's good to get opinions from everyone but it really boils down to your riding style. Some of the bikes i see recommended here i would never even bother throwing a leg over but that is just me. Why not wait until you get here and buy a bike? Golden Bikes will let you demo a bunch of bikes and put the rental fee towards the bike so in essence it's free. What seems great where you are at now might not be the ticket once you move here.
    That's funny as I had almost the exact same response in another thread...unless OP has had a change of mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sloth View Post
    Hold onto your money for now, yes this can be extremely hard, and wait until you get here. Use your current bike to get acclimated and then go start demo'ing bikes. There are a lot of shops to do this at...usually something like pay $150 for the program with X amount of demos. If you end up buying at that shop, the $150 goes towards the purchase. The demos will be all the way up to high end bikes and really worth it for the money.

    You may also want to rethink the decision to own a roadie.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kstateskier View Post
    Probably not going to wait till we move to buy my new steed, I need a new bike soon. My fisher go shipped off before I moved to SA, then I sold the Tarmac a few months ago. Been trail running ever since, dying to get back on a bike. I think a lot of the new models will start hitting the shops here this month, going to go test ride an epic comp, stumpy FSR, and a Tallboy here in town. Maybe get up to Austin and test ride a RM if they've got any in stock. You can bike all thru the winter here in south Texas and I plan on doing so before we get to Colorado in the spring. If I can get my job situation ironed out any faster I might push our move up to January and catch the ski season. I ski too so ill have plenty to do!

    Hopefully I can hook up and ride some with you guys when we get out there. Again I appreciate the info.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    It's good to get opinions from everyone but it really boils down to your riding style. Some of the bikes i see recommended here i would never even bother throwing a leg over but that is just me. Why not wait until you get here and buy a bike? Golden Bikes will let you demo a bunch of bikes and put the rental fee towards the bike so in essence it's free. What seems great where you are at now might not be the ticket once you move here.
    Not bad advice. If I wait that long my budget will be well into the $5-6k range. Opens up a lot of kick ass bikes at that point. Really looking fwd to getting to CO.


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  17. #17
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    I like riding both uphill and downhill - I don't care about riding flat, but in Colorado you don't have to. Using skiing analogy if you can have only one pair of skis what would you choose - some carving hardpack skis or fat powder skis. Sure, powder days are not too many even in Colorado (there were basically none last season), but those are the days when fat skis make you giggle uncontrollably and are the days you remember. The same with mountain biking - to me riding down is the highlight of any MTB outing and I would prefer proper bike for that even if it means less efficient climbing. So in my opinion the least "downhillish" bike for Colorado would be trail bike a-la Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Yeti 575, Santa Cruz Blur LT etc. You are not in Kansas any more

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kstateskier View Post
    Not bad advice. If I wait that long my budget will be well into the $5-6k range. Opens up a lot of kick ass bikes at that point. Really looking fwd to getting to CO.
    And, at $5-6k you could have two great bikes! n+1 and all...

    Personally, of my pile o' bikes, I think that my Salsa Spearfish is the most well-rounded bike for what I do on the Front Range. That being said, you'll have to figure things out yourself, and I'd suggest waiting 'til you get here to do that...
    baker

  19. #19
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    When its all said and done, hard tail 29 is the fastest and most versatile bike where ever you ride!
    Flame, Flame, BS, **** talk, run your mouth away!!! Yeah!

  20. #20
    Stand back
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    And front range trails just aren't that gnar for the most part to make up for hauling a big bike up the hills. One man's opinion.
    A descending biased bike doesn't have to be a big bike - see Stumpy EVO, Blur TRC, TBLT, 5 Spot...
    Last edited by dbabuser; 10-14-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Turner Spot. Yes, 26" it's true.
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  22. #22
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    OP: couple of thoughts...
    First, how's your DH skills? I ask because it sounds like the areas you've ridden are a lot mellower than the rock-strewn chundery mess the CO/Front Range. Yeah, there are smoother trails, but if you land in Golden, the (arguably funner) trails you can ride to are rocky! Also, Front Range (and I'd say most of CO) riding is big ups followed by big downs...well, relative to say TX...? So, you can get a climb-biased bike with stiff suspension and race bike steering which will make the ups more pleasant, but scare the b'Jesus out of you on the downs! Or you can get a downhill-biased bike that, if you tweak the gearing, can crawl up a wall. You won't win any Strava KOMs, but who cares! The downs are where its at for CO/FR rides...and I'd say the most fun is in the techy downs.
    Second thought, how big are you? If you pick up a really nice light race bike and you don't race, how long do you expect your parts to last in the intended terrain...here? Riding here chews through parts. If you're heavy and you buy silly-light race bike/parts, you'll either be spending a lot of money to get light and durable parts, or spending a lot of money in replacements/repairs. Dunno about you, but me, I hate to repair/replace spendy bits and suffering down time due to mech issues. I build my bikes for low maintenance and slightly on the burlier side to avoid this.

    /ravings.

    BTW, what a cool problem to have!

    Edit: forget the long cockpit w/ stubby stems. Try a more upright seated position w/ stubby stem...so you can be all over the bike. Yeah, I'm a Santa Cruz fanboy, if it gives you a clue on the bike I'd recommend. I ride the plastic canary version of the bike you named, and also its little brother (Blur LTc, and all reports say you can 650b this bike very nicely)
    Last edited by Pau11y; 10-15-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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  23. #23
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    I'm currently loving my Tallboy LT Carbon but that's probably slightly north of your budget but if you are cosidering the aluminum version then that is probably a good bike as well. As Paul1e stated we have some serious terrain here. The TBLT may certainly not be a climber's dream machine but it certain does climb. What is truly awesome is the way the bike descends. I really think there isn't anything that this bike can't handle.

    With that said, if I was to buy again, I would be seriously considering the Intense Tracer 275 with a set of carbon hoops. Again probably not a serious climber but certainly playful on the technical descents.

    At the end of the day you can ride anythng with anything around here. On Redstone Cyclery's Big Fall Ride I was getting smoked by hardtail singlespeeds on the climbs, but then I would get my revenge on the downhills Choose you passion, then your weapon of choice.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 10-15-2012 at 08:38 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    you can learn and get fit enough to climb on most anything
    get a bike that is biased towards going downhill, you wont regret it

  25. #25
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    Blur LT allllllll day long.

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