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  1. #1
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    Trail/Tire recomendations for CB/Snowmass/GJ/Fruita/Moab on May-June

    Hey guys. Im Billy from Argentina. I have been into MTB for over 20 years now and always dreamed to go to ride the places I read about on mags when i was a kid. On my last US trips I rode Demo/Rental bikes In Cali and Pac NW, but I found it a bit pricey sometimes and mostly time consuming since I have to drop off my wife somewhere entertaining, go to the bike shop, get the bike fitted, get it into the car, drive to the trail, ride, go back to the shop, go get my wife. So I bought an Evoc travel bag and I´m taking my bike with me. I ride a hardtail 29er down here, its a Cannondale Flash Carbon 1. I ride it on Schwalbe Tunder Burts. I was wondering what trails would u recomend to do on a hardtail in Crested Butte, Snowmass, GJ, Fruita and Moab. I know Moab is Utah but its kinda in the area and youre probably familiar to it. I know now the trend is FS and its really confy but MTb has been about hardtals for years and some of those trails are 30 year old, so there must be something cool to ride. Also what tires would u recoment? Thunder Burts are great and grippy but I dont know if sidewalls will get torn off on rocky sections. Trailwise, I can handle a bit techy sections, no big drops. Would love to enjoy awesome views and some adrenaline, but no cliff riding. I saw some scary shit on YouTube im not ready to deal with. I´ll be there after memorial weekend. On CB i was expecting 401 or Doctors Park and Hartman rocks if its snowy or wet in CB. On Snowmass, Goverment Trail. I know i can head to Dont have any info on other trais. Im concerned about snow and Elk migration on those days, not really sure about that. Sorry about the post full of questions ut i dont want to start 14 posts about it. Heres the resume

    1) Hardtail friendly trails in CB, Snowmass, GJ, Fruita, Moab
    2) Type of tire u would use
    3)Elk/Snow restrictions?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't worry too much about the Elk migrating. They can handle themselves.

    Tires - get some decent tires and bring a spare.

    Trails - None are ideal for a hardtail IMHO, but don't worry about it you will have a blast. Sounds like you've done some research, take a look at MTBproject.

  3. #3
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    CB is pretty hardtail friendly, in my opinion. In fact, went with a buddy with a Flash carbon last summer and we rode 401, teocalli, snodgrass, lupine, upper loop, lower, strand, bike park, and he mentioned that the bike park was the only place he missed squish in the rear.

    Yeah, folks rode moab for years on hardtails and rigids, but you'll have more fun and be less beat on FS. That said, some trails are pretty doable on a hardtail, such as the top part of Mag 7, much of the Brands area, much of the Klonzo area, some of klondike area, Dead horse state park trails. Try a few of these as a guage, if you're getting beat up go rent an fs in town, there's lots of shops with rentals. If you feel ok step it up a bit. I've even taken a hardtail down porcupine rim and had a good time. If you're not into drops bartlett wash, Slickrock, Hymasa should be pretty fun as well.

    As for tires, I'd get the biggest ones you can, especially if you're going to use that bike in Moab.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DenVen1 View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about the Elk migrating. They can handle themselves.
    Can't tell if you are just being sarcastic or not......... but off the top of my head I'm pretty sure that Eagle, Fruita (Sarlacc) and I believe Aspen have trails that are closed during elk migration/calving times. So it is a concern if you planned to go there specifically for certain trails.

    Probably other areas have similar restrictions as well, those are just a few I remember hearing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyspoke View Post
    CB is pretty hardtail friendly, in my opinion. In fact, went with a buddy with a Flash carbon last summer and we rode 401, teocalli, snodgrass, lupine, upper loop, lower, strand, bike park, and he mentioned that the bike park was the only place he missed squish in the rear.

    Yeah, folks rode moab for years on hardtails and rigids, but you'll have more fun and be less beat on FS. That said, some trails are pretty doable on a hardtail, such as the top part of Mag 7, much of the Brands area, much of the Klonzo area, some of klondike area, Dead horse state park trails. Try a few of these as a guage, if you're getting beat up go rent an fs in town, there's lots of shops with rentals. If you feel ok step it up a bit. I've even taken a hardtail down porcupine rim and had a good time. If you're not into drops bartlett wash, Slickrock, Hymasa should be pretty fun as well.

    As for tires, I'd get the biggest ones you can, especially if you're going to use that bike in Moab.
    This is good advice! He pretty much hit everything I was thinking in regards to CB & Moab.

    Start with Klonzo, Brand, DeadHorse in Moab and go from there. I'm not a huge fan of slickrock trail but it is probably the most "famous" trail around and people will forever say "OMG, you didn't ride slickrock trail?" when you tell your stories :-) So maybe just plan to ride it in order to cross it off the list.

    I will add, I think the intermediate stuff at Hartmans will be fine on a hardtail as well. It's been a while, and I had full suspension, but I don't remember anything rated blue being overly technical.

    As for Fruita, 18rd (North Fruita Desert) is PERFECT for a hardtail. And while a bit rougher, definitely consider a loop of Mary's, Horesthief, Steve's (option: Rustlers) at Kokopelli Trail system. It's rough in some spots but fine on a hardtail and has some of our best views.

    Note about Steve's Loop: If you don't like heights/cliffs, reconsider my recommendation. As you can see there's big cliffs but you aren't RIGHT ON THE EDGE. Beautiful views though, one of my favorites. I just rode it this weekend in the snow, on a non-fat bike, and I don't care for heights/exposure that much either. But fair warning as some people might get spooked depending on their level of comfort.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    Can't tell if you are just being sarcastic or not......... but off the top of my head I'm pretty sure that Eagle, Fruita (Sarlacc) and I believe Aspen have trails that are closed during elk migration/calving times. So it is a concern if you planned to go there specifically for certain trails.

    Probably other areas have similar restrictions as well, those are just a few I remember hearing.
    Yeah thats why I asked, as if I was worried about Elks and their whereabouts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    This is good advice! He pretty much hit everything I was thinking in regards to CB & Moab.

    Start with Klonzo, Brand, DeadHorse in Moab and go from there. I'm not a huge fan of slickrock trail but it is probably the most "famous" trail around and people will forever say "OMG, you didn't ride slickrock trail?" when you tell your stories :-) So maybe just plan to ride it in order to cross it off the list.

    I will add, I think the intermediate stuff at Hartmans will be fine on a hardtail as well. It's been a while, and I had full suspension, but I don't remember anything rated blue being overly technical.

    As for Fruita, 18rd (North Fruita Desert) is PERFECT for a hardtail. And while a bit rougher, definitely consider a loop of Mary's, Horesthief, Steve's (option: Rustlers) at Kokopelli Trail system. It's rough in some spots but fine on a hardtail and has some of our best views.

    Note about Steve's Loop: If you don't like heights/cliffs, reconsider my recommendation. As you can see there's big cliffs but you aren't RIGHT ON THE EDGE. Beautiful views though, one of my favorites. I just rode it this weekend in the snow, on a non-fat bike, and I don't care for heights/exposure that much either. But fair warning as some people might get spooked depending on their level of comfort.
    Great! This helps a lot!!! I dont mind Cliffs if they are some feet away from me, I was refering to stuff like Portal Trail in Moab which on POV cams in YouTube sounds like a bad idea to do abroad! All the info you guys provide is great and will make me feel I'm not loosing my time or have to ride back to the car after 12 miles!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyspoke View Post
    CB is pretty hardtail friendly, in my opinion. In fact, went with a buddy with a Flash carbon last summer and we rode 401, teocalli, snodgrass, lupine, upper loop, lower, strand, bike park, and he mentioned that the bike park was the only place he missed squish in the rear.

    Yeah, folks rode moab for years on hardtails and rigids, but you'll have more fun and be less beat on FS. That said, some trails are pretty doable on a hardtail, such as the top part of Mag 7, much of the Brands area, much of the Klonzo area, some of klondike area, Dead horse state park trails. Try a few of these as a guage, if you're getting beat up go rent an fs in town, there's lots of shops with rentals. If you feel ok step it up a bit. I've even taken a hardtail down porcupine rim and had a good time. If you're not into drops bartlett wash, Slickrock, Hymasa should be pretty fun as well.

    As for tires, I'd get the biggest ones you can, especially if you're going to use that bike in Moab.
    Thanks Johnny!!! Great useful info!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBilly View Post
    Yeah thats why I asked, as if I was worried about Elks and their whereabouts!
    Sarlacc in Fruita is closed Dec. 1 to May 1. Won't likely affect you and it's not a trail I'd generally recommend for a first time visitor anyway (kinda out of the way, not much traffic).

    Can't help you in the other locations, hopefully Aspen, CB guys can comment.

    PS - I was referring to DenVen1's comment being sarcastic, not you. I assumed you were asking due to reading about closures somewhere.

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    Yeah I know! No offense taken! I knew what u meant! Thanx for the help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    Can't tell if you are just being sarcastic or not......... but off the top of my head I'm pretty sure that Eagle, Fruita (Sarlacc) and I believe Aspen have trails that are closed during elk migration/calving times. So it is a concern if you planned to go there specifically for certain trails.

    Probably other areas have similar restrictions as well, those are just a few I remember hearing.
    Eagle closes most of their trails from Dec 15th to April 15th. Not sure about the others.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by camp10 View Post
    Eagle closes most of their trails from Dec 15th to April 15th. Not sure about the others.
    Hartman Rocks in Gunny has a partial closure until May 15 for the Gunnison Basin Sage-grouse mating season. But it's only the furthest south part. You can still get a damned fine ride in even when the closure is in effect.

    As for elk, what DenVen1 said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Hartman Rocks in Gunny has a partial closure until May 15 for the Gunnison Basin Sage-grouse mating season. But it's only the furthest south part. You can still get a damned fine ride in even when the closure is in effect.
    As for elk, what DenVen1 said.
    That sounds fine since i will be there on june 1st or some like that! I was concerned about Government Trail in Snowmass, its closed but i believe west from Snowmass, and im planning to ride eastwards towards Aspen, don't know if im correct. Any Aspen guys around?
    Last edited by DocBilly; 01-06-2016 at 07:15 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBilly View Post
    That sounds fine since i will be there on june 1st or some like that! I was concerned about Government Trail in Snowmass, its closed but i believe west from Snowmass, and im okanning to ride eastwards towards Aspen, don't know if im correct. Any Aspen guys around?
    There is normally a ton to ride in early June. Colorado has beau coup excellent riding below 11,000 feet elevation.

    401 won't be riding June 1. It's a July-September ride. Doctor Park is a little lower, it's likely to be OK June 1, but not a sure thing.

    I don't know how high govt is, but Aspen/Snowmass is pretty high, and you'll wind up hitting some mud-season conditions riding around there.

    Also, this is an El Niño year. If I was planning a trip, I'd expect maybe everything to be a week or two behind normal.

    Eagle should be awesome. Hartman will be awesome. My area Salida is famous for the Monarch Crest, also a July-September ride. But we also have a butt-load of awesome riding that's totally GTG by the second week in May. Nobody but locals usually riding it because everybody fixates on the Crest.

    Durango has a ton of awesome riding late May/early June, and just an hour west (on the way to Moab) is Phil's World in Cortez. One of my top 5 favorite riding anywhere, and I've been some places.

    Fruita/GJ/Moab will be hotter than a 3-balled tomcat. FYI.

    Lots and lots of options, but I would suggest you aim at "the middle". The really high rides are going to be snow and mud. The really low desert country will be super hot. But there is SO MUCH excellent riding that's between 6,000 and 10,000 feet. Like the places mentioned above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    There is normally a ton to ride in early June. Colorado has beau coup excellent riding below 11,000 feet elevation.

    401 won't be riding June 1. It's a July-September ride. Doctor Park is a little lower, it's likely to be OK June 1, but not a sure thing.

    I don't know how high govt is, but Aspen/Snowmass is pretty high, and you'll wind up hitting some mud-season conditions riding around there.

    Also, this is an El Niño year. If I was planning a trip, I'd expect maybe everything to be a week or two behind normal.

    Eagle should be awesome. Hartman will be awesome. My area Salida is famous for the Monarch Crest, also a July-September ride. But we also have a butt-load of awesome riding that's totally GTG by the second week in May. Nobody but locals usually riding it because everybody fixates on the Crest.

    Durango has a ton of awesome riding late May/early June, and just an hour west (on the way to Moab) is Phil's World in Cortez. One of my top 5 favorite riding anywhere, and I've been some places.

    Fruita/GJ/Moab will be hotter than a 3-balled tomcat. FYI.

    Lots and lots of options, but I would suggest you aim at "the middle". The really high rides are going to be snow and mud. The really low desert country will be super hot. But there is SO MUCH excellent riding that's between 6,000 and 10,000 feet. Like the places mentioned above.
    Wow thanx for the info! I guess I'll have to come back come other time to do the higher stuff. Im saving all the stuff u guys tell me in MTB Project app. I know there are still some
    Months ahead but planning is fun too!
    Last edited by DocBilly; 01-06-2016 at 05:26 PM.

  16. #16
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    Can you guys thrw your tire Combos for my Hardtail? I´m gonna buy new tires for this trip, so I can choose. Anything in the 40 50 bucks range will be good to go!

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    Government Trail and the Elk Camp Gondola, will be closed for Elk caving until 6/20. But there will still tons of trails, open for riding. Sky Mountain Park and the Rim Trails are usually good early.

    Maxxis Aspen's tyres, what else?

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    Grand Junction, Fruita, and even North Moab trails will be great in May, dry but great and warm but very doable. For tires go big and meaty you won't regret.

  19. #19
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    CB might not be worth it in May and possible not in June depending on what the late season snow looks like. Right now it's already mostly dry past CB south, but last year many trails were unrideable well into June. The closer towards Gunnison you get, the better chance of a dry trail. Cement creek, caves, taylor canyon, and hartmans in Gunnison should all be dry unless they get a large amount of late season snow. I'd give it a 50/50 given how weird this year's weather has been.

    Nobby nics or Hans dampf or similar tread and volume work great where you're going. Pretty much all hard pack dirt, and loose over hard pack dirt. In the mountains, you're typically dealing with more roots than rocks, so they don't normally have to be the most durable tires out there, but it definitely depends on the trail. Too small of profile tires tend to slip a lot. I wanted to throw my crossmarks in the trash last time I was riding my HT in CB. As far as I know, CB doesn't have any trail closures for elk but the higher up ones take a really long time to dry out and become rideable again.

  20. #20
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    Thunder burt's just won't be quite enough for the loose climbs, and the loose powdery dirt that time of year. Ikon 2.35's are a nice option for fast rolling and grip while providing some extra cush, I wouldn't go with a lighter tread pattern then that for the variety of trails you're looking at. For example, I wouldn't use Aspens considering your plans include Moab and GJ. You could step up to an Ardent or Ardent Race for a little more grip. If you were on a trail/AM bike I would recommend HR2's or Minions, but on a XC hardtail, you don't tend to lean the bike enough to really engage those big side-knobs because of the steeper head angle, so you end up in that drifty transition zone. My two-cents. You can certainly hit Fruita and GJ that time of year, you just want to get an early start. You could do an early ride in Fruita or GJ, then head up on the Mesa and ride the new Mesa Top trail, and some others. There might even be some Memorial Day event going on at Powderhorn that your wife could hang out at, about 15 min from the trails, or she could do a wine tour down in Palisade, 30 minutes away. Powderhorn will be adding downhill trails and uplift on their new high-speed quad, so you'll have that option. Typically not much fun on a XC hardtail, though.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Mesa Top will be snow covered in early June. I don't think Powderhorn will have built any trails by Memorial day either. Maybe next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan View Post
    Mesa Top will be snow covered in early June. I don't think Powderhorn will have built any trails by Memorial day either. Maybe next year.
    You're probably right about Mesa Top. It looked like trails might be open early when we didn't get any snow during February, but then they just got 10" or so, but trails are already built at Powderhorn. They expect to be open June 1st, so if OP is out after Memorial Day weekend it could be an option.

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    The Roaring Fork Valley's been getting ton of snow late spring. Highland's is opening back up this weekend and next with $69 lift tickets.
    Skiing early and riding late, over Memorial Day weekend, might be a good option.

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    Wow thanx a lot for the info guys!!! Seems like it keeps snowing and being cold so my high country hopes are dead(if I ever had any chances at all). None of the tires u guys recomended are availiable in Argentina and I rather set my tires down here rather than dealing with sealing new tubeless tires on a hotel room. However i traveled to Spain in March and I bought Continental Mountain King II 2.4 29" for the front and Continental X Kings for the rear also 2.4 29". Read wonders about this combo, and the Black Chili compound these tires have, which seems to make them pretty grippy and also have protection. Well see how they perform. I hope they dont suck too much.
    My bike plans are to ride in Moab Mon 30th afternoon and Tue 31st Am, on Mid day drive to Fruita and ride Tue 31st afternoon and Wed 1st morning. Just trying to avoid the mid day heat. The thing is I was planning on renting a FS bike from Poison Spider Bike store. They have Moidjes HD3 and some other cool stuff. The thing is u have to return the bike the same day rented, so its a 90 buck a day 8 to 5 rental: Not sure if i better rent for monday afternoon or Tueday morning. Maybe i can ride my hardtail in Monday and do a full day in moab with the FS rental, but that would cut off time from riding in Fruita. What do u think? More time on Moab or Fruita? I dont even know how long it taks to do each trail so dont know how to plan this!
    Sorry I didnt answer before but somehow my IPhone doesnt work with this forum and I hardly ever use my old slow Laptop!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBilly View Post
    Wow thanx a lot for the info guys!!! Seems like it keeps snowing and being cold so my high country hopes are dead(if I ever had any chances at all). None of the tires u guys recomended are availiable in Argentina and I rather set my tires down here rather than dealing with sealing new tubeless tires on a hotel room. However i traveled to Spain in March and I bought Continental Mountain King II 2.4 29" for the front and Continental X Kings for the rear also 2.4 29". Read wonders about this combo, and the Black Chili compound these tires have, which seems to make them pretty grippy and also have protection. Well see how they perform. I hope they dont suck too much.
    My bike plans are to ride in Moab Mon 30th afternoon and Tue 31st Am, on Mid day drive to Fruita and ride Tue 31st afternoon and Wed 1st morning. Just trying to avoid the mid day heat. The thing is I was planning on renting a FS bike from Poison Spider Bike store. They have Moidjes HD3 and some other cool stuff. The thing is u have to return the bike the same day rented, so its a 90 buck a day 8 to 5 rental: Not sure if i better rent for monday afternoon or Tueday morning. Maybe i can ride my hardtail in Monday and do a full day in moab with the FS rental, but that would cut off time from riding in Fruita. What do u think? More time on Moab or Fruita? I dont even know how long it taks to do each trail so dont know how to plan this!
    Sorry I didnt answer before but somehow my IPhone doesnt work with this forum and I hardly ever use my old slow Laptop!
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    I checked it online. They have the same same day return rental policy, no HD3, 25 bucks cheaper. I dont know how hot the end of May is and if i will be able to ride at mid day. I will write to the posion spider guys and see if they can make an exception. Any other rentals out there with a different policy?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBilly View Post
    I checked it online. They have the same same day return rental policy, no HD3, 25 bucks cheaper. I dont know how hot the end of May is and if i will be able to ride at mid day. I will write to the posion spider guys and see if they can make an exception. Any other rentals out there with a different policy?
    Why you hung up on the HD3? I'm tellin' ya - go to Chile Pepper.

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    So, i'm re-reading this one year later, and its probably the best advise I ever had! Chili Peppers was so cool!!!

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