Endurance Bike choice

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  • 11-04-2012
    willreinking
    Endurance Bike choice
    Hey all, I'm and avid mountain biker and XC racer. When im on my bike going for a ride im on my bike for hours and hours at a time (50-100 miles) I am getting a new, or used bike for the 2013 season and torn between a few bikes, a 2012 rocky mountain element 50 used as demo or a 2012 new salsa spearfish 3. i want to do some more endurance rides this year and leaning more towards the salsa spearfish (100 front 80 rear) but do i need the extra suspension on the rocky mountain (120 front 120 rear) ???

    Any sort of input would be awesome!!!

    Thank you, Will :thumbsup:
  • 11-06-2012
    Silentfoe
    120mm front and rear is overkill and a lot of bike to be hauling around. A really light, 100mm FS 29er is the best bike you could get. IMO.
  • 11-06-2012
    AZ
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by willreinking View Post
    Hey all, I'm and avid mountain biker and XC racer. When im on my bike going for a ride im on my bike for hours and hours at a time (50-100 miles) I am getting a new, or used bike for the 2013 season and torn between a few bikes, a 2012 rocky mountain element 50 used as demo or a 2012 new salsa spearfish 3. i want to do some more endurance rides this year and leaning more towards the salsa spearfish (100 front 80 rear) but do i need the extra suspension on the rocky mountain (120 front 120 rear) ???

    Any sort of input would be awesome!!!

    Thank you, Will :thumbsup:



    Of your two choices I would opt for the Spearfish. Keep it as light as possible.
  • 11-06-2012
    aaronpass
    Specialized Epic
  • 11-06-2012
    Canyon93108
    Spearfish.
  • 11-07-2012
    DenverPoke
    Cannondale Scalpel :thumbsup:
  • 11-07-2012
    ptbo_mac
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DenverPoke View Post
    Cannondale Scalpel :thumbsup:

    I second this!!! Both the 26in and the 29in wheel versions are solid bikes!
  • 11-07-2012
    Jaybo
    I have a Niner Jet 9 RDO and run a Fox F29 120mm up front and it really gives me added cush and relaxes the headtube. Works great. I would ride the bike you feel comfortable on and feels most comfortable. Salsa really makes some great bikes. They used to make a 4" bike that was really nice. I can't remember the name but it was sweet.
  • 11-08-2012
    born2snowboard99
    I have ZERO endurance mountain biking racing experience. However, I do want to get into it. I have ridden for a number of years but want to greatly improve my fitness. I figure I really like biking so why not try an endurance race?

    I was thinking of starting off with a few of the mudslinger events in Oregon such as the 100k. Being a college student I was hoping to accomplish this on a Hardtail 29er like a Scott scale or of the likes
    and not need to shell out another 2-3k on a bike. Should I try my first race on my AM bike (Spesh Enduro ~32.5lbs) or get a hardtail right off the bat?

    How much of a disadvantage is a hardtail if any?
  • 11-08-2012
    AndrwSwitch
    I've been doing 'em on the same bike I use for everything - a short-travel 26" hardtail.

    There are a couple guys that'll kick your ass if they show up, basically unless their bikes break, no matter what they happen to be on. You're not winning this. There are a bunch of CPAs and dentists and things who'll show up on carbon fiber wonderbikes and suck.

    Personally, I'm happier to ride my hardtail than the FS bikes I've had the opportunity to demo, although I'm trying to stay open to the possibility that there's an FS platform that'll change my mind. I think being closed-minded doesn't do anyone any favors. There are pros on both platforms. Most have sponsors offering wonderbikes in both classes, so I'd say it's really all about rider preference.

    What are your goals here? And, where are you getting the money? I'm back in school right now and doing the loans thing, so while I decided I didn't want to let go of racing during this period, I'm also trying to be as lean as I can about bike purchases. Compound interest will do some awful things to what I have to pay back...

    My instinct is just set up your Enduro for long rides and go. It's enough of a different class that it could actually effect your finish, but it's going to be a change on the order of minutes, while the fast guys will beat you by over an hour. So, meh. Mid-pack to mid-pack or back-of-pack to back-of-pack.
  • 11-08-2012
    bbense
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by born2snowboard
    Should I try my first race on my AM bike (Spesh Enduro ~32.5lbs) or get a hardtail right off the bat?

    How much of a disadvantage is a hardtail if any?

    It depends a lot on the course, on most courses the fastest guys are on hardtails. Full squish is generally about trading speed for comfort/control when you're completely gassed. Crashing is always slow...

    But the engine is WAY more important that anything else. Unless you're already a super skinny 140 lb endurance machine, a heavier bike isn't going to make that much difference.

    It's really a question of whether you can manage the power output level required to get your machine up the hill in a reasonable time. For myself ( a perennial back of the packer.. ), a bike light enough that I can climb effectively within my power range makes a difference.

    I really think for most people there is a "cut-off" weight below which the gains are incremental and above which you really start to slow down. What you want to look at to start with is your VAM or average feet climbed per hour on a reasonably long climb. Then look at the total climbing of the course.

    (i.e. if you climb at 1000 ft per hour and the course is 7K feet, you'll be out there at least 7 hrs. )

    If you can manage decent climbing rates with your current setup, I don't see any reason to invest in a new bike just to try out the sport. Lighter tires or wheels would be a good investment if you must spend money.
  • 11-08-2012
    dpastore22
    Any of the top manufactures offering a bike with 80mm plus of rear travel will work fine. I would set your focus on finding the best geometry and investing in a bike fitting. 3 hour plus rides can be painful if the bike is not tuned in right.
  • 11-08-2012
    Jaybo
    Hmm
    There are a couple guys that'll kick your ass if they show up, basically unless their bikes break, no matter what they happen to be on. You're not winning this. There are a bunch of CPAs and dentists and things who'll show up on carbon fiber wonderbikes and suck.


    Suck is relative term for performance. For some of us who ride so called carbon wonder bikes we do events to have fun. A carbon wonder bike is fun :) Go race Adam Craig or other upper tier racers and you will suck...it is relative. Ride the bike that you have fun on and the results may or may not come and who cares.
  • 11-08-2012
    AndrwSwitch
    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with riding around slowly on a wonder bike. I just don't like it when people see it as a barrier to entry.

    I hope Adam Craig's still having fun. :D He claims he does.
  • 11-08-2012
    Jaybo
    Again, riding slowly is subjective. Adam Craig runs around on a wonder bike.

    Folks should ride whatever bike they haven even if it is an arse destroying hardtail :)
  • 11-09-2012
    HEMIjer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I have a Niner Jet 9 RDO and run a Fox F29 120mm up front and it really gives me added cush and relaxes the headtube. Works great. I would ride the bike you feel comfortable on and feels most comfortable. Salsa really makes some great bikes. They used to make a 4" bike that was really nice. I can't remember the name but it was sweet.

    Salsa Big Mama good bud has one it is a good solid bike he enjoys, have heard Salsa will bring back a 100/100 29er, not surethey need withthe Spearfish popularity and the Horsethief but all their bikes seem to be good quality products.
  • 11-09-2012
    kosmo
    One of the fastest guys I know is a dentist.

    He races a carbon wonder bike,

    He seldom sucks.

    Will, the two bikes you're looking at are both top-tier rides that just happen not to come from the biggest companies.

    Pick one, and get out there!
  • 11-10-2012
    speed metal
    I know what Switch is saying. People feel like they have to "HAVE" something to make them better and if you have a large disposable income you get the best "HAVE" to have gear. Nothing wrong with that at all. People like that keep bike shops in business. I have seen it in Motocross and cycling. BUT, I have also seen guy with top of the line stuff that will destroy you. I have also seen guys ride POS and kill it.
    Good story: I raced a MX race at High Point one year. This guy showed up for 1st moto ragged out CR250 and old outdated riding gear. Looking totally out of place. We took of the line never seen the guy the entire moto Poor guy was stuggling at the back or crashed, I figured. 2nd moto gate position in determined by finishing order. Guess who was called to line up first? Yep, Ol' dude was!:thumbsup:
    Don't judge a book by the cover.:eekster:
  • 11-10-2012
    febikes
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by born2snowboard99 View Post
    I have ZERO endurance mountain biking racing experience. However, I do want to get into it.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by born2snowboard99 View Post
    How much of a disadvantage is a hardtail if any?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by born2snowboard99 View Post
    Being a college student I was hoping to accomplish this on a Hardtail 29er...

    I highly recommend getting a hardtail 29er single speed. Especially if you are a new rider you will find your bike handling skills will develop faster on a single speed. If your budget allows put a good quality air fork like the Reba on the bike.

    You may also want to get a geared full suspension bike at some point but for your first bike it is best to avoid the fully suspension and gears. I would recommend you put the purchase of the geared sus bike off until after a few years of riding the single speed.

    Gears and suspension lead to a lot of bad habits and as a rider you will develop faster if you have early access to a single speed. You may find you really like single speed or you may simply use at as a training tool to develop as a rider and avoid putting tons of wear on your high dollar bike.

    If you choose to race the single speed category you will have competition without the concern that someone has a bike that gives them an advantage.
  • 11-10-2012
    kosmo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by speed metal View Post
    Good story: I raced a MX race at High Point one year. This guy showed up for 1st moto ragged out CR250 and old outdated riding gear. Looking totally out of place. We took of the line never seen the guy the entire moto Poor guy was stuggling at the back or crashed, I figured. 2nd moto gate position in determined by finishing order. Guess who was called to line up first? Yep, Ol' dude was!:thumbsup:
    Don't judge a book by the cover.:eekster:

    We had a guy like that in my amateur MX district, too. Only raced the track closest to his home. Raced in bib overalls and gardening gloves. Always on the podium.
  • 11-10-2012
    Jaybo
    Race what you are comfortable on and can afford. I don't have my carbon bike dressed in XX and all that highest end stuff due to my budget and choice of were to spend money. I don't believe you have to be on a carbon wonder bike to go fast! I have seen some guys on fairly inexpensive bikes kick some big time tail.

    My rant about who is fast is really centered around the reality that fast is relative. For example, Barry Wicks kicks some major butt on the NUE and other local races. Send his butt to Europe and he is road kill for those guys. It is all relative! I see Barry for about 5 minutes and he churns away from me like I'm on an unicycle :) Amazing rider!
  • 11-12-2012
    Shalom
    For me, it depends on the course. The terrain will determine whether I ride a HT, 100mm or 120mm FS.
  • 11-14-2012
    born2snowboard99
    For some reason SS seems undesirable for me. Id hardly call myself a new rider but probably have bad habits. I have came from rigid to hardtail to several FS bikes like most other people. I think I am leaning towards a scott because I should be able to score a deal on one but I will still certainly be lean about it.

    My goals are to try a "new" aspect of mountain biking and to get into better shape while riding my bike. I have done long road rides and it is not enjoyable because I get bored.

    Riding my enduro for extended xc rides is not bad but by no means is it great to climb at 160mm travel and lug the extra beef when I should not need it so I think that option is out.
  • 11-14-2012
    irishpitbull
    I went with the Epic EVO R for my 100milers.
  • 11-14-2012
    jasondean
    Ht/st/fs
    I don't race as much as I used to, but when I did I loved my Salsa Dos Niner. Since those days I have come own a Spearfish (not a weight weenie build for I am not as light anymore) and a Ti 29er hardtail. Last year I raced my Spearfish almost all year: XC and XXC racing. This year I used my hardtail most of the time with a Cane Creek Thudbuster LT post. I was shocked how much more I enjoyed my hard tail now. So IMHO if you a have a race ready HT, I think it is at least trying a suspension post before plunking down $6,000+ on a race ready FS.

    Having said all that I would be lying if I said I wasn't lusting the Cannondale Scalpel and new Trek Superfly 100! I Just don't know if it would last under my now ever growing buttocks. :madman:
  • 12-09-2012
    GlazedHam
    Titanium 29er, softtail. I run 120mm fork on mine but I tend to ride a lot of rough stuff and the bike was built for 120 fork whereas most softtails are not.
  • 12-14-2012
    Vermont29er
    Love my Anthem 29
  • 12-14-2012
    chrisgardner73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    120mm front and rear is overkill and a lot of bike to be hauling around. A really light, 100mm FS 29er is the best bike you could get. IMO.

    I definitely agree...for endurance racing. I raced the Silver Rush 50 on my Niner RIP 9, and even at only 26 lbs, I was really wishing I had a lighter bike with less travel. The 120mm up front and 4.5" in the rear were nice, but way overkill for an event like that. However, it's the perfect choice for me if I'm heading out for a long, casual day in the saddle where we're stopping, taking our time, etc....just not at race intensity the whole time.

    I am currently building up a Niner Air 9 RDO for endurance events in 2013. Hopefully I don't regret jumping to other end of the spectrum with regards to my bike.
  • 12-14-2012
    Manicmtbr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    One of the fastest guys I know is a dentist.

    Me too. His excellant schedule, long lunches, and Friday's off afford him plenty of time to train. And he never has to worry about money ever.
  • 12-14-2012
    Jaybo
    Hope so too
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chrisgardner73 View Post
    I definitely agree...for endurance racing. I raced the Silver Rush 50 on my Niner RIP 9, and even at only 26 lbs, I was really wishing I had a lighter bike with less travel. The 120mm up front and 4.5" in the rear were nice, but way overkill for an event like that. However, it's the perfect choice for me if I'm heading out for a long, casual day in the saddle where we're stopping, taking our time, etc....just not at race intensity the whole time.

    I am currently building up a Niner Air 9 RDO for endurance events in 2013. Hopefully I don't regret jumping to other end of the spectrum with regards to my bike.

    I have been riding a Jet 9 RDO and it is very fast and light. HT's just soak the life out of me in the NW. Too darn harsh!
  • 12-14-2012
    Golden_Monkey
    Hm. I'm wondering where the comfort from FS starts to balance out with the extra weight, when cost is an issue. I'm sure it's possible to build up/buy a 23 lb FS 29er, but not on my budget.

    7 hours into that 10 hour race, I was really wishing I had FS, but if I did, I might have spent every climb wishing I didn't.
  • 12-15-2012
    Gfisher77
    +1 for the anthem 29
  • 12-15-2012
    Jaybo
    Hmmm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Manicmtbr View Post
    Me too. His excellant schedule, long lunches, and Friday's off afford him plenty of time to train. And he never has to worry about money ever.

    You know this guy? Becoming a dentist is a huge task with big debt. Besides, dentist's and other high earners go bankrupt all the time...it isn't always what you make but what you spend. I hear being a dentist can be hard because everyone fears you...
  • 12-15-2012
    Silentfoe
    You are right. There are several companies making sub 24lb FS 29ers now. The catch is, they are all uber expensive. I mentioned it before but I think they are the perfect bike. All the best things I've found in a bike, wrapped into one package. I found a way to get mine (Anthem Advanced X29er 0) and am blown away by the things it is capable of and how I feel after a long ride.
  • 12-16-2012
    irishpitbull
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Golden_Monkey View Post
    Hm. I'm wondering where the comfort from FS starts to balance out with the extra weight, when cost is an issue. I'm sure it's possible to build up/buy a 23 lb FS 29er, but not on my budget.

    7 hours into that 10 hour race, I was really wishing I had FS, but if I did, I might have spent every climb wishing I didn't.

    Average race Hardtail carbon 29r 20-22lb

    My Epic evo 22.5... I'll give them that half pound. :thumbsup:
  • 12-16-2012
    Joshua_B
    Rigid Vassago Jabberwocky SS,the most comfortable bike I have ever owned!
  • 12-16-2012
    irishpitbull
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    Rigid Vassago Jabberwocky SS,the most comfortable bike I have ever owned!

    Sicko. :)
  • 12-17-2012
    mikeridesabike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I hear being a dentist can be hard because everyone fears you...


  • 12-17-2012
    Jnthomps08
    It's interesting reading some of the replies to this thread. For my endurance bike, I was looking for a XC 29er with a little bit longer legs, but still a racey feel. I've had a spearfish for a year now and I'm just not settled on it.

    Looking through this thread, there are a lot of hardtails being mentioned, which makes me think that I should do a new 29er hardtail with big tires on it.

    This has sparked a search in me.
  • 12-21-2012
    rakerdeal
    I am 58 and do them on the Stumpjumper 29 hard tail and feel quite ok afterwards other than generally cramping legs.
  • 01-09-2013
    LetoEscobar
    Get an Epic 29er if you waht confort or a Stumpjumper HT or similar for faster times
  • 01-09-2013
    insighter
    Can you say more about your experience with the Spearfish? What don't you like versus what you like? How would a HT 29er be better, in your estimation? Curious minds want to know...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    It's interesting reading some of the replies to this thread. For my endurance bike, I was looking for a XC 29er with a little bit longer legs, but still a racey feel. I've had a spearfish for a year now and I'm just not settled on it.

    Looking through this thread, there are a lot of hardtails being mentioned, which makes me think that I should do a new 29er hardtail with big tires on it.

    This has sparked a search in me.

  • 01-09-2013
    Jnthomps08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by insighter View Post
    Can you say more about your experience with the Spearfish? What don't you like versus what you like? How would a HT 29er be better, in your estimation? Curious minds want to know...

    I'll be glad to talk more about the Spearfish. Before I start, let me preference this review of sorts with saying that I ride in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. I had the Spearfish set up more for Pisgah and my 29er HT set up for racing.

    Pisgah trails look a lot like this:



    It's pretty rough. There is a lot of climbing on fire and forest service roads and a lot of the descending is forest single track with roots, rocks, and black bears.

    The other area I ride looks like this:



    It's more groomed and built for different skill levels.


    My bike was built up from a frame. Reba RL with blackbox damper up front with a Fox RP23 kashima on the rear. Sram X9 drivetrain with XT brakes. Industry 9 hubs on Stans Flows. I had a 2x10 with 39/26 rings on an XT crank. I was happy with the weight of the build; I thought it was sturdy enough to ride hard, but nothing on there that I wouldnt replace if I broke it.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was awesome. It climbed well on modest grades and descended tame singletrack very smoothly and confidently. After a half a dozen rides or so, I started calling it the Rocketfish.

    When it came to riding in Pisgah proper, though (like the first pic) I was disappointed with how the bike climbed. Steeper grades (trail and gravel) produced noticeable bob in the shock. If I adjusted the shock to reduce the bob, then the bike descended trails much like a hardtail. In short, it climbed like I expect a bigger bike would, but did not descend like I though it should.

    I was really drawn to the simple linkage and look of the Spearfish, but I decided that if a bike was going to climb with noticeable bob, then I would want more travel on the downhill. Likewise, if it was going to descend like a hardtail, then I want weight savings and efficiency when climbing.

    I demoed a Trek Superfly 100 and was blown away: stiff on the climbs; a rocket on the descnets. I just bought a Rumblefish (no Superflys at the shop) and, even though it has 120mm of travel in the rear, with the propedal on, it is super stiff. I stand and climb all the time, something that I could not do on the Salsa.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was great. For Pisgah, not so much for this rider. With that being said, I know of two guys that ride and race Spearfish in Pisgah and they are much faster than me, even if I'm on the Rumblefish. So it goes.

    Hope that helps.
  • 01-10-2013
    Golden_Monkey
    The Anthem is sounding better all the time. Think it's my #1 pick now.
  • 01-10-2013
    insighter
    Thanks. That is helpful to know about the Spearfish, and it provides a sense of where that bike will shine.
    I rode Pisgah a bit when I was living down that way, though I spent more time in the Wilson Creek area. Great riding.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    I'll be glad to talk more about the Spearfish. Before I start, let me preference this review of sorts with saying that I ride in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. I had the Spearfish set up more for Pisgah and my 29er HT set up for racing.

    Pisgah trails look a lot like this:



    It's pretty rough. There is a lot of climbing on fire and forest service roads and a lot of the descending is forest single track with roots, rocks, and black bears.

    The other area I ride looks like this:



    It's more groomed and built for different skill levels.


    My bike was built up from a frame. Reba RL with blackbox damper up front with a Fox RP23 kashima on the rear. Sram X9 drivetrain with XT brakes. Industry 9 hubs on Stans Flows. I had a 2x10 with 39/26 rings on an XT crank. I was happy with the weight of the build; I thought it was sturdy enough to ride hard, but nothing on there that I wouldnt replace if I broke it.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was awesome. It climbed well on modest grades and descended tame singletrack very smoothly and confidently. After a half a dozen rides or so, I started calling it the Rocketfish.

    When it came to riding in Pisgah proper, though (like the first pic) I was disappointed with how the bike climbed. Steeper grades (trail and gravel) produced noticeable bob in the shock. If I adjusted the shock to reduce the bob, then the bike descended trails much like a hardtail. In short, it climbed like I expect a bigger bike would, but did not descend like I though it should.

    I was really drawn to the simple linkage and look of the Spearfish, but I decided that if a bike was going to climb with noticeable bob, then I would want more travel on the downhill. Likewise, if it was going to descend like a hardtail, then I want weight savings and efficiency when climbing.

    I demoed a Trek Superfly 100 and was blown away: stiff on the climbs; a rocket on the descnets. I just bought a Rumblefish (no Superflys at the shop) and, even though it has 120mm of travel in the rear, with the propedal on, it is super stiff. I stand and climb all the time, something that I could not do on the Salsa.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was great. For Pisgah, not so much for this rider. With that being said, I know of two guys that ride and race Spearfish in Pisgah and they are much faster than me, even if I'm on the Rumblefish. So it goes.

    Hope that helps.

  • 01-15-2013
    DrWild
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    I'll be glad to talk more about the Spearfish. Before I start, let me preference this review of sorts with saying that I ride in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. I had the Spearfish set up more for Pisgah and my 29er HT set up for racing.

    Pisgah trails look a lot like this:

    (See image in post above)

    It's pretty rough. There is a lot of climbing on fire and forest service roads and a lot of the descending is forest single track with roots, rocks, and black bears.

    The other area I ride looks like this:

    (See image in post above)

    It's more groomed and built for different skill levels.


    My bike was built up from a frame. Reba RL with blackbox damper up front with a Fox RP23 kashima on the rear. Sram X9 drivetrain with XT brakes. Industry 9 hubs on Stans Flows. I had a 2x10 with 39/26 rings on an XT crank. I was happy with the weight of the build; I thought it was sturdy enough to ride hard, but nothing on there that I wouldnt replace if I broke it.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was awesome. It climbed well on modest grades and descended tame singletrack very smoothly and confidently. After a half a dozen rides or so, I started calling it the Rocketfish.

    When it came to riding in Pisgah proper, though (like the first pic) I was disappointed with how the bike climbed. Steeper grades (trail and gravel) produced noticeable bob in the shock. If I adjusted the shock to reduce the bob, then the bike descended trails much like a hardtail. In short, it climbed like I expect a bigger bike would, but did not descend like I though it should.

    I was really drawn to the simple linkage and look of the Spearfish, but I decided that if a bike was going to climb with noticeable bob, then I would want more travel on the downhill. Likewise, if it was going to descend like a hardtail, then I want weight savings and efficiency when climbing.

    I demoed a Trek Superfly 100 and was blown away: stiff on the climbs; a rocket on the descnets. I just bought a Rumblefish (no Superflys at the shop) and, even though it has 120mm of travel in the rear, with the propedal on, it is super stiff. I stand and climb all the time, something that I could not do on the Salsa.

    For trails like the second picture, the Spearfish was great. For Pisgah, not so much for this rider. With that being said, I know of two guys that ride and race Spearfish in Pisgah and they are much faster than me, even if I'm on the Rumblefish. So it goes.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for that detail. It really does help. I'm new to mountain biking and am about to purchase a bike to ride a trail that looks (in two different sections) just like your two photos; loose, rumbly and steep up one side and fairly groomed down the other.

    It's for a daily commute, I don't need to go fast, and I'll get to know the track very well. its also only about 7 miles in either direction. I need to purchase a bike soon and only have specialized to choose from at my local bike store. I'm leaning towards the fully rigid Stumpjumper expert evo R hardtail. It comes in at just under 9kgs (19.6lbs). Am I being too interested in weight; do I need front suspension on trails like you've shown here?

    I can't find any reviews of the Stumpy evo R ht online, and can't get to ride one over the trails before I purchase, so I'm reeling on other's advice.

    Any suggestions? Thank you!
  • 01-15-2013
    Benajah
    It seems to me the most popular endurance bikes are 29er hardtails, but like many have said here, there certainly isn't any reason you cant go on whatever bike you have.
    The bike only makes a big difference after you've maxed out your ability potential.
  • 01-16-2013
    bikerider2
    I've been riding a Tallboy for about a year now. It's a good all around bike and will handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. It's built up to about 25lbs. I did a 50 mile race on it and did really well. It was really too much bike for the course I was on, but still I was very happy with it. Recently picked up a Ti Hardtail 29er set up 1X10 and only slightly lighter than the TB. I was very surprised to see my times on climbs less than a mile dropping by over a minute as well as my times on most descents being pretty close to the Tallboy. The HT is much more harsh and is not fun in rough trails, but is fast on everything else. So it really depends on the types of terrain you are riding and how good your lower back is. On a shorter race I wouldn't hesitate to take the HT, but on a longer race, or more technical course, probably taking the TB.
  • 01-17-2013
    Rod
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DrWild View Post
    Thanks for that detail. It really does help. I'm new to mountain biking and am about to purchase a bike to ride a trail that looks (in two different sections) just like your two photos; loose, rumbly and steep up one side and fairly groomed down the other.

    It's for a daily commute, I don't need to go fast, and I'll get to know the track very well. its also only about 7 miles in either direction. I need to purchase a bike soon and only have specialized to choose from at my local bike store. I'm leaning towards the fully rigid Stumpjumper expert evo R hardtail. It comes in at just under 9kgs (19.6lbs). Am I being too interested in weight; do I need front suspension on trails like you've shown here?

    I can't find any reviews of the Stumpy evo R ht online, and can't get to ride one over the trails before I purchase, so I'm reeling on other's advice.

    Any suggestions? Thank you!

    If your trails are anything like Pisgah, you definitely need front suspension and I would recommend full suspension, especially on an endurance race. Pisgah has a lot of loose rocks, it's rough in places, drops of 1-3 feet if you take the fast line, roots, and a lot of the stuff I mentioned. The fastest guys may be on 29er hardtails and I own one too, but my back is feeling it by the end of 30 mile races. I haven't attempted an endurance race on the 29 hardtail yet. When compared to my 26 anthem where I raced 12 hours solo and didn't have any pain or discomfort. I would never want to race an endurance race on a fully rigid bike. Go with comfort over weight, my friend. It's not a big deal at the end of the day. It's around 2 pounds. More importantly, get a bike that pedals very efficient like the Anthem. I haven't ridden a lot of other full suspension bikes to tell you how well they pedal. I'm not trying to advertise for Giant. It is really the only one I am familiar with and comfortable recommending.

    Edit: I recommend making your own thread so you can get more feedback.
  • 01-17-2013
    RetroS
    Many seem to be focused on what's the best on race day. For me a Masters (46) Endurance racer its what I use in training that helps me stay fresh recover faster and able to ride again the next day. In my case through trail and error, numerous injury and recovery periods its a FS 29er. Jet 9 RDO with a 120mm front,
    but any major brand with a quality product woutd work.