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  1. #1
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    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

  2. #2
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    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 guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

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    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


    Of your two choices I would opt for the Spearfish. Keep it as light as possible.

  4. #4
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    Specialized Epic

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    Spearfish.

  6. #6
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    Cannondale Scalpel

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DenverPoke View Post
    Cannondale Scalpel
    I second this!!! Both the 26in and the 29in wheel versions are solid bikes!

  8. #8
    Daniel the Dog
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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?

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    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.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
    Daniel the Dog
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    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.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    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. He claims he does.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    Daniel the Dog
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    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

  16. #16
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    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.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  17. #17
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    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!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  18. #18
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    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!
    Don't judge a book by the cover.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  19. #19
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    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.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  20. #20
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    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!
    Don't judge a book by the cover.
    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.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  21. #21
    Daniel the Dog
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    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!

  22. #22
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    For me, it depends on the course. The terrain will determine whether I ride a HT, 100mm or 120mm FS.

  23. #23
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    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.

  24. #24
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    I went with the Epic EVO R for my 100milers.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
    2014 Yeti ARC
    2014 S-Works Crux Disc

  25. #25
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    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.
    Former XXC Mag publisher (re)turned amateur bike blogger at The Soiled Chamois.

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