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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on a "Trail" 29er for XXC Racing?

    Looking for a bike that can ride the [at times] rough trails in Pisgah NF, as well as carry me through some competition. To be clear, I will not be competitive in the Open category.

    Got a chance to ride the Superfly 100 and the Fuel29 back to back on local trails. I was amazed at how different the bikes' suspension performed. The Fuel would be nice for more fun rides on the weekends.

    This will not be my only bike. I have a 29er hardtail for more XC use and racing.

    My shortlist includes:
    -Fuel29
    -Yeti SB95
    -RIP9
    -Camber
    ....and for shorter travel:
    -Superfly
    -Spearfish
    -Anthem
    -Jet9

    Any thoughts? Am I looking in the wrong place?

  2. #2
    eschewing obfuscation
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    If you're racing for fun, rather than glory, nearly any bike will suffice. Generally speaking, lighter and less travel makes for a more efficient - and thus faster - machine (albeit somewhat course dependent), yet if you plan on trail riding primarily with a few endurance races thrown in for good measure, get the bike you most enjoy on your local trails...
    "Bikes have wheels." -Noam Chomsky

  3. #3
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    I'd suggest trying a Pivot 429 too. Little bit slacker than some XC bikes, and performs above its travel (4"). Also comes with a 120 fork stock, which will handle the rough stuff a little better than the 100s most XC bikes come with. I just tested one out this past weekend (I ride a Giant Anthem at the moment, and had a Trance 29er for a while), and a carbon 429 will likely be my next bike.

  4. #4
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    I've been through this. Raced Epics, Superfly 100s, and last year went for a little more cush with a Camber. The Epic was the best pure race bike ever for me.

    I don't race a lot, but when I do, I take it pretty seriously. The Camber was great when I wasn't racing, but honestly, a bit squishy when racing, which was solved by a stiffer CTD shock. That worked great, but lots of lever flipping seemed required in a race.

    This year I'm rocking a new Turner Czar, and it's the best combination fun trail/race whip I've ever owned. Firm and fast and supple (and laterally stiff!) all at once.

    I guess if racing were even slightly the predominant focus, I'd recommend sticking with a 100 mm bike, but if xc fun were the real focus with an occasional, fairly casual race, I'd recommend choosing a good-pedaling 120 mm bike.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  5. #5
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    I spent the last year racing a 26" Stump jumper in western N.C. While it is a super fun ride it's a bit squishy for the likes of the Jerdon and the Swank, at least for me. My girlfriend and I race for fun rather than glory but I'm still looking for a more efficient ride. I'm currently building an Anthem up while attempting to hit that sweet spot between XC/Trail. I think it's going to be a light, fast ride. Just waiting for the I9 Torch wheels to show up.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    I spent the last year racing a 26" Stump jumper in western N.C. While it is a super fun ride it's a bit squishy for the likes of the Jerdon and the Swank, at least for me. My girlfriend and I race for fun rather than glory but I'm still looking for a more efficient ride. I'm currently building an Anthem up while attempting to hit that sweet spot between XC/Trail. I think it's going to be a light, fast ride. Just waiting for the I9 Torch wheels to show up.
    Yeah, I'm thinking more about courses like the 111K or the 55.5K. Im racing a hardtail at Jerdon this year, and I probably would do the same for Swank.

    Ive also heard good things about the Anthem and that might also be my ticket. I dont think a 5" 29er is going to satisfy me. I plan on demoing a few bikes in that category, though.

  7. #7
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    Id go with a JET 9.
    The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. -IMBA

  8. #8
    I like mtn biking, too
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    I think the Ibis Ripley is another good contender what you are looking for - it could go either more trail or more XC depending on how you build it. Check out this review.
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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