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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.
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