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  1. #1
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    29+, Full Suspension Bike for Geezers?

    I just bought a Trek Full Stache bike, full suspension, with 29 X 3" tires. Although the bike is marketed towards rugged backcountry trails and bike-packers, I think the bike is great for geezers in general.

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    I am not interested in breaking bones or being injured on technical trails. I like having big tires that just roll over stuff. Even when riding dirt roads, this bike does well on washboard.

    Another possible trait for geezers is that they got interesting in biking before mountain bikes were even invented. But there were half as many cars on the road back then, and most drivers actually looked out their windshields, instead of playing with their gadgets inside the car.

    Therefore they might "mountain" bike just to get away from cars, that is, ride on dirt roads. I haven't found the Trek Full Stache to be handicapped on dirt roads at all. It just makes the road seem smooth.

    So there it is for what it is worth: my endorsement of this category of bike for geezers who just love healthy, safe pedaling. The kids can break their necks on technical trails if that is what they want.

  2. #2
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    29+ doesn't preclude breaking your neck on technical trails. You can do that with any wheel size. The bigger they are, the harder they fall?
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    I wonder if you are thinking of "moral hazard." I will be careful not to let these big wheels suck me into MORE TECHNICAL trails than I am used to doing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaBLOOnie View Post
    I wonder if you are thinking of "moral hazard." I will be careful not to let these big wheels suck me into MORE TECHNICAL trails than I am used to doing.
    I'm a geezer less than a year into off pavement riding, for exactly the reasons you posed.
    Those big wheels on my 1120 (rigid 29+ cousin to Stache) have gotten me through technical trails I wasn't prepared for, but I went SLOWLY. You just need to concentrate and don't be ashamed to push the bike through tough sections. Alright, be ashamed, but better shame than fractured bones and off your bike for months. Frankly, I enjoy the gravel on both my 1120 and my Tallboy (27.5x2.8) better than white knuckle bombing down unfamiliar singletrack that can turn sickeningly dangerous without warning. Is the FS overkill on washboard or rutted gnarly gravel? Maybe, but who cares? Comfort and stability are more fun than a trip to the ER when you get to my age.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaBLOOnie View Post
    I just bought a Trek Full Stache bike, full suspension, with 29 X 3" tires. Although the bike is marketed towards rugged backcountry trails and bike-packers, I think the bike is great for geezers in general.

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    I am not interested in breaking bones or being injured on technical trails. I like having big tires that just roll over stuff. Even when riding dirt roads, this bike does well on washboard.

    Another possible trait for geezers is that they got interesting in biking before mountain bikes were even invented. But there were half as many cars on the road back then, and most drivers actually looked out their windshields, instead of playing with their gadgets inside the car.

    Therefore they might "mountain" bike just to get away from cars, that is, ride on dirt roads. I haven't found the Trek Full Stache to be handicapped on dirt roads at all. It just makes the road seem smooth.

    So there it is for what it is worth: my endorsement of this category of bike for geezers who just love healthy, safe pedaling. The kids can break their necks on technical trails if that is what they want.
    What about speed? How is it on smoother stuff? Do you notice a letdown in speed, harder to pedal, etc.?

  6. #6
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    About the only thing I found limiting in a bike like the Full Stache is the long wheelbase, such as riding steep technical rock gardens (Mr Toads, Capy Ahab) but if youíre riding terrain like that, you have other things to worry about

    Every wheel size has pros and cons, the size you choose should based on the terrain you ride.

    The Full Stache is a fast as the person riding it. It is a bulky bike, 3Ē tires and a big frame take some additional energy to motivate, it just depends on what you want from your bike. A carbon or aluminum framed hardtail Stache would suit most people, the Full Stache is more suited for ďbumpy suiffĒ.

    The Trek Fuel EX 29 is likely a better choice for most folks, it wonít take a 3Ē tire, but itíll take 2.8Ē; which is a more multi use tire. I ride my Full Stache with 2.6/2.8 tires.

    Iím not a big box bike guy, but Trek has the rear suspension dialed on their bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galeforce5 View Post
    What about speed? How is it on smoother stuff? Do you notice a letdown in speed, harder to pedal, etc.?
    GG Smash 29 (pending)
    Trek Full Stache 29+
    Kona Wozo 29+
    Devinci Hendrix 27+ (loaner)
    Specialize Levo FSR 27+ (wifee)

  7. #7
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    What smoother stuff!? I never find anything smooth...

    OK, just kidding. Sometimes the road/trail surface is smooth. But when that happens, it is a brief miracle that any bike is good at handling. Small performance differences just don't matter to me.

    What I care about is the bumpy stuff. Can the bike make that stuff seem semi-smooth? Can I take my eyes off the crappy rocks and bumps 10 feet in front of me, and enjoy the glorious scenery off at a distance.

  8. #8
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    It makes it smoother than s shorter wheelbase bike, but you donít get scenic views unless you stop to smell the 💐

    Quote Originally Posted by kaBLOOnie View Post
    What smoother stuff!? I never find anything smooth...

    OK, just kidding. Sometimes the road/trail surface is smooth. But when that happens, it is a brief miracle that any bike is good at handling. Small performance differences just don't matter to me.

    What I care about is the bumpy stuff. Can the bike make that stuff seem semi-smooth? Can I take my eyes off the crappy rocks and bumps 10 feet in front of me, and enjoy the glorious scenery off at a distance.
    GG Smash 29 (pending)
    Trek Full Stache 29+
    Kona Wozo 29+
    Devinci Hendrix 27+ (loaner)
    Specialize Levo FSR 27+ (wifee)

  9. #9
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    I have been riding full suspension for the past 20 years, and have seen in evolve dramatically from what it was like in the beginning to what they have now. It was not until this year that i finally made the jump to a new wheel size. I didn't find that there was much that my 26" could not ride over. I never really saw the desire to go to 29" and picked up an XC geo bike, the 27" Anthem2. For me the biggest difference I get is fallen trees as I have more bottom bracket clearance than I had before. The argument of roll over has never been anything that I have experianced as a limitation. The art is choosing the path that you can take and making a choice based on what you and your bike can handle.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill401 View Post
    I have been riding full suspension for the past 20 years, and have seen in evolve dramatically from what it was like in the beginning to what they have now. It was not until this year that i finally made the jump to a new wheel size. I didn't find that there was much that my 26" could not ride over. I never really saw the desire to go to 29" and picked up an XC geo bike, the 27" Anthem2. For me the biggest difference I get is fallen trees as I have more bottom bracket clearance than I had before. The argument of roll over has never been anything that I have experianced as a limitation. The art is choosing the path that you can take and making a choice based on what you and your bike can handle.
    The bigger the wheel, the better. Look at jeeps, tractors, construction equipment, etc.

  11. #11
    tm3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaBLOOnie View Post
    I just bought a Trek Full Stache bike, full suspension, with 29 X 3" tires. Although the bike is marketed towards rugged backcountry trails and bike-packers, I think the bike is great for geezers in general.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FullStache8_22688_A_Portrait.jpg 
Views:	636 
Size:	171.1 KB 
ID:	1202948


    I am not interested in breaking bones or being injured on technical trails. I like having big tires that just roll over stuff. Even when riding dirt roads, this bike does well on washboard.

    Another possible trait for geezers is that they got interesting in biking before mountain bikes were even invented. But there were half as many cars on the road back then, and most drivers actually looked out their windshields, instead of playing with their gadgets inside the car.

    Therefore they might "mountain" bike just to get away from cars, that is, ride on dirt roads. I haven't found the Trek Full Stache to be handicapped on dirt roads at all. It just makes the road seem smooth.

    So there it is for what it is worth: my endorsement of this category of bike for geezers who just love healthy, safe pedaling. The kids can break their necks on technical trails if that is what they want.
    You've just described my type of riding. After some auditioning, I have been leaning towards the HT Stache (while wondering if even less suspension, ie a non-sus fat bike, might be even better).

    What advantage do you see the rear suspension of the Full Stache having when it comes to dirt/gravel roads, and washboard (which is what I ride almost exclusively)?

  12. #12
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    I rode hard tails, Muni, and rigid until I was ~47 yo, then one day I was flying down a Jeep road at speed and I was getting bounced around so hard on my Honzo that I decided it was ridiculous to ďliveĒ that way, so I sold my Honzo and bought my first FS bike (Devinci Atlas).

    FS bikes do everything better, there are no disadvantages other than cost, weight, and complexity. I have a hardtail (Wozo) that I ride on occasion, itís going to be replaced with a Stache carbon for use on mellower terrain. I donít mind riding a hardtail, but no tire diameter or tire width can make up for a lack of suspension; donít let anyone bullshite you otherwise..

    If youíre coming from a non plus hardtail, youíre wanting more comfort, and youíre looking at a 29+ like the Stache, at ďour ageĒ Iíd skip the plus hardtail and get something like Trek Fuel EX 29, then run 2.6-2.8 tires and call it fine.

    I would suggest a Full Stache, but itís heavy and itís sole benefit over a Fuel EX 29 is the ability to run 3Ē tires. I run 2.6/2.8 on my Full Stache. I have ridden 29+ as long as theyíve existed, itís a big tire and for most folks itís overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    You've just described my type of riding. After some auditioning, I have been leaning towards the HT Stache (while wondering if even less suspension, ie a non-sus fat bike, might be even better).

    What advantage do you see the rear suspension of the Full Stache having when it comes to dirt/gravel roads, and washboard (which is what I ride almost exclusively)?
    GG Smash 29 (pending)
    Trek Full Stache 29+
    Kona Wozo 29+
    Devinci Hendrix 27+ (loaner)
    Specialize Levo FSR 27+ (wifee)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I rode hard tails, Muni, and rigid until I was ~47 yo, then one day I was flying down a Jeep road at speed and I was getting bounced around so hard on my Honzo that I decided it was ridiculous to ďliveĒ that way, so I sold my Honzo and bought my first FS bike (Devinci Atlas).

    FS bikes do everything better, there are no disadvantages other than cost, weight, and complexity. I have a hardtail (Wozo) that I ride on occasion, itís going to be replaced with a Stache carbon for use on mellower terrain. I donít mind riding a hardtail, but no tire diameter or tire width can make up for a lack of suspension; donít let anyone bullshite you otherwise..

    If youíre coming from a non plus hardtail, youíre wanting more comfort, and youíre looking at a 29+ like the Stache, at ďour ageĒ Iíd skip the plus hardtail and get something like Trek Fuel EX 29, then run 2.6-2.8 tires and call it fine.

    I would suggest a Full Stache, but itís heavy and itís sole benefit over a Fuel EX 29 is the ability to run 3Ē tires. I run 2.6/2.8 on my Full Stache. I have ridden 29+ as long as theyíve existed, itís a big tire and for most folks itís overkill.
    Thanks for the comments! I'm having trouble sorting all this out as there are a LOT of options.

    Isn't the Fuel EX more of an "enduro" style (130mm travel)? Wouldn't 110-120mm be more in line with the type of riding we're talking about in this thread?

    For perspective, my current ride is a 26" HT with suspension stem and 2" tires. The sus stem is fine, but I would like a little more cush in the rear. Also, at "my age" I'm trying to do some "future proofing" if that means full sus. Although I will say that on test rides the full sus didn't wow me -- I didn't like the pogo effect and the FS just didn't seem to accelerate like the Stache or my HT. But I'd probably get used to it.

  14. #14
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    I have a Farley 9.6 with a Mastodon, 29x3.0 Carbon wheelset and find it mostly perfect for most of my riding, which is some gravel roads and lots of tight singletrack. Swapping wheel sets takes 3 min. Donít see advantage of Stache HT over Farley with Mastodon.

    Having said that, Iím considering a Fuel EX 29er with 2.6 tires as a FS option. Been really happy with FB.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    I have a Farley 9.6 with a Mastodon, 29x3.0 Carbon wheelset and find it mostly perfect for most of my riding, which is some gravel roads and lots of tight singletrack. Swapping wheel sets takes 3 min. Donít see advantage of Stache HT over Farley with Mastodon.

    Having said that, Iím considering a Fuel EX 29er with 2.6 tires as a FS option. Been really happy with FB.
    You're interested in what I found to be the ultimate, and what several of my Trek associates ride.

    I'd love the Full Stache for some uses but our Fuel EX and Remedy with SE4 and at times SE3 rear tire have quickness and a light feeling the big wheels never have on our Farleys.

    Trek's engineers and product managers ride at trails I manage and some are friends. I see and often try this stuff before it's on the market. There's a whole lot I like about the 29+ but the tire models can be too light or too heavy if you do one bike in a lot of riding types. I ride a late model Fuel EX, and my wife a Remedy 29. We just did 11 days between Summit County and Fruita. At home we have little bits of all that terrain. SE4 29r (not Plus) are surprisingly fast on hard and smooth trails. If only I had such tires years ago, and for the bike.... My Fuel EX worked for bike park, epic XC rides, and about anything encountered.

    I'm in a circle of associates who have 140 Pikes or Fox with SE4 tires. The head engineer for the Slash has repeated he rides that unless it's true serious mountain or bike park riding.
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    I have been riding a YT Jeffsy 29 which has 140 mil of travel front and rear, and climbs and pedals better than the Specialized FSR I rode 20 years ago. The FSR had half as much travel! Downhills of all kinds technical or not feel like cheating. Love it.
    I have 2.4 tires on it, but the next set will be 2.6 which I think is the limit of its clearance, although it might barely fit some 2.8's.
    If I was young and more energetic I'd love to ride a hardtail, but all the hopping and standing and getting bounced is too much these days.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill401 View Post
    The argument of roll over has never been anything that I have experianced as a limitation. The art is choosing the path that you can take and making a choice based on what you and your bike can handle.
    Sounds like your trails don't need the increased rollover that bigger wheels give.

    Many do.

  18. #18
    tm3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    You're interested in what I found to be the ultimate, and what several of my Trek associates ride.

    I'd love the Full Stache for some uses but our Fuel EX and Remedy with SE4 and at times SE3 rear tire have quickness and a light feeling the big wheels never have on our Farleys.

    I'm in a circle of associates who have 140 Pikes or Fox with SE4 tires. The head engineer for the Slash has repeated he rides that unless it's true serious mountain or bike park riding.
    Which SE4 width are you referring to -- 2.4, 2.6, or 3.0?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Which SE4 width are you referring to -- 2.4, 2.6, or 3.0?
    Mostly the 2.4 but some associates have the 3 on plus wheels.

    My preference for 29 x 2.4 is the overall versatility and my going to 27.5 x 3.8 Hodags for some riding. I ride a wide array of conditions and often ride 2 mi to trailhead. I ride with different style riders where some are race or Strava oriented and some are session the difficult features types.

    I don't mean for any of this to be a cut on the plus tires or bike. I'd like the Full Stache for one particular trail area alone but I just finished almost 4 weeks of travel and can't imagine being more happy with a single bike or setup than I am. I can't have it all and also like to ride in winter so I'll keep riding the incredibly versatile trail bike and fattie.

    Yesterday I was on some trail I've ridden for about 30 years and a few tight turns are a pain for a big modern bike but big wheel rollover capability is best overall. My prior complaints about big wheels disappeared with the modern geometry bikes.
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  20. #20
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    What's a Geezer?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    Mostly the 2.4 but some associates have the 3 on plus wheels.

    I don't mean for any of this to be a cut on the plus tires or bike. I'd like the Full Stache for one particular trail area alone but I just finished almost 4 weeks of travel and can't imagine being more happy with a single bike or setup than I am. I can't have it all and also like to ride in winter so I'll keep riding the incredibly versatile trail bike and fattie.
    Thanks! I like the HT Stache better than the FS 29er's I've ridden (2" tires?) but keep wondering if the "sweet spot" for a geezer like me on dirt roads might be as Nurse Ben said ie a Fuel Ex 29er with sub-3" tires.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    What's a Geezer?
    Evidently a degree of feebleness is involved.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  23. #23
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    No, no, that's a wheezer.

    A geezer is a non wheezing wheezer who tells kids to "get off my lawn".

    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    Evidently a degree of feebleness is involved.
    GG Smash 29 (pending)
    Trek Full Stache 29+
    Kona Wozo 29+
    Devinci Hendrix 27+ (loaner)
    Specialize Levo FSR 27+ (wifee)

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