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  1. #1
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    best type of bike for michigan trails

    hey im new to the sport of mountainbiking. so far ive been to stony creek and riverbends on the trails a few times. from what ive seen there doesnt seem to be anything an xc bike cant handle. is there any need for an all-mountain style bike for the majority of michigan trails? or should an xc bike handle just about everything.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Do you plan on riding the 'DH' parks at some of the ski resorts? If I ride in Michigan, it's usually at Fort Custer where a XC bike is perfect.

  3. #3
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    dh on a ski resort sounds like a good time, but im mainly just planning on trail riding for the time being.

  4. #4
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    Most of the Michigan trails, especially those in the lower peninsula, are just fine using an XC bike. In fact, many riders are using rigid forks since the trails are pretty smooth, especially the trails in the area around you. 29 inch wheels are popular as well.

  5. #5
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    Most trails I have been on in Michigan can be handled by a XC bike. I have always been partial to hardtails, but currently find myself with a 4" FS, a rigid 29er and a rigid 26er. I would not want a rigid bike of either tire size as my only bike, as the roots here can be a little choppy. I have also had a 5" FS which was fun but arguably overkill for the trails here.

    So my recommendation would be either a hardtail or a 3-4" FS, either 26er or 29er. Give them a test ride and see what you like.

  6. #6
    I have red hair
    Reputation: RedGreen's Avatar
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    Steel, hardtail, rigid, 29er, never been happier

    I'd highly highly recommend a 29er for the trails here, they roll better (which is awesome on the smoother trails in the LP), climb better, and IMO, descend better. Whether you go for a rigid, Front sus, or full sus is up to you, but as previously stated, you don't need a ton of travel for the majority of the trails here. You might even find you like a soft-tail bike (i.e. Salsa Dos Niner, Cannondale Scalpel (26" wheels, but still sweet)). I rode a Salsa Dos Niner for awhile and it was one of the best bikes I can imagine for MI trails.

  7. #7
    Trail Builder
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    I lived in Michigan for 19 years.

    I rode my Raleigh M30 Rigid Frame the entire time I lived there, never had any problems with any trails, but at least need a front suspension to enjoy the trails more and not have to worry about the trails being to harsh on your arms

  8. #8
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    You don't need full suspention for most of the MI trails, hardtail will work great.

  9. #9
    from 20's to 26's
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    its all about what you feel best on but i'd vote hardtail but if you're thinking maybe rigid definitely look into 29ers
    -Shane-

    "Those who love you are watching, and they expect greatness"

  10. #10
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    +1 for hardtail / 29er

  11. #11
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    I expect most people in MI ride Hard Tail with 120 or so mm front end suspension.

    My primary ride is a full suspension 29r, and those who say you don't need it in MI, well they don't have back issues. You don't really need steep raked, big suspension downhill bikes here.

    MI is the ultimate in Cross country mountain bike riding. Our trails typically have a flow to them, short climbs (compared to mountain climbs), fast, fun descents and long flowing riding lines to carry that speed. Obviously some trails don't meet this, but I have found that the majority are this way.

    Rigid is great- rode one for several months, but if you have any joint issues in your back or wrists- they will become greatly exaggerated while on the trails.

    As stated by many, you will have a great riding experience in MI with a hard trail, front suspension cross country bike in Mi.
    I find that, of the rigid bikes, the majority are Single Speed's. SS has a huge following in Mi, and they can be a blast to ride. But be warned, you will get one heck of a workout from them.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Knobbytiretours.com
    mountain bike tours and training in S. Mi.

  12. #12
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    +another for hardtail. even in the UP, on some of the best/gnarliest trails, i managed to survive on a hardtail, and i'm not even that good of a rider.

  13. #13
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    Perhaps you should describe your weight, kind of shape you're in, age, and what you like about mountain biking in order to get the best advice. Xc and trail bikes predominate in Michigan from what I've seen, and this can result in a whole different geometry, with xc bikes being more stretched out, lighter, perhaps more fragile depending on what you do with it, and with trail bikes being a little more heavy, a little more sturdy, and having a shorter cockpit with a higher bar height, though you can find all kind of variations of course.

  14. #14
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    You can do good with a hardtail, but if you want to go Utah or any other destination that is more rugid, you should get full suspension.

  15. #15
    HTFU and Ride
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    hard tail 29er with 100mm fork = bliss
    Winter is coming.

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