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  1. #1
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    Moto ti 29er and Arizona a good fit?

    Please help wise MB sages...

    I live in Phoenix. I am 6'2", 195lbs w/ gear. Fairly athletic but only ride about 1x per week. Not interested in competing and never have. I ride usually 1-2hrs per outing. Almost exclusively single track. I live in central Phoenix so the majority of my rides will be in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve (North Mtn and Piestewa areas) - trail 100 and all the trails that connect. I love fast, mildly technical, flowing single track like around the Dreamy Draw area or the Pemberton trail at McDowell but also will be hitting some more technical ups and downs by necessity, for example the passes on trail 100. I don't get too stoked about really technical downhill and avoid it if I can - but sometimes you can't avoid it. I currently ride a 2007 Iron Horse Warrior full suspension which is a 26er trail bike w/ ~5in travel, that weighs in at a hefty 35+lbs. I want to upgrade and am leaning heavily towards a 29er. I rode a relative's 2011 Niner RIP (~4in travel) and thought it was a bit too kush but liked the 29er characteristics (carrying momentum, traction, appropriateness to my height, etc). It was like I was riding on a cloud rather than mountain biking. Then again,the trails were in Israel where it is not as rocky as AZ. I want a bike that will be versatile and don't plan to accumulate bikes but still plan to keep the Iron Horse in working order.

    So, I think I've satisfied my obsessions and compulsions for detail above, now to the question. Should I buy a Moto Ti 29er (also interested in the fantom ti vs fly ti issue) or go with something like a giant anthem or trek GF hifi or Moto 29er fs - that is, some type of low travel fs 29er? I am not that interested in paying much more than $2000 and would be willing to buy used.

    A thousand thanks for any thoughts, brothers.

  2. #2
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    I have the Ti Fantom and ride some rocky trails on the east coast. It's working really well for the trails here, but I don't know if I would have chosen it for Arizona riding. I did a day of riding at McDowell earlier this year on rental 26" HT. It was some great riding but I think I would have preferred a FS setup. My speed was so much higher on the trails there and hitting the rocky areas at the higher speeds the FS would be nice.

  3. #3
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    Full squish for Phx. area trails imho.

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    I'm from Tucson, been riding 26" HT for the last five years. I've done some of trail 100, some South Mtn and Estrella park. I think I'm like you, I prefer faster, flowing single track but I don't mind more tech stuff (come down and ride Sweetwater, AZ Trail/Pistol Hill in Tucson, I'd say you'll like em). The group I ride with is predominantly 29ers and a mix of HT/DS at that. I'd say my advice would be you know what you like to ride, if you think you can live with a HT you do have some advantages with weight and climbing; less complexity, less things to break or have to fix. I've been pondering my next bike and I just recently hit the Trek and Giant demos they had down here a few weeks ago. The bike I was most impressed with? The Giant Trance X1. It was just plain fun. I was really looking forward to riding the Anthem X 29er and while I enjoyed the ride it just felt like more work than the Trance.
    One of my riding buddies has two 29er HT's and he just picked up the Thudbuster ($115 at Pricepoint) and for him he said that gives his ride a measure of DS while retaining the HT benefits. If I had the money right now I'd be hard pressed to decide between a Trance and what you are proposing (the Ti 29er Moto) with the Thudbuster. I think the second option would let me experience the trails more and not feel too disconnected. I really wish I had the money for both then I wouldn't have to choose! :-)

    I don't know if this has helped at all but I'd say you know what riding you like to do. Don't lug around more bike than you have to. On the other hand, AZ.MTNS has a point, there's a lot of trail around the Phx area that really justifies the squish. Too bad you can't demo Moto's, I think that would really give you your answer.

    Cheers,

    Craig

    If you ever want to come down to Tucson and ride, hit up our Facebook page, "Tucson MTB Addicts".

  5. #5
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    I live in Minnesota and ride a Fly Ti. (Prior bike was a Trek Fuel EX 9.8 26er). I will ride technical single track, but prefer cc riding. the 29 fly has been a dream come true for me! I feel I have lost nothing riding this bike it technical single track compared to the Trek and believe the 29er is a little faster over an identical course. Definitely accelerates faster up hill which I attribute to shed-ed weight (Mine came in at 23.3lbs) and I really enjoy climbing on it. For my style of riding the hardtail was definitely the way to go! YMMV!

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    Great input guys. I really appreciate it.

    I have been racking my brain of late on the issue. I hope to make a Trek demo this weekend. I'm trying to think of a proxy for the Fly Ti 29er and the best I can come up with that is available to me is a Trek GF superfly carbon 29er ht. I think that would have some of the softness and weight benefits of Ti and the G2 geometry seems to have been copied by Moto on the Fly Ti. Any other ideas on this as for how to get some idea of what the Fly Ti would feel like?

    I also have started to think more about a full suspension 26er in the trail (or possibly even all mountain) category. If the RIP 29er FS was too kush, maybe I'm meant to stay w/ 26er FS rides. My current bike is no comparison to a quality, lighter, newer, bike w/ better designed suspension. Any feedback on this idea?

    Keep the helpful input coming my my friends.

    BTW, cac313, thanks for the invite. I'll keep it in mind, but I don't make it to Tucson much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalroot View Post
    BTW, cac313, thanks for the invite. I'll keep it in mind, but I don't make it to Tucson much.
    No problem, I'm lobbying the fellas to make a trek up to Phx and hit it up. We're also doing Sedona next year too. We just went in Sept and it was Epic!

    As for the 26" trail bike, I hear ya. I gotta say that Trance was a hoot and I had just come from the Trek Demo where I rode the Fuel EX 9.8 carbon wonder. Honestly, it was okay. The suspension plowed through a lot of stuff but it just didn't feel all that great. I much preferred the Trance over it. There's something to be said for a bike that just KNOWS where you want to go almost before you do.

    Anyway....

  8. #8
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    If you really want something light and fast, I don't think you'll find anything that is a better deal or rides smoother than the moto 29er Ti.

    I have various weights of bikes, from a cyclocross bike, to a moto ti 29er, to a moto fs 29er with 2,4 tires I pull out the Ti 29er the most, but I will say that all the downhill shuttles done in my area have turned our trails into a brake jacked, potholed mess. If I only rode the popular single tracks, the FS would be my full time bike. For all round rides, without a hairball descent, the 29er hardtail is great.

    Sounds like you might want to take advantage of the rush to 29 and consider a really light, high quality 26er FS used.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    If you really want something light and fast, I don't think you'll find anything that is a better deal or rides smoother than the moto 29er Ti.

    I have various weights of bikes, from a cyclocross bike, to a moto ti 29er, to a moto fs 29er with 2,4 tires I pull out the Ti 29er the most, but I will say that all the downhill shuttles done in my area have turned our trails into a brake jacked, potholed mess. If I only rode the popular single tracks, the FS would be my full time bike. For all round rides, without a hairball descent, the 29er hardtail is great.

    Sounds like you might want to take advantage of the rush to 29 and consider a really light, high quality 26er FS used.
    Thanks for chiming in. What do you think about the issue of riding a Ti hardtail in Arizona. I remember you saying in one of your posts that you get around a lot. Have you ridden much in rocky SWern deserts with your Fly Ti 29er?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalroot View Post
    Thanks for chiming in. What do you think about the issue of riding a Ti hardtail in Arizona. I remember you saying in one of your posts that you get around a lot. Have you ridden much in rocky SWern deserts with your Fly Ti 29er?
    Well, dirt is dirt. I haven't ridden around Phoenix, but I've done some around Flagstaff and Jerome. The Arizona trail is on our hit list, and that will definitely be done on the Ti 29er. I guess there is a limit to how much rock you want on a hardtail, and all I can say is that the Ti 29 hardtail is way smoother than my first one, a Fisher Paragon Al framed 29er. The difference was quite remarkable.

  11. #11
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    Thanks again for the input guys.

    I am leaning towards going with a Moto bike but still can't decide between the Ti 29ers and the FS 29ers.

    I am shying away from used bikes b/c, from what I've seen so far (Trek and Yet, at least), companies to not warranty bikes for the second owners.

    I'm thinking I'll get a Moto and if I am not satisfied I'll buy a different frame and use the Moto for parts. Still the question remains, Ti 29er or FS 29er...

  12. #12
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    I ride all the same trails with a rigid SS and don't have a problem. I've also ridden a Ti 29er when I was back in PA and it was much more complient than than my rigid Monocog. For your style of riding stay with a hardtail and save the weight. I would definity change the tires out and go with wider AM bars on the Ti 29er.

    I think you will be amazed at how much faster the Ti 29er will be than the IH, it will be night and day!
    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  13. #13
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    Thanks JW, that makes me think twice after starting to lean towards a FS 29er.

    I hope to try a Gary Fisher G2 carbon HT tomorrow at the Trek demo at McDowell to use as a proxy for the Moto 29er. It's the closest I can think of to actually riding the bike given the geometry is similar and I don't know anyone w/ a Ti bike I can try. I know carbon has different characteristics but I think it will tell me if something w/ a softer ride than aluminum HTs is doable for me on AZ rocks.

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    I just had a brilliant idea. Anyone w/ a Moto Ti 29er want to meet me at a trailhead to let me give it a go for 15minutes? I'll leave my car keys with you to make you comfortable. Any trailhead around Phoenix, any weeknight or weekend. Let me know. That would put this question to rest.

  15. #15
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    Well fellas, a big revelation occurred at the Trek demo. I'm going to have to concur w/ AZ.MTNS. Full squish, and 29 at that, is where it is at for me. I rode a Rumblefish Pro, HiFi hard tail aluminum, and fuel ex 8 carbon. I loved the Rumblefish. The HiFi was nice but two bouncy for my taste and that was on the relatively smooth sport loop at McDowell. If it was on trail 100, it would have been worse. To put my Ti musings to rest, I was able to sample a guy's steel Niner while there. Although it was smoother than the HiFi, it was not as smooth as I had hoped and I assume Ti would be similar. The Fuel's traction was much worse and I even sketched out a couple times on the berms which I almost never do, so I think the traction of the 29er is good for me as well.

    I am leaning towards a Moto FS 29er now. It's spec is as good or better than a Trek that is 2x the price and the geometry is very similar to the Rumblefish. The suspesion design is not as good, I'm sure, but for my needs I think it will suit me. Any more feedback on this latest development?

  16. #16
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    Motobecane FS 29 vs Niner SIR 9 rigid SS in Arizona

    Just a follow up on the topic a couple years after I went with the FS 29 Moto. I love the bike. I am riding a lot more than I ever did before and am riding a lot more technical trails comfortably and confidently. Most of that is probably d/t practice rather than the bike but the bike helps. The Moto compares very well to the Rumblefish and Niner RIP and I liked it better than a Specialized Enduro 29 (but the bike I tried was a size large for me). I suppose more experienced rider may notice differences in the suspension performance w/ these bike and the small differences in geometry are all a matter of personal preference, but I am very happy I didn't spend more. I have about 1400+ single track miles on the bike now and it has held up very well. No problems w/ the frame or any component. It even fell off a faulty bike rack while going 65mph and survived w/ only the wheels being trued (and no human fatalities). The one problem I had w/ it was at about 1300 miles the freehub went caput. I took the opportunity to replace w/ some custom I9 Torch hubs w/ Velocity blunt rims set up tubeless and love them. It surely is an improvement on the old wheels in wt, rim width, engagement, and traction, but the difference was not as remarkable as I thought. So, I would say the generic wheels (the putative weakness of the bike) were not that bad after all. I replaced the stem (shorter) and bars (wider) which are no-brainer up grades. The wt w/ this set up, computer, pedals, Stans is about 28.6lbs.

    Since I bought the Moto, I found an awesome deal on a fully rigid Niner SIR 9 single speed b/c I loved riding a single speed bike when I tried it. I love the Niner too. It weighs under 22lbs. There are certainly noticeable differences in acceleration, power transfer, and slight improvements in handling responsiveness compared to the Moto. Obvious advantages of the Moto are smooth FS ride and gears. My experience w/ the Niner makes me think that not only hardtails but also even rigid 29ers are very viable in AZ. I ride the rigid SS bike on 90% of the trails I ride the FS geared bike. I wouldn't take the former to National if I had the choice, though, mind you. The ultimate test of preferred bike is which one is on the trail and which is in the garage. I ride the Moto about 2/3 of the time and have chosen the Moto when I go on trips (went to Breckenridge, Tucson, and Gooseberry Mesa).

    In the end, for me and my riding style, it may be that hardtail geared bike in Ti, steal or carbon would be the best all around choice, even in AZ. I am going to do some demos to test the theory. I flirt w/ the idea of a Niner Air 9 carbon and transferring all the components from the Moto over. Of course, the new Moto Ti frame looks pretty darned swell too. There is no compelling reason for me to get a new bike, however, at this point as I am completely thrilled w/ the stable I've accumulated. It is hard to keep the eye from wandering, however...

  17. #17
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    Nice, thanks for the followup review. I think we need to see a pic of this beast of a Moto

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