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  1. #1
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    Bike recommendations for State College area

    HI All

    Moving to the region in a few months and want to get back into mountain biking. I am debating between 26 or 29 inch rims. I want to keep it to a hardtail at this point to save some money. Any suggestions either way. I can be swayed at this point.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    trail addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibmg
    HI All

    Moving to the region in a few months and want to get back into mountain biking. I am debating between 26 or 29 inch rims. I want to keep it to a hardtail at this point to save some money. Any suggestions either way. I can be swayed at this point.

    Thanks
    Just like anywhere else in PA, you'll find a lot of variety around State College, but one thing that struck me is how rocky and bumpy many of the trails are. I don't have any experience with 29ers, but if I was shopping for a hardtail for Happy Valley (as my only bike), I would definitely test ride a 29er.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  3. #3
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    big hoops will certainly help roll through rock gardens thats for sure!

  4. #4
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    The local trails here are pretty rocky. I started out a few years ago on a hardtail, but moved to a full suspension bike and would not go back. I'm currently on a 6" travel 26er, but I'd guess that most local riders run less travel and the seem to get by just fine. It seems that many people have moved the big wheels, including many hardtails (and singlespeeds). What's you're budget? Knowing that will allow us to provide some specific bike recommendations.
    Quote Originally Posted by skibmg
    HI All

    Moving to the region in a few months and want to get back into mountain biking. I am debating between 26 or 29 inch rims. I want to keep it to a hardtail at this point to save some money. Any suggestions either way. I can be swayed at this point.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    Potentially great bang for the buck in a quality steel 29er. My "XC" bike is a Niner MCR with a carbon fork (yes, rigid bike) rolling 2.2" Kenda Nevegal tires tubeless. It's surprisingly good in the bump n grind I have sample in NE-PA so far. I'm sure sometime it will have to be upgraded to a suspension fork. Or at least that it's likely. But i'm in no hurry, I just slow down on the bumpy stuff instead of barreling through.

    When I want to go barreling, I'm fortunately enough to have a second bike what has notable travel on both wheels.

    Good luck in your search.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the input. At this point I planned to stick with a hardtail with front suspension. My budget is $1500 with a bit a flexibility upwards. I've been thinking Niner MCR or EMD for a while, but am having trouble with keeping the budget reasonable, now I am thinking a Fisher 29er, but here I run into sizing issues (29" inseam, long torso for 5'8" height) so I may end up with a 26er hardtail in the end.

  7. #7
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    Sc

    Living here and riding a lot of the trails you can do a lot on a 29er hardtail. It does depend on what you like to ride and how long. It is very rocky on a lot of the best riding here. Lots of riding and many trails. If you have a bike now I'd use it just to get an idea of what you want. Rothrock, Scotia, Coppers Gap, Black Moshannan, and more within driving range. 3 or 4 bike shops in town.

  8. #8
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    Freeze Thaw Cycles in the middle of town on Allen St. across from Zenos bar (you will want to get to know both places) has a pretty significant number of demo bikes. Price is reasonable at $50 a day and is a credit towards a bike or frame purchase. Full suspension 29ers (Big Mama, RIP9, Rumblefish 1), hardtail 29ers (Vassago, Chumba, Salsa, Surly), 650b'ed Surly 1x1, possibly others. They sell Redline bikes so you can go from the low end of the price range and up. The owners are a couple of young dudes who are into bikes and made a business of recycling old frames and now sell both new and used bikes. I'd suggest go see them with a budget in mind and you may walk out with a new bike.

  9. #9
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    Awesome advice everyone. The trail list is also a plus. For now I want to stick to a hardtail since I'll also be using to to ride from Toftrees to campus. Budget is around $1500. I am so far been considering a Niner EMD with 100 mm fork up front. Also considering FIsher and specialized hardtails. Probably go Niner given sizing concerns, but recently stumbled upon Chumba HX2, which has me intrigued since it can go 120 mm up front.

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