Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,784

    Austin bike selection

    I moved to Austin from Atlanta a few weeks ago and finally got to ride Walnut and BCGB in the last few days. I am riding a single-speed Vassago Jabberwocky with a 80mm fork (as much travel as the Jabber can handle), wide bars, and fat, tubeless tires. I don't have much confidence on the rocks in Walnut and ate sh!t a few times at Barton (and got really lost). I spent more time carrying my bike than riding Barton. I think my frame is not exactly "confidence inspiring" due to the uber-long chainstays, so I am looking into replacing my frame with something morer flickable with a shorter CS and maybe a shorter TT.

    I felt fine in northern Georgia on this bike although the long backend was a bit annoying. Trails up there have long climbs, far fewer rocks, and more linear systems. I could ride fast and confident there. Riding Austin trails has been downright terrifying (but fun). I am afraid I am going to get killed out there if I don't A) suck it up and develop some Jedi rockhopping skills, or B) alter/ replace my bike to handle the terrain. Is riding a SS hardtail just not realistic among the loose rocks and boulders in BCGB or am I just not hard enough? Does everyone ride a full squish here?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    431
    I ride a 29er hard tail with no problems. The rocks can get a little old at times but that's why you go ride walnut for a break. I've seen people on rigid single speeds on the rocky trails but they seem like the everyday type cyclists.

    I think it's just a preference, but it sounds like you need at least a geared hard tail.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    347
    I ride a 29er El Mariachi set up as SS (100MM front) at BCGB and ride with some folks who ride rigid with no issues (not saying I can clear everything - there's a few uphills that are too steep for my gearing). You get used to the rocks and such after a while. It does beat me up a bit more than my FS bike, but as long as the ride is less than 3 hours, it's fine.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    137
    I live in Zilker and ride the Greenbelt almost exclusively. Have a Jabberwocky with a Reba set at 100mm and love it! Four of my neighbors have one and one even has two. There are a ton of Vassagos out there, as single speeds are quite common.

    It sounds like you might just be acclimating to the conditions and need some time. In my opinion the GB has all the technical rock skills anyone could ask for so don't get discouraged. Like mentioned before, hit up some of the more flow trails like Slaughter and Walnut.

    Experiment with some gearing, don't be afraid to go super low on some tire pressure and just take your time getting used to the rocks. It time I think you'll really like the challenge!
    Pedal through it!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: notyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    95
    As others said, lots of people ride rigid ss (even fixed) exclusively, but I'd say that the most common around here is full suspension 29er. Somewhere around 4-5" travel is usually the norm.

    I'm not sure what you want to hear, but I want to try to tell you it. So take whichever response you wish and forget the other.

    A) "Do yourself a favor, bite the bullet and buy a new bike. It makes every ride more fun when you have the right tool for the job."

    B) "There is a pretty steep learning curve for riding around here no matter what bike you ride. It's not the arrow, it's the indian (err..ahh.. Native American). Ride what you've got for a few months and let your skills adapt to the different terrain."

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,303
    Layton hit it.

    I would say half of your problem is learning the trails. I ride with rigid fixie people on the GB from time to time. Once rode with a guy on a cross bike who just moved down and he schooled the FS riders.

    If you want to head to the GB sometime I can give you a tour and pointers on how to take the different features. Should be back in the country after next weekend.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: endo_2011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    51
    I ride a fs 26" trek and I have had no problem riding it here on many of the trails (GB, Walnut, RP). Yes the rocks kick my butt at times, but they are fun. I just moved here from Ohio and have adapted quickly to the trails; it is the heat that still gets me! I ride with many guys who are riding either rigids or hardtails and they are pretty badass. I actually am thinking of picking up a single speed 650b myself. As for the '29, I just can't do it, feels like cheating to me!
    Just looking for a ride!
    Trek Ex 8

    @mattwelton

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,784
    It sounds like I just mostly need to adjust, adapt, and hone my skills on the rocks. I also need someone to show me around these trails. I found another forum with a LONG discussion about a weekly SS ride on BC so it's certainly not impossible. So I don't "need" an FS bike, which is good because I have absolutely no money for such a big investment right now.

    On the other hand, I may be suffering from a improperly tuned Manitou Tower Pro fork, or I need to try it with my rigid Salsa fork instead because that's what I am used to. I am also not thrilled with the geo on this Jabber frame, which I have had for a few months. It handles like a school buss for me. So if I can get rid of it in favor of a Karate Monkey or something like that, I might have a better time out there.

    Either way, all hour input helped a lot. Thanks!
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-16-2013 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    297
    I ride a FS ellsworth evolution 140mm and gotta admit I cant stand rigids on rocks My back absolutely hates them.
    2012 Ellsworth Evolution
    x9 type 2, x0 cranks,
    fox 34 talas140mm with CC angleset -1.5

  10. #10
    Team Livemedium
    Reputation: bamwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    666
    I ride a voodoo canzo 29er. really smooths out the chop around here. plus I just love the feel of the squish on a well executed drop. I wouldn't consider riding a hardtail around here, but I'm 39 and full rigid feels like punishment.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    36
    a 6" 27.5er is just the ticket!

  12. #12
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
    Reputation: In-Yo-Grill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,148
    Quote Originally Posted by moojo View Post
    a 6" 27.5er is just the ticket!
    Sounds like you may be talking about the SC Bronson. That bike looks bad to the bone.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    Sounds like you may be talking about the SC Bronson. That bike looks bad to the bone.
    Banshee Spitfire (sold to me at Canyon Cycles in Dripping Springs). Geometry is a spittin' image of the Bronson, but with adjustable head angle and 26" or 27.5" rear dropouts.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sooner518's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,589
    happy on my Blur LTc. 140 front and back. wouldnt mind another 0.5-1 inch though. I would consider going to 27.5 for my next bike, but I like throwing the bike around too much to really want to go up to 29er.

    my last 2 upgrades have made a huge difference in how well/fast/aggressive I can ride City Park and the greenbelt. KS dropper post and a really good brakeset (Hope X2 Evos which replaced my old Avid XX's)
    Last edited by sooner518; 07-24-2013 at 08:53 AM.

  15. #15
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
    Reputation: In-Yo-Grill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,148
    I'm on a 5-1/2" 29er right now coming off a 5-1/2" 26er. I can't say yet whether I like one better than another. I can tell that I'm more nimble on my 26er but like efficiency of the 29er. I have no plans to get rid of my 26er yet. I need to get a dropper post on it so I can get a little gnarly.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  16. #16
    Bikes/Beers/BustinAss
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    32
    just ride what ya got man. If you get good on your hardtail, you will be a beast when you get the money for a full suspension. That was always my excuse until i came up with the money. Also, watch craigslist. Austin has some super bad ass deals if you watch for them.
    I ride because exercising sucks, it's a lot of fun, and it makes beer taste oh so much better.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    297
    Still remember my raleigh m60? rigid from the 90's...I did some stupid stuff on that bike lol
    2012 Ellsworth Evolution
    x9 type 2, x0 cranks,
    fox 34 talas140mm with CC angleset -1.5

  18. #18
    Ron
    Ron is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    196
    Welcome to atx! Your bike is good, just keep riding it and after a few weeks you'll be adjusted.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,303
    Oh, and the official "Austin bike selection" is a Santa Cruz Blur LT2
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,784
    I now have a small Surly Karate Monkey and I rode the Greenbelt yesterday. I think that the KM handles much better for me on the same terrain! it's much more flickable and much easier to huck onto ledges and off drops than my Jabber was. I still did a lot of hiking my bike up awkward steep hills and through the nastier tech sections, but I went further, faster, and with much more confidence than when I was riding the Jabber. I think I crashed pretty hard three times on the Jabber and not once on the Monkey. I did, however, have a run-in with some bees.

  21. #21
    Ron
    Ron is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I now have a small Surly Karate Monkey and I rode the Greenbelt yesterday. I think that the KM handles much better for me on the same terrain! it's much more flickable and much easier to huck onto ledges and off drops than my Jabber was. I still did a lot of hiking my bike up awkward steep hills and through the nastier tech sections, but I went further, faster, and with much more confidence than when I was riding the Jabber. I think I crashed pretty hard three times on the Jabber and not once on the Monkey. I did, however, have a run-in with some bees.
    nice, I agree you can't go wrong with the karate monkey.

    here's a tip: take a round file and shorten the dropouts a bit. This allows you to run 32x20 or 34x22 with the axle all the way forward giving you a sub 17" chain stay.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,784
    I have it set up 32/20 with the axle slammed in the dropout. there is just enough slack in the chain that I can muscle it off without breaking the chain. however, I also have a Hadley 10mm solid axle in my hub, so I can just pull it all the way out.

  23. #23
    Ron
    Ron is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I have it set up 32/20 with the axle slammed in the dropout. there is just enough slack in the chain that I can muscle it off without breaking the chain. however, I also have a Hadley 10mm solid axle in my hub, so I can just pull it all the way out.

Similar Threads

  1. Austin bike shops
    By mack_turtle in forum Texas
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-21-2013, 11:17 AM
  2. Austin Bike Park
    By trailbrain in forum Passion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-07-2013, 05:18 AM
  3. Austin Bike Park
    By trailbrain in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-12-2012, 01:11 PM
  4. Austin Bike Poster Show
    By L U K I N in forum Texas
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-24-2011, 06:15 AM
  5. NAHBS Bike show in Austin
    By francois in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-02-2011, 06:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •