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  1. #1
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    Best Bike question for SLC and Park City Canyons Bike Park Riders

    Fingers crossed I get into U of U and will be moving to SLC next Fall. If I do I plan to ride Canyons Bike Park at least 3 times or more per month. Currently I ride a 2012 Scott Genius LT30 (180mm travel all-mtn bike). I have taken this bike through Moab, Trestle Bike Park, and Snowshoe Bike Park and it handles it. I even rode Bobsled Trail and I street Dirt jumps on this setup.

    My question is: If I want to frequent Canyons would it be best to spend some cash and purchase a new *Scott Voltage FR20? Or is the bike I have suitable for Canyons? I ask because I didn't actually get to ride canyons and don't know the terrain very well.

    For example, I rode Mammoth three days last month and can say for a fact that if I lived within an hour of that park I would definitely scrape together and get a FR bike.

    *can get a decent deal on Scott but no other manufacturers. Would entertain the idea of a used FR bike.

  2. #2
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    I'd try that bike first and then decide.

  3. #3
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    I would probably prefer what you have over a voltage in the bike park.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedeathstar View Post
    I would probably prefer what you have over a voltage in the bike park.
    Why do you say that? Is there some extensive pedaling?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxphotog View Post
    Why do you say that? Is there some extensive pedaling?
    No, not much pedaling at all. It just isn't that big. Lots of flowy table tops and stuff like that. The stunts/features are not as big as Trestle, trails are pretty short, and there is no rough DH at all.

    I love my 160 mm Enduro at Canyons.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input.

  7. #7
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    Keep in mind: There are 3, or maybe 4 trails worth riding in the Canyons "bike park". They are ~90 second runs with some stunts and tables/small drops (ie <5'). The chairlift ride to get back to the top takes something like 7 minutes on an *amazingly* slow non-detachable lift from WW2 that runs at half speed on caged squirrels.

    I actually tested this, and without trying very hard, I can ride up the service road at the bike park at about exactly the same speed as the lift gets you up there. The total elevation gain/loss can't be more than 150 feet or something.

    You can do the gondola+lift ride (~30 minutes) and get a 10 minute ride on Insurgent/Holly's but you're mostly on really XC terrain after the first mile or so and the bottom portion is bizarrely open to 2-way hiker/biker traffic which makes riding it at full gas pretty much a no-go.

    If you are used to Trestle, Keystone, Mammoth, etc, you will be SORELY disappointed. I rode Canyons once this year and I have to say I wish I hadn't spent the 29 bucks. Heck, I don't think I'd ride there even if it was free.

    To return to the real issue: your 180mm bike is actually more than you need for Canyons, and it's WAY more than you need for most of the riding in the Wasatch, so much so that you'll probably have a lot less fun than you would on a 4-6" trail bike (or heck, a hardtail). The classic SLC area riding is really not very technical. Get an XC bike if you want to be out riding a lot. Your current sled will handle anything at the resort with contemptuous ease.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    Thanks Walt. I think Park City is not what I have imagined.

  9. #9
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    If you want to come to the U to ski (setting aside getting an education for the moment), the skiing is awesome. If you want to come to ride bikes, the mountain biking is also awesome - but it's all XC, really. Park City is awesome, but it has next to no tech riding and *nothing* that you'd want/need more than 5-6" of travel for, so if having awesome lift-served DH is a priority for you, I'd look elsewhere.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    I googled some PhD programs in Vancouver after reading these comments.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If you want to come to the U to ski (setting aside getting an education for the moment), the skiing is awesome. If you want to come to ride bikes, the mountain biking is also awesome - but it's all XC, really. Park City is awesome, but it has next to no tech riding and *nothing* that you'd want/need more than 5-6" of travel for, so if having awesome lift-served DH is a priority for you, I'd look elsewhere.

    -Walt
    Yep, pretty much true. I would say we have the best (only? can't think of anywhere else that has anything) lift-served riding w/in 30 minutes of a million + population, world class university, and all of that. But Trestle, Northstar, etc., are in a different league than the Canyons or DV.

    I have a good time going up there and riding a few times a year, particularly leading up to a trip to a "big" park. I don't know if I could ride Canyons weekly w/o getting a little bored, though.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  12. #12
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    I still feel pretty good about SLC. I do some dirt jumping too and was pretty impressed with the I street stuff, and heard that Tanner Park was pretty Gnar. The freeride section of lower Bobsled would probably be enough to scratch my itch too. Plus at least a once a year Moab trip, or Virgin Utah trip.

  13. #13
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    What program are you applying to?

    If you end up coming out, look me up. I can show you some decent gnar around the U, you just have to suffer like a dog to get to it.

    There were going to be some public meetings about the future of I-street at some point this summer I think but I haven't kept up with that - I think the jumps are relatively safe in the short term but realistically the city/water district could bulldoze them anytime. I think there are some plans in the works for a jump park in PC as well.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    I'm applying to the Communication PhD program. My current MA thesis is all about how technologies mediate recreational experiences, and I'm hoping to extend this research in Utah. I will contact you if I indeed do get in, it's a highly competitive program. But I won't start until Fall 14, I'm just planning waaaay ahead.

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    Well, if you are out for an interview, stop by. I live about 1 block from campus - our lunch ride is Bobsled!

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  16. #16
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    I don't do any DH stuff, but I took Holly's on my rigid bike and thought it wasn't bad (I do ride with a Knard up front that takes some of the sting away). Your bike should be just fine.

    XC is awesome, though. Great views and lots of suffering. Plus, Moab and St. G isn't far away.

  17. #17
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    canyons was bought this years by the same group that own northstar, vail, etc and have a great deal of interest in mountain biking. according to the staff down there plans are for opening another lift maybe to the top of the mountain linking current trails, at least 10 more trails with a more tech and a world cup style dh trail, 5' - 10' drops and 30' jumps were also mentioned, all rumours right now but the trail crew have worked all summer, there is a new double black The Canyons, Split Decision - YouTube
    and the insurgents trail has had some fairly tasty new features on it, what ever happens i expect it will be significantly improved by the end of next summer.
    like other people have said your current bike would be fine for canyons as it currently is, deer valley actually has some double blacks which are more suited to the big bikes, different style of riding there completely, though sadly never changed or improved and probably wont be any time soon

  18. #18
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    That's great! I really hope it gets built up like you are saying. Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ^SirFallzAlot^ View Post
    there is a new double black The Canyons, Split Decision - YouTube
    and the insurgents trail has had some fairly tasty new features on it, what ever happens i expect it will be significantly improved by the end of next summer.
    Wow, that trail looks great (although I am uncomfortable with the "cheese-grater" type jumps where you jump up on to the table, would take me a bit to work up to those!). I hope the Canyons continues to improve -- they have the terrain and resources, they just need to make it happen. Given that PC is considered a mtb destination now, all that is missing is a top flight lift served bike park, and we will have just about everything you'd want to do on a bike here. I hope they make it happen!

    But to the OP, despite the current lack of gnarly DH and FR stuff here, SLC is an awesome outdoors city, best in the country IMO (and I've lived in Denver, Portland, and Seattle). I moved here to ski bum, and quickly realized I could both go to the U (and live in a city with reasonable rental rates, jobs, etc) and ski 3-5 days a week at some of the country's best skiing. Not many places one can have all of those options. When I have left since then either to finish education or pursue jobs elsewhere, I've really missed living here (and I don't intend to leave again!).
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  20. #20
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    PC offers a lot more riding than most people are aware of. I've been lucky enough to meet some really passionate locals since I moved out here two years ago and have been shown many a sweet zone that would easily be missed by someone who didn't know it was there. The steep/gnarly/loose/ singletrack abounds, there are plenty of "illegal" DH builds with features that sound like they might be what you are looking for. A group in the southern part of the SLC valley has been putting in some awesome work on a freeride area in Draper, and as mentioned above the Canyons plans on putting in a lot of money and expanding their current lift serviced options. I would recommend sticking with what you have and even considering getting a long-travel HT of sorts for long singletrack days and DJ laps. Don't let the hate get you down SLC is a great place to live and ride.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the input. And actually, Pinkbike just had an article yesterday talking about some of the same things. Off the grid trails and such. Also the photos from Canyons didn't look all that bad. I'm super pumped, hopefully I end up moving there.

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    Glad you saw the article on PB, good write-up on a lot of the cool DH/FR going on in PC right now. If you didn't follow the link in the article about the OTG race it's also a great read (First Annual Old Town Guerrilla Run - Pinkbike). And following the trend of good bike press on PC I just saw a front page article right here on MTBR by everyone's favorite ASS, check it out (The Angry Singlespeeder: Park City ? A Silver Town With Gold Singletrack | Mountain Bike Review)

  23. #23
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    I also think it would be awesome if Interbike moved from Vegas to somewhere like SLC.

  24. #24
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    They talk about it all the time but:
    -Downtown arguably/supposedly can't handle the size of the convention (though they can handle OR, which I thought was just about the same size?)
    -Presumably Vegas is seen as more hip and cool (that's not too hard) and the schmooze/booze/strip club crowd would boycott.
    -Inertia.

    Vegas also has more predictable (read: no unexpected September blizzards) weather this time of year which probably counts for something.

    I'm super stoked to see that there are some pirate trails to hit... will have to learn the secret handshake and dust off the long travel rig, I guess!

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  25. #25
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    Well I've ridden around SLC, and I've ridden Bootleg Canyon just outside of Vegas where the Interbike tests are, and I can say without a doubt that SLC is much, much better.

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