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  1. #1
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    New question here. Bike for use in Patapsco

    Please advice.

    I am 43 and new to mountain biking. I will be riding mostly in Patapsco. I'm thinking of getting the Trek Cobia, but the LBS is offering me the Trek Fuel EX5 for $350 more.

    If you were in my shoe, which bike will you get for riding at Patapsco and other MTB trails around the area? And please explain why.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Rent both bikes and ride them on the trails you plan on riding.

    Most LBS will deduct the rent from the final price of the bike when you pull the trigger.

    I have a friend selling a 100 mile maybe less... 2012 cobia due to injury. Only problem is its a 15.5 frame.

  3. #3
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    I ride both a SS 29er rigid hardtail and a 26" full suspension in Patapsco. I've had the 29er for 2 years and the squishy for 4. Hands down, the squishy is more fun. As mentioned above, try both. They ride VERY differently. I traded bikes with a friend and rode the park on a Fuel EX9 and loved it. The 5 shares a lot of the same features without the big price tag.

    If I was new to mountain biking, the squishy is more forgiving, eats up the rocks and is more lively than the 29er. Plus is easier on the body. I'm older than you and some days the suspension is really appreciated.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    What's your budget and how often to you plan to ride and how much do you weigh? I personally think the Cobia is a bit under-built for P'Co. You'll find the brakes and fork to be your weak points. I would recommend stepping up to the X-Caliber if it's in your budget. You could always keep an eye out for a nice used bike.

    I rode a Paragon for a few seasons and liked it a lot until it got stolen. I used the insurance money to buy a Superfly 100 Elite which is what I ride now and love it. I liked my hardtail but the full suspension really eats up the rocks and roots in P'Co. Not sure if I'd go back unless I moved to a part of the country that had smoother trails.

  5. #5
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    29er hardtail without question is the optimal choice for Patapsco singletrack. Full squish only if you want to do endurance rides (50+ miles) or ride technical downhills fast (Watershed, etc.). I ride with guys who are 50 that are riding rigid single speeds. You should be out of the saddle anyway on bumpy descents.

  6. #6
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    I've found that the rear suspension really helps with the rock and rooty descents in p'co.

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