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  1. #1
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    Which bikes for Seattle riding (transplant from Southern Hemisphere)

    Hi all,

    I'm an Australian and it looks like I'll be spending a few years in Seattle due to a job. I'm a keen rider here, doing short track, a bit of XC, marathons (60-100 milers) and trail riding for fun.

    I've got a few MTBs and need to choose what to bring. In my collection I have:

    a) Yeti ASR-5 with 120 mm forks (26")
    b) Hardtail 650B/26" XC race
    c) 29er SS with 100 mm forks
    d) 29er geared XC setup 100mm forks

    Are SS bikes ok on local trails around Seattle or is it rather steep ? I've got good fitness and respectable technical skills but lean towards the racer type definitely not a DH bomber ....

    What would be my go-to bike ? What would you leave behind ? Can't take all of them as I need to take my CX bike also :-)

    Thanks in advance,

    TimBat

  2. #2
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    Any one of your bikes will be fine. Bike choice is more about riding style than geography.

    Welcome to the PNW.

  3. #3
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    Check out evergreenmtb.org's trail descriptions (they have a list of 'best trails near Seattle) to get an idea of what you're looking at. A lot of my favorite rides around here have lots of climbing (and lots of descending) so one of your geared set-ups is probably a good bet. I have a hardtail as my main rig, but for what it's worth, I don't know too many others who do.

    I don't know much about the riding down your way, but the PNW is an amazing place to ride. Within 2 hours of Seattle you can get to the desert, to high alpine riding, and to plenty of lowland forest trails rideable year-round.

  4. #4
    JRA
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    For XC trails local to Seattle, an SS will work. Yes, you gotta work it hard on some and yes, you'll do some walking occassionally but the SS is my go to bike for local trails ... especially during the winter months. Given that you probably won't want to bring more than one other bike than your CX, I'd suggest the geared 29er.

    Bring your bike lights if ya got them. We ride year round. Also ... just in case you own a pair ... bring your NZO Dobies!

  5. #5
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    Any of those would be fine but if you can bring one in addition to the CX then I say go with the ASR and the 5" of travel. That's probably the most common configuration around here and would cover most of the terrain. Lots of SS as well. It looks like all your bikes are getting votes so I don't know how helpful our posts are.

  6. #6
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    Easy choice. Do what I do. ASR-5 for the dry season (maximum fun)and the unigear for the wet season (wet and mud).

  7. #7
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    How many *can* you bring? If it's two, ASR-5 and SS. Only one? Bring the ASR-5, and pick up a SS or geared 29er later.

  8. #8
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agate View Post
    How many *can* you bring? If it's two, ASR-5 and SS. Only one? Bring the ASR-5, and pick up a SS or geared 29er later.
    What he said. Nobody I know doing the high mountain stuff on a SS, and that's where the real mon-nay is IMO.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  9. #9
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    Fun Question!

    It's kind of a two season place:

    Summer= high and steep with incredible back country opportunities and techy downhills, not uncommon to climb 3500' or more on some rides. SS'ers are very, very rare on these trails.

    Winter= lowland wet, rooty, slimey, techy rides. All places where a strong SS'er will excel.

    Personally I'm too old and broken to suffer the SS these days so I like my winter ride to be a 1X10 29er HT with a LT fork and my summer rides to be on a 160mm 650B.

    One bike to choose? I'd agree with previous posters, bring the Yeti.

  10. #10
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    I saw a several Cat1's riding SS at the Thorp Fat Tire race, That had some elevation, 3 laps w/ 1600'+ per lap? I don't know how they can hold up doing that, but they seemed to be fine, they were pushing not super-small gears. I was about right grinding along in my 24x32, they pulled away as I had a small mechanical and I never saw them again. SS is done in the mountains, but only by the very fit. There's a lot of variation in terrain, and people ride lots of different bikes on it, so it's hard to say. The first CX race is on 9/2, the mfg series starts 9/8, and the seattlecx series starts 9/22.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I'd go w/ the Yeti and your CX bike.
    (You can always use the CX bike like a HT MTB, at least to some degree, right?)

    I only had a HT when I moved here and am glad I got a full-squisher. Makes getting over muddy roots a lot easier.

  12. #12
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    asr 5

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the advice. Spoke to a buddy on the ground too and he said ASR5 too. Think the 29er SS is going to get left at home! Thanks guys. Bringing bikes isn't a massive hassle as we will ship some by sea. I'm excited. Land in Oct some time, do a bit of cross, hit the ski season hard and then get ready for some great riding!

  14. #14
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    Welcome aboard, mate! When you're not skiing this winter you'll have some opportunities to take that ASR 5 for a spin.
    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  15. #15
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    Which bikes for Seattle riding (transplant from Southern Hemisphere)

    Winter = ski & ride (below snow level) around here. You can find great rides all year long. Enjoy! Get up to Canada too at some point - awesome riding (and skiing)!

  16. #16
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    My off-road quiver consists of an Epic 29er (set up as 1x10), a SS 29er, and a SS CX bike (Yes, I'm one of _those_ people). They all get reasonably equal use throughout the year, although the Epic tends to stay in the garage during the winter, because it's my "new" bike.

    Four cyclocross series to choose from (two local, two others within 2-3 hour drive):

    Seattle CX (Seattle Cyclocross | SCX | USAC SANCTIONED RACE SERIES)
    MFG Cyclocross (MFG CYCLOCROSS)
    Cascade Cross (Cascade Cross Series)
    Cross Crusade (Cross Crusade)

    Welcome to the PNW!

  17. #17
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    And don't forget the Budu mtb race series starts in February. Generally our winter days are moist, it's not always rainy. If you have much flexibility in your schedule you can dodge the showers and get non-rainy moist ground rides regularly all winter. I rode between 3 and 5 times a week all winter last year, and few of those were in the rain. Mostly it's between 35 and 45-50 degrees F from November through February, so it's possible to stay warm without a huge amount of clothing. Your bike will be dirty a lot, and you'll have to dry out your shoes and outer layers, but plan on being able to ride through the winter if you want to, you will want some sort of fenders. I had a lot of really fun rides last winter.

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