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  1. #1
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    All mountain riding around Calgary

    Hi there,

    I'm moving to Calgary this summer. I've raced XC for 15 years but have always wanted to get more into all mountain riding. Is there enough all mountain terrain close to Calgary that would justify buying a 6 inch bike or is this simply overkill? I'm not interested in true DH shuttle running but rather good climbs followed by big descents. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Bragg Creek is about a 30 minute drive from Calgary (depends where you start)....There are lots of mountain rides......

    We mostly ride 4 inch full suspension, but you see lots of 6 inch downhill sleds...

    Start with your XC bike and see what you like the best.

    Doug Eastcott "Back Country Biking in the Canadian Rockies" is a very good start...but omits lots of more downhillish riding.

  3. #3
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    In my opinion a bike with 140-160mm of travel is perfect for around Calgary, think Blur lt, nomad or my personal favourite, ibis mojo HD. The new crop of 130mm slack trail sleds also look nice (blur trc, yeti asr5) though perhaps not as versatile if you want to get into the gnar.

    Trails like Baldy Pass or anything out at Moose are boatloads of fun on a 160mm bike. I rode my ibis on everything from long xc loops to shuttle runs in golden to park laps at silverstar and it was awesome, in trail form it weighs about 29 lbs with a dropper post.

    New suspension and shock designs make long travel bikes easy to pedal, the reward on the way down is well worth it!

  4. #4
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    Hey, thanks for the replies. I have a Blur XC Carbon which is actually a surprisingly capable bike (I rode it at the BC Bike race and it did fine, better than my technical skills)! I rode a friends Trek Scratch Air 9 while visiting in Kelowna and it was awesome (and not that bad to climb) but I'm not sure there are trails as easily accessible around Calgary that are similar.

    I was looking at a Santa Cruz Nomad or Specialized enduro but definitely want something that I can ride to the top with reasonable efficiency.

  5. #5
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    Sorry to be a bit late wading into this question but one option would be for you to use your current bike to start with. I've got a friend who rides out here with the same set up (Blur XC Carbon) and I'm sure there are others riding bikes with similar amounts of travel. This will certainly allow you to get out on the trails and see what they are like and then you could make the most informed purchase possible. On the down side, this is a good time of year to be purchasing last year's stock if available in your size.

    With that said, I started with a Fuel EX (130 mm) and a couple years ago went to a Remedy (150 mm) and certainly am enjoying the change. As was stated in an earlier post, the technology in the suspension designs makes the bikes so much more efficient and the pay off going down really makes it worth it. Any penalty on the climbs (if any) is easily made up for when heading back to the car.

    You will find that with the trails around here, it is very common to climb, climb, climb (with little to no warm up period) and then finish with down, down, down. Typical elevation profile looks like a bell curve.

    Good luck with the move and see you out on the trails.

  6. #6
    conjoinicorned
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    Prospector and razors edge are 2 full-on AM trails around Calgary, not to mention the shuttle trails at moose mtn which are fun to ride up to as well. A true AM rig is definitely overkill around here, but honestly they are overkill almost anywhere outside of the Shore. that said, I'm looking at one myself just for the fun factor and to take advantage of the new crop of lightweight long travel options.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. I actually found a great deal on a 2012 Specialized Enduro S-Works frame and picked it up. Should be fun to build up. I have friends in Vancouver and Kelowna who are serious riders so it will get used when I'm visiting them for sure.

    Do groups ever arrange trips to some of the free riding places through shops or message boards? If so it would be wicked to get to know the area with some local riders.

  8. #8
    conjoinicorned
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    Pinkbike has a forum for calgary riders where rides are often arranged. CMBA and MMBTS are the two main trail organizations and often have rides, as well some of the bike shops (bike bros that I know of) do weekly rides.
    It's a pretty good community around Calgary.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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