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  1. #1
    Giant Anthem
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    Carbon 29er hardtail for racing cat 1 your opinion???

    I test road a felt team nine carbon 29er hardtail recently. I was absolutely shocked on how well the carbon frame and 29" wheels smoothed out the trail. It cornered even better and even descended pretty good for a hardtail. It honestly felt better and faster than my full susp. giant anthem 26 on the flats, hills and corners and after my test ride I'm ready to jump ship and race a carbon hardtail 29 next season. I'm in the market to buy one and looking closely at 4 bikes with similar geometry-

    1) Giant XTC composite 29
    2) Felt team 9 carbon
    3) Spec. stumpjumper carbon
    4) Orbea alma 29 carbon

    I'm open to looking at other brands though.

    So...I need your opinions, those of you who race as to your experience on a carbon 29er HT. Also those of you who went from full to hardtail.

    PS. I race in Ohio-some roots and rocks not a lot of downhill. I ride road a lot and would mostly race the carbon 29 hardtail as opposed to taking it out for "fun rides".
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  2. #2
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    I went from a 29FS Superfly 100 to my 29HT Air 9 RDO and it's been great so far. I think it's faster, but it definitely beats me up and tires me out more.

    The one thing I do miss is having the FS for fun rides, but since you mention that you will be using it mostly for racing I guess that won't be a problem.

    Also Downieville kinda sucked on a hardtail. There's just some races where a FS is clearly the superior choice.

  3. #3
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    I don't have one but have been researching HT carbon 29ers too. From what I've seen the Scott Scale is supposed to be a great racing bike too. Probably one of the first bikes I'll look at. Here's the bikeradar review that piqued my interest.

    Scott Scale 29 Pro Review - BikeRadar
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  4. #4
    Giant Anthem
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I don't have one but have been researching HT carbon 29ers too. From what I've seen the Scott Scale is supposed to be a great racing bike too. Probably one of the first bikes I'll look at. Here's the bikeradar review that piqued my interest.

    Scott Scale 29 Pro Review - BikeRadar
    I'm looking at the Scott Scale as well-the only problem is the wheelbase is over an inch longer than the felt and I'm afraid the longer wheelbase will diminish the "snappy" feel.
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  5. #5
    pk1
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    i'm in the same position of considering a move from 26FS to 29HT.
    so no real experience to share sorry, but for what its worth i'm thinking of an SC highball carbon - largely because i'm a big SC fan. short chainstays, slightly slacker HTA than most which makes it a bit more forgiving on the descents

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pk1 View Post
    i'm in the same position of considering a move from 26FS to 29HT.
    so no real experience to share sorry...
    Same here, but I'm primarily looking at the Specialized Stumperjumper Comp and the Cannondale Flash 29er 3.

    I did take the Specialized out for a quick spin and it was very nice. The thing I noticed the most was the acceleration compared to my FS 26er... much snappier. I personally like the looks of the Cannondale better plus it's a shade cheaper and lighter.
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  7. #7
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    I have an Ellsworth Enlightenment 29er and have raced it as well as used it for fun rides. It handles really well, it corners & steers quick too. Slightly low bb compared to some other 29ers I've owned & ridden but not an issue other than on really technical sections. You may want to consider the Niner Air9 carbon, I know a couple of guys with these & they seem like a good frame, I have a Niner SIR9 also so I can vouch for the build quality there.

  8. #8
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    You can race and win cat 1 on anything you want as long as you have the engine. My race bike is a 23 pound rigid steel 1x7 and it goes pretty fast sometimes.

    I would just test ride them and buy what feels best, then practice on it off road. Becoming more fluid and comfortable on the bike will make you more faster than a simple bike upgrade.
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  9. #9
    more skier than biker
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    You can race and win cat 1 on anything you want as long as you have the engine.
    Truth.

    (EDIT: exceptions to this might be a Surly Moonlander or a Santa Cruz V-10 for XC racing )




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    Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 09-10-2012 at 05:15 PM.

  10. #10
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Truth.



    +2

    The difference in weight between a highend carbon fiber frame and an average steel frame is what, 2 pounds? That's not make or break.

    On the other hand...

    If you have the $$$, you can buy a complete carbon bike like the S-Works Stumpjumper or Flash Carbon Ultimate that will be significantly lighter and come with all the upgrades like carbon tubeless wheels.

    Either way, in my experience, the best motor wins regardless of the bike (at least in Cat1).

  11. #11
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Only thing I can say is that it feels like power transfers better from the pedals on a carbon frame as compared to pre-hydroform aluminum at least (I haven't ridden titanium or steel much). I'm middle of the pack CAT 2 and sticking with Aluminum- still a bit concerned about rock bash damage to carbon and, the new hydroform aluminum frames are definitely stiffer and lighter than their predecessors.

    As for a frame, I recently built up one of these Scott knock off frames for my GF mt-mc056 - search result, Shenzhen Miracle Carbon Technology Co., Limited

    I didn't go crazy light on build components and w/o pedals it comes in just under 22 lbs! It is an awesome frame and quite reasonable compared to the name brands.

  12. #12
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    I might be a little confused about the cat system. Cat 1 is the fastest right? Cat 1= Pro Cat 2= Semi Pro, Cat 3 = Expert, Cat 4= Sport, Cat 5 = Beginner??

    Asumming that I understand the Catagories correctly I disagree that equipment makes no difference. At my local races the difference between winning and 10th place in the Pro/Semi pro field is less then 5 min in a 2-3 hour race. Thats less then 5% When times are that close 2lbs in a frame is quite a bit, and might be the difference that moves you up to a podium spot.

    As far as the bikes go I don't think there is a clear winner or loser. I know you already know this but test ride as many of them as possible hopefully on a trail, I was shopping for similar bikes about a month ago and was suprised how much difference there was between them. I really liked the feel of the Giant XTC and the Stumpjumper. They seemed to have a more relaxed position which I liked and they felt familiar as soon as I got on them. I set out to buy a Flash, but something about it just did not feel right to me.
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  13. #13
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    Yeah, if you're looking at high end carbon hardtails Scott and Cannondale have to be on your list. I might even have a look at the Rocky Mtn. Vertex.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    I might be a little confused about the cat system. Cat 1 is the fastest right? Cat 1= Pro Cat 2= Semi Pro, Cat 3 = Expert, Cat 4= Sport, Cat 5 = Beginner??
    For mtb its:

    Cat 1= Pro
    Cat 2= Semi Pro / Expert
    Cat 3 = Sport
    Cat 4= Beginner

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    For mtb its:

    Cat 1= Pro
    Cat 2= Semi Pro / Expert
    Cat 3 = Sport
    Cat 4= Beginner
    No, it's not.

    Pro=Pro
    Cat 1=Expert
    Cat 2=Sport
    Cat 3=Beginner

    Cat 1 does not = Pro in any cycling discipline.
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  16. #16
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    For mtb its:

    Cat 1= Pro
    Cat 2= Semi Pro / Expert
    Cat 3 = Sport
    Cat 4= Beginner
    uh no, it's:

    Pro=Pro
    Cat 1 = Expert/Semi Pro
    Cat 2 = Sport
    Cat 3 = Beginner

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    uh no, it's:

    Pro=Pro
    Cat 1 = Expert/Semi Pro
    Cat 2 = Sport
    Cat 3 = Beginner
    And if you're over the age of 45, then it's
    Pro = Nobody
    Cat 1 = Pro/Semi Pro/Expert
    Cat 2 =Expert/Sport
    Cat 3 = Sport/Beginner.....................................
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  18. #18
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    If you're an Expert/semi pro and you're any good you should be getting some kind of deal through a local bike store. It really doesn't matter if you're on a Flash or RDO or whatever, you make it go.
    Get whatever you can get a deal on locally and train hard.

  19. #19
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    And if you're over the age of 45, then it's
    Pro = Nobody
    Cat 1 = Pro/Semi Pro/Expert
    Cat 2 =Expert/Sport
    Cat 3 = Sport/Beginner.....................................
    AND if you're a SS'er it's usually:

    SS Open = Pro/Cat1/Cat2/Cat3 + all ages

    ..but not always

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    I test road a felt team nine carbon 29er hardtail recently. I was absolutely shocked on how well the carbon frame and 29" wheels smoothed out the trail. It cornered even better and even descended pretty good for a hardtail. It honestly felt better and faster than my full susp. giant anthem 26 on the flats, hills and corners and after my test ride I'm ready to jump ship and race a carbon hardtail 29 next season. I'm in the market to buy one and looking closely at 4 bikes with similar geometry-

    1) Giant XTC composite 29
    2) Felt team 9 carbon
    3) Spec. stumpjumper carbon
    4) Orbea alma 29 carbon

    I'm open to looking at other brands though.

    So...I need your opinions, those of you who race as to your experience on a carbon 29er HT. Also those of you who went from full to hardtail.

    PS. I race in Ohio-some roots and rocks not a lot of downhill. I ride road a lot and would mostly race the carbon 29 hardtail as opposed to taking it out for "fun rides".
    I have an XTC Composite and love it. The geometry fits me perfect. Giant tends to have a shorter TT compared to other brands in the same size and a little steeper HA. This makes for a shorter WB and the CS's are on the shorter side( but not ultra short). The XTC is very nimble in the twistys. Giant has recently come out with the Advance SL frame, which will be lighter that the Composite. I assume to compete with Scott, Santa Cruz, etc.
    The Alma has nearly identical Geo specs to the XTC.
    Check out the Chinese carbon frames. They look identical to the Scott.

    Apart from Giant, most frame geo specs are very similar and frame weights are very close.
    Raleigh also makes a pretty sweet carbon frame.

    Ride as many as you can before you pick.

    Good Luck.

  21. #21
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    My new Scale 29er carbon HT frame is spot on for my trails and riding preference. Love the geometry. I choose it for rides and races under 2 hours or super smooth.

  22. #22
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Thought they did away with the "semi-pro" category a few years back for one reason or another. So are ones considered "semi pros?"
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    No, it's not.

    Pro=Pro
    Cat 1=Expert
    Cat 2=Sport
    Cat 3=Beginner

    Cat 1 does not = Pro in any cycling discipline.
    Can't help but laugh at myself...yes, of course you are right. Not sure what I was thinking when I typed that...thanks for the correction. Embarassing

  24. #24
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    I switched from FS to a 29 hardtail and was happy enough with the decision to ride 29er hardtails for 3 years. Only recently I went back to FS (29er), but I still have a 29 HT in the garage, good for everything from road rides to epic trail rides.

    +1 for the Scott.

    I've had a Flash and a Scale, the Flash might be slightly faster on the climbs, but the Scale is a blast on the descents, simply carves corners and remains flickable. If you like to run any tire wider than 2.25" in the rear you should look elsewhere as chainstay clearance is tight.

  25. #25
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    I went from years of 26" FS to 29" HT. In a two hour race I feel the 29"HT was an advantage to me almost everywhere. In an XC race i tend to stand up and really accelerate hard, which causes me a lot of bob and wasted energy on a FS. I'm more of power rider and it suits my style much better

    I experimented with 26" HT first, but couldnt stay fresh through an XC race on it, so then tried the 29"HT and voila....I can stand and hammer, pedal squares, come out of corners in the wrong gear and just pound, and it keeps my body fresh for long periods of time.

    As I have moved more into ultra endurance stuff the past few years, I just picked up a 29" FS for those adventures....after 18 hours...the 29" HT is definitely still a HT.

    (I'm cat 1 XC)
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  26. #26
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Thought they did away with the "semi-pro" category a few years back for one reason or another. So are ones considered "semi pros?"
    That is correct.

    But on the local level the guys who hold Pro licenses have full time jobs and don't get anything close to a free ride so really they are the Semi-Pros; they just get to pay more for their licenses and can race in Canada.

  27. #27
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    I actually have a Felt Team Nine from 2 years ago, been riding the heck of it and the thing can take a beating, live in Southern California and have thrown everything at it including very rocky trails and no problems as far as durabilty; I throw Carbon Wheels (Rovals) on it and and race it a lot as well; and on smooth fireroads or smooth single track the thing moves and I love the way it climbs; my only complaint is that it is a Stiff Frame, bike shop I go to says it is one of the stiffer 29er HT's out there and hence I get beat up on it a bit, especially on bumpy or really rocky trails since with the stiff Carbon Wheels and Frame, there is very little absorption by the bike and wheels and its all transferred to me; so I hope that gives you some idea about the Felt; I am going to try more bikes this fall to see what I am going to do for next year or stick to this bike, but keep us posted on this forum if you try other bikes and tell us what you think

  28. #28
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    Scott Scale Pro- Don't buy the top end, it's an extra grand, for a 1/2 pound or less and I've heard that the lighter they go possibly the less comfy?

    Opinions on others from friends/test rides:

    Air 9 RDO- stiffer, less comfy -
    Superfly - Have they fixed the frame breaking issues?
    Specialized - no idea -
    Orbea- too stiff, steep unforgiving geometry.
    Felt - Geo should be very close to the original Air 9. Great Geo, questions is tune.
    Cannondale - Flash - heard nothing but good for comfort and handling.

    I have raced the Scott for two years, feel as confident on tech downhill on that as my original Jet 9. 7 1/2 hour 64 mile, 8,000 vert technical race - no problem. It was faster than the Jet 9 the previous year. 2 hour cross country race - easy. Durability? A "totally rideable" ditch flume dumped me into a rock filled gully one day... bike landed 10 feet down in a bed of rocks and I landed nearby and lucky. Result to bike: minor scratch on frame.

  29. #29
    Giant Anthem
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    Thanks for all the replies everyone-After researching the geometry and reviews of most every 29er HT carbon out there I realized that the felt team nine 16.5" felt really good to me probably because I'm on the cusp of a small/medium size since I'm 5' 8" and have long inseams (34") and the felt team nine 16.5" is basically a small/medium. So I made a list of about 15 bikes and the geometries that went with them. The 3 geo's that most closely matched the felt was the Giant xtc, Specialized stumpjumper and orbea alma. There are several other great bikes with similar head tube and seat tube angle's and chainstays but the wheel base was 2 plus centimeters longer. So without riding 15 different bikes I decided to make my choice based on the geometry closest to the felt and since I don't want to buy a new one I started scanning ebay and ended up with a Giant xtc. I've had a giant trance and anthem so I feel good sticking with them, and the reviews are great. The giant xtc medium has a 594mm TT 1069mm WB and 17.1" chainstays which should provide the same feel as the Felt I test rode. The xtc should be here next week and I'll soon find out how it feels-I did look at the bike frame our team is sponsored by (we don't have a bike shop sponsor yet) and the geo was way off for me, plus I got a great deal on the Giant so I'll post up after get it out on the trail.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pk1 View Post
    i'm in the same position of considering a move from 26FS to 29HT.
    so no real experience to share sorry, but for what its worth i'm thinking of an SC highball carbon - largely because i'm a big SC fan. short chainstays, slightly slacker HTA than most which makes it a bit more forgiving on the descents
    Yes, and a good o'l fashion quiet threaded BB

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  31. #31
    Relentless forward motion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    And if you're over the age of 45, then it's
    Pro = Nobody
    Cat 1 = Pro/Semi Pro/Expert
    Cat 2 =Expert/Sport
    Cat 3 = Sport/Beginner.....................................
    This makes me feel better!
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  32. #32
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    +1 the scale Pro 29.. (will need to upgrade the wheels though)..

    The thing is f'n fast, not to twitchy due to the slack headtube. I've been racing it this year, and it has been fun.


    That being said, I would go with the Epic 29 over the Spark29 (if you decided to get a FS).

  33. #33
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm01 View Post
    For mtb its:

    Cat 1= Pro
    Cat 2= Semi Pro / Expert
    Cat 3 = Sport
    Cat 4= Beginner
    What? How come I am not recieving a pay check!!??

  34. #34
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    Going back to full suspension

    I ended up purchasing the Giant XTC carbon 29er and I wanted to follow up with my experience with it. To make a long story short I don't like the hard tail and will probably go back to a full suspension. I've done several rides with the giant xct carbon hardtail over the last 2 weeks and here is my list of pros and cons.

    Pro's:
    Light weight (23#)
    Climbs well
    Accelerates well on any smooth terrain
    Power transfer from legs to ground
    29 wheels roll well over rock gardens with large size rocks in which a low speed is needed.

    Cons:
    Rooty sections when carrying a fair amount of speed
    Rocky sections where speed is needed
    Descending (unless terrain is fairly smooth)
    Extra back and leg fatigue
    Slower lap times at favorite trail

    Summary-
    I really like the light weight and the carbon rigidity and really wanted to make this bike work but after several rides with the giant xtc I have to admit I don't like the feel of the hard tail. When I first started riding years ago my first bike was a hardtail but for the last 6 years I've been on a full suspension so I figured I could get used to the hardtail once again. Before purchasing this I did do a short test ride with a felt team 9 which I liked the feel of. But it's really hard to know if you'll like a race bike unless you can take it out on your favorite trails at race pace and distance. Once I got the bike out on some bigger mileage, I felt like a fish out of water on the hardtail on any rooty and rocky sections (a lot of our trails here). I couldn't really get my normal fast groove going and instead of flowing smoothly and efficiently through the trail like on my Anthem I feel like I was fighting the terrain 80% of the time. When the trail was smoother with minimal rocks, bumps or roots all was well and fast but soon as the terrain picked up it got slow again. I lost 2+ minutes per lap on my 9 mile loop. My legs also really took a beating absorbing all the shock that otherwise would've been taken by the full suspension. I guess I'm just a full suspension guy at heart and always will be.
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  35. #35
    pk1
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    thanks for the update - basically the standard pros/cons but its always hard to know how it will work out until you try it.

    i would suggest though that you give it a while longer before giving up - it will take a while to adapt your riding instincts after 6 years of FS.

  36. #36
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    Yeah you definitely need to try it because after riding a hardtail for years. So I bought a full suspension tried it for a couple of years and just kept missing the hardtail. So I've done the opposite of 2fst4U and have bought 2 hardtails since getting rid of the FS bike. Both are still 26ers so the next step for me is trying out a 29er. Everyone has their own preference obviously.
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  37. #37
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    Racing the Carbon Giant XTC 29er hardtail

    Another update for anyone interested...I got the carbon 29er XTC out for it's first expert race yesterday. I was able to keep an acceptable race pace and noticed myself starting to get used to the steering/shifting/hardtail characteristics by the second lap. I was able to shift/corner/accelerate/climb a lot more smoothly as the race went on. The course was a good fit for the bike, smoother trails-not a lot of roots and rock gardens. With this said the steep climbs got to me and had me a bit stumped. I found myself coming to a crawl on 2 short, steep sections of the trail where I could just spin up on my 26 Giant anthem full suspension. Was I slower on these climbs? Maybe not but the bigger wheels and gearing forced a slower more powerful cadence/stroke. The moderate longer climbs and flats were a breeze though... it felt like I was on my road bike and I was able to pull away from those behind me. Part of the learning curve is the 2x10 shifting (26 and 39 chain rings). Another issue is that my lower back this morning is really sore and tight (as it was after every ride so far). Also, My right knee is also starting to get a irritated (old injury) I stretch and warm up properly and never had this issue with the full suspension plus I have the bike fitted/adjusted correctly. I want to give this bike more time-next week is another race so I'll see what happens there.

    Overall the 29 hardtail is a very big adjustment for my body, good and bad. One good side effect is that the hardtail spreads the load of muscle usage to the glutes, hips and hamstrings quite nicely where the full suspension seemed to isolate my quads a lot. This is probably because I'm standing up on the HT more often. Another point is my quads/hammies usually would start to cramp a bit towards the end of this race but it seemed the lactic acid was clearing much more effectively... probably because of using other muscle groups more. But the funny thing is it seems that standing up more and all the trail chatter that comes with the hardtail seemed to clear my legs of lactate??? Just a theory.

    Anyway-I'll keep the updates coming. Also, any idea's for a 29er full suspension other than an anthem X29er??
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  38. #38
    Your Best Friend
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    Why not the Anthem X29er?
    I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah

  39. #39
    Giant Anthem
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Why not the Anthem X29er?
    Looking into it.
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  40. #40
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    29" full suspension? Scalpel, Epic, Epics are very popular around here. Maybe the new Rocky Mountain... seems to be getting good reviews. Scott... Niner... the new Trek is very light but maybe it will explode on the trail. Lots of nice bikes.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Another update for anyone interested...I got the carbon 29er XTC out for it's first expert race yesterday. I was able to keep an acceptable race pace and noticed myself starting to get used to the steering/shifting/hardtail characteristics by the second lap. I was able to shift/corner/accelerate/climb a lot more smoothly as the race went on. The course was a good fit for the bike, smoother trails-not a lot of roots and rock gardens. With this said the steep climbs got to me and had me a bit stumped. I found myself coming to a crawl on 2 short, steep sections of the trail where I could just spin up on my 26 Giant anthem full suspension. Was I slower on these climbs? Maybe not but the bigger wheels and gearing forced a slower more powerful cadence/stroke. The moderate longer climbs and flats were a breeze though... it felt like I was on my road bike and I was able to pull away from those behind me. Part of the learning curve is the 2x10 shifting (26 and 39 chain rings). Another issue is that my lower back this morning is really sore and tight (as it was after every ride so far). Also, My right knee is also starting to get a irritated (old injury) I stretch and warm up properly and never had this issue with the full suspension plus I have the bike fitted/adjusted correctly. I want to give this bike more time-next week is another race so I'll see what happens there.

    Overall the 29 hardtail is a very big adjustment for my body, good and bad. One good side effect is that the hardtail spreads the load of muscle usage to the glutes, hips and hamstrings quite nicely where the full suspension seemed to isolate my quads a lot. This is probably because I'm standing up on the HT more often. Another point is my quads/hammies usually would start to cramp a bit towards the end of this race but it seemed the lactic acid was clearing much more effectively... probably because of using other muscle groups more. But the funny thing is it seems that standing up more and all the trail chatter that comes with the hardtail seemed to clear my legs of lactate??? Just a theory.

    Anyway-I'll keep the updates coming. Also, any idea's for a 29er full suspension other than an anthem X29er??


    So, what did you do with it? I'm thinking of making the same switch, but I haven't been on a hardtail in years so I'm nervous about it. I'd like to get your opinion after some more time with it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by KO21 View Post
    So, what did you do with it? I'm thinking of making the same switch, but I haven't been on a hardtail in years so I'm nervous about it. I'd like to get your opinion after some more time with it.
    Well, Ive taken it out a bunch after the race season. I am now getting used to the big wheels and find it enjoyable to flick through the trail. It took me about 20 1-2.5 hour rides to relearn bow to sling the hardtail through the trail but now ive got it. I'm still adjusting to climbing with it... if climbing isn't your strength you WILL have to take some time to adjust to the bigger wheels, especially if you have a 26 tooth or above granny. So at this point I'm sold on the bigger wheels and not sold on the hard tail. It definetly puts more impact stress on the body. My back and quads are about 10% more fatigued on the hardtail the day after a ride...this is subjective but yeah it will beat you up more than a fully.

    I am in the process of buying an x29 anthem full susp. to compare the two. I took a spin at the bike shop on one and I can almost gaurantee that I will like the full suspension better. So for awhile I will have 2 29 bikes one full susp. and one hardtail. I will pick the one that works best as a do everything bike and sell the other one. I will keep this thread updated on the process.
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  43. #43
    nya
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    I have Orbea Alma 29 , and its just awesome bike for both short and long cross country. Stiff, Fast, Comfortable, easy to handle in technical sections, just fun to ride.

  44. #44
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    Going from a FS 26er to a Hardtail 29 is a big jump. They require totally different riding styes. These riding styles dont come overnight. This may be part of the issue.

    But if you have months on the bike and still dont jive with it it may be a good idea to trade her for a FS.

    Me, Im thinking Ti!
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  45. #45
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    The biggest adjustment I had to make going to an HT 29 was anticipating the climbs and spending more time hammering standing up vs spinning in low gear, which I was more used to on the 26 Scalpel. But, once this is stuck in your mind, that 29er does motor, er, keep momentum, very nicely even over technical stuff. I'm loving it, definitely takes a bit of adjustment.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Well, Ive taken it out a bunch after the race season. I am now getting used to the big wheels and find it enjoyable to flick through the trail. It took me about 20 1-2.5 hour rides to relearn bow to sling the hardtail through the trail but now ive got it. I'm still adjusting to climbing with it... if climbing isn't your strength you WILL have to take some time to adjust to the bigger wheels, especially if you have a 26 tooth or above granny. So at this point I'm sold on the bigger wheels and not sold on the hard tail. It definetly puts more impact stress on the body. My back and quads are about 10% more fatigued on the hardtail the day after a ride...this is subjective but yeah it will beat you up more than a fully.

    I am in the process of buying an x29 anthem full susp. to compare the two. I took a spin at the bike shop on one and I can almost gaurantee that I will like the full suspension better. So for awhile I will have 2 29 bikes one full susp. and one hardtail. I will pick the one that works best as a do everything bike and sell the other one. I will keep this thread updated on the process.

    I'm a Cat 1 racer in New England where trails are very technical with lots of rocks and roots. In 2011 I raced on an Epic 29er and did well, but noticed most of the guys who were beating me were on hardtail 29ers. I started thinking that a carbon hardtail 29er would be a faster race bike and made the switch last year to a Stumpjumper 29er HT. After a season on the hartail I found that it was beating up my back and also was slower on the race course. Not to mention that it wasn't the best bike for a 4 hr trail ride. I just switched back again to an Epic 29 and I'm MUCH happier. I'm going to be doing endurace racing this year so FS makes way more sense, plus at 41 I appreciate the extra cush. I think the FS vs HT debate depends on the terrain you ride and your age. Personally I can't see going back to a HT ever again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    If you're an Expert/semi pro and you're any good you should be getting some kind of deal through a local bike store. It really doesn't matter if you're on a Flash or RDO or whatever, you make it go.
    Get whatever you can get a deal on locally and train hard.
    Why should you get a "deal" if you are a Expert racer?

  48. #48
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    If you're any good at anything in life someone will notice and give you a deal on something. If you're a good racer then local stores or cycling clubs will usually give you deals on equipment or fees.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikecking View Post
    Why should you get a "deal" if you are a Expert racer?
    If you are a cat 1, you are probably affiliated with a team who gets shop discounts. If you are not, there is no shame.

    Its your results that matter, not your team kit.
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  50. #50
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikecking View Post
    Why should you get a "deal" if you are a Expert racer?
    That's a good question.
    As a racer and consumer I want the best price possible and it's nice to find some reward for my hard work.

    As a bike shop employee it's hard to understand why racers get any favorable treatment at all. Racers are demanding time-wise, expect preferential treatment ,"shop" their LBS even though they are getting substantial discounts, and bring little to no return on the LBS's investment.

    So thank your your LBS owner, and maybe buy the mechanics doughnuts.
    (the good ones, not Dunkin).

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