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  1. #1
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    Which trail/race 29er?

    Hi I am looking for a new race/trail bike (29er). I can't decide between a hardtail or a full suspension. I ride fairly rocky trails (rides and races) around central Texas. The two main bikes I am looking at are the 2014 Trek Superfly 9.8 hardtail and the 2014 Trek Superfly FS 9.8 sl. How will the rear suspension compare to a hardtail in terms of pedaling efficiency? I am also concerned that the 4 inches of rear suspension won't really make a difference. For this reason, I am also considering the 2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er. If I lightened it up a little, how would it do in cat 2 (maybe cat 1 later on) XC racing and some technical endurance racing?

  2. #2
    Endurance Junkie
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    I would go for the FS Superfly for rocky terrain. The 4" of travel should be plenty for any racing that you want to do. Not to be cliche but it's more about the engine than the bike and if you've got the engine and skills any of them would be fine for cat 1 or 2 mtb races.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexxc View Post
    If I lightened it up a little, how would it do in cat 2 (maybe cat 1 later on) XC racing and some technical endurance racing?
    what cat are you racing now? and how are your results?
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    what cat are you racing now? and how are your results?
    I've been racing cat 3 and finishing on the podium but I'm moving up to cat 2 this season. I'm in high school so I've been racing for about a yr. I want this bike to last me a few yrs so I may be racing cat 1 with it in a few yrs.

  5. #5
    I'd rather be riding
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    I'm racing Cat 1 on an alloy superfly with no issues. I'd spring for the FS.

  6. #6
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    I also race Pro/Cat 1 in Texas. I'd go with the full suspension having raced a hardtail the last few years.

  7. #7
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    Check out the Pivot Les. I recently demoed one and I think it will be my next bike.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which trail/race 29er?

    Another vote for full suspension in the 100mm (4 inch) range. More than that, and I think you start losing efficiency and it becomes counter-productive for XC racing.

    I went from a 130mm Niner RIP RDO to a 100mm Cannondale Scalpel this fall and got significantly faster on climbs without losing time on rocky flat singletrack or semi-technical descents. I'm not willing to go to a hardtail.

    Not familiar with the Superfly, but don't see many at races around here. You might want to check out the Scalpel also - great race bike. The brand new Specialized Epic WC is fantastic and also worth looking at if you can swing the price.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    Cat 1 racer here. Go with whatever is lightest FS and has the least amount of travel.

    You may want to lurk in the 29r forum for feedback too!
    Get me the knuckles of Frisco..

  10. #10
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    I was torn between the SuperFly 100 and Niner Jet9 RDO last year. I went with the Jet9. I built mine with a 120mm Fox fork for a better trail bike experience. With trail bike tires it is 25.5lbs and with race tires it is 24.5lbs. A good suspension bike will actually help you make time on people even on the climbs. All of the trails here in the Phoenix area are rocky loose and chunky.

    I race cat2 and put it on the podium at a few races before life got in the way of racing last year.

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