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  1. #1
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    Old guy, Old Bike(s), Need Advice!

    Hi, I'm a returning old school MTBR (now 50) who's returning after a 15 yr hiatus. I'm looking for advice/info on what I may require to safely return.

    Bike # 1 is a 2000 Cannondale F800 w/Super Fatty. Took it out for a few rides and everything seems ok. Had to add some lbs to the HeadShock as I'm not currently at my 15 yrs ago riding weight....sigh.

    Bike #2 is a 2003 Jamis Dakar XLT. Everything works as it should although I'm not sure if either the front or rear shocks need service?
    I don't see any leakage or issues but it's been close to 15 yrs since they have been really "worked". Had to add psi but everything seems ok otherwise.

    The tires (Hutchinson Alligators)are nearly as old as the bike, they still seem ok although I know car tires degrade over time.

    Also, I see that everyone is 29'er and Tubeless these day. I did have a 29'er single speed around 2004, but sold it as I found it handled way too sluggish. Should I consider a newer 29'er or just use what I have. Cash isn't a limiting factor although I like to hit things fast and hard (or at least I did last time I was out......many moons ago.).
    Finally, looking at the newer Jamis, aside from the Tubeless wheel size, things don't seem to have changed much (or am I wrong?).



    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    Those are nice old bikes. Make sure they are safe and working well and ride them hard until you swap bikes with a friend one day who has a new fancy bike, which will force you to then go out and spend $$$ and get a new one for yourself. New bikes these days are pretty great.

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    I don't doubt your advice, but I'm wondering how (in what way) the newer Bikes are going to "wow" me. As I stated in my post, I found the 29" wheels sluggish in the "tight 'n' twisty". Could you elaborate on what else I might find better in a newer Bike?

  4. #4
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    I started riding my 26" Yeti 575 after a dozen+ years away. To upgrade it to "current," I swapped out the 2.1 tires for 2.3, replaced the 120 stem with 60, and got rid of the 620 bars for 740. The bike handles dramatically better than it used to!

    If you're riding with friends on 29ers, prepare to be dropped on climbs. I haven't ridden 29ers for any extended time, but improvements since the mid-oughts in suspension design and frame geometry make modern 29ers a whole lot better handling.

    Use what you have and enjoy the rides until you don't! If and when that day comes, hopefully covid-19 madness will have blown over by then, and you can demo some modern bikes.
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  5. #5
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    A couple of things you will notice are:


    Suspension has improved massively, this combined with larger wheels with bigger tyre volume means you have way more grip over rough terrain. So you go faster and have more fun.

    Suspension platforms combined with better geometry on modern bikes have changed the way you think of a dual suspension bike climbing up things where you would get bounced around on a hardtail.

    Frame stiffness is next level on the newer bikes, I have an old Cannondale F900 that was considered stiff in the day, it feels like a wet noodle compared to my Mach 6 Carbon.

    The bikes are heavier compared to an old-school bike. This is because of the extra tech combined with the stronger frames needed because of what the extra tech allows you to ride with confidence. Things like droppers, bigger stronger wheels, 12 speed cassettes and decent suspension add up.

    The variety of trails available to ride these days has changed significantly as well there are options for all skill levels and most have skill progression built in to their design.

    But as a poster said earlier, ride what you have and enjoy...but beware of trying out your mates new flash bike because once you go down that rabbit hole you could end up anywhere....sooo many options so many good value new bikes these days.

  6. #6
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    Steamthief is right--wider bars, wider tires, frame geometry that makes it better for going downhill means you will find you can go faster over rougher steeper terrain. And that is super fun. On those old bikes that can still be done, but it requires more skill and bigger balls.

    The 29 vs 27.5 thing is less important unless you plan to race. But most people these days are choosing 29ers because their rollability--once they get going they will plow over smaller obstacles. They are a good choice for longer rides or if you want to go fast. 27.5 is fine though and you will find them easier to accelerate and easier to turn on twisty stuff. But you as they become less popular resale value could drop and finding replacement parts/wheels could get harder. I have both a 29er and a 27.5 though and I love them both and have plenty of fun on my rides regardless of which bike I use.

  7. #7
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    Also the wow factor is not going to be evident in the first couple of rides, it comes later as you begin to feel confident with the newer geometry and start realising what the bike is capable of. And if you need a reminder jump on the old bike for a retro ride.

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    Thanks everyone for the info/updates on the newer offerings. I'm gonna see how things go (once the trails re-open) and then decide If a new Bike would be worth it for me. I mainly ride alone so there's no comparison to really worry about.

  9. #9
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    That "sluggishness" of the first gen niners has been decreased. The wider bars, shorter stem combo gives extra leverage to overcome the additional weight of the big tires.
    As for your Jamis, while there is nothing wrong with it, just compare it to the 2020 version, lots of little tweaks over the year have made it longer (wheelbase adds to stability at speed) and slacker (lower head tube angle keeps the weight back on descents or something), more of a downhill kinda thing. Also, check out the 1x drivetrain, one ring on the crank, 10-12 out back. People seem to like less gears this decade. And disk brakes have improved substantially in fifteen years too. Hydraulics! One finger braking! Still not exactly "aggressive" geometry of a full downhill rig, but more so than the old one
    Old guy, Old Bike(s), Need Advice!-jamis-dakar-a2-2020-mountain-bike-black-ev363810-8500-2.jpg
    I like what Jamis has been putting out lately. I wouldn't mind trying a couple of their bikes
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  10. #10
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    I was looking at that model (even before I posted) however I questioned the 27.5" wheels as It might not be much different from the 26". Wouldn't the 29" Jamis offer a more noticeable difference (coming from 26")?

    https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/faultline-a1.html

    Also, in the pic you posted, the Fork is a Suntour? I know It's been awhile (15yrs) but back then, Suntour was entry level Dept Store Forks. Rock Shox and Marzocchi were the preferred names (back then).

  11. #11
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    ride a few newer bikes. that's the only way to understand the difference. it might not feel better to you, even after you take the time to adjust your riding style to bigger wheels and alternative geometry, but you would be in a tiny minority if that is the case. just like any other manufactured product, current bikes are the result of technological development that, while not 100% successful at everything, all the time, each change sticks around for good reason. it's not unlike natural selection.

    if your old bike still works and you don't want to spend money, just ride your old bike. my only concern would be the long term maintenance of an old Headshok, which might be impractical at some point. you can always adapt the Cannondale to fit a conventional fork, but your options for 26" forks is limited.

    look up GMBN on Youtube. they have done a few side-by-side comparisons with older bike compared to newer bikes.

  12. #12
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    I think it would be a good idea to service the fork on the Jamis and get some new dust seals on it. Worn seals allow dirt to get in the lowers and that will wear out the bushings.

    On the Cannondale, I seem to remember the basic service was to pull up the boot and try to get some fresh grease on the needle bearings. I don't know much beyond that...

    I like both your current bikes...

  13. #13
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    I'm old school too, my newest bike is from 2006, but I ride alone most of the time, so not being able to keep up with big wheel bikes isn't as much of an issue, and all my bikes give me a good work out every time I go out. If cash is no issue you could always bring the bikes to the LBS and have them perform tune up etc. Personally, I like the old bikes, which are easy to work on, and do everything pretty well - be it riding on road, bike path towing my kid in a trailer, or clearing the rock gardens on my local trail. I will say that big wheel bikes are easier to ride, though that's not super important to me. More concerned about comfort these days - so I rarely ride my hard tail bikes anymore.

  14. #14
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    Shorter stem, wider bar, decent tires and a little elbow grease on the Jamis and it should still be fun. Maybe throw on a set of SLX brakes for good measure; a full set can be had pretty cheap.
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  15. #15
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    "I think it would be a good idea to service the fork on the Jamis and get some new dust seals on it. Worn seals allow dirt to get in the lowers and that will wear out the bushings."

    ^^^I'll take your advice on the Fork service as I did have it serviced back in the day. Still seems to work fine, however the seals must be dry by now.


    Maybe throw on a set of SLX brakes for good measure; a full set can be had pretty cheap. "


    ^^^How are the Brakes better then my "ancient" Hydraulic Dual piston XT's?
    (I'm curious and not questioning your recommendation).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    ^^^I'll take your advice on the Fork service as I did have it serviced back in the day. Still seems to work fine, however the seals must be dry by now.
    On the seals on older forks I have, there are visible cracks and it's clear they aren't sealing well. If they are in good shape, you may be OK, although a basic fork service probably is still a good idea.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    ^^^How are the Brakes better then my "ancient" Hydraulic Dual piston XT's?
    (I'm curious and not questioning your recommendation).
    In pretty much every way. Power, modulation, adjustment, serviceability.

    If yours are working fine and don't need pads/bleed etc though, just run them.
    I mention it mainly because a full set of SLX (or even a lower tier) brakes can be a bargain compared to replacing pads, etc and they work pissa.
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  18. #18
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    That Cannondale is awesome! I'd have the headshok serviced and ride that bad boy. Seal kits are still available, though I think that's a DL70 you have there, not a Super.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    In pretty much every way. Power, modulation, adjustment, serviceability.

    If yours are working fine and don't need pads/bleed etc though, just run them.
    I mention it mainly because a full set of SLX (or even a lower tier) brakes can be a bargain compared to replacing pads, etc and they work pissa.
    Wow, and I thought the XT's were "Rock Solid" (for stopping). Guess it's all relative.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeA View Post
    That Cannondale is awesome! I'd have the headshok serviced and ride that bad boy. Seal kits are still available, though I think that's a DL70 you have there, not a Super.
    You're correct, It's not a Super Fatty, but it is 80mm.

    Funny story. The original Headshok was a 70mm and needed servicing. I took it to a local Bike store at the end of the season (Nov 2001?). They too off the shock and insisted I pre-pay and take the Bike home as well (no room).

    I inquired several times over the Winter about the shock and couldn't get a clear answer on If it was fixed or not.
    After a few more inquiries (with no answer), I went into the store the following March and demanded my money and Shock back as I could at least ride with the HeadShok even if it wasn't working properly.

    The co-owner, looked at me, lowered his head and said "I have no idea what happened to it". He then looked over on the rack were they stored various Forks and handed me a brand new Fatty Ultra SL (see pg 7)

    At the time it was a decent improvement as It offered 10mm more travel and Lock out, along with being 1/2 lbs lighter than the common 70mm Fatty the bike came with. Luckily it also matched the Bike.

  21. #21
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    Hey OldMike, youíre not that old. Iím 66 and been riding off-road bikes (averaging a new bike approximately every year) since 1985. Iíve ridden rigid, hardtail, singlespeed, full suspension, 26Ē, 27.5Ē, 29Ē, ďplusĒ tires, touring, road, commuter, etc. throughout this time. Seen (and welcomed) the many changes & updates to bikes & components which have added up to improved performance in every facet of mountain biking.

    Some changes since you got out of it:
    • Frame construction. Newer bikes are beefier. They flex less. My old bikes (including one as recent as 2011) feel noodly in comparison.
    • Frame geometry. This is HUGE. First gen 29ers didnít inspire confidence. In fact they handled poorly. Not anymore. Geo in general (all wheel sizes) has improved by leaps & bounds. Longer wheelbases inspire confidence when landing drops & jumps. Slacker head angles provide increased stability at speed. Steeper seat angles aid climbing. Longer front center (long TT + short stem) keeps the riderís COG between the wheels. This facet alone (improvements to frame geo) could take many paragraphs to delineate.
    • Better wheels. Things like thru-axles, wider hubs, wider rims, wider tires ó these all add up to stronger, stiffer, more responsive wheels that grip, feel & track better.
    • Improved components. Some, like the dropper seatpost, might not have even been around when you left the sport. Others, like shifters & brakes, have simply been refined and improved to the point that they work a lot better. Direct mount chainrings, single ring (ďone byĒ) drivetrains, 10, 11 & 12-spd systems, 4-pot brakes, etc ó all up the game.
    • Improved suspension. Both quantity and quality of travel. Modern suspension components are lightyears ahead of stuff thatís less than even 10 years old.

    These aspects as described just scratch the surface.
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    Y'all have me wanting a new Bike when I haven't even been to a trail in over 10yrs....Sparticus, I'm interested in your recommendations for Trail bike (29'er) similar to the ole' Jamis seen in my first post. I like that linkage style and prefer 5" up front and back. (you can PM me if preferred).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    Y'all have me wanting a new Bike when I haven't even been to a trail in over 10yrs....Sparticus, I'm interested in your recommendations for Trail bike (29'er) similar to the ole' Jamis seen in my first post. I like that linkage style and prefer 5" up front and back. (you can PM me if preferred).
    I have too many bikes but only one FS trail bike, a Guerrilla Gravity Smash. Itís a little longer legged than youíre looking for but GG also offers a 120mm bike called the Trail Pistol. I owned a TP (and would still own it if I hadnít ordered the wrong frame size) but anyway to this day thatís been my favorite FS bike of all time. I love the Smash too, but there was something about my TP that made riding telepathic.

    The GG TP employs a Horst Link suspension design, which is very good. Many frame manufacturers utilize it.

    But DONíT go ordering a GG Trail Pistol on my recommendation. Despite my love for it, the TPís suspension was not the best Iíve ever owned (again, in MY opinion.) No, the best suspension design Iíve enjoyed ó for both climbing and descending ó was a DW Linkíd bike. Mine was a Turner Sultan but you canít get one of those anymore nor would I recommend you try. Although the suspension design was awesome, other aspects (like frame geo) have been long eclipsed. No, if I wanted a DW Link bike today, the bikes Iíd look at are the Ibis Ripley or the slightly longer legged Pivot Switchblade. I have riding buds who own these and they are fantastic.

    Santa Cruzís variation on the virtual pivot point suspension design is likewise awesome. Check out their Tallboy or Hightower.

    Want a great value? Consider the Ibis Ripmo AF. Itís aluminum frame makes it cheap compared to a carbon fiber frame and you wonít be able to dig up a single bad review of that bike.

    But again, donít stop there. The past 5 years have produced a plethora of amazing bikes in the 120-160mm travel range ó so many that itís almost hard to buy a dog. Trek, Specialized, DiamondBack, Canyon, GG, Santa Cruz... I could never list them all. Visit the 29er forum here on MTBR and youíll have no problem finding dozens of threads started by people asking which bike is best.

    And youíll find lots of opinions, proving that no single bike is best for everyone. If youíre looking for a new mountain bike in 2020, youíve got a good problem to have. Best of luck.
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  24. #24
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    Service them and ride them and once you are fully into it buy a new one or modify them.
    If you have a good lbs relationship they might have a bunch of stems laying for you to try out.
    You also just put some more aggressive pad in your calipers if they do not stop you enough before upgrading.
    Before upgrading your current bikes I would attend some skill schools.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I have too many bikes but only one FS trail bike, a Guerrilla Gravity Smash. Itís a little longer legged than youíre looking for but GG also offers a 120mm bike called the Trail Pistol. I owned a TP (and would still own it if I hadnít ordered the wrong frame size) but anyway to this day thatís been my favorite FS bike of all time. I love the Smash too, but there was something about my TP that made riding telepathic.

    The GG TP employs a Horst Link suspension design, which is very good. Many frame manufacturers utilize it.

    But DONíT go ordering a GG Trail Pistol on my recommendation. Despite my love for it, the TPís suspension was not the best Iíve ever owned (again, in MY opinion.) No, the best suspension design Iíve enjoyed ó for both climbing and descending ó was a DW Linkíd bike. Mine was a Turner Sultan but you canít get one of those anymore nor would I recommend you try. Although the suspension design was awesome, other aspects (like frame geo) have been long eclipsed. No, if I wanted a DW Link bike today, the bikes Iíd look at are the Ibis Ripley or the slightly longer legged Pivot Switchblade. I have riding buds who own these and they are fantastic.

    Santa Cruzís variation on the virtual pivot point suspension design is likewise awesome. Check out their Tallboy or Hightower.

    Want a great value? Consider the Ibis Ripmo AF. Itís aluminum frame makes it cheap compared to a carbon fiber frame and you wonít be able to dig up a single bad review of that bike.

    But again, donít stop there. The past 5 years have produced a plethora of amazing bikes in the 120-160mm travel range ó so many that itís almost hard to buy a dog. Trek, Specialized, DiamondBack, Canyon, GG, Santa Cruz... I could never list them all. Visit the 29er forum here on MTBR and youíll have no problem finding dozens of threads started by people asking which bike is best.

    And youíll find lots of opinions, proving that no single bike is best for everyone. If youíre looking for a new mountain bike in 2020, youíve got a good problem to have. Best of luck.
    =sParty
    Thanks for the advice and the Ripmo AF recommendation as that's in my price range (what I was expecting to spend). If I get back into it hard, I'll consider a CF frame.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by acer66 View Post
    Service them and ride them and once you are fully into it buy a new one or modify them.
    If you have a good lbs relationship they might have a bunch of stems laying for you to try out.
    You also just put some more aggressive pad in your calipers if they do not stop you enough before upgrading.
    Before upgrading your current bikes I would attend some skill schools.
    Gonna ride them as is for now (braking power is fine for now).
    A test ride (on new 29'er) will definitely be something I do before purchasing.
    Riding skill "were" adequate (at one time at least)....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    removed all traces of sarcasm fy
    Favor returned
    Last edited by MattiThundrrr; 05-05-2020 at 11:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    It's not you it's the bike.
    Riding technique has evolved along with the new geo and tech. The dropper post alone has changed so much, allowing a whole new way to get down the hill.
    Ah ok. (looking into all this new tech).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    . The dropper post alone has changed so much, making lowering your seat more convenient, if you feel you need to
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  30. #30
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    The revolution starts now
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    It would certainly be possible to put a dropper on the Jamis...

    Can't say the same for all vintage bikes. Interrupted seattubes was a very popular thing around 98-00, bikes like the Trek Y bikes and VRX, Cannondale Super V, Raven, Spec FSR -- the Proflex and DBR X-link I have owned have it too. Really limits seat height adjustability and dropper compatibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantoj View Post
    It would certainly be possible to put a dropper on the Jamis...

    Can't say the same for all vintage bikes. Interrupted seattubes was a very popular thing around 98-00, bikes like the Trek Y bikes and VRX, Cannondale Super V, Raven, Spec FSR -- the Proflex and DBR X-link I have owned have it too. Really limits seat height adjustability and dropper compatibility.
    Thought about it (back in the day) however I didn't think I needed it.
    Will wait for a total upgrade one day as most newer offerings seem to come with one with the cables all neatly hidden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    Thought about it (back in the day) however I didn't think I needed it.
    Will wait for a total upgrade one day as most newer offerings seem to come with one with the cables all neatly hidden.
    That's always the catch... you can easily put $500 in upgrades into a $300 bike from the 00's and it's still a 00's bike.

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    Just ride it as is and get the Ripmo AF.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    Cash isn't a limiting factor....
    Thoughts?
    'Nuff said!

    Sh*tcan those old bikes and get a good new 29er. You can't get enough lipstick for them.

    I'm 67, started on a steel hard tail hard front Fuji, up through a 575, Pivot, Yeti SB5 and around 2016 looked hard at 29ers. Hated them! Then in late 2018 tried a few again. Holy cow, they dialed them in. I ended up with a short travel 29er, a Giant Trance 29 Pro 1.

    I started cleaning downhill sections in Moab I used to walk, and I was kicking my son's 27 year old butt on his old 26" Giant Reign until he got a Ripmo. Now I cough up blood pushing it just so he doesn't have to wait too long at intersections.

    Spend the $$$ where it'll make a difference....not on those old bikes.

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    Agreed old mountain bikes are for nostalgia and road rides (I don't wear spandex and I sure as hell won't ride a damn road bike)

    Newer bikes are too good not to ride. 27.5 or 29, it's all good!
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post

    Newer bikes are too good not to ride. 27.5 or 29, it's all good!
    True.

  38. #38
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    ďLife is short. Buy the damn bicycle.Ē
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    UPDATE:

    Haven't been able to get out yet as the local trails are still closed (COVID)
    Got the bikes all ready to go (AFAIC).

    Also, (again, back in a world, long long ago) I preferred my Fox TALAS RLC (125mm) over the Rockshox equivalent as I found it plusher (more like a coil). Is that still true with the Fox 36 vs Lyrik?
    Reason i'm asking is a few bikes I like come with the Lyrik (and RS in the back), but I think I'd prefer Fox, however either will most likely be overkill for my still of riding....Hmm.

    Finally, For fast trail/enduro riding (rocks/roots) with sub 3ft drops is there a preference between:

    29" with 150mm/160mm
    27.5" with 160mm/170mm

    Does the added travel make up for the smaller tire size and/or does the larger tires make up the slightly less travel? I know the 27.5 will be better in the turns but I'm curious about the rough stuff.

  40. #40
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    I have a 2019 170mm Lyrik on my new 29x3 hardtail and love it. I also have a 2016 160mm Fox 36 and they Lyrik is much better, but itís not fair to compare a 2016 fork with a 2019 fork.

    Personally Iím a fan of wagon wheels so for me it would be a no brainer, Iíd go for the 29Ē wheels with slightly less travel. But some folks actually prefer small wheels; Iím sure theyíll tell you to go the other way. In the end, personal preference.

    Right or wrong I believe tall riders receive the greatest benefit from 29Ē wheels compared to anything smaller. Has to do with COG & rollover. Not saying shorter riders donít appreciate these benefits.
    =sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  41. #41
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    Giant Trance is a nice bike.
    Get that and ride already!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    Giant Trance is a nice bike.
    Get that and ride already!
    You're pretty close (Impressed).
    Looking at the Giant Reign. Issue is I like this one for looks/color, but this one for the Forks/shocks.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post
    UPDATE:
    Finally, For fast trail/enduro riding (rocks/roots) with sub 3ft drops is there a preference between:

    29" with 150mm/160mm
    27.5" with 160mm/170mm

    Does the added travel make up for the smaller tire size and/or does the larger tires make up the slightly less travel? I know the 27.5 will be better in the turns but I'm curious about the rough stuff.
    Yes and no, 29ers will roll over most trail obstacles like holes, rocks, drops an roots better than a 27.5 and better than a 26er to a point.

    If a hole is big enough it will slow both bikes down if you fail to engage with the terrain, 29ers can handle slightly bigger holes. The added suspension travel helps though.

    Agility wise 27.5 is quicker to change direction and more engaging to ride if you like that sort of thing i.e. you can change lines quicker to avoid the holes that catch you...or you can pop over them.

    29ers hold speed take a bit more to get to speed but they carry it easier. If you were to plow through a rough section on a 29er vs 27.5 you would be going faster at the exit of the section on the 29er. (but it may be easier to use a sneaky quicker line on the more nimble 27.5er)

    I came from a Mach 5.7c 26er to a Mach 6c 27.5 and noticed differences in how it handled, I have now adapted to the bike and love how it handles.

    Where the new bike initially felt different was in tight successive berms, the old 26er was nimble and almost instinctive through this sort of trail.

    But you adapt and get used to what you have, I love the fact the new bike just eats up whatever I point it at with less fuss than the old 26er and I have adapted to using a bit more body language through berms to get the same result.

    No doubt a 29er would feel cumbersome initially but you would adapt as you got used to it, and modern 29er geometry is pretty sorted these days.

    Mach 6 27.5
    Old guy, Old Bike(s), Need Advice!-img_20200208_154301.jpg
    Mach 5.7 26er
    Old guy, Old Bike(s), Need Advice!-image.jpg

  44. #44
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    Do some test rides to compare. Rent if possible for a day and make plenty of notes.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMike View Post

    Finally, For fast trail/enduro riding (rocks/roots) with sub 3ft drops is there a preference between:

    29" with 150mm/160mm
    27.5" with 160mm/170mm
    Both would be slight overkill for me here in Utah, including my trips to Moab. But, if I were to uptravel from my Trance 29, I'd get something like the Ripmo. That's 148 rear/160 front. I'd run 2.5 or 2.6-ish tires at what you would think is fairly low pressure - lots of discussion on these boards on THAT subject!

    I came off a Yeti SB5c, which I loved, 127 rear, 160 front, but I can handle more gnarly downhills on my Trance, and it climbs better as well.

    Lots of good 27.5's out there, though. Forks and shocks have improved as well. My 130 plain old Fox 34 fork feels better that my 160 RockShox on the Yeti, and my DPX2 is def better than my DPS, but that is probably geometry at play also.....although, my son tried the Giant with DPS and hated it, then tried mine with DPX2 and loved it. He got the Ripmo with the DPX2.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 05-07-2020 at 09:32 AM.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    Do some test rides to compare. Rent if possible for a day and make plenty of notes.
    That's the plan, however stores here are only open for "Roadside Pick up".....for now at least.

  47. #47
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    Wow a lot of returning bikers, me included. I'm a geezer at 64 and was off for 8 years after a bad crash. My bikes to that point included Stinky Primos, a prototype Ellswork Dare with the 24" rear wheel, then finally a beast Norco Savage. I still have a Stinky Six, much loathed apparently, but taking it out on my old trails I see no issues with it as far as my enjoyment goes. The trails I ride would be described as fairly slow technical trails, tons of rocks and roots and that's what I like. I ride mostly alone as all my old riding pals have gone out of commission due to our old injuries, so I don't need to keep up with anyone. I find the wheel size thing amusing, very much like skis in that people will tell you skis with a 70mm waist can't be used in powder (yet we enjoyed Utah with straight skinnies) and you need to invest a couple thousand to re-equip. With bikes I think if you're coming back and the bikes you used to enjoy are safe and still bring you joy then you're good to go. Just go out and stock up some spare parts now and ride. I do find the mixed wheel thing interesting, as the Dare I had was really nice for riding off drops but the handling took a lot of getting used to, I think the 26/24 made it too slack at the time maybe...

  48. #48
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    I'm still happily riding the rigid 26er singlespeed that I put together 10 years ago. At least it keeps my top speeds where nothing too horrible is likely to happen when I fall off. I did put on a bar that is on the wide side and a stem that is on the short side.

    Actually, I have never ridden a 29er or even a 27.5" bike. I haven't even been paying much attention.

    How do people cope with the tall front end of a wagon wheel bike if they don't want the bar to be much above seat height? (No, I don''t have a dropper seat post either... )

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  49. #49
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    Regarding the high front end:
    It would only be tall if the back wheel was a 24". THAT would be tall.

    It used to be that I would really have to slide forward on my seat on all of my previous bikes to keep the front planted on crazy steep climbs (and I've run the bars 2" above the seat on my last 3 bikes, at least) but with the current iteration of geometry and the same 2" differential, I just stay in place, drop my elbows and grunt away. It also is way more capable on the down.

    Also, I'm cleaning steep tight switchbacks more easily on these big ol' wheels. I don't think I'm getting better.

    I went out of my way to build up the bike with a higher front end, but you could run it level, easily, if you have a fairly generic build.

  50. #50
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    If 140 is OK for your terrain a popular bike this season is the Norco Optic C2. Currently out.
    https://www.norco.com/bikes/2020/mou...rbon/optic-c2/

    A Cube Stereo 29 is good value at $3600 with a Lyric 170.
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod192453

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I'm still happily riding the rigid 26er singlespeed that I put together 10 years ago. At least it keeps my top speeds where nothing too horrible is likely to happen when I fall off. I did put on a bar that is on the wide side and a stem that is on the short side.

    Actually, I have never ridden a 29er or even a 27.5" bike. I haven't even been paying much attention.

    How do people cope with the tall front end of a wagon wheel bike if they don't want the bar to be much above seat height? (No, I don''t have a dropper seat post either... )
    Dinosaur
    Sheeeeeesh
    Good!

    Havent you heard, 26 is antique
    LOL

    Na 26 is still good

    You rocking Shimano DX ?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Regarding the high front end:
    It would only be tall if the back wheel was a 24". THAT would be tall.

    ...
    I dont see how making the rear wheel smaller gets your head tube higher above the ground.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    Dinosaur
    Sheeeeeesh
    Good!

    Havent you heard, 26 is antique
    LOL

    Na 26 is still good

    You rocking Shimano DX ?
    I'm not familiar with Shimano DX. Pedals? No, I've only ever used Time clipless pedals.

    (Old photo but nothing has really changed)

    Old guy, Old Bike(s), Need Advice!-7013773759_36c09e879b_c.jpg

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    How do people cope with the tall front end of a wagon wheel bike if they don't want the bar to be much above seat height? (No, I don''t have a dropper seat post either... )
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I dont see how making the rear wheel smaller gets your head tube higher above the ground.
    Not higher above the ground, but rather higher above the seat once the seat is lowered due to the smaller rear wheel.
    =sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  55. #55
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    2 years ago, I went from a 2006 26" Trance to a 2017 29" Smuggler. My only regret is not buying a new bike sooner. The new tech and geometry make a huge difference in handling, confidence at speed, and honestly, overall enjoyment.

    Although, now I am able to ride so much faster than I used to and have to remind myself that the consequences of eating it are much greater as well.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Not higher above the ground, but rather higher above the seat once the seat is lowered due to the smaller rear wheel.
    =sParty
    But then, you also get a very low BB - unless you have geometry designed for the small wheel. With the small wheel compatible geometry, BB and seat are at the same height again.

    -----
    I was hoping that a 29er front end could be built about the same height as a 26er. Designed for a rigid fork, it could. Now, I don't see any way around using inverted stem and/or upside down riser bar on a 29er built for a suspension fork.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I dont see how making the rear wheel smaller gets your head tube higher above the ground.
    It was a joke. The front would be high in relation to the rear, but apparently that's not funny. My kids tell me the same thing.

    But that got me to whip out the tape measure (she expostulated)

    Based on my preferred riding position, the top of the grips (that's what matters to me, not where the headtube is - I can adjust from there) are :

    41.5" on my 29er
    42" on my wife's 27.5
    41.5" on my old Pivot 5.7c 26er

    Seat to bar rise is about at my preferred 2" on all three, even my wife's bike.

    The 26er head tube is about 1" lower is all, with small tires, with a 90 or 100mm stem to make the geometry work.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I'm still happily riding the rigid 26er singlespeed that I put together 10 years ago. At least it keeps my top speeds where nothing too horrible is likely to happen when I fall off. I did put on a bar that is on the wide side and a stem that is on the short side.

    Actually, I have never ridden a 29er or even a 27.5" bike. I haven't even been paying much attention.

    How do people cope with the tall front end of a wagon wheel bike if they don't want the bar to be much above seat height? (No, I don''t have a dropper seat post either... )
    I'm in the same boat never tried any other wheel size (unless you count "29er" road bikes lol). I've been blissfully unaware of the differences for some time lol. Just built up my new 26er less than a year ago, so I'll probably be on that for the next 10 years anyway. I really can't fathom how id keep the fit I prefer, with a super tall 160mm 29er front end. Seems to me like it would be like riding ape hangers. Does anyone have that issue or am I crazy?
    °Rodando Por Ti!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CromolyCowboy View Post
    I'm in the same boat never tried any other wheel size (unless you count "29er" road bikes lol). I've been blissfully unaware of the differences for some time lol. Just built up my new 26er less than a year ago, so I'll probably be on that for the next 10 years anyway. I really can't fathom how id keep the fit I prefer, with a super tall 160mm 29er front end. Seems to me like it would be like riding ape hangers. Does anyone have that issue or am I crazy?
    My only experience was with a DH specific bike, so I had my seat squashed down anyways. The Ellsworth Dare with the 24" rear wheel never got out of prototype as far as I know. Bikes back then that were really slack would sometimes experience "wheel flop" with tight turns at slow speeds. With the 26" front and 24" rear that bike experienced wheel flop in tight turns at HIGH speeds - not a good thing at all. I got rid of it pretty quickly. I'm sure modern geometry takes all that into consideration now, but I have no desire to experiment at this point. 2 26" wheels are fine by me...

  60. #60
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    Yeah I got a slightly longer fork on my bike, just about a degree slacker and the wheel-flop is not ideal. Going to put a longer offset on it someday and reign that in a bit. For the most part that mullet thing, wether 24 and 26, or 650b/700c doesn't work IMO. It comes from a misunderstanding about dirt-bikes that their front and rear are significantly different in diameter (not considering that they are more significantly different in width front to back). Honda tried a 23 inch front on their dirt-bikes way back in the day and it didn't stick for good reason.
    °Rodando Por Ti!

  61. #61
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    Well the 2020 Enduro Comp is off the list as it just jumped $700 CDN in price?
    I found it a tad pricey BEFORE the increase (due to how it's spec'd) but now It's IMO a downright rip-off. Looking hard at the 2020 Intense Carbine although I still have a soft spot for the Reign Adv. Pro 2 as it's price is quite compelling.

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