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Thread: 69er for racing

  1. #1
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    69er for racing

    I'm considering a 69er (either Carver or Trek) as a racebike for next year. I haven't ridden one yet (the Trek will be at my LBS on thursday) but I've ridden 29er's and honestly didn't like the feel. the 29er felt good when the terrain was fast and flowing, but felt sluggish in tight technical terrain. I'm 5'7" so maybe that has something to do with it...I've heard that taller people like 29er's better.

    so my question is, what should I expect from a 69er? does it solve the problems with 29er's? is it better suited to taller riders? what are the pitfalls to racing a 69er?

    since I'll only be able to ride the bike around the parking lot before I have to make a decision, I'm looking for as much additional information and opinions as possible.

    thanks!

  2. #2
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    The Carver is a great choice

    I don't race, but I will give you my input. The rides I do involve a lot of climbing so I tend to favor a hardtail. I am 5' 9" and 175#s. My last frame was a Salsa Moto Rapido that I thought was the ultimate frame for me. At last years Sea Otter I had a chance to get a good test ride on a Salsa Mamasita. I liked the smoothness of the big wheels but I did feel as though they had more weight to spin, on the up hills. On the downhills the front wheel seemed to pop out of the ruts that I am sure would have sent me over the bars on the Moto Rapido. The Carver sounded like too good of an idea not to try out. I have one now and love it for all of my rides. The big wheel up front gives me a lot more confidence in the rough stuff. I have not found a downside to it.

  3. #3
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    i've heard a lot of things about the 29ers. i was thinking about building one up, and i was talking to a lot of people first. one side has said that they are best suited to people over 6 foot. however; i know a guy who is shorter than i (i'm 5'6"), and races on one, and he is at the top of his class. he rides a kona 29er.

    that being said...i was in talks with Moots about a 29er, and they said that they would not build one up for me because of my height. that it would be messing too much with the geomerty, and they wouldn't feel right doing that.

    during this i took a rigid fork i had; which is a suspension corrected, which is the same measurements as their (Vicious cycles) 29er fork and put a 29inch wheel in my single speed. so now i've got a 29 in front, and a 26 in back. and it rides great. the front just rolls over stuff, while i still have the quickness and gearing of a 26.

    the front felt slow on pavement, but i think that was only because of there being more rubber on the pavement, but once i got on the trail, the bike rode great.

    i'm thinking of building up a proper 69er (proper geometry and all), and i wouldn't have a problem racing it. i believe that a 69er would race great. since you won't have the geometry of the rear end; which i think gives it that sluggish feeling in tight corners. since Moots, wouldn't build me up a 29er, i think it is wise for us short guys to stay away from the 29ers. i think my friend just kicks that much ass. i think when a bike company says no, we will not do that, says a lot to me.

  4. #4
    Blue Dot Junkie
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    We've enjoyed quite a bit of success racing mixed-wheel bikes this year. It's a great platform no matter who builds it.
    I own and work at Hub Cyclery, Idyllwild CA

  5. #5
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    I'd say YES to racing a 69er, recently 69'd my bike, I much faster going down stuff and cleaning more techy climbs thanks to the big wheel upfront, I seem to be able to on long stretches keep a slightly higher top speed aswell less tyre drag I guess.

    Not feeling its slower or anything, less travel so harsh on drops as expected is my ownly down side and liveable as there rare ( he said doing 100+ of them going down Snowdon )

  6. #6
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    OK, I've got to put out my two cents. I do agree with all that has been written above, but I believe my style of riding, after a summer of downhill racing my FS, has changed. my other rigid 96er doesn't lend itself well to jumping/bunny hopping obsticles. And the really tight singletrack on the East Coast feels slower trying to convince that big wheel to change direction. That is me, I'm am not trying to convince anybody what is "better". But for me, I'm going to build up a 650B F+R, and see if it suits me.

  7. #7
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    Not noticed this slower steering, even with my fork set to 105mm's which makes the angles very slack, if anything on what I ride I can turn harder as my wheel is less likely to break away.

    The G2 forks, when they become available to all in 09's kit should help the slow steering issues for those that suffer I guess.

  8. #8
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    I rode a 69er for the first time this weekend at a trek demo. After an hour of hard riding through flowing yet rooty trails, I think these bikes should be used for nothing more than to sell 29ers. As you pass over a set of roots your 29" front tires rolls over pretty well then when your 26" back tire hits the same roots you feel as if the bike is trying to rip itself in two. And this is not a review from a 29er die hard. I don't own one and don't plan on it for a while(though this demo got me thinking for a bit). I have ridin 29ers and hated them at first because of the awkward feeling they give you in tight singletrack. After a bit of saddle time you get used to it and can throw a 29er wheel around just like any 26". Anyway, My point is that I don't see the advantages of the 69 set up beside showing a rider how much better 29 wheels roll over stuff than 26". just my opinion

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDG1317
    As you pass over a set of roots your 29" front tires rolls over pretty well then when your 26" back tire hits the same roots you feel as if the bike is trying to rip itself in two.
    This will sensation will change with a FS 69er. I think that's a better way to run a mixed wheel bike. Until 2008 I don't think anybody made any for people to try. The problem with home grown Frankenbikes is that the angle usually became too slack and the available suspension forks had the wrong offset.

    I think a 80mm Fox F29 fork on a racy bike like an Epic would work very well together.

  10. #10
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    I do agree on the rear wheel struggling, mine sure was, but tweaked the shock settings to suite and put a different tyre on the rear and it's less noticeable, I've likely adjusted my riding style and stopped aiming for roots and rocks at speed to Either way it's still much better and confident descending that a plain 26er, as I can't afford or get a 29er at the moment it'll have to do likely for a year!!

    As long as your bikes 150-160mm fork capable then you can run a 100mm reba / Fox fork, 130 - 140travel 80mm travel, you can interally adjust the Reba down to 50mm travel with the 2 spacers provided so 100-110mm forks could run 50mm of travel, still better than going rigid.

    My 29" wheel upfront + 100mm Reba, out rides my 26" wheel + 150mm fork in a wheels on the ground way, add jumps and drops and loses it abit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    I do agree on the rear wheel struggling, mine sure was, but tweaked the shock settings to suite and put a different tyre on the rear and it's less noticeable, I've likely adjusted my riding style and stopped aiming for roots and rocks at speed to Either way it's still much better and confident descending that a plain 26er, as I can't afford or get a 29er at the moment it'll have to do likely for a year!!

    As long as your bikes 150-160mm fork capable then you can run a 100mm reba / Fox fork, 130 - 140travel 80mm travel, you can interally adjust the Reba down to 50mm travel with the 2 spacers provided so 100-110mm forks could run 50mm of travel, still better than going rigid.

    My 29" wheel upfront + 100mm Reba, out rides my 26" wheel + 150mm fork in a wheels on the ground way, add jumps and drops and loses it abit.

    you can run a reba 29er at 50mm and give it a low axle to crown( surely that would take it down to 450mm?) i wasnt aware that was possible, i hope you are right!

  12. #12
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    I had them apart Monday to up the travel to 105mm ( there 85mm and 105mm not 80 and 100 to ) I see no reason why you can't add more spacers in there, 2 15mm each are included in the box.

    I had the circlip fall off and limped home in 120mm mode max damper travel doh!!

  13. #13
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    but doea that reduce the axle to crown as well?

  14. #14
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    Yeah it just sits in the upped chamber and stops the forks extending.

    I didn't try to fit the spacers to be honest, so don't 100% quote me on it, but I see no issue with doing it from what I remember.

  15. #15
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    I test rode the Trek 69er, full suspension 3x9 this past weekend and really liked it. I normally ride a SC blur classic and the 69'er seemed to do everything better on our most technical rocky trails. Going up the front wheel rolled over smaller rocks that would tend to bounce the blur's front end and more or less same on the flats, didnt need to pick up the front end as much either. Down hill it also gave me more confidence on the steeps. I had no issue with the rear wheel not wanting to follow, but the lbs had put on a larger tire than what came on it. it felt as quick as my blur but the steering seemed a bit more exagerated, but the flat bar may have been a bit narrower than my blur, which would account for the difference in feeling. my bank account was happy the lbs didnt have my size in stock when i brought it back or i may have had a new bike this week.

  16. #16
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    I rode the 3x9 today so I thought I'd post an update...

    the bike was AWESOME. I loved the feel of it! the big front wheel and Fox fork soaked up everything in its path. the front didn't feel sluggish at all, either turning or wheelying. the back felt snappy and had plenty of spring for hopping over obstacles...like you'd expect from a hardtail, but it felt even moreso because of good geometry. it climbed like crazy...front wheel didn't go light on steep climbs, and the rear handled bumps and loose stuff no problem. the bike accelerated great...at least as good (if not better) than my regular 26".

    the stock bars were way too high and way too wide, both easily adjusted so no big deal. stock tires felt pretty good, and will be even better without tubes.

    the bike weighed 25.3 lbs. without pedals (that was with reflectors...so maybe 25.1 with those taken off?). it's a little heavier than I'd hoped so that's my only hesitation. maybe a wheel upgrade would help. I need to check on the frame weight to see how much weight is coming from there so I know what a realistic target would be.

    all in all, a really nice ride!

  17. #17
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    Now....

    Remember...69'n a bike is one thing...but you throw off the intended geometry. If and when you try 69'r that was designed to be...it's a whole different and better feel. I have been happy with the way mine rides so far.
    Eric

    "Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit"

  18. #18
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    i ride the new trek 69er geared, and it is by far the coolest bike i have ever ridden, i rode a full 29 last race season and felt sluggish with it, so far my 69 is a rocket ship, i am able to roll over stuff much smother and faster, i highly recommend this set up for anyone,

  19. #19
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    Are you riding the 3x9 hardtail or Fuel?

  20. #20
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    i am riding the 3x9 the top fuel one just didn't do it for me

  21. #21
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    Sounds good. I demo'd both and liked the fuel. Although I definitely liked the looks of the white hardtail much better. It just looks great. Have fun with yours.

  22. #22
    i took the wheels home
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    To answer the original question-- How is a 69'er for racing?

    "69'er-- it's trail bike confident, race bike fast and it's how Travis Brown rolls." If it's good enough for Travis, it's probably good enough for you and me. And after having had mine for three weeks, I'd say the thing will rock on XC courses and roll on Super D races.

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