HT rider old school needs new bike asap-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    HT rider old school needs new bike asap

    Well it is time to get a new bike. Read if you dare and help me out.

    Background: 20 years experience MTBing and then some on road bikes and BMX. Mostly aggressive XC, big epic rides in mountains all up and down west coast. Live in PNW so local to Galbraith, Anacortes and my secret places in the cascade foothills. Mission Ridge, Winthrop, Wenatchee areas are typical big day areas. Not a shuttler, ride up-ride down. Not a big hit DROPPer dude. Can do low level stunts but nothing silly. (I plan to build a big hit bike for that stuff some other time anyway) I have raced a little and would like to race some more before I get too old to have fun (I'm 46). 5'8", 160lbs (no I'm not looking for a date).

    I have had several bikes over the years but all of them have been some form of hardtail. My current ride is an original Easton Ultralight Jamis Komodo LT from 2001. The frame is the only thing original on the bike, I think it is about 3.7 lbs or so. Everything else is/was upgraded to XT spec minimum. It weighs about 24 lbs with heavy 2.3 tires. Lighter with weenie tires that burst easily. It climbs like a goat and descends great for a HT. Geo is typical 70/73. I have a shorter stem and wide bars for my riding style, works well. I am usually able to keep up with most 29er folks and many of the 4" and 5" and 6" FS bikes on typical terrain and corners. ONly when it gets rough and droppy do I have to slow down as is expected.

    Problem: During cleaning and drivetrain maintenance, I found a hairline crack in the port chainstay upper area. It is very small but is a sign that the fatigue life of this frame is well past. It is one of the only frames Jamis made that does not have a lifetime warranty since it is made out of super thin tubing. Only good for five years and I am well beyond that. So time for a new bike I guess.

    Keep the XC/Trail style ride in mind.
    Do not "dumb down" the trails with suspension.
    Light weight and raceable when needed, 25lbs or less preferred
    Climb like nobody's business
    Cost no object but within reason for a working man (read less than 5K)
    Support my LBS if possible. (Kona, Voodoo, GF, Haro, Salsa, maybe others I can order from QBP or BTI)
    Would like to go with a northwest/canadian brand since r&d is usually where I ride. California trails are different. Build location is not an issue as long as the design is solid.

    some things I've looked at
    Hei Hei 100
    With upgrades I believe it could get below 25lbs and ride PNW stuff very well
    Hei Hei regular
    Probably not enough sus if you are going to have SUS, looks very light though
    Kula Supreme
    Lot of XT type stuff for the money and great frame, almost exactly like the bike I am replacing with a little slacker HTA which is a good thing
    VooDoo SOBO
    Carbon seat stays, scandium frame HT, could be nice on the old buttocks. Looks pretty good but steep ht angle at 71 which could make it squirreley on the fast stuff. Not sure what a 120mm fork would do to it vice a 100mm it is speced for.
    Turner FLux
    Probably out of the realistic price range with a good 25lb kit but a nice looking bike. I could still afford one but would probably not ride it like I ride my old bike now. People seem to worship them for some reason, probably cost. I like the DW link technology.
    GF Superfly 100 29er
    Top model bike. Nothing needed to upgrade. Carbon frame is light but is it able to absorb impacts on the rare occasion of crashing. Weighed one in the shop with Park scale and was right at 25 lbs. Acceptable but it is a 29er which I am not convinced on these yet. (yes I have demoed some on the trail not the p-lot)
    Cove Handjob
    Yes totally off the wall but I like this bike and the company. A little heavy maybe but still within reason below 26lbs and is probably surprisingly agile on the technical and steep stuff. Slack ass HTA makes it special for a HT. Could build four of them for the price of one Turner.

    So there you have it. If you read this much you are as bored as I am or are really a helpful person. I appreciate any and all thoughts comments on any of these bike ideas.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Since you want to support your LBS, I suggest that you ride them all and then figure it out.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Gee, you're an experienced rider, with a good relationship with an LBS. Why ask for advice from folks who can't know how you ride, and what your exact needs are.

    Decide on a budget, and pick what seems the best solution for your local conditions. I'm sure you and the shop can make a smarter decision than a bunch of strangers, each with his own personal bias, not necessarily suited to your situation.

    Anyway, with 40+ years in the industry, I can tell you that the engine is much more important than the bike.

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    You want to support the LBS by buying brands they carry so I'd check out the Salsa ala carte ti. Geometry is similar to what you have and the intended purpose of the frame/bike seems to match your requirements pretty well. Plus, it's unlikely you'll experience the type of failure you had on your last bike with this one. It could be the last frame you own.

    BTW, you're only 46 and worried about racing before you're too old to have fun? That's really funny because I race with guys over 60 who are still having a blast. I'm fast approaching 60 and don't intend to stop having fun racing for a long time. You've got decades of racing fun ahead.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    With a budget @ 5K, I could do better than the 25lb. weight range. An Ibis Tranny (20lbs.) would be on my short list along with some Ti favorites, Moots, Ericksen etc. PNW has a lot of custom builders I'd consider also.

    I understand the desire to support the LBS but wouldn't let that be a limiting factor. Start with riding all thier offerings and then ride as many other different brands as possible. Preferably demo, borrow, rent on the same trails and conditions so you can more objectively narrow the field down to what works for you. So many choices, enjoy the buffet.

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