NYC local rides: Freeride or cross country, which bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    NYC local rides: Freeride or cross country, which bike?

    Hey,

    I'm looking to hit Ringwood, Blue Mountain, Northern Connecticut, and even Vermont this summer. I am leaning towards a freeride type bike since I am now taking occasional 4' drops, like plush and laterally stiff rides, and weigh 185lbs. I definitely appreciate the downhill portions more than uphills...

    Is a freeride bike overkill or will a good 5" trailbike handle this type of riding?

    My opening bike choices:

    Santa Cruz Blur (think I would break it), Santa Cruz Heckler (Think it's a bit heavy and oldschool for $$$ on trailbike), Yeti 575 enduro (2nd choice), Yeti AS-X 1.5 (first choice, but seems a bit overkill/porky), Banshee Chapparal, Transition Dirtbag (have ridden neither and cannot find a dealer anywhere).

    I need something that can hang on up hills, but that has confident and durable downhill capabilities.

    Does anyone in the area have specific experience with these bikes on these trails? I am 5'10" and have a long torso and shorter legs.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Smile

    bump

    ...come on guys, I need to get ready for the new season, please help??!!

  3. #3
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    Check out wmba.org for all the local Westchester trails. Great people fun rides. Some guys are really into tough technical riding. Not really freeriders though. Very good folks to get the 411 on Blue, Ringwood, and the like.

    Bikerag.com are some absolutely excellent CT hardcore trail and freeriding monsters. Great trails, great people. Definately hook up with them as well. They have tons of info on all that's worth riding in CT and I believe states north as well.

    As for a bike, that's a very open question there are so many. If hard trail (rock gardens and 4' drops) is really what you plan on, stay away from light. I don't think Blur isn't designed for this. The Heckler is stout trailbike. Even a light freerider, but it is not at all too stout for hard technical riding. The 575 is another great trailbike and a fair bit lighter but plenty tough. My favorite is the Turner 5 Spot...of course...because I own one. A fab trailbike that pedeals extremely well and climbs technical trails superbly. It lends extra confidence to decents and is very stiff latterally. If you need a Turner dealer check out Tom at Yorktown Cycles. They're great people too and really treat their customers well. If the Turner is too steep in price, Titus is well worth considering too.

    I'm right around the corner from Blue Mt. PM me if you need more info on the area or ride groups.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Check out wmba.org for all the local Westchester trails. Great people fun rides. Some guys are really into tough technical riding. Not really freeriders though. Very good folks to get the 411 on Blue, Ringwood, and the like.

    Bikerag.com are some absolutely excellent CT hardcore trail and freeriding monsters. Great trails, great people. Definately hook up with them as well. They have tons of info on all that's worth riding in CT and I believe states north as well.

    As for a bike, that's a very open question there are so many. If hard trail (rock gardens and 4' drops) is really what you plan on, stay away from light. I don't think Blur isn't designed for this. The Heckler is stout trailbike. Even a light freerider, but it is not at all too stout for hard technical riding. The 575 is another great trailbike and a fair bit lighter but plenty tough. My favorite is the Turner 5 Spot...of course...because I own one. A fab trailbike that pedeals extremely well and climbs technical trails superbly. It lends extra confidence to decents and is very stiff latterally. If you need a Turner dealer check out Tom at Yorktown Cycles. They're great people too and really treat their customers well. If the Turner is too steep in price, Titus is well worth considering too.

    I'm right around the corner from Blue Mt. PM me if you need more info on the area or ride groups.

    those are all very expensive bikes. but i'd agree the 5spot looks like a winner, but damn, 1800 for the frame? if that is out of your league try specialized...i know, they are like belly buttons--everyone has one, but they are a great value. i do not own a turner, and i also do not own a specialized(had to state that for bias reasons). but i just got an azonic propulsion fsr, and boy am i psyched....

    the single pivots mentioned before won't pedal as well as the FSR designs, overall.

  5. #5
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    Very good points The botique brands are big bucks. The Azonics are nice looking bikes. I'd try one of those before I'd try a Spechy. Nothing wrong with the big S but Iike the looks of the Azonics. I've read good things about their performance and CS as well.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, this is why I ask the experts.

    So you think that a FSR design would be better than a single pivot, right?

    How about an intense 5.5? I know that they are pricey, but smartcycles is having some 20% off sales in Connecticut...

    Anyway, the guy at smart cycles told me that the 5 spot would not hold up to an aggressive rider who does 4' drops etc, any input on this comment?

    Thanks SO much

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulfly_NYC
    Thanks guys, this is why I ask the experts.

    So you think that a FSR design would be better than a single pivot, right?

    How about an intense 5.5? I know that they are pricey, but smartcycles is having some 20% off sales in Connecticut...

    Anyway, the guy at smart cycles told me that the 5 spot would not hold up to an aggressive rider who does 4' drops etc, any input on this comment?

    Thanks SO much
    the 5spot appears spindly, but i've seen locals thrash that thing, and landing it hard off a huck would make you think the frame would just fold over on itself...it won't. sure, it could use a little more gusset work, but it adds weight.

    i'd even go as far as to say that the 5.5 is more fragile. intense makes EXCELLENT bikes, but those are RACING frames, frames not meant to last, hit after hit after hit-except for maybe the VPX. i've thwacked my finger along the tubes and damn they are THIN. high quality, but THIN. the racing heritage of the intense's are like f-1's...short lifespans, fast, and usually red.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't look at full-on FR rigs for 4' drops. Unless your are a terribly unsmooth rider.
    Check out the Iron Horse MKIII, the new Specialized Enduro and the SC Blur 4x for some other options. Sinister is coming out with a trail frame too, but I haven't read any real reviews of it yet.
    The Heckler is a great frame.

    I think you probably need to decide how much you want to spend... these frames will vary from the $1200 to $2200.

    -rob in NY

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulfly_NYC
    ...Anyway, the guy at smart cycles told me that the 5 spot would not hold up to an aggressive rider who does 4' drops etc, any input on this comment?
    It sounds like he wasn't very familiar with the bike.

    The 5 Spot was designed specifically for agressive trail riding. Perhaps view this thread, (some shots are from Blue Mt and Ninham NY). Maybe view a few other threads while you're there, re-ask your questions and share the sales person's thoughts. There's plenty of great feedback of all kinds.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  10. #10
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    Ventana

    I ride all of those trails and I think you should consider the Ventana X5. It's burly enough for light FR yet you can still pedal it uphill.

    VVV



    Quote Originally Posted by soulfly_NYC
    Hey,

    I'm looking to hit Ringwood, Blue Mountain, Northern Connecticut, and even Vermont this summer. I am leaning towards a freeride type bike since I am now taking occasional 4' drops, like plush and laterally stiff rides, and weigh 185lbs. I definitely appreciate the downhill portions more than uphills...

    Is a freeride bike overkill or will a good 5" trailbike handle this type of riding?

    My opening bike choices:

    Santa Cruz Blur (think I would break it), Santa Cruz Heckler (Think it's a bit heavy and oldschool for $$$ on trailbike), Yeti 575 enduro (2nd choice), Yeti AS-X 1.5 (first choice, but seems a bit overkill/porky), Banshee Chapparal, Transition Dirtbag (have ridden neither and cannot find a dealer anywhere).

    I need something that can hang on up hills, but that has confident and durable downhill capabilities.

    Does anyone in the area have specific experience with these bikes on these trails? I am 5'10" and have a long torso and shorter legs.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Well, might as well throw in my $.02 since all the other big-small guys have been mentioned. Don't forget about the Moment. It's a great HD Trailbike with 5.3 or 6 inches of travel. There are a few good deals on Ebay and MTBR classifieds right now and I know where you can get a nice black small if thats your size (wink wink)
    Nothing to see here.

  12. #12
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    I rode a guy's Cannondale Prophet up at Blue in December. Was a lot burlier than I expected it to be- might be a nice mix of fairly light weight and drop-ability. Plus you can set the head angle pretty slack- 67.5- for bombing the downhills. I found the cockpit way too short for me (on an XL)- I've got long arms, and the Prophet pinned my elbows to my side- but otherwise the bike was great. If you're riding is progressing, though, you might want something that can handle even bigger hits.

    Lotta Geminis and Bullits running amok in the forests up there. I've seen Bikezilla beat the crap out of his Turner, and it always seems to come out OK- a 6-Pack would handle the bigger hits even better than his 5-spot, but I'm sure the 5 climbs a bit better.

    Just bought a new XC race bike (29er hardtail), but my next bike will most likely be a Bullit or Gemini or something of that kind- 7" of travel and also good for light downhill duties on the occasional Mountain Creek trip.
    Last edited by jbogner; 02-09-2005 at 02:47 PM.

  13. #13
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    Hey Jbogner,

    I was originally thinking along the same lines as you....get a bike that can handle the next level of riding.

    Any experiences with the following in NY area?:

    Ventana El Chamuco
    Foes FXR
    Santa Cruz Heckler w/ DHX shock
    Yeti 575
    Ellsworth Joker / Distance


    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Looks like we're both in the market for the same kind of bike right now.

    No first hand experience, just feedback from folks I've ridden with. Like Bikezilla said, the bikerag folks love their Hecklers- we rode with them at Ninham, and the bikes are definitely strong enough to handle good drops while still being all-mountain light. But the Bullit frame is only a pound and a half heavier, so it's not much of a weight penalty. Call me fickle, but I hate the way they look. Chris Murray just bought a Foes FXR, but I don't think he's got it yet. FattyB LOVES his Bullit, and it's got a DHX on it (which he had to send in for repair- was that his fault, or the shocks, BikeZ?). But he was doing 5' drops to flat on his all mountain bike, so it was time for him to step it up a bit. Not a lot of Yetis on the trails up here- they're way more popular out west-but Sids is a Yeti dealer, I believe. Last time I was in there, two months ago, they had a 2004 Gemini 2000, size large, on sale (it had been sitting in there for 6 months or so).

    I was originally dealing with the same question as you- can I get a bike that's light enough to be a good trailbike (and to handle the NJ Series and 24 hour racing I do) yet still handle the 3 foot drops I like to do (on my hardtail with V-brakes, right now). I rode a bunch of the 5" travel All-Mountain bikes, but decided that they're both too heavy (for faster stuff) and not strong enough (for the drops). I've seen what 5' drops can do to a Liquid 55, and it merits warranty service.

    So I decided to get two bikes- a lighter hardtail for racing and fast trail riding, and another dedicated freeride bike that I could still pedal around the trails. Still shopping for the big bike. The Gemini with the Sherman 1.5 fork looks great. If I could afford an Intense Uzzi VPX, that would be first on the list- it's the same VPP frame design as the Santa Cruz VP-Free, but the frame is a pound and a half lighter and it's got a 1.5 headtube. For comparison's sake, the Uzzi frame's a half pound lighter than the AS-X. Campmor had some great deals on Ironhorse SGS's with the Sherman 1.5, but those things weighed a TON. Definitely not good for pedalling. I rode FattyB's Bullit a bit (it's in the upper 30 lb range), and it seems like a capable climber, and a hell of a lot of fun on the way down. Hello Skyline Drive shuttle trips. The new Specialized SX Trail looks pretty good, but it's gonna weigh as much as a Bullit (37-38 lbs) and you could get a Uzzi VPX for the same price. I wrote off the new Trek Session- why bother with all those linkages for a single pivot? The new Fisher Kingfisher with the DHX and Sherman looks interesting- VERY similar to an Orange, and it's got a steeper seat tube to make it more pedal-friendly. But its their first offering, and not so much cheaper than a custom build to make it more attractive. The Yeti AS-X looks cool- I do remember reading a review in the freeride forum where someone regretted replacing his Bullit with a AS-X. Would be nice if more shops in NYC actually kept some of these bikes in stock. -JB

  15. #15
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    FattyB will be the first to admit he's no wrench but I can't even begin to imagine how anyone could seperate a damper from a piston rod, by hand. It's gotta be a (rare?) defect. Yes his sessions on the Liquid were impressive to say the least. It seems every ride there are more and more times I just stand back and say NFW!

    What really gets me is the SOB has the nerve to outclimb me on his Bullet with 2.7 stickies... Bastard!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  16. #16
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    Have a look at the Transition Preston FR - it is priced well and might just suit your needs perfectly.

    The 2005 version is a little bit beefier than the 2004 version I believe. Just a thought to consider.

    It would fit right in the middle between a Yeti 575 and a Yeti AS-X methinks.

    Just a suggestion.

  17. #17
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    Hey,

    I actually looked at the Transition Preston, and thought the same thing. The problem is that the bike is completely elusive, and there are no dealers...hell there aren't even many good pictures of it on the internet.

    ...did download the short movie on it though, completely cool.

    What about a Kona Coiler?

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