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  1. #1
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    Upgrading after 17 yrs. to Giant XTC Advanced 29er

    I've been riding Cannondale Headshock hardtails since 1993. I had a delta V700 that I loved that was stolen that I replaced with an F700. I ride around single track (horse trails) in Northern VA which are mostly dirt and roots, though I've been known to chainring crampon over the occasional fallen tree (16-20"dia). I have some decent skills, though I'm not doing any super high speed DH riding at local ski areas.

    When it was affordable, I'd ship my bike out to CO and Tahoe to ride with local friends out there, and nobody was ever waiting for me. I'm comfortable in or out of the saddle, and have learned a solid range of techniques over the years.

    My old Cannondale with the nominal headshock, like my umpteen year old 205 CM race skis and my 22 year old BMW have suited me fine. learned my sports the old fashioned way. without the helper equipment that has filled in all of these sports.

    I'm getting ready to convert my Cannondale into a commuter E-bike with some thinner tires and a Bafang motor to make better use of the marginal shock. Then I'd buy a new MTB.

    I found a great deal on a 2016 Giant XTC Advanced 2 29er, and am about to pull the trigger, but wondering about comments i read that these bikes are too "twitchy" and "unforgiving." I can't test ride since there are precious few MTBs stocked locally, so I'm doing a paper geometry comparison of head tube angle, top tube length, wheelbase to try to understand what the geometry is like. I don't see anything that drastic that tells me that I'd be riding something more difficult than I learned on. Are those warnings for new generation riders that came up with slack geometry bikes?

    My Cannondale is a medium with a 110mm stem and it feels long. Im on the handlebars fairly heavy when I'm in the saddle and my hands and shoulders tend to hurt, so I figure I need to take about an inch out of reach.

    Which leads to my questions:

    1)Given the fact that I learned on what seemed to be fairly aggressive bikes (I think, before slack fat tire MTBs were cool) do I have anything to fear about comments about these bikes being "twitchy" and "unforgiving"?

    2) Any concerns about using a carbon MTB understanding I'm not in super rocky terrain though I'll roll over some logs at low speeds?

    3) Any thoughts about Small versus medium frame size on the Giant bike. I hear that Cannondales run larger, but looking at the geometry for my original bike vs the Giants it seems like the Giants are pretty similar and I still need to go down a size

    I'm 53, but still relatively active and starting to ride with my 12 year old daughter who will keep me young. 5'7" wear 31" inseam pants and have a 32" shirt sleeve length. That seems to put me at the top of the Giant small size category.

    Barring that I might revert to a Cannondale Cujo, but the deal on the Giant is very good ($1300 vs 2100)

    Thanks for any insights you can provide.

    Marc

  2. #2
    CS2
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    And here I thought I was the forum Luddite in a 91 Stumpjumper.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  3. #3
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    I'm working on modernizing. I just need a little encouragement to pull the trigger.

  4. #4
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    You're on the cusp, size wise. The chart shows you nominally on a medium. I don't know what length the stem is that comes on it, but I'd be more inclined to get a medium with a 60mm stem than a small with a 100mm stem.
    Carbon is fine. Has been for a long time. I've been riding carbon bikes in Moab for 10 years with no problems.
    You'll get used to about anything. I wouldn't worry about twitchy or unforgiving.

    I think it's geared more toward smoother terrain and an XC sort of set up. I don't expect it's very capable in really demanding terrain unless you're truly an expert rider.
    I just looked up the Cannondale Cujo 1 27.5+ and it looks like it's on sale at REI for $1400. I think I'd rather ride that than the Giant. I think it would be more capable in harder terrain. 2.8" (tubeless ready) tires on 35mm id rims and a dropper for the price would make it a pretty fun setup, I'd think.

    Edit: If you are going to enter occasional races, or predominantly ride more buff singletrack I think the 29er would be the clear winner. I'm a bit concerned that the bike is designed around 2.1" tires, but I'm not that familiar with the bike. If you could squeeze 2.4's in there, that's a different animal.
    I think the Cujo would be a lot of fun over a wider range of conditions. I could have fun in Moab on it. I don't think I'd want to bike the trails there on that bike with little tires and no dropper. It just depends on your priorities.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 04-03-2018 at 06:35 AM.

  5. #5
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    xtc are not 'twitchy' if you want a bike that handles
    and goes freaking fast 'cuz it's efficient at putting power down
    and does one thing great which is XC racing...that's what it does

    only 'twitchy' if all you've ever ridden was garbage XC bike designs

    >it is plenty capable< but at yer age maybe too capable...you may want
    sometime more forgiving because the xtc will bring some bone hurting juice
    along with that speed if you get sloppy. I have an xtc I use for speedwork/races, and a full susp bike for 'bombing around riding' if that makes sense

    the composite xtc frame is forgiving enough, but when you stomp it, it
    snaps to attention. very well designed.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the inputs. I realize Iḿ on the cusp, which is why I laid out a sizing sheet comparing to my 1999 Cannondale. The medium looks comparable to my current bike, though the front center is an inch shorter, which may just do the trick. When I was last on a bike, the common wisdom was to get a frame as small as you could stand and use a stem to fit it. Obsolete thinking, I know


    What primarily drove my interest in this bike is a $1050 price point.

    I only weigh 135 lbs, and Iḿ learned how to ride standing up to absorb my own bumps on rigid bikes with no real suspension, so Iḿ not as concerned about comfort. The wheelbase is an inch longer than my F700, which might make it a little less agile, but I can cope on the limited singletrack. Shipping a bike to Moab is too expensive, so Iĺl rent whatever if I ever get out there. Given how relatively tight the trails in the woods are here, Iḿ not flaying around at Western US high speeds on open terrain. This is starting to feel like a modern update to my F700, which is a 24.5 lb Xt hard tail at the end of the day.

    I toyed with a local 2017 Cujo 3 since that would only be 799, but think the better component mix and carbon frame will be nice to have. I also like the idea of a 2X drivetrain to provide a second range of gears. I have to use paved trails to commute to my singletrack. higher speed to keep up with the carbon weight weenies a little better will help. I suppose I could look at a Cujo 2 at REI which would be $900 Net of rebate.

    Any other reasons to give pause with this bike? Other alternatives in that price range? My cannondale Bias is based on my long history with them. Giant preference comes from their scale and value position in the market.

    Thanks,

    Marc


    Iḿ getting over the new technology angst, better than I have with skis, cars that dont include manual transmissions, etc, so this is starting to feel better.

  7. #7
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    It sounds like the Giant is a better fit for your needs.

  8. #8
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    guy is race weight light, xtc is gonna float and handle awesome
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

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