Coming to NorCal... what bike should I bring?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Coming to NorCal... what bike should I bring?

    Hi all...

    I'm in the UK at the moment but I'm going to be coming over to San Jose to do a 3month internship this summer. I dont know too much about the riding in the area... obviously I'll be bringing a bike )

    I guess the biggest decision I have to make right now is which one to bring since I dont know what kind of riding I'm likely to be doing. I've got a hardtail (Orange Evo2 /Fox Floats) and a a full sus (Orange Patriot with Vanillas)... what do you reckon? What sort of riding is there in the area and a bit further afield? I'll have a car so I dont mind travelling a bit to get to the good stuff. I like riding pretty much anything from XC to DH...... but I guess I'll be doing more XCish riding while I'm over here.....

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Cheers

    Pete

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    Bring...

    ... an XC bike. Not a lot of pure DH around here unless you drive to Tahoe. You will have to earn your hills here, and believe me, there are a lot of them.

    That said, there is lots of good trail here, but some with a lot of rocks. I dunno what kinda shape you're in, but if you're like me (mid 30s) and hardtails pound your joints to dust, you may want to consider the fully.

    If you're in San Jose, there are lots of good trails within a decent driving distance up the Peninsula and down south in the Santa Cruz mountains, like Demo Forrest. I love demo!

    Hey, give us a shout out when you get in the area. Lots of folks down here would be happy to show you around. It also looks like you will be here in time for the Downieville Gathering. Good times up there, and lots of us are going.

  3. #3
    Hill crawler
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    Some thoughts of UK vs California

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    It also looks like you will be here in time for the Downieville Gathering. Good times up there, and lots of us are going.
    If you're at Downieville then you probably would prefer a FS fig, and more specifically free-ride. Then, if you're at Downieville then Tahoe is just a couple of hours away. But at Tahoe again it depends what you want to do. And rather than the mountains of The Bay Area (which are probably equivalent to the worst/best England has to offer) Tahoe has MOUNTAINS. There are all sorts of fire roads and single-track that are suitable for HTs, but Northstar has some lift serviced runs that are all-out DH terrain, and some HT suitable terrain too. Remember Tahoe is a tourist destination area and folks like to be able to say they've mountain biked in the mountains so the area has many easy recreational type trails.

    But comparing Northern California to England I'd have to note that it's dry here. No mud, no roots, less rocky (but the rocks we have are harder ), but dust and heat. In fact it's a big deal if we have a thunderstorm 'cause it starts fires and more importantly it damps down the trails for a couple of days for better traction. More facilities, shops, manufacturers, lifts, shuttles. And much bigger distances both for riding and driving to areas. If you've never been to The States you don't realize that it's quite ok to drive a couple of hours (even with the gas at over $2/gallon - 50c litre ). And the beer is drunk ice cold

    By the way I'm in Tahoe and I use big volume light tires, 2.4" motoraptors, to try and handle the loose conditions. Fire XP pros seem to be used a lot too. Enjoy your stay.

  4. #4

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    That $2.20 a gallon is still probably much cheaper than it is in the UK. We're spoiled.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterThomas
    Hi all...

    I'm in the UK at the moment but I'm going to be coming over to San Jose to do a 3month internship this summer. I dont know too much about the riding in the area... obviously I'll be bringing a bike )

    I guess the biggest decision I have to make right now is which one to bring since I dont know what kind of riding I'm likely to be doing. I've got a hardtail (Orange Evo2 /Fox Floats) and a a full sus (Orange Patriot with Vanillas)... what do you reckon? What sort of riding is there in the area and a bit further afield? I'll have a car so I dont mind travelling a bit to get to the good stuff. I like riding pretty much anything from XC to DH...... but I guess I'll be doing more XCish riding while I'm over here.....

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Cheers



    Pete
    As hinted at in the prior posts, you probably want the hardtail for the Bay Area riding and the Patriot for the Sierras. Since your Patriot is fairly light (presumably about 30 lbs or less with xc tires) and you don't mind driving to ride, if I were you I would defintiely go full-suspension.

    Now for the fun stuff -- where to ride. In the bay area, first check out the Soquel Demonstration forest and Skeggs Point (El Corte de Madera Park). Both are 20-45 minutes away from where you will live, and offer 2000 foot elevation gain/loss and great singletrack. If you really like the steep stuff, venture up to Montara Mountain and break a couple of bones. If you want to get really lost and then die of thirst, do a summer ride at Henry Coe State park -- the only true "wilderness" accessible to bikes in the Bay Area.

    Check out Marin too, but make sure you hook up with someone who knows the good rides. Otherwise you will waste your days riding overgroomed fireroads with hikers giving you nasty looks.

    Re the sierras, make sure you get up to Downieville and Northstar Ski Resort. Those are the most known spots. There are zillions of other trails to ride, if you have the time and inclination.

    Re group rides, check out teamwrongway.com, trailhead cyclery and ROMP.ORG. This is the best way to network and figure out how to ride the good stuff quickly.

    Enjoy -- you are going to have a great summer.

  6. #6
    Hill crawler
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    Gas prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Prechrysler
    That $2.20 a gallon is still probably much cheaper than it is in the UK. We're spoiled.
    That's why I mentioned it. I used to live in Milan and remember gas prices were 5X those in The States. It's criminal how cheap our gas (petrol) is and folks still complain. But then my K2500 Suburban doesn't get quite as good gas mileage as a Fiat 850, but bike(s) fit in it better And I lived for many years in England and remember going to the next town 25 miles away was kind of a big deal 'cause of the roads and the general lack of reason to go there. Come to USA and a 25 mile distance is an irrelevant excursion to a restaurant, or a bike shop, or ...

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the help guys... my Patriots reasonably light (30lbs ish if I put my XC wheels on it) so I'm gonna go for that.

    Looks like theres some amazing riding to be done, although perhaps I'll miss the mud and roots of home

    All going to plan I should be arriving at the end of June / early July, so I might well see some of you in Downieville... looking forward to those dusty trails!

    Now I've made the important decision I need to find somewhere to live.....

    Cheers

    Pete

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