which 29er as commuter?

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  • 06-20-2011
    Nonjay
    which 29er as commuter?
    So I think I may have narrowed it down to either a Rockhopper SL 29er or Crosstrail Sport (disc or V) as a commuter that can handle a bit of singletrack riding. Now the question is whether the Rockhopper is too much mtb, or the Crosstrail is not enough mtb? The ratio of commuting to mtb'ing will be about 80/20 probably...

    Any suggestions, input or advice for this newbie will be greatly appreciated! :thumbsup:
  • 06-20-2011
    AndrwSwitch
    Put slicks on the Rockhopper and it's going to be a relatively fast, fairly efficient bike with a little suspension bob.

    Put knobbies on the Crosstrail, and it's still going to be a hybrid. You may be limited as to the tire size you can fit, and the geometry's a bit funky for someone who rides athletically. To me, hybrids are never enough bike, before purpose even enters into the discussion.
  • 06-21-2011
    Straz85
    Rockhopper, hands down. Are you going to be combining the commuting and mountain biking on the same trips? If they'll be completely separate, I say pick up a cheap set of wheels, throw some commuting tires on and switch to those wheels for commuting. I personally would hate commuting with mountain bike tires.
  • 06-21-2011
    Nonjay
    Turns out, the Rockhopper 29er will be quite difficult to find, if at all, in this neck of the woods. And after a test ride of the Crosstrail, a 29er SS and a cyclocross SS, I seem to have changed my tune. The Crosstrail seemed a bit sluggish in comparison to the others (they were also custom built - perhaps therein lies the difference?). I really liked the quickness of the cyklocross, and the stability of the 29er.

    Soooo, now I'm looking to combine the best of those two worlds. And I'm back to square one... :madman:

    Is a 29er with drop bar ends ridiculous?? Or a cykloross with a flatbar and drop bar ends? Anyone tried that?
  • 06-21-2011
    AndrwSwitch
    Drop bar ends are ridiculous. ;) Only short-bend bar ends are acceptable, because that's what's on my bike. :D

    Cyclocross bikes are ridable on singletrack, but they're definitely road bikes. It takes more finesse, and things like step-ups and sustained climbing and descending are a lot harder. A section of trail doesn't need to be as rough to ride like it's rough. If a bike fits you correctly with drop bars, it doesn't fit you with a flat bar, and vice versa. You put your hands a lot further forward of the steer tube on drop bars than on flat bars, assuming a stem somewhere in the 80-120mm range, and the geometry of the bike is a little different too, to make the handling make sense for the different weight distribution.

    It sounds like you want a bike with flat bars. IMO, you're best off buying a bike that has flat bars out of the box.

    Two other items to think about - you can get enough road bike to commute for $100, and it'll screw up your day a lot less if it gets vandalized or stolen. Most 26" mountain bikes will clear 700C wheels with a fairly generous (by road standards) 28mm tire; the advent of disc brakes means it's very easy to make a wheelset like this that's compatible with a mountain bike.
  • 06-21-2011
    SAWS
    Salsa Vaya. Incredible versatility.