My first time @ Northstar, questions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My first time @ Northstar, questions?

    Was invited to Northstar this weekend for some Saturday riding w/ a co-worker. I brought a 2001 Bullit I just purchased, I usually ride XC on an Enduro. I met up my my freind , he never saw my Bullit, which he made a few comments about - 1) That bike has v brakes, what size tires are those they look a bit small, and how much travel does that fork have? The Bullit has v brakes, 2.3 Tioga DH tires and an 02' 5" QR Z1 FR. So we made it off the lift to our first run Karpiel? maybe...Well after the first run I was like this isn't like my agressive XC riding - I felt like a serious rookie. No crashes but slow going. I don't like to blame my equipment for my shortcomings but the bike felt horribly harsh especially the fork. Seemed like almost every bike I saw had DC forks. I few riders suggested a DC fork w/ 6" of travel. I did quite a bit of tuning to the older Z1 but it I was still taking a beating thru the rough stuff. Now I am condidering a different fork definitly w/ a thru axle. Should I look into a DC or will a SC suffice? will 5" of travel work or would 6" better match the 6" rear travel of my Bullit? I found a 6" Boxxer race and an 04' Sherman Firefly in my price range - any good? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Not looking to get big air or light the runs on fire just make it down w/o feeling like I am riding a rigid. Thanx

  2. #2
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    dude, i wouldn't worry about it, just ride. it ain't your average xc trails, that's for sure, but you'll get more confident the more you ride there. if you're thinking about upgrading, yeah, go for a 7" dc fork, like a super T or something. and i think what is just as important as the amount of travel is the geometry. a longer fork will give you slacker geometry, and a little bit more margin of error. but you don't want to go overboard with that either, e.g. a really long fork like an 888R might make your bike too choppered out. you might also consider fatter tires like 2.5s. true it's not the bike, it's definitely the rider. there are guys on hardtails that just kill it. my buddy went out there on a $150 pacifica 3000 (although I wouldn't recommend that for safety reasons) and to his credit rode admirably. but it's also true that a sturdy bike with good geometry, a plush front fork, and some body armor, will give you just that little bit extra confidence that will help you progress your riding.

  3. #3
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    No worries mate!

    It was your first time. Going slow is expected and smart. The equipment does help but it's mostly the rider and you adjust your style according to your bike. As long as you fun right?

    As far as the upgrades, if the Bullit was your only bike, then the only upgrade I'd suggest would be disk brakes. Otherwise it would be fine all around ride. But, since you do have the Enduro for XC, then go with a quality DC fork along with the disk brakes. There in then lies the beauty of the Bullit, it can go from aggressive trail bike to full on hucking machine all with the same frame.

    Your buddy was probably just playing mind games on ya.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-Vert
    It was your first time. Going slow is expected and smart. The equipment does help but it's mostly the rider and you adjust your style according to your bike. As long as you fun right?

    As far as the upgrades, if the Bullit was your only bike, then the only upgrade I'd suggest would be disk brakes. Otherwise it would be fine all around ride. But, since you do have the Enduro for XC, then go with a quality DC fork along with the disk brakes. There in then lies the beauty of the Bullit, it can go from aggressive trail bike to full on hucking machine all with the same frame.

    Your buddy was probably just playing mind games on ya.

    I totally agree the rider not the bike makes the ride but if I ride my Enduro and Bullit back to back the Enduro makes the Bullit feel like a Huffy - I thought it would be the opposite. The Enduro has a Vanilla 125R that feels great. Even just trail riding the Bullit rattles your teeth on any agressive terain. I don't want to mess w/ the present fork so wonder which fork will suit the bike best? 6" boxxer, 04' Firefly or ? If the bike were a later model a 7" would seem the best choice but??? Thanx

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    I totally agree the rider not the bike makes the ride but if I ride my Enduro and Bullit back to back the Enduro makes the Bullit feel like a Huffy - I thought it would be the opposite. The Enduro has a Vanilla 125R that feels great. Even just trail riding the Bullit rattles your teeth on any agressive terain. I don't want to mess w/ the present fork so wonder which fork will suit the bike best? 6" boxxer, 04' Firefly or ? If the bike were a later model a 7" would seem the best choice but??? Thanx
    I've ridden at NorthStar with a Vanilla 125R (5") and a Z150 (6" through axis) and there is a big difference. NorthStar is a punishing place to ride and the more bike the better. I'm sure there are things you can do to make the Bullit plusher, but the rocks on the middle section of Karpiel are going to be rough on anything short of a full DH rig which is what a lot of the guys I see there ride. If you want to setup your Bullit for NorthStar then a DC fork with a 20mm axis is the ticket. The Z150 I have is great but it's in the same weight range as some DCs which makes it a load to climb so other than the lockout I'm not sure it any better than a DC fork.

  6. #6
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    I rode northstar on my enduro with no pads. Kind of scary, but I had no real problems.

  7. #7
    J_B
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    My advice? Don't buy a Boxxer. Everyone I have talked to that owns one or owned one hates it. Leaking is the biggest complaint. Super T or Sherman Slider Plus. If you are going to race your Bullit than go with a Boxxer, that is what they are for. If not, go with a reliable fork. Sure, you can throw a Z150 on there. You'll still get beat up in Northstar but if you want 6" of travel why not buy a DC fork?

    You are gonna get beat up, it's Northstar. My first couple of rides, I felt pretty beat up. It's rocky, technical and dusty. You have to adjust your bike, riding style and lines accordingly. I have gone up there everyother weekend and sometimes during the weekdays since opening day.

    As for your Bullit rattling your teeth and generally beating you up on the trail, I say make adjustments to the fork and shock. The Bullit is gonna feel like a tank compared to your Enduro. The Bullit is built and designed for more FR than the Enduro. Go ahead and build the Bullit with a big fork and use your Enduro for the trails. You have two bikes and there is no sense in keeping two trail bikes. You'll be much happier. After going up there and building your confidence, you'll be looking to burn the trail

    I run a 888R on my Fly and it's perfect. Even though it hurts, I can climb it when I am in Auburn or I can go to Northstar and do just fine.

  8. #8
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    2001, so it has a Fox shock right? Have you thought about having it PUSHed? I've never owned a Fox, but I've talked to several people who describe the compression dampening as either all the way on or all the way off, causing a either a really harsh feeling, or bottoming out all the way. Maybe getting it PUSHed, or replacing it all together could help out a little. Another thing, and I'd put this towards the bottom of the list, is the v-brakes. They are a part that I can speak from experiance, either all the way on or all the way off. At hairy places like N*, while you obviously need brakes, they're pretty much your enemy most of the time. In alot of situations, you want to give just a touch of slowing down, not a whole lot. If you get a half way decent set of hydros or even nicely tuned cable actuated disc brakes, it may make things a little more bearible.

    Were you the guy on Sunday with the smashed saddle?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MVRIDER
    2001, so it has a Fox shock right? Have you thought about having it PUSHed? I've never owned a Fox, but I've talked to several people who describe the compression dampening as either all the way on or all the way off, causing a either a really harsh feeling, or bottoming out all the way. Maybe getting it PUSHed, or replacing it all together could help out a little. Another thing, and I'd put this towards the bottom of the list, is the v-brakes. They are a part that I can speak from experiance, either all the way on or all the way off. At hairy places like N*, while you obviously need brakes, they're pretty much your enemy most of the time. In alot of situations, you want to give just a touch of slowing down, not a whole lot. If you get a half way decent set of hydros or even nicely tuned cable actuated disc brakes, it may make things a little more bearible.

    Were you the guy on Sunday with the smashed saddle?

    I will be looking @ a 2002 Super T this weekend maybe that will end up on my bike. The rear shock is a Vanilla RC. I actually took it off last night and installed a Stratos Helix I had laying around - i'll see if that rides any different. If I go w/ a 7" fork i'll probably try to find a rear shock w/ a 2.5" stroke vs. my current 2.25" which will yeild 7" in the rear. I was going slow enough that the V's didn't give too much grief other than some serious arm pump - I have a a set of mech. disks read to install if I can iron out the suspension.

    I rode on Saturday only though I did get home and found that my Giant Velo seat had bent rails after the ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    I rode on Saturday only though I did get home and found that my Giant Velo seat had bent rails after the ride.
    Ok, I was thinking of someone else then. The 02 super t should be a nice addition.

  11. #11
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    i can some what relate

    My first time at northstar was a memorable time on my Trek 4100. That thing has like 2 inches of travel. I was going down karpiel and all I could hear is *Clunk x 12*. That was the sound of my forks just bottoming out repeatedly. You have to ask yourself. Was it worth it?
    HELL YES!
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  12. #12
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    another thing

    Body armor is basicly a must there. That place is a rock garden. I endoed off that log on sticks and stone and got the hugest gash in my shoulder armor. Im glad I was wearing my 661 armor at the time or my shoulder would look like my leg did the last time i was there.
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