Goldilocks of The Don Valley- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Goldilocks of The Don Valley

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking to purchase a brand new hardtail bike for riding in The Don Valley. My favourite trails (so far) include Three Rocks, The Ridge, Woods Gundy, G-Spot, Climbmax, Roller Flowster, Foreplay, Party Atmosphere and Catalyst. The main reason I want a new bike is to have more fun and confidence on the descents and obstacles of these trails. I currently have a 2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport and constantly feel like I'm pushing the limits of this bike instead of focusing on pushing the limits of my ability and courage.

    On the other hand, I don't want to needlessly buy more bike than necessary for these trails. There are no large west coast style jumps or crazy obstacles on these trails, and the climbing is very challenging on Asylum Climb, Catalyst climb, Climbmax and others.

    My main focus is having fun and confidence going downhill on these trails. If I have to walk up Climbmax, so be it, won't be the first time.

    Please recommend some bikes for the trails and type of riding I've described enjoying most.

    Additional details:

    $2000 CAD is the absolute top of my budget
    I'd prefer to buy from a Toronto bike shop, because I'm not handy haha
    I'm 5"8 and 145 pounds without gear

    I look forward to hearing your suggestions, thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    My friend just bought a Kona Kahuna, it's a great bike: KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | KAHUNA. Any Kona dealer will be able to get that bike in and built up for you.

    If you want to get a little more rowdy on the downhills, this is a great option: https://www.oxygenbikes.com/product/...1-309284-1.htm

    It has a bigger fork (120 vs 100mm), a dropper post (these are amazing if you've never tried it!) and the plus size tires add an extra plush factor

    Finally, you'll want to get the bike shop to set up your tires tubeless - it gives a lot of extra traction and the sealant will automatically seal small punctures without having to get off the bike!

  3. #3
    X-Ray Guy
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    Ive been shopping the price range lately for a hardtail. My short list includes

    Giant Fathom 1 or 2
    Trek Roscoe 8
    Kona Kahuna
    Specialized Rockhopper Pro

    They are all pretty similar bikes. Rosco has larger tires which give more grip. Kona is a bit more relaxed geometry. Rockhopper is more trail geometry and bit less travel for better climbing. Fathoms are just great all around bikes and great value for the dollar especially if one of the shops is willing to give you a better deal than MSRP.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions, Charliehorse5!

    I'm hesitant about getting a plus size tire due to concerns about added weight, weak sidewalls and casings, tire bounce etc. I might prefer or benefit from a wider rim (up to 30mm) and wider tire (up to 2.6 inches), but I don't think that should be one of my main concerns. I think I'd prefer to ride a mid/high end 2.3 inch tire, but I will definitely demo a midfat or two.

    I'm also hesitant about riding a 29er, because I'm coming from a 26 inch bike. I see a 27.5 as having 90% of the benefits of a 29er with less tradeoffs. Once again, I need to go actually demo these bikes, but I really want a bike that feels nimble. If I could find a mint condition 2006 Devinci Hucker I'd get that and call it a day haha.
    Last edited by Noremac11; 06-23-2018 at 05:24 PM.

  5. #5
    X-Ray Guy
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions, Jawz!

    Do you have experience doing the biggest obstacles The Don has to offer (The Ejaculator, Medium gap on Roller Flowster, please tell me about others) with any of these bikes?

    I'm concerned that a low/mid end 100mm fork would bottom out / take too much of a beating if regularly doing these obstacles. I don't want to be damaging my mounts and frame.

    Those bikes are priced quite well, do you know any bike shops in Toronto that might consider swapping out the stock fork for a higher end one if I pay the difference in MSRP? I think a mid/high end 100mm fork with 34mm stanchions should be more than enough for these trails (given my weight), but I know just enough about biking to know that I don't know much.

  7. #7
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    LOL, nice find!

    I was just joking around though.

    That's a really tempting option, but this will be my first serious mountain bike so I place a lot of value in a local bike shop that offers lifetime adjustments and warranty. I'm almost certainly going to buy new.

  8. #8
    X-Ray Guy
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    Honestly never seen those trails or ridden them. It's really shop dependent on doing part swaps but I think most shops are only flexible on suspension swaps for higher end bikes. You would probably be better off just riding it for a year or two and than swap it out if you find a good deal online. At your weight most forks could easily handle you on small to medium obstacles as long as you have decent technical skills. I do know the fathoms suntour forks are the large diameter at 32mm and 15 mm through axle would make them the most rigid front end.

    Norco charger 1 is another good option

  9. #9
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    Check out the Devinci Kobain. I know it is 27.5+ but trust me on some drops and features the plus size tires will absorb some of the sting out of hard landings and going uphill the traction will only be limited to your leg/skill factor not the bike.
    This bike can also run 29er rims and tires if you ever want to give that a shot. Perfect for your price range.

  10. #10
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    Not to raise the dead but Noremac11, what did you end up getting?

  11. #11
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    I test rode a 2019 Kona Honzo on two local trails (Sanitation Plant and The Ridge) and wasn't blown away by the experience. I enjoyed the bike, but I felt I would prefer 27.5 inch wheels. At the time I decided to wait for 2020 bikes to come out since I'm still enjoying riding my 2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport. It holds me back in a lot of different ways, but I always have a great time.

    I now regret not buying the Honzo after my test ride. I don't need to get the "perfect bike". The Honzo is undoubtedly much better than what I currently have and the bike was fun to ride. Unfortunately the 2019 model is completely sold out and I can't get a 2020 model until September. I'm going to either buy a new bike in spring or a 2018/2019 bike from the Toronto Bike Show.

    TLDR; Waiting for 2020 to buy a bike because I'm really picky

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