What makes a good Ontario bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What makes a good Ontario bike

    I ride mostly at Kelso, Hardwood, Albion, Hilton Falls etc. Would love to have a bike I can take to Blue Mountain occasionally to run down the beginner and intermediate downhill runs.

    I'm on an entry level bike but looking for something to help take my riding to a new level.

    I've been looking at used bikes and there seem to be some good deals out there - especially on 26'rs.

    Narrowed it down to a 2012 Giant Trance X1 or a 2011 Norco Faze SL.

    Do you guys think either of these bikes will meet my needs? Should I hold out and wait for a new bike (my dream bike at present is a Kona Process 153 or 134)

  2. #2
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    All bikes are good for Ontario. What qualifies as a good bike is up to the individual as everyone has bike brands they feel is the best for them and one's that suck.

    Biggest factor that will effect if the bike is good for Ontario is really gearing and tire choices. And unfortunately you are stuck with what the manufacturer specs for the bike. Only way to truly get it to the set up you feel best for you in Ontario is to change chainrings and tires out for something that will be good for you.

  3. #3
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    IMHO if you are of average height, and want to ride cross country (which sounds like a fair assumption based on where you ride) then you might consider a 29er (probably a hardtail if budget is a concern). The bigger wheels roll faster and roll over obstacles more efficiently, and with an increased tire contact patch you can corner harder and faster.

    But the best advice I can give you is to ride as many bikes as you can. Everyone here will tell you what sort of bike you should ride but (myself included) will likely suggest bikes they like. Your mission is to find out what YOU like. Go to shop demo days and ask friends to try their bikes. Figure out what you like and don't like about them and go from there
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Enduramil here. People are riding all over Ontario on bikes ranging from rigid singlespeeds to 160+mm FS AM/enduro bikes and I'm sure they all end their rides with a big smile on their face.

    Just like everything else in life there is no black and white, everything is a shade of gray and compromises need to be made.

    So you really need to assess what your needs are and where you are willing to make those compromises (including $$$). Do you want a bike with more suspension that will excel at Blue Mountain, and in doing so you are prepared to pedal that extra bit of bike around places like Kelso? Or do you want a light hardtail to rip through some of the faster trails but are prepared to get pounded/go slower at Blue?

    Those two bikes would be classified by most people in these parts are really good trail bikes that will be fun to ride at Kelso, Hardwood, Albio, etc. They are more than capable of doing the beginner/intermediate stuff at Blue, but obviously aren't ideal for excessive amounts of lift access riding, especially progressing to the harder stuff.

    If the bike you are currently riding is not really hindering your ability to have fun, I'd wait (if the wait is realistic) to get that dream bike. I'd ride the snot out of the current bike, progress my skills, ride it at Blue down the beginner stuff, move on to the intermediate stuff. I've ridden blue and other lift access places on bikes from hardtails with 80mm of travel, to 5.5" trail bikes to full on DH bikes. I always had fun and had to know my limitations on each bike, but as my skills progress, I could push each bike further.

    That's my opinion. I think the 140mm FS 650b is probably the best Jack-of-all trades bike you can find for mountain biking. I'd focus on holding out for that and in the mean time develop/progress on my current bike.
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    I'm not sure exactly how much my current bike is hindering me. It's a 2006 GT Avalanche 2.0 (a SportChek special). I've recently put wider bars on it, a shorter stem, platform pedals and ride with 5/10's - this along with Minion DHF's made the bike feel new again - it also brought out other weaknesses I hadn't noticed before - brakes and the fork bottoming out excessively. The fork bottoming out seems to trigger over the bar moments in rock gardens - I'm sure poor technique may have something to do with it as well.

    I do agree with you on waiting and sorting out my skills on current bike until I'm ready to pull the trigger on a 140mm FS 650b. I'm sure a good rider could make my current bike do anything.




    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    If the bike you are currently riding is not really hindering your ability to have fun, I'd wait (if the wait is realistic) to get that dream bike. I'd ride the snot out of the current bike, progress my skills, ride it at Blue down the beginner stuff, move on to the intermediate stuff. I've ridden blue and other lift access places on bikes from hardtails with 80mm of travel, to 5.5" trail bikes to full on DH bikes. I always had fun and had to know my limitations on each bike, but as my skills progress, I could push each bike further.

    That's my opinion. I think the 140mm FS 650b is probably the best Jack-of-all trades bike you can find for mountain biking. I'd focus on holding out for that and in the mean time develop/progress on my current bike.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    I'm not sure exactly how much my current bike is hindering me. It's a 2006 GT Avalanche 2.0 (a SportChek special). I've recently put wider bars on it, a shorter stem, platform pedals and ride with 5/10's - this along with Minion DHF's made the bike feel new again - it also brought out other weaknesses I hadn't noticed before - brakes and the fork bottoming out excessively. The fork bottoming out seems to trigger over the bar moments in rock gardens - I'm sure poor technique may have something to do with it as well.

    I do agree with you on waiting and sorting out my skills on current bike until I'm ready to pull the trigger on a 140mm FS 650b. I'm sure a good rider could make my current bike do anything.
    Quick note: the OTB (over the bars) issue is most likely a skill thing. We've all done it/been there. You might however want to increase the pressure in your fork if you are excessively bottoming out. Most OTB experiences are caused by sudden stops and/or to much weight forward. That comes down good line choice (and staying on it) through rock gardens and lightening up your front end by generally shifting your weight back. More suspension would certainly help, but it likely wouldn't identify the root problem.

    We are all caught with the upgraditis bug and love new/better bikes, but just don't forget to keep focusing on the skill development as that is where you will see the majority of your gains in riding experience.
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  8. #8
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    keep it as your winter bike...



    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    I'm not sure exactly how much my current bike is hindering me. It's a 2006 GT Avalanche 2.0 (a SportChek special). I've recently put wider bars on it, a shorter stem, platform pedals and ride with 5/10's - this along with Minion DHF's made the bike feel new again - it also brought out other weaknesses I hadn't noticed before - brakes and the fork bottoming out excessively. The fork bottoming out seems to trigger over the bar moments in rock gardens - I'm sure poor technique may have something to do with it as well.

    I do agree with you on waiting and sorting out my skills on current bike until I'm ready to pull the trigger on a 140mm FS 650b. I'm sure a good rider could make my current bike do anything.
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    yeah. never get rid of bikes. You can always re-purpose them as your riding changes or if you want to try something new. Until there is a threat of divorce over bikes/parts and storage, keep everything. I agree that a 29er or 650 full suspension option is the best for riding in Ontario. As to Blue, it takes a bit of a commitment to get over there regularly unless you are closer than me. Every year I intend on getting there more often, but end up riding XC closer to home. You don't want to end up with too much bike for a couple of rides a year if that is what it ends up at.
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  10. #10
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    a few riders I know are going to new/old school with 26er freeride steel hardtails. there is even a dh hardtail racing class. I'm building up one now for winter/fall/spring and hack around riding. you can run up to 160mm forks on these frames...

    What makes a good Ontario bike-10455204_511488575646822_8423772141215547938_n.jpg

    these frames can sure shred...

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  11. #11
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    29er hardtail - 100mm - 1x11 or 1x10 - especially at Kelso, Hardwood, Albion

    Perfect Ontario XC bike
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  12. #12
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    You take your 29er down the rock-drop at kelso? and the wagon wheels are still true

    Full-suss for me, my back can no longer take a HT.

    IMO - a 140mm trail bike is the best bet as you can ride it pretty much anywhere from lift to rail-trail as long as the build is sensible for the area.
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    As long as there is air in your tires, you'll find a way to have fun. I started riding again almost two years ago and picked up a used Trance X3. I was blown away by the confidence that full suspension gave me. For me, I can't see doing without now. Having said that, I'm trying to service my fork and shock and so have only had my CX bike out. Out of curiosity/frustration, I've taken it into the Don a few times now. I've ridden Pottery Rd to Loblaws 3-rocks, from there to the Cricket Tree, Catalyst, Party Atmosphere, and I think the Ridge (trying to learn the trails from other people's Strava segments). It was a blast and I am very much closer to beginner than intermediate.

    I think your focus should be on quality. A higher quality hardtail is probably better than a lower quality full-sus bike. If you subscribe to the notion that 29 is better than 26 (I don't), again a higher quality 26 would be better than a lower quality 29. This is the argument I've made with some friends who were very budget focused to try to get them to buy used vs new. By getting a good quality base, you can upgrade over time, but more importantly you'll be able to service and maintain the bike more easily and will enjoy your time on it far far more.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by broadwayline View Post
    29er hardtail - 100mm - 1x11 or 1x10 - especially at Kelso, Hardwood, Albion

    Perfect Ontario XC bike
    And there are some good 29er hardtail frames out there now...Paradox, Honzo, Nimble 9, and if you have enough parts On One now offers there cheaper Parkwood that is on the fun side f 29er geometry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    That's my opinion. I think the 140mm FS 650b is probably the best Jack-of-all trades bike you can find for mountain biking. I'd focus on holding out for that and in the mean time develop/progress on my current bike.
    Just bought a Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt with that in mind. Although it's only 120mm, but so far, so good .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
    Just bought a Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt with that in mind. Although it's only 120mm, but so far, so good .
    I think the 120mm FS 27.5 is the best/most funnest all around bike for 95% of the mountain biking (not racing) that is actually done in Ontario. Obviously that is a subjective and blanket statement, but until someone finds their niche within the sport/develops their own preferences, I think it's the best/safest general suggestion. I have a Scott Spark 700, not a budget conscious bike, but at 23lbs ride ready, it's fun to tear around on, plus it doesn't mind the rough stuff.

    If you throw in any thoughts/desires to ride Blue however (or to travel to trails unknown), but still spend most time doing regular ontario trail riding, then 140mm becomes a little more suitable.
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  17. #17
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    What makes a good Ontario bike

    Quote Originally Posted by mykel View Post
    You take your 29er down the rock-drop at kelso? and the wagon wheels are still true

    Full-suss for me, my back can no longer take a HT.

    IMO - a 140mm trail bike is the best bet as you can ride it pretty much anywhere from lift to rail-trail as long as the build is sensible for the area.
    yep. I do drops and rocks. Many Hilton Falls rides too. but probably because my wagon wheels are carbon and i weigh only 200 pounds. do you think i should upgrade to aluminum training wheels? i appreciate your advice.

    louis: which bike is the best? the one with two wheels that will put a stupid grin on your face... you have to figure it out for yourself. there is no one best bike...
    Last edited by osokolo; 06-11-2014 at 04:33 AM.
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  18. #18
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    I don't understand the attitude toward carbon and/or 29" wheels. I ride Hilton Falls all the time on my carbon 29er, not carbon wheels. I ride it at Kelso and the Bruce Trail rocky section is my favorite place in there. I also love Buckwallow. Two and a half seasons of lots of rocks and not an issue with my wheels. I am pretty certain I don't ride as hard as Oggie, but I like to do the majority of my riding in rocky and rooty places. I recently have reversed my position on my carbon fat bike and trails. I have been going out to all my trails on a fully rigid carbon bike and it handles everything in a whole different way. Completely different way to bring a grin to my face. I am lucky to have a couple of rides that do that. If you have only one bike and can afford full suspension then the 29er or 650 is definitely the most versatile option. I would recommend looking at something used as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    a few riders I know are going to new/old school with 26er freeride steel hardtails. there is even a dh hardtail racing class. I'm building up one now for winter/fall/spring and hack around riding. you can run up to 160mm forks on these frames...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    these frames can sure shred...

    <iframe width='500' height='281' src='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/embed/342270/?colors=C80000' allowfullscreen frameborder='0'></iframe>
    i got the cotic bfe and its a sweet Ontario do it all bike... but then again my preference is dh so I wasn't even considering something like a 29 xc hardtail

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    I've ridden the DH trails at Kelso on my 29er carbon HT with carbon wheels with no issues - Kelso is super tame.

    I have also ridden Haloe and Embryo DH trails at blue at minus the big jump at the bottom 2 years ago on the same bike with carbon wheels.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    That being said, unless your rims where made for high speed square edge hits... I can probably destroy your wheel set in a weekend...
    Any wheel set can be destroyed in a weekend. Horses for courses i.e. match the wheel set to rider's wants and needs. Otherwise everyone would be riding around on the exact same wheels. Or tires. Or bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Any wheel set can be destroyed in a weekend. Horses for courses i.e. match the wheel set to rider's wants and needs. Otherwise everyone would be riding around on the exact same wheels. Or tires. Or bike.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    bingo
    I like the diverse suggestions in this thread though. Lots of options for cool bikes and builds. Hopefully all these posts collectively will help the OP to better understand what compromises they will need to choose between (assuming one bike best fit solution, not a stable of bikes) to suit the types of riding they want to do. The original question what is the best bike for Ontario doesn't really have a simple answer as there's several very distinct types of riding around the province.

  24. #24
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    If you're serious about riding DH at Blue, you're going to want a dedicated bike. Period. Yes you can tip-toe down the intermediate trails on an XC race machine, but that's SO not the point of lift-access DH trails!

    Realistically if you spend 95% of your riding doing XC trails at Kelso, Hardwood, Albion, Hilton Falls etc, then buy yourself a nice bike that's meant for that type of riding. Save-up some money and rent a big bike for the trips to Blue, if you get hooked on riding DH then look into building up a burly 160mm+ frame on a budget for next season. And get an early-bird discounted seasons pass at the Bike Show in March. And a full-face helmet. And pads/body armor, etc.

    That's what I did 2 years ago with a 2008 Titus El Guapo and a proper burly build (sorta slack angles, low bb, 155mm rear travel/170mm front, 4-piston Shimano brakes, single-ring with chain guide, 721 rims) and while I can crush the intermediate trails and rock Haole all day long just as fast -or faster- than the big heavy 200mm DH bikes, I'm honestly held-back on the tougher black trails like Waterfall or O-Chute because the bike isn't slack enough or have enough travel to actually charge into those steep tough trails and enjoy it. So I'm building a proper DH bike now. The El Guapo has cranked thru Hydrocut, 3 Stage and the Don Valley, but it so wasn't the right bike at many times... well except certain parts of 3 Stage

    In the end just buy a bike for what you are really going to ride, not what you think you're going to ride... when it's time to move on to bigger things, keep buying another bike until you have yourself a proper quiver of "Ontario" bikes
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    I ride mostly at Kelso, Hardwood, Albion, Hilton Falls etc. Would love to have a bike I can take to Blue Mountain occasionally to run down the beginner and intermediate downhill runs.

    I'm on an entry level bike but looking for something to help take my riding to a new level.

    I've been looking at used bikes and there seem to be some good deals out there - especially on 26'rs.

    Narrowed it down to a 2012 Giant Trance X1 or a 2011 Norco Faze SL.

    Do you guys think either of these bikes will meet my needs? Should I hold out and wait for a new bike (my dream bike at present is a Kona Process 153 or 134)

    Having grown up in london ontario and knowing the Area I have some ideas...

    Neither of this bikes are modern enough in geometry 69' head angles are steep and suck for any DH.

    Also look for frame that has longish top tube and at least 73 degree seat tube. This gets you over the pedals and more efficient climbing.

    Look for a bike with less than 67 degrees 66 is sweet spot and comfy for downhill at speed.
    You need an efficient pedaller as well and those frames are soso mostly relying the rear shock for platform to negate "bob"

    The newer geometry of slack head upright seat and long tube make for a very capable trail bike. with 4.5 to 6 inches travel..
    Makes it easy to pedal up and stable on the way down
    See if you can find a gt distortion or gt sanction or yeti sb66 lots of 26ers on clearance these days..
    a650b sb66yeti would be nice..

    all round perfect trail bikes that can handle whistler bike park , the north shore or even Ontario

    I live in BC now..
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  26. #26
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    i've been trying to find/build a one bike that does it all for many years and i must say it has been frustrating. as i get older i find that i enjoy a wider spectrum of riding. i enjoy xc just as much as dhing. though there are component's/technologies/materials that take me closer to this one bike goal to do the widest spectrum of riding. though on a side note i think i will always have 2 bikes. 1 bike is an easy choice, a steel 26'er hardtail, the second bike is the evolving one...



    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I like the diverse suggestions in this thread though. Lots of options for cool bikes and builds. Hopefully all these posts collectively will help the OP to better understand what compromises they will need to choose between (assuming one bike best fit solution, not a stable of bikes) to suit the types of riding they want to do. The original question what is the best bike for Ontario doesn't really have a simple answer as there's several very distinct types of riding around the province.
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    Do you guys think Kona Process 153 is too much bike for an all round Ontario bike or would I be better served with the 134, or possibly other bike all together?

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    What makes a good Ontario bike

    I'm liking my 120mm front 100mm rear 29er I find it perfect for most of the riding I do, durham forest, the don, hardwood, and I would be fairly confident on it for some easy-mid downhill


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    Do you guys think Kona Process 153 is too much bike for an all round Ontario bike or would I be better served with the 134, or possibly other bike all together?
    Don't know. Have you ridden one?

    I think the 156 would be a bit too much for all of the places you mention above, with the possible exception of the downhill trails at Kelso and, of course, Blue MOuntain. The 134 or even the 111 look more Ontario-friendly. I do agree that for the kind of riding you seem to be interested in, 27.5 rims seems like the right call.

    And if that's the style of bike you are interested in, I have always been partial to the Santa Cruz Bronson. Is that on your radar?
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    Since the original poster mentioned used.

    When it comes to used bikes while one needs to keep the "Buyer beware" wariness about anything used. When it comes to full suspension really be wary as if you aren't knowledgeable enough looking at a usuale dually you can end up with it costing more in the end...pivot bearings and bushings add up. And if there are problems with the shock even more.

    While it is a good idea with any used bike to have a mechanic check it over if you can. Even more critical when it comes to a dually. Or have someone you know come with you. And we all have that person in a group... the guy who can fix his own bikes in the garage workshop.

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    I rode one (153) around a parking lot along with the Bronson. I think the Bronson might be better suited to what I want.

    My shortlist:

    Process 134
    Giant Trance
    Bronson
    Transition Covert
    Norco Range Killer

    Still researching. Learning. Riding.


    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Don't know. Have you ridden one?

    I think the 156 would be a bit too much for all of the places you mention above, with the possible exception of the downhill trails at Kelso and, of course, Blue MOuntain. The 134 or even the 111 look more Ontario-friendly. I do agree that for the kind of riding you seem to be interested in, 27.5 rims seems like the right call.

    And if that's the style of bike you are interested in, I have always been partial to the Santa Cruz Bronson. Is that on your radar?

  32. #32
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    All excellent bikes. You really can't go wrong with any one of them. At this stage in the game, things like price, colour and aesthetics come into play. One bike will speak to you more than the others. That's your bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    My shortlist:

    Process 134
    Giant Trance
    Bronson
    Transition Covert
    Norco Range Killer
    Nice short list! They all seem biased to bigger travel and slacker angles, which means all-day fun on the trails albeit you work a bit more for it, but the bikes can comfortably handle a lot more than a racier XC rig. And ya, all of those would survive a couple trips to Blue to experience the DH thing on the blue/intermediate trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    And we all have that person in a group... the guy who can fix his own bikes in the garage workshop.
    I am never disclosing my location nor posting photos of my workshop or my bike workshop on this forum. Besides, it's all set-up in my basement, not in my garage, and it's never finished

    Luis691 if you're making a big jump from your old bike, it's probably worthwhile to go new and have a warranty, have bike-shop support for the season, and get plenty of trouble-free trail rides before things start to wear out. And keep your old bike!

    Now hurry-up and buy a bike because it's almost time for the snow to start again and we want to see what you choose
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    There's a Process 134 (not DL) and a Trance 27.5 1 available at a LBS.

    Problem is which do I choose - price is a wash, pretty much even. Trance has better bits, but staler geometry... but it's lighter... What would you do?




    Quote Originally Posted by VR6ix View Post
    Now hurry-up and buy a bike because it's almost time for the snow to start again and we want to see what you choose

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis691 View Post
    There's a Process 134 (not DL) and a Trance 27.5 1 available at a LBS.

    Problem is which do I choose - price is a wash, pretty much even. Trance has better bits, but staler geometry... but it's lighter... What would you do?
    Start posting some questions, maybe even asking if anyone can compare, on the MTBR Kona and Giant subforums. Or look to see other existing threads that perhaps talk about these bikes. Opinions are likely going to be very subjective (and biased toward the bikes from that subforum) but it's all info that at least you can use as more data points.

    Do you ride with any groups that may have one of these bikes you can ride for a bit? (same frame, if not same model)

    Will the shop let you test ride on a trail? Usually unless they have designated demo rigs that's not an option. Assuming no, will they at least take a few minutes to set up suspension at defaults for your weight and ride around the parking lot a bit? If nothing else it gives you a chance to see if the bike seems to fit, whether you feel comfortable on it, maybe even bounce off a couple of curbs. Parking lot tests won't tell you a lot, especially without a more comprehensive fit and time to dial in suspension to your needs, but it may tell you a bit more than nothing which is what you have right now.

    Barring all that, pick the colour you like better

  36. #36
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    What makes a good Ontario bike

    Just visiting London Ontario right now. I was at towheels yesterday when I mentioned to one guys in there I lived on the"shore" he turned a light shade of green..
    I forgot how flat it is here.. I am so lucky


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reelchef67 View Post
    Just visiting London Ontario right now. I was at towheels yesterday when I mentioned to one guys in there I lived on the"shore" he turned a light shade of green..
    I forgot how flat it is here.. I am so lucky


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    sorry to hear that... luck is a relative term...

    from my perspective, i am lucky to live here, in relative vicinity of many, many riding areas and the strongest XC racing scene in Canada...
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  38. #38
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    Now be nice Oggie; and stop saying what we are thinking.
    Burnt Norton

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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    Now be nice Oggie; and stop saying what we are thinking.
    Opps yes sir. My bad.
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    thinking of going fs as well, is the norco fluid 7.1 more than enough for ontario trails?

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    I think this will handle just about anything in Ontario, unless you plan on on doing a lot of drops and big rocks like porcupine ridge and the like. Otherwise should be a nice all around bike. There is a huge selection of fs bikes like this one that will do nicely. Get on a lot of them, and see what feels good. If you plan on racing, then that's another thing.
    Burnt Norton

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    I spent a lot of time researching this exact same question over the past year. I went to bike shops and asked questions. Regardless of which province you live in, the answer is the same and what everybody has said here i.e. depends on the rider. My advise is get a full suspension bike. Here's why:

    1) Weight: My bike (entry level alumium Epic) weighs ~27lbs without pedals, bottle cage and computer. That's about the same if not lighter than as a Rockhopper and much lighter than a Hardrock.

    2) Maintenance: Unless you do the work yourself, maintenance is no longer a big issue. Places like Skiis and Bikes offer you lifetime maintenance packages with the bike. Place where I bought my bike, the lifetime service was included. If you are doing the work yourself, you probably enjoy working on your bike so this shouldn't even be an issue.

    3) Variety: Lock out the rear suspension and you've got a hardtail to make your ride more challenging. Lock out the front as well and you've got a rigid bike for efficient climbs. Open them up all the way you'll tackle the average drops and technical trails ON has to offer.

    Bottom line is, unless you NEED a trail bike for more comfort and features (dropper post) and can compromise on weight like the DH, AM and Enduro folks, get a XC bike.
    '11 Epic Comp, Shimano SPD M780, Giant Contact Switch-R, Specialized Ribcage, Bontrager Trip 200, Ergon GS1

  43. #43
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    What makes a good Ontario bike

    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    I agree with Enduramil here. People are riding all over Ontario on bikes ranging from rigid singlespeeds to 160+mm FS AM/enduro bikes and I'm sure they all end their rides with a big smile on their face.

    Just like everything else in life there is no black and white, everything is a shade of gray and compromises need to be made.

    So you really need to assess what your needs are and where you are willing to make those compromises (including $$$). Do you want a bike with more suspension that will excel at Blue Mountain, and in doing so you are prepared to pedal that extra bit of bike around places like Kelso? Or do you want a light hardtail to rip through some of the faster trails but are prepared to get pounded/go slower at Blue?

    Those two bikes would be classified by most people in these parts are really good trail bikes that will be fun to ride at Kelso, Hardwood, Albio, etc. They are more than capable of doing the beginner/intermediate stuff at Blue, but obviously aren't ideal for excessive amounts of lift access riding, especially progressing to the harder stuff.

    If the bike you are currently riding is not really hindering your ability to have fun, I'd wait (if the wait is realistic) to get that dream bike. I'd ride the snot out of the current bike, progress my skills, ride it at Blue down the beginner stuff, move on to the intermediate stuff. I've ridden blue and other lift access places on bikes from hardtails with 80mm of travel, to 5.5" trail bikes to full on DH bikes. I always had fun and had to know my limitations on each bike, but as my skills progress, I could push each bike further.

    That's my opinion. I think the 140mm FS 650b is probably the best Jack-of-all trades bike you can find for mountain biking. I'd focus on holding out for that and in the mean time develop/progress on my current bike.
    This. I'm in the market for a new bike and similarly are upgrading from a $700 (mind you heavily upgraded) entry level 29er hard tail to a 3k area FS bike (new). That's a bike with good components, 140 -150mm of travel, 650b and not too much that you are going overkill.

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    A Pinarello Dogma should do the trick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    A Pinarello Dogma should do the trick.
    Amen brother

    Mod - please lock the thread. It's over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    sorry to hear that... luck is a relative term...

    from my perspective, i am lucky to live here, in relative vicinity of many, many riding areas and the strongest XC racing scene in Canada...
    Trust me we have lots of XC trails out here, Emily Batty can attest to that Plus we get to ride 11.99 months a year and I don't have to set foot in car to get to them
    I grew up in London and rode many many trails around there back in rigid bike mid 80s when mtb first came on the scene there. I loved the long rolling trails through maple forests and meadows that probably had never seen a bike. Thames river has trails along it for many miles so much fun to explore new places. It was different back then people rode places that had only seen footprints before, I felt like magellan.
    " I don't ride park"

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reelchef67 View Post
    Trust me we have lots of XC trails out here, Emily Batty can attest to that Plus we get to ride 11.99 months a year and I don't have to set foot in car to get to them
    I grew up in London and rode many many trails around there back in rigid bike mid 80s when mtb first came on the scene there. I loved the long rolling trails through maple forests and meadows that probably had never seen a bike. Thames river has trails along it for many miles so much fun to explore new places. It was different back then people rode places that had only seen footprints before, I felt like magellan.
    i am sorry to hear that you can ride trails in BC only 11.99 months, as we ride Ontario trails 12 months every year.

    fat bikes are very popular and last couple of years many riders that i know got one. it is completely new kind of fun and depending on the build - they are fun to ride all year around. while it can not be your only bike - it is definitely a totally fun addition to the stable here in Ontario. Most of the time we ride on trails that don't have any footprints.

    it is a total adventure... you should try it... if there is no fat bike culture in BC - you can always move back to Ontario.

    kidding aside - every corner of this beautiful country has some great trails to be enjoyed, including all types of riding, even though some types of riding may be better than the other in different places...

    with regards to the best bike for Ontario - if one does not have intentions to ride pure downhill trails at Blue Mountain and Horseshoe - i find Santacruz Tall Boy hard to beat.

    If downhill is also a point of interest - i may not be the best person to answer, but having tried Tallboy at Horseshoe and Epic S-Works at the Blue - I'd definitely have a Blue/Horseshoe specific bike AND a trail riding bike. There are no jacks of all trades among today's bikes, though some would argue this. It's like with automobile tires. All season tires are average in all conditions, at best, but don't excel in any.

    To have true fun on the trails - you can not use the same bike that is confident bombing down the Blue or Horseshoe... that is just my opinion, but there are more qualified riders around here to confirm or challenge this opinion...
    Last edited by osokolo; 07-05-2014 at 04:54 PM.
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    [QUOTE=osokolo;11306961

    To have true fun on the trails - you can not use the same bike that is confident bombing down the Blue or Horseshoe... that is just my opinion, but there are more qualified riders around here to confirm or challenge this opinion...[/QUOTE]

    Id have to disagree with that somewhat , modern "enduro" geometry i.e. long top tube steep seat tube and slackish (65-66)head tube make for a great trail bike for long pdeally rides as well as some solid Dh trails.
    My distortion ime does both very well and lots of fun. Ive had it down Black diamond shore trails like neds&espresso and it was sweet , also done some 25 plus mile squamish xc trails and behaves (half nelson etc ) equally well.
    But the bike has to "feel" right. But all bikes are really is bunch parts mostly the same but suspended in different geometries. After having my group collection to different frames it is astounding how different they feel with the same parts. So really geometry is what makes or breaks a bike. So do some research and then ride
    " I don't ride park"

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