Dakota Five-O: FS or HT?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Dakota Five-O: FS or HT?

    I've never ridden the Dakota five-o or any trails in SD. Can anyone give an idea of how buff/technical/rocky/rooty the trails on this course are?

    I'm deciding between the Anthem X 29er and the El Mariachi Ti and I'm leaning towards Elmer unless I hear it's a rocky mess. Elmer did great in the Laramie Enduro so I'm hoping we'll have fun in Spearfish as well.
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    Far from a rocky mess! I have been on an Al hardtail 29er the last few years, no issues. Ride the Salsa.

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    I rode my Ti el Mar last year and aside from about ten minutes of riding just past the bacon station, the bike was perfect for the trail.

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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys!
    Really, only two people have done this?
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    I guess I could expand to a bit of a starting line rollcall for you. It appeared that most people were on hard tails though there were a fair amount of short travel cross-country rigs. Clearly if you could handle Laramie on a hardtail you will be able to handle this, as it is much less technical. Again,I would strongly support the salsa.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Thanks guys!
    Really, only two people have done this?
    FS 29"er for me. That's how I rode it the first time I did it and how I'll ride it again this year. Keep in mind, I always reach for a FS when times start looking like 3, 4, 5, 6 hours no matter where my 50 year old back is riding.

    You'll hit everything from pavement, to gravel, to buff, to rocks, to roots, to easy climbs, to hard climbs, to --- well everything. What do you normally ride on 4-6 hour rides? Go with your trusted favorite.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphyd View Post
    I guess I could expand to a bit of a starting line rollcall for you. It appeared that most people were on hard tails though there were a fair amount of short travel cross-country rigs. Clearly if you could handle Laramie on a hardtail you will be able to handle this, as it is much less technical. Again,I would strongly support the salsa.
    Laramie is 50mi of gravel followed by 20mi of singletrack. Can't see how Laramie is way more technical. Dakota has a few rocky sections, but much more st. 29er ht's seem to be the fast mans bike of choice for Dakota. Dakota is way more fun.

    Of course that's subjective.

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  8. #8
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    fun

    that race is so much fun. Lucky you got in. I wish I did. I did it one year on a Blur XC. I have an XCc now,, that's what I would use but a 29er HT would be great.

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    How about this for some first world problems:

    I'm preparing for Dakota 50 and Berryman Epic. Been racing 26er full susp for years, currently have a 2012 Top Fuel (demo, don't own) that weighs in 22lbs... and just built a superfly ht of almost identical weight. It's my first real experience with 29er, and I'm really liking it. that said, on rough parts and descents I can't continue to put down power like I can on the 26er... but the 29er would be awesome on the gravel and fireroad climbing...

    If both bikes are of equal weight... would you still take the 29er ht over the 26er full squish?


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  10. #10
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    I think that there are a few technical things in Laramie that are more technical than anything in Spearfish, but that overall Spearfish is more of a technical race since it's almost all single track. I also think that overall trail smoothness vs. lumpy/washboardy roads and just longer time on the bike would make the Five O more pleasant on a hardtail than Laramie is on a hardtail...

    I did both Laramie and Spearfish last year on a 6" Yeti 575... heh. This year I'm on an SB95, and I thought it was way better in Laramie, though I cramped up and crapped out after 52 miles. I think it's going to be much better in Spearfish as well. Here's hoping I don't cramp (I cramped in Spearfish last year, but finished... with a broken rear derailleur cable that had me going little-little and walking up the *street* near the end. That was sorta embarassing.)

    Anyway... I think you would really probably be happy on either bike in different sections. There are some really fast bumpy downhills that are pretty nice on a full suspension... but there are some long, long climbs as well.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the insight folks. I'll be taking Elmer the El Mariachi Ti to Dakota 50. It doesn't sound like there's anything too heinous out there and since it's done fine at Laramie and on segments of the Colorado Trail I'm sure it'll be fine in Spearfish.

    Now on to getting a more comfy saddle for the long haul...
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  12. #12
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    Same question...Blur XCc vs Kona Unit rigid 29er with gears..
    I really want to try the Unit since I just am getting it built up, but the Blur is proven for me on the Butte 50...for all the time spent climbing in these races I feel that rigid is the way to go...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    I've never ridden the Dakota five-o or any trails in SD. Can anyone give an idea of how buff/technical/rocky/rooty the trails on this course are?

    I'm deciding between the Anthem X 29er and the El Mariachi Ti and I'm leaning towards Elmer unless I hear it's a rocky mess. Elmer did great in the Laramie Enduro so I'm hoping we'll have fun in Spearfish as well.
    Hardtail will be fine, take the El Mariachi,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,did it on SS with an 80mm fork up front and it was a swell ride, except for the high humidity and 97 temps which caused some leg cramps in the last 10 miles. Perry and his posse put on a fine event and the trails in the Spearfish area are great! I highly recommend the WTB Silverado or Devo saddles for all types of riding. 2 wheels good

  14. #14
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    First year I did the 5o I was on my Rocky Mountain Element (fs), second time I was on my Scott Scale. Both times I finished right around 4:20, but I had more fun on my Element. This coming from a guy who rides hardtails 90% of the time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by elrancho66 View Post
    I highly recommend the WTB Silverado or Devo saddles for all types of riding. 2 wheels good
    Ironically the El Mar comes with a Silverado, which worked ok for a while. I currently have an Ergon SM3 Pro Carbon on there. It's rather different and initial impressions are good, but I need some long term testing to find out.
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  16. #16
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    hey OP and others... so did you chose the right bike for the Five-O? Whadya think? Excited to hear people's reflections...

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    Every time I was hiking my bike up some steep thing that would make me cramp if I rode it, I wished I had a 22lb carbon hardtail... the rest of the time I was really happy I was on my SB95.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    hey OP and others... so did you chose the right bike for the Five-O? Whadya think? Excited to hear people's reflections...
    Tough call. I really would have liked 100 fork instead of the 2012 El Mar's 80, but the HT certainly helped on all the ascending. There were only really one point in the course where I could have sat and pedaled if I was on the FS, but I didn't lose much time there. Much of the downhill was slightly tight and twisty so I don't feel I really lost a lot of time on the HT there. All in all I think the 29er HT was the right weapon for the course. If however I have a FS that was under 24# and a very efficient rear it might be better.

    Tires are a different story too. I ran a 2.2 Race King rear and a 2.2 X-King front. While both worked very well for me, the dusty loose conditions might have made a 2.4 front a good choice as there were a couple of slips.

    FWIW - Based on my Laramie times, I was aiming for 4:30 and hoping to be under 5. My official finish time was 4:39. That's with a side trip half way to bonkersville. If you do this the volume and type of singletrack favors a camelback over bottles.

    And for anyone who gave me a comparison - my own opinion is that mile for mile D-50 is harder. There is more singletrack, is more climbing, and the singletrack is more rocky and technical. Don't get me wrong it's not heinous. I'm a crappy tech rider and cleared everything, and as I said HT was fine for this, but it was relatively more technical compared to Laramie. This is of course a mile for mile comparison since Laramie is obviously 20 miles longer.
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  19. #19
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    I think the Five O is much more difficult from a riding perspective than Laramie... the Enduro is all about mentally dealing with never-ending dirt road grinds, but the Five O is always attacking, you are either climbing hard, or descending quickly. There are not many spots that are flat or rolling at all, and the rapidity of the descents makes it feel like you spend 85% of the race climbing.

    But that said, I think the Five O is more fun. Dropped 30 minutes off of my time from last year!

  20. #20
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    Mile for mile, I think Laramie is harder too... mostly because riding that much wide open gravel makes me want to carve out my eyeballs with a spoon.

  21. #21
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    29er hardtail was fine for me this year. Spent more time prepping the upper body for the punishment compared to last year and that definitely helped.

    However, what does everyone think about the announcement to run the course in reverse next year? FS might be nice for that 22 mostly downhill miles from aid 2 to town.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowagriz View Post
    29er hardtail was fine for me this year. Spent more time prepping the upper body for the punishment compared to last year and that definitely helped.

    However, what does everyone think about the announcement to run the course in reverse next year? FS might be nice for that 22 mostly downhill miles from aid 2 to town.
    What? If we have to descend those steep hike a bike sections - it will be murder!! The rest of the course seemed like it wouldn't be too bad in reverse order.

    I'll be on big squish for sure.

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  23. #23
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    Gonna be a blast. That stuff is steep but in my mind not all that technical

    Bet you see some really fast times in reverse.

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  24. #24
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    Yeah, I'll be unable to go next year unless a wedding gets moved or an engagement called off... I'd be pretty interested to ride it backwards. Bummer.

  25. #25
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    The only really steep climb that comes to mind is the singletrack from the bottom of Dakota Ridge (gravel road bottom), up to the ridge. Most of it should be rideable, but probably not all.

    There might be a steep section or two as you get closer to aide 2.

    Otherwise, I might need to fund a FS 29er for the 22mile mostly downhill from the top to town.

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