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  1. #1
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    What location "justifies" the biggest bike?

    I read a lot of reviews that say things like "great bike if your terrain justifies it" and it got me to thinking: what locations justify the biggest bike as an everyday ride? Obviously lots of great riding spots have a range of trails, which which one(s) do you think of that would encourage locals on one bike to own a super enduro or bigger bike as their steed? (I'm mostly thinking non bike park (esp chairlift) riding here).

  2. #2
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    I personally don't know. My local area (in Western MA) makes my 150mm bike seem like overkill most rides. I watched a video on Vital a day or two ago from Bootleg Canyon and thought "Holy crap." The rock gardens there seemed to ask a lot more bike wise than a lot of the big gaps on loamy trails you see in videos from the Pacific Northwest. So maybe there?

  3. #3
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    I ride mostly in NYC Long Island trails. Mostly single tracks with some technical aspects with tons of tight switchbacks. They are mostly consisted of sand, dirt, and hardpacks. Not much rocky and loose terrains. No huge drops or even jumps. Lots of ups and downs and no long climbs. You can ride them with a hard tail 100mm to 120mm suspension travel. Is an overkill if you need a $4k FS bike to ride them. A lighter hardtail would make the ride more enjoyable and fast than a heavier FS bike.

  4. #4
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    I agree with the others. If your riding is twisty with lots of punchy climbs and descends so that both are integrated into the same riding experience, a hardtail or light FS bike will be more fun and faster.

    But if I lived in say Laguna Beach, CA where the real riding doesn't begin until after you grind for 40 minutes up a fireroad and your descend is sustained and gnarly, then I'd want the enduro bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    I read a lot of reviews that say things like "great bike if your terrain justifies it" and it got me to thinking: what locations justify the biggest bike as an everyday ride? Obviously lots of great riding spots have a range of trails, which which one(s) do you think of that would encourage locals on one bike to own a super enduro or bigger bike as their steed? (I'm mostly thinking non bike park (esp chairlift) riding here).
    Lots of places have trails where a big bike makes sense, but just as important as the trails are the desire to ride them in such a way that bike takes advantage of them. That said there are alot more miles where a big bike is overkill and lot of riders who think they are or want to be "that cool enduro guy", but just are not and dragging around a big bike for the cool factor.


    One of my good friends has a Specialied Enduro 29er and that is a big bike. He rides the gnar on South Mtn all the time. National for him just normal ride on the Mtn. When he is really going for it he tackles trails rougher and rocker than National. However he admits the bike is beast and too big for desert classic which is also in the same park system. He has only 1 bike and just perfers to head to the "top of the mtn" for the big stuff and so that kind of bike makes sense. He is not super fast, but still likes the bike.

    I don't ride that stuff very often so I have no need for such a big heavy bike. I much prefer my 23lbs XC bike for just about everything Except national. There I will bring my 5" bike. Not as big as other bikes, but enough bike for how I like to ride super techy trails. Then again I never visit bike parks and don't jump stuff and generally pick my way down tech rather they just fly over all of it.


    BTW.. here is "picking your way though" the waterfall on National



    Don't need a really big bike, but it can help with angles and such

    Here is taking "enduro line" through the same section

    Bigger bike helps because you need speed and commitment to pull off this line properly.

    here is Desert Classic just about 1-2 miles from those pictures on national and can be done on the same ride as part of loop.

    Fun XC play land, but even here there are some rocky bits tossed in to keep you honest.

    So what bike to choose?
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
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    Take it with a grain of salt and don’t be offended no matter what bike you ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  7. #7
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    Nice pics!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Lots of places have trails where a big bike makes sense, but just as important as the trails are the desire to ride them in such a way that bike takes advantage of them. That said there are alot more miles where a big bike is overkill and lot of riders who think they are or want to be "that cool enduro guy", but just are not and dragging around a big bike for the cool factor.


    One of my good friends has a Specialied Enduro 29er and that is a big bike. He rides the gnar on South Mtn all the time. National for him just normal ride on the Mtn. When he is really going for it he tackles trails rougher and rocker than National. However he admits the bike is beast and too big for desert classic which is also in the same park system. He has only 1 bike and just perfers to head to the "top of the mtn" for the big stuff and so that kind of bike makes sense. He is not super fast, but still likes the bike.
    These were the types of places I was curious about. I'm not so much weighing the advantages/disadvantages of big versus small bikes - I like each in their place. I was just curious as to some of the places that people would see big bikes as - if not necessary - then likely to get a work out. I'll add South Mountain to the list!

    Thanks, all!

  9. #9
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    And when you graduate from South Mountain, you can check out the real gnar on Goat Camp

    IME, it's more about vertical and access to that vertical. The bigger the vertical and more sustained, the easier it is to ride a bigger bike and the more a bigger bike helps you. If you have real chunky terrain, like in Sedona, but no real shuttles and no real big downhills, you don't want to be out there on a DH bike, it just flat out sucks. In a lot of cases, people have sold their DH bikes because they just didn't use them enough to justify the bike. If you occasionally shuttle, it hardly makes any sense, an Enduro rig will work pretty damn good on the downs and be infinitely better riding around on anything else.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
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    I believe the term “quiver killer” will make its debut here shortly.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And when you graduate from South Mountain, you can check out the real gnar on Goat Camp ...
    Yep, Just posting the "easy" stuff.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And when you graduate from South Mountain, you can check out the real gnar on Goat Camp

    IME, it's more about vertical and access to that vertical. The bigger the vertical and more sustained, the easier it is to ride a bigger bike and the more a bigger bike helps you. If you have real chunky terrain, like in Sedona, but no real shuttles and no real big downhills, you don't want to be out there on a DH bike, it just flat out sucks. In a lot of cases, people have sold their DH bikes because they just didn't use them enough to justify the bike. If you occasionally shuttle, it hardly makes any sense, an Enduro rig will work pretty damn good on the downs and be infinitely better riding around on anything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I believe the term “quiver killer” will make its debut here shortly.
    I think I framed this thread somewhat poorly. I didn't mean to start an "Is a big bike worth it thread", but rather inquire about places with terrain with the characteristics that Jayem just described.

    Also, in other unintended consequences, this thread has left me somewhat more annoyed that ASU hasn't called me back about a job I applied for... haha

  13. #13
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    Sorry, good luck landing the job.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And when you graduate from South Mountain, you can check out the real gnar on Goat Camp

    IME, it's more about vertical and access to that vertical. The bigger the vertical and more sustained, the easier it is to ride a bigger bike and the more a bigger bike helps you. If you have real chunky terrain, like in Sedona, but no real shuttles and no real big downhills, you don't want to be out there on a DH bike, it just flat out sucks. In a lot of cases, people have sold their DH bikes because they just didn't use them enough to justify the bike. If you occasionally shuttle, it hardly makes any sense, an Enduro rig will work pretty damn good on the downs and be infinitely better riding around on anything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Sorry, good luck landing the job.
    No worries. My current job is surrounded by some pretty darn good riding. I will be keeping an eye on places people name to see if there are colleges nearby for future applications though!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    IME, it's more about vertical and access to that vertical. The bigger the vertical and more sustained, the easier it is to ride a bigger bike and the more a bigger bike helps you.
    This. If what you're riding is basically DH but you have to pedal to the top. I wouldn't want a 170mm+ bike for undulating terrain regardless of how chunky it is (probably).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And when you graduate from South Mountain, you can check out the real gnar on Goat Camp

    IME, it's more about vertical and access to that vertical. The bigger the vertical and more sustained, the easier it is to ride a bigger bike and the more a bigger bike helps you. If you have real chunky terrain, like in Sedona, but no real shuttles and no real big downhills, you don't want to be out there on a DH bike, it just flat out sucks. In a lot of cases, people have sold their DH bikes because they just didn't use them enough to justify the bike. If you occasionally shuttle, it hardly makes any sense, an Enduro rig will work pretty damn good on the downs and be infinitely better riding around on anything else.
    I live at the base of White Tanks. I split my time on Goat/Mesquite and Ford on a steel single speed hardtail. I do have to say though, The Tanks are hard on gear and bikes.

    I thought I had other pics but this is at the finish of GC
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    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  17. #17
    Nat
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    Moab of course

  18. #18
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    You specify no lift access, so I can only think of the 1500w+ diy ebike crowd being partial to DH bikes.

    I would say the biggest bikes only make sense if you have lifts or a motor. Regardless of terrain, easy speed makes suspension more and more enticing.

  19. #19
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    Whistler.
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