Bike recommendations for the Wiss- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike recommendations for the Wiss

    I'm looking at upgrading my older FS bike in the near future and hoping to get some opinions from folks who ride the Wiss about what travel to look at as well as 27.5 or 29" wheels.
    I am currently on an older (2009) bike with 120 front and 100 rear and 26" wheels.
    I enjoy climbing and am pretty conservative on the downhills. I'm 5'10" and about 150 lbs (if it matters).
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I just replaced my 2011 130 mm FS 26er with a 130 mm FS 27.5. I demoed a bunch of 29 and 27.5 and settled on the 27.5. Mine is actually a plus, but tires are only 2.6 wide. I am having fun on it for sure!

    I think 150 is a bit much for these parts. If you are conservative on the downs due to confidence level, I suggest looking at + bikes. The wider tires will give confidence and on some, if not most, of the newer bikes you can go down in tire width if you wanted to in the future.

    Most importantly is demo as many as you can to help you feel the differences between 27.5 and 29 and different suspensions. Look for free demo days at the Philly shops because the daily demo rates around here are ridiculous IMO.

  3. #3
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    There's no "right" bike for the Wiss. A steep, full-rigid single speed is a perfect Wiss bike. But so is a slack enduro race bike. And everything in between. It depends entirely on how you ride, how you want to ride, and who you ride with. Believe it.

    When I started riding in the Wiss many years back I asked the exact same question and got lots of confident answers, all of them wrong. Now the answer I'd give is this: if you ride with other people and think you'll keep riding with them, get the same style of bike they have; if you don't ride with other people yet, buy used because whatever you get will likely be wrong and temporary.

    150 a bit much for the Wiss my ass.

  4. #4
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    Appreciate the info folks. I do ride with others, they seem to have 140 and 150 forks. I am stronger on the climbs and they outpace me on the downs but overall our pace is compatible (even with my 120 26er). When I go out solo I mostly enjoy punishing myself up hills.
    I guess I'll see how many folks I can get to swap bikes so I can test out others. I agree cadence charges kinda a lot for a 24 hour demo.

  5. #5
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    i ride a rigid singlespeed; my friends ride everything from singlespeeds to long slacked freeride machines. you can ride anything! it all depends on what you want to do and how much you want to or can spend... don't let anyone tell you you NEED something particular to ride wiss. i have ridden with folks who beat my ass on their cross bike.

    generally something that rides faster downhill will be slower uphill... pick you poison? try to get the best of both worlds? opinions are like assholes??? ride what you like and MAYBE listen to folks who seem to like the same type of riding you do. for me; i roll to the beat of a different drum apparently; i had to figure it out for myself by pedalling a lot

  6. #6
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    I think it also depends on what side of the Wiss you ride. The Chief side or the VG side? The VG side tends to be smoother with more flow. The Chief side is more chunky. Personally, I always leaned towards a climbing bike over a descending bike at the Wiss. Some of those climbs can be just annoying on a poorly climbing bike.

    I had a friend who went from a 100mm FS 26" bike to a Trek Stache and climbed everything and was uncatchable. Still defended fast as well.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  7. #7
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    Damn it I guess I'll just keep riding my 26er until it craps out on me!
    I don't foresee a rigid ss in my future, not sure I'm strong enough or have good enough technique.
    I ride both sides of the wiss, probably I'll just eventually want an updated version of my current almost xc frame.
    Thanks for the help all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by juicetin View Post
    Damn it I guess I'll just keep riding my 26er until it craps out on me!
    I don't foresee a rigid ss in my future, not sure I'm strong enough or have good enough technique.
    I ride both sides of the wiss, probably I'll just eventually want an updated version of my current almost xc frame.
    Thanks for the help all.
    You can if you want and honesty, the best bike is always the one you currently ride!

    Personally, I feel the Wiss is ideally suited for a 29er. Enough climbing and rocky drops that 29ers really work well.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juicetin View Post
    Damn it I guess I'll just keep riding my 26er until it craps out on me!
    I don't foresee a rigid ss in my future, not sure I'm strong enough or have good enough technique.
    I ride both sides of the wiss, probably I'll just eventually want an updated version of my current almost xc frame.
    Thanks for the help all.
    I would have kept my 26er along with my new bike if the frame was not a bit too small for me and it did not need so much work. When I first got the FS 26er, I also had a hard tail. I would take take turns riding them as they both were lots of fun in their own ways!

  10. #10
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    Wiss is where I do at least 90% of my riding and I recently switched from a Giant Anthem SX (27.5, 120 mm travel) to a Transition Smuggler (29er, slack head angle, 115 mm rear, 140 front) and I'm really happy with the change. I feel like the modern semi-slack, short travel 29ers are just about the perfect Wiss bikes. Good climbers, better rollover for the chunky stuff we have to fight through on so many of our climbs, stable and responsive descender without the unnecessary travel numbers to take away the feel of the trail. Seems like the new Ibis Ripley or Giant Trance 29 would be awesome Wiss bikes. The dudes at Cadence had my pretty convinced that the Santa Cruz Tallboy would be a great Wiss bike. The new Stumpy looks pretty spot on too.

    But it's obviously a matter of personal preference. The 27.5er was also a lot of fun, especially in tighter stuff, but I'm just a crappy climber who needs all the help I can get

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by juicetin View Post
    Damn it I guess I'll just keep riding my 26er until it craps out on me!
    I wouldn't wait... your bike gave you a great 10 years, but whatever new bike you do get, tire size and how much suspension maybe doesn't matter as much as the fact that you'll be on modern geometry, suspension, gearing etc. You'll most likely lose the front derailleur, which is huge in itself and gain a dropper post (if you don't currently have one). Since you like climbing and are conservative on the downhills, maybe 130mm is a nice sweet spot. That said, even a 120mm modern 29er is such a different beast than a 2009 100-120mm 26er. You'll surely find yourself cleaning stuff easily that may have given you problems before. Just some more 2 cents.

  12. #12
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    I would recommend something like a standard Stumpjumper 29. 140/150 travel so you have some flexibility if you go elsewhere, and it's still a super efficient climber, especially if you get the full carbon/carbon wheels version. I know you don't feel overly confident on the downs just yet and prefer climbing, but a bike like this with modern geometry may change that. I am biased, but once i got on a modern-geo bike, the downs quickly became the priority - the ups were just a means to get in shape and get me to the downs.

    Why not try the Stumpy and the Stumpy ST (shorter travel, more conservative geo) from your local shop and make a call. The ST is 130/130, so that's kinda right in that short travel 29er category.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
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    27.5 - SC5010; 29 - new Ripley or Top Fuel. You're welcome.

  14. #14
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    As many folks have said, any bike is fun at the Wiss. Get whatever makes you happy and will make you wanna hop on and go for a ride. I ride my full squish Smuggler with max-a-mil on his rigid Stache on group rides on the same trails and we each have fun. Having fun on the bike is what it's all about!
    Bike recommendations for the Wiss-87356d94-d963-490e-bd21-0f851d264cab.jpg

  15. #15
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    Am currently enjoying my 26er enough to just keep riding it until something pops up that I like. Having never really ridden a newer higher travel trail bike I might demo one so I can compare it on the same trails I ride my current bike on, see if I can get up some of the trickier spots that elude me now. Probably not my bike though, more likely my fitness or technique!

  16. #16
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    i ride two bikes the full 17 mile loop and each are wildly different. 1 is a Scott Spark 940 29r with 100mm of travel that i put wider wheels and bigger tires on and the other is a 2014 Spec Enduro 29er with 160mm lighted up to almost the same weight as the Spark.

    Spark is great when the climbs get technical and that very often do.

    Enduro climbs like a donkey (itll get there eventual) and hates the slow speed technical work but loves when the trail points downward.

    If i had to pick a bike rather then whatever amazing deal i can find used i think a 130 or 140mm travel lightish bike would do great there.

    I dont think i could ever give up my 29s but know a lot of guys who ride there on 27.5 and i could see it being great. 29s just give me better options when i know the "correct" line but somehow end up 8" to either side of it and the and need to improvise.

  17. #17
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    I have a Trek Fuel EX 29er (130" front and back) and a Banshee Spitfire 27.5 (140" front and rear). I ride both of them at Wissahickon and feel good on either bike. I switch them up for variety, not necessity. I think any 27.5 or 29er will feel better on Wiss than your 26". The bigger wheels roll over rocks better and I think both of my bikes climb well. There are so many good bikes that it is hard to name on but with your riding style, a Trek Fuel may suit you really well.

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