Near Philly, favorite trails- bike choice for each one.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Near Philly, favorite trails- bike choice for each one.

    I live in Delco and alternate between Smedley Park and the Wiss. I've been to pennypack, White Clay, Nockamixon and allegrippis trails. I have a mid range hardtail that I feel is perfect for every trail I mentioned except the Wiss. I started riding the Wiss with my hardtail but have transitioned to full suspension when I'm out there.

    I wanted to know how fmany guys switch bikes according to location versus how many riders have a Swiss army bike that they take everywhere and just adjust their technique. I love both bikes but enjoy the hardtail more since most of the places aren't rocky and technical.

    So what's your favorite trails near Philly? Do you switch bikes by trails or stick with one bike just adapt your style?

  2. #2
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    I ride the same places you list and have ridden a rigid singlespeed to 6" travel full suspension bikes at the wiss. For me a 100-120mm travel full suspension bike works best there although you see everything there from cross bikes, fatbikes, SS, rigid and I have seen a couple people walking downhill bikes up stuff to rail back down. I currently have a yeti asrc and a santa cruz hightower and usually grab the yeti for the wiss or nox but usually take the hightower to sals or ralph stover.
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  3. #3
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    I have two bikes, a 29er HT and a FS bike. While the FS bike can be ridden anywhere, I found places like Nox, White Clay, Belmont and the Wiss were much more enjoyable on the 29er. The FS bike was better for Sals, High Rocks and Fair Hill.
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    I've taken my hard tail which is a Charge Cooker 29er to every trail and my full suss to the Wiss and nothing else yet. I agreed that 100mm-120mm is the sweet spot in the Wiss. Mine is 120, but my main riding buddy rides a Scott Spark with 100.

    The reason I started the thread is that every thread normally argues hardtail versus full suss. I'm happy to have both and switch accordingly to the trail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsthoughts View Post
    I've taken my hard tail which is a Charge Cooker 29er to every trail and my full suss to the Wiss and nothing else yet. I agreed that 100mm-120mm is the sweet spot in the Wiss. Mine is 120, but my main riding buddy rides a Scott Spark with 100.

    The reason I started the thread is that every thread normally argues hardtail versus full suss. I'm happy to have both and switch accordingly to the trail.
    But I will say a 100 mm FS bike might be the ticket for everywhere. My DW 5-Spot did not handle the undulating (but smooth) terrain of places like Nox or White Clay but my old Titus Motolite did. I think one of these 29+ bikes might be the ticket for the entire region!
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  6. #6
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    Both of my current bikes are 29ers. I'm not experiences enough to know how much it matters. My 1st mountain bike was an old 26 inch GT hardtail. I miss the steering of that bike but my 29er hard tail has better components and my 29er full suss is just seems to soak up everthing the Wiss throws at it.

    My hard tail has a 100mm fork and my full suss is a specialized camber 29er with 120mm front and back. I have more fun on the hardtail because its easier to flick around and makes the trails challenging and give me the work outs trail riding ought to be.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony110672 View Post
    I ride the same places you list and have ridden a rigid singlespeed to 6" travel full suspension bikes at the wiss. For me a 100-120mm travel full suspension bike works best there although you see everything there from cross bikes, fatbikes, SS, rigid and I have seen a couple people walking downhill bikes up stuff to rail back down. I currently have a yeti asrc and a santa cruz hightower and usually grab the yeti for the wiss or nox but usually take the hightower to sals or ralph stover.
    I've never been to Sals or Ralph Stover. Read about Sals, sounds pretty fun and challenging!

  8. #8
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    I totally understand where everyone is coming from but I totally disagree. I have a 29er ht and a 140mm fs trail bike and I'll never ride the ht again. Why would I? My trail bike is faster, loves to be airborne and juat feels so much better. It doeant slow me down at white clay/wiss/nox/6mile.

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    I have a 130mm full suspension 29er that I ride everywhere, it is my only bike. I think that range is pretty ideal for Wiss, but when I go to Nox, I think a hardtail 29er would be a ton of fun to fly on those trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsthoughts View Post
    I've never been to Sals or Ralph Stover. Read about Sals, sounds pretty fun and challenging!
    Sals was my favorite trail in that area. I actually lived near Lansdale and in that general area from the Wiss/Belmont to the south and Sals to the north, it was a gem. My two Favs still to this day, are Sals and Belmont.
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    I can't comment on white clay or Nox with my full Suss but, it makes smedley park pretty boring since it's not technical at all. It makes the Wiss pretty fun and I do leave there fresher and not as beat as I do when I ride the hardtail. The full suss takes away some of the challenge that the smoother trails offer.

  12. #12
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    I ride all of these places mentioned, but only ride HTís( own 3) my main bike is a custom steel 27.5+ HT with 140mm of travel. Itís a riot to ride, but places like High Rocks kick my butt a little. A little trial skills would help with some of the riding there, especially on a HT. I find the Wiss & Belmont fun on my plus bike.

    When you guys say Sals, you mean Salisbury right? I dont think I ventured out there yet.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by goforbroke View Post
    I ride all of these places mentioned, but only ride HTís( own 3) my main bike is a custom steel 27.5+ HT with 140mm of travel. Itís a riot to ride, but places like High Rocks kick my butt a little. A little trial skills would help with some of the riding there, especially on a HT. I find the Wiss & Belmont fun on my plus bike.

    When you guys say Sals, you mean Salisbury right? I dont think I ventured out there yet.
    Yes, Salisbury. Also called Walking Purchase Park I think. My big issue with High Rocks was always sharp rocks that would cut tires, but I loved that place for a short ride after work.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  14. #14
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    Just upgraded to a full squish and thus far I've ridden nox, core creek, wiss and I love riding the full squish but places like nox, core creek, Belmont, white clay it's not needed but wiss and neshaminy hell yea...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Yes, Salisbury. Also called Walking Purchase Park I think. My big issue with High Rocks was always sharp rocks that would cut tires, but I loved that place for a short ride after work.
    I did the loop around Walking Purchase yesterday on my HT. That place is probably better suited for a FS bike as you mentioned unless you have a lot of experience and lungs to match. It was a good ride regardless. All was well then it started drizzling and those rocks & leaves got super slippery!

    EVERYONE, keep checking yourself for ticks after your ride. I usually get lacks around fall and stop checking unless I physically see one. Managed to pull one off my chest last night. Just a heads up.

    Meanwhile my wife is holding a flashlight telling me to ďspread ummĒ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jh79 View Post
    Just upgraded to a full squish and thus far I've ridden nox, core creek, wiss and I love riding the full squish but places like nox, core creek, Belmont, white clay it's not needed but wiss and neshaminy hell yea...
    Riding Neshaminy on a hard tail is half the fun!

  17. #17
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    Switch between Santa Cruz Hightower (80% of rides), KTM Kapoho eBike (10% of rides), and Borealis Fatbike (10% of rides). Santa Cruz for most rides/conditions, Borealis for snow and ice, KTM for enduro-style days where I want to session a lot of downhill segments but don't want to suffer on all 8000 feet of climbing.

  18. #18
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    I am a lucky boy in that Wiss is in my backyard, switching from 29er hardtail to Anthem SX (120 FS) was a no brainer. Sure you can do Wiss with a hard tail, but that misses half the fun on the rowdy descents. The climbs are marginally harder, but climbs suck anyway. I could see how one might prefer a 29er HT at White Clay or Nox though.

  19. #19
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    The Wiss is one block from me. I run 125mm full susser there. It is my only bike and it seems to be just right for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickBullottaPA View Post
    Switch between Santa Cruz Hightower (80% of rides), KTM Kapoho eBike (10% of rides), and Borealis Fatbike (10% of rides). Santa Cruz for most rides/conditions, Borealis for snow and ice, KTM for enduro-style days where I want to session a lot of downhill segments but don't want to suffer on all 8000 feet of climbing.
    Where are you getting 8k worth of climbing in a day? I want to ride there to be in better shape for my mtb trips.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    The Wiss is one block from me.
    Yeah me too; plus belmont is real close. I ride them both so often i think i'd find suspension boring as hell (i had a suspension fork on my hardtail for a bit but went back to rigid with my 29+). I can already pin it on all the wiss descents (because i know every root) and rigid keeps belmont real fun.

    I am the only one of my crew who regualrly rides rigid anymore; but to me that is all you need in philly once you have all the trails memorized. When i was younger i believed that was all i needed period (barely reformed ex-singlespeeder) but as i get older i do find myself wanting a nice full-sus for the days at french creek or when i get out even further into the real mtns.

    THAT SAID if i didn't have 3 kids i'd probably have some whizbang ultralight fullsus bike that was even faster than my rigid bike on the local stuff BUT for philly trails i never feel like i am in over my head on the rigid bike and does a good job of keeping the "those same old trails" fun and interesting!

    also if if you begin to find the local sh!t a little monotonous; TRY A SINGLESPEED!!!! through my 20s and 30s 34x21 was my only gear and I LIKED IT! the wiss belmont and pennypack are great for singlespeeds. Fastest i ever was was when i was in shape riding the rigid singlespeed exclusively.

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