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  1. #1
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    Getting new bike, need advice

    Im in the market for a new bike. I was set on a 2012 trek cobia for a while, but I just found a new 2011 trek fuel ex 5 at the lbs for just a couple hundred extra over the cobia. What do yall think I should do? I ride single track and XC, nothing too serious as I live in Houston. I am not sure if i should go for the hardtail 29er or the full suspension 26. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    29"

    nuff said

  3. #3
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    FS 26"

    nuff said

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    For the money you want to spend it's hard to beat the Specialized Carve Comp 29

  5. #5
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    A hardtail 29er does the boring parts of mtn biking better. 29ers climb better, roll over stupid trail chatter better, and are more stable.

    A full spring 26 bike is more fun. It doesn't climb as well and is going to be a bit heavier, but they corner better, jump better, descend better, and are way more playful. Unless you're racing XC I'd get the Fuel. It's gonna be a lot more fun. Get it and set it up with some kickass platform pedals, a short stem, and the widest bars you're comfortable with.

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    Wheel size aside. I would go for the full squish. It will soak up the roots making for a more comfortable less fatiguing ride. Meaning you will ride longer and farther. Also you can go faster downhill and over jumps and obstacles.

    The trade off would be the hard tail is more efficient and lighter. Which means it will climb better and be a little faster.

    See if they will let you demo the two bikes and decide for your self which one works best for you

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    A hardtail 29er does the boring parts of mtn biking better.
    where are you getting this misinformation?

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    SS 36"

    nuff said

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    I have FS 29, 26 and HT 29...i find that for the majority of the riding here I ride the HT 29er. The HT can handle the roots just fine and is fast on the trails around texas. Greenbelt is no problem at all on a HT 29er.

    If you're into drops, hucks, jumps, etc, yeah you'll probably find a FS more suited to that. If not, go for a HT and get the better components (specifically lighter wheels).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    where are you getting this misinformation?
    Quote Originally Posted by bobdole View Post
    If you're into drops, hucks, jumps, etc, yeah you'll probably find a FS more suited to that. If not, go for a HT and get the better components (specifically lighter wheels).
    A 26" wheel is always going to be more nimble and stronger than a 29", period. Therefore, the more grin inducing parts of mtn biking like hitting drops, jumping, getting air off of natural features, railing corners, drifting, and in general just being able to flick the front end around is going to be better on a 26" bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    A 26" wheel is always going to be more nimble and stronger than a 29", period. Therefore, the more grin inducing parts of mtn biking like hitting drops, jumping, getting air off of natural features, railing corners, drifting, and in general just being able to flick the front end around is going to be better on a 26" bike.
    I don’t know who you have been riding with but the folks I ride with seem to have no issues doing all those things you listed on our 29” bikes. Its fine that you continue to remain clueless however don’t spread falsehoods about things you know nothing about.

    29” wheels offer better rollover, stability, traction, smoother ride and less rolling resistance = speed those are the facts PERIOD. This is 2012 all the arguments against 29ers slow steering, slow acceleration due to heavy wheels in the past have been resolved go to any TMBRA race and the VAST majority will be on 29” wheels and the 2011 world championship was won on a 29" full suspension bike.

    Back on topic...

    For the guys budget a 29” hardtail will give him the biggest bang for his buck for riding here in the Houston area and Texas, I would suggest he look beyond Trek at other brands and models Jamis and KHS both offer a great bang for the buck if you can get over the stigma of not being seen on a big three brand.

    Heck for under $1300 bucks the 2012 bikes direct Motobecane Fantom29 PRO is pretty had to beat 30 Speed, Shimano Dyna-SYS XTR/XT equipped with Avid Hydraulic Disc Brakes and Rockshox REMOTE Lockout front fork + Maxle Lite 15mm Thru Axle.

  12. #12
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
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    I've been riding with several friends for a few months who have HT 29er's. All BS aside...several of them are ditching the 29er HT for a FS bike. I only have experience with the 26" FS and don't see any reason to drink the 29er Kool-Aid yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I don’t know who you have been riding with but the folks I ride with seem to have no issues doing all those things you listed on our 29” bikes. Its fine that you continue to remain clueless however don’t spread falsehoods about things you know nothing about.
    I rode with him once. I think you are right.

    Back on topic. 26 vs. 29 is irrelevant, both have their good points and their bad points.

    Here are a few tips:

    1. Buy the bike that fits you. EVERYTHING else is irrelevant if the bike does not fit you.

    2. Go to the trails that you normally ride and look at what people are riding. Talk to them, find the pros and cons. Asking on an internet board with a national audience is not going to help you with what you will ride 99% of the time. I used to live in houston and I couldn't even tell you what to ride since I haven't ridden there in 16+ years.

    3. What is in your budget should be of prime concern. Within the price range that you are going to spend, there will usually be plenty of good choices. It is better to focus on what you can get for your money than on wheel size. Would you rather have a great 26" or an ok 29", or vice versa.

    4. Ride before you buy. Most shops will have loaners. Or, at least let you rent. Take some time, make the right choice. A spin around the parking lot is not enough. If you have been riding a 26", you need to ride a 29" before you decide (I am a dyed in the wool 26" rider, but admit that for some people, a 29" is the best choice.)

    5. Tell people, especially the shop people, how you ride. What do you like, what do you not like, where are you strong, where are you weak, where would you like to improve over the next few years, etc. Nobody anywhere can tell you what to ride based on your initial description. There are too many variables.
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post

    4. Ride before you buy. Most shops will have loaners.
    No. Most shops will rent you a bike and comp the rental price *if* you buy it. Autozone will loan out some tools though.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    FS 26"

    nuff said
    This is the correct advice.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    A 26" wheel is always going to be more nimble and stronger than a 29", period. Therefore, the more grin inducing parts of mtn biking like hitting drops, jumping, getting air off of natural features, railing corners, drifting, and in general just being able to flick the front end around is going to be better on a 26" bike.
    For Your Information 700c = 29"

    Road Bikes doing Stunt - YouTube

    perhaps you should rethink your misnomer about 29ers...

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    To the O/P What trails are you going to ride in Houston most of the time ?
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

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    yeti chris- in houston i will ride memorial park and terry hershey (not the huge jumps section). i will also frequent the trails at lake bryan

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    Yeti Chris, How are you liking that 575?

  20. #20
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    Dear rjackh,
    I'm sorry we've totally hijacked this thread, buy whatever the hell you want and have as much damn fun as you can- I mean it. Oh well, here goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I don’t know who you have been riding with but the folks I ride with seem to have no issues doing all those things you listed on our 29” bikes. Its fine that you continue to remain clueless however don’t spread falsehoods about things you know nothing about.
    Hey thanks bud! The only difference between you and me is that while we're both obviously opinionated, you're completely dismissive towards what I have to say. Whatever, I can live with that.

    Your reasons for preferring a 29" wheel are totally legitimate. They do roll over stuff better, give you more traction on climbs, and ride smoother. It's absolutely a better tool for XC. I recently bought one of my best friends a rigid 29er for his 1st bike because I thought it was the best bike for him (a KHS Solo One).

    However, that doesn't make it the end all be all for having FUN on a bike. A smaller wheel, given everything else constant, will always be more agile and quicker through turns. Also, the chainstays on a 26 are going to be shorter which make for a more agile bike. Those characteristics, in my opinion, make a 26" bike more fun- and having fun is my sole motivation for riding mtn bikes. If I ever decide to start racing XC you can be certain that I'll get a 29er. Until then, I'll stick with the bike I have because there's more fun to be had riding it.

    Here's a pretty good article on the whole 26 vs 29 debate.
    26er Versus 29er: The Shootout You've Been Asking For | News | mountain-bike-action
    They ended up choosing a hardtail 29 over a hardtail 26, but I bet that wouldn't be the case if they were looking at a Trek Cobia vs a Fuel, which was the entire purpose of this thread.

    Here's another article that I think is pretty good. It's off of pinkbike, which is the internet's haven for downhillers, but I think both sides are represented fairly.
    Pinkbike's Burning Question - Will the 29er Replace the 26-inch Downhill and All-Mountain Bike? - Pinkbike.com

    Lastly, the video of the guy doing trials on a road bike, there's always going to be someone who can do all of that crazy ****. But it's a completely irrelevant argument, you can't do any of that and neither can I. Even so, there's no way those guys ride road bikes everyday when they're doing trials. Danny MacAskill could probably do all of that on a road bike, but he doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    I rode with him once. I think you are right.
    We have in total spent about an hour together. About 5 minutes of that was us both riding.

  21. #21
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    Eh, that was probably enough.
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    I am going back to the shop tonight to test ride both again. The fuel is really pushing my budget but I'm a believer in buy once cry once.

    Am I getting a poor quality FS bike with the fuel ex 5? I know it's the bottom of the fuel line, but it's also the nicest bike I've ever sat on. Besides the week size difference and FS vs HT, the ex 5 and Cobia have almost all the same components. I'm guessing the cobias fork is nicer, but is has less travel in it.

    I'm tempered to spring for the fuel, I used to have a FS bike and never wished I had a HT. just not sure if a HT 29r would be better for what I do, as I never rode one on the trails back then.

  23. #23
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    go for the fuel. the fs will have more versatility and can progress with your skills better. you can always take up the tune on the fork and shock if you are on a more pedal heavy (flat/climb) trail. Also, you may want to travel and ride different more challenging terrain at some point in which case the grip of a fs provides will be a confidence booster for you.

    i think the more experienced riders cut their teeth on hardtails and I'm talkin 20s and perhaps a little moto but if you are used to fs there is no reason to get a hardtail as your only ride at this point. As far as wheel size, growing up on bmx, i firmly believe skills travel from small to large and not the other way around. buy the one that boosts your skills and gives you the confidence to do so.

    (if you do ever want to try a hardtail get a Stanton Slackline!)
    Last edited by 53119; 02-06-2012 at 08:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    just not sure if a HT 29r would be better for what I do, as I never rode one on the trails back then.
    It won't be, if what you do is ride in Austin.

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    The Fuel is a good trail bike. You can always upgrade components later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    growing up on bmx, i firmly believe skills travel from small to large and not the other way around.
    As a Southwest Supercross, Cross-Up BMX and Armadillo Downs regular in the late 70’s and early 80’s all the sh*t we were doing on our Torkers and P.K. Rippers back in the day was exactly what the hell they are doing at the anthills and cycpresswood bowl and the roller coaster at memorial park.

    Yeah the jumps are 10X bigger and the air/stunts are insane compared to the “Rad” tricks we did back in the day tabletops, one handers and the Harry Leary whip but nonetheless the bike handling skills learned back 35 years ago still transfer over to MTB 26” and 29” wheels so the myth that you can’t have fun on a 29er is just that a myth.



    1977 Team Mongoose $350 It took me all spring cutting lawns, washing cars, shining shoes x-mas and birthday money to save the three hundred and fifty bucks to acquire this bad boy but…boy was it worth it!! Nothing kicked so many butts as a candy apple blue Team Mongoose in the late 70’s.



    Just like my 60’ and 70’s hot wheels collection and 12” G.I. Joe collection I’d be a wealthy man if I had kept all the BMX bikes I had from 75’ to 83’ Torker, SE Racing, Patterson, Rebel, Blazer, Robinson, JMC, GT, Kuwahara and of course RedLine.

  27. #27
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    Id vote the Fuel for its versatility compared to the Cobia, especially if you want to take it out of the Houston area up to say SA or Austin etc
    If you dont think you'll ever leave Houston with it, a 29er HT might be the better buy (especially if you plan on XC racing) due to the terrain down there

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    As a Southwest Supercross, Cross-Up BMX and Armadillo Downs regular in the late 70’s and early 80’s all the sh*t we were doing on our Torkers and P.K. Rippers back in the day was exactly what the hell they are doing at the anthills and cycpresswood bowl and the roller coaster at memorial park.

    Yeah the jumps are 10X bigger and the air/stunts are insane compared to the “Rad” tricks we did back in the day tabletops, one handers and the Harry Leary whip but nonetheless the bike handling skills learned back 35 years ago still transfer over to MTB 26” and 29” wheels so the myth that you can’t have fun on a 29er is just that a myth.



    1977 Team Mongoose $350 It took me all spring cutting lawns, washing cars, shining shoes x-mas and birthday money to save the three hundred and fifty bucks to acquire this bad boy but…boy was it worth it!! Nothing kicked so many butts as a candy apple blue Team Mongoose in the late 70’s.



    Just like my 60’ and 70’s hot wheels collection and 12” G.I. Joe collection I’d be a wealthy man if I had kept all the BMX bikes I had from 75’ to 83’ Torker, SE Racing, Patterson, Rebel, Blazer, Robinson, JMC, GT, Kuwahara and of course RedLine.
    with ya all the way on old skool bmx, hal. rocked torker and pattersons myself! however, i didn't say 29s can't rock the same. I said the skills travel small to large and you support that find with skills learned back in the day. find me a newb whose only ridden 29s with the same bmx skill set and let him try and rock those skills on a supergoose. It wont happen. i drank the 29er kool-aid with a holy-roller 6yrs ago. I'm not hatin on it. I just didn't go back for another round.

  29. #29
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    rjackh,

    by the way, how tall are you?

    i went though the same debate a few months ago. 29er or FS 26?

    I'm a shorter dude (5' 6") and tested out a 29er briefly...a bit akward, the bike felt big/tall. it was a 16 inch trek mamba. i'm sure it's all in my head and i'd probably get used to it.

    i just feel more nimble on a 26...i beleive it suits my riding style and my body type better...fyi; i like technical obstacles & drops.
    but I'm in houston also...and decided on a 26 FS; love it. we hit up terry hersy and memorial also. if you don't mind a drive, try jack brooks or bluff creek ranch.

    have you also considered a Trance X?
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    Test drive and buy what you like. If I lived in H-Town, I 'd buy a 29r and roll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    yeti chris- in houston i will ride memorial park and terry hershey (not the huge jumps section). i will also frequent the trails at lake bryan
    What About Jack Brooks state park down on FM2004 I use to ride there with my 15 year old Klein F/S and it worked well but that bike was kind of old, If i ride my Yeti there it would just coast over all. So with that said a F/S bike is the only way to go, I also use to hit Memorial time to time and you need more then the 2' inches of travel that i had, Fyi i use to live in Pearland and now in Colorado so last year when i was looking at a new bike i rode alot of bikes to get what fit and rode well so take your time and ride everything in you budget but first ride the bike that you want most in you budget and then compare all the rest it, This is what i did with my Yeti and in my book no bike came close to it in the $3000 price point, You don't need to spend a lot to have fun Just get out and ride !!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    Yeti Chris, How are you liking that 575?
    Best Bike I have ever had wish i waited for for the Sb-66 but I would not trade my 575 for anything !! The bike has taking everything i put it Through up at Winter Park{Trestle bike park } last summer Not sure if there is a local dealer in Houston to test ride one but you ever have the chance to go for it well worth it !!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    The Fuel is a good trail bike. You can always upgrade components later.
    I would agree 100%
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

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    got the fuel ex 5. i rode it around and absolutely loved it. i like the more nimble feel and the plush FS. i will say the cobia changed gears smoother than this ex 5. the only difference between the two in that respect is the front derailleur. might upgrade that stuff later on but i am very happy now. the cobia held speed better, i guess due to the HT and 29er. can't wait to get on the trails this wknd.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    got the fuel ex 5. i rode it around and absolutely loved it. i like the more nimble feel and the plush FS. i will say the cobia changed gears smoother than this ex 5. the only difference between the two in that respect is the front derailleur. might upgrade that stuff later on but i am very happy now. the cobia held speed better, i guess due to the HT and 29er. can't wait to get on the trails this wknd.
    Probably just needs an adjustment. Front derailleurs can be a ***** to get just right sometimes. Cables can stretch a little when the bike is new as well.

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    hey good pickup on the bike man!! I'm a bigger dude and I keep tacoing 29er rims Been through two stans flow 29ers already and I've been borrowing the bike For us clydes, 26er FS all the way....26ers are stronger and lighter.
    /stirring up Hal
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyRoots View Post
    I keep tacoing 29er rims
    It’s the poor craftsman who blames his tools.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    got the fuel ex 5. i rode it around and absolutely loved it. i like the more nimble feel and the plush FS. i will say the cobia changed gears smoother than this ex 5. the only difference between the two in that respect is the front derailleur. might upgrade that stuff later on but i am very happy now. the cobia held speed better, i guess due to the HT and 29er. can't wait to get on the trails this wknd.
    awsome! i'm sure you will love it even more after hitting memorial
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    got the fuel ex 5.
    120mm travel for Houston?

    Oh well...

    I strongly suggest that you venture beyond the Houston area with your new bike to get the full potential out of it.

    You would have a blast at flat rock ranch in comfort texas, pace bend near austin and madrone near san antonio with your new bike.

    Here is a link to find those places Austin Bike's Guide To Central Texas Mountain Biking


  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    i didn't say 29s can't rock the same. I said the skills travel small to large and you support that find with skills learned back in the day. find me a newb whose only ridden 29s with the same bmx skill set and let him try and rock those skills on a supergoose.
    Downhill guy on a CX bike

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33715181?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/33715181">The Greg Edit</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user4463688">Bikeparks.co.za</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Downhill guy on a CX bike

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33715181?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/33715181">The Greg Edit</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user4463688">Bikeparks.co.za</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    Definitely shows off the skills you get coming from a BMX and moto background. Minnaar is a powerhouse of a rider, his win at Ft. Bill last year was crazy good.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Downhill guy on a CX bike

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33715181?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/33715181">The Greg Edit</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user4463688">Bikeparks.co.za</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    I rode the greenbelt once with a guy on a cross bike. I think it was a fixie, don't really remember. 99% sure it was a singlespeed. He kicked everyone's ass.

    It is all about the rider, not the bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    I rode the greenbelt once with a guy on a cross bike. I think it was a fixie, don't really remember. 99% sure it was a singlespeed. He kicked everyone's ass.

    It is all about the rider, not the bike.
    I see a pattern here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    120mm travel for Houston?

    Oh well...

    I strongly suggest that you venture beyond the Houston area with your new bike to get the full potential out of it.

    You would have a blast at flat rock ranch in comfort texas, pace bend near austin and madrone near san antonio with your new bike.

    Here is a link to find those places Austin Bike's Guide To Central Texas Mountain Biking

    Here's a another good site for finding Texas trails.

    MountainBikeTx.com - Your Texas Mountain Bike Resource

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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    It is all about the rider, not the bike.
    I Kind of Beg to differ , I say its about 75 % the rider and 25% the Bike !! I rode my old Klein Mantra Pro up at Winter park and was 100% confident on a 16 year old bike but then Bamm I wiped out , I was even told by someone riding by me and said i really should not be riding that bike up there, Then last summer i got my Yeti and rode the same way on the same trails and felt 100% confident and rode faster and longer since this bike had more Sup and railed the turns !

    So i say Yes it is part the rider and part bike !!
    Last edited by YETI_Chris; 02-08-2012 at 03:43 PM.
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    120mm travel for Houston?

    Oh well...

    I strongly suggest that you venture beyond the Houston area with your new bike to get the full potential out of it.
    ahhah...i'm in houston and recenlty added a 140mm FS bike. but we try to venture out when we can. have already taken it to Jack Brooks (hitchcock), and Bluff Creek (Warda).

    yeah a tad overkill, but i believe it works great for how i like to ride.
    2011 Trek/Gary Fisher Wahoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    got the fuel ex 5. i rode it around and absolutely loved it. i like the more nimble feel and the plush FS. i will say the cobia changed gears smoother than this ex 5. the only difference between the two in that respect is the front derailleur. might upgrade that stuff later on but i am very happy now. the cobia held speed better, i guess due to the HT and 29er. can't wait to get on the trails this wknd.
    You been able to ride it yet?

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    Hell, I rode 180mm on cypresswood for over 6 years just fine
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    You been able to ride it yet?
    just around my backyard and wheelies in the street. i love it so far. it definitely does not shift as smooth as i would like. i ma hitting some trails this weekend and i will probably bring it back to the shop next week. they may be able to fine tune some of that out. what do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjackh View Post
    just around my backyard and wheelies in the street. i love it so far. it definitely does not shift as smooth as i would like. i ma hitting some trails this weekend and i will probably bring it back to the shop next week. they may be able to fine tune some of that out. what do you think?
    A new bike will always have some initial cable stretch which is going to make your derailluers act *****y. You should be able to take it back to the shop for a free tune up, that and have them check all of the pivots in the suspension linkage, re torque all the bolts everywhere on the bike, check the spoke tension/trueness of your wheels, and make sure that your BB and headset are still behaving. Almost every shop will do all of this for free if you recently bought a bike from them. If they won't then politely give them the finger and find a new shop.

    Also, make sure you get a shock pump and stay on top of keeping your suspension at the proper PSI, it makes a huge difference. I would get a label printer or just a piece of duck tape, write down the PSI you've determined to be your ideal pressure, and stick it on your shock/forks somewhere. That way you have it right there for whenever you're putting air into your shock/forks. Just make sure that you don't start gaining or loosing weight, then that handy number becomes irrelevant.

    Hope this helps, have fun man! Hit me up on here if you make it out to Austin, I'm always down to ride.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    A 26" wheel is always going to be more nimble and stronger than a 29", period. Therefore, the more grin inducing parts of mtn biking like hitting drops, jumping, getting air off of natural features, railing corners, drifting, and in general just being able to flick the front end around is going to be better on a 26" bike.
    O RLY?

    Teaser 29ROCKS! DH session with Cedric Gracia & Simon André on 29ers on Vimeo

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    yea really. just becuase some professional downhillers can rip it on 29ers doesnt override the laws of physics and plain ole logic. of course 26ers will be more flickable and easier to jump on, and stronger. there are tradeoffs to everything. 29ers roll over stuff better and probably climb better than a 26er. if I posted a video of Greg Minnaar rolling over some huge rocks on a 26er doesnt change the fact that in general, a 29er rolls over stuff better.

    you seem a little butthurt that this guy didnt buy a 29er and its really weird. get over it

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    Will you two just have sex and get it over with already?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    just becuase some professional downhillers can rip it on 29ers doesnt override the laws of physics and plain ole logic.
    logic failure


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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    logic failure



    i really dont care that much, so im not commenting anymore in this thread. and ill be enjoying my FS 26er.

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    Hello Kitty failure.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    logic failure

    point being? none of these videos have any relevance

    26ers can be made more nimble
    all things egual, a 26" wheel is stronger and lighter than a 29" wheel, and a 20" is stronger and lighter than a 26"...just a fact that cant be argued against...doesnt mean a properly built 29" wheel isnt strong enough for most applications
    29" wheels have better approach angles and carry momentum better than 26", and in turn will roll over things better
    *these arent logic, they are physics, laws that govern the physical world

    we get it, 29ers are the end all be all for you, but that doesnt mean they are for everyone
    i prefer agility and versatility in a trail bike personally, and gravitate to 26" wheels with 140/150mm of travel to soak up the hits and bumps...thats what i prefer, doesnt mean its good for others desires, i frankly havent ridden a 29er that felt as good to me as my current bike in situations other than less technical XC trails (havent ridden them all, but have ridden enough to know this)

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    Another post from HAL, sweet! I was wondering what happened to him, he hadn't jumped back on this train in a few days and I got a bit worried. I'll bet you were out at the anthills with a dry erase board drawing diagrams and giving out pamphlets trying to get the BMX/DJ guys to start riding 29ers, weren't you?

    The guy who started this has already bought his new bike, this is getting ridiculous. But I'm feeling both a bit bored and argumentative right now.

    Again, that's just them dicking around, CG doesn't ride one of those on race day anymore than Minnaar rides his cross bike.

    Tell you what HAL, post a video of yourself ripping a 29er on a proper DH track and I'll admit that 29ers are better in every way. I've even found you a 29er DH bike to use! It's called the PBJ by Lenz. They started building them a few years ago and you can be the first to buy one, here ya go buddy.


    Or, since you seen fixated on showing us videos of pros riding DH on 29ers, post a video or interview or something of someone racing a DH 29er on a world cup track. Val Di Sole is a pretty difficult track with lots of rough things, so a 29er should be faster on it.
    Val di Sole Helmet Cam - YouTube

    Perhaps you'd be interested in one of these:

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    is it me or is it sometimes the 29er thing gets a bit evangelical and 26 is the devil? i know guys in houston with 5-6" 26 bikes who'll send it off 5-6' ledges downtown so...it's all a playground.

  60. #60
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    very much so, 29er or death to the 26" infidels

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    Quote Originally Posted by clewttu View Post
    very much so, 29er or death to the 26" infidels
    damn it! clown shoes with a circus bike or DEATH...... death, please.

    or are we simply saying 29ers are the business end of the mullet?

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post

    Tell you what HAL, post a video of yourself ripping a 29er on a proper DH track
    I live in TEXAS where exactly is a "proper" DH track in Texas?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    is it me or is it sometimes the 29er thing gets a bit evangelical and 26 is the devil?
    It's like the ex-smoker, ex-drinker or born again Christian...once you become enlightened you have to annoy everyone around you.

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    I Have seen a few 29ers Up here and they ride Winter Park but I just blow right by them because the bigger wheel is not a tight corners friend !! Real DHillers ride 26ers !!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I live in TEXAS where exactly is a "proper" DH track in Texas?
    Rough Rider Canyon

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    It's like the ex-smoker, ex-drinker or born again Christian...once you become enlightened you have to annoy everyone around you.
    I almost spit my coffee on this one...

    I'm going to a "new to me" bike shop today to ride a 29er to see if the Kool-Aid is as good as they say.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    I almost spit my coffee on this one...

    I'm going to a "new to me" bike shop today to ride a 29er to see if the Kool-Aid is as good as they say.
    you've not been practicing your daily affirmations in front of a mirror. go ahead look in the mirror and simply say " i'm good enough. I'm smart enough and dog gone it people like me!".

    when has kool-aid drank by adults ever yield a happy ending? seriously, i'm all for new toys on hero dirt. hope you find a new ride!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post

    I'm going to a "new to me" bike shop today to ride a 29er to see if the Kool-Aid is as good as they say.
    If you try to set up a 29er like you have your 26" bike it's going to ride like ass and that’s where i think 99.9% of the "i tried a 29er but didn't like it" folks made their mistake and formed a unfair opinion on 29ers. Hey it took me a while to fully convert and the first few rides i wasn't feeling the "magic" either but after a few stem swaps adding/removing spacers saddle adjustments and going with a wide flat bar it finally came together and I’ve got no regrets since then.

    Yeah going from your personal 26" bike to a demo/loaner 29er isn't going to be the same by a long shot what you need to concentrate on is riding smoothly and flowing with the trail this isn't some point and shoot drag race from corner to corner 26er it's more of a maintaining speed and momentum type of riding and once you can adjust to that style of riding you’ll be sold.

    If possible get a 29er SS bike for one the SS forces you to ride smoother and efficient and second the bigger wheels will help you maintain momentum which is crucial to riding any SS bike 26” or 29”. Don’t let all these wet blanket retrogrouchs on here form an opinion for you just get out and ride and you’ll be joining the rest of us who came to see the truth.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by clewttu View Post
    Looks fun but don't think I'm gonna drive 747 miles from Houston to El Paso to ride less than a minute tho'.

    Roughrider Brutality 2011 - YouTube

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Looks fun but don't think I'm gonna drive 747 miles from Houston to El Paso to ride less than a minute tho'.

    Roughrider Brutality 2011 - YouTube
    wasnt what you asked brah, downhill in Tx, check...head up to DFW for some freeride at Big Cedar if you want
    and a perfectly set up 26er corners better than a perfectly set up 29er, thus maintaining speed...it is what it is

  71. #71
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    Y'all leave HAL alone. I he want's to ride a road bike on the trails that's his prerogative.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by clewttu View Post
    and a perfectly set up 26er corners better than a perfectly set up 29er, thus maintaining speed...it is what it is
    < sigh > you and your misnomers about 29ers

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    < sigh > you and your misnomers about 29ers
    no man, its you and your misnomers that are the issue
    I have owned them, still have one (though its for multi terrain touring/commuting etc, salsa fargo), I like them....they just arent the best bike and the death of the 26" wheel, there is no such thing as the perfect/best bike, 29ers have certain weaknesses just like a 26er do, its ok to admit it, thats why there are options

    its the fanboys like you that cant admit there are things 29ers arent as good at as 26ers that give the full on 29er crowd a bad rep

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by clewttu View Post

    its the fanboys like you that cant admit there are things 29ers arent as good at as 26ers that give the full on 29er crowd a bad rep
    I’ve yet to find anything that I’ve ridden that has me wishing I had my 26” bike back. Same goes for any one that I personally know that’s made the switch from 26” to 29” wheels.

  75. #75
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    im glad you like them, i know many who do
    ive done my due diligence and they came up very lacking in the fun department, which is where my passion is...if i was an xc racer id have kept them

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I’ve yet to find anything that I’ve ridden that has me wishing I had my 26” bike back. Same goes for any one that I personally know that’s made the switch from 26” to 29” wheels. I’m not here trying to convert anyone like you to 29ers that’s like talking about facts, reason, logic and personal responsibility to Liberals they just don’t get it and never will…
    More Hello Kitty failure; damn I'm good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I’m not here trying to convert anyone like you to 29ers that’s like talking about facts, reason, logic and personal responsibility to Liberals they just don’t get it and never will…
    Now you're inferring a correlation between politics and the 29/26 "debate"? Seriously, Hal. Please either post your Drudge-isms in the politics forum or STFU.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy Tacos View Post
    Now you're inferring a correlation between politics and the 29/26 "debate"? Seriously, Hal. Please either post your Drudge-isms in the politics forum or STFU.
    Just stating the facts you’re the one taking offence.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Just stating the facts you’re the one taking offence.
    It's "offense", troll. If there's one thing Liberals seem to do well, it's spell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy Tacos View Post
    It's "offense", troll. If there's one thing Liberals seem to do well, it's spell.
    Mr. Bill can't help himself; the political section of bikemojo was recently removed.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy Tacos View Post
    It's "offense", troll. If there's one thing Liberals seem to do well, it's spell.
    OK spelling nazi you got me.

    Nonetheless it still doesn’t change the facts of trying to have a rational conversation to the 29er deniers is like talking common sense to a liberal they just don’t get it or ever will so why try…

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    it's my first 29" bike and i've been hearing from the 29er kool-aid drinkers how they were the answer to everything so I broke down and ordered one back in September last year it's not what i expected but i'm not dissatisfied either bottom line is it's a carbon fiber hardtail with big wheels the fun factor goes up exponentially the faster you pedal.
    Remember this one, Hal? I guess a year and a half of owning a 29" Flash makes you hardcore. Personally, I find 29 and 26 have their own, individual merits. I ride both.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy Tacos View Post
    Remember this one, Hal? I guess a year and a half of owning a 29" Flash makes you hardcore. Personally, I find 29 and 26 have their own, individual merits. I ride both.
    nice a stalker

    mr.tacos i suppose i'm "hardcore" (your words not mine) enough that i ebayed all my 26" bikes a while back for 29ers i guess that makes me committed enough eh?









    The s works epic 29er is as good or better than the reviews nothing is more satisfying than catching and passing 26” riders on the trail the only limiting factor of this bike is my lack of leg and lung power it erases any and all misnomers about 29ers period.

    First Impressions: Specialized S-Works Epic 29er « Mountain Flyer Magazine

    Specialized S-Works Epic 29er, Should Everyone Else Just Stop Trying | News | mountain-bike-action
    Last edited by HAL 9000; 02-12-2012 at 01:09 PM.

  84. #84
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    I knew that once I emerged from my weekend that I would find a post from my best buddy HAL on here. YAY!!! Way to start making political statements dude, that's totally on topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    nothing is more satisfying than catching and passing 26” riders on the trail
    That makes you sound like a massive twatwaffle. Nice bikes though, you certainly have the XC part of mtn biking covered with those 3.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    nice a stalker

    mr.tacos i suppose i'm "hardcore" (your words not mine) enough that i ebayed all my 26" bikes a while back for 29ers i guess that makes me committed enough eh?









    The s works epic 29er is as good or better than the reviews nothing is more satisfying than catching and passing 26” riders on the trail the only limiting factor of this bike is my lack of leg and lung power it erases any and all misnomers about 29ers period.

    First Impressions: Specialized S-Works Epic 29er « Mountain Flyer Magazine

    Specialized S-Works Epic 29er, Should Everyone Else Just Stop Trying | News | mountain-bike-action
    I'm digging that Kermit Green Niner. They don't sell that color on the 2011+ EMD 9 or Air 9

    I have to settle for Hot Tamale Red or Tang Orange.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    OK spelling nazi you got me.

    Nonetheless it still doesn’t change the facts of trying to have a rational conversation to the 29er deniers is like talking common sense to a liberal they just don’t get it or ever will so why try…
    jeez, you dont quit?
    everything is extremely rational till you chime in
    you just honestly believe that there is no weakness of 29ers, which is absolutely hilarious that someone can be so blindly loyal and think whats right for them is right for everyone
    fascism at its finest...if being a no common sense having liberal is the opposite of you, sign me up

    you are prob the person who reviews every piece of gear or bike they have as 5 star just so they feel better about their purchase, as if its a reflection on themselves...instead of being honest about the pros and cons, nothing is perfect, not even your specialed with its suspension crutch "brain" technology

    and lulz at passing 26ers, see, this is where your true colors shine, you are a racerboi, all you care about is going fast on those XC trails, other people prefer something challenging in a different way and arent worried about being the fastest guy on the flats (when the 29ers pass me on the connectors, only to get passed again on the technical ups/downs/turns, i laugh a bit cuz im not out there trying to set personal bests like they tend to be)

    no one is "denying" that there is a place for 29ers (there absolutely is) or that they are great bikes (many are), dont get so butthurt that people have different likes and dislikes...they arent the end-all be-all of mtn biking, if they were the 26" wheel would be dead already...I know that must crush you to realize

    hell, i plan on giving 29ers a try again when the Ibis Ripley comes out
    but until then, there isnt a 29er out there that is as fun as my Mojo (except maybe the HD, which i am fawning over) for my style of riding


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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    I'm digging that Kermit Green Niner. They don't sell that color on the 2011+ EMD 9 or Air 9
    His & Hers SS


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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    His & Hers SS

    Small world. I did a chick with a bike just like that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Small world. I did a chick with a bike just like that!
    Stop bragging about how you nailed HAL, that's rude.

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    Interesting article in the latest Mountain Flyer discussing 29 v 26.

    To paraphrase: "In terms of race performance, there's little difference. While Willow Koerber did well on the World Cup circuit on a 29er, Julie Bresset rides a 26er and sits on the top of the '12 UCI women's rankings. Jaroslav Kulhavy is on top of UCI standings this year and rides a full suspension 29er but initially rode to victory on a 26er in '10. The author also mentions that all the second- through fifth-ranked racers in the '12 UCI standings raced almost exclusively on 26ers."

    The author's own observations after a fairly lengthy test of the two showed little if any difference b/n 26ers and 29ers in terms of power output and time. To me that seems to be fairly clear evidence that 26" wheels aren't dead yet.

    Just saying.
    Last edited by Puffy Tacos; 02-15-2012 at 09:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    His & Hers SS

    Come out and ride with US at Winter Park or Kesystone and you be left in the dust with them silly Wheels, You will be watching them 26ers in front of you pull away !!

    of course Riding a 29er on flat boring trails will smoke a 26er DUH !! Can you ride that thing on tight DH runs on 2000 + Vertical Feet ? I bet Not
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_Chris View Post
    Can you ride that thing on tight DH runs on 2000 + Vertical Feet ? I bet Not
    You know what they say about people who assume...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    You know what they say about people who assume...?
    Assume Ummm NOpe Just Fact !! Why is that you dont see people riding them funny wheels at Resorts ? Because they suck on the DH and tight turns Fact !!

    Like i said come out and play with the big boys on our trails here in Colorado and see !! Anyone can ride flat trails and be fast !! Being That i am from Pearland and have rode a lot of the stuff in H"Town you can't compare What you ride Vs what i ride NOW !! a 29er is ok for that not here !!

    When you ready to ride one of these Let me know so i can get the Boys ready !!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Getting new bike, need advice-271013_10150232741393907_551898906_7558282_4676783_n.jpg  

    Last edited by YETI_Chris; 02-15-2012 at 09:56 PM.
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  95. #95
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    I want to go to Colorado. Looks like fun.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    I want to go to Colorado. Looks like fun.
    It is fun, I am so Looking forward to Bike season at the resorts for sure !!
    Come on out and chill any time Fellow Texan !!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_Chris View Post
    It is fun, I am so Looking forward to Bike season at the resorts for sure !!
    Come on out and chill any time Fellow Texan !!
    I seriously might take you up on that. I'll be working at Angel Fire bike park this season, we should meet up.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    I seriously might take you up on that. I'll be working at Angel Fire bike park this season, we should meet up.
    That is sweet , Nice summer job for sure, I so would want to work at Winter Par But you really don't make alot of money just living the dream for sure up there ! Since i work P/T at performance bike i should be getting a summer pass for 1/2 from what i am told , Last summer the WP pass had 2 days at Angel Fire as well We will see what this years holds.

    But if you even make it up to my neck of the woods let me know i can show you around WP Since That is my 2nd Home in the summer, I don't have a house there but Lived up there most of last summer for sure, I get Phat deals at the hotel on the Mtn !!

    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  99. #99
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    Brace yourselves for pictures of all Bill's cycle cross bikes.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Brace yourselves for pictures of all Bill's cycle cross bikes.
    Wait till he says That his Lefty fork is the best thing ever and how he Blows by 26ers
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  101. #101
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    I'm new and cant wait to get my first mountain bike!

  102. #102
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    Will ride completely over all of the 29ers in ur stable HAL... and if I dont wanna ride it for some reason

    Can jump it as well... 6 inches front and back and 27 lbs..... If you had an alum epic this would be lighter than it.
    2013 Ibis Mojo HD Special Blend with dropper post, hope/stans wheelset and hope x2/m4 brakes

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyRoots View Post
    Will ride completely over all of the 29ers in ur stable HAL... and if I dont wanna ride it for some reason
    BloodyRoots He is not been around in some time, If he was a real man He would come up to Colorado and ride with the Big Boys at one of our resorts and he so would get left behind on his 29er Lefty Bike !!

    I have to say he can talk the walk but he sure can't ride what comes out of his mouth !!

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-twUCEfzrDk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  104. #104
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    Can we please let this thread die?

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    Can we please let this thread die?
    Ok Done !!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  106. #106
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    ditto, oh but YETI chris, i want an invite to colorado too lol.
    2013 Ibis Mojo HD Special Blend with dropper post, hope/stans wheelset and hope x2/m4 brakes

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyRoots View Post
    ditto, oh but YETI chris, i want an invite to colorado too lol.
    Come on up The Resorts are awesome to ride.. Cant wait to get My Summer Pass for Winter Park in May Aka trestle Bike Park Trestle Bike Park - Home , This is Why i love riding in the Mtns also it can be 32 deg on July 4 with Snow.. That is the best summer i had a few years ago.. Watching Fireworks up in WP with Snow in the Air.
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  108. #108
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    what my wife already knows...

    Bigger is better
    By: Christoph Sauser
    Published: April 5, 17:02,
    Race:Cape Epic

    Cape Epic winner says 29-inch wheels are superior to 650b

    Millions of rocks, thousands of corners and climbing twice as many feet as Mount Everest is tall! This is the annual Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race every year for thousand of riders. It draws riders like you and me and women, former rugby players, pros, wannabes, 100kg guys, flyweights, Formula One drivers, Africans, Europeans, Asians... The whole world meets to ride and race bikes.

    Some things have always been and always remain the same. Tires are black and round.

    But what has changed dramatically over the last two years is wheel size.

    2012 marked the first time ever that every UCI-registered Cape Epic rider raced on a 29er, and I guess that was true of most of the amateur racers who had bikes not older than one year

    It must be confusing for some riders to see the new 650B wheel size now becoming available and under discussion. Not to mention what will bike shop owners think if they have to start stocking three standards of frames, shocks, tires, wheels and forks. How can you still recommend a bike and not confuse your customer?

    In that case, I would focus totally on a concept bike shop with only 29ers because I totally believe in the biggest wheel size. I think it would work for 95 percent of bike shop customers just as it works for myself.

    Would you like to drive a Formula One car when going shopping and going to work?

    In cross country racing, it is all about accelerations, stiffness and having the lightest bike. I even race cross country events with one chainring (34-tooth) only.

    So yes, that kind of racing might call for the creation of very different bikes, but tires are still black and round.

    Luckily we Specialized racers are fortunate that our bikes' geometry is perfectly adapted for the big (29er) wheels. All of us - even a small Burry Stander - can ride stock frames and still find the perfect position. Plus our bikes fly around tight corners. We wouldn't want to give up the great rollover ability of the big wheels, their stability at speed or their extra traction. Even in cross country racing.

    Every smaller wheel size is compromise.
    Bigger Is Better | Cyclingnews.com


  109. #109
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    lulz....so hype is now fact? trollololol

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Bigger is better
    Not on Our Trails here in COLORADO you TOOL.. Come on up and ride and see what happens when you ride with the Big Boys, you troll !!!
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_Chris View Post
    Not on Our Trails here in COLORADO you TOOL.. Come on up and ride and see what happens when you ride with the Big Boys, you troll !!!
    EDIT -

    just put HAL on Ignore. then you dont have to read what he says. everything he posts here is the same crap he posts on every forum.
    Last edited by sooner518; 04-06-2012 at 03:44 PM.

  112. #112
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    "Would you like to drive a Formula One car when going shopping and going to work?"

    YES

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    EDIT -

    just put HAL on Ignore. then you dont have to read what he says. everything he posts here is the same crap he posts on every forum.
    You DO realize who you just quoted right? Yeti Chris does nothing but talk imaginary smack about the "big boys" in colorado. Every. Single. Thread.
    Im not even sure why he is allowed to post in the Texas thread anymore anyways....
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    EDIT -

    just put HAL on Ignore. then you dont have to read what he says. everything he posts here is the same crap he posts on every forum.
    YUP... I Put some dude on that list in the Colorado forum as well..
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  115. #115
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    I'm getting tired of being right all the time...

    Women on 29ers? Lea Davison recommends ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’

    Women at the World Cup level may have taken longer than the men to shift to riding predominantly 29ers, but at the first World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, it was clear that elite women are embracing big wheels. Two of the three women that were off the front most of the race were riding 29ers, and of those three, Maja Wloszczowska and Emily Batty’s 29ers crossed the line before Catherine Pendrel’s 26er.

    Singletrack.com caught up with the U.S. woman who set the highest bid on the Olympics at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup with the fastest U.S. time, Lea Davison. Davison was included among the many women riding 29″ hardtails in South Africa.

    Even though she now posts consistently strong times on 29ers in World Cup races, Davison hasn’t always been a proponent of women on big wheels. She admitted that, “I think I was a hard sell until I actually rode one.”

    “Before I got the [Specialized] Fate I was like, ‘I will never ride a 29er. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid,’ and then they rolled out the Fate and I was like, ‘Well, I guess I’m riding a 29er.’”

    Even still, Davison said that her initial reaction to the sensation of 29er wheels underfoot was that the bike was less maneuverable than the 26er she was accustomed to. That feeling didn’t last long, though. She explained, “Once I got a handle on the handling and I felt I could make it a bit more snappy, I learned to love it.”

    The final sell was easy, though, since her first day on it, she raced a local Wednesday race and won the overall against the men’s field. She explained that winning races will make you fall in love with a bike in a hurry. She also added, “It’s hard not to race a bike that’s under 17lbs,” a tall order for any mountain bike, much less a 29er.

    “I feel like riding a 29er hardtail is like riding a full-suspension 26″ bike,” she explained when asked if she would be riding full suspension at any of the season’s World Cups. She may pull out dual suspension for races like Windham that are consistently technical, but feels that the big wheels are sufficient for the courses with intermittent technical sections. Her process of picking a bike for a given race was simple enough. “I go and pre-ride the course to test which bike I can put down the most power and which feels the most snappy,” she explained.

    Of one race Davison was certain: “I know I’m gonna race the Fate if I go to the Olympics.” The style of course in London is similar to the one in Pietermaritzburg, with primarily buffed-out singletrack, paired with quick sections of man-made technical features with safer, but slower, lines. If she whips out the full-suspension in a race this year, it will be for a race that is consistently technical throughout the duration.

    For someone who went from being determined not to give in to riding 29ers, Davison now strongly advocates women riding on 29″. She believes the trend will not only improve the competition in women’s racing, but that big wheels are great incentive for women to go out and get their tires dirty for the first time. “I think it’s a really good introduction bike,” she explained. Davison believes that women that start on 29ers will have a better initial experience with the sport and will be more likely to stick with mountain biking as a result. “But whatever it takes to get (women) on a bike,” she amended.

    If anyone is in touch with what it takes for women to have good introductory experiences with mountain biking, and how to foster that enthusiasm to keep them in the sport, it’s Davison. As the co-founder of the non-profit Little Bellas, she develops mentoring classes for young women interested in learning mountain bike skills. Davison believes that, “it’s different learning to ride from a male than from a female. When they’re put together with the boys, they may get overshadowed, but here it’s just all girls. … We try to create an atmosphere where they fall in love with mountain biking.”

    When it comes to the question of 26 vs. 29, expect to see more and more women following Davison and drinking the Kool-Aid in the near future.
    Women on 29ers? Lea Davison recommends ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’

    2 snaps!


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