How much bike for Sansom, RPR, Spider Mtn, Northshore West, and Bentonville?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How much bike for Sansom, RPR, Spider Mtn, Northshore West, and Bentonville?

    I've been riding since the start of the year here in DFW. Primarily Northshore East Loops, Boulder Park, and Harry Moss. While these don't touch what's found in the trails listed in the title, my goal is to be able to ride proficiently enough to meet up with my younger brother and his riding group at any of those locations later this year. To get into riding, I picked up a '17 Trek Stache. Plenty of bike for the XC like trails I've been riding to get my conditioning. I'm sure it's still plenty of bike for more technical trails.

    However, I'd like to pick up a FS trail bike this Summer. I won't be going to any Western states or bike parks (Spide Mountain, the exception). My question is, what type of trail bike would be appropriate to have a good time at trails like Sansom, RPR, and Spider Mtn. I'm pretty open to bike brands, wheel size, and don't need top level suspension as I'm not racing for $$$. I just want to be able to keep up and ride something that I can enjoy jumping and building that skill set.

    BTW, I'm 5' 4" and love my 29x3.0 monster tires, but am not married to the idea of only riding a +29" tire. Short chainstays are a plus for me given my 27.5" inseam. That's part of the reason I like the Stache and its 420mm chainstays.

    I'll be in Colorado in six weeks for work. I'm considering checking out what left over stock might be sitting in the Denver stores. Would a '18 Giant Reign be overkill for my intended use? $2K-$2.5K is probably my budget. Any thoughts welcomed.

  2. #2
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    It's up to you, really. I started riding Sansom on a hardtail, then eventually ended up with an 'enduro' bike (SC Nomad v3, which is overkill for Sansom IMO but I loved it). Most locals have gone from XC full suspension to mid or long travel bikes over the years, but at the end of the day the fast people will be fast no matter what they're riding. I'd recommend you try to demo some bikes and pick what feels good for you. You certainly can have one bike that can handle all the places you listed very well.

  3. #3
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    130/130 with a 2.3" tire works well in all those trails.

  4. #4
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    Love me some Sansom Park, gotta get out there and see the new lines for sure.

    If your wanting a nice trail bike that will be a rocket on xc trails and beyond capable on enduro take a look at Rocky Mountain Instincts, Pipelines or Thunderbolts . Several models with options to choose from.

    Hell if your out west of town shoot me a PM sometime and I'll let you ride my 2019 RM Element.

  5. #5
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    A full suspension mid travel bike in the 130 to 140 travel range that isn't too aggressive (head angle, etc.) works fine in North Texas. I ride a Whyte T-130 on everything we have here, and it's right at home on the simple stuff like Gateway and Legacy, as well as very capable on the rock gardens at Isle du Bois and Northshore West. Decent climber too on the few hills we have. A trail bike like the T-130 will also let you have fast stable fun at places like Spider Mountain and Bentonville (both the old school single track as well as Coler's flow trails). I ride as close to daily in DFW as weather permits (damn that rain!), and hit most of the 30+ varying trails we have in here. The T-130 (or bikes with similar geo) is neither overkill or under-gunned.

    There are a lot of good bikes to choose from these days. If you're considering a consumer direct bike (save some cash! ), take a look at Whyte. I think you'd like it's short chainstay (420mm) to top tube ratio. It's a very playful bike.

    BTW, I also have an XC bike that hardly sees trail use anymore. New geo trail bikes are right at home on our XC trails, unless you need a dedicated rocket for racing.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  6. #6
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    I REALLY enjoyed the Mojo HD 4 on Minion 2.6. Its the first bigger bike I have ridden that I liked. It would be a great contrast to what you have. I havent tested a RIPMO yet, but 29 is king in Texas and is downright faster through the chunk.

    I would really do anything on that Stache short of racing Enduro, which you could still easily do if you wanted too. you can toss some XR2s on it and kill on Texas XC races and most all trails.

  7. #7
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    I found a used 2016 Scott Genius for $1200. I've taken it to Colorado and all over Texas (DFW, Central TX, Houston) and it's a stellar ride on all terrains. I was at North Shore last week, actually. Keep an eye out on the FB pages and you'll likely find one at a good price. I prefer the 29', but I'm also 6'1 at 170lbs. One thing that sets Scott apart is the twinlock suspension system. Read about it, because its SO worth it.

  8. #8
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    Just got back from DFW and I was riding my bike. I've done several trips and ridden most of those areas. I call Sansom "Broken-Glass Park".

    IMO, 120mm on a 29er is a sweet spot. 29er wheels are big and will roll over stuff, retaining speed and avoiding wheel-catchers, but when you go more than this, they start to pedal pretty soggy pretty fast. It depends on how chunky you want to ride, you can find some pretty chunky stuff, but even on downhills it takes a crazy steep extended DH where an enduro bike would be faster, there are high level riders riding 120ish bikes all the time in enduro type races because the terrain doesn't call for any more.

    Part of the fun is keeping your speed up, cornering fast, etc. With 100mm of travel I come up on people riding Northshore like they are standing still, get a huge rush by weaving through the trees like in Return of the Jedi. Get too much travel and it starts to bog down. There's a lot of stuff there in TX I can't see having more than 100mm on, like Legacy Park, etc. But then out at RPR my 100mm was obviously a bit short. I like a little more suspension cush for big mountain descents, but not for shorter stuff where you are heading right back up in the opposite direction in short order. I'd rather have a bit less travel then and make up some of the difference with sturdy components and tires.

    The other thing to consider, and this is a big one, tuned suspension makes a huge difference. That's one of the things I was out there doing last week, was getting used to the front and rear tuned suspension (avalanche and Push). This can boost your 120mm bike to feeling better than a 140mm bike, because quality of travel is better than quantity of travel. I set aside $$ for this when I get a new bike/frame these days, because it's simply worth it. So just because you go for a lesser travel bike doesn't mean the suspension has to feel poor.

    My xc race bike is set up 120/100 or 100/100, depending on which fork I'm using, but I bring it to TX because it's the most appropriate bike out of the ones I own. That said, I could use a little more travel, just nowhere near the 160 of my AM/enduro bike:

    (real time speed)
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    Lots of great feedback above. Am processing everyone's feedback. I got in some time at Northshore's Loop 1 and Loop 5 laps last Friday before the rain. Riding Loop 5 with some fitness and more confidence vs the start of the year made me realize how much fun it is to bomb the quicker flow sections. I'm still slow, but way faster than 12 weeks ago.

    Being shorter has it's challenges in bike fitting and sizing, but does seem to have the benefit of there being more new old stock left around. I've located the following interesting bikes:

    Used 2018 5010 Alu D build $1900
    Demo 2018 Bronson Alu R build $2000
    New 2017 Norco Torrent A7.1 $2200
    New 2019 Whyte T130 SR. $2300
    New 2019 Fezzari Abajo Peak $2000
    New 2019 Rossignol All Track Enduro $2200

    Lots of great bikes. It really does seem to be a great time to ride mountain bikes. Some of the bikes are probably going to be overkill for +90% of my riding, but I'll review the advice given and see what makes most sense.

    I'll be sure to give feedback when I make a purchase.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Just got back from DFW and I was riding my bike. I've done several trips and ridden most of those areas. I call Sansom "Broken-Glass Park".
    Don't ride there again, simple solution.

  11. #11
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    I picked up a 2017 Niner ally Jet9 which is, more or less, a beefy(heavy) xc bike. After riding around Austin for a year on it I swapped the stock 29" wheels with Stans 27.5 and threw on some 2.8" Nobby Nicks. I added 10mm of travel to the forks (to 140mm) and now have really fun and capable Texas Trail bike. Lots of guys ride 29" 2.6 and swear by them but this set-up has worked well for me on;
    Greenbelt, Purgatory, Spring Lake, Reimers, Flat Creek, Walnut Creek, Pace Bend, Madrone, etc.
    If I could afford it I would go to a lighter carbon frame but, honestly, I have not felt the need for more travel, RIP9 for example.
    Anyway, thats my 2 cents. Hope it helps

  12. #12
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    ColinD, thanks for the feedback. That Jet9 sounds like a blast. I ended up buying a 2018 Cannondale Trigger. I got a great deal and am quite happy with it. The suspension is plenty for 90% of what I will ever ride in TX/AR. I spent the weekend in Burnet, TX at RPR and Spider Mountain. Only thing limiting me was my skillset and fitness.

    Now, I just need open trails in DFW. Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

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