What bike for Austin and the Hill Country- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What bike for Austin and the Hill Country

    I've been riding a hardtail 29er for the past 3 1/2 years, mostly on the trails in Steiner and occasionally at Walnut Creek. That said, my goal is to get out and ride more of the trails in and around the hill country. To help achieve this goal, I'm finally stepping up and getting my first full suspension ride. I thought I was going to get a Stumpjumper but found I was most comfortable on the 100mm travel Epic and Tallboy. Having not ridden a full suspension bike around the area, I'm not sure what's enough and what's too much travel. If you only had one bike, would that be recommended travel to handle the majority of riding in and around Austin and the hill country?

  2. #2
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    I'd personally go with something with around 150mm, big enough to send anything and it'll still climb well enough to ride XC. Don't buy one if you're gonna race XC. If you aren't though, these will make descending a blast without sacrificing too much pedaling efficiency.

    Any of these are good buys. Yeti 575, Specialized Stumpy Evo, Trek Remedy/Fuel EX, Pivot 5.7 (what I have), GT Sanction, Transition Bandit/Covert, Santa Cruz Blur LT, Commencal Meta 6, Ibis Mojo, Intense Carbine SL

    As far as the Pivot 5.7 is concerned, I can't say enough good things about it. It's flat out the best trail bike I've ever ridden. If you're kinda short, shoot me a PM and I might let you borrow it for a day. I'm out of commission with some pretty serious injuries and won't be riding it any time soon.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned that I'm 6' 3" and i'm looking to get another 29er.

  4. #4
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    cant say ive spent any appreciable time on a FS 29er, but there arent a ton of long travel 29ers out there. Im sure you could get by on 100mm of travel, but whats the fun in that?

    The Ibis Ripley looks pretty awesome. its 120mm.

    Yeti also has a 5 inch travel 29er coming out called the SB95. I think its probably not "released" per se, but theyve been taking orders for it and even demoing it. I saw one at the Greenbelt a couple months ago.

    Santa Cruz is rumored to be coming out with an long travel Tallboy pretty soon. It will probably be released in the next few weeks. Id guess itll be about 130mm of travel. Id guess theyre gonna do both an aluminum and carbon version. Heres a "spy shot" that SC's lead engineer accidentally posted online a few weeks back and subsequently erased:


    (I love my Santa Cruz so I will always brag on them, but Im sure the Ripley and SB95 are great bikes as well.

  5. #5
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    I am a santa cruz convert (blur LT) and would recommend them. Check out BSS. They have tallboys that you can rent and also have specialized stumpjumper 29ers that you can rent. Anything that you spend on rentals can be applied to the purchase. And they are a great shop.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone. I'm going to head back to BSS today and try a couple more bikes. I believe the rumblefish and the camber have travels in between the stumpjumper and the epic/tallboy. Going to see how they feel. Might just be the best choice given my aggressive trail riding style. With the BSS sale coming up this week, I've got to figure this out soon.

  7. #7
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    Turner Sultan is also worth checking out if you're sold on a 29er.

  8. #8
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    Everyone...thanks for the advice. I just ordered my Rumblefish Elite from BSS. Should be here in about a week. Of all the bikes I rode, that one just stood out as being the bike I could ride from sun up until sundown...it just fit me best. Again, I appreciate the feedback from everyone. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    I also recommend paying for their 3 hour custom fitting once your bike arrives. I'm a big guy and it just made a world of difference to me once we got everything aligned properly. Of course, I also ended up buying new shoes, inserts, handle bars, grips and few other things so it wasn't exactly cheep but wow - much better.

  10. #10
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    I second the fitting. Skot did a great job with me, highly recommended.
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  11. #11
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    nice ride man. good call on testing them out. no substitute for swinging a leg over a bike and seeing what you actually like. post pics when you get it

  12. #12
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    Go check out ozone bikes. they carry Kona and the

    Kona Satori is a great choice for the Austin hills area. They even have a few demos you might be able to try.

  13. #13
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    Since we're talking demo bikes, a new fleet at mellow johnny's from Santa Cruz, Trek, Giant

    Mellow Johnny's Demo Mountain Bikes 2012

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