What bike for our area? Houston and Austin- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm What bike for our area? Houston and Austin

    Hello to all,

    First off, I have been doing tons of research. I always try to find the answer first before asking. However, this is an opiniated question based on riding preferences.

    My question is, what full suspension bike should I get? I am 5ft 11 inch. 185 pounds. Fit. I love all mountain riding but wouldn't mind getting into trail riding.

    I will be riding in the Houston Texas area and occasionally Austin Texas as well. So basically roots everywhere, rocky slopes, small climbs and descents. I am looking for a bike that can tackle all, that can handle a couple of 3-4 foot drops as well.

    My price range is really not a problem, I'm willing to go up to $3500. The bikes that I am thinking of buying are:

    - Santa Cruz Tallboy 29er (brand new 2012 for $1899 at LBS)
    - Santa Cruz Tallboy2 29er
    - Orbea Occam H30 or H50 29er
    - Trek Fuel 5 29er
    - Trek Fuel 7 29er
    - Trek Fuel 8 29er
    - Cannondale Rush 29er
    - Specialized Camber 29er

    i am hearing that single pivot bikes are not that great but they are manageable and that PVV bikes are the better choice. Also, carbon is also stiffer and lighter. Which that could be an option as well. I am looking for all input please.

    Please don't critique me if this is a dumb question or I stated something wrong, I am hear to learn and to help MTB grow and be respected as a sport and hobby.

    Please respond.

    Thanks,
    TexanJonBon

  2. #2
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    I am new, so sorry if I posted in wrong section. But I would really like y'all's input on what I should do. Or perhaps what the better bike is.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    I think youre in the right ballpark. If i were in Houston, Id be looking at 29ers in the 100-120mm travel range. from that list, if possible, try and ride as many as you can to see which one you feel most comfortable on. All those companies make good bikes with different suspension designs. Some people like Santa Cruz's VPP. Some like Specialized's FSR, etc...

    The Tallboy (100mm travel in back, but you should get this with a 120 fork if you decide to go that route) seems a bit more of a race-y XC bike than say, the Trek Fuel (120mm travel). from your description, the Fuel might be a better fit for your riding style and if you intend to do some bigger drops in Austin occasionally. thats just an example. Ive spent a total of about 20 minutes on a Tallboy and 0 minutes on a Fuel.

    If you go carbon, for your $3,500, you will end up with lesser components than if you go aluminum. Whether thats worth it to you is up to you.

  5. #5
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    After getting more detail on the bikes, I went and test rode all of them today.

    Lets start with the Tallboy for $1800. It is the tallboy 1, which is single pivot suspension. Which is sort of frowned upon as a lower end feature for full suspension. So it was a bummer. The tallboy 2 has the VPP suspension which is the newer higher grade function for tallboys. Also, the handling seemed stuff and I felt I could not take tight turns and such. Felt a little sluggish to be honest. Also the drive train seemed sluggish. Did not have a good "flow" to it. I was extremely bummed out because I want to go the Santa Cruz route and be different than everyone else, but I feel like I was not happy riding it. I do not think its a good idea to buy a bike and not get exactly what I wanted.

    I then went over the a different LBS and rode the trek rememdy 8, the trek fuel ex 8 and the specialized camber comp.

    The trek remedy felt awesome, however it was only a 27.5 and they only had it in small. But I think it is way to much travel. But man it was a fun ride. I do not think I am going to buy this though.

    The trek fuel ex 8 was awesome! It was the 29er and has everything I need for the bike. No real reason for upgrades unless I just want to spend money to do so, just because I can. Lol. This bike was freaking awesome. I believe this is the bike for me.

    The specialized camber comp was also a 29er and it was cool. Had Reba forks and I want fox forks. Just being picky. The bike handled great. I do not have 1 complaint. I have a specialized rockhopper right now and I was thinking I should stay in the specialized family. But the Trek Fuel EX 8 has my heart. It's feels the best.

    I also heard the Trek Fuel Ex 8 is an awesome bike and will last me a long time. Does anybody disagree with my ride opinion? I am looking for any input and comments about today's test rides. Please light me up with comments if I'm wrong or you agree.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Go for it. I'm on a Trek Super Fly that I bought used from a friend when he upgraded. It's a long story, but if it hadn't been such a killer deal I would have never bought a Trek. I love this bike. It's more of a XC bike than what you are looking at, but I'm totally happy with it.
    As a point of reference, I had a Cannondale scalpel carbon 1 before it and a Santa Cruz Blur before that.
    Personally it seams like the EX has too much travel for the Houston area, but if you dig it get it.

  7. #7
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    the Tallboy1 is VPP suspension. its definitely not a single pivot. not sure who told you that. maybe you were looking at the Superlight29 (which is single pivot)

    if the Tallboy2 (which is only slightly different from the Tallboy1) felt sluggish, I would question the suspension setup. but no big deal.

    it sounds like you liked the Trek the best. Ive never ridden it, but if you love it, go for it! it might be a bit more travel than youd need in Houston, but who cares? especially if you want to occasionally come to Austin for some burlier trails. go for the bike you like and ride the hell out of it.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden that Trek in 29 and I really like the rear end and the way it climbs. The proprietary valving on the Trek bikes is pretty good and really helps keep the rear end planted to the ground when you need traction the most. I rank it just under the SC VPP system and two steps under the DW Link system. But at this point, we are splitting hairs and comparing something rated a 98 out of a 100 to a 96. Being in Austin, I personally would go with the Remedy over the Fuel for the longer travel, but you are primarily riding in Houston so that makes total sense for you. I hope you enjoy the bike and make it out here to Austin sometime.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanJonBon View Post
    Lets start with the Tallboy for $1800. It is the tallboy 1, which is single pivot suspension. Which is sort of frowned upon as a lower end feature for full suspension. So it was a bummer. The tallboy 2 has the VPP suspension which is the newer higher grade function for tallboys.
    Not to rain on your parade, but the Tallboys 1 and 2, both have VPP. No Tallboy has a single pivot. The Superlight and the Bantam has single pivots, but NONE of the Tallboys do.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanJonBon View Post
    Had Reba forks and I want fox forks. Just being picky.
    Just off the top of my head did you look at the BMC Speedfox SF03, Cannondale Trigger 4,Niner JET 9 3-STAR X1, Jamis Dakar AMT Expert, Yeti ASR CARBON ENDURO or Giant Anthem SX 27.5?

    All are in your price range and all have Fox suspension front and rear and they are not Trek.

  11. #11
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    Small point of clarification, but carbon is not necessarily stiffer. Generally lighter and better at absorbing vibration, but not always stiffer. However, unless you find yourself in frequent sprints and you are hyper critical of lap times, it probably won't matter.

  12. #12
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    Get the tallboy 2, i love mine. Its an awesome climber and even though it only has 120mm/100mm suspension it feels bottomless. I rarely ride my bronson now, only when im feeling adventurous and want to take big drops.
    -2016 Santa Cruz Nomad CC
    -2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 CC
    -2016 Transition Smuggler
    -2015 Orbea Avant M20d


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