School me on Mountain bikes for fun or training

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6/23/2017 6:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2017 7:00 AM

I want a mountain bike for training. What brands to go with? What options? 27.5 inch? 29 inch? Steel frame or alum frame? Single speed or shifting?

I rode a couple electric assist bikes yesterday at a work event, the Haibike and Trek w the Bosch system, and then rode a regular Trek and A Kona Unit, both single speed. I liked them all. The e bikes were just plain fun because they make you feel stronger than you are, but the other conventionals, single speeds were SUPER solid bikes, had a few aftermarket parts on them.

What bike would be the most fun for trails? Brands and models to look at? Ive seen some good deals online for clearance old stock bikes so probably don't need a 2017 full retail bike.

Hardtail or full suspension?

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6/23/2017 7:03 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2017 7:03 AM

All you have to answer is how much do you want to spend. There is a wide range you can spend on a "mountain" bike.

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6/23/2017 7:09 AM

Trek Session 9.9 bro

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6/23/2017 7:19 AM

I bought a hardtail a few months back, basically my dealer told me "if you're full on woods, go 27.5 if your using it for asphalt, gravel roads, trails and a little woods go 29.

I went with a 29 and I couldnt be happier!
Going same speed/gear as my friends 27.5 on the gravelroads and it's a huge difference in effort (pedaling) and it has a really good feel to it with the tires. Easy handled.

Haibike with sr suntour airfork (works better then mx air at least) and xt gears.

Photo

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6/23/2017 8:10 AM

I think there are some good bikes around 1k, but I would spend up to 1500 or maybe closer to 2000 if I found an amazing deal.

I buddy here at work said the best bang for my buck would be a 29 hardtail. He said get one with a good fork and 29 inch and hit the trails.
Anyone agree or disagree w that?

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6/23/2017 8:11 AM

Is there a downside to full suspension other than price?
For mx training it just feels wierd looking at hardtails.

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6/23/2017 8:12 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I think there are some good bikes around 1k, but I would spend up to 1500 or maybe closer to 2000 if I found an amazing deal.

I buddy here at work said the best bang for my buck would be a 29 hardtail. He said get one with a good fork and 29 inch and hit the trails.
Anyone agree or disagree w that?

Agreed. You could probably find one cheaper than that though. Older niners frames are perfect and a competitive bike still. I'd say check Pinkbike before you go to a shop and buy a bike. A lot of people sell last seasons race bike cheap and they're still dialed.

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6/23/2017 8:17 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

Is there a downside to full suspension other than price?
For mx training it just feels wierd looking at hardtails.

Nope, the only downside is cost. If you're going to do a hardtail, I'd definitely go 29er.

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6/23/2017 8:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2017 8:20 AM

Look for a new(er) "enduro" bike, they work great for trail riding, climbing, decending, park and a bit of DH. If you live in Michigan there is all kinds of good riding, head up to Boyne for some lift access for a weekend, or ride trails. Don't buy a peice of shit to save money, the newer bikes are waaaaaay better and more versitile than older stuff. If you can buy a newer bike with front and rear suspension you will thank yourself. I own 2 bikes(a hard tail, and an enduro), my hard tail has not came off the wall in my garage for 3 years....Good models to look for would be a Giant Reign, Trek Fuel, Scott Genius, Devinci Spartan, Specialized enduro, Santa Cruz bronson. Happy trails. I own a Giant Reign and use it everywhere, trails, park laps, DH, jumping. I upgraded the brakes to Shimano Zee models with the 8' rotors. We live at a small ski hill and do park laps with it, head out on single track with it, and go out to B.C and do DH with it, works great.

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6/23/2017 8:19 AM

Mtn Biking good... and Fun.. and as a DH'r i get to wear almost the same gear. and dare i say, i have more fun.. less stress and girls do it too.
Photo

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6/23/2017 8:24 AM

29" are way smoother and require less suspension than a 27.5". There is really no difference between a 26" and 27.5" wheel, it's mostly planned obsolescence. If you want to do more downhill than uphill then get full suspension, otherwise a hardtail works just fine.

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6/23/2017 8:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2017 8:45 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

Is there a downside to full suspension other than price?
For mx training it just feels wierd looking at hardtails.

No, if you like comfort, and if you want to haul ass when decending the hard tail has limits, and you will destroy wheels and get shit loads of flats. I tried to make a hard tail work for me a few years back as "I race bmx and motocross and can ride just fine and my hard tail is all I need", that same day I made the mistake of swapping bikes mid-ride with a buddy, long story short I went by a bike shop on the way home and bought a new bike......hope that helps.

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6/23/2017 8:27 AM

rosebud441 wrote:

Mtn Biking good... and Fun.. and as a DH'r i get to wear almost the same gear. and dare i say, i have more fun.. less stress and girls do it too.
Photo

The few times I've gotten any amount of air on the mountain bike, it feels so foreign. But I absolutely believe that it is every bit as fun or more than dirt biking at times. A few years back, I was going to the mountain bike park (cross country, not the kind you ride) and I was having a ton of fun pushing the pace through the tight trees and in the tight corners. It's also easier to load up and get out without all of the gear required for MX. But there's still no replacement for riding the dirt bike.

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6/23/2017 8:30 AM

Take my entirely correct opinion for what you want. If you're trail riding and looking for an all around, fun and easy to progress with bike, get a five-inch travel trail bike with 27.5" wheels. It's the most versatile bike out there. Twenty-niners are lame and good riders will laugh at you behind your back. Even cross-country racers barely ride hardtails anymore; go suspension. Six-inch bikes are fun too and make a new rider feel like a hero in technical sections and downhills. Both 5 and 6 travel bikes climb great these days.

Can people ride wagon wheels fast? Can people rip XC on hardtails? Sure. Trust me five-inch travel trailbikes are the holy grail for mountain bikers and what 99% of people should be on if they only own one mountain bike.

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6/23/2017 8:30 AM

I think another downside to full-susp. is weight, pedaling efficiency, and having to monitor suspension air pressure (gasp!). None of that matters to me much but some people think it's a big deal.

For an all around bike, I think I would seriously consider the Santa Cruz Hightower. Unless you are busting tricks on a slopestyle course, 29er is probably a safe bet.
https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/hightower






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6/23/2017 8:34 AM

The entire family can get out there, here is my 70 year old Dad(Scott Genuis), Me 41 years(Giant Reign) and my 5 year old son(Lil Shredder pridigy) This is at Moose Mountian in Kananaskis provincial park west of Calgary, we used the truck to Shuttle some mellow DH runs here.Photo

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6/23/2017 8:35 AM

I've been mountain biking for a few year now, and cant get enough of it. I have a 2015 Cannondale Trigger 29". Its a full suspension, and even living in Ohio, I wouldn't have it any other way. I would say go full suspension/enduro bike, you will be able to do any type of riding, and as Homey said, the 29" is a smoother roll for sure.

Also a good way to get a great deal on a bike is go to a local shop and see when the 18's come out, most dealers have access to the overstock from the manufacturers. They want to get rid of the older bikes, and have way better deals. Photo

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6/23/2017 8:39 AM

You're a motocrosser. You will hate a hardtail if you ride on anything other than totally smooth roads and trails. Instinctively you will try to ride it like a dirtbike, jumping off things, slamming through rough stuff expecting suspension to take up the slack, and you will be rewarded with a jarring ride, annoying chain slapping, and buyer's remorse.

The newer full-susp bikes are so good they give up almost nothing to a hardtail. In the old days it was all about "pedal bob will kill the climbing". The new bikes have improved suspension linkage geometry, valving, and lock out capability that removes this downside. Matter of fact, on rough climbs, a full-susp bike may even climb better.

I had a very trick hardtail, a 100mm travel XC-race full susp bike, and a 140mm travel all-mountain full-susp bike. I sold the hardtail and the 100mm bike only gets ridden as a backup when the 140mm bike is down or for XC races.

I personally really like the Trek Fuel-EX and Trek Remedy as excellent all-around, do anything bikes.

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Powerband in every gear !

6/23/2017 8:39 AM

GalagaOnMYArm wrote:

Take my entirely correct opinion for what you want. If you're trail riding and looking for an all around, fun and easy to progress with bike, get a five-inch travel trail bike with 27.5" wheels. It's the most versatile bike out there. Twenty-niners are lame and good riders will laugh at you behind your back. Even cross-country racers barely ride hardtails anymore; go suspension. Six-inch bikes are fun too and make a new rider feel like a hero in technical sections and downhills. Both 5 and 6 travel bikes climb great these days.

Can people ride wagon wheels fast? Can people rip XC on hardtails? Sure. Trust me five-inch travel trailbikes are the holy grail for mountain bikers and what 99% of people should be on if they only own one mountain bike.

THIS

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6/23/2017 8:46 AM

I'm 37, and will ride mainly rec area trails in SE michigan
Does that chage anything?

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6/23/2017 8:50 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I'm 37, and will ride mainly rec area trails in SE michigan
Does that chage anything?

How tall are you ?

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6/23/2017 8:53 AM

Most fun/ do everything good bike, I'd say get a 130mm to 160mm travel 27.5 full suspension bike.

Evidence A
Photo

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6/23/2017 8:53 AM

Photo

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6/23/2017 8:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2017 8:54 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I'm 37, and will ride mainly rec area trails in SE michigan
Does that chage anything?

lots of good information here. I bought a used Stumpjumper off pinkbike for 1/2 the retail price. Check craigslist or pinkbike. Also, as mentioned above look for last years model from your local bike shop. I'd go with a full suspension bike.

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6/23/2017 8:54 AM

See even Seth agrees!

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6/23/2017 9:06 AM

santa cruz bronson, It climbs really well and its 27.5 wheel base... its more all-mountain/enduro type of bike.. so climbing and descending. I love it Photo

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

6/23/2017 9:06 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I want a mountain bike for training. What brands to go with? What options? 27.5 inch? 29 inch? Steel frame or alum frame? Single speed or shifting?

I rode a couple electric assist bikes yesterday at a work event, the Haibike and Trek w the Bosch system, and then rode a regular Trek and A Kona Unit, both single speed. I liked them all. The e bikes were just plain fun because they make you feel stronger than you are, but the other conventionals, single speeds were SUPER solid bikes, had a few aftermarket parts on them.

What bike would be the most fun for trails? Brands and models to look at? Ive seen some good deals online for clearance old stock bikes so probably don't need a 2017 full retail bike.

Hardtail or full suspension?

For training only, an HT 29er is a great buy. They're affordable, roll well, and at a cheaper entry point. For XC riding with more moto terrain, full suspension with 4-6" of travel (IE Specialized Epics/Stumpjumpers) are a solid choice. Save your money and just rent a dialed in DH if you ever find yourself bombing down the mountains...Best of luck, ride a few different options, and please keep us updated with your decision!

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6/23/2017 9:12 AM

seth505 wrote:

Most fun/ do everything good bike, I'd say get a 130mm to 160mm travel 27.5 full suspension bike.

Evidence A
Photo

Evidence B...

However i still have not blasted that jump like that, I feel very weird in the air on a mtn bike Photo

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

6/23/2017 9:12 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I'm 37, and will ride mainly rec area trails in SE michigan
Does that chage anything?

three9zero wrote:

How tall are you ?

6'1"

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6/23/2017 9:15 AM

Johndeere506 wrote:

I'm 37, and will ride mainly rec area trails in SE michigan
Does that chage anything?

three9zero wrote:

How tall are you ?

Johndeere506 wrote:

6'1"

large or XL frame.

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"