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Thread: Thinking of a new MTB

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking of a new MTB

    I used to MTB a lot, I barely do these days. When I MTB a lot I rode HT (steel, alu, Ti). Below is a picture of my current ride that I got in 2007 once I moved back to France. The last few times I took it out it felt really off, thinking about it I am not sure it ever felt totally right. So maybe a new ride would bring extra motivation and bring back the great memories I have of riding HT.

    It looks like 29er HT would be a good "modern" choice for a tall guy like me (6'5"). Either a stock carbon one or a custom Ti one. On the custom one, not having a good point of reference is having me pause a bit.

    Any thoughts or recommendations ?

     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Having similar thoughts myself. All roads point to FAT for me - I don't think I would be happy on an MTB now until I've tried one. That said, 650B+ makes a lot of sense to me.

    At your height, I'd go 29er for sure.
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
    ....a custom Ti one....
    Any thoughts or recommendations ?
    Easy!

    firefly, Engin, Potts, (sadly Darren doesn't build any more mtb's...)
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Have you had the shock and fork serviced/setup recently on the Titus? That can and does make a massive difference on dirt.

    In terms of a new rig, what sort of trails do you enjoy riding?
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    On the custom builders I know there is a long list of guys that can build something nice and a TI hardtail seems to be a timeless bike. In fact I had a litespeed HT that was the real deal way back. My only issue with the custom route is I do not really have a nice existing setup that is working today. Besides my road bikes of course but I am not sure how one declines a MTB from a road bike fit.

    This Canyon seems to be an awesome deal with the latest greatest... RS-1 fork, XTR Di2, etc...

    Canyon | Mountain Bike | Grand Canyon CF SLX 29 9.9 LTD
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by robrixon View Post
    Have you had the shock and fork serviced/setup recently on the Titus? That can and does make a massive difference on dirt.

    In terms of a new rig, what sort of trails do you enjoy riding?
    It has not been serviced in years. I would be riding trails close to home in Provence (pretty rocky trails). Typically 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours ride, mostly in the winter.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    I've ridden one of these and can see why the reviews are all positive. Sight Carbon - All Mountain - Mountain - Bikes - Norco Bicycles

    I've ridden a 29r hardtail for years. The steering on them can be weird, especially during tight maneuvers. And I loved the HT until the moment I rode a full suspension. The carbon frames are as tough as anything out there. I don't think your height would prevent you from enjoying a 27.5". It's all personal of course, but whatever you get, consider adding a dropper seat post to it. That gadget helps in all kinds of situations.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Titus was topnotch in their 26" offerings. I rode the RacerX and my final Titus was the Switchblade.
    It set in the garage after my early adoption of the 29er wheels because I, like you, am over 6'.
    A hardtail 29er in steel or ti is the staple bike I would have.
    The Switchblade is now converted to 27.5 and is better for the conversion.
    I was lucky in the Fox fork will fit a 27.5 wheel.
    That may be a stopgap option for you but I think continued riding will move you to a new 27.5 or 29er mount.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    From what you've described about your height and the trails around you, go demo the 29" carbon full suspension "enduro" bikes available to you. The bikes all the major manufacturers are advertising hard right now will be perfect for you (Enduro, Ripley, Tallboy, etc). 27.5" would be quicker turning and more fun to jump, but I reallly doubt that would be your thing right away.

    Make sure you get all the key modern features, they really have changed things: tubeless, dropper seat post, wide tough tires 2.3+, 1x drivetrain.

    In your terrain, hardtails are only for the dedicated, or as a second bike for Bay Area fireroads. This forum has a strong bias that will try and make a custom hardtail the answer, but your terrain isn't ideal for it. We are talking about these Provence trails, correct? Trans-Provence on Vimeo
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    The trails in these pics seem a bit more engaged than my typical ones. Below a couple of shots of trails around my house:





    When I was in CA I used to ride HT, then I went to FS and back to HT. When I arrived in Provence I had a rocky mountain blizzard (853 HT), I thought I would be better off with an FS, this is when I bought the RacerX. I rode it quite a bit at the beginning but somehow it fell out of the regular rotation for me. It is now my only MTB and something tells me a HT would feel better (I am a roadie).

    I will be MTB mostly to train for road biking when it is too cold to ride on the road.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    The videos must be from the range in the distance in the top photo. So close!

    All the dirt riding roadies I know much prefer the feel of 29" wheels, the stability must feel very similar to their other bikes. The people who prefer 27.5" (26" has sadly been killed off by the manufacturers very quickly) generally seem to come from a BMX / DH / classic MTB background. I have a 29" hardtail and a 26" FS, and each has terrain it's better suited for.

    You could potentially get away with a hardtail if you confine yourself to the trails you are showing, but really, why limit yourself? There have been fairly shocking improvements in pedaling efficiency in FS bikes in the last years, bikes like your Titus were fun going down but squishy and inefficient feeling going up, which took a lot of the fun away, especially if you come from a road background and actually like going up hill.

    Big wheels and smart linkage design should give you a really different feel from your Titus, but testing bikes is the only way you'll know. Don't skimp on the feature list I listed above though, hardtails benefit from dropper seat posts even more than full suspension bikes in any kind of steep terrain, and big tubeless will be mandatory for your rocky terrain.

    You might even pick the FS bike that feels best going uphill, they will all be amazing going downhill. Scott and Cannondale make bikes with suspension travel switches allowing lockout, short or long travel. If it suits you will depend on how much you prefer simplicity or don't mind an extra lever to keep track of.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Do as I did at 6'5"".
    Niner Air 9 Frame 2013 > Components > Frames > Mountain Bike Frames | Jenson USA
    A great frame. Now on sale. Throw a carbon seatpost on , and a good 15 mm tapered fork and be done.
     
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    Default

    Hardtails are timeless, suspension designs get dated quickly. Your Titus is testament to that.

    It's been said many many times in these threads that design trumps material choice.

    And one of the best designers in the business is Kristopher Henry at 44 Bikes. Plus he's tall so he understands tall. Waste no more pages, send an email to NH!

    Tee Aitch

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Three bikes I can recommend.

    A Niner Jet 9 Carbon with the XT trim level
    A Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon at the XT trim level
    and a Salsa Horsethief build with XT

    All are FS. Several of us bought new rigs last year for our annual to Moab and Fruita. Couldn't have been any happier with the performance of these rigs. The previous year I had my Bob Brown ss mtb along, which is a hard tail. My kidneys hurt for a week from all the pounding. I'll stick with FS from here on out when I get into boulders and the crazy stuff out there.
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    I don't think there is anything dated about that Titus. I'd say it's rather timeless, actually, and utilizes a suspension design that is a standard.

    But, if you're considering HTs, I'd highly recommend bikes with DW-link or Virtual Pivot Point suspensions. They ride very solid with minimal bob in all the right places. And that "platform" is built into the suspension design, not the shock.

    Pivot
    Santa Cruz

    That said, I'm a roadie and went with a HT. Just feels better. And the options are endless.
    -Dustin
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by rabo View Post
    Do as I did at 6'5"".
    Niner Air 9 Frame 2013 > Components > Frames > Mountain Bike Frames | Jenson USA
    A great frame. Now on sale. Throw a carbon seatpost on , and a good 15 mm tapered fork and be done.
    The carbon version is also on sale Niner Air 9 Carbon - 2014 - Hardtail | Competitive Cyclist
     
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Niner geo is nice...those prices are, as well.

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Oh good, another "help Lionel spend an ass of money on a bike" thread.

    Don't get a crazy top end bike with RS1 and Di2 XTR and all that. You said yourself you hardly ever ride the MTB, don't spend a TON of money until you know you'll really ride it.

    And, DEMO DEMO DEMO DEMO!! With MTBs you have to ride them to really know if you like them or not, especially since you don't have a good yardstick to judge by, and double especially with full suspension bikes. Find a few demos, ride lots of bikes. Make sure they're well set up for you as far as suspension is concerned. Take the time to set them up right, otherwise the demo is worthless.

    EDIT to add, with all the loose rock in your pics, I'd be weary of carbon frames. YMMV.
    Dustin Gaddis
    www.MiddleGaEpic.com
    Why do people feel the need to list all of their bikes in their signature?
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    Only problem with Niner HTs is the ST length for a given size. They're super short. And whether a 410 post will work is something that needs consideration if you've got some lanky legs.
    -Dustin
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    Default Re: Thinking of a new MTB

    That Niner is really cheap. Good point Dustin, I need an 84cm saddle height....
     
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