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Thread: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

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    Default A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    In 2010, I was mountain biking 2-3x per week. 35 lbs lighter and obviously a decade younger. I picked up a used Specialized Epic and enjoyed the bike tremendously. A decade later, Iím not as fit or light. My riding is substantially less aggressive. Iíve been wondering if its time to trade in the Epic for a little more travel, a little easier geometry, and pick up a decade in new suspension technology.

    My friend got a Santa Cruz Tallboy. We went out today and he wasnít feeling another lap of our local trails. We weigh within 5lbs of each other and he is 1Ē taller, so I took the new toy out for a spin. I enjoyed every aspect of things but one. Climbing out of the saddle is clearly superior. Basically, the whole rear of the bike is superior. Pedal clearance is clearly superior. The front of the bike is not slow but definitely more confidence inspiring than what I have.

    The part that I could not get over Ö it really is tall. Like I was high up over the trail instead of in the action. But, the seat to pedal and seat to handlebars felt about right. On paper, I was thinking the Tallboy could be my next bike. Now, I am not certain.

    My question here is, how much of that is 26 vs 29 and unavoidable, and how much of that is this specific Santa Cruz? What other mountain bikes are we liking? Full Suspension. Solid Size M.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    The first time I rode a 29, the ground felt so far away, it was offputting. Then I got used to it and it was all good.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    If your riding is less aggressive than before, why are you looking for more travel? High travel bikes like the tallboy are made to be ridden hard and aggressively. If your riding is on the tamer side and you tend to apply the brakes instead of ripping the corners I would advise going the opposite direction with bikes for Non racing XC/mild trail riding, possibly with + sized or fat tires and or rigid.

    I added a 27.5 full rigid fat bike (Trek Farley)to my stable for my non aggressive trail rides and I couldn't be happier. The 3.8 tires give all the compliance and grip I need, the rollover capability make up for any poor line choice and it is lighter and faster uphill than my trail bike. I now take the Banshee trail bike only on downhil focused rides.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 08-16-2021 at 04:17 AM.
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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    Try whatever 29ers you can to see if it feels the same. The difference will be most noticeable going straight from a ride on your 26er to the 29er so go in cold to the 29er. I sometimes bring my 29er and dirtjumper to the bike park. I love my modern geo 29er but everything about it feels weird if I've been on the dirtjumper for a while first.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    It should feel like riding a monster truck the first ride going from 26" to 29". That was the case for me. I'd say just about anything you can find in the 120mm "downcountry" range would be fine. It's still pretty hard to be picky if you're in a hurry to get a new bike.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BeefCheeks View Post
    I'd say just about anything you can find in the 120mm "downcountry" range would be fine.
    That's good advice. With that in mind, check out the Speciazlied Epic EVO and the Transition Spur.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like the incredibly high feeling is part of the switch to 29 and I need to ride a few bikes. Please keep the recommendations coming for new bikes to try. As the market is wild, it might take a little while but I am definitely interested to hear what we like to start researching and find test rides.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    Ibis Ripley, Transition Spur, Santa Cruz Tallboy would all be great choices.

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    Default Re: A decade later, maybe its time for a different bike ...

    If I had to pick one bike that seems to tick many boxes, like jack of all trades, that would be the Orbea Occam. Build it with some weight weenies parts and fast tires and it isn't out of place nor too heavy for entering a cross-country race. Build it with a coil shock, sturdy wheels, aggressive tires and a fox 36 and it can enter an enduro race or do laps at the bike park.
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