Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

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Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:05 pm

Hi,

I'm looking to get back onto an MTB after a 7yr absence.

I used to ride a Gary Fisher Sugar 1 (in Melbourne) but now live in Perth but don't want a soft tail due to cost and flex. To me a 29er (never ridden one but understand they are the way to go) hardtail with XT standard components would be ideal. Not too fussed about brand but I recall some brands used to be a bit difficult when it came to Warranty claims.

Any suggestions. Budget is best value with XT (or equivalent) rear derailleur (used to be LX Cranks etc which was perfectly usable for decent weekend work) but as its so long since I was in the know is XT still one below XTR so I'm not so sure.

I have a road bike I use reasonably often (most weekends) so I am bike fit (if that makes any difference).

Cheers
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by BNA » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:49 pm

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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby mitzikatzi » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:49 pm

Google to find the Shimano hierarchy.

Basically Deore, SLX, XT and XTR

Todays Deore is very good.
Many claim SLX is the sweet spot of value v performance.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby petie » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:58 pm

Try a polygon from bicycles online? Haven't ridden one but the reviews seem good. Personally I still ride an unknown brand 26er HT mostly slx gear. Had it out at Goat Farm, Dwelli and Margaret river when I was over there and it was great fun and plenty of bike. 29er probably wouldn't make much difference but they're killing 26 anyway.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby trailgumby » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:09 pm

A mate has a Polygon. Heavy. Some decent wheels would improve it massively but you're still trying to make a silk purse from a pigs ear.

Giant XTC?
Cannondale Flash?
Trek?
Yeti Big Top?

Actually scratch the 'dale - they're painful and pernickety on warranty.

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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby jaffaman » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:26 pm

Are you sure on the 29er if you have never ridden one? 650b (27.5") is the new fad in mtb wheels, supposedly because it balances the benefits and negatives of both the 26" and 29". Each is good for its own thing, and it may come down to your height, what style of riding you want to do, and how much travel you want in the front. All I'm saying is I wouldn't close my options to only 29ers until you check them out and consider alternates like the 650b and even the old school 26". Lots of articles comparing them to be found which may be worth a look.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:00 pm

Is 26'' being phased out?

Riding style is (was) smooth but I enjoyed singletrack and climbs. Not one for jumping unless the track required. My old bike has 80mm up front. Whats a standard X-Country travel now
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby trailgumby » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:21 pm

There's very little new development going into 26 inch bikes except for bikes with 180mm travel and up.

650b is the new fad but the physics favour 29" for XC unless you are too small for a medium frame.

Yes 29ers are less nimble (or twitchy depending on your point of view) but the longer the ride the faster they go.

There was an interesting article im a recent issue of Enduro mag comparing three bikes of the same model with the three different wheel sizes. The 29er felt slower but the stopwatch said otherwise. 650b was the most playful and the 26er accelerated best but the consensus was that for most XCO or marathon type courses 29er had the edge.

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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:44 pm

BTW I am 6'3" and 100kg (fighting weight of 85kg or so).

I would be getting a med to med/large frame
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby mitzikatzi » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:44 pm

4xsama wrote:BTW I am 6'3" and 100kg (fighting weight of 85kg or so).

I would be getting a med to med/large frame



At 6'3" more like a L or XL frame. Unless you have very short arms and torso.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:22 am

I am 6' 3" and ride a 19" Trek Superfly hardtail 29er.

It came with an XT spec rear mech when I bought it in 2012 and I upgraded the brakes to XT Ice-techs.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby lardass71 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:28 am

Build one, best option, 650b came out close to 07 I think but the masses didn't want to know about them, niner EMD frame$ 540, $ xt group with brakes $650, wheels $550 tubeless ready American classics, forks around $400 for second hand fox, and the order is xtr, xt/ saint, slx/zee), then deore, deore works fine but brakes are crap, anything below xt brakes are basically rubbish, , if your buying new just remember an upgraded rear derailleur means jack, it just hangs there and does what it's told, u won't get better shifting unless you have decent quality shifters, many people believe other wise but 20 years in the industry and I know there wrong, also try to avoid low market forks fox or rock shock are the only way to go, try to stay clear of bikes that don't have easily accessible parts, in other words trek run a silly 7mm extra offset in there forks, if your going to buy one, get good forks not the low end models, giant run a strange diameter steerer on there bikes so not a lot of stems fit, make sure you get a bike fit, have the shop change parts you need, such as stem length, u don't need to buy a new stem, if they say you have to buy one that's crap, all your doing is swapping it out and they should have a giant stem to suit, it's all part of a free fit,
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:19 pm

lardass71 wrote:deore works fine but brakes are crap, anything below xt brakes are basically rubbish


Correction, anything avid is rubbish. I thing deore works fine. Not awesome but definitely not rubbish.

lardass71 wrote: trek run a silly 7mm extra offset in there forks, if your going to buy one, get good forks not the low end models, giant run a strange diameter steerer on there bikes so not a lot of stems fit


Trek also have strange bottom brackets (although I think they are slowly conceding defeat to BB30 so check the model). Giant steerer issues are a pain but not impossible. By the sheer volume of bikes they sell there are aftermarket parts for whatever they make.

The other thing is to check if you want 15mmTA or 9mmQR for front and 135 rear hub or 142mm TA. TA's are meant to be stiffer and pretty much remove the possibility of the wheels falling off.

Other than that most brands are comparable in terms of value. Have no loyalty and wait for specials. Hardtails are one of the most competitive and hence bang for buck market segments.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby muzzy57 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:22 pm

My mrs & I were in exactly the same position as you about 12 months ago. We opted to purchase a couple of Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29ers. I'm the same height/weight as you & I thought that the bikes were a great re-entry point into the sport, costing us only $450 each from the lbs.

The running gear is cheap but has worked ok for us for the last 12 months on a mixture of hard paths, fire trails, singletrack & at the local mtb park even. The only thing I'd say would be to consider maybe the next model up, the Rockhopper which has better equipment.

Just my 2c worth...

Cheers,
M
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:43 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:Google to find the Shimano hierarchy.

Basically Deore, SLX, XT and XTR

Todays Deore is very good.
Many claim SLX is the sweet spot of value v performance.


What would be the SRAM equivalent to SLX or XTR?
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:00 pm

Sram X0 or XX is the top of the range.

Some would say X7 is SLX others say X9

I like my 9 speed X7 as much as my 2012 10spd XT.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:04 pm

A big change over the years is "clutch rear derailleurs ".

Google to see if they are for you.

Apollo bikes are worth a look.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby trailgumby » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:52 pm

Clutch derailleurs make a *huge* difference. I have an XTR one on my Scalpel and I really have no need of a chainstay protector (although I eventually put one on that I won as a prize "just in case" since the bike is CF).

I echo the sentiment on Avid brakes. My X9s are OK but damn they're noisy. The rear still makes a noise akin to fingernails on a blackboard (for those old enough to know what a blackboard is). The front rotor's brake track had a curl in it that meant it wasn't flat in one section as it passed between the pads - concave one side, convex the other. This led to the brakes pulsing. LBS wasn't that helpful.

And man they make a racket in the wet. Urrgh! No chance of gerting lost on the trails, everyone will hear where you are.

In their favour, power is adequate on the 29er with 180/160 rotors (although not as good as XT/SLX) and they are reasonably light with the carbon levers. Feel and progression are good.

I haven't bled them yet. Hasn't been a need. That could be fun - and may change my mind.

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Last edited by trailgumby on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby trailgumby » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:02 pm

On running gear, settling for anything lower than Deore/X7 is setting yourself up for a steep learning curve in home bike mechanics 101.

Deore/X7 is minimum level in my experience for reliable commuting or trail riding... unless you like the idea of tuning your bike every second weekend just to keep it reliable.

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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:42 pm

I recently put an X7 on my Reign to replace an X9 and really can't tell any difference. The XO clutched one on my Fatbike is nice though. Best derailluer I have ever owned.

I have a Zee on order to run on my 29er but so far it's working fine with a non clutched XT.

If you want to go full rigid 29er plus you can't go past the deal on the Surly Krampus at clickbike.com at the moment.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:01 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:A big change over the years is "clutch rear derailleurs ".

Google to see if they are for you.

Apollo bikes are worth a look.


Clutch Rear Derailleurs - WT? - Needs some research.

Funny thing about Apollo is in the day Team Apollo and (I think Apollo Peloton) was the gear. Much like Oppy on Malvern Star
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:46 pm

Clutched derailleur = stops chain slap pretty much.

X5 is ok if you really need to stretch although I am the type of person who thinks little of geartrain and more of the forks, geometry and brakes (can you tell I like going downhill and hate going up?)
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby uglybob » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:27 pm

trailgumby wrote:Yeti Big Top?
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no more Big Tops :(

Got to look at the ARC in the Yeti range now for a hard tail. rather expensive too.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:39 pm

How about
Scott 2014 Scale 950 $2200
or
Scott Scale 960 29er XC MTB 2014 $1400

Both lots of Brakes would go on Flea Bay and some new model SLX fitted.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:39 pm

uglybob wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Yeti Big Top?
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no more Big Tops :(

Got to look at the ARC in the Yeti range now for a hard tail. rather expensive too.


Poop. :(

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Re: Bike Recommendations - Hard Tail, 29er, XT Spec

Postby 4xsama » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:20 pm

trailgumby wrote:
uglybob wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Yeti Big Top?
Sent from my android thingy using Crapatalk


no more Big Tops :(

Got to look at the ARC in the Yeti range now for a hard tail. rather expensive too.


Poop. :(

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Arc's are a bit too much for my budget (which sucks because I've always wanted one - especially back when they were alloy and the ARC bit at the back made more sense).

A mate put me onto LaPierre today. They look good and are specced well but I've never heard of them before. Any experiences?

http://www.lapierrebikes.com.au/prorace-729
http://www.lapierrebikes.com.au/prorace-529
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