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Help a Roadie understand MTB things


Jase619
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So, my wife and I have decided to give this MTB thing a try. Been in the works for a long time, but varying annoyances like getting married, buying a house and having a child has tied up cashflow until now.

So as not to bring up fanboyisms, I shall not be revealing the brands we are looking at, but am merely trying to cut through the cowpat and get some advice.

We are looking to ride on weekends around our local trails, which in the Free State means flat and dusty, but we would also like to be able to take our bikes with us on holidays and ride trails there, whether it be in the Western Cape or KZN. Also looking at doing some stage races just for the experience, and obviously to test ourselves, like Sani2C, Wines2Whales and the like.

To that point, what is the real marked difference between a trail bike and a XC bike?

Would I regret buying one over the other? Most locals I have asked have referred to the trail bikes being slightly heavier and having more travel. But does more travel really equal Bad?

 Got told by a local bike shop this weekend that the trail bike we were looking at was "Too Much" bike for us and our local area. . .

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A normal 100mm / 120mm XC bike is more than capable of handling most trails in this country. So unless you are only going to be focused on Enduro type riding, get a 100mm or 120mm bike with decent components and definitely a dropper seat post.

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Don't mistake 'Trail' for 'Enduro'... 

My advice would be to buy a 120mm/120mm trail bike, like a Titan Cypher or Spez Epic Evo (the new one) or something like that.

The angles are perfect for everything. A 100mm XC bike CAN ride everything, but a 120mm 'Trail' bike will be way more stable, way more versatile and to be fair, the speed bottleneck at races won't be the bike or it's weight, it will be you.

Get a 'trail' bike. Seriously. Bumbling around on an XC race bike is not as cool as people make it out to be

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17 minutes ago, Jewbacca said:

Don't mistake 'Trail' for 'Enduro'... 

My advice would be to buy a 120mm/120mm trail bike, like a Titan Cypher or Spez Epic Evo (the new one) or something like that.

The angles are perfect for everything. A 100mm XC bike CAN ride everything, but a 120mm 'Trail' bike will be way more stable, way more versatile and to be fair, the speed bottleneck at races won't be the bike or it's weight, it will be you.

Get a 'trail' bike. Seriously. Bumbling around on an XC race bike is not as cool as people make it out to be

This, 120 to 130 travel max. Do not even bother looking at enduro bikes. Find something thats comfortable to sit on with you hands on the bars, geometry varies

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40 minutes ago, Jewbacca said:

Don't mistake 'Trail' for 'Enduro'... 

My advice would be to buy a 120mm/120mm trail bike, like a Titan Cypher or Spez Epic Evo (the new one) or something like that.

The angles are perfect for everything. A 100mm XC bike CAN ride everything, but a 120mm 'Trail' bike will be way more stable, way more versatile and to be fair, the speed bottleneck at races won't be the bike or it's weight, it will be you.

Get a 'trail' bike. Seriously. Bumbling around on an XC race bike is not as cool as people make it out to be

Titan's blurb is that the Cypher is a XC-marathon bike. Great starter choice though...

Edited by justinafrika
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40 minutes ago, Jewbacca said:

Don't mistake 'Trail' for 'Enduro'... 

My advice would be to buy a 120mm/120mm trail bike, like a Titan Cypher or Spez Epic Evo (the new one) or something like that.

The angles are perfect for everything. A 100mm XC bike CAN ride everything, but a 120mm 'Trail' bike will be way more stable, way more versatile and to be fair, the speed bottleneck at races won't be the bike or it's weight, it will be you.

Get a 'trail' bike. Seriously. Bumbling around on an XC race bike is not as cool as people make it out to be

to be fair most bumbling around is more rider than bike. a extra couple of mm isn't going to change that.

Edited by MTBeer
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Scott Spark (not the RC version), Specialized Epic Evo, Giant Trance 29 and Merida One Twenty. Pick any of those and you will be golden, though stock availability might make the decision for you

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4 minutes ago, MTBeer said:

to be fair most bumbling around is more rider than bike. a extra couple of mm isn't going to change that.

Yes, but Head angles, wheel bases and stability make a big difference.

It's not all in the travel, but rather a combination of travel plus angles that makes a 'trail' bike way more fun to ride and confidence inspiring.

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7 minutes ago, Dirt Tracker said:

Who are these people to you speak of? 

'I can ride all the trails on my XC bike, no one needs a trail bike' vs 'I enjoy riding all the trails on my trail bike, it's super fun, never sketchy and I feel awesome'

There is a difference between 'capable' and 'enjoyable'. 

I'm out of this discussion.

IMHO people saying 'buy an XC bike, it's capable' are offering terrible advice to someone who wants a versatile, comfortable bike to 'do it all', bearing in mind he is starting out with no MTB skills.

This advice comes from a guy who constantly rides underbiked. Like RigidSS for Freedom Challenge, BMX for CTCT (with no extended seatpost to sit and pedal), SS for Swartberg, 24 inch kids bike at Enduro's etc...... The thing is, it's fun because I like a challenge BUT I have a proper, comfortable bike to go back to for an every day ride.

But anyway, yes, a 100mm XC bike because it's capable (in the right hands) over a trail/down country bike, because who needs to be comfortable and confident at the expense of suffering? 😁😇🤣

Jase, you heard it here 1st. Trail/Down Country bike > 100mm XC bike for ever and ever.... I'm sorry miss Jackson

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1 hour ago, Jase619 said:

So, my wife and I have decided to give this MTB thing a try. Been in the works for a long time, but varying annoyances like getting married, buying a house and having a child has tied up cashflow until now.

So as not to bring up fanboyisms, I shall not be revealing the brands we are looking at, but am merely trying to cut through the cowpat and get some advice.

We are looking to ride on weekends around our local trails, which in the Free State means flat and dusty, but we would also like to be able to take our bikes with us on holidays and ride trails there, whether it be in the Western Cape or KZN. Also looking at doing some stage races just for the experience, and obviously to test ourselves, like Sani2C, Wines2Whales and the like.

To that point, what is the real marked difference between a trail bike and a XC bike?

Would I regret buying one over the other? Most locals I have asked have referred to the trail bikes being slightly heavier and having more travel. But does more travel really equal Bad?

 Got told by a local bike shop this weekend that the trail bike we were looking at was "Too Much" bike for us and our local area. . .

A XC bike typically has less travel (front and back) and a more aggressive geometry (ie more forward leaning). As a roadie this is something you will be fairly used to. Overall these are the faster bikes.

A trail bike has a more relaxed geometry (more upward) and have more travel (rear and front). The bike is designed to handle rougher terrain in a more comfortable manner.

Unless you have the desire to ride things as fast as you can, I would go for a trailbike for the use you mentioned

 

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Expect to **** off badly compared to road riding. No matter which bike you buy its much harder on your body and there are fewer opportunities to rest. 

The advice re 120mm travel, slacker HTA's and dropper posts is sound. Right now Van der Poel is lying in hospital wishing he hadn't been riding the steepest HTA marathon bike currently out there without a dropper post, nogal. You can take a horse to water... 

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I have ridden XC and trail bikes, down dh lines. Lets just say it ended when the xc bike need constant part replacements, wheels etc. Then the trial bike ended, when I snapped the frame in 2. Xc was a ht and the trail bike was dual sus. 

Still, it can be done, and there is no limit in riding an XC bike on any trail. It is about how comfortable and the amount of fun you want to have.

Op, home you many happy miles with whatever you decide on.

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Trailbikes normally have longer suspension travel than a xc bike. They are also generally heavier with a slacker geometry. They are mafe to take bigger hits than an xc bike. If you looking to ride flat roads and longer distances a xc bike like a Specialized Epic or Giant Anthem is the answer. If you wanna play on the trails and ride more technical stuff with occasional jumps thrown in the trail bike is the right tool...make no mistake in the hands of a competent rider both bikes can do the same job but i think for you a xc or marathon bike would be best.....

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