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subzali
10-24-2008, 08:02 AM
Questions/advice from the mtb guys:

I think my timing is perfect. Now that it's getting colder I'm really getting back into mountain biking. I have a 2000 Gary Fisher Kaitai (hardtail) with ok components. It's getting to the point where I need to replace components and/or buy a new bike. The frame on this thing is great, I ride it very well, and I don't think I could get much for it if I were to try and sell it, so I think I'll keep it and do some stuff here and there on it.

First off, I have I think an older LX bottom bracket with I think the old square taper on it. From what I understand, most everybody has gone to octalink design. What is a good (but fairly cheap) BB? I was looking on mountainbikereview.com and there's a bunch of idiots on there that are using things in ways they weren't intended, and then calling them crap when they break (well duh!). I was thinking of going to a new LX BB, but what else is out there? I saw RaceFace was getting good reviews.

Second, forks. I'm afraid that if I upgrade my forks I will have to do discs, not sure if my bike is set up for discs on the rear (I'm going to check today). My friend upgraded his old fork back in college to a Marzocchi and seemed pretty happy with it, but most of the higher end bikes I see these days are running Fox or higher end RockShox forks. My current fork does not have that much travel (3-3.5" I would guess), so I don't want to change the geometry really all that much, it's just that it's a RockShox Judy XC that has never been serviced :o and I'm afraid to pull it apart and find bad part that can't be replaced because RockShox I heard doesn't continue with the rebuild kits for more than 3 or 4 years after a model has been produced (maybe that's a lie?).

Third, brakes and shifters. I would like to stick with v-brakes on this bike, still not sure how much I'm going to like discs on my (potentially) new full suspension. But maybe I should go discs so that when I go back and forth with my bikes I don't have to remember how to use the brakes differently. I was thinking LX brakes and shifters (or LX shifters with Avid or equal hydraulic discs) because I have the Mega9 shifters and who knows what brake levers and they have lasted all this time, albeit they are loose, worn, rattling, and unprecise these days.

I will probably go to a LX front derailleur to upgrade my Deore that's currently on there.

Of course, all of this is contingent on price, I would like to get some good/upgraded componentry if possible, but don't want to go all out because we're still talking about an older bike that gets trashed on the trail.

OTOH, I'm also looking at a full suspension just because that's the way everybody is going and there are some longer rides that I plan on doing where it would be pretty nice (Sections of the Colorado Trail, long rides in Buffalo Creek area, Monarch Crest, etc.). I don't want a bike that everybody and his brother has, but I'm not really a boutiquey guy either. My perception is that the Santa Cruz Blur and the Specialized StumpJumper FSR are bikes that are pretty popular. I will probably throw a leg over them to check them out, but I don't think I need the travel of the Stumpy; not sure about the Blur. I've never been a big fan of Trek, and the Fuel doesn't really seem like the bike for me. I've been looking pretty hard at the Specialized Epic, just because it has the suspension in the rear but it has a cross country/climber feel and stance and suspension travel setup.

I don't plan to really spend any time at Keystone or going off huge drops; that's not my style. I'm a climber and like technical uphills (like the wall at Deer Creek, the steps on Dakota Ridge, Morrison Slide, Chimney Gulch and Apex.). I'm an average Front Range mountain biker, and my personal opinion is that shops are selling people something they really don't need or ever really use to their full potential, and I don't really want to sacrifice the uphill performance for a perceived upgrade at downhill performance that I will never really use.

It just seems to me that Specialized has been doing this for a long time and they are leading the way with innovation in the mass-produced market. I still have a lot to learn, though, so let's start a schooling session :D

BTW, I'm not really an Iron Horse, Trek, YETI, Ellsworth, or Cannondale fan, though unless someone can really convince me it's the way to go I might consider one of them. Don't know much about Santa Cruz, have ridden a couple Intense bikes but seemed more of a downhill bike to me, not really sure what Fisher has to offer these days.

Rogue Leader
10-24-2008, 08:36 AM
Wait till Bikeman speaks but here is what I've found out in the past 3 years with 2 different bikes. My first bike was a Specalized XC Comp and it got the crap beaten out of it. I put somewhere between 500 and 600 miles on it in 4 months before it got stolen. It had a Rockshox tora in the front and the lockout never worked completely. I blew out the rear shock going over some drainage berms a little too fast. My current bike is a Rocky Mountain ETSX 50 (bikes.com). It wasn't cheap but it makes a world of difference. Fox front and rear provide a super smooth ride over anything I throw at it. It has the Shimano dual shift/brake levers and those are pretty sweet. With just over a 1000 miles on the bike in 1.5 years the only thing that has really failed was the fox fork. (dont do drops with the front locked out). My specalized had mechanical disks while the RM has hydraulic. I liked the mechanical because I could adjust them on the fly but the hydraulic are more responsive and like to lock up around power slides. I pushed both bikes really hard but my RM is still going strong.

It really depends on what you want to do. A strict uphill bike should be a hard tail but if it is a 60% uphill and a 40% downhill look at the short travel rears because it makes a world of difference.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 08:41 AM
Dang, where to start?

Bottom brackets. Not only has the market moved from square taper to Octalink, but it's also moved beyond that to external bearing cranks. You are two generations behind my man. If I was you, though, I would stick with what you have. You can still get decent Shimano units, like a BB-UN54 level. This is gonna be about $20 new, nothing major. If you switch, just go to Octalink II (external bearings). I have XT Octalink II cranks on my Blur, no complaints, LX Octalink II on the geared HT (race bike sorta) and FSA outboard bearing cranks on the 'cross bike. Both have been solid, although I did have an arm on the 'cross bike come off last season in the middle of a race. The bolts must have loosened or something. The advantage to outboard bearings is significantly bigger bearings, which does lead to longer life.

Shocks. Your Judy is more like a 80mm fork, so about 2.5". I run Fox stuff, love it. Advantage in my mind, simple, well made in the USA, excellent parts availability. The premier MTB fork tuning house is right here in Colorado, PUSH. They're up in Loveland, they have every single part for Fox shocks and can turn around repairs and rebuilds in a day or two. But I've also rebuilt Fox forks, it's not tough to do yourself. But nothing wrong with Zokes or Manitou IMO. Rock Shock has gotten a lot better under SRAM ownership the past few years, for a while in the late 1990s they were utter crap. You can still get 80~100mm forks with canti posts, that's not a big issue. Also you can run a disc in front, cantis in back, that's not a problem.

PUSH Industries: http://www.pushindustries.com/

Brakes. I LOVE DISC BRAKES! If I had to only keep one advancement in the last 15 years it would be disc brakes. Hand's down, hardtail, rigid fork, single speed, 26" wheels, just as long as it has disc brakes... In Colorado they are the bee's knees. Seriously.

I have a Santa Cruz Blur LT. It's not a super boutique bike, but it's not all that common. I see a lot more Specialized, Yetis and Treks, but fewer Moots and Intense. About the same as Ellsworth on the trail. I ride a large, you are welcome to give it whirl sometime. I run a 140mm Fox Vanilla and it's mostly a mix of XT and SRAM X.9 level stuff. Pretty utilitarian. If I was gonna buy a bike right now, it would be most likely a 3" dual squish 29'er of some sort or maybe a HT, although I'm really looking forward to the 650C bikes to get established. That's a 27.5" tire and I think a better balance for a ~4" trail bike.

Maddmatt
10-24-2008, 08:55 AM
Lots of people on here with lots more experience and knowledge than me, so I'll only speak to what I know.

Discs. I agree with Dave 100%, best advancement ever. I'm currently riding a specialized hardtail with hydraulic discs, and I wouldn't give it up for a full suspension with Vbrakes, no way. The only change you'll have to make in your riding is to get used to having the same brakes at the end of the day that you had in the morning.

In my opinion, worth getting a new bike to get them.

-Matt

Caribou Sandstorm
10-24-2008, 09:26 AM
Hey Matt,

Not sure if you are looking for a total new ride or just new components?

I have been mtn biking since late 80s. The stuff available over the last few years is much better then years past, with the exception of the shimano multi trigger cap (brake/shifter).

I ride a Blur with mostly XTR. My wife is on a Yeti Kokopelli. Santa Cruz blurs changed the market entirely when they came out and still today have the best technology. Pretty much the rest of the industry had to change fast to compete. Elsworth is probably the number two. Highend yeti is made here in Colorado, mid to lower is made in Tailand with many others..Specialized is expensive.

Anyway, my advice would be to get on the phone to all the ski shops at the ski resorts...They rent brand new full suspension bikes in the summer with decent components and let them go for half price in the fall. In some cases they have only been in use a handful of times over the summer.

Christy's at WP, breck, Vail...will have a good selection. They all have disc.

Full suspension is the difference between getting your butt kicked by a goup of thugs vs being superman and walking through a volanco eruption....It is that much different of a feel during and after the ride is over..

Since you are not going to do drops, you can stick with a xcountry type build best for climbing, stay around 23-27 pounds, anythig over that. I prefer the VPP suspension technology vs the others becasue it is the best for minimal movement while climbing. But all have imporved over the years.

rover67
10-24-2008, 09:32 AM
yeah man, probably lots of other folks here with more knowledge than me too..

I know that a few years ago I kind-of went through the same upgrade thing on my old bike. I bought a rock shocks reba, discs, a decent wheel set, nice shifters, ect.

after moving out here I realized that the bike really didn't fit me (frame too small) so i set out looking for a used bike I could afford. I ended up with my Spot for about $900. Honestly, it has all of the components i had ended up upgrading on my old frame... but it was a newer nicer frame, and a nicer bike in general. Add up what you think you might spend on upgrades and see if you can't buy a used newer bike for a similar amount of mulah.

as far as brakes go, I love disks too. hands down better for me than any other setup. I have avid bb7's on the Spot and the old 1x9 now and love them. for about $120 you can get the calipers and discs, add $20 bucks or so for nice cables, and pick up the cheap - o avid levers for like $12 and you'll have a pretty decent setup. Hydraulic is nice, but i couldn't afford it. I love my mechanicals.... not to say I won't upgrade in the future... but these are really nice. I also have a rock shocks reba on the Spot, and it does fine for me. yo ucan usually pick them up used for around $300... and rebuilding them is easy. the seal kit is not to cheap though. I have all the oils if you'd want them.

The Spot is a single speed hard tail 29'er... I have really enjoyed it around here. I have ridden some full suspension bikes, and while you can really go anywhere (pick any line downhill) the spot just seems to be more fun.

Anyways... not saying your old frame is not worth it, but you may want to look into picking up something newer.... it might get you more bang for your buck.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 09:32 AM
I don't even know where to begin.

I would only fix the stuff on your bike that needs to be fixed. If you start upgrading on that old of a bike, IMHO, it will cost just as much if not more than a new bike. A kia tia is nice but not as nice as what you could buy with if you put everything into it.

I don't know why you diss ellsworth. The Truth, in my mind is one of the best suspension bikes ever made. Some frame problems in the past but they work very well. The reason you see some bikes more than others is because there are some rear suspension designs that are WAY better than others.

I dunno, when the last couple times i've ridden i've went back to my hard tail. If i were going to buy another mtn bike. I'd be going to a Seven custom sola. I'm rapidly loosing touch with the latest since I left my last shop.

subzali
10-24-2008, 10:03 AM
Thanks guys, I'm not dissing anything just trying to get a point of reference established since as Dave said I'm probably at least two generations behind in bike design.

I will be looking into the different models and brands you guys have ridden, liked, and/or suggest, I'm not going to rush into this so it's going to take a lot of playing etc. I'm not really ready to lay down the $$ yet anyway, but I'm just trying to stir the pot in my head.

I thought about doing a single-speed conversion on my hardtail and calling it good, but have kinda moved back to upgrading. I am thinking I am going to buy a new bike (full suspension) and then tear down my hardtail and just have fun rebuilding it. Not like it's going to be great when I'm done, but I just want to play with it and see what happens. In the near future, though, the BB and the fork/brakes (I think you guys are convincing me of discs, going to check that out today) are the parts that I would like to replace if I'm going to survive another season on it.

I have lots of research to do, there's so many bikes/systems/geometries out there. Gotta go test some out too :)

subzali
10-24-2008, 10:07 AM
And that's the other thing - the 29er revolution. Is that the wave of the future? Should I jump on the bandwagon now?

I also have to get a new helmet and new shoes, I've been riding Shimano SPD pedals for a while, any reason to go to eggbeaters or anything else? I've been looking at the Sidi Dominator, I figure my feet deserve a break from the Shimano shoes I've had that don't fit and aren't comfortable.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 10:11 AM
I don't know why you diss ellsworth. The Truth, in my mind is one of the best suspension bikes ever made. Some frame problems in the past but they work very well. The reason you see some bikes more than others is because there are some rear suspension designs that are WAY better than others.
Ellsworth makes very nice bikes, all US-made, too. My Blur is also a US-made one, but note that in 2008 Santa Cruz shifted production off most their bikes to Taiwan. They had been making some overseas since 2003, but all the VPP frames from 2002 thru 2007 are US-made. Anyway, the only knock against Ellsworth that I've ever heard (this is rumor-ish) is that they can be a little standoffish when dealing with warranty issues. I can speak with authority that Santa Cruz was AWESOME on that front when my Blur frame cracked. Out of warranty by 6 months and they still replaced it for free.

The current crop of designs has been pretty flushed out. There are three main design philosophies. The single pivot, VPP (virtual pivot point) and four bar.

The single point is old but all the experimentation in locating the pivot and more importantly modern platform valved shocks make them viable primarily because of weight and simplicity. They work well and considering there are minimal pivots (as in just one, single isn't just a clever name), they take next to no maintenance. The wheel moves in an arc, which is another issue with a fixed pivot, that's not really what the wheel wants to do. Platform valving is a lock-out inside the shock that detected when there is minimal pedaling going on (i.e., when the shock is barely traveling) and will lock out. Without this the single pivot will tend to inch-worm in granny gear, which is annoying. Some shocks have a manual lock-out and that's fine, but just a PITA.

The four bar is similar to independent front suspension on trucks, well more like suspension on Indy and F1 cars. It's just like it sounds, a simple 4 bar linkage that keeps the suspension active all the time (it's the only style that is not impacted by braking at all). Lots of pivots, that's it's main dink. Also there are patent issues with parts of it that mean either you pay Specialized royalties or you don't sell your bike here in the USA. Scott for one told Specialized to stick it where the sun don't shine and that keeps us from getting the really fancy Scott bikes that they have in Europe. Titus and Ellsworth just pay Specialized for the Horst link, no drama. Oh, Specialized owns that patent, the four bar linkage suspension is what all their FSR frames are based on. The wheel moves linearly up and back, which is pretty much what you want.

The VPP is known by several names, VPP is owned by Santa Cruz and licensed to Intense. Other brands use similar style pivots, like BMC and Giant. It's called something else and the actual design is a little different. But the idea is the same, there are two pivots that act as a single pivot that moves through space. The reason for this is that the pivot point determines leverage ratio and the compromise with a fixed point is that sometimes you want different ratios. Without adjusting shock spring rate, while climbing it is nice if the leverage is a little lower so that the bike does not pogo and going down it is nice if the leverage increase to be more supple. The VPP also uses the energy you introduce through the pedals to fix the pivot point. It's more simple than it sounds, but if you can visualize the pivot point of a single pivot bike moving through an 'S' shape around and behind the bottom bracket that's sort of what's going on. This also means the rear wheel doesn't move in either an arc or a line, it tends to move in and out based on the virtual arm length. Not really an issue in and of itself, but a VPP type bike will have the worst chain slap as the chain stay length changes. Also the frame designer needs to be careful of the cable stop locations to avoid ghost shifting. The first VPP was actual Outland and they were pretty bad about ghost shifting. Outland didn't make it and that's why Santa Cruz ended up with the patent, they bought it from Outland and perfected the design a few years later when FMEA and computer modeling was more sophisticated. Outland had a good idea that they could never get quite right just by experimenting.
I dunno, when the last couple times i've ridden i've went back to my hard tail. If i were going to buy another mtn bike. I'd be going to a Seven custom sola. I'm rapidly loosing touch with the latest since I left my last shop.
Wow, a Seven. Sweet. That for those not familiar is a bike worth more than most of our trucks... Uber sweet bikes.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 10:22 AM
Singlespeeds, 29'ers, etc.

I have an old frame that I converted to one speed. Fun, light and simple...yup. Kills my knees and most of the Front Range trails being brutal...yup. So I have not been keen to convert completely. Being a kid and probably in much better shape, that might not be an issue, but I grind my granny gear going up Falcon and Deer Creek and lots of places. Even shaving 5 or 6 lbs doesn't make a 34/20 gear any easier. I like that 22 tooth front!

Are 29" wheel the future? Nah, the 26" wheel still has advantages. First and foremost they are significantly stronger. The 29" wheel also means all your gears are something like 10% taller, so low gears aren't nearly as low as before. So if you like 22/34 or 22/32 in granny, with a 29" bike it's more like pushing a 22/30 or 22/26 (i.e. 3rd and 4th or so rather than 1st and 2nd in the rear cassette). Mostly it's not a big deal, but something to consider. Also 29" bikes will usually have a longer wheelbase, so switchbacks are just a bit tougher. The upside is that they apparently will roll over anything like a steam roller. Also right now the 26" tire selection is 10 times better than 29" tires, but that's changing quickly. But I dunno, I'm still running 26" wheels and it seems every time I get started saving for a new bike something happens to eat up my savings. New truck engine, Kirsten's tuition, taking a month and a half to be with my family. I just can't seem to get past $500 in the bike account. :doh:

Pedals. I run SPD, never had an issue. Lots of people like Eggbeaters and Time. Personally Time are fine but since I have all these common pedals to convert would mean 4 sets of pedals or another pair of dedicated shoes. So I just stick with what I have. Eggbeaters are light and reliable, but I found they are just too small and any more than an hour my feet get tired due to the lack of support under the soles. YMMV and it certainly does depend on the stiffness of the shoe (I run SIDI Dominator 5). For after work rides that would not be a problem and certainly for 'cross rides it would be OK.

subzali
10-24-2008, 10:38 AM
I thought the Dominator 5 was a pretty stiff shoe?

I'm wondering if the 29ers roll over everything because all the dugouts etc. were made by 26" tires. It's kinda like our trucks: back in the day 31" tires were the norm, then people started throwing 33s on to "roll" over the obstacles better. But then they became dugout again so 35s started becoming common. Just a thought.

Man I could spend a whole day jumping bike stores and trying out new stuff and learning about everything. It's nice having someone to lay it all out simple though RE: rear suspension designs. Thanks Dave and everybody else who's contributed, this is good stuff!

subzali
10-24-2008, 10:40 AM
The other thing I'm kinda scared of is customizing my cockpit, since my dad bought my current bike when I was 14 and let me "grow into it." But I'm sure it doesn't really fit now, and I know handlebar designs have changed (they all have risers now and "bullhorns" are a thing of the past apparently, even though they've saved my skin (and fingers) more than once). But I'd like to take my current bike in (if I do the teardown and rebuild) and have my headset, stem, bars, etc. all custom fit so I have good geometry.

Of course I think I would get all that if/when I were to buy a new bike anyway.

Caribou Sandstorm
10-24-2008, 10:50 AM
As ususal, Dave you did a fantastic job covering the main points.

I am not a 29er at this point. Anything that gets me higher off the ground on a mtn bike to me, feels like I have farther to fall. haha...short guy mentality..

But there is definatley some factual benefits to it, Dave probably knows better then I. d\Definately not main stream yet. imo.

I think the Velo swap already went down or is this weekend. That is also a great place to look, as questions and find great deals.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 11:05 AM
Veloswap is tomorrow. I'll be there, FWIW.

The reason 29" bikes are better is mostly momentum and rolling inertia. You remember physics, right? The mass is farther away from the axle, so they tend to carry more energy than a 26" wheel. Harder to accelerate, too. Also the larger diameter means more contact patch, so that factors in. I don't personally think it's got to do with obstacles being spaced or sized on 26" wheels, but I dunno. There's so many different variables with bikes, less spinning on obstacles than trucks, so stuff isn't dug out on the climbs as much as washed out from erosion. I do think hardtail vs. suspension and wheelbase of the bike and where my fat butt is positioned relative to the front/rear makes a significant difference in how a bike handles. A 10mm longer stem or bumping the saddle back 10mm changes the handling quite a bit.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 11:17 AM
Wow, a Seven. Sweet. That for those not familiar is a bike worth more than most of our trucks... Uber sweet bikes.

Gotta stay true to my east coast and FAT roots. I have a custom Seven axiom. For me Ti is the only way to go.

We should have another bike thread with pics and specs. I need to get out and ride with you Dave! :thumb:

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 11:26 AM
Gotta stay true to my east coast and FAT roots. I have a custom Seven axiom. For me Ti is the only way to go.

We should have another bike thread with pics and specs. I need to get out and ride with you Dave! :thumb:
Speaking of which, we do have a little cycling group mailing list over on Yahoo. It's a private group and so the volume is very low (~150 emails per year) and no spam. You guys are welcome to join, I think Subzali is already on it. Basically it just emails group rides and stuff.

http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/mudpigs/

BTW, my single speed is my first really good bike, a Rhygin Juke SS. Being from the east you may have heard of them. Stainless steel super tight handling bike. I dig it.

60wag
10-24-2008, 11:58 AM
I can't believe how many replies it took to mention Veloswap. Yes its tomarrow. If you've never been, you must go. Its bike sensory oveload. Look up Veloswap.com.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 12:07 PM
BTW, my single speed is my first really good bike, a Rhygin Juke SS. Being from the east you may have heard of them. Stainless steel super tight handling bike. I dig it.

Awesome. That's FAT roots right there. SS.. hard to work with, expensive but lasts forever. I did hear that there were some problems with cracking and inherent problem with SS. You need more chrome and the carbon in spots can make it weak. It's really not the best material for a bike. Problem is he put all his eggs in one basket with the SS and when his supplier discontinued it he was done.

subzali
10-24-2008, 12:18 PM
I went out and rode an '08 Epic Comp and an '09 Stumpjumper at lunch, gonna hit up the Santa Cruz dealer at some point. Both very smooth bikes with the Fox shocks, even with regular shoes on I was able to go over some pretty tough stuff, which is why I like the rear suspensions; your tire spends more time on the ground than it does bouncing around. For '09 Specialized changed the rear suspension design a bit, but since the two bikes I rode are intended for different applications anyway I figured it was a tough comparison. I feel that the Stumpy has more travel than I need and I would be losing performance vs. the Epic on stuff that I do; climbing, long distance pedaling, etc.

Another thing is Shimano vs. SRAM shifting - I've grown up on Shimano so I'm used to the "trigger finger" 2:1 shifting while SRAM has the "double-thumb" 1:1 shifting. I don't really know which one I like better, I guess it's just a matter of preference. They both work.

Found out if I want to upgrade my BB to Octalink on my Fisher, I would have to do crankset too (no surprise), it's probably time anyway, after 8 years of poor maintenance schedule and attacking a lot of the Front Range trails in a hard and determined fashion in all kinds of weather...

Also no provisions for disc mount on rear, so I'll probably stay v-brake on both ends, just upgrade my brake and shifter set so everything is tight again.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 12:47 PM
Awesome. That's FAT roots right there. SS.. hard to work with, expensive but lasts forever. I did hear that there were some problems with cracking and inherent problem with SS. You need more chrome and the carbon in spots can make it weak. It's really not the best material for a bike. Problem is he put all his eggs in one basket with the SS and when his supplier discontinued it he was done.
That's not quite the same story I heard. I got mine in 1998 and it cracked at the head tube in 1999 or 2000 time frame. I called Christian and phone line was turned off, no response to mail. He offered a lifetime warranty and I just wanted to have it fixed. No love. So I got in touch with Columbus out in L.A., the Metax tubeset was their product. The rep had spare tubes and hooked me up with James Bleakley of Black Sheep in Ft. Collins. He used to offer a Metax option on his bikes. I dunno if he still does, but if it's available he can source it. Anyway, the guy at Columbus got the replacement top tube to James and he fixed me up. Turns out that Christian had a mistake in the miter for the junction and the weld was half filler without enough mechanical support. It cracked at the weld. I dunno if George the welder left (he was a laid off aerospace welder, so I gotta think he was getting dirt building bikes comparatively). There was another guy, John. So at the end it could have been those two guys trying to keep up, I just don't know. None-the-less, I heard Rhygin took a big order, maybe production bikes, that he floated for materials. I guess the order canceled and he got left with no downpayment and a ton of material that he couldn't recover for any cash. Just gone. I'm riding a piece of history, that's for sure. There were only a couple of guys doing Metax frames.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 01:34 PM
definitely plausible. You would think though that if it was that bad the welder would have said something so they could fix it. I've never heard a straight story about Metax but I guess that's how most things go. :beer:

rover67
10-24-2008, 01:35 PM
i'll more than likely be going to veloswap also.

And, FWIW, I love climbing on the SS. You're welcome to ride it anytime. May be a bit on the small side though.

And I agree, my 29'er is harder around the really tight switchbacks... and it felt pretty tall at first... but now I am used to it and I like the way it rides. It seems like I don't have to really pay as much attention about my line with the bigger wheels, and it flys different than my other bike with the little wheels.

a little bike porn from Crested Butte a few weekends ago..

nakman
10-24-2008, 01:54 PM
Is Velo Swap at the Merchandise Mart again? Anyone have a link to a printable coupon? I'm looking for a new bike too... a little one with training wheels.. :)

edit: never mind, answered my own question https://www.veloswap.com/exp/reg/User/index.asp?type=consumer

subzali
10-24-2008, 02:00 PM
So nobody has the "bullhorns" anymore eh?

Rogue Leader
10-24-2008, 02:08 PM
I run the Bullhorns and more than once they have saved my hands. I mostly use them for steep uphill sprints.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 02:12 PM
bullhorns.. LOL :D

Did you get them from your dad?

subzali
10-24-2008, 02:19 PM
Well my dad had them on his bike in the early 90s so naturally when I was 14 my bike got them too :D

Like I said they've saved my hands, I don't know why people hate :bawl:

'cept they look goofy on bikes with riser bars, IMO

Bikeman
10-24-2008, 02:28 PM
Matt,

If you can wait until I am back from vacation (leaving Sun. am for one week of riding in AZ:p:) around Nov. 1, I can give you 18 years of unbiased shop experience on absolutely everything. You can come into Arapahoe Cyclery and I will spend as much time as you want educating you. I will be in on saturday while my grunts are at the VELO SNOB:D. I'm glad I won't be there;).

If you are going to buy something earlier and looking at dual suspension, please don't buy something that costs alot that has 15 year-old suspension technology that I see all the time still being made (single main pivots that rely on shock technology to lessen bobbing).

subzali
10-24-2008, 02:36 PM
Sweet Mike, I live off Arapahoe and I-25 so you're just down the street. How long are you around on a weeknight? Or Sundays?

It's going to be a while before I commit to anything, just want to try a bunch of things out and make sure I understand exactly what I'm after.

Bikeman
10-24-2008, 02:39 PM
Two more points, then I have to get office work done before I leave:

Dual suspension bikes can be graded with a report card- style format:
1. How well does it react to small and large bumps, the whole range?
2. How efficient is the design, bob-free, or a major power-robber?
3. Does the design go rigid or harsh under braking forces.

Many botique bikes do this sooo poorly, and alot of brands you are paying for the name. I've sold them all:).

Secondly, I have demo bikes you can ride on your favorite trail in your size:D, which is my size, from 29'er rigid to 4,5 and 6" travel dual-suspension bikes.

Bikeman
10-24-2008, 02:49 PM
I am in Mon-Sat, except Thursdays. We are closed Sun. from Oct to the end of March. Mon-Fri: 10-6, Sat: 9-5.

In the mean time, check out Giant's website.

DaveInDenver
10-24-2008, 03:01 PM
If you are going to buy something earlier and looking at dual suspension, please don't buy something that costs alot that has 15 year-old suspension technology that I see all the time still being made (single main pivots that rely on shock technology to lessen bobbing).
Single pivots and platform shocks may be old and band-aid fixes, but someone should tell that to Cannondale-Monavie guys riding Scapel and Rush frames out at Moab. Bart Gillespie is one friggin' fast S.O.B. Also Josh Tostado won this year solo on a Superlight with Tinker close in second on his Scapel. There's a reason they are still hanging around, simple, light, royalty free... The newer stuff has it's advantages, but enough people still like the bike equivalent of manual trannys and carbs. Me, I like EFI trucks and VPP bikes, but that's not for everyone.

subzali
10-24-2008, 05:00 PM
Okay, so help me break this down: I looked on Giant's website and it looks like they use a VPP-style suspension. Specialized has the FSR, which is what I'd call a modified single-pivot suspension. Is that true?

That's as far as I've gotten. Yeah I know I'm slow.

Caribou Sandstorm
10-24-2008, 05:52 PM
Your doing great. it is a lot to digest.

My advise would be to test ride as much as you can before you buy. They all work great.

I got lucky, bought my blur, built it at REI's bike shop with my buddies help, and it fit me like a glove.

That is not always the case...

Also the Velo Swap is tomorrow. If you can, you should really carve out some time to hit it.

Here is the link.

http://www.veloswap.com/expo/why_attend_den.html

Just read bikeman's post..definately start with him and his shop, I bet he has something within your budget and will break it all down for you...Where is his shop? I need to check it out.

wesintl
10-24-2008, 05:54 PM
Single pivots and platform shocks may be old and band-aid fixes, but someone should tell that to Cannondale-Monavie guys riding Scapel and Rush frames out at Moab. Bart Gillespie is one friggin' fast S.O.B. Also Josh Tostado won this year solo on a Superlight with Tinker close in second on his Scapel. There's a reason they are still hanging around, simple, light, royalty free... The newer stuff has it's advantages, but enough people still like the bike equivalent of manual trannys and carbs. Me, I like EFI trucks and VPP bikes, but that's not for everyone.

It's not about the bike. I've seen dudes rip people on their 5k bikes riding huffys.

When I was in a shop every once in a while we'd take out a bike like an old trek 820 that someone left for repairs and a year later never picked up and go out and school folks on their boutique bikes.

Bikeman
10-24-2008, 07:48 PM
Okay, so help me break this down: I looked on Giant's website and it looks like they use a VPP-style suspension. Specialized has the FSR, which is what I'd call a modified single-pivot suspension. Is that true?

That's as far as I've gotten. Yeah I know I'm slow.

The Giant is not considered VPP-style by the experts, the upper and lower links travel parallel while the VPP links travel in opposite directions, no a big deal.

The FSR is a four-bar link. It does very well, but is not the most efficient. They use the brain shock (with an inertia valve) as a band-aid fix.

Bikeman
10-24-2008, 07:54 PM
Single pivots and platform shocks may be old and band-aid fixes, but someone should tell that to Cannondale-Monavie guys riding Scapel and Rush frames out at Moab. Bart Gillespie is one friggin' fast S.O.B. Also Josh Tostado won this year solo on a Superlight with Tinker close in second on his Scapel. There's a reason they are still hanging around, simple, light, royalty free... The newer stuff has it's advantages, but enough people still like the bike equivalent of manual trannys and carbs. Me, I like EFI trucks and VPP bikes, but that's not for everyone.

Remember when the Fifth-Element shocks came out? They were always blowing, esp. the Manitou-licensed versions. They rely too much in compression damping to stop any bobbing, and then lose small-bump sensitivity. Just like premium shocks for off-road vehicle applications, let the spring do the compression. Giant does not rely on shock technology to make their design work so well. Also, single pivots wear faster, due to the load not being spread out among multiple pivots, as you prolly know. I still can't get over folks spending big $$$ on Santa Cruz Superlites when all they could do is try a DW-Link bike, Giant, VPP, Ellsworth, etc. and see the difference.

What it boils down to is, people need to ride. Period. Anything. That's why I have never been on an MTB forum ever. Never will.

There is a reason why I still have my 1982 Mongoose Supergoose 26" wheel rigid BMX cruiser as my singlespeed...

I saw Terry tonite at the Velo Swap setup tonite-- nice to see a Crusier Head among bike geeks!

DaveInDenver
10-25-2008, 06:08 AM
It's not about the bike. I've seen dudes rip people on their 5k bikes riding huffys.

When I was in a shop every once in a while we'd take out a bike like an old trek 820 that someone left for repairs and a year later never picked up and go out and school folks on their boutique bikes.
Nah, I know. Just stirring the pot. Bike Magazine is doing their Sh*tbike story this year, beating up an old Softride at races and letting major dudes ride it doing as little as possible to repair it. Turns out it's done OK at Sea Otter and letting Wade Simmons thrash it (although the plastic cartridge Judy gave up a long time ago).

Anyway, those guys get to pick whatever bike they want from Cannondale, but since Cannondale doesn't make a VPP or 4-bar suspension frame in their XC and race bikes, who knows what they would pick. They didn't pick hardtails, though. Same with Josh Tostado, as a Santa Cruz rider he could have picked the Blur XC, but he went with a Superlight. Just interesting to me. But also they don't care about maximum comfort, but rather speed and a single pivot set up stiff is pretty efficient.

DaveInDenver
10-25-2008, 06:56 AM
Remember when the Fifth-Element shocks came out? They were always blowing, esp. the Manitou-licensed versions. They rely too much in compression damping to stop any bobbing, and then lose small-bump sensitivity.
The main problem with the 5th Element as I understood it was just that they were a piece of junk, really poor workmanship and QC. A lot of them blew straight out of the box and it often wasn't the valving, but just air seals and Schrader valves.

One of the other Mudpigs (our pseudo race team, it's our 24 Hours team name) has his 2001 Superlight still. He's in the same boat as Matt, trying to figure out what bike to get to replace it. He's thinking Ellsworth, Yeti, SC, etc., just like everyone else. So in the mean time he put a Fox RP23 on it a year or so ago and he's said that the platform changes everything. He's so happy with his Superlight now that he decided to throw some money into and put a Fox F100 and new wheels on it. It's a pretty trick bike now and he's decided to ride it for a while more.

But none-the-less, suspension guys like Doug Bradbury used always say that compression damping is a band-aid to cover the real problem, which is like you say under sprung. But even he acknowledged that as travel got longer compression damping has it's place and he came up with his TPC damping. Air springs, in particular with small chambers on bike suspension, can benefit greatly from compression damping to keep from blowing through the initial travel and still getting full stroke.

Just the same way, platform valves can work fine if applied right. I'm running a Manitou Swinger 3-Way on my bike right now (came with the warranty frame) and I've been happy with it. I run the SPV just above its minimum, but I sometimes at the top of a smooth climb I will notice that it's locked out. So I guess it's doing it's job. Obviously with VPP it's really not necessary, which is why I run the SPV chamber at low pressure. But that's going on 2 years old now and hasn't given me any headaches. I will one day get the original Fox Float AVA RC that came on my Blur up to PUSH. Really, I will.

So see some of you at Veloswap. Look for big Dean and me!

Bikeman
11-11-2008, 04:30 PM
Back from AZ. Matt, any updates on your quest?

I rode my Giant Anthem 5 days in a row in AZ on rough, rocky single and two-tracks. I got back last Sunday, rode my 29'er hadrdtail. It was a complete jackhammer, and I cannot corner on it worth a d#$%. Needless to say, I will not be riding it anymore. It will either get stripped down and parted out, or I will sell it complete, which i'll take a big hit on ($1,500 wholesale invested). I rode my Anthem again yesterday on singletrack, and have to say it's the best 4" travel bike I have ridden to date...

subzali
12-30-2008, 12:17 PM
Well I am leaning more away from Specialized now, after visiting Mike's shop and talking with one of his cronies.

Took Mike's demo out for a ride around the parking lot and was pretty impressed with it as well. So I'm looking more in the direction of Santa Cruz, Giant, and a girl at work who rides a lot and whose husband works for Fox/SRAM in the Springs suggested Turner frames as well.

I understand a little more about suspension design now, so that helps...

wheels are still turning...I'm wondering if I should buy a used bike (which will be worlds different from my hardtail anyway) or suck it up and go big with a new bike. I got so many other things vying for my attention and wallet right now and over the next few months...

MDH33
12-30-2008, 12:34 PM
wheels are still turning...I'm wondering if I should buy a used bike (which will be worlds different from my hardtail anyway) or suck it up and go big with a new bike. I got so many other things vying for my attention and wallet right now and over the next few months...

I bought a used Klein years ago and saved a bundle which I used to rebuild it using all the components I wanted. Still cost less than a new bike at the time and it was set up just like I wanted.

However, new sure is nice if you just want to jump on and ride without spending time cleaning, tuning, etc.

subzali
12-31-2008, 10:45 AM
does anybody know much/anything about Turner frames?

Bikeman
01-22-2009, 05:47 PM
Matt, any further on the search for a bike? You're missing out on great Winter riding!

I rode Green Mountain 3 times this week, rode all last week on the road bike including last monday in the snow on studded tires!

It's fun schooling the dudes on their $4000 titanium 29'er single speed fully rigid bikes. I just don't get it:confused:.

farnhamstj
01-22-2009, 07:06 PM
I rode a 29er last fall, Bookcliffs, GJ, Moab. I never understood the 29" thing, I stilll don't get the rigid, single speed crowd. OK yeah I do, "bikers" and they like to run stuff that is out of the box. (like no gears and no shocks is out of the box) I was one of them for years. Now I'm old and lame. I totally fell in love with the 29" wheels with 3.5" travel.
My advice, Shove a $25 shimano bb in what you have so it is sellable. Do not upgrade anything else. Buy a 3.5-4" travel full suspension whatever brand you like, (not Giant) that costs about $2000+ new. DO NOT buy a used bike. except maybe Mikes. The quality of the shop means more than the value of the bike. Buy from someone you trust.

subzali
01-22-2009, 11:05 PM
Still learnin', searchin', and prioritizin'. I guy at work has a Badger 29" Rigid Frame bike and tells me that 29ers are the way to go. I've never really ridden one (just in an alley once), so am not sure about that. I'm kinda resistant to change, so that doesn't help me stray away from 26" bikes.

I've been reading good things about the DW-Link suspension, and companies like Turner and Ibis use it; I'm kinda intrigued about the reports I've been hearing about Turner bikes, but am not sure I want to pay $4500 right now for the DW-link version.

Work hasn't been helping; been getting in just after six am and leaving at or after six pm this whole week. Maybe tomorrow if I get my rear brakes replaced in the red truck and have enough time left I'll fix my flat tire, go ride Green Mountain (never ridden it in the daylight), and cruise around some bike shops and see what's what. I jumped on a Giant at Mike's shop, liked it pretty good, but I feel I need to give a fair trial to other bikes before I make a decision. Full-blown riding season is only a couple months away though so I'd better think fast.

subzali
09-14-2010, 03:18 PM
Looking for good dirt singletrack riding more on the east/south side of Denver. I can't afford to drive all the way across Denver in an afternoon once or twice a week to get my fix. And now since Waterton is closed, it seems choices are even more limited. Are there any/good trails in the Surrey Ridge, Highlands Ranch, or Daniel's Park areas? Or elsewhere that's more south/east?

By the way, I was reading back through this thread and was laughing at myself a little bit.

Anyway, I'm still on the lookout for my next bike, but about a year and a half ago to pacify myself I replaced my bottom bracket/cranks with some SLX cranks and bottom bracket, which I am very happy with for now. I also replaced the shifters and brake levers with SLX components. Not awesome, but inexpensive and plenty for my needs right now. I'm happy with the way my Kaitai rolls and I'm itching to get back on the trails since I've been out of the state all spring and summer...

corsair23
09-14-2010, 04:22 PM
Looking for good dirt singletrack riding more on the east/south side of Denver. I can't afford to drive all the way across Denver in an afternoon once or twice a week to get my fix. And now since Waterton is closed, it seems choices are even more limited. Are there any/good trails in the Surrey Ridge, Highlands Ranch, or Daniel's Park areas? Or elsewhere that's more south/east?

Matt,

I'm not much of a hiker or a rider (although I could use the exercise :hill:) but there is a huge area on the south end of HR called the Backcountry Wilderness Area (8,200 acres ). I have heard that there is some decent riding back there but no first hand knowledge. Mike might know more as he may have ridden some of it.

http://www.hrcaonline.org/Recreation/BackcountryWildernessArea/TrailInformation.aspx

Now it states "The HRCA now has a total of 11.2 miles of natural surface, private trails open for residents and accompanied guests. The Douglas County East/West Regional Trail also goes through the Backcounty, adding 12 more miles of natural surface trails. The Douglas County Trail is open to the general public."

Link to "Why are the trails private" - http://www.hrcaonline.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=JsQMn1HswBs%3d&tabid=256

subzali
05-15-2012, 02:08 PM
How much longer will I keep bringing this thread up? Only another year-and-a-half has gone by with no purchase.

sigh...

Bicycle Village is close to where I work so I go in there once in a while for tubes and stuff. They pretty much sell only Scott bikes. What's the deal with the Scott suspension? They don't really hype it up (seems to me), so it must be nothing fancy, just lightweight I guess.

And I just saw something about the new 145mmx12mm thru-axles. Is this being used only on the rear axle for the bikes that have them? Do the forks still have QR?

So now we've got 12mm, 15mm, and 20mm thru-axles. Interesting.

nakman
05-16-2012, 01:32 PM
Matt my advice today is wait until you & Jackie are sleeping through the night again, then decide how much time you have for solo riding. Ride what you got until then.. for us, it's taken until about now to get back to where it's cool to leave for a while and do more of the stuff you used to do, and our kids are 3 and 6. YMMV.. ;)

Hey, do you want/need a Burley? We have one we don't use anymore.. it's a knock-off brand but works great, I'll check if it's available.

smslavin
05-16-2012, 01:48 PM
our kids are 3 and 6.

ours are 3, 6 & 9. 3 is definitely the magic number. last week, after the 6 & 9 yr old were at school, my wife and i took piper for a hike up to royal arch in chautauqua. a few pit stops, snacks and water in the pack and she spent most of the time on my shoulders. one hell of a workout but she was a happy camper the whole way.

back to bikes, never been a real fan of scott. yeti has a pretty sweet rear link system. the 575 has stood the test of time. i'm really interested in the sb-66 but i need to start playing the lottery or something.