This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 2 years, 1 month ago.
August 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm #125636
A quick bio: I started biking in Springfield IL in, let’s say 1990. I started on a Specialized Rock Hopper and then got a Barracuda Team Dos Equis of which I still have. I moved to Colorado in ’95 and now live SW CO, down by Durango. I’ve done many many trails over the years, most recently Tsali trails Right Loop, last week. My poor, tired Barracuda barely made it which now has me looking into a new ride.
My question: At 41 years old, I still have it. I have lungs of steel, long legs, and great technique and all my friends hate me for it. I love a good fast smooth trail but I also have several rugged, technical favorites that still bring smiles to my face. So, looking into getting a new bike, what should I get?
I am by far more of a climber than a downhiller – I rely heavily on my hands for work and usually take the downhills more cautiously. My Barracuda is hardtail and unless it’s absolutely recommended by someone, I believe I should stay with hardtail. It seems to be a better fit for my riding style. I’m leaning toward Specialized because of their good customer service and the fact that there’s a dealer here locally.
What would you recommmend I look into?
August 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #125637
The world of bikes is so broad these days and there are so many categories, the "what bike should I buy?’ question can be quite daunting, even with a better description of riding preferences than what you’ve provided.
As if that wasn’t enough, let me throw a logic curve at you. Many people think getting a bike that fits their riding style means getting a bike that is built to maximize their strengths. I believe just the opposite (unless you are a dedicated racer and need to get the best racing bike possible to be competitive). If you are particularly good at one aspect of riding, but relatively weak in another, you may be happier with a bike that helps compensate for your relative weakness, especially knowing your relative strength will overcome any inherent weakness the bike may have in that area.
While I don’t have either iron lungs or legs of steel, I do seem to have a strength in technical climbing and, like you, tend to be a bit more tentative on hairy descents. When I bought my first full suspension bike, I was amazed at how much that opened that aspect of biking to me–and what’s more, I found that suspension kept that rear wheel glued to the ground, giving me more traction and helping my technical climbing as well. I still ride my hardtail lots, but if I could only have one bike, it’d definitely be a fully. Today’s suspensions are far more efficient, so you don’t end up giving much efficiency either.
Of course, all this is complicated by the recent proliferation in wheel sizes. The better rollover provided by 29" wheels can help compensate for lack of suspension and today’s 29" hardtail can handle some types of rough terrain as well as yesterday’s short travel full suspension 26er. Then throw in the current explosion in the mid range–the 27.5" wheel,, and you’ve got even more to be confused by!
Specialized has always offered a wide range of bikes, both in terms of riding style and price/quality. Durango has a few good bike shops and you should have access to a good variety of brands. You might find yourself more comfortable on another bike.
Bottom line, you’re going to want to spend some time in a few shops, throw a leg over a variety of bikes, and even try a few out on the trail if demoing is a possibility. You might find out that, as expected a hardtail is just the ticket, even when you spend some time in the rough stuff. Or you may find that the your iron lungs and legs of steel can pedal today’s fully even better than your old Barracuda, and it gives you a ear-to-ear grin you never thought possible when plummeting down the chunder. The point is don’t jump to a conclusion which may sell you short. All that time spent researching will be well worth it. There’s nothing in life so marvelous than the perfect bike!
August 12, 2014 at 6:46 am #125638
Thanks John! I used to live in the Springs and would ride Palmer Park almost daily. And Captain Jacks still ranks up there as one of my favorite rides EVER. I hope you manage to get out and enjoy that area.
My brother has offered me some great advice too. He thought a perfect fit for me would be the Crave Comp by Specialized. Also, there’s a 2012 Specialized Stuntjumper 29er EVO HT for $1150 he found that is slightly used. I really like the shape of each of those frames and I’m sure either would serve me well.
I can olny hope some of the bike shops here locally have a variety I can test ride. That’s where I will be able to make the call for myself, obviously.
Thanks again for the response!!
August 12, 2014 at 8:03 am #125639
I recently purchased a Trek Stache (8) and it’s been awesome. You should take a look at it while you are in the market…it may fit your needs and wants.
August 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm #125640
Thanks for the input Devin! I will certainly consider it. A used one would be awesome. New, unfortunately the Stash 6 or 7 is probably more in my price range. I should just sell my car to finance it. Who needs a car when you’ve got something as beautiful as one of those bikes?!
August 16, 2014 at 9:41 am #125641
LOL… yeah all of these bikes can get pricey when you really get into it. I won’t lie, I had to make some sacrifices to get the 8 when I had been looking in the 7’s price range.
July 23, 2016 at 3:23 am #193277
Hi everyone. I’ve already been around the forum a fair bit and been really impressed how friendly and helpful everyone is here. I’m just conditioning my first ever brew (it’s drinkable if nothing better), Thank you for all your help.
July 26, 2016 at 4:02 pm #193507
Hi everyone! Welcome and Im new in here as well.
Erick from LA, CA. Hoping to learn from you the experts. Glad to be here!
August 22, 2016 at 1:28 am #195274
August 22, 2016 at 3:06 am #195276
Hi, Marcus! I’ll second John’s input on full suspension bike. If I’m not sure what type of trail I’m going to ride, I’m taking my Stumpjumper FSR. With its Triad rear shock it’s like having two bikes in one.
Better traction and extra fun on downhills is what you getting with dual suspension.
August 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm #195413
I agree also with John on the full suspension rig. Look for a Specialized Epic or Stumpjumper. If you like XC with some medium rough stuff, get the epic. On the other hand, if you are more into the steep and rough, buy a Stumpjumper. In my book, you can’t go wrong with Specialized.
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