Reply To: I'm going crazy, please give advise

Forums Mountain Bike Forum I'm going crazy, please give advise Reply To: I'm going crazy, please give advise


Let me throw in my 2 cents…I went through a similar dilemma last year at this time.  There is even a thread on this forum where I too solicited advice about which bike I should choose.  And the comments and feedback were much appreciated.

The two biggest variables that guided my decision were 1) the trails available to me the would make up 90% of my riding time, and 2) my riding style.

1) I live in Charlotte NC.  While there are great technical trails and long descents in Pisgah National Forest and other places in NC, I am not likely to travel very often to ride those.  So the trails within a 40 mile radius of my house were most important.  And specifically the trails within 15 miles, where I could get out weekly.  Those trails were mostly flat, some technical, some flow, small jumps if any.  So the majority of my rides did not require long travel nor downhill consideration.  Mostly single track, XC trails that are playful and fun.

2) My riding style.  I cut my teeth on a 26″ rigid frame that I rode all over the southeast, including the toughest trails in Pisgah and surrounding areas.  Then I got a Gary Fisher Sugar, full suspension with 26″ tires.  The upgrade from rigid to full suspension was amazing and I loved that bike.  I could whip, flick it, bunny hop the crap out of it, jump anything in my way…It was Very Playful.  From there I got a hardtail 29’er, Cannondale Flash 29’er.  I lost the playful and responsiveness, and the tight cornering.  I could roll over anything without fear, but after a year, I realized that was not my style.  My style was fast, fun, great handling, maneuverable, playful, try to get air off anything I could hit on trails (not Whistler air, just trail air).

With those considerations, I bought the Cannondale Habit 2.  A carbon bike with good components, 120mm travel and 27.5″ tires.  The bike is great.  IMO, it is perfect for the 90% of the trail time I get.  And because I made the decision based on the above, I have risen more this year than ever before, I am in great shape, and I looking to expand my range and even race a little.  All of the bikes you and everyone have listed are good.  Evaluate what is right for you.

P.S.:  I went to Whistler last year, Seattle, Pisgah, TN, and more.  All for business but added some riding while there.  I demo’d the Evil Insurgent and loved it. It is not right for my 90% of the time riding, but what a great ride it was at a bike park in Seattle.  I spent 4.5 hours on it running bigger jumps, race lines, drop offs, and more.  I am planning to buy another bike this year so I can ride Bailey Mtn in NC, Windrock in TN, Sugar and Beech Mtn in NC, and possible others.  The Evil is high on my list.