Opinions please! Type of bike for road trip…

Mountain bike trails & Mountain bike reviews Protected: Forums Mountain Bike Forum Opinions please! Type of bike for road trip…

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    • #76198

      Hey all, my first post here on the forums. I am relatively new to MTBing, I have been into it for less than a year. I have an 08 Trek 4300 hard tail that I absolutely love. I am 41 years old, and am in pretty good cardio shape. I have ridden at Santos MTB Park in Ocala Florida, and Alafia in Riverview, Florida. I feel pretty confident on the intermediate trails, some mild jumps, and technical rock garden type stuff.
      All that in mind, I am planning a trip out west in May 09. I am planning on hitting spots in Fruita, CO, Moab, UT, Bryce Canyon UT, and Flagstaff, AZ. Keep in mind I know my limits, and I am not going to be doing any insane drops or crazy downhills at full boar. I am mainly going for sightseeing, photography and just a little R&R.
      I see so many people riding FS bikes on some of these trails, and I am starting to wonder if my hardtail is going to cut it out there. I mean, I ride the HT on some pretty crazy stuff at Alafia, and I have never had an issue. I can easily log 20 miles on up/down trails without feeling beat up. Do I need a FS setup for this kind of riding, or can a capable HT take on stuff like Slickrock in Moab and Thunder Mountain trail in Bryce?
      I was eyeing a FS Trek in the shop the other day, but at $1300, I can’t see spending that much while I need to be socking money away to make this 2 week trip happen. I am thinking if I take these trails slow and just stay within my limits, the HT should suffice. Opinions? Thanks in advance!

    • #76199

      Yea I know what its like – we all want to get the best bang for our buck and not regret it later-
      I ride a ht in alaska where there is more xcountry stuff and a fs outside where a lot of my riding is more aggressive singletrack.
      The trail at Thunder Mountain is a world removed from the Slickrock trail in Moab – no comparison except for the color of the dirt. I may suggest taking your ht for the xcountry stuff and most of the everyday riding your going to do. At all the places you have listed there are great bike shops that will rent you a nice FS for a very resonable price per day if you want to go hit the big stuff- hey, and that way you get to test drive a few different bikes 😃
      Life is good 😎

    • #76200

      welcome aboard Rich!

      I’ve ridden and love most of the Areas you’ve mentioned. I’m a Utah Native and my dad is into the rock crawling racket so I’ve been around the terrain all my life and I think for the type of riding you’ve said you’ll be doing your hardtail will do you just fine. I’ve taken my Hardtail Raleigh all over Southen Utah and I had a ball. perhaps after your trip you’ll have a better opinion as to if you want to switch to FS . Also maybe you do want to try full suspension before you buy this would be an awesome time to try it out Like Dan said. hit up Poison Spider in Moab or any shop really and you can rent a FS Cannondale or similar bike for right around 30 bones a day. Just my opinion but you’ll get by nicely and have just as much fun without a squishie.

    • #76201

      Will you be able to ride any of these trails on a hardtail? yes. The question is comfort and stamina. You will get beat up on certain trails and this will equate to how long you can stay out fighting the bike.

      I really don’t think that on Slickrock in Moab you would need a hardtail. Now if you plan on doing Porcupine Rim….do yourself a favor and rent a full suspension bike. They are $40/day – this may help you decide if you want to toss your $1300 into a full suspension later on.


      BTW, Fruita is known for its smooth singletrack and a FS bike is not necessary out there either. Just stay away from Grand Junction where the trails are a bit more technical and a FS would be highly recommended.

    • #76202

      Excellent! Thanks for all the input. Beaker, the rental idea sounds like a good plan. I feel a lot better now going out there with the Trek, although I feel a FS purchase is definitely going to happen once I relocate from Florida out west (though that is many years away).
      Again, thanks for the info!

    • #76203

      Your bike would be fine for the slickrock trail. I’ve seen some 29ers on Porcupine rim before. They were hardtails. i wouldn’t want to punish myself like that. That trail is rough. I don’t care what anybody says. there are sections that you have to go through where there really isn’t a smooth line. Just smoother than the roughest. If you do Porky, rent a FS bike.

      The hardtail should be fine for the rest of your riding. I’ve ridden in Fruita before, and i remember it being relatively smooth.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t ride Porky on a hardtail. It’ll just punish you. Your knees and ankles will be worked.

    • #76204

      Thanks for the input…I actually just recently purchased a Trek Fuel EX6. It was a leftover model, and it was such a darn good deal I couldn’t pass up! 😃 So, I will be riding in somewhat comfort for my trip now! Just getting as much seat time as I can to get used to the bike. A FS is a lot different than my hardtail for sure-this thing carves!!

    • #76205

      Very nice – I had a Trek Fuel EX8 until this past year. Very nice ride, I think you’ll love it.

    • #76206

      Make sure you get used to how that full suspension rebounds. it’s a little weird when you’ve only ridden a hardtail. Go take it off some curbs or a few stairs to see what it feels like so you can get used to absorbing a little bit of the rebound with your legs without getting bucked off the bike.

    • #76207

      I noticed the rebound issue…good point. I’m feeling a lot more confident on hills and some smaller drops than I did with the hardtail. I have been tweaking the rebound setting and gate settings on the rear RockShok, and I think I’ve found a comfortable setting. Is it normal for the rear shock to lose a good amount of air over the course of the riding day? I start off at about 130psi, and it drops to 100psi.

    • #76208
      "rich67" wrote

      Is it normal for the rear shock to lose a good amount of air over the course of the riding day? I start off at about 130psi, and it drops to 100psi.

      Over the course of one day? No. Not normal. You may have a not-so-slow leak. Before you go out and have the shock replaced or worked on, make sure that you are not losing that exact psi amount each time you unscrew the pump from the shock.

      Ex: My pump reads about 160 psi when screwed into the shock and pumped up to my suggested psi, but I lose exactly 20 psi each time I unscrew it and take it off. If I reattach the pump immediately after detaching the pump at 160 psi, I always get a reading of 140psi. Every time I detach it I lose exactly 20psi. Not sure if its due to back pressure in the pump line or just due to the fact that it’s a little slow to disengage from the shock as it is has no quick release mechanism like my normal tire pump.

    • #76209

      Ahhhhhh…good point…I think that little "whoosh" of air on the disconnect may be 20+psi….good thinking.

    • #76210

      You can try this (although it won’t be perfect):

      Pump up your shock this evening but leave the shock pump attached. Take note of the pressure and then compare that to the pressure you see in the morning. Yes, you may lose some thru the pump but if your shock is leaking as bad as you think, you should see that also.

      Another way is to pump it up to desired psi and set and measure the sag. Do this again 24 hrs later to see if the sage has changed dramatically.

      As Jeremy stated, however, you are probably losing teh air upon removing/connecting the pump.

    • #76211

      Doing that as we speak…thanks Beaker..and all you others who posted. I really dig this forum! 😆

    • #76212

      Yep…its the 3.1. I pumped 150 psi into it last night. I checked it this morning, and it’s sitting at the same psi (left the pump attached). I’ll see how it is tonight when I get home…

    • #76213

      Mongoose, thanks for taking the time for that post! 😃 Trinity is over by Tampa- it’s more or less "north Tampa", in Pasco County..lol.
      Santos is a great ride, but I have been a lot more into Alafia River lately, since the FS bike is more appropriate there. I was getting beat up on my hardtail out there. I am over at the east coast 2 or 3 times a year, and usually hang out at Daytona or St. Augustine. The next time I head over, I’m taking my bike and checking out some spots over there.

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