XC vs Trail

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    • #182792

      I’m looking at full suspension bikes. I’m looking for a good all around bike. I can find a lot of XC bikes for cheaper then trail. Is there really a big difference that someone who is just getting into mountain biking can notice?

    • #182804

      If you’re just getting into biking, you may not want to spend too much, but I really haven’t noticed a difference between trail and xc bike prices.  Both categories can be had in similar price ranges.   Any xc bike that costs a lot less than a trail bike will definitely be carrying some shortcuts–but then again they may be shortcuts a new cyclist may not notice.  On the other hand, most cyclists, especially new ones, are better off on an all around trail bike than a dedicated xc bike.

      Simplest advice:  decide what you are willing to spend and then go ride as many bikes as you can at that price of below and buy the one that feels best.  If you don’t have a specific price range, go ride as many bikes as you can and get the one that fells best for the price.

      It’s also best if you can actually ride them on a trail.  An xc bike that feels great in a parking lot may find you overwhelmed on a serious trail.

      • #182805

        I’m looking at getting a 2014 Kona hei hei

    • #182806

      Check out the trek remedy or ex series also if you don’t have to have one new check craigslist and pinkbike great deals on there!

    • #182808

      Just my opinion but the best bang for the buck in entry level FS is the Giant Stance, after that I think the Specialized Camber is solid and it comes in 29 for those that don’t like 27.5.

    • #182816

      The Hei Hei is a great bike, but it does skew more to the XC end of the spectrum. That’s not to say you can’t ride it anywhere. I had an older Turner Sultan that was very similar and I rode it everywhere from 24-hour races to Pisgah to Moab.

      A bike that is trail oriented will have more relaxed geometry compared to an XC bike. That geometry will give you more confidence when the trail gets steep and speeds increase. It also depends on your local terrain. If it’s flatter and less technical, then an XC bike would be fine.

    • #183021

      XC bikes tend to be lighter than trail bikes, so they are generally better at handling climbs better. Trail bikes usually have slacker geometry to be able to handle downhills better. Many bikes blur these 2 categories and capabilities.

      For instance, my Salsa Spearfish is mostly an XC bike but it also has a fairly slack geometry. This mean that it is no slouch with the downhill sections. For where I ride and my riding style, the Spearfish is absolutely perfect for me. It really shines for those longer distance 20+mile or longer rides.

      My other bike is a trail bike (a modified Airborne Zeppelin Elite). It has additional suspension travel 130-120mm, a much tougher frame to handle the extra punishment, and similar slack geometry. It is a heavier bike than the Spearfish so it is not as good on climbs. This does not mean that it is absolutely terrible at climbs, just that it is not a specialist for climbing like my Spearfish.


    • #183033

      Not knowing anything about your terrain or ambitions on the trail, I would vote for a trail bike (unless you really want to race XC). But when you say trail bike, there’s a lot of variation there. Trail bikes are anywhere from 130-160ish mm of rear travel. May not seem like a lot, but with an inch more of travel comes a burlier fork, frame, wheels, etc. Trail bikes have gotten real good in terms of pedaling efficiency with suspension designs so they’ll ride like XC bikes when you want them to and with a flip of a couple switches turn into great descenders. That said, a lot of XC bikes are becoming better at handling burlier terrain, too. Will you notice a difference? The only way to tell is get out there to demos or rent some. Good luck!

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