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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having owned and ridden a bunch of bikes, I'm finding more and more that I'm more interested in wandering around than I am in shredding. I also tend to jam the widest tires I can into a frame, not caring much about the weight.

I've got a Trek Stache, super fun for group rides but after 2-3 hours of riding I'm definitely sore in places other than my legs. I do love the 29+ wheels.

If you were looking for a more "do-it-all" 29+ bike as opposed to single track shredder that would be good for mixed surface riding for 3+ hours at a time, what would you be looking at?

The Jones Plus (LWB) is on my radar, for what it would cost to build one I'd be tempted to buy a custom frame though.

The Fargo is interesting, but I'm not in love with drops when riding in the dirt.

Surly ECR might be a little too close to my (older) Karate Monkey.


I know I really need to learn more about bike geometry and how it translates to ride quality...
 

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I don't have the Karate Monkey experience, but my impression is that the geometry is a little more aggressive and it's a different riding experience. I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the ECR if you have a chance to ride one and see.

But I'm happy spending all day on my Troll, which, from what I understand, is a very similar ride to the Ogre. Looking at the tire clearances, it's not quite 29+ (depending on your definition of "plus"), but it can go a little wider if you go 27.5.
 

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Having owned and ridden a bunch of bikes, I'm finding more and more that I'm more interested in wandering around than I am in shredding. I also tend to jam the widest tires I can into a frame, not caring much about the weight.

I've got a Trek Stache, super fun for group rides but after 2-3 hours of riding I'm definitely sore in places other than my legs. I do love the 29+ wheels.

If you were looking for a more "do-it-all" 29+ bike as opposed to single track shredder that would be good for mixed surface riding for 3+ hours at a time, what would you be looking at?

The Jones Plus (LWB) is on my radar, for what it would cost to build one I'd be tempted to buy a custom frame though.

The Fargo is interesting, but I'm not in love with drops when riding in the dirt.

Surly ECR might be a little too close to my (older) Karate Monkey.

I know I really need to learn more about bike geometry and how it translates to ride quality...
If you're sore after a long ride on the Stache, then fatter tires or a different hardtail frame won't change that.

If you are a Trek fan, consider a Fuel EX and run 2.6-28 tires, it has the same suspension as the Full Stache, but it's not flexy and you can get a lightweight carbon frame vs the heavy as shite Full Stache frame.

I'd strongly recommend against the Full Stache, it's a junk show.
 

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I think a better question might be, wich bike.
A 27.5x3.0 is a good allaround.
You like confort a lot, i suggest you get a FS.
I know a guy with back problems he really enjoys his.
I ride 4 hrs pain free on my 27+ HT.
Your sore places are?
 

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OK, honestly do not understand what you're trying to say or at least need you to be more specific. What's not good about the ride of the Stache, is it too harsh? Does your back or other such place hurt or is it your muscles only from use?

Would have to agree with Ben, don't think you'll find anything much more comfortable out there, maybe a steel frame like the Monkey, Unit or as you said custom. I'm wondering if you're on the right size frame and if your bike is setup properly for you, that's why you need to be more specific about what aches?

As an FYI, I'll be 50 too very soon, bad mobility in terms of flexibility and my main ride is a Kona Unit, running 29x3" RIGID. I don't feel beat up at all in terms of bone/skeletal ache, I do feel some muscle soreness, sometimes, depending on how much higher speed tech we do, because I am the suspension. Thing is, I have the bike setup perfect for me fit wise and I have no problem out for a 3 hour ride on technical terrain, do up to 5 hours no worries once not as much tech. BTW, riding with guys on bikes with 140mm> travel and keeping up, so not technical for a rigid type trails, just technical.

Formula4speed said:
I've got a Trek Stache, super fun for group rides but after 2-3 hours of riding I'm definitely sore in places other than my legs. I do love the 29+ wheels.

If you were looking for a more "do-it-all" 29+ bike as opposed to single track shredder that would be good for mixed surface riding for 3+ hours at a time, what would you be looking at?
 

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PoDaddy
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I'm just gonna throw out a shameless plug for the Krampus. If you're at or over 6' it's a better choice than the monkey IMO. stack height is greater which will allow you to not be so hunched over, or at least not run a thousand goofy spacers under your stem to get comfortable.

Steel feels good. My Krampus is rigid and I ride hard, never feel pain until I crash.
 

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OP, you want a full sus or hardtail? That seems to be the question. Just built up a Krampus, 2x11 sram, XT 8020 brakes, some nice dt swiss 350 wheels with RF arc 40 rims( thanks Mike) More for bike packing but been rocking the trails with it recently. It's awesome.
 

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Snow Dog
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right away, I was also thinking Krampus....I am a bit biased though...but I got mine for the exact reasons that you have mentioned...I ride less "X GAmes", and more for exploration and touring...BUT, I do like to go fast when the conditions are right.

The Krampus allows me to have a trail bike, a bike packing bike, a gravel bike, a winter bike, and even paved rec trail bike all in one. I am also a rigid steel only guy having grown up in BMX...I hate the feel of suspension, so the tires - and my arms and legs - are my suspension.

I have the OG model, the moonlit swamp. Back when I was shopping I also tried an ECR, which I almost bought, a Salsa Fargo, a Trek Stache, an Karate Monkey and Ogre...to me the Krampus had the best of all of those worlds...

try a Krampus!!!
 

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I found advantages and disadvantages of plus tires and sure had a lot of fun trying and renting different bikes. For comfort plus confidence, speed and control the love my modern trail bike with general purpose knobby tires. The heavier plus tires didn't feel quick enough and I watched associates rip lighter ones.

Moving to wider 29 rims with big conventional 29r tires on my Honzo that I already knew super well was epiphany time. I lost my interest in plus tires after that. Bigger 29r tires with the 30 mm inner width rims brought me the "I got your back" aspect of plus tires without the sluggish and heavy feeling.

I'm not sure about your riding but we have a Fargo. It is super for long rides but not what I use for general MTB riding. I'm 60, have been doing off road riding since we made our own bikes, and I'm totally sold on the modern trail bike for comfort and big rides. That's from a house with 9 bicycles in the garage, two in the basement, and more at the cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay I apparently did a horrible job at explaining my problem.

The Stache is fine for shorter singletrack rides, but I feel like it's the only thing it's good at. I'm looking for something less specialized.

I don't own a car, so my rides are never just singletrack. The closest trailhead is 7 miles or so of pavement and gravel each way, and there are other rides where I'll put in close to 25 miles on pavement to ride in the dirt.

I feel like a lot of bikes are optimized to rip downhill, but aren't all that enjoyable for getting there and back. That's why I was thinking something like "touring" style bike might work well for me. I'm willing to sacrifice downhill speed for more comfort in other types of riding.
 

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So your stache has a sus fork? Try some low profile knobbies, like the Bontrager XR2? I'm running maxxis chronicles right now. A 29er plus bike with or without a sus for is my ideal all arounder. Did 42 miles tuesday on my rigid Krampus. A good mix of pave, dirt road, bike path and single track with some tech bits thrown in too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Had a car with a bike rack, got rid of it on purpose. No regrets.

Yes the Stache has whatever 120mm stock fork, and it is running the Chupas (I think that's the XR2 now). The tires are actually great, but the bike itself isn't my favorite over distances. I'm not sure if it's because it's slack and has a short wheelbase? It feels more nimble than stable, which is fun for a while, but on a long ride I don't love it.
 

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PoDaddy
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Yes that's a key characteristic of the Stache. The Krampus will give you a much more stable ride (longer chainstay and wheelbase), comfort (Steel), versatility (braze-ons all over it) and commutability (slightly steeper HA) that you seek.

Kudos to you for forgoing a car altogether, by choice. That's badass in any state.

Did I mention the Krampus is Steel? That also makes it Real.
 

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Okay I apparently did a horrible job at explaining my problem.

The Stache is fine for shorter singletrack rides, but I feel like it's the only thing it's good at. I'm looking for something less specialized.

I don't own a car, so my rides are never just singletrack. The closest trailhead is 7 miles or so of pavement and gravel each way, and there are other rides where I'll put in close to 25 miles on pavement to ride in the dirt.

I feel like a lot of bikes are optimized to rip downhill, but aren't all that enjoyable for getting there and back. That's why I was thinking something like "touring" style bike might work well for me. I'm willing to sacrifice downhill speed for more comfort in other types of riding.
Yes, that is a completely different story.

I'd just tweak the Stache, raise/change the bars, change tires, change gearing. No need to buy another bike.
 

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I've owned 3 29+ bikes, and my wife owns a 29+ and a 27.5+.
I really like plus tires, but if comfort is your primary concern, big tires aren't as good as suspension on most trails.
 

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Hum. Sounds to me like it's the short stays you don't get on with, because honestly, the HTA is not slack by any means. Seems to me like one of the new Surly Monkey's or Krampus, Kona Unit or Marin Pine Mtn would suit you well. Jenson has the UnitX on sale right now and Pine Mtn for, both just under $1k with a decent parts build and rigid fork. I'd highly suggest you take a look at them and maybe if rigid isn't for you try the fork from the Stache - FYI, despite the official word on the Unit and Monkey fitting only B+, they both will actually run 29+.

Had a car with a bike rack, got rid of it on purpose. No regrets.

Yes the Stache has whatever 120mm stock fork, and it is running the Chupas (I think that's the XR2 now). The tires are actually great, but the bike itself isn't my favorite over distances. I'm not sure if it's because it's slack and has a short wheelbase? It feels more nimble than stable, which is fun for a while, but on a long ride I don't love it.


 

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I bought the 27.5+ Santa Cruz Chameleon going in with the same thinking -- comfort and fun over speed. It doesn't disappoint with the 3.0 tires, but it's still not as comfy as FS in the rear. I love it though, and appreciate the simplicity of a hard tail.
 
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