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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've got some questions. I'm looking at purchasing a 29er but need some help. I currently ride a HT 26er and have for many many years. Anyway, I'm 6'4" and from what I have read, it makes sense to make the switch. My first question is should I stay w/ HT or go FS? Basically I ride/race XT. This year I want to do some X-Terra and I may do some long distance riding. (I am thinking of getting in on the lottery for Leadville) Anyway, I live in Montana so I do a fair amount of climbing, and what goes up must come down.... For the longest time I thought I would build up a Mamasita, but now I am not sure. Ellsworth interests me, but their are a lot of rides out there..... Any insight will be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

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fnInt(1/x^2,x,0,1)
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My $0.02...

I was sold on FS when I lived in the 26er world, but now that I've been 29 for 4-5 years, I think I prefer HT. I had a few FS 29ers, but the weight was too much for me (as was the cost to get one that was "light enough" for me).

I find a frame that allows alot of seatpost extension along with a nice ti post does the trick quite nicely. I'm currently running a GF Ferrous with a Blacksheep ti post...
 

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turtles make me hot
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I'm 6'4" and also rode a 26" hardtail forever. A little over a year ago, I bought an FS 29er. First FS bike, first 29er for me. Best thing I've done. I have not yet ridden a 29er hardtail, but I'm getting one next month. There's nothing better than riding a bike that actually fits you correctly.
 

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Always Learning
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OJack said:
OK, I've got some questions. I'm looking at purchasing a 29er but need some help. I currently ride a HT 26er and have for many many years. Anyway, I'm 6'4" and from what I have read, it makes sense to make the switch. My first question is should I stay w/ HT or go FS? Basically I ride/race XT. This year I want to do some X-Terra and I may do some long distance riding. (I am thinking of getting in on the lottery for Leadville) Anyway, I live in Montana so I do a fair amount of climbing, and what goes up must come down.... For the longest time I thought I would build up a Mamasita, but now I am not sure. Ellsworth interests me, but their are a lot of rides out there..... Any insight will be helpful. Thanks in advance.
Since you are doing XT, I would focus on getting a bike that "protects" your back and core as much as possible so when you hop off the bike portion of the race for the trail running portion of your race you can't blame any loss in freshness on having been beat up on the HT mountain bike for 30K. I'm about 1/2" shorter than you and can attest to the longer the body's frame, the more things can get tweaked. Plus, you need something you can train on that at least gives you the physical chance of quicker recovery between sessions - especially since you are training for swimming, running and mountain biking. I would put more trust in a full suspension for that over a HT if I was training in Montana in the mountains and training on what I race for XT events.

Yes, the big wheels will fit you quite well as a tall man and there are some very nice race worthy full suspension bikes in the big wheel category. The sweet spot for racing is in the 3" and 4" travel range. Built up with a nice light race package, an XL bike (assuming that's the size for you) can be in the 23 - 25 lb. weight range. Climbing wise, I would put a fork with lockout on the front and have a rear shock with either the ProPedal feature or one that can easily be set for bob free climbing. Niner's CVA rear suspension technology is the best I've tried to accomplish this, but the new Fisher Superfly 100 and Specialize Epic Marathon both look like top of the heap choices as well.

I think it comes down to these full suspension race bikes for consideration (in no certain order):

Specialized Epic Marathon
Niner JET 9 (80 or 100mm up front)
Gary Fisher Superfly 100
Lenz Leviathan (80 or 100mm up front)

You will be able to get all of them sub 25 lbs in the XL size. All but the Lenz have the new tapered steerer head tube and tapered steerer which increases stiffness. Coupled with a 15mm or 20mm TA - you are looking at a very excellent tracking bike.

BB
 

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I think it really depends on how good you are at descending and how difficult the terrain is where you ride. If you have been riding a HT this long I am guessing you know how to pick fast efficient lines and you could go without the FS. Leadville and I am guessing most X-Terra race courses are not very technical either so.....

I would demo both and see what you think though.

OJack said:
OK, I've got some questions. I'm looking at purchasing a 29er but need some help. I currently ride a HT 26er and have for many many years. Anyway, I'm 6'4" and from what I have read, it makes sense to make the switch. My first question is should I stay w/ HT or go FS? Basically I ride/race XT. This year I want to do some X-Terra and I may do some long distance riding. (I am thinking of getting in on the lottery for Leadville) Anyway, I live in Montana so I do a fair amount of climbing, and what goes up must come down.... For the longest time I thought I would build up a Mamasita, but now I am not sure. Ellsworth interests me, but their are a lot of rides out there..... Any insight will be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the good feedback. It's a tough call. Like I said, I was leaning HT, but FS has it's place. I agree about the fatigue factor heading into the run... I"ll see if anyone else has some more input... Thanks again!
 

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HT's fine on smooth flat ground, but bumpy flat ground you lose a lot of speed having the stand for bumps that beat you up badly, where as on a FS you remain sitting pedal as fast as you like without giving it a 2nd thought.

This would be improved on a 29er, only ridden 26" HT's likely not enough for me though.

HT's going up are fine for me other than traction issues at times, no issues going down as your standing up generally.

It's flat ie canal path that I can't stick on a HT!!
 
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