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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am an old guy (67) who quit riding 10 years ago and want to get back into the sport of single track riding. My wife is no longer willing to nurse me back to health as in the old days so she has told me that I need to pass on the bigger jumps and drops or I will not be permitted to ride. I am currently 5'-9" with shoes on and weigh 195# without a pack.

So given my riding limitations it looks like I need a xc/trail bike. I have recently been trying to get back up to speed on current technology as 10 years is a lifetime in this sport. I am close to going with a Pivot 5.7 as my first choice or perhaps a Mojo HD as my second choice. The ups and downs around here are close together so I will likely not change suspension settings or lockout during a ride.

My current HT is too small and I feel like I am putting too much weight on the front wheel and the steep head angle has made the steering too fast for me given my age and slowing reactions. I hope to correct this problem by buying a bike that is one size larger and with a slacker head angle. My stem will probably be shorter also. The rear suspension should allow me to stay seated and pedal over more of the rough stuff.

Any opinions or suggestions you may have regarding my tentative choice of bike will be appreciated.

p.s. I had a dream last night that I was on a fast downhill in thick woods when I hear some clattering noise coming up behind me. I assume it is some cat 1 rider running Hope hubs so I start looking for a place to pull off to one side of the trail. Then I look back over my shoulder and some little kid on a red tricycle yells "on your left mister". :D
 

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Rider down under
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Why dn't you get a Firebird.
The suspension is so efficient that its in a unique class of large travel trail bikes that can easily be ridden all day on epics by regular people.
It will be more forgiving and capable should you accidentally lose your line and find yourself taking drops or nasty rocky gardens.
The angles are not as steep as some large travel machines so it climbs very well too.
My XC bike has not been ridden in 6 months since buying my Bird and I'm not a jumper or dropper either.
 

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The Mach 5.7 would be perfect. I own a Mach 4 and most of the trails where I live are rocky and more toward all mountain. I demoed the Mach 5.7 on the same trails. The Mach 5.7 has a more relaxed geometry, but not too much. For rougher trails its perfect. Going to the Firebird would be over-kill, it is a much heavier bike. It is really smooth and comfortable, but it is for aggressive all mountain riders who may want to do some downhill.

I found that I could ride both the Mach 4 and the Mach 5.7 with out much adjustment to my riding style. My two cents.
 

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Nothing can stop me now
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Awesome that you are riding at 67. I have found as I age, I have liked more travel for a little more comfort in the Arizona rocks. Of the Pivot bikes, I would recommend the Firebird for you. It is plush, slack and just more fun to ride than the 5.7 in my opinion. Is it overkill, maybe if you were younger, but I am 44 and would get a firebird if I were in the market. Mountain biking is supposed to be fun and more travel than I "need" makes it more fun for me.

Bobo
 

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Sounds you are really on the right track for your next bike. I have a Firebird and it sounds to me like you might enjoy the 5.7 a little better. The Fbird will keep tempting you to hit those bigger jumps/drops 'cause it can :D The 5.7 will have plenty of travel to keep you comfortable and if the suspension is tuned anything like the Firebird it'll climb and descend like the business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for everyone's comments. I respect and value every comment even though there is a wide range of recommendations. I even have a recommendation to go with the Mach 4 and a 120mm fork to slack the HTA a little.They all made sense based on your particular view point. I probably have spent more time with the thought process for picking the "perfect bike" than I did with picking my perfect spouse of 49 years (she does not follow this forum). :p

I am close to committing to the Mach 5.7 as a good compromise between the Mach 4 and Firebird. In other words I should not be far from the sweet spot under any of the conditions that I likely to encounter.

Thanks for your input and any additional input is always welcome. I realize that my range of biking experience has not made me an expert at anything.

Wayne
 

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5.7 sounds like it might fit your needs well. Being a 29er convert, I would suggest that you see if you can take a spin on a 429 also.

And being a former Specialized guy, I would also recommend you go test out a Stumpjumper (with a Brain) for comparison. Again, the 29er version, but if you want to stick with small wheels, there is, of course, a 26 version. For reference, I was very close to replacing my 26 SJ with a 29 SJ... then tried the 429.

I love my Pivot and think they are just about the best bikes out there right now. With that said, however, we're all different and what works for me (and everyone else here on the Pivot forum!) may not be quite right for you. I also believe in testing and comparing before spending this kind of money.

Check out the big wheels... I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The 429 is an amazing bike. The SJ FSR only very slightly less so. Try 'em both; I think these are what will answer your desires and your wife's conditions!
 

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yeah I would say 429 also. One reason is you rarely get that 'pushed forward' or 'over the front wheel' feeling with the larger wheels. Plus the OLD COOT (Great artile in Dirtrag) has gone exclusively to the big wheeled wonders to get his singletrack work done! Read his stuff if you have not already
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the all of your input. I have made my decision down to (2) possible bikes and I am currently negotiating on price and availability between the two. I will update when the deal is complete, and of course pictures when the bike arrives. I will also post the train of logic I went through in picking a bike. Of course "logic" may be too strong of a word. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RockyMt said:
Thanks again for the all of your input. I have made my decision down to (2) possible bikes and I am currently negotiating on price and availability between the two. I will update when the deal is complete, and of course pictures when the bike arrives. I will also post the train of logic I went through in picking a bike. Of course "logic" may be too strong of a word. :)
I just placed an order for the Mach 5.7 XT. Looks like it will be at least 2 weeks getting here.
My second choice would have been a Santa Cruz carbon Blur.

For those of you who recommended a 29". I changed my mind on this hundreds of times in the past month.:) I felt a 29" would have bridged across a bed of roots at any angle better than a 26". I also know that in order to maintain a fast flow (ups and downs) that I need to accelerate quickly and often. At age 67 I need to conserve energy more than I need technical help in the root traps and ruts. By going with the 26" I also lose a little bike weight and gain a little wheel stiffness.

I have preferred HT's but went to FS as a concession to age and the fact that my sciatic nerve tends to get pinched as a result of an old weight lifting injury. I wanted a bike design that did not require a rear shock to resist pedal bobbing at the expense of giving up small bump compliance. I also did not want a bike with a "brain" shock that would have required me to return it to the manufacturer yearly for a rebuild.

The local bike shops that I visited generally sold the big name brands but only stocked low end bikes. No higher end bikes were available as display or for demo. However they were all willing to order me a bike at full list price plus a setup charge. I am currently feeling good about buying a bike from a smaller company that is willing to ship to my door. I am happy to maintain my own equipment. I am not recommending my philosophy to anyone else. If you live in an area that gives you plenty of options, then taking a different approach to buying and maintaining a bike may be appropriate for you.

Thanks for everyone's help to date!
 

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RockyMt said:
I just placed an order for the Mach 5.7 XT. Looks like it will be at least 2 weeks getting here.
My second choice would have been a Santa Cruz carbon Blur.

For those of you who recommended a 29". I changed my mind on this hundreds of times in the past month.:) I felt a 29" would have bridged across a bed of roots at any angle better than a 26". I also know that in order to maintain a fast flow (ups and downs) that I need to accelerate quickly and often. At age 67 I need to conserve energy more than I need technical help in the root traps and ruts. By going with the 26" I also lose a little bike weight and gain a little wheel stiffness.

I have preferred HT's but went to FS as a concession to age and the fact that my sciatic nerve tends to get pinched as a result of an old weight lifting injury. I wanted a bike design that did not require a rear shock to resist pedal bobbing at the expense of giving up small bump compliance. I also did not want a bike with a "brain" shock that would have required me to return it to the manufacturer yearly for a rebuild.

The local bike shops that I visited generally sold the big name brands but only stocked low end bikes. No higher end bikes were available as display or for demo. However they were all willing to order me a bike at full list price plus a setup charge. I am currently feeling good about buying a bike from a smaller company that is willing to ship to my door. I am happy to maintain my own equipment. I am not recommending my philosophy to anyone else. If you live in an area that gives you plenty of options, then taking a different approach to buying and maintaining a bike may be appropriate for you.

Thanks for everyone's help to date!
Congrats on the new bike! I'm sure you'll love it... and I'm positive you'll love it more than you would have the SC!! :D

I'm sorry you got suckered into believing the "29ers don't accelerate well" line. Maybe if you're a pro level rider, you might notice a difference. At the mere mortal level, you wouldn't notice a difference or lag of any sort. Your acceleration would be just fine. And as for wheel stiffness, as a clyde, I can say with certainty that my 429 is the stiffest FS bike I've ever ridden, rivaling any HT... maybe exceeding some! Can't say anything about the extra weight except that I rarely notice it.

Run, don't walk from those shops!!! Full price PLUS a set up charge?? I think that could violate their agreement with the big name brand, even! I've never heard of a shop that tried to sucker and abuse customers with a bogus "setup charge". Especially a special order... they don't have to carry it; it's already paid for! Shops like that need their names posted online so everyone can avoid them!!
 

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Rider down under
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I think you made a good choice for your present needs.
I recommended a Firebird for you and I do think that in time you will start looking at it.
I have always regretted buying too little a bike rather than too big.
I love 29ers as my avatar of my Niner RIP9 would suggest. I'm now researching a WFO build.
I don't think the 429 would have suited your needs. The geo would have beem too steep with not enough travel.
Agree with above that the claim that 29ers dont accelerate well is complete rubbish. I think they are a lot safer which is imporant to me at 40.
I love my Firebird and all Pivots but I went against the 429.
If Pivot made a larger travel 29er then I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Enjoy your new bike.
 

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skiahh said:
Congrats on the new bike! I'm sure you'll love it... and I'm positive you'll love it more than you would have the SC!! :D

I'm sorry you got suckered into believing the "29ers don't accelerate well" line. Maybe if you're a pro level rider, you might notice a difference. At the mere mortal level, you wouldn't notice a difference or lag of any sort. Your acceleration would be just fine. And as for wheel stiffness, as a clyde, I can say with certainty that my 429 is the stiffest FS bike I've ever ridden, rivaling any HT... maybe exceeding some! Can't say anything about the extra weight except that I rarely notice it.

Run, don't walk from those shops!!! Full price PLUS a set up charge?? I think that could violate their agreement with the big name brand, even! I've never heard of a shop that tried to sucker and abuse customers with a bogus "setup charge". Especially a special order... they don't have to carry it; it's already paid for! Shops like that need their names posted online so everyone can avoid them!!
Eh big wheels do NOT accelerate as quickly as small wheels......no matter how fantastic the bike (or wheel system is) it can't break the basic rules in physics ;) but with that said frankly I agree that not buying a 29er for that rationale isn't the most prudent of decision....if it wasn't for the fact that i am already so heavily invested in the 26 i would have hopped over to the 29er bandwagon for the advantages that it offers...one thing being that it carries speed alot better than a 26" and its angle of attack being some of them.... :thumbsup:
 

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Rei_Ikari said:
Eh big wheels do NOT accelerate as quickly as small wheels......no matter how fantastic the bike (or wheel system is) it can't break the basic rules in physics ;)
I didn't say they did accelerate as quickly... just that those of us in the "mere mortal" category of rider will never feel the difference! Big difference, don't you think? :D
 

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skiahh said:
I didn't say they did accelerate as quickly... just that those of us in the "mere mortal" category of rider will never feel the difference! Big difference, don't you think? :D
Funny thing, just a couple weeks ago a friend and I drove up the road to the 24HITOP to demo some Pivots and watch the start. I took out a 5.7 and he took out a 429. The course is well suited to a 29'er, and he was really enjoying it. I didn't mention anything about acceleration, big wheels, physics or anything, just solicited "How do you like the bike?" at around the halfway point. His reply consisted almost entirely of enthusiastic praise, the only negative he mentioned was "I just don't think it sprints as well. It seems to take more effort to get the momentum up. Is that because of the big wheels?" Since I'm a physicist, and I know the truth, I couldn't really lie, so I said "Yup." But he really enjoyed the way it held it's speed, smoothed out the smaller bumps and just seemed to flow through the corners. 29er's have some great aspects. If it helps some people enjoy riding more, then that's a good thing, but it's not like you need to be in a complete state of denial about the very real trade-offs. Just as some people buy a sports car and some buy trucks and each can be a better vehicle depending on the intended use, doesn't make either a lesser option.

To the OP, reading your line of reasoning and what you wanted out of the bike from your first post, you made a really good choice. Here's a pic to help make the wait a little more (or less :) ) bearable.
 

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Rider down under
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Once you learn how to ride a 29er you'll realise that they don't need to accelerate faster to be quicker.
They enter corners faster as the greater momentum of the wheels means they don't slow down from precorner trail chatter, they maintain speed through the corner due to greater traction, and they exit quicker as they have maintained greater speed throughout.
I have been riding 29ers for 3 years now.
It takes a little while to learn their limits. To just hop on one and diss the category is rather ignorant regardless of what degree you claim to have.
 
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