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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious on getting some opinions,

I'm looking at picking up a bike to race O-Cup with next season and I'm on a limited budget. So a fair bit of research and a few test rides I've come to narrow down my selection to 1 of the following bikes. Giant XTC (I think at the lowest price with comparable specs is a great buy, GF Paragon or E-Cal 29er (the extra speed carried on the flats and ability to pound through rocks is attractive), and GF Big Sur.

I started mountain biking last and bought a 7inch freeride bike (I was looking for a bike to provide an adrenaline and survive some lift access) and loved it, but to my supprise I also loved XC riding as well (even with a 40+ pound bike). Raced a 24 hour race and now I'm hooked and want a lighter bike that I can race the O-cup with. other info 5'10 weight between 155 and 160.

I'm actually leaning towards the 29ers as that is what I rented for the 24 hour race and like the bike with the exception that I thought it felt a little big and comberson a couple really tight section, but I think that was more due to the bike being a large and I should of been on a Medium then the tires. I hope to get the shop that carries gary fisher to let me take out both a Med 29er and Big Sur to some single track so I can try them back to back and get a really good feel for the difference between the two. My only concern I'm having with the 29er is the slower sprint everyone talks about that may cause a disadvantage at the start forcing me to fight my way through more traffic as well as sprinting hard out of corners.

Any feed back would be great, however I would appreciate it if we could hold the comments from those who decide to bash or support the 29er to those who have ridden them a significant amount vs. simply read about them or heard from others (I've done that research already).
 

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vegan cyclocross disco
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You don't want a full suspension to race on? Most of the guys that I know that have a big drop downhill bike end up never wanting to touch a hardtail again. It seems like their riding style doesn't suit a hardtail, even during xc racing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ideally I would be looking at the FS race bikes (Fuel most likely) however I'm trying to keep the purchase at around 1500 CND, which doesn't allow for a new FS bike with a component set and weight that would be suited for racing. I've been keeping my around for something slighty used in that price range but haven't really had any luck. (most good deals I've found had quite a few miles. That's one of the reason's for the 29er, it's characteristics are actually a little closer to a big bike.
 

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Definately go with the 29er. However, make sure the Fisher frame you choos has room at least for their 2.25 XR front tire on the rear. There have been issues with some of their 29er's. With higher volume tires, you can run them a little softer to add comfort to the rear of the bike. Also a comfy saddle that has some give will be helpul. Then weight weenie the rest of the back as needed.

If you can find an 02 or 03 frame somewhere, there is plenty of clearance and they work great with a 100mm REBA fork because of a lowish bottom bracket.

G
 
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