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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife left our garage open, and my 2003 specialized enduro and 1991 Trek Singletrak that I converted to a single speed were stolen last night. Really bummed, but taking the opportunity to rethink what I want.

I haven't been riding as much as I'd like, I haven't been frequenting these forums for several years, and not really sure what I should be thinking. I live in socal, ride my ss most, love the simplicity, wish I had suspension on the front. I love(d) my enduro, so much fun, but huge and heavy, climbed okay, but always wanted better.

When I do get to ride, it seems to be on the road a lot, but really want get back on the trails, so something flexible would be great.

My ideal at this point, would be a 29" ss HT, with front suspension. Most I see though are rigid forks. I've never ridden a 29r. Does it minimize the need for suspension for typical single track? heck, is it even possible on a 29"r.

If it matters I'm 6' 220..

any thoughts? looking to spend maybe $1500 give or take
 

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29er with bigger tires and a carbon fork would make for a pretty comfortable ride. Tubeless to allow lower pressure would be even better. I rode a SS 29er with front suspension fork, made the switch to full rigid and like it so much better. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank for the replies.

Being thrown into thinking about this has me waffling all over the place. I really enjoyed my Enduro, I loved the FS, but it was a beast. I have a weird anti hard-tail with gears thing going on in my head for no good reason. I can only afford one decent bike right now, and its for kinda everything. not ideal by any means. I want to go with my heart and get a surly KM, but worried about all steel, and not thrilled with mechanical brakes. I like the Specialized Crave 29SL as mentioned above, but then I think, if I have one bike, maybe I should go with a geared crave instead. but then I have really only been riding my ss recently. but then recently its been on the road, so now I'm thinking geared crave, and cheap road flippable fixie/ss.

but then I think If I go geared, maybe I should go FS. ugh... really just wish I had my bikes back...

any advice on how to narrow down my thought process here? its hard without being able to really ride them properly...
 

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A steel hardtail is hard to beat. I love mine. I don't think I'd ride another aluminum hardtail and I have no desire to ride FS.

Mechanical brakes...get some BB7's and you're set. Excellent mechanical brakes.
 

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I'm in love with my SS steel hardtail with reba fork. So nice! So light and nimble compared to my previous bikes.
 

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Sorry to hear that. I've been using a cable secured to the concrete footer to protect the bikes in the garage for three years now as I come across these garage thefts way too often. Bike theft is rampant due to the economy as bikes are easily pawned for a good bit of cash. I've chased off people scouting our neighborhood for signs of people away n vacation, middle to upper income area with high visibility. Three to five trucks roll down our street every trash day to pick recyclables out of our cans, and you never know when those guys are looking for other things as well. Or the cable installers. Or the kid that passes through on his/her way to school. Had a guy walk up my driveway at 3am a few summers back to ask to bum a light (I work nights, but no, my family and alarm system don't). People got cahones.

You can't underestimage the power of a large tire to soak up the road, but you cannot give them too much credit, either.

1) If you want to ride the road a lot, you are going to want more than a pair of cushy trail tires. A smooth rolling hard pack or urban tire is a good compromise for street speed and trail durability, but you may still want a dedicated off-road tire for those questional grip days. As an example, I have three sets:

Kenda Nevagal: Came with the bike, decent tire for damp to muddish, absorbs well on dry pack.
Geax Evolution: Awesome compromise tire, used for daily commutes and weekend trail rides as long as the ground is dry to barely damp.
Geax Roadster: Strictly road, easier to roll a few mph faster during long rides when everyone else is on road bikes.

2) A big, soft tire is great at soaking up bumps, but the 10-20mm of firm suspension it provides is no compromise for the 80-120mm of most suspended trail bikes. Your upper body will get beat up running no spsension (on the trail), even if running something close to a fat tire. That 29'er rim is damn close to a 700cc rim, and those don't take up much shock even with a fat road tire. Yes, we used to ride trails without suspensions way back in the day. We also used to travel by horse and sail. Running no suspension forces you to watch the trail more closely rather than enjoy the ride.

3) Modern trail forks are not a serious detriment to road cycling. Trail bikes are heavier than road bikes (the whole frame is), but any decent front fork has a good enough lockout to significantly minimize energy loss due to stanchion movement, and that fork doesn't weigh as much as the water you should take (but never do :) on a 50 mile ride.
The rest of the frame is stronger than a road frame, and the efficiencies gained there help offset those lost in the tires.

This will be my fourth year riding my C-dale F5 for city events, centuries, boy scout rides, and training rides and ****uries with fellow road cyclists. At 350 last summer, I was able to average 14-16mph solo, and group ride up to 22mph for extended periods as long as we didn't hit any steep hills. The limiting factor so far has been the bike's gearing as I can only do 25mph full on with the 40-something chainring. Full on trail bikes are very capable road machines.

BTW, I will often unlock the compression and go half soft once settled in to a nice road ride. I don't notice any loss of momentum, and it is so much more comfortable than a road bike. As soon as I lose enough belly fat, I plan on getting some tri-bars to throw on for longer rides to improve aerodynamics. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to a road bike, although I do have my eye on a few of the C-dales with the 30mm forks.
 

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Asking opinions on the internet......

IMO, it comes down to where you want to ride. Mostly road with the occasional single track venture? Sure, go rigid SS. The simplicity of the bike will never let you down. You will also be able to get way more bang for your buck on a bike like this. Missing dirt and mountains and downhill? Get a modern mid travel "trail" FS. Gears to get you up the hill, squish to enjoy the down. The trail classification, 120mm travel range with slacker HA than a traditional XC frame, is a nice do it all kinda FS bike. You might miss some travel on the downhills, but those bikes are surprisingly stiff and nimble all around these days.

My FS is a portly 31lbs. I have never felt it held me back in any way. Im about your size, the % of body weight to bike for us is a LOT less dramatic than it is for a 140lb racer boy. If a clyde cant get a 31lb bike to the top of a hill... its the clyde, not the bike.
 

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Asking opinions on the internet......

IMO, it comes down to where you want to ride. Mostly road with the occasional single track venture? Sure, go rigid SS. The simplicity of the bike will never let you down. You will also be able to get way more bang for your buck on a bike like this. Missing dirt and mountains and downhill? Get a modern mid travel "trail" FS. Gears to get you up the hill, squish to enjoy the down. The trail classification, 120mm travel range with slacker HA than a traditional XC frame, is a nice do it all kinda FS bike. You might miss some travel on the downhills, but those bikes are surprisingly stiff and nimble all around these days.

My FS is a portly 31lbs. I have never felt it held me back in any way. Im about your size, the % of body weight to bike for us is a LOT less dramatic than it is for a 140lb racer boy. If a clyde cant get a 31lb bike to the top of a hill... its the clyde, not the bike.
There's truth here... 3-5lbs to someone 220+ borders on irrelevant.

I went from a 100mm XC bike to a 4lb heavier 140mm trail/AM bike with chunkier/heavier tires and at least according to Strava, I'm not any slower on the climbs.

I'm 6'6" 235ish
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just did a quick test ride of a trek superfly 6. I quite liked it and it made me think that the problem I had with my enduro was the geometry. It's an all mountain bike but I never rode that way. Testing that started me thinking about a fuel or superfly fs and just getting a cheap road fixie/ss for running around town. The debate in my head now is the xc vs trail bike. I'm not racing so the slightly slacker geometry could be good. But then even typing this I keep thinking karate monkey!! Maybe that's the point that's where my heart is. Just thinking too much. Thanks for the input guys!
 

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I'm in the same boat... All over the place on what to buy. Originally wanted a steel SS 29er & was going to buy a shock for it, but then a few friends got in my ear about "gears & full squish" now my budget as doubled.... Decisions, decisions...
 

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Testing that started me thinking about a fuel or superfly fs and just getting a cheap road fixie/ss for running around town. The debate in my head now is the xc vs trail bike.
Test ride the fuel, those split the difference between XC and all mountain very nicely.
 
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