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Discussion Starter #1
Getting back into riding regularly after a long time away (bike is a 2006 to give you an idea). I've ridden the Gambrill yellow trail a few times lately but was curious about the Watershed. Always rode on the aggressive side of XC, never really freeride.

Back when I raced and rode a lot from 2000 to 2011 or so, I'd always avoid the watershed because of the (seemingly confirmed) rumors of booby traps on the trail (nails, fishing wire/hooks, etc.). I wasn't on MTBR at the time... mostly Ridemonkey back when it was in it's prime. I don't see any mention of it here since 2017 and I see a lot of people on bikes and hiking there... safe to guess that it's been a while since there was an issue?

Not going to talk about trails here because I know better... but any sensitive areas to keep away from? I remember something about a rattlesnake habitat that was sensitive. I always avoid using trails in hunting areas on hunting days, and will wear blaze orange anywhere near hunting areas in season, so I've got that one covered.

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There are definitely snakes out there, the facebook group posts pictures pretty regularly, but not sure if any spot is worse than others. Pretty cool video of the Shed posted on BKXC recently, though as others pointed up, he rode down the uptrail (3-saws) which is still pretty fun. Haven't heard of any booby traps recently, but during COVID I think it has gotten more crowded, as everywhere outdoors has around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are definitely snakes out there, the facebook group posts pictures pretty regularly, but not sure if any spot is worse than others. Pretty cool video of the Shed posted on BKXC recently, though as others pointed up, he rode down the uptrail (3-saws) which is still pretty fun. Haven't heard of any booby traps recently, but during COVID I think it has gotten more crowded, as everywhere outdoors has around here.
Yeah i was surprised at the amount of people... still much better than most state parks for sure. Oh and yep snakes are a fact of life (plus bears, deer, ticks, etc)... just thought a trail had been shut down in the past because of a rattlesnake nesting area (to pretext snakes, not people).

I actually saw that video having no idea who that dude was. I've gone up and down three saws yet, but I'll make it over to boundary line next time. Getting an older bike back up to snuff then it's on the list.

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Yeah i was surprised at the amount of people... still much better than most state parks for sure. Oh and yep snakes are a fact of life (plus bears, deer, ticks, etc)... just thought a trail had been shut down in the past because of a rattlesnake nesting area (to pretext snakes, not people).
In all fairness if you stay away from the new trails and the Hamburg Trailhead, most of the trails in the watershed are still pretty empty. If you ride from Sand Flats you might come across a few more riders and hikers than you would have pre-COVID, but it is far from crowded.
 

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In all fairness if you stay away from the new trails and the Hamburg Trailhead, most of the trails in the watershed are still pretty empty. If you ride from Sand Flats you might come across a few more riders and hikers than you would have pre-COVID, but it is far from crowded.
Yeah, and still less crowded than most parks.
 

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Agreed, think my comment came out wrong. There are more people there than before but not what I would call "crowded" -- Particularly with other MoCo area parks and trails that are packed by 7 am. I don't want to expand too much, less I encourage crowds.
 

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Agreed, think my comment came out wrong. There are more people there than before but not what I would call "crowded" -- Particularly with other MoCo area parks and trails that are packed by 7 am. I don't want to expand too much, less I encourage crowds.
True, what i said might come across wrong as well. There's still a **** ton of people. Just not as bad as say MoCo or Ptap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
True, what i said might come across wrong as well. There's still a **** ton of people. Just not as bad as say MoCo or Ptap.
Yep exactly relative to what i expected is what I meant. Patapsco I haven't been to since COVID, but I'd imagine it's packed. Might try a dawn ride there but that's about it. I like the solitude of it so I try to plan accordingly.

That being said I might get out to the McKeldin area of Patapsco... used to race there a ton and enjoyed the red and white trails if I'm remembering right.

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Hey all, hoping someone can help me out with my bike search. I'm coming from a hardtail with 130mm up from and fairly dated but not ancient geometry (short reach, long tt, 67 HTA). After an injury and a bit of time off the bike I'll be good to ride in the next few months, and I'm hoping to find the right bike to can tackle terrain like the shed. I'll be easing back into riding but I enjoy challenging terrain and felt that I had been progressing a lot prior to my injury.

I'll for sure be getting something with modern geo but where I get a bit stuck is what amount of travel and what range of head tube angles are gonna be good for this kind of terrain. I know demoing would be smart but that seems out of the question with the way bike shops are at the moment, and I don't really have any qualms about buying before I ride as long as the decision is well informed (which it will be lol). Anyway, if choosing between bikes like the Ibis Ripley and Ripmo or SC Tallboy or Hightower, has anyone found that one category is much more suited to this kind of terrain? Will I benefit more from more modern geometry with similar travel, at least up front, to my old bike? Will modern geo with an even slacker HTA and a bit more travel overall increase my room for error, or will it be be too much bike? Maybe split the difference with a bike like the Orbea Occam or Kona Process 134?

Curious to hear what you all think, I know there's not one "right" answer so any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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Bike Recommendation for the Shed

Hey all, hoping someone can help me out with my bike search. I'm coming from a hardtail with 130mm up from and fairly dated but not ancient geometry (short reach, long tt, 67 HTA). After an injury and a bit of time off the bike I'll be good to ride in the next few months, and I'm hoping to find the right bike to can tackle terrain like the shed. I'll be easing back into riding but I enjoy challenging terrain and felt that I had been progressing a lot prior to my injury.


I'll for sure be getting something with modern geo but where I get a bit stuck is what amount of travel and what range of head tube angles are gonna be good for this kind of terrain. I know demoing would be smart but that seems out of the question with the way bike shops are at the moment, and I don't really have any qualms about buying before I ride as long as the decision is well informed (which it will be lol).

Anyway, if choosing between bikes like the Ibis Ripley and Ripmo or SC Tallboy or Hightower, has anyone found that one category is much more suited to this kind of terrain? Will I benefit more from more modern geometry with similar travel, at least up front, to my old bike? Will modern geo with an even slacker HTA and a bit more travel overall increase my room for error, or will it be be too much bike? Maybe split the difference with a bike like the Orbea Occam or Kona Process 134?


Curious to hear what you all think, I know there's not one "right" answer so any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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Started to write a long response but lost it. Depending on what you want to ride and presuming you are not going free-ride/shuttle, I would go with 130 to 140 rear suspension. There is a lot of terrain to choose from and of course a lot of roots and rocks. From the examples you listed, I would go Ripmo over Ripley and Hightower over Tallboy. Also gave a shout out to Bicycle Pro Shop as they have a variety of brands (Ibis, SC, Yeti) so they might be a good place to check on a demo, all though there are plenty of other great bike shops I liked being able to demo across different brands at the same store.

Hey all, hoping someone can help me out with my bike search. I'm coming from a hardtail with 130mm up from and fairly dated but not ancient geometry (short reach, long tt, 67 HTA). After an injury and a bit of time off the bike I'll be good to ride in the next few months, and I'm hoping to find the right bike to can tackle terrain like the shed. I'll be easing back into riding but I enjoy challenging terrain and felt that I had been progressing a lot prior to my injury.


I'll for sure be getting something with modern geo but where I get a bit stuck is what amount of travel and what range of head tube angles are gonna be good for this kind of terrain. I know demoing would be smart but that seems out of the question with the way bike shops are at the moment, and I don't really have any qualms about buying before I ride as long as the decision is well informed (which it will be lol).

Anyway, if choosing between bikes like the Ibis Ripley and Ripmo or SC Tallboy or Hightower, has anyone found that one category is much more suited to this kind of terrain? Will I benefit more from more modern geometry with similar travel, at least up front, to my old bike? Will modern geo with an even slacker HTA and a bit more travel overall increase my room for error, or will it be be too much bike? Maybe split the difference with a bike like the Orbea Occam or Kona Process 134?


Curious to hear what you all think, I know there's not one "right" answer so any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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Started to write a long response but lost it. Depending on what you want to ride and presuming you are not going free-ride/shuttle, I would go with 130 to 140 rear suspension. There is a lot of terrain to choose from and of course a lot of roots and rocks. From the examples you listed, I would go Ripmo over Ripley and Hightower over Tallboy. Also gave a shout out to Bicycle Pro Shop as they have a variety of brands (Ibis, SC, Yeti) so they might be a good place to check on a demo, all though there are plenty of other great bike shops I liked being able to demo across different brands at the same store.
I'll second this. I ride everything there on a 140mm bike. And its Ideal to test a bike to see if you get along with it. Numbers only say so much. I liked the 134 but I'm short.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll second this. I ride everything there on a 140mm bike. And its Ideal to test a bike to see if you get along with it. Numbers only say so much. I liked the 134 but I'm short.
Yep. I'm on a 127mm rear and 120 front. Rear seems good too me (I'm relatively small at 5'6 and weight 150 something so bear that in mind). Probably could use a touch more up front. New to the shed, but been mountain biking for 20 years. My old xc bikes would beat me up out here. Probably only gone 100 miles or so in the shed so haven't touched everything yet. Riding trails for me... no FR or shuttling.

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Yep. I'm on a 127mm rear and 120 front. Rear seems good too me (I'm relatively small at 5'6 and weight 150 something so bear that in mind). Probably could use a touch more up front. New to the shed, but been mountain biking for 20 years. My old xc bikes would beat me up out here. Probably only gone 100 miles or so in the shed so haven't touched everything yet. Riding trails for me... no FR or shuttling.

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Lol just realized this was a thread I started so you already know I'm new to the watershed..

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Hey all, hoping someone can help me out with my bike search. I'm coming from a hardtail with 130mm up from and fairly dated but not ancient geometry (short reach, long tt, 67 HTA). After an injury and a bit of time off the bike I'll be good to ride in the next few months, and I'm hoping to find the right bike to can tackle terrain like the shed. I'll be easing back into riding but I enjoy challenging terrain and felt that I had been progressing a lot prior to my injury.


I'll for sure be getting something with modern geo but where I get a bit stuck is what amount of travel and what range of head tube angles are gonna be good for this kind of terrain. I know demoing would be smart but that seems out of the question with the way bike shops are at the moment, and I don't really have any qualms about buying before I ride as long as the decision is well informed (which it will be lol).

Anyway, if choosing between bikes like the Ibis Ripley and Ripmo or SC Tallboy or Hightower, has anyone found that one category is much more suited to this kind of terrain? Will I benefit more from more modern geometry with similar travel, at least up front, to my old bike? Will modern geo with an even slacker HTA and a bit more travel overall increase my room for error, or will it be be too much bike? Maybe split the difference with a bike like the Orbea Occam or Kona Process 134?


Curious to hear what you all think, I know there's not one "right" answer so any thoughts are appreciated!
There's a lot of discussion in this thread on this very topic.
 

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Yep. I'm on a 127mm rear and 120 front. Rear seems good too me (I'm relatively small at 5'6 and weight 150 something so bear that in mind). Probably could use a touch more up front. New to the shed, but been mountain biking for 20 years. My old xc bikes would beat me up out here. Probably only gone 100 miles or so in the shed so haven't touched everything yet. Riding trails for me... no FR or shuttling.

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I'm 5'6" as well. The short chainstays on the 134 are nice for us short guys. Can you bump your fork to 130mm? Might save you some cash if you like your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm 5'6" as well. The short chainstays on the 134 are nice for us short guys. Can you bump your fork to 130mm? Might save you some cash if you like your bike.
Unfortunately only down to 105mm. I recently did an oil change (and seals and wipers). Then I really started to mess with air pressure and rebound and it's in a much better place now. It just feels like I'm flogging it once or twice a ride... usually on things like the blue trail just north of delauter or blue on the south end of the mountain.

As long as it keeps taking it in good...I do really like this bike a lot (2006 Kona Dawg). Pedals decent fit the suspension design, and the frame feels like a tank for its size. Hoping to get a couple more years before I give into the urge for a new bike. Just did the fork service, pivot bearings, front brake, cables/housing, headset service, and some other stuff. New tires come today actually.

I'm mostly just keeping an eye out so whenever I'm ready I don't get overwhelmed. The Kona 134 is certainly on the list, especially since I want an aluminum frame, though I wish the aluminum came in a higher spec. However, the spec and geometry of Fezzari has me interested.

Are you on 27.5 or 29? I figured the standover height would be too much on a 29 but doesn't look too different on most bikes

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I'm on a 29er. Canfield Riot. Standover is low, chainstays super short. These days there are a few 29ers for us short guys, going over 140mm I'd probably have to have a smaller wheel in the rear since I get some butt buzz every now and then Lol.
 
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