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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im sure this is asked here quite a bit, but I was trying to see if I could get an answer more specific to my situation.

I haven't ridden actively in at least 4 years so I'm a little out of the loop. Last I rode ad purchased a bike, 29ers we're brand new on the scene. I stuck with a 26" bike an got a Giant AC1. all I've ever owned have been full suspension, including a K2 (don't recall model, but it was a one link setup), an a kona stinky five.

Currentl I live in Dallas but I will be moved to Pensacola in less than a year for Air Force training so I would like to find a bike well suited for both. Im not the fastest guy on the trails, but im tired of lugging a 40lb bike up steep climbs.

Im 6'4" 200 lbs so I put a WTB ad on the local mountain bike forum. A few suggested a 1x9 29er. I donn have any experience with them so im skeptical.

My budget is <$1000 so I'm definitely buying used. I found a couple nice FS bikes like a motebbcane fantom, specialized enduro, and santa Cruz superlight. But the Access 29er hardtail was suggested as well. In your opinion, what would be better suited to org areas of riding? I like all kinds of trails and want to use the bike for basically everything from trails to commuting (with just a bacpack around campus). Opinions please! :)
 

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What sort of trails are in Pensacola? If they're relatively smooth I would go with a 29er HT over a 26 FS.

A few other points:

1. The 29er hardtail will be better for commuting
2. The HT would be better for steep climbs
3. Being 6'4" you might prefer the size of the bigger wheels (I'm 6'1" and prefer 29ers)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bank5 said:
What sort of trails are in Pensacola? If they're relatively smooth I would go with a 29er HT over a 26 FS.

A few other points:

1. The 29er hardtail will be better for commuting
2. The HT would be better for steep climbs
3. Being 6'4" you might prefer the size of the bigger wheels (I'm 6'1" and prefer 29ers)
Im not entirely certain how the trails there are, I was hoping someone might chime in about that too. I really want something versatile too since I have no idea where ill be after I finish in florida.
 

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Florida is flaaaaaaaat...like way flat....not kidding.

Personally, I'd go with the 29er. You'll enjoy it more while you are in Florida (and other places in the south).

Alabama has Oak Mountain in Birmingham, but that would be a few hours drive and even though it's a mountain, it's not like mountains in the west. It would probably more fun on a 29er than a fs.

Then, wherever you end up after a few years, you can decide to keep it or sell it then.

BTW, I came from Louisiana (only slightly less flat than Florida), so I've ridden all around the south. And, I had to change my bikes with my style of riding after moving to Tucson. Now I have a 6inch travel full suspension bike whereas in Louisiana a rigid fork hardtail singlespeed was the funnest thing to ride. Even my Trek Fuel was considered to be a big comfy couch there with all of it's 3 inches of pleasure giving travel ;-)

Good luck!!

Oh, and just because it's "flat" doesn't mean it's not fun or doesn't have it's challenges. You'll learn to ride in mud, through sand, with lots of hardpack fast dirt and a bunch of log jumps and roots and ruts. And lots of snakes...way way way more snakes.
 

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I'd try to get advice on the 29ers in that forum.

From the little I've visited over there, the Access frames seem to be pretty good.

Personally, I have a Windsor, which I got from Bikesdirect. Basically it's a fuji with a different name.

Have you had a chance to go ride any 29ers? I'd go ride as many as you possibly can.

Bikes are like shoes, each one fits and rides a little different. And what I think might be the most awemsomeness in the world, you might think is a rolling turd.

So, go out and test ride as many as you can...Gary Fisher (Trek), Specialized, Fuji, Kona, Giant...anything you can, then narrow it down from there.

Good luck and let us know what you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
will-lee wonka said:
I'd try to get advice on the 29ers in that forum.

From the little I've visited over there, the Access frames seem to be pretty good.

Personally, I have a Windsor, which I got from Bikesdirect. Basically it's a fuji with a different name.

Have you had a chance to go ride any 29ers? I'd go ride as many as you possibly can.

Bikes are like shoes, each one fits and rides a little different. And what I think might be the most awemsomeness in the world, you might think is a rolling turd.

So, go out and test ride as many as you can...Gary Fisher (Trek), Specialized, Fuji, Kona, Giant...anything you can, then narrow it down from there.

Good luck and let us know what you get.
Got some advice over there, and doesn't seem like much is in my price range. I have no idea why 29ers are so expensive compared to a 26" bike. I can get a nice FS for the same price as a bargain basement hardtail 29. Not sure I want to compromise that much...
 

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91bottlerocket said:
Got some advice over there, and doesn't seem like much is in my price range. I have no idea why 29ers are so expensive compared to a 26" bike. I can get a nice FS for the same price as a bargain basement hardtail 29. Not sure I want to compromise that much...
I wouldn't recommend getting a 26" FS bike just because you think 29ers are a rip off. What's a nice 26" FS for ~$800? The price difference for 29ers is probably due to the bigger wheels, newer technology, more of a niche market.

Keep an eye out on CL and local ads. I bought a GF Cobia that was only ridden twice for $650 on CL. Rode it a ton and then sold it 9 months later for more than I paid for it.
 

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For a price range of $1000, your options for a good 29er is huge (and that's only considering if you bought new...your options are endless if you by used).

For a price range of $1000, your options for a decent all mountain full suspension 26er is suck ass (and that's scrounging for a diamond in the rough in the used market).

As for the 26ers you've seen, have you ridden either one of them? The Superlight is not for everyone. It's a xc race bike...not an all mountain bike. Which model of the enduro? They've changed those things more frequently than my wife changes her mind. I'd make sure that it's one of the current models and not a bike that was 5 years old.

I too, wanted to see what the whole 29er thing was about last year so I bought a Windsor from bikesdirect. I had done all of my research beforehand (it's basically a fuji with a different name slapped on it), but more importantly, I rode every 29er I could get my hands on. So, when I got it, I knew what felt right to me and what didn't, plus I had 30 days to decide if I wanted to return it for my money back.

Point is, you need to get out and test ride...a lot. I know, tourture, right? ;-)

They aren't all the same bike with different parts thrown on.

And I'm not a 29er fanboi. I have a 26er hardtail, 26er SS, and 26er all mountain in my garage...along with my 29er hardtail. Each one has it's own merits and fun-bility.

So, go out and test ride a bunch (I know there will be lots available to ride in Dallas) and come back to let us know your impressions of them all.

Giant, Specialized, Gary Fisher, Fuji, Access from Performance, GT, Kona....etc etc etc...too long
 
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