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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...and need help to better understand specifications that differentiate an XC fm AM bike.

I'd love to know this because I am trying to demo as many different types/models of bikes this season as possible and want to match the bike as best I can to what I am riding, so my assessment is apt.

My knowledge is skeletal at best. AM has 100-160mm travel, is built more stout, but other than this how does it differ from XC? How can I look at specs alone and tell if a bike tends toward the XC vs AM side of the spectrum?

Of these specs, which will be most important to a small woman rider (5'1.5", 117lbs?)

My current bikes fit me very well for certain things. My rigid has a head angle of 71 degrees, is 15.6" with an ETT of 20" and fits so well when climbing, I feel like she is an extension of my body. Unfortunately, we don't have that same relationship on the DH.

My HT is 14.75" with an ETT of 20.5", I don't know her head angle, but suspect it at definately less than 71 degrees as descending on her is way easier than on my rigid, if I understand the head angle's affect on riding correctly. I did a pretty technical lengthy descent on her for our first ride and she too felt like a part of me, though unlike my rigid, she feels that way whether I am climbing, cruising or descending.

With regard to Moab, I'm wondering what type of bike would be best to demo/rent, XC or AM and of those, what models for small woman should I consider.

Thanks so much for you help.

tg
 

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On my first trip to Moab I rode a rigid . The next trip was on a h/t. The trip after that fs. I would the differences between cc and am are weight and travel . CC lighter less cush .Am more cush a little heavier and more stable at speed on down hills. What bikes are availble to rent/ demo?
 

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Tan Girl, don't over think this. Moab has been ridden on everything from ridged clunkers to Free Ride bikes. I've found over the years that there isn't anything you can't ride on a ridged that you can ride on any other bike. You just go slower is all.:D

For Moab, unless you like to do 4 to 6 foot drops and such, a good 120 to 130mm travel Trail bike would be the best option. A Trail bike is basically a long travel XC bike with geometry tweaks. For examples see the Trek Fuel EX or the Specialized Camber. They combine XCish handling (read quick and precise, without being twitchy), good climbing characteristics, and stable descending manners. They are great for all day rides. They are a bit heavier than an XC bike but significantly lighter than an AM bike. A Trail bike is pretty much a combination of both an XC bike and AM bike. They fall right in the middle.

Or to put it another way, wold you rather push a 35lb AM bike or a 28lb Trail bike to the top of Porcupine Rim?

Bottom line, unless your planning on 4 foot plus jumps,drops,etc, you'll likely have a lot more fun on a Trail bike than on an AM bike.

Your call of course. :thumbsup:
 

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Squash said:
Or to put it another way, wold you rather push a 35lb AM bike or a 28lb Trail bike to the top of Porcupine Rim?:
Push? It's only 3 miles from the shuttle drop. ;)

In my experience, the bike shops in Moab carry a very appropriate selection of bikes that you will want to ride while you are in Moab. The rental fleets typically consist of 120mm travel bikes which is plenty to ride most anything in Moab. I however prefer something with a bit more travel. It allows you to carry more speed and tackle some things you might not otherwise feel comfortable with. Not to mention that renting bikes in Moab is a great way to try out different bikes. Somewhere like Poison Spider carries a few different kinds of rental bikes and they may be willing to work something out where you can try a couple different bikes out while you're there. Never hurts to ask! Or you can always jump around to different bike shops in the area and try out bikes from each of their rental fleets before you commit to riding one for your time. Drive up main street (or ride a bike!) and stop at all the shops, it'll take a while but you'll be able to check out what each shop has in your size on that day. Then pick the one that you like riding the most!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
rangeriderdave said:
On my first trip to Moab I rode a rigid . The next trip was on a h/t. The trip after that fs. I would the differences between cc and am are weight and travel . CC lighter less cush .Am more cush a little heavier and more stable at speed on down hills. What bikes are availble to rent/ demo?
Very jazzed to hear you did Moab on a rigid. That style of riding is very much where my heart lies and once I am more experienced, I am definately going rigid ss. Also, love how you did it all three ways. I imagine each experience had its own distinct feel and I'm keen on doing that as well.

Provided I can get the time off from work, I will be doing a three day bike skills camp in Palo Alto just before leaving for Moab for nine days. The only bike vacation that appeals to me more would be doing a bikepacking trip across the trails they do the British Columbia Bike Race on, if not actually doing the race itself. Now that would be heaven:D As I'll be getting to put my new skills straight to task fresh from mtb school and I will have opportunities to reride trails, I'm thinking I'll take both my rigid and ht, in addition to auditioning some fs bikes.

I do understand what you mean with regard to plushness. I demo'd a Pivot Mach 4 and after having only ridden rigid, it was like gliding around in a yacht vs. straining against the tide with swimmies on.

I'll call around Moab over the next few days and report back as to what's available.

Thanks so much for your help!

tg
 

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9 days! Make sure you don't miss Fruita and Grand Junction, there's some amazing riding there too. Wish I could pull off a huge vacation in Moab right about now. Have you thought about what trails you'll be riding? There's a big difference between a bike that's comfortable on Slickrock vs a bike that's comfortable on Portal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
zebrahum said:
...In my experience, the bike shops in Moab carry a very appropriate selection of bikes that you will want to ride while you are in Moab. The rental fleets typically consist of 120mm travel bikes which is plenty to ride most anything in Moab. I however prefer something with a bit more travel. It allows you to carry more speed and tackle some things you might not otherwise feel comfortable with. Not to mention that renting bikes in Moab is a great way to try out different bikes. Somewhere like Poison Spider carries a few different kinds of rental bikes and they may be willing to work something out where you can try a couple different bikes out while you're there. Never hurts to ask! Or you can always jump around to different bike shops in the area and try out bikes from each of their rental fleets before you commit to riding one for your time. Drive up main street (or ride a bike!) and stop at all the shops, it'll take a while but you'll be able to check out what each shop has in your size on that day. Then pick the one that you like riding the most!
This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for and that you're a local makes it all the more sweet:thumbsup:

Totally appreciate your dead on tact with regard to Moab shops carrying the most appropriate bikes for the area. And I really appreciate your input and rationale with regard to having more travel. Although my mtb group has been telling me I am definately not a beginner anymore, I still consider myself one because I've only been riding for six months and have such a long way to go, I imagine a lot of beginners go through that and I'm not sure what it takes for it to finally click, but that hasn't happened for me yet. As for having extra travel so I can go faster and take on more things, especially as I'll just be coming out of mtb school and revving to play hard, that's advice that is so screaming my name!!! I will definately be going in the direction:D

I've been researching threads in your UT forum and Poison Spider comes up quite a bit, so I'll definately be checking them out. If you know of any shops in town that support local and independent bike builders, I would be very interested to know of them as well. I'm one of those who supports her local xyz and craftspeople as much as poss and frankly, while I'll be auditioning as many bike brands/models this year as possible, in the end my intent is to go to a local bike builder and say of all these bikes, abc felt best and go custom from there. One I've just learned of is SyCip...

http://www.sycip.com/

...made here in Sonoma County. Anyhow, I agree it never hurts to ask for anything and I think if I can find one shop that will allow me to try on several bikes while I'm there, that will be the best way to go.

As for riding my bike up Main Street vs. driving, you bring up something we were struggling with last night. Our mtb group technically has 100 plus riders of which only about 15 or so are actually active, so of that group we are only expecting 15 at most. With SO's and assorted pals, we are currently around 30 and we are expecting more. Our dates are May 6th-14th, with various people showing up at various dates for various durations (we are a really laidback crowd.) What we are struggling with is where to stay. We need a group site, would prefer to camp next to the river, but couldn't find anything that fits that bill. We have currently booked a group site that will accommodate 150 at the Slickrock Campground...

http://www.slickrockcampground.com/

...but I have to be frank, I am beyond non-plussed with this kind of camping, as are my fellow pals. With the numbers we are ultimately expecting, the various times of arrivals and departures, and most importantly, the fact that we all love to hang out together post ride, we are hard pressed to find something we can reserve ahead of time that would be stellar. Any advice/recommendations you may have in this regard would be most sincerely appreciated and if nothing else, please consider yourself invited:thumbsup: I'll pm you our mtb site so you can check us out before hand, that way you won't be making your decision blindly:p

zebrahum said:
9 days! Make sure you don't miss Fruita and Grand Junction, there's some amazing riding there too. Wish I could pull off a huge vacation in Moab right about now. Have you thought about what trails you'll be riding? There's a big difference between a bike that's comfortable on Slickrock vs a bike that's comfortable on Portal.
Fruita and Grand Junction were definately discussed, as were Poison Spider and Pritchett Canyon. Porcupine Rim and Slick Rock are givens. Not sure how many we can reasonably fit in, but we definately want to ride til we drop and get the most out of our trip that we can. We are also going rafting one of the days. Any recommendations again with any of this would be most appreciated.

And thanks for the insight diff bikes for diff trails. That is exactly what I need to know as well.

So scored when you stopped by!!!:D Thanks again!!!

tg
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mimi1885 said:
tg, if you are looking for local custom like Sycip double dribble, then it does not hurt to check out Mr pivotless http://www.castellanodesigns.com/Zorro.html. Have fun in Moab, I have similar plan but my destination is Colorado. I'd drive so Utah is definitely on my agenda as well.
Dude!!! If ever you see any ride plans/destinations of mine that you want to crash, grab your bike, your wife and your little cha cha beastie you use as your avatar and get your happy self out there!!! You will always have an open invitation:D:D :D Bummed you can't make Moab with us (if I read that correctly,) but do understand the draw of Colorado, but if I didn't get that right and there's a chance you might drop by then YAY for mE!!!

Too cool that you know of Castellano. How coincidental that my Terry Jacaranda (one of the first wsd mtbs, if not the first one to be mass produced) was made by a woman MIT engineer, Georgena Terry, and here Castellano is an MIT engineer as well.

And how frickin' awesome is it that he custom built off-road wheelchairs!!!! Dude, I didn't know anything like that existed and as my twenty years of nursing has almost exclusively been with people whose lives are lived in wheelchairs, you can't know how much that touches my heart. Must be a pretty cool guy....God knows you can never get enough people with compassion in the world:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Btw,,,

This is an open invitation to everyone who helped me through my beginning phase...especially within the Beginners' Forum and especially so with my Downhill Techniques for a Beginner on a Rigid thread. If you ever see a ride/destination that I am headed to and you want to crash our party...I sO hope you do!!! It'd be great to put an actual face to a screen name and thank you in person. Til then, hope you get in some epic rides.

caio bellos y bellas!

tg
 

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Tank Girl said:
Dude!!! If ever you see any ride plans/destinations of mine that you want to crash, grab your bike, your wife and your little cha cha beastie you use as your avatar and get your happy self out there!!! You will always have an open invitation:D:D :D Bummed you can't make Moab with us (if I read that correctly,) but do understand the draw of Colorado, but if I didn't get that right and there's a chance you might drop by then YAY for mE!!!

Too cool that you know of Castellano. How coincidental that my Terry Jacaranda (one of the first wsd mtbs, if not the first one to be mass produced) was made by a woman MIT engineer, Georgena Terry, and here Castellano is an MIT engineer as well.
Thanks for the invites:thumbsup: I'll take you up for the Dim sum and a guided tour in Norcal on my next trip there. My wife is on vacation, she's in Thailand right now, I should be riding everyday but it's been raining every weekend immediately after she left:madman: Hopefully, it gets nice and dry soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Squash said:
Tan Girl, don't over think this. Moab has been ridden on everything from ridged clunkers to Free Ride bikes. I've found over the years that there isn't anything you can't ride on a ridged that you can ride on any other bike. You just go slower is all.:D

So love this way of thinking with regard to the latter.

As for over thinking anything, that's not likely to ever happen within my lifetime:D I am a hardcore science geek and always want to know why, how, when, where, whatever. The last three books I read were Genius by James Gleick, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene and The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics by David Toomey. For fun in my spare time, I volunteer as an astronomy assistant at a local junior college and help people learn how to navigate the sky, operate a telescope and take photos of deep space objects. I can claim a pretty decent 400mm shot done the old fashioned way, on actual film and hand guided using a reticle, of IC 434, M43 and M42. So wanting to know so much detail isn't necessarily just about having an informed ride as it is in just learning about something I've come to love.:p


For Moab, unless you like to do 4 to 6 foot drops...

Unfortunately, I'm not there yet. But I will be...(if I survive my learning curve til then):D

and such, a good 120 to 130mm travel Trail bike would be the best option. A Trail bike is basically a long travel XC bike with geometry tweaks. For examples see the Trek Fuel EX or the Specialized Camber. They combine XCish handling (read quick and precise, without being twitchy), good climbing characteristics, and stable descending manners. They are great for all day rides. They are a bit heavier than an XC bike but significantly lighter than an AM bike. A Trail bike is pretty much a combination of both an XC bike and AM bike. They fall right in the middle.

Thanks, this is exactly what I'm looking for.

Or to put it another way, wold you rather push a 35lb AM bike or a 28lb Trail bike to the top of Porcupine Rim?

Given I routinely push a 190lb wheelchair 2-3 miles a day for work and that my 31lb rigid is the love of my life, I'm thinking this wouldn't be much of a deterrent;)

Bottom line, unless your planning on 4 foot plus jumps,drops,etc, you'll likely have a lot more fun on a Trail bike than on an AM bike.

Your call of course. :thumbsup:
And last, but certainly sweetest...couldn't help but share one of my bucket list items with you.

I'm thinking as you're a mechanic, you will so love this. When I said that I wanted "to match the bike as best I can to what I am riding, so my assessment is apt." I was kinda referring to this. If you test drove a Bugatti Veyron 16.4, would you only drive it from your house to the McDonalds' drive-thru and back again??? Dude!!! if bucket lists came true, one of my top ten would be 11 minutes alone with a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in the desert. Why only 11? Because at its top speed of 253mph, the tires disintegrate at the 15 minute mark and the gas runs out at 12, If it wouldn't kill me, I'd take her to 13, just to see all that she can do, then bring her down as the tank runs dry, but suspect the sudden loss of power could be fatal...yIKES!!!:eek:

http://www.bugatti.com/en/veyron-16.4.html

Anyhow, hope I put a smile in your day, you sure did mine!

tg
 

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I think if you're going to Moab, you should at least spend one day on a full suspension, just for the fun factor alone. Some of those trails are just more fun with some good suspension under you.

You mentioned you're fairly small. As far as WSD bikes, here are a few choices that would probably be pretty fun out there (though I don't know what the shops in the area carry):

Specialized Safire
Trek Fuel Ex WSD
Pivot Mach 4 Women's
Santa Cruz Juliana

Non WSD:
XS Yeti ASR5

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure these aren't the only good options.
 

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BaeckerX1 said:
I think if you're going to Moab, you should at least spend one day on a full suspension, just for the fun factor alone. Some of those trails are just more fun with some good suspension under you.

Specialized Safire
Trek Fuel Ex WSD
Pivot Mach 4 Women's
Santa Cruz Juliana

Non WSD:
XS Yeti ASR5

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure these aren't the only good options.
+1 that's a good list I'd add Cannondale femininne Series.
Side note on Yeti. They do run 1/2 size to 1 size bigger than most other bikes. XS Yeti is almost the same as most Small.
 

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Something to keep in mind when riding in Moab,is that you are not riding the trails you usally ride.The rides are mostly rock with sand. The bikes are going feel different on these trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
rangeriderdave said:
Something to keep in mind when riding in Moab,is that you are not riding the trails you usally ride.The rides are mostly rock with sand. The bikes are going feel different on these trails.
That's a really great point.

As for riding on rock with sand, it sounds so strange. It seems like it'd be slippery, but I've been hearing it's grippy. Can't wait to see what it's like:D Thanks for all your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BaeckerX1 said:
I think if you're going to Moab, you should at least spend one day on a full suspension, just for the fun factor alone. Some of those trails are just more fun with some good suspension under you.

You mentioned you're fairly small. As far as WSD bikes, here are a few choices that would probably be pretty fun out there (though I don't know what the shops in the area carry):

Specialized Safire
Trek Fuel Ex WSD
Pivot Mach 4 Women's
Santa Cruz Juliana

Non WSD:
XS Yeti ASR5

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure these aren't the only good options.
Thanks a lot for this list, BaeckerX1, I'll see if these bikes, as well as those added by mimi, are among those offered at the shops I call.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
mimi1885 said:
Thanks for the invites:thumbsup: I'll take you up for the Dim sum and a guided tour in Norcal on my next trip there. My wife is on vacation, she's in Thailand right now, I should be riding everyday but it's been raining every weekend immediately after she left:madman: Hopefully, it gets nice and dry soon.
I'm thinking of The Mayflower on the corner of 27th and Geary, unless you know of something better for dim sum.:thumbsup: As for your wife being in Thailand...wish I were with her!!! So love the Thai, what amazingly beautiful people. As for riding and not getting out there, I hear you. I really have to start getting out there no matter what. I've got a three day mtb camp coming up at the end of April and I want to get every drop out of it that I can, so I need to be in optimum shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
zebrahum, thanks a lot for the link and the heads up. Glad to know you'll look us up when you make it out this way and love how you say you'll be in Moab in t-minus 5 weeks, unless you sneak off sooner, sounds like something I would do!!!:D Have a great time and thanks again for all your help:thumbsup:

tg
 
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