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Three years trying and I finally got it. Now I just wonder what bike will be best. I know this course has a lot of fire/dirt road and not much in the way of technical, so for anyone with experience..... Hard Tail 29er or FS 29er. I have a new Giant Anthem X1 29er which is a great bike and I raced it at 24 hours Old Pueblo. I don't have a HT yet, but seriously considering pulling the trigger on one that I can get to around 21.5 lbs or so. I want to make sure I take advantage of the power to weight ratio as much as possible. However, my concern will be my body holding up over the 100 miles. I do tend to have some lower back issues. Not sure if that would be amplified with a HT over 100 miles or if this course is non-technical enough that I would be okay. It seems a no brainer that I would be faster on the HT.

Thoughts/Advice?
 

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Anthem 29er sounds great from what I understand. In order for a hardtail to make sense, especially for a 100 miler, it would have to be super-super light. Scott Scale for example. I think it gets below 21.5 even in 29er version. Edge/enve wheels help if you can afford them - but you'd be able to use them on your other bike, too, so that is good. I don't think anthem to hardtail transition will hurt the lower back as much as being careful about seat - to - handlebar heigth difference. Probably you should match your current bike, i.e., if you are currently even don't get a hardtail with a 2-inch drop (handlebars lower). That would put more pressure on the lower back. You'd also have to get a more plush seat, I'm not sure what seat you have but a fairly-hard seat on a fs bike may not work on a hardtail for 10 hrs.

Maybe don't get a hardtail - just get the Edge wheels :). Its about the same price as some new bikes. I think the Anthem on PP3 is pretty stiff, no? So, then its just a weight thing.
 

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I'm debating between the following for leadville, but also want versatile bike I'll enjoy for several years. I'm 168lbs, but will be down to 162lbs by race day.

Anyone have any experience with these? Preferences and Why?

Specialized Epic Expert

Trek EX 9

Giant Anthem x1
 

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I'm into Pb ville for the first time as well. I'm planning to ride my scandium Air9 at about 23.5 lbs although I'm really interested in the Spearfish as a possibility. I've never had a FS bike but I'm thinking it would lowere the rate of fatigue over that kind of course.
 

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happylandings said:
I'm into Pb ville for the first time as well. I'm planning to ride my scandium Air9 at about 23.5 lbs although I'm really interested in the Spearfish as a possibility. I've never had a FS bike but I'm thinking it would lowere the rate of fatigue over that kind of course.
A Spearfish might be a great bike for endurance mtb events, but Leadville isn't rough enough that it would make a positive difference to have a FS vs HT. An Air9 (or similar lightweight HT 29er) w/ the right wheelset is about as good as you could ask for.

With the right gearing, you could ride 95% or so of Leadville at full speed on a monstercross rig, IMO.

Mudge
 

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Here are my observations over the last few years at 100 milers.

The top guys are always on full suspension bikes. I asked Bishop at SM100 one year, 'No 29er Flash?" He laughed at me and said 'no way, that's crazy'

What did he ride last year at PB100? Yep 29er Flash HT. The course just does not need a FS bike.

With that said. Lance broke the record on a 26 inch FS bike, then the last year LL beat his record on a 26 inch FS bike (both on the trek top fuel) ,however JHK also beat Lance's record on a 29er Superfly HT.

So on a course where 29ers should shine (everyone calls this a road race) you have two roadies riding 26inch FS bikes to record breaking victory.


What does this all mean? Nothing!!!

Ride what you like, a bike choice, unless you bring a 35lb down hill rig, is not going to be the difference of an hour on your time.

I could see where a soft tail or a very efficient FS bike would be nice over the long haul.

With that said, I have a 29er HT :)

I wouldn't be spending money for a PB100 specific bike, seems silly unless you are contending for an overall place.
 

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heythorp said:
I wouldn't be spending money for a PB100 specific bike, seems silly unless you are contending for an overall place.
Come on, sometimes a guy just needs a bit of an excuse to treat himself to a new toy! ;)

I have no Leadville experience, but significant Creampuff and Butte 100 experience. I tried a light HT in the Puff one year. It was a mistake for this admittedly older body from the 70 mile point on. It sucked all joy from the experience, and I would not try it again. Returns since then on FS have been a blast.

If you don't really want to buy a hardtail for other reasons, I would simply ride the Pb-ville on your FS bike this year. Then you'll know for sure if a HT makes sense for YOU next time around.
 

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I'll be riding my Stumpjumper Comp weighted weenied down to 24.8 lbs, RP23 rear shock and 650B front. Maybe a pound or two on the heavy side but its my all around bike. I'ts a very efficient climber with the PP on 3. For long races I'll increase my rear shock pressure by 10 or so psi to help eliminate the very little bob that occurs. I can't afford a race specific bike. I wish I could upgrade but its not happening in the next year or so. The bikes I'd consider for a Leadville bike as well as a good all around riding bike would be the Epic 29er and the Santa Cruz Tallboy if I were upgrading.

I've never been to Leadville but I'm guessing you'll see all different kinds of bikes from super light hardtails to 30lb. full suspensions.
 

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I'm taking my Tallboy as it's what I've got. That said I'm now trying to convince my wife she needs an Air 9... If successful I'll be trying to borrow it. (we're both 5'9" - very convenient)

That said the Tallboy with XX will be fine and forgiving on such a long course so I'm more worried about the engine than the bike. The Air may be faster overall, the Tallboy smoother and for me a better descender I suspect. I have 2 more Leadville races that week so the less battered I am the better so maybe FS makes more sense.
 

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heythorp said:
Ride what you like, a bike choice, unless you bring a 35lb down hill rig,
I remember seeing a couple riders on downhill rigs when I did my first two in '04 and '05. They still finished, but near the end of the day.

My three finishes ('04, '05, and '07), were all on hardtails, and '07 was even on a full-rigid steel bike.

If I were doing Pbville again, I'd go for a Niner Air9 Carbon rigid, with Pythons. You just need the mental toughness to make it.
 

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A local guy finished his first Leadville last year. He was in the top 60 overall and riding a single speed Vassago Jaberwocky with a rigid carbon fork.
 

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Have done Leadville 7 times, 7 finishes, 2 sub nine on on ti soft-tail the other on FS 29 with carbon wheels. If you have decent mountainbiking skills HT is the way to go. Althought not that technical some might prefer the decent off Columbi
e (upper), Sugarloaf and St Kevins on a FS. I was completly comfortable on the HT and saddle,
hands, feet all felt good at the finish. You make time on the climbs.
In my opinion HT is the way to go.
 

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Buy a bike you want to ride. I'm assuming you aren't Levi, JHK or Todd Wells, so you probably won't win. Leadville is only one day. I rode it last year on a 5 spot and had a blast. In full disclosure, I bought a carbon flash 29er a few months ago that I will ride this year, but it has gotten plenty of use and I purchased it before knowing about Leadville
 

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Someone has busted it out on a CX bike. Dawes Wilson of Vail, elite older dude who's always been a little of a weight weenie. I asked him about it at the finish line a few years back and he said it was one of the stupidest things he's ever done.
The race has been won on alot of different platforms and it is always the engine, not the machine. Light is good, but hardtail, soft tail, FS(cross country), 26er and 29er doesn't matter. My fastest was a 26" hardtail when I was young, my fastest lately was a 26er softail. Last year may have been my fastest lately w/o the cut tire at about 20 miles into it and I was on a 29er hardtail. I agree w/ ride what you got, but try to make it lighter. Definitely make it and roll easier w/ good tires.
 

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At the end of a long day when your tired and fatigued. I would have thought a FS bike would be easier more forgiving to ride downhill.
 
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