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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at moving to Flagstaff. I am in the market for buying a new agrressive trail bike. What are the trails like there? Are there a lot of trails in the area. What bikes are you guys riding in the area. I go fast everywhere, up and down. Thanks for the info guys.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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People ride bikes in flagstaff from full rigid 80s mtbs to 50lb DH bikes.

There are smooth trails, rocky trails, freeride trails, and downhill trails.

If you really want to do them "all", I'd suggest a 6" travel bike with a pretty sturdy build. This would give you the necessary machine to go down the odd DH trails, without the weight of an 8-9" DC-equipped DH bike. I use my Turner 6pack in flagstaff with a 6" marzocchi single crown fork. Drivetrain is nothing special, just XT cranks and parts, good disc brakes though for some of the real big descents. At least a 180mm rotor up front is a good idea for this situation. By keeping most of the components reasonable though it is not much of a drag on the flatter trails in flagstaff, and with today's shock-technology you aren't giving up much in pedaling efficiancy either, but you will have a very versatile bike that will be able to handle pretty much anything up there.

It's hard to say if the "middle weight" "trail bike" is going to be as usefull or be the most versatile in flagstaff. I wouldn't want to ride many of the "lightweight" trail bikes such as the intense 5.5, yeti 575 or ellsworth id, in flagstaff. These would do ok on most of the "normal" trails, but the geometry and strength/intended usage is just not enough for some of the stuff that exists up there. On the other hand, the difference between these bikes and a slightly heavier 6" travel bike is not much, maybe 3-5lbs. On the "normal trails" in flagstaff, I wouldn't say that a 5-6" lightweight "trail" bike holds enough advantage over a 4" XC bike (not some stupid race-geometry bike, but a decent 4" travel one) to make a significant difference.

Flagstaff is one of the big reasons I got the turner, so that I have the capability to ride pretty much all of the trails up there, and not really get held back.

Again, there are people that ride rigid single speeds in flagstaff, but you also have some big mountains in flag, some decent vertical, all kinds of trails including ones with drops and jumps, IMO it's nice to have a bike that can decently handle all of it.
 

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Flight Junkie
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I lived up there for 2 yrs and have a slightly different perspective. Flagstaff is Climb, Climb, Climb. Start at 7100 feet and go up. I think a 4" front and rear FS is a good option in my opinion. Keep the bike trail worthy but lite weight and you will be OK. The trails are mostly all ascend and descend at fast speeds. But like the previous posted said, the trails are so varied that you could have 4 bikes for different purposes. Great riding country though, many open trails with little user conflict. My family and I will be moving back up there in about 2 yrs and I can't wait.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Jayem is on crack

Just kidding. No offence Jayem, but it's clear that you and I are on quite the opposite ends of the riding spectrum.

A typical ride in Flagstaff is something like 1.5 hours of climbing followed by 30 minutes of descent. For that reason I think a light, efficient bike that will serve you well during the majority of your riding time is optimal.

My suggestion would be a hardtail set up for a 100 mm fork. But put a fork with adjustable travel on the front, like a Fox Talus, so you can run it at 100 when you're going up and 130 when you're going down for a little more cush and more stable geometry.

I had a FS bike with 5" front and rear for a year. It was definitely nicer then the hardtail going down, and even on a few very technical climbs. But all in all it was a poor climber, and I spend so much time climbing, well, I couldn't have that.

BTW I'm still trying to sell this lovely Titus Loco-Moto frame so if you're interested, in a "all-mountain" bike for cheap, let me know.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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FishMan473 said:
Just kidding. No offence Jayem, but it's clear that you and I are on quite the opposite ends of the riding spectrum.

A typical ride in Flagstaff is something like 1.5 hours of climbing followed by 30 minutes of descent. For that reason I think a light, efficient bike that will serve you well during the majority of your riding time is optimal.
Well, my point is that there's a huge "spectrum" in flagstaff, and if you want to be able to "do it all", you need a bike that can do it all. There's everything there from 10+ foot dropoffs and 15 foot doubles, to smooth flat rolling singletrack, and there's everything in between as well. I don't understand what a "typical" ride in flagstaff is, although for me they usually include many different types of trails, not to mention trail features. Sometimes I keep it fairly tame, and do the fun trails like sunset, brookbank or little bear, and other times I go looking for drops and rocks, and I have fun on both. I wouldn't be able to do all of these with any sense of confidence if I did not have a bike that was well suited for "all of it".

Are you truley telling me that you think 5lbs of bike makes the difference? How about this, if it meant just training and getting a little stronger, would it then be worth it to ride a bike around there that can "do it all"??

I don't think that I'm on an "opposite spectrum", I just ride the "full spectrum", which is what I assumed we were looking at. I ride down the "mellow" trails in flagstaff sometimes, and other times I do the more difficult and extreme ones. I wouldn't go down the "downhill" trails every single day I ride flagstaff on my current bike, there's stuff there that is suited to downhill bikes and not much else, but I can do it sometimes and that's just the way I go about it. I have no qualms about armoring up and taking it down shuttle runs every once and a while, and those kinds of options most definitely exist in flagstaff.

And I don't think we are arguing as much as we are putting out different points of view, but you are obviously suggesting an "XC" bike, and there's a lot more up at flagstaff than just "XC", there's some very amazing stuff up there, and it's one of my favorite places to ride because of that.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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I'm just sayin' that I think a hardtail with a decent fork is more of a 'do it all' bike then a 6"+ dualie. In my opinion, a hardtail descends better then a 'big' bike climbs, and thus has more 'do it all' capability.

It's not just the weight, it's the inneficency of the rear suspension, the inneffiecency of of a long travel fork and the set-up and maintenance issues. And yes, 5 pounds makes a difference, my FS bike weighted 3 pounds more then my hardtail and it was noticabley more cumbersome, or maybe it was the rear shock. I mean it was great going down, but sluggish on flat terrrain and slow climbing, and you have to go up to go down.

Different strokes for different folks.

You also have to take into account that most people aren't going to be riding Wasabi, Steel Reserve, Lost Burrito, Ginger, etc. because they're not going to know where to find them in the first place. And justinmosiman did ask for opinions of agressive trail bikes, not freeride bikes.

justinmosiman, on average I think you will find that most people prefer geared hardtails or short travel FS bikes. I say less travel, Jayem says more travel. Guess you'll just have to get one of each.

Oh and yeah, there's over 200 miles of trails. And like Jayem said, they come in all varieties so you're sure to find what you like.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Ok, one more question :D

If you aren't going to use a bike with more travel in Flagstaff, with all it's variety of trails, where on gods earth would you use such a bike? :cool:
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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2,324 Posts
Jayem said:
If you aren't going to use a bike with more travel in Flagstaff, with all it's variety of trails, where on gods earth would you use such a bike? :cool:
Me personally, I won't use such a bike. At least not until suspension technology improves and becomes more efficient. I think Fox has hit it with their FX series forks, now we just need to get the rear end in line. Perhaps my next new bike in 5-6 years will have a couple inches of travel in back.

Another way to look at it, someplace with less climbing, like Sedona. Sedona trails are on average rougher then Flagstaff trails but with much less climbing.

What it comes down to for me is that I'm a big sissy when it comes to steep gravity stuff so I get a bike to suit my riding style. I have a phobia of falling so big drops, doubles, ladders, etc. scare the crap out of me. If my tires never get more then a couple feet off the ground, there's less need for suspension.

Anyhow, when I ride a fully rigid singlespeed down Wasabi I have an excuse when I walk around that 8 foot drop onto Elden Lookout Road. If I had a FS bike I'd just be a sissy. :)
 

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recovering roadie
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Fishman, I have your back.

I lived in Flagstaff for a few years and was hardtailin the whole time. I now ride a 4x4" travel bike and see it as the bike I would keep if some stroke of wild luck had me moving back there from the deserts below.

It really depends on the type of riding that you do, but the greatest percentage of ride-time will be spent climbing unless you head out on the rolling AZ Trail and such.

Full disclosure: I'm not into freeriding. I've spent too much time on the injured bench to mess around with that stuff, but I do like technical riding - Rocky Ridge style.
 

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I am Walt
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6,272 Posts
FishMan473 said:
BTW I'm still trying to sell this lovely Titus Loco-Moto frame so if you're interested, in a "all-mountain" bike for cheap, let me know.
Hey, PM me about the frame. Looking to replace my Weyless frame with a non-POS frame to go with my good components.
 
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