Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recovering road biker / triathlete. Live in a midwest city. Ride 3-4 times per week. Due to location / work, I ride bike path or gravel during week, single track on weekends. Average ride 1-2 hours. Interested in possibly trying a weekend bikepacking trip this summer, maybe a 50 mile race or at least our local race series. Sometimes pull a baby trailer on family rides. No jumps or crazy down-hilling, don't have that here and just not my thing anyway. Don't want carbon.

Cut my teeth on an entry level Cannondale 26er for a few years. Wanted a 29er and jumped on a hot deal for a used Tallboy. Awesome bike but feel like it's overkill for my riding, and it's heavy, more maintenance, etc. Considering the following:

Slack HT's
Yelli Screamy (have not seen a lot of used and don't have the time / talent to build)
Airborne Goblin
Honzo
Niner ROS (something about the EBB is a turnoff)

More XC-oriented
Santa Cruz Highball
Niner EMD
Salsa El Mariachi

These bikes aren't readily available to try in my area and I'd like to get something sooner than later anyway. Hesitant on steel due to the weight and unfamiliarity.

Would love opinions on what would fit my riding style / needs better or if I should just suck it up and keep the Tallboy, which I do enjoy on the weekends but feel like I'm trying a hummer in suburbia while riding during the week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
I ride around Kansas City, and XC bikes work well here. There is an even split between people who ride hardtails and full suspension. I don't know the trails in St. Louis, but I assume they'll be similar to KC. Lots of rocks and roots. If that's the case, I'd keep the tallboy because it's a good bike that'll ride well. Not the best for a trailer, but it'll work. And how often are you taking a trailer along or going on a 50 mile bikepacking trip? If weight is really a problem with the tallboy, you're going to have to open your bank account wide. Mountain bikes are heavy, especially when compared to a triathlon bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
In the right terrain those Slack HT are a ton of fun. However, you're not describing that kinda terrain. What you describe those would feel slow. The more XC bikes you listed would be fun to zip around on weekdays with. I am partial to Santa Cruz bikes they make excellent handling bikes with great attention to detail. The Salsa El Mariachi is on sale this month, $250 off. So that's an even better value than usual on those.

El Mariachi | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

I would prefer steel in this application on a hardtail.

If you able to keep that Tallboy, I would think a "gravel-grinder" type bike would be a great supplement to it. Checkout the Salsa Fargo. Would be a fun bike for adventures with and without the family. The upright position with the dropbars is a really fast/comfortable ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks watts. I would assume our trails here are similar to KC. From what I see, it seems like FS outnumber HT's. Having come from CO I just don't understand that. In CO everything is climbing and no matter where you live trail is nearby and accessible on a daily basis. In St. Louis, the trails are basically isolated in two areas far west in or outside of St. Louis county. If you live closer to the city / downtown it's really tough to access trail multi times a week if you work, have a family, etc. I guess I always just assumed the # of FS bikes I see around here are a function of $ over need.

The weight issue isn't from comparing to tri bike but to the 26er hardtail I had before the Tallboy. With that I could confidently hop or get the wheel up, I guess "flick" it around more. Maybe that's just me needing to be a better rider-> if Danny Macaskill can hop a FS up and down a sheer mountain I should at least be able to learn to hope over a log!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Robert. From the forum it seems like the Yelli and that geometry walk on water but you are right, I am describing more XC.

Right now I'm leaning toward Highball (b/c the Tallboy did convince me of SC quality), the El Mariachi, or just upgrading and keeping the Tallboy and being that guy on the bike path once a week pulling his baby trailer with a FS!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
And a 26" is definately a more nimble bike than a 29er. Easier to flick around, bunny hop, make tight turns. It's a fun bike. the 29er just rolls like crazy and can go over just about anything. I did like the idea of a second bike that's not as high quality for playing around town. Of course a quality 29er hardtail is fun too. I have a hardtail 29er and a FX 26", and the 29er just rides. I've been checking out fat bikes and FS bikes, and I don't think I'll ever get rid of the hardtail.
 

·
SS Pusher Man
Joined
·
7,596 Posts
Recovering road biker / triathlete. Live in a midwest city. Ride 3-4 times per week. Due to location / work, I ride bike path or gravel during week, single track on weekends. Average ride 1-2 hours. Interested in possibly trying a weekend bikepacking trip this summer, maybe a 50 mile race or at least our local race series. Sometimes pull a baby trailer on family rides. No jumps or crazy down-hilling, don't have that here and just not my thing anyway. Don't want carbon.

Cut my teeth on an entry level Cannondale 26er for a few years. Wanted a 29er and jumped on a hot deal for a used Tallboy. Awesome bike but feel like it's overkill for my riding, and it's heavy, more maintenance, etc. Considering the following:

Slack HT's
Yelli Screamy (have not seen a lot of used and don't have the time / talent to build)
Airborne Goblin
Honzo
Niner ROS (something about the EBB is a turnoff)

More XC-oriented
Santa Cruz Highball
Niner EMD
Salsa El Mariachi

These bikes aren't readily available to try in my area and I'd like to get something sooner than later anyway. Hesitant on steel due to the weight and unfamiliarity.

Would love opinions on what would fit my riding style / needs better or if I should just suck it up and keep the Tallboy, which I do enjoy on the weekends but feel like I'm trying a hummer in suburbia while riding during the week.
So you think your Tallboy is heavy???

The TB frame weighs in at about 5.5 lbs. The frames I have highlighted above, are all gonna be heavier than the TB.
I believe the ROS is almost 6 lbs.
The Hanzo is almost 6 lbs.
The Yelli is 4.9 lbs.


You are not likely to lose any weight going to one of them.

If you think the TB is overkill for your local riding....then perhaps the Highball, Goblin or EMD would better suit your needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
Off the list the EMD and Highball are the two that standout as ones I'd want (and they were ones I've considered in the past)... But if I were looking at 29er hardtails similar, the Trek Superfly is fantastically light, fast and agile and would be my vote (not on the list, I know). Also, if the EMD is being considered with a 120mm fork, again I'd go to Trek for a Stache 7 or 8, such super fun bikes with a little more slack geometry if things are burly. The Stache is a little heavy though compared to others, but such fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So you think your Tallboy is heavy???

The TB frame weighs in at about 5.5 lbs. The frames I have highlighted above, are all gonna be heavier than the TB.
I believe the ROS is almost 6 lbs.
The Hanzo is almost 6 lbs.
The Yelli is 4.9 lbs.


You are not likely to lose any weight going to one of them.

If you think the TB is overkill for your local riding....then perhaps the Highball, Goblin or EMD would better suit your needs.
You are right about the weight. When you point it out like that I guess my noticing of the weight has more to do with moving up to a 29er rather from a ht 26er than 29er fs vs ht and steel vs alloy. Love those big wheels so will just have to get used to it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Off the list the EMD and Highball are the two that standout as ones I'd want (and they were ones I've considered in the past)... But if I were looking at 29er hardtails similar, the Trek Superfly is fantastically light, fast and agile and would be my vote (not on the list, I know). Also, if the EMD is being considered with a 120mm fork, again I'd go to Trek for a Stache 7 or 8, such super fun bikes with a little more slack geometry if things are burly. The Stache is a little heavy though compared to others, but such fun.
Funny you should say that bc Superfly 8 was on my original list. For no good reason other wanting to support smaller companies I was going to stay away from Trek. Not the best reason but everyone and their brother around here has a Trek...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
On your list, I would pick the El Mar, easy. I like the way steel rides, and the short, 430mm chainstays would make it easier to get the front end up.

It's not on your list, but Trek's new Stache 9+ looks pretty amazing. I ride in Ohio, so maybe similar to your area, and a rigid, 29+ bike makes a very good ride if you don't like suspension.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top