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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm curious what everyone's opinions are regarding racing a hardtail 29er and full suspension 29er. Right now, the only option for a "raceable" or light full suspension 29er is the Jet 9 from Niner. There are many more options for a hardtail. Right now, I'm considering the Orbea Alma, GF Superfly, the the Air 9 from Niner.

Some info of note, I already have a 3" & 4" 26" race bikes and want to add a 29er race bike. I'd also like to keep it fairly light at around 25 lbs.
 

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I have a One9 (large) built up at just over 23 lbs running 2x9 gearing. It is really fast right up until I put my oversize a** on the seat.
 

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Expert Crasher
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Titus Racer X 29er? Asylum...

More than the not-available yet Jet 9 out there.
 

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Always Learning
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GreenLightGo said:
Titus Racer X 29er? Asylum...

More than the not-available yet Jet 9 out there.
Don't forget....

Lenz Leviathan
Gary Fisher HiFi 29
Van Dessel Jersey Devil FS
Salsa Dos Niner (softail)
 

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The Duuude, man...
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xc_burner said:
Right now, the only option for a "raceable" or light full suspension 29er is the Jet 9 from Niner.
Not to pile-on...but... 29er FS's have been raced successfully long before the Niner company existed.
 

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The Duuude, man...
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BruceBrown said:
Don't forget....

Lenz Leviathan
Gary Fisher HiFi 29
Van Dessel Jersey Devil FS
Salsa Dos Niner (softail)
Ventana
Ellsworth
Intense

I'll not count "softtails"
 

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I raced a Leviathan..

in a couple of endurance events. it worked great...especially when my light went dead on the sunrise lap descending into couch canyon @ 24 HOA @ laguna seca. best lap eva....
 
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i race on a HT 29er (Niner SIR9, 25lbs). my wife races on a ST 29er (Salsa DosNiner, 23lbs).

i don't see any problems with racing a 29er. we are not pro riders though, we both race sport class.
 

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My stock 08 Paragon 15.5 weighs in at 24.5 w/o pedals and my girlfriends 08 HiFi 29 15.5 weighed in at 27.5 with pedals.
 

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I have raced on a GF FS and then I had a chance to race on my wife's Dos Niner ( 24lbs) and the Dos is awesome. Hardly any flex, but just enough to soak up the bumps. I highly recommend looking at a Dos as a race bike.
 

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I race a Dos Niner XC. It is awesome. Not as plush as some, but the angry inch is more than enough for XC and my build is between 23-24lbs. Perfect for climbing and good for descending.

I'll be trying something else out soon, but gaining at least 2lbs in the frame alone. Won't be nice for climbing, but I'm thinking it'll be great for endurance rides.

FWIW, if money was no object, I'd probably be on a 3.0 Leviathan.
 

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aword4you said:
I race a Dos Niner XC. It is awesome. Not as plush as some, but the angry inch is more than enough for XC and my build is between 23-24lbs. Perfect for climbing and good for descending.

I'll be trying something else out soon, but gaining at least 2lbs in the frame alone. Won't be nice for climbing, but I'm thinking it'll be great for endurance rides.

FWIW, if money was no object, I'd probably be on a 3.0 Leviathan.

You really think gaining a little weight in the frame would have a big effect on your climbing? I'd be curious to know but it does not seem likely.

I have a Sultan that I have used for endurance racing built at 27lbs. This is with tubes, a Rampage front tire, Geax Saguro rear tire, and no carbon parts to speak of. If I wanted to make it even more dedicated to racing getting under 27lbs would just require a few small tweaks.

So to the OP, the small weigh penalty over the lightest 26" wheel bikes would not be enough to push me away from a XC oriented 29r. Even if it is a FS. If you want the most "race-oriented" go with Lenz or Titus (or the Jet 9 soon). I am a lowly Sport class racer and like the dual-duty feel of the Sultan.
 

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Ridin'Dirty said:
You really think gaining a little weight in the frame would have a big effect on your climbing? I'd be curious to know but it does not seem likely.

I have a Sultan that I have used for endurance racing built at 27lbs. This is with tubes, a Rampage front tire, Geax Saguro rear tire, and no carbon parts to speak of. If I wanted to make it even more dedicated to racing getting under 27lbs would just require a few small tweaks.

So to the OP, the small weigh penalty over the lightest 26" wheel bikes would not be enough to push me away from a XC oriented 29r. Even if it is a FS. If you want the most "race-oriented" go with Lenz or Titus (or the Jet 9 soon). I am a lowly Sport class racer and like the dual-duty feel of the Sultan.
Over 56 miles, absolutely. My biggest question is, is the weight worth the comfort? For XC racing, I think the weight will slow me down. I'll let you know, though :) I guess 2lbs of body weight might make me not notice... but, when you're talking about going from an under 24lbs bike to a 26lbs bike? I think the weight might be noticeable.. the other main difference between the soft tail Dos and a FS is the pedaling efficiency.
 

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GF RaceDay 29

I had a XL Gary Fisher Caliber 29 built to 25.75 lbs. Hope to get a Hifi lower than that for this year. IMO the comfort on longer or rougher courses makes the extra 2 pounds worth it. better to be fresher at the end. I keep a hard tail around though too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good options...but

Thanks for everyone's reply so far. I hadn't thought about a few of them and it appears that I need to do a bit more research on some of the frames suggested.

The one thing that the bike has to be is light. I don't race ultra-endurance events, so comfort is not that important. Going fast both uphill and downhill is the most important. Weight is one of the biggest factors going uphill fast and I can definitely tell the difference between a 26 lb bike and a 23 lb bike.

One of the questions I have about the 29er hardtails users out there, do you feel like you can go as fast on the descents as your fully suspended 26er brethern?

Thanks
 
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