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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, so in a couple weeks I will be headed to Moab for a few days with a friend. While we are there, we are planning on scratching off a bucket list item and riding The Whole Enchilada.

We are both bringing our hard-tails, but have decided to rent full suspension bikes for The Whole Enchilada. What bike shop (and bike from there) would you guys recommend for an overall good fit for the whole enchilada. We are leaning towards getting a pair of Giant Trance from Chile Pepper Bikes.

Thank you!
 

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I was just there a month ago and rented from Chile Pepper Bikes. I had a good experience but have no basis for comparison to other shops. The bike was perfectly set up for me to my weight spec. The mechanics installed my pedals too. They were friendly and chatty.

I rented a Giant Trance 27.5, a Giant Trance 29, and a Transition Sentinel. The Sentinel was quite noticeably more fun. But it is longer, heavier and more DH oriented than the Trance. I used the Sentinel on UPS and Porcupine. The guys at the shop said they all prefer the Sentinel. But be warned, it is a monster truck/Cadillac compared to the Trance. If you want "poppy," go with the Trance.



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Just to clarify my above comment: The Trance is more poppy and sporty than the Sentinel. Compared to carbon or titanium hard tails, neither bike would likely be considered "poppy."

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I think my ideal bike would be a roughly 150mm travel bike with a good pedal platform. You want something that climbs decently well for getting up Burro Pass (it's a long grind, something like 2,000 feet) but still cushion the blows of Porcupine and its ruggedness and drops. My Sight at 140/130 travel did pretty well, but an extra 20mm of travel would have been appreciated. A Transition Sentinel would be a very nice rig for the long DH runs, but they're rather gravity oriented as a company in their designs. It'll get to the top, but is much happier at high speed.

Chili Pepper had a nice vibe when I was in there, very cool staff. There's like five other shops on the main drag to browse as well and ask for recommendations from.

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You will be able to ride at least part of TWE, but you should call the shuttle companies and get an idea where they are dropping off. There is a lot of snow up on Burro. Just about any full suspension bike will be fine for it, though. I'm on a Trance 29, but something with more travel would be better for that ride. If Burro isn't open, you could go more travel, since you'll bypass the initial climb.

The total climbing over the entire ride is a little over 2000 feet. The climb up to Burro is less than 1000, but it tops out at 11,200', so it's a grunt.

Just Google shops in Moab and base your decision on what bike you want to try. Reserve the bike as soon as you're committed to go. They get rented out ahead of time.

Frankly, there's nothing in Moab worth riding that I'd PREFER to ride on a hardtail. If you're flying out, I'd leave them at home and use the money saved to rent.
 

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I rented a SC Nomad from Moab Cyclery when I was out there. Perfect bike for the Whole Enchilada. They shuttled us up to the top too. Great experience with those guys.
 

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I've rented Transition Sentinel Large from Chili Bikes last year, it was very good for Porcupine Rim. I also did Slickrock on it and had no issues with climbing, but YMMV.

PS The earlier you try to book - the higher the chances you'd get what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I decided to go with Poison Spider because they allow bikes to be out later. Chile Bikes wants them back by 1pm and I don't think I could guarantee that with the whole enchilada.

And I chose the Rocky Mountain Instinct BC 29". I feel like I made a pretty good choice but the trek Remedy looked great also. I think my buddy is going to go with the Orbea they offer as a standard rental.

Just got a hotel booked as well, and now need to reserve a shuttle, and figure out what I am going to do for my other two days, haha. Super stoked!
 

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I doubt you'll be able to ride the whole thing in a couple of weeks but with the shuttle dropping you off at the beginning of Hazzard then that's still an awesome ride (arguably better without the steep and arduous Burro Pass section).

We used Porcupine Shuttle company. The van was less packed than their competitors and they were all about customer service.
https://porcupineshuttle.com/

I'd recommend requesting a morning pick-up (as early as you can get it) at the transit center instead of in town. The transit center is the parking lot at the intersection of highway 128 and 191, i.e., at the bridge where the 191 crosses the river north of town.

Then go park your car right at the bottom of the trail where Porcupine Rim ends and ride your bike to the transit center 3 miles away early in the morning before it's super hot out. The 8 mile ride back into town at the end of the day in blazing heat and heavy car traffic sucks. Better to do it in the morning.

From Facebook five days ago:

Winter Snow Freezing Memorial Evergreen
 

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Instinct 29 is a GREAT choice. You'll be psyched.

Frankly, there's nothing in Moab worth riding that I'd PREFER to ride on a hardtail. If you're flying out, I'd leave them at home and use the money saved to rent.
My last trip to moab i brought my hardtail (i found a crack in my FS the week before the trip). It turned out to be my favorite bike for moab. It made all the ledgy ups and downs super easy, and since the gradient in Moab isn't that steep you can just let it roll. Even enchilada was a blast. Portal was the only trail where i really wished i had my FS. Rode every day for a week, and it wasn't nearly as fatiguing as i expected.

That said, my hardtail is very long and has a lyrik up front, so it's not a typical hardtail.

Mag7 to Portal. Capt Ahab and Bar M. Go home happy.
Agreed. Ahab the 2nd day.
 

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Instinct 29 is a GREAT choice. You'll be psyched.

My last trip to moab i brought my hardtail (i found a crack in my FS the week before the trip). It turned out to be my favorite bike for moab. It made all the ledgy ups and downs super easy, and since the gradient in Moab isn't that steep you can just let it roll. Even enchilada was a blast. Portal was the only trail where i really wished i had my FS. Rode every day for a week, and it wasn't nearly as fatiguing as i expected.

That said, my hardtail is very long and has a lyrik up front, so it's not a typical hardtail.

Agreed. Ahab the 2nd day.
That brings up a great point. Short of really fast, chunky, steep trails you can ride much of the stuff most any place on any modern trail bike with good tire choice.

Shorter travel or HT, just avoid charging the chunk, but you'll have way more fun on the easier section.

Longer, burlier bike's can charge the high speed chunk better, but for most of the trail are much more work and less fun.

I'd rather be under-biked, than over-biked.

Yeah, if TWE is snowed, look into Mag 7 / Portal. Way under rated in my opinion.
 

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I brought my hardtail on the last Moab trip. For TWE I rented a Transition Smuggler from Chili Pepper, seemed like nice people and accommodating. I wasn't a huge fan of the bike, but it definitely felt like plenty of bike for the trail. Everything else, I used the hardtail. Mag 7 was a little rough on the HT, but manageable. The hardtail was super fun on Captain Ahab.
 

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Are your Moab trips going to be on the hard tail from now on?
Nah, suspension is fun too!

It will probably depend on who my traveling companions are; whichever bike makes it so we can share a more similar experience, the better. I had a LOT of fun riding my hardtail, though. Definitely more fun than if i had brought the FS bike a 5th time.

TBH i've ridden everything in moab and i hope not to go there again in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After a questionable phone call, I decided to cancel my reservation with poison spider and go with Chile Pepper Bikes. Chile Pepper was just so much more pleasant over the phone and was incredibly helpful. Oh, and based on the recommendations you guys gave, I got the Transition Sentinel. :)

So stoked!
 

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I think you'll be pleased! I'm thinking about buying a Sentinel myself.

Be sure to report back afterward with your thoughts, opinions, and pictures!

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