Author Topic: some stoke from vermont  (Read 817 times)

bushwacka

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some stoke from vermont
« on: July 21, 2012, 05:29:20 am »
pictures courtsey of Epic.

me






dave







Epic the photo man





bushwacka

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 05:18:45 am »
I thin we have poison ivy but really I am not sure since I am immune to it.

bushwacka

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 05:25:18 am »
do you ride that? looks really fun, I have know about bend for awhile now, just never gotten there yet.

Raystown lake Pa is very similar but the whoops jsut far enough part that doubling them does not really work. In vermont there are only a couple sections of some trails like that.

Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 08:23:06 pm »
Josh -- great pics.  Those woods look a lot like what I ride with my father-in-law on the west coast, on Vancouver Island.  I visit him once a year when I'm out there on business, and take at least three days for riding.  Fun trails.  Your terrain is definitely more challenging than the flowy singletrack we have here in my part of Ontario.

How are you liking the Giant? Sweet looking bike.


bushwacka

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 05:45:08 am »
Josh -- great pics.  Those woods look a lot like what I ride with my father-in-law on the west coast, on Vancouver Island.  I visit him once a year when I'm out there on business, and take at least three days for riding.  Fun trails.  Your terrain is definitely more challenging than the flowy singletrack we have here in my part of Ontario.

How are you liking the Giant? Sweet looking bike.

we have flowly singletrack as well, and I would argue that this tech looking stuff flows pretty damn well.

as for the Giant I honestly do feel its the one of the best XC bikes out there.

The geo is pretty much dialed and its feel great doing most anything you would find in any XC race. I wish it was lighter but that just takes money. The shimano shifting has been pretty good, the fox fork has been mearly ok and has gotten much better as the seals wore out and started leaking oil. with that said I still feel my rockshox I have had have been alot better in plushness and been more reliable. a SID RCT3 will see service here at some point in time.

climbs better than any hardtail, carry speeds better than any bike I have owned, and decends quicker than people on much bigger bikes. last year at a team 24 hour race i lent this bike to 2 of my teammates who both made huge improvement on their times on their 4th and final lap. both of them knew the course very well before the race as well so it was just not learning the course. proving that it may be about the bike.

Kent competive sport rider whos bike was a x0 level giant trance  had a been running 1:40 laps for 3 laps in a row on his lap on my bike he got a 1:23
Justin who is national ranked expert Cat1 junior rider on a carbon hardtail jamis 29er went from a 1:30 to a 1:17
I had 2 1:11s a 1:15 and my final lap was a 1:09 at the time I was no where near as fit as I am now and I still ended up in the top 10 fastest laps out of some 220 riders team and solo. all on a 29lb bike could you imagine if it was 23lb like the carbon one with XX is now? Hopefully soon I own a 23lb giant anthem and do not have to imagine anymore.

Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 07:24:52 am »
Interesting comments on the Giant.  I will check out the geo compared to others out there, and see what it is that Giant has done that makes it so good.  A quick glance at the specs shows a longer chainstay than I would have expected, given your comment on it being a good climber.  Interesting.

As for weight, I really don't pay much heed to that anymore (to a point).  As you said, lightness costs money, and I am not a racer so there is no direct correlation for me there.  For a strictly recreational bike, give me a stronger rig that can take some solid hits and some drivetrain pounding, than one that's a kilogram lighter that I have to pamper and baby all the way along the trail.  Besides, from the results your teammates were getting on your bike, I'd say that weight really matters far, far less than geometry, suspension design, and other factors (low rolling resistance, drivetrain/hub friction, etc.).

BTW, for the money, it looks like Giant is putting better components on their bikes than they used to a few years ago.  I made this comment before, that when we were looking at new bikes about 3 or 4 years ago, the Giant models just didn't measure up to others with their component specs, dollar for dollar.  That seems to have changed, judging by what I see on your Anthem and its MSRP.  Nice.  I might have to look at their models next time I'm in the market for a new bike (which may be sooner than later, as the soft rear triangle on the Paragon is really starting to annoy me -- talk about a power drain).


Liam

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 11:27:40 am »
I spent two days in Waterbury, VT about a month ago...wonderful trails (I hadn't ridden there before).  Stowe-Waterbury comprises one of the greatest riding regions in the US (without all the pomp and circumstance of some other regions), and is definitely in my top 3 Northeast riding regions.

Giant has long made the best spec'ed, and in my opinion, best built mountain bikes among all the big brand bike companies.  The Maestro is a great suspension design, and I think the Anthem 29er is well and by far the most versatile (especially for hilly, technical New England single track) dual suspension bike I have ridden.

Everyone I see on a Specialized I always think, there goes another victim of marketing who could've saved 1500 bucks and ridden a better bike. 

Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 12:13:53 pm »
Liam, that's good to know about Giant.  I just remember comparing their 26" hardtails, in about the $2000 range, to other brands a few years ago when shopping for a bike for my wife.  Giant really didn't measure up in that category, but then again, neither did Specialized or GT or Trek or Cannondale.  This was at a time when the US dollar was trading at +30% against the Canadian dollar, so the US brands were getting nailed with the exchange rate and import duties.  Canadian and European brands were far more attractive -- Rocky, Norco, De Vinci, Scott, etc.  She ended up buying a sweet XC race bike from a small Montreal maker named Opus.  It was just way better value for money -- same components as US bikes costing $500 more, and far nicer frame build too.  That has since changed now that the currencies are more or less at par, and things have leveled out a lot.

I bought my Fisher at the same time, and although it was from the US, it was at a better price because 29ers were a really hard sell in Toronto at the time -- few shops carried them, and those that did had a tough time convincing their customers of their merits.  They were anxious to make a deal.  Unfortunately, there being little choice in models, I ended up with the Paragon.  This is a decent bike, and great fun to ride, but with all the improvements in 29er design and frame quality since then, and far more choice out there with virtually every brand, I would not buy the same bike today.  The components are fine, the geometry works well, but the frame is just not up to par.  Compared to, say, a De Vinci frame, there is a night and day difference. 

In fact, I am starting to snoop around the web at the bike company sites to see what's new in 29er hardtails, with the idea of possibly trading in the Paragon for a new ride sometime in the coming months.  Haven't made it to the Giant site yet (except to check out the Anthem) but will do so soon and see if they have a good hardtail.  So far I like the Marin, Niner and Kona models.  De Vinci has a beautiful frame, but only so-so components that would need upgrading.  I'm not even looking at Specialized or Trek/Fisher.  Not sure what Cannondale or GT have in 29ers, but will check 'em out.  I'll get into some shops and kick some tires soon too.  Should be fun.



Liam

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 01:26:48 pm »
That's right, you're a Canadian...which reminds me of another advantage you have...Horst Link Suspension designs...in the US, Spec holds the patent and for years have blocked a number of small Canadian companies from selling their bikes (unless the redesigned for us specific market) with Horst link designs (like Devinci).  BUt I know in Canada, plenty of brands sport that very excellent suspension design (the reason so many companies eventually developed their own multi-link active design was because they were tired of paying Specialized to sell to an american market, not because the Horst Link wasn't a great design.).

I think most of the Canadian major players make great bikes, too...especially Rocky Mountain and Banshee (the Banshee paradox is my main ride right now).  Yeah, with the exchange rates et al. (plus a nationalist pride) it makes great sense to stay with a Canadian brand.

Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 02:06:28 pm »
Hmmm....interesting .  This is something I did not know, as I have never paid much attention to suspension designs, not ever having bought or had the need to research this.  A quick glance at Wikipedia just now taught me a lot.  It seems I have spent a lot of time on a Horst link bike and didn't even know it.  That is: my father-in-law's Norco Fluid One (another Canadian brand), which I ride when I visit him on Vancouver Island.  Great bike, built like a tank, sweet handling.  This is the only full-suss bike I have ever ridden that I actually had fun on.  You can blast through a gravel stream bed with softball- to cannonball-sized rocks and not even feel it.  Climbing energy for long hauls is a bit muted, but then he has heavy tires mounted on it, which don't help.  All-round great bike, though.  He has offered to sell it to me for a song, as it is a bit too large for him.  I think I might just do that....  8)

Further, my brother just bought a De Vinci Dexter with a DW split pivot suspension design.  Very sweet bike; beautifully made.  Shame that it's too small for me, otherwise I would steal it for a weekend.  Compared all the other bikes he test rode, this one was the most responsive, best climber, least energy sucking of the bunch.  He loves it, and zips through the tight single track in his woods like a jack rabbit. 

You are right on -- Canadian companies do make some great bikes.  My wife's Opus hardtail is another example.  Super light, agile, quick acceleration, amazing climber, great frame build.  I will replace the fork eventually, as that is the only weak spot on the whole bike.  Otherwise a very sweet bike, and well worth upgrading its parts.

Rocky Mountain has apparently really upped it's fun factor in the past year or two, with their new rear suspension design (RSL series, using the 3D Link, I think....whatever that means). Supposed to be a big improvement over previous models, which felt pretty lame to me when I test rode one a few years ago. 

« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 02:40:59 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 03:06:03 pm »
Banshee -- thanks for reminding me about them, Liam.  You don't see them much out here, maybe one or two shops in Toronto carry them, but they are quite popular out west.  They are fantastic bikes.  I hadn't considered looking at those until your mention.  The Paradox looks like it would fit my needs perfectly.  The geometry is similar to my Fisher wrt. seat tube and head tube angles, which is a very good thing.  But the rear triangle looks like a far superior build.  In fact, the shape of the tubing looks just like that on my wife's Opus, and is probably greatly responsible for its excellent responsiveness and generally super-fun ride quality.

Well done! You got me onto something good here...  8)




bushwacka

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 04:23:18 pm »
so I have to say it since the topic has drifted I rode a pretty low end Rocky Mountain Element 29er and it was alot of fun and pretty  fast. Its the first non dual link suspension bike I have ever ridden and felt it pedaled well while still being plush. I would own the cheap rocky over the highest end Trek Superfly or  Specialized Epic any day, the rocky suspension works well the other 2 kinda of suck IMO.


Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 09:46:50 pm »
Josh, was it is recent model Rocky? I have heard some really good things about their new RSL line, specifically wrt. the improvements in the suspension.  I'd like to try one again, as it's been a few years since I rode a Rocky.

Interesting that you would prefer a lower end bike like that over a top shelf Trek or Spec.  I'm beginning to be a firm believer that the frame quality and geometry of the bike matter way more than the bolted on component parts.  In other words, they can tack on all the fancy, lightweight parts in an attempt to give a bike some cred or bling, but if the frame is poor, then no high end cranks or wheels or drivetrain will make it better.  As my friend from Georgia would say: "It's like putting lipstick on a pig".  Not sure if my Fisher fits that description, but I guess I will find out once I test ride some of the new 29er models out there.

So....Liam....descr ibe this Banshee of yours, if you please? The geometry looks almost identical to that of my Paragon, which is intriguing because I really like the way the bike maneuvers in virtually all terrain.  Descending, climbing, cornering -- it's all good.  Tight twisty hairpins on singletrack take a bit of technique, and I can't get lazy or sloppy there or else it's trouble -- the right body position is crucial, more so than with most 26ers I've ridden.  Otherwise, I think that Fisher got it right with their geometry -- 69 deg. HTA; 72 deg. STA; 440 mm CSL.  Almost exactly like your Banshee.  TTL and SOH are slightly longer/higher, but otherwise the bikes seem very close.

How does the Banshee handle? Climb? Descend? Smooth ride? Responsive acceleration?

FWIW, and this goes back to a comment Josh made about more slack head tubes, I test rode a few 29ers that had a steeper HTA, and I hated them.  Way too twitchy.  Conversely, if they are too slack, then the ride just gets boring for me, and I get no fun out of it.  The 69 deg. angle feels just perfect.

Cheers,
Svend


bushwacka

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 06:01:52 am »
new RSL, obviously I would prefer the better components as well  but IMO the Treks/specialized racing FS 9ers just are not good. The rocky was flat out fun and motors though terrain.

I still have yet to look at geo number but one big difference is that the seat tube was really steep basically putting you right over the pedals. Made the bike alot easier to pedal. I am taking a couple days off riding so i should have time to do a more though review.


Svend

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Re: some stoke from vermont
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 06:39:00 am »
...obviously I would prefer the better components as well...

Agreed.  I think better components are very worthwhile for better performance and a more pleasurable ride.  Smoother shifting, smoother braking, less friction, less weight, less tiring.  But further to my point below, good components can help make a good frame into a great bike.  And even with mediocre components it'll still be a good bike.  Whereas if you start with a poor frame, even the best XO or XTR can't turn it into anything more than a mediocre ride.  Which is, I think, exactly what you were saying about Trek/Specialized.

I'm very curious now to see how some of the new bikes feel and perform compared to my Paragon.  Will post back at the end of summer and let you know if it's worth switching.  What's encouraging, is that the prices don't seem to have climbed much.  You can still get a well-outfitted 29er hardtail for under $2500, and that's full list.  And there is so much more choice out there now, which is brilliant.

On the subject of the rise in popularity of 29ers, I rode with my 13 year old daughter last evening in our local forest, and we watched some of the weekly Tuesday night race that was going on.  I would say that about 50% to 60% of the bikes in the race were 29ers.  Remarkable.  Only 2 years ago that number would have been 5% to 10%.  And of 29ers we saw, about one third were of the fully rigid variety -- carbon or chromoly fork only.  Not sure if any were single speeds, though, but I'm sure there were a few.  Cool!