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  • Getting back in the saddle; what’s new?!
  • Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    Hi all; following a long (12+ year) ‘hiatus’ away from MTBing, due to various injuries, illness etc, I’ve been biking again using an old commuter, which has been great, but I feel like I’d like to start going off road again a bit. Not easy as I live in London (N), but with restrictions going to lift eventually, I’ll be able to travel further afield again, plus going abroad. Sold my old MTB, a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, ages ago. It does appear things have moved on slightly since those days, not least in the bewildering array of wheel sizes, numbers of cogs, seatposts that move up and down, and myriad different suspension designs. So; where do I even start? I haven’t a clue! I suppose something roughly similar to the Stumpjumper, so reasonably good all round really, not too heavy, and capable of long days out rather than ‘dirt jumping’ or whatever the cool kids call it these days. Not tall at 5’7″, so I think I’d prefer the smaller wheels over the ’29er’ style. Any advice for a returnee?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Any advice for a returnee?

    Don’t spend too much to start with – try out as many mates bikes as you can too. Rediscover what style of riding you most enjoy and have access too.

    The issue here is you may not have much choice with stock issues this year.

    Where might you ride?
    What riding do you enjoy – distance, gnar, steep, flow, trail centre, natural, Alps?
    What is your riding style – keeping up with Aaron Gwinn, lecking about in the woods, or keeping it real and he who has most fun wins?

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    “Where might you ride?”

    Epping Forest, nearest place. But I can travel to anywhere really, plus abroad of course. So anything from forests, to actual mountains.

    “What riding do you enjoy – distance, gnar, steep, flow, trail centre, natural, Alps?”

    As above; all round, more on the ‘XC’ side as they used to call it. But not full on XC race.

    “What is your riding style – keeping up with Aaron Gwinn, lecking about in the woods, or keeping it real and he who has most fun wins?”

    I don’t know who or what Aaron Gwin is, so I’m not sure if they’re local to me. Mostly just having fun, riding along, enjoying the view, not about to break any speed records!

    Price isn’t something that’s much of an issue, I’d rather get a decent bike that will last, and have decent components that won’t let me down. Had Hope/Shimano XT on the FSR, so that kind of level.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Not tall at 5’7″, so I think I’d prefer the smaller wheels over the ’29er’ style. Any advice for a returnee?

    You’re a little shorter than the male average, and still significantly taller than the average caucasion woman, many of whom manage to ride 29ers fine.

    For XC type riding your choice of bike, and selection of suitable replacement tyres once you wear yours out, is going to be limited quite a bit if you restrict yourself to 650b wheels.

    If you like specialised, the Epic Evo seems to fit the bill.

    It does appear things have moved on slightly since those days, not least in the bewildering array of wheel sizes,
    you arent wrong, plus there is tyre width, and rim width to consider.

    numbers of cogs,
    there are 11 or 12 on the back, but only one on the front, so its now a simple one button for faster, one button for easier interface, which also frees up your left thumb for…

    seatposts that move up and down,
    Greatest invention since disc brakes. I use mine more than I shift gears on terrain like you describe.

    and myriad different suspension designs
    They are all good these days.
    They can all be made bad by completely messing up the shock settings.
    95%+ of riders probably cannot tell what suspension design they are on by feel alone – and about 50% probably counldnt identify it by looking at it.
    If you had a 2008 hatred of single pivots or something, disregard it.
    Alternatively, seeing as your terrain is going to be mud and roots rather than big rocks, have you considered a hardtail?

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    Thanks. Re wheels size; 29ers just look huge, to my eyes, but that’s coming from 26″ of course. And I don’t really want a bike just for ‘XC type riding’; I’d like it to be able to handle tougher terrain that you generally find in the UK, so yes, the longer ‘Alpine’ style trails with much greater elevation gain/loss. An all-rounder, much like the FSR was. I appreciate things like dropper posts can be a game-changer, but I’ve never tried one. Tbh I never dropped my saddle much anyway, so such a thing would be a radical change from what I was used to.

    “95%+ of riders probably cannot tell what suspension design they are on by feel alone – and about 50% probably counldnt identify it by looking at it.”

    Yes; waffle about the various merits of all the different systems bores me rigid (!), quite frankly. I just want it to work, and to not bob about too much (the FSR was very good on the rough bits, but did bob a bit on climbs etc, and I’d always forget to switch th

    e shock to the ‘doesn’t bob as much’ setting.

    “If you had a 2008 hatred of single pivots or something, disregard it.”

    Had a Marin Mount Vision prior to the FSR; it was ok, but the FSR was a lot more sensitive, I felt. That could simply be subjectivity though. It felt ‘clumsier’, somehow.

    “Alternatively, seeing as your terrain is going to be mud and roots rather than big rocks, have you considered a hardtail?”

    No; I have said it’ll be a mixture of different types of terrain. Plus I’m getting a bit old now, and prefer a bit of shock absorption!

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Tbh I never dropped my saddle much anyway, so such a thing would be a radical change from what I was used to

    I know I’m a bit of an evangeliser for the things, but bike fit has changed.
    While you could move around the high seat o shorter bikes, longer reaches of todays bikes, even conservative ones (so not the latest race machines) mean its no longer as easy.
    as an example, my previous bike – 150mm travel bird Aeris mk1, 2015ish – it was not possible to get behind the saddle with it at pedalling height. My current bike it is just doable, but still have to really stretch and worry about catching the shorts on the way back forwards.

    I think I missed this line

    I’ll be able to travel further afield again, plus going abroad

    So you’d not go far wrong with a current stumpjumper I’d say. Trek Fuel EX is similar

    Bird Aether, Commencal Meta TR are some slightly cheaper/better specced for the same money.

    Premier Icon fr0sty125
    Free Member

    Sounds like you just need a decent trail bike which there are many of. Your biggest issue will be finding stock.

    All the decent bikes will make your old bike seem like a complete pile of crap.

    Geometry has changed a lot. In 2013 I had a very modern brand new ‘enduro’ bike in size L it had a reach of 410mm and a head angle of 67 degrees, I picked up my new L RocketMAX yesterday it has a head angle of 63.5 and a reach of 490mm. A long stem these days is 50mm and most of the time they are 35mm length. Therefore riding position has changed.

    Another area of massive bike improvement is tyres. No matter what bike you get make sure it has a decent set of tyres.

    You have a lot of good things to come back to.

    Chains don’t fall off
    Dropper posts are awesome
    Brakes are brilliant
    Gears are far simpler and quiet
    Most suspension is pretty decent
    Tyres that grip and don’t puncture
    A bike that you can ride all day but stil ride down a DH track.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    “All the decent bikes will make your old bike seem like a complete pile of crap.”

    Really? In what way? Are they faster/lighter/stronger/easier to maintain? These are the criteria I’d be most interested in examining. What I have noticed, is that designers have shifted towards the more ‘MX’ style riding position; steeper seat angle, slacker head angle, longer wheelbase. I’m sure such changes can offer advantages on particular types of trail, although I think lengthening a bike would compromise its agility in more ‘technical’ scenarios. And bike companies are still as reticent to display bike weights, it seems, but research suggests that bikes seem to have got heavier, if anything. A thread on here about the Bird Aether reveals weights ‘start’ at over 28lbs, and go up over 30! My FSR was a little under 26, and that felt ‘heavy’ in comparison to the Trek hardtail I had, which was about 22lbs. I accept this isn’t really a fair comparison as they are very different bike types, but I’m not seeing any real significant weight loss across bikes. I’m 10.5st, so I don’t need anything super tough.

    “Therefore riding position has changed.”

    Yes, seems to be the fashion for a more ‘central’ position between the wheels, wider bars necessitating shorter stems, fork rake is longer, which would be good for fast descents, but not so good for climbing. Swings and roundabouts. I wouldn’t want something that is great on descents, but a pig on climbs. Hoping to be able to do long day rides in mountainous European places, Spain, Italy,German, Switzerland etc. So a 30+lb ‘freeride’ type bike isn’t what I want.

    “If you like specialised, the Epic Evo seems to fit the bill.”

    Yes; this seems to be very much in line with what I’d be looking for. The Epics of 12+ years ago were very light, ‘XC race’ oriented machines with about 80mm travel; I went for the Stumpjumper because it was a little less ‘racy’ and had a bit more travel, 100mm I think. I bought it off someone who hadn’t got on with it, for a really good price, and it was definitely an improvement over the Marin. The current Stumpjumpers seem to be a bit more ‘Freeride, and even the top end one is over 30lbs!

    “Your biggest issue will be finding stock.”

    Yes, this is clear. Not only that; what on earth happened to bike prices?? The S-Works Stumpjumper was about £3500 I think; even allowing for inflation, that’s still only around £5500, which is still a lot of money, yet the current S-Works Epic is £11,500! That’s insane! What are bikes made of now, Platinum??

    Premier Icon fr0sty125
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    You really should just go ride some bikes and find out.

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
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    From your comments and descriptions, I’d say you’d actually want to steer clear of anything with more than 120mm travel tbh. Compared to your old bike you’ll think it’s heavy, slack, ponderous and slow. Something along the lines of the Specialized Epic Evo, as suggested, will be much more your thing.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    fork rake is longer, which would be good for fast descents, but not so good for climbing.

    Apart from wiggling your way up trail centre switchbacks, the slacker head angle doesn’t affect climbing.
    If anything, the longer wheelbase is a benefit as you have a broader central comfort region where you are neither wheelieing or going so light on the back end that it slips.

    I agree that the quest for slacker head angles has gone too far in some bikes, to the point where some bikes are only fun going fast. But there are plenty that aren’t, including the ones already mentioned by me and others.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Yes, this is clear. Not only that; what on earth happened to bike prices?? The S-Works Stumpjumper was about £3500 I think; even allowing for inflation, that’s still only around £5500, which is still a lot of money, yet the current S-Works Epic is £11,500! That’s insane! What are bikes made of now, Platinum??

    Was that in about 2008, when it was 2 USD to the pound?
    Up until COVID, few people actually paid RRP for bikes from the ‘big’ brands.
    This last year, seems they will shift at any price.

    Premier Icon stumpymark
    Full Member

    A few months back I bought a new mtb after nearly 15 years. Last bike was rockhopper hard tail with discs (that was cutting edge back then I think). New bike is Stumpjumper Comp carbon. I’m about 5’8” and got an S3 size frame but you could go down a size if you wanted. I was unsure about the 29” wheels and, when I collected the new bike, I thought I’d made a mistake on that front. Only when I took it for a “proper” ride in Gwydir Forest did I realise how good they are.

    I think any bike you get will be so much better than your old one that you’ll be very impressed with it.

    Premier Icon raincloud
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    I don’t know who or what Aaron Gwin is, so I’m not sure if they’re local to me. Mostly just having fun, riding along, enjoying the view, not about to break any speed records!

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Compared to your old bike you’ll think it’s heavy, slack, ponderous and slow.

    That is what I think of modern bikes but luckily there are other options. I also don’t really like 29″ wheels even though I ride them. They are no doubt faster but I actually preferred 26″

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    “Apart from wiggling your way up trail centre switchbacks, the slacker head angle doesn’t affect climbing.”

    Well, it does, and climbing entails a bit more than just ‘wiggling up trail centre switchbacks’. Try Alpine or Pyrenean mountain trails, where you can ascend many thousands of feet over a ride.

    “You really should just go ride some bikes and find out.”

    That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Not gonna happen for a while yet at least. I have ridden a few friends/hired bikes over the years, but I can’t remember what I liked/disliked. I’d happily pay good money to have some test rides, but I think I’ll be waiting until next Autumn at least, for such a thing to become possible.

    “From your comments and descriptions, I’d say you’d actually want to steer clear of anything with more than 120mm travel tbh. Compared to your old bike you’ll think it’s heavy, slack, ponderous and slow. Something along the lines of the Specialized Epic Evo, as suggested, will be much more your thing.”

    Yes; that really does seem like the kind of thing I’d like, more than say the current Stumpjumper model. A bit of a Google suggests an Epic Evo Comp is around 27lb, so a little heavier than I’d like, but nothing that can’t be solved with a few ‘upgrades’ 😉 And there’s always the frame only option, although the current colour scheme is a bit nasty.

    Anything else in that kind of area? So; 120mm travel, closer to 25lbs than 30, not too slack and long?

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
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    Part of the reason that bikes have gotten heavier is that they’re a lot more durable now than they used to be, and have to be to pass the requisite CEN testing. Once you’re actually out on the trails, 25lbs vs. 27lbs isn’t actually a huge difference, and anecdotal evidence shows that a little more weight and solidity actually contributes to a more stable ride.

    Have a look at the Canyon Lux CF, Trek Top Fuel, Orbea OIZ, Scott Spark RC for starters.

    Premier Icon fr0sty125
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    Well, it does, and climbing entails a bit more than just ‘wiggling up trail centre switchbacks’. Try Alpine or Pyrenean mountain trails, where you can ascend many thousands of feet over a ride.

    There are lifts in the Alps, used them many times. If you really just want to do XC then buy an XC bike. Mountain biking and in particular UK Mountain biking is very descent focused these days.

    If you are really into doing epics and big climbs then get an XC bike like the Epic EVO or a Top fuel. If you want to enjoy descending then get a trail bike.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    That is what I think of modern bikes but luckily there are other options. I also don’t really like 29″ wheels even though I ride them. They are no doubt faster but I actually preferred 26″

    That’s interesting. My only experience of larger wheels is from y hybrid, and on borrowed/hired bikes. I found them all a bit ponderous by comparison although that is from memory, rather than side-by-side testing. Turning circle is definitely more barge-like.

    Part of the reason that bikes have gotten heavier is that they’re a lot more durable now than they used to be, and have to be to pass the requisite CEN testing. Once you’re actually out on the trails, 25lbs vs. 27lbs isn’t actually a huge difference, and anecdotal evidence shows that a little more weight and solidity actually contributes to a more stable ride.

    Yet the Specialized Epic Evo frame is just 1659g/3.65lb? I think that’s lighter than my old Trek hardtail frame! Astonishing. And whilst 25 v 27 lbs might not be too noticeable, 25 v 30+ definitely is. As for ‘durability’; aren’t the CEN tests way in excess of what is necessary for a bike frame for the vast majority of riders?

    Have a look at the Canyon Lux CF, Trek Top Fuel, Orbea OIZ, Scott Spark RC for starters

    I will, thanks.

    There are lifts in the Alps, used them many times. If you really just want to do XC then buy an XC bike. Mountain biking and in particular UK Mountain biking is very descent focused these days.

    If you are really into doing epics and big climbs then get an XC bike like the Epic EVO or a Top fuel. If you want to enjoy descending then get a trail bike.

    The lifts are limited to the ski resorts, mainly, and kind of defeat the object, for me. Aaron Gwin might be quick down a hill, but he’s not taking in the lovely view. Shame.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    A lot of bikes are heavier now because tyres are more durable, as are forks / brakes / shocks etc.

    A lot of ‘trail bikes’ are around the 30lb Mark. I have a Bird Aether 7 and with a Pike and sensible levels of kit (carbon cranks / bars / Hope hubs / XT 12 speed / code brakes / Oneup dropper) it weighs in about 31lbs. It’s very robust and will take a lot of abuse though. Yesterday I did just under 40km on it of bridleways joined by roads and 975m of climbing and still felt fairly fresh at the end as it climbs well with minimal bobbing and is brilliant on the downhills. If that sort of rising was all I did I’d probably go for something built lighter and shorter travel – see the newest ‘niche’ called ‘down country’.

    At the opposite end my current bike will happily smash down trails at uplift centres like BPW / BMCC all day – it’s a genuine do it all sort of bike.

    Genuinely weight isn’t the be all and end all with modern geometry and kit but I get what you’re saying. It sounds like the down country niche is where you’d be happiest – generally around 120mm of travel with light carbon frames but modern geometry. So not quite as slack as some trail bikes have got (mine has a 66 degree head angle) but enough to be stable and fun on a mixture of trails.

    I’d look at:

    Transition Spur

    YT Izzo

    Trek Top Fuel

    Santa Cruz Tallboy (maybe a bit more trail than down country)

    Scott Spark (possibly more xc leaning but still a good all rounder)

    Edit – on dropper posts once you have one most people struggle to go back. When I first tried one (100 travel but with a 50mm and 75mm setting) I thought in the lowest setting the saddle was too low and felt like I missed having it there for support. However once I tried one on a modern geometry bike at 120mm I felt I’d like more travel – so have gone 150 – 180 and now to 200mm travel. You can corner better with the saddle out of the way and you can get lower in the middle of the bike on really steep trails. Would genuinely take a loss of rear suspension from my full suss than lose my dropper post.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    Nice. Some brands I’ve never heard of. What happened to Marin? I’ll be more interested in brands that are (normally) readily available form a ‘proper’ bike shop, rather than online only, as I’ll be wanting to actually test ride anything, plus, I’d quite like humans to deal with for after sales service etc. I wouldn’t even discount Halfords, because for all their many faults, they do tend to be good at refunding stuff etc, and there are branches everywhere. The small independent bike shops round here tend to be rip-off joints in my experience. And what happened to Evans? Gone? Shame.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Marin went backwards a bit for a while, but they seem to be on a run now and bringing some more interesting bikes out. Not sure if they have a bike like you’re after – most of the ones I’ve seen are more trail leaning towards enduro.

    Some online brands do test days (Bird do demos from several sites but they don’t have a bike in the area you’re looking at), YT / Canyon / Radon I think have some test tours round the U.K. in normal times.

    If you’re buying a brand from a bike shop it’ll generally have less spec for the price vs direct brands as there are more costs to pay for in the supply chain. Just a fact of life.

    The best value lbs brands seems to be Cube / sometimes Whyte who fit in some decent spec for the money. Cube tend to be less progressive geometry though – Whyte are decent. Guess something like a Whyte S120 might do the job – although I’m not sure what the weight is like.

    The mainstream brands like Specialized / Giant are always going to come with a premium – as are the more boutique brands like Santa Cruz / Yeti etc.

    On wheel size both my bikes are currently 27.5 as I haven’t yet ridden a 29er I like more. But I’m not ruling out 29ers – next time I look at replacing my full suss then I’ve be demo-ing some of those as well as 27.5. In the type of riding you’re planning on doing a 29er is probably going to be more efficient at covering ground and smoothing bumps out.

    Evans cycles is still around but they’ve closed some stores and are now owned by Mike Ashley. In my experience they hold some stock in stores of everyday sort of stuff – but they’re usually under staffed as the cost cutting has hit to try and make them profitable.

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
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    As for ‘durability’; aren’t the CEN tests way in excess of what is necessary for a bike frame for the vast majority of riders?

    Maybe, but everything still has to pass it regardless..

    I think if you’re wanting LBS backup, then the brands you’re looking at for XC FS bikes will be limited to:
    Giant
    Specialized
    Trek
    Scott
    Cube

    None of which will do their short travel bikes in anything other than 29er – and there’s a reason for that.

    I forgot about the Giant Anthem as well; in fact, I think that might well be your best starting point given how well-regarded they are for the type of riding you want to do.

    Premier Icon bridges
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    None of which will do their short travel bikes in anything other than 29er – and there’s a reason for that.

    Which is?

    Premier Icon joebristol
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    Most people wanting to go fast xc will want 29er wheels – because they’re faster.

    Edit – my only recent 29er experience is having a quick go on a mates white t129 at night with not powerful enough lights and not enough air in the shock for my weight and I pb’d down a section I ride frequently in the light. It’s a flat ish trail centre route on hardpack with some little berms and rollers etc so not some rugged rock fest – and yet the 29er was still quicker.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    because they’re faster.

    Are they? Hmm. I would have thought it was a trade off between acceleration and agility of smaller wheels, versus the ‘flywheel’ effect of larger wheels at constant speed. So, swings and roundabouts? In fairness, my hybrid is actually not bad off road; not Alpine type stuff, but the more gentle forest trails etc. I’m also wondering about centre of gravity; surely smaller wheels place this lower down? It is certainly interesting that 27.5″ wheels have appeared; a compromise between the two? Could 27.5″ wheels be put on a bike designed for 29″? How might that affect things?

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
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    27.5″ wheels appeared (they’re actually closer to 27″ in reality) because designers hadn’t really figured out the geometry of 29ers properly – now that most 29ers come with shorter offset forks, better balanced geometry, etc, the traditionally perceived downsides have mostly been mitigated.

    It’s not just the flywheel effect that makes 29ers faster – the angle at which a larger diameter wheel impacts upon obstructions is shallower so it’s marginally less likely to get hung up, and so on.

    We can talk about the theories being this endlessly in all honesty, but (and I know we keep saying it, and it’s difficult to do so with lockdown, etc) you really need to go and try some modern bikes out to see what you like the feel of. I have a sneaking suspicion that you might actually just be better off finding a used version of your old Stumpy and just buying that.. 👍

    Premier Icon joebristol
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    On the speed thing virtually everyone racing professional xc, and a large proportion of enduro and DH racers are now on 29ers. Some of the DH people didn’t seem to o like them at first for the ‘feel’ but did find they were faster. They drop into holes / ruts etc less than a smaller wheel so smooth things out more.

    I haven’t really enjoyed the 29ers I’ve ridden so far as they haven’t felt as manoeuvrable / playful but the geometry on them seem to be getting better all the time. If you can wait for some test ride options to become available then do that – if you can’t wait I’d just get what is available in budget and go for it. There aren’t many bad bikes these days out of the main brands.

    Or you could try to find something secondhand (wondering if some of the bikes impulse bought in lockdown will be finding their way into the secondhand market yet?) and try something a few years old for less cost that new to see if you like it.

    Premier Icon beamers
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    I’ve not been away from MTBing but I did update my bike last year.

    I’d been riding an Orange Sub3 since around 2002, using it for XC racing, MTB Marathons etc.

    Absolutely loved it, along with its triple chain set, narrow bars, bar ends etc, 26 inc wheels.

    Just over 12 months ago I bought a 29er Orbea Oiz. It took a couple of rides to get used to, mainly the bigger feel of the bike and the wider bars but it very, very quickly felt just right. The Oiz feels like a rocket ship compared to the Orange!

    Riding the Orange is now a very scary proposition! It feels absolutely tiny.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
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    “None of which will do their short travel bikes in anything other than 29er – and there’s a reason for that.”

    Which is?

    Nobody (or a very small number of people) want to buy them, for the reasons, real or percieved, already mentioned. Yes they tried. Scott and Giant especially. The used market may be worth a look if you want to go down this road.

    some exception made for the smaller sizes – I think trek for example make the small and xs of their XC bikes as 650b. At 5’7, I doubt squeezing onto a small is going to work out for you.

    I’m also wondering about centre of gravity; surely smaller wheels place this lower down?

    CoG of the wheel, yes that is at axle level, so an inch or so
    CoG of the bike, minimal change maybe a mm or so.
    CoG of the bike+rider. So infinitessimally small, and irrelevant compared to how other differences between bikes will have more of a difference.

    Premier Icon bridges
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    It’s not just the flywheel effect that makes 29ers faster – the angle at which a larger diameter wheel impacts upon obstructions is shallower so it’s marginally less likely to get hung up, and so on.

    Interesting.

    you really need to go and try some modern bikes out to see what you like the feel of

    Yeah, not so easy at the moment. I was hoping for things to have settled down by now, so I could at least be riding this summer, but I think we’re probably looking at next autumn now, realistically, and certainly no sooner for foreign holidays (if we’re ever allowed to go to Europe again…).

    I have a sneaking suspicion that you might actually just be better off finding a used version of your old Stumpy and just buying that..

    I did peruse a few on Ebay recently, but the prices seemed a bit steep for such old bikes! Covid premium? I’d quite like to try something new; it’s nice to buy new things. If bikes have improved as much as people are saying, surely I need something new, right? 😉

    Or you could try to find something secondhand (wondering if some of the bikes impulse bought in lockdown will be finding their way into the secondhand market yet?) and try something a few years old for less cost that new to see if you like it.

    That is also a consideration. I had thought about that. A neighbour paid £200 for a real piece of crap advertised as ‘vintage’, some old Peugeot thing from the 80s. The kind of thing someone would have gladly given away, prior to Covid. So I’m wondering if the ‘end’ of all the lockdowns etc, coupled with the shortening days and colder/wetter weather, and xmas coming etc, might see a few bargains start to emerge. One can only hope.

    At 5’7, I doubt squeezing onto a small is going to work out for you

    How very dare you!! Oh, ‘onto‘, sorry…

    CoG of the wheel, yes that is at axle level, so an inch or so
    CoG of the bike, minimal change maybe a mm or so.
    CoG of the bike+rider. So infinitessimally small, and irrelevant compared to how other differences between bikes will have more of a difference.

    Interesting. Thanks.

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
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    Also

    Could 27.5″ wheels be put on a bike designed for 29″?

    Not a chance – your BB will be way too low and you’ll be visiting Pedal Strike Central constantly. In fact, a lot of people think BBs are too low regardless, but crank lengths are getting shorter to compensate as no-one under 6′ needs 175mm cranks off-road anyway.

    Modern bikes are waaaay more capable than old stuff used to be, at the expense of immediacy of steering (read: uncontrollable twitchiness). A current model trail bike is capable of most stuff a DH bike from the mid-00s was, with the added bonus of being able to ride it uphill as well.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Turning circle is definitely more barge-like.

    I’ve owned two 29ers, and they are absolutely lightening fast handling – by far the quickest and best handling bikes I’ve had. Partly because, with more modern geometry (and they aren’t really modern at all) the front wheel is no longer underneath my chest with all my weight on it, which means I can change direction really fast without worrying about the front wheel washing out. Back in the day, almost all my effort was expended in the fight to keep my front wheel from washing out in corners. This is no longer necessary, both my 29ers just drift nicely when I lean them over. This is what makes them ‘better’ in my view – far more satisfying to ride!

    Premier Icon Andy-R
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    idiotdogbrain
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    designers hadn’t really figured out the geometry of 29ers properly – now that most 29ers come with shorter offset forks,

    Longer offset, surely? To cancel out the increased trail that the larger wheel will give you.

    Premier Icon Saccades
    Free Member

    Orange stage 4 or Evo

    A do it all mtb, some famous mtber was only 5 seconds slower down an enduro trail than his time on the much bigger travel stage 6.

    I’ve done twentyfour12 (24 hour pairs) racing with it and got my best ever time/distance. The previous bike being something very similar to a Spec Epic with 2002 xc marathon race geometry. The only difference from the supplied 28.5lb spec was to add barends and remove the enduro tyres for easier rolling (so lighter again).

    I was in much better shape at the end of the event on the newer bike, it’s crazy how much better they are as an all around MTB.

    Premier Icon oldnick
    Full Member

    Anyone else thinking of Steven Toast at the title of this thread?

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    MTB’s have changed massively in the 12 years you’ve been away, and presumably your FSR was even older than that. Steeper seats, slacker heads, longer reach plus droppers, wider bars, short stems, axles not QR’s. Not sure if you were tubeless back then, as I know I was?

    Based on the limited amount of travelling you’re going to do this year, buy something for riding in the UK and more aimed at local (Epping, Chilterns, Surrey Hills etc) – that way you’ll get back into it through just riding more.

    A HT will more than suffice for that, and HT are far more capable than you’ll remember.

    And don’t worry about weight, as unless you’re spending a serious amount of cash, it’ll be heavier than the past – as it’s far, far more capable. And if weight bothers you, and you’re a “wheels on the ground rider”, get a gravel bike.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    MTB’s have changed massively in the 12 years you’ve been away, and presumably your FSR was even older than that. Steeper seats, slacker heads, longer reach plus droppers, wider bars, short stems, axles not QR’s. Not sure if you were tubeless back then, as I know I was?

    This

    A HT will more than suffice for that, and HT are far more capable than you’ll remember.

    And don’t worry about weight, as unless you’re spending a serious amount of cash, it’ll be heavier than the past – as it’s far, far more capable.

    Ht’s are more capable – I love my new one and it can do most of what my fs can do and it’s a lot more comfy than my last ht (new one is steel and on 2.6” tyres) – but the fs is definitely more comfy and saves you more doing reckless stuff. If the op wants a full suss then get a full suss.

    Weight generally is higher now even using exo casing style tyres – tyres back in the day were substantially flimsier on average. Tubeless is definitely worth having!

    And if weight bothers you, and you’re a “wheels on the ground rider”, get a gravel bike.

    Erm, don’t do this. Just because you keep wheels on the ground doesn’t mean you should buy a road bike with big (ger) tyres 🤣

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    Anyone else thinking of Steven Toast at the title of this thread?

    I can hear you, Clem Fandango…

    And don’t worry about weight, as unless you’re spending a serious amount of cash, it’ll be heavier than the past – as it’s far, far more capable.

    It’s such claims that are quite mystifying. Far, far more capable? Will it pedal up the hills for me then? As for weight; see above for my views on that. Cash? I think, from a bit of research, I’d be looking at around £4-6k for something I’d be happy with spec wise, as prices seem to have inflated somewhat in line with spec levels. I will not be spending £10k though. That just seems silly.

    And if weight bothers you, and you’re a “wheels on the ground rider”, get a gravel bike.

    I could just put drop bars on my hybrid, if I wanted that. I don’t.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Seems you won’t be swayed by anything we say, despite us all having ridden since you gave up. Get out and test as many bikes as you can, inc 27.5, 29ers, HTs, FSs even ebikes, which will take you up the hill. Your mind will be blown.

    Everything has changed, vastly for the better. Weight doesn’t matter anything like what you think it does.

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