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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:07 pm
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Hello all. I am new to mountain biking and to this board.

I moved to Peekskill a couple years ago from way upstate, to a block that deadends into Blue Mountain in large part to be near woods that I could walk in and junior could play in, while still being commutable to NYC and walkable to a downtown. I'm in there on foot frequently and I know the trails in there pretty well from a walking/hiking perspective. When I was younger (I'm 36) I rode dirtbikes and enduros a lot--not motocross, just fast single track trail riding--and I've ridden bicycles as casual transportation my whole life, but never really combined the two. Recently figured maybe I could deal with pedaling in order to rekindle that joy and get some exercise at the same time, bought a used Gary Fisher Advance hardtail as a get-my-feet-wet thing a few weeks ago and have been out almost every day it's been dry. Having a blast, but it's obvious to me that upgrading will improve my happiness, and spending money on this old GF won't be cost-effective.

I can literally throw a frisbee into Blue Mountain from my house, so I expect nearly ALL of my riding will be in there in the foreseeable future. I figure I can spend ~$4-600 on a next step bike, which means either an older, used low end full suspension setup or a low end but new(er?) hardtail. With my current ride I'm really struggling (compared to a dirtbike) with how much the damn thing bounces around--it's challenging just to keep your feet on the pedals! Lose traction climbing, and going down rocky areas is like controlled chaos on a jackhammer. I'm finding more even pedaling inputs, weight distribution, and lower tire pressures are helping, but as I hope to have a new (or used) rig by spring, figured I'd ask the people with experience riding in here. Even being not-in-biking-shape, I am finding the climbs in BM short enough to huff-and-puff up, so I'm willing to trade some efficiency for better handling in the rocks and singletrack. I used to love tight stuff on a motorcycle, and such as my ability allows am also preferring it in BM. Should I try to get a used full suspension rig, or will a newer hardtail be a better choice in there? 29 or 27.5 (I'm 6'4" and lanky)? I do not ever expect to race, nor fling myself high into the air, nor pay money to ride a lift up a mountain, nor do any long-distance XC kind of stuff.

Thanks for all your input--I'm really enjoying this even though I'm new and clumsy, and being able to ride out the door and into the trails is something I never had the luxury of when riding motorbikes.

Luke in Peekskill

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:12 am
Posts: 63
Location: Peekskill
I would suggest keeping your eyes out for something in the 130-140mm travel range. Wmba and fatsinthecats both have buy/sell forums where you can find good local deals and Pinkbike.com has a much broader network but will find you more used options but may have to ship or travel a bit for them. It sucks but you might want to consider bumping your price range up to around a grand which should get you something decent. Also consider stopping in at Down Cycles and taking to AJ about bike possibilities or another local shop. I'm right down on Washington street and ride when I can, feel free to message me on here.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 615
If you're on the Facebook, take a look at the NorthEast Bike Classifieds page. You'll have to make a request to join the group, but I've had success selling my old bike on there and it is updated daily with lots of bikes, parts, etc.

Best of luck on your search and progressing your skills. You've got the right back-yard for doing it all!

-Toast

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:30 pm
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Location: within sniffing distance of the captain
Generally wisdom suggests a hardtail at that price range will give you a better option than full suspension. One option to think about is a fatbike - often simple, especially if rigid and often at a decent price point if you are ok working out tyres/pressures etc. the ride won't be as quick or nimble as a "regular" hardtail but worth considering, especially if snow riding is of interest (it's fun!)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:07 pm
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Craigslist has some 26" dualies that fit the bill, but sizing is a crapshoot. PM me if you want some suggestions. Lucky of you living where you do!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Chappaqua
At that price range I would suggest a used 29er hardtail. The suspension you will get for that price is worse than no suspension.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:07 pm
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Thanks for all the advice--seems to back up the larger wisdom of the internet.

I'm going to ride this old hardtail and see how it goes. I'm having more fun every time I get out, so it may be I can enjoy this until the wallet lets me take a larger step up.

Thanks,

Luke

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:54 pm
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I am more or less in the same boat, except I ride Sprain.

I have a circa 2000 Easton Elite hardtail custom build, which I started riding more often again. First time I walked 90% of the trails, tenth+ time I ride 90%. It's great fun even with only 65 mm travel front fork and no rebound to speak of. It also forces you to sharpen your skills. I've reached a point where the bike is definitely the limiting factor, so I am thinking about buying something used that is more capable.

Ultimately local availability will govern, but I am leaning toward 120-130 mm large full suspension with 27.5 wheels. My thoughts are added travel for rock/root gardens and maneuverability for the twisty trail heading up toward slick rock. So far, this specific combination has been elusive at my preferred price (around $1k). What I did find near my price points is a 2015 anthem 27.5, but it only has 100 mm of travel and XC geometry. This will obviously be more capable than what I am currently riding, but my main issue with the XC bike that I have now is the geometry. It was damn scary on steep descents before I swapped to a 60mm stem, which made a big difference but it feels somewhat cramped. A taller riser bar will probably help, but ultimately what I am doing is changing the riding position to something mimicking a trial bike and may be what I will need to do on the Anthem. Should I skip XC and look only for trail geometry?

Has anyone ridden and XC 27.5 on sprain and how does that compare to a trail 27.5? Also, if you are riding a 29, how does it feel going around the twisty section from the northern brothers loop to slick rock? Some of the turns are fairly tight even for the 26", wondering if the 29er has trouble navigating the turns.


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