The next step in my off season preparation process is to get my own mountain bike. There are so many choices out there; one of the biggest is brand, then full cushy or hard tail and finally 26inch or 29inch. So let’s just dive into this subject.
Most people that know me know that I'm kind of a gear head and research nerd, but honestly you have to be when it comes to spending thousands of hard earned dollars. Plus it's a long term investment for many people; I know it is for me. Not like I can get a new mountain bike every year. As the title reads SELF sponsored!
After all of my research, reading reviews, hanging out at the bike shops - way too much according to Kelly, and talking to other fellow cyclist, I have decided to go with either Giant or Specialized, and I will be going with the traditional 26inch bike because I feel that they offer more versatility. So as for bikes I have narrowed it down to either a specialized stumpjumper or there are two form giant, the Trance X and the Reign.
Truthfully they are all great bikes and probably do great for most everything but I'm really looking for the bike that I will be able to do everything with; ride trails, race xc, hit jumps and do some of the downhill that is around the Midwest, which isn't too gnarly. I am really leaning towards the Giant Reign, but ultimately it will come down to price and availability.
I will most likely be getting a model from last year to save some money and be doing some negotiating with the local bike shops. So if you know much about bikes, all those bikes I've listed they are all full cushy so I have already answered the hardtail vs. full cush. I have decided to go with full cushy because I feel that they are more versatile then a hard tail and that's what I'm looking for, the do-it-all bike, aka all mountain. Mountain bike now days come with a variety of different lengths of travel which determine their category as well as their angles and geometry but you can usually tell the style by the travel. Travel ranges from XC at about 4 inches to DH (downhill) at about 8inchs. I figure I’ll try to shoot the gap and go with something with about 6 inches.
6 inches! some of you are saying is why too much for around MN and you are probably right 5 inch is probably the max that you really want around here and four is plenty sufficient but Kelly and I are planning on moving to CO or maybe the black hills in the next year or so and I'm planning on keeping this bike for awhile so I see it as a great fit. Plus I can ride most DH comps around her with an all mountain bike and should do just fine in the citizens and sport classes of XC races as well.
That is my feeling on mountain bikes and my rationale for the bikes that I have narrowed it down, feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. I won’t be purchasing till after tax return time.
Thanks again for reading.
Take it easy!