I’ve been doing online research and I’m thinkin a hard tail 29er for me. My reasoning is on my road bike I suck going uphill and I’m thinking that will carry over to Mt. Biking. I’ve read and have been told in shops that the less weight and the firmness in the rear are advantages going uphill. I demoed 3 hardtail 29ers today and liked the Specialized pro 29 the best. I’ll be riding almost exclusively the Flume Trails and Hardy Rd trails in Wilmington. I’m going to demo some duel suspension this week cause I’m not married to the hard tail idea. I’m not planning to upgrade in the future, I want something I’ll be OK with for years.
Any advice will be appreciated.
There's truth that lives
And truth that dies
I don't know which
So never mind - Leonard Cohen
I don't have any experience with the 29ers but I will say this. Assuming that you have X dollars to spend on a bike, you'll get more bike for your buck with a hardtail. Unless of course, you have X to spend on the hardtail and at least 2X to spend on the FS.
If I lived in the Adks, I would want a 29er and I would also like it to be full suspension. It's just plain rocky up there and the 29er really smooths it out...but the suspension is nice too...especially if you are middle aged. I couldn't handle the vibration and bumpiness of a hard tail...but they will make you better riders. At my age, I want all the comfort I can get on a good ride. I don't own a 29er, but I kinda wish I bought one...though my Giant Trance is pretty sweet anyway. Just love it.
I ride a full suspension 29er (Salsa Big Mama), and it's fine for everything at the flume and - I assume - Hardy Road (although I've only walked the opening sections of the trails on a recon mission when I didn't have my bike). In truth, the Full suspension might be overkill for a lot of the smoother trails (I'm glad I have it at SMBA, though), and a hardtail would probably be fine. I looked at hardtails when I was shopping, but I got a screaming deal on the Full Suspension, so it ended up being pretty close to the same price as a quality hardtail. Plus I've got propedal on the back, so I can lock out the back shock when I want to.
I've only ridden 26ers a couple of times, but they don't roll over the small stuff the way my bike does - I get hung up on stuff that I wouldn't normally. If you're looking for something that zips up hills, keep in mind that a 29er does have slower acceleration than a 26er. It takes a little more to get the wheels turning. The other side is that it keeps momentum really well on the downhills.
Bikes these days are pretty nice, you really can't go too wrong if you stick with a few basic rules. At least Deore level components, blah blah blah. A lot of bike forum people think you should go at least Reba for the fork, but my wife has had a Tora fork, and that has worked pretty well for her. Rockshox has a new name for their mid level 29er fork, but I forget what it's called. That would probably be fine. I'd probably stay away from the Dart series (It's really not much better than a rigid).
demoed a full spension Giant yesterday thay was $2400...I don't want to spend that much.
Yep, I haven't found any full-suspensions that are less than $2200, and I don't want to spend that much either. However, I've had a FS for more than a decade and I have no intention of going back to a hard-tail. Guess that it's time to buy lottery tickets.