The Perfect Bike for S. Wisconsin?


October 19, 2015, 02:28 PM

I'm curious what everyone thinks is the 'perfect' MTB for riding in our area. I'm mostly thinking of Cam-Rock or Kettle type trails as one category (one bike?) and Blue Mounds as a class of its own (second bike?), or rather a bike that's good at BM might be a good choice for Copper Harbor, trips out west, etc.

I'm in the market for a new bike in 2017, I'm going to take my time thinking it through. I have my opinions, curious what other people think.

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TheMayor1
Trail Steward - CamRock
Trail Steward
608-772-7833

October 19, 2015, 02:41 PM

I think the perfect bike on one trail or type of trail will never be perfect on another type of trail. The other issue is what is perfect for you? Is it being the fastest, quickest, lightest, etc?
To me is is the most fun bike I can for the types of trail. I am not a racer so what do I care other than the fun factor? For me right now the Remedy is great for a lot of rides, and the fatty for the rest.
Though these new + size tires are intriguing. The 29+ designs are really getting nice. And the new Trek Farley's are really interesting in that they are designed to handle such a wide range of tire sizes and types with sliding dropouts, etc. From the  27"+ or 29"+ for summer riding to 27.5'x5" tires that you can't get yet for maximum float in the winter.


~ Chuck Hutchens


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October 19, 2015, 03:08 PM

Well, that appears to cover the options.

What I'm trying to get at is what people think is the perfect set-up for Cam-Rock/Kettles? And maybe what would be the ideal set-up (presumably different) for Blue Mound or other more challenging trails.

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

October 19, 2015, 03:56 PM

If this is for 2017 start doing rentals, demos and trying friends' bikes now. My "next bike" started with testing two seasons before we (I share with my wife) bought it.

It was totally worth it for me to try different wheel sizes, widths, different drive trains, and different suspension design. It was also totally worth it to spend some money on rentals and demos.

What really stood out with all my delayed gratification and trying stuff was it's some bikes that are awesome, not wheel size, suspension design, material or parts. Favorites were different makers, different wheel sizes, some with $1500 list price and some with $7000 list price.

The coolest parts of all the bike trials were riding same model with two wheel sizes, and riding same Treks with and without the "Reaktiv" shock. That shock is not hype. You really do get what you need when you need it.

Have fun shopping.

Well, that appears to cover the options.

What I'm trying to get at is what people think is the perfect set-up for Cam-Rock/Kettles? And maybe what would be the ideal set-up (presumably different) for Blue Mound or other more challenging trails.

One reason I got Remedy over Fuel EX, and why our regional Trek rep said he sold his Fuel Ex for a Remedy. The Remedy's got your back, yet pedals fast.

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Nate W.
Club Raconteur

October 19, 2015, 04:07 PM

You ask 10 people this question and you'll get 12 different answers.

For me, it's becoming more and more burly trail bike bordering on all-mountain style.  For me (right now) it's a late model Niner RIP9, which is a relatively short travel (105mm) 29er dual suspension bike.  I'm taking things like disc brakes and through axles for granted here....

120mm Pike (but I just ordered parts to convert it to 140mm and try that)
1x10 or 1x11.
Fairly burly/stiff wheels (dream bike would have Enve rims).
I'll be getting a dropper post as soon as I can scare up the cash too.

If I were buying right now, here's some bike that would be on the short list...in no particular order.

Salsa Horsethief/Pony Rustler (I'm intrigued by this option of having a 29er and a 27.5+ wheelset to work in both bikes)
Trek Remedy/Fuel EX
Yeti SB4.5c
Evil The Following
Santa Cruz Bronson/5010
Niner RIP9 carbon/RDO
Giant Trance
Pivot Mach 429 Trail

I think all of these would be burly enough to handle Blue Mound but pedal well enough to have fun and go fast at Cam-Rock/Kettles/Wausau.  I also do Cheq 100K most years so endurance "racing" on the RIP ins't a problem either.  Keep in mind, I weigh 200 pounds when I'm "fit" also, so I rate "solid" in front of "light weight." 

Sorry, but I can't do one bike only if you want to roll fat biking on snow into it...I'm not a fatty all year kinda guy, and I think a true fatty is nice to have in the winter.

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XXX

October 19, 2015, 07:23 PM

I think it would be redundant to get a bike for CamRock/Kettle and another for Blue Mound or Copper. Most modern trail bikes will do just fine at all of those places, unless you're doing shuttle/freeride runs.

I got a Kona Process 111 this season and I'm totally enamored with it. I mostly go to Quarry Ridge, CamRock, Kettle, and Blue Mound. It's burly enough to handle way more than I could throw at it, and efficient enough to be fun on the tamer trails as well.

I did a lot of online research and ended up getting the Kona. Are there places to rent high-end MTBs around here? Demo days pop up sporadically, but when I was in the buying process I wasn't able to demo anything except for parking lot rides. Any tips on how to try out more bikes before buying?

Also, +1 for the dropper post. It wasn't high on my priority list, but now that I have one I'll never go back.

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October 19, 2015, 08:00 PM

CamRock Café in Cambridge has about every 2016 Trek model to rent.

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

October 19, 2015, 08:42 PM

CamRock Café in Cambridge has about every 2016 Trek model to rent.

Yes, and in past years you got a coupon for a discount on new bike.

Trail This has or had two late model Konas.

This year we've had Niner, Giant and Pivot have local demos.

The shop near Kettles and shops in ride centers (Marquette, Duluth) in our region have rental places.

Someone please post if there are others who rent or have demo bikes near. That would be good for a FAQ.

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XXX

October 19, 2015, 09:04 PM

Fenster, do you really find the dropper post of value at Cam-Rock or Kettles? I could see it for Copper Harbor, or "sessioning" at Quarry Ridge, but for our typical 30 seconds up, 15 seconds down climbs/descents in the midwest, I don't really see the point. I like the concepts, I just expect not much use locally.


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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

October 19, 2015, 09:27 PM

Fenster, do you really find the dropper post of value at Cam-Rock or Kettles? I could see it for Copper Harbor, or "sessioning" at Quarry Ridge, but for our typical 30 seconds up, 15 seconds down climbs/descents in the midwest, I don't really see the point. I like the concepts, I just expect not much use locally.


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I don't like things stuck up my bottom. Some I know do, but not bike seats. Why people who can afford to stop taking bike seats up the butt and don't is beyond me.

On CamRock. Yesterday I noticed my wife use the dropper and ride sections where she used to walk.

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XXX

October 19, 2015, 09:31 PM

I use it all the time at CamRock. Obviously it helps on the descents, but it's also really useful on corners. When I'm going into a twisty section, I drop it down. It helps you get your weight lower and you're able to lean the bike more in the corners. I took me some time to get used to, but I love it. It's so easy to move it up and down that it's handy even on the brief descents we have around here.

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Nate W.
Club Raconteur

October 19, 2015, 09:33 PM

I use it all the time at CamRock. Obviously it helps on the descents, but it's also really useful on corners. When I'm going into a twisty section, I drop it down. It helps you get your weight lower and you're able to lean the bike more in the corners. I took me some time to get used to, but I love it. It's so easy to move it up and down that it's handy even on the brief descents we have around here.

Second this.  I only have a short time on one and this is where I'd use it more than on downhill sections...

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XXX

October 19, 2015, 09:45 PM

Do you guys have posts with "infinite adjustability " or with a couple set points? I found the former very awkward in some very brief time on it. I think I'd rather pick my heights ahead of time.


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augs
President
Board Member

October 19, 2015, 09:50 PM

Mid '90's steel hardtail.  Perfect for any trail, really.

Re: Droppers.  I believe Richard S. made the point that you want one more here, as you are constantly switching between up and down, whereas in more vertically blessed areas you might leave it high or low for longer periods.  And while I can, do, and will continue to ride without one, I did demo a bike this summer with one, and I was surprised at how quickly its use became intuitive.

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XXX

October 19, 2015, 09:58 PM

Mine is infinitely adjustable, but I pretty much only use it all the way up or all the way down.

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