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Roadie getting a mountain bike, lots of questions

Whether it's cross country, marathon or gravity, post all your MTB chat here.

Moderators: Susan Westemeyer, Red Rick

13 Sep 2013 19:07

Any feedback on one of these? http://salsacycles.com/bikes/spearfish_2

Finding a few on clearance right now. Frame warranty seems pretty lame.

Also, using the rear stays to flex instead of having a rear pivot might be risky?
richwagmn
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13 Sep 2013 19:32

richwagmn wrote:Any feedback on one of these? http://salsacycles.com/bikes/spearfish_2

Finding a few on clearance right now. Frame warranty seems pretty lame.

Also, using the rear stays to flex instead of having a rear pivot might be risky?


It does have a pivot, just above the bottom bracket.

Speaking of the bottom bracket it looks a bit low. Seems to be very much an XC orientated bike.
User avatar King Boonen
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16 Sep 2013 12:12

richwagmn wrote:Any feedback on one of these? http://salsacycles.com/bikes/spearfish_2

Finding a few on clearance right now. Frame warranty seems pretty lame.

Also, using the rear stays to flex instead of having a rear pivot might be risky?


Don't buy something without having ridden it first. Different suspension designs ride quite differently, and changes in geometry make huge differences in handling. Demo as many differen things as you can, and go on some group rides to find out what others in your neck of the woods like and don't like. Work out what you like before shopping on price alone.
There are quite a few designs out there with flex stays, and the salsa unlike some others don't have a particular reputation for breaking.
dsut4392
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27 Sep 2013 19:48

dsut4392 wrote:Don't buy something without having ridden it first. Different suspension designs ride quite differently, and changes in geometry make huge differences in handling. Demo as many differen things as you can, and go on some group rides to find out what others in your neck of the woods like and don't like. Work out what you like before shopping on price alone.
There are quite a few designs out there with flex stays, and the salsa unlike some others don't have a particular reputation for breaking.


I've been looking at and riding so many different bikes... far, far more choices than when picking up a road bike.

What role does standover play in frame sizing (I realize it's primarily top tube length)? I've had people say when between sizes go with the smaller frame for the shorter standover.

Also bikes with say 120mm of front travel obviously sit higher than those with 100mm of travel.

Should I have some minimum amount of clearance?
richwagmn
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27 Sep 2013 23:49

richwagmn wrote:I've been looking at and riding so many different bikes... far, far more choices than when picking up a road bike.

What role does standover play in frame sizing (I realize it's primarily top tube length)? I've had people say when between sizes go with the smaller frame for the shorter standover.

Also bikes with say 120mm of front travel obviously sit higher than those with 100mm of travel.

Should I have some minimum amount of clearance?


As long as you have 'enough' standover on both frames, the right one for you depends on your preferred handling characteristics. Like a road bike, you should always size first based on top tube length/reach. Remember, the standover height only comes into play when you're standing still, i.e. not riding it!.

As you've probably noticed, a smaller frame (i.e. shorter reach) will generally feel more playful, and it will be easier to move your weight backwards/forwards as you move over different terrain. You might find it easier to get air, pump the dips and bumps, and switchbacks and tight singletrack can be easier to negotiate. On the down side, you sacrifice some high-speed stability and long distance comfort. You may find it hard to get your weight back far enough for steep descents without scraping your backside on the rear wheel, or forward far enough for steep climbs without feeling cramped up in a ball. I usually prefer the larger frame myself, but it's a choice you have to make for yourself.

As long as you can dismount comfortably in a controlled stop on mostly flat terrain, the standover clearance is 'enough' in my book. In any emergency dismount, it's safer to lay the bike down and bail out off the side, unless you like introducing Mr Ball to Mr Stem:eek:

While it is obviously true that on the same bike a 120mm fork will raise the BB/standover compared to a 100mm fork, when comparing different frame designs you really need to check the geometry chart. Radically sloped and bent top tubes are the norm in longer travel bikes to mitigate standover issues. For example, a modern '650B FS 160mm Enduro(TM)' bike will generally have more clearance than a XC hardtail with 80mm fork from 10 years ago.

On the positive side of the choice dilemma, there are so many great bikes around that you're bound to find something that 'feels right' to you. Much more so than with road bikes, 'the sizing numbers' are only a starting point, and you really can size up or down depending on what you like.
dsut4392
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05 Oct 2013 02:32

I would get a hardtail if it was the year 2000. It is not so I would not.
"Listen, my son. Trust no one! You can count on no one but yourself. Improve your skills, son. Harden your body. Become a number one man. Do not ever let anyone beat you!" -- Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken
User avatar BroDeal
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06 Oct 2013 00:24

BroDeal wrote:I would get a hardtail if it was the year 2000. It is not so I would not.


Based on what Bro sez here, I would say his opinion is based on style, appearance, and opinion only. Therefore - do what works best for you - and don't worry about silly opinions about style. [Anything year based is likely styling. Sure, some tech advancements interim, but no worries, old tech is not automatically bad - just different.]
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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07 Oct 2013 02:21

hiero2 wrote:Based on what Bro sez here, I would say his opinion is based on style, appearance, and opinion only. Therefore - do what works best for you - and don't worry about silly opinions about style. [Anything year based is likely styling. Sure, some tech advancements interim, but no worries, old tech is not automatically bad - just different.]


Some tech advancements? Telling someone who wants to get into MTBing to get a hardtail is like telling someone to buy a model T to commute to work. You might as well recommend V brakes instead of discs. The hardtail ship sailed, was hit by an iceberg, and sank at sea years ago. Unless you are a granola type with skillz--you know, the same types who probably also owns a single speed, which may be fully rigid--then you want full suspension. This is especially true if local trails are littered with these hard, lumpy things that are sometimes referred to as rocks. Don't be the sorry bastrd with a hardtail that tries to ride with friends who all have dual boingers.
"Listen, my son. Trust no one! You can count on no one but yourself. Improve your skills, son. Harden your body. Become a number one man. Do not ever let anyone beat you!" -- Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken
User avatar BroDeal
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07 Oct 2013 03:58

BroDeal wrote:Some tech advancements? Telling someone who wants to get into MTBing to get a hardtail is like telling someone to buy a model T to commute to work. You might as well recommend V brakes instead of discs. The hardtail ship sailed, was hit by an iceberg, and sank at sea years ago. Unless you are a granola type with skillz--you know, the same types who probably also owns a single speed, which may be fully rigid--then you want full suspension. This is especially true if local trails are littered with these hard, lumpy things that are sometimes referred to as rocks. Don't be the sorry bastrd with a hardtail that tries to ride with friends who all have dual boingers.


Good reply, Bro! But I stand by what I said. Don't worry, I won't try to keep up with you on my hardtail, going over the rocks! That way you won't have to keep up with me goin' down the road when it's smooth! Or going uphill with less weight? No problem, Bro, you're not partial - and you do have a sense of humor - doesn't he, dear reader? :D

Edit - I really DO think Bro's response is good, lest anybody think I'm being unduly harsh on him. And he has a point - FS is heavier, but generally speaking I think most ppl will cover a course faster on an FS than a hardtail - but it does depend on the course, too. So, I still ride a hardtail, and I recognize that, really, having fun and being comfortable is the most important thing.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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