Mountain Biking - Moab!
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View Full Version : Moab!
12-10-06, 10:06 PM
hey everybody! i'm going to moab next august and riding there all month!
i'm used to pretty flat cross country riding however and i'm a little worried that my '06 rocky mountain element 10 will not be able to handle utah. it's got 3.9 inches of travel in the rear and 4.1 in the front. the componetry is easton and shimano mostly. am i underestimating the strength and capabilities of my bike?
are there any upgrades i should consider before i go? please let me know what you think!
12-10-06, 10:16 PM
Run what you got.
12-10-06, 10:33 PM
Gasp! hey, guess what... people used to ride with NO SUSPENSION! Gasp!
You will be fine. If you are going to be there a month, you will have plenty of time to check it out, and if something break, buy something new :)
Have fun, and post some sweet pics when you get back!
I don't know Moab, so take this with a grain of salt.
But i had similar concerns with my 100mm hardtail going to Pisgah, and my body wanted to quit before my bike did. I think we all underestimate our bikes sometimes.
12-10-06, 10:55 PM
i agree with the ranger on this one. there was a time when suspension was a mere conception in the minds of a few reckless individuals. i bet they still rode moab... and i bet it was awesome! there comes a time when every rider must realize, hey, maybe it's not the bike. maybe, just maybe, its me!
12-11-06, 01:39 AM
Unless you're hucking off of cliffs, the trails at Moab aren't as technically demanding as you might think. Slickrock offers unlimited traction. There is usally little to no mud on the trails. I'm not saying every ride is easy, but it's not always torturous on the bike or body.
When I went I used both a XC race hardtail and a 3" suspension bike. Both were more than capable.
When I went to Moab I rode a 100 mm travel Santa Cruz Superlight, my brother was on a Superlight as well, but with 80 mm up front. Years prior to this he always rode a Yo Eddy with a 63 mm fork on it and never had any problems. In other words, your skills are more important than your bike. Just go with what you have and have a good time.
12-11-06, 08:41 AM
Moab has a range of trail conditions, some life threatening others pretty mild. I rode there with a simple hardtail with three inches of travel with zero problems. It's the rider and not the equipment. I was pretty novice then and got a lot better due to Moab.
I personnally would not consider August if I could help it. Too hot. We were there the middle two weeks of September and it still got near 100 by 2 pm often. I started my rides at/near sunrise. Most folks were starting their rides when I was pulling out near noonish.
I was amazed how ill prepared many bikers are when they ride the Moab area. You need emergency gear and lots of water.
Two months before we got there, a young person got separated from his family group and it took three days to find his body. The father was an experienced Moab rider yet.
Don't rely too much on GPS if you have one. I hugged the ground once and the impact erased all the stored data (including the track) from the GPS. I always carry map and compass anyhow, so it didn't matter.
The best book is by the guy who manages a guide service called Dream Works or Dream Rides or something like that; my copy is on loan. You need to read it. I tore pages out for each days ride for directions. It's well written and adds a lot of local color to better understand the history of the area not to mention how to ride and survive.
He's into full suspension, but anything works fine.
By the way, I'm from the flat lands of N Florida.
12-11-06, 08:42 AM
What these guys are saying is give your bike to someone with skills because your bike can handle it, but you can't.
Just kidding. Enjoy yourself. Take pictures.
12-11-06, 09:17 AM
ride it as is. if you're going to be there that long, you'll likely have to grab some new tires at some point. when you do, go for something larger. replace other stuff as needed. either bring your own bike stand, or use the outdoor "for the public" stand at poison spider bike shop.
moab eats tires.
12-11-06, 10:20 AM
I was amazed how ill prepared many bikers are when they ride the Moab area.
I've seen some sort of incident every time I've ridden in Moab. Most of them can be chalked up to too little water or "Slickrock is only 11 miles" thinking. I've seen broken arms, broken noses, and heat exhaustion. These injuries were the result of continuing to ride technical terrain after the riders had more or less "bonked". A few riders overestimate their abilities and try to keep up with their expert class racer buddies through rock gardens. Not a good idea. I remember one gal with a beautiful smile started to endo on the Porcupine Rim and committed cardinal sin #1, the handlebar death grip. I didn't witness the incident and don't know if she broke her jaw but I think she lost some teeth because she suddenly refused to show any when she smiled at me further down the trail.
August is hot. Stick to short rides of you're not going to be at the trailhead at sunrise. 4 liters of water for a big ride is NOT too much. Take a small first aid kit, a map, and either an experienced rider who knows what you're riding or a GPS at the very least. I usually take a leatherman, a flashlight, fire starter, and a lighter in addition to an emergency blanket too. We needed the flashlight once to fix a broken chain in twilight while we were still about 4 miles from the trailhead.
Your Element is damn near the ideal bike for Moab. Most of the hucking can be easily bypassed if it looks like something for a 6" travel bike. I myself still ride a hardtail there as often as not. Just make sure you're not setting it up with a narrow XC tire. The sand there will kill you if you do. Find something that rolls well but is a little bigger to provide some float. I prefer to run my Specialized Adreneline Pros with their large volume casings.
12-11-06, 10:39 AM
The last time I was in Moab, our group rode Poison Spider, Porcupine Rim and the Slickrock trail, among others. Poison Spider and Porcupine can be done on rigid bikes, but it's easier with some suspension. With low enough gearing, I could have done Slickrock on my road bike. It's that easy, but still super fun. On the other hand, I agree with other posters that you will need to be prepared, especially in August. We were there in October and I think the temperature on the Slickrock trail was 30C. I went through almost 2L of water then, so I imagine you'll need 3 or 4 L for a trail like that in August.
12-11-06, 03:15 PM
Too add to what has been posted, you need enough water to cover the possibility of getting lost for a while. Plus according to Ned Overend, a big cause of the broken bones there is the slickrock which is slick only when wet. It has such great traction dry that folks start climbing near vertical slopes only to stall out. Since many/most? are not proficient at balancing on a steep angle, they fall off and tumble back down that hard slickrock.
On the tires, I called a bike shop there before I left for Moab. They recommended downhill tires. I didn't go that far, but did go to extra wide front tires (2.35's) after the first few rides to better handle the powdery sand. Some great rides like Monitor and Merrimac have some deep sand to ride before getting to the expanses of awsome slickrock.
You gotta have a camera. I lugged my big SLR plus heavy lens and didn't regret it one bit.
12-11-06, 05:57 PM
thanks everyone for your advice, i'm glad i got a small view of what moab will look like in august from you guys. i honestly haven't really heard a lot about moab riding before, only that it's "awesome" and there are many trails in utah. the pictures i have seen look AMAZING! it sounds like i got a lot of preperation/planning to do before i go yet, but if anyone has any more advice, don't hesitate to give it! thanks again!
12-12-06, 02:14 PM
I rode Moab backindaday on a full rigid bike and I had no problems. Of course it was 14 years ago, but that's all I had and it was sweet.
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