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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-28-10, 08:41 AM   #1
MrClyde
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New Mountain Bike HT 29er, Pics and Ride Report

Just under 1 year ago, I bought my first "real" (non Wal-Mart) mountain bike. I got a full suspension from Performance. It was lots of fun, and it's great to have the road bike and the mountain bike for variety. Here is what I started on .

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It was great, but as l rode more, I found myself doing more cross country type riding, and soon wanted something lighter and better at climbing. I decided to get a hardtail, a 29er. After looking and kicking tires, I took the plunge and bought a bike from Bikes Direct.

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The only changes I made were to swap out the crank to a XX crank. I wanted to give the full XX group a try. It shifts so SMOOTH. It has 2x10 gearing, the crank is 26-39 and the cassette is 11-36. I was anxious to try it out on some of the tougher climbs.

I headed out to Discovery Lake, a local city park. Leaving Discovery Lake, there is a path up to Double Peak. It is not technical at all, but it is a grueling climb. Here's a shot from the first half, just your normal 12-15% with railroad ties.

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Just under half way to the top, there is a section that kicks my but. It gets really steep then turns so you have to negotiate the ties and the corner. On my full suspension, I never made it through this section without walking. My garmin showed 26% on the last part near the end, I don't know if it is that steep, but it is tough. The first shot is the beginning of this section, notice the railing up above. The second shot is from the outside of the corner, showing the fence posts that are vertical.

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I hit the lap button shortly after that section, it was 1.2 miles with 565ft of climbing, and that distance includes probably a 1/8-1/4 mile roll from my car through the park to the bottom of the actual hill. At the top, I had covered 2.25 miles, 965ft of climbing. Here's some shots near the top, and from a nice single track path on the hill.

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Ride totals were 7.61 miles, 1,454ft of climbing.

So far I'm happy with the bike. It climbs GREAT and flys on the flats. Going over really rough stuff I have to pick my line more carefully, but it seems more stable. I think that is due to my weight being lower than on the full suspension. On the FS I would frequently stop and lower the seat to descend. I haven't felt I needed to on this yet, which is good since it doesn't have a quick clamp.

Here's a token sunset shot over the Pacific Ocean.
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Old 10-28-10, 09:56 AM   #2
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Awesome bike. I am drooling. I have been wanting a 29er for a few years but have been gun shy due to cost. I want a full squish 29er. We have lots of rock and roots on the trails in these parts.
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Old 10-28-10, 10:20 AM   #3
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Great looking bike MrClyde!

My friend just got a Specialized MTB and he is teasing me with trail stories. I feel the "need" coming on for a MTB in my future.
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Old 10-28-10, 01:51 PM   #4
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Awesome bike. I am drooling. I have been wanting a 29er for a few years but have been gun shy due to cost. I want a full squish 29er. We have lots of rock and roots on the trails in these parts.
Do it. There are a lot of choices out there now for 29ers. For size, I am at the top of the Large frame size, or the bottom of the XL. With the 29's, the bike feels more proportional than the 26's did. Probably just mental, but it helps me justify it! There were a couple times on tight turns with rocks that were trickier with the 29er. Does take a little bit of thinking ahead, but I've already started to get use to that.

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Great looking bike MrClyde!

My friend just got a Specialized MTB and he is teasing me with trail stories. I feel the "need" coming on for a MTB in my future.
To be honest, I bought the first MTB when I was getting a little burned out with biking. It helped re-kindle the desire, and having both is great. Sometimes I head to the garage not knowing which one I will ride. Whichever one strikes my mood for the day, off I go! It's great to have the choice.
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Old 11-10-10, 04:27 PM   #5
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Wow. I went to CSUSM for years and never heard of Discovery Lake. I could have at least walked my bike up to coast down at the end of the day.

As for the 29ers, they are legit. I like mine. It took me a little bit to get used to how it rolls, but I really like my Stumpjumper FSR 29er--though I never ride it the way the brochures illustrate.
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Old 11-10-10, 04:34 PM   #6
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The trails were built after the San Elijo developments, I think. So if it's been a few years, the trails might not have been there. They just opened a new trailhead up there.

If you ever come up to North County to do some riding, hit me up.

And yea, the 29ers are fun. I'm loving mine so far. There have been a couple times on really rocky descents with 12-18" drops I miss the FS, but anything relatively smooth, on the flats, or climbing this HT 29 is da bomb.
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Old 11-10-10, 05:42 PM   #7
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That is a fun report, I live for that kind of climbing, as look as its you doing it. Great pictures as well.

Tell me more about the DosX's. I have heard great things about them and am kinda leaning that way. How are the shifters versus Shimano triggers, bottom end, stuff like that. When you are creeping what is your speed, what is your top end on pavement. Great stuff.
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Old 11-10-10, 05:54 PM   #8
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That is a fun report, I live for that kind of climbing, as look as its you doing it. Great pictures as well.

Tell me more about the DosX's. I have heard great things about them and am kinda leaning that way. How are the shifters versus Shimano triggers, bottom end, stuff like that. When you are creeping what is your speed, what is your top end on pavement. Great stuff.
This thing shifts GREAT compared to the Deore on the GT. I can just about shift whenever I want, and it shifts. Only under heavy pedaling does it complain. I've dropped the chain twice, but I think both times were due to really rough decents. I may look into some sort of chain keeper.

Creeping, probably about 4 mph. It's 26-34, so I only lost the equivilant of the top cog or so, as the other bike was 22-32 in granny. But this bike is almost 10 lbs lighter, so I don't find myself bailing to granny as often. The lighter bike, and the hardtail, a lot of times I just power through. The really steep section on the trail above was one of 3 trails I never succeeded in climbing with my other bike without walking. I have gone back and climbed all 3 of them with this bike. I can creep slow enough where it's probably a wash between staying on the bike or walking.

Top end, it's got 39-11. I don't know what the top end is, but mid 20's on pavement is no sweat. I'll try that out next time and get you a number.

I have not missed the triple at all. I pretty much stay on the big ring unless it gets really steep or the end of the ride fatigue.
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Old 11-12-10, 12:23 AM   #9
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When you are creeping what is your speed, what is your top end on pavement. Great stuff.
In granny gear this afternoon, I can creep at 3 mph. If it is totally smooth, I could creep slower, but on the trail any slower and it's hard to stay upright without some momentum. On flat pavement, I hit 29.5 mph, not in the 11T. When I shifted to the smallest cog, I couldn't spin it very well on flat ground. Going downhill, in the 11T cog, I saw 34.5 before I was completely spun out.
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