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  1. #1
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    Looking For a good MTB for Triathlons

    I've been doing triathlons for 2 years and now I want to try doing a MTB triathlon. I have no clue as to what type of bike i should get--hard tail or full suspension. I have don't know about MTB tri terrain, but I'm just going to go for it. My budget is $2000 or less. Any ideas?

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    I think it will come down to your personal preference and budget. I have not actually done an XTERRA or XTERRA-like event yet (well, I've done some off-road dus), but from what I've seen from coverage of them, the courses they lay out are generally not overly technical. You might find your budget will go farther toward better componentry, etc by getting a hardtail.

    (Did I just say that? )
    Last edited by dminor; 08-06-07 at 12:52 PM.

  3. #3
    ಠ_ಠ DevilsGT2's Avatar
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    That's true, but technology has come far enough so that for $2K you can get a decent full suspension bike that pedals efficiently with good components. Take a look at the 2007 Specialized FSRxc Pro.

    Also, if you're completely new to mountain biking and are diving right into racing, a full suspension bike would be to your benefit as you don't have to pick your lines as carefully as you do with a hard tail.

    This is merely speculation though, try both styles and pick the one you feel most comfortable (and fastest) on.
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  4. #4
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Is this the format? I just googled Xterra and found this:
    - 1.5 km swim
    - 30 km mountain bike ride
    - 5 km trail run

    Do you need to be comfortable or do you not mind betting a little tossed around? I think with $2000 you can get a pretty nice hardtail mountain bike but the riding can be a little rougher. A full suspension at the same budget will be a little heavier but it will be a more comfortable ride.

    I'm trying to imagine what I would be looking for. I think I'd lean towards a slightly heavier full suspension but then again I'm nowhere near being as fit as a given triathlete.

    As for specific models and makes. Visit your various LBS to see what they have. I think any offerings from Kona, Trek, Gary Fischer, Specialized, etc. will suit your needs. Just try the various bikes and see which fits well and which feels good to you.
    First Class Jerk

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Mountain Bike Action rated the Gary Fisher HiFi above the Stumpjumper FSRxc in the latest mag. It must be one sweet ride to mask the fact that it's 31+ lbs compared to the 29 lb Stumpy. GF must have bought more advertising pages in the prior month than Specialized

    Though I haven't ridden it off road (just test ridden), the Mongoose Canaan Elite at Performance & JensonUSA is unbeatable component-wise for it's paltry price. Full XT drivetrain, Juicy 5s, Fox front and rear suspension. 26.5 lbs. Pretty easy to walk out of the store with it for about $1500.

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Well, now, this all goes to show just how much I know. Here I was all ready to recommend a FS but figured she couldn't get a race-ready bike in that price range. Thanks for all the recommends for under 2k. Looks like it'll be down to what you feel will give you the edge, trigirl.

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    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak View Post
    Mountain Bike Action rated the Gary Fisher HiFi above the Stumpjumper FSRxc in the latest mag. It must be one sweet ride to mask the fact that it's 31+ lbs compared to the 29 lb Stumpy. GF must have bought more advertising pages in the prior month than Specialized
    The article also said out of all the test riders, the Hi Fi rated no higher than number two, and no lower than number two. While it wasn't anyones favorite, it second bested itself into the win category. it was also interesting that it had the most travel of all bikes tested.

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    Here I was all ready to recommend a FS but figured she couldn't get a race-ready bike in that price range.
    I just couldn't let someone spend $2k on a HT. $1k, yes.

    Heck, with the price of the Mongoose, should one choose, you could buy a cheap hardtail frame and still come in under $2k.

  10. #10
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    yup. i'll try the sprint distant first

    So, I have an old school 1995 Cannondale F4. I don't like the fit and then I didn't know much about how to size it for myself. But now, i know alot more about bikes, well, only road bikes. So, I can easily spend less than $2K and even less than $1K if it's a good, efficient, fast bike.

  11. #11
    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    If it were me, I would base my choice to best play to my strengths. In other words, if the running or swimming legs are really your 'thing,' you want to give yourself every advantage that you can on your "weakest" leg. And even if the bike is your big strength, it sounds like you might not have a lot of off-road experience; so again, I'd go for giving yourself as much edge as you can.

    If full suspension might give you an extra measure of confidence in attacking sections instead of tentatively picking your way through them, look hard at that option. If feel like you'd really miss that snap and instant acceleration of your razzoo-light road bike, maybe you'll decide you can give up some edge on the technical stuff to attack the climbs and fly on the flats with a hardtail.

    The one caveat, as other folks mentioned, is that the same rider on the same course will be faster on the full suspension - - even if they don't 'feel' like they are.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    I think it will come down to your personal preference and budget. I have not actually done an XTERRA or XTERRA-like event yet (well, I've done some off-road dus), but from what I've seen from coverage of them, the courses they lay out are generally not overly technical. You might find your budget will go farther toward better componentry, etc by getting a hardtail.

    (Did I just say that? )

    Not to pull a Pete on you, but the Xterra Triathalon here in Richmond, VA ran around the James River State Park loop this year which is arguably some of the most technical, rocky terrain in Virginia. I've been riding it for the past three months on a hardtail, and although I'm no expert, I can safely say that a FS rig would be MUCH more accomodating (I've ridden a few friends FS bikes around it and my ass hurts alot less afterwards). Just my $.02
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  13. #13
    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    There is no advantage to a full suspension bike on buff courses. The lightweight and lack of power-robbing suspension action are the hardtail's advantage on those kinds of courses.
    Boy that is the truth. I was in a multi-sport race last year doing the "mountain bike" leg - -that was all flat river-dike followed by the last couple miles on pavement. A 'cross bike would have worked fine.

  14. #14
    Montani Semper Liberi wvxc's Avatar
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    The XTerra race in WV is brutal, but the swim down the New River for over a mile might have something to do with it. We have another big offroad tri I have done a couple of times and I was faster with my FS than my hardtail. That being said, I was in better shape with my fs. If you are planning to do any of the tri's in southern WV I would recommend a FS.

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