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Old 12-20-04, 12:46 PM   #1
stumpjumper
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210-mile backcountry ride... What bike to use??

hello all..

In July I will be doing an unsupported "hut-to-hut" 7-day backcountry ride fron Telluride Co. to Moab Ut. I'd like to get a new rig for it, and would like some input.

Huts are about 30-35 miles apart and are connected by a mix of singletrack, jeep trails, and secondary fire roads. Average elevation is 9,500ft. I will need to carry a reasonable amount of gear (ie- clothes, tools, parts, sleaping bag liner, misc gear), but it wont be a full self-supported deal (food and shelter are available at the huts).

At either ends of the spectrum, I'm considering a Jamis Dakar XC Expert (more comfore over distance, more moving parts to break), or a VooDoo Dambala 29"er (simpler, stiffer).

Any suggestions? I'm open to anything.
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Old 12-20-04, 12:59 PM   #2
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I read about that ride in Backpacker mag several months ago. What kind of fees do they charge? Sounds like fun thou...
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Old 12-20-04, 01:11 PM   #3
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I beleive they just upped the fees this rear to $525-$550, I will have to doublecheck. The company is San Juan Huts and can be found (ironicaly) at www.sanjuanhuts.com
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Old 12-20-04, 03:41 PM   #4
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man that looks liek alot of fun....as far as my opion is concerned, i go for the ht...less **** could break, and you have to carry less gear if you do need to fix something...
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Old 12-20-04, 04:08 PM   #5
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But for that distance on a real trail. A nice dually would be awesome on the butt. Just make sure you set the spring rate to your weight PLUS gear.

Less stuff to break...really a matter of opinion. Duallies are fragile by any means. With normal riding (sounds like your is just some fun LONG trail riding at elevation) the bike should hold up fine. I assume you aren't gonna be throwing your bike off any cliffs.
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Old 12-20-04, 04:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
But for that distance on a real trail a nice dually would be awesome on the butt. Just make sure you set the spring rate to your weight PLUS gear.
Agreed. Will save you some beating on your body IMO and will probably handle desents a little nicer with the extra weight. Like maelstrom said, just make sure to tune the shock for your weight + gear if you decide to go the FS route. How are you thinking of carrying your gear? Rack and panniers, backpack, trailer? If I had the money I'd go for a trailer like a BOB or a BOB Ibex, but then again I've never tried to ride any trails with one.

Sounds like an awesome trip, something I might consider if I have the time this summer, or more importantly the physical condition.
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Old 12-20-04, 04:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
But for that distance on a real trail. A nice dually would be awesome on the butt. Just make sure you set the spring rate to your weight PLUS gear.
I agree too... i have done 30 mile rides in one day on my Scalpel... let me tell you how much better it feels to sit down when u get home then if you ride an HT
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Old 12-20-04, 04:47 PM   #8
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Its almost impossible to put a rack on a dually, aside from the cheesy seatpost racks. My first choice would be a Fisher 29er, like the 229 or 129, sort of a 'cross bike almost, but with suspension and MTB geometry.
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Old 12-20-04, 05:31 PM   #9
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it's no longer called the 229 and 129.. they're called the Montare (old 129) and Utopia (old 229). The Montare comes with a Manitou South Elite fork, 29" wheels and BB7 Mech brakes. XT rear derailleur, LX shifters, 11-34 rear cogs and 26/36/48 front rings. At 1099, doesn't seem like a bad deal at all.
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Old 12-20-04, 05:38 PM   #10
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I don't know how much the dakar XC expert is but my dad's boss rides a specialized epic and she says the suspension design is excellent. Great pedaling efficiency and it soaks up everything from small to big bumps.

The baseline Epic is $2200 msrp.

But then again like Seely said it's almost impossible to put a rack on a dualie. You would have to get some kind of trailer and shove all you're stuff in there.
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Old 12-20-04, 05:42 PM   #11
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how about a HT with a Suspention seat... that would be nice
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Old 12-20-04, 06:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryogenic
it's no longer called the 229 and 129.. they're called the Montare (old 129) and Utopia (old 229). The Montare comes with a Manitou South Elite fork, 29" wheels and BB7 Mech brakes. XT rear derailleur, LX shifters, 11-34 rear cogs and 26/36/48 front rings. At 1099, doesn't seem like a bad deal at all.
Yes they are very versatile, high value bikes. I sold two to two different people doing the exact Telluride > Moab hut-to-hut trip last year and they were VERY satisified with the bikes. The stock tires are good as they have a semi-slick with shoulder lugs, I believe its a 1.8" or so? In any case, its a very fast tire that will still hook up when you need to. Rack mount is a bit awkward with the discs but we made it work well on both bikes. In any case definately check them out.
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Old 12-20-04, 06:49 PM   #13
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Long epic rides with ht maybe a bit hard. I don't know. I mean, I've lasted long standing, but I'm not sure if I could stand 210 miles of standing. Nope. Err I say the dually. And maelstrom, what'd you mean duallies are fragile by any means? you mean aren't fragile, I think.

Anyways, subhuman, you obviously don't stand too much. I went through one of the don trails on my hardtail (stiff as hell) and I was just ripping through (small crashes, meh, part of riding) no aches. Ht riding was fun as hell. Although I must say, I like the crisp back end feeling of hardtails.
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Old 12-20-04, 09:16 PM   #14
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Duallies are more complex. They have more moving parts that can fail.
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Old 12-20-04, 09:43 PM   #15
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I did a 100 mile 18000 + ft vert in one day last year (ccp 100). I was on a HT, but several were on FS bikes. Bikes were not failing, people were. I just got an 05 Epic Comp - I've put about 300 miles on it without more than lubing the chain. As long as the bike is built right, and the rider does nothing stupid (I seem to break somthing on my big hit each time I go free riding), the bike will be fine.
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Old 12-20-04, 09:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
Yes they are very versatile, high value bikes. I sold two to two different people doing the exact Telluride > Moab hut-to-hut trip last year and they were VERY satisified with the bikes. The stock tires are good as they have a semi-slick with shoulder lugs, I believe its a 1.8" or so? In any case, its a very fast tire that will still hook up when you need to. Rack mount is a bit awkward with the discs but we made it work well on both bikes. In any case definately check them out.
The Montare & the Utopia were the bikes I was actually looking at before I ended up with my HR Pro Disc.. It comes with 700x42 tires, which amount to about 1.65" wide. I didn't like the idea of a 29'er because it seemed that my choice of parts was limited... Mostly less tires and forks on the market that fit a 700c tire. Outside of that, I agree that they're great bikes... They both do also have the Platinum series frame, which is really nice as well. Probably the best dual-use bikes that I've seen so far.
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Old 12-20-04, 10:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sscyco
I did a 100 mile 18000 + ft vert in one day last year (ccp 100). I was on a HT, but several were on FS bikes. Bikes were not failing, people were. I just got an 05 Epic Comp - I've put about 300 miles on it without more than lubing the chain. As long as the bike is built right, and the rider does nothing stupid (I seem to break somthing on my big hit each time I go free riding), the bike will be fine.
Which is ironic cause most tout the strength of the bighit frame ...(although you did mention doing stupid things which the bighit is known to inspire haha)

Quote:
Duallies are more complex. They have more moving parts that can fail.
I am assuming you drive a car without suspension then... Sorry the argument has some basis but the rarity of a typical wear/tear breakage on a dually not being abused it likely right up there with a ht. You do have extra mainenance during non rides. But I don't think breakages would be more if you take care of the bike.
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Old 12-20-04, 10:43 PM   #18
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Yeah, I would personally suggest a FS bike. The question was raised though, and that's the only way I could see a FS being more fragile. This has me wondering though, what spare parts might one actually want to bring on a 210 mile ride besides some spare tubes? Cables maybe? Fluid if you have hydraulic disks? I'm not very good about maintaining my bike myself heh.
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Old 12-21-04, 12:35 AM   #19
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Which is ironic cause most tout the strength of the bighit frame ...(although you did mention doing stupid things which the bighit is known to inspire haha)
Last week I did a 8ft step up - came off a little crooked, 50'd on the granit landing. Broke the bash gard, R der., hanger - and some how managed a front flat. That's about 5k miles worth of damage on my XC bikes. I guess I should stick to the light bikes.
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Old 12-21-04, 12:59 AM   #20
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haha...the derailer hanger on bighits suck big time. I ended up buying a hang banger (small bashgaurd for the hanger) and an aftermarket hanger. Has stopped all breakages. My first week I went through 2 hangers. Switched to this and life is good
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Old 12-21-04, 10:40 AM   #21
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I checked out that website, and both rides look *awesome*. I like how it is relatively bare-bones, and the price reflects that. Just under $100/day seems very reasonable for being set up with food/shelter each night. And, you are sure to meet some great folks. An experience of a lifetime, without a [$$$] pricetag.

FWIW, if it was me, I'd put the money for a new bike into some upgrades for my existing bike (hardtail). Also, you're going to need to budget for some spare parts; you could pour your funds into beefing up your current ride.

With all the climbing involved, the 29er might become a bear; also, I'd think a HT would offer more versatility for packing emergency gear. I think it's great that the ride is unsupported (helps keep costs down, increases the adventure quotient many times over), but it would seem that you have to acknowledge the possibility of spending a cold night out on your own. The website says bring raingear and a sleeping bag liner, but I'd seriously consider at least a bivy and some emergency rations. And you're going to need somewhere to put this stuff (like a pannier).

Just my 0.02...
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Old 12-21-04, 02:51 PM   #22
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Just make sure you set the spring rate to your weight PLUS gear.

ooh... good point. didnt think of that, Thanks!!
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Old 12-21-04, 03:24 PM   #23
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Yeah, I'd considered the rack problem. Really, the weight I could carry on one is limited...

I could get a trailer, but that might be an anchor while climbing. Too bad no one's created a tour-worthy dualie I wonder if a horst-link (or similar suspension with "seatstays") could be modified somehow to carry a rack? That would be an interesting project for a framebuilder.


Anyway....
Yeah, its pretty bare-bones and is entirely backcountry. No towns, no people... just how I'd like it I'm pretty excited.

Yeah, I thought about upgrading, but realy the current bike is as good as I'd like to make it. The only other upgrade is maybe discs and for that, I'd just as soon lay out the cash for a new bike. Good discs and a decent set of new set wheels are a fair chunk of change. Besides, the current bike is a 3-year old aluminum frame. I know I have a few more years before I hit the finite lifespan of aluminum, but why take the chance on breaking the frame on a great trip like this, right?

Besides.. I just want a shiny new bike *big grin*



With all the climbing involved, the 29er might become a bear; also, I'd think a HT would offer more versatility for packing emergency gear. Actualy, the 29'er is a hardtail. It was actually recomended to be because (they say) it would roll easier than "26 wheels. Dunno, never actually ridden one.
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Old 12-21-04, 04:42 PM   #24
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From what I understand, 29-inch wheels will perform better than 26-inch wheels in a couple of key categories:

- they maintain momentum better, so they roll over obstacles more readily than smaller wheels;

- at a given tire pressure, the tire patch (part of tire in contact with the ground) is larger, so they have better traction.

However, due to the larger diameter, they accelarate more slowly; this is why they might not climb as well as 26-inch wheels. Also, they are somewhat weaker than 26-inch wheels (longer spokes = more lateral flex).

Of course, you have fewer tire/tube/fork options with a 29er.

Overall, I think the good probably outweighs the bad, but human nature being what it is, the negatives are sometimes more accentuated than the positives (like puffing up a tough climb at 11,000 feet vs. flying down the backside).
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Old 12-21-04, 04:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumpjumper
Yeah, I'd considered the rack problem. Really, the weight I could carry on one is limited...

I could get a trailer, but that might be an anchor while climbing. Too bad no one's created a tour-worthy dualie I wonder if a horst-link (or similar suspension with "seatstays") could be modified somehow to carry a rack? That would be an interesting project for a framebuilder.


Anyway....
Yeah, its pretty bare-bones and is entirely backcountry. No towns, no people... just how I'd like it I'm pretty excited.

Yeah, I thought about upgrading, but realy the current bike is as good as I'd like to make it. The only other upgrade is maybe discs and for that, I'd just as soon lay out the cash for a new bike. Good discs and a decent set of new set wheels are a fair chunk of change. Besides, the current bike is a 3-year old aluminum frame. I know I have a few more years before I hit the finite lifespan of aluminum, but why take the chance on breaking the frame on a great trip like this, right?

Besides.. I just want a shiny new bike *big grin*



With all the climbing involved, the 29er might become a bear; also, I'd think a HT would offer more versatility for packing emergency gear. Actualy, the 29'er is a hardtail. It was actually recomended to be because (they say) it would roll easier than "26 wheels. Dunno, never actually ridden one.
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