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2010 XC bike vs. 2018 XC bike?

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2010 XC bike vs. 2018 XC bike?

Old 05-11-18, 01:59 PM
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Eyedrop
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2010 XC bike vs. 2018 XC bike?

Iím mostly a roadie but have been getting into MTB more and more. Been doing local races and riding the fast group rides, so speed does matter.. Mostly riding steep, loose, rocky single track climbs and descents in the Northern AZ pines... Fairly technical and challenging climbs, intermediate/black diamond type trails but nothing too gnarly...

I have been riding a small 15.5in 26Ē 2010 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 which I have enjoyed and am comfortable on. Iím 5í2Ē 100lbs.

It was a pretty high end bike for its time, around $4k. Full suspension 100mm RP23 shocks and Fox fork, Deore XT 9 speed triple, XT disk brakes, carbon post, Race Lite wheelset, Rocket Ronís, etc...

I need to know realistically how much faster I would be on a brand new 2018 FS bike of similar spec (~$4K). I know bigger wheels are better, and frame geometry has changed. But how much of a difference can these things possibly make? Would Nino Schurter get smoked if he was forced to compete on a 9 year old machine on similar terrain?

If I were to get dropped on a 2010 Top end Carbon road bike, I wouldnít be able to use the bike as an excuse. My buddies would just laugh. On the road, itís all about the legs and lungs at that point.

But my MTB buddies keep telling me I have to get bigger wheels if I wanna keep up..

Iím trying to decide if getting maintenance on suspension, upgrading the wheels, tires, getting a fitting done would make more sense than trying to sell the bike at a steep loss then spending a ton on a new bike + fitting. Iíve got the cash for a new bike, but I sort of have a hard time believing that a new bike would be that much faster...






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Old 05-11-18, 08:35 PM
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IMO, A $4K bike from 2010 is not slowing you down in any meaningful way.

And at your size you might not end up on a 29er, anyway, even of you did buy a new bike.

i guess it really comes down to how much difference very small improvement will make for you. The higher level you are racing at and the closer to the podium you are, the more these little things matter.


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Old 05-18-18, 06:45 AM
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Go for a bike with 29" tires. It will help.

29er rolls over rocks and roots easier due to the wider circumference. More distance is covered per pedal revolution. Higher air volume in tires smooths out ride.
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Old 05-21-18, 05:57 AM
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I would check out 29” and 27.5” bikes at your height. Pro rider Emily Batty is around your height, and she switched from 29 to 27.5.
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Old 05-21-18, 08:09 AM
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I donít trhink the question here is whether she is better off with a 29er (or 27.5) or a 26er for XC. (I donít think anyone is going to suggest that the 26er is preferable)

Her question is whether it is worth spending 4K just change her wheel size.

Yes , a 29er does roll over things better, and that is particularly helpful with shorter travel XC bikes. This is what she will be getting for that $4K if she goes with a 29er. And that is it.

The part about going farther with each pedal stroke is just a gearing issue, and seeing as you can be in whatever gear combo you want, it is not a point for or against the larger (or smaller) wheel size.

And, if it does turn out that you prefer 27.5 to 29, the argument to spend $4K just to go from 26 to 27.5 is even harder to make.
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Old 05-21-18, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I don’t trhink the question here is whether she is better off with a 29er (or 27.5) or a 26er for XC. (I don’t think anyone is going to suggest that the 26er is preferable)

Her question is whether it is worth spending 4K just change her wheel size.

Yes , a 29er does roll over things better, and that is particularly helpful with shorter travel XC bikes. This is what she will be getting for that $4K if she goes with a 29er. And that is it.

The part about going farther with each pedal stroke is just a gearing issue, and seeing as you can be in whatever gear combo you want, it is not a point for or against the larger (or smaller) wheel size.

And, if it does turn out that you prefer 27.5 to 29, the argument to spend $4K just to go from 26 to 27.5 is even harder to make.


So at the end of the day, are we talking about marginal gains? At this point Im thinking about putting some money towards replacing the tires, chain, and servicing the suspension since its about time ($350 for everything) and just focus on the training. Its either that or sell the bike as-is and put the money towards a 29er.

I'm just trying to make sure Im not at an unfair disadvantage during races and fast group rides. I dont have to have bleeding edge stuff. I just want to have something thats good enough to not get dropped because my bike sucks... Of course a super strong guy can win on any bike, but thats not the circumstance. Im asking if entering a fast Cat 2 race on this bike is suicide? Im currently the guy at the back of the A group trying to keep up with the local hotshots... So at the end of the day, Im nothing special. FTP is 4.1

On the road, my alloy frame with Tiagra groupset is good enough. Just throw on a good wheelset and fast rolling tires and Im off to the races... Of course I prefer my higher end carbon road bike with Di2, but it really is just a marginal gain...

Are we talking the same level of difference here?

Last edited by Eyedrop; 05-21-18 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 05-22-18, 01:28 AM
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A 2010 4k bike is still very very good, not slowing you down at all. If you're still enjoying it and comfortable, keep it and train harder. It will make it all the sweeter when you beat your friends on your "old beater".

But you may be fighting Gear Acquisition Syndrome which I am also aflicted with and have a hard time resisting.

I'm close to your size and 29er bikes feel and look strange when scaled down to fit us. The biggest wheel mt bike I'd get would be 650B.
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Old 05-22-18, 08:13 AM
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Hey, I realized I assumed you were a woman, without any clear indication of that.

Anyway, regardless of which restroom you use, it is really hard to say how much the difference is going to mean to you.

in terms of time on the clock, it wil proably make a small difference, but not enough to determine if you can ďkeep upĒ. My guess is that if you are at the back of the pack now, you will still be back of the pack, unless you have been right on the tail of the guy 2nd to last. Then you will be 2nd to last.

It has been a few years since I cared enough to read them, but there have been studies attempting to quantfy the difference between 26Ē and 29Ē in terms of lap times around various courses. As I remember, there usually was an advantage to 29ers. But the difference was pretty small, and nothing to go buy a new bike over.

To me, the advantage is more in how they handle rocky terrain. More of a subjective thing than time on a clock.

It is also important to consider WHERE it is you feeling slower than the rest of the A group. Climbs? Rolling flowy stuff? Technical pedally sections? Downhills?

And to reiterate my point yet again: at your hieght, you may prefer a 27.5 over a 29er. And in that case, it gets really hard to make the case for dropping $4k JUST to go from 26 to 27.5. That is really not going to make a lick of difference where you place in the pack.



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Old 05-26-18, 09:17 AM
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You should go by a bike shop and test ride a modern fs 29er. Talking on the internet isn't going to get you an answer.
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Old 05-28-18, 06:07 PM
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It's all in how you ride it. Most of my riding buddies are on FS 29s and we have one pal on an old 26inch xc bike who demolishes anyone who comes out. I rode a 29HT for a while and loved how quick it was for xc trails.
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Old 06-03-18, 02:45 PM
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The last thing that matters is what your buddies are saying. My sense of these things is that big tires were always on bikes that needed big tires, and that smaller tires were selected for MTBs Purposely and Thoughtfully. For my two MTBs, a hard-tail and a soft-tail, I still FEEL I get the best handling with 26" wheels. Whatever you do, don't get rid of the 26er *you enjoy and are comfortable with* UNTIL you find something YOU are convinced bests that enjoyment-comfort combination. Especially because, from my experience: replacing your current 26er with a new or probably-used-one you really like again would not be easy. Enjoy viewing and dodging those AZ pines.
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