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Mt. Biking in FL? FS or Hardtail?

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Mt. Biking in FL? FS or Hardtail?

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Old 07-01-18, 06:59 AM
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Mattyb13
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Mt. Biking in FL? FS or Hardtail?

Looks like I will be moving to FL soon. I have a 2016 Specialized StumpJumper Elite that I absolutely love. Can I stick with that bike down there or do I have to go hard tail? Thx
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Old 07-02-18, 05:34 AM
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You can't go wrong keeping a bike that you like. Plus, I've read that the trails in Florida are not as smooth as one might think.
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Old 07-03-18, 09:57 AM
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Tons of good trails down here, and most are only flat in the sense there are no mountains. Lots of roots, rocks, and other technical stuff. I ride a 150mm FS bike and love it. On days I am riding easy or flat trails, or even pavement with my wife, I ride a 120mm FS bike. I prefer FS. The flatter the trail the stiffer I set the suspension.
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Old 07-03-18, 10:07 AM
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Oh, and the top places to ride are..
North West: Santos trails at Ocala FL,
Central West: Alafia river state park, at Lithia Fl,
South East: Markham park, Weston Fl.

Other good places are
North west: San Felasco.
North East: Fort Clinch, Hannah Park, Mala Compra, Graham Swamp,
Central East: Chuck Lennon,
Central West: Carter Road, Balm Boyette,
South East: Virgina Key, Amelia Earhart park
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Old 07-03-18, 06:40 PM
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Thanks so much for the awesome info and feedback!
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Old 07-10-18, 10:44 PM
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What part of Florida are you moving to?

Much of the state is a sand bar which means tree roots are often exposed. It can be like a washboard out there. There was one trail near Tampa where you literally ride on a mesh of roots and only roots above water - you could look down and see it below.Trail maintenance has filled that in since then but still a lot of roots. A lot of the "gravel" roads here are shell and that can puncture feeble tires.

Full squish is nice for the rooty stuff. Other local features include sand, sometimes a lot of it. Highly recommend a dry lube for the chain and everything else. Then there's the pigs and other wildlife. The pigs will tear up entire square miles of forest floor, but usually not a hard packed trail, so sometimes even in a flat open area, the line gets narrow. A lot of the more interesting trails are cut along and in old mining pits. Fun roller-coastery stuff.

I can ride pretty much anything I can ride with a 120/100mm travel bike. I like 27.5 because so many of the trails near me are twisty, forest rides.
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Old 07-11-18, 03:48 PM
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In contrast, i've ridden a trail near tallahassee (munson) which is hard packed clay and loose sand. I didn't need suspension at all, but fatter tires would have helped in the softer sand. So, it vey much depends where in fl you plan to ride.
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Old 07-12-18, 07:11 AM
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Thanks again for the feedback. I will be headed to the Tampa/St. Pete area. Not too sure what the terrain is like for biking. I just know I want to go explore it all! I've decided im going to keep my stumpy because, well... its awesome and I love it. I may consider purchasing a HT at some point. Can one ever really have too many bikes?
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Old 07-13-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bholio View Post
In contrast, i've ridden a trail near tallahassee (munson) which is hard packed clay and loose sand. I didn't need suspension at all, but fatter tires would have helped in the softer sand. So, it vey much depends where in fl you plan to ride.

I've ridden Munson,, much of it is almost like pavement, and the when dry, the clay hisses, sounds like your tires are leaking.
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Old 07-14-18, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattyb13 View Post
Thanks again for the feedback. I will be headed to the Tampa/St. Pete area. Not too sure what the terrain is like for biking. I just know I want to go explore it all! I've decided im going to keep my stumpy because, well... its awesome and I love it. I may consider purchasing a HT at some point. Can one ever really have too many bikes?
Alafia State Park has an awesome trail system. Balm Boyette is also excellent. You'll be able to use that bike to its abilities.

Here's some of what's out there:
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Old 07-15-18, 07:54 AM
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WOW, those videos are awesome and got me pumped! I had no clue! I cant wait..! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 07-15-18, 08:37 PM
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Hah, you thought you'd be just pedaling around the woods squeezing the bars between trees and stuff. Well, there's still a lot of that, maybe more than you're used to. But there is some fun to be had.

The trails in the vids are about an hour south and east from Tampa. There are also many miles of meandering single track in the area. All told well over 120 miles of single track within fifty miles of Tampa. Most of it is pretty flat and even the finest of of our trails have no net elevation change. So that series of drops you saw in the vids means pedaling like a maniac up each rise.

These are all maintained by the local club and they do just an amazing job. Cannot thank SWAMP enough. Check out their site.
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Old 07-17-18, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
Hah, you thought you'd be just pedaling around the woods squeezing the bars between trees and stuff. Well, there's still a lot of that, maybe more than you're used to. But there is some fun to be had.

The trails in the vids are about an hour south and east from Tampa. There are also many miles of meandering single track in the area. All told well over 120 miles of single track within fifty miles of Tampa. Most of it is pretty flat and even the finest of of our trails have no net elevation change. So that series of drops you saw in the vids means pedaling like a maniac up each rise.

These are all maintained by the local club and they do just an amazing job. Cannot thank SWAMP enough. Check out their site.
Actually SWAMP no longer maintains Alafia trails. It is a group called Friends of Alafia. Some of them are also SWAMP members, and some are ex SWAMP members.
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