When did mountain biking become so specialized!


Expedition Leader
What makes you think downhill bikes can't be pedaled uphill? Mine pedals uphill, downhill, crosshill, under water, on the moon....
He's of course generalizing. Still having the capability because an enduro requires it nominally isn't the same as being good at it.

Most people would say this:

would be a poor choice faced with profiles like these:

Colorado Trail.jpg

But most people would probably be equally aghast to use a hard tail one gear, too.

This is my whip and it's what I used on both and for everything. I wouldn't change a thing but I also definitely realize it's the wrong bike for, well, just about every situation. Which is fine by me since I'm the only one it has to make happy.


Not only would I not try to sell a rider seeking advice on one I'd strongly suggest against it. The norms are norms because it's what is most likely to work and for climbing neither a SS nor a DH is well spent money for most people.

Now I *might* offer that a burly steel hardtail such as my REEB might be an option for a fair number of people with gears, a dropper and better front fork. It's certainly a better downhiller than I'm willing to push it as shown by Lenosky. My main criteria for going with it was being able to take crashes and bags without blinking and its proved itself at that.
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Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
So as luck would have it, I went back on my bike this morning heading toward the section of the East Coast Greenway up north from Boston. I was hoping to make it to Marblehead but I got a nasty flat in the middle of Medford.


It makes me realize that I need tubeless tires on the next bike.

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Finally swapped out my ancient 26" dual suspension for a new ride - slightly used Specialized Chisel, a 29" hardtail.

After trying a road bike for a short bit. I'm just not a roadie I guess. I like riding x-country, off pavement, nothing crazy technical, no jumping really - never learned the skillz.

I wanted simple. There was too much going on with the last bike - too many air pressures, adjustments, pivots, moving parts.

Liking it a lot - 1x drivetrain is nice and simple, tubeless tires roll and grip really well and haven't had a single flat yet.

Air volume makes up for lack of rear shock somewhat with flexy seat stays too.

Being hardtail, 1x, and internal cable, it looks super clean. 27.2mm seatpost makes adding a dropper tough but I also don't want to add an extra pound-plus and more moving parts.

I can only have one, so I'm happy for now - seems a lot of bike for $1k
I am there with you. I like this choice.


Front and rear suspension in 120mm to 140mm travel, 1x12 drivetrain, and a dropper would be my standards. Something like that Stumpy or a Fuel Ex would be great choices.
I have a Fuel Ex8 29nr and really like it but there are a number of good bikes in that category


Well-known member
Well, there is no doubt a plethora of bikes that will meet your needs, especially as 1x12 technology trickles down to the more affordable equipment groups...


Expedition Leader
Many bike shops are sold out lol.

yeah SIP created a rush on toilet paper, bidets, and bikes.
How old are you? I replaced my 27 I bought in 1991 with a 29er hard tail. Its hard to ride a 27 now. 29er is just faster on an off the pavement with less effort. Only negative technical trails vs longer bikes not so great. But everything else the 29er is way more enjoyable

Cav 3724

New member
I've been riding bikes most of my life. In my younger years it was a mode of transportation. After I got my drivers license it became recreation. Started with road bikes then got into mountain biking. I've had the same Marin aluminum mountain bike for over 20 years, still riding it everyday to work and back, as well as recreationally. I have a friend with a road bike that is a fanatic. Carbon fiber, titanium, unobtanium, electric shifting, you name it. FANATIC. He estimates his investment at around $16,000. Holy crap. My daughter and her family and my youngest son live in Alaska. Several years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of "fatties", fat tire bikes. They apparently came to be in Alaska. The first time I crawled on one, I was skeptical. Rode it a couple of miles my kids almost had to use force to get me off it. It's like a motorcycle trials bike with pedals. Stable, low center of gravity, geared low, multiple gears. But the tires, they are amazing. Soft smooth riding. I thought the rotational drag of wide, 5 inches, soft tires wold be horrible. I have ridden over 20 miles on trails one way and they are amazing. My wife and kids bought me my own which stays in Alaska for my visits. Riding on snow is unbelievable. Doesn't cut into it, just floats on it. I'm beginning to see them much more often in Southern California. Even in New York City, but with batteries, electric. The brand is 9zero7. They are a whole different world.


Thanks for the input. I'll add a few more details so maybe you can help me.

I am 5'8 or so, 160 lbs. Right now I still ride my old Specialized Epic with 26".

I used it on a 4 days race across Costa Rica about 10 years ago and we are thinking of doing it again next year.

I think I want a 27.5". I have ridden a 29" with larger handlebars and it felt a bit big for me.

I do a lot of riding around Tahoe, which has a lot of boulders, ruts and holes - with some good downhills.
So I think I need rear suspension.

I really like the dropper post so I think that's a given.

Tubeless seems like a good idea.

So I think right now my choices would be between a Cross Country (XC) or a Trail bike.and loved everything about it except the long handlebars.
After decades with a 26 I recently made the move to a 29. Loved everything except the long handlebars. I cut an inch and a quarter off of each side and am very happy with the results.

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Cinelli Hobootleg Geo. Steel, dirt drops, 1x drivetrain, disc brakes, boost spacing, clearance for tires up to 29x3.0", Daddy like...