Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
FatPom

XC or trail for beginner?

Recommended Posts

OK, so looking ahead to next year I'm pretty much ditching swimming as a regular activity and concentrating on duathlon, TT and some different endurance stuff.  The 'different stuff' includes having a crack at some endurance mtb stuff.   I have a mate at work who is a bit of a gun XC kind of guy. He is heavily (very heavily) suggesting an XC bike will be great for me and my level of fitness and the off road skills will be easily picked up. he also hates dropper posts. He rides a Scott Scale.

My only mtb experience is a couple of sessions in Portugal on a semi fat bike ( Spesh 'something) it was ok but all gravelly trails and the bike was heavy. It did have a dropper which I personally liked.

Given the mud in the UK and this will only be a sideline for me, I'm ruling out dual suspension and sticking to HT.  My questions is: after a lot of research about XC being great for uphill and sketchy down, what is that actual difference between a XC HT and a Trail HT, is it head tube angle and weight?

My intention would be to ride more XC type races but would still like something that could handle descents without breaking my neck. I'm not sure what % of XC vs trail the south UK scene comprises.  Budget would be about £1500

I am very confused!:blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought and Giant XTC advanced - its a 29er goes ok I think the RRP is less than 3k AUD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mountain biking has segmented to sell more

The difference between XC and trail is you race XC, and ride trails. Trails tend to be more natural terrain and possibly more flow down. Trail bikes have more travel in general (XC 100mm v Trail 120mm/130mm).

My take/experience on MTBing is dual suspension and dropper posts are the way to go. A Dual suspension will have better grip, be more comfortable and generally ride better. The dropper allows the bike to be set up for more conditions, the range of road to descending obstacles seat height just make the ride more comfortable.

I would also go scram 1 x 12 set-up over any other due to simplicity.

If i was buying a new MTB i would be going 27.5, dual suspension, dropper, 120mm travel, alloy frame, scram eagle (1x12). This is the go everywhere general purpose bike

You are confused now, wait to someone mentions boost wheels or 27.5 plus

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys.  Pretty much ruled out FS mainly due to mud and servicing hassles that I could do without. Definitely more interested in the racing side but not sure what that actually means.  There are some 6/12 hrs events i'd be interested in but going over the front on a regular basis doesn't appeal either.

I'm planning to rent a XC HT for half a day and then a Trail HT to see which one suits best.

Edited by FatPom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, FatPom said:

 Pretty much ruled out FS mainly due to mud and servicing hassles that I could do without. 

I'm planning to rent a XC HT for half a day and then a Trail HT to see which one suits best.

Having been based in NZ for years, winter riding in either sand or mud, the servicing on a rear shock and pivots is minimal/non existent. Your chain, cassette, sprockets, derailleur will wear out quicker. At the end of a ride, wash bike, lube chain and put away, a good quality MTB is built robust to handle winter riding.

Based on comfort especially over a 6/12 hr race the suspension will help. I recommend renting a dual suspension as well if you can to.

Wait for Comfortably Numb to give you a difference as a recent convert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Rory.  Yeah I hiring some different models will be the way to go. Thanks heaps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FP, as you know .... my recommendation is a HT with 2 x 11 (or 1 x 11) and you are living the dream in Winchester with the trails and bridleways you have there!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With your back and injuries you had I reckon you’ll last about 5 mins on a hardtail. 

Dually is a hell of a lot more forgiving and comfortable. Don’t worry about huge travel, the type of riding you’ll be doing won’t need it. If you’re going to do endurance events? 110% get a dual

i used to ride a HT and then I got a good dually. I’ve never looked back...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hardtails are great fun to throw around the bush for a few hours; but for endurance events... ummm, nup! Get a light mid travel trail bike and you'll have a much more enjoyable experience. Bikes such as Norco Optic are great for trail or XC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/07/2018 at 8:17 PM, rory-dognz said:

If i was buying a new MTB i would be going 27.5, dual suspension, dropper, 120mm travel, alloy frame, scram eagle (1x12). This is the go everywhere general purpose bike

What makes you choose 27.5 over 29? Currently working on the Minister of Finance to upgrade my 26.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, asmithaxe said:

What makes you choose 27.5 over 29? Currently working on the Minister of Finance to upgrade my 26.

I'm 186cm tall, the 29 XC bike i have is great, my 29 Trail bike is bigger, heavier and harder to handle, my sons 27.5 Trail bike is lighter and more agile.

Also FP is shorter than me so the smaller bike would potentially suit better. somewhere in this section i compare a number of bikes i have access to.

For a one bike does everything, i just think the 27.5 is probably more versatile especially for a beginner. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/07/2018 at 8:17 PM, rory-dognz said:

Wait for Comfortably Numb to give you a difference as a recent convert

It's too much fun Ian, you'll probably never go back to IM :o  I started on my wife's Giant hardtail, but then bought an entry-level dually, and a dually is WAY WAY better and more comfy for the chronologically challenged.  And more forgiving re likelihood of crashing (I've not crashed the dually yet, but had plenty on the hardtail).

On 03/08/2018 at 6:56 AM, willie said:

With your back and injuries you had I reckon you’ll last about 5 mins on a hardtail. 

Dually is a hell of a lot more forgiving and comfortable. Don’t worry about huge travel, the type of riding you’ll be doing won’t need it. If you’re going to do endurance events? 110% get a dual

i used to ride a HT and then I got a good dually. I’ve never looked back...

100% my experience too Willie.  I was worried about lack of power to the ground on a dually but meh, that is really only an issue on the bitumen riding home from the tracks.  

19 hours ago, Chookman said:

Hardtails are great fun to throw around the bush for a few hours; but for endurance events... ummm, nup! Get a light mid travel trail bike and you'll have a much more enjoyable experience. Bikes such as Norco Optic are great for trail or XC. 

$2,200 for my basic Norco dually from the LBS.  27.5 inch wheels, a boost front axle (whatever that is - can someone explain?), no dropper post though.  When I fix my body enough to run a bit more, I'm aiming for some off-road tris (e.g. T-rex).

 

 

NorcoFluid.jpg

Edited by ComfortablyNumb
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get one with a lockout, apart from a little more weight, doesn't that give you the best of both worlds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't lock out either shock on the Norco.  Could lock out the front suspension on the Mrs hardtail though....and that could end in tears on the single track if you forgot to unlock it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×