Ask Uncle Dave
Ask Uncle Dave

Dear Uncle Dave - I Can't Decide What Bike to Buy!

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Jan 23, 2018

Dear Uncle Dave:

I’m curious your thoughts about “analysis paralysis” in relation to the current state of the bike industry. Conventional wisdom says more choice is better, but studies have found that while some choice is necessary for happiness, too much choice can lead to increased stress and anxiety. (see “the Paradox of Choice”). I feel like I’m running into this more and more lately; not that it's unique to the bike industry, but the amount of variables involved in bikes makes it particularly vulnerable. 

Take for example, my attempt to pick the absolute best of the four awesome new bikes from Transition. Here in Phoenix AZ, I ride a bit of everything (sans wet roots). My rational mind knows that any of these bikes would be a riot, and while each include minor trade-offs, none of those trade-offs would have a significant impact on the pleasure of riding. Yet my heart is convinced that there is one perfect choice, and if I analyze wheel size, head angle, wheelbase, and reach long enough, I will be able to find that perfect bike. Then of course I have to compare sizes, and consider handlebar and tire width, debate the merits of saving money by going GX or saving weight by going XO… Pretty soon I find myself pouring over forums, googling the same questions over and over, spinning in mental circles until I throw up my hands in frustration unable to choose for fear of making the wrong choice. When I finally pick a bike, I’m one ride in before I’m thinking “this is a fun bike. But I wonder how that other frame would feel. Or that other fork. Or that slacker head angle.” 

Ultimately, I find this preoccupation seriously reducing the pleasure of being a mountain biker. It’s similar to how shoddy my marriage would be if I spent gobs of time researching and scoping out potentially better women. I chose my wife and I love her despite (maybe even in part of) imperfection. I don’t care who else is out there. Why can’t I do the same with my bike? 

  • Is it just me? (Five minutes on MTB forums tells me no!)
  • Should I start a local chapter of Better-Bike Addicts Anonymous? 
  • If so, would you be our sponsor? 

Cheers,

Frustrated in Phoenix


Dear Fruit:

A recent job of mine had me working as a Project Manager, responsible for purchasing large, complicated and expensive pieces of machinery. When I began this role, I was a bit overwhelmed and surprised by the pages and pages and pages of specifications that were generated for each of these purchases. It was a mind-blowing amount of data, and since I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just kind of went with the flow and accepted it as the way to do things.

The result was a process that was terrible for just about everybody. The companies bidding on the purchase were overwhelmed by the requirements, so they took forever and everything was riddled with errors. Once we received those proposals, things dragged on and on because there was way too much information to effectively sift through in any sort of reasonable fashion, and nobody really had much of a need for the majority of the information that we collected. And then when we finally figured out what we wanted, sat down with the suppliers and hashed things out, we fairly consistently ended up purchasing something that didn’t look all that much like the thing that we had originally requested.

We were wasting an incredible amount of time and energy on information that did not matter. We were so focussed on being precise with our requirements that we weren’t accurate. It was textbook precision over accuracy, and it didn’t work very well.

This isn’t to say that numbers and details aren’t important. It’s just that some numbers are important, many aren’t, and more numbers doesn’t necessarily make things any better. My job became an ongoing battle to reduce the amount of data collected just for the sake of collection, and to hone in on fewer critical needs – often no more than 4-5 important items. Once we were 90% of the way towards selecting the right piece, only then was it time to really dive into the details. Your problem sounds similar to the problems I faced when I started that job. You’re hunting for localized maximums. And, as you point out, you’re hardly alone.

Even I was once like you. In my younger days, there wasn’t a part available for a mountain bike that I didn’t know about. I could tell you the spec of most bikes, and probably describe the paint job for each model year. Of course, it was far easier back then. And it was almost necessary. There weren’t many rims that would stand up to the punishment. There were only a handful of brakes that actually worked. Only a couple of companies made decently wide handlebars with a decent bend. And if you bought the wrong frame, it would break in half. You had to know what was going on or you’d end up with a piece of crap.

Now, I don’t want this to turn into another “all of the bikes are good” kind of article. There is some truth to that statement. You’re far more likely to get a rideable bike at the lower ends of the price spectrum (although…the lower end of the price spectrum is now what the higher end of the price spectrum once was) and there are lots of great, lower cost components. So take comfort in the fact that there are probably more “good” choices to be made, and a few less outright “bad”.

But then, not only are there thousands more parts decisions to be made, we can’t even make up our minds on what we should call what we are doing. Where there were once “mountain bikes”, there are now dozens of reasonably valid splinter groups. I can totally understand how one might turn into a bearded loner, holed up in a darkened apartment that is wall-papered with spreadsheets filled with bike specifications. I’m actually not entirely sure how I was able to avoid that fate.

But because the nature of the mountain bike has changed, I think the nature of buying a mountain bike needs to change as well. Where we once focussed on specification, I think we now need to focus on philosophy. What we need now is a more holistic approach to bike selection, where we recognize a fundamental interconnectedness of all things, where we put our efforts into defining our underlying mountain bike philosophy, and then we select the bicycle that best aligns with that philosophy.

Well. Sure. But what the hell does that mean? Let’s break this down step-by-step.

Step 1 – Qualify your philosophy. Make a list, if you have to. What makes you happy about bikes? What do you want to do with it? What are your dealbreakers?

Step 2 – Start judging. Start in the neighbourhood of where you think you’re going to end up, and become a savage, merciless critic. Does a particular bike line up with your philosophy? Is it worse or better than that last one? If it makes it checks all your boxes, then write that shit down. If it checks all your boxes and it still doesn’t feel right then…

Step 3 – Adjust your philosophy. Once you really start judging things against your core beliefs, you’re going to learn something about those beliefs. Don’t be afraid to adjust if something you thought no longer holds true, or if you discover something important that you hadn’t thought about. Massive changes in philosophy may require a re-visit of Step 2.

Step 4 – Whittle it down. Keep judging. Keep tossing. Once you’ve thrown an option out, it’s dead to you. Get it down to a small handful of bikes.

Step 5 – Dive into the details. Once you have 2-3-4 bikes that resonate with your bicycle philosophy, now you can once again become that detail stickler. If that bike isn’t meant for you, it doesn’t matter if the head angle is 65 or 65.6 degrees, but it might be enough to break the tie between two bikes that are close to perfect (for you).

Putting this in to practice, my bicycle philosophy looks like:

1 – I begrudgingly ride up mountains because I enjoy coming down them.

2 – I don’t really have all that much time to work on my bike these days, so I’ll take a bit of durability and ease-of-maintenance, thank-you very much. Some tech support from the manufacturer would be pretty nice, as well.

3 – Based on where I ride, the majority of the terrain that I ride is relatively slow and technical.

4 – I’m kind of cheap. But I want things to work pretty well.

If I firmly stick to these four points, I can fairly quickly hone in on a category of bikes that will work pretty well for me. It points me towards a bike in the 140-160mm travel range (I know…this is really broad). It suggests that I want something with some pretty wide tires and burly wheels. It leans towards nicer suspension components, and dictates that I’m not too worried about finding the slackest Enduro monster possible. And it steers me towards something in the GX/XT spectrum. And whatever bike I end up with probably weighs a good pound or two more than it should. I can strike a huge number of bikes from my list and throw them away from any sort of consideration. Machined European wonder bike? Fuck off! Enve-wheeled, So-Cal dentist bike? Not today, motherfucker! They don’t matter, so I’m not going to spend any time worrying about their details. Their numbers are about as important to me as the release date of the new Christina Aguilera album (still TBA via Metacritic, for those who are wondering).

At this point, there might still be a good dozen bikes that fit in my bucket, but even if I totally screw it up from this point on, I stand a decent chance of ending up with something that makes me happy. But still, I keep whittling. And as plunge further into the process, I can refine and add to my philosophy, further narrowing down my choices.

Once I reach a point where there are two or three bikes, then I start diving deep into the details. Hopefully all of the remaining bikes resonate well with my being, so I’m really just looking for that last level of perfection. The right handlebar spec. The proper tires. A half a degree in head tube angles. The last few details that are going to make that bike sing for me, and I can spend my time poring over the details of 2-3 bikes, rather than dozens.

Now, let’s take your example. What is your philosophy?

1 – You live in Arizona. So you like guns. And your terrain is probably on the open and flowy end of the spectrum.

2 – You seem to already have selected your brand. You want a Transition.

3 – You want to ride everything…I take it this means you’re looking for a Trail type bike…something that pedals all over the place, but is still a bit of fun on the way down.

Boom! Easy. Buy the Smuggler.

1 – The 29er wheels are going to roll well for all of your pedally needs.

2 - The 120/140 mm of travel is going to be a pretty good mix of business/party, especially in what I imagine Arizona terrain to look like.

3 – The name “Smuggler” is probably going to suit your outlaw, maverick, gun totin’ nature.

I’ll let you figure out which price point you want to hit. If it were my money, I’d be tempted by that GX pricepoint at $4000…And, well, this sure is timely…Transition just made your decision a tiny bit more difficult*.

See? Easy. Right? Just remember that you’re buying a bicycle. Not a head angle. Not a wheelsize. Not a frame material. It’s a bicycle. Take a step back, think about what you really want it to do, and then buy the one that you think is best going to do those things. Only dive into the weeds when you absolutely have to.

Sorry,

Uncle Dave

*I swear to God, this is totally a coincidence that I am talking about this so soon after the launch of the Carbon Smuggler. As far as I can tell, this is a real person, who just happens to have an unhealthy Transition addiction. I wrote most of this before the carbon bike was launched and Transition has, unfortunately, not paid me a cent for this column. I’ve just tapped into the Zeitgeist, somehow.


Uncle Dave’s Music Club

How often do you remember something being better than it actually is/was? For whatever reason, I started thinking about Suicidal Tendencies the other day. And I tracked down a video for “You Can’t Bring Me Down” because I remember it being a classic track that we’d listen to before we went skateboarding. And…I don’t know…I just can’t decide if this is totally awesome, or totally horrible.

On one hand, you have the terrible guitar solo intro…and the group of bad asses holding up a fence and shaking it… and the terrible moustaches…and the spinning newspapers…  But then from 1.34 on…maybe it’s all worth it? As well, It is sort of funny how seriously people took things in the 90’s, isn’t it?

Regardless, if I ever do build an Uncle Dave’s Music Club Spotify Playlist, I’ll probably leave this one off.

Some good news Fruit, you won't have to decide on shoes because Giro is hooking you up with a pair of Terraduro Mid shoes. You'll at least be able to gear up and look like you went for a ride when you head to the bar. And it's the right season as well because this AM/enduro shoe is highly water resistant and has an aggressive Vibram sole for getting your adventure on. Send us an email to collect your spoils!

Terraduro mid 2017

The Terraduro mid comes in these two colour ways and vermillion for flashier types. More info here...

Got a question for Uncle Dave? Just like prizes? Send the man an email...

Comments

DanL
+5 guacamole Poz Pete Roggeman Cr4w Chris Petsche
stinky_dan  - Jan. 23, 2018, 12:48 p.m.

I would dearly love to see an NSMB t-shirt  with "I begrudgingly ride up mountains because I enjoy coming down them" plastered on it.

"Enve-wheeled, So-Cal dentist bike? Not today, motherfucker!" would also be great, maybe over a topo map of the north shore.

Nice to see Dirk Gently's philosophy referenced - Douglas Adams was on to something wasn't he ( I like spotting parts of Vancouver that it was shot in, especially when the title card says "Seattle") and I kinda feel the same about ST. I was a huge fan a ways back, but the only stuff I think works for me is from their first punk-ier album.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 24, 2018, 10:57 a.m.

Timely comment! We want to get some new t-shirts made. I'll add those two statements to the list, but I'd like to hear some more. Reply to this comment with things you'd like to see on a t-shirt. If we use it, we'll send you a couple of them as well as some other swag.

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Poz
+3 Cam McRae guacamole Pete Roggeman
Poz  - Jan. 24, 2018, 1:49 p.m.

Just chiming in to say I would definitely get in on that first batch.  "I begrudgingly ride up mountains because I enjoy coming down them"

Fun fact I still regularly wear my NSMB shirt from the early 2000s that has a freerider on the back with "commit or eat shit" on it. Still a favourite of mine.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 guacamole Poz
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 24, 2018, 2:18 p.m.

That's awesome. We were talking about that particular phrase a little while back. Might be an idea to consider reviving it.

Reply

Poz
0
Poz  - Jan. 24, 2018, 2:20 p.m.

It pops into my mind whenever I'm hesitating on a section. 

Sage words to live by.

Reply

Sjwagner75
+1 Poz
Sjwagner75  - Jan. 24, 2018, 8:33 p.m.

That would be a t shirt defining the philosophy of my life. Please make it.

Reply

TheYeti
+1 Poz
Tim Bennion  - Jan. 25, 2018, 7:25 a.m.

Before I do anything stupid I say to myself, "Moment of truth, moment of triumph."

I've had good luck with it so far. If it's a good one, use it.

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JBV
+1 Cam McRae
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 25, 2018, 9:45 p.m.

a picture of Dennis Hopper and a roundy quote bubble  'what kinda beer do you like?'

NSMB.com in a PBR can at the bottom

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DanL
0
stinky_dan  - Jan. 26, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

I'd love to see a return of the Fromme trails tee as well!

Also how about  "The Night Rider, remember him when you look at the night sky" Tee in luminous lettering for #dadlaps

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xy9ine
+2 Chris Petsche Merwinn
Perry Schebel  - Jan. 23, 2018, 1:11 p.m.

i still have a nostalgic soft spot for early ST - ie, "institutionalized" and "possessed to skate" - holding up well to this day (imo).

btw - nice work, dave. mad mountainbike matchmaker skills.

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jitenshakun
+2 Mammal Merwinn
Jitensha Kun  - Jan. 23, 2018, 2:34 p.m.

Thanks Dave.  You've nicely summarized the disjointed and incoherent decision making I follow with every bike purchase.  Purchases that always plop me on an XT bike with solid components, aluminum wheels, and a frame that doesn't cost more than a car.

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tehllama42
+1 Jitensha Kun
Tehllama42  - Jan. 23, 2018, 5:45 p.m.

While it feels disjointed and incoherent, there is actually a fair bit of logic to it you haven't thought about. The fact that you end up on something sensible in the end is evidence.

That said, like any tough decision, the heart can't be reasoned with, the brain can (and can be told to shut up while you blissfully shred into the sunset).

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davetolnai
+1 Mammal
Dave Tolnai  - Jan. 23, 2018, 5:53 p.m.

That's my new tagline.  "Disjointed and Incoherent".

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Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Jan. 23, 2018, 4:08 p.m.

"Take a step back, think about what you really want it to do, and then buy the one that you think is best going to do those things. Only dive into the weeds when you absolutely have to."

We all have preferred brands and price points, but those are words to buy bikes by. In the end it'll you'll still likely be having fun.

Reply

tehllama42
+3 Jitensha Kun DMVancouver Mammal
Tehllama42  - Jan. 23, 2018, 5:33 p.m.

Here's my needlessly complicated take on breaking through analysis paralysis. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10Lzqb4BVLJ5eagFJ8geWpdt8M41flJSi81-FMfEEFIU/

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 23, 2018, 5:41 p.m.

I'd say the techniques have value, but the shelf life of the information is poor and the unique criteria and weights need a revisit.

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davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Jan. 23, 2018, 5:52 p.m.

HOLY SHIT DUDE!!!  That's amazing!  Oh my goodness...that's like...wow.  I mean, you must be an engineering consultant in the real world, right?  I'm not even making fun.

This is the sort of thing that makes me question whether or not I should be an engineer.

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craw
+1 Jitensha Kun
Cr4w  - Jan. 23, 2018, 6:09 p.m.

Oh god.

I too am a self-proclaimed tall aggressive rider. It's a pretty good time for tall aggressive riders. There are quite a few good options.

Reply

jitenshakun
0
Jitensha Kun  - Jan. 24, 2018, 8:05 a.m.

If only the Nicolai GeoMetron wasn't priced like a Bently.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 24, 2018, 12:05 p.m.

I think this is the greatest time to be a tall person who enjoys off-road cycling.  Most other outlets are running silly pieces like 'do we have bikes that are too long, too overbuilt, and with dropper posts that are too long', and we're all laughing like goons because we can finally experience what mountain biking has been to everybody under 1.85m this entire time.

There are a LOT of options priced well under that that'll work (unless you're over 6'4"), quite a few are aluminum and even come with appropriate parts.  Norco has a few great examples, Commencal is the ticket if you want a 27.5" wheel bike that's long and cheap.  Once Mondraker starts importing Crafty AL bikes, those should be pretty reasonable too.
For all the excess thought and logic, you could still get a custom frame built in custom lengths (a Starling, or some WaltWorks contraption) in steel and laugh all the way past those short socal dentist types down the moderate grades as you plow through everything in your path.

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jitenshakun
0
Jitensha Kun  - Jan. 25, 2018, 7:47 a.m.

You forgot to mention the Giant Reign.  The Reign is decently long and cheap.

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JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 23, 2018, 6:55 p.m.

aye carumba...

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xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Jan. 23, 2018, 8:44 p.m.

@tehllama42: my god.

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tehllama42
+2 phile Pete Roggeman
Tehllama42  - Jan. 24, 2018, 12:10 p.m.

Before anybody wastes effort on pity - I needed to make a 50 page paper for grad school, and spending time over-analyzing MTB options was far more palatable than anything else I could dream up.

The actual downside is that this is how I approach most every decision, whether or not it works best for me.  

After consulting with Dave directly, I've developed the following metric on trying to extract value out of buying something that is used solely for recreation:  if I'd be able to spend the equivalent amount of time trying to analyze down to the gnat's gonads squaking out some money savings as I'd make from ferrying people around for Uber - I'm automatically done thinking of that problem, because I'd rather get what I really want.

So... yeah.  It is what it is, and despite all the effort nobody can buy their way out of buyer's remorse.  The answer is to go ride.

SorryNotSorry

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DaveSmith
+1 Andrew Major
Dave Smith  - Jan. 23, 2018, 9:20 p.m.

The answer is always the black one. Preferably with dub.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Jan. 24, 2018, 2:41 a.m.

Wow, very impressive.

In a way i'm glad you went with the Rocky.

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 24, 2018, 10:25 a.m.

Dear lord.

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Brigham_Rupp
0
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:17 a.m.

Okay, you win!

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extraspecialandbitter
0
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:49 a.m.

Holy crap.  And I thought I was dorky by making a Weighted Decision Matrix to make purchasing decisions.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 24, 2018, 2:17 p.m.

Good god. I confess I didn't crack it open when you sent it, probably because I feared it was that long. But I also couldn't have known how impressive that was as a body of work. Congratulations, but also...condolences.

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phile
0
phile  - Jan. 25, 2018, 1 p.m.

Whoa. Not only have I been spending too much time geeking out about that hypothetical next bike, it turns out I've been going about it like a complete fucking AMATEUR. No sensitivity analysis?? Weak. I don't even have hyperlinked headings FFS.

[Most quotable? "Italics added for euphemism." Loved that.]

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Jan. 24, 2018, 2:44 a.m.

For me I go with a frame I love.  The rest are just add ons.

Reply

slyfink
+2 James Vasilyev Jitensha Kun
slyfink  - Jan. 24, 2018, 6:26 a.m.

I don't disagree with anything you said, but...

I think you may have mischaracterized riding in the southwest.  It is hardly open and flowy.  while the vistas are open, the trails are not...  for example, there is no cutting an inside line, and there is no margin for error in a turn.  you can't cheat a bit and brush up against the vegetation on the inside (or outside) of a turn.  whether rebar tree, jumping cholla, or saguaro, that shit will make you bleed.  for months.  or break your bones.  don't mess with the vegetation in the southwest.

flowy is also hard to come by...  my experience from my travels there are that the rocks are merciless.  And much of the trails are technical.  you can find the flow, but it requires work... and the right bike! 

also, hats off to Llama.  but I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry...

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davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Jan. 24, 2018, 7:17 a.m.

Interesting.  I guess I imagined something along the lines of Kamloops type riding.  As well, my reference point is the North Shore...so pretty much anything where your bike moves consistently forward is considered "flowy".

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 24, 2018, 12:14 p.m.

Out where I am, and Kamloops being one of the few areas in BC I've visited - I'd say it's fairly justified in a lot of areas.  I will concur with Sly that what passes for greenery around here seems to be far more concerned with inflicting pain than being a useful plant life form.

Then again, out by me (in San Ysidro), there is a 'tale of two mesas'.  White Mesa is a big, open, flowy and intermittently technical paradise of dry loose over hardpack.  Red Mesa across the highway is a seemingly boundless menagerie of janky boulders, off piste slab randomness, other features which are the geological antithesis of flow.

I suck at riding the latter, so I build bikes around the former.  Works for me, although it remains apparent that I would benefit from riding more slow and janky stuff.  I just happen to have over 50mi of relatively flowy trails within a half hour pedal from my front door, so I do that.

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Brigham_Rupp
+1 Pete Roggeman
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 24, 2018, 7:51 a.m.

Hey! I can die a happy man; I got a response from Uncle Dave. Cheers. 

Some addendum: 

  • I am in fact a real person with an unhealthy love for Transition Bikes. 
  • I own two guns but haven't shot either in a decade. Wouldn't quite use the word "love." But I have plenty of neighbors who stockpile guns and ammo.
  • Depending on the trails, some of our terrain is fairly open and flowy. Much of it is rough and technical. Biggest difference from the Shore is that it's dry and loose. And no roots. 
  • The Smuggler is probably the best all around option from Transition. I went with the GX Sentinel with some We Are One Agent wheels, since I'm biased towards the steeps, jumps, and drops. Right or wrong I like my bike to maximize fun on the terrain that I like riding the most (could probably do a whole column on the merits of this approach vs. biasing your bike towards your displeasures). I got a hardtail for the wimpy trails. 
  • I'm very satisfied with my choice. For now.

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jitenshakun
0
Jitensha Kun  - Jan. 24, 2018, 8:07 a.m.

There are some lines on South Mountain in PHX that are very Shore'esque - janky with no room for error and a broken collarbone if you get it wrong.

That loose sand/gravel stuff in PHX is just as greasy as a wet root as far as I'm concerned.

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Brigham_Rupp
0
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:14 a.m.

True. I love when my Utah buddies come visit in the winter. They're used to grippy packed loam, and I'm used to drifting around every corner. Makes me feel fast.

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 24, 2018, 10:28 a.m.

The two schools of thought are interesting, and I've never managed to figure out what camp I actually sit in. 

  1. Buy a bike for what you love doing, and probably do best,

  2. Buy a bike to make up for your riding deficiencies. 

There's easy arguments on both sides. I'd prefer to go with 3) Buy all of the bikes, but I'm not a So-Cal dentist.

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Brigham_Rupp
0
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:14 a.m.

There's the solution!

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 24, 2018, 12:16 p.m.

I'm a huge fan of 'one of each'.  My hardtail flatters my fitness, my FS bike flatters my skillset.
For bonus points, the two+two=4 setup (two bikes, same axles, two different wheelsets) can be a really logical and cost effective answer to that.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 24, 2018, 10:56 a.m.

Good on ya. Now send me an email with your Giro shoe size, preferred colour, and shipping details so we can get Giro to send you your new Terraduro mids. Oh, and congrats - they're great shoes, you'll love 'em.

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
0
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:12 a.m.

Done! Gracias.

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davetolnai
+2 phile Brigham_Rupp
Dave Tolnai  - Jan. 24, 2018, 1:11 p.m.

I'm deeply satisfied by the fact that you own two guns.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 24, 2018, 1:16 p.m.

I should probably be embarrassed at how many of those I've done the same ludicrously painstaking decision process on... Only to discover that I shoot my cheap everyday beaters almost as well as my high end stuff I've spent hours and piles of cash optimizing.

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JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 24, 2018, 1:41 p.m.

and have friends with 'stockpiles' of ammo.

Reply

Bagheera
0
Bagheera  - Jan. 24, 2018, 11:02 p.m.

Good advice all over. One thing seems to be lacking: Demo those bikes. I've demoed bikes that looked excellent on paper, had stellar reviews and came from a brand I was familiar with and liked, and they either sucked or were rather "meh". Then demoed a bike I wasn't that keen on and was pleasantly surprised. I'm looking to replace my bikes in late 2018/early 2019. Even though something like the Pole Evolink would be high on my list, if I can't demo it first, I'm not buying it. Moreover, I could probably get a Patrol (hey, Transition again!) with virtually the same spec for about 70/75% of the price.

Reply

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