What kind of bike for blue/black trails in BC Canada?

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What kind of bike for blue/black trails in BC Canada?
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Posted: Oct 15, 2021 at 19:38 Quote
Hey all I'm looking for some help and opinions of people who may be able to pass on some wisdom and experience out here in BC. I ride mostly blue and black trails out here, really enjoying rocky/rooty terrain as well as flow trails, steep slabs, small drops (4ft max right now), and small jumps. I'm 5'10" tall and 170lbs and riding a 2nd hand 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo FSR size Large (it's a bit too big for me) with 26" wheels

https://99spokes.com/en-CA/bikes/specialized/2011/stumpjumper-fsr-expert-evo

Curious of what people think works better for that kind of riding here, 27.5 vs 29" tires? How much travel front and rear? Category of bike/geometry? Specific bike recommendations to check out?

Thanks

Posted: Oct 16, 2021 at 0:11 Quote
Well, probably not the answer you want, but in truth: it depends.

I see a mix of bikes out here, so its hard to nail it down too much. From what I gather, the 27.5 vs 29 debate is pretty much just preference - 29’s will probably climb better and be more stable, 27.5’s will probably feel more maneuverable and ‘light’.
Anywhere from 140mm to 170mm will do you just fine depending on how over-biked you like to be. Tons of people are on hardtails now too! Personally I think the 150mm to 160mm range is the sweet spot, but it depends on the bike.
The key category is Enduro of course, but most Trail bikes will also be great - again, depending on preference.
The most common bikes I see are the Giant Reign, Rocky Altitude and Instinct, Santa Cruz Nomad and Bronson, Knolly Warden, Norco Range and Sight, Chromag Rootdown, Commencal Meta, Kona Process, Transition Patrol, etc, etc.

I’m on a 2018 Knolly Warden Carbon, and its incredible for everything the Shore has on offer. 27.5” wheels, 155mm rear and 160mm front travel. Definitely do not need any more bike than this and I cannot recommend it enough. Though, full disclosure, I haven't ridden a ton of other bikes and I’m a kind of intermediate rider.

I think you need to ask yourself some questions to narrow it down: Do you want an awesome descender that can climb well, or do you prefer a fast easy climber that can descend well? In other words, do you live for the downs and just need to get to the top, or do you want something more balanced that gives up some descending ability? Do you prefer a stable/grippy ride or more active/poppy? How much money do you want to spend?

I come to you not as an expert, but as someone who recently had the same questions as you!

Hope this helps!

Posted: Oct 19, 2021 at 20:40 Quote
Thanks Ckeyes, I appreciate the post and you've given me some good food for thought. I'll ponder the questions some more to see if I can't narrow it down some to figure out exactly where my preferences lie.

Posted: Oct 21, 2021 at 0:05 Quote
Yeah, as Ckeyes said, it depends. But also agree that for what it sounds like your riding 140-160 mm would work great. Personally I am riding an Ibis Ripmo (with -1.5 head angle set), and would say it has been basically perfect for everything. Pedals amazingly well, can ride all day epics and does great on descents (Dark Crystal is my routine ride from the front door). Couldn't recommend this bike enough, although my wife would argue that her Bronson MX she got this summer is the perfect sweat spot bike.

Also look beyond just the travel number. Geometry (head angle, reach, stack), and pedal platform (ie suspension type DW vs VPP vs 4 bar etc) probably means a lot more in how a bike will ride then just travel.

Personally, after frame and Geo, I prioritize brakes and suspension vs drivetrain, carbon bars/rims.

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