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Member, Pro Triathlete
  • What mountain bike would you buy?

    So, a few things:
    $2k is right around the point where it is worth considering hardtail/full suspension. Much cheaper than that and you absolutely should go hardtail because $1500 full suspensions are absolute garbage.
    There’s a school of thought that you should learn to ride on a hardtail because it teaches better line choice, carrying speed, etc, but if it’s mostly “for fun” then a FS isn’t going to beat you up as much, plus it will give more confidence on gnarly stuff, so that’s a plus for skill development. (Translation: it’s probably even, maybe leaning toward FS because it doesn’t result in buying another bike in a year). There’s an argument that FS are a bit more maintenance, but that’s negligible IMO if you consider it’s not too different from the fork you have regardless.

    27.5 versus 29 tends mostly to be a fit thing unless you’re doing hella technical stuff where you’re gonna lean towards the smaller wheel (but they even make 29 DH bikes now). I’ve personally never ridden anything other than 29 because I’m 6’5” and didn’t start riding MTB until the major manufacturers had flushed out their geometry issues. For household compatibility, if she’s small and you’re not super-tall, I’d suggest 27.5 so you can reasonably share wheels (especially if you’re like me and break spokes on the reg), tires, tubes, etc.

    Scott and Felt are just fine of brands, though I’m not terribly familiar with their exact offerings in that price point. It’s worth looking at their XC race geometries, but most manufacturers nowadays have something somewhere a bit more relaxed (akin to a Spec Roubaix versus Tarmac/Venge, or a Trek Domane vs Madone, etc). Those tweener-type bikes are probably great if there’s not much intention to race super seriously, but you’re used to your 17 lb road bikes. (Example of this is @maggieru and her Camber)

    Lastly, yes, roughly yes on those component comparisons. XT is probably between 105 and Ultegra, because above it you have XTR and XTR Di2, and I forget/am not totally sure what’s below XT. GX would be your equal for SRAM. I think they make GX Eagle stuff now, too? So that’s cool you can get mid level 12 speed.
    Even if you don’t plan to race, if you’re used to nice stuff on the road, cheap components are gonna really piss you off on a mountain bike where you’re usually shifting under a lot more load and demanding a lot more from your brakes.

    Sorry, this was way too long of an answer. Blame Maggie for tagging me in this thread for drawing my attention to it. But I think I’m going to save it as a note on my phone for future recycling.
  • The always anticipated 3rd annual TRS Secret Santa thread!

    @PescadoPelado don’t forget to show the name of the batch of coffee!
  • Friday Boozing Open Thoughts Thread

    I was going to be offended and say “absolutely not I would totally bring something more thoughtful!”
    Then I remembered the last three parties I went to, I brought chips and salsa.
    You have me pegged, @M_Ware
    M_WareTad_MachrowiczCraig DkjrunninmaggieruAaronWebsteyBrew_Tri
  • GPS watch that’s “pretty”

    Garmin FR 35 is also a pretty good option. Gets bluetooth notifications, has optical HR (though I still wear a strap for hard workouts because I find that’s better once I start sweating), works as step counter/activity tracker, and is about the same size and look as an Apple Watch.
    The GPS chip is pretty clearly a lower grade one, as I do get robbed quite a bit of distance on the track or other fast running with tight turns. And there’s some pretty serious pace smoothing evident when starting from a stop. But I’ve been fairly happy with it since switching from my 920 that I was only using to run and look like an astronaut with as a daily watch.
    Robert RankinTad_Machrowicz
  • The always anticipated 3rd annual TRS Secret Santa thread!

    I like to drink the neck out of those ciders and refill it with fireball. very tasty treat.

    edit: you need more spiced rum in your life.
    You are turning a very pleasant, innocent drink of adult apple juice into something that kills people! Every time I’ve ever consumed Fireball, I have had a near-death experience.

    ItsShugCraig DAaronWebsteyKenElPescadoPeladoBrent_RHSeeley14

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