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Author Topic: best bike for tampa  (Read 4349 times)

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Offline jro

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best bike for tampa
« on: February 07, 2007, 04:28:09 PM »
I am just getting back into biking after about a 6 years.  Things have changed.  I did a review on mtbr.com.  I took the highest number of hits (reviews and then took the best averages)  The top 5 were Titus Lite, Santa Cruz Blur and Heckler, the Turner 5 Spot and the Ellsworth Moment.  Off course none of these may fit riding here in Florida.  I you have any suggestions please advise. Also if you have additional time could you also recommend components or groupings for some of these bikes.  I see you can build your own on sites like bikerbobs do you have any other recommendations?

Thanks for your time and as soon as I get the new bike I look forward to riding with SWAMP.

Offline FACTORe

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 05:21:24 PM »
i just got a santa cruz blur lt and it is awesome for all the trails here

Offline BeerCan

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 06:27:59 PM »
I will have my Titus Moto Lite thursday.  Look for a review soon.  Currently I ride a Heckler, its a nice bike but a little more AM oriented.  Not to much AM riding in Florida.  If you have the scratch I would look at Ventana. 
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Offline BeerCan

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 06:48:34 PM »
BTW here are the places I know and like.

AJ's bikes and boards -- Giant, Specialized, Ellsworth and SantaCruz.  They are local, friendly and are active mountain bikers.  They support the trails here and when I can I like to drop some coin with them.

Bikerbob.com -- Titus.  Bob is a cool guy.  He will work with you on any build kit you want and won't rip you off doing it.  He is in Ohio so not local but he is an avid mountain biker.  I think his main goal in life is to ride his Moto Lite and then Chill in his hot tub drinking wine  ;D

mtnhighcyclery.com -- Titus, Ventana, Chumba, Turner.  Ask for Larry.  Never purchased from them but I talked to Larry at length.  He is very helpful and informative.  His prices seem good and his reputation is outstanding.

Lakeland Trek -- Trek and Gary Fisher.  Don is  . . . ah well is Don :)  He has good prices if you do not mind buying last years models.  He is mainly a roadie but his mechanic is a mountain biker.  He is local but as far as I know he is not involved with any mountain bike groups.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 06:51:54 PM by BeerCan »
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Offline gibsonra

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 08:56:34 PM »
I live in North Georgia but have done plenty of riding in Florida and similar terrain. I recently bought a 29r single speed and fell in love with how it rides. It impressed me so much that I ordered an Ellsworth Evolve. The 29r wheels carry so much momentum that the small rises of your terrain seem to disappear. Some say that they are slow in twisty single track but with the new steaper head angles that is not as much of an issue. The roots are smoothed out a lot also and since you can run lower air pressures you get an even softer ride with better grip in the turns. Some say that they are harder to get moving but I haven't found that to be the case.

I am not an expert and don't want to start a 26 vs 29 debat. I am simply saying that you might want to give one a try. You might really like it.

Offline EllsRider

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 10:30:26 PM »
I think you first have to ask yourself and then tell us what is going to be the main type of riding you are going to do. Recreational rides, sick drop monkey riding, racing, alot of trips to the mountains, downhill... Once you have narrowed it down to the type of bike you need, the next question is what kind of coinage do you have jinglin' around in those pockets and how much of it are you willing to part with. If you are unsure it might be best to start with a lower priced all conditions bike and then graduate to a more high end bike once you know what you really like. Personally I have enjoyed my progression  through the ranks of the bike world beginning with my 600 dollah gary fisher tassajara up to my current bike. Great memories with all my bikes. Some of the best riders ride hardtails and single speeds. There is alot of personal preference involved. There are alot of great bikes out there too! If I was buying today, I would consider buying American. 
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Offline Homer 2-Niner

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 11:29:18 PM »
 ;D
the world should ride a rigid singlespeed!

Offline jro

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 06:31:26 PM »
My update.  I have been to aj's and I have taken the Gaint Trance and the Specialized StumpJumper out to Alafia.  I rode the north trail.  I did a down hill sugar sand face plant on the Stumpjumper and I felt like I was over the bars all the time.    When I got back to the shop someone said that maybe the front fork was adjusted to low.  Also I could not keep the bike on line or pick my lines very well either.  (maybe thats because I face planted early on and was still working on getting the sand out of my eyes and the grit out of my teeth.  ;D)  It did seem to adsorb the bumps better than the Trance but overall I did not get a good ride.  I plan on riding more bikes but I have a small problem.  I could look at the StumpJumper as a challenge.  Maybe this bike is to quick for me now but after a season it would be the better bike because I grew into it.   I would prefer not to spend 2k and then sell it and buy another 2k bike.  Any suggestions.   

I would also like to thank aj's for letting me test ride these bikes.  It is really helpful and is so much better than the parking lot. 

Offline FACTORe

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2007, 07:59:48 PM »
see if the guys at AJs will let you test a santa cruz blur LT - it is a really fun forgiving bike to ride

Offline Vélo

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2007, 08:24:32 PM »
I will have my Titus Moto Lite thursday.  Look for a review soon.  Currently I ride a Heckler, its a nice bike but a little more AM oriented.  Not to much AM riding in Florida.  If you have the scratch I would look at Ventana. 

pardon me for being stupid.... ??? ;)

AM riding?

Offline Stumpjumper

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2007, 08:57:58 PM »
You are not the only one Nikki ???

What was I THINKING !!!!!!

Offline BeerCan

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2007, 10:09:28 PM »
I will have my Titus Moto Lite thursday.  Look for a review soon.  Currently I ride a Heckler, its a nice bike but a little more AM oriented.  Not to much AM riding in Florida.  If you have the scratch I would look at Ventana. 

pardon me for being stupid.... ??? ;)

AM riding?
For me AM (All Mountain) riding means a little of everything.  So an AM bike would be suitable for XC and also downhill or free ride but really not excel at any one.  They generally have 5 or more inches of travel, are heavier and work better on rough terrain downhills.  Not to say they won't work in FL because they will and many will be outstanding.  I love(ed) my Heckler and it was an awesome bike.  It was just more bike than I needed for my style.  Hell the ML is probably more bike than I need  ;D.  IMO for most people that want to do full squish a 4" xc style bike will be plenty for the terrain we ride in, of course YMMV.  Huckers and Freeriders of course have different needs.
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Offline BeerCan

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2007, 10:33:47 PM »
My update.  I have been to aj's and I have taken the Gaint Trance and the Specialized StumpJumper out to Alafia.  I rode the north trail.  I did a down hill sugar sand face plant on the Stumpjumper and I felt like I was over the bars all the time.    When I got back to the shop someone said that maybe the front fork was adjusted to low.  Also I could not keep the bike on line or pick my lines very well either.  (maybe thats because I face planted early on and was still working on getting the sand out of my eyes and the grit out of my teeth.  ;D)  It did seem to adsorb the bumps better than the Trance but overall I did not get a good ride.  I plan on riding more bikes but I have a small problem.  I could look at the StumpJumper as a challenge.  Maybe this bike is to quick for me now but after a season it would be the better bike because I grew into it.   I would prefer not to spend 2k and then sell it and buy another 2k bike.  Any suggestions.   

I would also like to thank aj's for letting me test ride these bikes.  It is really helpful and is so much better than the parking lot. 

Listen if the bike did not feel right and you felt like you were going over the bars I would venture to say it is more than just a fork adjustment.  I personally would not look for a bike to "grow into".  I would look for a bike you will be happy riding for years -- from day one.  Even with no experience you can generally tell if a bike fits.  e.g. the over the bars feeling is a bike that IMHO does not fit. 

Ride as many bikes as you can, even parking lot rides will help.  Do not get to stuck on the brand, most brands that you get at an LBS will be quality bikes.  Remember to think of your riding style and do not let the salesmen push you into a bike that suits their riding style. I.E. Are you going to be doing 4' drops to flat or trail riding?  Also remember that when testing FS the rear shock and fork is often air.  Ask the salesman to make sure that the pressure is reasonably close to what the MFG recommends for your weight.  Pressure adj in the shock can change the ride dramatically.  Also be aware some shocks and forks have lockout.  Make sure that is off when you test ride.

Oh Yeah . . . Hardtails suck  8) ;D
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 10:36:15 PM by BeerCan »
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Offline Garry

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2007, 10:57:16 PM »
I will have my Titus Moto Lite thursday.  Look for a review soon.  Currently I ride a Heckler, its a nice bike but a little more AM oriented.  Not to much AM riding in Florida.  If you have the scratch I would look at Ventana. 

pardon me for being stupid.... ??? ;)

AM riding?

AM = All Mountain

Offline RiskEverything

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Re: best bike for tampa
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2007, 11:50:44 PM »
Quote
IMO for what most people want to do a full squish a 4" xc style bike will be plenty for the terrain we ride in


That's the conclusion I came to as well
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