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Old 18.04.2010, 09:59
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Mountain biking Switzerland

Hey guys,

I used to do a bit of road cycling and now getting into MTB. Last year I did a week in Sölden Tirol and loved both the uphills and downhills (though riding a Cube XC bike on downhills there was a bit scary)

Anyway, I have a few questions:

1. Given I like a good mix of climbing but also some reasonable and safe downhill (what goes up must come down), I think a true XC or hardtail would not be suitable. I think the full Enduro would be too heavy and too much for what I would be comfortable in doing. So I am stuck as to what to look for. I am thinking about Specialized Stuntjumper, but is this more AM or a XC on steroids? What advice can you offer here

2. The Talas forks allow you to reduce the travel in the front which helps in climbing. Is this feature really useful here since it seems that I go quickly from some downhill to an uphill stretch quite a lot. Unless you want to stop, compress the fork and lock it down, how do you use this feature on terrain that varies?

3. Finally, does it make sense to buy in Switzerland or is it more affordable to go to Germany / Austria to purchase a new high end bike or what about importing from the US and having an online retailer there ship? Where do you recommend to go for buying?

Thanks!
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Old 18.04.2010, 16:58
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Re: Mountain biking Switzerland

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Hey guys,

I used to do a bit of road cycling and now getting into MTB. Last year I did a week in Sölden Tirol and loved both the uphills and downhills (though riding a Cube XC bike on downhills there was a bit scary)

Anyway, I have a few questions:

1. Given I like a good mix of climbing but also some reasonable and safe downhill (what goes up must come down), I think a true XC or hardtail would not be suitable. I think the full Enduro would be too heavy and too much for what I would be comfortable in doing. So I am stuck as to what to look for. I am thinking about Specialized Stuntjumper, but is this more AM or a XC on steroids? What advice can you offer here
AM is the way to go. 140-150mm of travel with more relaxed angles then an XC bike. These bikes can be pedalled very well, are light enough to do as much climbing as your legs or lungs want, but when you drop the saddle they eat up trail. I have a 140mm travel bike and I can ride anything I want on it, everything from XC to freeride. I've done over 2000m vertical climbing on it in a day and raced in freeride races on it.

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2. The Talas forks allow you to reduce the travel in the front which helps in climbing. Is this feature really useful here since it seems that I go quickly from some downhill to an uphill stretch quite a lot. Unless you want to stop, compress the fork and lock it down, how do you use this feature on terrain that varies?
It depends on personal preference and the geometry of the bike. I have a talas and in two years I've only ever dropped them to the short setting about 5 times. I know others who constantly adjust them. I never needed to drop them at all when I had a 10cm stem on the bike, now I only need to drop them on sustained very steep climbs as the shorter stem I have on the bike shifts my weight just a little further back.

The movement doesn't require too much effort. Turn the knob and it goes up or down of its own accord when you load or onload the fork. It can be done on the fly.

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3. Finally, does it make sense to buy in Switzerland or is it more affordable to go to Germany / Austria to purchase a new high end bike or what about importing from the US and having an online retailer there ship? Where do you recommend to go for buying?

Thanks!
Dpends on the offers available.
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Old 18.04.2010, 17:05
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Re: Mountain biking Switzerland

I would recommend to try out the different possiblities. Maybe you find a shop with test bikes.
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Old 18.04.2010, 19:54
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Re: Mountain biking Switzerland

Thanks Bivinco and Eire,

The AM recommendation sounds to be a pretty good combo. Would you say the typical AM bike is about 140cm travel in front, 4-5 inch in back and with a weight of 12kg?

The 2010 Specialized Stuntjumper has 140cm travel up front. The high end models of Stuntjumper are quite costly, but I think any good AM bike would be around the same level.

Do you have any recommendations on the top rated AM bikes and what a good price will be for it in Switzerland?
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Old 18.04.2010, 20:03
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Re: Mountain biking Switzerland

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Thanks Bivinco and Eire,

The AM recommendation sounds to be a pretty good combo. Would you say the typical AM bike is about 140cm travel in front, 4-5 inch in back and with a weight of 12kg?

The 2010 Specialized Stuntjumper has 140cm travel up front. The high end models of Stuntjumper are quite costly, but I think any good AM bike would be around the same level.

Do you have any recommendations on the top rated AM bikes and what a good price will be for it in Switzerland?
Two years ago I would have said AM is 140mm of travel and 12 to 13kg. Now there are bikes with up to 160mm of travel that come in around 13kg, but the geometry may be a little more relaxed. That's why its good to get a ride on a bike to see if you like it or not.

Also if you are planning on doing proper All Mountain, Trail riding in the Alps weight is not the most important thing in the equation. You want a bike that is comfortable to spend a day on, that won't fall apart when you point it down rocky trails and has angles that are a good compromise between going up and down for you. Getting a 10kg bike because its easy to get up is great in theory, but you'll suffer on the way down.

As for recomendations, Trek Remedy, The new Stumpy (think its 150mm travel), Lapierre Spicy, Santa Cruz Bur LT, Scott Genius, Intense Tracer etc. take your pick... but try to sit on one if you can before you part with your cash.

There is a shop in Horgan where the guy loves his AM - Freeride bikes. He gives good advice and good value for the bikes he sells. He does mainly more top end stuff, but he is definitely worth checking out.
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Old 18.04.2010, 20:28
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Re: Mountain biking Switzerland

bought my first MTB last season. did some research re: purchase options in Germany (specifically canyon). also looked at zürich options including backyard and elsener. ended purchasing at backyard. given the potential servicing req'ts associated with buying a fully, i figured a local servicing option was worth the 200-300CHF i could've saved by buying it out-of-country. backyard is an excellent bike shop. these guys know their stuff and have a more than adequate product line for a first time buyer. they rent out bikes for the weekend so i was able to test ride my final purchase and knew exactly what i was going to get. that sealed my purchase decision.
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