About three years ago, I purchased an Electra single speed cruiser bike from a local bike shop. At the time, I was SUPER excited to have a peddling device to get me outside into the fresh spring and summer air, to hit the local paved trails around the small rural town I reside in.
Sometime in mid-April, the wife and I spent a couple of days in the mountain town of Canmore. Where I came across a Trek Roscoe 8, mountain bike. I took it for a spin in the parking lot and fell in love with the feel of the fatter tires, the beefy frame and the no front derailleur. I was the proverbial kid in the candy store.
I should have purchased it. But didn’t. It was on that day, that I realized, I no longer wanted to cruise around town on the Electra classic cruiser singled speed, and that I wanted to bombard down hills, onto single track and make gasping noises while peddling to the mountain top.
This is what I REALLY wanted to be doing! Crashing thru trees with a group of like minded people, hooping and hollering as we go down hill, over bumps, and through the hills with our faces grimacing in those scary sections and smiling the rest of the way down any given trail.
I am in search of camaraderie, amongst those who seek out thrills on two wheels. Those who want to stretch their legs, limbs and body parts to exhaustion, feeding their soul with the desire to climb and descend amongst the wooded areas of the River Valleys along the North Saskatchewan river here in Central Alberta.
I want to amuse my Wednesday evenings after work, with the thrill of the ride, the meeting my maker on a 45-degree downhill slope or the traverse up a 33-degree incline with multiple switchbacks. I want the smell of fresh pine, and the zing of mosquitos flying past my head, so that when I stop my lid, looks like the front of a car grill after a road trip.
The real problem, I am having is which Mountain Bike to choose? As there are waaaaay more options today, than 5-years ago, and somehow you need to choose just one bike!
- Tire sizes (inches): 26, 27.5, 27.5+, 29
- Tire widths (inches): 2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3
- Bike sizes (inches): 19, 19.5, 20.5, 21, 21.5
- Full suspension or Hardtail w/ front suspension
- Dropper seat, or no dropper seat
- Components: Shimano: Deore, SLX, Zee, XT
- or Components: SRAM: X7, X9, GX, X0
- Drive train: 1×9, 1×10, 2×9, 2×10
- Front shocks: Suntour or Rock Shox and Air or Coil and 100, 120, 140mm of travel
- Hydraulic disc brakes
I have looked at the following 27.5+ and 29er bikes and ridden them too! To test one against the other, however they are so similar in build and design that I just have not made up my mind ??? Each in its own way has a great set of qualities and are ever so different than their competitors bike. Which makes the decision making just that much more difficult, as I believe it truly comes down to two physical items;
- Air or Coil Front shock
- Geometry as fit and feel
Whichever bike I end up with, it will be in the $1100 to $1500 price range.
Here is a short list of the bikes I have ridden in the 27.5″
- Giant Fathom 1 with 2.3 x 27.5″ tires, SR Suntour Axon LO-RC 120mm and Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain
- Rocky Mountain Growler 740 with 3.0 x 27.5+ tires, Suntour Raidon 32 LO Air 120mm and SRAM NX 1×10 drivetrain
- Trek Roscoe 8 with 2.80 x 27.5″ tires, RockShox Judy Silver TK 120mm and SRAM NX 1×10 drivetrain
- Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie with 3.0 x 27.5″ tires, SR Suntour Raidon 650+ air spring 120mm and SRAM X7 1×10 drivetrain
- Cannondale Cujo 3 with 2.80 x 27.5″ tires, SR Suntour XCR-LO 120mm Travel Coil Spring and Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain
And here is the shorter list of 29ers
- Cannonade Trail 4 with 2.25 x 29″ tires, RockShox 30 Silver TK, 100mm Travel Coil and Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain
- Kona Kahuna with 2.25 x 29″ tires, RockShox Recon RL Solo Air 100mm Tapered and SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain
Since the day, I saw the Trek Roscoe 8, I knew that was the bike that I wanted to buy. And when I went to the local bike shop the weekend after, I ran into the problem. There were MORE BIKES and MORE CHOICES, than I had imagined.
Needless to say, the hunt continues today, for which bike, will end up in our garage ???
to be continued…