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62 YO newbie. I've decided on 27.5/27.5+, just not which. Please help

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62 YO newbie. I've decided on 27.5/27.5+, just not which. Please help

Old 04-24-20, 07:03 PM
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jimicoltrane
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62 YO newbie. I've decided on 27.5/27.5+, just not which. Please help

Thanks in advance.

I'm almost 62, an intermediate road rider who can ride forever but gets challenged on steep ascents, a little overweight, with one balky knee. I've never ridden a mountain bike.

I live in Central NJ where there are nice trails. My goal for those who know this part of the world is to do full loops in Washington Valley Park. Here's a preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDr4gIhYFKg

I don't plan on racing and suspect I won't ride the bike terribly hard. I've decided on a 27.5/27.5+ because it's use will be trails and I think I'm less likely to crash on one than on a 29er. I've also decided on a single in the front.

Money matters.These are the bikes I'm thinking about. The Cube is $760 and the others just under $1100 (prices delivered). The Salsa is from a LBS and the others mail order but I'd have to self fit it. I will use it to ride trails and nothing harder than "moderate." I welcome your input. Iím not going to push the bike terribly hard so my instinct tells me the Cube would be plenty.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...cJKF6VaSa6I_2k

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timberjack/2020_timberjack_xt_27.5

This one wouldn't come until mid-June. Otherwise it'd be my favorite https://www.fezzari.com/mountain-bikes/wasatch-peak-comp-275-plus
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Old 04-24-20, 07:20 PM
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No one can tell you what you want, but I personally have a liking for the Salsa mostly because of familiarity with them. I'm not familiar with the Fezzari, but it's a nice looking bike. Like you, I'm also partial to 27.5's. I originally owned 26's and have lots of time in the saddle of 29ers. If I were really tall, I might have grown to prefer the 29er, but unfortunately, I'm only 5'10" and the 27.5 feels right. Sounding like the 3 bears here. Good luck with whichever you decide. You might also want to check out Bikes Direct if you haven't because they have a couple nice looking bikes in the bottom end of your budget that deserve consideration also. Motobecane's aren't bad bikes for less money. Good luck and let us know what you decide on. BTW-you mention that you never rode a MTB. Warning-be prepared for harder pedaling (weight) compared to a road bike or don't expect to maintain the same speed (rolling resistance-larger tires) as you do your road bike. That's my boring $.02 worth.
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Old 04-24-20, 09:19 PM
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I think "plus" size tires make a lot of sense for beginners and people who are not riding very aggressively. They are extra stable and forgiving. Some find performance downsides to plus for riding really hard/aggressively, but it sounds like this is not going to apply to you.
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Old 04-24-20, 09:29 PM
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Salsa hands down. I would consider the 29 version also.
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Old 04-25-20, 09:22 AM
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+1 for the Timberjack - it can do both 27.5+ and 29!
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Old 04-25-20, 02:54 PM
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I'd go with the Salsa just because it's local, I've been waiting 3 weeks now for my new bike to ship from just 4 hours away.
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Old 04-25-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
Salsa hands down. I would consider the 29 version also.
I went with the Salsa. Picking it up on Monday. They're trying to tempt me to "upgrade" to one in the SLX trim they have but unless they give me a really killer deal it's not happening.
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Old 04-25-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
I went with the Salsa. Picking it up on Monday. They're trying to tempt me to "upgrade" to one in the SLX trim they have but unless they give me a really killer deal it's not happening.
Congratulations! Get the SLX if you can afford it. A better suspension fork on that model as well!
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Old 04-25-20, 06:22 PM
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I have a Timberjack. Mine is a lower 2018 NX model, $1100 MSRP, but I thought that the newer XT models were more expensive than that, like $2000. This year they introduced a simpler frame called Rangefinder and moved the cheap builds to it. I am mostly satisfied with mine, although pretty much everything that theyíve changed for the higher model is a worthy upgrade to something actually better and not frivolous

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Old 04-26-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
I went with the Salsa. Picking it up on Monday. They're trying to tempt me to "upgrade" to one in the SLX trim they have but unless they give me a really killer deal it's not happening.
I am a little confused. You linked to the XT model of the Timber jack, which is a higher end model than the SLX.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am a little confused. You linked to the XT model of the Timber jack, which is a higher end model than the SLX.
Wrong link. Planning on the TJ Deore 27.5+ unless they offer me a super deal on the pink SLX.
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Old 04-26-20, 05:09 PM
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Get the plus for the smoother ride. I have heard of some sandy trails in NJ, it will be better there. If you want narrower "faster" tires you can try them, extra tire clearance is a good thing.
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Old 04-26-20, 05:46 PM
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Have fun! I rode mine about 15 miles / 2 hours today around the lake.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:17 PM
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Thanks again for all of the replies.

The shop where I'm getting the bike advertises that it takes trade-ins. I have a Giant OCR c2 hat I haven't ridden in a long time. Bike store says he'd give me $200 for it, but that he'd then clean it up and put it up for sale for more6.

There are virtually no nice bikes listed near me on FB or CL so I put the Giant up for sale last night. Asked $650. Got several serious inquiries and sold it today for $550! Also put up a Schwinn Hybrid which I'll have sold tomorrow. That's 70% of the new bike already paid for!

I listed a Budda guitar amp today. When it sells, which it will, I'll have bike, pedals, shoes, helmet and shorts paid in full.
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Old 04-27-20, 10:15 AM
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BTW if you have questions specific to this bike there is a long running thread in the MTBR forums about it, going back to its debut in late 2016.

https://forums.mtbr.com/salsa/timber...d-1031040.html
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Old 04-27-20, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
Thanks in advance.

I'm almost 62, an intermediate road rider who can ride forever but gets challenged on steep ascents, a little overweight, with one balky knee. I've never ridden a mountain bike.

I live in Central NJ where there are nice trails. My goal for those who know this part of the world is to do full loops in Washington Valley Park. Here's a preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDr4gIhYFKg

I don't plan on racing and suspect I won't ride the bike terribly hard. I've decided on a 27.5/27.5+ because it's use will be trails and I think I'm less likely to crash on one than on a 29er. I've also decided on a single in the front.

Money matters.These are the bikes I'm thinking about. The Cube is $760 and the others just under $1100 (prices delivered). The Salsa is from a LBS and the others mail order but I'd have to self fit it. I will use it to ride trails and nothing harder than "moderate." I welcome your input. Iím not going to push the bike terribly hard so my instinct tells me the Cube would be plenty.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...cJKF6VaSa6I_2k

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timber...erjack_xt_27.5

This one wouldn't come until mid-June. Otherwise it'd be my favorite https://www.fezzari.com/mountain-bik...-comp-275-plus
Welcome Jimi,
Btw we're neighbors as Chimney Rock is my home park. When they reopen parks, hit me up and I'll be happy to give you tours nearby. Most new riders in the area go to 6 mile but it's always crowded so I recommend Nassau as an alternative. Did you get your bike at Halters?

Last edited by qclabrat; 04-27-20 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 04-27-20, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Get the plus for the smoother ride. I have heard of some sandy trails in NJ, it will be better there. If you want narrower "faster" tires you can try them, extra tire clearance is a good thing.
NJ is split this way, sandy and flowy in the south and rocky tech up north. Nice combo and perfect for 27.5+
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Old 04-27-20, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Welcome Jimi,
Btw we're neighbors as Chimney Rock is my home park. When they reopen parks, hit me up and I'll be happy to give you tours nearby. Most new riders in the area go to 6 mile but it's always crowded so I recommend Nassau as an alternative. Did you get your bike at Halters?
Thanks. I will do so.

I did get it at Halter's, from Jason. I actually didn't realize it until last night but an old friend works for Salsa's parent company in MN.

Where is "6 mile" and Nassau? I'm looking for a short ride for tomorrow afternoon to acquaint myself with the bike. I would go to Middlbrook Trail in Bridgewager but I suspect it's going to be super muddy.
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Old 04-28-20, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
Thanks. I will do so.

I did get it at Halter's, from Jason. I actually didn't realize it until last night but an old friend works for Salsa's parent company in MN.

Where is "6 mile" and Nassau? I'm looking for a short ride for tomorrow afternoon to acquaint myself with the bike. I would go to Middlbrook Trail in Bridgewager but I suspect it's going to be super muddy.
6 mile run is a park in Hillsborough off of the DnR Canal path which are state parks, both are closed. Nassau is a town park in High Bridge (off the Columbia trail by Ken Lockwood Gorge) and is also closed. Actually every mtb park which I'm aware of is closed including the Washington Valley white trial, aka Middlebrook trail in Martinsville. I haven't been on top reopenings, but they were ticketing so be aware.

Jason at Halters is the best, he will back you with any problems should you run into one with the Salsa. I've known guys who had issues way past warranty and he was able to get them replaced or fixed under warranty.

Last edited by qclabrat; 04-28-20 at 06:25 AM.
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