Does a good race mtb also make a good recreational mtb?



Sep 30, 2017
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I'm in the market for a new MTB. I've been researching what bikes and brands the top racers use. I'm in no way a hardcore technical rider, The Slick Rock Trail, outside Moab is about as hardcore as I get and, though I can keep up a respectable pace on the road, I'm probably pretty slow on a rough trail.
So am I making a big mistake looking at race bikes?
Many years ago, when I was an intermediate down hill skier, at best, I bought a pair of the Slalom skis that won gold in the previous Olympics. Turns out that was an absolutely terrible choice. Definitely not intended for intermediate skiers. So, I'm wondering if it is the same with MTBs. If I bought a high end Scott because the world champion rides a Scott, would I regret it?
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Your wallet will regret it ...

YOU need to determine how much suspension travel you need for the types of trails you ride on ...

AND, which tires and/or tread pattern is preferred for the surface(s) ...​

Purchase, accordingly.

 
Sep 30, 2017
57
10
8
68
Your wallet will regret it ...

YOU need to determine how much suspension travel you need for the types of trails you ride on ...

AND, which tires and/or tread pattern is preferred for the surface(s) ...​
Purchase, accordingly.


I'm more concerned about twitchy handling and overly aggressive riding position.
I'm wanting a hard tail, and may replace the front fork with a rigid, so suspension travel isn't a factor, though getting a bike with an expensive fork, only to take it off does seem like a shame. Tires are easy to switch, so not concerned about what tires it comes with.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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254
63
If you are taller than 5'9" then consider a 29er Hardtail ...

There are a lot of off-the-peg options, now, across the entire price spectrum ...

If you are inclined toward an a la carte approach, SALSA has a frameset which has a rigid fork ...

Of course, you can change/("upgrade") the components on a ready-to-ride bike in the future on an as-needed or as-wanted basis.
A few years ago, I figured out that an old (late-80s/early-90s vintage) touring frame that I have can accomodate 700x53 tires when fenders are not mounted ... so, THAT would be suitable for "fire roads" ...​
 

BrianNystrom

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2013
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Race bikes are light and have high-quality components that are also durable, so they can make very nice rec bikes, depending on how you like to ride. I haven't found any handling issues and they suit my riding preference for fast, swoopy trails. Descents have not been an issue and climbing on a light bike is pure joy. You can often find used race bikes or frames at good prices, since racers upgrade their equipment frequently. Companies like The Pro's Closet in the US often have ex-pro bikes at great prices and their service is outstanding.
 

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