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New Bikes for the MTB Crowd!

February 12, 2013

We’ve always loved mountain bikes.

It’s not my thing personally, but being a part of Bicycle Sport Shop means, at a certain level, an appreciation for fat tires and trails. I’ve tried and tried to be a mountain biker and it hasn’t worked out too well. So I compromised by becoming a cyclocross racer. Still, a part of me always thinks, “I need a mountain bike.” And that part isn’t all that small.

For the vast majority of our folks, it’s all about mountain bikes. Heck, it’s the reason we exist to a large extent—Hill’s passion for trail riding led him to lead us for the past thirty years, not to mention to Laura, as mentioned here. For the shop’s fat-tire die-hards the thought process is, “I might like to try a road bike. Maybe.” But they’re always up-to-date on the latest and greatest in off road gear. Just stop by the shop and talk with Steele, or Jeremy, or Dylan, or Clay, or James, or Rachel, or, well, just about anyone.

With every New Year there are new bikes. And mountain bikes are no different. New improvements to old designs, new designs, old designs fairly long forgotten re-introduced to a new generation of riders (650b anyone?).

2013 is no different. And we have a host of new bikes for the advanced trail rider. The beauty of cycling, and mountain biking in particular, is that technology trickles down pretty quickly. This is especially true in suspension design and components. Today’s greatest shock is on next season’s mid range bike, which has passed on the previous greatest design to the more entry-level model, and so on.

The new Niner Jet 9 RDO has heads turning.

The new Niner Jet 9 RDO has heads turning.

I spoke recently with our bike buyer, Scott Linville, himself an avid mountain biker, and he has some suggestions for bikes to consider if you’re in the market for a new high-end mountain bike—or if you want to see what may adorn future intermediate or beginner models. I know I’m taking a look at these bikes.

The Specialized Epic, here in S-Works trim, is a popular rig for the MTB racer.

The Specialized Epic, here in S-Works trim, is a popular rig for the MTB racer.

The thing that has a lot of folks talking around here is the new Niner Jet 9 RDO complete with Shimano’s venerable XT kit and Fox suspension components. This bike takes aim directly at the Specialized Camber, Stumjumper FSR, and Epic Expert models as well as the very popular Santa Cruz Tallboy. The Niner Jet 9 RDO also comes with a more modest SRAM build kit, offering the same suspension performance with a good cost savings. Perfect if you’re also in the market for new cycling clothing or other gear.

Salsa's El Mariachi is a modern take on a steel hardtail and will soon come in a titanium version.

Salsa’s El Mariachi is a modern take on a steel hardtail and will soon come in a titanium version.

For traditionalists there’s the modern hardtail. Take Salsa’s El Mariachi. We’ve got the steel model in stock now, one of Scott’s favorite bikes (not to mention brands) and later this year we’ll see the new titanium version. That bike is sure to be a stiff competitor to the new Niner Sir 9. In that bike we’re stocking the XT/Fox build, which adorns the new thru-axle and oversized headtube frame redesign.

Salsa's Sir 9 is another bike for the more traditional MTB crowd.

Salsa’s Sir 9 is another bike for the more traditional MTB crowd.

For the go-really-fast folks, there’s the forthcoming Niner Rip 9 RDO carbon rig. the Rip 9 has been our most popular Niner offering and the Lamar store’s service manager James is planning on being on this bike when it comes out later this Spring. And we’ve already had a few of Trek’s new Apollo design Superfly bikes roll out the door. The Superfly 100 and the hardtail both sport the pinnacle of what Trek can do with carbon mountain bike design and engineering. Having ridden the 100 at Trek HQ last Summer, I can say that the bike is every bit the race bike you think it would be (although I’d recommend better technical skills than I have).

Speaking of Trek, we’ve already taken delivery of the new Lush 29”, the first women’s specific geometry to be found on a 29’er. Specialized has a women’s 29 coming soon, which we’ll also have on hand.

The all-new Lush 29'er sports women-specific geometry.

The all-new Lush 29’er sports women-specific geometry.

There’s lot to be had in terms of mountain bikes today. The designs are such that even novice riders can tackle fairly technical terrain with a level of confidence.  Of course, we all stop and take a look when classic bikes roll into the shop.

Classic bikes like this Stumpjumper always garner a fair amount of attention in the shop.

Classic bikes like this Stumpjumper always garner a fair amount of attention in the shop.

Stop by soon and check out our full mountain bike line-up and talk with our staff about our mountain bike club.

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