All posts by jmpreston

A lowly intermediate mountain biker who loves to ride the big kids' trails with roots, rocks, and ruts. My favorite trails are around Moab, UT, Lake Tahoe, Downieville, CA, and near the west entrance to Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. Mostly I ride the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Niner WFO 9 2016 Trail Bike

I’ve liked Niners for years.  As their name indicates, they only make 29ers.  Their people at the MTB festivals are really nice and helpful and the frame designs are good.  They ride well.  However, they haven’t produced a real trail bike until now, and the WFO 9 is a great ride!

Niner WFO 9
The model I rode had the 150mm Rockshox Pike, alloy metal frame, 1×11 XT setup, and the Reverb infinity dropper.  The head tube angle is 67 degrees, nicely between XC and all mountain.  It weighed in at 29.5 pounds, not bad for alloy and a large frame.

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Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er A Solid Ride

My wife Katya demoed this bike during the 2016 Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival.  She felt it was not as agile as her Yeti SB95c or the Liv, see my blog post about the Liv.  Still, it is a good ride and value and worth considering.  She felt she had good control even though the head tube angle was at the cross-country level.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9

The bike is a 29er with the great roll-over of the big wheels.  Katya tested it on the North Rim Trail on Gooseberry Mesa.  This is mostly intermediate but there are some rock gardens and ledges that can be challenging for intermediates.  Low advanced level in places that requires some agility and courage, especially along the edge of the mesa.  One mistake in places and you drop over 100 feet to a pile of rocks.  Good place to test a bike!

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2016 Live Intrigue (Giant woman’s bike) Agile

My wife Katya demoed the Liv Intrigue on the South Rim and Hidden Canyon trails on Gooseberry Mesa, Hurricane, Utah during the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival in March 2016.  Those are upper intermediate to double black diamond trails and a serious test of a bike.

Live Intrigue 2016

Her conclusion, the bike felt light and sporty and she had no problems with the less expensive components compared to XT level components on her Yeti.  Katya is a slower cautious intermediate rider who rides the toughest trails but knows when to walk it.

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Fox Factory 34 2017 Fork! Wow Upgrade!

I’ve rode a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 140mm fork for the past two and a half years since my Yeti was new.  Nice, but I’ve been over the handlebars or crashed more than a few times on what I consider small rocks, maybe 6 – 10 inches high.   After two nasty crashes recently, one that had me limping around Fruita, CO for a few days and unable to ride,  I had enough.

Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.
Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.

Fox redesigned their 34 line in 2016 and I was noticing the smoother and more controlled rides over gnar at the Outerbike and Hurricane mountain bike festivals.  After the Fruita incident on the Holy Cross Trail, which I blogged about recently, I was headed to the fall 2016 Outerbike in Moab.

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Hanging out in Moab!

I’m riding the trails here for another week and then home to Silicon Valley for the winter.  I don’t have much left to shoot for my next Moab Mountain Biking Trail Analysis videos for this area.

The upper Whole Enchilada is open but very cold and muddy when not frozen.  Not sure I want to ride it now.

Trying out my new Fox Factory Float 34 2017 fork.  So far it is amazing!!!  Blog post to come but so far it is far safer and more plush at low speeds than the Rockshox Pike or Revelation.  My Revelation will be on eBay next week!

Overlooking Arches NP and Salt Valley from Alaska Trail.
On the Alaska Trail, Klondike Bluffs, Moab Ut. Arches on the left and Salt Valley far below.

 

 

Biking the Bartlett Wash Slick Rock Moab!

I added a short video of biking this amazing slick rock area north of Moab!  Much more beautiful slick rock than usual, and mostly very smooth.  It is like powder skiing 🙂  A real bonus is that the climb to the top is easy and scenic.  Perfect beginner / intermediate terrain with some scary stuff for advanced riders.

 

 

Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.

Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn't ride Deadman's but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn’t ride Deadman’s but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
I’m impressed! This is probably the first plus tire bike I’ve rode. The wheel and tire diameter is only 1/2″ less than my 29er but the roll-over with the 150mm fork and plus tire is amazing! 
 
It isn’t just tire size that counts. Unlike most plus bikes the 5+ is designed for a plus tire.  Yeti has made small design changes to fit the bike purpose.

Continue reading Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.