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Hardtail at Northstar?

MattP.

Monkey
Jun 27, 2005
197
0
Hey guys,

I saw this site from a link at BikeForums, thought I would stop by. I have to comment real quick on how awesome it is that you have a forum just for this area. I think that is awesome :thumb:

This is my first post so be easy. I live in El Dorado Hills, about 35 minutes from Sacramento and about 25 min from Placerville. I was thinking about heading to Northstar, but not sure. I do not have a FS bike, all i have is a HT. It's an 04 Haro Escape 8.1 w/ many upgraded parts, I snapped the original fork, so I got a Manitou Black Platinum. So my question is, is it worth the drive/$35 lift ticket when all you have is a HT? Is there enough XC trails, and trails I and/or my bike would not be destroyed on? Or will I be destroyed and be yelled at by dudes w/ downhill bikes trying to whiz past me?

If you are wondering i'm 15, 5'11" and 155.

Thanks guys :thumb:

-Matt
 

manziman

Stubby
Jul 3, 2004
1,612
0
The armpit of San Diego
It's going to be pretty damn impossible to ride a HT at N*. I was riding a Santa Cruz Heckler today and that was pushing it. Yesterday I was rollin' the WTB Weirwolf tires and got 3 pinch flats. So, today dhtahoe gave me some good DH tires and was fine.
There's no waythis bike is going to last at N* more than 10'.
 

MattP.

Monkey
Jun 27, 2005
197
0
manziman said:
It's going to be pretty damn impossible to ride a HT at N*. I was riding a Santa Cruz Heckler today and that was pushing it. Yesterday I was rollin' the WTB Weirwolf tires and got 3 pinch flats. So, today dhtahoe gave me some good DH tires and was fine.
There's no waythis bike is going to last at N* more than 10'.
Thanks for the fast reply. I guess Northstar is a negative. Thanks man.
 

manziman

Stubby
Jul 3, 2004
1,612
0
The armpit of San Diego
MattP. said:
Thanks for the fast reply. I guess Northstar is a negative. Thanks man.
It's not a negative. I highly suggest going. Pay the $70 for a lift ticket and rental. well worth it. Go out, enjoy the mountain and have fun mountain biking. you'll want to sell your Haro and get a real DH bike.
 

dexterq20

Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2003
3,442
1
NorCal
manziman said:
There's no waythis bike is going to last at N* more than 10'.
Tee hee... You can definitely ride a hardtail at Northstar. I did it for 3 summers in a row, and the first summer I didn't even have disc brakes. You won't go real fast, and you'll be sore as all hell, but it's definitely rideable on a hardtail. Don't listen to manziman, he doesn't know how to ride. :devil:
 

MattP.

Monkey
Jun 27, 2005
197
0
dexterq20 said:
Tee hee... You can definitely ride a hardtail at Northstar. I did it for 3 summers in a row, and the first summer I didn't even have disc brakes. You won't go real fast, and you'll be sore as all hell, but it's definitely rideable on a hardtail. Don't listen to manziman, he doesn't know how to ride. :devil:
That's enlightening :thumb:

Is there some good XC trails there, or are they all mostly extreme DH with gaps, and drops and what not?
 

manziman

Stubby
Jul 3, 2004
1,612
0
The armpit of San Diego
dexterq20 said:
Don't listen to manziman, he doesn't know how to ride. :devil:
Wait, what happened to you on that boondocks drop? forgot to pull up and landed face first in the gravel? can't hit a 3' drop with heathshearatt in Berkeley? I cleaned that Boondocks drop today on the heckler by 15' and threw down a mighty no footer for Shyrmp. you, sir, have no room to talk.
 

ioscope

Turbo Monkey
Jul 3, 2004
2,002
0
Vashon, WA
pwn3d

Anyway, I thought I could ride my HT at whistler.
It was raging fun for the first few jumps, then I was like AHHHH!!!
I'm gonna die!!!1
And I nearly did as I took a header into some paved out dirt on my 7th run or so. Fatigue kills you on those types of trails.
Try and stick to dirtjump style trails or pussy DH trails.

incidentally, I have the same fork as you and weigh about the same, and have a HT.

But I got enlightened early, my HT came AFTER my DH.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,373
0
SF
Hey, not to turn you off N*, but Downieville has some very challenging trails, and they are good for HT's. The guys who compete in the Downville Classic DH race use 5-6 inch travel bikes, not the huge monster machines at most DH courses. And there is also plenty of climbing which you can laugh at the Dh riders as you pass them.
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,841
19
So Cal
manziman said:
It's going to be pretty damn impossible to ride a HT at N*. I was riding a Santa Cruz Heckler today and that was pushing it. Yesterday I was rollin' the WTB Weirwolf tires and got 3 pinch flats. So, today dhtahoe gave me some good DH tires and was fine.
There's no waythis bike is going to last at N* more than 10'.
What version of the WTB's were you running? The regular sidewalled tires or the DH version with the heavy duty sidewalls and Inner Peace?
 

Tattooo

Turbo Monkey
Jun 5, 2005
1,859
0
OV
I rode N* for years, as far back as when they opened, on a HT. It can be done, it just takes finesse.

Hell, my kid brother rode sticks and stones on his cyclocross bike. It didn't work out well, and he had to have both collar bones plated and put back in his skin, but it can be done.

Remember braddah, its not the bike, its the 155lbs (or in my case 235lbs) of crap on the back of it.
 

MattP.

Monkey
Jun 27, 2005
197
0
sanjuro said:
Hey, not to turn you off N*, but Downieville has some very challenging trails, and they are good for HT's. The guys who compete in the Downville Classic DH race use 5-6 inch travel bikes, not the huge monster machines at most DH courses. And there is also plenty of climbing which you can laugh at the Dh riders as you pass them.
Hmm maybe I could go there instead of N*. Would you guys recommend that for a hardtail? It sounds like there is some climbing at Downieville, which is awesome. Also sounds like ther is more XC type trails there?

I'm not looking for a place where I can go real fast downhill or go over insane drops/jumps, I want a place to just MTN bike basically. Do some climbing, some dh, mostly just riding along, is Downieville a good place for that?
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,373
0
SF
MattP. said:
Hmm maybe I could go there instead of N*. Would you guys recommend that for a hardtail? It sounds like there is some climbing at Downieville, which is awesome. Also sounds like ther is more XC type trails there?

I'm not looking for a place where I can go real fast downhill or go over insane drops/jumps, I want a place to just MTN bike basically. Do some climbing, some dh, mostly just riding along, is Downieville a good place for that?
Sounds like D'ville is the place. Besides "the shuttle" to Packer Saddle, there are plenty of vicious singletrack in the area. Look at www.downievilleclassic.com and you can get the idea about the shuttle the Packer.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
10,670
1,163
NORCAL is the hizzle
If you ride within or near your limits, you can ride a hardtail anywhere. What were we riding before full suspension? I mean yeah, you might break some bike and body parts, but we do that on FS too.

D-ville is also a good call, definitely less punishing than Northstar.
 

yojimborace

Monkey
Oct 26, 2004
297
0
SC
You should definately go. My friend brought his hardtail kona with v brakes and had a blast. He hit sticks and stones and most of karpiel on it. After that little adventure he bought a super 8 :D
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Give me a break.

I saw about 8 people RACING yesterday on hardtails on both courses. I've ridden a 4x4 travel bike there several times. It's rough but plenty of people do it and have a great time. There are miles and miles of trails there you can access from the lift that are more than just the 4 DH trails.

Go for it.

And then check out downieville too.
 

cornholio

Chimp
May 6, 2005
25
0
MattP. said:
So my question is, is it worth the drive/$35 lift ticket when all you have is a HT? Is there enough XC trails, and trails I and/or my bike would not be destroyed on? Or will I be destroyed and be yelled at by dudes w/ downhill bikes trying to whiz past me?
yes, it's absolutely worth it to go to northstar. there's tons of options for any level of rider on any bike. FS is not required. all the trails have difficulty ratings on the trail map--green, blue, black, double black. n* is a great place to ride. definitely check it out.
 

DLo

Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
688
0
South Bay Area, CA
N* is doable on a hardtail, but pick some burly tubes so you don't pinch so easily. I had fun on my hardtail even though it was brutal, but the worst part was having to walk down every other run and asking the lift people for a tube because I'd pinch so often.
 

manziman

Stubby
Jul 3, 2004
1,612
0
The armpit of San Diego
DLo said:
N* is doable on a hardtail, but pick some burly tubes so you don't pinch so easily. I had fun on my hardtail even though it was brutal, but the worst part was having to walk down every other run and asking the lift people for a tube because I'd pinch so often.
pfft, 3 pinch flats in one day. I was running the WTB Weirwolf's until dhtahoe hooked me up. yea, 3 pinch flats.
 

MattP.

Monkey
Jun 27, 2005
197
0
DLo said:
N* is doable on a hardtail, but pick some burly tubes so you don't pinch so easily. I had fun on my hardtail even though it was brutal, but the worst part was having to walk down every other run and asking the lift people for a tube because I'd pinch so often.
Ya I plan on putting in some Specialized thorn resistant tubes before I go. I will also be sure to pack plenty of tubes.
 

Biscuit

Turbo Monkey
Feb 12, 2003
1,768
1
Pleasant Hill, CA
First of all...
You can too ride a hardtail at N*!

It takes a lot more energy, and is harder on your wheels, but you don't need gobs of suspension to get by there.

But..
Unless your really confident in the rocks, I would check out Downieville.

It's beautifull, fun and anyone can ride it.
 

dfinn

Turbo Monkey
Jul 24, 2003
2,129
0
SL, UT
there's XC trails at N* as well, and some of them are actually pretty fun. You would be fine on a hard tail as long as you stick to the right kind of trails. most of the xc trails I know of are towards the lower part of the mountain. I'm not sure of the exact rules but you don't really need to ride the lift to get to most of them, you can just climb up and then ride back down or check the trail map and figure out some loops.
 

offdawalley

Monkey
Apr 19, 2004
223
0
hella over the rainbow
I went on a kona stuff with the stock fork last year, I was very suprised with the terrian, its really not any drops or jumps except for 1 or 2, I rode some of the harder trails and went over the bars a few times, if you stick to the blue trails and some single blacks you should be fine. But I just got back from North* today on my Stinky Primo that I got during the winter and it was so much more fun, but my riding skills have also improved. I would just recommend renting a Kona bike, get there early because they run out quick, but it can be done on a hardtail.
 

BMXman

I wish I was Canadian
Sep 8, 2001
13,827
0
Victoria, BC
hmm...well here's my .02...you can ride a HT at Northstar...I have many times...I never pinched but I run dh tires w/ regualr tubes...it's completely possible...D
 

Low_b

Monkey
Mar 27, 2002
213
0
Them thar Foothills
BMXman said:
hmm...well here's my .02...you can ride a HT at Northstar...I have many times...I never pinched but I run dh tires w/ regualr tubes...it's completely possible...D
This would be my experience also.
Last year I used slime in my tires and didnt get one flat all season and I ride N* atleast once a week.
 

chicodude

The Spooninator
Mar 28, 2004
1,054
2
Paradise
I rode there today. On this bike.




I hit every black diamond execpt for one or two (I think :think: ) And karpiel, dogbone, and about ten feet of K-12. I am sore as hell now and me hands have some blisters, but it's all good. You may not be able to go fast, but you CAN do it
 

DroppinaNorco

Monkey
Mar 4, 2004
158
0
Sac Town
if my friend can do it on a specialized hardrock with 4 inches of travel and hit all the runs then you can do it too. you may not be able to walk talk eat or sh*t the next day but you can do it and you will have fun.
 

BoxesBlue

Chimp
Aug 3, 2023
1
2
Just wanted to revive this thread to report I have found it after two seasons of riding a HT at N* and have had an absolute blast - idk what you guys are up to now, but I hope you are all well :)