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  1. #1
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    4X/Slopestyle Bike for AM?

    I have put myself in a bad situation with bikes and don't have one for the upcoming season. After building and ditching many bikes I am ready for a new build, but something a little different. I am looking for a solid AM bike that will rail the flowy downhill sections and have a 66 degree-ish head tube angle. I have thought about a hardtail but I think one of my knees would object. I really like low bottom brackets and slack head tube angles, but I really need something that will pedal nice uphill and be sub 35lbs. The last two years I have been riding a VP Free with a Fox 40 setup 2x9 and it was just too heavy and a pig, although I do miss it. I have also ridden a Joker for a few years prior and much preferred it for all mountain use. I built a Racer X over the summer as my go to front range Colorado bike but it was way too cross country for me and I was scared of going down anything with it.

    Recently I had the wild idea that maybe a 4x style bike would work for what I want figuring it has a slack ht angle, some travel, and low bottom bracket. Now my question is will it climb?The build will be around a 150mm Z1 Light 20mm fork if that matters. I would love to hear some suggestions and frame options. The closest thing I have ridden to such a bike was a Bottlerocket but it was setup 1x9 for more heavy duty use and the wrong size so going up sucked, however I had a blast coming down. Am I out of my mind?

  2. #2
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    Naw, not crazy at all, seems most manufacturers would even agree with your wants. With the new Cane Creek anglesets it puts more frames in your field. The Banshee Rune or Spitfire fits the bill really nice, and has a great pricepoint, you can run a coil or air. The right size Bottlerocket is a killer choice also.
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  3. #3
    humber river advocate
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    nope, doing a similar setup though a 2x9 chainring guide. air forks/shock and lighter wheelset will hit your target weight. though i will run a 180mm fork.
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  4. #4
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    You say you like low BBs, and yet you liked your Joker and VPF? Does not compute.


    Moving on. I rode a BR as a do it all AM+ bike for a long time. Worked fine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtails Are Better
    You say you like low BBs, and yet you liked your Joker and VPF? Does not compute.


    Moving on. I rode a BR as a do it all AM+ bike for a long time. Worked fine.
    One of the several reasons the Joker and the VP Free are no longer in the garage. I liked the bikes, but not enough to keep either. The VP Free in a medium felt like a large for my 5'10" build, when the seat post was up I basically had to hop on it like a horse. Not a fan of the fit at all, plus the bottom bracket was really high imo. After riding some other bikes with lower bottom brackets I really liked the feel of the lower cg.

  6. #6
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    specialized pitch will do what u ask, it has a longer wheelbase then most 4x bikes but it climbs great an has taken alot of abuse from me. Plus side is that u can get them down to 30lbs without alot of work

  7. #7
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    seems like a gt distortion would fit the bill nicely.

  8. #8
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    As long as you don't care about the odd dab or hopping off on some techy climbs, it's the only way to go. Going uphill will always suck when compared to going down, so you might as well max out the descent fun.

    Hardtail DJ's & 4x bikes are fun, but hard on the abused body.

    Even though I have a Attack Trail for my pedally riding, I still love to take my old prophet 4x out for quick loops and jump trails. I just set it up as a single speed... Even better.

  9. #9
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    That Distortion looks pretty sweet, I also need to look into a few other frames. There is currently a Yeti 4x locally for sale and Bottlerockets seem pretty easy to source too.

  10. #10
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    Giant Reign X matches your specs pretty closely.

  11. #11
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    Corsair Konig

    Best AM bike I have ever owned. Stiff as hell and easy to get the front end up...

  12. #12
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    Take a look at the Marin Attack Trail. 150mm of quad link travel out back and it has a HT angle of 66. Very similar to what Andrew Taylor rides in slopestyle competitions. I bought the larger Marin Quake 7.9 for park riding, but I've taken it out on some rides and it pedals surprisingly well uphill for a 40lb beast.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbahus
    One of the several reasons the Joker and the VP Free are no longer in the garage. I liked the bikes, but not enough to keep either. The VP Free in a medium felt like a large for my 5'10" build, when the seat post was up I basically had to hop on it like a horse. Not a fan of the fit at all, plus the bottom bracket was really high imo. After riding some other bikes with lower bottom brackets I really liked the feel of the lower cg.
    Banshee Spitfire. 66 ha, low bb, vf4b(similiar to dw-link) suspension works great on climbs and downhill. Or go rune w/cc angleset if you need something beefier.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc
    Giant Reign X matches your specs pretty closely.
    Yeah...no. It's a great bike (I have one) but it has 6.7 inches of rear travel, and is best paired with a 160-170mm fork.

    I just got a screaming deal on a Mongoose Nugget - Awesome bike can be built tough but light, around a 140-150mm fork. Completely different from the Reign X.
    I use the Nugget at Ray's Mtn. Bike park it's great. But, the Nugget can only run a single front chainring.
    If you want to run a two-ring set-up (and I feel that is needed on a true Trail-AM bike.) Like b-kul said, the GT Distortion would be perfect!

    Also check out the Specialized SX frame. (Not the SX Trail.)
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...cname=Mountain

  15. #15
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    Dont try to reinvent the wheel. Get an AM bike and be done. I just got an enduro and if the geo was off a little it would not climb as well as it does. And if you get a bike and force a 66 deg HA it will be hell on tight switch backs, especialy up hill. Couple that with a set tube angle that is probably set for a low seat for cornering and jumping, you just end up with a crap ride. And yeah I tried this before. Had an SX clipped peddals every frign ride. I hated it. Stupid low BBs dont belong on trails. And to top it off, my enduro rips like no bike iv owned. Im not trying to sell an enduro, im just saying that a bike like it will do you better.
    "If Liberace was alive, he'd be proud to ride that mofo."

  16. #16
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    HTFR, were you running the SX or the SX Trail? If it was the SX, do you know what the bottom bracket height was? I found a pretty good deal on one but the spec's say 12.5" bottom bracket height which is an inch lower than anything I have seen before. I feel that might be a little too low for trail use.

  17. #17
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    OP mentioned he's in the Colorado front range area. I live a bit north of Denver personally. For all those who recommended Banshee, I wanted to check out a Banshee myself, but Banshee bikes are apparently impossible to find anywhere to even look at, let alone test ride. Seems like if you wanted to go that route you'd have to buy a bike online sight unseen, not always the best way to go, especially given your specific requirements. The Banshee Spitfire does seem like it could fit the bill nicely for an aggressive trail bike. If I could find one locally, I might be riding one. Given the geometry differences to the bikes I've owned and do own, it really would be something I'd like to demo before buying.

    Still, it sounds like you might be over-thinking it too much. I'd go out and test ride one of the many great "All Mountain" bikes out there. You'd probably find one you'd be happy with, even if it didn't meet the specific requirements you are currently looking for. You might be surprised. I've never felt a 66 degree HA was really necessary on the front range. Not sure if you have or not, but I'd go for an adjustable seatpost before I was dead set on a 66. Keep in mind the Titus Racer X was a lightweight XC bike with a 71 degree head angle. That's on the extreme other end of the spectrum. Most AM/trail bikes are between 68 and 69 in their stock complete builds.

    I do second what HTFR said though. Anything with too low of a BB you're going to smack rocks constantly on the rocky front range trails. Despite my best efforts, I already hit my pedals/cranks fairly often with an average height BB and 175mm cranks.
    Last edited by BaeckerX1; 01-03-2011 at 02:07 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbahus
    HTFR, were you running the SX or the SX Trail? If it was the SX, do you know what the bottom bracket height was? I found a pretty good deal on one but the spec's say 12.5" bottom bracket height which is an inch lower than anything I have seen before. I feel that might be a little too low for trail use.
    It was an SXt with the shock and shuttle off of an SX and a pike w/ just above 12.5 bb. So it was SX geometery. It was fun on smooth DH but sucked for everything else. I wouldnt do that set up again. Hell even with the coil and a 66 on the thing I clipped rocks. Dont get me wrong that bike is fantstic in its element but there are alot of better options for you.
    "If Liberace was alive, he'd be proud to ride that mofo."

  19. #19
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    It's personal preference.

    I ride a Santa Cruz Blur 4x w/a 13" bb and 67 degree HA all over the East Coast Rox and wouldn't trade it for anything. It straight up rips. Smooth, tech, up or down, it's a great trailbike.

    After riding this bike, I'll never buy another that isn't low and slack.

  20. #20
    wuss
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    Quote Originally Posted by amish_matt
    It's personal preference.

    I ride a Santa Cruz Blur 4x w/a 13" bb and 67 degree HA all over the East Coast Rox and wouldn't trade it for anything. It straight up rips. Smooth, tech, up or down, it's a great trailbike.

    After riding this bike, I'll never buy another that isn't low and slack.
    For different travel bikes the BB height can have a very different reality. I had an Intense Tracer, then an Uzzi. On paper the Uzzi has a higher BB, but in reality the BB ends up lower (more travel).

  21. #21
    smartass
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    No doubt, but this thread was about 4x/SS-style bikes, which generally have shorter travel and work really well with a low bb.

    The Banshee Spitfire isn't a 4x/ss bike, but it is low and slack and sounds perfect for what he described.

  22. #22
    RiffRaff
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    Quote Originally Posted by amish_matt
    It's personal preference.

    I ride a Santa Cruz Blur 4x w/a 13" bb and 67 degree HA all over the East Coast Rox and wouldn't trade it for anything. It straight up rips. Smooth, tech, up or down, it's a great trailbike.

    After riding this bike, I'll never buy another that isn't low and slack.
    I can side with you on the blur. Iv riden one on trails before. It has a much shorter wheel base than the SX. I guess my point is that the AM bikes are getting dialed and for all around bikes they are hard to beat. I ride a local slolom course regularly and im faster on it than even some of my old hard tails. A combonation of getting skills up and have the 160mm to ad a little confidence. Im suposed to get a big ride in with some buds this weekend, if I get pics Ill post them up.
    "If Liberace was alive, he'd be proud to ride that mofo."

  23. #23
    Its got what plants crave
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    The problem is that most true 4X/SS bikes have pretty short seat tubes.. may be tough to get that saddle up high enough to where it would be comfortable to climb on.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  24. #24
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    Tazer?

    I reckon a new Intense Tazer will be the go for what you are asking/after. I rode the previous model and it climbs really well AM wise and it was sub 32lbs, and it is a heap of fun on the way down - cornering and acceleration are a dream. It's low and slack and jumps about nicely. It was fine XC to.

    The new model is even better, stiffer, the seat angle is better for climbing and the head tube is 1.5", so you can slack it out further and, as you mentioned considering a hardtail, you can have 3.25" or 4" rear travel. A pretty cool bike. Another bike that people rave about is the Banshee Rampant. These two are very good it seems.

    I have a Blur XCc, it is 68deg and 13" BB with short CS, it is a lot of fun as it has a 4X flavour to the ride, flys on the ups and flats and best of all is great coming down. I can't wait for the next frame model, it is lighter, stronger and potentially I will be able to slack it out further with out raising the BB - very promising.

    As others have said, going the 4x route is a compromise on the flats and the ups. Good luck.

  25. #25
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    an enduro will do what u want.

    the first time i demo'd one i was pretty blown away. specialized really undersells the bike. the thing screams downhill, it can take some seriously heavy drops and with a short stem and wide bars it feels freeride'-ish. also climbs like a goat.

    i use mine for local xc trails as well as ski resort Dh. it really will do ANYTHING you could want.
    29er's are Goofy

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