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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
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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 03:07 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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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  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.
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  26. #26
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    To the O.P., the banshee spitfire fits your description pretty well. Low, slack; it's a trail bike, yet absolutely rips the downhills. Mine is built heavy, to 33 pounds.
    It's a large, and it's located in the Boulder Co. area......

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  27. #27
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    Funny that no one mentioned the Santa Cruz Nomad? Carbon is nice! Climbs well and I had no problems with it at Whistler.

  28. #28
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    I still like my parker. It is a slopestyle bike, but it has a longer seat tube which I like.

    That would fit your bill perfectly. and right now you can get them cheap from jenson.
    Last edited by wolfman00; 01-14-2011 at 01:38 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy
    Funny that no one mentioned the Santa Cruz Nomad? Carbon is nice! Climbs well and I had no problems with it at Whistler.
    Perhaps because it doesn't meet the criteria of the guy who started the thread? He's looking for low and slack. 67 degrees is not slack, and a 14 inch BB height is not low.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    Perhaps because it doesn't meet the criteria of the guy who started the thread? He's looking for low and slack. 67 degrees is not slack, and a 14 inch BB height is not low.
    The OP wanted "66 degree ish". 67 is pretty darn close.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy
    The OP wanted "66 degree ish". 67 is pretty darn close.
    It's still got a comparatively high BB, and only an average HTA. Again, not what the OP asked for.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by amish_matt
    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.
    ditto, just too bad they stopped making them

    The Commencal 4x looks nice too but getting proper SP extension could be an issue

  33. #33
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    Although not billed as a 4x/SS bike, the Yeti ASR-5 has all the right numbers to be a ripping low and slack trailbike.

    Slightly shorter wheelbase than the Spitfire too.

  34. #34
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    Specialized Enduro carbon frame,slack HA, low BB,160mm super active a lockable travel for climbing,as many reviews say,the closest AM bike to a DH rig without the weight penalty.
    Last edited by bullit43; 01-15-2011 at 05:13 AM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce604
    ditto, just too bad they stopped making them

    The Commencal 4x looks nice too but getting proper SP extension could be an issue
    agreed. I really wish I could get my hands on a 4x, I want a a DS bike to try and get into some slalom riding, but also want it to be able to handle the occasional trail ride. I'm in the same boat as the OP, the biggest problem, as previously stated, is having a long enough seatpost to get proper extension.
    2013 Medium Santa Cruz Blur Trc in Matte/Silver, full XT kit, 1x10 with 32T wolftooth ring, 25 pounds 7 ounces

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtails Are Better
    It's still got a comparatively high BB, and only an average HTA. Again, not what the OP asked for.
    I was like minded to your thinking and tried a few bikes that seemed to fit the bill...
    Get most 4x bikes out on the trail and the realities then hit you in the face,true 4x geo. along with short top tube and seat tubes dont end up working real well for a full day of A.M. and trail rideing.
    Now there are a few frames that are on the fringe,blur 4x might work and a sx trail will work,the botle rocket (more slope style) is o.k. but why pay a huge weight penilty and the pedal postion did not work for me becuase I like a real laid back seat angle.
    If you want to go into the hardtail world a used vagrant and a new n.s. surge are two great bang for your $$$ and fit the bill.
    The only real test is to get what ever you have the hots for out on the trail and check it out.
    I ended up on a haro porter and its pretty cool,I picked mine up used for a real good deal,but would not pay for one new
    Last edited by AMCAT; 01-15-2011 at 06:59 AM.

  37. #37
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    getting the evo coil shock kit when it comes out and then ittl be perfect...
    Last edited by nokfir2; 01-15-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2


    getting the evo coil shock kit when it comes out and then ittl be perfect...

    Just FYI cane creek is making the double barrel fit the 2010/ 2011 Enduros for $650. That is what i plan on doing if i go that route, I figure that is around whar spec will charge for a "evo kit"

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck
    Just FYI cane creek is making the double barrel fit the 2010/ 2011 Enduros for $650. That is what i plan on doing if i go that route, I figure that is around whar spec will charge for a "evo kit"
    i dont believe they are going to charge 650$ for a Fox DHX RC2 coil rear shock and two pieces of metal.

  40. #40
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    i email cane creek. there double barrel is not available yet. who knows what spec will charge for the fox shock.
    29er's are Goofy

  41. #41
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    The normal not "special" coil is around 400 and i could see them charging a arm and a leg like with there e160 aftermarket.

  42. #42
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    I would 3rd, 4th, 5th or whatever the enduro for sure, the Big S undermarkets it for sure, i was riding an 09 for a really long time and its a fantastic climber with some good legs on top of it, and it can go down like nobodies business... test rode an '11 a few months ago and it was even better, more travel that felt bottomless on all but true DH Trails, and could pedal pretty well going up...

  43. #43
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    I rode my Rune on brutal up and down 1track all summer. It can climb, but the downhills are absolutely where it's at for that bike. The Van36 was a hog as well, too heavy for climbing. Just my 2cents. If you are out west and climb fire roads to ride long descents, then screw it, get a Rune or a bottle rocket.

    My carbon Blur is much much better for my local trails. The point is to get the right thing for YOUR trails.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonovc
    I would 3rd, 4th, 5th or whatever the enduro for sure, the Big S undermarkets it for sure, i was riding an 09 for a really long time and its a fantastic climber with some good legs on top of it, and it can go down like nobodies business... test rode an '11 a few months ago and it was even better, more travel that felt bottomless on all but true DH Trails, and could pedal pretty well going up...
    x2.

    totally undersold and underated bike.
    29er's are Goofy

  45. #45
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    While I agree that the 10/11 Enduro is a fantastic bike (Have ride time on a '10) and it will do the Trail/DH thing very well - Is that really what the OP is looking for?

    Really look at the GT Distortion 2.0:
    http://www.gtbicycles.com/bikes/moun...rtion-2-0-gray

    That thing has 112mm rear travel, and 140mm front travel. A 12x135mm rear Maxle thru-axle, and great low, slack geometry.
    And should be able to be built up lighter than the Enduro - imaging the Distortion with a Revelation World Cup fork(!)

    Again, I love the Enduro, and own a '10 Reign X, but I can see the appeal of a short travel, low/slack, stout bike.

  46. #46
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    I'm in the same boat. I've been riding a six inch all mtn. for a while and I realize it is really more travel than I need or want. My friend rides a Bottlerocket as his all mountain rig and it performs very well. Here is a link to a sick lines build on the BR. 32 lbs!

    http://www.sicklines.com/tech/park-b...-bottlerocket/

  47. #47
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    Does anyone have any trail riding time on a 4x/slopestyle bike? I really want to get a bike like that for freeriding and trail riding. Where I live, the trails are mostly smooth, so there is no need for a big bike, and I love the feel of a snappy flickable four inch bike. I would also use it for dirt jumping.

    So does anybody have any experience they would like to share? Specifically, how do they handle on fireroads or trails? I'm not concerned about pedaling efficiency, as this bike will be used for downhill primarily. I'm considering the SX, Double, Ndiza, or similar.

    Thanks!

  48. #48
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    I have a Double that I use for some xc. I wanted a fun short-travel bike to ride anywhere. I'm scared of light bikes and parts, so a 4X/SS was a good fit. With the RP23 and Propedal the bike is versatile. My trail is mostly flat, twisty, and rooty, and the bike rips through it! I'll ride some urban and pumptrack, too. I'll ride seated sometimes, and it's o.k., but the bike rides better standing, which for me means going faster! At speed the bike really starts to shine, even on pavement. I'm 6' and 210 and ride a large w/ a layback seatpost, it weighs 34lbs. It could be lighter, but my spec gives me confidence.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4X/Slopestyle Bike for AM?-dbll.jpg  


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullit43
    i dont believe they are going to charge 650$ for a Fox DHX RC2 coil rear shock and two pieces of metal.
    then you dont know the ways of spech

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by pebbles
    I have a Double that I use for some xc. I wanted a fun short-travel bike to ride anywhere. I'm scared of light bikes and parts, so a 4X/SS was a good fit. With the RP23 and Propedal the bike is versatile. My trail is mostly flat, twisty, and rooty, and the bike rips through it! I'll ride some urban and pumptrack, too. I'll ride seated sometimes, and it's o.k., but the bike rides better standing, which for me means going faster! At speed the bike really starts to shine, even on pavement. I'm 6' and 210 and ride a large w/ a layback seatpost, it weighs 34lbs. It could be lighter, but my spec gives me confidence.

    that bikes looks like a ton of fun

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