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  1. #1
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    Most laterally stiff 5"-6" bike

    Hey all,

    I currently ride an '05 Jamis XLT. It is built up with burly wheels and a 150mm fork. It is fine for the straight descents, though a little XCish, but the thing I hate the most about my bike is the lateral flex in the rear. Sometimes it gets downright scary when I try to rail the berms hard. I am now looking to build up a new bike, and am looking for a frame more burly than my current ride with great lateral stiffness. It would be a "one" bike, so it would have to do everything.

    What frames have you ridden that have great lateral rigidity? I have heard great things about the Banshee Rune and the Reign, but I wonder what the short list of rigid bikes would be.

  2. #2
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    Knolly Endorphin.

    I have not ridden one but you can do the research. If it had as much travel as my 575 I'd pull the trigger today.....maybe. (love my bike quite a bit, lol)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride
    Knolly Endorphin.

    I have not ridden one but you can do the research. If it had as much travel as my 575 I'd pull the trigger today.....maybe. (love my bike quite a bit, lol)
    Yea, I'm sure it's that 6mm that's holding you back

  4. #4
    on my 3rd wind...
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    Stiffest FS bike I've ridden was Foes Fly. For 5-6" travel range, Foes FXR has be at the top of the list for lateral stiffness.
    sth

  5. #5
    EDR
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    Yea, I'm sure it's that 6mm that's holding you back
    Funny.

    I was thinking it was a 5'' bike. Now I have no excuses other than the price tag, and parting with a bike I like so much.

    Damn you Knolly!
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    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 02-11-2009 at 09:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    Pivot Mach 5 is the stiffest 5 to 6 inch travel bike I've every flex tested. But I'm not interested in monopivots and horst links or heavier bikes that may be as stiff or marginally stiffer with this travel due to their compromised dependence on firmer damping and fork dropping for good climbing.

    I like well above average frame and swingarm stiffness, and finally have it now in my bike, a '06 Ibis Mojo with the new design '09 linkage, but high stiffness is not so important to me as overall handling balance and suspension quality.

    Having the linkage upgraded on the same bike that increased stiffness from just moderately above average to becoming very stiff, I found that the noticeable change in handling was only noticeable on smoother surface cornering and jump landings. There was nearly no noticeable improvement in handling on rougher trails.

    As a 200 lbs rider, I've found that fork stiffness is much more important to balanced, confident, and precise handling than swingarm stiffness. Suspension quality and handling geometry are both far more important than stiffness in my experience. (Flame suit zipped up and sealed! )

  7. #7
    T , V , & K Rider
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    Another vote for the Knolly Endorphin.....plenty of lateral stiffness , tracks like a cat , excellent suspension quality ( rarely use the propedal lever position for climbs on my RP23 air shock and the travel feels deeper than 5.5 inches on larger hits ) , and one of the best mtb frames I've owned or tried ! That being said I think the new DW Turner Spot 5.5 would be another excellent choice........I'm getting the DW Sultan soon and cannot wait to ride it and see for myself the advantages of the DW - Link type rear suspension ! I also heard the new Turners are plenty stiff and perform great from reviews ! TIG.
    " A way to a deep freedom " - Tarja

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    I like well above average frame and swingarm stiffness, and finally have it now in my bike, a '06 Ibis Mojo with the new design '09 linkage,
    WTF? You said your mojo didn't need the stiffening-lopes link and that it was adequately stiff before.

    Seems like you've gone back on what you've said, although that's not suprising given your reputation. At least you're now claiming the Pivot is the stifest bike you've "tested" and not the stiffest bike ever. Interesting how many Ibis owners disagree with your "above average stiffness" statement about the Mojo, but equally interesting is how you used to claim (before they made the lopes link) it was plenty stiff.

    I guess now you "finally" have it.

    Some of the things you say...

    I'm not going to tell the OP what bike to get, just don't listen to Derby, he makes outrageously unsupportable claims about bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  9. #9
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    I test rode a Mojo last year when I was considering one over my Yeti 575 and I felt like the Ibis was noodley in the rear! Just my .02 cents.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejasMTB
    I test rode a Mojo last year when I was considering one over my Yeti 575 and I felt like the Ibis was noodley in the rear! Just my .02 cents.
    I've never been on a Mojo but fwiw I've often heard them referred to as wet noodles, but I've heard people say the say thing about the 575. Certainly these two bikes are not in the 'stiffest 5 to 6'' bike category. Still, wonderful bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejasMTB
    I test rode a Mojo last year when I was considering one over my Yeti 575 and I felt like the Ibis was noodley in the rear! Just my .02 cents.
    +1. Ibis is nice enough, but it did not feel very stiff at all.

    I do not know about how important is ultimate stiffness. I can not really bend my current 07' Coiler, and I could not really bend AS-X that I had for a while some time ago. I guess there is such thing as stiff enough.

    Forks are more noticeable to me. Switching to Wotan was quite a change from my previous few rides.

  12. #12
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    Obviously the Turner Spot.

  13. #13
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    Knolly Endorphin is up there for sure. I do notice an increase in stiffness VS my 5spot (and I was very happy w the spot)

  14. #14
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    Chumba XCL is a stiff one too!

  15. #15
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    srey, here are some immediate solutions short of a new frame:

    - Check your rear wheel to see if there is flex there. Are you running an XC rim?
    - Do you run low pressure in a light tire? Get some real sidewalls.
    - Can you convert your hub to a bolt on?
    - how are your frame bearings? Couple years old? Get them replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    But I'm not interested in monopivots and horst links or heavier bikes that may be as stiff or marginally stiffer with this travel due to their compromised dependence on firmer damping and fork dropping for good climbing.
    You'll need your flame suit on for that one... That is one f*ched up statement.

    It's about linkage execution and the ride quality the engineering built in...

    Unless you bite hard on the marketing...

    P

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    - Can you convert your hub to a bolt on?
    Good call. Noticeable on any long travel frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    You'll need your flame suit on for that one... That is one f*ched up statement.
    You are kind to him. I would call it a grade A bullsh.t.

    Amount or pseudo engineering drivel that many DW link advocates are producing is astonishing. Yeah, most of implementations are on decent bikes.

  17. #17
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    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Ventana.....x5, Terramoto, or Ciclon. Either way.....they're all plenty stiff plus they are beautifully constructed.

    Aside.....

    Stiffness comes up all the time.....and it's so subjective that you're never going to get a definitive answer....just opinions (mine are no different). Seems like there's always arguments as to which is the most stiff. It's like saying which bike looks the best. I own a Mojo....and it's "stiff" for me. I'm only 155 lbs. I'm not going to have the same experience as someone who's 200 lbs. So when I say it's "stiff", that doesn't mean that someone else will/should feel the same way. I get sick of hearing people say "ohh...that bike's a noodle". If you have an opinion about a bike's stiffness, you shouldn't have to bash another bike.....but this is the internet and it's really easy to be an armchair quarterback.

    I liken this to the whole 9Qr to 20mm (or 15QR) trend. Before when manufacturers were really making only 9 mmQR, you had NO other choice....so what you defined as "stiff" is totally different than now. You can't bash someone for saying that what he said was "stiff" was wrong. It was their only system for comparison. I've switched to a 20 mm fork.....and it's stiffer for sure. But I didn't do it because I thought the 9mm QR's weren't stiff. Having said that though, I wouldn't go back to a 9.

    So the bottom line: What you think is stiff can only be what you have experienced thus far. And stiffness is not the "end all, be all" trait either. I'd rather sacrifice stiffness for a bike that fit me right.

  18. #18
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    I agree on the wheel statements. I can feel the flex difference between 2 wheels more than I can between two frames.
    Keep the Country country.

  19. #19
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    Ventana is known to make stiff bikes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    And stiffness is not the "end all, be all" trait either. I'd rather sacrifice stiffness for a bike that fit me right.
    ..and there is clearly a point of rapidly diminishing returns.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Good call. Noticeable on any long travel frame.



    You are kind to him. I would call it a grade A bullsh.t.

    Amount or pseudo engineering drivel that many DW link advocates are producing is astonishing. Yeah, most of implementations are on decent bikes.
    You must've heard the gears grinding in my head...

    DW*Link-equipped Iron Horse MKIII... where do those fall in the stiffness spectrum? As I have only ridden those. Mine seems not-so-stiff (at 185#), but like one comment before, it doesn't really matter on rough ground. I bought it not because local terrain requires 5" of travel (0" is plenty) but I wanted it for some out-of-state trips, so it's probably more of a cross between XC and AM (not-so-slack HT, <30#). A few trips out of state will test it good.
    It wouldn't make me trade bikes, just curious.

    Hope that wasn't leading off topic.
    Thanks,
    -F

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas
    It wouldn't make me trade bikes, just curious.
    I only did test Mojo extensively, and only rode MkIII a bit (enough to notice that it is a very nice bike), and I would certainly not trade it for anything just because of stiffness. I am close to 200lb, and it felt quite adequate. Like others here said, you may notice fork, wheels more then the difference in most good frames (and 5" implies a certain level of beef), and bolt-on rear hub may help up as well. $0.02

  23. #23
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    I brought my same rear wheel over to the Endorphin and the Knolly is much more solid a frame for my 220# w/o gear.
    Don't harsh my mello

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Good call. Noticeable on any long travel frame.



    You are kind to him. I would call it a grade A bullsh.t.

    Amount or pseudo engineering drivel that many DW link advocates are producing is astonishing. Yeah, most of implementations are on decent bikes.
    Well, again, I don't want to push a certain bike, but the DW link does have certain benefits that are not found in other designs. As you have stated, not all of the executions have been very laterally stiff, but there are some good examples and applications of the design out there as well. As an example, iron horse designed some of their dw link bikes, and dw was responsible for the suspension kinematics, but not the entire design. Other companies may be more or less capable with bike design, and dw had to eventually design some of the iron horse bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    I liken this to the whole 9Qr to 20mm (or 15QR) trend. Before when manufacturers were really making only 9 mmQR, you had NO other choice.....
    Not quite, you could use a bolt-through axle and the track nuts to gain some rigidity and a good solid interface, and you could also use a fork that requires a 20mm hub, like an old z1 (130-150mm of travel), Talas or vanilla 36 (which doesn't have to be set at 150/160mm of travel), manitou had a few, and so on. I've been using all-mountain bikes/builds since 1999, and except for one build I was using a 20mm through-axle the entire time, on that one build I used the solid bmx axle with track nuts.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  26. #26
    EastBaySteez
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    MKIII, 6point, Pivot bikes all silly stiff.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    +1. Ibis is nice enough, but it did not feel very stiff at all.
    Yes that was true until recently. The Mojo's upper linkage has just been much improved for '09, and the new link fits earlier years. The '09 Mojo is as stiff as the new '09 5 Spot - no hype. But the Mach 5 is stiffer than either, about the same as a monopivot '08 5 Spot or Ventana Ciclon or Bastardo. Demo Mojos should have the new linkage soon. Before the new linkage the Mojo was only average in flex, near the same as a Nomad - again, no hype. Flame away Or do like I did, test for yourself and know the facts.

    Forks are more noticeable to me. Switching to Wotan was quite a change from my previous few rides.
    100% agree.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Yes that was true until recently.
    Lying won't get you anywhere.

    How about these nice little gems from before you used the lopes link;
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    The Ibis Mojo Carbon design feels very balanced and hooks up tire grip incredibly on flat rough corners. Whatever the small amount of flex there is it works very well with the overall very efficient balance of the Mojo when riding.
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Go try the same flex tests on other bikes. You'll find the flex of other mountain bikes with similar travel and use is close to the same as the Mojo. With this much travel only some heavier "faux-bar" monopivots such as Kona, Turner, and Trek have stiffer rear wheel flex.
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Performance wise a little side flex like the Mojo has is faster though rocks than very stiff side flex that causes more sideways tire bounce deflection away from the ride line.
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    But it’s not like the Mojo is sloppy with flex. In the last couple of days I did the side-flex test with some other bikes at a couple bike shops. The difference in the Mojo to the stiffest bikes I found, the new Turner Spot with some high end Mavic wheels and a lower end Trek Fuel right next to it being about the same, the Mojo had about 15 – 20 percent more or about ¼ inch more total side flex. The Mojo is a little flexier than the stiffer metal bikes with as much travel, but not by large amount. The flex is way-way over exaggerated by a couple of people, and then only noticed while not riding the bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Flex is a non-issue though. There is less flex in the Mojo than most if not all other frames of its weight and many heavier. My seat stays have not rubbed my seat tube under my 200 lbs + gear riding anywhere, Moab, Gooseberry and Little Creek, Phoenix, Tahoe, a few jumps or more nearly every ride..
    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    The stiff suspensions just feel faster due to harsher feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    The mild flex in the Mojo is damped with no cornering side bounce, a performance advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Well the Mojo doesn’t have a lot of side flex in the first place. It is less than twice as much rear stay twist using the same efforts pulling and pushing the top of the rear wheel vs. the seat post compared to a walking-beam type new Turner Flux, Spot, or Trek Fuel (all the same in stiffness) I checked out in a LBS next to my now 1.5 year old Mojo. And no more than most 5 inch travel bikes when pushing the crankarm BB sideways with my foot. So there's not really a flex issue with the Mojo in the first place - except to a few nitwits who need sharp and spiky feedback.
    The point here is that you were spewing all this propaganda before Ibis came out with the stiffening lopes-link/before you used it, and now suddenly it's stiff enough? You were telling us until you were blue in the face how it was plenty stiff and stiffer than just about everything else, you were even telling us the "flex" that it had was "good".
    Last edited by Jayem; 02-14-2009 at 09:24 AM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  29. #29
    EDR
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    Lying won't get you anywhere.

    How about these nice little gems from before you used the lopes link;
    Wow Jayem, you have a lot of time on your hands lately......Lol.

    I gotta admit, this is fun.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt
    I agree on the wheel statements. I can feel the flex difference between 2 wheels more than I can between two frames.
    I also think that wheels play a lot into the stiffness issue. I had a Titus Moto Lite with Crosslands wheels. I'm 230 lbs plus gear. I thought the bike was flexy, but I just thought it was the way it was. The I tried another wheelset with 32 spokes, and it made a HUGE difference.

    But also frames affect stiffness. I think it's just a balance. It's usless to have a strong and good engineered rear end, but put flexy wheels, or have the stronges wheelset available on a noodle frame.

    I have a Knolly Endorphin right now and I'm pretty much enjoying how the bike tracks and behaves. I think that it's usually pretty much fancy saying that my bike is the stiffest frame, or that another bike is, because not everybody feels different on their bike, and I haven't tried that many bikes, and on the internet it's easy to bash other designs/brands just to feel that one has made the right choice.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Not quite, you could use a bolt-through axle and the track nuts to gain some rigidity and a good solid interface, and you could also use a fork that requires a 20mm hub, like an old z1 (130-150mm of travel), Talas or vanilla 36 (which doesn't have to be set at 150/160mm of travel), manitou had a few, and so on. I've been using all-mountain bikes/builds since 1999, and except for one build I was using a 20mm through-axle the entire time, on that one build I used the solid bmx axle with track nuts.
    Yes, I know. I never said that there weren't any 20mm forks or anything else besides 9 mm. But it wasn't nearly as prominent as it is today. You're speaking from your own experience. Try to look at things from other people's perspective instead of being so egocentric. you can't argue that as far as what the vast majority of riders consider a "normal" axle, it has always been the 9mmQR. Only now has manufacturers really caught onto the TA trend. Whether or not it's 15 or 20 is a moot point.

    The point of my thread is that "stiff" is relative. No one has any authority to set the stiffness standard. It's all opinion.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    The point of my thread is that "stiff" is relative. No one has any authority to set the stiffness standard. It's all opinion.
    Stiffness is one of the parameters that can actually be measured quite objectively and accurately, Germans love to do that in their magazines.

    For opinions go to the "whos the best monkey on acid..errr.. climbing bike" thread.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Stiffness is one of the parameters that can actually be measured quite objectively and accurately, Germans love to do that in their magazines.

    For opinions go to the "whos the best monkey on acid..errr.. climbing bike" thread.
    sorry, it's just another "I can p!ss farther than thou...." thread...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Stiffness is one of the parameters that can actually be measured quite objectively and accurately, Germans love to do that in their magazines.

    For opinions go to the "whos the best monkey on acid..errr.. climbing bike" thread.
    Sure stiffness can be measured.....I'm sure that NO one here has machinery calibrated to actually measure stiffness on a scale. What someone says is "stiff" or "not stiff" is only his completely subjective opinion. If you told me something is "stiff", that doesn't mean I interpret it in the same way you do. So just because stiffness is quantifiable, it doesn't mean that people are actually measuring it.

    So yes, it is an "I can piss further than you" topic.....or "my bike is better than yours". Lot of chest bumping and posturing.

  35. #35
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    Anti-derby crusade...LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride
    Wow Jayem, you have a lot of time on your hands lately......Lol.

    I gotta admit, this is fun.
    I don't know if Jayem has a lot of time on his hands, but he has a very strong penchant for nit picking derby's posts. Heaven forbid that one comes under the critical, all-knowing eye of Jayem. I fear the day that all my mistakes and snafus...or just misapplied opinions...fall under the oppressive data base of Jayem's computer.

    C'mon, Jayem...give it a rest...LOL! In truth, I think you're just missing the good ol' days of the Political Forum.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride
    Funny.

    I was thinking it was a 5'' bike. Now I have no excuses other than the price tag, and parting with a bike I like so much.

    Damn you Knolly!
    Done and done. thread over. i ride the big brother of this bike(the delerium T) and if it is half as stiff as the D-T then it will be stiffer than any other 5-6" bike that i have ever ridden. that said the D-T is stiffer than any dh bike that i have owned or ridden for sure.

  37. #37
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    Nicolai?
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  38. #38
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    I was a chronic frame swapper until I tried a Ventana with the quad bearing option.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  39. #39
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    As mentioned in the OP, Banshee bikes are really stiff torsionally, my Pyre is super solid under my 215 lbs. And of course as mentioned Knolly - you can't go wrong with those if you are looking for a stiff bike.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Lying won't get you anywhere.

    How about these nice little gems from before you used the lopes link;


    The point here is that you were spewing all this propaganda before Ibis came out with the stiffening lopes-link/before you used it, and now suddenly it's stiff enough? You were telling us until you were blue in the face how it was plenty stiff and stiffer than just about everything else, you were even telling us the "flex" that it had was "good".

    you are my new idol...been wanting to call him out but alwaysed been too lazy to dig hit old posts up.

    you tha man..

    text book proof that you shouldn't walways beleive what you read. never be a sheep

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    I was a chronic frame swapper until I tried a Ventana with the quad bearing option.
    Agreed

    I have a stiffy every time I ride my El Ciclon. The 2009 come with 5.5 rear inch travel, quad bearings and RP23 stock. I have a 2008 with 5 inch and love it. Considering the upgrade to 5.5 which is another great point to go with Ventana. You can customize the way you want it.

    The Path in Tustin, CA had a 19 inch floor model on sale yesterday for something like $1200. You cannot beat that I am sure it will not last another day.
    "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul".

  42. #42
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    Banshee Rune
    It might get a little steep from here

  43. #43
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    As another Clyde who's thrown a leg over the Endorphin, I can say it is very stiff. I'm about 240#+ gear and there was no flex to be felt at all when I took RidesInMud's out for a spin. In that case, the suspension was undersrpung for my weight, but even so...very stiff laterally.

    Banshee makes some pretty stiff bikes too...I'll agree with Martin: Banshee or Knolly are great choices, stiff and the kind of bikes you can't go wrong with
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dazzat3's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    161

    Have a look at the IH 6 point 4/6

    Ironhorse 6 point is really worth a good look. I have a 6.4 and I am extremely happy with it in all respects "the best value DW link all mountain bike on the market". It's amazing on down hills runs yet still climbs/sprints as well as any suspenion bike in its class although it is a little heavy, I can live with the weight as it is unbreakable but that's just my two cents worth.

    have a look at RSC for some really good deals certainly better than what we pay out here in Oz.

    http://www.rscycle.com/2008-Iron-Hor...category=27532

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