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  1. #26
    slamma
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    I have always pondered the travel question. i like the slacker geo. but want the efficancy. then they came out with the new marin wolf ridge, with a 67 deg, head angle and 5.5 inches of good quality travel and reliability you cant go wrong.
    Just go ride
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  2. #27
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    Under 6" is boring :P

    The best way to sum it up for me is the "fun factor" associated with longer travel... I have two rides, a Ells Epiphany (light as hell, climbs like a goat), and an Intense 6.6 (sub 30 lbs).

    I have decided that while the Ells is an amazing bike, handles well, climbs insane, corners at high speed, etc. it's just not as "fun". It makes me work a bit more, be more picky about lines, and isn't as forgiving when you hit really rough stuff.

    The Intense climbs excellent, I often pass many others on the local rides. But it shines on every other part of the trail. Cornering, descending, rough stuff, etc. It just doesn't care where you go on the trail, or what line, just lean back and enjoy where Mt Biking has taken us these days.

    I test rode the Intense Tracer on local trails, and IMO 6" travel isn't really even that great (live in the Pac NW).

    Anyway, Intense makes me look forward to riding and having a blast, while other bikes were always more about getting motivated to get outside, exercise, etc.

  3. #28
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    Did some mellow local trail riding a few months back and came across a guy on a Bullit / DC fork / single DH ring. Thought to myself wrong bike for the area buddy. I began my ride about the same time as he did.On the first extended climb he passed me w/ a smile on my face - respect anything anyone rides. Just because some riders feel empowered riding a hardtail doesn't mean the guy on a 7" bike isn't entitled to feel the same.

  4. #29
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    I think all of this can be summed up by

    My bike is better then your bike.

    But seriously, I'm running a 42 pound 7 inch travel DH bike for my "everything bike." Yes, I could do my xc rides twice as fast (or maybe more), but then I wouldn't get to hit those 5 foot drops, or do that big jump. Yes, there are people who ride the same trails I do on 6 inch travel bikes (well, not all of the trails), and a couple of them (though uncommon) even do them faster then me. Theres a couple jumps that I do (15 foot gaps etc) that people do on pretty much everything. My friend just did it on his hardtail with an RST fork and threw a barhump on the way.

    Could I get away with that? hell no, I case hard 2-3 times a ride, short a drop, overshoot a drop, land flat, etc. I beat the crap out of my stuff. Are there people who can do it on a shorter AM bike? Brian Lopes could probably do a 360 on his ibis mojo and run the frame for 4 years on the stuff I ride. I would probably break it within a month through being a hack.

    But heres the most important judgement for whats a good bike: I enjoy my bike more then any other bike out there. I finish each ride with a smile on my face, and it lets me do everything I want to. Sure, its not ideal for a long grind up hill, but it just makes me more stoked to pass some guy on their 4 inch mojo with all the gear.

    More suspension is usually better. Karpiel Apocolypse anybody?!

  5. #30
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    if i ever see a dude rippin on a bike that the mags tell us is not suited for the terrain im like... awesome amigo.. ur hardcore.. that includes XC bikes on DH course and geezers stomping big DH bikes up hills!

    Also remember that lots of people have different agendas to you.. you might be like why bring that big rig on this XC route not knowing that there are some nice jumps and or drops a few miles away which they will sessioning.. thats kinda the riding I like!

    ALL GOOD!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuna
    I think alot of people are caught up in the marketing hype of more travel=better bike. Don't get me wrong, I am no XC weenie,and I have seen others with the same or lesser bikes riding them hard, and I like drops and smaller jumps, (not much here, but on trips.)
    really, who cares what other people ride?

    I ride a Turner RFX as my only bike because: 1. I will only own 1 bike 2. It is the perfect bike for many of the trails I ride 3. I't dosent do too badly on the flats, and 4. I needed a very burly bike with a TA because I am tall and heavy.

    When I ride I really try and turn off that little voice in my head that likes to judge and evaluate everything.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypher32x
    I think its funny to think about riders talking about this subject not many years ago.

    "These kids today think they need 4" of suspension travel for downhill riding. Why would anyone need more that 3" of travel for any type of riding?"

    Now it has just moved from 4" to 6" and AM instead of downhill, but the convo is still the same.
    Even before that,...
    "I dont need no stinkin suspension fork, I aint a wussy. My arms and legs provide all the suspension I'll ever need. Its a fad, it'll never catch on"

    we all know how that ended up.

    The person is out riding, does it really matter what kind of bike for any trail they are riding on?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuna
    Has everyone noticed how much travel bikes have these days for an "All Mountain" bike? Yesterday I was riding a local trail system that is super smooth, on my cyclocross bike and I pass a guy that had an Ellsworth with a Totem?? Most of the trails where I live, a bike with 4 inches of travel is more then plentyI.....

    Anybody else notice this?
    Yeah it's true. What's even sadder is when someone posts a "what bike" in these forums the answer is invariably get an AM bike..... Without even asking what kind of terrain they ride. For the majority of people who bought into one of these, they would have been better off with a 4-5" FS (the not quite race, or "trail" models). Most people go out and xc/trail ride and should be recommended something accordingly. Why put them on something slow because that's what they have? Very few are really going to go out and look for 5" drop offs and as you suggest, a 4 or 5 inch trail bike would be more than enough.

    I recently agreed with someone that they should have a dedicated XC/Trail thread. Something between XC Racing and AM for the majority of people who go to their local trail networks to ride. As a former elite sr. mens racer and bmx'er, I wouldn't recomend a racer geometry HT just because it is noticably faster, nimbler, and a better climber than any AM, or my current "trail" bike which means it's faster over 85% of the terrain at these networks.

  9. #34
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    Like others have pointed out, I prefer geometry over travel. But most bikes with shorter travel have steeper geo. There are some new options that give slack with small travel as others have mentioned.

    I do set up my suspension to be very plush. So I do use just about every inch on the trails around here. I run a 180mm 66RC2X up front and have 160mm in the back. Not all my trails have 5' drops on them but some do. I like very plush suspension on the way down. My bike climbs really well so I don't suffer on the climbs too bad.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Like others have pointed out, I prefer geometry over travel. But most bikes with shorter travel have steeper geo. There are some new options that give slack with small travel as others have mentioned.

    I do set up my suspension to be very plush. So I do use just about every inch on the trails around here. I run a 180mm 66RC2X up front and have 160mm in the back. Not all my trails have 5' drops on them but some do. I like very plush suspension on the way down. My bike climbs really well so I don't suffer on the climbs too bad.
    You got it! Geo for me is number one for all day riding. It is worth it to me to pedal an extra five pounds, and deal with extra squish for hours on end to be able to charge a big boulder and launch off the other side when I can. I have a buddy that rides a P2 on the trails. He gets even more guff than I do for having a long travel bike in MN, but he rips the down hills and will jump off anything I point out (Inculding the roof of the hair salon a few weeks ago ) all with no squish in the back and 4 inches up front. It just works for him, like longer travel works for most of the folks reading the posts in this forum. If you want to race you better choose your equipment based on the terrain. If you want to ride you need a bike and not much else.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Yeah, I think travel numbers get too much attention. 5" of well tuned travel can handle a lot more than people seem to realize. What is far more important is the geometry and build. However, those things are hard to quantify with a number, whereas travel is easy.

    What really cracks me up are these 28 lb 6.5" travel bikes. Sorry, but if you really need 6.5" travel, then your 28lb bike is in big trouble.
    Travel does get a lot of attention, but I agree that geometry also should be a factor. I have a 5x5 bike that was called "all mountain" when it came out. In reality, it is a long travel XC bike for a Clyde like me who needs the extra when on trails or XC rides. I've taken it to the local park and it most certainly is *not* a park bike.

    My next ride will be in the 6-7" class...not because I am looking at going evil kenevil on it, but rather because it'll generally have the geo and stiffness I want. The travel will likely be underutilized until I go to the local park (or do a trip to Panorama or Whistler), but for me, it'll fit the other ways and be the "one bike" for me and my current (and near future) style of riding.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Like others have pointed out, I prefer geometry over travel. But most bikes with shorter travel have steeper geo. There are some new options that give slack with small travel as others have mentioned.
    Agreed.

    Working on now trying to tweek my current rig into something with the same (or close to) geometry, but with less travel. Lower, shorter, less travel, still beefy, but with the same geometry? Should give me slightly shorter stays as well, which I like.

    Sign me up.

    Otherwise, big bikes or small, so long as someone is having a good time riding whatever they're riding, then who cares?
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  13. #38
    M_S
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    BTW I rode my 'cross bike on some steep technical trails today and my hands hurt. Maybe I should put a Totem on it???

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    BTW I rode my 'cross bike on some steep technical trails today and my hands hurt. Maybe I should put a Totem on it???
    Troll, much?
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    Agreed.

    Working on now trying to tweek my current rig into something with the same (or close to) geometry, but with less travel. Lower, shorter, less travel, still beefy, but with the same geometry? Should give me slightly shorter stays as well, which I like.

    Sign me up.

    Otherwise, big bikes or small, so long as someone is having a good time riding whatever they're riding, then who cares?
    I really like the specs of the Marin Wolfridge. Look at the Corsair Marque. Even the Giant Reign now has a 68 deg HA with a 140mm fork. 160mm puts you at 67deg.
    I like the ability to change the bikes geo with part swaps.
    Like adjust the wheelbase with swappable dropouts.
    Another option is to spec a bike with a 7.875 x 2.0 shock. That way you can lower BB and slack bike with a 7.5 x 2.0 shock or add travel by going to a 7.875 x 2.25" shock.
    Options are nice...

  16. #41
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    Wow

    Lots of interesting responses, again my point wasn't trying to judge the rider and as I posted anybody out riding gets the hello from me, but it just seems like a lot of focus is on travel instead of like others have suggested, geometery (I know I have had some nice bikes that I hated because due to geometery) or maybe the type of terrain they will be riding in. Just thought maybe the marketing guys were sneaking up on us like the CNC parts fad of the 90s or the neon or anodized fad (wait, I think this one is coming back.) Whatever you ride enjoy the trail!

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    BTW I rode my 'cross bike on some steep technical trails today and my hands hurt. Maybe I should put a Totem on it???
    why stop there? they'd hurt less with a super monster and 12 inches of travel, and we want the best for your hands.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuna
    Lots of interesting responses, again my point wasn't trying to judge the rider and as I posted anybody out riding gets the hello from me, but it just seems like a lot of focus is on travel instead of like others have suggested, geometery (I know I have had some nice bikes that I hated because due to geometery) or maybe the type of terrain they will be riding in. Just thought maybe the marketing guys were sneaking up on us like the CNC parts fad of the 90s or the neon or anodized fad (wait, I think this one is coming back.) Whatever you ride enjoy the trail!
    A lot of it is marketing hype so as to get you believing you need more travel to keep up (with the Jones'?) and sell more bikes. OTOH I've seen just the opposite here in OR where most of us are ditching our 8-9" travel FR/DH bikes in favor of "aggressive" 6-7" travel AM bikes with slacker HA's because they're lighter and jump better at parks and local FR destinations. When the dust settles I fully expect to see the AM segment dominated by lighter 5-6" travel bikes and a new SS/DJ segment dominated by 6-7" travel bikes and the AM 6" do-all bike to all but disappear because they don't really excel in any one area. Things will get more distinct in the near future; at least that's how I see it.

    Have FUN!

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    Last edited by Gman086; 10-27-2008 at 02:46 PM.
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  19. #44
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    Lower, shorter, less travel, still beefy, but with the same geometry?
    On-One has done an interesting variation of their 456 hardtail: the "Summer Season" with about 66 to 67 degree head angle with a 5" fork. Apparently, they figured that lots of people were using tall forks just to get a slack head angle, and saw that there must be a better way to acchieve that.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuna
    Yesterday I was riding a local trail system that is super smooth, on my cyclocross bike and I pass a guy that had an Ellsworth with a Totem?? ?
    Guilty of this myself. Nothing like riding an over-specced, under-utilized bike on a trail with nothing bigger than a pebble to launch my rolling behemoth over.

    Whats worse. I was invited to do some push runs down a DH short course and put on my Sky Trooper gear only to be blitzed by a by a bunch of guys on XC bikes!

  21. #46
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    Yeah, I looked at that the other day. Looks very nice.

    Next time I'm in the market for a new hardtail frame, something like that will be the ticket.


    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    On-One has done an interesting variation of their 456 hardtail: the "Summer Season" with about 66 to 67 degree head angle with a 5" fork. Apparently, they figured that lots of people were using tall forks just to get a slack head angle, and saw that there must be a better way to acchieve that.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by other aardvark
    Guilty of this myself. Nothing like riding an over-specced, under-utilized bike on a trail with nothing bigger than a pebble to launch my rolling behemoth over.

    Whats worse. I was invited to do some push runs down a DH short course and put on my Sky Trooper gear only to be blitzed by a by a bunch of guys on XC bikes!
    who cares? when you fall, you don't go to the hospital.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Like others have pointed out, I prefer geometry over travel. But most bikes with shorter travel have steeper geo. There are some new options that give slack with small travel as others have mentioned.

    I do set up my suspension to be very plush. So I do use just about every inch on the trails around here. I run a 180mm 66RC2X up front and have 160mm in the back. Not all my trails have 5' drops on them but some do. I like very plush suspension on the way down. My bike climbs really well so I don't suffer on the climbs too bad.
    See, and I went the other way. I picked a trail bike, 5" travel, with a relatively steep HA and low BB (compared to AM's and some trail, but not race). I also ended up with my suspension on the slightly stiff side. I guess it's the racer in me coming through. My preference is for the speed and agility and I'm willing to give up some on the DH's.

    Remember too that everything is relative. If AM'ers took their bikes out with fast trail riders and racers types they'd suffer on the climbs and single track. Just like the types of riders will suffer going down some of the crazy terrain I see the true AM'ers riding. And there are exceptions.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by nm_gunslinger
    See, and I went the other way. I picked a trail bike, 5" travel, with a relatively steep HA and low BB (compared to AM's and some trail, but not race). I also ended up with my suspension on the slightly stiff side. I guess it's the racer in me coming through. My preference is for the speed and agility and I'm willing to give up some on the DH's.

    Remember too that everything is relative. If AM'ers took their bikes out with fast trail riders and racers types they'd suffer on the climbs and single track. Just like the types of riders will suffer going down some of the crazy terrain I see the true AM'ers riding. And there are exceptions.
    meh, its the rider not the bike. My friend just took 1st in pro in a super D race (never having raced super D in his life, always having been a downhill type) on an SX Trail. The trail wasn't particularly gnarly, he just has the drive to push himself harder then everybody else. Likewise I regularly pass people on little xc bikes while i'm on an 8 inch travel DH bike going up the hill. I also get passed by people on rigid 29'ers and on AM bikes. Would I be faster with a smaller bike? probably a bit, but I bet if I had a rigid 29er those same dudes would still destroy me on the hills, and I bet I would tend to pass/get passed by the same groups of people. Bikes don't make nearly the difference in your ability to climb a hill as people make them out to (tires do though! I can't climb for crap with my DH tires on). If somebodies confidence goes up because they bought a certain bike, cool, then it played a secondary role in making the rider better, but a "true AM rider" who doesn't go up the hills as fast as you probably wouldn't go up the hills as fast as you no matter what bike they're on.

  25. #50
    M_S
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    Troll, much?
    Not really. Previous post in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    I ride my cyclocross bike on the same trails as my mountain bike(s) but I ride them in different ways, hitting different features, focusing more on the enjoyment of the climbs and picking a nervous, nimble line on the cross bike, doing jumps on another bike, etc.
    I think my position is similar to yours.

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