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  1. #1
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    Too Much Travel for AM?

    I broke my current frame on the headtube and I'm in the market for a nicer bike that won't break. The frame I broke was a POS and I don't want to repeat that again. I found a great deal on a 2005 GaryFisher KingFisher 2. The components are sweet and I love the look of it. But what I'm concerned with is...is it too much bike for my style? 7 inches of cushy like a Caddilac suspension seems a bit much for 5 foot wheelie drops and small hucks. But, I believe that the bike would give me confidence on stuff I would normally never do.

    Ex: Last year when I only had a hardtail, you would have to pay me $50 to even consider a 2' drop. When I got the now broken full squishy, I was doing every 2' drop and even 5' drops and steeeep rollers - with little if any fear.

    So, do you think 7" o' travel is okay? I feel kida strange because there are people in my group who do 8 footers on a ss hardtail. Thanks, I will hopefully test ride her today.
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  2. #2
    Paste eater
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    I'll start by saying the same thing i say on ever " is _____ to much/little for ____" threads, it's all personal preference. With that being said, I have no experience with that bike but 7 inches is overkill for me... If it pedals and climbs alright for you than do it. It LOOKS more like a DH bike though.

  3. #3
    Made in China
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    If you can pedal up then it's All Mountain to you

  4. #4
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    I ride my bullit everywhere, which has 7.25" Doesn't bother me a bit with a platform shock.
    7" fork (or more), on the other hand, was too high for me in the front, so I switched to a 6" fork

  5. #5
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Bigger bikes for AM (pros and cons vs a 5" bike)

    Pro:
    * More confidence on downhills/drops due to extra travel
    * Slacker head angle allows great DH stability
    * Likely has the ability to run fatter tires for aggressive riding or skinnies for more XC
    * More likely to run coil suspension which is *probably* more durable in the long run and is *definitely* less likely to leave you walking home if it fails on the trail.
    * More margin of error which might save you if you get in over your head

    Con:
    * Weight (Duh!) specifically in the wheels will make climbing more arduous
    * Slack head angle will make the bike wander on climbs (fixable with ETA or travel adjust forks, but can be a pain to adjust on frequent shorter climbs)
    * Slack head angle will make the fork bounce backwards off technical climbs (fixable with travel adjust forks, ETA however decreases travel too much to be effective on technical climbs IMHO)
    * Long wheelbase/slack head angles make the bike not feel as nimble in the turns as a shorter travel rig
    * Longer travel bikes are generally more expensive than mid travel bikes.
    * More margin of error likely to make you try more aggressive trails, get in over your head, and hurt yourself

    I've ridden my Bullit for years in an "all mountain" capacity and sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not. You can do big (2,000' plus) climbing rides on a big bike, but it takes a lot more steam to get up the hill. It's more annoying to me on frequent shorter technical climbing rides I do than the long smooth ones because of the bounce back issue. Then again, the suffering is easily forgotten when you are bombing down the other side of the climb.

    It all comes down to your style, your terrain and your budget. I would say that generally, a longer travel bike has more compromises than a 5" bike but is almost always going to be more fun on the downhills. It's up to you to quantify how the compromises will affect you, and how much fun you want to have going down.

  6. #6
    FishZapper
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    My bullit was OKAY for shorter rides, up to 15 miles. After that it was JUST TOO MUCH. Eventually I would just wear down.

  7. #7
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    I started w/ 3" of rear travel stepped up to a 5" bike then to my current 6.5" Bullit. Weight wasn't much of an issue because all the bike weighed in around 35lb. Rolling resistance based on tire choice made a hugh difference on my rides. A DC fork also always seemed to change my bike's mood to DH oriented. I now have 43lb. VP Free , DC fork , DH tires - this sled makes trail riding a chore. Most frame manufactures list their bikes for certain usage... maight be good to listen to them sometimes instead of pushing the boundries super hard.

  8. #8
    Portland, OR
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    7 inches isnt too big. my bike is running 170 in the back and 150 in the front, but if I want my bike to be a little less raked, I throw a 130mm fork on there and it works fine. just depends on weight ...sure my bike is running 7 inches of travel, but its only 37 pounds
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  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    I broke my current frame on the headtube and I'm in the market for a nicer bike that won't break. The frame I broke was a POS and I don't want to repeat that again. I found a great deal on a 2005 GaryFisher KingFisher 2. The components are sweet and I love the look of it. But what I'm concerned with is...is it too much bike for my style? 7 inches of cushy like a Caddilac suspension seems a bit much for 5 foot wheelie drops and small hucks. But, I believe that the bike would give me confidence on stuff I would normally never do.

    Ex: Last year when I only had a hardtail, you would have to pay me $50 to even consider a 2' drop. When I got the now broken full squishy, I was doing every 2' drop and even 5' drops and steeeep rollers - with little if any fear.

    So, do you think 7" o' travel is okay? I feel kida strange because there are people in my group who do 8 footers on a ss hardtail. Thanks, I will hopefully test ride her today.
    Over 5-6" is too much for all round use for me unless the fork has usable travel reduction like a TALAS or u-turn settup. Really depends on how much xc and climbing your All Mountain riding consists of.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    ..is it too much bike for my style? 7 inches of cushy like a Caddilac suspension seems a bit much for 5 foot wheelie drops and small hucks. But, I believe that the bike would give me confidence on stuff I would normally never do.

    Ex: Last year when I only had a hardtail, you would have to pay me $50 to even consider a 2' drop. When I got the now broken full squishy, I was doing every 2' drop and even 5' drops and steeeep rollers - with little if any fear.
    I bet that slack geometry on that FS played more of a role in your recent experience and progression than "tons of travel vs. hardtail" did.

    Keep in mind my opinion is based on local terrain, my limited skills, and personal preferences. I don't mean to belittle anyone elses riding style or preferences.

    "More travel" isn't necessarily going to solve any problems, and it may create new ones.

    If you plan to spend a lot of time hauling ass in rough terrain (blazing through rock gardens), and going freaking huge, then I think long travel bikes make a lot of sense.

    Technical stunts, hammering down the trail, jumps, drops to transition, maneuverability, rear wheel control, popping off of every little hit you can find -- I'll take short / stiff travel any day of the week.

    Big travel bikes are generally harder to bunnyhop, higher bb, and higher center of gravity... I guess that is my root of my complaint, as those attributes do not mesh with my (lack of) style and local terrain.

    If you just want a long travel bike that has a lot of sag and soft suspension (Cadillac style) so you can motor through the forest blasting through roots and small rocks without ever having to get off of the saddle, then a long travel "AM / aggressive XC / whatever" will do it. I tried it, but didn't like it. However, a lot of people seem to be after this type of ride... whatever puts a smile on your face is alright with me.

  11. #11
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    the bike is ok, i work at a bike shop, talk to your lbs about last years king fishers (on clearence) someone in the shop has it. 44 pounds though. hard to jump it (i.e. bunny hop) soaks up too much, look ath the gary fish fat possum. thats a bike i really liked

  12. #12
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    nothing is absolut

    Theres all mountain hardtails bikes, mid travel (4-5 '') and a littlebit log travel (6-7'') bikes.

    I ride a Bullit 38 pounds with the new 66 light eta (I just broke my z1), and FOR ME this is the best all mountain some freeride bike, of course I can pedal, not as fast but the 5th element and the frame design/stifnes makes the things easier.

    It depends in your, weight and technique.and some others personal preferences. For me 3-4'' travel bikes are XC bikes and for some others mine is a DH bike.

  13. #13
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    like others have said, depends on what your priorities are when riding. depends on the types of guys you ride with (ie, are they fast lycra wearing dudes where a slower bike may be a bummer when climbing trying to keep up?), etc...

    I loved my Bullit, felt it pedalled great, and was an idiot to sell it.....having said that, my riding style has changed and as much as i would love to have it, would probably not use it much given my current priorities.

    in other words, tough to answer.....though the King Fisher 2 looks great to me.

  14. #14
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    AM thoughts...hmmm

    If you ride extreme trails with high levels of difficulty (ie... drops, jumps etc...) w/ some climbing why not!? With Tech today we can ride 7" that feels as firm as a 4-5" bike! AM is whatever it means to you. IMHO - Its only overkill if you are not using the bike to its capacity and not planning on doing so. Then you could get away with something with less travel.

    I ride a 7" / 7" bike that weigh around 40lbs even. It pedal very nice with the DHX Air. I switch out between running single ring and dual ring with guide, depending upon where I ride. It really does not feel like there is 7" behind me. I also have a giant Vt for AM use, but never ride it anymore b/c I can do pretty much everything with the Dirtbag! I may not be the fastest going to the top, but I never make anyone wait and I think I may be having the most fun! (Especially going down!)

    But if I were to visit Tsali - it would be too much!!!!!
    Last edited by Dirtman; 07-06-2006 at 02:04 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    . When I got the now broken full squishy, I was doing every 2' drop and even 5' drops and steeeep rollers - with little if any fear.
    I feel kida strange because there are people in my group who do 8 footers on a ss hardtail.
    for me, moving from a hardtail to a 6" bike didnt make me a better rider, but gave me more confidence in doing the drops i hesitated on and i could now move through rough/ technical sections at higher speed. it also made the ride alot easier on the body. in hindsight, riding the hardtail with my friends who had 4"- 8" bikes made me a better rider. it taught me how to pick smooth lines and good bike handling skills. i personally think my 6" is a bit overkill, but that is for me, my riding style, and terrain. its all about what feels right for you.

  16. #16
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    I ride more trails than straight DH/FR, but since I like to do drops now and then, I got a Gemini. 170 MM front and back is perfect for me, but I can feel the geometry working against me on longer trails.

  17. #17
    Dirt Displacer
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    Even with my Nomad raked out with a 170mm '05 'Zoki 66vf (which had a taller axle-crown than the '05), and +6 inches of rear suspension travel, I can still do epic 20 milers no worries. Going uphill is slower, really hammering to gain altitude will earn me nothing except exhaustion.... but once I do get uphill, coming back down makes every extra inch of suspension travel so worth it.....
    And I've yet to have a problem with the front-end wandering on really technical climbs.... A majority of the time I can just bull my way up stuff.....
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