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  1. #1
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    Trail/all mountain/short travel fun bike

    Im looking for a trail bike with between 4 and 5.5" travel that will basically fill the hole between my 4x hardtail and my downhill bike, as a dh rider I basically want a short travel bike that can go anywhere realy but I dont need excessive travel to do that, just a solid fun frame that i can 'rag' arround trails or anything that takes my fancy, you know the bike you always want to pick up first out of the shed cos' its just so much fun
    to play about on.

    At the moment iv been looking at four bikes realy...

    Iron horse mkIII- not sure how it rides looks good on paper, but, 69degree h/a seems a little steep maby not for general trail stuff but when things turn downhill and I wana let rip then I dont know if Im gona have problems, I can also only slacken it by the height of a headset cup by running external rather than internal(half to one degree?).

    Blur 4x- looks good but 66 degree head angle with full length pikes is insane, far too slack for a bike that small id imagine, id end up using less travel id guess and locked right down for single track.(guessing help would be great)

    Trance with pikes? slacken it to a reasonable degree, but im not so sure how itd compare plus travel is a little short at four inches, help would be great again.

    Prophet- great adjustability, travels a little long but, only by .5 not sure about the ride and how it compares but flexy rear end may cause problems, mx would be better but frame sets arnt avaliable and full bikes suck.

    Help would be great, im so confused as to what will ride well and what wont, the ironhorse wont be avaliable for much longer so the quicker you guys can help that would be great.

    Thanks
    Adam

  2. #2
    The Other Dude
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    Have you considered the Specialized SX? Not the trail, the regular SX? I just got one and it seems great. I use it for days at the Park, and the local BMX track, while my wife uses it as her XC bike when we go out. With the 2 shock shuttles, and RP3 shock, its very versitile.
    Sponsors: Specialized, Honey Stinger, The Hive, Twenty6, 661, Elka Suspension, www.Chainsmokeracing.net

  3. #3
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    Check out the Transition Preston or Covert. The Preston is more of a FR bike, the Covert more of a trail/AM bike. 5-5.5" travel, capable of 180/160mm travel forks respectively.

    Unless you're going to be hucking with it, I think the Covert would fit the bill for you. 140mm rear travel, a bit stronger/heavier than your typical trail bike (frame is 6.75lbs I think).

  4. #4
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    Ibex Atlas

    Have you given any thought to an Ibex Atlas? I just picked one up a couple of weeks ago and love the thing! 5" travel front and back, great specs to boot.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Stacks/Series_Atlas.html

    There are a couple of guys in the Ibex forum that are serious DH's and have Atlas's as there do all trail bike. They Love the things! Plus you can beat the price.Also, the Atlas is the same exact frame as the Azonic Revenge. Made by the same people, only the Ibex version is made from better material. Check out this thread.

    Atlas/Revenge

  5. #5
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    Mongoose EC-X 2007 frameset, or 2006 complete bicycle:

    http://www.harborcountrybike.com/EC_X_p/m6ecx.htm

    http://www.mongoose.com/bikes/detail...nal&brandID=57

    Short travel, but might be just what you're looking for, check em out.
    If you're not hung up on 6 inches of travel, it is a real trail burner, with dialed geometry.

  6. #6
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    If you're considering the Prophet but are worried about too much travel and it being too soft, you might want to check out the Rush. It has been fantastic as an all-around ride for me - quick, responsive, climbs like crazy, and seems to handle rough stuff really well.
    2007 Cannondale Rush 5

  7. #7
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    Im digging my Turner Flux. Its an XC machine, but with a 70 deg HA and a long wheelbase, its a nice and stable ride. The ONLY time it felt out of its element was when I was running down extremely steep rocky stuff at Killington peak in VT, and I think a lot of that had to do with a case of small-cajone-itis on my part.

  8. #8
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    Check out a Kona Dawg, too. 68* HA, low BB, 5", tough, quality.

    Oddly, there are not a lot of options for 5" & 68* HA. Most are specced with 69* HA.

    The IH Mkiii is 69* with a 6" fork on it. Love the DW link, but not jazzed on the geo.

    A big fork on the Trance may raise the BB too much.

    Look to frames that are designed with the HA you are looking for to begin with, as they will end up being the most balanced.

    P

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    Have you given any thought to an Ibex Atlas? I just picked one up a couple of weeks ago and love the thing! 5" travel front and back, great specs to boot.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Stacks/Series_Atlas.html

    There are a couple of guys in the Ibex forum that are serious DH's and have Atlas's as there do all trail bike. They Love the things! Plus you can beat the price.Also, the Atlas is the same exact frame as the Azonic Revenge. Made by the same people, only the Ibex version is made from better material. Check out this thread.

    Atlas/Revenge
    another vote for the Atlas... awesome do it all bike if you like something flickable... feels like a slopestyle fs bike which can still plough rock gardens... Here's a pic of the Atlas in action and a thread to see what the Atlas rides... That thread is me on my Ibex Zone though (bigger version of the Atlas) but trust me when i say the Atlas gets no mercy when coming down those stuff... Not as fast as an all out DH/FR rig but it holds it's own...

    Pics of the Zone in action today



  10. #10
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    How about a Reign?
    I know it's not a 5" bike, but the geometry, pedallability, and whatnot it would fit your requirements well. I'm on a Reign X and I'm grabbing it more and more even for trail riding...

  11. #11
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    Good list so far....

    Don't forget the Titus Motolite. It's 4" or 5" and is a great all-around trail bike. People race XC and endurance races on it built up light and it will handle some pretty chunky junk in the 5 inch mode with a pike and burlier build.

    If you're really looking for something with more like 67-68 degrees HA, think about the 6" Intense 6.6 or Titus El Guapo. Both can be built up in the 30-32 lbs range, are great climbers and all-around trail bikes that can handle some super chunk and light FR too.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  12. #12
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    hey hey

    I second the Rush as a short travel rig....you should at least check it out.

    i built one with a Pike, which remains cranked down to 120mm to perfectly match the rear end travel. built with burly wheels and evrything else XT it rips the **** outta single track. The low bb and sloping top tube make for a bike that can be heaved with abandon around the fastest, flattest corners you can find.


    it is simply my fill in between a 'cross bike and my 160mm heavier duty rig....the Rush is certainly worth checking out....lifrtime frame warranty does not suck either.

  13. #13
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    Let me add Chumba XCL to the mix, very similar to Titus ML.

  14. #14
    Just ride
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    i'm partial to the prophet. I ride one now, and like you said, its the bike that I want to pick up and take everywhere. Its a great do it all bike.

    Its light enough for those long XC rides, and then its got enough plush suspension to take some beating too. and the adjustable geometry is really neat too!

    I've had absolutely no problems with mine, just a great all around ride

  15. #15
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    Lots of usefull info there, first im from the uk and i think one of the bikes you mentioned there isnt avalable as far as i know, realy interested to here about the prophet, thets the one i always wanted cos' of the adjustable gea and the fact its been used for about every type of riding imaginable quite sucessfully, but the lack of mx framesets and a reported flexy rear end on the regualr prophet which is the only one i can realy get withough a reduculous build(mx 2=more expensive but crapper heavier parts than the prophet 2). I am realy looking at the 5" area to keep the fun in it. MkIII im still not sure about the head angle, theres only the prospect of lengthening it to 68.5ish with a external lower headset cup, will that be slack enough? I like the idea of being able to play with the blur geo with the forks(same with prophet piviot) but im just a bit woried that ill constantly be locked down to 95mm after all its a trail bike not a downhill bike. Just a little confused not having had the chance to ride any of the bikes which is a real *****.

  16. #16
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    Just another point to keep in mind is that for some reason Cannondale has ditched the Lefty Max for 08 Prophets. I don't know if you care about having a Lefty or not, but in my opinion it absolutely makes the bike. Find an 07 Prophet or 08 Rush 4 or higher if you want the Lefty.
    2007 Cannondale Rush 5

  17. #17
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    How about the Heckler? Find an older version frame with air shock which would give you 5in travel and it seems to like anywhere from a 120mm to 160mm fork. The Pike or Lyric would be ideal. Dial it out for doing some DH or dial it down for more of a trail bike.

  18. #18
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    Go for the blur 4x, Even with a pike dual air at a full 140mm it's not too slack for climbing. It's by far the most fun bike I've had yet. It handlles like a super quick DH bike, but pedals as well as just about any XC bike, you won't be disappointed if you buy one.

  19. #19
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridea
    Lots of usefull info there, first im from the uk realy interested to here about the prophet, thets the one i always wanted cos' of the adjustable gea and the fact its been used for about every type of riding imaginable quite sucessfully, but the lack of mx framesets and a reported flexy rear end on the regualr prophet
    Rode a Gemini back in the day, believe it was a 5" bike with a Lefty & was very impressed with it. My 2nd bike to my Versus Blitz II is the brand not available to you as you mentioned, Ibex Atlas. I am never disapointed when riding the Atlas. The single pivot is going to have some flex but it is a single pivot. As for a kick arz fun bike it is titz. How about a Orange 5?? Is that available as a frameset?

    Check this guy out he knows his ****z.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mxracer299
    Go for the blur 4x, Even with a pike dual air at a full 140mm it's not too slack for climbing. It's by far the most fun bike I've had yet. It handlles like a super quick DH bike, but pedals as well as just about any XC bike, you won't be disappointed if you buy one.
    a little more info would be great, what did you have befor? how does it compare h/a etc, do you use it for regular trail and singletrack riding? whats it like/does it get boring or slow feeling with the slack angles on this type of riding? how tall are you and what suze do you run?

    as for the prophet, i dont realy liek the lefty, i prefer pikes realy. I can get a prophet 2 build for a reasonable price(the one with pikes but not the mx) but im just woried about flex.

    mk3 still in the running mainly cos' i can get the full bike cheep untill somone buys it, just not sure about the head angle.

  21. #21
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    Motolite or Covert.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpercussive
    another vote for the Atlas... awesome do it all bike if you like something flickable... feels like a slopestyle fs bike which can still plough rock gardens...
    The Atlas has typical trail geometry (69* HA), when the original poster asked about frames with 68* HA. And the slopestyle comment hyperbole is worthy of Mountain Bike Action reviews....

    Seriously, this Ibex Guerilla Marketing spam is getting old. It seems to be in every what bike to buy thread.

    P

  23. #23
    ride hard take risks
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    Check out BJ & see what he might have http://www.rotaimports.com.au/ he's a great person & might be able to help out a little closer for you.


    Atlas

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skim1040
    i'm partial to the prophet. I ride one now, and like you said, its the bike that I want to pick up and take everywhere. Its a great do it all bike.

    Its light enough for those long XC rides, and then its got enough plush suspension to take some beating too. and the adjustable geometry is really neat too!

    I've had absolutely no problems with mine, just a great all around ride

    Is that the sl or the longer traver prophet?

    does anyone know if they are both the same frame with a shorter shock and fork? on paper the geo is exactly the same for both other than the shock, travel and bb height, if it is the same then i could chop and change with shock lengths etc. if not then i have to concider which model i want/ how much travel I realy want.

  25. #25
    Just ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridea
    Is that the sl or the longer traver prophet?

    does anyone know if they are both the same frame with a shorter shock and fork? on paper the geo is exactly the same for both other than the shock, travel and bb height, if it is the same then i could chop and change with shock lengths etc. if not then i have to concider which model i want/ how much travel I realy want.
    140mm Of travel front and rear.

    also, with C'dales discontinuation of the left max, the new '08 Prophets no longer come with a lefty

  26. #26
    Just ride
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    Just another thing to think of, with c'dales cancelation of the Lefty max, you would have no problem re-selling one if you decided that you didn't like the feel

  27. #27
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    You've just described exactly what I'm looking for in a bike. Personally, I hope to be ordering a new Heckler soon. (The 2008 Giant Reign is tempting, too...)

  28. #28
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    Yeti 575, Titus Motolite, Spec Enduro, Giant Reign, Intense 5.5, Santa Cruz Nomad... so many options.

  29. #29
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    I went with the 4x because it had the same geometry as my ellsworth rogue, i wanted a bike that handled the same but was just lighter and had less travel. It feels pretty similar, but it's stiffer and flat rails corners in comparison. Before it i had a nomad, coiler, reign, enduro, 5.5 and a couple of XC bikes. It's most similar to the coiler and the nomad, just lighter and not as plush, but corners better and pedals better. I use mine for mostly technical trail riding with big climbs and big decents, some moderate xc riding, and even some resort riding when I get bored with my big bike. I'm 5'8" 190lbs and ride the large frame, it has the same top tube as most medium trail bikes. HA is about 67 with a pike dual air. I come from a MX background, so the slack, long bike works great for trail riding for me but a lot of people don't like that feeling, just a matter of preference. If you ride DH, you probably are used to leaning your bike through corners instead of turning a corner with the bars anyway, so it would be a natural feeling for you.

  30. #30
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    Actually, I think you're off by a few degrees. Both sizes of Blur 4x has a 68.5 degree HA not 66. At least that's the case with the 2008 frame. That pretty much puts it in the same range as most other trail bikes mentioned here like the IH, Rush, Kona, Giant etc. It's also got the same bb height as the Rush but with a shorter wheelbase and shorter standover. Way shorter standover than the Reign which is a nice bike but kind of tall. The geo on the 4x isn't as radical as most people think. I just bought one myself and with a sub 130mm fork it handles pretty sharply.
    Last edited by Fivedays; 08-21-2007 at 01:56 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fivedays
    Actually, I think you're off by a few degrees. Both sizes of Blur 4x has a 68.5 degree HA not 66. At least that's the case with the 2008 frame. That pretty much puts it in the same range as most other trail bikes mentioned here like the IH, Rush, Kona, Giant etc. It's also got the same bb height as the Rush but with a shorter wheelbase and shorter standover. Way shorter standover than the Reign which is a nice bike but kind of tall. The geo on the 4x isn't as radical as most people think. I just bought one myself and with a sub 130mm fork it handles pretty sharply.

    atually that measurement is with a 95mm pike on it so it doesnt work out with a full length pike wich according to the inch rule makes it around 66.

    Anyway... I have just bought a prophet two in the sales, will be here by the begining of next week if now sooner, i allways wanted a prophet just because it can go from an xc to a dh h/a in seconds. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    Cheers for all the advice even if i i didnt take much of it

    Adam

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fivedays
    Actually, I think you're off by a few degrees. Both sizes of Blur 4x has a 68.5 degree HA not 66. At least that's the case with the 2008 frame. That pretty much puts it in the same range as most other trail bikes mentioned here like the IH, Rush, Kona, Giant etc. It's also got the same bb height as the Rush but with a shorter wheelbase and shorter standover. Way shorter standover than the Reign which is a nice bike but kind of tall. The geo on the 4x isn't as radical as most people think. I just bought one myself and with a sub 130mm fork it handles pretty sharply.
    Most 4X bikes are designed for ~100mm forks, and will be a bit slacked-out with a 5"+ fork. Not necessarily bad, but the geometry might not be ideal for trail riding.

    The Reign X is lower than the Reign and the standover is pretty good, even with 6.7" travel at the back. Mine is an 18" and I have ~31" inseam, and there's lots of clearance. One reason I didn't get a Nomad (other than the price) the "hump" takes away some of its standover clearance, where the Reign/Reign X drops right from the headset.

  33. #33
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    The HA difference between the Prophet and the 4x is only about .5 degrees, which I know is still significant. But in the range of bikes discussed in this thread it's pretty close. The Prophet is pretty nice, though. I had a friend who had one and loved it until it got stolen.

    I guess I advocate for the 4x to justify my new purchase of a 4x. But putting a fork with travel adjustment like the Talas on it will give it a lot of flexibility since it can go down to 100mm for more xc handling, up to 120 for general trail riding and 140 for downhill.

  34. #34
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    well the reason i went for the prophet is unlike the blur i can adjust geo withought making the suspension un-even, id rather run just over 5" back and front than one end higher than the other, means i can realy tune the geo aswell.

    anyway got a call yesterday saying itd be here befor 5(uk time) so im getting excited!

  35. #35
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    Sounds great. Post pics when you get it.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    Seriously, this Ibex Guerilla Marketing spam is getting old. It seems to be in every what bike to buy thread.

    P
    And to that I say Amen!!

  37. #37
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    Another vote here for the Prophet. I've built up mine to be able to withstand good AM abuse and even Northstar. I keep it on the FR setting as I crave more DH rather than up; but it pedals just fine. A snippet here:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  38. #38
    local trails rider
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    Nicolai Helius FR, set up with short travel.

  39. #39
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    +1 on the Chumba XCL.
    Might want to check out Commencals Meta 5.5 series also or a Ventana El Ciclon.

  40. #40
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    Experienced with Trance/Pike

    I put in a full season on the Trance/Pike combo. It really worked quite well and the 20 mm axle did a very good job in technical terrain. I am a big fan of U-Turn. Its simple and works. I frequently changed settings during rides.

    Two weeks ago I switched to a new RS Revelation for a number of reason not related to the performance of the Trance/Pike setup. Overall, in more technical terrain, I had no complaints.

    I'm getting more into flow and xc riding so the Revelation with lighter wheels and tires was the proper direction but, for all mountain, the Trance/Pike (w/2.35 Nevagals) never let me down.

    My personal feelings on the Trance is that for most rides, the 4.2" travel is ample. If you want more, try the new Trance X for 2008 with 5". It is available as a complete bike or frameset.

  41. #41
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    Unless they changes the geo of the blur 4x recently, there is no way that it got 66° ha with a pike. A friend of mine got a 4x with a 140mm fork, and it's close to my Chameleon's ha with the same fork, slightly slacker maybe. 68° and no less would be my guess (duh...). Look at pictures of a 4x with a pike and afterwards at some hucker bikes which _really_ sport a 66° ha!

  42. #42
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    if you are from a 4x/ DH background then I can fully recommend the Spec Enduro. This bike can climb and can bomb. If you are the type of rider that gives something on the trail half a glance and then decides to hit it then the endure is the bike. However, if you have some self control, my girls Titus MotoLite may well be the sweetest AM bike of them all.

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