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  1. #1
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    Would you use a 4X, dirtjump or slopestyle bike as AM bike?

    I have this thing about hardtail trailbikes. I think they look kinda boxy or squarish. Do you think we can get similar performance from a 4X, DJ or slopebike when used in rooty tropical rainforest terrain? (As opposed to standard XC or trail bikes)

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    Subscribed! Thinking of the same thing.

  3. #3
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    You can definitely use these for trail riding, but the bikes you described cover a broad range.

    Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at these frames:


    1. Seat tube length. These bikes typically have very short seat tubes. Make sure you can get the seat post extension you need to put you in a good pedaling position.

    2. The head and seat angles. You'll want something w/ a slackish head angle ( which may work out fine if you put a 120mm+ fork on the frame... 65-69 degrees is what I like). The seat angle should be somewhat steep, so when you put the seat up, you can get into a good pedaling position, and your weight isn't so far back on the climbs. Some dj/4x bikes have pretty slack seat angles.

    Other things to look for are to make sure it can run a derailleur (if you're going to use one), iscg mounts if you're running a chain guide (bb fit is another option) and the general fit (tt/reach). Otherwise, give it a go and see how it feels. These bikes can be quite fun and playful on the trail.

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    Not to derail this thread, but what about the other way around? That is, use a trail / am bike for 4x, dirt jump, pump track?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngt View Post
    Not to derail this thread, but what about the other way around? That is, use a trail / am bike for 4x, dirt jump, pump track?
    Yes of course. Put the seat down and go. Some xc/trail bikes may not be as strong as a dedicated dirt jump bike, but on small-medium or smooth jumps, it'll be fine. Pump track anything will work.

  6. #6
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    if you are smaller it would probably work as those frames tend to be on the small side.

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    i use a '10 spesh sx/4x for trail rides. Rear brake and single speed with a thrashed revelation fork stepped down to 110mm. I'd opt for a long frame for the wheelbase stability you need for am kinda riding. burly as hell. I push on climbs but grin on descents.

    i think the other way around would be harder to convert. geometry and suspension would slow things down quite a bit. i'm sure there are guys makin that happen but my old ass couldn't.

    there are some cool hardtails that fit. Stanton Slackline and Transition is coming out with the PB&J
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  8. #8
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    I ran a Slope style bike as a trail bike for a while. It was a bit heavy, and I never got full extension due to the short seat tube. But it was a fun bike on certain trails

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    I ride mine everywhere. Xc, am, dj, even take it to the bmx track everyonce in a while for a race in cruiser class.... Lol

  10. #10
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    I'd been riding a Spec SX 4x as a trailbike since late ''07 up until this past June. It was a blast, and with a loong seatpost, I was able to get full leg extension. When I sold my dh bike, I figured my main bike needed to be a little bigger, so swapped it out for a new Enduro, which does climb a bit better (excepting the 1x10 gearing I'm now running) and descend better thru chunky stuff. It's not quite as flickable though, and when I am able to ride dh regularly again, I might go back to a shorter travel trailbike.

    There are a few out there now that match the geo of my old sx (slack, low and short cs), but also have longer and steeper seattubes, which add versatility (no more need for an extra seat/ posts for dj'ing, better climbing). Blur TRC, Stumpy Evo are a couple of examples. But you'll likely find a better deal on a used 4x/ slopestyle frame. The Blur 4x even had a full length seattube, if I remember correctly.
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  11. #11
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    Yes!

    +1 on dump's answer. Seat tube is really important...you can find some special long size seat posts too

  12. #12
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    Yes. I have been running a Santa Cruz Blur 4X for my trail/AM bike for a few years and really like it for most of the trail riding I do. I like it because of its geometry mostly. It turns awesome, and is relatively stable through rooty or rocky terrain. I am able to get full leg extension (I am 5' 10"). I run it as a 2x9, but have found myself never using the granny and keeping the front derailleur mostly as sort of a chain guide.

    That said, I am in the process of building a trail bike that will be lighter, has a little more travel, may climb better, and has a little more stability at speed (based on wheelbase and suspension differences). I am going to hang on to the 4X for a while to see if my new setup is as fun. The great thing about the 4X for me is that it has a relatively short wheel base so it turns quickly and is very maneuvarable through technical terrain. My concern with the new trail bike setup is that it may be less snappy through pump track like terrain.

    If I find myself happy with the new setup I will sell the 4X as it would be too overlapping with those 2 bikes given the amount of time I actually have to ride. If I revert back to the 4X then my new setup will have been an expensive experiment and I will sell that.

  13. #13
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    I've seen people riding transition bottlerockets as trail bikes but its a 9 pound frame....that's pretty hefty. It pedals pretty well but its not as smooth in the really rough rocky stuff as a longer travel AM bike would be. I'd split the difference and look for a playful AM bike like a nomad, euduro or slayer. I've seen some pretty serious hucks on a nomad. They pop pretty good!

  14. #14
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    I ride with a guy who has a Yeti 4X. He rips on it. The geo makes for a fun trail bike. I really don't see a huge disadvantage to using that kinda of bike for AM use.
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  15. #15
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    yes...

    i just posted a short review in the Pivot Forum about using the Pivot M4X as a trail bike... i was using a Transition Double before that. both bikes are a blast to ride on the trail!

    M4X as a trail bike
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  16. #16
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    Thanks Dump for the good breakdown of points to consider

    And I share similar views to many here.

    Speed and timings are niot my priority, it is enjoying the trail and having the most fun at each terrain that matters to me and a shorter and quicker bike seems to be able to do that.

    It will feel different from the long travel AM that I am on now.

  17. #17
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    I'm right now building an old Cheeta slalom frame (found brand new in a bike shop attic) with a Fox 831 fork. I'm running a short cage x9 and an 8-speed cassette with single chain ring/bash. I plan to XC/AM this bike. I usually run a standard Cannondale XC set up but I'm convinced the compact frame geometry will give me something more than the bigger bike does. Do it and report back to us.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Dale_Rider View Post
    I'm right now building an old Cheeta slalom frame (found brand new in a bike shop attic) with a Fox 831 fork. I'm running a short cage x9 and an 8-speed cassette with single chain ring/bash. I plan to XC/AM this bike. I usually run a standard Cannondale XC set up but I'm convinced the compact frame geometry will give me something more than the bigger bike does. Do it and report back to us.
    Nice, I remember that frame! Looked like a fun bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie nick View Post
    I have this thing about hardtail trailbikes. I think they look kinda boxy or squarish. Do you think we can get similar performance from a 4X, DJ or slopebike when used in rooty tropical rainforest terrain? (As opposed to standard XC or trail bikes)
    You can mostly ride any mountain bike anywhere you'd like.... that is the beauty of them.

    The fact that you have an issue with APPEARANCES and ask a question about PERFORMANCE leads me to believe that you don't realize that these various categories bikes are designed to do certain things well. Rather than worry about what the bikes look like, it sounds as if you need saddle time on other bikes yourself because anyone else's opinion will be purely subjective.

    FWIW, I got into mountain biking thinking that I would trail ride on a 24" DJ bike.... there were certain spots where it was very fun, but I grew tired of it and realized that I wanted a "regular" hardtail.

    I have a pretty burly FR bike now, too. I have ridden the hardtail and the FR bike on many of the same trails and it always ends up being fun with either one.... just different. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

    Without knowing more about your ability level, interests, or trails, all I can say is that if you don't NEED a DJ bike or a 4X bike or whatever, then you will probably be fairly well-served by a hardtail or trailbike from a reputable manufacturer.

    If you really just want a DJ or 4X or SS, then go buy it and have fun.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  20. #20
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    Action pics of Rigids on technical terrain

    A lot of people with abnormally large testicles treat their rigid XC trail bikes like AM bikes.
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  21. #21
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    Nukeproof Rook is a SS (slope style, not single speed) bike that does interest me for some trail riding. For some of what I do I think it could work. Look at the geometry you want, and match that with a bike.

    I would ask you what geo exactly you are going for?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick2cents View Post
    Nukeproof Rook is a SS (slope style, not single speed) bike that does interest me for some trail riding. For some of what I do I think it could work. Look at the geometry you want, and match that with a bike.

    I would ask you what geo exactly you are going for?
    I like quick (not necessary fast) geo that I can throw and flick around.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    You can mostly ride any mountain bike anywhere you'd like.... that is the beauty of them.

    The fact that you have an issue with APPEARANCES and ask a question about PERFORMANCE leads me to believe that you don't realize that these various categories bikes are designed to do certain things well. Rather than worry about what the bikes look like, it sounds as if you need saddle time on other bikes yourself because anyone else's opinion will be purely subjective.

    FWIW, I got into mountain biking thinking that I would trail ride on a 24" DJ bike.... there were certain spots where it was very fun, but I grew tired of it and realized that I wanted a "regular" hardtail.

    I have a pretty burly FR bike now, too. I have ridden the hardtail and the FR bike on many of the same trails and it always ends up being fun with either one.... just different. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

    Without knowing more about your ability level, interests, or trails, all I can say is that if you don't NEED a DJ bike or a 4X bike or whatever, then you will probably be fairly well-served by a hardtail or trailbike from a reputable manufacturer.

    If you really just want a DJ or 4X or SS, then go buy it and have fun.
    Mr Uncle,

    I have ridden many kinds of bikes, from flying pigeon delivery bikes, to bmx to xc to foldies to long travel AMs. Of course you can ride a bike (not just mountain bikes) anywhere you want it. It's just a matter of how the bike will fare and how soon it will give in. And how much enjoyment are you getting out of it.

    I have ridden enough bikes long enough to know what bike geo means to the rider and what each category do what they do. I post a discussion question to see the views on an unconventional practice.

    You already admitted you do not know what kind of riding discipline I prefer or what my experience is like so why judge on the fact that I talk about appearance? I think I ride long enough to qualify to want to look good (to myself) when I ride. FYI I am Asian and usually ride small size frames. What is small or too short for Caucasians may be just right in size for me - I mean the frame size.

    Yes I have encountered a problem earlier - I couldn't have full stretch on my pedalling on a SS bike. I rectified it by getting a 350mm seat post and cut it down to size a little so as to help the pedalling. I posted this topic in a very general tone cos I do not want to steer the discusion in any direction. I only wanted to address my main topic - I want to use a DJ/4X or SS frame for more than its intended purpose and wanted to see how many other think the same too. Why I do that? Cos it looks better. (I sold my XC HT bike cos I do not like it's squarish looks and I do not like spandex - personal preference here no offence)

    The only probable mistake I made is phrasing my topic too briefly. I should have said that I am gathering views to see how many think like what I think.

  24. #24
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    Slopestyle no question. Intense SS1 and new 2013 RM Slayer SS would be at the top of my short list. This is just SICKNESS: Rocky Mountain Slayer SS - First Look - Pinkbike

    Have FUN!

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie nick View Post
    Mr Uncle,

    I have ridden many kinds of bikes, from flying pigeon delivery bikes, to bmx to xc to foldies to long travel AMs. Of course you can ride a bike (not just mountain bikes) anywhere you want it. It's just a matter of how the bike will fare and how soon it will give in. And how much enjoyment are you getting out of it.

    I have ridden enough bikes long enough to know what bike geo means to the rider and what each category do what they do. I post a discussion question to see the views on an unconventional practice.

    You already admitted you do not know what kind of riding discipline I prefer or what my experience is like so why judge on the fact that I talk about appearance? I think I ride long enough to qualify to want to look good (to myself) when I ride. FYI I am Asian and usually ride small size frames. What is small or too short for Caucasians may be just right in size for me - I mean the frame size.

    Yes I have encountered a problem earlier - I couldn't have full stretch on my pedalling on a SS bike. I rectified it by getting a 350mm seat post and cut it down to size a little so as to help the pedalling. I posted this topic in a very general tone cos I do not want to steer the discusion in any direction. I only wanted to address my main topic - I want to use a DJ/4X or SS frame for more than its intended purpose and wanted to see how many other think the same too. Why I do that? Cos it looks better. (I sold my XC HT bike cos I do not like it's squarish looks and I do not like spandex - personal preference here no offence)

    The only probable mistake I made is phrasing my topic too briefly. I should have said that I am gathering views to see how many think like what I think.
    Well, aside from thinking your question was rather vague, I did respond to you that my DJ bike was not well-suited to my trails even though I originally thought it would work. On the other hand, now that I have a 26" hardtail and a FR bike, many people assume I don't ride the same trails with these two bikes, but the FR bike manages well enough on most climbs and I don't mind riding tough terrain on the HT (although obviously for XC race I ride the HT and for DH/bike parks/shuttling it is the FR).... So while a SS or a 4x bike is really designed with particular competitive pursuits in mind, I'm sure they could fair as well as my FR bike on a trail... whether or not you get the performance YOU are after is a whole other matter.

    And I don't wear spandex when I ride my hardtail.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

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