1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    How do I measure shock travel ?

    How do I measure travel on a shock or fork? And what # of travel do I look for in a climbing all mountain bike no big jumps more about fast down hills on local Texas sandy and or heavy dry packed dirt trails . Thanks for your help. Ok so say I am looking for 6 inches of travel front and back what will that be 80 100 100?
    Last edited by greenz; 08-08-2008 at 01:49 PM.
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  2. #2
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    If you are the average rider, get an average fork. 100mm. 80 is more XC, big jumps need more like 120 or even higher for the downhill guys.

  3. #3
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    travel on fork: the length of the stanchions

    travel of the shock: is more complicated. The travel of the actual shock is referred to as the "stroke". The rear travel of a full suspension bike, the number you will see in the specs for a full suspension, is a measure of how much the frame design allows the to wheel move up and down. The easiest way to measure this is with the shock off. The travel of a full suspension bike is different from the stroke of the shock on that bike. A bike with 4 inches of travel might have a shock with only a 2 inch stroke.

    Most full suspension bikes that are not purpose-built for racing have at least 4 inches of rear travel, and like mlepito said, 100mm (4 inches) is pretty standard for trail riding, although 120-140mm (5-6 inches) is considered normal for an AM rig.

    For your riding, I would say 100-120mm of front and rear travel would suffice.

  4. #4
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    "Ok so say I am looking for 6 inches of travel front and back what will that be 80 100 100?"

    6 inches = 152 millimeters. The fork is labelled with its travel. Rear shock as described above.

    Are you trying to determine what your sag should be?

    If so, about 20% is good for XC with about 30% for all mountain. The fork or shock usually comes with that info.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks Joeboater
    A person who exhibits both positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses is not flawed, but complete.

  6. #6
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    Newbie question related to this : will the length of travel of the shock say between 80 and 120 affect the stance of the bike, like will the 120mm raise the front of the bike more than the 80?

  7. #7
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    ^^ Yes. The geometry of the bike is designed to handle a certain travel fork for this reason.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonebiker_ph
    Newbie question related to this : will the length of travel of the shock say between 80 and 120 affect the stance of the bike, like will the 120mm raise the front of the bike more than the 80?
    Depends on the Axle to Crown (AtC) measurement of the specific fork.

    Generally speaking, more travel will mean a longer AtC measurement.



    Im guessing youre asking with mind to changing a fork over, either way:
    Whether or not its posssible/safe/sensible to use a fork of a certain travel on your frame would depend on the AtC measurement, not the travel of the fork.
    Normal rule would be not to go for a fork with an AtC measurement of over 20mm over the stock fork's measurement.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for the reply emtnate and EnglishT

    I am actually putting together a new bike with the same frameset as my existing one, both are giant team xtc's though they are about 5 years apart.... i love the handling of my older frame and would like to duplicate or even surpass the handling on my new bike. My plan is to use my older one for purely offroad while the new one will be used for a 60 / 40 mix of riding. 60 on road, 40 off road.

    Based on your collective advice, I will look up the geometries of both frames and I will try to get the specs of the factory spec'ed fork for my new frameset and try to find a close as possible match
    Last edited by lonebiker_ph; 08-23-2008 at 07:39 AM.

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