Last year I had both 3" and 4" travel FS bikes. Sometimes the 3" was right but I wished for more plushness from the 4" bike and a greater difference between the two bikes. I thought more travel would be better.
So this spring I built a new 6" travel 01 Schwinn Straight 6 with a Pushed Vanilla R rear shock and Pike Air fork in place of the 4" frame. I was more than a little nervous I wouldn't ride it much. I started with the light wheels I had on my 4" bike but soon figured out I needed beefier wheels for big tires. I went a little overboard with Mavic 321's and found the bike weighs 33+ pounds. Things seems to have gotten out of hand.
Despite the weight I love the bike for cross country riding, including a ride with 3,000+ feet of climbing last weekend.
I never used to try drops or do much jumping, now that is changing. I'm riding stuff I used to walk down, part of it is the higher handlebar height I've adopted but the stiff Pike front end is awesome.
Now I realized I didn't go big enough and couldn't be more surprised. I'll keep this bike, put Crossmax XL wheels on it to save a pound and continue to ride it cross country. However I'll also look for a VP Free or Uzzi VPX to continue my evolution. I want to continue to ride stuff that scares me. I'm hesitant to use the Freeride term but if the shoe fits...
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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