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  1. #101
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    For me, I bought the bike that worked for 95% of my riding which is local "simple" trails. I ride a Niner RKT 9 RDO - 90mm out back/120mm in the front. More of the short/high/steep geo (70 deg HTA)..."XC". It's perfect here. MY HT with an 80mm fork is perfect here. I just don't see the need for these huge travel "enduro-bro" bikes on trails that I can ride my drop bar bike on. Here, the fastest riders/times on the various trails are fit "XC" dudes on "XC" bikes. We don't have too much in terms of features to session etc. I think over-biking is no better than under-biking and is keeping some n00bs from really developing as they are riding bikes that are v. heavy, sluggish, and not fit-for-purpose on our somewhat basic singletrack. At this point, I'm beyond developing anymore or progressing...I just ride like I ride which is fast and smooth. I like some mild jumps etc. I did add a dropper on the Niner which I really like and that I suppose has helped me "progress" a bit in terms of jumping etc.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    That's a fair point. And to be honest, I prefer things slightly slack rather than steep for the reason you mentioned. I just find it somewhat ironic that a lot of people seem to prefer the steeper bike while testing riding.
    Because it feels good for typical parking lot antics?
    (Lots of available grip on pavement disguises the front weight bias, too)

    I like to ride and look at the numbers, all new bikes have that new bike feel and it takes a little time to really start trusting it.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Trust me, most of us didn't start out caring about XC (I used to race motocross and have a natural preference for downhill or enduro), but when 100% of your trails are XC, you start caring about XC. That's kind of the way it works. And if you have any competitive inclination in you at all, you soon start caring about keeping up with guys on the XC loop.
    There is basically one jump and it's barely a jump. I can do it on my wife's rigid hybrid with no problem.
    I think most people's trails aren't quite that tame. I don't think the broad assumption that it's to people's detriment to ride something other than a XC bike is fair. There's one techy XC loop (not extremely difficult but a lot of tech) near me that I track my time on and I'm faster on my 150mm bike than my hardtail. I really don't like the way XC bikes handle. The last XC bike I rode was a Spark 900 (or something like that) and I was probably pretty fast because I was dying to get back to the trail head and get off that bike. I think for most people there's no tangible benefit to getting an XC bike over a moderate trail bike outside of XC racing.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I think most people's trails aren't quite that tame. I don't think the broad assumption that it's to people's detriment to ride something other than a XC bike is fair. There's one techy XC loop (not crazy technical but a lot of tech) near me that I track my time on and I'm faster on my 150mm bike than my hardtail
    I think many people greatly exaggerate the technical nature of their terrain.

    In the places Iíve ridden, 95% of MTB trails are firmly in the XC realm. Pisgah, Moab, Front Range, Tahoe, Blue Ridge, Adirondacks, Western Slope, Columbia Gorge, etc.




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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I think many people greatly exaggerate the technical nature of their terrain.
    Brillant point. Even on my super easy XC loop my 150mm bike is faster than my light trail hardtail. So it really doesn't make sense to get an XC bike for even tame trails. It's also very impressive you consider those XC trails.

  6. #106
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    All he's saying is - A really good rider can make any trail seem XC.
    And that'll always be true.
    One rider feels comfortable on one bike that makes the other rider bored.

    Whatever you pick after demoing, don't be bored.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Because it feels good for typical parking lot antics?
    (Lots of available grip on pavement disguises the front weight bias, too)
    Not parking lot -- demo events - as in they bring the truck in at a local trail. Parking lot test rides are beyond worthless. In the Top Fuel case, the guy owns the bike.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Brillant point. Even on my super easy XC loop my 150mm bike is faster than my light trail hardtail. So it really doesn't make sense to get an XC bike for even tame trails. It's also very impressive you consider those XC trails.
    On a smooth trail that goes both up and down, your lap time is going to depend on weight and pedaling efficiency. So unless your hardtail weighs more than your full suspension bike, you must have learned to overcome the laws of physics.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    On a smooth trail that goes both up and down, your lap time is going to depend on weight and pedaling efficiency. So unless your hardtail weighs more than your full suspension bike, you must have learned to overcome the laws of physics.
    Or the bigger bike corners better, carries more speed further, eats up small, chattery sections much more efficiently, etc., hardly physics bending stuff.

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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Or the bigger bike corners better, carries more speed further, eats up small, chattery sections much more efficiently, etc., hardly physics bending stuff.

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    Iím guessing not enough to make up for the weight, Crr, and suspension inefficiency.

    My lap times on my trail/AM bikes always showed a loss of time on the climbs and a much smaller gain on the descents.


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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    All he's saying is - A really good rider can make any trail seem XC.
    We were already talking about XC trails. I stated that most trails aren't quite as tame as midwestmtb's (which is probably true given he lives in the midwest and his trail contains "one jump that's barely a jump"). I then gave an example of how my 150mm bike is faster than my light trail hardtail on an XC loop that's not smooth but not extremely difficult either... the implication being that even on moderate XC trails a longer travel bike isn't some kind of hindrance outside of setting the fastest Strava time. Which is to say that maybe someone that buys a 140mm+ bike never is able to do what they see in the "cool videos" and maybe technically an XC bike would be faster on that person's trails but buying a 140mm travel bike is huck off stuff is a totally fine decision (assuming their trails aren't completely devoid of stuff to huck off of like midwestmtb's is apparently).

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Or the bigger bike corners better, carries more speed further, eats up small, chattery sections much more efficiently, etc., hardly physics bending stuff.

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    Sorry I don't buy it. This isn't motocross where you need rear suspension just to keep from swapping out because you are hitting consecutive whoops at high speed. 150mm is not going to gain you much time over "small chattery stuff". Corners? Maybe, maybe not. Are we talking bermed, sweeping? Or tight old school twisty?

    I've tried this test already comparing my full suspension XC bike to my XC hardtail that weighs 5 lbs less. I've done it on heavily rooty trails, smooth trails, trails with lots of climbing. On 15-20 minute loops, I am anywhere from 1 minute to 2 minute slower on the full suspension. The rear suspension just doesn't make that big of a difference in mountain biking as far as raw speed and control goes . The main benefit of full suspension for XC style tracks is to reduce fatigue over a long ride. But we are talking about time trialing here.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    On a smooth trail that goes both up and down, your lap time is going to depend on weight and pedaling efficiency. So unless your hardtail weighs more than your full suspension bike, you must have learned to overcome the laws of physics.
    It's not a smooth trail, I said it's a techy XC loop (not extremely difficult but a lot of tech). I was just messing with Le Duke who seemed to be inadvertently making my point for me. My point was my long travel bike isn't super slow compared to my hardtail (which is a few lbs lighter but not XC bike light) even on an XC trail. I'm sure a super light XC bike would be faster around that loop but that's literally the only loop I've tracked my lap times on so I don't really care.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There are some fun places there where itís fun to have more travel on the way down. At least I thought so.
    Itís always more fun with more travel on the way down. Ride what you like.
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  15. #115
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    Too much bike VS Too little bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Well, when people run 35-40% sag, they blow through the travel on that gnarly 2ft drop real fast.

    Not going to lie, I get a kick out of blowing past people on 150mm bikes on my XC bike.


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    Maybe Iím weird then. I ride a bike with 30% sag in the rear and 20% in the front. Any more than that front or rear seems like you donít feel anything on the trail.

    And thatís all my bikes from dh to hardtail (well 0% on the rear on that one).

    Depends on the trail and what Iím trying to do, and my comfort level. Most of my riding I use a 135/145 rear travel shred Dogg, and depending on what Iím riding, depends on how I set it up. I have a plus hardtail that i love for the smoother stuff (it hurts to ride it down chunk) and snow for next year, and a dh bike for the parks.
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  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Iím guessing not enough to make up for the weight, Crr, and suspension inefficiency.

    My lap times on my trail/AM bikes always showed a loss of time on the climbs and a much smaller gain on the descents.


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    You're assuming that there are significant elevation changes.

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  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    The main benefit of full suspension for XC style tracks is to reduce fatigue over a long ride. But we are talking about time trialing here.
    Why do pro xc riders who care only about time and speed use full suspension?
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  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    You're assuming that there are significant elevation changes.

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    If there arenít, all of the typical strengths of an AM bike become even smaller, if not non-existent, in this scenario.

    Remember, an extra 20w of Crr applies the entire time. Slack HTAs donít really help in flat corners, at all. And that suspension isnít helping him get up to speed out of corners, either.

    Iíd be more likely to believe he was faster on big elevation gain/loss loops than flatter ones. Far more.


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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If there arenít, all of the typical strengths of an AM bike become even smaller, if not non-existent, in this scenario.

    Remember, an extra 20w of Crr applies the entire time. Slack HTAs donít really help in flat corners, at all. And that suspension isnít helping him get up to speed out of corners, either.

    Iíd be more likely to believe he was faster on big elevation gain/loss loops than flatter ones. Far more.


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    It could be the same thing as why some are faster in a full face vs a half shell. A perceived increase in the safety factor leads to an increase in risk.

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  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Why do pro xc riders who care only about time and speed use full suspension?
    Because XCO races are endurance races so you have to make a tradeoff. You don't see those guys going balls to the wall on every lap. They often take turns pulling and pacing. The winning rider is often not the one with the fastest laptime on any one lap. But on the XCC short tracks, hardtails are far more common.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    The winning rider is often not the one with the fastest laptime on any one lap.
    The same goes for short track races.

    Riders have to use the same bike for short track and xco so some may use a hardtail even though they know it will be a compromise on the xco track, or vise-versa.

    Without a doubt many pros choose full suspension because it's faster.
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The same goes for short track races.

    Riders have to use the same bike for short track and xco so some may use a hardtail even though they know it will be a compromise on the xco track, or vise-versa.

    Without a doubt many pros choose full suspension because it's faster.
    I can agree with you that the full suspension is faster for longer races on more technical courses. Just not sure about the "Without a doubt" part for various situations because some pro riders rode hardtails even before the forced XCC requirement, and most chose hardtails for isolated XCC racing.

    At our local XC races which tend to be shorter than the world cups, I'd say about 60-80% of the cat 1 guys are on hardtails.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    At our local XC races which tend to be shorter than the world cups, I'd say about 60-80% of the cat 1 guys are on hardtails.

    I would think course conditions would dictate what type of bike would be fastest, not the length of the race.
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  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I would think course conditions would dictate what type of bike would be fastest, not the length of the race.
    Why not both? You get beat up less on a full suspension bike. You can sit more rather than stand up for every root or chatter. You don't think that matters for a longer race?

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    You're assuming that there are significant elevation changes.

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    The trail I'm talking about does not have much elevation change. I think the reason my 150mm (Hightower LT) bike is faster is because it allows me to spend more time in the saddle putting consistent power down. The trail is very inconsistent. Like I said it's not super difficult but it's hard to keep any kind of flow. The Hightower LT is pretty damn efficient for a 150mm bike too.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    ...
    It doesn't make sense...Guy wants a bike to do cool stuff he see's in videos, gets enduro bike, obsesses about things XC guys care about. I can't believe that scenario is about real people in a real place. You really have no jumps or anything there?
    Lots of really great riding places have no jumps or the "jumps" consist of 6" tall water bars. I would day 75% of Mtb bike riders never get more than 12" of air ever. I have ridden thousands of miles in all kinds of places over sometimes smooth and others very technical terrain and I have never been forced to take a jump. There are a few places where you can get a little air if you want, but for most there is ride around or the jump is "b" line on the edge of the main trail. Or the "jump" is really a small drop you can just roll. Also there have been a hand full of rides where have I or anyone done any sessioning. I realize that guys do it, but most of guys I ride with don't have desire to do it. We just ride through stuff.
    Joe
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  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Iím guessing not enough to make up for the weight, Crr, and suspension inefficiency.

    My lap times on my trail/AM bikes always showed a loss of time on the climbs and a much smaller gain on the descents.


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    Same here. My 30lbs 130/125 bike does the same thing when compared to my 29er HT geared, 29er SS, and new 29er 100/100 FS XC bike. That said there are some trails where slacker HA, longer travel, dropper post, and burly build help my "trail" bike get me through things it would be totally sketch to ride on my "XC" bikes. If I rode those trails 100% of the time my 130/125 bike might be bit small, but I ride them only on occasion so all is good. For me a classic example of that trail is National Trail on south Mtn. I did a good bit of it on my 26" HT, but chickened out in a few spots. With 130/125 bike and dropper post I can clean all, but a few nasty step ups. I can do all the downhill parts. However climbing up national I enjoy more on my lighter more responsive bikes.
    Joe
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  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Sorry I don't buy it. This isn't motocross where you need rear suspension just to keep from swapping out because you are hitting consecutive whoops at high speed. 150mm is not going to gain you much time over "small chattery stuff". Corners? Maybe, maybe not. Are we talking bermed, sweeping? Or tight old school twisty?

    I've tried this test already comparing my full suspension XC bike to my XC hardtail that weighs 5 lbs less. I've done it on heavily rooty trails, smooth trails, trails with lots of climbing. On 15-20 minute loops, I am anywhere from 1 minute to 2 minute slower on the full suspension. The rear suspension just doesn't make that big of a difference in mountain biking as far as raw speed and control goes . The main benefit of full suspension for XC style tracks is to reduce fatigue over a long ride. But we are talking about time trialing here.
    My current XC FS bike is 21.9lbs and my old 29 HT XC bike was 21.5lbs. My new bike is faster up and down. It also handles better. On smooth stuff the difference is pretty minor, but on the rocky climbs I can put down power better and get more traction. Now alot of that is due to similar weight of both bikes and the fact that the FS bike is built for XC racing. It is designed to climb fast, turn fast and descend fast.

    If it were 5lbs heavier I am sure my experience would be different.
    Joe
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  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Lots of really great riding places have no jumps or the "jumps" consist of 6" tall water bars. I would day 75% of Mtb bike riders never get more than 12" of air ever. I have ridden thousands of miles in all kinds of places over sometimes smooth and others very technical terrain and I have never been forced to take a jump...
    Further confirmation of how truly blessed I am. And my terrain is FAR tamer on average than Squamish or Whistler.

    I am right on the edge of throwing down LARGE on a new bike. This just tipped the scale in its favour. New bike on the way.

    As an aside, I donít know if it is only big air that makes longer travel more worthwhile. I can think of a number of local trails that 100% lend themselves to longer travel bikes that donít involve big air. Or not much anyway. I think it also depends on a personís riding style and whether fun to them means patiently picking their way through a technical section, or blasting through it occasionally popping off a rock or small drop.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I would think course conditions would dictate what type of bike would be fastest, not the length of the race.
    It is infact a little of both. UCI world cup races in Albstadt and Nove Mesto. Most riders used HT at the first and FS at the latter. Why? Courses were different and they chose the bike that worked best for the course. Nobody was on a Trail bike or 140mm bike. Now in long races the chatter you get from a HT can cause fatigue. I moved from 29HT to 29 FS for my long distance race bike when I got to the point on a 46 mile race where I was getting just as tired on some of longer rocky descents as on the climbs. I had done that course on my 26HT before so I did not need FS to complete it, but as I was pushing harder the lack of suspension took its toll. 29" wheels were good start, but even then got me tired. I have not had time to take my 100/100 FS bike there, but I know it leaves me more fresh on rocky chunder that pretty common in Arizona. I do ride it back to back with 29er SS HT and going down the HT takes more body effort to control. Up to a point there is not much speed difference, but over time the extra effort makes a difference. When you get to a certain level or rockiness you can go faster on the FS, but when it gets super techy skills play much bigger role than the bike as at least for me the limit is not the bike's abilty to absorb the terrain, but my ability to manage it.
    Joe
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  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    My current XC FS bike is 21.9lbs and my old 29 HT XC bike was 21.5lbs. My new bike is faster up and down. It also handles better. On smooth stuff the difference is pretty minor, but on the rocky climbs I can put down power better and get more traction. Now alot of that is due to similar weight of both bikes and the fact that the FS bike is built for XC racing. It is designed to climb fast, turn fast and descend fast.

    If it were 5lbs heavier I am sure my experience would be different.
    That's the dilemma facing many real world mountain bikers. Do I go with the HT that weighs 4-5lbs less or the suspension when there is a budget in play? I think 99% of the people, including me would take the FS bike given the same weight and good anti-squat rear suspension with a decent lockout.

    I still have my doubts about how much raw speed a FS bike offers on most XC courses aside from the fatigue reduction factor. Even at the world cup level, where there are no budget constraints and the difference in weight between the HT and FS are minimized, you still see people choosing hardtails. Anton Cooper chose a HT even at Stellenbach and that's a tough course. In contrast, you would never see a top motocross rider choose to go without rear suspension budget or no budget. Hell, you wouldn't even see it in the novice class at the local race.

  32. #132
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    Difference for me when it comes to a XC FS and HT is the seated pedaling. When you're on the gas and trying to pedal through chunk...you're going to be much smoother on the FS bike. At low speeds it doesn't make a huge difference...but if you're pedaling at a high intensity...you get beat up real fast. Your rear end is getting pounded by the saddle. With some rear suspension...that ass hammering gets reduced by a lot. Since I'm nowhere close in being competitive in a XC race...I just stick with my HT.

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    ...

    I still have my doubts about how much raw speed a FS bike offers on most XC courses aside from the fatigue reduction factor. .
    I actually raced this season on Steel HT 29er in single speed. In my first race of the winter season I did a 12 hr duo race on a pretty smooth course. Some good climbs, but nothing too steep and no nasty descents. Just about 1 hour going around fast then rinse/repeat. On lap 1 I was in the main field and on the first 1/3 of the course I was right on the fast guys despite FS and even gears. There was a gradual constant climb on very smooth surface. I geared for that climb and gave up very little. Only when that turned into a gradual downhill on smooth trail at 20 mph did I give up ground (ran out gearing). Then final section was rolling ups and downs and caught many geared riders again. The lack of suspension was not and hindrance and even the lack of gears did not hurt much. However that course is pretty smooth so it does not beat you up at all. However in rest of the XC race season there were times I was pounding my HT for all it was worth on the rocky bits trying to chase down FS guys. Not in my class, but generally the slower guys in the class in front. Being on a SS it was always imperative to pass these guys as soon as possible to prevent getting bogged down on the climbs where I need to blast up vs spinning. So I worked much harder on these rocky bits taking more chances and more body punishment. In then end even at WC level it comes down to choices and courses. Riders need to choose what will most benefit them given their skills and weaknesses. FS bikes can be faster in the right terrain, but you don't always get that terrain.
    Joe
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  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Iím guessing not enough to make up for the weight, Crr, and suspension inefficiency.

    My lap times on my trail/AM bikes always showed a loss of time on the climbs and a much smaller gain on the descents.


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    I bet riding a longer travel bike made you faster on your XC bike.

    The limiting factor is always going to be the rider, and what the rider is comfortable with. Tire choice is also a big factor.

    Honestly, I would rather put up with a little more harshness than have my bike suck everything up like it was nothing. On some trails it would be a lot more harshness, and that's where I ride my enduro bike.

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    Too much bike VS Too little bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    I bet riding a longer travel bike made you faster on your XC bike.

    The limiting factor is always going to be the rider, and what the rider is comfortable with. Tire choice is also a big factor.

    Honestly, I would rather put up with a little more harshness than have my bike suck everything up like it was nothing. On some trails it would be a lot more harshness, and that's where I ride my enduro bike.
    Oh, I agree. Iím not knocking the big bike. It has its uses in some very specific areas, for me.

    But, as you say, I like to feel the trail. Unless Iím hitting big jumps or serious and continuous square edged rock, I prefer a 120mm bike. And, short of climbing a fire road and coming down a WC DH track, I canít envision any scenario in which Iíd be faster on a loop on a 160mm bike vs. a 120mm bike.


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  36. #136
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    my humble observation is this thread has (at times) become another hardtail vs. full suspension debate.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I would day 75% of Mtb bike riders never get more than 12" of air ever.
    That's like half a decent bunny hop. You should be able to get more air than that popping off a root or nicely placed rock. You guys are just making me sad now.

  38. #138
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    Recently I thought I needed a new bike: a Yeti SB 5.5. To make that move I would need to sell my '16 Fuel EX 9.9. I demoed the Yeti and it was super fun, especially on the technical downhill section of their test loop--Apex Trail. When I got home I was all hot and bothered by the idea of the new bike. But it wasn't going to happen right away so I rode my Fuel Ex a bunch more. You know what? I LOVE my bike! 120 front and rear does it all so well. I knew when I was riding the Yeti that it didn't climb as well as the Trek, not even close in truth, and in truth, the Trek descends really quite well too, not in the same super plush and stable way the Yeti does, but not bad. So I guess I am keeping my perfect bike. I pride myself and my uphill climbing abilities (which as a percentage represents way more time on any ride). Maybe down the road I will have to find a way to add a whole new platform to the quiver, something like a long travel 29er rig to go along with the mid-travel light weight marathon bike and the rigid single speed.

    But in the meantime, pray for rain! The Santa Fe National Forest is closing tomorrow because of the acute, prolonged drought we are enduring. Bikes don't matter if there is no place to ride them!

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    Recently I thought I needed a new bike: a Yeti SB 5.5. To make that move I would need to sell my '16 Fuel EX 9.9. I demoed the Yeti and it was super fun, especially on the technical downhill section of their test loop--Apex Trail. When I got home I was all hot and bothered by the idea of the new bike. But it wasn't going to happen right away so I rode my Fuel Ex a bunch more. You know what? I LOVE my bike! 120 front and rear does it all so well. I knew when I was riding the Yeti that it didn't climb as well as the Trek, not even close in truth, and in truth, the Trek descends really quite well too, not in the same super plush and stable way the Yeti does, but not bad. So I guess I am keeping my perfect bike. I pride myself and my uphill climbing abilities (which as a percentage represents way more time on any ride). Maybe down the road I will have to find a way to add a whole new platform to the quiver, something like a long travel 29er rig to go along with the mid-travel light weight marathon bike and the rigid single speed.

    But in the meantime, pray for rain! The Santa Fe National Forest is closing tomorrow because of the acute, prolonged drought we are enduring. Bikes don't matter if there is no place to ride them!
    The 16 Trek FEX 9.9 is insanely good. What size? I regret selling mine and so do many others.

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  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogeydog View Post
    The 16 Trek FEX 9.9 is insanely good. What size? I regret selling mine and so do many others.

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    I regret not buying one when they were still available.


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  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I regret not buying one when they were still available.


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    Almost think Trek may come out with a version of it sorta like a ST LT Stumpjumper idea.

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  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogeydog View Post
    The 16 Trek FEX 9.9 is insanely good. What size? I regret selling mine and so do many others.
    Mine is a 22" frame...

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I regret not buying one when they were still available.
    Don't you? You have mentioned that this was one of your all-time favorites.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogeydog View Post
    Almost think Trek may come out with a version of it sorta like a ST LT Stumpjumper idea.
    That would be cool, but I don't see it happening for Trek. Unless they replace their current Top Fuel with something with a bit more suspension up front and a bit slacker front end. Come to think of it, isn't that what Yeti just made?

    There is something perfect about the balance of what this bike does. I would have most assuredly regretted selling it if I had done so!

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    If you are riding DH prolines, at Whistler, then you are not overbiked if you ride a 150+ bike.

    However, riding a 150mm bike on flat singletrack in the midwest is a different story. Here is the typical pattern in my area. Dude gets into mountain biking. Watches lots of youtube videos and decides he needs to get rad by buying an enduro bike. Loves his bike initially because it looks cool on instagram posts and those log crossings and roots seem like a piece of cake. Six months later is frustrated because he is constantly getting dropped on the flats and climbs by guys riding 22lb hardtails. Buys 22lb hardtail and sells enduro bike.

    I know to each his own and all that. And I'm not here to tell you can't buy what you want. Just like when someone tells you you don't need winter tires on your car in July in Arizona he is not trying to take your freedom away.
    I've read all your replies in this thread and I have to wonder how small your riding world is in the midwest.

    Marquette is in the midwest. Its not all flat. I was perfectly happy on my enduro bike there last year, and will be choosing it again for the trails fest and enduro race in about 3 weeks. I did not feel very overbiked there.

  44. #144
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    So...after preaching the virtues of a long travel bike in posts above, I sold my 160/160 Norco Range. My problem in the past with the shorter travel bikes was that I had never ridden anything that was all that much fun - aching hands and feeling like hammered shit after extended descents kinda zapped all that for me. Until now... I found the unicorn. I just completed 2 weeks of continuous demoing, which entailed ignoring an endless amount of emails from my superiors at work. Yeah, I kinda put my job at risk but hey - a man has to have his priorities straight, right?

  45. #145
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    Well, what is it?
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  46. #146
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    Lately my FS bike has been gathering dust and I have been riding my "winter" hardtail, mostly in it's 27.5+ guise. I am quite willing to go with less travel these days as long as I can have my long, low, and slack geometry.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  47. #147
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    I don't want to be WAY over-biked or WAY under-biked but I can handle being slightly either. I currently lean towards being slightly over-biked because it makes me push myself a little harder on more challenging terrain. It's not to make the same terrain easier; It's to make me try harder terrain. I don't know of anyone who got a bigger bike then decided he'd ride the same old terrain at the same old pace.

    Scanning through the previous posts I noticed a preponderance of people talking about going faster than the other guy, being able to pass others, getting better lap times, etc. That's a racing mindset and I honestly couldn't care less if I'm passing or getting passed. I don't need to go faster than some other guy to prove anything to myself. What bike would you pick if you didn't see another soul out on the trail and no one was watching (includes Strava)?

    Usually though when I buy a new bike it's significantly different than my previous one, in order to change things up. My last bike was a steel single speed hardtail and I'm currently on a 150/140 trail bike. Right now I lean towards being slightly over-biked but a pendulum will swing.

  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    What bike would you pick if you didn't see another soul out on the trail and no one was watching (includes Strava)?

    Always the big bike, it's more fun!

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I

    Scanning through the previous posts I noticed a preponderance of people talking about going faster than the other guy, being able to pass others, getting better lap times, etc. That's a racing mindset and I honestly couldn't care less if I'm passing or getting passed. I don't need to go faster than some other guy to prove anything to myself. What bike would you pick if you didn't see another soul out on the trail and no one was watching (includes Strava)?
    That's a fair comment but a racing mindset is fairly prevalent. It's not just one or two lycra boys here and there. So it's a relevant discussion. For me personally, it's not about "proving myself" - it's about the thrill of pushing limits and going fast. It's just like driving. My casual drives are quite frankly boring and routine but getting a shot at driving at a local track is fun. Same thing with mountain biking.

    I recognize that not everyone is going to have the same goal as me but it's not my job to advocate for you if you don't speak up. I think it would be helpful for people to state their goal and the types of trails they ride before giving advice and/or giving an opinion. Otherwise, it can be misleading for people with completely different trails and goals.

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitejumping View Post
    Always the big bike, it's more fun!
    Itís a tricky question. And it depends.

    Up until recently I have always equated ďfunĒ with high speed mobbing, monster trucking, point and shoot, whatever you want to call it. Speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.

    I have now discovered a whole new world.

    Dialing in on popping off the natural kickers on the trails is a new thing for me, and one that I cannot stop thinking about when I get off the bike. Iím still hitting shit at high-ish speeds, but with way more precision. And nimbleness. And wow - climbing. It can actually be okay, even kinda fun, when it is a lot less exerting. And the downs are so much better when one still has a full tank of gas after grinding up to the summit. And railing corners - wow. A different experience altogether on a shorter travel bike. And mobbing through the gnar with my buddies who are on squish bombs. SATISFYING.

    In the end, as usual, one should always ensure there are 2, 3, a dozen, n+1 bikes in the quiver. Horses for courses. And whatever mood you wake up in that day.

  51. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Scanning through the previous posts I noticed a preponderance of people talking about going faster than the other guy, being able to pass others, getting better lap times, etc. That's a racing mindset and I honestly couldn't care less if I'm passing or getting passed. I don't need to go faster than some other guy to prove anything to myself. What bike would you pick if you didn't see another soul out on the trail and no one was watching (includes Strava)?

    I have broken a few PR's on my HT that I had previously set with a Knolly Warden or Endorphin. Going fast, especially down hill is ridiculously fun.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I am quite willing to go with less travel these days as long as I can have my long, low, and slack geometry.
    I think that's a big part of it for many people, traditionally shorter travel bikes have been seen as XC bikes and built with XC geometry and XC strength. It's awesome seeing folks like Transition bringing out 120mm travel bikes that are just as long as their enduro bikes and nearly just as slack, and as more manufacturers hop on that bandwagon we're going to see more people riding shorter travel bikes (and riding them damn fast too)/

  53. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    it's about the thrill of pushing limits and going fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I have broken a few PR's on my HT that I had previously set with a Knolly Warden or Endorphin. Going fast, especially down hill is ridiculously fun.
    I'm all about going fast. Generally I go as fast as I can. In fact, I just spent today downhilling at the ski area trying to hit jumps bigger and more cleanly each run... But that's different than needing to go faster than someone else, and if someone were to pass me on the run I wouldn't get upset about it. There's always going to be someone faster than you and there will always someone slower than you. I was talking about the racing mentality of choosing a bike with your main purpose of beating someone else. I'm over that.

  54. #154
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    Now I'm not saying speed isn't badass, but I always thought riding stylish and having fun was way cooler than being 0.034 seconds faster than someone else.

    Racing is dumb.
    "You can be clipped in and be boring or ride flats and have a good time." - Sam Hill

  55. #155
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    Just got back from a ride on my HT and met a guy on a Giant Glory. I may have been a bit under biked, but he was definitely over biked. I was the fastest on the ride today, but it was solo.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  56. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    Now I'm not saying speed isn't badass, but I always thought riding stylish and having fun was way cooler than being 0.034 seconds faster than someone else.

    Racing is dumb.
    I admire the riding of someone Brandon Semenuk way more than... Oh hell, I can't even name one cross country pro.

  57. #157
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    Lots of haters.

    Not everyone who races XC is pure evil. Most just do it for the fun and the challenge. I like testing my ability and pushing myself, regardless of where I finish.

    Endurance is whole different animal. Very much a mental and physical challenge.

    Racing = fun, unless you take it too seriously and ruin it.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  58. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post

    Racing = fun, unless you take it too seriously and ruin it.
    That always happens sooner or later.

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I'm all about going fast. Generally I go as fast as I can. In fact, I just spent today downhilling at the ski area trying to hit jumps bigger and more cleanly each run... But that's different than needing to go faster than someone else, and if someone were to pass me on the run I wouldn't get upset about it. There's always going to be someone faster than you and there will always someone slower than you. I was talking about the racing mentality of choosing a bike with your main purpose of beating someone else. I'm over that.
    Methinks, you protest too much. Don't take this so seriously.

    There is a lot more to it than "beating someone else." Not getting dropped on a group ride is one example. I like riding with people sometimes.

  60. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    That always happens sooner or later.
    No, it really doesn't.

    I know plenty of fast guys who are extremely kind, outgoing, positive, and welcoming people. They don't care if your a beginner or expert, fast or slow, racer or not.

    I don't have a coach, or a training plan. I don't have a power meter, heart rate monitor, or own a GPS. None of those things are necessary to be fast.

    I show up to races on my steel frame, wear baggy clothing, and pound hills all the same.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  61. #161
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    Good for you guys.

  62. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    Now I'm not saying speed isn't badass, but I always thought riding stylish and having fun was way cooler than being 0.034 seconds faster than someone else.

    Racing is dumb.
    "Riding stylish" is dumb. What is this, figure skating?

    As *OneSpeed* said, most racers aren't all that serious. Signing up for a race is a great way to motivate one's self to set goals to work towards.
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Dialing in on popping off the natural kickers on the trails is a new thing for me, and one that I cannot stop thinking about when I get off the bike. Iím still hitting shit at high-ish speeds, but with way more precision. And nimbleness. And wow - climbing. It can actually be okay, even kinda fun, when it is a lot less exerting. And the downs are so much better when one still has a full tank of gas after grinding up to the summit. And railing corners - wow. A different experience altogether on a shorter travel bike. And mobbing through the gnar with my buddies who are on squish bombs. SATISFYING.

    In the end, as usual, one should always ensure there are 2, 3, a dozen, n+1 bikes in the quiver. Horses for courses. And whatever mood you wake up in that day.
    There's only a few places where I take my 150mm because it's too sketchy for my hardtail.

    There's a few decent features (gap jumps, chunky rock gardens) at my local trails. Myself and another guy can clear everything on hardtails but he also has a long travel bike he rides there too. There's a few guys that only ride 140-160mm bikes but can't clear a lot of the stuff. There's some older guys that just pedal around and don't hit any of the jumps or rock gardens. I saw one guy the other day decked out in lycra pedal seated over the rollable doubles at the pumptrack like his ass was clipped in to the seat. So the ideal amount of travel for my trails depends on who's riding the bike and what they're doing with it. It's the same when people on this forum give their opinion on this issue. Some newb that just got his first enduro bike, the guy who's ass is clipped in and someone that can actually send it may give different opinions for different reasons, even for the same trails.

  64. #164
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    Ass clipped to saddle: a single speeders worst nightmare.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  65. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    There's only a few places where I take my 150mm because it's too sketchy for my hardtail.

    There's a few decent features (gap jumps, chunky rock gardens) at my local trails. Myself and another guy can clear everything on hardtails but he also has a long travel bike he rides there too. There's a few guys that only ride 140-160mm bikes but can't clear a lot of the stuff. There's some older guys that just pedal around and don't hit any of the jumps or rock gardens. I saw one guy the other day decked out in lycra pedal seated over the rollable doubles at the pumptrack like his ass was clipped in to the seat. So the ideal amount of travel for my trails depends on who's riding the bike and what they're doing with it. It's the same when people on this forum give their opinion on this issue. Some newb that just got his first enduro bike, the guy who's ass is clipped in and someone that can actually send it may give different opinions for different reasons, even for the same trails.
    These are good points. I'll add that one of the worst things for a newb about mountain biking is the wide array of segments of mountain bikes. When I first got into it, it was damn confusing - XC, Enduro, all mountain, trail, sport, hardtail all mountain, etc etc etc.

    I also think it may hinder skills development to some extent. When I was riding MX, basically there was one type of bike (you can choose different manufacturers but that was it). And you had to adjust your riding style to compensate for weaknesses of the bike. In mountain biking, a lot of people seem to throw components and gear at the problem rather than adjust their riding style. I know guys who have been riding for decades who are still ass clipped over rough terrain because their solution has been to increase travel rather than learn how to ride standing.

  66. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Ass clipped to saddle: a single speeders worst nightmare.
    They have clipless saddles now? Yikes!
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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