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  1. #1
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    Do you agree with Bontrager?

    WMB: What do you think of the 6in travel bikes trend?
    Bontrager: The guys that are buying 6in travel bikes to ride on the trail now, in my humble opinion, are making a mistake. There aren't enough trails that need 6in travel bikes that can warrant hauling around the extra baggage.I ride a cyclo-cross bike around the trails in Santa Cruz.I can ride them really fast on a mountain bike, but I don't like doing that all the time, whereas riding them on a six geared cyclo-cross bike, or a single speed or whatever, makes the same trails more interesting and I don't have to do it at top, potentially hazardous speeds.

    - braco

  2. #2
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    Mojo - what extra baggage?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braco
    WMB: What do you think of the 6in travel bikes trend?
    Bontrager: The guys that are buying 6in travel bikes to ride on the trail now, in my humble opinion, are making a mistake. There aren't enough trails that need 6in travel bikes that can warrant hauling around the extra baggage.I ride a cyclo-cross bike around the trails in Santa Cruz.I can ride them really fast on a mountain bike, but I don't like doing that all the time, whereas riding them on a six geared cyclo-cross bike, or a single speed or whatever, makes the same trails more interesting and I don't have to do it at top, potentially hazardous speeds.

    - braco
    folks that ride singlespeed rigid would definitely disagree with him...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    folks that ride singlespeed rigid would definitely disagree with him...
    That last sentence...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by clark
    That last sentence...
    yep, I read that...which is why i said "rigid". the point is, regardless of what bike you ride, someone will always think that it's overkill for that particular trail... Heck, even with singlespeeders, there can be a "that's too low of a gear for these trails" mentality.
    Maybe it's because Bontrager isn't marketing a 6" rig.

  6. #6
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    This debate has been going on for years...

    As suspension design and shock technology has progressed, travel for trail bikes has increased. I still remember 3 in., 3.5, 4 in., 5 in., 5.5 debates. When 5 in. was the norm, I remember being ridiculed by Gonzo for suggesting somewhere between 5.5 & 6 in. would be the norm for a trail bike. I'm going for a 5.5 trail bike. They've got a blue Mojo at my Ibis dealer, and I'm heading there after work. They also sell Intense, and I can get a little off the price on a 5.5 FRO trade in. Decisions...

    I guess it depends on your needs and preferences, as everyone is different. I still enjoy riding my Ti HT with a Thudbuster.
    [size=4]Don[/size]

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quattro
    As suspension design and shock technology has progressed, travel for trail bikes has increased. I still remember 3 in., 3.5, 4 in., 5 in., 5.5 debates. When 5 in. was the norm, I remember being ridiculed by Gonzo for suggesting somewhere between 5.5 & 6 in. would be the norm for a trail bike. I'm going for a 5.5 trail bike. They've got a blue Mojo at my Ibis dealer, and I'm heading there after work. They also sell Intense, and I can get a little off the price on a 5.5 FRO trade in. Decisions...

    I guess it depends on your needs and preferences, as everyone is different. I still enjoy riding my Ti HT with a Thudbuster.
    I equate trail riding with full suspension like skiing. With suspension it's like dry powder, more suspension is like more powder, and just gets easier to ride difficult terrain (with good powder ski technique) until it's so deep that only the steepest cliffs are skiable.

    I like the feeling of flying that suspension provides. And the Mojo flys not only downhill but uphill.

    Unless Bontreger has ridden a dw-Link he has never ridden ultra high quality suspension, all other designs have noticable tradeoffs of acceleration for bump compliance.

    Bontregar sounds like he the type who rides mainly for the workout. And for a more effective and quicker workout you do get beat up much faster at lower speeds on a more rigid bike and rigid bikes are more challenging to ride off road.

    BTW, Don I sold my Tracer to a good friend for $950 with a mostly XTR quality build and extras I wasn't going to use again (including my unused new SX build CrossRide wheels and Fizik seat from the Mojo that I swapped out immediately). I might have been able to get up to $500 more but now I'll be able to see my trusty Tracer often on rides for years into the future. I really like that bike, everything about it. But I've been spoiled by the total superiority of dw-Link now.

  8. #8
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    I think Bonty is trying to make a statement of relevance now like the three factor tradeoff one.

    If this is what he thinks, I think we should all be glad that he is little more value to Trek than his name.

  9. #9
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    Is there a link to the full article that this Bonty quote was taken from?

    Cheers,
    Mike

  10. #10
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    Seems like Keith might be referencing a particular area or trail system. If not, I don't think he is really seeing the big picture, which in all honesty may be tough for someone whose life revolves around cycling. I don't think anyone in their right mind would ride a cyclocross bike on the average trail in the North East US or in Canada, and there are plenty of trails that for the average rider in many areas can be ridden more successful and with greater safety with a bike that was actually designed to handle rockier/rootier terrain (5 or so inch travel trail bike).

    Certainly, when buying a bike you always need to decide what you need to get maximum enjoyment out of where you ride and the kind of riding you want to do. Single speeds are for a niche group that are either so good or so fit that standard mountain biking on the trails they have access to has become 'boring'. Same thing with more or less or no suspension. I'm sure there are people that would take the nastiest trail that I would attempt and clean it on a rigid single speed with more efficiency and grace than I can on my high-tech ride, but most of us haven't, and probably never will, reach that level of skill/fitness because of lack of natural ability and/or limitations in saddle time.

    The average moutain biker in my area of the North East, and especially the ones that can afford these new wonder bikes, are the ones that will likely benefit from these new, lighter, more efficient long-travel trail bike. They're older, with jobs, families, and less time to ride, and when they do ride they are looking to blow off steam and have some fun, not jar their bones (which are already achy enough for some, like myself) or push the lactic acid threshold. They would want a bike that can get them through the most terrain, up or down, without walking or going out of control, to test what skills they have, and with enough efficiency not to wear them out too quickly (which isn't too hard since the duration of rides tend to be shorter. For me 2 1/2 hours is an 'epic' ride).

    Certainly there are trails around where the 'fun' is different (faster, smoother, twisty trails where the extra suspension isn't really needed so much for control or comfort). But with the bikes like the Mojo and a few others, the trade-off for having the extra suspension available is minimal, and for a long term investment of an expensive item like a high-end mountain bike, its best to have something that can be flexible in case your circustances (location/riding interests) change. Certainly a bike like my old Kona King Kikapu (3" travel or so, 23 lbs) would kick butt on smoother single track w/lots of climbing and turns and switchbacks and 'outperform' my new 27 lbs Mojo, but take it out of this element and its limitations as an all around bike become blatantly apparent.

    A well designed, reasonably light 5" bike offers the most versatility for the recreational off-road cyclist. Unless you know you fit into a niche, or want to force yourself into one, this is probably actually the SAFEST category for a bike purchase (at least for around my area), as it can do pretty much anything reasonably well, from the occaisonal XC race to the occaisonal moderate stunt/lift riding, and of course just generally riding around in the woods. Frames like these also tend to offer the most comfortable and neutral handling rider position, shying away from the extremes of steep fast XC or crazy slack DH/Freeride, which is also a good thing.

    For the dedicated, hardcore guy, which is probably Keith's perspective, any compromise is probably considered a 'mistake' or unnecessary, especailly if you have the ability to own multiple bikes and an abundance of time and talent to put towards riding. But for Joe Average a few small compromises (few extra lbs, etc) for control/comfort/versatility makes the most sense.

  11. #11
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    24 pounds

    Quote Originally Posted by ozelise
    Mojo - what extra baggage?
    Indeed: My Mojo is 24 pounds and change and climbs better then a hardtail ... I see no baggage

    But Bontrager is probably referring to people using 35 pounds plus rigs (take a little tour of the allmountain forum). I think that all that weight is not necessary, although some make it sound like it is, but ... if you start to do big drops (I mean go above 4 feet) I can see why the weight will pile up. Drops and big jumps are really the only reason I can see for needing extra weight. How many people go that big in reality? Maybe Bontrager has a good point, an agile 5-6" sub-30 rig is really all that is needed by a very large percent of experienced riders.

  12. #12
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    Yes and no.

    I rode every trail I ride now before there was suspension. (Uh oh, I feel the obligatory "and I loved it!" coming on.) I think about what it would be like to ride the trails on a featherweight bike. Sure, it's an idea. But there are two sides to this story. I carry a 15 pound backpack wherever I go. Chain, tools, knife, tires, tubes, clothing, food. As for the bike, I actually get something for my weight. Like a butt that's not sore after five hours of riding. I get to ride over those fallen limbs that would endo me on a rigid. Why sit on a barstool when we've made the couch just as efficient. There's a reason the Penny Farthing isn't around anymore. Details.

    And then there's the cool factor. When suspension came out, I had to have that Manitou 1. It didn't work. But I had hopes. But now the stuff works. And it's super cool. Maybe it's the mechanical engineer in me, but I can't stop drooling over my Mojo with it's amazing lines, and suspension and disc brakes. And every ride makes me love it that much more. It's a permanent love affair. That's saying something. (No smart comments, please!)

    And it weighs about the same as my 1970 road bike. Now how cool is that!

    I rest my case.

  13. #13
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    Isn't this horse dead already?!

    Goddam, people love to beat the dead mofo "you're riding the wrong bike" thread even after its 6ft under.

    Nobody has to justify the bike they ride. Period. We are riding bikes, not writing foreign policy or engineering moon shots. We are not greater or lesser people for choosing HT vs FS. It is entirely possible to have lots of fun on practically any bike.

    There is no law that says you are a big loser for armoring up and riding a 8.5" "AM" bike on buff Santa Cruz singletrack that Keiff Bontrager can clean on his road bike.

    Obviously if you ride a wack bike you will eventually realize you're riding the wrong bike and get another.
    - -benja- -

  14. #14
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    Point well made Benja. Just enjoy the freedom in being an aerobic athlete on a bike. When someone takes these debates too seriously it reminds me of when we were younger kids arguing over our other toys. It's all just bike geeky fun. Sometimes manufacturers want you to take it more seriously though; to get the brand loyalty or fanaticism thing going.
    btw, I love my bikes

  15. #15
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    Most of the trails around Santa Cruz are not full of rock gardens. I have ridden and owned lots of Specialized bikes and their tires and a lot (not all) of their stuff seems to ride on the nice loamy trails that exist in Santa Cruz. Might be because the headquarters sits dab in the middle of that terrain. The Specialized bikes tend to have low bottom brackets cause the work perfect in the type of trails that abound in Santa Cruz area. Take those same bikes to the rock trails in the Rockies (Colorado, etc) and all you do is hit your pedals all the time. Now I am making some generalizations, but hey its my opinion. Now Deadly Neadly could kick my butt on a 40 lb Huffy from Kmart, but so what. Lots of my friends ride a lot of the trails here on Single Speeds and still can kick my butt, so what. I like having the suspension myself. Ever notice that the Single Speed people are sort of like the the Telemark people used to be (hey I was one of them) a bit of a higher the mighty attitude about themselves cause they are special

    To each his own, hey I own a Mojo so I am the cooooolest!

  16. #16
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    I agree with most of what Keith has said actually. At least locally - I don't know how his perspective hashes out when you look at what kind of bikes riders are on compared to the terrain they ride throughout the US or abroad.

    I live in Charlotte NC and ride mostly Piedmont area XC type trails during the week. They are mostly flat with some roots, rocks, and small trail features. Climbing is only significant if you count your cumulative total (do multiple laps). It may not be true for everyone but to me it's overkill to ride a 30lb + bike with a 20mm thru axle on our local XC trails (these are the same guys that aspire to be better climbers). I see a lot of guys that were sold on the wrong type of bike for 90% of the riding they do.

    What you need and what you want are sometimes not the same though...and I'm not knocking someone for getting the bike they want. Just saying I see his point.
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridin'Dirty
    I agree with most of what Keith has said actually. At least locally - I don't know how his perspective hashes out when you look at what kind of bikes riders are on compared to the terrain they ride throughout the US or abroad.

    I live in Charlotte NC and ride mostly Piedmont area XC type trails during the week. They are mostly flat with some roots, rocks, and small trail features. Climbing is only significant if you count your cumulative total (do multiple laps). It may not be true for everyone but to me it's overkill to ride a 30lb + bike with a 20mm thru axle on our local XC trails (these are the same guys that aspire to be better climbers). I see a lot of guys that were sold on the wrong type of bike for 90% of the riding they do.

    What you need and what you want are sometimes not the same though...and I'm not knocking someone for getting the bike they want. Just saying I see his point.
    Let me ask how you might know what type of bike is right for these guys? Simple math of passing someone on the trail while being on an overbuilt bike?

  18. #18
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    Here is some lovely trails for those cyclocross bike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Let me ask how you might know what type of bike is right for these guys? Simple math of passing someone on the trail while being on an overbuilt bike?
    Yes, I use simple math to form close minded opinions of what others are riding and scoff as I fly past those poseurs on their over built bikes. Go flame someone else. I said in my previous post that "It may not be true for everyone but to me it's overkill to ride a 30lb + bike with a 20mm thru axle on our local XC trails."

    Most of the guys I am talking about are the ones I have personally talked to or ride with that have AM bikes with Freeride type builds. They want the travel and burliness of a freeride type bike but ride mostly XC trails. They can ride whatever they want but I get a lot of questions from people at our shop who are basically asking how they can "upgrade" their bikes so it essentially performs like a XC bike on a XC trail. My point is ride whatever you want. But it does make sense that some riders could be directed towards a better all purpose bike to suit their needs then what they were sold. There are some riders (clydes, folks with bad backs, etc.) that could benefit from an over built bike. Then there are some who don't considering how and where they ride.

    What's your point? I shouldn't make any judgements?
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  20. #20
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    Me flaming?

    I ride an overbuilt bike so it can handle some of the trailside features and not break. I also do extensive riding outside of my own trails that requires a heavy duty bike, while 95% of my riding is done back home, on tame trails.

    I just see this as a case of people looking for a reason to look down on people that might have more serious equipment than some, who may be looking to expand their types of riding at home on the tame trails, or go elsewhere.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken

    I just see this as a case of people looking for a reason to look down on people that might have more serious equipment than some, who may be looking to expand their types of riding at home on the tame trails, or go elsewhere.
    I don't think I implied that I was looking down on anyone - maybe you are just making a general statement? I'm just saying that I agree with the view that a lot of riders are somewhat misguided when they look for a bike to match up to their intended purposes. That is completely different than those looking to expand their types of riding.

    When I ride certain trails in Pisgah I will usually take a 5.5 Spot because it is better suited for the terrain. There are other places up there where even that bike is overkill. Now I'm going to go back to lurking around the Ventana forums to keep from loosing my mind while I wait on my new -hopefully well suited to my riding style- El Rey
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    Here is some lovely trails for those cyclocross bike
    That's what some of the xc trails look like in my extended radius.

  23. #23
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    Simple Math

    You are absolutely correct. There is really little need to go around a 35 pounds monster and brag about it.

    It is really very simple math: Start from a light Mojo such as mine: 24 pounds.

    Add 1 pound for a Marzocchi SL of sort or a FOX 36.

    Add 1/2 pound for stronger wheels

    Add 1/2+ pound for heavier components here and there

    Add 1 pound for "downhill" tires (you are now on 900 gram tires front and rear)

    You are at 27-28 and you have a bike that has 180/160 discs, big fork, big wheels and big tires. Add an additional 2-3 pounds (!) if you want a heavier frame, maybe even stronger (or cheaper) components ... You are still sub 30 or whereabouts and with a bike that could do anything 99.9999% of riders (maybe including Crazy Fred!) can through at it. BUT are now on a bike that would not climb as well as the original ... that is mostly tires ... go back to the original tires and you have a bulletproof sub-30 allaround bike.

    PS Ridin' Dirty: Remeber who are you talking with before you get dragged into a stupid flame-throwing exchange: the jerk chicken is going to upgrade to a (2007) 5.5" Spot because he thinks he is getting a better bike then a 5.3" 5-spot ...
    Last edited by Davide; 04-16-2007 at 01:22 PM.

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