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  1. #1
    dog
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    ... and if we just ... M4X as a trail bike

    OK, so i have never even been on a DS course and i am really just learning DJs (which i am really enjoying – even though the next oldest riders are typically less than ½ my age)…
    i got the M4X because i wanted a “flickable”, jumpable, shorter travel trail bike without the traditional XC geometry. I had been looking at 4X/DS full suspension frames about the time Pivot announced the M4X… i liked the M4X because it had a DW-link and a little slacker HTA than some of the other offerings…
    anyway, a little over a year ago i ended up “needing” a second bike (to complement my Firebird) since i had sold my Chameleon SS. There were some production delays for the M4X so i picked up a nicely spec’ed Double from Transition that belonged to one of their former pros … i could not believe how fun that bike was!!! i decided i would replace it with the M4X once it did come out because of the DW link, the slacker head angle, and lighter weight (about 2 lbs) because i wanted it mostly for trail… although DJs are pretty addictive…

    M4X as a trail/fun bike:
    - The M4X has a very short wheelbase, so it carves up twisty single track.
    - It rewards you for working even the smallest rollers, dips, berms, and rises.
    - I really like riding DJs on this bike. I do “lock out” my Fox 831 fork and the RP23 shock, but it’s nice to have the blow off when i overshoot or case a lander (which is not unusual for me ).
    - I am running the Fox 831 fork at 110 mm, which gives me a little extra slackness up front. Despite this bike’s small stature, it does not feel squirrely on steep, fast runs. Add some rock gardens, though, and the short, stiff suspension is not as capable as that of a long travel bike… (not that i expected it to be)…
    - In the air it feels really balanced with the Fox 831 at 110 mm. I had it at 120mm at first which felt fine for drops, but not as balanced for DJ-type jumps (curved ramp to transition landing). i have not tried it at 100mm which Pivot apparently recommends.



    Potential weaknesses?
    - There is not much room for my E-thirteen LG-1 chain guide. Had to shave a little of the plastic off to make sure there was no rub on the rear triangle.
    - Not sure how large a chain ring i could run. My 36 tooth looks pretty tight. i am running XT cranks.
    - The seat post insertion is about 196mm on my small frame. So i can’t have a single seat post that’s really long enough for trail, but short enough for DJ’s etc. However, if i got an adjustable seat post then i could do both with one post (which i will).

    Conclusion
    This bike is a blast to ride. It is definitely not a traditional short travel XC-type trail bike, but i really like it on the trail!
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  2. #2
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    Nice writeup!

    I am thinking about getting one of these mostly for dirt jumping....
    What length cranks are you running, and do your toes clear the front tire if you spin the bars? Or do you know the distance between the bottom bracket and the back of your front tire?

    Also, do you think a chain guide with a diameter of around 5" would clear the rear triangle (for a hammerschmidt)?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    dog
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    thanks! so, to begin with, i should have said older model 175mm (2009-2010?) XTR cranks where i said XT ...

    here's a pic of the bike posted in a thread futher down...



    as far as my toes clearing the font tire... my feet are small and have never hit the tire... that said, for me a full bar spin would be overstating my skill set (maybe a tentative bar twist?)... how about a a picture instead?
    the tire is a 2.35" nevegal...



    here's some shot of my 36 tooth chain ring clearance and a shot of the LG-1 chain guard to better show what i was describing...





    knowing me, this could be simply the result of something i messed up or my choice of parts...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  4. #4
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    Interesting...

    I like my bastardized Trance-X setup, but something like this is much more appealing for my local trails. Specilized has axed the SX, and there aren't a lot of other bikes like this out there, at least not ones that would pedal decently for trail riding. (BB concentric pivots, tank heavy steel frames, etc.)

    Any issues so far?

    The shortness would be no big deal. My current frames have tiny short sea tubes, and I've not truble geting full leg extension/planety of post in the frames.

    All my parts would swap over easily, and my existing fork would be easy to drop down to 100-120mm. It's just a lot of coin to drop on a frame that I've got no way to test ride.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  5. #5
    Err
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    Definitely looks like a rad setup. I've logged quite a few miles on a converted 4X bike. If you can get full extension, they work fairly well. I've seen the M4X in the flesh but no ride time, looks the biz tho.

    Here's a shot of gettin down on Little Creek Mesa on my Tazer-VP (sorry for the non-Pivot content) just to get the point across that they turn regular old XC desert rides into boost-fest!

  6. #6
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    Definitely looks like a rad setup. I've logged quite a few miles on a converted 4X bike. If you can get full extension, they work fairly well. I've seen the M4X in the flesh but no ride time, looks the biz tho.

    Here's a shot of gettin down on Little Creek Mesa on my Tazer-VP (sorry for the non-Pivot content) just to get the point across that they turn regular old XC desert rides into boost-fest!
    That's another option. The Rook from Nuke Proof, the GT Distortion are two others. The SX as well I guess.

    Not seriously looking as yet, just eyeballing. I really, really love the way Maestro pedals. Love my Chromag hardtail and Reign-X setup, and am pretty damn happy with the Trance-X the way I have it, but it's still not quite exactly what I want.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  7. #7
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    If you haven't seen any of my previous posts here's a recap of what I've been using my M4X for. In the 18 months(?) that I've had mine I've logged in close to 1500 miles of trail riding with it. That has included everything from 30 mile rides, 24 & 12 hour races, Moab trips, pumptrack use, dirt jumping, DH runs at Deer Valley, Colorado trip and a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting. I just rode it on one of my shortish looops tonight and it just re-enforced how much I love this bike. Fast like an XC rig but burly like a DH monster. It's really a tough call for me at times to decide if I want to ride the M4X or my Firebird. For reference, I have mine built up with a 10 speed XT drivetrain, 11-36t cassette and 34t chainring using the new Zee rear der. That gearing works great for me as I'm able to climb the technical stuff on National trail (it does hurt a bit) but still have enough gearing for higher speed sections. I do have 2 seatpost/saddle combos so I can swap out for trail riding or jumping.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  8. #8
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit View Post
    If you haven't seen any of my previous posts here's a recap of what I've been using my M4X for. In the 18 months(?) that I've had mine I've logged in close to 1500 miles of trail riding with it. That has included everything from 30 mile rides, 24 & 12 hour races, Moab trips, pumptrack use, dirt jumping, DH runs at Deer Valley, Colorado trip and a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting. I just rode it on one of my shortish looops tonight and it just re-enforced how much I love this bike. Fast like an XC rig but burly like a DH monster. It's really a tough call for me at times to decide if I want to ride the M4X or my Firebird. For reference, I have mine built up with a 10 speed XT drivetrain, 11-36t cassette and 34t chainring using the new Zee rear der. That gearing works great for me as I'm able to climb the technical stuff on National trail (it does hurt a bit) but still have enough gearing for higher speed sections. I do have 2 seatpost/saddle combos so I can swap out for trail riding or jumping.
    Thanks, yeah, I've seen the other posts. Just pondering.

    My TX is a great little trail bike, but I'd still like a bit shorter stays, and it was a compromise bought in a hurry when my Spitfire frames bushings started to eat the frame...

    My local riding (and how i like to ride it) is really condusive to short travel tough little rigs, but still fun to have some slacker angles on. Lots of short and steep ups and downs, slow speed trialsy sections and log rides linked up with short sections of fasst and flowy. Not a lot of long descending where I can really open things up around here - big travel really not needed. I've founds small, poppy bike sto be really fun and responsive for this sort of stuff.

    It'd still leave me my hardtail for daily driver XC rides, and the Reign-X for the once in awhile lift hit/trips out to UT and CO, the few spots where it's the more suited bike out here.

    Also eyeballing a Santa Cruz Blur TRc, a few other shorter travel, tough little frames that might suit my tastes.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

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