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  1. #1
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    minimum travel for bike park

    I was pretty excited to go to a local gravity bike park with my new bike until I read their website more closely. They say that riders need at least 140mm travel to kind of enjoy the park and 200 mm to properly enjoy the park. Well my bike only has 130mm, but I'm a light rider (120 lbs). I would only be hitting small stuff like 5-6 foot tables and 4 foot drops. Do any of you have much experience using a 130 mm bike for dh only runs?

  2. #2
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    It depends on the bike park and what you're going to ride there. You don't need any suspension for table tops and 4ft drops (assuming your bike can take it). If it's legit steep and gnarly terrain what you're going to discover is that 4ft drops and table tops are not the main issue, the real feature is the setting (the steepness and speed). At bike park speeds your suspension may not be able to keep up. I had a buddy break his trail/XC handlebars while riding (not crashing) a rock garden; just the bump force was high enough to snap the bars. There's a reason people ride DH bikes.

    That said, you might be fine. You can always go, start out on the easiest trail and work your way up. You might could also rent a DH bike.

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I just bought this bike which was expensive for me with the intention of being able to go to the bike park with it maybe once a month. I didn't even think about travel beyond the minimum I wanted. I guess I could check it out and rent one if mine can't handle it.

  4. #4
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    A lot can depend on how you ride. Those that like to stay planted on the bike, as in seated and arms locked tight on the bars, need more suspension. Not just for themselves, but for the bike. How much the bike needs to be able to handle includes how much body weight is "stuck" to it. If you're up off the seat, arms and legs flexed and limber, your body movement adds a lot of "suspension", and takes weight of the bike. I've seen the heads of riders on 150+mm bike bounce abound as though there were on a rigid bike, as well as seen riders on hard tails whose heads looked like they were floating on a gimbal. But like leremy3220 says, gnarly stuff can be brutal on some parts, like the bars. For that, suspension setup also comes into play. 150mm travel that's nearly locked out can be worse than 130 that's plush. And then there's suspension design. There are 150mm bikes that feel and handle like 130mm, and there are 130's that feel and handle like 150's.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  5. #5
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    Which bike park are you talking about? I'm curious now!
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel | Transition Scout

  6. #6
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    Give it a shot on your bike. As mentioned, start on the easier trails and work your way up. If it feels sketchy, lock your bike up and rent a DH bike. I'm pretty sure every bike park I've seen has enough green/blue trails to keep you busy at least for a day.

  7. #7
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    Unless your blasting down at mach speed and blasting every jump...I think you'll be ok.

  8. #8
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    Bailey mountain in North Carolina. Never been there and it's a 4 hour drive.

  9. #9
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    I guess the website for it (Bailey Mountain) is putting me off. Minimum travel expectations plus they say they have only intermediate to advanced trails. I know those labels are very subjective though. I'l just give it a shot.

  10. #10
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    Now I'm just curious; if money were nothing could the shocks just be upgraded?

  11. #11
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    I watched a BKXC video on that park. For the trails that he showed...i think the 130 will be just fine. I used my 140mm bike at a couple California bike parks...and I've never felt like I needed "more" travel...but then I'm not sending any jumps and taking the Pro lines. I mainly take the blue and a few black diamond runs. Again...a lot will also depend on how fast you're going. If you go relatively slow...then you might not need that much travel. Also the slacker your bike...the higher the margin of error.

  12. #12
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    Thank you so much for the advice-i will take it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTOKER View Post
    Bailey mountain in North Carolina. Never been there and it's a 4 hour drive.
    I ride a V2 SC 5010 130 all around. I've been to Bailey and 130 is not enough. I'm a very active rider and get a lot out of the bike, hit Pisgah and Beech Mountain DH park no problem. Bailey, on the other hand is very steep and very fast. At first it was ok, a bit under-gunned but ok. As the day went on my suspension began to fade and my breaks all but quit.

    It's not the 130 bike, it's Bailey and it needs a long travel/DH bike.

  14. #14
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    Thank you-! I suspected as much.

  15. #15
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    I have ridden every trail at keystone colorado on a 130 bike before. That is a rough mountain. I think you will be just fine to take your bike and go see what it can do and what you can do. Do not let people tell you how much suspension travel you need, go find out for yourself. Like you said you only weight 120lbs which is much different then 160 and way different that 200 and so on. So who are they saying needs 140? the 175lb DH guy? I have seen people rip moab on rigid bikes and some people swear you need 6" of travel. Go find out what YOU need, its is a adventure, go do it!




    Disclaimer: I am a believer that 80% of riders ride with way too much suspension travel then they need for their trails or riding style.

  16. #16
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    Haven't ridden Bailey but people say it's similar to Windrock in steepness. If that's the case a 130mm bike is probably going to feel pretty sketchy. Like I said it's not so much the rocks and drops as it is the context. Maybe go to places like Pisgah or Beech Mtn. first and work your way up. There's a few (very few) people who ride Windrock on hardtails... but if you have to ask if Windrock is rideable on a hardtail then no.

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