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  1. #1
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    Overbiked almost a thing of the past?

    So..... 10 years ago you had to choose between up and down.
    If you wanted to shred down on the gnarly stuff you would have to take a heavy bike that pedalled like shit uphill to enjoy the down. Or you would sacrifice some of that descending ability so you could actually pedal up the hill without rediculous pain or slowness.


    Now the medium travel (130+mm) bikes are more capable on the down and bigger travel (160+mm) bikes can pedal up as well as their smaller travel brothers.


    The line is now truely blurred in the 130-170mm range of bikes as these bikes can cover a massive range of riding terrain. Choose the bike that fits your prefered style and have fun.


    Tonight I go a 2 hour pedal fest. There's a bunch of gravel roads, easy track and even some road section. But also theres a small road gap, a gnarly long steep that +45 degrees, Some vertical drops, a jump run and a hell gnarly root and stair descent.

    I'll be taking my 165/180mm bike. At a touch under 29pd it will be one of the lightest bikes on the ride. I will lead it out on the uphills and downhills. There wont be any time that i want for a smaller travel bike. My buddies on smaller travel bikes wont go faster on the ups, but they will go slower on the downs and will opt out of hitting the bigger lines or choose to walk the gnarly root/stair descent while i ride it.

    Am I over biked? Hell no. I have the right tool for the job. I ride everything and am not left punished on the climbs. Infact most often i'm the punisher!
    Are the guys on less travel opting out of taking the super tech lines underbiked? Well maybe, or possibly they are using the right bike to suiit their riding style and would opt out of the super tech even if they had a bigger bike.


    Discuss

  2. #2
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    Part of the problem is how you define overbiked...more bike than you need? so much bike you're significantly slower? so much bike the trail is dumbed down/not fun? So much bike it's hard to maneuver in tight singletrack? Or some combination of those?

    All of those forms of 'overbiked' still exist in certain situations.

  3. #3
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    Different strokes for different folks... Sounds like your terrain warrants a big bike, and you are also in better shape than your riding buddies. So, you get to enjoy the benefits while not experiencing any negatives.

    If your riding group was full of 120-130mm bikes piloted by dudes/chicks that were in much better shape than you... you might be cursing your 165/180mm bruiser.

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    This is exactly how I found the Pivot Firebird 29 to be. No one will mistake for an S-works Epic, but it goes up as good as many 140/120 bikes and just bombs downhill. It weighs ~30# (give or take)...so, weight-wise it's a wash with many of the new short-travel bikes as well.

    I have no need for a 170/160 bike...but I keep thinking: if I'm not paying a weight penalty...and can use a lock-out on fireroads (and don't really need it in other situations), why not just get the big travel bike???

  5. #5
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    Big travel bikes used to go hand in hand with 1300g tires, 700g rims and pushing 40lb.

    These days you can have an 180mm fork on a sub 30lb bike like yours.

    My 140/160 bike im riding today is within a few grams of my old 100mm FS bike.

  6. #6
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    My 160mm bike pedals great, but it's pretty dull to ride a lot of places where my old-ass singlespeed XC bike is a total gas. I think what 'over-biked' means has changed. It's a good time to be a mountain biker though
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  7. #7
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    With improvements in design If they can make a 160mm bike pedal well now just imagine what they could do when they turn that same attention back to 120 or 130? I think we will eventualy see even more incredible and capable short travel bikes and be back where we were before.

  8. #8
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    My 160/150 pedals WAY better than the 120mm bike it replaced and that's 100% because of seat the tube angle. The 120mm was a little more spry but not much. The 160mm bike crushes everything short of true DH.
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  9. #9
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    Personally I'm with you, plummet. Give me the more capable bike that pedals well uphill. Then GTF out of my way on the downs! I have a blast on mine and never get bored -- there are plenty of alt lines around these parts if a guy wants to engage in some hectic entertainment at speed.

    But that's me. Many of my friends don't see it that way. Some have bikes like Spearfishes (80mm) or such thinking they'll save weight over having more travel. Whatever. I'll cheerfully carry a couple extra pounds up the hill (training weight, eh?) and enjoy owning the DH.

    Couple of my other mountain bike buds ride YT Capras exclusively in the summer (singlespeed in winter). They're the strongest riders I know. Maybe they have to be the strongest? But they also are the most talented and seem to have the most fun. They ride nearly everyday.

    That's the side of the fence I lean toward.
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  10. #10
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    There is another aspect to “over biked” that I don’t really understand. For example, the new YT Capra sounds great but is it set up with strong, progressive suspension/geometry to make it handle aggressive jumps and drops that I will never do? Does that mean it is too harsh and jittery to ride down rocky slopes at a “normal” speed? On the other hand, the Scott Genius with similar travel and geometry could be more suited to less aggressive riding? How do I know for sure without riding both?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gratulin View Post
    There is another aspect to “over biked” that I don’t really understand. For example, the new YT Capra sounds great but is it set up with strong, progressive suspension/geometry to make it handle aggressive jumps and drops that I will never do? Does that mean it is too harsh and jittery to ride down rocky slopes at a “normal” speed? On the other hand, the Scott Genius with similar travel and geometry could be more suited to less aggressive riding? How do I know for sure without riding both?
    If you're not pushing a bike like that, the trail disappears under you. It wont be harsh and jittery at all, it just wont feel like anything. That can feel boring.

    Slower speed really technical and rocky downhills are tons of fun for me. More fun than flow trails... but if you try that kind of riding on a 160mm 29er, you can easily steamroll the whole thing, and its not fun anymore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    If you're not pushing a bike like that, the trail disappears under you. It wont be harsh and jittery at all, it just wont feel like anything. That can feel boring.

    Slower speed really technical and rocky downhills are tons of fun for me. More fun than flow trails... but if you try that kind of riding on a 160mm 29er, you can easily steamroll the whole thing, and its not fun anymore.
    I imagine this phenomenon may be different for individual riders based to a large degree on the conditions & terrain they ride in.

    Personally I mostly ride forests like those on the Endor moon in Star Wars, whippin' at speed while dodging roots, wayward branches, angular babyhead and massive trees themselves -- this activity keeps a rider busy, focused and entertained. Forest understory insures short sightlines so it's always like playing Tetris turned up to eleven. Add log overs, lava outcrops, embedded rock gardens and switchbacks and there's constantly plenty to take in and deal with. I've never been bored and can't imagine being so even on a bike with huge travel. But if boredom ever did happen, all one would have to do in this neck is dare to go faster. Then (s)he'd be right back in the thick of it.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Are the guys on less travel opting out of taking the super tech lines underbiked? Well maybe, or possibly they are using the right bike to suiit their riding style and would opt out of the super tech even if they had a bigger bike.
    I always seem to be underbiked. On my old XC bike, I was the king of climbing. In the rough stuff, I was limited. Currently, my favorite bike is solidly in the enduro camp. I shred the downhill chunk, but I'm huffing and puffing on the uphills. EVERY bike is a compromise, and there is no such thing as a bike that is best at everything.

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    I think most of the time you'll run into bikes being under-ridden rather than the opposite. I'd rather under ride my bike than opposite, as that means you've made an expensive mistake.

    I think being slightly over biked gives a little insurance when you want to push past your normal. Case in point up to about 5 years ago my riding partner & I couldn't afford high end bikes so we rode what we knew. Kona Dawg's. He picked up a '03 about 5 years prior (100mm rear travel). A few times a year he'd toss out some pretty big drops (6'-9')
    at speed. The bike handled it quite well for a while. The frame, cracked in a few places sits proudly on his wall.

    Fast forward to 4 years ago & we both bought 26" carbon "Super" bikes. He got a SB66c & I found a helluva deal on a Mojo HD. We bought tossed on some used '14 Marz 55 RC3 Ti's & some coil rear shocks & have been trying to out ride our bikes ever since.

    Can't do it. I've even upgraded my backup bike to a '15 process 153. The HD is still better all around due to the front and rear suspension. Both these bikes work well on long and short rides, up & down.

    I know 130 ish bikes are better now than they were back in the day, but riding hard means that something has to fail, and it's usually the suspension components rather than me. The more travel means I bottom out less & abuse the suspension less. Leads to a longer life. I hold onto bikes for half a decade or more. I'd rather be over biked & save my money for a future upgrade down the road rather than constantly replace broken parts.

    I know what my bike can handle & yes it could be better for the flat trails if it had less travel. 140 ish. I can afford 1 completely dialed bike, it's going to be for the rides I do most often I've found that 160 is the sweet spot out back & can't find a better 26" fork than the 55. Smooth on the small stuff & handles the big stuff better than anything I've ridden......and I don't need to check the air pressure out front or back ever. It's great to ride without worrying about that.

    But we're both on 26" so...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    This is exactly how I found the Pivot Firebird 29 to be. No one will mistake for an S-works Epic, but it goes up as good as many 140/120 bikes and just bombs downhill. It weighs ~30# (give or take)...so, weight-wise it's a wash with many of the new short-travel bikes as well.

    I have no need for a 170/160 bike...but I keep thinking: if I'm not paying a weight penalty...and can use a lock-out on fireroads (and don't really need it in other situations), why not just get the big travel bike???
    Why not indeed!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    . EVERY bike is a compromise, and there is no such thing as a bike that is best at everything.
    If i can place 3rd on in an xc race, ride and shuttle for 13 hours over a weekend, and hang onto my buddies on their rigs on dh tracks all on the same bike its getting bloody close to one bike to rule them all.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Different strokes for different folks... Sounds like your terrain warrants a big bike, and you are also in better shape than your riding buddies. So, you get to enjoy the benefits while not experiencing any negatives.

    If your riding group was full of 120-130mm bikes piloted by dudes/chicks that were in much better shape than you... you might be cursing your 165/180mm bruiser.
    I did an xc race placed third in my category, 7th overall out of 58 starters. It was a basic ass xc course flat with one easy descent and climb, twisty single track. It was the worst course for my big hitting bike. I missed out on second by 20 seconds. One of the single speed 29er guys got me on the last hill. I'm pretty darn happy with that.
    I recently did an epic weekend away with 11 dudes mainly on enduro bikes. Day one was 8 hours, day 2 was 7 hrs. There was some shuttling in those days but a shit tone of pedalling too. My XC buddy would pound the hills and leave the rest of the pack for dead. I chased him up every hill and he didn't pull away by any margin. On the last hill of the last day i managed to pull a gap and beat him to the top. hahaha... He was on a

    To answer your question.

    Could i hold onto a group of fit 120mm riders? most definately. My legs will burn on the up but i will hold onto them. When cometh the down, See ya later 120mm guys. I'll wait at the bottom of the hill for them to catch up. Would I want for a lower travel bike? Hell no! i'll still be roosting the downs and hitting any A lines i can find on that 120mm pedal fest.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I imagine this phenomenon may be different for individual riders based to a large degree on the conditions & terrain they ride in.

    Personally I mostly ride forests like those on the Endor moon in Star Wars, whippin' at speed while dodging roots, wayward branches, angular babyhead and massive trees themselves -- this activity keeps a rider busy, focused and entertained. Forest understory insures short sightlines so it's always like playing Tetris turned up to eleven. Add log overs, lava outcrops, embedded rock gardens and switchbacks and there's constantly plenty to take in and deal with. I've never been bored and can't imagine being so even on a bike with huge travel. But if boredom ever did happen, all one would have to do in this neck is dare to go faster. Then (s)he'd be right back in the thick of it.
    =sParty
    I agree man. If you are bored, ride faster. Even easy tracks get interesting if you smash them at speeds well past there intended natural flow speed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    If i can place 3rd on in an xc race, ride and shuttle for 13 hours over a weekend, and hang onto my buddies on their rigs on dh tracks all on the same bike its getting bloody close to one bike to rule them all.
    Maybe you would have come in first if you were on an XC bike? But whatever, sounds like you're enjoying yourself and your bike, that's really all that matters for any of us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    I did an xc race placed third in my category, 7th overall out of 58 starters. It was a basic ass xc course flat with one easy descent and climb, twisty single track. It was the worst course for my big hitting bike. I missed out on second by 20 seconds. One of the single speed 29er guys got me on the last hill. I'm pretty darn happy with that.
    I recently did an epic weekend away with 11 dudes mainly on enduro bikes. Day one was 8 hours, day 2 was 7 hrs. There was some shuttling in those days but a shit tone of pedalling too. My XC buddy would pound the hills and leave the rest of the pack for dead. I chased him up every hill and he didn't pull away by any margin. On the last hill of the last day i managed to pull a gap and beat him to the top. hahaha... He was on a

    To answer your question.

    Could i hold onto a group of fit 120mm riders? most definately. My legs will burn on the up but i will hold onto them. When cometh the down, See ya later 120mm guys. I'll wait at the bottom of the hill for them to catch up. Would I want for a lower travel bike? Hell no! i'll still be roosting the downs and hitting any A lines i can find on that 120mm pedal fest.
    Ride what you want. But nothing comes for free. Put your XC buddy on your 29# bike and he woulda been ass dragging up those hills and you prob woulda won your xc race on a 24# xc sled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Could i hold onto a group of fit 120mm riders? most definately. My legs will burn on the up but i will hold onto them. When cometh the down, See ya later 120mm guys. I'll wait at the bottom of the hill for them to catch up.


    I know a few guys on 100mm hardtails that might give you a run for your money, and if you can hold onto fit guys on 120mm xc bikes that means you're probably a little fitter than they are. The bike matters for sure but the rider matters more.
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    I feel like I could throw on some XC tires and lock out my shock and my SB5.5 would be as fast as all but the absolute fastest XC rigs.

    Actually been considering trying out a Rekon front and an Ikon rear for exactly this reason, but what happens when I hit my fun trails?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I feel like I could throw on some XC tires and lock out my shock and my SB5.5 would be as fast as all but the absolute fastest XC rigs.

    Actually been considering trying out a Rekon front and an Ikon rear for exactly this reason, but what happens when I hit my fun trails?
    Tears. Tears will happen when you hit your fun trails.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I know a few guys on 100mm hardtails that might give you a run for your money, and if you can hold onto fit guys on 120mm xc bikes that means you're probably a little fitter than they are. The bike matters for sure but the rider matters more.
    Yeah...

    Whenever people like the person you responded to say stuff like that, I know they aren’t riding with truly fast people.


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  25. #25
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    I have a Trek Slash and I agree it can do it all but tires are still a big deal... it needs DH rubber to ride gnar properly and then climbing more than ~3k ft is a chore. With trail tires it can do ok at easier trails and long climbs but the bike is still kinda overkill for a lot of trails, meaning a smaller bike would be more fun at times.

    So we're still waiting for tires that can really do it all, once you get to the point you're on DH casing Maxxgrip tires it's not going to be a great trail bike anymore.

    As far as comparisons with your buddies, it means nothing at all. There's such a massive range of rider abilities and fitness levels. One of my friends can beat just about any casual rider/weekend warrior on his fully rigid fatbike on most trails, and has when his fully was down. Doesn't mean I want to ride one myself...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    Ride what you want. But nothing comes for free. Put your XC buddy on your 29# bike and he woulda been ass dragging up those hills and you prob woulda won your xc race on a 24# xc sled.
    I calculated ( that this is a real rough calculation) that i could have gone 2mins per hour faster on an xc machine. Based on my positioning in the race and historical results from years gone by. I would have secured 2nd in my devision But woundnt have won. I truely think the big bike is not giving up much speed at all.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I know a few guys on 100mm hardtails that might give you a run for your money, and if you can hold onto fit guys on 120mm xc bikes that means you're probably a little fitter than they are. The bike matters for sure but the rider matters more.
    As i said above. I dont think the bike is inhibiting me much on a pedal fest at all. Are there guys faster pedallers than me? Sure there is, no doubt at all. But they will have to crank near xc race speed to drop me. In a general group ride of any sort i wont be tail end charlie and holding up the pack because of my bike. If that occurs it will be because of my fitness or skill and that is a glorious thing!

  28. #28
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    The terms "overbiked" and "too much bike" are personal pet peeves of mine because they are so vague as to be virtually meaningless. Overbiked could mean too much suspension travel, too heavy, too slack geometry, too much tire width/thickness/tread... what do you mean?

    Certainly these days the penalty for having 140-160mm of suspension is a lot less than it used to be in terms of weight and pedaling efficiency. But there's still a reason pro XC racers are racing those uncomfortable-looking hard tail XC bikes, and downhill racers are racing those big burly DH rigs.

    If you're a recreational user, though, it makes a lot of sense to get one do-it-all bike, and these days it's really feasible.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    I calculated ( that this is a real rough calculation) that i could have gone 2mins per hour faster on an xc machine. Based on my positioning in the race and historical results from years gone by. I would have secured 2nd in my devision But woundnt have won. I truely think the big bike is not giving up much speed at all.
    Based on weight alone, a bike that weighs 10lbs more than my current bike would climb 5% slower.

    One assumption being that I’m climbing slow enough that wind resistance doesn’t matter. And, that is only counting changes to watts/kg, not the differences in rolling resistance or suspension efficiency.

    Those things would only add to the gap.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Based on weight alone, a bike that weighs 10lbs more than my current bike would climb 5% slower.

    One assumption being that I’m climbing slow enough that wind resistance doesn’t matter. And, that is only counting changes to watts/kg, not the differences in rolling resistance or suspension efficiency.

    Those things would only add to the gap.


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    And there are things that would subtract from the gap as well. There are numerous climbs here locally that I'm faster on my ~32lbs Rallon than a ~22lbs XC bike due to increased traction. Depending on the course you also have to factor in potential speed increases in the flats and descending due to the more agressive geo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    I always seem to be underbiked. On my old XC bike, I was the king of climbing. In the rough stuff, I was limited. Currently, my favorite bike is solidly in the enduro camp. I shred the downhill chunk, but I'm huffing and puffing on the uphills. EVERY bike is a compromise, and there is no such thing as a bike that is best at everything.
    Best at everything? That's whatever you are currently riding and having fun on. My best? 2013 29er enduro, 150 mm of kick ass up and down hills. YRMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    I have a Trek Slash and I agree it can do it all but tires are still a big deal... it needs DH rubber to ride gnar properly and then climbing more than ~3k ft is a chore. With trail tires it can do ok at easier trails and long climbs but the bike is still kinda overkill for a lot of trails, meaning a smaller bike would be more fun at times.

    So we're still waiting for tires that can really do it all, once you get to the point you're on DH casing Maxxgrip tires it's not going to be a great trail bike anymore.

    As far as comparisons with your buddies, it means nothing at all. There's such a massive range of rider abilities and fitness levels. One of my friends can beat just about any casual rider/weekend warrior on his fully rigid fatbike on most trails, and has when his fully was down. Doesn't mean I want to ride one myself...
    I'm running a maxxis 2.5 DHF front on 30 mm rims, a 2.4 DHR on the same rim out back. 29er, not lacking for traction on the New England rocks and roots. You have giant rock gardens or hucking to flat? Running tubeless as well?

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    Overbiked almost a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    And there are things that would subtract from the gap as well. There are numerous climbs here locally that I'm faster on my ~32lbs Rallon than a ~22lbs XC bike due to increased traction. Depending on the course you also have to factor in potential speed increases in the flats and descending due to the more agressive geo.

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    An XC bike isn’t going to lose any time on the flats and minimal time on the descents until you get to full face territory (see: segments where Moab Enduro vs Moab Stage Race overlap).

    The traction thing is something I’ve never experienced. Power, weight and body position and tire volume will be the determining factor in climbing traction. I’ve never said, “Gee, this XC tire isn’t providing enough climbing traction”, other than on very steep, wet terrain where a siped XC tire like the Gato wins out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    An XC bike isn’t going to lose any time on the flats and minimal time on the descents until you get to full face territory (see: segments where Moab Enduro vs Moab Stage Race overlap).

    The traction thing is something I’ve never experienced. Power, weight and body position and tire volume will be the determining factor in climbing traction. I’ve never said, “Gee, this XC tire isn’t providing enough climbing traction”, other than on very steep, wet terrain where a siped XC tire like the Gato wins out.


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    I disagree. I have too much personal and anecdotal experience where that just doesn't hold true.

    You forgot suspension kinematics in your criteria. Those are going to play a huge role in climbing ledges and in the loose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I disagree. I have too much personal and anecdotal experience where that just doesn't hold true.

    You forgot suspension kinematics in your criteria. Those are going to play a huge role in climbing ledges and in the loose.

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    Where are these mythical places where a 6” AM bike climbs faster than a 4” XC bike, given the same rider? I have not yet seen them.

    Every time I’m in Moab or western CO riding “technical” terrain, I see a bunch of people pushing their AM bikes up low grade “technical” climbs. Or “sessioning” things we just ride up. I’ve never found a situation where I’d want more than 100mm for going up any kind of climb. It might yet happen, though. My next bike will probably be 120/120mm. Maybe that will be the key to getting that KOM up Hymasa.




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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    The terms "overbiked" and "too much bike" are personal pet peeves of mine because they are so vague as to be virtually meaningless. Overbiked could mean too much suspension travel, too heavy, too slack geometry, too much tire width/thickness/tread... what do you mean?
    It means any of those things. How can you say its meaningless while describing exactly what it is?

    I beat faster people 100% of the time, when they catastrophically crash and I dont.

    Ive been dropped by the fast XC guys more times than I can count. It happens a *lot*. Ive honestly never been dropped by anyone pushing a 160-180mm bike. Ive rode by plenty of those guys pushing, but never got dropped.

    I feel like I do pretty well on my bike with a 140 or 160mm fork. Ive gotten really good at pulling towards the hips, chin low, scooting forward and doing all the usual tricks to climb up steep stuff with a bigger bike. I'll get to the top, and I like riding a bigger bike down...

    ... but come on. One quick ride on a 100mm xc bike is a big difference going up. Its a lot easier. A lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where are these mythical places where a 6” AM bike climbs faster than a 4” XC bike, given the same rider? I have not yet seen them.

    Every time I’m in Moab or western CO riding “technical” terrain, I see a bunch of people pushing their AM bikes up low grade “technical” climbs. Or “sessioning” things we just ride up. I’ve never found a situation where I’d want more than 100mm for going up any kind of climb. It might yet happen, though. My next bike will probably be 120/120mm. Maybe that will be the key to getting that KOM up Hymasa.




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    There are a few climbs locally where I am faster on the bigger bike. There are actually a couple that I have only been able to clean on the big bike. To further confuse the issue that is also using the same rear tire across both bikes.


    As to your subtle dig at AM riders pushing. That may or may not be because they could not make the climb. A lot of the time instead of burning one's legs on the climbs one will push. Some people happen to hate climbing and view it as a necessary evil.

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    XC bike geometry allows for better flat cornering as well. In a XC race XC bikes are faster. If they were not fast then the XC pros would not be using them. So generally speaking for timed climbs and descents and XC bike is faster. Now for those that don't race the difference may not be worth it. Personally I have 100/100 "XC" bike that I ride 90% of the time. I also have 130/125 "enduro" bike that is 7lbs heavier and save for when the chunk requires or I ride with slow group and don't want to jet away on the climbs and turns. It not as snappy crisp as the XC bike, but can be ridden most places. It is overbiked for some trails I ride. My XC bike is underbiked for certain trails, but there is thrill in riding serious chunk without a dropper, low travel and semi steep angles.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where are these mythical places where a 6” AM bike climbs faster than a 4” XC bike, given the same rider? I have not yet seen them.
    I have seen plenty of places guys on AM bikes climb crazy stuff. However I know that is more skill than bike. It take some serious skill to hit certain technical climbs.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    There are a few climbs locally where I am faster on the bigger bike. There are actually a couple that I have only been able to clean on the big bike. To further confuse the issue that is also using the same rear tire across both bikes.


    As to your subtle dig at AM riders pushing. That may or may not be because they could not make the climb. A lot of the time instead of burning one's legs on the climbs one will push. Some people happen to hate climbing and view it as a necessary evil.

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    Ironically, one of the locations I was thinking about is a very short (~20m) climb on an otherwise rolling descent in Moab. On one of the stages of the old Mag 7 course for the Moab Enduro. When I rode it last fall, there were, I kid you not, 15-20 people gathered around it taking pictures as their friends tried and failed.




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    One of my friends rides a 29 Enduro on South Mtn. He routinely climbs Mormon trail so that he can hit some of nasty downhills from the top of the mountain. He often tells me that he out climbs all kinds of riders and I honestly believe him. However I am a much faster climber than he is and he knows it. So in some places you can find groups of poor climbers on any kind of bike.
    Joe
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    I think the vast majority of mountain bikers (myself included), ride up to get to go down. 140mm and bigger bikes are way more fun to ride down. Simple as that. I could care less about being faster going up on a XC bike because I have no interest in riding a 100mm back down. I will happily pedal the slower bike up the hill just for the big smile it will put on my face once it turns down. In all honesty, if you take the DH away, I am going back to dirt bikes. LOL

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    There have been bikes that can climb very well and then turn around and bomb right back down for a while now. It’s not just the current new geo bikes.

    My 05 Giant Reign when Maestro first came out. That bike could both pedal and bomb.
    I miss it

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I'm running a maxxis 2.5 DHF front on 30 mm rims, a 2.4 DHR on the same rim out back. 29er, not lacking for traction on the New England rocks and roots. You have giant rock gardens or hucking to flat? Running tubeless as well?

    My point is a modern Enduro bike really needs DH casing or at least DoubleDown/SuperGravity tires to perform as intended and this limits it's do-it-all capabilities more than the bike it's self. What we need now are better tires, not better bikes... tires have some catching up to do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I'm running a maxxis 2.5 DHF front on 30 mm rims, a 2.4 DHR on the same rim out back. 29er, not lacking for traction on the New England rocks and roots. You have giant rock gardens or hucking to flat? Running tubeless as well?
    I'm running 2.35 minions front and rear. They appear a good compromise between grip and efficiency.

    I think you can get away with less tyre if you have more travel.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    One of my friends rides a 29 Enduro on South Mtn. He routinely climbs Mormon trail so that he can hit some of nasty downhills from the top of the mountain. He often tells me that he out climbs all kinds of riders and I honestly believe him. However I am a much faster climber than he is and he knows it. So in some places you can find groups of poor climbers on any kind of bike.
    Riding up mormon instead of national? Everyone knows the real gnar is riding up national and that the mormon climb bypasses the tech, unless you mean 24th street, which is even more gnar.
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    Anyway, I have a lot of trouble believing all these people can keep up with the expert/pro XCers downhill. If every one of your rides is like riding up Tiger Mtn to ride down Predator, ok, then I get it, but if you aren't going that hard every ride, I say BS, you are overbiked a lot of the time and you aren't going faster downhill than anyone else. IME, you can go faster downhill with a lighter more responsive bike to a point, and IME, people think that point is the limit of their own skills, instead of what other people and the equipment is truly capable of. I love the enduro and DH stuff as much as anyone, but I really wonder how many people have descended with pros. It is absolutely amazing the terrain where they can "hold on" and ride it out. IMO, the younger strong guys (lots of core strength) can do this on hardtails and still match the speed of other pro riders on FS bikes. I can't take the punishment like that anymore, but I've watched people do it and I know it's possible. I think we tend to limit "what is possible" to our own experience. If we were really that much faster on the downhill, we'd be creaming the field as they tried to make up a few minutes of time, but even when we are on a bigger travel bike that can go faster, we maybe make up a couple seconds on the experience skilled XC racer on an XC bike. I'm not talking about midwest flat riding, but big climbs and descents and tech terrain.

    And then on the uphills? Yeah, they'll smash a rider that's riding a long-travel bike with heavy wheels and tires. These guys win races on watts and being able to put as many of those to the ground to keep their speed up. Keeping up with them on a short climb is not like keeping up with their output the entire race, these guys are often faster on their 2nd or third lap than their first.

    Lastly, a fast rider is a fast rider. An experienced DHer is going to DH fast on any kind of bike, from DH bike to hardtail. They are also going to climb pretty damn well on any bike, but they will take a hit if riding something a lot heavier/slower. I think a lot of people's perception of XC is being stuck in Cat 2 or 3 bottlenecks where many of the riders lack the skills of more elite racers and most of them lack the fitness of the higher ranks. This makes it "seem" like everyone here has no technical skills, but the more athletic guys with technical skills are already long gone in the race and on the next climb or the one after. Ride out ahead with the more elite riders and you'll find no lack of technical skills and descending skills. I do edge some people out while descending in XC due to my more DH background, but it's not by much, and it's far less than people are making it out to be. Most of the guys at these levels are highly talented in all aspects.
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    Funny how people on this forum will say it's the rider not the bike going downhill then quickly turn around and laud the climbing advantages of certain bikes. Hopefully some pro enduro and DH teams will read this thread and discover they can quit wasting time on bike/suspension testing and setup, and just use a reliable hardtail. To think they've been listening to engineers and mechanics when they could have been listening to the musings of internet forum members.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    My point is a modern Enduro bike really needs DH casing or at least DoubleDown/SuperGravity tires to perform as intended and this limits it's do-it-all capabilities more than the bike it's self. What we need now are better tires, not better bikes... tires have some catching up to do!
    I built up a 2nd, relatively inexpensive wheelset for my 'enduro' bike. Massively heavy, DH casing tires for park riding (plus a tire insert out back) and DoubleDown rear/EXO front for general trail riding.

    1 bike + 2 wheelsets seems to work well. I bring both wheelsets when we go for park weekends. A day at Angel Fire and a day of trail riding around Taos. Amazing the difference from just swapping wheels.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  50. #50
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    "Overbiked" is not a thing of the past, but the margin of being "over" biked is getting smaller, as big travel and aggressive geometry gets lighter and lighter. I am somebody that is overbiked quite often, as my enduro bike (better categorized as a light DH bike, really) weighs 36 pounds and has 180 mm travel at both ends. I use 2.5" Minions at both wheels.

    However, here's the thing: I don't ride that bike to get the fastest time over the course of a long ride. I ride it because it excels at plowing through gnar, which is my favorite type of riding.

    ---As the length of a ride increases, your chances of being "over" biked also increase.--

    There's no doubt about it, on the vast majority of 30+ mile rides I do, I am WAY faster *overall* on my XC 29" hardtail. No comparison. I don't care how gnarly it is either -- there are few trails that descend for that distance, nor are they ultra-technical for that long either. I can descend any trail on my XC hardtail that I can on my enduro bike -- it's just that the hardtail beats me up a lot more, and I won't commit to lines that require gapping gnarly sections/big drops/jumps, etc. It's a little slower on gnarly stuff, in other words -- but not as much as a lot of people think. It takes VERY, VERY nasty conditions to need ALL of what an enduro or DH bike has to offer.

    It's the flat sections and smooth sections where an XC bike starts to REALLY eat into the time gained by the bigger bike's DH abilities, and in the course of a long distance ride, it more than makes up the difference.

    I have a trail in my backyard practically that is a local favorite. It is a pretty short ride by most standards; only about 5.0 miles round trip (loop). The climb only has one minor technical section, and for the most part it's just steep and smooth (1400 feet in about 3 miles.) It is all uphill until the top, and then has a bomber descent. The descent is a mix of smooth and rough, with many g-outs and corners which are mostly bermed. It is NOT what I would call a "DH" trail. On the whole loop, I cannot touch my PR from the hardtail, using my enduro bike. But if timing the descent, I cannot touch my PR from the enduro bike, using my hardtail. So technically, I'm "overbiked" on the enduro bike since my entire lap time is slower, but not on the descent alone. It depends on what you're measuring and *what you care about* for a particular ride.

    Sometimes I want to tear it up on a gnarly trail (and believe me, some of the trails I ride absolutely call for 180 mm at both ends). Sometimes I don't care about the descent quite as much and want to cover lots of ground in the backcountry.

    A lot of the "overbiked" comments come from people riding big bikes slowly, on terrain that doesn't begin to require that much bike. Literally every time I ride I encounter people on Nomads and similar enduro-race bikes and they are riding them quite slowly, on trails whose most technical features are one or two exposed roots in a 5 mile span. To me, that's "overbiked."

    A lot of people also just don't understand what "fast" even is. There's average skills, fast, really fast, and then way ahead of any of those, there's PRO fast. I used to think I had potential to be a pro. I probably hovered somewhere in the fast/really fast area. Then I rode with a friend who is definitely in the "PRO" category. What he does on a bike, *on any trail* is unimaginable to most people. I could say "follow him and you'll see" -- but he wouldn't be in view long enough for you to see much of anything. He is at the top of his field, if not the winner, in any event he enters, be it an ultra-endurance XC race, normal XC, enduro, or DH event.

    The other aspect to look at is trail technicality. That's another area where people's ideas of technical are only relevant to what is the worst of what they've seen. Many people just haven't seen how intense it can actually get. In this thread, people have talked about trails on South Mountain (Phoenix). National Trail has some nice, technical features, but it is only beginning to enter the realm of "technical." It is entirely possible to clean the entire thing on an XC bike, and FAST at that. My point is, until people see something much more difficult, their reference point will lead them to the assumption that a modern all-mountain/enduro bike is necessary for that kind of riding.

    Just my thoughts...
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  51. #51
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    This thread makes me think of these two questions:
    1) Are you racing XC?
    2) Are you having fun?

    If the answer to #1 is "yes," you should prolly be on an XC bike;
    If the answer to #2 is "no," then you're jsut doing it all wrong, but;

    If the answer to #1 is "no" and the answer to #2 is "yes," then you are not over-biked.

    (if #1 and #2 are yes, you're probably Bishop).

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    "Overbiked" is not a thing of the past, but the margin of being "over" biked is getting smaller, as big travel and aggressive geometry gets lighter and lighter. I am somebody that is overbiked quite often, as my enduro bike (better categorized as a light DH bike, really) weighs 36 pounds and has 180 mm travel at both ends. I use 2.5" Minions at both wheels.

    However, here's the thing: I don't ride that bike to get the fastest time over the course of a long ride. I ride it because it excels at plowing through gnar, which is my favorite type of riding.

    ---As the length of a ride increases, your chances of being "over" biked also increase.--

    There's no doubt about it, on the vast majority of 30+ mile rides I do, I am WAY faster *overall* on my XC 29" hardtail. No comparison. I don't care how gnarly it is either -- there are few trails that descend for that distance, nor are they ultra-technical for that long either. I can descend any trail on my XC hardtail that I can on my enduro bike -- it's just that the hardtail beats me up a lot more, and I won't commit to lines that require gapping gnarly sections/big drops/jumps, etc. It's a little slower on gnarly stuff, in other words -- but not as much as a lot of people think. It takes VERY, VERY nasty conditions to need ALL of what an enduro or DH bike has to offer.

    It's the flat sections and smooth sections where an XC bike starts to REALLY eat into the time gained by the bigger bike's DH abilities, and in the course of a long distance ride, it more than makes up the difference.

    I have a trail in my backyard practically that is a local favorite. It is a pretty short ride by most standards; only about 5.0 miles round trip (loop). The climb only has one minor technical section, and for the most part it's just steep and smooth (1400 feet in about 3 miles.) It is all uphill until the top, and then has a bomber descent. The descent is a mix of smooth and rough, with many g-outs and corners which are mostly bermed. It is NOT what I would call a "DH" trail. On the whole loop, I cannot touch my PR from the hardtail, using my enduro bike. But if timing the descent, I cannot touch my PR from the enduro bike, using my hardtail. So technically, I'm "overbiked" on the enduro bike since my entire lap time is slower, but not on the descent alone. It depends on what you're measuring and *what you care about* for a particular ride.

    Sometimes I want to tear it up on a gnarly trail (and believe me, some of the trails I ride absolutely call for 180 mm at both ends). Sometimes I don't care about the descent quite as much and want to cover lots of ground in the backcountry.

    A lot of the "overbiked" comments come from people riding big bikes slowly, on terrain that doesn't begin to require that much bike. Literally every time I ride I encounter people on Nomads and similar enduro-race bikes and they are riding them quite slowly, on trails whose most technical features are one or two exposed roots in a 5 mile span. To me, that's "overbiked."

    A lot of people also just don't understand what "fast" even is. There's average skills, fast, really fast, and then way ahead of any of those, there's PRO fast. I used to think I had potential to be a pro. I probably hovered somewhere in the fast/really fast area. Then I rode with a friend who is definitely in the "PRO" category. What he does on a bike, *on any trail* is unimaginable to most people. I could say "follow him and you'll see" -- but he wouldn't be in view long enough for you to see much of anything. He is at the top of his field, if not the winner, in any event he enters, be it an ultra-endurance XC race, normal XC, enduro, or DH event.

    The other aspect to look at is trail technicality. That's another area where people's ideas of technical are only relevant to what is the worst of what they've seen. Many people just haven't seen how intense it can actually get. In this thread, people have talked about trails on South Mountain (Phoenix). National Trail has some nice, technical features, but it is only beginning to enter the realm of "technical." It is entirely possible to clean the entire thing on an XC bike, and FAST at that. My point is, until people see something much more difficult, their reference point will lead them to the assumption that a modern all-mountain/enduro bike is necessary for that kind of riding.

    Just my thoughts...
    All valid comments man. I agree with them all. I guess my perspective is coming from the descent side. I want the bike to ride the gnarly as descend with gusto and care little for the uphill strava time or indeed total ride time including ups and down.

    From that perspective i want the biggest hitting bike that practically can pedal around.
    If i was looking at strava total times inc ups and downs id be looking for less travel, sacrificing some dh speed for overall speed increase.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post

    I think you can get away with less tyre if you have more travel.
    ...and a certain amount of finesse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    I built up a 2nd, relatively inexpensive wheelset for my 'enduro' bike. Massively heavy, DH casing tires for park riding (plus a tire insert out back) and DoubleDown rear/EXO front for general trail riding.

    1 bike + 2 wheelsets seems to work well. I bring both wheelsets when we go for park weekends. A day at Angel Fire and a day of trail riding around Taos. Amazing the difference from just swapping wheels.
    Agreed.

    I'm pretty much settled on the Aggressor 2.5WT DD for a rear tire everywhere. Single ply rear tires on an Enduro bike don't work well anywhere and the 2.5 is only 80g more than the 2.3. Also, the Aggressor 2.3 DD sideknobs get undercut super-fast and it costs too much to replace them so often.

    For a front it's the Assguy, loving him... or DHF 2.5 EXO / Magic Mary 2.35 Snakeskin for trail. If they made an Assguy <1200g in Maxxgrip I'd just run that all the time too. My Assguys (I have 2) were 1400 and 1420g, f'in heavy!

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    This thread has so many valid comments, hats off for being able to clearly state what's going on 'on' the trail.
    I'll add to the "where we ride makes a real difference" comments. My locale is flat, the only climbs/descents are from excavation debris, piled up 40yrs ago. Much vegetation so its a jungle meaning lots of root/rock to negotiate (What little the builders have left us. Flow is king these days) so the only real speed we get is what we make with the pedals. If you're smooth you go fast with 100mm, or even no mm. We had a fun run this month and one of the handful of bikes that went by me was a rigid fat-bike. I spoke to the guy after the race, he said it takes a lot of power to keep those big tires spinning fast; and I had been thinking I was disadvantaged with my Process (not efficient peddler). My point is if we were in some gnarly steep sh*t (Moab) the suspension bikes would deliver advantage that just doesn't materialize here on our buffed out flow trails.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    I race XC, but 99% of my MTB riding is on my Enduro.

    My Enduro climbs NO WHERE near my XC hardtail does, at all. No comparison. When it starts pointing downhill, it still takes a pretty technical line before the E29 is faster than my XC HT. Start hitting the big chunky stuff, 3'+ drops, big doubles (no dropper in my XC HT), things like that and now we are talking about the E29 being faster. But on singletrack? Nope, the HT is faster everywhere. And the 1300g wheels help make sure it spins back up to speed quickly too.

    Now, as long as you are enjoying yourself, that is all that really matters. I outclimb most people on my Enduro because I have a high level of fitness. But I am pretty sure that if I try to race my Enduro at the Pro race at Bonelli Park next year I will struggle to make it through lap one without getting pulled off the course.

    I'm pretty proficient on my E29, which is why I like to ride it so much.

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    How sad....

    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    I think the vast majority of mountain bikers (myself included), ride up to get to go down. 140mm and bigger bikes are way more fun to ride down. Simple as that. I could care less about being faster going up on a XC bike because I have no interest in riding a 100mm back down. I will happily pedal the slower bike up the hill just for the big smile it will put on my face once it turns down. In all honesty, if you take the DH away, I am going back to dirt bikes. LOL

    That's like buying the box of 64 Cayola's only for the silver and gold crayons and tossing the rest.


    One will spend the vast majority of time in the saddle on the uphill, especially a rider who is "over-biked". Not sure how long someone will stay with the sport if they have no fun climbing for 2 hours only to get a quick 15 minute thrill on the way back down.

    Matching a bike to the terrain, both ups and down, will give the most smiles per mile.

    Yeah, downs are fun. Actually I just got back from my local DH and have yet to unload my Glory from my pickup. I full on DH about 20 times a season, maybe more.


    But, trail riding is trail riding. It is what it is. Lugging around too much bike almost always leads to sufferfests for the over-biked rider, who eventually starts to avoids the long downs because they don't want the climb back up. It leads to a vicious cycle for most - I've seen it too many times. Now there will be exceptions, heck I use to trail ride with mucho vert on a SC Bullit with a Super T! These days its almost always the guys who's over-biked that has the properly-biked guys waiting on both the ups and the downs.

    I run trail bikes with roughly 150/130 and enjoy the tech climbing almost as much as the downs - and sometimes maybe more.



    A bike that is properly matched to the trails is magic.

    Don't buy more bike. Earn more skill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    This thread has so many valid comments, hats off for being able to clearly state what's going on 'on' the trail.
    I'll add to the "where we ride makes a real difference" comments. My locale is flat, the only climbs/descents are from excavation debris, piled up 40yrs ago. Much vegetation so its a jungle meaning lots of root/rock to negotiate (What little the builders have left us. Flow is king these days) so the only real speed we get is what we make with the pedals. If you're smooth you go fast with 100mm, or even no mm. We had a fun run this month and one of the handful of bikes that went by me was a rigid fat-bike. I spoke to the guy after the race, he said it takes a lot of power to keep those big tires spinning fast; and I had been thinking I was disadvantaged with my Process (not efficient peddler). My point is if we were in some gnarly steep sh*t (Moab) the suspension bikes would deliver advantage that just doesn't materialize here on our buffed out flow trails.
    Yours is a bit different. You don't have the mountain in mountain biking. The OP is talking about the diminishing effects of trade offs between traditional bike types.

  59. #59
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    Another way to say it: Slight downhills can be little fun on a big heavy slow-rolling enduro bike. You have to pedal constantly to keep moving and trying to get speed for any feature is just exhausting and gets to be un-fun. Take same slight-downhill and do it on a FS XC bike, it's a blast, rocking the corners hard, boosting off of stuff, etc. There's one downhill that's around 20 miles here, in realty, the first mile or two are fairly steep, then it simply peters out with a very flat-ish constant trail that save for a few creek crossings, is largely just pretty flat. It's around 2000' vertical, but when spread over that many miles, it's not what you'd think, not much of a "downhill", yet riding a much lighter bike really allows you to leverage it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Another way to say it: Slight downhills can be little fun on a big heavy slow-rolling enduro bike. You have to pedal constantly to keep moving and trying to get speed for any feature is just exhausting and gets to be un-fun. Take same slight-downhill and do it on a FS XC bike, it's a blast, rocking the corners hard, boosting off of stuff, etc. There's one downhill that's around 20 miles here, in realty, the first mile or two are fairly steep, then it simply peters out with a very flat-ish constant trail that save for a few creek crossings, is largely just pretty flat. It's around 2000' vertical, but when spread over that many miles, it's not what you'd think, not much of a "downhill", yet riding a much lighter bike really allows you to leverage it.
    This reminds me of something I forgot to mention in the novel that I wrote above.

    On lower angle-trails, TIRES and light wheels make a huge difference. When conditions are flatter, the 2.5" Minions I have on my enduro bike behave like pigs. It really makes it un-fun because I have to expend so much effort to stay up-to-speed.

    On my XC 29er hardtail, I've got a Vittoria 2.2" Barzo on the front and a Vitorria Peyote 2.1" on the back, which are pretty conservative, yet slightly grippy XC race tires. On flatter trails, they accelerate effortlessly. So even if I encounter some really rough stuff, it takes very, very little time and effort to get back up to speed. On some occasions I find myself going way too fast too easily, and have to actually brake a little more to keep my speed in check, considering the bike does not have the traction/overall performance to take corners at that speed.

    I've got two bikes that are pretty far apart on the spectrum. When choosing which one to ride, I pretty much choose based on the steepness of what I'll be descending more than the actual tread surface. If it's lower angle, I'll definitely ride the XC bike. If it's going to be steep, I'll ride the enduro bike.

    On another note -- this discussion is great. Keep it coming guys!
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  61. #61
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    SO. Reading through this I think I have it figured out. All we need to know to figure out if someone is over-biked is:

    1. Suspension travel of bike
    2. Overall "burliness" of bike
    3. Bike weight
    4. Age of suspension components and age of bike (if different)
    5. Geometry of bike
    6. Skill of rider
    7. Age of rider
    8. Experience riding MTB of rider
    9. Fitness of rider
    10. Typical trail ridden by rider
    11. Gnarliest trail ridden by rider
    12. Smoothest trail ridden by rider
    13. Percentage of times on each type of trail
    14. How much the rider values riding each type of trail
    15. What the over-all goals the rider has for riding a MTB
    16. What the rider's goals are for riding on that particular day
    17. Rider's skill on that particular day (or overall variation in rider's skills)
    18. Rider's fitness on particular day (or overall variation in fitness)
    19. Skills of rider's group on that particular ride
    20. Fitness of rider's group on that particular ride
    21. Discretionary income of rider
    22. Percentage of discretionary income rider is will to commit to MTB
    23. Where on the ride a rider is when we encounter them

    By assigning relative weights to each of these factors I was able to do some computations in oder to determine whether a rider is over-biked, biked, or underbiked. I was also able to run some tests to see if an over-biked rider should buy and additional bike to better optimized bikes for variable conditions (n+1 solution), sell current bike and replace with less bike (n=1 solution), or just ride their effing bike unless they are unhappy with it. Unfortunately results were no different than random.
    It's just a flesh wound!

  62. #62
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    Mine is simpler^^

    Been riding for 20yrs. Underbiked

    Been riding for 5yrs. Overbiked

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Mine is simpler^^

    Been riding for 20yrs. Underbiked

    Been riding for 5yrs. Overbiked

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    Hmmm. I'll up my values for #8 and re-run...
    It's just a flesh wound!

  64. #64
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    IMO, many people are over biked, and so they should be. It's the margin for error when you get things wrong, the difference between staying upright or going OTB when you get off-line and hit that hole/root/whatever. No one ever broke their collar bone because they were slow up a climb. The question is "how much" and that can only be decided by the individual based on experience. I moved from a 160/150mm "enduro" bike to a 150/130mm "trail" bike and I'm happier on about 95% of my regular riding. It does mean I need to be on my A-game for that other 5% though. I recently bought a second bike, a Kona Explosif hardtail, steel frame with decent "trail bike" geometry and 120mm Fox 34s. While nowhere near as capable as my FS bike I'm not drastically slower on a lot of our trails. Does that mean I'm over biked when on the fs bike? Maybe, but it's not a bad thing. I'm certainly more confident, and comfortable, and though the times for a 20km loop are probably a bit faster on the HT, over all I enjoy riding the fs bike more.

    Like most things in life, whether someone is "over biked" isn't a simple yes/no dichotomy, there are a huge number of variables to consider.

  65. #65
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    I’ll say this: with a short travel bike and a good set of legs, you can get air going both directions.


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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I’ll say this: with a short travel bike and a good set of legs, you can get air going both directions.


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    And with a medium travel bike, a bit of laziness, and not too-bad fitnes for a middle aged dude, I can rock the downhills and have fun on intermediate climbs!
    It's just a flesh wound!

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    Yours is a bit different. You don't have the mountain in mountain biking. The OP is talking about the diminishing effects of trade offs between traditional bike types.
    Apart from cookieMonster, who was pretty descriptive, it’s tough getting a real sense for what people are referring to as “gnar”. For me, my 29er 140/130 trail bike is much more fun on pretty much everything around here than my 160/160 27.5 enduro was, that I got down to 27.5 lbs (with Minions). I can’t think of anything I would have chosen the enduro for. Maybe shuttling Moose? I have a dedicated DH sled for that. For something like Cox or even Razor’s though, where you are climbing and not shuttling, it’s a no brainer for me. Trail bike. Prairieview/Jewell? C’mon. Not even close. West Bragg? I would never reach for the enduro. When I was on the south side on Sunday, there were hordes of fast riders on hardtails.

    Part of the fun (for me) is having way more strength and energy at the summit, to be able to toss my bike around on the downs like a rag doll. My enduro left me with much less energy after sustained climbs, and for significant portions of the trail, it felt like I was behind the wheel of an old school caddy. Zero trail feel. Not to mention that the fun zone didn’t start until crazy stupid speeds. That’s great but it’s also nice to be able to have fun at lower speeds, popping off shit (although my trail bike can straightline Cox pretty much as easily as my enduro could).

    What are your thoughts given our local terrain? Is there anything here that you have more fun on an enduro bike than a trail bike? It’s certainly not Fernie buff here, but what is there that requires an enduro bike on the downs?

    I was way overbiked the last 3 years here. The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether I am still overbiked on my trail bike.

    PS - I have no idea what or where you ride Dale. I am just trying to find some perspective here.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPunchCholla View Post
    SO. Reading through this I think I have it figured out. All we need to know to figure out if someone is over-biked is:

    1. Suspension travel of bike
    2. Overall "burliness" of bike
    3. Bike weight
    4. Age of suspension components and age of bike (if different)
    5. Geometry of bike
    6. Skill of rider
    7. Age of rider
    8. Experience riding MTB of rider
    9. Fitness of rider
    10. Typical trail ridden by rider
    11. Gnarliest trail ridden by rider
    12. Smoothest trail ridden by rider
    13. Percentage of times on each type of trail
    14. How much the rider values riding each type of trail
    15. What the over-all goals the rider has for riding a MTB
    16. What the rider's goals are for riding on that particular day
    17. Rider's skill on that particular day (or overall variation in rider's skills)
    18. Rider's fitness on particular day (or overall variation in fitness)
    19. Skills of rider's group on that particular ride
    20. Fitness of rider's group on that particular ride
    21. Discretionary income of rider
    22. Percentage of discretionary income rider is will to commit to MTB
    23. Where on the ride a rider is when we encounter them

    By assigning relative weights to each of these factors I was able to do some computations in oder to determine whether a rider is over-biked, biked, or underbiked. I was also able to run some tests to see if an over-biked rider should buy and additional bike to better optimized bikes for variable conditions (n+1 solution), sell current bike and replace with less bike (n=1 solution), or just ride their effing bike unless they are unhappy with it. Unfortunately results were no different than random.
    Haha, classic!

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Mine is simpler^^

    Been riding for 20yrs. Underbiked

    Been riding for 5yrs. Overbiked

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    So everyone 6-19 years are just biked.

    Score!


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  70. #70
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    Kind of reminds me of all the people I would see pushing their bikes up the Master Link trail at Tiger Mountain. This included full DH bikes, but a lot of enduro stuff too. This goes on nearly every day there, despite that trail being just an awesome easy constant grade. Then you rock t he downhill of Predator, which as a legit DH trail, takes around 6" of travel to be fun and really allow you to push it in the rough sections. I tend to feel the same way about bike parks, 6" is a magical number for me there, at least that much travel to really have fun and have the terrain open up. But I have to question the situation a little more when people push their bike uphill for 2 hours to ride down for 10 minutes.

    Like someone said above though, some people consciously choose a bigger bike as a safety margin for errors and so on. Seems like a well-thought out idea that is going to vary from person to person what that margin is.

    It's going to be hard to have a 22lb FS bike for the uphills that can endure full on DH riding worthy of a 40lb rig on the downhills. Designs and manufacturing won't support that for a long time, if ever. Your "just right" depends on many personal factors. Just don't think that you need some 160mm+ enduro bike for every downhill as the "fastest" way down. IMO, it's not and it depends on the downhill as well as it's fun to rock more level and even uphill stuff at higher speeds, which you need a lighter bike for.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    IMO, many people are over biked, and so they should be. It's the margin for error when you get things wrong, the difference between staying upright or going OTB when you get off-line and hit that hole/root/whatever.
    I feel like ideal amount of bike is almost always a bit more bike than you need to clear a trail. Not just to give you a small margin or error but it's probably faster in most cases. Pedaling efficiency isn't the only type of energy efficiency to consider. It takes energy to row over rocks, shift weight for traction, lift off the saddle to absorbs bumps, etc. EWS riders aren't on the least amount of bike needed to clear the courses. They're on whatever is fastest.

    For me, the only meaningful definition of 'overbiked' is when it's so much bike it's significantly detrimental to the rider, especially unknowingly. Calling slightly more bike than necessary to ride a trail 'overbiked' is mostly internet bragging IMO. In the real world, if you're a good rider it's obvious regardless of what bike you're on.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I feel like ideal amount of bike is almost always a bit more bike than you need to clear a trail. Not just to give you a small margin or error but it's probably faster in most cases...EWS riders aren't on the least amount of bike needed to clear the courses. They're on whatever is fastest...
    Is this the goal for us mortals in the crowd? To be flat out fastest? It's not mine. That is not what puts the biggest smile on my face. Sure, there are times, when I want to hammer. But there are lots of other times when I do not. Or can't. Group rides, for example. Maybe that is why I prefer my trail/AM bike. Different end game. I do not bike for a living. Everyone gets fed regardless of my ride time.

    ***that said, when I am riding solo and in the mood to hammer, my overall times are still faster on my trail/AM bike than my enduro...

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    ...Pedaling efficiency isn't the only type of energy efficiency to consider...
    This makes me wonder: what is the "penalty" for riding a short-travel bike on rocky/rooty sections...especially descending trails. Around here we have LOTS of roots and I can think of at least three sections that can be verbalized as: rock, rock, sharp rock, rock, big rock, rock, rock, rock, etc.

    I know that on my fully rigid fat bike, these trails are easily doable...and doable fast. I also know that on a 130/120, they're equally fast or faster...but I don't feel beat up at the end of the day. Sort of: I get tired from riding uphill all day...but I get beat up going downhill.

    Assuming you're not racing, if you're doing an all day ride in rocky, rooty terrain, is there a point where the lost climbing efficiency of a long travel bike is surpassed by the energy saved by that bike in rough terrain? (I'm not talking about a DH rig...more like SB5.5 vs a RKT9 for example).

    The longer travel bike definitely makes it's value evident the next morning...for us older folks anyways.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Is this the goal for us mortals in the crowd? To be flat out fastest?
    I don't know. I mean ideal from a performance stand point. I'm fine with whatever you want to ride.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Apart from cookieMonster, who was pretty descriptive, it’s tough getting a real sense for what people are referring to as “gnar”. For me, my 29er 140/130 trail bike is much more fun on pretty much everything around here than my 160/160 27.5 enduro was, that I got down to 27.5 lbs (with Minions). I can’t think of anything I would have chosen the enduro for. Maybe shuttling Moose? I have a dedicated DH sled for that. For something like Cox or even Razor’s though, where you are climbing and not shuttling, it’s a no brainer for me. Trail bike. Prairieview/Jewell? C’mon. Not even close. West Bragg? I would never reach for the enduro. When I was on the south side on Sunday, there were hordes of fast riders on hardtails.

    Part of the fun (for me) is having way more strength and energy at the summit, to be able to toss my bike around on the downs like a rag doll. My enduro left me with much less energy after sustained climbs, and for significant portions of the trail, it felt like I was behind the wheel of an old school caddy. Zero trail feel. Not to mention that the fun zone didn’t start until crazy stupid speeds. That’s great but it’s also nice to be able to have fun at lower speeds, popping off shit (although my trail bike can straightline Cox pretty much as easily as my enduro could).

    What are your thoughts given our local terrain? Is there anything here that you have more fun on an enduro bike than a trail bike? It’s certainly not Fernie buff here, but what is there that requires an enduro bike on the downs?

    I was way overbiked the last 3 years here. The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether I am still overbiked on my trail bike.

    PS - I have no idea what or where you ride Dale. I am just trying to find some perspective here.
    If I'm being honest I havent ridden everything in West Bragg but a good trail bike with 66* 140mm probably can do most what people ride. I have a 14' Kona 134 that I'm fully upgraded and I'm sure it's fine for doing just about everything except Moose but mistakes do happen and backup of a "overbike" can pay off.

    Last year I made a dumb mistake on Prairrie link and broke my collarbone and was out for awhile. Now if I had a bike that could make up for my stupidity I might just not have thrown away 3 months of riding of our short season.

    I tend to be a boyscout in how I prepare for things so I have a Ripmo on order that I should have next week. I'm not a great climber so if the Ripmo climbs 80% of the Kona I will be happy. Much more fun on the downhill and it should help cover up some of my mistakes.

    I'll take overbike

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    This reminds me of something I forgot to mention in the novel that I wrote above.

    On lower angle-trails, TIRES and light wheels make a huge difference. When conditions are flatter, the 2.5" Minions I have on my enduro bike behave like pigs. It really makes it un-fun because I have to expend so much effort to stay up-to-speed.

    On my XC 29er hardtail, I've got a Vittoria 2.2" Barzo on the front and a Vitorria Peyote 2.1" on the back, which are pretty conservative, yet slightly grippy XC race tires. On flatter trails, they accelerate effortlessly. So even if I encounter some really rough stuff, it takes very, very little time and effort to get back up to speed. On some occasions I find myself going way too fast too easily, and have to actually brake a little more to keep my speed in check, considering the bike does not have the traction/overall performance to take corners at that speed.

    I've got two bikes that are pretty far apart on the spectrum. When choosing which one to ride, I pretty much choose based on the steepness of what I'll be descending more than the actual tread surface. If it's lower angle, I'll definitely ride the XC bike. If it's going to be steep, I'll ride the enduro bike.

    On another note -- this discussion is great. Keep it coming guys!
    Previously I mentioned tires because often they make more of a difference whether one is overbiked or not vs 20-30mm of suspension travel. With single-ply fast-rolling tires my Slash gets down to 28-29 lbs and is not overbiked for anything. With dh tires it's too much bike for most things.

    This is also why the Maxxis Aggressor is so popular for a rear tire, it's not a Minion but it works well and rolls very fast for what it is. It'll widen the sweet spot of your enduro bike and make it more fun on flatter trails.

  77. #77
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    My bike is 140/140 custom coil front and rear sometimes with cushcore and Minions. It's great for really chunky trails. On easier trails I'll short shock it and run lighter tires. The bike looses almost 2lbs and with the shorter shock I can boost of everything. A lighter bike would be even more responsive.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    This makes me wonder: what is the "penalty" for riding a short-travel bike on rocky/rooty sections...especially descending trails. Around here we have LOTS of roots and I can think of at least three sections that can be verbalized as: rock, rock, sharp rock, rock, big rock, rock, rock, rock, etc.

    I know that on my fully rigid fat bike, these trails are easily doable...and doable fast. I also know that on a 130/120, they're equally fast or faster...but I don't feel beat up at the end of the day. Sort of: I get tired from riding uphill all day...but I get beat up going downhill.

    Assuming you're not racing, if you're doing an all day ride in rocky, rooty terrain, is there a point where the lost climbing efficiency of a long travel bike is surpassed by the energy saved by that bike in rough terrain? (I'm not talking about a DH rig...more like SB5.5 vs a RKT9 for example).

    The longer travel bike definitely makes it's value evident the next morning...for us older folks anyways.
    I'm not sure but climbing up a fire road on an AM bike probably isn't going to be drastically different than on an average weight short travel trail bike.

    There's a couple trails I ride that have a lot of tech. Nothing super difficult but enough tech and roughness that most riders avoid them. My 150mm Hightower LT is slightly faster than my trail HT on these trails because I'm not having to work as hard to clear stuff and can stay seated more on the Hightower. I would guess though that the fastest bike would be an XC FS race bike.

    So the 150mm bike is more than I need for those trails but it's faster than my hardtail but an XC FS would probably be fastest but still more bike than I need...that's why I say the only meaningful definition of overbiked is if it's so far more than what you need that it's detrimental to the experience.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    If I'm being honest I havent ridden everything in West Bragg but a good trail bike with 66* 140mm probably can do most what people ride. I have a 14' Kona 134 that I'm fully upgraded and I'm sure it's fine for doing just about everything except Moose but mistakes do happen and backup of a "overbike" can pay off.

    Last year I made a dumb mistake on Prairrie link and broke my collarbone and was out for awhile. Now if I had a bike that could make up for my stupidity I might just not have thrown away 3 months of riding of our short season.

    I tend to be a boyscout in how I prepare for things so I have a Ripmo on order that I should have next week. I'm not a great climber so if the Ripmo climbs 80% of the Kona I will be happy. Much more fun on the downhill and it should help cover up some of my mistakes.

    I'll take overbike
    Thanks Dale. All that makes perfect sense to me.

    I appreciate you are moving to a longer travel bike but IMHO, the Process 134 is a GREAT bike for around here. Stellar. In fact, my daughter has the 2015 Process 134SE that I was able to shave some weight off (she is too small for a 29er). In my view, the 134 is easily enough bike for pretty much anything, even off Moose.

    Prairie Link...don't tell me. The one sketchy descent near the end, right? A guy who was riding with us a few years ago ended up in the hospital for a week after going off the embankment to the right.

    Anyway, for me, my riding style, the terrain around here and what puts a smile on my face, your Process and my Sight (130/140 29er) are sensible overall choices. Enough travel to not get beaten up on the downs, but not too much travel to have a bunch of slop that detracts from anything but balls to the wall downs. And the fun zone begins way before having to mach it on the downs.

    In any event, it is much more about geo than travel for me.

    This is such a personal choice though. There is obviously no right or wrong answer. All I know is that my 160/160 27.5, for me, was too much bike for this terrain. That was a mini DH sled. Hell, I would choose my 130/140 over my 160/160 for the non-hill Whistler and Squamish riding as well (I would use my Operator at the hill, just to spare my Sight of the pounding abuse). Same with Mount 7 in Golden. To each their own though. Whatever puts the biggest smile on one's face is all that counts in the end. However one gets there...

    PS - on my way to Cumberland a week from today. Hitting Revy, Golden and Nelson on the way back. I was in Fernie for an extra long, long weekend. Moab/Fruita in September. So far so good with only my Sight...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Thanks Dale. All that makes perfect sense to me.

    I appreciate you are moving to a longer travel bike but IMHO, the Process 134 is a GREAT bike for around here. Stellar. In fact, my daughter has the 2015 Process 134SE that I able to shave some weight off (she is too small for a 29er). In my view, the 134 is easily enough bike even for pretty much anything, even off Moose.

    Prairie Link...don't tell me. The one sketchy descent near the end, right? A guy who was riding with us a few years ago ended up in the hospital for a week after going off the embankment to the right.

    Anyway, for me, my riding style, the terrain around here and what puts a smile on my face, your Process and my Sight (130/140 29er) are sensible overall choices. Enough travel to not get beaten up on the downs, but not too much travel to have a bunch of slop that detracts from anything but balls to the wall downs. And the fun zone begins way before having to mach it on the downs.

    In any event, it is much more about geo than travel for me.

    This is such a personal choice though. There is obviously no right or wrong answer. All I know is that my 160/160 27.5, for me, was too much bike for this terrain. That was a mini DH sled. Hell, I would choose my 130/140 over my 160/160 for the non-hill Whistler and Squamish riding as well (I would use my Operator at the hill, just to spare my Sight of the pounding abuse). Same with Mount 7 in Golden. To each their own though. Whatever puts the biggest smile on one's face is all that counts in the end. However one gets there...

    PS - on my way to Cumberland a week from today. Hitting Revy, Golden and Nelson on the way back. I was in Fernie for an extra long, long weekend. Moab/Fruita in September. So far so good...
    It was more on the middle part after you start coming down going north, hit 3 holes in a row on a trail I didn't know going to fast. I blame the RS revolution also for not being sturdy enough to handle it and it bottomed out hard so I put on a 18 fox 34 factory and float dps. Not sure what I'm going to do with all those parts lol.

    Sounds like you have a good trip planned. I did some quick riding at Golden about a month ago on the way back from whistler. Revy is awesome at Mcpherson. I also did Moab in Oct last year. I've got Fernie planned for next week if I get my new bike by then.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    That's like buying the box of 64 Cayola's only for the silver and gold crayons and tossing the rest.


    One will spend the vast majority of time in the saddle on the uphill, especially a rider who is "over-biked". Not sure how long someone will stay with the sport if they have no fun climbing for 2 hours only to get a quick 15 minute thrill on the way back down.

    Matching a bike to the terrain, both ups and down, will give the most smiles per mile.

    Yeah, downs are fun. Actually I just got back from my local DH and have yet to unload my Glory from my pickup. I full on DH about 20 times a season, maybe more.


    But, trail riding is trail riding. It is what it is. Lugging around too much bike almost always leads to sufferfests for the over-biked rider, who eventually starts to avoids the long downs because they don't want the climb back up. It leads to a vicious cycle for most - I've seen it too many times. Now there will be exceptions, heck I use to trail ride with mucho vert on a SC Bullit with a Super T! These days its almost always the guys who's over-biked that has the properly-biked guys waiting on both the ups and the downs.

    I run trail bikes with roughly 150/130 and enjoy the tech climbing almost as much as the downs - and sometimes maybe more.



    A bike that is properly matched to the trails is magic.

    Don't buy more bike. Earn more skill.
    I might climb 5k of fire road to ride down maybe 30 minutes of technical single track descending, the part I enjoy - on a 160mm bike. The bike is built to handle the rigors of the descent.

    So, am I supposed to buy more fitness by buying less bike?

  82. #82
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    Overbiked almost a thing of the past?

    Wow. I’d never willingly ride fireroad up hill if there was another, equivalent single track option. Let alone 5k feet of it.

    But, of course, my bike doesn’t make climbing actual mountain bike trails a painful, miserable chore.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Wow. I’d never willingly ride fireroad up hill if there was another, equivalent single track option. Let alone 5k feet of it.

    But, of course, my bike doesn’t make climbing actual mountain bike trails a painful, miserable chore.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I used to dislike climbing because my bikes kinda sucked at climbing. That is no longer the case for either of these things, since moving to less travel. Technical climbing is now very satisfying. I now enjoy the entire ride, start to finish.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Wow. I’d never willingly ride fireroad up hill if there was another, equivalent single track option. Let alone 5k feet of it.

    But, of course, my bike doesn’t make climbing actual mountain bike trails a painful, miserable chore.


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    You could always hike your bike up most of the singletrack. I'm sure that 5 or so less pounds will make it so much easier and fun.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    I might climb 5k of fire road to ride down maybe 30 minutes of technical single track descending, the part I enjoy - on a 160mm bike. The bike is built to handle the rigors of the descent.

    So, am I supposed to buy more fitness by buying less bike?
    This is what that looks like. Though, that buys you, in this case, 2+ hours of singletrack to go down. Not necessary on a 160mm bike, but it does make it more fun. Ironically, I have the second fastest time on the first 13 mile stretch on an XC bike, but that was because I made up time in the pedally parts while using caution on the tech parts. The tech parts were no where near as fun, and I would happily not do that again.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1446683718/overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Wow. I’d never willingly ride fireroad up hill if there was another, equivalent single track option. Let alone 5k feet of it.

    But, of course, my bike doesn’t make climbing actual mountain bike trails a painful, miserable chore.
    I willingly skip ST climbs for fireroad if it means more descending time on my Enduro. Here is an example. My first climb, riding the ST, took me 1.5 hours to the top. Second time up the FR took me 30 minutes less. If I was just doing bike park loops, I could get in three runs of the bike park as opposed to two runs by climbing ST. The bike is built for that kind of riding, going DH. And it is way more fun to ride it down a bike park then it is to ride it up ST.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1734479028/overview

    I do a lot of ST in this area for races (I am doing a 100k next month here, 10k climbing). Totally different kind of machine. But we won't be descending the bike park with the 10' high jump ramps or anything else like that either.

    If I was on my XC bike, I would likely have climbed all of it ST only willingly. But, I am also not going to be wearing my full face helmet, knee/shin pads, etc when I turn around and start descending either on the XC bike, like I do my E29.

    Though, on that day I linked to, I did climb ST two of the four times. Mostly because I wanted to mix up my routes for fun and not doubleback on the same trail. I still have a goal of going up to that bike park to see how many loops of the bikepark I can make in a single day, and I'll do all FR climbing that day. But I forgot there was an enduro race this day when I showed up, so I modified my plan. I rode the entire two day enduro course, sans lift, in one day instead. But since there were very few prescribed climbs, I improvised that part.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    I might climb 5k of fire road to ride down maybe 30 minutes of technical single track descending, the part I enjoy - on a 160mm bike. The bike is built to handle the rigors of the descent.

    So, am I supposed to buy more fitness by buying less bike?

    There are specific geographical areas where what you are doing makes sense because it is the only option. In that case, go for it.

    How long does that 5K of fireroad take?

    In your case would it be possible, with the right bike, to ride up the single track, take a breather then ride back down?


    I will admit I'm biased, and quite lucky. If I want a big bike DH rush, I go to our local DH lift assist with a ton of vert and old school DH tech riding, and I use my DH bike.

    If I want to trail ride or AM ride I take single track up then single track down.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    There are specific geographical areas where what you are doing makes sense because it is the only option. In that case, go for it.

    How long does that 5K of fireroad take?

    In your case would it be possible, with the right bike, to ride up the single track, take a breather then ride back down?


    I will admit I'm biased, and quite lucky. If I want a big bike DH rush, I go to our local DH lift assist with a ton of vert and old school DH tech riding, and I use my DH bike.

    If I want to trail ride or AM ride I take single track up then single track down.
    I loath fireroad climbs. Love tech climbs even if I need to hike a bike on parts.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I loath fireroad climbs. Love tech climbs even if I need to hike a bike on parts.
    Same with me.

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    You're over-biked if you are not pushing the bike to an uncomfortable level. Over-biked to me is evident when I find a trail boring. Yes, there are trails that are more fun on a rigid single-speed than a 160mm endubro bike. There are also trails that are more fun on a full DH bike. I think most people with one bike are overbiked most of the time. It's like setting up your suspension to handle the biggest hits while living with the compromises. Another way to consider over-biked is how somebody sets up their suspension, if they use it. If you set up proper sag and compression and never bottom out, you're over-biked.

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    It's a bicycle. Ride the one that makes you happy. Even if it's a DH bike in Florida.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Even if it's a DH bike in Florida.
    I do not recommend anyone do this

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPunchCholla View Post
    And with a medium travel bike, a bit of laziness, and not too-bad fitnes for a middle aged dude, I can rock the downhills and have fun on intermediate climbs!
    Lol...preach!
    Beers in the cooler waiting for my not too-bad fitness self at the bottom.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    You're over-biked if you are not pushing the bike to an uncomfortable level. Over-biked to me is evident when I find a trail boring. Yes, there are trails that are more fun on a rigid single-speed than a 160mm endubro bike. There are also trails that are more fun on a full DH bike. I think most people with one bike are overbiked most of the time. It's like setting up your suspension to handle the biggest hits while living with the compromises. Another way to consider over-biked is how somebody sets up their suspension, if they use it. If you set up proper sag and compression and never bottom out, you're over-biked.
    I like it. That's a good analogy. I both bottom my bike, run appropriate sag and scare myself regularly... So I'm good!

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    There are specific geographical areas where what you are doing makes sense because it is the only option. In that case, go for it. How long does that 5K of fireroad take?In your case would it be possible, with the right bike, to ride up the single track, take a breather then ride back down? I will admit I'm biased, and quite lucky. If I want a big bike DH rush, I go to our local DH lift assist with a ton of vert and old school DH tech riding, and I use my DH bike.If I want to trail ride or AM ride I take single track up then single track down.
    FR is the only option in certain cases, and the descent makes it well worth it. But the riding sucks here and we’re just a bunch of donkeys who suck and are over-biked. Go elsewhere and “keep it real”.
    Last edited by EatsDirt; 08-18-2018 at 12:26 AM.

  95. #95
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    I'm sure it's just a personal thing, but I'm still FAR faster on my 21 lb. singlespeed hardtail than on my 26 lb. 5" travel trail bike. It's not even close. And I'm not talking little 45 min sprint trails either...I'm talking big, 5 hour rides with 6000'+ of climbing.

    Maybe it's that the singlespeed makes me ride faster or maybe the 5 lbs in weight makes me slower but I almost always feel overbiked on my 5" travel bike everywhere but the gnarliest of descents.

    I also admit that I'm not as skilled on a geared, FS bike as I am a singlespeed. I know that sounds odd but I do 90% of my riding on my SS so the FS bike feels very strange on climbs: Slow, tippy, jerky, heavy, unresponsive, and laggy.

    Contrary to popular belief, riding gears and FS is a skill in and of itself.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    As i said above. I dont think the bike is inhibiting me much on a pedal fest at all. Are there guys faster pedallers than me? Sure there is, no doubt at all. But they will have to crank near xc race speed to drop me. In a general group ride of any sort i wont be tail end charlie and holding up the pack because of my bike. If that occurs it will be because of my fitness or skill and that is a glorious thing!
    The comments you are making are proving the point that rider matters more than bike. If you go by Strava, I was losing only @ 5 seconds on a 5 min mixed terrain run when I put my SS against my $8k trail bike. And on either, I was top 5% on Strava times. So in a controlled (known trail, no traffic, similar weather) environment, the bike does make some difference, but the rider is by far the most important part of the equation. If big travel bikes were as good as XC bikes, XC pros would be running them. And if 160-180 trail bikes descended as well as DH bikes, well, the DH pros would be riding them. But regardless of overall speed and time, it comes down to what is most fun. Unless you are winning money on a race, who cares how fast you aere? I LOVE how my SS is so in touch with the terrain. It is my go to for most of my local riding. But I have other bikes for a reason...my HT trail bike is a blast over terrain (and up big hills) that will exhaust me on my SS. And it is a piece of crap compared to my new Yeti SB 5.5 for riding rough stuff, though I took it down black diamond trails in Portland and had a blast on it.
    Have at it!

  97. #97
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    Your comment misses the point. A crap rider on a killer bike is going to get smoked by a good rider on an OK bike. No one says the bike doesn't make a difference. We are just saying that it is far less important than the rider. The OP sounds like a solid rider who can hold his own on both fitness AND skill, and can make the bike do what he wants it to. The overbiked comment (at least when I use it) is squarely aimed at the weekend warrior on a $5k Enduro bike that I am passing on a fast/sketchy descent on my 20lb rigid SS. It's aimed at the guys who think they can buy tech skill (to a point you can) by getting a pro grade Enduro bike with big burly tires, and then taking that bike to the local XC trails and pretending it makes them better. But it isn't an insult, as much as an observation that for how they are using it, they are riding the wrong bike based on efficiency. There was an article I read years ago by some pro, and it pushed the idea of using the most efficient bike you can for 95% of the rides you do, vs buying the bike that handles the 5% well, at the expense of your 95%. Having geeked out on data over the years, I see a measurable difference in my 11 mile training loop just by swapping from burly tires to light tires on the same bike/wheels.
    Have at it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    My 160/150 pedals WAY better than the 120mm bike it replaced and that's 100% because of seat the tube angle. The 120mm was a little more spry but not much. The 160mm bike crushes everything short of true DH.
    What are you riding?

  99. #99
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    You can't determine if someone is "overbiked" by comparing them to other riders. LOL. That's like saying "I put new Michelin tires on my wife's minivan and she gets worse gas mileage than I do on my Prius with 2 year old Goodyears. Michelin sucks!"

    The only real comparison is to compare the same rider's times in the same general conditions over the same route. And it's all terrain dependent.

    I am world's faster on my HT singlespeed in local Atlanta suburb trails than on my 5" travel bike but I'm FAR faster and have FAR more fun descending Black Mountain in Pisgah on my FS than my HT singlespeed. Is the 5" bike overbiked for local Atlanta trails? For me, definitely. Is the HT singlespeed underbiked for Pisgah? You bet.

    But you'd be crazy to think a 30 lb, 150mm travel bike is going to perform the same on terrain that can't benefit from that suspension as a bike that's 10 pounds lighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    There are specific geographical areas where what you are doing makes sense because it is the only option. In that case, go for it.

    How long does that 5K of fireroad take?

    In your case would it be possible, with the right bike, to ride up the single track, take a breather then ride back down?


    I will admit I'm biased, and quite lucky. If I want a big bike DH rush, I go to our local DH lift assist with a ton of vert and old school DH tech riding, and I use my DH bike.

    If I want to trail ride or AM ride I take single track up then single track down.

    I'm not sure I agree with your crayons analogy but, I think we agree pretty much everywhere else.

    If I had a DH bike, I wouldn't have my HD4 and I would get a trail bike in the 120-130mm range just like you said. My issue is, at this point, I can't afford a second bike so I had to make some compromises. I am fully aware that I am losing out on the climbs on my HD4 compared to a shorter travel less slack bike but I wanted a bike that could do pretty much everything. This weekend we were shuttling and riding really steep rough single track with lot of 2-5 ft drops. A few spots used every bit of my travel (one spot ruined a rear tire). Next weekend I will be riding flat terrain (and dreaming about getting back up the mountain) but that will mainly just be to get some cardio in.

    I will say though, this 153 mm DW Link bike pedals surprisingly well for what it is.

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