[CONTROVERSIAL] Converting 160mm Enduro to 140mm All-Mountain?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Idea! [CONTROVERSIAL] Converting 160mm Enduro to 140mm All-Mountain?

    Alright. I'm pitching the craziest idea I've ever had. Stick with me and give this some thought, because I think it's a good one.

    I want a Trek Slash. At around $3500 I get a RockShox Pike and Monarch, SRAM X9, plus Trek's full-float and ABP suspension which I really like. What I don't want is Enduro handling all the time. 160mm bikes tend to get floppy at low speed, and I do enjoy a good deal of low speed technical work.

    And of course, climbing is far better on an all-mountain machine.

    So why would I bother to go through the effort to convert this bike instead of just getting a Remedy?

    1) The Remedy doesn't come with a Pike until higher prices (I've never really been impressed by Fox forks).

    2) I like a beefier frame and wheelset that I know will handle abuse.

    3) AND THE BIG ONE: If I do decide that I want 160mm suspension for a particular ride or even forever, it'll be there for me. No buyers remorse.

    My plan is to get the Slash, lower the fork to 140mm and adjust air pressure and rebound accordingly, then set the rear shock pressure to only a ~15% sag level, which would offer a compensation in bottom bracket height after dropping the fork.

    Now I know that running a shock at pressure higher than recommended can make it ramp up too quickly. This is actually what I want. I'm so light (135lbs) that any suspension that I've ever had set for my weight doesn't have enough air in the chamber to ramp up until about 80% compression. I feel that a 160mm setup over-pressurized to behave like a 140mm would actually be perfect. I wouldn't be able to get away with this if I was heavier, I think.

    Basically what I want to do is mimic the Cannondale DYAD system, redneck style.

    So. What do you think? Feasible?
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  2. #2
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    Dude.. Why the hell not? I like it. And like you said, if it doesn't work then you can make it a 160 slash again.. If you can figure out what the ending geometry will be and its acceptable then go ride and tell us. I'm curious now..

  3. #3
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    Oh wait.. I though of one problem. If you convert an endure bike to all mountain, 10 kittens will die.

  4. #4
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    Nope, not only is your suspension going to work like crap, the BB will be too low.

    Buy the bike you want for it's intended purpose and deal with the compromises.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Nope, not only is your suspension going to work like crap, the BB will be too low.

    Buy the bike you want for it's intended purpose and deal with the compromises.
    Educate me on the suspension. Like I said, everyone tells me it'll be too harsh, ramp to fast, etc, but that's the exact solution to the problem I'm having with a conventional setup. I'd like to know if there's more to it than that.

  6. #6
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    At first I was going to say that you are overthinking the bike and then I saw your weight.

    I've ridden my Slash for 3 years now over many states and conditions. It is an amazing bike, easily as good as any other bike the magazines get paid to review. Sure it is "best" at high speeds but it is great at low speed climbing as well if you are strong enough to control the balance.

    If you like it I would recommend custom tuning the suspension. Changing the travel? I'd rather ride than tinker so....
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

  7. #7
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    Wait....wait a cotton picken minute here....
    I thought All mountain was 160-180mm?
    And "Enduro" was 140-159.99mm
    And Trail was 120-139.99mm
    And XC was 0-119.99mm

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Wait....wait a cotton picken minute here....
    I thought All mountain was 160-180mm?
    And "Enduro" was 140-159.99mm
    And Trail was 120-139.99mm
    And XC was 0-119.99mm
    You've got AM and enduro flipped

  9. #9
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    Nope, its been All Mountain for as long as I can remember: http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/...ps-184590.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Educate me on the suspension. Like I said, everyone tells me it'll be too harsh, ramp to fast, etc, but that's the exact solution to the problem I'm having with a conventional setup. I'd like to know if there's more to it than that.
    You should be able to reduce fork travel with spacers, depending on the fork, but the real problem will be the rear shock will be too soft and mushy, and bottom out easily, if you run sag that low.

    The shock is designed to be used at the proper sag, if not, it will not perform as designed...in any way. The air chamber will be too big for the way you describe using it so there won't be enough ramp up (that the suspension design and shock damping requires) to prevent it from bobbing, wallowing and thumping the end of travel bumper all over the place.

    Plus, if you take an extra inch of suspension travel away, your BB drops by an inch, meaning it will be lower than desired.

    The main advantage from an "enduro" bike is the geometry, not necessarily the travel. Look at something like the Cannondale Habit, which has shorter travel but still sort of slack angles.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    You should be able to reduce fork travel with spacers, depending on the fork, but the real problem will be the rear shock will be too soft and mushy, and bottom out easily, if you run sag that low.

    The shock is designed to be used at the proper sag, if not, it will not perform as designed...in any way. The air chamber will be too big for the way you describe using it so there won't be enough ramp up (that the suspension design and shock damping requires) to prevent it from bobbing, wallowing and thumping the end of travel bumper all over the place.

    Plus, if you take an extra inch of suspension travel away, your BB drops by an inch, meaning it will be lower than desired.

    The main advantage from an "enduro" bike is the geometry, not necessarily the travel. Look at something like the Cannondale Habit, which has shorter travel but still sort of slack angles.
    You may have understood me oppositely. I'd do the opposite with the rear shock of what I would do with the fork. I'd run the rear shock at a slightly higher pressure to set the sag at about 15% instead of 20% so it would raise the bottom bracket, be a little stiffer and ramp up quicker, like a 140mm bike. But technically the shock would still be 160mm.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Nope, not only is your suspension going to work like crap, the BB will be too low.

    Buy the bike you want for it's intended purpose and deal with the compromises.
    I'd beg to differ - as long as you can get to a comfortable LSC/Sag interaction, the lower bottom bracket and more precise end-stroke control is actually going to be really impressive - and if it's reversible, you'll still have a killer descending bike if you can spend a day shuttling.
    Every review of the Slash that actually has any meaningful critiques all point towards the BB being a touch higher than ideal for mid-corner stability; dropping 10mm would put that right in the middle of the range for long, slack, progressive enduro bikes.

    It might make sense to seek out a shock tuned for a women's bike (but carries the desired eye-to-eye measurements), which may actually be an upgrade, as those have much more open valving to make sure the mid-stroke actually displays some plushness.

    All this said, I think getting the Remedy and then seeking (probably from Europe during end-of-year sales) a fork upgrade is probably a comparably awesome approach, as that frame runs a slightly more pedaling-friendly leverage ratio, and if your an it at 20% sag it would be plenty efficient in technical stuff and still bomb descents. Maybe go up a size and run a shorter stem, wider bars, and then you're completely and totally on point.

  13. #13
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    My guess is that the bike will pedal like crap. A lot of people talk about this when they run adjustable forks in the low position on longer travel bikes. Not sure as to the reason why, but even Ibis has mentioned it. If you want more ramp out of the rear shock then add volume spacers. You will get the same low speed compliance, but it will shift every other part of the curve upwards.

    Also, there are plenty of long travel bikes out there with more trail oriented geometry such as the Bronson, HD3 or even an SB5c. Why not get one of those? It sounds like your use for a long travel bike is very limited one one of the others would probably suit you much better.

  14. #14
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    Sooooo I rode a Jekyll this last week at a demo and I think the rear shock was a little over-pressurized and it actually felt faaaaantastic. I didn't have any trouble with floppiness or even harsh handling while climbing or doing technical stuff. I need to test it again but I think this whole conversion idea might work.
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  15. #15
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    Look into Canyon Strive with shapeshifter. Similar effect as Cannondale but does not require special shock. Direct sales to consumer. Just not available in the US yet. Should be soon.

  16. #16
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    I'd buy the bike you want. Ride for awhile as it was designed (20-30% sag) and see what you think. Low speed floppiness is likely to come from geometry rather than suspension?
    You're pretty light at 135lbs, I'm 176 ready to ride and I felt that the Pike was too harsh even at my weight.
    I had Dougal remove shims from the Pike to help me use more travel without running really low pressures.
    So that might be a better option, and you could do the same for the Monarch. That way you could run normal pressures and use all the travel.
    I mean, why get a 160mm bike and run the pressure higher? Conventional wisdom suggests more sag on rear as you're spending more time in the saddle than on the bars.

    As far as I can tell the difference between 15% and 20% sag on the rear is less than 3mm. I reckon I'd only notice when it was an inch!

  17. #17
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    That Canyon looks sweet with a very appealing price tag. Anyone know how hard they are to get in North America?
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  18. #18
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    The slash should have minolink. If you find the BB too low with the 140, flip the minolink to the high setting and you'll get increased BB height.
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