How much tavel for a Florida bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How much tavel for a Florida bike?

    I'm kinda faced with a delima right now. I live in Orlando. The main two trail systems I ride are Santos and Snowhill. At Santos I ride the red trails and I like to do long rides such as the epic. I also plan on riding Alafia soon. I currently have a near stock 08' Spec. XC Comp. The only real thing done to it is a 06' Manitou R7 Comp fork which is nicer feeling than the Tora that it came with, but I also know nicer forks exist.

    My delima is wether a 5" or 6" bike would be better on some of the rockier trails at Santos. My bike is in good working order, but I can find several faults with it. I havent bottomed out my suspension since the new fork, but it was nearly bottomed out. I weigh 190 plus riding gear so probably about 200.

    How much travel do you guys like on our trails? Hardtail is not an option. I can see the benifits, but my body is beat up after 12 years of BMX and I need full suspension. If I keep my bike I would be upgrading the fork again probably to a Fox 32 F100 with 15qr. Upgrade the wheels. After riding good cassete hubs on my BMX bike, I cant stand the slop in the factory rear hub. Probably a carbon bar to shed some weight and for a stiffer bar. The rear shock would also get upgraded. I dont like the way you have to adjust the rebound on the stock one. I would also like a remote lockout. I'd also upgrade the brakes. The Hayes Stroker's just dont have the power I would like. I can lock them up easily, but they dont modulate very well at all. Overall, these upgrades are going to cost about the same amount as the bike itself. I know I can get some of it back if I sell the old stuff off, but I'd rather keep it for backup parts incase I break something. Would it be worth doing this to the bike, or would a different bike all together be more worth it. If a better bike would be worth it, I'd like to try to do it soon so I can sell my bike for as much as possible. The more I ride it the more I beat it up and risk breaking something so the less I'll get for it. Sorry for the long post. I didnt mean for it to be this long, but I'm tired so I started rambling.

  2. #2
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
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    If you're more interested in trail riding than more aggressive types of riding I'd say go with a 4 or 5 inch bike.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  3. #3
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    I agree on the 4" or 5" travel bike. That is a great mix of comfort and performance. Anything more is overkill on our trails in my assessment unless you are hitting the freeride area.

    What size frame do you need? (I'm selling a super sweet 5" travel trail bike which I'm getting rid of because went to a 4" travel XC race bike).

  4. #4
    ride for fun
    Reputation: nick d's Avatar
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    ride or demo as many bikes as you can before you purchase. travel, wheel size etc is personal preference. you will see people on rigid 29er riding the same trails as 26er full suspensions of all travel and types. you might be suprised which one you end up liking the best.
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the sugestions. I guess I should have acutally waited a day before posting this. I already have the Specialized XC Comp. I bought it new in 08. After playing around with some suspension settings, the bike rode very nice and I realize now that for me a 4" bike is perfect. I did the Vortex trail twice right in a row and I was less tired than I normally am after one time. That also has to do with some different climbing techniques I was trying, but I never bottomed the suspension.

    One of the reasons I was thinking of keeping my bike and upgrading stuff is because I love how the bike feels. I'm 5'9' or 5'10" and my bike is a medium. I still want the upgrades I talked about, but I realize now that I dont need a different bike. I just needed to tune the suspension a little better and work on my riding style. I still wouldnt mind getting a AM bike later to play with, but for now what I have will work.

  6. #6
    gone ridin'...
    Reputation: rich67's Avatar
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    4-5 is fine for Florida, and it is pretty decent for any other area as well. I rode out west (AZ and UT) with a 5" KHS and it was fine out there too. I did Amasa Back in Moab on a 4.5, and that was pretty decent as well. That trail is strewn with huge boulders and rocks. You'll only need more if you do major downhills and are going off some serious drops at speed. Those are the kinds you'd find at Whistler and such.

  7. #7
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    I live in the Orlando area as well, and ride where you do. I often ride my rigid single speed Yo Eddy equipped with 2.4" tires @ 20 PSI at Snow Hill and always ride Santos on a light 5" bike, so I'd say go 4-5" if you can have only one bike. Cant see the need for more travel unless you are going into the free ride park at Santos. Also, it's amazing what the big tires do for you in the sand, so look for something with good tire clearance.

  8. #8
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    I used to live in South Florida and have since moved to N Georgia. I ride a 4 inch dual suspension bike up here and am fine with that. We have allot more terrain features up here but have never felt like I needed more than what I have!
    LIVE TO RIDE - RIDE TO LIVE

  9. #9
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    Since I made my last post in here I have changed my mind again. Anybody that knows me, knows I change my mind a lot. As of now I am going to sell my bike and get a Giant Reign and change the fork out to a Talas so I can drop it down for when I climb. I still agree that a 4" bike is enough for the trails I ride, but the more I think about it, the more I want to be able to jump the bike and do some drops. I would like to ride some of the freeride area at Santos without fear of breaking something. From the reviews I've read, and a few opinions from another thread I made in the Giant section, I think a Reign with the Talas will be perfect for me. It will also be enough bike for me should I get to make a trip out west (which I would love to do). I dont think I'm willing to do anything that would require a longer travel bike.

  10. #10
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    I think 130-140mm is the perfect blend for xc/am riding. my first bike was 120mm and i went to a better fork but down to 100mm and i wish i had the extra travel, makes the jumps on the trails much more cushiony. Next bike is a stumpy with 140mm coming this summer.

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