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Thread: 6" X-5 Question

  1. #1
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    New question here. 6" X-5 Question

    Hi; I bought a 5 inch trail bike and am now wishing i would have waited. The good news is I found a shop I can work with who will help me sell my frame and buy another one. I've seen the X-5 frame and thought it was beautiful. My only question is about the head angle. Is the head angle on the X-5 with 6" rockers sketchy or is it stable going downhill. Sherwood Gibson told me his bikes tend to have steep head angles-what I don't know is what the head angle is on an X5 with 6 inch rockers and a 5-6 inch fork?

    I've got a Turner 5-Spot and it's a sweet bike, I just wish I had another inch of travel in back-especially with the extra weight I carry-I'm 225lbs.

    Any feedback would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Turtle 1

  2. #2
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    I think the X-5 w/ the 6" rockers and a 5" shock (for 5.4" of travel)is perfection. I've ridden the Keystone downhill trails a few times and loved it. It's so not sketchy.

    FWIW I'm 6'2" and 225lbs.

  3. #3
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    Options galore

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    Hi; I bought a 5 inch trail bike and am now wishing i would have waited. The good news is I found a shop I can work with who will help me sell my frame and buy another one. I've seen the X-5 frame and thought it was beautiful. My only question is about the head angle. Is the head angle on the X-5 with 6" rockers sketchy or is it stable going downhill. Sherwood Gibson told me his bikes tend to have steep head angles-what I don't know is what the head angle is on an X5 with 6 inch rockers and a 5-6 inch fork?

    I've got a Turner 5-Spot and it's a sweet bike, I just wish I had another inch of travel in back-especially with the extra weight I carry-I'm 225lbs.

    Any feedback would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Turtle 1
    There are posts by either Larry or Charles, or perhaps both, that address the options available. Since indeed you can use the stock romic with the 6" rocker to get about 5.4" travel, it sounds like you want the 6" as you already have the Spot. I would frankly ask Charles (hammerheadbikes) or Larry (mtnhighcyclery) what exactly happens to the angles based on particular forks with the 6" rocker with the 6" romic. I believe it was stated that with the stock Romic and 6" rockers with a Marz fork, you would effectively retain your 70 degree head angle while raising your bottom bracket. In this case, with say a Fox 5", you would steepen the head angle since the fork is too short to make up for the extra height you add in the rear with the 6" rocker and stock romic. Having said that, my friend has a 6" rocker and 6" Romic with a Talas up front and even with this steepening of the head angle, he descends so much better than on his last bike and he loves the setup. He went this route simply for a higher bottom bracket and he cant say enough about the bike. Personally, I would not hestitate to run a Marz 5" fork with the 6" rear on the X-5....I just did not want or need the 6" on the rear.

    Cheers

  4. #4
    mtbjohn
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    6" rear travel

    Mr. Turtle 1

    I'm the friend Foshizzle mentions, with Fox TALAS up front, and rocker/8"x2.25" Romic to give 6" rear travel. As he noted, I really like the setup. A can descend like a mad-man now - very scary.... Higher bottom bracket is a real plus for me.

    However, just for fun I've been looking into getting an air shock (back-up, as I have blown out my Romic too). According to Ventana (Teresa/Sherwood, via email today), the stock shock and 6" rocker gives 5.32" of rear travel and lower my bottom bracket by 3/16" (it's around 13.9" now, 13.25" + roughly 5/8"). Several of you guys have metioned 5.4" - I know - it's only 0.08", but we all seem to be picky about the details!!

    I tend to run a larger front tire than rear - which compensates for the slightly steeper head angle due to the 6" travel option. (2.4 front, 2.14 rear - Mutano). Overall, for me, bike handles great.

    A dude on another post mentioned he pushed an air shock, and added an AVA sleeve. Sounds like a great option - how do you add the AVA sleeve.

    BTW - I'm looking at the Fox AVA - suggestions. Note that I have to purchase a new bolt and reducers - which is no problem. Some mention of knobs being in the way....other suggestions (I almost hate to ask!)

  5. #5
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    I ride an X-5 and have to add a few thoughts.

    1) don't pick the X-5 based on how it looks. I agree it's a tough-arse mofo frame and Sherwood pops for EXCELLENT coatings, but the rocker actuated monopivot does NOT behave like an FSR link. if you brake early and long, you're going to be wondering why you got rid of the 5-Spot, as the rear wheel of the X-5 can hop around a bit more under braking influence. but if you brake late and light, you should be okay. just trying to say that looks are a STUPID reason to buy a bike or frame. REEEEEEAAAALLLY STUPID.

    2) "sketchy" is a relative term. I know folks who are excellent bike handlers and can ride supertechie DH fully rigid with a 71 deg HA. Also, I know people who would just about commit suicide trying to ride that same bike on the same terrain. so what's "sketchy"? if you don't know how Head Angle affects steering and what HA you prefer, it's not going to help to ask if it's "sketchy". it's a stupid question.

    3) why do you think another inch of travel is going to radically change your riding experience? sounds to me like you do more riding in your mind than on trails.

  6. #6
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    6" X-5

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    I ride an X-5 and have to add a few thoughts.

    1) don't pick the X-5 based on how it looks. I agree it's a tough-arse mofo frame and Sherwood pops for EXCELLENT coatings, but the rocker actuated monopivot does NOT behave like an FSR link. if you brake early and long, you're going to be wondering why you got rid of the 5-Spot, as the rear wheel of the X-5 can hop around a bit more under braking influence. but if you brake late and light, you should be okay. just trying to say that looks are a STUPID reason to buy a bike or frame. REEEEEEAAAALLLY STUPID.

    2) "sketchy" is a relative term. I know folks who are excellent bike handlers and can ride supertechie DH fully rigid with a 71 deg HA. Also, I know people who would just about commit suicide trying to ride that same bike on the same terrain. so what's "sketchy"? if you don't know how Head Angle affects steering and what HA you prefer, it's not going to help to ask if it's "sketchy". it's a stupid question.

    3) why do you think another inch of travel is going to radically change your riding experience? sounds to me like you do more riding in your mind than on trails.
    Thanks for responding to my question about the X-5. With regard to the head angle and additional inch of rear wheel travel, I do know the difference between steep and slack-especially when it comes to my riding style. In addition, when it comes to rear wheel travel, I can definately tell the difference if I'm riding a bike with 6 inches versus 5 inches.

    For me, 5 inches is bare minium tavel-any less and it hurts my back. I had an Uzzi Slx for a while and it was great-good geometry and with the Fox Vanilla RC it was plush. The Uzzi was fun because I could adjust the suspension and create a lower more stable ride or a quicker handling ride with a higer bottom bracket; Most of the time, I enjoyed the slack head angle.

    My big concern with the X-5 is the result of once owning an Ellsworth Id-that was not a good fit for me. The Id was too tall, too steep and the combination of top tube and seat Tube ange just didn't work for me-owning the ID was a miserable experience. I really like everything I've seen of the X-5, but without riding one, I'm afraid the head angle would be too steep-for me.

    I had a Santa Cruz Heckler-nice trail bike but every time I rode the bike I wished for a slacker HA. On the other hand, I had a Bulr and loved it-unlike the Heckler, the blur is a more of an xc trail bike. From what i've heard and seen, the X-5's geometry is closer to the Heckler than say the RFX. The FRX has 6 inches of rear wheel travel and the head angle is clearly slack. My question is how does the HA of the X-5 with 6 inches of rear wheel travel compare with a bike like the RFX or even 5-Spot.

    For me, the 5-Spot does not seem to have an overly slack head angle-I hardly notice it until I start going real slow-then I notice how the 5-Spot's geometry is different from a bike with more traditional xc oriented lines. I'm just asking you guys if the X-5 with 6 inches feels like a bike with traditional xc lines, or does it ride like a 6 inch bike built for hard-core riding.

    I've seen guys ride hard core trails with traditional xc geometry and no suspension, but I'm not one of them. I need all the help I can get from suspension and geometry to get up and down; Ned Overland/John Tomac I'm NOT!

    I'm just trying to get a sense of what the X-5 is like on the trail and you guys are the experts because you own one.
    Thanks,
    Turtle 1

  7. #7
    Supersonic Garfield
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    Just wanted to post some X-5 pics




  8. #8
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    Ventana

    Wait a year and look at that new Turner 6 Pack or you might be going through another bike sale next year. I hate to say it but check dreamride.com, they have the various angles posted. What I remember from that series of articles is that a 6x6 X5 is steeper and taller than an Id and installing a 5 inch for would lower the BB some but steepen the head angle even more. You could also talk to Sherwood Gibson about custom geometry on an X5 for a couple hundred more.

  9. #9
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    Good job! 6" X-5

    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider
    Wait a year and look at that new Turner 6 Pack or you might be going through another bike sale next year. I hate to say it but check dreamride.com, they have the various angles posted. What I remember from that series of articles is that a 6x6 X5 is steeper and taller than an Id and installing a 5 inch for would lower the BB some but steepen the head angle even more. You could also talk to Sherwood Gibson about custom geometry on an X5 for a couple hundred more.
    Hi; Thanks for the posts, pics and feedback. Turtles see the world in small green patches of their favorite treats-I seem to hold true to Turtle form when it comes to how I look at the world of mtb. When I read your response, it dawned on me the X-5 frame will weigh darn close to the same as the 6-Pack. Huuummmmm, now there is something to think about.

    Sweet pictures-looks like you guys were in Austria, Switzerland or Germany-Europe has got to be a fantastic place to ride. Taking time to ride through the mountains from village to village would be a great way to spend the Summer or however much time you had.

    I bet the people you met on the trip were great-most everyone I met overseas was cool. You're X-5 looks nice too-I've got the same Z-1 FR fork-at least that's what it looks like to me. Thanks for the post-it got me to thinking about stuff in a different way.

    One thing I really enjoy is the way Sherwood Gibson takes time to answer questions and explain bikes; that guy rocks and he makes great bikes. Some of my non-Turtle friends have Ventana bikes and they're committed. I did talk with Sherwood about custom geometry and was one step away from ordering an X-5 when I found a 5-Spot to test ride. Being able to test ride a bike makes a big difference. I think it would be good business for Ventana to have a few bikes up here in Seattle for people to demo.
    Thanks again,
    Turtle 1

  10. #10
    Supersonic Garfield
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    Hey,

    The pictures are from Norway, where I live. Great place to ride

    If you're interested, I have a sticky up at Ridemonkey called "Norway ride pics". Take your time to go through, there's a LOT of pictures

    Linky Linky: Norway ride pics

    Good luck hunting for the right frame, I am sure the 6pack will be a great bike with better 6" geometry than the X-5

    T.

  11. #11
    ajr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    Hi; I bought a 5 inch trail bike and am now wishing i would have waited. The good news is I found a shop I can work with who will help me sell my frame and buy another one. I've seen the X-5 frame and thought it was beautiful. My only question is about the head angle. Is the head angle on the X-5 with 6" rockers sketchy or is it stable going downhill. Sherwood Gibson told me his bikes tend to have steep head angles-what I don't know is what the head angle is on an X5 with 6 inch rockers and a 5-6 inch fork?

    I've got a Turner 5-Spot and it's a sweet bike, I just wish I had another inch of travel in back-especially with the extra weight I carry-I'm 225lbs.

    Any feedback would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Turtle 1
    I ride an X5 with 6" conversion and Z1 freeride forks. The bike is not at all sketchy on downhills and feels better to ride than the RFX it replaced, it is more agile in singletrack, goes over rocks, logs etc no problem. I do a lot of technical riding and I feel this is the best bike I have ever ridden.

  12. #12
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    Midnight Sun

    Quote Originally Posted by Trond
    Hey,

    The pictures are from Norway, where I live. Great place to ride

    If you're interested, I have a sticky up at Ridemonkey called "Norway ride pics". Take your time to go through, there's a LOT of pictures

    Linky Linky: Norway ride pics

    Good luck hunting for the right frame, I am sure the 6pack will be a great bike with better 6" geometry than the X-5

    T.
    Hi Trond; Thanks for sending the link to ridemonkey-those are very cool pictures. Norway looks like an excellent place to ride-especially when I stop to think that you guys have more daylight to ride then we do. I sent the link to a friend and suggested she get a new bike so we can take a trip to Norway.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write and posting those pictures-looks like you guys are having a great time.
    Turtle 1

  13. #13
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    Good job! X-5...... Rfx

    Quote Originally Posted by ajr
    I ride an X5 with 6" conversion and Z1 freeride forks. The bike is not at all sketchy on downhills and feels better to ride than the RFX it replaced, it is more agile in singletrack, goes over rocks, logs etc no problem. I do a lot of technical riding and I feel this is the best bike I have ever ridden.
    Thanks for taking the time to write and comparing the two bikes. I like the RFX but I'm not sure how well it would work for me on the trails I ride. I usually ride single track trails-I'm not a jumper or hog when it comes to hard-core riding, but I do like tehnical trails. Most of the RFX's I've seen are owned by guys to are hard-core riders.

    It makes sense when you say the X-5 is a quicker handling bike-thanks. Where I get confused is when they say the head angle is 70 degrees, but what they don't say is how the head angle changes when you sit on the bike and point it down hill. The X-5 looks like a super ride-otherwise you guys wouldn't be posting such great reviews. Trying to figure out what a bike is like without riding it is crazymaking. But one thing for sure I really appreciate you taking the time to write-It gives me more information when it comes time to make up my mind.

    That says a lot to me if you rode an RFX for a while and then switched to an X-5 and have no regrets-that in itself tells me the bike is not sketchy going down steep stuff. To me, there's nothing worse than to be headed downhill knowing your going over the bars becuase there's not enough fork out in front. But then again, most people grew up riding wild stuff on bikes with steep head angles; unfortunately I'm not one of them.

    If you have any other comparisons of the RFX and X-5 I'd appreciate you sharing them.
    Turtle 1

  14. #14
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    6" travel and a slack head angle

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    I've got a Turner 5-Spot and it's a sweet bike, I just wish I had another inch of travel in back-especially with the extra weight I carry-I'm 225lbs....

    I had a Santa Cruz Heckler-nice trail bike but every time I rode the bike I wished for a slacker HA. On the other hand, I had a Bulr and loved it-unlike the Heckler, the blur is a more of an xc trail bike. From what i've heard and seen, the X-5's geometry is closer to the Heckler than say the RFX. The FRX has 6 inches of rear wheel travel and the head angle is clearly slack. My question is how does the HA of the X-5 with 6 inches of rear wheel travel compare with a bike like the RFX or even 5-Spot.
    I realize that I'm veering a little off your initial post, but since you are 225lbs, want 6" of rear travel and like slack head angles, have you considered the Chamuco instead of the X-5?

    I just bought a Chamuco, and am nearly finished building it up (gonna ride it tomorrow), My first thought after mounting the fork and throwing the wheels on was, "damn, that's slack." Published Chamuco HA's from Ventana's website (for small & med frames) is 68 deg. Lee from Dreamride wrote that his Chamuco w/ a 5" Supernova fork had 65.5 deg HA [ http://www.dreambike.com/secrets/chamucotest.htm ], while Scott from go-ride wrote that his med Chamuco w/ a 5" Z1 has a 67 deg HA [ http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=147 ]. Although not rocket-science precise, I used a level and a contractor's protractor and my small Chamuco's HA looks like it's about 66 deg w/ an unloaded 5" Z1 fork.

    I'm not trying to split hairs about the HA, but its pretty slack, and I can't wait to rip steep descents that made me uneasy on my '03 Heckler. FWIW, I sold the Heckler because I wanted more stable geometry, which the Chamuco provides in spades.

  15. #15
    ajr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    Thanks for taking the time to write and comparing the two bikes. I like the RFX but I'm not sure how well it would work for me on the trails I ride. I usually ride single track trails-I'm not a jumper or hog when it comes to hard-core riding, but I do like tehnical trails. Most of the RFX's I've seen are owned by guys to are hard-core riders.

    It makes sense when you say the X-5 is a quicker handling bike-thanks. Where I get confused is when they say the head angle is 70 degrees, but what they don't say is how the head angle changes when you sit on the bike and point it down hill. The X-5 looks like a super ride-otherwise you guys wouldn't be posting such great reviews. Trying to figure out what a bike is like without riding it is crazymaking. But one thing for sure I really appreciate you taking the time to write-It gives me more information when it comes time to make up my mind.

    That says a lot to me if you rode an RFX for a while and then switched to an X-5 and have no regrets-that in itself tells me the bike is not sketchy going down steep stuff. To me, there's nothing worse than to be headed downhill knowing your going over the bars becuase there's not enough fork out in front. But then again, most people grew up riding wild stuff on bikes with steep head angles; unfortunately I'm not one of them.

    If you have any other comparisons of the RFX and X-5 I'd appreciate you sharing them.
    Turtle 1
    I have owned 3 RFX frames and enjoyed them all.The X5 is lighter fells more solid and still allows me to do drop jumps and tight singletrack ,something the RFX lacked was this speed in the woods.

  16. #16
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    what about simply adding a 6" travel fork to the X-5, which slackens the HA nicely and -- if you use an '05 Sherman Firefly Plus it has a lateral stiffness and tracking that matches the X-5 (quad bearing) rear end. of course it didn't hurt that I also swapped out the Avid Mechs for some Mono M4s.

    picture of Medium X-5 w/ Firefly Plus:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
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    something else to consider

    Sherwood told me that an El Saltamontes set up with identical travel to an X-5 has 1/2-1 degree slacker head angle. So you could consider this frame with the 6 inch rockers if you want something slacker. I also think you can have an x-5 built with Salty geometry for a slight extra charge. I have a Salty built with 5 inch rockers, and a Fox Talas and the HA heasures right about 69.5-70 degrees.

  18. #18
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    I wanted a X5 so bad I could taste it, until I found out it had a 70deg headangle. I like a bike with min. 69deg. I have tried the 5 Spot, Chamuco and a 575, all with slacker headangles over the X5 with the Ventana being the slackest. The Chamuco with a Z1 on it handled the fast, steep and rough stuff the best, in real tight trails you have to give the bars a pull to get the wheel around but neverless, it still was fun. the other two bikes handled the steep stuff well too and did better in the tight turns. I have read that Heckler's can be busy at speed and you have to watch the trail more-so than a bike with slacker geometry. When I road the 5 Spot I was looking for more travel, even in the front, but putting a longer travel fork on a 5 Spot is a no-no from Turner bikes, so I will be checking out the 6 Pac for sure.
    rustnvrsleeps idea of the El Chamuco might be something to consider, with todays new forks that are coming out like the Pike or Fox 36 you can adjust the travel down for those XC rides that you want a steep HA, then when the rough stuff comes you can hit it with 6" of travel.
    Im afraid that a X5 is to much like a 5 Spot, even with the extra travel, it will be quik and turn fast and probably a blast on rides like Gooseberry Mesa but places like Brain Head or Mammoth Mtn you once again will be looking for more overall bike. Another thing too consider is where do you ride or sit on the bike, are you behind the front wheel or over it, sitting over the front wheel makes those drops, rocks and rutts hard to ride in or on, I like to be just behind the front wheel and let the forks do what its designed to do. "Take the hit"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    what about simply adding a 6" travel fork to the X-5, which slackens the HA nicely and -- if you use an '05 Sherman Firefly Plus it has a lateral stiffness and tracking that matches the X-5 (quad bearing) rear end. of course it didn't hurt that I also swapped out the Avid Mechs for some Mono M4s.

    picture of Medium X-5 w/ Firefly Plus:
    My thoughts EXACTLY!

    That's the fork I have. That's the frame I'll get. Period.

    Thanks for the pics and post!

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