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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone out there running an '07 Superlight with a 130mm fork? What type of riding are you doing and how's the setup handle it?

What I'm looking for is a 4" travel bike with the relaxed handling of a 5-6" tailbike (think "Blur LT" or "Turner Five Spot")... but I'd like to keep it sub-27lbs with a sensible build (Float RLC, XT drivetrain, Crossmax XL-class wheels, 2.3" tires, no carbon anything). The new SL is getting rave reviews, and I'm drawn to the simplicity of the single pivot, but I look at the 71/73 geometry and longish TT and have visions of the twitchy hardtails I rode twelve years ago. Running a 130mm fork should put the geometry closer to what I'd want, but I'd like feedback from others who are running this setup. Anyone out there who can weigh in?

Backstory: I've returned to mountain biking after a long hiatus, and have spent the last year grooving an entry-level hardtail. I'm looking to take the FS plunge, but am trying to find a bike that's right for me... I'm 6'2", about 220lbs with gear, and ride just about everything the SF Bay Area has to offer: long grinding climbs, swoopy rolling downhills, tight singletrack, an occasional rock garden or nasty chute ... no "big air" for me, but sometimes it's just more work to keep both tires on the ground. For Bay Area locals on the forum, I do most of my weekday riding at Santa Theresa (it's close to work), and weekends take me out to Demo or up to the OSP's on Skyline. Odd trips to Tahoe, Downieville, or the lower Sierras are part of my non-winter routine, too.

Thanks for your feedback,

--MW
 

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nerfherder
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Hello MW... welcome back to mountain biking! Glad to have you return.

I have a couple thoughts:

First, I'm thinking the Superlight is too super light for a big guy like you.
Second, if you're looking for a 4 inch bike with the relaxed geometry of a 5-6 inch trail bike look no further than the Blur 4X (I'm sure everyone on the board was expecting me or Indyfab to say that). The Blur 4X has the relaxed handling you're looking for with only a 4 inch fork. Throw a five incher like a Float and it's almost slack it's so relaxed. I actually recommend a travel adjust fork like the TALAS on this bike if you go with a 140mm fork. Some run 100 or 110s and love it.

It's efficient pedalling, nimble, climbs well, and descends well. Great all around package. Plus, it's built a little tougher so I think it'd be more durable for a big guy.

A couple downsides: heavier than your target weight, no bottle mounts, and low bb so you may strike you pedals more often but also means low center of gravity and quick turning.
 

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Dont worry about your weight. I am 6'3 and 240 and have been riding a superlight for quite some time and never had a problem. I had my Superlight at just under 24 pounds with full XTR, Crossmax XL and a fox 100 RLC (both shock and fork PUSH'd). It was super plush and a super handling rig. It felt like I had 5 inches of travel on it and I couldnt bottom it out. I just ride XC. I just sold the frame and bought the 2007 Superlight. 8 weeks for Gang Green, Uhhgg! I will build it up the same way but sold the Crossmax XL in favor of DT Swiss 240s or Kings with DT 4.2 rims. I am hoping to get it down close to 23 pounds. I dont expect any challenges with it either after seeing the new frame in person. It seems to be much better built than the older models.

The blur is a great bike and I looked at it too but will be tough to the the Blur LT down to 24 pounds without spending HUGE dollars and having a great bike with brittle parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I actually wasn't too concerned about taxing the SL with my size/weight: supposedly, the '07 model is substantially beefier, with more lateral stiffness in the swingarm... maybe others can comment?

I'm really looking for feedback on how this new model handles with a 130mm fork... does that extra inch slacken things up enough to give a blananced, "idiot proof" ride like BLT owners rave about? Or, maybe the 71/73/longish TT numbers lie and the bike really is even-tempered through the rough with a 100mm front end?

Either way, I need to demo this thing sooner than later... just looking for some input here. I'll have to cross-post to explore this, but I've also been shopping the Turner Flux and Ellsworth Truth: they don't have the simple-is-sexy thing like the SL, but their numbers look spot-on for what I want.

Hadn't thought about the B4x. Just looked over the specs... at 68.5, that's a pretty slack HT for a 100mm bike, no?! Scruffy, how's that thing handle in tight, low-speed switchback situations? Would never have looked at that bike, but I'll start with some research...

--MW

PS -- thanks for the warm welcome back... I think I'm doing the, "Oh [email protected], I'm almost thirty ... what's happened to my life?" thing. Best decision I've made in a lotta years was plunking down the cash for my Rockhopper (don't laugh... that thing's actually pretty capable). Figured I'd make a low-ish initial investment to "see if it takes" and go from there. Almost a year later, I'm still riding 3-4 times a week, conquering hills and descents I used to walk, and have become awfully protective of my riding schedule. Still can't keep up with the guys at work, though. :)
 

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nerfherder
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Haha. Good description of your return. I did that about two years ago except I dropped the cash for a BLT. I guess when I start something I just jump in all the way.

The 4X handles well. I think the slackness is counter balanced by the low bb and center of gravity. So it's still real nimble. After all, the thing is used for bashing gates in DS, too. I've written some thoughts on my experiences which you can probably dig up under my profile. The set up database has a nice 4X thread, too.
 

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Got A Lust for Life...
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mwnovak said:
Hadn't thought about the B4x. Just looked over the specs... at 68.5, that's a pretty slack HT for a 100mm bike, no?! Scruffy, how's that thing handle in tight, low-speed switchback situations? Would never have looked at that bike, but I'll start with some research...
I live in an area where we have super tight(sometimes slow, sometimes fast) corners. By corners, I mean the 180 degree kind. Very small, very tight back and forth corners in super tight singletrack littered with technical sections. The 4x excels in every type of corner I have thrown it in. All you have to do is throw the bike into it and you are there. Sprinting from corner to corner is a dream. At 130(fork) the rear wheel will actually come around the corner and kind of skip. It was a little weird at first, but it did it the same way every corner. I actually started to like it. You know the rear end would come around in a hurry and continue to rip. At 100, the bike simply crushes corners. Guys riding behind me the first couple of times I rode it actually said something like this "man, you can really lay that thing down huh?" People get all worried about numbers on bikes. 68.5 degrees on a headtube might seem slack. But it feels just right in more areas than you would imagine. Especially once you get used to it. I actually like the fork between 108-115.
Climbing is the area that I think the 4x shines and seems to be very underrated. While this may sound like an exaggeration, I think it climbs every bit as well as my SS hardtail. Especially out of the saddle. I have never ridden an FS that climbs like my 4x. Though I haven't tried a DW or a maestro as of yet.
A friend of mine just got an SL. I haven't ridden it so I cannot say what it is like. SC usually has its geometry together. The rear triangle on the old ones would move quite a bit when I squeezed the triangle to the seattube(my 99 Heckler would move a bit as well.) This new one seems a lot stiffer. By contrast, I can squeeze the rear swingarm to the seat tube(and get it to touch!!!) on a Fat Possum with one hand. No kidding.
I would bet anything that the SL can hold its own in the situations you will put it in. I'll say this though. I'll take VPP over SP anyday. The quality of travel just feels better. And, no more worries about bearings.
 

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I've been riding a Superlight with a 130mm fork for 5 years and I haven't had any problems. But I also only weigh 145lbs soaking wet. If you crack the head tube, you'll know why.

As far as geometry is concerned - I think it's great. The SL was designed as a XC bike and it's geometry relfects this. Many might disagree with me but I think the SL climbs and turns very well in this configuration (with the 130 fork). That being said, I have always run a flat bar and the longer fork puts my hands just where I want them with a 100mm stem. This puts the top of the handle bar 1" below the highest point on the seat on a medium frame. But it's really is a matter of personal preference.

All that aside, I'm really itching to get a Blur LT. The SL is a great bike and was a great entry to FS from hardtail - but it is not bottomless. And I'm not talking about 3' drops, I'm talking about the rock gardens you find on Mt. Tam.

My big question (for another thread) is will the BLT climb as well as the SL albeit with a 1/2 lb weight penalty.

If you're concerned at all about cracking your frame, you might want to buy the frame that's designed to handle even a massive 150mm fork. If you get an adjustable fork, you can dial it in to your preference. The 130 seemed like a lot when I got it, but not anymore.

Hope that helps, Z
 

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I think the problem with the 4X that people over look is its 17.2 seat tube. Try getting a seatpost to fit a guy who is 6'2"( I would be on one if they did). Besides that I have to agree with the above about it being a corner railing machine. I have a 07 superlight with a 07 float set at 120 and it feels pretty dam good. 130 is not recomended by SC they say max 125 ( I know what is 5mm). Remember its intended purpose. I also have a BLT with a 36 talas, set it at 4" and its a climbine machine. I have a guy in my weekly XC group that rides a BLT in XC trim and flat out pounds, one of the fastest guys out there. I like my SL because it is simple light and works good (single piviot still has its place) and my BLT is just set up with a bit more fun factor. To be honest if I put equal tires on both I think my BLT would be just as fast even with its heavier build. For your question:The SL handles great with a bit more fork.
 
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