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For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
 

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Hmmm...this has been a topic....

jpre said:
For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
of great debate in one form or another. There have been many discussions on Horst vs Faux Bar vs Modified Four Bar vs Mono Pivot...etc. And it all comes down to preferences, opinion, and experience. There are plenty of good bikes out there that sport both Horst and mono pivot designs. I personally prefer the Horst design, or as Specialized calls it the "FSR Four Bar Linkage". I like the fact that the suspension is not affected by braking forces and remains fully active. This is a big plus while desending in rocky/rooty terrain. Under braking any mono pivot that I have owned tended to become very stiff or lock up in the rear under braking. It makes for a rather chattery ride when you have to brake over some rough stuff going down hill. That and with the horst link there is no feed back that can be felt at the pedals when the suspension compresses and rebounds. I've owned both mono and currently ride a horst link bike. I could always feel a bit of pedal kick-back when the suspension compressed on the mono pivot designs.

Personally I would rather have a 4" travel horst than a 5" mono any day. The Ideal of course would be a 5" horst! Would you notice the difference between the 5" and 4"? Yes most likely, as the extra travel would allow for milder suspension settings. The suspension would have 5" in which to damp out a bump rather than only 4" so it could be set up slightly softer to give a more "plush" feel. would it make you a better rider? Probably not. Anything that you can ride with a 5" travel bike, you can ride with a 4", or a hardtail for that matter. You just may not be able to ride it as fast or go as big. It will depend more on your skill as a rider than the amount of travel.

If you want some good info on the various suspension designs go to the link below. Keep in mind that it's the Specialized website so they'll be pushing the horst design, but the information is quite accurate and the graphics help with understanding the differences. Hope this helps you out.

http://www.specialized.com/sbc4Bar.jsp?a=b

Good Dirt
 

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jpre said:
For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
Pick another single pivot to compare. The 575 is 5.75" of travel. So you're comparing a bike with 4" to a bike with almost 6. The 575 will be much plusher. I also hear great things about that bike from people that know their stuff.
 

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for the record the single pivot design of the 575 does not suffer any brake jack or pedal kickback....i went from a 4" specialized SJ FSR to a 575 and can say it is a huge difference and much more plush, however the 575 is just as light and climbs just as well...how yeti achieved the no brake jack i don't know, but i am very glad to own one... i think of it this way, do i need almost 6" of travel most of the time, no not really, so i can set it up to use 4, or 5 or 6 by putting a little more air in the shocks for longer XC type rides, but when i want to do a shuttle ride or a ride that has a long downhill it is available to me...the greatest part is with the yeti there really is no weight "penalty"...
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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usable travel

jpre said:
For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
Every added inch of travel is 100% usable.

A 4 inch travel suspension has about 3.75 inch usable. 5 inch 4.75 and feels like a big improvement in deep travel plushness.

(The 575 is even plusher than any 5 inch bike, and pedals and climbs most excellently. It pedals and climbs just like the 4 inch travel monopivot-like ICT Truth with platform shock, but the 575 is much plusher and handles much better too and is only a few ounces heavier.)

The tighter curving path anti-squat advantage of a Horst link over a monopivot becomes less effective as travel and sag increases and the paths become near identical with a monopivot around sag. A longer travel real Horst is still slightly snappier accelerating than a monopivot, but bob is not reduced as much due to softer springing. But platform damping pretty much hides the differences between monopivot and Horst links anyway especially with longer travel.

- ray
 

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billybobzia said:
for the record the single pivot design of the 575 does not suffer any brake jack or pedal kickback....i went from a 4" specialized SJ FSR to a 575 and can say it is a huge difference and much more plush, however the 575 is just as light and climbs just as well...how yeti achieved the no brake jack i don't know, but i am very glad to own one... i think of it this way, do i need almost 6" of travel most of the time, no not really, so i can set it up to use 4, or 5 or 6 by putting a little more air in the shocks for longer XC type rides, but when i want to do a shuttle ride or a ride that has a long downhill it is available to me...the greatest part is with the yeti there really is no weight "penalty"...
As other have already said the differences between bikes have been dramatically reduced by the new shocks, and than bikes like the 575 comes about that seem to work as well as the best 4-bars with less weight, cost and complexity (which means less maintance to you). To top it all i personally never found a 5" 'horst" to be very good when braking. My Gt sts has 4.75" and the rear rises up a lot when braking, my 5-spot in side by side comparisons does almost the same. In both cases it is not a big deal, you adjust your weight distribution on descents/braking, although i find it funny that the gt passed in history as a bad braking bike and the 5-spot as a one of the best ... bad mouthing and fanatic hype work in strange and sometimes colliding ways :confused:

at a minimm i would give a really close look to the yeti (and blur lt) because you save money and arguably gain in performance :)
 

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Good post, I also believe there is a lot of fanatical hype that goes into marketing bikes these days. A lot of riders believe because they spend 2000.00 or more on a frame that it automatically makes it much better than a less expensive frame. ie. Turner 5-spot vs Azonic sabre. Same shite different packaging imo. Dont get me wrong, the Turner is a beautiful bike that performs well.

I have been riding a lot of different designs over the last couple of years and the differences in performance between the top FSR, mono pivot, faux bar or whatever are minimal, especially with the new shock technology.

I notice a little less brake jack on a FSR type bike compared to sp but once again, it is minor and not night and day like some people like to believe. The differences become more pronounced on dh or freeride bikes but many people are still shredding it up on sp bikes in the dh and freeride scene.

It all comes down to preference these days imo.
 

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Shreddin the Cul de Sac
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Comparison

I had a SC Bullit with 6" single pivot, a Yeti 575 with faux bar (some call it a SP travel path though, I don't really understand the diff), and I just bought a Turner Burner with 3.6 travel (4" rockers on the way).

Don't believe the hype. Bottom line is more travel equals more bob. It may work for you or against you, but that's the way it is. Also coil vs air will also affect the bikes behavior, for better or worse.

jpre said:
For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
 

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Davide said:
As other have already said the differences between bikes have been dramatically reduced by the new shocks, and than bikes like the 575 comes about that seem to work as well as the best 4-bars with less weight, cost and complexity (which means less maintance to you). To top it all i personally never found a 5" 'horst" to be very good when braking. My Gt sts has 4.75" and the rear rises up a lot when braking, my 5-spot in side by side comparisons does almost the same. In both cases it is not a big deal, you adjust your weight distribution on descents/braking, although i find it funny that the gt passed in history as a bad braking bike and the 5-spot as a one of the best ... bad mouthing and fanatic hype work in strange and sometimes colliding ways :confused:

at a minimm i would give a really close look to the yeti (and blur lt) because you save money and arguably gain in performance :)
I agree with you about the 575, but to say the Blur has better braking than the Spot is a joke. I like the Blur, but that rear end locks out with chain torque under rear braking. That's one of the 2 reasons that I didn't buy that bike. The other was a bit of pedal feedback on technical climbing.
 

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yeti 575 vs Turner Burner

Interested in the comparison. I am thinking for my Colorado front range riding I am best off with a 4 in horst link type bike that is not a ellsworth. ( I would love to back to back compare to my faux bar bike but two years in a row the Titus demo was cancelled for weather).

Would like to know what type of riding do you do and what is your weight. I'm 190 and ride the Colorado front range riding.

Thanks

Burpee said:
I had a SC Bullit with 6" single pivot, a Yeti 575 with faux bar (some call it a SP travel path though, I don't really understand the diff), and I just bought a Turner Burner with 3.6 travel (4" rockers on the way).

Don't believe the hype. Bottom line is more travel equals more bob. It may work for you or against you, but that's the way it is. Also coil vs air will also affect the bikes behavior, for better or worse.
 

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5 Spot

It's not only the extra inch of travel but the extra degree of slckness on the head angle that makes the 5 Spot a better bike for rocks and roots. I can't imagin replacing mine with anything close in travel.
 

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Shreddin the Cul de Sac
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Hey thanks for the interest

Poser said:
Interested in the comparison. I am thinking for my Colorado front range riding I am best off with a 4 in horst link type bike that is not a ellsworth. ( I would love to back to back compare to my faux bar bike but two years in a row the Titus demo was cancelled for weather).

Would like to know what type of riding do you do and what is your weight. I'm 190 and ride the Colorado front range riding.

Thanks
I weigh 205. I had the bullit from 2001 to 2004. I was 235 when I got it. Lost the weight shortly after. Bought the Yeti in the fall of 2004. After only a few weeks I realized it wasn't for me. I found the rear end to have way too much bob for my liking, no matter how much I played with the rp3. Sold it soon after. Couldn't be happier with the Burner, but honestly, I think I'd be just as happy with a 4" single pivot that had similar geometry (slightly slacker head angle).

The Bullit bobbed, the Yeti bobbed, and the Burner bobs (I actually tune down the platform on the Swinger for a plusher ride).

I can live with the bob on the Bullit and Burner, because the position is upright - less race oriented. The Yeti was really weird in that it had all that travel on a XC oriented frame - the head angle is slack, but the top tube is long and low. Hard to describe, you need to ride it to feel it. I'm 6'3", on a large frame. It technically should have fit. But I was stretched out way over the front, and when the front end took a big hit, it was like a catapult. Me no likey.

I live in New England. I'm sure we don't have the kind of climbing that you have in CO. I imagine it's long ups and long downs. We have our share of shorter steep climbs, and lots of rocks and technical stuff, like this: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=97188

Not to take away from 575 owners. To each their own. Unless you go really big, I don't know that 5+ inches of travel is necessary. That's just my opinion. Good luck with whatever you get.
 

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in theory you can use the whole travel.

I would like to challenge the majority of these 5" rear travel "XC" bike riders to show me their use of the full 5" as a regular thing, and then I'd like them to ride in front of me on the trails where that happens. if they can stay in front of me, I'm gonna buy them a nice new tire. :D
 

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An extra inches really just gives you a greater margin of error. Trails that I had to be extra careful on with a 3-inch travel bike I can now go down more carelessly. Is that good? As "normal" suspension travel increases, trails that used to be challenging become easy. But I don't think we ride because we want to do something that's "easy". Maybe that's why rigid single speeds are gaining popularity...
 

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Blue Shorts said:
I agree with you about the 575, but to say the Blur has better braking than the Spot is a joke. I like the Blur, but that rear end locks out with chain torque under rear braking. That's one of the 2 reasons that I didn't buy that bike. The other was a bit of pedal feedback on technical climbing.
I did not really mention the Blur in my posting, you probably remember some other post (oh ... ops! I did mention the new Blur LT ...) Well, then, in my month of Blur use I did not really detect lock out from the Blur ... maybe it was a different set up, or less aggressive braking (I am 145) who knows, the Blur for me was showing some squat under braking (the opposite of my horsts) that I liked ... and for that reason I gave it a nod over the horsts ... it is just a nod. A VPP with more travel, like the upcoming Blur LT, might show even less of the lock out that you noticed and I failed to detect ...

But going back to the horst vs everything else diatribe, the thing that has never stopped to buffle me, and that has never been properly explained to me, is the fact that there is basically not one single horst bike in the whole downhill circuit. Everybody, including Turner, use something else. So the question is if the horst is so great under braking why it is not used where braking counts most (on a downhill bike)? I am just asking :) maybe somebody will explain this little mistery to me

(and I read interviews from many pro-downhillers saying that they do not want to use floating brakes on, e.g., single pivots, because they do not want the braking to be neutral since it encourages pitching forward ...).
 

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jpre said:
For rocky, rooty, bumpy, but not full on DH kind of stuff, does an extra inch of travel make that much of a difference? It seems just a few years back 4" was the trail standard, but now 5" is so popular. What if the comparison was between a 4" Horst type vs a 5" single pivot. If I need to give examples, how about a 4" Turner Flux vs a 5" Yeti 575 (or if that's not really just 5" how about a Fisher Cake DLX at 5"). Will the extra inch of travel make more difference to the plushness and technical capability of the bike moreso than the Horst link? Perhaps I should add to factor in that as much as I would like to be able to do big drops, I don't currently have the skills to do that.
Just ride as many bikes as you can before you buy. I happen to have a 5 inch AMP/Horst type, but liked my test ride on a Heckler and would own one if I were completely foolish about spending.

I have owned 2 AMP types now and if they have an advantage I would say it is the way they apply the power in bumpy loose stuff and the way the rear remains plush when braking. OTOH they are much more active than some SPV types I've ridden. I pretty much ride my FSR/AMP/Horst on bumpy, rocky and rooty trails so that active feeling is great, but I think an SPV (initially stiffer) ride might be nice if you ride smooth fire roads and climbs.

YMMV, but I personally think that if you need suspension you should bet all the suspension you can, and any technology that limits the suspension action is stupid.

I suggest looking at a 5 inch FSR/AMP/Horst model if you're looking at 5 inch single pivots. If budget is the restriction there are what are now called the "Enduro 130" models from Specialized. They are well proven and will be priced less than a Turner or similar and prices like lots of single pivots.

After trying same travel in both types buy what you like instead of what somebody else likes.

Have fun shopping!
 

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Davide said:
But going back to the horst vs everything else diatribe, the thing that has never stopped to buffle me, and that has never been properly explained to me, is the fact that there is basically not one single horst bike in the whole downhill circuit. Everybody, including Turner, use something else. So the question is if the horst is so great under braking why it is not used where braking counts most (on a downhill bike)? I am just asking :) maybe somebody will explain this little mistery to me

(and I read interviews from many pro-downhillers saying that they do not want to use floating brakes on, e.g., single pivots, because they do not want the braking to be neutral since it encourages pitching forward ...).
I'm glad to see that you are conceding that when the braking is neutral, the frame will rotate forward. Neutral also means that there is neither brake squatting nor jacking, so you should cease talking about jacking associated with horst bikes. In fact they have a moderate amount of squatting--not enough to overcome the rear extension that naturally accompanies deceleration.

As for downhill racers, well they are another breed from us ordinary citizens. They actually use their brakes very little if they are any good. And when they do use them they care less about maintaining rear traction--they can handle some skidding and jumping around--and care more about maintaining a more consistent steeriing angle.

I personally am not willing to risk my body for the sake of speed the way the downhillers do. I want to be able to slow the bike down a lot in scary, twisty, loose rock descents. The best way to do that is to use a lot of rear brake in order to have stable front traction and a horst type bike lets me use a lot of rear brake without losing rear traction.
 
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