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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read that a lighter rider can ride more agressivley with a lighter xc bike with less travel than a heavier rider. So does this mean that a heavier rider should have more travel to ride the same aggresive style. does a clyde blow through the travel faster than the average weight rider? should a clyde stick to the longer travel bikes like a prophet vs a rush , or a dawg vs a kikapu, or heckler vs. a super light? MORE RIDER WEIGHT = MORE TRAVEL NEEDED? is there really a draw back of too much travel(4" vs 6") with todays platform shocks? (sorry a lot of questions at once).
 

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pronounced may-duh
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No because a shock can be adjusted for any riders weight. Ride what you like. I ride with 5" front and rear cause I like a cushy ride but want to keep the weight under control. Plenty of people in my area on fully rigid bikes. And they have fun also. So ride what YOU like and just have fun.
 

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noMAD man
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There is no absolute formula. Generally there are some issues that should be addressed by some riders...like a really heavy, aggressive rider not being well suited to some uber-lite carbon fiber XC racing bike...but even then, it's not an absolute in every case. Personally I think that logically a rider would enjoy and be more capable on the longest travel, lightest weight bike that he could get away with for most types of riding, but then you get many riders with different preferences who classify weight over travel...others who'll value travel over weight...and on and on. In fact this kind of discussion gets many posters on this forum into a downright tizzy, often resulting in flame wars...LOL! But really, there's just no clear answer to your question. There are so many variables for different rider skill level, where people ride, and the kind of bike people like to use for their type of riding. I ride a 33lb. Nomad, but for some unknown reason, I don't see everyone else riding the same exact bike as mine. What's wrong with these people?...LOL!
 

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Interesting query

And there doesn't seem to be a good answer. Like Maida said, you should be able to tune a fork or shock to a given rider's weight. My guess would be that adjusting an 80mm fork to respond appropriately to a 250 lb rider would give a harsher ride over technical terrain than a 120 mm fork adjusted to the same rider. There is less travel to go through, so in theory, the ride would have to be firmer, therefore more harsh. (I think??). there also has to be a point of diminishing return on travel vs weight. In essence, the 250 lb rider might find that 5 inches of travel is perfect for aggressive, technical riding, whereas 7 inches is too much.

I'm not an engineer, so please understand that this is just my thoughts based on what my twisted mind sees as logic. Hopefully someone who knows engineering, physics and suspension will be along soon to give a more definitive reply.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
currently I ride a HT therefore I really don't have first hand knowldge of the difference in 2" of rear travel or any rear travel ; that is why I asked the question. Generally I believe that longer travel bikes are built a little stronger which should benifit a clyde. Do you really feel more squishy peddling a 5" or 6" travel bike when you have a platform shock than a 4" travel bike or is the suspension felt mostly when hitting a rooty section , a rock garden, or taking a nice drop?
 

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A lighter rider has less inertia and stands a better chance of changing their line to avoid an object. Your arms and legs are suspension, and skinny arms and legs are potentially better suspension due to having less unsprung mass. Obviously there is a lot more to it than that.

Your arms and legs have huge travel, but very simplistic damping and slow rebound. :D They are a great complement to your bikes suspension, but at speed, they don't make the best primary suspension. At walking/jogging speed they are pretty good.

More suspension (up to a point) will always make you faster over ruff terrain no matter what you weigh. It also frees up your arms and legs so you can pump the terrain and allows you to concentrate on distributing you weight to maximize cornering traction.

The only person who knows what is the right amount of travel for you is...... you. If in doubt 5 or 5.5" is a good place to start, if you want to do biger drops (5 feet and up) then 6+ is the way to go. There really is a big difference between 4 and 6" of travel.
 

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Agreed. To work properly the suspension needs to be set up for the rider's weight and riding style no matter how much travel ti design allows.

On the question of how much travel is needed, ... ZERO. Suspension is not required to ride off road.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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shiggy said:
Agreed. To work properly the suspension needs to be set up for the rider's weight and riding style no matter how much travel ti design allows.

On the question of how much travel is needed, ... ZERO. Suspension is not required to ride off road.
zero? thats just crazy talk
 

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rekibtm said:
currently I ride a HT therefore I really don't have first hand knowldge of the difference in 2" of rear travel or any rear travel ; that is why I asked the question. Generally I believe that longer travel bikes are built a little stronger which should benifit a clyde. Do you really feel more squishy peddling a 5" or 6" travel bike when you have a platform shock than a 4" travel bike or is the suspension felt mostly when hitting a rooty section , a rock garden, or taking a nice drop?
What you need to do is rent yourself a few different full suspension bikes and see how you like them. Take one out for a full day of riding on some good trails not just a spin in a parking lot. Like I said before everybody is different. Ride what YOU like and have fun.
 

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noMAD man
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C'mon shiggy...

shiggy said:
Yes, they are - on my bikes.
Show us that famous pic of those...unique...mountainbikes in the bed of that truck.:D Not my kind of bike(s) but cool nonetheless.
 

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Ride Instigator
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Something Like That...

rekibtm said:
I have read that a lighter rider can ride more agressivley with a lighter xc bike with less travel than a heavier rider. So does this mean that a heavier rider should have more travel to ride the same aggresive style. does a clyde blow through the travel faster than the average weight rider? should a clyde stick to the longer travel bikes like a prophet vs a rush , or a dawg vs a kikapu, or heckler vs. a super light? MORE RIDER WEIGHT = MORE TRAVEL NEEDED? is there really a draw back of too much travel(4" vs 6") with todays platform shocks? (sorry a lot of questions at once).
Generally speaking, frames that provide 5 or 6" of travel are built sturdier then the 4" travel frames so in this case, longer travel would be better suited for a heavier rider.

I suppose I could build up a SC Superlight and set up the suspension for my 200lb self but I'd have to ride it a little more carefully then a 160lb rider would. If I slammed a Superlight around like I do my 5" Heckler I'm sure I'd break that frame in no time.

You're right though, a lighter rider can get away with riding more aggressively on a light XC bike but it has more to do with frame construction then amount of travel available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
maida7 where can you rent MTB's I have never inquired but do LBS usually rent bikes. I thought that was more so only in MTB destinations like moab and whistler? thanks to everyone for some good points on suspension! and steve71 what would be the benefit of say a rush over a prophet it they both felt good?
 

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What's up TNC?

One problem with having a long travel bike is weight and the cost to keep that weight down. Also, longer travel bikes sap energy from the rider more than short travel ones, especially in the climbs (with improved designs, stable platform shocks, lockouts etc. efficiency has improved greatly). On the other hand, nothing beats a long travel ride to smooth out rough trails at high speed. Big drops don't require as much skill to tackle and having a lot of travel can save your &^* when you screw up.

Short travel bikes are more efficient and offer a crisper ride with more trail feedback. This comes with less high speed control over rough sections.

It really comes down to rider preference on specific types of trails and what you expect out of riding. Having too much suspension might smooth out the trail too much, taking the challenge and fun out of it. On the other hand lack of suspension on a really rocky trail is an exercise in sadism. Personally, I would select a bike based on what trail you will be riding the most; probably the one closest to your house. Hang out at the trailhead and talk to people that have the same riding interests and find what they like/don't like about their bikes. Your LBS is a good source of information as well since they will most likely be avid bikers. This way you can get the right tool for the job based on your riding style and the trails you will be riding most.
 

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rekibtm said:
I have read that a lighter rider can ride more agressivley with a lighter xc bike with less travel than a heavier rider. So does this mean that a heavier rider should have more travel to ride the same aggresive style. does a clyde blow through the travel faster than the average weight rider? should a clyde stick to the longer travel bikes like a prophet vs a rush , or a dawg vs a kikapu, or heckler vs. a super light? MORE RIDER WEIGHT = MORE TRAVEL NEEDED? is there really a draw back of too much travel(4" vs 6") with todays platform shocks? (sorry a lot of questions at once).
I don't think so. If anything, probably less travel frames and fork would be stronger. Some bikes are tougher than others (I would prefer a Heckler to a Superlight). But probably I would prefer a Rush over a Prophet. It just depends on the type of terrain. The heckler is a tougher frame than a Superlight, regardless of travel. I think the Rush and the Prophet are clyde worthy, it just depends if you do weird stuff, or more XC stuff.

Edit: Probably shock type is more important. Coil is better for heavier riders than air. I'm planning on buying a DHX 5.0 coil to replace a RP3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
when you set up a shock for a clyde does the 6" bike start to feel more like a 4" travel bike .say a prophet and rush because they are both clyde worthy. Would you get more trail feed back because tge shock is set firmer so it feel like an average ride on a shorter travel bike. I have spoke to a lot of local riders about thier bikes and what the like. I don't particullary remembering anyone say they wanted less trvel , one guy did say he wished he had 5" dawg insted of the 4" dawg.
 
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