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5inch (ish) travel bikes

1922 Views 24 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  UtahSpines
Looking at making a purchase of my first FS bike.Riding a Cannondale Taurine at present.Have looked at many and have come to the conclusion that theyre are just too many bikes to chose from (not a bad thing!).Ive read countless reviews and looked at many bikes.On the basis that most bikes get more good reviews than bad,Would it be fair to say that the likes of Orange 5,Stumpjumper FSR,Norco Fluid,Cannondale Rize,Trek Fuel etc etc are all going to pretty much hit the spot and its basically going to come down to pure personal preference/taste,and that none is significantly better than the other? Any help appreciated.Thanks
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I don't have a FS rig right now either, but like you, I am thinking about getting one sometime soonish. From reading these boards it seems that all major brands have respectable suspension designs/systems, and that, like you said, it all comes down to personal preference. Ride as many bikes as you can (within your budget, if you have one), and get the one you like best. Just watch out for all that marketing hype!

Good luck!
FWIW, I love my Heckler. There are so many bikes out there though... ride as many as you can.
Also look into the Ibis Mojo (5.5"), Giant Trance (5"), Intense Tracer (5.5") and Pivot Mach 5 (5"). Good trail bikes with good suspension characteristics.
Each bike does something different or better than the others.If you can be very specific about your riding style and how you want to progress and describe that to a trusted bike dealer they will get you started.
get a name brand bike with a good shock that fits you.. fit being the most important. i dont think any of the major brands are really putting out anything thats just bad these days.
Yeti 575

I ride a Yeti 575. It has 5.75 inches of travel and believe it or not it climbs amazingly well. It is fitted with a Fox RP23. Before I bought it I check out the review on
A yeti 575 would be the ultimate but a bit out of my league unfortunately!
Yes, I think that all would fit the bill nicely. I personally would test ride as many as you can to see which one feels the best. Which ones make your short list based on aesthetics, preferences, technology, or just your gut feeling? Then test ride those again to see if one feels like it was made for you. You are in the segment with the most choices and it is a difficult one.
Check out the Felt Virtue 2. I picked up an 08 model for 1500 (msrp 2599). It has 130mm front/rear and with a few changes (xt crankset, cassette, thomson stem/post) I've got it around 25-26lbs. I'm coming from a Spesh FSR, and I can't tell you how much of a difference the Equilink has made over the FSR platform. Super impressed.
Some bikes are better than other as far as pedaling efficiency. Others descend better. Some do both very well. GT, Mongoose, Maverick, and similar bikes are very good pedalers. Ibis, Turner, and Pivot bikes are great all-around, but spendy. Giant bikes also do both well and are not as much as DW Link bikes.

People may say that companies are just using "hype" when they say their suspension stays more active in all conditions, but it's not all hype. Don't believe the "all bikes are equal" hype you may read on these forums.

"Orange 5,Stumpjumper FSR,Norco Fluid,Cannondale Rize,Trek Fuel etc etc"
The Orange 5 is not as good as the others you mentioned, IMO. The Rize climbs well but does not descend as well. The Stumpy and Fluid are perty good. The Fuel EX 7+ is great.
I also second the Felt Virtue. It's similar to the DW Link, VPP (like Santa Cruz or Intense, which are also awesome), or Giant's Maestro suspension.
just to be mentioned: ellsworth epiphany :thumbsup:
though i demo'ed it only, i can say that it's just perfect.
How much do you have to spend?

That can limit all the choices you face, as you can see, there are plenty.
Price wise i'm reckoning on about £2000 (c$3300US at todays rates)
Treadstone Assassin said:
Price wise i'm reckoning on about £2000 (c$3300US at todays rates)
$3300 USD? Hardly out of the 575's price range. Jenson has '08 frames for under $1400 right now.
Im in the UK,and you can pretty much swap pounds for dollars when it comes to buying here (regardless of the exchange rate),ie: a frame here would cost £1400,whereas you guys pay $1400.Some dealers offer builds (I couldnt do it myself,so a frame alone is out of the question),the cheapest of which is around £2800-£3000 and upwards,so thats pushing $5000 unfortunately
Stuff is expensive over there! I remember eating burgers and fries in London. The meal would cost $7 here in the USA, and 7 pounds in London. The problem was that it took about $1.90 to get one pound, so the meal really cost me $13.30.
There are so many great 5+ inch travel FS trail bikes out now.

As previously mentioned, you should definitely look at the Ellsworth Epiphany. I have my Epi set up as a trail bike with a Fox Float RLC fork and it weighs around 26.5 lbs. It can easily be built up lighter for more xc riding. The ICT suspension is awesome.

Other bikes I would consider if I were buying now would be:
Pivot Mach 5
Titus FTM
Turner Spot
Ibis Mojo (although I'm not a big fan of carbon mountain bikes, I love the way the Mojo looks)

Good luck.
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