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Discussion Starter · #222 ·
Nah, but I will tell you what made my day… stretching the legs on my overbuilt supersprung heavy ass bike while pedaling fire roads today.
I'm guessing watching that made a lot of peoples day as well.
 

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Ah yes, but shorter travel bikes can have more control in rough terrain when set up with better suspension....
Can you elaborate? Do you have an example in mind? Are we talking downhill or uphill?

I used to also own a down country 130/120. You are right for sure that for 75% of the riding it can perform close to the enduro bike. I do feel mentally I ride may be with slight reservations on the shorter bike. May be I just dont feel mentally as safe at bottom out. One example is a big flight of stairs near my house. I still jump off of it ok on the down country bike, but much more cautiously. With the bigger bike, i usually aim at the edge and full sent. Until bikes like the Transition Spur came out, most short travel 120mm bikes have sharper head angles that compard to slack head angles, were just less stable to my intermediate level skills. The big bikes were the only ones that were widely available with such stability geometry. Personally I end up having more fun with big bike after the climb. And confidence/ no reservation is often time the difference that make features fun for my level.

ymmv.
 

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There's a couple flow/jump trails close to me. Nothing crazy, biggest table is maybe 20 ft. The sort of thing I can ride on any bike. I'm tied for the KOM on both. I figured my 120mm bike would be faster because the 160mm bike is complete overkill. However, both KOM's are on the big bike. It has me rethinking the idea that the big bike needs really rough descents to start to become an advantage.
 

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Reminds me, I used to play a lot of golf and people always are annoyed by the guy with a 35 handicap with a bag of clubs that cost $6k. Or has a 35 handicap and thinks he can play blade irons. It happens in every sport/hobby.

For me, it's all in fun. i give my buddies a hard time for having enough travel to drop out of a helicopter on some of the flattest trails in the country. In turn, they give me a hard time for having titanium rotor bolts and wearing my bike kit for a team that I rarely place higher than mid pack for.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Can you elaborate? Do you have an example in mind? Are we talking downhill or uphill?

I used to also own a down country 130/120. You are right for sure that for 75% of the riding it can perform close to the enduro bike. I do feel mentally I ride may be with slight reservations on the shorter bike. May be I just dont feel mentally as safe at bottom out. One example is a big flight of stairs near my house. I still jump off of it ok on the down country bike, but much more cautiously. With the bigger bike, i usually aim at the edge and full sent. Until bikes like the Transition Spur came out, most short travel 120mm bikes have sharper head angles that compard to slack head angles, were just less stable to my intermediate level skills. The big bikes were the only ones that were widely available with such stability geometry. Personally I end up having more fun with big bike after the climb. And confidence/ no reservation is often time the difference that make features fun for my level.

ymmv.
Yep,

A 130/120 bike with the proper sized stanchions, leverage curve, coil shock, etc., could take a flight of stairs just fine. A spindly 25lb bike with a lightweight air fork, Fox DPS in the rear and XC wheeset/tires would be comparatively horrible on the same section.

Head angle is highly overrated. With giant wagon-wheels and wide bars, if you are endoing you need to buy some more skills. Its more likely you are endoing because you are letting the wheel go sideways and not holding the bars straight, vs. actually flipping upside down on an obstacle, assuming proper skill of weight shift.

But back to the point about travel. If your bike is built well enough, with decent suspension or custom tune, you can often punch above your weight, where a bike in the next class may have more travel, but the suspension on it doesn't actually work better. Even my 4" XC bike with a good shock setup is pretty amazing on how fast I can ride it, vs. a poor setup. In many cases, people just don't know that their suspension holds the bike back. There's something to be said for skills of course, but as you get nearer the limit, you can only do so much with a bike that is out of control.
 

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Yep,

A 130/120 bike with the proper sized stanchions, leverage curve, coil shock, etc., could take a flight of stairs just fine. A spindly 25lb bike with a lightweight air fork, Fox DPS in the rear and XC wheeset/tires would be comparatively horrible on the same section.

Head angle is highly overrated. With giant wagon-wheels and wide bars, if you are endoing you need to buy some more skills. Its more likely you are endoing because you are letting the wheel go sideways and not holding the bars straight, vs. actually flipping upside down on an obstacle, assuming proper skill of weight shift.

But back to the point about travel. If your bike is built well enough, with decent suspension or custom tune, you can often punch above your weight, where a bike in the next class may have more travel, but the suspension on it doesn't actually work better. Even my 4" XC bike with a good shock setup is pretty amazing on how fast I can ride it, vs. a poor setup. In many cases, people just don't know that their suspension holds the bike back. There's something to be said for skills of course, but as you get nearer the limit, you can only do so much with a bike that is out of control.
This is a great post
 

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Its more likely you are endoing because you are letting the wheel go sideways and not holding the bars straight, vs. actually flipping upside down on an obstacle, assuming proper skill of weight shift.
I don't know about this
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Exactly. Is it adding some stability? Sure. Is it the reason for an endo? No freaking way IMO. That's improper weight placement or tech terrain that whipped the bars crooked. I found someone passed out from a concussion that let the front wheel go sideways off a 1.5 foot roller last year. Was obvious given their position on the ground and the bike. I was around when we transitioned to 29er wheels and guys on 29er XC FS bikes were all of a sudden keeping up with us at South Mountain on the gnar terrain (and I ain't talking about National). They can roll and roll and roll and their HTA was crazy steep. That place is wheel-catcher/tech central and while there have been some helpful things, I'll say it again, HTA is blown way out of proportion. It's definitely below wheel size, bar/stem length, dropper post, weight shift as far as important things IME for clearing tech terrain. Not that I'm advocating steep 72 HTA, I'm just saying that a few degrees does not have the effect that some people claim, in that it's somehow magically preventing endos. I think the other factors have a LOT more to do with endos than HTA.
 

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I was riding down flights of stairs on bikes from 20-25 years ago so I don’t think head angle is an issue.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Can't remember the last time a step sent me over the bars... more stuffing saddle into the backside.

Not many bomb holes on steps.

Sent from my Asus Rog 3
 

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Combat Wombat
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Exactly. Is it adding some stability? Sure. Is it the reason for an endo? No freaking way IMO. That's improper weight placement or tech terrain that whipped the bars crooked. I found someone passed out from a concussion that let the front wheel go sideways off a 1.5 foot roller last year. Was obvious given their position on the ground and the bike. I was around when we transitioned to 29er wheels and guys on 29er XC FS bikes were all of a sudden keeping up with us at South Mountain on the gnar terrain (and I ain't talking about National). They can roll and roll and roll and their HTA was crazy steep. That place is wheel-catcher/tech central and while there have been some helpful things, I'll say it again, HTA is blown way out of proportion. It's definitely below wheel size, bar/stem length, dropper post, weight shift as far as important things IME for clearing tech terrain. Not that I'm advocating steep 72 HTA, I'm just saying that a few degrees does not have the effect that some people claim, in that it's somehow magically preventing endos. I think the other factors have a LOT more to do with endos than HTA.
Definitely agree. MY first 29er was a Vassago Jabberwocky frame that I built up in 2008. One of the great things I really loved about that bike after riding nothing but 26" XC race bikes for 17 years, was that it felt like it would take some serious effort to endo. Between the big wheels and "Wet Cat" geometry, it did not take long to get used to being able to drop the front down over stuff that would have had me eating dirt on every other bike I ever owned. And that was with a rigid fork, 675mm bars and a 71 degree HTA.
 

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My current build is based on a 2014 Vitus Sentier hardtail frame. 27.5 wheels, 120 fork, somewhere around 1130mm wheelbase. I bomb down flights of stairs, and steeps I struggle to walk down. It's not the bike that's holding me back.
 
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