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Best rear travel for a cross-country FS bike?

  • 25%

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • 50%

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • 75%

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • 100%

    Votes: 12 70.6%
  • 100+%

    Votes: 2 11.8%
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mtbr member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a full-suspension cross-country and all-mountain bike, how much rear travel do you think is best, as compared with the front travel, and why?

If "it depends", then what does it depend on?
 

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noMAD man
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12,220 Posts
You might need to clarify what your percentage numbers are signifying. I'm taking that it means if your front fork travel is 6", then a rear wheel travel of 6" is a 100% comparison. Whereas a 6" fork compared to a 6.5" rear travel would be 100+%. Is that it?

One general "depends", at least IMO, is that when bikes get to 6" of travel and bigger, the rear travel can exceed the front travel to a fair degree because most of these types of long travel bikes run a decent amount of sag. Plus, the ratio of differential for long travel bikes between the fork and rear travel is smaller. As you go below 6" of travel, I think bikes generally perform better when the front and rear travel are equal or maybe even a little more travel in the fork than in the rear. I don't have scientific or engineering data to support this...just my opinion from riding lots of different combinations. Personal preference obviously can often rear its ugly head right about now.:D
 

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454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that's what I mean. With a 6" fork, 3" rear travel is 50% of front travel. And anything over 6" rear would be "100+%".

I can indeed imagine that 6" or more travel is another story than for say 4" bikes when it comes to travel difference between front and rear. With "cross-country and all-mountain", I guess I didn't have anything over 5" in mind, but of course one can have more travel than that - and also define those words in a different way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks both of you.

I was thinking that with all these softtails and hardtails, there might be a real, bigger need for travel up front. Then I thought that it might indeed be so, but that doesn't mean that some more rear travel isn't even better, if one can just design and tune it properly. The front might take more big hits, but that doesn't mean the rear sometimes also takes big hits. And I am often resting heavier on the saddle than on the handlebar. So my current view is that I would like as much rear travel as front travel.

I will keep my eyes open for theories about this.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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6,766 Posts
Depends on design.

anden said:
For a full-suspension cross-country and all-mountain bike, how much rear travel do you think is best, as compared with the front travel, and why?

If "it depends", then what does it depend on?
Some designs feel firmer than others with the same travel. Some suspension designs are more stable handling than others too.

These days the higher end versions of each model from a manufacturer are usually very well tuned in fork and shock for their travel.

I like the same travel front and rear, or possibly slightly more rear travel due to the rear weight bias of bikes.

:p
 

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Right now I'm running my Trance w/ a REBA @115mm travel setting and like ti this way, so I guess I'm in the 100%+ segment. Rear suspension the Trance just seems so much more that most people are running115-130mm forks with them to match the plushness of the rear.
 
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