Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What I'm describing are 130mm travel or less bikes that weigh 30 or more pounds. They're usually the more affordable builds of a specific model.

I've seen people mention if you are buying 30+ pound bike, might as well get one that has more travel. Is this general true, or are there benefits to picking the shorter travel bike with same weight?

I'm got major case of new bike fever. But there are no bikes to buy or demo right now. So I'm nerding out on little details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I have a 120mm bike that is about 33lbs as well as a 160mm bike that weighs about 37lbs.

Climbing uphill on a fire road doesn’t make much of a difference as I sit and spin. The difference is on technical or rolling terrain, the lighter, shorter and less travel bike is just easier to manage.
I would say that tyres make a bigger difference then weight, fasting rolling rear tyre accounts for a lot in my book.

It’s the characteristics of each bike that makes the biggest difference though. The shorter travel bike is shorter overall (CS too), steeper head angle and a higher BB which when combined means the bike is a lot more agile, energetic and easier to ride on mellow trails. Also easier to have fun as you don’t need to pin it all the time.

The bikes intended use is likely to be different for a 120mm bike compared to a 140mm bike and therefore they will ride differently, regardless of weight. There’s always exceptions to the rule of course though.
Good luck finding a bike :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
I ride a hardtail (140mm fork) that weighs probably close to 33 pounds (I’m afraid to weigh it). My enduro bike weighs ~37 pounds. I do huge rides on both.

The only place I notice their weight is on flatter, smoother, rolling terrain.

So I don’t ride flat, smooth, rolling terrain.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
40,988 Posts
The amount of travel makes a pretty big difference in how easy it is to pedal a bike. If you aren't going hard or your trails don't call for it, it's just extra weight and travel you are hauling around. The frame has to be a little heavier along with longer shocks and everything else to have more travel. All the marketing would love to have you believe that some long travel bike "pedals like a lighter bike" or "pedals like a short travel bike", but it's all BS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,658 Posts
IMO, there is a difference in how bikes ride, that is dependent on suspension travel.

At the same weight, geo, tires, etc, a shorter travel bike should almost always feel a bit more sprightly, especially when pumping. So that can be desirable.

That said, to an extent, more travel doesn’t weigh much. So that’s fairly true.

I mean, a Lyrik at 140mm travel weighs almost exactly the same as a lyrik at 170mm. And shocks with the same eye to eye length but longer stroke don’t weigh much more either. But it’s the little differences that add up that add weight. Like thicker casing tires because you’re carrying more speed because you can monster truck a bit more with 30mm more travel, and the larger rotors and brakes, or the piggyback shocks you’ll probably want on longer descents.

And, more travel does offer a bit more margin for error (again, all things equal). So I see the argument for getting it for “free”. But again, even at the same weight, I don’t think the same exact bike, with different suspension travels will feel exactly the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,126 Posts
My Banshee Phantom V3 weighs in at 32lb's...

It's got 115mm travel out back paired w/ 140mm Lyrik Ultimate... tires are Dissectors 2.6/2.4 rear is Exo+, front straight Exo casing.

Bike has nice steep seat angle, short travel which aids pedalling... but, the weight keeps it from being a scalded monkey on the climbs.

It's still relatively efficient though.

Thing is a beast on the downs.

Punches way above it's numbers.

Re, shorter travel bikes being heavier.

Cheap bikes are heavier... if they have a lot of travel, they'll be heavier yet again.

Sent from my Asus Rog 3
 

·
No Clue Crew
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
Does a heavy short-travel bike make sense? Personally, the answer to your question is ”no.” Having owned varieties of both, lighter is definitely better in a shorter-travel package.

As travel gets longer, I care less about weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,865 Posts
Do heavier, short travel bikes make sense?

I've seen people mention if you are buying 30+ pound bike, might as well get one that has more travel. Is this general true, or are there benefits to picking the shorter travel bike with same weight?
It depends on what kind of riding you want to do.

Light/Less Travel ➡ Heavy/More Travel
XC ➡ Trail ➡ Enduro ➡ Downhill

Heavy/Less Travel? Gravel, paved path, compromise to one of the above?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,252 Posts
My bikes are as light as I can afford and as heavy as they need to be to survive me riding them.

It's not a theoretical dilemma for me. I've figured out over time what my tires need to weigh to survive, how stiff my fork needs to be at 130mm, etc. My XXL Tallboy is a bit over 29 lbs. If a 24 lbs bike would survive then I would ride that.

Why not get a longer travel 30 lbs bike?... because a 30 lbs 160mm bike wouldn't last long for me. A Pike works for me at 130mm but it's too flexy at 160mm. To get a 160mm bike to weigh the same as my 130mm bike, it would have to be built with weaker components than my 130mm bike. So it goes back to running the lightest components that meet your strength, handling and budget criteria.
 

·
damned rocks...
Joined
·
2,805 Posts
Making sense or not it's irrelevant, you get what you pay. Short travel bikes that are heavier are cheaper, short travel bikes that are lighter are more expensive and that's it.
Lighter and better components are more expensive there is nothing new about it.
Does 3kg makes a difference, sure it does, but in my opinion the biggest difference comes from the better performance that usually the more expensive and lighter components have, say a 3Kg Suntour coil fork with steel stanchions and thick aluminum lowers vs a 1.5Kg RS Sid Ultimate with magnesium lowers, or cheap and heavy drivetrain with bad tolerances like budget friendly SRAM stuff vs SRAM AXS drivetrain.
Does cheap means bad, no, the same way expensive doesn't equals good, but generically speaking, better components are more expensive, lighter and perform better.
What I'm trying to say it is that the biggest penalty to performance on heavier (and cheaper) bikes doesn't come from the extra weight, but from the inferior performance of the cheaper (and heavier) components.
 

·
Advanced Slacker
Joined
·
15,778 Posts
Yes, it can totally make sense.

Get the travel and design you want. Then get the performance you want from the components. Then worry about weight as your wallet allows.

If you want a short travel bike, get one. And if the build you can afford is heavy, so be it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,663 Posts
So many variables to this...

For me, a shorter travel bike built to take abuse makes sense, but it's not for everybody.

I currently have 1 mountain bike, so I need it to be efficient and light enough that it doesn't feel like a tank on XC trails with my kids, but capable enough to handle my weight (205lbs) and rowdier trails.

I added weight to my bike to gain versatility and durability, better suspension (for me), heavier duty wheels and tires. I tried my best to balance durability/performance/weight/efficiency. I contemplated going with a DVO Diamond for added stiffness and ability to go above 140mm if I ever decide to move it to a longer travel bike. But I decided to go with the Sapphire D1 to keep weight in check and get nearly all of the performance and swapped the DPS for a Topaz T3. The I9 Enduro Hydra aluminum system wheels take abuse, have the width I want and have a very reasonable weight. The Dissector tires roll great, good cornering traction have a reasonable weight and plenty durable for me.

If I kept the Fox Factory suspension on the bike, went with I9 Trails, and Rekon/Forekaster tires, I could take 1.5-2 pounds off the bike.

But that would require me to give up a lot of versatility and desired performance of the bike and I would need to loose 20 pounds...
 

·
Advanced Slacker
Joined
·
15,778 Posts
I've seen people mention if you are buying 30+ pound bike, might as well get one that has more travel. Is this general true, or are there benefits to picking the shorter travel bike with same weight?
The problem with that premise is that the longer travel comparable bike at the same weight is likely more money.

This also makes the erroneous assumption that the main reason anyone picks a shorter travel bike is weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,268 Posts
My 165mm mixed wheel bike with coil shock and Z1 fork weighs 36lbs. My 135mm bike with air shock and mrp fork weighs 32 lbs. I don’t go for light weight builds because i weigh 200lbs and charge hard. I really enjoy the lighter shorter travel bike, but its still fairly heavy for a trail bike. Maybe i could have saved a pound or two by spending an extra $1K but it rides awesome. So another vote for: get the travel amount and geo you want, then get the weight down as much as you can afford but don’t worry too much about it.
 

·
Formerly of Kent
Joined
·
14,154 Posts
The amount of travel makes a pretty big difference in how easy it is to pedal a bike. If you aren't going hard or your trails don't call for it, it's just extra weight and travel you are hauling around. The frame has to be a little heavier along with longer shocks and everything else to have more travel. All the marketing would love to have you believe that some long travel bike "pedals like a lighter bike" or "pedals like a short travel bike", but it's all BS.
After watching a lot of people ride and taking some skills courses, I think a lot of people just think the bike should do all of the work for them. Some people literally do nothing to help the bike get over obstacles in the trail.

Example: I was coming down a Front Range descent recently and was gradually catching a guy in front of me. He was just slamming into everything in sight. No hip movement, minimal pumping. Maybe this dude was doing suspension testing. But we get to the bottom, and he has a slow leak in his rear tire, which was a DHR in what I presume was the DD casing (he was on a Megatower with a Zeb), and I stop to ask if he needs any help and to seat some food. He was on a Megatower with a Zeb.

I'm on a <23lb, 120mm bike with 2.4 Rekon Races.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,421 Posts
Yes.

Short travel bikes made easier trails a lot of fun. They are easy to boost and reward you for riding well and punish you for making mistakes. I find them a very engaging ride experience.

But there generally is a direct correlation between weight and durability. If you are a rider who breaks stuff then picking a heavier more durable bike makes sense. A Norco Optic is a perfect example of a heavy but awesome short travel bike.
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top