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Say I have 3” of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5”. Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2” of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
 

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crashes in parkinglot
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I'm gonna generalize and say that the more travel the more "plush" though thats dependent on having a propperly set up shock. There are probably better desings and what not but there is probably a forum for getting into all that tech talk.

Have you ridden any FSs yet, if not try a couple out in different travel lengths and pivot desings and see what you like.

This is coming from some one who skipped over the short travel FS and went with 6" for first fully.

jchembel said:
Say I have 3" of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5". Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2" of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
 

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I wear two thongs
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EricTheRed said:
This is coming from some one who skipped over the short travel FS and went with 6" for first fully.
Thats what I just did but I kept my hardtail for the local riding.

Heres what Ive found:

My brother has a 4"travel XC bike and I have a 6" travel FR bike. My brothers bike def when pedaling on a flat surface feels more like a hardtail while my bike will induce more pedal bob. When the going gets moderatly rough the bikes handle about equal for ride quality. But when the speed is increased and the going gets a little bumpier the 6" of travel keeps the rear wheel in contact with the ground much more than the 4" travel bike. But my knowledge of FS bikes is really only limited to these two bikes.
 

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crashes in parkinglot
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agreed, thats why the forumula n+1 = the number of bikes i'd like in my stable, where n= the number i have currently.

I too have a hardtail that i ride 80% of the time, much better acceleration and climbing. The FS is for lifts, shuttles and doing stupid sh!t.
 

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Perpetually single track
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jchembel said:
Say I have 3" of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5". Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2" of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
I'm gonna go ahead and say that your reasoning there is flawed. Generally the shorter the travel a shock is, the stiffer it will be setup, therefore the harsher the ride. The inverse obviously being true in general. A longer travel fork is typically setup to be plusher. So for a given rock, say 2inches, your 3inch fork will suck up say 20% of the rock (your bikes front wheel displacement due to said rock), whilst a 5inch fork will suck up 50%. Your body has to make up for that 30% difference. Now this explanation I've pulled totally out of my ass.

I've ridden all types of bikes, HT, rigid, and a lot of FS with all types of forks up front. I'd choose a plusher ride (and have to climb the extra weight to the top) any day of the week. Plusher/bigger bikes for me are simply funner.
 

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crashes in parkinglot
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ibmkidIII said:
I'd choose a plusher ride (and have to climb the extra weight to the top) any day of the week. Plusher/bigger bikes for me are simply funner.
yeah but you're an insane hill climbing beast with quads the size of kegs.
 

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travel

Just my 2 cents.I'd rather have more than I need than less.If your are in half arse decent shape the weight penelty isn't that bad.A friend of mine who is more or less new to biking can get his 35# bike up a hill in his middle ring where I have to us my granny,same weight bike.Well,he's 35,I'm 54.But,thats no excuse.I've been off work for a year and drink......Don't got to a place like Post Canyon with a hangover and a short travel bike.Or a long travel bike when it's really hot.This is my way of saying that's a heck of a question.
 

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Old man on a bike
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Well back when I got my carbon hardtail with a suspension fork, I thought that was plush. When I got a ti softtail with a better fork, I thought that was plush. Then I got a 4" f/r Heckler and thought that was plush until I got a 5" f/r Heckler, which has now been pushed aside by a Nomad (6.3/6.5 f/r). As you are able to ride more into the sag of the suspension, I think the ride is naturally plusher. As long as you've set it up well...
 

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EricTheRed said:
yeah but you're an insane hill climbing beast with quads the size of kegs.
Ah that's sweet Eric :D ... but I have no idea where the hell you got that idea though. I just had my arse handed to me over the weekend. Maybe Anthony will do a post on it..
 

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ibmkidIII said:
Ah that's sweet Eric :D ... but I have no idea where the hell you got that idea though. I just had my arse handed to me over the weekend. Maybe Anthony will do a post on it..
nice avatar
 

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jchembel said:
Say I have 3" of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5". Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2" of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
what about setting the sag?
usually its a percentage of the total travel, more sag = plusher ride
also more travel will allow the bike to travel over obstacles easier and your ride will be less harsh. You can compensate by being a better technical rider but its so much fun bombing through a rock garden rather than gingerly picking the best route for your 3" fork
and lastly, a bigger suspension is easier on your body allowing you to ride longer
How about a poll? how many people who switched from a 2 or 3" or even hardtail suspension to Bigger (5" and over) have gone back ?
 

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jchembel said:
Say I have 3" of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5". Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2" of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
Disagree. A four rut at speed on a three inch fork will bottom it out while on a 5 inch bike you will have 1 inch to spare. Suspension should be set up so that you use 85% of it on every ride, so naturally a 6 inch suspension will be plusher than a three inch.
 

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crashes in parkinglot
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ibmkidIII said:
I hate it when someone shows up at the party with the same dress I have on.
I was thinking today (yeah the fire alarm in the house went off) that those bananas have been going at if for some time now.
 
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dan0 said:
what about setting the sag?
usually its a percentage of the total travel, more sag = plusher ride
also more travel will allow the bike to travel over obstacles easier and your ride will be less harsh. You can compensate by being a better technical rider but its so much fun bombing through a rock garden rather than gingerly picking the best route for your 3" fork
and lastly, a bigger suspension is easier on your body allowing you to ride longer
How about a poll? how many people who switched from a 2 or 3" or even hardtail suspension to Bigger (5" and over) have gone back ?
:thumbsup:

exactly.
 

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Ride on
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jchembel said:
Say I have 3" of travel. Going downhill on the rocks I utilize only a portion of that travel. The rest is used only on drops and est.
Say I have a 5". Now, downhill on the rocks I again use only the portion (a smaller) of that travel. The rest is useless unless I drop and hack.
Say I have 2" of travel. Again only a portion (a larger portion) of it is used on the harsh terrain.
So it seems to me that if I only need the suspension to smooth my ride I do not need the long travel at all. The extra travel will not make my ride more comfortable. The extra travel is only needed for the big stuff.
Am I correct?
Your assumption is that both the 3" and the 5" shocks are set for the same rate of compression, and you are testing them on a rocky downhill that doesn't have any obstacles that are too large for the 3" travel bike to handle.

What happens when you find a downhill with rocks that are too big for the 3" bike to handle? Now you have a situation where the 3" bike bottoms when the 5" bike does not. This is why it does not make sense to use the same rate of compression for these two bikes. The 3" bike has to be stiffer to avoid bottoming. Now the 5" bike feels plusher on everything since it uses more travel on all obstacles.
 
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