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Discussion Starter #1
I know the differences between the X-5 and 5-Spot have been beat up pretty good on this board but I have not heard as much talk about the Foes FXR lately.

I'm looking for a long travel trail bike (5"-6" of travel) for rough trail riding. Currently, no drops over 3 ft but its not out of the question, and a lot of tight twisty single track with steep drops and climbs. At least for the next year the frame will be paired with a Fox Talas fork. (I will most likely upgrade to an adjustable travel longer stoke fork like the Nixon or Fox 36, but not this year). I've researched this a lot, and have narrowed down my top three choices to the FXR (Ti - Currnut), X-5, and 5-spot.

I am leaning towards the FXR because I would like closer to 6 inches of travel and I like the simplicity of the single pivot design. Coming from an FSR converted to 4.75 inches of travel, I am tired of the maintenance on all the bearings and pivots.

The X-5 and 5-spot are pretty similiar except for the horst link. I like that Ventana offers the longer travel option, but I'm worried that with the relatively short Fox Talas Fork the rear end is going to feel a little to high. I also like Venanta's customer service reputation and the quality of the build. I guess I could upgrade the linkage in the future, but I'd I would prefer to get it right up front.

I guess what I'm asking is for any comments/ suggestions on these frames. Any comparsisons with the FXR woud be great. Unfortunately, test riding these bikes is not an option. The shops in my area (Houston, TX) are pretty limited. Hammerhead is the closest "real" shop that carries higher end frames; but its still a couple hours away and I don't have any road trip plans in the immediate future.
 

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Titus...

string said:
I know the differences between the X-5 and 5-Spot have been beat up pretty good on this board but I have not heard as much talk about the Foes FXR lately.

I'm looking for a long travel trail bike (5"-6" of travel) for rough trail riding. Currently, no drops over 3 ft but its not out of the question, and a lot of tight twisty single track with steep drops and climbs. At least for the next year the frame will be paired with a Fox Talas fork. (I will most likely upgrade to an adjustable travel longer stoke fork like the Nixon or Fox 36, but not this year). I've researched this a lot, and have narrowed down my top three choices to the FXR (Ti - Currnut), X-5, and 5-spot.

I am leaning towards the FXR because I would like closer to 6 inches of travel and I like the simplicity of the single pivot design. Coming from an FSR converted to 4.75 inches of travel, I am tired of the maintenance on all the bearings and pivots.

The X-5 and 5-spot are pretty similiar except for the horst link. I like that Ventana offers the longer travel option, but I'm worried that with the relatively short Fox Talas Fork the rear end is going to feel a little to high. I also like Venanta's customer service reputation and the quality of the build. I guess I could upgrade the linkage in the future, but I'd I would prefer to get it right up front.

I guess what I'm asking is for any comments/ suggestions on these frames. Any comparsisons with the FXR woud be great. Unfortunately, test riding these bikes is not an option. The shops in my area (Houston, TX) are pretty limited. Hammerhead is the closest "real" shop that carries higher end frames; but its still a couple hours away and I don't have any road trip plans in the immediate future.
Switchblade. :)
 

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Yes, the foes is a great bike and doesn't have the weight limitations that the switchblade does.

I love my FXR, geometry is awesome, seatpost adjustability is about 3.5" or so (much better than my buddy with a titus quasimoto, he can only adjust it about 1" up and down), the curnutt really pedals that good, and the frame is as stiff as all getout.

Seriously, the FXR will make any bike that you've ridden before seem "flexy". It's simply in another league of stiffness.

The cool thing about the FXR is that it uses pretty much the same geometry as a 5-spot, just with slightly more travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
shock eye to eye amd stroke on curnutt ?

I had not heard about the seat post adjustability. Thats an added bonus. I also liked the extra tire cleanance of the FXR (at least on the 2004's)

Do you know what the shock eye to eye and stroke lengths are for the currnutt. I have not been able to find that out. (I thought I head its pretty substantial for a 5-6 inch travel bike, but not sure)
 

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gonzostrike said:
you mean to say that it's almost as good as the X-5 in that department? ;)


X-5 is nice, but that's a "clamp-on" swing link, the X-5 also has much longer seat and chainstays, the FXR has impressive work on the swingarm, bottom bracket area, and shock-linkage/swinglink to maximize stiffness. It's one of their #1 priorities. Ventana builds good bikes, and with their double-bearing pivots on some bikes they do have the right state of mind for sure, but to say that it's "as stiff" might be a stretch, and saying it is stiffer...well... ;)

The ventana is probably a little lighter though, the FXR is not the lightest trail bike, mostly because of that big curnutt...

To the guy asking about eye to eye, it's about 9.33" on the FXR. Stroke is 2.25, making an ultra-low leverage rate of 2.22:1 in the 5" setting, and 2.5:1 in the 5.75"
 

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Jm you got you Ventana's mixed up, your thinking of the El Chamuco. X5 is more like a 5 Spot or a Kona Stinky. I have heard the the X5 is one stiff puppy, it also has the quad bearings.
 

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ride red said:
Jm you got you Ventana's mixed up, your thinking of the El Chamuco. X5 is more like a 5 Spot or a Kona Stinky. I have heard the the X5 is one stiff puppy, it also has the quad bearings.
thats right, i remember now. It has a rocker-linkage on it...
 

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I ride a FXR and used to live/ride in Houston. I also love my FXR, super stiff as Jm said and the Curnutt works, pedals great and still feels plush over the rough sections. Some folks feel the suspension isn't as active during braking as the 5 Spot, but I have not been able to notice any difference. That said, you might be better off with the 5 Spot for the terrain you ride, it's lighter and might be more nimble on the tight smooth ST you ride-the FXR really shines on the rougher/rocky trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FXR less plush on small bumps...what is small?

rroeder said:
I ride a FXR and used to live/ride in Houston. I also love my FXR, super stiff as Jm said and the Curnutt works, pedals great and still feels plush over the rough sections. Some folks feel the suspension isn't as active during braking as the 5 Spot, but I have not been able to notice any difference. That said, you might be better off with the 5 Spot for the terrain you ride, it's lighter and might be more nimble on the tight smooth ST you ride-the FXR really shines on the rougher/rocky trails.
Thats a good point. It seems lately (the past year or so) the trails in Houston have been getting a little rougher with lots of rain and little to no maintance. A lot of the roots that used to be burried are exposed with wash outs on one side. I do need to consider if the FXR is right for tight twisty single track.

I've heard the FXR is less plush on small bumps, but my question is what exactly is small. Are we talking gravel road small, or is a small bump a 2 or 3 inch root/rock?

I also head up to rockyhill ranch quite a bit and want something that can handle some rocks too. (not that the 5-spot can not) I think the Turner probably would work great and I'm still looking into it, but coming from a four bar suspension, I am tired of maintaining all the pivots and that worries me. If the Turner is offered with the Fox DHX that might peak my interest even more.

I also will probably upgrade to a longer travel fork in the future, and not sure if that will cause a problem with the turner. I've heard the Foes is pretty stout and should handle 6" in the front pretty well.
 

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heeeeeyuuppp.

Jm. said:
thats right, i remember now. It has a rocker-linkage on it...
righteeeee-o. and with Quad Bearing option, I'm afraid it's equal to the FXR in lateral stiffness... not SURE it is, just afraid that it probably is. ;)
 

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Ventana X-5 Head Tube junction is super stout

string said:
I also will probably upgrade to a longer travel fork in the future, and not sure if that will cause a problem with the turner. I've heard the Foes is pretty stout and should handle 6" in the front pretty well.
The X-5's head tube junction is the beefiest of any of the 5" or 6" FS rigs mentioned so far, easily will handle a 6" singlecrown, 6" dual crown or 7" dual crown. see picture below.

I think that the only other 5" or 6" FS rigs with stouter head tube junctions are the Banshee Chapparal and Scream, and nothing in Houston TX would require those burly frames, so there's no point in looking at them.
 

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string said:
I've heard the FXR is less plush on small bumps, but my question is what exactly is small. Are we talking gravel road small, or is a small bump a 2 or 3 inch root/rock?
No, it's just as plush over the smaller bumbs and more so over the bigger stuff, just make sure the Curnutt is dialed in. It has an air chamber for the platform and if you have too much pressure in it, it's firm and pedals like a hardtail but you lose some traction and small bump performance. I've found the sweet spot for the platform pressure and I think it pedals better than the 5 Spot and is just as plush over smaller stuff and more plush on the bigger hits.

Overall, the 2 bikes ride similiar, but the FXR is stiffer and a better pedaler IMO. I've never ridden a X-5 but I've heard it's not as active as the 5'er.
 

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gonzostrike said:
righteeeee-o. and with Quad Bearing option, I'm afraid it's equal to the FXR in lateral stiffness... not SURE it is, just afraid that it probably is. ;)
Just get back to me in a few years, that's the real test :D
 

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BTW, I do higly respect the X-5, definitely a top bike.


But here's the foes :D Impressive working on the BB, it actually uses a 68mm BB which is pretty tough to do with an FS bike without any fancy work around the BB like seen here...this is an 03 so it doesn't have the improved tired clearance that the 04 does;
 

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I have had a 5-spot for over a year and the maintenance on the pivots is pretty minimal. Every month or so I get out my grease gun and grease the pivots, it probably takes me 5 minutes or so. The turner pivots are leagues ahead of your old FSR pivots. I would imagine that the X5 and FXR are a little stiffer in the rear end than the 'spot.
All of them have very similar geometry, it is worth noting that the Foes runs with a short top tube and a laid back seat angle that lengthens the top tube as you bring the saddle up. My personal feeling is that all of them will ride similarly, and you would be extremely happy with any of these bikes.
Go with the one that seems to "call your name",
 

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Jm- have you caught anything on the front der. loop? I caught something a few weeks back and it pulled the housing hard enough to bend/slightly crack one side of the stop. I was able to fix it and it works fine but the crack is halfway down the stop, another snag like that I bet would break it.

Here's a shot of my 04' with a Michelin 2.2
 

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well, i did, I was running too much slack down there basically. I set it back up with less slack and it's no problem.

It's a tradeoff. The front derailer is arranged in such a way that it's set up like a Unified Rear Triangle, where the derailer is basically mounted to the rear triangle (even though the bike is not a URT) and that should provide more constant use of the front derailer. On the flip side it's kind of funky routing, but at least the cables are routed on the TOP of the downtube, rather than under.
 

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FXR rider here. I've had the bike for a year, and have put a ridiculous amount of milage on it. I jump it off drops onto flat concrete, i pedal it around town on errands, i ride single track, and even started commuting to work on it, about an hour & 15 minutes each way.

The bike is sick. stiff, nimble, and built to last. I'd highly recommend upgrading to the Ti coil to save weight, and I went w/ an air fork ('zoke Z1 FR SL, 2003) to keep the bike fast in the woods.

my ride weighs in at a hefty 33 lbs, almost 10 lbs heavier than my hardtail. being that I'm only 150 lbs, it took me a solid 6 months before I adjusted to the weight penalty, but the upside is that since i pedal this "heavy" bike as my primary ride, when i get on the gas I can attack hills like a raped ape. I feel unstopable :)
 

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nice pics, Jm... thanks.

that looks a lot like the design Banshee used for the Scream & Chaparral... rigidity gained through massive tooling and a slight offset for driveline clearance.

The X-5 actually is a great frame, but it's not for everyone. As has been discussed in other settings, it's not as "plush" (stupid arsed term) or soft feeling as many 5" travel frames. It feels most like a very rigid hardtail that absorbs the necessary bumps, but only in a directly vertical fashion, without twist or sway laterally. Against most modern SPV and fancier systems, it probably feels primitive to many riders.

I've never ridden a Foes, so that's why I had to guess at the lateral rigidity thing. Nearly got a Fly instead of my Scream, but couldn't handle spending another $800 on frame alone.
 
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