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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hope i can get some feed back on this so i can finalise my frame choice.

coming from an xc backgound on a hardtail i find myself pushing harder and harder on the down sections. i am now at the point where it is starting to get outta control. tested a stumpy fsr last year and did it make a difference. wasnt expecting it to be so good on the technical climbing where my hard tail starts kicking out on the rear wheel and of coarse it is forgiving on the bumpy sections coming down. i love jumping off stuff, anything in my way, and will challenge the odd drop. so i know its time to upgrade before the enivitable mouthfull of dirt.
the most read threads seem to be the ones titled "how much travel?" or anything with 6" in it. i dont want to start a riot about how much travel is neccessary because every bike has its purpose and i see some guys doing some serious stuff on the right hardtail.
originaly i thought it was all about the lengh of travel and gave up on the 4" category almost immediately. then i started to pay more attention to geometry. i started to get sucked into the 6" category after a short test ride on the scott ransom which was mind blowing for me as it felt like i could get away with murder, but at a price, literaly and due to the weight and fact that it is a lot of bike as an allrounder.
but then i read about some guys who ride 4x bikes with 4" of travel and they love them not just for their intended use but also for xc, dh and basicaly they seem to be good fun and good at everything.
my question to anybody who has experience is:
how much will i sacrifice if i go for a 4x with 4"ish of travel compared to a 5.5"/6"?
i am looking for a good allround bike that i can still climb with, jump, descend, and progress on my droppoffs etc. i really want to progress my allround allmountain skills and dont want to buy a bike i will regret in a years time. i was originaly thinking of a longer travel bike to give me a bit of a cushion and margin of error as i develop my skills.
my general concerns are buying a bike that i will do things on and end up blowing the shock or breaking the frame. i cant help trying something to see if i can make it.

i have tested a stumpy fsr but found it too xc and not to upset anyone but it was boring. i've still got my hardtail for the long non technical xc rides. i didnt like the feel of the giant reign or trance. the ransom was awesome but it is probably more than i need and defo more than i can afford.

i am considering the 2006 s-works enduro frame cause it is on special and i can test ride one in 10 days. many riders say it is great on the downs and average on the ups.

i have heard great things about the orange 5 and meta 5.5 but can only test the meta 5.5.2 same time as the enduro. my concerns with these are how much can they handle? they are trail bikes i believe.

the santa cruz heckler has got great reviews from pretty much all the people in the review section and it is cheaper than the blur 4x

and for the 4x option i would look at the santa cruz blur 4x as the commencal is too low for xc use.

i have just bought a 454 pike to fit, so i need to stay within the front travel of 140mm which i know the 4x will be perfect for.

and now i have a cramp in my hand from this life story so big up and big airs to all.
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have been looking at bikes in my budget. the enduro would be the best deal but the rider reviews are hit and mis. the comencal meta 5.5 would be my ideal budget limit but i cant rule out the orange 5, blur 4x and heckler for little extra outlay now if its gonna be the right buy. i like the cove hustler but i have to draw the line somewhere and the nomad and 6.6 are just too much. the 575 is an option but havent done enough research there.
 

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A teammate of mine last season had a Blur 4x and a Nomad. He races dh, 4x/ ds and does the occasional epic trail ride. He sold the Nomad b/c it wasn't as fun to ride as the 4x, and he's got a dh bike for lift/ shuttle days.
I built my own version by picking up a used C'dale Gemini and switching to a shorter stroke and i2i air shock. Paired with the u-turn Pike, it's a great do it all bike. If I had the dough tho, I'd have gotten a Blur 4x.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dbabuser-dont even know how to say that dude
looks like i keep hearing good things about the blur 4x and i only stumbled across it in a 6" related thread. fun is what i am looking for most. dont get to ride as long as i used to, commitments, so know i have shorter harder rides and just blast anything in my way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the dawg was one of the first bikes i looked at but hardly anyone seems to ride them so i cant get feed back from rider reviews. my lbs stock them but they dont do test rides. the frames are not cheap, same as a heckler and just short of the blur 4x
 

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Personally on my trails that are loose and littered with babyheads a 4x bike just isn't fun. When it's smooth with more jumps, berms, and smooth large rocks as opposed to the chop fest I ride in then a 4x bike is sick.

Personally, I like 6-7" bikes a lot. They can really push it on the descents and they climb alright too. I say keep a cheap XC bike around and then have a 7" bike for the descents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah, that was my only concern about the 4x. its the rocky stuff that throws me out on my hardtail. i dream of cruising through the ruff stuff. but then i need decide whether to jump through the 5.5" on offer ie meta 5.5 and look at the spesh endro 2006
 

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Honestly, the most important thing is geometry. Then travel.

A 4X bike will ride well because it's meant for going DH, but it still doesn't have the travel.

Something like a Meta is totally a XC-trail bike that's NOT designed for DH at all. It would really really suck for it, because it's meant for climbing and cruising easy singletrack.

The Enduro, on the otherhand, it INSANELY fast on the DH (like really really fast) and it can climb alright too. That's the type of bike I would look at: lowslung so you don't hit your nuts all the time, slack-ish geo, and a confidence inspiring build.
 

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juan pablo said:
yeah, that was my only concern about the 4x. its the rocky stuff that throws me out on my hardtail. i dream of cruising through the ruff stuff. but then i need decide whether to jump through the 5.5" on offer ie meta 5.5 and look at the spesh endro 2006
You'll have fun on the Heckler. It can be built up as a light-weight XC machine, or can be beefed up to a lightweight freeride bike. The Blur 4x would be a fun bike, but only on fast, flowy trails with jumps and berms.

You may want to look at the Cannondale Prophet MX series. They have one model that is like a Blur 4x, and another model like the Heckler.

But really, everything is personal preferance and you are doing a good thing by demoing as meny bikes as possible. I know some guys that take 4" XC race bikes off 5 foot drops to flat and others who own 10" Downhill race bikes who don't do anything over 3'.

Whatever you get, have fun on it! :thumbsup:
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
to be honest the more good things i can hear about the enduro the better. its the cheapest frame option at the mo if i get one while its on sale and in stock. i keep steering to the enduro cause i think it will offer the confidence ispiring feel i need to progress. best of all i will be testing one when i get home in 10 days. just hope it climbs ok
 

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Ojai Bicyclist said:
Honestly, the most important thing is geometry. Then travel.

A 4X bike will ride well because it's meant for going DH, but it still doesn't have the travel.

Something like a Meta is totally a XC-trail bike that's NOT designed for DH at all. It would really really suck for it, because it's meant for climbing and cruising easy singletrack.

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perhaps you should put some time on a meta 4X first, they are NOT a XC bike, the regular meta 5.5.1 might be a trail bike but the 4X has 9 different frame changes to make it stronger, better geometry and more adjustable (headtube angle)
 

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When in doubt pull out!!!
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i have a 2006 kona dawg deluxe and love it. if u picked up an 06 changed the fork, and put on a shorter stem and bash guard it would be perfect for wat u want, i ride, fr, do some steep, technical dh, and urban assault with it and it takes better then you'd think it would. that's just my 2 cents.
---todd
 

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juan pablo said:
to be honest the more good things i can hear about the enduro the better. its the cheapest frame option at the mo if i get one while its on sale and in stock. i keep steering to the enduro cause i think it will offer the confidence ispiring feel i need to progress. best of all i will be testing one when i get home in 10 days. just hope it climbs ok
I'm sure you will love the enduro.
I have a SX Trail with a single 34T chain ring and a 11-34 cassette and it still climbs o.k.
With a Front derailleur it will be more capable for all-mountain, but I have a 4.5" trail bike
for that, so I keep the SX trail with chain guide for Freeride and DH.
The Enduro and SX series are capable of climbing and very very confidence inspiring.
I just switch my Tires and seat post length and ride it.

My previous bikes --> Bighit (with two 26" wheels) and a Stinky.
Both are good bikes, but the SX is just so much more fun.
 

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The Transition Preston FR sounds like the bike you need. If I ever sell mine, that's probably what I'll end up with.
 

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dbabuser said:
A teammate of mine last season had a Blur 4x and a Nomad. He races dh, 4x/ ds and does the occasional epic trail ride. He sold the Nomad b/c it wasn't as fun to ride as the 4x, and he's got a dh bike for lift/ shuttle days.
I built my own version by picking up a used C'dale Gemini and switching to a shorter stroke and i2i air shock. Paired with the u-turn Pike, it's a great do it all bike. If I had the dough tho, I'd have gotten a Blur 4x.
like this?
 

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I have a blur 4x and absolutely love it, I got the frame and fork used for 1000, and built it up over a lil time, the bike rails everything yet you can still ride it up hill, today I did an epic ride in Santa Cruz that had me doing both steep downhill, tight turns, and flowy singletrack, and the blur soaked it all up and asked for more, the heckler is a good bike, but for downhill not uphill, it pedals horribly. Im a big fan of the VPP suspension linkage (whats on the blur 4x, blur models, nomad, vpfree and v10) but never really tryed any other linkage systems. A friend of myne has a meta sumtin, and he absolutely loves it, so if you can try out some bikes, everythings gonna feel better than a hardtail. Hope this helps ya out a little bit, if you have any other questions dont be afraid to ask.
 
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