EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Looking at some FS bikes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking at some FS bikes - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Okay, the leadville 100 is mostly fireroad ...except for the 100 yrds on the approach to Twin Lakes. And yes, I've raced the Leadville 100. But the Powerline and Columbine are hardly a walk in the park in regards to what many may imagine a fire road to be. These sections are gnarly both up and down.

I race (yes, I'm spancered) mountain and cross. I race a 26er fs bike mostly. Sometimes I race a 29er ht and sometimes I race a 29er SS. But mostly I race the fs ...a titus racer x 100.

I race the fs because I'm faster overall on the titus.

However, I am not faster on the titus uphill compared to the ht.

I understand your reasoning Bushwhacker ...the fs helps maintain a more linear direction of travel over obstacles. But the fact is that the speed of uphill travel is measured in gear inches and cadence ...period.

Oh, and CO single track is not buff IMO. I think these are the "ROCKY MOUNTAINS" for a reason. They're ROCKY!
post #32 of 56
The OP should try a Titus Motolite (you can have one shipped & demo from www.competitivecyclist.com) I've read good things about them, and Titus rocks. I have a Titus RX and it's a great bike (not enough travel and HT angle too steep for OP's stated purpose, tho).

I've demoed a Blur, which I liked over square bumps and because it was not as quick steering on technical descents, but I liked the Titus better in most other situations.

When you get into bikes this nice, they're all pretty sweet. Things like set-up, geometry/fit, tires/tire pressure, conditions matter a lot when you're doing a comparison, so it's hard to sort out...
post #33 of 56
Thread Starter 
I already demoed the motolite and liked it alot. I was looking for some other ideas of what to try. I ahve a some time befor eI will be ready to buy (probably next spring). So I want to try some different bikes out.
post #34 of 56
Tim,

It doesn't sound like you need a 5" bike geared more towards light free ride. There are lots of options for lighter spec'd XC oriented 5" bikes out there. Titus, Turner, Yeti, SC, etc can all be configured more towards XC (which it sounds like you need) or all mountain/light free ride.

That said, I do think that on many 5" bikes, unless they have a seriously dropped top tube, a 19" frame will be too big for you. 5" bikes tend to get pretty tall and at 6'-2" with a 34" inseam, my '06 Dawg (19") is pushing the envelope of a good fit for me. Demo, demo, demo. You will probably be surprised to find that most 5" bikes in a 17-18" frame fit you best. FWIW, I ride 20" hardtails, but almost always drop down an inch on even 3-4" XC bikes.

You might also want to demo 3-4" XC duallies against the 5" bikes. The climbing difference really is night and day. The more travel, the slacker the geometry, the worse they climb. Simple fact. I love longer travel bikes, hate to climb and love to beat on technical terrain, but if I was riding out there on smoother trails and needed to climb more and not really descend through any really gnarly stuff constantly...I'd be sporting a lower travel FS. They just work better for that purpose.
post #35 of 56
Are you decided on a 26 inch wheel format? If so, then...

Here are some bikes that I've ridden anywhere from a lot to a little. All of them are very worthy. If you can try these I think it would be worth your time and effort:

Lenz Revelation and/or Lumberjack
Ventana X5
Ellsworth Truth and/or Epiphany
Maverick Durance
Yeti 575
Specialized Epic

Of all of those, I think that the Titus Motolite offers the best in flickability and climbing while still delivering a cush ride. The reason for this is the steeper head tube HT angle, shorter chain stay CS and four bar (FSR)linkage. What it gives up with this is the ability to be an all out descending badazz in the 5" category. Suspension travel aside... slacker HT angle and longer CS length play a big role in confident high speed descending. But the Motolite will still scream a wicked speed on the down.

Take some time to look at geometries of various bikes to get a feel of what the builder is trying to impart - then ride 'em and see what you think.

FIT FIT FIT ...I would be very adamant to test bikes that actually fit you. If you end up testing a bike that doesn't fit, then you'll have a whacked impression of how it rides. TT and appropriate stem length along with saddle height are the most important. By appropriate stem length, I mean proportional. Don't put a 90mm stem on a 24" TT XC type bike. For that matter, don't put a 120mm stem on a 22" TT XC bike just to "make" it fit. Don't run your saddle height too low like you're on a DH bike or too high so that your knee straightens out on every pedal stroke. This is over simplified ...I assume you're already clued up to proper fit - but I think it bears mentioning for the sake of others reading this also. To go on with fit... The second fit factor is proper setback for getting in the ballpark with KOPS. Last and probably very least is stand-over height. Unless you're a complete clutz, you're never gonna dismount with both feet on either side of the TT and smack your peaches on a bike with poor stand over. So don't get a smaller frame just to have good stand-over as someone else suggested. That would be very counter productive. Fit the bike to ride it - not to stand over it.

Shock set up ...figure out the proper set-up of the shocks you're testing. This will also influence your impressions a lot. If you don't have a good set-up of the shock, then the bike will feel like crapolla.

All of this means you will be investing a lot of time and effort. By the time you think you have it figured out ...the industry will throw something new out there that turns all your hard work on it's head.

Some finer points to consider:
Wheel size: 26 vs. 29 vs. 27.5
Front axle: Standards skewer or 20mm (or other)
Rear linkage: FSR, Faux Bar, ITC, Single pivot, Blah, blah blah
Shock selection: some are pretty good - some are truly great
Brakes: discs are sweet, but V brakes are lighter and less maintenance
Wheels: If you want tubeless, then do it right and get a set of stans rims.
Maintenance: Be prepared to spend over 200 bones a year to keep that rig running properly. Shocks, brakes, shifting, broken bits are all part of the regular upkeep.

...then really ask yourself and then ask again - would you be just as happy with a hard tail frame. They ride awesome (especially with 29" or even better 27.5" wheels) and are less hassle to maintain than a fs format.
post #36 of 56
Wow. just...wow.
post #37 of 56
WR, I have a lot of catching up to do to get to the volume of verbosity you and many others have attained. I figured this would be as good as any place to brain dump and catch up.
post #38 of 56
I just find it quite a stretch to go from "what FS bike should I get for trail riding and some shuttle/ lift access" to "maybe you should buy a 27.5 format hardtail."

That's how forums work though, start at point A and go to 11 pretty quick.

The post was really good, but that was...wow. Are 29'ers too pedestrian?27.5, good luck finding support for an even NEWER wheel standard.
post #39 of 56
Hey Whiteroom,

While we're on the topic, and engaged it terminal topic drift, could you spout a bit on the issue of FS vs 29"?

I'm looking for a very light efficient bike for bumpy non-technical riding.

thanks,
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt View Post
Tim,

It doesn't sound like you need a 5" bike geared more towards light free ride. There are lots of options for lighter spec'd XC oriented 5" bikes out there. Titus, Turner, Yeti, SC, etc can all be configured more towards XC (which it sounds like you need) or all mountain/light free ride.

That said, I do think that on many 5" bikes, unless they have a seriously dropped top tube, a 19" frame will be too big for you. 5" bikes tend to get pretty tall and at 6'-2" with a 34" inseam, my '06 Dawg (19") is pushing the envelope of a good fit for me. Demo, demo, demo. You will probably be surprised to find that most 5" bikes in a 17-18" frame fit you best. FWIW, I ride 20" hardtails, but almost always drop down an inch on even 3-4" XC bikes.

You might also want to demo 3-4" XC duallies against the 5" bikes. The climbing difference really is night and day. The more travel, the slacker the geometry, the worse they climb. Simple fact. I love longer travel bikes, hate to climb and love to beat on technical terrain, but if I was riding out there on smoother trails and needed to climb more and not really descend through any really gnarly stuff constantly...I'd be sporting a lower travel FS. They just work better for that purpose.
I went to my LBS yesterday for a few hours and tried out the motolite (18") and virtue 1(17.5") and those sizes seemed to work well for me. They are much more maneuverable than my hard tail. And I thought the titus had better handling than the felt. But I liked the felt slightly better oveall probably due to the much better part spec it had on it. I really didn't think the pedaling on either was all that bad with the shock fully open. And by not all that bad I mean perfectly capable of sprinting at 25mph across a gravel parking lot. Rear suspensions remain a mystery to me. I think the titus rear woudl ahve been even more to my liking if I had know how to dampen it up a bit. When I turned the Propedal on it actually made the bike handle better for me which mean (I think) that adjusting the dampening might have a similar effect. I liked the felt better fully open.

I don't think I would ever buy the virtue one simply because I don't want to worry about a carbon frame, But the Virtue 2 or 3 might be in the cards.
post #41 of 56
IMO, carbon is only for weight weenies. If you don't live to race and shave every second possible, you don't need CF or it's price tag.

I think the smaller 17-18" frames will fit you better having met you and seen your size. Despite the previous, typical Epic posting that was not only extremely long winded, overly detailed and full of improper info IMO one thing never changes: when the frame size and stand over decreases, the rest of the specs also decrease proportionally. Yes, stand over is not all you look at but also the rest of the dimensions. Either way, most 19" FS bikes will be big for you, especially in a 5+" model, unless you're really just a roadie riding an MTB on fire roads.

If you have questions on shock performance/tuning when demoing a high end bike (hell, any bike) like those ask to have them set it up for your size/weight. If the shop can't do that simple thing for you...look elsewhere.
post #42 of 56
Just FYI - dampening is what happens to your bike when you ride it through a stream (are we still allowed to do that anymore?), damping is what those adjuster knobs are for Anyway, the Propedal is a damping adjuster. Basically, it's low-speed compression damping.
post #43 of 56
Thread Starter 
Actually in the context of an oscillator dampening and damping are synonyms. I looked it up.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Josh, you got it bro. The idea of the bikes I am looking for basically what you described. Heavy duty long travel XC rig or a lighter all mountain rig for perfect long trail rides on jsut about any conditions. Maybe have a second heavy duty wheelset and 2.5" tires if I am going to do something really aggro on it. For me, IMO as a total fat wheel jong, that would a kick ass bike for some shuttle runs or whatever.
I think you need to slow down here and get your facts straight. XC is doing distance with a light and comfortable rig. Efficient and fast. All mtn denotes a heavier, longer travel (compared to an XC) bike designed for technical trails. Slower and heavier than an XC. But more capable in difficult terrain.

You need to assess your riding goals. It would be a mistake to buy a 6 inch all mtn bike if your goal is to do long rides trail rides. Long rides are the essence of XC. An all mtn bike with 2.5 tires is something you'd want if you goal is to play on a technical trail system at a local State park.

As it has been stated all things being equal a light bike will be faster and easier to pedal. OTOH an heavier long travel bike can handle technical stuff with a higher degree of safety. But they suck at doing distance.
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
As it has been stated all things being equal a light bike will be faster and easier to pedal. OTOH an heavier long travel bike can handle technical stuff with a higher degree of safety. But they suck at doing distance.
That all depends on how you define long-travel and how you define distance. If my 5" travel bike is long-travel and a 4 hour ride is distance, then I prefer a long-travel bike for distance.

If you want to make the bike easier to pedal, look at the tires. It makes a huge difference.

Since it seems like th OP has shied awayf rom his light downhill requirement, I think I'd be looking at a bike like a Specialized Stumpjumper, an '08 Trek Fuel EX or an Intense 5.5. ANy of those bikes will climb like a champ and put the "all" in all-mountain.
post #46 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
I think you need to slow down here and get your facts straight. XC is doing distance with a light and comfortable rig. Efficient and fast. All mtn denotes a heavier, longer travel (compared to an XC) bike designed for technical trails. Slower and heavier than an XC. But more capable in difficult terrain.

You need to assess your riding goals. It would be a mistake to buy a 6 inch all mtn bike if your goal is to do long rides trail rides. Long rides are the essence of XC. An all mtn bike with 2.5 tires is something you'd want if you goal is to play on a technical trail system at a local State park.

As it has been stated all things being equal a light bike will be faster and easier to pedal. OTOH an heavier long travel bike can handle technical stuff with a higher degree of safety. But they suck at doing distance.
Huh? My facts are straight. I am not buying two bikes. I want a bike that is fun to ride on trails that I want to ride on. I don't think 30lbs is heavy. So far I don't think the 5" bikes I have been trying are all that hard to pedal in fact not any harder than what I am currently on.
post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Since it seems like th OP has shied awayf rom his light downhill requirement, I think I'd be looking at a bike like a Specialized Stumpjumper, an '08 Trek Fuel EX or an Intense 5.5. ANy of those bikes will climb like a champ and put the "all" in all-mountain.
Not really. I didn't change what I had in mind. I just tried to say it different because no one seemed to understand what i was saying. What I mean when I said capable of light down hill I mean basically better at descending (going down a hill) more stable and faster than my HT and not likely to break. And I stand by that requiremnt. I think it will probably hod for most FS bikes that aren't total pieces of crap.

I want a bike that is fun to ride on trails I like to ride. The trails in my zone are equal parts long fire road climbs with steep techncial downhills and steep technical climbs with steep technical downhills. There are even a few car shuttle rides that I want to try but aren't even worth trying n my HT. I don't want a specialized down hill bike that can;t climb. It should be fun to climb on too. To me light down hill is what I call it when all the best rides in my zone involve 2000'+ down hills in a 2-4 miles over rutted shared use trails. Still looking at 5-6" all mountain bikes like the ones you mentioned. After doing all these rides on a HT a 5" or 6" bike is a downhill bike to me.
post #48 of 56
It's astonishing how much a light 5" travel bike can take. I think you can be very happy with one. When you move to the 6" travel bike there is a line that you are crossing and weigt goes up. A lot of it of course in spec.
post #49 of 56
The Yeti 575 is a "long legged" bike, i.e. 5.75", that's pretty light & a good value, and was probably mentioned above as a good candidate for you to check out. A RB has one, and he rails it like it's a 4" travel bike in tight ST and uses the extra travel well over rocks. Not as pimp as some other names, but quite capable bike.
post #50 of 56
I just did a very short parking lot spin on a Giant Trance X2. I don't think you could go wrong with that bike. It only retails for $1800ish and I didn't see one part that I'd remove right off the bat.
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
I went looking at the giant dealer and saw the recommended trance X2, earlier today. The spec was nice and I like the fact that they come with navegal tires. Its nice to buy a bike that doesn't need to have stock tires replaced asap. But I didn't really like the way it rode. I tried the large which seemed ok from a stand over perspective, but the bike felt clunky and awkward. I think in hind sight was too big for me. The small was definitely too small and the didn't have a medium in stock. The giant dealer here in cache valley doesn't seem to have the most knowledgeable staff and they only had a few FS bikes on hand.

I ended up going back to the specialized dealer in the afternoon. After looking around I tried their 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert. Super plush ride and I can stand and mash pretty well on it. Very maneuverable and a nice feel. Felt better than all the other bikes I tried. I ended up dropping some cash and that sucker is now on lay away. I think I got alot of bike for the money ($2000).

Thanks to everyone who helped me with some great suggestions and ideas and jsut sort of steering my in the right direction.
post #52 of 56
You got a great deal. That bike retailed for over $3500 last year. Our local Specialized shop would never drop the price that much for last year's bike. That bike should keep you happy for years.
post #53 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. I am really stoked on the Stumpy too. It was a demo bike, apparently it wasn't taken out much last season. I was sort of put off by the purple color at first, but now I am thinking its pretty distinguished.
post #54 of 56
Trek EX9 (2008)

I rode one of these, its on my short list. It is the best rear suspension design that I've been on, for a trail bike. It descends great. I went from about 35 degree incline, off a 2 foot drop, to the flat and it felt like I rode off a curb.

The bike climbs decently if you stay in the saddle. If you try and climb out of the saddle the Fox fork will bob. I suppose to keep the cost down it doesn't come with compression dampening. You can buy a kit to upgrade this. Unless you are a really serious racer, I doubt you would need this.

If you are a shimano weenie go for the EX8.
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
What I want is a bike that will give my rear end a break on longer trail rides and let me ride technical sections faster, and I want to try some shuttle or lift served rides in the future and I doubt my HT will be all that great for those.

I am guessing 5-7 inches travel rear depending and no less than 6" front travel. If I can keep it around 30lbs that would be great and defiantly less than 35lbs. Don't want a super light frame unless I am sure it will be bomber. I defiantly will want a rear susp that is well designed enough that I don't have to rely on lock out or other features when climbing seated. If the rear isn't able to help absorb big rocks and climb techy sections smoothly while seated then it's not really that impressive IMO.
Since my skiing season is nearing its end, Iwas giving MTB's more thought.

5-7 inches of travel represent 3 different categories of bikes. There is some cross over but, in general....

5 inches = Trail Bike
6 inches = All Mountain
7 inches = Freeride

In general, the longer rear end stroke the heavier the bike is, and the less ability to climb hills.

If you are coming from a hard tail, you would probably be very happy with any of the major brand names in the 5-6 inch range.

Personally, I prefer a trail bike in the 5-ish inch range. At five inches, you can pretty well expect the bike to handle an occasional 4+ foot drop.

When you strat getting into 6 inches of travel, about 6+ foot drops.
At 6 inches there is some variabilty. Some bikes, like a fat possum have quick release skewers, I have seen people take 6 foot drops on these. Other bikes such as a Kona Coiler, have 20 mm though axles. I have seen these do about up to 10 foot drops. This IS pretty hard on the bike though.

At seven inches, there is also some variability. This is the category that you start to see some double clamp forks come in at. Look at the Rocky Mountain Switch 1.0 and 2.0 for example. You are talking some serious drops now. Probably about 15+ feet?

Before you go sink a bunch of money into a bike. Go look at a 6 foot drop. This is pretty hairy for most folks. I would think coming in at the 5 inch range trail bike you would be pretty happy. If you want more of a plush ride, you probably want someting with a horst link type suspension.

You also probaly should avoid the light weight Kenda tires. I weigh 210 lbs and used to get pro deals on them. They just didn't hold up. Now if you weighed 150lbs that might be a different story.

Again, before I get Jonged all over the place there is some variabilty between what I posted. But there is quite a bit of difference between a 5, 6 and 7 inch travel bike.
post #56 of 56
Thread Starter 
JZ,

Thanks for your thoughts. I ended up going with a stumpjumper FSR expert which is a 5" bike. I doubt I would do any drop bigger than about 2-3 ft on this bike any time soon.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Looking at some FS bikes