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Old 10-06-05, 02:30 PM   #1
dhfd
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What's the difference between all mountain and trail

I tried the search feature, but didn't find anything really related...what is the difference between a trail bike and all mountain?

I've got an '01 Giant XtC SE1 HT and have FS envy!

Initially, I'd thought when/if the time came to get a FS bike I'd get an XC bike. But now there's all these different types of FS bikes. I'm not real big into jumping, etc so know I'm not in the market for a freeride bike, but what are the advantages/disadvantages for an all-mountain vs trail vs XC bike?

thanks!
Jeff
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Old 10-06-05, 03:00 PM   #2
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All mountain is just trail riding a lot harder. Some drops and stuff, but not anything really crazy.
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Old 10-06-05, 03:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dhfd
...what is the difference between a trail bike and all mountain?
Trail bikes are just a tad beefier to handle some freeriding. the weights increase and the pedal efficiency is less important for dual suspension bikes.
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Old 10-06-05, 03:26 PM   #4
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These are some of the bikes I've been looking (drooling) at are the:
Specialized FSRxc Comp, I like the Epic too, but a lot more $$$
Giant Trance 3 and NRS
Cannondale Prophet 600 and Scalpel
Rocky Mountain Slayer 30 and Element 30

I guess any of these would fit that description? Is there a good post, site that explains the differences in rear suspension setups?

another question, I know disc brakes perform better than rim brakes, but what's the pros and cons between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes?
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Old 10-06-05, 06:43 PM   #5
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hold on i am a little confused.

arent there differnet types of trails(like xc trails, freeride trails)and arent all mountain bikes 'trail' bikes becasue if you arent riding trails what are you riding fire roads?

and is trails and singletrack the same thing, i think so but not sure now?
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Old 10-07-05, 02:05 AM   #6
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Talk about a gray area. I define a "trail" bike as a beefed up XC bike. Imagine the sort of thing an intelligent Clydesdale would build for use on XC trails. All-mountain is a step up from XC in terms of what the bike can be expected to handle. It can handle XC trail duties competently (don't expect to win races however) and can handle the lighter end of Freeriding
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Old 10-07-05, 04:07 AM   #7
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i too found this one a little confusing, but i think it goes like this:
* XC is normal bike for riding trails (say under 30 lbs and 70-72 degree head tube)
* All-Mountain has more travel (in the 130-150mm range) and a little more relaxed geometry (say 68-71 degress) and weight say 30-35lbs
* Trail bike is a beefed-up "all-mountain" bike or a "quicker" Freerider that weighs in the 34-38 lb range
* Freerider - emphasis on durability (strong frame for drops), slack head angle (66-68 degress) and weight anywhere from 32-40 lbs - travel from 120mm to 200mm -- BUT still "pedal-friendly" so you can ride it uphill
* Downhill - lots of travel, heava-duty everything and no longer pleasant to ride uphill (i.e. too heavy or fork too tall so you can't climb without the front tire coming off the ground)

this is my guess as to what the "Trail" bike is, mostly based on the Specialized Enduro SX Trail...

of course there are also other terms like Enduro (basically All-Mountain) and "Long-Travel XC" or "Long-Travel-Enduro" which i take to mean lighter-weight XC/all-mountain bikes with increased travel (as opposed to a Freerider with the same travel which would have a beefier frame/components and thus weigh more)

but, yeah, when i first heard "Trail Bike" i was a little confused and expected more and XC bike. i think the main difference is that it should be durable but light enough to be pedalled easily and also not have too slack of angles so it still corners "quickly" and doesn't have that "slow" feeling that big freeride/downhill bikes have when riding fast corners -- i.e. "flickability" as well as durability are important

so... ready for the disagreement and correction...
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Old 10-07-05, 07:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathank
this is my guess as to what the "Trail" bike is, mostly based on the Specialized Enduro SX Trail...
A stock SXT weighs over 40 lbs, though, and is nowhere near what I would consider a competent climber, at least compared to a regular Enduro. Caveat - this is mainly due to the extra tall 66 fork, which rakes out the front end significantly.
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Old 10-07-05, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastro
A stock SXT weighs over 40 lbs, though, and is nowhere near what I would consider a competent climber, at least compared to a regular Enduro. Caveat - this is mainly due to the extra tall 66 fork, which rakes out the front end significantly.
really? i thought the SX trail was around 37lbs or so...
in any case the SX Trail is between the Specialized Enduro (all-mountain) and the Big-Hit/Demo8/Demo9 (Freeride/Downhill)
but yeah, if you're right and the SX Trail is so heavy and with the 66 that makes it pretty difficult to climb... my 38lb '04 Kona Coiler is pretty close to the limit for "good" climbing in my opinion (i have the '04 Z1 fork with 130mm with ETA so i sink it for the climb) -- last weekend i did a 8,000feet of climbing (with heavy backpack) and it was work!!!
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Old 10-07-05, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx108
hold on i am a little confused.

arent there differnet types of trails(like xc trails, freeride trails)and arent all mountain bikes 'trail' bikes becasue if you arent riding trails what are you riding fire roads?
there are all sorts of different types of trails.

A Trail bike is a marketing term that confuses. Think of an all mountain with out the up.

I originally heard the term 'trail bike' and thought it specifically applied to hardtails.

To differentiate between non XC hardtails that were designed to only dirt jump/urban and ones that were designed to do all things. freeride, downhill, jumping , pedalling uphill.

But now I think applying it to FS bikes is confusing because of the all mountain category.
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Old 10-07-05, 09:39 AM   #11
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Unsuspended. I honestly think all mountain, in its original meaning, was meant to be like fr going up. Old school fr before lifts. The original Stinky 6 would be an all mountain machine for example. The industry (and the riders) have pushed fr further and further away from pedaling. If you pedal a big bike now, no matter the destination, its all mountain. hahaha
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Old 10-07-05, 10:03 AM   #12
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Unsuspended. I honestly think all mountain, in its original meaning, was meant to be like fr going up. Old school fr before lifts. The original Stinky 6 would be an all mountain machine for example.
And to confuse matters further, I think the 'lightweight' 5'' travel 'all mountain' bike prevalent today really should be considered a XC bike (at least how it was defined until the last few years). Stumpjumper, ID, 5 spot, yeti 575, etc. Long travel XC.

I think with the new bikes, 6'' travel machines built to pedal (6 pack enduro, etc...)are all mountain and below that is XC. (generalization I am sure there are excpetions)

Anyway, I would say it would be very confusing if you were a new MTBer w/ $2500 looking to spend.
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Old 10-07-05, 10:15 AM   #13
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Anyway, I would say it would be very confusing if you were a new MTBer w/ $2500 looking to spend.
Especially if you didn't quite know where you would fit in. I am a 6x6 kind of guy. Thank god I know that otherwise my head might unscrew ahhaha
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Old 10-07-05, 11:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Thank god I know that otherwise my head might unscrew ahhaha
Hence the thousands of "which bike should I get" threads, most of which appear to have been written by those with unscrewed (or at least cross-threaded) heads...
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Old 10-07-05, 11:49 AM   #15
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from what i've seen on the various forums, the term "trail bike" is mostly used by riders and the term "all mountain" more of a marketing industry thing... and both, i'd say, refer to the same thing: a bike that isn't pure cross-country and isn't pure extreme freeride. it's basically a bike you can ride any type of trail on and have some "fun" with - going up, down, throwing it off stuff, jumps, hucks, etc. without the fear of anything breaking easily. in other words, what freeride was originally supposed to be.


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Old 10-07-05, 12:34 PM   #16
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thank you everyone, i get it

i tell ya, keeping up with mtb terminology is a round the clock job
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Old 10-07-05, 12:45 PM   #17
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Downhill
freeride
allmountain
trailbike
hardtail trail
xc
hardtail xc
xc race


the farther up the list you go, the beefier it gets. dirtjump, 4x and dual slalom are a little different because the have the beefiness, but are set up for very specific things.


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Old 10-07-05, 08:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhfd
I tried the search feature, but didn't find anything really related...what is the difference between a trail bike and all mountain?

thanks!
Jeff
******************************************************************

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhfd
I tried the search feature, but didn't find anything really related...what is the difference between a trail bike and all mountain?
thanks!
Jeff

Well Jeff,

I'd say the the difference is about $250+ ....

The MtnBike Companies are just trying to increase their sales dollars, and so they try any way they can to "make a buck".... There's actually NO "new" inventions nor any new suspensions to speak of. Just another gimmick....
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Old 10-07-05, 09:49 PM   #19
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Well Jeff,

I'd say the the difference is about $250+ ....

The MtnBike Companies are just trying to increase their sales dollars, and so they try any way they can to "make a buck".... There's actually NO "new" inventions nor any new suspensions to speak of. Just another gimmick....
Compared to what? There are newer shock designs, there are newer and better suspension designs which do have benefits regardless of what you believe. While 99% are stolen technologies from other industries they are very new to bikes, which offer very unique characteristics to design. The pedal motion negates almost any useful design built for mx for example and the torque is different and inconsistent. Such a blanket statement is just plain false

Shocks now are head and shoulders above what they were even 3 years ago. Stable platform, high and low frequency controls, more enchances progressiveness, brain technology (not my bag but it works for those who like it) etc.... heck even the standard fox has been improved upon. And now they are coming out with air shocks that feel like coil but weight signifigantly less.

To dismiss these as gimmicks is pretty naive. The claim they aren't new...ok thats possible if you compare it to other industries where most of the ideas are coming from, but again not gimmicks.
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Old 10-08-05, 06:54 AM   #20
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The way I see it if your on a XC bike its more of a race type bike,an all MTN bike is what I call a trail bike.I think of my main bike as a trail bike,around 30 pounds,5 inches of travel.
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Old 10-08-05, 06:17 PM   #21
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I think I've got it narrowed down to the:
Specialized FSRxc Comp
Giant Trance 2
Cannondale Prophet 600...

any input on these?
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