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  1. #1
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    Seriously, the Best All Mountain 5-6" Frame?

    I'm really trying to sort this one out. Really.

    Thought I'd decided on an Id, but saw today's ride pics with the pair of Yeti 575s and leaned back toward the Yeti. Still can't find a Blur LT demo ride. Let's chime in, people. What's best about your 5"-6" travel frame? What's worst? I'd kind of assume it would fly downhill, but does it climb? Do the bars flop around in the ups? Does it cut through the twisties like a snake or a semi? Does it bottom?

    While we're at it, does Marzocchi's All-Mountain 1 outperform a Vanilla?

  2. #2
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    MBA (or perhaps Seventeen ), I see, has trained you into asking for "the Best...".

    Perhaps instead you would like to know of some of our favorites, so that you, yourself, may determine what "is Best" for your particular needs?

    I am fond of Dave Weagle's linkage suspension design (I stop short of taking it to bed with me), and really am digging my Hollowpoint MkIII as a burly trailbike for my 200 pound frame. For something even more agressive but with "all mountain" climbing ability, Iron Horse's 7Point is worth taking a look at.


  3. #3
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    As much as I respect DW, I feel like his design, as with most others, is a workaround attempt to emulate the feel and performance of the FSR / Horst design without getting sued by Specialized.

    Even so, I would sleep with Speedub.Nate's bike any day.

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    As much as I respect DW, I feel like his design, as with most others, is a workaround attempt to emulate the feel and performance of the FSR / Horst design without getting sued by Specialized.

    Even so, I would sleep with Speedub.Nate's bike any day.
    Interesting idea. All that work and 'extras' to workaround a design that has been around for a while. Thats a lot of power FSR has. I don't disagree, just an interesting idea. I also figured the 'vpp' (I know it isn't, exactly, I just don't want to use all the acronyms on the market right now) was the next step.

    And I would sleep with that bike too. Very sexy.

  5. #5
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMountainHop
    I'm really trying to sort this one out. Really.

    Thought I'd decided on an Id, but saw today's ride pics with the pair of Yeti 575s and leaned back toward the Yeti. Still can't find a Blur LT demo ride. Let's chime in, people. What's best about your 5"-6" travel frame? What's worst? I'd kind of assume it would fly downhill, but does it climb? Do the bars flop around in the ups? Does it cut through the twisties like a snake or a semi? Does it bottom?

    While we're at it, does Marzocchi's All-Mountain 1 outperform a Vanilla?
    I don't think the best all mountain 5-6" frame has been made yet. An all mountain one doesn't have a thing on a vanilla.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrodzilla
    I'm going out on the town tonight and it won't be over until I snort a line of habanero seeds off the hood of a red Fiero.
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  6. #6
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    As much as I respect DW, I feel like his design, as with most others, is a workaround attempt to emulate the feel and performance of the FSR / Horst design without getting sued by Specialized.
    I'll agree with you up through about 3" of travel (and an excellent workaround it is). After that, I can't honestly say, since the Horst-equipped bikes I've ridden in that travel range have a shock with some sort of platform damping, which Dave has been able to avoid. But what I've read says that the advantages of a Horst vanish quickly once the bike enters the 4" territory.

    Even so, I would sleep with Speedub.Nate's bike any day.
    Wow, I'll be sure to pass that along. (But would you change your mind if I told you my bike's nickname is "Chuck"?)

  7. #7
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I have to say, Giant's Maestro suspension featured on the 4" Trance and 6" Reign is about the best I have ever used. Super efficient with short, stiff linkages and a perfectly linear path of travel for the rear swingarm, really keeps shifting consistent and smooth since it virtually eliminates the chain resizing through the travel.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  8. #8
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    My Reign2 is holding up pretty well, but its also the only FS with this much travel that I've ridden. Sorry to threadjack, but would the Reign be considered an all mountain or an XC trail?

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    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Reign is def. all mountain... 4-5" all mountain 6"+ you're starting to get towards freeride territory in my opinion.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  10. #10
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    (But would you change your mind if I told you my bike's nickname is "Chuck"?)
    Whoa, all bets are off.

  11. #11
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    Tough question. My Foes FXR (old style) clearly desends better than my Niota, but the Niota climbs SO MUCH better. The Foes is more stable, but the Niota is much quicker and in 80% of situations, much, much faster. I think you have to look at where/how you ride and find the bike that fits you & your style the best...for me it is the Niota.
    Toybox: Litespeed Tuscany & Niota

  12. #12
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Santa Cruz Nomad
    Last edited by telenick; 12-27-05 at 12:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    How about the enduro??Thats a sweet ride.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  14. #14
    squirrel killa elixir's Avatar
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    Since this thread is subjective I'll offer in my ride. Intense 5.5 with Marz All Mountain 1.

  15. #15
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    What about the Turner SixPack. Even with the change from the Horst Link to the Four Bar suspension, great things were said about the new SixPack over at Interbike.

    Here is an excerpt from this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...interbike+pack

    Turner 6-Pack- Fox 36 Van/DHX Coil (6.5x6"). Since we took two 6-Packs out this afternoon along with the Nomad, and I got more time on the 36 Van, I thought I'd add a few more comments. This bike just stands out from the other 6" rigs in terms of overall ride quality, and this was a point all of us could pretty much agree on. It just pedals, cruises, climbs, descends, and handles as a complete package in ways that the others could not match, though the Knolly threatens and the 6.6 comes close. I have liked VPPs in the past and was eager to try the Nomad and 6.6, but after squirreling around on all 3 on the same trails, I have no qualms at all about sticking with my 6-Pack. As far as I could tell the TNT version pedals just as well as my Horst version. I will reserve any speculation on braking effects until I can get on some nice firm, grippy but rough ground to do some side by side comparisons, but at this point I can say I can't feel any apparent detriment to braking performance on the Bootleg Canyon trails. It also takes to the 36 Van in a way the other bikes did not. A Z1 or 36 is the fork for this bike imo.

    First Class Jerk

  16. #16
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    What about the Transition DirtBag or Preston?
    I am Signature-less

  17. #17
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Interesting idea. All that work and 'extras' to workaround a design that has been around for a while.
    Since I'm just an armchair engineer, most of the time, I just apply
    Occam's Razor. I did check out dw-link.com, and understand the system better now. The two things that concern me are the linear rate (usually a matter of personal preference anyway) and the probable increase in unsprung weight over Leitner's design. I hope to get the opportunity to demo one someday.

  18. #18
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    Useful comments.

    Allow me to clarify my original intentions. I perhaps should have threaded "perfect 5-6 inch trail bike." For me the perfect bike is going to climb as well as it descends, and doesn't need to drop anything more than five feet... after three or four warmup runs to build up balls. So as you formulate replies, please say why you think such-and-such makes the perfect trail bike.

    Does an Id climb as well as a Yeti 575?

  19. #19
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I wouldn't know, I never rode either.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrodzilla
    I'm going out on the town tonight and it won't be over until I snort a line of habanero seeds off the hood of a red Fiero.
    Words and Stuff.
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  20. #20
    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMountainHop
    Does an Id climb as well as a Yeti 575?
    You need to test ride both bikes to make that determination.

    Not considering the fact that Tony Ellsworth is an unethical lying sack of sh|t, and Ellsworth's customer service and desire to handle warranty claims in a legal manner are highly suspect, the Id has a very steep head angle for an "all mountain" bike and the BB height is quite tall when compared to many of its competitors.

    Also consider that the tire clearance on the Id is piss poor when compared to many of its competitors. Many tires that are 2.3 and larger rub the narror stays on the Id.

    Ride both and decide for yourself.

  21. #21
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    I did check out dw-link.com, and understand the system better now. The two things that concern me are the linear rate (usually a matter of personal preference anyway) and the probable increase in unsprung weight over Leitner's design.
    I am an armchair physicist, and I was struck by some of the statement's on the DW-LINK page, notably:
    Newton's Third law of Motion states that "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." When a bicycle accelerates forward, the rider's mass is transferred rearward. Without something to counteract this mass transfer, the rear suspension on most bicycles will compress under acceleration. This mass transfer as a reaction to acceleration is what riders have come to know as "bob."

    First of all, if your mass [or more accurately, center of mass] shifted rearward when you accelerated, your position would have to change relative to the handlebars, seat and BB. Since I don't slide off the back of my bike when I start pedalling, I'm thinking that's an inaccurate statement. What actually happens when you push on the pedals is that a torque [torque = moment x distance; see this link for a better description] is applied to the rear wheel that causes it to want to rotate. If the wheel were glued to the ground, you would pop the front end of the bike up in the air, assuming that the torque around the axle were large enough [i.e. a wheelie]. A moment applied by the chain to the rear wheel overcomes the torque produced by the force of gravity acting on the center of mass of the bike and rider.

    Still with me? Good. So a moment acts close to the center of the rear hub, and as long as the resulting torque isn't so big that it lifts the front of the bike up, and you don't break traction, you will move forward. You're riding! There is no transfer/shifting of mass unless you move your butt off the seat or let go of the handlebars. This is not "bob". Bob comes from sloppy pedalling. That's right - it's your fault. Think of a dirt bike. Many have single-pivot swingarm suspensions, but they don't bob, even when subjected to massive smooth accelerations. If you give the throttle little twists as you ride, the seat will droop with every little application of torque to the rear wheel. You bounce, because there is a giant hinge in the middle of your bike - it's designed to bend at that point. Thus, "bob" is a result of the inconsistent torque produced from inconsistent pedalling motion combined with the pivot in the middle of your bike. It's exacerbated by not using clipless pedals.

    Squat is similar. Just about any rear-wheel drive vehicle has squat to a certain degree. The torque acting at the rear wheel[s] wants to send the front wheel[s] upward, but as it does, the center of mass rotates about the rear axis and more force is applied to the back of the bike/car/motorcycle. Assuming you don't flip over backwards, the suspension will usually compress and you squat. How do you fight squat and bob? Use a Horst Link, or slap on a pro-pedal shock or run enough spring rate in the rear shock that it won't compress. The stable-platform shocks are tuned so that small forces don't compress the shock. This typically means that they don't react well to very small features, like small stones and roots, but it all depends on how the shock is set up. Of course, on any sizable bump or rut - plush travel is the order of the day. Without these shocks, VPP and non-Horst four-bar designs would bob and squat like crazy.

    Like I said, I'm just an armchair physicist, so don't take my word for it. If all this really matters to you, and you ride with clipless pedals, just go and ride some bikes with different designs. If you can turn the pro-pedal feature down/off, see what kind of a difference it makes to the "bob" and "squat". Odds are, the non-Horst bikes will bob.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  22. #22
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    I own a 575 and climbing is all about proper bike set up. Here in Missouri we dont really have any mountains to scream down. We do have lots of little hills that we go up and down. I changed the tires to a 1.9 kenda from a 2.35 Maxis and gave them the stans no tube treatment. They roll MUCH easier and the grip is great. I also lowered the stem one spacer to help with the front end to go where I need it to go on longer steeper climbes. I fiddled with air pressure in the RP3 for a while but now is good to go. When you are spending $2500ish for a ride what you get will be really good. I asked the same questions at this forum that you are.
    What is the differance between...
    Advice for an old mountain biker

    These helped me alot. Everyone was very open and honest.
    The second mouse gets the cheese

  23. #23
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I am an armchair physicist, and I was struck by some of the statement's on the DW-LINK page, notably: [I][INDENT]Newton's Third law of Motion states that "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." When a bicycle accelerates forward, the rider's mass is transferred rearward. Without something to counteract this mass transfer, the rear suspension on most bicycles will compress under acceleration.
    I'm confused at your confusion. This is describing the same phenomenon that causes a automobile to squat in the rear under acceleration and to dive under braking. Under acceleration, mass is transferring from a static load distribution to a rear-biased load distribution.

    Dave Weagle is simply attempting to counter that transfer through an equal amount of suspension extension under acceleration, causing the two forces to net out.

    Bob, BTW, can come from sloppy pedaling, but the suspension design is far more important. As an example, set up an NRS with 25% sag and pedal as smoothly as you know how, and that shock will extend on you with every stroke. The NRS's suspension was designed to do that to work against the properly setup topped-out suspension.

    Platform shocks only go so far -- I haven't found a one yet that hasn't significantly crimped small bump compliance. The dw-link bikes eliminate the need for a platform shock, and it is apparant in the ride.

    I encourage you to post in one of Dave Weagle's usual haunts: the Iron Horse forum at MTBR, on Ridemonkey's Lounge, or on HCOR.net. He's usually more than willing to participate in open discussions regarding suspension theory, even those that counter his own. It's very clear from the on-trail performance of the dw-link (Hollowpoint, 7Point, MkIII, Sunday, Tungsten Electrode) that he is able to back up what he writes, and he's a pretty nice guy to boot.

  24. #24
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Heck, just go and do a search. He has covered suspension design for years and you could likely learn more from his debates than asking a simple question.

    I think the industry is cheaping out by relying on platform shocks. Good suspension design with an active shock is my dream.

  25. #25
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    I'm confused at your confusion. This is describing the same phenomenon that causes a automobile to squat in the rear under acceleration and to dive under braking. Under acceleration, mass is transferring from a static load distribution to a rear-biased load distribution.

    Dave Weagle is simply attempting to counter that transfer through an equal amount of suspension extension under acceleration, causing the two forces to net out.
    I'm not confused. The term "mass transfer" is a misnomer. Your phrase "static load distribution to a rear-biased load distribution" is more accurate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Bob, BTW, can come from sloppy pedaling, but the suspension design is far more important. As an example, set up an NRS with 25% sag and pedal as smoothly as you know how, and that shock will extend on you with every stroke. The NRS's suspension was designed to do that to work against the properly setup topped-out suspension.
    Well, if I was pedalling, I would get bob for sure, but with constant tension in the chain [i.e. a perfect spin] there can't be any bob, no matter how crappy the suspension design is. This is because there's no variance in the force supplied to the wheel, and we have equilibrium.


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Platform shocks only go so far -- I haven't found a one yet that hasn't significantly crimped small bump compliance.
    Amen, brother!


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    I encourage you to post in one of Dave Weagle's usual haunts: the Iron Horse forum at MTBR, on Ridemonkey's Lounge, or on HCOR.net. He's usually more than willing to participate in open discussions regarding suspension theory, even those that counter his own. It's very clear from the on-trail performance of the dw-link (Hollowpoint, 7Point, MkIII, Sunday, Tungsten Electrode) that he is able to back up what he writes, and he's a pretty nice guy to boot.
    At present, I don't have any issues with his suspension design; in fact, I haven't really looked at it too closely. My comments were centered around what I read on the dw-link website.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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