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  1. #1
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    suspension overkill

    i have been noticing a trend in people buying bikes with way more suspension than they need with the type of riding they use them for. is this just another form of the "bigger is better" mentality, like people needing the biggest suv's just to get around town? or is it that people are expecting to be hitting bigger drops when they finally grow the balls to do so? my 3.5" rear suspension allows me to ride aggressively, dropping 3-4 feet at a time, while also allowing me to get up the hill efficiently. i have ridden with guys before who have 6 inches of rear travel and are hesitant to follow me down hill. props to those of you who use them for what they are intended for and go big. if you don't, is it really worth it to have a 40lb beast with 9" of travel to ride the local trails?

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    This is something that can be approached from about a million ways. I have a 6" travel bike, and I do hardcore riding on it but I am positive that some people could go alot bigger than me on the same bike. Some people dont deserve the bike they have, especially the trail rider on a long long travel bike. Some bikes now are long travel, are super light and really couldent be used for freeriding.....so now what are we going to say?

  3. #3
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I agree..but for some it is a mental thing. Bigger travel makes them feel happier. I have no issues doign a drop on a ht (3 to 4 ft) but stick me on a 3.5" rear suspension and I would be scared to do anything. At my weight I would blow through that little sus in no time. I also don't see the point to small travel bikes, why not do a ht in that case. (a different approach).

    I don't know too many guys with big travel bikes that don't use all of their travel so I can't really say but I do know what you mean. I go back to Ontario and see some kid riding an A-line around Guelph. What is up with that. The A-line is very specifically designed for dh and is heavy, can't be pedalled and is just plain a beast.

    Anyways in the end I just let it go and watch people ride what they ride. Everyone needs a different comfort level for whatever they do. If they want to invest on a 9" inch travl bike for 4 ft drops so be it. Next year the bikes will be cheaper

  4. #4
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    If they want to invest on a 9" inch travl bike for 4 ft drops so be it. Next year the bikes will be cheaper
    Exactly. This is why I'm tolerant of poseurs.
    Jeff

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    Got Jesus? bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
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    My 6" travel free ride bike weighs 30.5 lbs...I've gradually started ramping up and now huck 6 footers. I still ride it for XC too.

    I started with a super light 3.75" XC Full Suspension bike and realized slowly over about a two year period that it was too light for the riding that I started to enjoy (light DH, hucking, freeriding, etc.)...

  6. #6
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Some bikes now are long travel, are super light and really couldent be used for freeriding
    true-- there are times while cross country riding when i sort of wish i could have a little more suspension but still have a light bike. i remember when full suspension meant you have to sacrifice efficiency on the uphill, but now it certainly isn't the case. also, there are some situations where i would feel more comfortable jumping on my old steel hardtail.



    I also don't see the point to small travel bikes, why not do a ht in that case.
    i think small travel bikes are great for cross country riding. i agree that a ht would do the trick, but my bike with 3.5" rear travel gets me down the hill and through super technical areas faster than my hardtail, and back up the hill at about the same speed as one. my arms, hands, and ass aren't all beat up after an epic ride.

    i don't have any problem with people using these monsters to drop 2-3 foot drops, just wondering why they would want to.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gonesh9
    i don't have any problem with people using these monsters to drop 2-3 foot drops, just wondering why they would want to.
    Confidence. Oh and all show

  8. #8
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    All depends on where you're riding. If you're not sure, make sure you get something that's adjustable. I just bought my Haro with 5" suspension, and now wish it had less and was lighter, because I mainly do cross-country. I love it on rough downhill sections, but those sections are few and far between. I spend alot of time bouncing up and down when I try to get out of the saddle.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I think the POINT is to have more suspension than you need. If you had just enough all the time you wouldn't feel like you could go big. Nobody likes bottoming out!
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  10. #10
    DiL
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    Jim raises a good point. I think also, the different niche's of riding are ever changing. There was a time everyone thought a bike for what we call 'urban assault' today should have no shocks and slicks. Today they're about as beefy as DH bikes. Mountain biking in general is always changing. You look at forks and frames from but a few years ago and you see some pretty strange things.

    I'm sure there is a trendiness factor too it though. Like the OnePointFive standard Manitou started a while back. People found that it was a fairly good idea, and looked kinda nifty too. Today we're seeing bikes with 1.5 head tubes that really shouldn't have them, XC bikes for example.

    The fact is, companies will do whatever they think will make more people buy their bikes. Its a business after all.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  11. #11
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    maybe what is also happening is people are getting more interested in hucking off small cliffs than 4 hour rides. don't get me wrong, i love the adrenaline of being in the air, and admire those who go big, but it takes a lot of power also to ride hard for 4 hours on hilly, technical terrain.

    what do people think regarding their geographical area? i'm sure that plays a big role in what people are riding. are there current trends in a certain style of riding? i know that in places like the north shore, freestyle is the core. here in oregon there seems to be a wide variety, from big downhill, to serious cross country. what is going on in the flatter areas, like the midwest?

  12. #12
    DiL
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    Where I live I would say its definately more of a 'trendy bikes' case. Its a mesa were I live, so most everything is flat. And all you see are FS bikes, tripple crown forks, everything that makes you say, "Oooooo." If you travel a few minutes south you'll hit a big tourist trap. Its even worse there. I've had people laugh at my hardtail on the trail, as if I were riding some archaic piece of technology.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DiL
    Jim raises a good point. I think also, the different niche's of riding are ever changing. There was a time everyone thought a bike for what we call 'urban assault' today should have no shocks and slicks. Today they're about as beefy as DH bikes. Mountain biking in general is always changing. You look at forks and frames from but a few years ago and you see some pretty strange things.
    Most urban riders I know still use ht. Just slacker and more BMX style than trditional ht's. Unless they are doing massive stair gaps or bridge drops etc...

    I'm sure there is a trendiness factor too it though. Like the OnePointFive standard Manitou started a while back. People found that it was a fairly good idea, and looked kinda nifty too. Today we're seeing bikes with 1.5 head tubes that really shouldn't have them, XC bikes for example.
    Who makes a xc bike with a 1.5. I know of very few 1.5 bikes and all the ones that are are freeride bike and very beefy and strong.

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gonesh9
    what do people think regarding their geographical area? i'm sure that plays a big role in what people are riding. are there current trends in a certain style of riding? i know that in places like the north shore, freestyle is the core. here in oregon there seems to be a wide variety, from big downhill, to serious cross country. what is going on in the flatter areas, like the midwest?
    I think that is a good point. In Seattle I find (from reading the boards and talking to visiting riders) that street is becoming huge. Same with the downtown core of Vancouver. Of course shore style freeriding is very popular as always as well. I think its funny how diverse the opinions change as you move east and or south. I can go to Ontario and some of my friends consider me a good freerider. Meanwhile what I do is pretty lame in comparrison to some of my west coast buds and I wouldn't call myself much more than xc.

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    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Yeah, my dilemma right now is what exactly is going to be most practical for me. I have 2 cross country bikes (One is a full suspension with 4.5 inches of travel) and one hardtail. I use the hardtail alot to do urban assault, but I'm starting to think it doesn't have enough suspension travel and is far too rigid for the things I'm riding. So I can't decide whether to switch to a big hit full suspension or to buy a beefy hardtail with a big fork up front and some flat pedals. So far I'm leaning towards the hardtail, but the stair gaps are getting bigger and bigger... and I'm getting more and more bold. There's a specific bike for practically EVERY type of riding these days. Doesn't seem like you can just RIDE WHAT YOU BROUGHT!
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    On the topic of geography... around here there isn't any local freeriding or big hit stuff, so we're forced to ride the streets where there's TONS of crazy stuff to get into. If you've got the balls, you can pretty much go as big as you like. Which is another thing that's influencing my decision. As my skills get better and my balls larger, I'd like to have a bike that will take the abuse and handle what I can throw at it as opposed to having to buy a new bike.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Jim311
    Doesn't seem like you can just RIDE WHAT YOU BROUGHT!

    You can, you soooo can. The snow race got cancelled last weekend here and almost everybody met in town to ride. Trials bikes, cruisers, DH bikes, hardtail freeride bikes and FS freeride bikes....o yea and a few BMX bikes. It was pretty insane...

  18. #18
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    I've ridden them all over the years.

    Give me suspension or give me death!

    Unless I'm racing XC of course, but still give me suspension, just give me a lockout to go along with it. Light weight is mostly hype (been there too). There is a borderline on where weight makes a difference though, and to me it's about 34-36 lb's. Plus it makes a big difference where the weight is, as in evil rotating weight versus not-so-evil suspension weight.

    Suspension, especially on modern bikes, is not a trend. It is a necessity in some riding conditions. Even more so after you get a few boo-boos nagging at you as you get older.

  19. #19
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Light weight is mostly hype (been there too). There is a borderline on where weight makes a difference though, and to me it's about 34-36 lb's.
    i'm not sure if i agree. a bike 10 lbs. lighter than that which can still handle a day of trail riding makes a huge difference. sure, if you are more interested in big drops more suspension is needed. i brought up the issue of geography in part because maybe it's that in a lot of places you don't have the climbing that i'm used to. most riding here requires climbing thousands of feet, and a 35 lb. bike takes it's toll. i'm not a weight freak or anything, but the 3 hours i spend climbing i want to be somewhat efficient, and for the 45 min. i spend coming back down i only need something that will smooth it all out.

  20. #20
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    It is definately a trade-off. On my 24 lb KHS I noticed some difference when doing alot of climbing, but not enough to offset the improved performance of suspension. I would even rather be climbing on my 40 lb Bullit in real steep rocky climbs. I have found that I can climb technical terrain better with this heavier bike since I get much better "bite" in loose rocks.

    But I can think of a couple of sweet single track climbs in CO where a 10 lb bike would be nice

    Overall though, even if you race, I think extremely light bikes are only going to take more cash out of your wallet.

  21. #21
    DiL
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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    Who makes a xc bike with a 1.5. I know of very few 1.5 bikes and all the ones that are are freeride bike and very beefy and strong.
    I was thinking of the K2 Tirade when I said it, but I remebered thats a freeride too.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  22. #22
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gonesh9

    i think small travel bikes are great for cross country riding. i agree that a ht would do the trick, but my bike with 3.5" rear travel gets me down the hill and through super technical areas faster than my hardtail, and back up the hill at about the same speed as one. my arms, hands, and ass aren't all beat up after an epic ride.
    Most of my riding is XC and I tend to like longer rides. A short-travel suspension bike is great for those epic rides. My definition of epic/long rides is 6 hours or more. Sure you can do them on hardtails. I used to do them on full rigids. But you just get less beat up over the course of the entire ride with a little bit of suspension. My current bike has 4-1/2" of travel although I really could probably get by with 3-1/2" (my front only has 3-1/2" of travel). The bike came with the shock and the shock travel came in at 4-1/2" so I didn't pick the bike for increased travel... it just turned out that way. Of course for many of you here, 4-1/2" of rear end travel is not considered an enormous amount of suspension.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by gonesh9
    i have been noticing a trend in people buying bikes with way more suspension than they need with the type of riding they use them for.
    One of our neighbours just bought a dual suspension bike. He had a great hardtail bike before this.. but because the guy down the street got a dual suspension for North shore riding and it is a great bike,
    this dope buys one.

    What does he use for ? commuting to and from work. That's it. He has absolutely no intention of riding it off road. He just bought it because it was a better bike than the neighbour's. The neighbour he tried to outdo just keeps laughing everytime this idiot rides by him, bouncing around like a loaded spring.

    Justen

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    Originally posted by Justen
    this dope buys one.

    Do you know what brand/model it is? I love laughing at posers

  25. #25
    DiL
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    walmart sells a few 'neighbor impressing' dualies

    I pitty the man who takes it off the pavement.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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