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Old 12-22-08, 10:03 AM   #1
Dheorl
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Weight of rider

Ok, I'm a very light guy and I want to buy a bike that I can mess around on doing a few drops etc (probablys nothing greater than 5ft to flat or 15ft to slope... yes, I'm a wuss), but also something that if I feel inclined I can enter some races, probably XC or endurance, and at least be midly competative. Yes, I know it's about the motor, but no matter who's on it, a downhill bike ain't gona be getting podiums in an XC race.

Anyways, enough rambling. What I'm really wondering is if because I'm such a light guy I can get away with a lighter weight frame/shorter travel suspension when it comes to drops or even rock gardens etc than a heavier rider would.

Either way what suspension travel would you recommend, and would you say a hardtail or full suss would be better? I've heard the thing that if you need to ask if you need rear suspension, then you don't need it. If it helps at all I could probably get some pics of the stuff I normally ride/like riding, but it won't be for a while.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:14 AM   #2
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What I'm really wondering is if because I'm such a light guy I can get away with a lighter weight frame/shorter travel suspension when it comes to drops or even rock gardens etc than a heavier rider would.
Your weight is definately a factor, So is how smooth you land. And how skilled your riding is. That said, A bike that consitantly does 5 foot to flat or 15 foot to tranny without breaking, is probably not going to podium at an XC race.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:16 AM   #3
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Sounds like you need two bikes.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:22 AM   #4
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15 foot to anything will make you exempt from the wuss category
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Old 12-22-08, 10:22 AM   #5
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I may be able to restrict myself to 4ft to flat at 12ft to slope but anyways, enduro races will probably be what I'm more likely to enter in. Tbh alot of the XC races look a bit cissy to me, but I figured no harm in giving them a try. I just don't like the thought of entering knowing I'm going to loose.

I'm about 55kg and there are some pretty nasty rock gardens around, most of the larger drops do land you on a very steep slope. Any recommendations on a bike or amount of travel?

In someways I'd rather restrict the harshness of what I try drop/jump wise and be faster uphil and on smother stuff than the other way round, so leaning to the XC side possibly more than the jump side. Not sure though so what would you say would be good middle ground.

Glad to know I'm not too much of a wuss then.

I'd love 2 bikes but unfourtunally I can't afford 2 bikes (well, not 2 mountain bikes anyways).

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Old 12-22-08, 10:31 AM   #6
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It's not the weight of the frame that makes the difference in what it can do, it's the geometry.

And a 12 foot drop to the top of a tranny is on the big side of things. I don't think you'll find many (or any) people doing that was an XC bike nowadays.

So essentially, if you want to race and be competitive, and hit big drops (and enjoy hitting the drops), you need two bikes.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:32 AM   #7
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. Tbh alot of the XC races look a bit cissy to me,
Ha Ha I spit my coffee out when I read that. You never been in any kinda race huh? It's gut wrenching hard work that makes you want throw up at the end. Sissy? I don't know anybody that would think that!


OK, For my style of riding, I would build a Yeti 575, or Santa Cruz Heckler, at around 26 pounds. This would be light enough to be competitive at XC races and yet able to take some abuse.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:39 AM   #8
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When I say sissy I mean terrain wise. Races in different areas probably vary, but half the ones I've seen (which I do have to say, isn't many) people have hoped off and run whenever it's got to a difficult part and the rest is grass or dirt track.

Anyways, ignore all comments about XC.

Do you think I need to use a FS bike then? The yeti would be out of my reach unfourtunally. Would I be able to get away with less than 6" of travel or not?

The drops around my area are basically of a cliff, and the buildup of dirt at the bottom provides quite gradual landings.

If I do go for 2 bikes then it will need to be 2 cheap bikes.

Last edited by Dheorl; 12-22-08 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:59 AM   #9
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When I say sissy I mean terrain wise. Races in different areas probably vary, but half the ones I've seen (which I do have to say, isn't many) people have hoped off and run whenever it's got to a difficult part and the rest is grass or dirt track.

Anyways, ignore all comments about XC.

Do you think I need to use a FS bike then? The yeti would be out of my reach unfourtunally. Would I be able to get away with less than 6" of travel or not?

Agreed, that the XC race courses aren't always technically challenging. Do you need full suspension? NO! many burly hardtails to choose from. I would go full susser, but I'm not trying to suggest that's the only route for you. Since this type of agressive riding is not something I do, let me get out, and let the agressive riders jump in to help you. Wish you the best!
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Old 12-22-08, 11:50 AM   #10
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A good slack, short travel bike is what I ride as my trail bike. It's a SC Blur 4x and I've used it for XC races, trail riding, and shuttle days. I could use it as some of the resorts around here but it would be out of it's league at some of the steeper/rockier places (well, you could ride it there, just wouldn't be as fun as when I'm on the DH bike).

Basically this bike is fun for everything in the middle. It's okay for XC race situations, and it's okay for steeper DH.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:34 PM   #11
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If I do go for 2 bikes then it will need to be 2 cheap bikes.
Buy an XC bike, win a bunch of those "sissy" XC races, take the proceeds from the wins and buy a bike that can take a big hit. Simple solution.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:36 PM   #12
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What geometry would you recommend. Sorry but when it comes to the technical stuff about bikes I know virtually zilch.

I've never actually looked but what are the prizes generally like from local XC races? I'm in england but I can't imagine they differ a huge amount from the USA.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:40 PM   #13
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I make a comfortable living racing on weekends and Tuesday nights.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:40 PM   #14
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try the santa cruz chameleon, if it's within your price range.

edit:

for the difference between a "strong" bike and a "fast" bike, you may be able to get away with one frame, but perhaps two wheelsets.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:10 PM   #15
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Would it work having something like a santa cruz chameleon and having 2 forks for it, or would 1 adjustable fork be just as good. This probably seems like a silly question but how do adjustable forks work? Does it lower the point at which the fork is not compressed or highten the point at which the fork bottoms out?
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Old 12-22-08, 01:16 PM   #16
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Have you ever actually done a 12 foot drop?
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Old 12-22-08, 01:31 PM   #17
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No, highest I've done is probs bout 8ft. If I do anything bigger I'd worry about my bike falling apart (really is that bad) but there are bigger ones around which I'd love to try.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:41 PM   #18
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This probably seems like a silly question but how do adjustable forks work? Does it lower the point at which the fork is not compressed or highten the point at which the fork bottoms out?
The fork compresses down for most travel adjustment as far as I know.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:53 PM   #19
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Ive never raced or tried to jump off anything on a bicycle but ive logged many miles on the boneyest gravel you could believe,[on many different bikes]and I HAVE KNOW IDEA WHY my 28" Trek tires and wheels are so tough [In my hayday age 40 to 60 I drank smoked and carried 30lb. more than my present 250./ {I went armed as well]when asked I said I wanted to be top of the food chain,In that time I replaced tires but had only one flat and one broken spoke./Kenkayak
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Old 12-22-08, 02:53 PM   #20
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Ive never raced or tried to jump off anything on a bicycle but ive logged many miles on the boneyest gravel you could believe,[on many different bikes]and I HAVE KNOW IDEA WHY my 28" Trek tires and wheels are so tough [In my hayday age 40 to 60 I drank smoked and carried 30lb. more than my present 250./ {I went armed as well]when asked I said I wanted to be top of the food chain,In that time I replaced tires but had only one flat and one broken spoke./Kenkayak
Fabulous tale!
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Old 12-22-08, 04:27 PM   #21
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forks are usually use-specific. a XC fork would be ruined on the drops. a drop fork would be too heavy for xc racing. i suppose you could go with two forks... and two wheelsets... but that can be very expensive, esp. since the SC C frame is expensive as is.
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Old 12-22-08, 05:04 PM   #22
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To the OP: I'd like to see those pictures
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Old 12-22-08, 07:50 PM   #23
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To the OP: I'd like to see those pictures
Tall tales, indeed.
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Old 12-22-08, 07:54 PM   #24
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No, highest I've done is probs bout 8ft. If I do anything bigger I'd worry about my bike falling apart (really is that bad) but there are bigger ones around which I'd love to try.
What bike are you doing 8ft. drops on?
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Old 12-22-08, 08:19 PM   #25
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When I say sissy I mean terrain wise. Races in different areas probably vary, but half the ones I've seen (which I do have to say, isn't many) people have hoped off and run whenever it's got to a difficult part and the rest is grass or dirt track.
XC races aren't really about the "technical" aspect. XC in general isn't. XC racing is about going fast for long periods of time. You're not going to be successful at XC racing with an AM rig, and you're not going to be successful doing big drops with an XC rig. Get two bikes, or choose which style you like more and buy a bike for that.
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