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How much suspension travel for Oregon / Washington?

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How much suspension travel for Oregon / Washington?

Old 06-03-15, 04:18 PM
  #1  
picklecraft
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How much suspension travel for Oregon / Washington?

Hi, I've been living in Portland Oregon for a few years and have a hardtail 29er from a few years ago. I've never liked the slow steering feel so I'm looking to upgrade to a full suspension 27.5 rig. Problem is, I can't decide if I want something with 140mm of travel (trail) or if I need something closer to All Mountain / Enduro. Full DH would be overkill. Not interested in hucking huge drops either, but I want to feel comfortable on flowy bermed trails and technical XC alike. The terrain is a lot steeper and muddier than what I grew up with in the Midwest.

Hoping to keep my purchase under $2k. So far I've been looking at the Giant Stance, Trek Fuel, Breezer Repack and one 26er ('12 Fuji Reveal on sale online).

If anyone's familiar with the Sandy Ridge trail system-- that's what I want to do with my bike.
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Old 06-03-15, 05:48 PM
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Leave enough money in the budget to keep your car in good repair - -since Portland Hates You and you'll need to drive everywhere to ride
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Old 06-03-15, 08:27 PM
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ride 'em first, and make them long rides. you may just change your mind about everything.
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Old 06-04-15, 08:09 AM
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I would definitely suggest demo rides. 5 - 5.5" bikes are pretty capable.
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Old 06-08-15, 06:33 PM
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For what you want 140 is plenty.
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Old 06-15-15, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
For what you want 140 is plenty.
Thanks, rode some demo bikes locally and ended up ordering a 2013 Kona Kitsune online for $1299. 26er, but I don't mind.
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Old 06-15-15, 10:52 PM
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Sounds like a good first bike for the money. Have fun!
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Old 11-22-15, 01:31 PM
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I agree about the 5"+ on being substantial, but more is always better.
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Old 11-23-15, 06:30 PM
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One thing which I think helps tremendously is a dropper post makes a huge difference when descending and allows you more control by getting your but over your rear wheel. Expensive but worth it
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Old 11-24-15, 11:49 AM
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IMHO for technical riding, anything harder than beginner single track 120mm is both minimum and yet capable, that is what I have. To me 140mm to 160mm would be preferable if I was willing to spend the extra money.
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Old 11-24-15, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hig4s View Post
IMHO for technical riding, anything harder than beginner single track 120mm is both minimum and yet capable, that is what I have. To me 140mm to 160mm would be preferable if I was willing to spend the extra money.
Is your profile current?
<---- that stuff over there.

It says you're in Florida. You want a 160mm travel bike in Florida?
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Old 11-24-15, 06:21 PM
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If your not Into getting air 120/130 Is plenty.
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Old 11-24-15, 06:57 PM
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150 minimum...unless you want to ride the Portland MUPs.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:06 PM
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As capable as long travel bikes are at climbing these days I really don't see any point in not have more travel. Better to have it and not need it as the saying goes. I just bought a 150mm slack hardtail and it is certainly overkill for me but I'm still having fun on it.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:57 PM
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I have had DH bikes, to long travel, to short travel, to fully rigid. My favorite is my short travel bike, followed by my fully rigid, and I have been riding WA trails for about 30 years. Depends as much or more on what floats your boat than anything else.
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Old 11-25-15, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Is your profile current?
<---- that stuff over there.

It says you're in Florida. You want a 160mm travel bike in Florida?
I take it you are not familiar with any trails in Florida. While there are no mountains, not even any large hills. There are still plenty of things that need real suspension. The palm roots alone can eat up 100mm. On the average ride I use about 75% of my 120mm, but I have bottomed on more than one occasion. And I'm slow, out of shape, and only doing moderate trails.

Check this out,, Santos FL,, I'm not actually up to this trail yet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aYCeGXn6zQ and this is a compilation of the best trails.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oo-wTGINCQ

Alafia and Boyette are near a good friends house, I have riden Alafia, Graham Swamp is by my house, haven't worked up to it yet. and we are doing a week at Markham in March. I usually ride Mala Compra, only 5 miles and all moderate but has 5 short alternate path technical features. 4 black diamond (have only tried one of those so far) and 1 double.


And you need all the suspension you can get for things like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MVVTEmFHI8

Last edited by hig4s; 11-25-15 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 11-25-15, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by hig4s View Post
I take it you are not familiar with any trails in Florida. While there are no mountains, not even any large hills. There are still plenty of things that need real suspension. The palm roots alone can eat up 100mm. On the average ride I use about 75% of my 120mm, but I have bottomed on more than one occasion. And I'm slow, out of shape, and only doing moderate trails.

Check this out,, Santos FL,, I'm not actually up to this trail yet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aYCeGXn6zQ and this is a compilation of the best trails.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oo-wTGINCQ

Alafia and Boyette are near a good friends house, I have riden Alafia, Graham Swamp is by my house, haven't worked up to it yet. and we are doing a week at Markham in March. I usually ride Mala Compra, only 5 miles and all moderate but has 5 short alternate path technical features. 4 black diamond (have only tried one of those so far) and 1 double.


And you need all the suspension you can get for things like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MVVTEmFHI8
I have ridden there on vacation but was not near what you have listed as the premier trails.

And I know that action cam footage always makes things look more tame than they are.

But that stuff is tame, and can easily be ridden on a 120mm travel bike. The steps down at :58 and 4:38 can be ridden much, much faster than is shown-- on a 120mm travel bike.

160mm travel would not pedal as efficiently and you would never need it. Some of that stuff looks like dirt jump parks, which are fun but are not singletrack MTB trails.

The most technically challenging stuff in that video was honestly the narrow platforms. The rooty stuff uphill was moderate - yes, roots are tough going up, but in Florida you can see those sections are nothing compared to climbing roots in Colorado, or even the Ozarks in Arkansas and southern Missouri. Or closer to you, the Appalachians, like near Huntsville AL.
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Old 11-25-15, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
I have ridden there on vacation but was not near what you have listed as the premier trails.

And I know that action cam footage always makes things look more tame than they are.

But that stuff is tame, and can easily be ridden on a 120mm travel bike. The steps down at :58 and 4:38 can be ridden much, much faster than is shown-- on a 120mm travel bike.

160mm travel would not pedal as efficiently and you would never need it. Some of that stuff looks like dirt jump parks, which are fun but are not singletrack MTB trails.

The most technically challenging stuff in that video was honestly the narrow platforms. The rooty stuff uphill was moderate - yes, roots are tough going up, but in Florida you can see those sections are nothing compared to climbing roots in Colorado, or even the Ozarks in Arkansas and southern Missouri. Or closer to you, the Appalachians, like near Huntsville AL.
As far as peddling efficiency, with proper adjustment and lockouts, peddling efficiency is not an issue. It is like the riders that tell me I should get a hardtail because my rear suspension makes it harder to peddle. I don't buy it. I have still have my old ridged, I'm giving it away to daughter, and I'm never going back.

I may not need more than 120mm, for that matter 25 years ago, when I was young and in shape I could have done all those on a ridged. So I don't NEED any suspension that doesn't mean it is most fun way to do it. I road motocross for years, never got passed C class, still that 13in of suspension I didn't really need made what I could do go easier. It is more about the maximum that works with the bike geometry and knowing how to adjust it to fit your style and skill than how much there is.

Besides that, at my age pretty much the more suspension the better, just to minimize the stress for my wrists, knees, shoulders, and back.

Last edited by hig4s; 11-25-15 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 07-10-17, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by picklecraft View Post
Hi, I've been living in Portland Oregon for a few years and have a hardtail 29er from a few years ago. I've never liked the slow steering feel so I'm looking to upgrade to a full suspension 27.5 rig. Problem is, I can't decide if I want something with 140mm of travel (trail) or if I need something closer to All Mountain / Enduro. Full DH would be overkill. Not interested in hucking huge drops either, but I want to feel comfortable on flowy bermed trails and technical XC alike. The terrain is a lot steeper and muddier than what I grew up with in the Midwest.

Hoping to keep my purchase under $2k. So far I've been looking at the Giant Stance, Trek Fuel, Breezer Repack and one 26er ('12 Fuji Reveal on sale online).

If anyone's familiar with the Sandy Ridge trail system-- that's what I want to do with my bike.
I'll be going to Sandy Ridge myself, so this is a great question.
I'm looking at a '16 Trek Fuel ex 8 or Remedy...
Looks like most are saying 140-160...

My usual answer is - Better to have and not need, than to need and not have.
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Old 07-10-17, 03:01 AM
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But, I suppose 200 mm really would be overkill...
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