100mm travel enough, HT or FS

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  • 100mm travel enough, HT or FS
  • lee170

    The time has come to buy a new bike, I’ve been riding HT for the last 6 years and never seen the point in having a FS again until now!
    Sold my hardtail and currently riding my winter warrior rigid inbred.
    My LBS has a few 2013 discounted bikes left,
    Choices are;
    All size medium

    Scott scale 740 27.5 alu
    Scott scale carbon 630 26er
    Scale 920 29er
    Scott spark 940 29er
    Cannondale scalpel 29er

    All the above are 100mm travel, is 100mm travel enough for natural trails(north York moors etc)
    And trail centres like hamsterley forest, Dalby, whinlatter etc
    My previous HT was 120mm and was fine,
    Would a 100mm limit me in any way, I do drop offs, jumps(nothing big just whatever’s on the black graded routes)

    Stay with Hardtail or go FS???


    It’s a riders skills that lets people down rather than lack of travel so from what you have described and in my opinion I’d say 100mm travel full sus would be fine, cannondale every time

    Premier Icon Northwind

    100mm will be enough. More might be better. I just converted my Soda from 100mm to 120mm, downside seems to be basically nothing so having done it, the only question is why I didn’t do it before.

    But ymmv.


    I’d suggest on a 29er 100mm is fine, on a 26er, it’s for racing.

    Lots of great 29er’s out the and also loads of so-so ones too.. don’t be limited by your LBS’s stock. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for HT vs FS.. try them, only you will know what suit you. I bought a 29er HT for the winter & ended up using it all year due to limited cash flow and broken bikes. It’s been ace but I still want a FS again (29er though), come next years dry weather.


    For Dalby (and all the Welsh trail centres I’ve been to), 100mm is plenty. It’s also great fun to be able to whizz by the lardy buggers on 140+ as they bob up the climbs…

    Just make sure you get a good enough lead on ’em before they catch you up on the next down hill ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    I agree with what @zippy says regarding travel. Have a look at some of the other recent threads, it seems 29ers are dying out in favour of 27.5 to the extent you agree / care.

    Does it have to be new from that shop, why not buy / build a 120m 26″ bike ?

    Premier Icon jairaj

    I went from 140mm hardtail to 100mm hardtail for a bit. Managed to ride the same trails just a bit slower. Took a bit of getting used to but once I got it it was fine.

    Most my riding is woodsey single track stuff so didn’t miss the extra bump swallowing of the longer fork by too much. I find the geo is more important than the amount of travel. You could prepare your self to take the drop off or other large bump etc in advance and compensate for lack of travel with your body.

    But when going somewhere rocky and bumpy I found I was just being shaken all over the place and could’ve done with more travel to just allow me to relax into the ride just a bit more.


    I’d say that the intended use of the bike is what you should be looking at and not get too wrapped up in the travel. The bikes you list are all xc bikes, if that’s what you want then go for it. Sounds like the riding you do might be a little more than those bikes are really comfortable with, in which case I’d be looking for something a little less xc focused. I snapped an older Spark just riding trail centres so I learnt the hard way.


    100mm is plenty. It’s also great fun to be able to whizz by the lardy buggers on 140+ as they bob up the climbs…


    It all depends on you and your riding but I do like a zippy but comfortable bike to enjoy as long a ride as my legs can handle with a nice balance of tough climbs and scary descents. 100mm full sus does the trick.

    Test riding is often difficult to arrange and even then the “feel” can be influenced a lot by the components and their set up not to mention it being tricky to get the suspension dialled within a few minutes of riding the bike. 99% of bikes all ride well and are built well nowadays so I would look for the geometry you think suits you best based on any previous bikes or tests rides and decide if there are any practicalities you really “need” or couldn’t stand such as cable routing, mud clearance, warranty maybe, ease of maintenance, etc. That would be my approach anyway- I tend to make most frames I have had ride very similarly through component spec and suspension set up as I know (or think I know) what suits me. Even so, each still had their own subtle characteristics or quirks which is what you really have to decide if you can love or loathe

    From your list… Scalpel ๐Ÿ˜€


    I went through the mill with this recently. 100mm or 120mm hardtail.

    I got 120mm and am very happy. The fork can drop to 88mm semi lockout which is good for climbing, but 120mm is better for everything else.

    I am of the opinion that 100mm is ideal for XC race. If you do more trail type riding, and maybe longer rides, the extra height on the 120mm is better, less bum-in-the-air and easier on the back and shoulders.

    Also, I felt a lot of the 100mm hardtails are basically XC race bikes. Again, good if that is what you are doing.

    I did run with an 80mm fork for about 6 years though. That was fine but I did have problems with sore shoulders / back on longer rides. And the difference between 80mm and 120mm is massive in terms of big shock absorption.


    Thanks for all the advice

    Premier Icon sprocker

    My mate rides an anthem with 120 on the front for everything in the peak he likes it and is rapid upwards


    I’ve got a 10m FS 29’er and have had a 100mm HT 29’er. For how & where I ride they’re both more than enough.

    The FS is more comfortable and offers better traction in the rough, the the ht was flat out faster on smoother trails & climbing


    I have a 456 Carbon with 150mm RLT Revs on. I use the adjuster… Climbing is locked out, trail/singletrack in the middle and d/hill wide open. Why deny yourself the travel? A good setup on the rear can also reduce / eliminate pedal bob. My Canyon Nerve AM with a VanRC rear is just “fit, setup and forget”…

    I guess it depends on where you ride but nearly everywhere off-road has some tough stuff…



    Premier Icon iainc

    Similar ish riding and went from a 140mm fs and 100mm ht to a 120mm ht (all 26) and no regrets

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