100mm XC hardtail Vs 130mm XC hardtail.

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  • 100mm XC hardtail Vs 130mm XC hardtail.
  • Premier Icon CHB

    100mm is plenty for most uses, especially on on arse up, head down XC machine. I really would not want to be riding my Ti Rocklobster and diving through 130mm of travel.

    I am going through the same dilemma myself at the moment. I have my brill 80mm SID equiped Ti Rock lobster. I also have an unused Flame etched Ti 456 frame in my cupboard. I have yet to build up the 456 due to funds and other priorities, but I am curious as to whether it will ever replace my rock lobster.


    I own an xc120 for southern mincing duties. It's awesome (on second thoughts this is in no way an answer to your question)

    Ok, so my DMR is leaving me (hopefully, love it but 456 is on the way for a change of scenary).

    In its current southern shandy drinking guise (as opposed to its hardcore northern bitter drinking begginings) its gained a 110mm stem, droped -10deg, no spacers under the stem, SPD's and a tripple chainset.

    So the obvious replacement is something lighter like a kinesis XC>120.

    But will this be too much like a 456? Do I need 2 hardtails with 10mm difference in travel (pikes ofr the 456).

    The DMR rides nothing like a 456 at the moment. I'm just wondering whether the 130mm menjas off the DMR would be better off on a lightweight XC bike or whether to sell the menja's once I've got some pikes and buy some 100mm XC forks (SID's probably) and a maxlight (or O-O wippet) rather than a XC>120. Weight between the forks is negligable and performance form both is great (if for different reasons).

    Hmmmm, not sure about the not wanting 130mm of travel on an 'XC' bike. The DMR rode brilliantly, although it does have a steeper head angle than most steel hardtails, kinesis-uk/decade/DMR are one and the same pretty much so maybe thats why.

    Might post a WTD for a XC>120 in the classifides and see what happens.

    I had 120mm Fox Vanilla on an old school XC Kona a few years back…I felt quite strongly then, and do now, that they had too much travel…they bobbed and bounced and dived and…they were lovely forks though…


    Interesting question I am too in this thought process.

    Perhaps the question should be:-
    "can we have some opinion from people who have switched from a 100mm hardtail to a 130 hardtail"

    The 100mm ali hardtail changed our lives? will the 130mm?


    100mm is faster (for me anyway)

    Premier Icon njee20

    Stick a SID on a Pedal Force frame too, cheaper than a Whippet (and possibly lighter), and lighter/cheaper than the Kinesis.


    Changed my inbred from 100m rebas to 125mm (took the spacer out). I prefer it at 125mm, doesn't feel any different on the climbs, but slightly more stable on the downhills. Wouldn't want any longer forks though…

    I'm not talking about adding 130mm travel to a 80-100mm frame, I'm thinking of lightweight ali frames designed for XC racing but also for 120-130mm travel forks.

    The DMR is alsomst identical in geometry to the XC>120 (just looked), which is the same as the decade-virsa as well. With the stem flipped and low rise bars the position is the same as a 100mm flat bared race bike with a more normal stem position. no problem with bob even on a non SPV/propedal/MC type damper, must be to do with the low hand position while climbing meaning you push on the bars in a different direction, but they act as normal when stood up, which was nice.

    Think I've made my mind up by the sounds of it.


    Got and Kinesis XC2 & tried it with 120mm and 100mm and def best on 100mm IMO. Too much waggling and bounching and drop for an XC ride on the 120mm setting if that helps 🙂 so you'd prob be OK with 120mm in the XC120 as its designed to take that fork but I am going to get some 2011 F100's I think in JUly/Aug for my new XCPro3 frame 🙂

    Travel adjustable forks.

    I have a frame designed around 100mm forks (fox vanillas) run with 20mm sag. I have fitted pace xcam's.

    100mm for geneal riding and blasting. open up to 130 for big rocky descents.

    nice. longer fork, slacker head angle and fractionally higher bb gives confidence on those downhills. but in the twisty stuff wound down at 100mm bike handles quickly and gives more grins….

    best of both. IMO.

    yes, but…………….

    I'm not after a 130mm slack angled bike, I want a bike that 130mm travel and steep like the 100mm versions.

    Like I said, I'm getting a 456 for hooning arround on, but having tried the DMR in a more XC build I reckon 120-130mm travel XC bikes rock. I've also tried 100mm bikes with 130mm forks and agree, theyr horrible, but I think its more a BB height thing than a HA thing .


    To answer the original question, no you don't need two hardtails with 10 mm difference in fork travel. The 456 will surely do it all?

    Though need and want are different…


    Dont forget the Scandal, mine runs 125mm forks no problem at all.

    Pretty sure with a similar setup it could easily take the place of the 456 in your shed, and still be an XC race bike should you wish.


    I have my brill 80mm SID equiped Ti Rock lobster. I also have an unused Flame etched Ti 456 frame in my cupboard. I have yet to build up the 456 due to funds and other priorities, but I am curious as to whether it will ever replace my rock lobster.

    I ride both but my lobster is 853 with 115mm rebas. They are two very different bikes.


    I had a pace 305 and that was steep with Revelations on fully extended.
    It's a lightish frame as well.


    Bikes can be very different with similar fork travel.

    My Whyte 19 has 120mm Reba forks with bolt through. Handles XC and flat like an XC bike but is a bit more stable and has forks that can handle some abuse. It may tempt you towards the silly stuff but when there they bottom out and are generaly out of their depth.

    My old Balfa Minuteman had 140mm Pikes but worked best at 120mm. This bike was total hoot on silly stuff descents but a bit of a pain on anything slopey upwards or flat.

    Much more to it than simply travel and weight – the Whyte is the more versatile of the two and was even pressed into SS duties for SSEC2010.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Don't simply compare bikes on travel. World Cup XC bikes and jump bikes have tend to both be 80/100mm forked for example.

    A 120/130mm forked XC bike can make perfect sense these days, as fork tech has given us much lighter forks (that still work) at those lengths.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Having 2 bikes with just ~1” difference in travel is a bit pointless, having a 4” fork on an XC/general trails oriented HT makes sense to me, plenty of travel for most riding, might get a bit swamped if you point it at a boulder fields, but it would cope, if you intend to use a bike for more “Gnar” applications then I think make the step up to 6”+ and call it what it is, a DH HT…

    I’m still not sure I buy into this whole long forked “Do it all” HT concept, closest I’ve found to “doing it all” is a 4” geared HT, not really that far off of a proper XC bike apart from the higher wider bars, and a tad more weight, Jack of all trades is more apt I think…

    I remember a time when 4” suspension forks were considered “Long travel”, look at it now, lots of travel choices and still nobody knows what to buy… have we really moved forwards?

    I'm begining to wonder if half the posters even read the thread…………

    I started it after riding a DMR switchback (kinisis decade virsa and XC120 geometry) and a 456 back to back with a friend (we both agreed they were both excelent, but very different) and then trying the DMR with a 110mm stem (1" longer than normal) and the bars set about 2" lower (fliped stem and no spacers). Again, the result was very good, but very different.

    er….. bikes are great?!

    Premier Icon nickc

    Not SIDs, Rebas. Stem's very long. Don't think you'd need 130mm on a XC specific bike.

    Why 100mm Reba's, the new SID's are very stiff compared to the old ones.

    Premier Icon maxray

    For once I can really add something to a thread. I had a 456 and replaced it with an xc120 after it got stolen. I run u turn revs on it so switch between 100 ish for general flat and climbs and 130 on the decent. it is much better than the 456 going up. But the 456 just noses it on decents, I think this is because the kinesis is that bit lighter and so doesn't plough down hills, more skittish. The kinesis is truly an allrounder tho. The frame is only about 3lb afaik so you should be able to get a light build if you desire but it has handled anything i have thrown at it.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Price mostly. More or less the same performance,more or less the same stiffness, more money for 200g or so weight saving. new SIDS are stiffer, but still a race fork really

    REBA race at Merlin £310
    SID race at JEJames £315

    Think I may have to try the 456 with a flipped 110mm stem and see if that turns it into an all day mile muncher. The build I rode was definately at the play bike end of the spectrum.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Stem's still too long. As Gary would say; "proper bike length is from the top tube, not the stem or layback post"


    I'm a little confused what you're asking but hey I'll add my probably irrelevant experiences to the fray….

    I have a charge duster with 100mm rebas and a DMR sidekick with uturn pikes both ride so completely differently it's like night and day, there is so much more than just fork length (lets just say weight, HA, ETT to start with…)

    With the DMR I have found to ride normal trails it needs to be at >120 or the front regularly washes out. Winding it out to 140 seems to trigger some hooligan instinct and makes me want to jump or drop anything and is fantastic for my short local DH's – so much I'm tempted to throw it in the car for a morzine trip to try it out on really long descents where I don't have to drag the thing to the top.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey

    I have got an Inbred with some Pikes on and I find I tend to run it around 110 to 120mm most of the time. I should think the main difference in your builds would be reach and weight? Not sure if that helps!

    I may have some Pikes for sale soon if you want some.

    I like my bikes long, 23.5" top tube on pretty much every bike I've ever liked, and then alter the stem/geometry according to the riding involved.

    I've liked freeride and mini DH bikes with 60mm stems, and XC race bikes with 110mm stems. But they've all been the same (or very similar) top tube length.

    And 100-110mm is pretty much standard on XC bikes, If I was saying 120-130 then maybe it'd be too long, but the steep head angles and short stems dont mix very well (which is why Garry has odd sized forks to compensate).

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