160mm Bikes – Choices, Choices, Choices

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  • 160mm Bikes – Choices, Choices, Choices
  • Gooner_Dom
    Member

    OK, I do my riding like most on here in the UK. But am getting more and more in to the bigger stuff and will be doing the alps in summer 2012 – I currently have a Mondraker Foxy RR 140mm which I love and is perfect for “most” UK terrain and it climbs really well too (I am not built for climbing so that means a lot coming from me) but have had it for a while now and feel if (when!) I buy a new one I should move to 160mm – of which I have no doubt will be better for the Alps too! (I’ll prob be keeping the Foxy as well)

    I have been eyeing the Orange Alpine 160 which I have stuggled to find a bad word written about it!

    But I am thinking about the Mondrakers bigger brother the Dune, I have also seen a few other models coming up alot, Commencal Meta AM, Lapirre Spicy, Santa Cruz Nomad?

    Should I indeed go for 160? or 170mm or 180mm?

    Can anyone who owns any of these or has ridden any of these give me some input? Which would you go for and why? Is there anything missing from my shortlist?

    Right now the Alpine 160 is leading the way for me – But once I narrow my options down I will of course test ride before I spend ALOT of £££ on a new bike. (Budget is not really important – I will most likely be buying the frame and building to my own spec).

    Your thoughts and observations much appreciated!

    🙂

    GW
    Member

    there are hundreds of options missing from your shortlist.
    no-one can decide for you what you want/need.
    WTF is “for the Alps” meant to mean?

    Pivot Mach 5.7 (or possibly even a Pivot Firebird) is where my money would go.
    Actually, it would go on another Pronghorn, but they seem to have stopped doing the big travel one… 😕 The Mach 5.7 is pretty special though.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    To me 160mm is the upper limit of anything I would want to pedal around, and that would have to be something well set up & bloody light to offset the extra travel.

    steve_b77
    Member

    How’s about a Nomad or a Mojo HD or a Spicy or an Enduro Evo or………….

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Giant Reign X

    Hey Gooner,

    The Dune’s a nice bike, I’ve ridden one and it’s fun. Not light, it probably weighs the same as my G-Spot. For me you need to decide what you want it for… for example I’ve ridden the Spicy and it’s very different to my GSpot. Also, if you’ll keep a smaller bike for the UK or if it’s going to be a one bike thing. For me the mm’s don’t matter so much, it’s more than that. For example, my 150mm GSpot is far more capable DH than a 160mm Lapierre Spicy.

    I’d really recommend you check out the G-Spot. It’s 150mm but don’t put it in the category of lightweight 150mm trail bikes, it’s far more DH orientated. My G-Spot is 36.5lbs though, and my mate’s is 34.5lbs so it’s not a lightweight option. I love it, (not paid to say that!!) and it’s become the only bike I bother riding for anything from XC to DH. I’d recommend a visit to Laggan for a test ride.

    Other bikes to check out. Nicolai Helius AM, I rode one of those and it’s very impressive. It’s a proper magic carpet ride, very impressive small bump sensitivity. It wasn’t as outright fun as my GSpot but was a lovely bit of kit. Ed Oxley’s Labyrinth Agile is a nice bit too, v. short but fun too. I’ve not ridden the Commencal AM yet, they look nice, probably on the heavy side. I’m looking at getting a few for hire bikes next year but haven’t tested them yet. Lots of great bikes out there!

    Edit: Also rode a firebird very briefly. Nice but it was too short to get a real idea.

    Nukeproof mega.
    half the price of anything above and better 😛

    julians
    Member

    Below is my opinion, yours may differ. Theres a lot of choice in this segment, so you’re going to spend a long time testing. All you’ll get is people saying buy the same bike as me – so sort of in that vein, but not quite:-

    The 2010/2011 specialized enduro is best from a value for money sense, and its what I would have bought if two of my mates didnt already have them. Brilliant for the money (they paid £1600 for the 2010 version), goes downhill really well, climbs well enough, not too heavy.

    I ended up with a mojo HD – which is very very good, but pricey. I only have one bike and this does everything I need it to, goes down hill brilliantly, goes uphill far far better than a 160mm bike should , can be converted to 140mm if you feel the need.

    Some more to consider – Yeti sb66, nukeproof mega.

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    thanks so far some interesting comments –

    GW – thanks for your useless reply – “The Alps” I would have though that was pretty obvious? – Its a large rocky mountainous area in France – pretty good for mountain biking apparently –

    Im not asking people to choose for me – Im simply gadging opinions and knowledge from others – Something these forums are designed for….

    As for hundreds missing, not really pal – Maybe 20/30 bikes in the range – which narrowed down is prob 4/5 i’d seriously consider –

    Thanks for your input – very helpful – goon!

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    Thanks julians – Yes I know its purely opinions etc BUT thats what im after people opinions – Im not gonna buy a 3-5K for a bike coz someone told me its good! haha –

    I have obviously looked at the majority of 160 bikes and I do like the Mojo HD to be fair! And relatively easy to get the frame only too – Top bit of kit! SB-66 is also pretty damn sexy!

    Again its whittling down a shortlist before I test –

    I guess Im looking at a fairly rough riding mini-down hiller if I keep my 140 foxy – If i shift the foxy i guess i would want more of an all round 160er

    bigthunder
    Member

    Orange 5. Ex demo 1700 quid. Sell the 32s and replace with 36s. 5am for half price! Or a pitch – find a cheap one and change out to 36s/lyriks/totems on the front.

    kudos100
    Member

    I found 160mm too much where I live in the uk. The only time I got the most out of it was at downhill tracks.

    My current bike has 160/130mm travel and is much better. I might go a tad slower on DH tracks, but overall it is more fun for where I ride.

    If you are looking for something for the dh tracks, I would keep the foxy and get a cheap DH/FR bike

    deanfbm
    Member

    What’s making you feel like you need more travel?

    What are you actually riding in the UK where your current bike is lacking?

    The foxy is very, very competent, you’d be looking for a DH bike for something that is mind blowingly better on the downs.

    You don’t need a massive bike for the alps, yea it makes things more comfortable on the horrendous braking bumps on the heavily ridden tracks. I was more than happy with 140mm travel and was riding “blacks” and the more gnarly, steep, rough off piste stuff. Even hardtails are enough for some people.

    I’m making wild assumptions but a could be wrong, you could fall into this category, you may not. But there are a lot of people that go for a 160mm bike in the UK, run the recommended sag etc, find they can’t get full travel, run over the recommended sag to achieve full travel, ruin the suspension quality and geometry of the bike, then also wonders why the bike pedals like a pig.

    Only go for a 160 bike if your riding does involve some proper DH, otherwise you’ll have too much travel and kill your efficiency. Even then, geometry plays a bigger factor is DH ability than suspension, the foxy is low, slack, “plush”, more than adequete for DH tom foolery.

    More isn’t always better, it’s totally down to your riding style.

    My vote would be to keep the foxy, maybe upgrade a couple of bits, maybe even fit an angleset to make it more slack. You could even go to 150mm forks.

    julians
    Member

    Have fun choosing. Like I say I only have 1 bike , and I dont see why anyone would want anything less than 160mm travel and slackish angles for all off road riding, to me it seems the perfect setup to do everything in the off road spectrum.

    I think in this segment of the market there a huge variation in performance in terms of downhill ability versus uphill/xc ability, and its usually a trade off between the two. having said that the mojo HD really does seem to pull off the trick of being very good uphill and amazing downhill.

    stevepitch
    Member

    See I’m riding a spesh Pitch and in all honesty I would swap it out for something with less travel for the UK despite riding just about anything , hell I’ll swap you your moondraker if you like 😉

    Think if I was looking for a 160mm travel bike now tho the SB66 would be high on my list failing that a nukeproof mega.

    MRanger156
    Member

    Don’t think you can get Lapierre frame only. Others to think about:

    Transition Covert
    Trek Scratch
    Yeti SB66

    I have just gone from 140mm-160mm and yes it is more than you need for most UK riding but if you want one bike for everything and are quite an aggressive rider then 160mm is a good option.

    devs
    Member

    Nomad. Currently back in love with mine after getting a new front triangle. After having a 2 year hardtail frenzy I had forgotten just how good it is. Great bike.

    Carpe diem
    Member

    I’d have to agree with ‘Julians’ post.
    I ride a spesh enduro 2010 mondel.Ride mostly in South Wales.

    No issues on the trail centres at all.It climbs really well for a 160 travel bike, in fact much better than my previous 140 hardtail ( carrera fury )

    As for the downs:- its a hoot.
    it eats up cwmcarn DH.Took it to Triscombe and it was great there too.
    I’ve never been to the alps, but living where I do there’s an abundance of pretty grnarly DH routes and area’s, and the bikes perfect.

    Just get out on a few, and try them out, but I’m happy with my choice and would recommend the same sir !

    slowrider
    Member

    if you are keeping the foxy then a 160mm bike COULD end up reasonably similar unless you made a bit of effort to distinguish them.

    keep your foxy as a lightweight trail bike, then custom (or semi custom) build your 160mm bike in to a mini dh/ enduro bike. something like an alpine 160 would be perfect; think slacker and longer end of the 160mm range, or maybe just get an angle reducer headset. coil shock and forks, single ring and guide, dropper post, tough wheels, dual ply tyres (possibly). ive done a similar thing with my intense tracer and it still pedals uphill well due to the CCDB but descends like chaos incarnate. love it.

    slowrider
    Member

    on second thoughts, just buy my tracer! id love to be able to afford to keep it but i cant. if you want a test ride then get in touch…

    Jeffus
    Member

    Trek Remedy nice bike put a 36 up front, Nomad also good, Alpine felt a bit lifeless to me but was on a demo so not completely setup, last time I went to the Alps I had a SC Heckler coil DHX-5 out back and Coil Lyric up front handled most stuff fine, the guide said it was a nice XC bike for the Alps 😯 when I came home it needed new swing arm pivots, BB, wheel bearings and the Lyric had blown something inside and the Avid code rear caliper never worked again 😀 but the best fun I’ve had in a long time.

    Loads of Good 160mm bikes about that you could get built up for the purpose but I think Fabien Barel rides a few Alp based events and used his Mondraker Foxy so maybe it could cope with a few burler parts if you were just doing one trip?

    Might save you a few £££ and you keep a bike that as you say suits most of your riding.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Spicy would be a good do it all but Zesty lighter and whats 20mm of travel? I ride mainly UK so 140mm more tahn enough.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Alpine 160 is a really nice bike… And does manage that magic trick of not feeling like a ridiculously blunt object the rest of the time. It’s the only thing I’ve ridden that came close to my Hemlock for that- not as good either up or down, but close.

    GW – Member
    WTF is “for the Alps” meant to mean?

    It means “I want another bike and I’m going to justify it by arguing it’s for the 1 week a year I go to another country and do the same sort of riding as I do here” I think 😉 Much the same as “for racing enduros”

    2012 YT Industries Wicked 160 SL?

    http://www.yt-industries.com/en/bikes-2012/wicked-160sl/

    BOS shocks, X0, carbon rear end, Reverb and under £3k…

    wrecker
    Member

    Trek Slash. It’s making me feel weak. If they bring a frame only option; I may not be able to resist.

    GW
    Member

    GW – thanks for your useless reply – “The Alps” I would have though that was pretty obvious? – Its a large rocky mountainous area in France – pretty good for mountain biking apparently –

    The Alps is a **** huge area, it’s not even all rocky and my point was you didn’t give any indication of what you actually wanted to ride in “the Alps”.. a roadbike/BMX, racy hardtail/full-sus right through to full DH race bikes are all worth having in “the Alps”. 🙄

    as Doug said “you need to decide what you want it for..”

    telling us might get you better replies (or did you just want a list of folk telling you what they have?)

    Im not asking people to choose for me – Im simply gadging opinions and knowledge from others – Something these forums are designed for…

    you yourself asked? and didn’t even seem to know how much travel to choose, never mind any clues as to what handling characteristics you prefer.

    As for hundreds missing, not really pal – Maybe 20/30 bikes in the range – which narrowed down is prob 4/5 i’d seriously consider –

    Ok.. I’m not going to count exactly how many bikes there actually are available in the 160-180mm travel range (but seeing as most manufacturers seem to have at least 2 or 3 models I’d still guess at way more than 30).

    Other than having similar amounts of travel, each of the 6 bikes you mentioned in your first post have completely different suspenion designs, never mind geometry so what made you choose those (out of the other 30+ bikes you could have chosen)?

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    Looks alot like this:

    Dune RR

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    slowrider
    Member

    GW has the mondays

    Bernaard
    Member

    I have a Spicy 516 and it is way overkill for what I need but I love it
    I have mates that have done the alps on hardtails without issue too
    Would 20mm make that much difference?
    Personally having ridden hardtails, 100mm, 140 and 160mm bikes I would be pushed to say that I felt the difference between 140 and 160mm
    Try some 160mm forks on your Foxy. Might save you a lot of cash

    So you’re gonig to get rid of a bike that is “perfect for most UK terrain” and replace it with a bike that is overkill for most uk terrain?

    Whats the point in that?

    Premier Icon whippersnapper
    Subscriber

    watching this thread with interest….

    A 160mm option I am considering so I’ll throw it into the pot is the Canyon Strive. On paper looks all rather good, especially for the money. Anyone with experience of these?

    (apologies if this is a hi-jack, ignore if so)

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    GW – Yes you got me!! – I think my original message saying about the alps is quite obvious, I am Asking opinions and suggesting if i should go to 160mm up form 140mm

    Think its quite obvious its not a friking bmx or road bike is it?! Stop wasting my life……

    160mm bike for the alps!? yes i will use that for bmxing – oh dear

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    whippersnapper – nah its cool – More the merrier – as long as its helpful and on topic! 🙂

    Gooner_Dom
    Member

    would 160 forks run ok on a 140 rear? Would that not mess the angles up/ stress the frame? Guess I could go Talas and run 140mm most of the time and bulk up to 160 for the heavier terrain? interesting

    deanfbm
    Member

    Gooner-Dom, you’re watching attentively, clarification on your riding style and locations has been requested in order to help you, where are they?

    The foxy should run 160mm forks, not much more. The change wall slacken your HA and SA by ~ 1* and raise your bb a bit. It will make the bike more stable on the downs. BB height is a personal preference thing, marketing says low bb is better for cornering, but it’s a personal preference thing, you won’t know till you try it.

    si-wilson
    Member

    New Chumba EVO, well priced to at £1150 for the frame. 5% off intro offer for STWers too 🙂

    Gooner Dom, have you ever ridden in the Alps before? Theres lots of variation in the riding out there. If you’re rideing downhill then dont waste your money on a 160mm travel bike, buy a downhill bike.

    If its xc you’re riding, your current bike will be fine.

    wl
    Member

    Orange Alpine 160, or go large and bag a Patriot if you’re less bothered about pedalling – both great bikes. I’ve heard horror stories about Nukeproof Megas breaking within a week or two in the Alps – chain stays it was, I think.

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