- Extra mm of travel=how much quicker? (Strava content)
Hmmm this is an odd one
For me I feel more confident on bikes that are slacker geometry
And mostly that means I buy long travel bikes
I’m quicker down hill on my old enduro sx which is about 125 on the rear than I am on my 120 mm rear travel 29erPosted 5 years ago
The sx slack low bb and seems to flatter my average skill setNorthwindSubscriber
Depends entirely on the bike tbh, travel’s just a bit of it. Like, there’s few times if any where I’d be faster on an Alpine than on my Hemlock even though it’s got more travel, because the Hemlock uses it and carries it better (IMO 😉 ) And there’s tons of times when my 224 would be slower than walking. Most of my personal records are on the hardtail I think…Posted 5 years ago
He’s about twice my size so having a go on his bike won’t help!
Rocks and mud obviously affect things too.
I know my own time down there on an old but used to be hi spec xc cannondale hardtail with 80 mm head shock and narrow bars was a lot slower when I borrowed that off a mate. Inspired way less confidence so way less speed carried.
I guess the second question is how much quicker does a full bounce make you?Posted 5 years ago
So for the most part I think comparing yourself to other people on strava is a bit of a fools game, there’s always someone fitter, younger, more skilled or better equipped than you and for me it’s really a way of measuring myself against myself rather than anyone else.
That said I’d be lying if I sad there isn’t a bit of satisfaction in placing on the leader board for a segment. Most of the time those faster are pretty anonymous and you don’t know much about them but there’s a not too technical descent around here I’ve been chipping away at my time for. I’m about 30 odd seconds off the Top place which is fine, I’m no Danny hart.
The chap in second is an acquaintance and undoubtedly more skilled than I but I know he’s riding a spesh enduro (at least 150mm travel right) and I’m on a 120mm hardtail. I’m pretty sure he’d kick my arse on a fully rigid kids bike but….
All this debate on wheel size got me musing, how much does each extra 10mm in travel both ends speed you up?
This is the singletrack in question for reference but not me!
DiscussPosted 5 years agorsMember
I have a section of trail that I have Strava’d on a few bikes now, its all downhill but pretty smooth and flowy, my time on a Mongoose Teocali (6″ travel) was 6:39 I think, my time on a Giant Faith (7″ travel) was 6:09 then just last night I thought I’d try the new Rocky Flatline (8″ travel) and i was 6:37, it’s definitely a lot faster on rougher trails but I guess not on smoother ones, or maybe I was having an off day…Posted 5 years agonick1962Member
For that there descent ^ a bit more travel won’t make a difference; if it was rocky as hell it would
I disagree.My anecdotal evidence based on riding the same segments,one almost identical to the one in the video, on four different bikes shows me faster on my (heaviest )170mm front/155mm rear than on two 150mm hardtails or a 120mm f/r full sus.Obviously this has not been a scientifically controlled test as trail conditions vary and tyres are not all the same but I want to know myself which is the quickest bike as I lost my only KOM this weekend 😥Posted 5 years ago
I know I can go faster if I stay off the brakes / am prepared to hit the wall at the end / MTFU ( ive chopped minutes off that segment compared to my first few mtb rides a year ago)!and beating my mate isn’t important.
A 120 hardtail is a great fit for most stuff here
I guess I just wondered how much difference the bike made for a given rider on a given trail!?Posted 5 years agomaxtorqueMember
Frankly that video just shows how stupid some people are. I’m all for a bit of hooning around within reason, but cycling at a speed where you can’t stop for a road or other user is both silly and not going to help with MTB’s image………. (It would have been a different ending if there’d been say a car or van doing 40mph down that road at the critical moment)
Stay safe chaps!Posted 5 years agocoatesyMember
It’s not necessarily how much travel, but how good it is.I’ve recently had a FIT cartridge upgrade, and a re-valve on the shock, so no difference in the travel, but i’ve had to have a re-think over all my braking points as i’m able to traverse rough terrain more quickly than before, have less dive under braking so it’s more stable entering corners, and less bob when climbing out of the saddle. All in all, it’s generally a lot faster than before, and is beginning to sound like an advert for Loco 8)Posted 5 years ago
max makes a good point and the less young of us probably do worry more about hooning around blind corners than the teenager who made the video. I know it’s always in the back of my mind on “open” trails
To be fair, the track is a bridleway used “almost” exclusively by bikes in one direction and the road is pretty much a private drive but still……
Taking the specifics of that trail and me out of it, my hypothesis runs like this.
On a given mostly downhill straight trail on a given day for rider “x”, their speed/time down it will largely depend on how much they are prepared to stay off the brakes/ pedalon the flatter bits
How much they will stay off the brakes depends largely on their level of confidence in their own safety as they ride it. Percieved safety is largely about how in control you feel.
I’m suggesting that as you add in full sus then increase the travel, the percieved effect to the rider is smoothing the trail out and less bouncing around which in turn increases their percieved level of control and therefore safety and that in turn will allow them to increase their speed before their percieved level of safety/control moves outside what they are comfortable to risk.
wow hope that makes sense, if i add in a bit more jargon i could write for a mtb mag eh?Posted 5 years agomrblobbyMember
From that video? Suspension will make very little odds.
Stay off the brakes if you want to make up some time.
This ^^ and pedal more or get a bigger ring.
Also Strava is a bit of a waste of time if you really want to know how you compare to others, especially over short sections like that (gps device timing/sampling issues) and off road (variable conditions from day to day.) Go enter some proper races, or get your mates together and do some proper timed race runs.
Edit: … and short travel XC with a big ring for that trail.Posted 5 years agodeanfbmMember
Extra travel will mean a tiny bit less speed loss in any rough bits with the trade off being a bit less speed generation through the pedals and pumping.
Best way to get down any trail faster, precisely work out the fastest lines which can be linked, develop brake/pedal/pump/bunny hop/getting awesome in the air points, then when the moon shines through a gap in the trees onto some love making grasshoppers in kent, on june 25th, you might be able to link all that information up and flow.
IE, ride the trail better.Posted 5 years agocuriousyellowSubscriber
It is a well known fact that a new bike makes you go faster. So just buy a new bike already.
But in all seriousness, I feel more confident on the full suspension bike descending. Have you seen if he’s doing anything different to you? Like getting a good run up on the entry, staying off the brakes all the way through.
For the record, I think Strava is a good thing to measure your performance and still has a place in your training tools even if you’re racing.Posted 5 years ago
i have a fairly new bike, more spending will lead to an even newer divorce!!
seriously, it doesnt bother me that he is faster, he’s been riding a lot longer than me and is almost certainly more skilled (although ive never actually ridden with him )
i havent ridden that trail recently or on a dry day and i’m pretty sure i can go faster as my confidence descending is getting better all the time. ( i only started this mtb thing a year ago ) i agree pedaling more and less braking will do that. There are definately a few seconds to be had in the final 50 metres as i’m always cautious of the off camber and the wall.
It was more of a general musing i was having about the effects of travel and suspension on confidence and speed using that as an example.
perhaps my limited experience makes me inaccurate but i thought more trail smoothing = more confidence = more speed, all other things being equal. Otherwise why do people buy 160mm travel bikes when almost anything can be done on a fully rigid if you have enough skill/balls
It would be interesting to hear from someone who has ridden the same descents on a hardtail and a full sus and compared their times.
fundamentally i am bored at work!Posted 5 years agomrblobbyMember
I think if you look at the top downhillers, they don’t really use their suspension to smooth things out, more to soak up the bigger hits. The fast guys generally run their suspension stiff in order to be able to get the power down and pump more effectively.
Otherwise why do people buy 160mm travel bikes when almost anything can be done on a fully rigid if you have enough skill/balls
I think you’ve answered your own question there! 🙂Posted 5 years agocuriousyellowSubscriber
Went to Afan on a race hardtail last year, on a full suspension bike this year.
Difference was how much more I enjoyed it and the comfort. Also, a full sus seems to let me get away with more than the hardtail. I’d probably be quicker on the ups on the hardtail, but it would be more knackering on the downs.Posted 5 years ago
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