How much travel for trail centres? (rhetorical content)
That old question comes up from time to time, so I thought I’d add my thoughts.
I took my Kona Heihei to the Mash-up at Glyncorrwg last year. I thought “hey, it’s only a trail centre and I’m doing the Enduro so it’ll be nice and quick on the Kona”. Well, I was wrong. I got pummelled on the downhill sections, and my upper body was really tired by the end. My times on the DH AND singletrack sections were crap. I was really wishing for my 5 by the end of it. And I would in no way describe those trails as rocky. In fact, I think they’re particularly smooth.
I’ve been taking my 7″ travel Patriot to Cwmcarn lately, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I mean really really brilliant. I just get faster and faster on the descents.. an old trail that I’ve ridden dozens of times a year since it opened is giving me more challenges and almost delirious amounts of grin factor – and it’s because the bike is just begging me to push harder and just go faster and faster all the time. Is it the amount of travel or the geometry? Both, I am sure, but travel’s a factor, and you don’t get 66 deg head angles on bikes with 80mm travel.
So.. of course you don’t need travel at trail centres, or anywhere, but I know which bike I’m taking next time 🙂Posted 9 years ago
One thing with trail centres is that though they are smoother, there tends to be more jumps/drops etc than with natural riding – I know lots of ppl can manage these fine on hardtails or shorter travel bikes but for me they are faster/more fun with more travel.
Yeah. Stuff like the energy section on Whyte’s would be harder for me on a hardtail. Part of it too is the bigger tyres, better brakes, wider bars and general stiffness on the big bike.
I’ve never ridden a long travel hardtail tho. Maybe a 456 with 6″ coil forks, big brakes and the rest would be better still?Posted 9 years agoKevaMember
Up and ’till recently I used to ride my maxlight xc pro at trail centres with 115mm rebas. Was plenty enough fun but I was always whacked at the end, ‘specially after riding whites/wall one day, satying up getting pished and then riding skyline the next. Two laps of cwmcarn would leave me rattled as well but I always push it there to get good lap times. I now ride a Ti456 with 130mm rebas which is much better by miles, although I’m sure it’s more fun for some on a full suss, there’re just not for me.
KPosted 9 years agoJonEdwardsMember
Whereas the last couple of times I’ve done Afan I’ve had the 6″ fs with me, and its just too big and heavy for the DHs (or the DHs aren’t steep enough/gnarly enough to warrant the travel depending on your view)I’m more knackered from trying to keep the speed up on the downs than I am on the climbs. I think a slackish short travel bike would probably be the best answer – a Blur 4x or an Orange ST4
Stuff like the energy section on Whyte’s would be harder for me on a hardtail
It sucks on a full sus, trust me… All the sharp little climbs would be much easier on a light bike that climbs well out the saddle, and all the DH sections are relatively smooth. Oh, and you’ll get more *pop* off the jumps on a HT too…Posted 9 years ago
Oh, and you’ll get more *pop* off the jumps on a HT too…
That am true. It’s frighteningly easy to get the Heihei a long way into the air with just a little flick. But landing it smoothly is harder for me. I personally enjoyed Energy more on my FS for this reason, so no I don’t trust you that it sucks on a FS 🙂
or the DHs aren’t steep enough/gnarly enough to warrant the travel
Fair point for Afan. Cwmcarn is a different ballgame tho as it’s a lot rockier.
its not the bike, its the rider. Get fitter.
Stupid thing to say. If you can’t understand how a different bike rides differently and gives you different enjoyment, then you must be really slow. Or you’ve only ever ridden one bike.Posted 9 years agoOllyMember
4.2″ at the back, 3.5″-5.1″ adjustable at the front.
IMO, they are all LOADS faster on a full suss, but less scope for hooning and “dicking about” than on an a HT. HTs can be much more clinical.Posted 9 years ago
and no FS can accelerate like a HT imo, (if you think it can your not accelerating quick enough on your HT 😉
I haven’t been to Cwmcarn in a while, but are you talking about the DH course when you are saying its rocky? as the XC loop never used to have that many rocks on it.
I am talking about the XC trail, and it’s a SHEDload rockier than it used to be. It changes month by month and even week by week sometimes. Not rocky as in strewn with baby head chunks like a Beacons trail, but rough, with ragged lines that are slipping about the hillside. Great, in other words 🙂 I definitely prefer it like that than like Afan.
the 5 would have been fastest for me
Probably. It definitely takes me a good 15 mins longer on the Patriot at least, but it’s worth it for the sheer euphoria of shredding the downs at warp speed. (Sorry for the MBUK-speak but I really do love it!). I’m not sure if, given the amount of climbing, the Heihei would be faster around the whole loop. I’m beginning to think that the Heihei might’ve been better built up with a 100mm fork, but then again it might’ve raised the front too much and the RC39s get 95mm travel anyway which is probably more than a Fox 100mm job.Posted 9 years agoFuzzyWuzzyMember
I enjoy my long travel HT right up to the point I’m knackered at which point all I want to do is sit down on a 5-6″ FS and float through rough stuff rather than have to stand up on cramping legs :p So for me for up to a couple of hours I’d rather go with the long travel HT, over that and I’d prefer a FSPosted 9 years agoloddrikMember
Had a Ti HT with 125mm up front and a 575 with 6″ both ends, now sold (nearly sold) both as realised 5″ both ends is more fun for me everywhere so just bought a Maverick ML5/7, light, good climber and great on downhills. I reaslied I only need one bike for everything.Posted 9 years agoGWMember
and you don’t get 66 deg head angles on bikes with 80mm travel.
you do if you look hard enough, I have a 100mm travel XC hardtail with a 63.5deg H/A and a 4″ travel full-sus with a 66.5 deg H/A with pikes at 100mm (65deg @ 140mm). the Hardtail is pretty good for trail centres as long as you pin everything but the full susser is too much of a DH build for that sort of riding.
For trail centres I actually prefer a quick steering 95mm travel hardtail jumpbike but that’s because I like to jump/manual/pump everything. IMO nothing at trail centres ever gets fast or rough enough to warrant DH travel or DH geometry.Posted 9 years ago
you’ve just said its more fun on your Patriot but slower. So get fitter and ride what makes you happy. That would mean less time on your PC talking twaddle though…………..
A 21lb XC race machine is always going to be faster uphill than a 31lb beefy bike. No matter how fit you are.
I do ride what makes me happy, that’s what the original post was about. A lot of people on here deride those who choose long travel bikes at trail centres; I was saying that there are could be advantages. What point are you trying to make? Not sure where your apparent animosity is coming from.Posted 9 years ago
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