Long Distance Multi-Days on 160mm AM bike?

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  • Long Distance Multi-Days on 160mm AM bike?
  • chrisps
    Member

    I am going to be doing the “traditional” MTB coast to coast next year over 5 days. I have never done long distance multi-days before. Normally I do a max of 2 or 3 days biking in a row. At the minute, my only bike is Kona Cadabra (160mm which can be sort of restricted to 90mm). I was planning on doing it on the Kona, however have just looked at the route and realised that it is going to be quite long with a lot of climbing each day!

    For a while I have been thinking of buying a 29er hard tail as a second ride for when I want to do some fast XC / races. Probably something like a Canyon Grand Canyon 29er (which has some give in the seat stays to make it a little less harsh).

    My problem is that my lower back isn’t exactly great at the best of times (largely hereditary) and I am concerned that my back probably isnt going to like me doing the C2C on a hardtail! However, on the flip side, if I have to put tonnes of effort into the uphills on an AM bike, it probably wont like that either

    Sooo, two questions:

    1) Anyone else that suffers from a bad back done a lot of long distance riding on a hardtail?

    2) Anyone done anything like the C2C on an 160mm AM rig before? Is it going to kill me?!

    The money-no-object answer, I feel, is a short travel full sus, but that would put an end to my plans of getting a hard tail :(.

    Thanks in advance!

    Chris

    Premier Icon Russell96
    Subscriber

    I did a four day coast to coast with about 10,000m of climbing on a Cotic Hemlock, just put a Crossmark on the back for lower rolling resistance and apart from one bad afternoon on Day3 did it all OK.

    http://www.theedgecycleworks.com/mtbroutes/north-wales-coast-2-coast-day-1/
    http://www.theedgecycleworks.com/mtbroutes/north-wales-coast-2-coast-day-2/
    http://www.theedgecycleworks.com/mtbroutes/north-wales-coast-2-coast-day-3/
    http://www.theedgecycleworks.com/mtbroutes/north-wales-coast-2-coast-day-4/

    Riding up the Bwlch y Groes in 90deg heat was fun!

    slowoldgit
    Member

    Well I had a steel HT made-to-measure with a taller front, to use the max steerer tube length. This gives me a slightly more upright position, and I think it’s a great help. I can add riser bars or change the stem later if I need to. I have a suss seatpost already.

    But this is since I did the CtC, which was on a steel rigid, so I’m afraid it doesn’t really answer your question.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    The short travel full sus will pretty much negate the need for a hardtail so I’d go for that in your shoes! A 160mm bike will just be annoying for a long trek like that, but as above, if you do use it at least get some low rolling resistance tyres.

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Subscriber

    Thudbuster would be another option. I have one and get on with it.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Do you do any core exercises and stretching to help with your back? if you can help your back, you can do it on any bike.

    gasyz
    Member

    I’ve got a 150mm Giant reign for playing on and a 100mm Giant anthem 29er for long distance and xc events,Anthem 29er is a Gr8 bike with all day comfort.pick one of those up you’ll love it.

    druidh
    Member

    I have a USE suspension seatpost that you could borrow to try out on your hardtail if you get it. You might need a shim for it though.

    chrisps
    Member

    Thanks for the input guys. I realise that a 100mmm full suss would be ideal for this scenario, but I kind of want a hard tail!

    I hadn’t thought of the Thudbuster; do they help your back out and are they actually any good?

    @Onzadog, I do back exercises a lot when I cycle, unfortunately my spine is a slightly odd shape which just makes it really susceptible to back pain 🙁

    Thanks!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Did 6 days without uplift in france on the hemlock, not sure of the distances but the altitude change was enormous compared to the UK… TBH I’d be as happy doing big rides on the 160mm bike as on the hardtail.

    I’m fairly averagey fitness wise, but, I do not have a bad back.

    b45her
    Member

    with current shock technology, the difference in climbing characteristics is smaller than a lot of people believe to be the case.
    a well designed 160 bike will climb just as well if not better than a poorly designed 100mm bike.

    with current shock technology, the difference in climbing characteristics is smaller than a lot of people believe to be the case.
    a well designed 160 bike will climb just as well if not better than a poorly designed 100mm bike.

    yeah what he said.

    i realised this at a demo day after a couple of years riding only hardtails. i was stunned at how pleasant the climbing was on a specialized camber or a trek fuel compared to my charge. a modern bike with a good shock saps hardly any energy and the way the wheels crawl over everything with maximum grip is very satisfying. it was very noticeable for me anyway on a wet and slimy trail centre doing back to back comparisons. i think the climbing advantage of a hardtail has been greatly diminished in recent years.

    james
    Member

    How big or small a fit is your kona?

    May not be applicable, just I recently came to realise my lower back troubles over medium-long rides might come down to too shorter cockpit fit on my bikes
    Where I’m forcing my lower back to curve instead of be straight with the rest of my back

    Have been managing to ride my HT recently with a very low fork (80mm pilot with very short steerer tube) which would normally make things worse for me, but now with a 110mm stem haven’t had a twinge

    Premier Icon vondally
    Subscriber

    hi so I have a prolapsed/bulging c4 and c5 neck, an ‘impingemet’ on c7 in addition to lower back bulging discs (mainly lower T and L’s) all caused by playing rugby….my neck injuries are consistant with a prop and similiar to steve thompson’s.

    Iroinically started mountain biking 24 yrs ago as a recovery from injuries. Bike of choice is a 140 to 160 mm travel just for comfort, and i really am a xc rider/mincer/ get off and walk rider.

    Most ‘modern big bikes will climb better in tech situations than a lot of other bikes, distance wise well yes some big miles I have taken a maverick ml8 over port de bales/col de perysoude plus a couple of others, yeti up and over col de tourmelet andtoured on a ellsworth moment with bob trail over some other pryenean moutains. All those averaged 40 to 60 miles a day..titus supermoto waas a great all dayer..on my Yeti asr 7 done a few 80 miles. I ma in no way fit,

    Climbing on big bike sit a spin not like a fool but keep the revs up, talas or travel reduction helps at the front, never used rear lock out, change your tyres plenty of big fast light tyres now. get your position checked out as well, saddle height, stem bars…….i have used bar ends on risers to have more comforatble position, cane creek ergos work for me. Try and off load weight from your back on to the bike, especially tools and where possible water…frame bags are great see bike packing post.

    Hardtail I have been riding a 29er scandal with use suspension post, it has been better than i thought but not a good send, looking at a 29er full suss but in all reality will probably go for a 26 100mm full suss for this summers trip.

    Good luck with the c2c

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Subscriber

    I hadn’t thought of the Thudbuster; do they help your back out and are they actually any good?

    I was skeptical so got a long travel version from the classified’s to try. Was considering an Anthem but preferred the idea of a light ht for year round riding. The main purpose was to take the edge off BWs so I could keep my cadence going without being intermittently kicked up the arse.It does this very well.It is also comfortable so definitely a keeper.

    chrisps
    Member

    Thanks for all the feedback, that is really helpful :).

    @james; My Kona is slightly too small as on trails I like to be able to throw it around easily and the XL size just seemed slightly too big for that (and less standover than I would like =\ !). I am wondering about getting a layback post just to move the saddle back a tad.

    Maybe I should get someone to look at my fit on the bike. Definitely going to be going for a mega fast tyre on the back. I have a Maxxis Monorail in the garage that is supersonic fast, so I might put that on and hope there isnt any mud!

    My fork is Talas adjustable, which should definitely help.

    I think I will get myself down to some demo days and try out some 29er HTs, see what / if there really is much of a difference.

    Thanks!

    Premier Icon sprocker
    Subscriber

    I did the wales coast to coast in 3 days on a pitch fitted with 2.4 mountain kings, dropper post etc, bike was 33lbs. It would have been better on a hardtail/short travel full suss mainly due to the fact the descents did not warrant the bike, got it done though.

    slowoldgit
    Member

    One thought – on the CtC will you be carrying much?

    chrisps
    Member

    We are staying at B&Bs / YHAs, so only a credit card and clean clothes. Not properly bike packing.

    Hoping to keep my bike below 33lbs!!

    snowpaul
    Member

    hi guys,

    this is pretty much my kind of riding long hours over multiple days – i regularly do 3-5 dayers etc – have used steel / ti hardtails – both with LT thudbusters and 100 and 140mm sus frames… the thudbuster is great and a real good bit of kit….

    I reckon the lighter the better esp if its hike a bike / bog dragging but the C2C i would take a comfortable hardtail with low rolling resistance tyres / or say the lakes c2c i would take a 100mm full sus….

    I did do a 4 dayer in the brecon beacons on a turner 5 spot with pikes and that was hard work and over biked but at the time it was my only non broken bike…

    enjoy

    paul

    chrisps
    Member

    Out of interest, you say the spot 5 was hard work… do you attribute that to the fact it was heavy, or the trail geometry or both (or something else?

    Thanks!

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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