- One bike to rule them all?
A Carbon Stumpjumper EVO is gonna make a whole lot of trail riding VERY boring for you. Even if it does only weigh 26lb cos it’s covered in SRAM XX or full XTR.
The problem isn’t so much the weight as it is the suspension travel and the geometry.
If you only ever ride at trail centres like Afan, then maybe a 150mm lightweight full sus bike would make more sense as an only bike. For me, my 5″ travel full sus bike makes too light work of a lot of natural riding I do, so I ride my hardtail a lot more these days too.
I think with a 120mm full sus bike and a DH bike currently, you’ve got a reasonable spectrum covered. If you’re pondering the need of the full sus bike, cos you don’t use it at all, then sell it, and buy a hardtail! Then when it comes time to upgrade the 120mm full sus bike, maybe think about a 140-150mm allrounder in addition, but I’d bet you rode the hardtail more…Posted 5 years ago
Right something I’ve been pondering back and forth for many years. Can one bike really “do it all” and be fun doing it?
I’ve long suspected that with a massive budget one could build up a 140 or 150mm bike with adjustable travel that might weigh 26lbs, climb well descend well, and be strong enough…. and a recent test day on some exotic carbon 140mm and 160mm bikes confirmed this suspicion.
But, I had a lingering doubt that even a 140mm bike might render a lot of terrain quite dull?
I am now in the odd position (for me) where I might be able to get shot of my 120mm trail bike, and my DH bike and get one carbon super bike. Something like a stupjumper evo carbon.
As things currently stand I’ve got opposite ends of the spectrum covered, I can get out and do epic days, ride some rough technical trails, stay fit and tackle most things I encounter on the 120mm bike. I can also get the dh bike out and rip the dh trails.
The flip side of that is I don’t have a chair lift to really get the most from the dh bike, and the trail bike is out of it’s depth on some of the trails I ride on a given weekend, I know I could hit them harder on something with a little more travel.
I’m kind of interested to hear what the collective thinks on the issue. so fire away*
*for the purposes of the debate lets exclude competitive xc and dh racing from the definitions of “do it all” as I won’t be doing either, just everything in between.Posted 5 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
muddyfunster – Member
But, I had a lingering doubt that even a 140mm bike might render a lot of terrain quite dull?
I used to think that but I’ve never found it the case, not with a good 140mm bike anyway. For a while I had a rigid bike, a long-ish travel hardtail and my big bike and I was riding them all pretty equally, on similiar stuff- your red and black trailcentres and xc routes- and they all made it fun. In different ways, sure.
But “do it all” depends entirely on your definition of “all”. Like, I don’t do massive distance, so my Hemlock makes a great do it all bike. If I didn’t do the enduro/downhill stuff I do on it, but I did 24 hour races, then it wouldn’t- but an Anthem X or something would. Few riders genuinely “do it all”.Posted 5 years agobwaarpMember
Seriously keep the big bike. There is nothing like going to a downhill track or the Alps and just having the grip to go at silly speeds. Point and shoot kind of riding where you are less worried about what you are hitting and more concentrated on just going flat out.
The most fun I ever had was on an Ancilotti tomaso out in the Alps, it felt so on rails, confidence inspiring and outright fast compared to anything else I had ridden then that I whenever I was riding it I had a massive insane grin on my face.
It was my first proper run on a full DH bike and the memory will be burned in my head forever. The bike just clicked right away, when I can afford it I’m going to get another big **** off bouncy bike again.Posted 5 years ago
If you’re pondering the need of the full sus bike, cos you don’t use it at all, then sell it, and buy a hardtail! Then when it comes time to upgrade the 120mm full sus bike, maybe think about a 140-150mm allrounder in addition, but I’d bet you rode the hardtail more…
No, almost the opposite. I am using the trail bike so much I feel like putting some bigger forks on it…..falling into the old trap of making it into something it’s not..
I can’t see me going back to a hardtail in a hurry.Posted 5 years agoPJM1974Member
The most uncomfortable conclusion I’ve reached for a one bike solution is that a long travel hardtail does most of the things I want/need, most of the time.
I found my 140mm Wolf Ridge to be an absolute hoot along Welsh/Scottish steep trails, but it feels numb on flatter terrain despite the fact that it’s easy to boost off roots and rocks. My 130mm Enduro is a better all day proposition and is almost race bike light but the pedal induced squat and total confidence on the techy stuff round my way leaves me feeling a little uninvolved. However, on unfamiliar terrain, it’s my first choice.
So I bought a steel hardtail commuter frame (an Orange Pure 7)…and it’s the bike I most enjoy riding. There’s no suspension at the back t sap energy, it pings off the terrain like a pinball and is compliant enough not to beat me to a pulp.
It makes perfect sense then that my next bike is none of the above.Posted 5 years agodoug_basqueMTB.comSubscriber
The very phrase I used to describe my Cove Gspot (review here). I ride everything on that, big loops in the mountains, xc-style riding and shuttling the local DH courses. For all the types of riding I do it’s good. The idea of a bigger bike making the terrain dull isn’t a problem. If you read what Cy wrote about the rocket a few days ago then that’s what I like most about the GSpot. It’s poppy rather than magic carpet, meaning it’s fun on all the trails I ride.
The great thing about having one bike to do it all is that you are always on it, no matter what bit of trail is coming up next. You’re never wishing you “just had the big bike for this bit”. I can head out and do 30miles on the cycle path but just swing past the DH tracks on my way home.
FWIW, I think you always need 2 bikes, just incase one breaks, but my other bike is a Zesty which I never use.Posted 5 years agoEuroMember
Not sure a evocarbonjumpstumper would be my choice, as ‘Do it all’ entails an element of dirt jumping. Some sort of lightish, beefy HT with a DH slant would probably be the best compromise for the type of riding and terrain I play/ride on. Not great at anything but not totally out of it’s depth anywhere. Fun or fast?Posted 5 years agoask1974Member
I tried and it could do everything, but was never brilliant at any one thing. Two bikes are where its at for maximum fun.
Really, neither brilliant at “any one thing”? You must be very, very good or have a very extreme definition of do-it-all. I would guess the issue is not bikes at either end of the scale struggling with the bits they do well, it’s the grey area inbetween. I think the answer to the OPs question lies in his definition of do it all and the type of riding he enjoys, not the collective which by default will be more complex.
I have a pretty high end 140mm trail bike and for me it’s a do it all bike. I’ve flirted with a second HT but frankly can’t imagine any time when I would want to ride anything other than my full suss (although wet night rides might be the exception), this is because I don’t ever enjoy flat XC and if I do a more mediocre ride I still spend all my time looking for lines where I can use my bike for what it is designed for. Standing staring at a line of bikes wondering which one is most suited for the trail you’re heading for??? No thanks, I’ll have a bike that suits my riding not where I’m riding (Extreme DH and competitive XC not included).
I think what the OP needs is a light ish 140mm trail bike with lockout rear suspension to liven up dull flat trails. I have a Five but I think Scott do some very nice trail bikes with lockout suspension.Posted 5 years agosomoukSubscriber
I’m in a similar position at the moment. I currently have a stumpy and it is light enough to do all dayers on but for 80% of my riding it just flattens it right down and does take some fun out of it.
I’m considering a hardtail 29er for that type of riding but I’m trying to decide if I really want to run two bikes.Posted 5 years agoHoratioHufnagelMember
I do it all on a 140mm full-sus. It was a long forked hardtail for about 10 years, but then I got old and injured.
I have a commuter as well tho, as i don’t think my MTB would last too long locked up outside the station.
Does that count as “one” bike?
inevitably when owning multiple bikes, there comes a time when they ALL need fixing at once, and its pain in the @rse.Posted 5 years agocookeaaSubscriber
Is it as straight forwards as XXXmm of suspension travel/XXlbs on the scales = and “allrounder” though?
Not all 120/140/160mm travel bikes are the same, as already stated there has to be a compromise somewhere, the bike has to have a bias towards one type of riding or another, I’d expect that as the travel gets longer that in most cases the geometry and suspension setup gets marginally slacker and more DHey but that isn’t neccessarily the case though is it?
“doug_basqueMTB.com” Kind of has it though, perhaps focus less on travel numbers and weights and think about it in more qualitative terms, do you really want to be totally insulated from the trail? or would you prefer a bit of feel and have the bounce there to just take the edge off of roots and rough stuff? in which case do you need 160mm to do that or can a well setup 120mm bike manage this and be easier to pedal up a hill or two?
I also can’t help thinking that twiddly dials to lengthen/shorten/lock out/firm up/soften the suspension as required are going ot help you get a bike that is closer to an “allrounder” perhaps?Posted 5 years ago
I mean I know most people seem to just want to set a shock up and leave it which is fine in most instances, but having suspension which is geared more towards descending won’t help on the climbs, nor will the oposite firm setup help heading down, and a “somewhere in the middle” setup will just be that uncomfortable compromise that does nothing quite as well as it could, magic dials could actually be more use than extra millimeters for a true all purpose MTB… Till they break of course, then you’ll just wish you’d opted for a nice simple HT…deanfbmMember
Yep, one bike won’t do it all.
I have a 160mm (spec pitch/da bomb cherry bomb) bike as my only bike for a while, it did do everything, 6+hrs in the peaks, trail centres, lots of DHing, freeriding and the alps.
It started to make the peaks and trails centres a bit rubbish.
I just got a 100mm hardtail (charge blender) to go with the 160mm bike, the speed/acceleration i can generate coupled with the nimble handling has now turned dull bits into lots of fun.
I’d say a DH bike is too limiting, you can only use it DHing, there are situations where you want a good amount of squish bit it’s also big hills day, so you have to pedal it. TBH aswell, there isn’t much DH in the UK where you need a DH bike unless you’re DH racing, i really haven’t got out of my depth in the UK on a 160mm bike. I’ve only been riding about 1.5 years (though 10+ years BMXing) and haven’t been held back by the bike at any point.
I’d say a gravity oriented bouncer 140-160mm that can pedal and a short travel but sorted geo hardtail.Posted 5 years agoHob NobMember
I reckon you can get closer now than ever before.
My Nomad C is down to ~27lbs, yet still plenty DH capable, with a bit of time I could probably ride it within a few % of the sorts of speed I ride my DH bike.
With the amount you can adjust suspension now as well, I can near enough lock the front & back out if needs be.
As ever though, the limiting factor is generally the person on top of the bike, rather than the bike itself.Posted 5 years agoIAMember
I’d say a gravity oriented bouncer 140-160mm that can pedal and a short travel but sorted geo hardtail.
This is where I’ve ended up after trying most of the above. Currently on an El Guapo built mostly with bits off my DH bike (was a socom) and a 100mm 29er hardtail, built pretty spanky. Coming from a trance+socom (prior to that, prophet+socom – too similar, prior to that, prophet+remec, prior norco 5″ + remec – even more similar, prior norco do-it-all).
I thought about 1 bike to do it all, e.g. get the titus really light. But then even as it is, on some XC rides on it, it’s just a bit dull/safe? Or you end up going so fast on terrain you’re not helmeted/armoured up for that you’d just end yourself if you got it wrong.Posted 5 years agocookeaaSubscriber
Personally I still slightly hanker after a Yeti 4x built up more for use as a bit of an all round trail machine, a Slacker angled pretty Short travel burly frame made for rough and tumble, with a 120/130mm fork but I’m sure the reality of actually living with such a bike would just disapoint me… never meet your heros – isn’t that what they say?
Maybe the compromise to go for is one bike with 2 possible setups perhaps? How about the “Standard” choice of a 5 with an good lightish air sprung, 2×10 “Trail” build, but invest in a second coil shock (doesn’t have to be a CCDB, could just be a 2nd hand Vanilla off fleabay, possibly a set of offset shock mounts too?) and maybe some slightly tougher wheels with 2.5″ minions on for uplifts or those days where you’re just feeling a bit more DH than trail?
It would take you 5 minutes to change that setup and you are switching the 2 things that most people seem to find have the biggest impact on a bike; wheels/tyres and shock…
That’s sort of 2 bikes in one but without the pain of actually having to maintain 2 complete bikes…
Just read above post, Great minds etc…Posted 5 years ago_tom_Member
The best do it all bike I’ve tried so far has been my Trailstar. Fine (if a bit short) for xc rides, great downhill and awesome for dirt jumps. OK in the skatepark as well if you have the appropriate tyres on it. The only thing I think would make it better is a longer TT, hence why I’m still considering a Surge..
Bullit is also fairly good for a bit of everything but suffers on the jumps due to the full-sussness of it. For me a do-it-all has to be a hardtail, because full sus bikes are crap for jumping on.Posted 5 years agokudos100Member
My Evil sovereign is probably as close as I have got to a do everything bike. I’ve been on long xc rides, ridden 30ft jumps on it and taken it on decent downhill tracks and it can do it all.
My full suspension attempts at a do-it-all bike, have all had too much travel and thus take out some of the fun from xc rides.
The blur 4x was my dream do-it-all frame. Short travel so it is still fun for jumps and xc, while also being very strong, so it can take a beating downhill. Too bad they didn’t make an extra large.Posted 5 years ago
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