Possible to feel over-biked on 140mm travel?
I did the one bike thing, was really convinced it was the way forward.
Then my mtbing progressed, bike was getting broken and always felt compromised on dh tracks and big gaps, sure i could ride it, but always fel like i had to reign it a little, bike go beefed up.
I also started doing bigger xc rides, my riding buddies was,nt restricted to dirt jumpers/bmers finding gaps to do in the woods anymore. My heavy lump that was almost sturdy enough for dh was now too much of a tank for confortable long rides.
So i got in a cycle of beffing and then lightening, either compromising a lot on the xc or a lot on the dh.
Bit the bullet, got a 29er hardtail, 130 ough trail bike and a dh bike, noe im happy and have the most fun in all circumstances, no longer compromising.Posted 3 years ago
I think the division of bikes by travel is very misleading. My new FS is technically a 140mm bike – but it’s long (1166mm wheelbase), slack (65.5-66.5 HA depending on settings), stiff & strong & not light (31lbs of Banshee!), on 650B wheels with big tyres (about 28″), has a big fancy shock (CCDBair) and kinematics that feel longer travel than they are. And 160mm forks up front!
I don’t think I’d have loved this bike a few years ago – I don’t think I’d have had the skills to ride it fast enough to enjoy its benefits over my 140mm hardtail or the leg strength to pedal it happily uphill (though I’m astonished at how well it climbs). I think I could also have got myself into some trouble with the excessive confidence downhill it imbues – it wants to go flat out over everything which is fine until you hit a jump/drop/corner that requires some actual bike handling ability.
I suspect it might feel a bit dull if I just cruised around all my local trails but I’m forever trying to push the ragged edge in my authentic STW mincecore STRAAAAAVVAAAAA!!!!!! way (I might have been spotted at the least gnarr trail centre on the planet recently sporting goggles and open face helmet…)
So I guess what “overbiked” means to me is riding a bike that’s less fun than a smaller bike for how/where you ride. I’ve been “underbiked” too often in the last year and my body was getting sick of it!Posted 3 years agonjee20Subscriber
160ish travel is absolutely fine for UK use all the time.
Of course it’s ‘fine’, but is it the best tool for the job?
I’d rather have a bike that suited 99% of my riding, than lug around an unnecessarily cumbersome bike that’ll excel on that 1%.
I have done for the last year and been totally happy
Aaah, it’s what you’ve done, therefore it’s right. Makes sense!Posted 3 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Any modern Enduro bike (there, I said it), 1×10/11, 160ish travel is absolutely fine for UK use all the time. They climb pretty much as well as a 130ish travel bike, don’t weigh much more and with the advances in suspension and easy tuneability/better damping/geo etc
That was my opinion when I bought mine, and it is great, if you live in Keswick or Hope. Unfortunately it’s utterly soul destroying on the flats (climbs, as long as they’re smooth aren’t so bad). It’s a constant reminder that if you were on an Xc bike this would be fun, it’s like riding the XC bike dragging a boat anchor and a parachute behind you. I get it for ‘enduro’ whether its just on a ride or in a race, but it’s still a very limiting bike. However you plan a ride 90% of the time is going to be uphill or along, big bikes hobble 90% of the ride to go 10% faster on the last 10%.
And all the arguments that make a 160mm travel bike as good as a 130mm of a few years back work the other way around too. The shorter travel bikes have gotten more capable, you could say a 130mm bike is just as good as an old 160mm bike downhill, but as much fun as a 100mm bike uphill and along the flat bits.Posted 3 years agojohnnyboy666Member
I think saying riding an enduro bike on the flat is like towing an anchor is a bit over the top. A bit more work, sure but its not enough to turn an otherwise fun bike ride into a horrible one. Also was riding uphill ever that fun to begin with? The uphill only exists as a necessary evil to have downhills to me so it makes sence for my bike to be orientated more towards down at the expense of the up. (Obviously within reason)
I think 90% of it is just in the mind what you get used to.
JohnPosted 3 years agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
Great thread. Lots of awesomeness around. But really it’s just personal preference no? I guess I could drag a 160mm full susser around the Peak, but my riding ability and strength isn’t really up to exploiting it, so I potter round on a 140mm hardtail instead. Works for me, but everyone’s different, so who I am to say otherwise. There isn’t a ‘right answer’ is there, just what suits you.
Overbiked? Too much bike for the rider or for the trail? It’s sounds like it’s where philosophy meets mountain biking… what would Kant say? How about a reasonable man? 😉Posted 3 years ago
I’ve been “underbiked” too often in the last year and my body was getting sick of it!
To expand on that, I did consecutive days of uplift at Antur and BPW on my hardtail and it all but broke me. My fingers took a couple of months to stop hurting. Maybe a younger or fitter me would have been fine but this me wasn’t!
The only person who can decide if you’re over or underbiked is yourself. I suspect some people constantly feel they’re one or the other whilst others never do. Antur was the first place I’ve felt underbiked on the Soul – BPW was fine but I was too battered from the previous day’s relentless rocks. Haven’t felt overbiked on the Spitfire yet, maybe I will on a long XC ride but maybe I’ll enjoy it being comfier when I’m sitting down?Posted 3 years agojohnnyboy666Member
Looking at this another way, when do you ever have the right bike? What defines not being over/underbiked? For pros it’s what bike is the fastest for a given terrain but most of us here aren’t pros and we want a bike to be as much fun as possible as our main goal, after all this is a hobby for the majority of us and we wouldn’t do it if not for wanting to have fun. Tomac raced downhill on a rigid with drop bars so if that’s possible then maybe having any suspension at all is being overbiked if you can ride it without and still have fun?
JohnPosted 3 years agoJon TaylorSubscriber
I haven’t read the rest of the thread as it started descending in the usual STW whiney-bitch-fest with the unusual suspect spouting bollocks.
Get the burlier bike then you can pump the shock and forks up harder to reduce the travel. Hey-presto – you have a shorter travel bike!Posted 3 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Big bikes are good. Small bikes are good. It’s all a balance, depends on the actual bikes, the rider, the trails, and personal taste. My big bike’s an unashamedly big bike- coil forks, fat tyres, etc. But it’s still a hoot to ride on most trails, you just have to go recklessly fast 😉Posted 3 years ago
there is a lot of bull in here…..no real surprise
In reality it all comes back to how much you want to compromise, it is possible to train your arse off and ride a big travel AM/Enduro style bike with a weight penalty as fast as some others ride an XC bike, I was chatting to Matt Simmonds (CRC/Nukeproof Dh rider) on the start line of the Manx e2e one year – he was on a Mega and he smashed a lot of people on XC bikes, put him on an XC bike and he would probably have been further up the field.
I spent 4 days racing 200km across the west of Tassie on my 140/160mm Carbon 26″ trail bike. It was fun in places, it was also a drag with people asking what it was like towing that up all the hills at a mere 3kg over par weight for a lot of the bikes out there. Given the terrain I’d probably have been better on a 100mm 29r for that.
I took the same bike over to Rotorua and over to the mainland, off to Stromlo next month and a few other places and it’s a great laugh out there, with the exception of out and out DH it’s the best for it.
In the end if you have one bike unless you only ride within very tight parameters it will be a compromise. You just need to decide what is most important to you. See Ski Boots comments above…Posted 3 years agobombermanMember
It depends if you ride mainly for speed/fitness or for fun. I would get the 140mm but then i prefer that kind of riding. I’m not bothered about getting from A-B in the fastest possible time i’m more likely to see something interesting and stop to have a play and then carry on riding.
The 140mm bike will be more fun all round, the 120mm one will be quicker.Posted 3 years agoTom_W1987Member
or a bike with all the weight none of the benefit and a compromised suspension setup….
1) Lots of 160mm frames that weight as much as 130mm frames these days
2) How would they be compromised? On a 130mm trail bike you tend to run 20 percent sag, 160mm bikes are usually run at 20-25 percent sag, some people (weirdo’s) run them at 33 percent. The kinematics aren’t going to be that different when the 160 bike is set to 20 percent sag when compared to the 130mm bike. The only difference will be a negligible increase in BB height.
Basically you don’t know what you’re talking about, the right 160mm frame can be made to handle very closely to a 130mm bike if you know what you are doing with sag, compression, rebound and tyre choices. Geometry can also be tweaked using anglesets, shorter shocks and offset bushings.Posted 3 years ago
Basically you don’t know what you’re talking about, the right 160mm frame can be made to handle very closely to a 130mm bike if you know what you are doing with sag, compression, rebound and tyre choices. Geometry can also be tweaked using anglesets, shorter shocks and offset bushings.
That must be the answer. But as you point out
Lots of light BIGmm frames that weight as much as Heavy SMALLmm frames these days
There are also 130mm frame that can be set like 100mm frames there are 130mm frames that can be ridden like 160mm frames…The travel doesn’t matter as much as the design and the application. The characteristics that make some bikes fun to ride in some places (slack HA etc) make them a pig to ride elsewhere. If most of your riding is on flat blasty trails then slack HA’s are not that useful. Couple in just making the suspension a bit harder for long steep technical climbs will rob you of some of the suppleness in the rear that helps with traction and still leave you with a slack bick with front end lift/wandering issues.
Pick the sag for the application and the bike/suspension setup.
I’ve ridden a lot of bikes, for my sins I’ve also ridden the wrong bike for the situation a lot. Choosing to plug away with something that wasn’t right but was a compromise. Learning from that is where my advice comes from.Posted 3 years agomolgripsSubscriber
No such thing as ‘overbiked’ unless you are taking freeride bikes to the towpath. I ride a 80mm XC race bike, a 5″ trail bike and a 7″ Patriot on my local trails. All different, all fun.
There’s FAR more overlap than people would have you think. Only the stuff at the extreme ends of that bike spectrum is where some of the bikes become less suitable. For instance I wouldn’t race XC on the Patriot, it’d be too slow; however there’s not much I can ride on the Patriot that I woudn’t ride on the XC, I’d just do it slower. I’ve taken all three on big rocky trails in the mountains and the Cwmcarn DH course. None was really ‘wrong’ just faster or slower. It was all fun – the XC bike on a trail centre DH is amazingly easy to get airborne for example – and you do it in a different way.
Just go for what feels good to ride to you, on your trails.
There’s so much more to it than the amount of travel anyway. Angles, weight, gear, rim size, tyre size etc. When I got my Patriot it was a chore up climbs, but I tweaked the setup, moved the contact points and went tubeless, and now it’s fine.Posted 3 years agoKateDMember
Hi, I looked at the Norco Fluid too as liked the sound of the 68.5 Degrees head angle over the Spectrals 67, but The Norco weighs 14kg and for £100 more the Spectral weighs 13kg so I’m hoping by the time you factor in 650b wheels and being able to tweek the sag it should be pretty nimble for a 140mm travel bike. Plus that weight includes a Stealth dropper post Included with the Spectral which the Norco doesn’t have so pretty good!Posted 3 years agohoraMember
Dunno and don’t care. I’ve happily ridden a hardtail around the Peaks but then it depends on which hardtail and what build and travel. Same with a full suss.
OP you really really need to test ride the bikes before you buy them If its mail order only- try and ride a local riders one, if not buy something that isn’t blind. Its an expensive mistake if buying brand new*.
Mine was trial and error, mainly error before I landed on what I like to ride.
*The only brand new frames that I bought were test ridden first or borrowed/rode.Posted 3 years agodaftvaderMember
My 2p worth… I am currently in the same place as the op… I have been looking at 120mm and 140mm fs bikes. I live and do the majority of riding around hampshire and the surrounding area with about 10% in the peaks/wales. After talking to alot of people and test riding alot of different bikes I have decided that the shorter travel, lighter bike would be better for most of my riding . There is always the option of hiring a bike if the situation is likely to demand more travel, ie European holidays or the dh blacks at Fort William. But as hora said… test ride where ever possiblePosted 3 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
I’ve said it before and now Hora has put it in bold, so it must be important. Test rides!
I too was in a similar boat, debating whether to go with the “bigger” bike so I can go faster/harder on the technical trails and the descents, or have something that will be less of a chore up and along but maybe a touch compromised downhill.
I went for the “smaller” option (140mm Bandit) and I’m so so glad I did. Whilst I may feel under-biked in my head, out on the trail – in reality – the Bandit is more than capable of descending solidly; any faster and a fall would be quite serious. I know my limits 🙂
Every time I go uphill I’m so glad I didn’t go for a bigger/slacker bike. I’m sure the reason many riders hate climbing is that they are on an unsuitable tool for going uphill. Climbing on a bike designed to go uphill can be extremely satisfying. Honest 😀Posted 3 years agonjee20Subscriber
I used to ride a 100mm XC race FS bike round the same area, now ride a racey 29er hardtail. If I wasn’t racing I’d possibly consider something a bit more slack, but I’d not want to give up the feeling of speed that comes with a light bike. I’m shit at certain trails because of my lack of skill, nothing to do with the bike!
Not everyone’s bag though, and I do enjoy climbing, so I’d echo the test ride sentiment. Not that I test rode either of my last 2 bikes…Posted 3 years agoVan HalenMember
i ditched my longer travel bike for a smaller travel bike cos it was alot of effort to ride any distance. i cant afford fancy suspension though i can see how it would help.
personally i`d sell one of my kids for a new cannondale jekyll but wifey wont let me.
as a first foray to FS defo buy a smaller travel bike as you would have already bought a FS if you regularly rode trails that really required it.Posted 3 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
It’s all a package… Like, if you were to build a 160mm bike up super-light, with fast rolling tyres etc, then sure it’d be not that much slower than a shorter travel bike… But it’d also be no more useful. So travel isn’t really the defining factor, it’s the stronger kit and bigger tyres etc that a harder use bike requires that defines it.
Thinking about travel in particular, my big bike’s 160mm front, 150mm rear and tbf a lot of the time, it just doesn’t need that- though it carries it well. But it’s very rare I wouldn’t be just as happy on a 140mm bike with the same angles and strength. It only wears those forks because that’s what gives it the handling it requires. But shorter travel aggro bikes are just not that common so there’s a natural process, harder use leads you to bigger travel just because you want the slackiosity and the durability that’s easier to find in a 160mm package.
And going the other way, shorter bikes tend to be more optimised for weight and pedalling- regardless of what you do with sag/pressures, there’s some basic design considerations that mean some bikes just pedal better than others, and some just soak up hits better than others, and again they tend to go along a travel line.
IMO of course 😉Posted 3 years agotomasoSubscriber
Which bit of your ride do you really enjoy?
I ride in the Lakes so not Surrey Hills but a mate hauls an ancient Scott High Octane freeride beast around at a respectable pace along and up and then at an indecent pace down.
Others choose an more lightweight 120mm FS bike and are faster along and up but very slow down.
Its always going to be a compromise between rigid singlespeed to DH monster.
I thought a Giant Anthem would be fun and while it was fast on moors and smooth singletrack it was noodley and not for me on rough ground.Posted 3 years agomuddydwarfSubscriber
I have a 140mm Marin Wolf Ridge. Its fairly heavy at 15kg/33lb but its so much fun to ride. Ive done 40+ mile routes around Calderdale without any problems, it climbs reasonably well & it descends like a loon!Posted 3 years ago
I have a 100mm travel XC bike in a Mount Vision but it hardly gets ridden these days as the Wolf Ridge is just so much fun.
Of course, i live in the Pennines, if i lived somewhere flatter it may have been a different choice.
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