Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Shorter travel versus longer
  • Premier Icon Losidan
    Free Member

    Firstly if this has been done to death I apologise. It seems I am inept with the search function.
    Currently I have a lapierre spicy. A bike I enjoy immensely on the jumps and milder DH trails.
    Over the last two or so months I’ve been riding increasing mileage over steady terrain and throwing in some of the good local testy descents and trails. I have an upcoming charity ride I e been training for.

    I’m really enjoying this type of riding over going to push up DH spots.

    So I’m wondering if a shorter travel bike is the way. Let’s say something like a giant trance or trek fuel as examples. More pedal friendly but still handy on the fun stuff. In the past I’ve had had an on one 456 with 130 fox forks.

    Having never owned a shorter travel bike I’m wondering if this is a good option since having both is out of the question.

    How do you find yours in comparison to a longer travel bike?

    Is this even sensible as an idea?

    Premier Icon Mbnut
    Free Member

    My tuppence worth….

    I am on a similar bike, an Enduro, 160mm front and back, weighs about 30.5lbs.

    I recently went out to the Alps with it and rode some super tough trails, lots of 30% gradient stuff and lots of drops and trail jumps etc.

    When I got home I had a couple of weeks work near Thetford, it is very flat.

    I changed the tyres and rode round there and had a blast, getting some pretty good average speeds and some respectable times.

    If I had a short travel bike I would have been seriously compromised in the Alps.

    So for me I go with more than I need 70% of the time rather than not enough 30% of the time.

    Suspension designs are so good now days the bikes pedal great, just pop a fast tyre on the rear and go eat up the miles.

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    I think you’d be surprised how capable a shorter travel bike is, but it also depend on how ‘big’ you want to ride & as per Mbnut longer travel ‘rig’s are a lot more efficient pedallers than they used to be…

    I’m sorry but the real answer to this is make whatever changes you need to in your life (new house/new partner/whatever), to make n+1 possible 😀

    Premier Icon deanfbm
    Free Member

    So i’ve a 120mm FS 29er and a 160mm “freeride” bike (just swapped out from a 170mm freeride bike).

    I genuinely do everything from XC through to “gnarly” black DH in the alps, i wouldn’t be without 2 bikes.

    The 120mm bike does the xc/trail riding very well, i also really enjoy riding it and copes just fine where people are generally on 160mm+ bikes, including the big gaps and drops, makes the BPW blues and reds way more fun than a bigger bike too.

    The 120mm obviously has it’s limitations when I do ride the black DHs in this country, hucking to flat or in the alps, it’s not just amount of travel, it’s stiffness, tyres and geometry. You can try and bridge the gap by changing out stuff on the shorter travel bike, but it just becomes compromised.

    I’d never use my 160mm bike with a heavy build on actual XC and trail, it’s such a waste, it’s slow, stuck to the ground and takes away the ability to play with simpler trails.

    So i’d say it totally depends on what you ACTUALLY do, where you live and what style of rider you are.

    I’d be just fine with just my trail bike in the, if i didn’t go to the alps/ride proper DH stuff. By the sounds of it, you’re most probably not hammering out actual DH stuff, so shorter travel would be the way to go.

    Premier Icon tenacious_doug
    Free Member

    In my opinion travel quantity is the least important part of the equation.

    1. Geometry
    2. Suspension design
    3. Travel quantity

    I’m currently riding a 120mm long slack low bike significantly faster than my previous 140 & 150mm travel steeper, shorter bikes. (Evil Following v 2x Trek Remedy)

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    i’m currently riding a 120mm long slack low bike significantly faster than my previous 140 & 150mm travel steeper, shorter bikes.


    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Full Member

    A Spicy is one of the more “swelt” 160mm bikes around. It’s not too heavy and it pedals ok.

    If you had what i guess one would call a “burly” 160mm bike, then yes, i could see that buying a 120mm FS would make a significant difference.

    What i do with my 160mm Zesty (zesty with Pikes & Spicy shock shuttle) is have two sets of wheels tyres. The AM wheelset has SuperGravity flavour, Trailstar HansDampfs, and the XC wheelset a much lighter tyre set (depends on weather tbh, often RocketRon etc in the summer).

    Simply fitting the XC wheels, putting on a bit more slow speed rebound, and maybe a bit more air in the shocks to keep it firm and it’ll happily smash out the XC miles.

    OK, if your actually racing, a sub 11Kg XC FS bike WILL be faster, but for just having fun, i don’t think i’d bother with another bike or if i did it would be totally different (i have a sub 10kg HT that i ride when i’m in the mood for pain (it generally just reminds me how good modern FS bikes are…….. 😉

    Premier Icon bigbloke
    Free Member

    I ride a hardtail locally mostly and winter for weekends away or a bit more fun I have a 120mm 29er full suss for that, the full suss can actually do all the types of riding I do but as my local trails are very tame the hardtail is a better fit.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

The topic ‘Shorter travel versus longer’ is closed to new replies.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.