What slack low tough 140-160mm full-sus frame & forks for 140mm hardtail rider?

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  • What slack low tough 140-160mm full-sus frame & forks for 140mm hardtail rider?
  • See the thread about All mountain bikes earlier – the way people talk about the SB66 – that it’s not a particularly plush ride until pushed hard – it might suit.

    Sounds like the banshee spitfire v2 would tick all the boxes for you

    So recent events have shown me that I’m neither skilled enough nor tough enough to ride the way I normally do (and keep up with my mates on their FS bikes) when doing long days on unfamiliar trails, uplift days or taking on larger jumps. Some extra speed wouldn’t go amiss on gravity enduro races too. My bike of choice for the last 2.5 years has been a Cotic Soul with 140mm forks, built up about as DH oriented as is sensible for such a frame, and we get on very well on more familiar (and smoother) ground.

    I’ll keep the Soul but I’ll probably swap all the parts (bar the fork) onto the FS to reduce the immediate financial pain, then maybe build the Soul up a little lighter. Currently leaning towards a Rocket with CTD shock and new Pikes but what else is out there?

    I’m not after a ‘magic carpet’ ride which is why the Rocket appeals – I don’t want the suspension for comfort but to reduce fatigue on long days, give me some more grip and a lower CoG when cornering, allow me to carry more speed in the rough and give me some more margin for error when landing. The frame must be mud friendly with clearance for big muddy tyres and weather-resistant bearings.

    Needs to pedal decently, especially standing (running 1×10), slack and long is good (medium Soul fits perfectly with 50mm stem, ~67.5 HA sagged). Don’t want it to be like a lead weight but conversely I wouldn’t want to spend a ton of money to to get something super light.

    Van Halen

    If you are happy with no travel why do you want a big bike? Get a short travel bike to take the edge off the hits and save wheels. It’s also considerably more fun than a big bike as you keep the responsiveness.

    I’ve stripped my big bike. I have a ss and a 4″ bike. Hours of fun

    I have a small Norco lt for sale cheap if you want. I can’t see when i’ll build it up again. The small fs is so much fun.

    SB66 and the Spitfire were the other two on my radar. Very hard to work out which have the higher or lower BBs because some quote height (tyre diameter varies too much for that to be useful) and some drop. Spitfire looks closer to Rocket but with a little less travel, whilst SB66 is a bit longer and steeper. Both have more complicated suspension – anyone taken one through last summer and winter and how did it cope?

    It may not be the most desireable brand but… I’d say a Mega TR would fit the bill nicely…

    I’ll recommend my own bike, and say a Turner 5-Spot, or Burner 🙂

    No full sus pedals well stood up really, otherwise the suspension wouldn’t be working. But… the DW-Link pushes the bike along instead of wallowing in the travel when stood up.

    Proper stiff, proper tough, easy to maintain, long and low.


    Big clearance and weather resistant bearings shouts “Single Pivot” to me, so I’d say Heckler or Orange 5. With a good shock with pro pedal, the bob can be countered, but a 160 fork is never going to be pedal friendly!!

    In typical stw fashion, I reckon the bike you need isn’t the bike you are asking for. If you want more grip and to keep up with mates, a 29er might be your new best friend 😯

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    My 2010 Enduro Pro frame wil be for sale shortly.

    Large, in stealth black.


    Remember when you saw my rocket in Freedom Bikes? Go onnnnnnn you know you want to 😀


    Nicolai AC

    Premier Icon rickon

    Reading the OPs post, you obviously want a Rocket. You’ve had a Soul for years, and want to keep brand loyalty.

    So, just do it! All reports say it’s an awesome bike, and if the finish was anything like my BFe then it’ll look rather tasty too.

    The only question is… which colour?

    I’m a bad man.

    Rocket surely.


    I would go green for the rocket.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    @chiefguru – glad you are “ok” after the crash. I remember reading your Jedi blog – I managed a similar crash after by session. Personally I am not sure a FS would have made any difference FYI, IMO you would have still stacked it landing a little further down the trail but a worse crash going faster ?

    With regard to your question I have a Transition Covert to go with with a BFe, it’s my Alps / “big bike” and is a good companion to the Cotic. The Covert has my old (2006) 150 Fox forks (will upgrade to 160 when I can justify it) and the Cotic 120/150 adjustable Sektors.

    I think the Rocket sounds (and looks great) but is it the right companion for a Soul ?

    I also think you should think about putting the 140 forks onto the FS or sell the 140’s and buy 160 for the FS and 120 for the Soul. Leaving 140’s on the Soul is going to create bike which is a strange bedfellow for the FS

    Other thoughts (and great value) would be a Nukeproof Mega (suggested above I notice) if you want a “jumpy” bike (frames are very good value and I’ve seen them in action in the Alps and also on normal Surrey Hills trails and they ride very well all round) or Transition Bandit if you want something more trail orientated than the Mega or Covert (which also pedals very well btw)

    Premier Icon colournoise

    In a similar situation to the OP myself and coming from a 150mm BFe I’m going for a Rocket.

    Once they get some more in stock…

    Premier Icon mattjg

    The only question is… which colour?

    Black plainly. And without the white detailing.


    If you’re buying a new frame and forks because you crashed when tired, there might be a better solution. Get fitter 😉

    Loads of choice in the 140-160 range and not a turkey amongst them, so you’ll need to be ruthless or you could spend the rest of the summer deciding 😀

    I get tired too on longer rides (lack of fitness) and ride a similar sort of hardtail. When looking for a fs to accompany the 456SS, i was swayed to the bikes that would climb easier and so flatter my lack of fitness.

    I’d not buy a bike to compensate for a particular area, I’d buy one that matches my style and enhances my riding 🙂

    I.e. if you a bit of a porker and find it hard to climb, but love hooning downhill, why would you buy a 100mm travel race hard tail?

    Play to your strengths, damage limitation on the things you’re not so good with.

    Given my facial injuries, stitches and open wounds, obviously I’m very good at falling on my face. I’m not sure there’s a bike for that.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    @buttscratcher – full face helmet and goggles for you ? 😉


    I’d not buy a bike to compensate for a particular area, I’d buy one that matches my style and enhances my riding

    I.e. if you a bit of a porker and find it hard to climb, but love hooning downhill, why would you buy a 100mm travel race hard tail?

    A more suitable example: my shortened shortlist contained an enduro evo and a stumpy evo (amongst others). Both fairly similar and very capable but tailored to slightly different needs.

    Premier Icon unklehomered

    As a happy meta AM owner, i don’t understand why anyone would buy anything else. 😀


    if you a bit of a porker and find it hard to climb, but love hooning downhill

    Have you been watching me?!

    Premier Icon Alex

    That’s my rocket up there ^^^ (black and white one). It’s a great bike. Not that’s having it has stopped me getting something else 😉 Works best when going fast.


    I would not go 4 bar linkage or vpp.

    Single pivot or faux bar like the rocket will keep the instant response. Might just be me but having had a bullit, patriot, giant team DH, intense spyder, spesh s works enduro, ventana el Santa montes and now a spesh fsr comp after a few years off.

    I really am struggling with 4 bar over faux bar. 4 bar works to well and wallows in my experience. Especially compared to a hardtail.

    Try before you buy is the only way not to make a mistake.


    My take would be Rocket, but go with the Bos shock.

    Rapidly becoming my favourite bike. Ridden the Uzzi once since building this and hated it – felt heavy, sluggish, high and steep – even on the DH runs. (the Soda is still lovely on the right trail though).

    All the bearings have little custom made shields covering them, so bearing life should be pretty good, and it’s as stiff as a stiff thing.

    Uphill it’s great – very neutral – grips great, but no chain tension related shenanigans that I can feel.

    Mine (now with a lighter wheelset and smaller brakes than the pic) is 29.5lb including pedals & dropper post, which I don’t think is too bad for a bombproof trail bike.


    The Rockets do seem popular and get good reviews. Nice looking bikes too although I’d vote for the Spitfire (the bike that I should have bought instead of my Rune….I love my Rune but its probably a bit OTT).

    I’ve been really impressed with the KS Link suspension; it feels more responsive than my SX Trail did and certainly pedals better out of the saddle but still soaks up the lumps and bumps well. I like the slack head angle (mine is 65.5 degrees) and steep seat angle, long top tube, low BB. They’re pretty adjustable and future proof (can swap to 650b when the industry gets its way and gets rid of 26ers).

    I’m too exhausted in my post-accident state of recuperation to string together an elegant reply so this will have to be some kind of stream of consciousness… I do not trust BOS to be able to support me with spares in a timely fashion when the inevitable happens, so they’re out of the running! Orange. KS Link is appealing, Rune seems OTT, Banshee V2 looks good. Mud/tyre clearance?

    A tiny part of me worries about 650b idiocy but it’s only tyres that could be a problem and I don’t see everyone making good tyres scrapping their moulds for a very very long time. Try before you buy is a funny one because every FS feels weirdly squishy to me – I wouldn’t buy any of them without having one for days or weeks to get me used to it. Orange. Meta AM also looks nice but that shock position worries me with the amount of mud we get round here. Four bar is definitely the topology to avoid for my preferences.

    I’ve always believed in getting better rather than spending money on gear – that’s why my bass guitar is a huge awesome sounding monster which is not that easy to play and my bass rig shows up all your imperfections as well as your moments of brilliance. Orange. But I think I need to be pragmatic – I don’t have all the time in the world to train, I have a wife and baby daughter and my own rapidly growing small business. And I don’t think I’m a brave enough rider to progress as well as I’d like whilst sticking exclusively with hardtails. That rear suspension travel should encourage me to shift my weight more and also get me to carry more speed into jumps and drops knowing that I won’t have such a skittery beast to contain on landing.

    So this bike is to help develop and enhance my riding ability and thus enjoyment (whilst staying reasonably safe!) Something that allows me to attack trails which I don’t know, either on enduro races or whilst riding out of my home territory, without having to feel ‘on it’ 100% of the time. Orange. My Float 32 140s don’t have the damping control to cope well when I’m really pushing on, nor are they stiff enough. I’ve been thinking about stiffer and better damped forks for a little while. I could drop them to 120 on the Soul – maybe I’ll try that when I get them apart to put a heavier weight oil in to add some compression damping and bring the rebound damping into a more useful range.

    Part of me wonders if on a FS I’d have been less beaten up after a day of bumps, carried more speed over the roots and been happy to land rear wheel heavy on the drop? Who knows, I got away with it this time but still feel incredibly weak, can barely pick my daughter up. Orange. I’ll be doing more bodyweight/weight training once I’m fixed because I think being reasonably strong might have saved my ribs from cracking, even if it was just luck that saved my neck. Seeing my mate in agony from a dislocation after an innocuous fall makes me want to make sure my shoulders are as stable as possible even if it doesn’t make me any quicker uphill (care?)

    If I’m carrying suspension around and I want a stiff slack frame then I might as well carry a decent amount of travel around. A 4X bike might be fun but again it comes back to how hardcore I am. Am I? Not enough. I think it needs to be enough of a step up from the way my Soul is built (basically BFe style) to justify itself. The Soul can then wear mud tyres when it get really soggy.

    So, Rocket, yes? Yes. Orange, yes? Yes. What colour forks? These new Pikes have black stanchions. White/black/white/orange/white or black/black/black/orange/white. White?

    Premier Icon blur lt rider

    How about a Knolly Endorphin? 140 travel but feels more than that, it climbs really well, descends like a bike with more travel, is nimble and so much fun to ride. With 160 forks it’s 66.5 degrees – think more people run 150 forks but it’s brilliant with the longer ones.

    Premier Icon Alex

    Orange and black always good. Mate had a knolly, went very well in the alps. ALthough every time we stopped and I had to look at it, I wanted to throw a blanket over it!

    Had the bright idea earlier that having donated the transmission and brakes from my Soul to the probably-Rocket, I might as well singlespeed the Soul for minimum winter hassle and maximum ‘fun’. ..

    devinci dixon is a real nice bike, SP design does not feel like a wallowy beast, just smooths out the trail and it begs you to let go the brakes and take the manly line!

    hope your recovery is going well!


    ps a user review here



    Orange Rocket with all black forks and other bits would look awesome. Maybe some white accents to match the swing arm bit on the rocket.

    Premier Icon metalheart

    Orange with white forks looks good (IMHO)….

    Pre-puncture. Larsens no use for the sharp loose stuff (schoolboy error I’m afraid) by Metalheart-UK, on Flickr

    More photos if you follow the link and click on ‘orange rocket set’

    I have bought white grips and saddle but not fitted them yet, not sure if it’s overkill or not… 😳

    SC Blur or Yeti ASR sound like they’d fit the bill if you want to retain the feel of a hard tail.


    I’ve just seen the pic of the black and white Cotic Rocket on the previous page.

    Sell your kidney, your immediate family, even your chastity to fund one – that is an awesome looking bike.

    PJM1974 – Member
    I’ve just seen the pic of the black and white Cotic Rocket on the previous page.

    Sell your kidney, your immediate family, even your chastity to fund one – that is an awesome looking bike.

    No accounting for taste, is there? I thought the white rims and cables ruined it.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    I went through a similar exercise late last year/early this year. I boiled it down to Orange 5 or Transition Bandit 26er, settling for the Bandit based on it being a better climber than expected and also not being quite as ubiquitous as a Five (understatement!).

    I’m enjoying the Bandit. I find the weight distribution very different to the Five. The Bandit has a much more planted front end, which gives confidence but the flipside is that I don’t find it as easy to “pop” as the Five. It may be that actually now my wheels are coming of the ground more balanced fore-aft instead of hoiking the front wheel and getting a little hop at the back 😆

    The Bandit attacks technical rocky climbs so, so well. I much prefer a good full susser for technical climbing than a hardtail. Downhill it inspires more than enough confidence for my skillz and ability to cash in, hence a rather sore elbow this week 😳

    I still think about the Five though, usually every time I have my bucket of warm soapy water and little brushes trying to clean all the pivots, nooks and crannies on the Bandit 🙁

    Van Halen

    how often do you ride away from brighton? you defo dont need more than 100mm locally to go really bloody fast and big if you want. the problem is finding the right frame. a decent shock/suspension design matters most. too long and it`ll be really crap in stanmer/wp once you get over the new bike feeling. poor susspension/damping and it wallows. some rear suss will help with fatigue on longer rides.

    an orange 5 is a great bike but without adjustable compression on the shock I really wouldnt go there otherwise it will blow through the travel. i was amazed how differnt my orange felt once i got a shock with adjustable compression. and how much compression i needed to run!

    i’ve also had had 2 4 bar bikes and they do work. my previous norco was a beast but by god it worked. it even pedalled fairly good uphill. my current one has a air shock and if im honest with myself ive never been happy with the shock. it pedals ok though.

    i suppose 5″ rear gives you more comfort for the odd away day. Im considering keeping my norco just because i might go to north wales in august and if im bombing massive rocks a bit more travel is welcome.

    6″ is overkill and really doesnt help locally and removes some of the fun a shorter travel bike will give you.

    and remember suspension wont make you a better rider… it just rides differently

    I should add that if the Soul is going singlespeed then I might as well move the chainguide and my signature bash across to the Rocket:

    No accounting for taste! 😉

    Regarding shorter travel options, what’s actually out there? I know I want something stiff, I know I want something slack. I don’t want a FS equivalent to the 140mm Soul but something less XC and more gnarr. If you’re talking 10 or 20mm difference, how much difference does that make if both frames are the same sagged BB height, spring rate and compression tuning? Surely the longer travel frame would ride much the same until the shorter travel frame bottoms out?

    I think you need to try a few out, they are all pretty nice bikes, geo/travel comparisons etc. are interesting but there is nothing like getting you leg over 😉

    dont rule a bike out just on the numbers!

    Van Halen

    i guess if all things are equal 10mm will make sod all difference. but i think youd be suprised how different different bikes feel

    but you cant really compare a rocket to an orange as the shock curves will be different.

    its a bloody minefield buying a bike. everyone has the greatest bike and everyones taste in travel/damping differs/geo differs.

    if the old hemlock was still about i’d like one of those if they’d warentee it for jumpy fun – short and long rockers depending on what you want to ride. i like the idea of teh genesis grapil and very nearly bought a trance but i’m kinda between sizes (even tho the shop was adamant i needed a large but what do they know) but if i had money to burn i`d buy a cannondale jeckyll.

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