Mountain biking 2019

AmyPJ

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Thanks, Josh! I'll try playing with the psi first as that makes sense, plus less work than pulling a spacer out.
Interesting in that Norco video that they specifically recommend riders cut the bars vs. getting a shorter stem to shorten the cockpit.
 

Josh Matta

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yeah I am not sure I agree with that..........I mean it works assuming you have space for the bars on your body and on you trails.

I have rode 800mm+ bars before and find 760mm fairly comfortable, but it honestly about as wide I can realistically ride around here, and I live in area where many of the "apex" trees have been taken out for modern bikes.
 

nay

dirt heel pusher
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@AmyPJ my suggestion is to try as low as PSI as possible with the current spacers in it. you will get better small bump compliance and it should have better mid stroke/bottom out. To each their own but on 140+ forks I would rather have super supple and compliant first 3-4 inches of travel with a pretty aggressive end stroke ramp up for pumping and jumping.

one thing to note is that modern enduro Geometery climb better regardless of rear travel than even a trail/enduro bike from 4-5 years ago, and light years better than anything prior the 2013ish........... where they lack imo is nimbleness while seated pedaling, which is only really an issue on flatter rolling terrain you may find in flatter locales. I am not sure I would dig a modern bike riding many places I used to ride in pittsburgh.

Also some more truth. Learning to ride clipless, while make your climbing better than going from Fuel Ex to a new Fuel or top fuel. In fact depending on the climbing some of the real short travel rigs/hardtail actually lag behind more trail 110/120+ rig on some chunky climbs.

Talking about short travel enduro geo rigs. Ever since I got my Honzo and then test rode a Kona Process 111 I have wanted a short travel shedder, and Ill be honest I feel most people who lives with tons of elevation change should just buy a long travel rig and be done with it, I personally like short travel rigs because most of my riding with my wife is slightly to chunky for my hardtail, and my 160/140 trance is kind of overkill(but sometime fun for "jib" lines. This just released bike is ticking most of the boxes. My only hope is that it has ISCG05 tabs because modern low BB bike tend to bash chainrings around me. IMO short travel is just more pumpable.


hoping my local shop gets some in stock so I can demo the M and L and find out whats better for me. Plus I either buy the complete 2 or buy a frame. Both are my favorite colors.
I was just looking at the Norco Optic when the release came out, not that I need another ST bike. I bet this type of design checks a lot of boxes for a wide range of riders.

I totally agree on the loss of nimbleness in seated pedaling - I will drop my seat a bit in anything that isn’t relatively smooth climbing or I end up getting bucked around. I took a couple of no speed falls figuring that out when I first got the bike.

I don’t prefer the long ascent/descent trails over variable flow tech that is short ups and downs (more high desert terrain). I think that still ultimately favors a longer travel bike, but then how much does plushness really matter for this type of terrain?
 

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dirt heel pusher
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It's funny you say that, because that's kind of where my mind has been going in the past few days. Climbing is climbing is climbing, and a slacker bike with big wheels should climb up and OVER crap even better. If I wanted to race seriously, I'd be on a bike that allows me to climb faster. I DO need more confidence on the downhill and would like a smoother ride in the rock gardens, so this bike might be just the ticket. I did get mine built yesterday and rode it around the neighborhood to bounce on the suspension, etc. It bunny hops way easier than my previous bike. :D With flats. The Fox 36 is overkill for me-I dropped 10 lbs off the recommended psi and am still not using but 2/3 of the travel, so I think the spacers will be coming out. I am also sitting more over the bottom bracket, which feels REALLY good for power. Wanted to take it out on the trails today but am feeling crappy, so will have to do it tomorrow. And the XT brakes are sweet.

Hopefully riding the "shorter" travel Fox 34 on a 130mm fork for the past 3 summers will have given me some good skills to build off of.
Next question is whether or not to cut the bars down. The bars have more sweep and rise, so despite the bike actually having more reach than I'm used to, it actually felt shorter and I was able to drop my chest and bend my elbows. We'll see. Riding the streets really isn't a good test.
Yea, climbing is climbing is why I’ve stuck with 2.6 tires even though I can feel the heavier rear especially since it is half DH tire (Specialized Blck Dmnd casing). But point down and it’s money, especially with the 130mm rear.

I don’t get super deep into the 130mm Fox 34 even on flat landings, but it’s pretty easy to get through the rear dpx2 in fully open descent mode. There is a lot of focus on over forking (longer travel fork than shock) where I feel it’s the rear that brings the balance to “plushness”. Some people have put a coil shock on the Stumpy ST and use it as their park bike because it’s so light and poppable.

Things are always seen differently when viewed as a system instead of a component set and travel is never an independent variable as is where most mistakes in suspension design are made.
 

Josh Matta

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on actual flow trails? Not much, give me a hardtail with some plus tires and I d be happy. With that said some flow trails get so chewed up that become a chore like on my hardtail. Desert riding...... well I think most if fairly chunky at least what I have rode in utah and Grand junction IMO a longer travel bike is "easier" but not always as fun. There is something rewarding about pumping though chunk, but getting overwhelmed with chunk is no fun, which does happen to me sometimes riding my Honzo, but has never happened to me on my trance.

yeah as someone who used to ride 72 degree head angle, 72 degree STA with stupid short reaches on my XC bikes, they are better on a ton of rolling terrain especially sans dropper. IMo these bike do flatter slightly rolling terrain seated really well....but are awful where I like to ride.
 
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nay

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on actual flow trails? Not much, give me a hardtail with some plus tires and I d be happy. With that said some flow trails get so chewed up that become a chore like on my hardtail. Desert riding...... well I think most if fairly chunky at least what I have rode in utah and Grand junction IMO a longer travel bike is "easier" but not always as fun. There is something rewarding about pumping though chunk, but getting overwhelmed with chunk is no fun, which does happen to me sometimes riding my Honzo, but has never happened to me on my trance.
The easier but not always as fun is where my head currently is - one thing of course is thinking about where say 130mm is really “short” travel when the 29’er longer travel version of the same bike has a 140mm rear. Not to say that a cm doesn’t matter, but the balance of the suspension front to rear and level of components probably matters more.

So if you ride “flow between tech”, which I think is the accurate descriptor of high desert riding, and these aren’t 2-3K descents where getting worn out can happen, it seems like the enduro travel move is too keyed to just taking the DH bike out of the quiver.

Enough new ST bikes are being launched like the Optic to suggest a market for “not so burly”. The promo vids for these bikes are always whipping around tight flow and popping off stuff, but maybe it’s just filling back in a void being left by the Rise of Enduro, while keeping modern geometry.
 
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AmyPJ

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Well, I took the new bike out for a spin around the neighborhood trails, which are smooth and flowy with some steep pitches and tight switchbacks. I am feeling pretty lousy today so wasn't exactly killing it out there. The thing climbs like a dream--I had a second fastest time on one of the climbs :) and it's buttery smooth on the descents. I was a bit slower on the descents but I attribute that to feeling the bike out at speed and in switchbacks. It handled the switchbacks really well. I felt centered and could turn it really tight. Jury is out on the bars. I am definitely in a more upright position and they didn't feel ridiculously wide but that could change in more technical terrain. I'll leave them for now. I've been riding the same geometry for 3 seasons now, so this is a fun change. Not sure if it would be considered a ST or LT bike at 140/130 but I think I'm going to really enjoy it especially on our chunky rocky trails (which we have plenty of.)

And here's a funny: we got out two different tire gauges and a spare pump to test against the pump we always use (bought two seasons ago.) Our pump measures 5 pounds light! So, I've been riding my 2.6 tire in the front with 18 lbs instead of the 13 ish that I thought I was. No wonder it felt like a balloon on rocks! I was riding the 2.4 in the back with the equivalent of almost 21 lbs, which is way more than I need. We checked the pump against the gauges last season and it was accurate but hadn't checked it this season. :doh: I'll be using the secondary gauge from now on, or just use the pump that is measuring accurately.
 

Josh Matta

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wet leaves are fun just get some cut spikes!

https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-492-140-shorty



They honestly make riding on wet leaves easy as well mud and anything loose or loamy. In fact I would rather ride on wet leaves with a shorty than ride on dry hardpacked trail with a DHF or DHR2.
 
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Tom K.

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Events conspired such that we ended up skipping Winnemucca today, but will arrive Moab tomorrow.

Stay tuned for some pics!

Sadly, my new Fuel EX is back at home. Hoping I don't break my Top Fuel in half on the Moab chunk.
 

Josh Matta

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speaking of bar width....


bars are too wide, probably too high, and the years zoe has spent on riding with out dropper has messed her up for riding with a dropper.

Dont get back! Get low and get forward with bent arms that can take up negative space! glad to she her pro coach is on the same page.
 
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nay

dirt heel pusher
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speaking of bar width....


bars are too wide, probably too high, and the years zoe has spent on riding with out dropper has messed her up for riding with a dropper.

Dont get back! Get low and get forward with bent arms that can take up negative space! glad to she her pro coach is on the same page.
I watched this, too, and saw that tendency to get way back. This is a good series start, although on Insta a bunch of the comments were “never go full Enduro” :P.

All of these sub-categories kill me. Trails are trails.
 

nay

dirt heel pusher
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Finally just rode this little notch where I just couldn’t get comfortable with the drop in angle and clearance. It’s a tight drop coming off a turn and exiting with a turn, but as with many things if you just ride it the flow clears.

So that makes a clean run of Nacho - short trail that is all of the best kind of tech riding, exiting the slick rock with a number of 2’ railroad beam drops (erosion control) that make for some easy fun air time.

38E4542A-900F-4A8F-AD76-DBC6F13FADF0.jpeg
9DB0DECF-1FC0-4C54-BF5F-8088CE48940E.jpeg
 

AmyPJ

No longer on the single track.
Pugski Ski Tester
Posts
4,099
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Ogden, UT
speaking of bar width....


bars are too wide, probably too high, and the years zoe has spent on riding with out dropper has messed her up for riding with a dropper.

Dont get back! Get low and get forward with bent arms that can take up negative space! glad to she her pro coach is on the same page.
Those bars are REALLY wide. So, in the next episode, did they cut them down? That trail looks awesome, too.

On that note, rode the new wheels on a real trail today. LOVED it! I feel much more centered on it without having to be conscious of it. Still up in the air on the bars. They actually felt just fine, honestly. If I start getting neck and headaches, then I'll have my answer.
 

Josh Matta

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bars are mostly a feel thing but if you look your being hung out on a cross while you go down the trail maybe its time to cut them a bit....
 

ZionPow

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Wahsnatch
@AmyPJ my suggestion is to try as low as PSI as possible with the current spacers in it. you will get better small bump compliance and it should have better mid stroke/bottom out. To each their own but on 140+ forks I would rather have super supple and compliant first 3-4 inches of travel with a pretty aggressive end stroke ramp up for pumping and jumping.

one thing to note is that modern enduro Geometery climb better regardless of rear travel than even a trail/enduro bike from 4-5 years ago, and light years better than anything prior the 2013ish........... where they lack imo is nimbleness while seated pedaling, which is only really an issue on flatter rolling terrain you may find in flatter locales. I am not sure I would dig a modern bike riding many places I used to ride in pittsburgh.

Also some more truth. Learning to ride clipless, while make your climbing better than going from Fuel Ex to a new Fuel or top fuel. In fact depending on the climbing some of the real short travel rigs/hardtail actually lag behind more trail 110/120+ rig on some chunky climbs.

Talking about short travel enduro geo rigs. Ever since I got my Honzo and then test rode a Kona Process 111 I have wanted a short travel shedder, and Ill be honest I feel most people who lives with tons of elevation change should just buy a long travel rig and be done with it, I personally like short travel rigs because most of my riding with my wife is slightly to chunky for my hardtail, and my 160/140 trance is kind of overkill(but sometime fun for "jib" lines. This just released bike is ticking most of the boxes. My only hope is that it has ISCG05 tabs because modern low BB bike tend to bash chainrings around me. IMO short travel is just more pumpable.


hoping my local shop gets some in stock so I can demo the M and L and find out whats better for me. Plus I either buy the complete 2 or buy a frame. Both are my favorite colors.
I have been riding a Norco Optic C1 for the past 2 seasons and it is the best bike for the trails and way I ride in UT. A few times a year when I ride Moab or something similar, I could use more than the 120/110 travel on my Optic but it's not worth the extra weight with all the climbing I do on every ride! You will not regret buying a Norco!!!!

IMG_0792.JPG
 

Josh Matta

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yeah at this point in time I am 95 percent sure its my next full suspension, but I have no plans of getting rid of my absolutely dialed 27.5 Trance Sx.

I want....

29er because the little wheel are chore like in flat chunk(but honestly not that bad going down)
less travel for more pump
more modern Geo, when I got my trance I was between a size M and Size L and went L with its 464mm reach and higher bars. on the new Norco I think size M will be money and I ll get to run a 210mm dropper. It should also climb better due to its big wheels, steeper STA, and less travel. I am slightly skeptical on that shock, but custom valving means ill give it a fair chance.
 
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