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Late to the party: Long-Travel Bikes


This topic contains 23 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  jheene 2 years, 10 months ago.

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    I love the P111. It’s a great bike. I wish I could have tried it at 140 in the front. Would have made it a ripper on the descends. I wonder how badly it slows down the handling for tight XC. Probably not as badly as I imagine.


    Renegade Hardware

    Process 111 went from 68 to a 67.5 deg HA for 2017, so you’d end up similar running the 140mm fork, which would be nowhere near slow handling. 68 is pretty twitchy, and is what came on the 134 (super odd, all competition was 67 or less at the time), whereas the 153 was 66.5. now down to 66 iirc. New geo is much improved and the new designs are much nicer overall (removing the shock yolk will extend life of shock considerably). I’d imagine the new 153 29er would prob pedal better than the old 111 with the pivot moved.



    I rode a 28T for a bit and the whole drive train (chain/cassette/chainring) was worn to shit in record time. The mechanic wondered if maybe the extra torque from the baby ring was putting extra stress on the whole system, that and my quads of steel.

    Slightly alternate theory: A smaller front ring will have you using your small cogs more often to achieve the same speed. Small cogs and rings will wear out faster, since they have fewer teeth to spread the wear across. Since it’s so difficult to replace *part* of a cassette these days, your cassette is toast, even if the big cogs are mint.

    I suppose increased chain wrap on smaller cogs and rings could *in theory* increase the wear on a chain too, but I can’t imagine this being a real-life factor.


    Renegade Hardware

    Smaller cogs do indeed wear out faster. Smaller cogs require more chain tension to move, and have a greater load applied over a smaller amount of surface, thus wearing out the teeth faster. It wears the chain faster due to the wrap around and the increased tension which leads to stretch.



    I imagine both theories are in play. I definitely wore out the small cogs in record time, which is in line with theory one, but the whole cassette was worn, which can be explained by theory two. I’m also 200lb before gear mashing up steep climbs in the don and shifting a tonne, so I don’t think I’m generally that friendly with drivetrains.

    Maybe the new 153 pedal better in some ways, but it’s hard to believe standing & mashing you won’t feel 40% more squish.


    Renegade Hardware

    Not theory, it’s almost a law since there’s a mathematical relationship that will be consistently true 😉 . This sort of stuff is taken into account when designing chain driven systems as it will affect efficiency and longevity of the system.

    I think you’ll be very surprised. Pedaling performance has a lot to do with design first and foremost. the slayer pedals better than the altitude, which has less travel. it has more antisquat, which is what the new kona’s will have. Right now they have the opposite of antisquat. haha.



    Isnt it just the smaller chainring giving you more torque up front, increasing tension on the chain?



    Reading back, I think @renegade-hardware said the same thing but in different words. Either way, smaller chainrings definitely put more stress on drivetrains.



    New here, but wanted to weigh in on the long travel bike thread.

    I live in London ON, the flattest of the flat Ontario towns. I can only own 1 bike and remain married, so I have the one that can ride everything. I just replaced my Reign with an Enduro 29. Ya it’s tons of bike. 160/165. It certainly qualifies as a Trail Couch. Comes in at 31lbs with flat pedals. The Enduro is about a pound heavier than my Reign.

    Here is my justification:

    I bought the bike for the terrain that I want to ride. We go to Pisgah or out West every year. For me, this is the reason to own a mountain bike at all. The rest of the time, on the trails around here, I could probably get away with my commuter. That said, I push my Enduro around the local trails (poached and otherwise) and make the trip to Kelso, Halton and Waterdown regularly. The Enduro is crazy fun at Kelso. Diggers Drop, a big feature for me, is session-able on the Enduro. Halton is a blast. Picking my way through endless rock gardens is great fun and keeps the skills sharp. Keep the pedalling cadence high, speed up and be willing to give the handlebars a pull when the front wheel hangs up! The big bike makes the hard lines fun and the easier lines faster (fun). I never find myself saying that the bike weighs too much. I’ve done lots of 6hr rides down south, and still had legs to get up the next day and do it again.

    I like the slack geo and the stability it gives both on the ground and in the air. I find myself pedalling into turns I would normally brake for, and looking for lines with bigger consequences. I go faster and harder on a bigger bike, regardless of the trail. As a result, my fitness is better and so are my bike handling skills. I’m cleaning bigger, rougher sections faster and more often than at any point in my riding career – both up and down.

    To be fair, I haven’t spent much time on a recent trail bike. I went from a Frankenstein Giant NRS with a 140mm TALAS on it, to a Reign in 2008. Essentially, I’ve learned to ride on a long travel rig. I’ve always looked for bigger lines, even as trails get smoothed out (hence the TALAS on my NRS and the trips down south). I did test a 2017 Stumpy, but compared to the Enduro it did not feel like I was “in” the bike. The Stumpy rode tall, which is probably better for climbing, but way less fun for everything else. I’ll grind out the climbs in 30/46 for sake of faster cornering and confidence in the gnar.

    In the end, its all about priorities I suppose. I figure pushing the big bike around the training loops is just that – training, and I’ll still blast into the gnarly stuff when I want to. I don’t think that the big bike makes tame trails less fun at all and I have lots of experience on tame. The bigger bikes have allowed me to push my limits and I have never felt under gunned (except at Windrock Bike Park about 6 years ago – that place is rowdy af)

    My vote is for big bike, big tires, big wheels, big gnar – big smiles.

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