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viperdbr mikelevy's article
Nov 27, 2012 at 11:37Nov 27, 2012
The Argument For Short Travel Bikes - Opinion
This is something I can't agree with more. I live in an area where the trails have maybe 20-30ft of elevation change, yet I constantly see guys on 6-7 travel Enduro bikes. Some of them I'll chock up to they just moved to the area, but many think they need the travel to deal with the roots (no rocks). Yet I fly past them on my FS or HT XC race bike. I have fallen into the same trap, but 4 years later all I use is a HT and 100mm FS. The fun comes form flying over obstacles on a light bike, railing corners, flicking the bike side to side and passing guys on longer travel bikes. I recently built a Demo 8, a bike that is just not sold at any shop where I live. Everyone asked If I was going to test it out at our local trails, my prompt response was no, I built it to send to a family member's house who lived in the Sierras. Out in the Sierras I also brought a 100mm travel Specialized Epic and I started by having my wife shuttle me to the top of a few of the local trails and the demo was a blast, allowing me to hit features I was not able to hit before. Then I started riding the epic and found the trails more enjoyable. I wasn't able to hit some of the features I could have with the Demo, but the Epic would accelerate out of the corners faster, clear jumps easier and overall make it down much faster. I can't tell you how many guys I caught up to and passed on the Epic and they were on bikes with 2X the travel (and quite surprised). The Demo has it's place on the Black and Double black diamond runs at the local Bike Park, but for most things, 100mm travel will work just great. I actually enjoy riding the HT more, unless I am just tired and don't feel like picking lines. I always encourage new riders to get a HT first. It helps you perfect your skills and read the bike and terrain better, then when you get a longer travel you can compare and be more lazy on trails.
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