What short travel freeride bike should i get

PB Forum :: Freeride & Slopestyle
What short travel freeride bike should i get
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Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 1:32 Quote
I rode a "short-travel" freeride bike for a season and I will say this much (perhaps it was a bad setup or something): If I was to buy a freeride bike again, I would definetely get something with a little more travel. I was blowing through my 5" everywhere, even with a spring more or less for my weight and a decently set up fork. In fact, the fork was great, but the rear end was way too soft and at the same time had pretty bad small bump sensitivity.

Overall it was kinda a 'blah' experience.

Bike was a 2007 Eastern Slash with a Fox Vanilla on the back and Marzocchi Drop-Off on the front.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 3:03 Quote
JokerMachine wrote:
I rode a "short-travel" freeride bike for a season and I will say this much (perhaps it was a bad setup or something): If I was to buy a freeride bike again, I would definetely get something with a little more travel. I was blowing through my 5" everywhere, even with a spring more or less for my weight and a decently set up fork. In fact, the fork was great, but the rear end was way too soft and at the same time had pretty bad small bump sensitivity.

Overall it was kinda a 'blah' experience.

Bike was a 2007 Eastern Slash with a Fox Vanilla on the back and Marzocchi Drop-Off on the front.
totally digging that comment man, thats exactly the experience I had, I wanted a bike that would be jack-of-all-trades but ended up with something that was jack-of-none, it wasn't fun to ride and didn't perform well in any aspect of riding, it pretty much just plain sucked ass [and not titties, which would have been a good thing!]

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 4:31 Quote
ctd07 wrote:
totally digging that comment man, thats exactly the experience I had, I wanted a bike that would be jack-of-all-trades but ended up with something that was jack-of-none, it wasn't fun to ride and didn't perform well in any aspect of riding, it pretty much just plain sucked ass [and not titties, which would have been a good thing!]

Didn't really enjoy the Banshee, I take it...

I'd love to have something with a progressive shock curve and maybe a little plusher suspension, the Slash (Ellsworth designed rear end notwithstanding) seemed very linear and you didn't notice the travel at all really.

Then again, we have next to nowhere to ride, so I don't really see the point in getting a good mountain bike at all... no mountains, I would mainly be riding it from point A to point B in the city, and doing that on a long-travel fully with a plush set of forks and shock and big wide sticky tires seems like a waste of money and energy.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 6:11 Quote
haven't had a chance to go for a real ride yet but from a small parking lot test it feels good. I was able to drop the axle to crown height a little bit since I run 24's, once the shop finds my rear brake adapter that I gave them she will be all done. Can't wait to ride tomorrow.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 6:32 Quote
yeah always felt that i could have put longer forks on mine. Im gonna have to wait till saturday before i get to ride tho! Hopefully gets some pics of the newer build on then.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 9:26 Quote
JokerMachine wrote:
I rode a "short-travel" freeride bike for a season and I will say this much (perhaps it was a bad setup or something): If I was to buy a freeride bike again, I would definetely get something with a little more travel. I was blowing through my 5" everywhere, even with a spring more or less for my weight and a decently set up fork. In fact, the fork was great, but the rear end was way too soft and at the same time had pretty bad small bump sensitivity.

Overall it was kinda a 'blah' experience.

Bike was a 2007 Eastern Slash with a Fox Vanilla on the back and Marzocchi Drop-Off on the front.

Thats why...

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 12:24 Quote
faith1rider wrote:
JokerMachine wrote:
Bike was a 2007 Eastern Slash with a Fox Vanilla on the back and Marzocchi Drop-Off on the front.

Thats why...

Uh... so you have to have a DHX 5.0 or a Cane Creek for your bike to feel nice nowadays?

I don't buy it.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 12:32 Quote
a dhx 4 or dhx air 4 or even a rp23 would make a big difference because of adjustments... What was your spring weight?

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 12:47 Quote
Van's just aren't great shocks... about on par with DHX 3's imo.

Just about any modern shock is better.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 13:31 Quote
Unhallowed wrote:
Van's just aren't great shocks... about on par with DHX 3's imo.

Just about any modern shock is better.


I wasn't expecting "great"

I was expecting something that was decent. And it couldn't deliver even that, and I'm not sure the shock is 100% at fault here. The fork I had wasn't really "top of the line" either, but after some tuning and an oil change it worked quite well.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 13:55 Quote
Ok, generally eastern stuff sucks. Breaks or just isn't that awesome to begin with.
Van RC shock and drop off forks are meh. Not great, not even that good imo.
As for needing more travel... I get by perfectly fine on my 5" Wildcard. But the Wildcard is pretty rad.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 14:15 Quote
Unhallowed wrote:
Ok, generally eastern stuff sucks. Breaks or just isn't that awesome to begin with.
Van RC shock and drop off forks are meh. Not great, not even that good imo.
As for needing more travel... I get by perfectly fine on my 5" Wildcard. But the Wildcard is pretty rad.

1. The suspension is a licensed copy of the Ellsworth Atlas rear end, used on the Joker freeride bike way back when. Saying "Eastern stuff sucks" here is pointless, as it didn't break, it just felt weird.

2. Everything is relative. A Fox Vanilla is a relatively good shock, and in other bikes it feels fine. On the Slash it didn't feel the same.

3. You are you, what's good for one isn't for another, etc. I could "get by" on a hardtail if I wanted to. I just don't want to.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 14:26 Quote
Ellsworth isn't all that good either. They make wild claims about having no ____ and lots of ____, then sell you a 'glorified faux bar' bike.
Yes you are right, amazing bike with crappy parts will be better than crappy bike with crappy parts.
I have no arguement with your last statement apart from 'learn to deal with something not being ideal, it will make you a better rider in the long run'...

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 18:53 Quote
JokerMachine wrote:

Didn't really enjoy the Banshee, I take it...


ha ha, it was a love/hate relationship, sometimes I would go for a ride and think it was a good bike, on a par with my previous steeds, other times [and more often] I was left dissapointed at its lack of capability - the DHX air shock may have been to blame to a large extent, it just slammed through its travel constantly and rebounded uncontrollably, maybe with a different shock it would have performed more amicably, but I was still far from impressed by the naff bearing housing design and the high Cog and bb height combined with very short wheelbase and ultra short reach, just made for a twitchy ride that was hard to throw-down into corners, was also beyond terrible in the 6.5" setting so never used that!

I'm just extra mad at it for all the crashes I had on it, so no love left for it!Blank Stare


as for ' Unhallowed's statements, I have to strongly disagree, a poor ride won't teach you anything, you will learn to ride badly in order to compensate for its inadequacy, and maybe 5" is fine for what you do, but I found the Wildcrd's rear ends lack of responsiveness and terrible pedal-bob combined with a shock that didn't perform just made for a pretty unpleasant experience that was usless for proper dh tracks and had too much travel for jumps like @ Gorge road/Lismore park so sat in a non-existent riding category [as it was also too heavy for am/xc and didn't jump well enough at high speed for places like Wynyard nr my house](I rode Justin Leov's home track on mine and couldn't get enough speed to clear any of the jumps, couldn't line-up for the corners as it was bouncing everywhere and could hardly slow down due to the ridiculous brake jack it has, but rode a Glory dh down the same track and was fine, cleared everything 1st time and it pedalled far better on the flat section!)

where it did perform was on fairly slow trails that weren't too rough and didn't have very big jumps [like some English dh or A-line type trails], then it was fun, but was no use on any hard-out demanding stuff.

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 at 19:26 Quote
Riding say, DH, on a hardtail will teach you how to actually choose lines and use your body. Instead of just having a plow and going in a straight line over everything like oh-so-many people do nowadays. Riding XC on something a bit heavy will work your legs harder. In both these situations you will be a better rider when you get a dedicated rig for those types of riding. Bad riding habits are bad riding habits, they will come from lack of knowledge not from learning to deal with situations.

So far I have yet to encounter any of the characteristics you describe while riding the same frame/shock combo. It's handled everything fine, and has held it's own against demo's and sunday WC's on some gnarly rock and drop filled trails up on the shore and on the coast. It's jumped fine, although I find myself using the propedal a lot(standover is a little awkward coming off my Dob as well, but that's to be expected). Hell I've even ridden street and park on mine after a tire change. It has handled it all fine. Flipping the propedal on I have to physically jump up and down to get the suspension to bob under power. From slow crawls to flatout mach chicken I've yet to get any substantial jack, yea there's a bit but it's been better than any similar style bikes I have ridden or owned. If you are comparing the bike to a DH bike then of course you will come up short. It is NOT a DH bike, it is a SS(aka Short travel FR) bike. Jack of all trades, master of none.

The DHX air was a pain to set up at first, but that could be because of my inexperience with air suspension when I first got it. After playing around with it I found it to be very nice and I now prefer it to coil. Yes it is rather linear through it's travel but from what I have heard that is similar to most air shocks.

I'm not going to assume you're riding is to blame, or the bike is to blame, or the setup is to blame(also please don't take this post as being confrontational, it was not intended to be). I don't know you or how you ride and have nothing more than photos to judge how your bike is set up... From my experiences, and from people I talk to and ride with, I HAVE to come to the conclusion that you're situation is at least somewhat isolated... Because most people seem very happy with theirs.

I will agree about the 6.5" setting though, leverage ratio made it stupid soft.

ha. I have far too much time on my hands. This took me like 20min to type... as I'm half watching a hockey game at the same time.


 
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