|Unfortunately, at present, there is no practical way to adapt Mavic wheels to the Boost 148mm standard. The right side of the rear hub cannot be spaced over, due to cassette and chainline issues, and spacing the left side the extra six millimeters will offset the brake rotor inboard of the caliper. There is, however, an adapter kit available from Lindarets called the "Boostinator" which presently fits DT Swiss hubs and will soon be available for hubs and wheels from Hope and White Industries. The Boostinator kit includes a longer left-side endcap, a special spacer for the brake rotor, high-strength rotor screws, and instructions. The modification also requires the customer to shift the wheel's dish three millimeters to the left to re-center the rim, and simple instructions are given that should allow relatively competent home mechanics to accomplish the task in fifteen minutes or less. Adapting the front hub requires a special right-side spacer and the same re-dish treatment to center the rim. MSRP ranges from $24.95 to $39.95 per wheel. - RC|
|There's absolutely no reason that you can't run your Pike up front - the Pike and the X2 both have enough adjustments that you should easily be able to achieve a balanced suspension feel, despite what that so called 'guru' told you. I've run the X2 paired with a Pike, a Lyrik, and a Fox 36, and was happy with the results in all instances.|
It's a misconception that shows up every once in a while, the idea that there's some kind of rule against mixing different brands of suspension. Sure, there are rear suspension designs that work better with one brand or model of shock over another, and companies often test shocks from multiple companies before deciding which one to spec, but there's nothing wrong with having a Brand X fork paired with a Brand Y shock. Take a look at the latest Santa Cruz Bronson for example - Fox handles the rear suspension, and RockShox takes care of the front. - Mike Kazimer
|As it happens, I have spent an unhealthy number of hours researching cross country racing bikes this week. I stumbled across a bunch of 2016 bikes that could suit your needs from Trek, BMC, Canyon and Orbea. The BMC Team Elite is the only true softail using 'Micro Travel Technology.' An elastomer damper gives up to 15mm of travel and can be swapped between three different durometers to change the stiffness. BMC only offer 29" wheels for the Team Elite, but the XS size frame has the extra low standover height for smaller riders.|
Trek have introduced their new 'IsoSpeed decoupler' technology on the new Procaliber model, which was originally developed for their Madone road bikes. The 11mm of compliance only works when sitting down as the decoupler lets the seat tube move independently to the top tube/chainstay junction. This means you should find hardtail efficiency with added seated comfort. Trek's 'Smart Wheel Size' geometry means that the 13.5" and 15.5" models use 27.5" wheels and all the larger frames use 29" hoops.
Canyons stunning new Exceed bike combines flex in the rear triangle along with their new bendy seat post to smooth out the trail. Their video suggests 10.9mm of total travel, but like the Trek, that seat post won't be eating any bumps if you're standing up. Their XS frame size also sees the drop down to 27.5" wheels while all others are 29". The top of the range CF SLX 9.9 LTD is likely the most expensive and lightest direct sale bike to date at 9000 Euros but weighs a measly 7.9kgs.
Orbea claims their new Alma and its '4X4' system makes the frame 211% more comfortable. Instead of designing the frame around two, three-point triangles, the frame gains a pair of extra angles making two quadrangles (or irregular squares?). These extra angles add compliance by adding flex points the structure. Orbea offers the widest range of wheel sizes here: 27.5" for S/M/L and 29" in M/L/XL sizes. - Paul Aston
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