Henry's Waffle House: All-Mountain Bikes Are Back, and They're More Pointless Than Ever

Mar 11, 2024 at 20:03
by Henry Quinney  
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Welcome to Henry's Waffle House. Here, we serve only absolute waffle, each and every one doused in a hubristic sauce and washed down by an accompanying pint of inane babble. Bon appetite.



Listen, when it comes to irrelevance, I know a thing or two. In fact, I consider myself the Lucasian Professor of being one step behind, tied up in knots of unknowing, and so much out of the loop I have circled back. I'm not the only one circling, either. All-mountain bikes are here, cooler than ever, and ready to be bought and unenjoyed by many north, south, east and west. So what the hell is an all-mountain bike?

An all-mountain bike is a very adequate term for a bike you can ride anywhere, and all while being the bike you wish to ride nowhere. Just enough travel to get by when things get rough, just enough weight to feel lethargic when things are smooth. Just lifeless enough not to live, but with enough of a pulse that you can't quite call it dead. I had a border terrier like that once. Hinterlanded. Sandbagged. Beached.

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So, all-mountain bikes are basically great. And that's the problem.

The problem is that all-mountain bikes are actually very good. You’ll buy one, and you’ll love it. Before the big purchase, you’ll peruse the brand’s website. It’ll have images in the copy of athlete’s shredding in sunglasses / welding masks and Pantone-matched helmets. The photos will have been shot somewhere you dream of one day riding, as photogenic smiles look more like luminous stamps on the faces of the models and are wholly unlike any smile you’ve ever had pushing through shit-slop on a wet Sunday morning at your local. But alas, you could grin that hard, if only you had a bike like that.

Cannondale Habit LT review
I loved loved loved (loved) riding the Habit LT, but when it was time to go ride my favourite trails with my friends I would always reach for something bigger.

Once the 150mm bike arrives you’ll realize that there are issues. Firstly, it’s not as light as you’d hoped. In fact, for a bike that is carbon fiber, with just about the best of everything, it feels decidedly portly. No bother, for you too shall shred. Plus, weight isn’t important, remember?

So you’ll go out with your good-for-nothing friends who insist on riding pointless 170mm enduro bikes that you really don’t need, slop, slime, sunshine or otherwise.

After risking life and limb trying to keep up, either going at the same speed as you would on an enduro bike with wide-eyed terror or slower with fewer adrenal flushes, a thought will occur to you that often occurs to me when I ride this style of bike. This bike, this modern wonder is just so capable. Wouldn’t it be better with some bigger brakes? Maybe a longer dropper. Oh, and some heavier tires wouldn’t go amiss, either.

Ibis HD6 - Photos by Tom Richards
170mm-ish bikes like the Ibis HD6 are so versatile, efficient and comfortable, why would you want arbitrarily less travel just for the sake of it?

Yes, all-mountain bikes are better than ever but that’s the problem. They’re so good they completely undermine their own purpose because they excel at the things you would be much better served by an enduro bike while doing.

When I was a child, whenever my dad asked me to make him a cup of tea (one of the primary household duties of a child in England) I would always make it slightly cold, and with the cardinal sin of both an unstrained teabag and too much milk. That way he wouldn’t ask again for at least another year. When I was asked to cook I would make sure my family wouldn’t actually get food poisoning, but they’d consider it a real risk when the meal was presented. Tactics. Gamesmanship. Racecraft. The same problem exists for all-mountain bikes that did for my never-quite-fatal shepherd's pie. They’re satisfying their definition, but to truly be enjoyed need some small but required changes. And if those changes happen, suddenly it isn’t my own brand of poison anymore.

The all-mountain bike is undermined by two main things - firstly, the raft of manufacturers that spec the exact same frame, specced with most of the same parts, but with a stroke limiting spacer installed. This is absolute nonsense, and similar results could be achieved by merely pumping up the shock to a higher spring rate. Instead, you’re lugging around the same heavy frame, with maybe a fork that is around 10mm shorter. This isn’t so much bad design as it is a bad joke. And as an authority on bad jokes, I can tell you this one is an absolute doozy.

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The Tempo is a fun bike, and at 130mm is a very capable trail bike that isn't trying to be something it's not.

The second problem is perhaps more specific to your location but I think there are threads of relevance regardless for most riders.

Enduro bikes caught on because you could suddenly have a bike that would be well suited to not only the trails you could ride, but also the trails you hoped to ride. The bike is so capable it has a high ceiling, meaning that any rider, whoever they are, can grow into it and push themselves on trails that they work their way towards. You can then take this exact same bike, in the exact same spec you would have to ride your dream mountain bike destination and ride it around your local woods. Yes, it might not be lively, but it represents sheer value, both in terms of what you have to carry around but also money. No more expensive rentals or the need for a downhill bike. At most, you could change your tires and have something that covers off nearly every base.

With an all-mountain bike, they’re great for when you’re riding alone, riding the trails that you want to enjoy, but most of the time in groups you’ll be outgunned. You’ll take it to the bike park and loosen more bolts than a Boeing 737 Max 9 on takeoff. At the same time, you won’t go faster than anyone on the climbs and you probably won’t do so in any more comfort.

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Enduro bikes excel on the trails I want to ride, why bother denying yourself that pleasure?

Now, I know what you’re thinking - Henry, you doughnut, I have an all-mountain bike for long rides and not this grind-up-smash-down style of enduro riding that you enjoy. To that I would say, each to their own, but one of the main inhibitors of comfort on big days is excessively steep seat tubes putting too much weight into your hands on flatter terrain and heavy tires. Neither of these problems are negated by the modern all-mountain bike with modern geometry.

Instead, you get a bike that will leave you with three choices - spec it with parts to make it bad at the thing you brought it to do, leave lighter parts on and make it bad for the thing you most likely love doing, or ride alone, so you don’t get very intimate with a tree while going very quickly trying to keep up with your friends on their sensible 170mm bikes that weigh a mere 500 grams more because their forks are 2mm thicker.

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
336 articles

471 Comments
  • 799 10
 This line of reasoning is why you see so many lifted Tacomas with beefy tires and traction boards driving around. "You never know, the road might wash out on my way to Starbucks and then my snorkel would sure come in handy."
  • 108 2
 So its not just a Utah thing.....?
  • 5 1
 Hahahaha!! So true!!
  • 40 0
 oh the amount of new tacomas with snorkels I see on Vancouver Island. I don't ever remember going through puddles more than a few inches deep on my way to the grocery store. I guess they take the back roads there.
  • 9 0
 I was gonna write a comment but I can't think of anything that tops this. This is so relatable
  • 63 0
 Come to the Eastside of Seattle. The amount of overlanding rigs with zero dust or scratches commuting down I-90 is astounding. Why is decorating your daily driver with overlanding flair a thing now?
  • 72 26
 I feel personally attacked but counterpoint, my snorkel looks sick
  • 58 3
 All of you are over-biked and under-trucked
  • 95 5
 Bro bro I swear bro I NEED the pickup truck so that I can put my bike on the hitch rack and use the bed and rear seats for nothing I swear bro it's worth the extra 20k plus expensive parts and tires and oil and gas. No chance hundreds of people have lived for years with sedans in winter climates and done everything with them I NEED it how will I go to the GROCERY STORE
  • 45 0
 @workingclasswhore: Maybe they're from the mainland and snorkel their way to the Vancouver Island grocery store?
  • 19 1
 @PorterupO4W9: Because it shows you have more money than sense.
  • 48 8
 @The-Wheel: The yearly costs of my hatchback are about 1/3 of what it would be for an equivalent Tacoma.

I grew up driving trucks... but they are absurdly expensive for zero real world benefit. Only way it makes sense to get one is if you live on rural roads or need it for work.
  • 7 1
 @Bro-LanDog: snorkel envy. I could just put some gutter downpipe and fittings on my f150 though and it would look sick too!
  • 2 0
 THAT was funny haha
  • 37 3
 @totaltoads: well you know I actually do NEED IT FOR WORK BRO I drive it to work at the office its a work truck I drive it to work!
  • 4 2
 @workingclasswhore: There are like 2 spots in BC that would be deep enough to maybe require a snorkel, and the water is slow enough not to take the truck away.
  • 38 0
 #widdlewadders
  • 6 0
 @JudyYellow: #widdlefenders
  • 11 24
flag THEATB (Mar 14, 2024 at 11:54) (Below Threshold)
 @workingclasswhore: snorkels iz for dust too, just saying...
  • 28 0
 @THEATB: I thought air filters "iz" for dust?
  • 7 0
 @PorterupO4W9: You can thank the Gram
  • 10 7
 @workingclasswhore: the idea for snorkels being for dust is that if you're driving in a convoy on a dusty road, the snorkel will be higher than the majority of the dust kicked up by the vehicle in front of you
  • 68 0
 @sjma: the only convoys the majority of new tacomas with snorkels drive in is rush hour traffic.
  • 21 0
 What about the over bed rack with the tent ready to deploy and winch in the front bumper?
  • 25 0
 snorkel trucks with traction boards, color coded jerry cans, winch, and handyman jack catch my eye because the showroom level cleanliness sparkles so brightly
  • 22 2
 @porkchopsandwich: Bro-dozers are everywhere. I have always thought SUVs and pick-ups were dumb for more than 90% of those who drive them. I will keep my fuel efficient hot sedan and have a great time getting to and from wherever I want to ride.
  • 11 2
 @porkchopsandwich: Not just a Utah thing unfortunately, Tons of Tacos parked outside Southern California Patagonias with monster truck tires, bed mounted camper tents, and "Widdle Wadders" to climb up to their tent with. They look sweet though!
  • 4 1
 Classic tacoma owners
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer Straight to the jugular... You're not wrong though
  • 12 1
 @porkchopsandwich after I sold my Taco (it was too much of a not so great thing) I rediscovered the joy of not having to try and pick out my vehicle out of 7 identical ones on every parking lot.
  • 3 0
 @workingclasswhore: A convoy of Tacomas with snorkels in rush hour traffic!
  • 3 0
 My dad, brother and I have a group chat that we use specifically for parking lot princess vehicles like that. Usually accompanies with a cringy fake midwest "Hey look! An overlander!" commentary. You see too many of them in Utah.
  • 4 0
 @porkchopsandwich: It's SoCal thing too and we live in a desert.
  • 5 0
 MMMMMMMmmmmm....Tacos and beefy tires. Mandatory trail head snacks...
  • 10 0
 @moturner: Fun fact: if you buy the jeep that comes stock with the snorkel you have to go in and actually seal it so the snorkel actually works and isn't just an intake on the side of the hood.
  • 9 18
flag bbachmei (Mar 14, 2024 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 Big bikes and lifted Tacomas are bad ass.
  • 6 2
 And there goes any discussion about the article and enter discussion about Tacos Smile
  • 28 0
 This sounds the overseas equivalent of mums taking their children to school in landrover defenders
  • 1 0
 @JudyYellow: needed to be said
  • 15 15
 Ha! I own a Tacoma, now almost a couple years old, but it's 100% stock. It's my 2nd pickup truck (first was a Frontier), and my 2nd 4WD after my Jeep Wrangler.

Most of these 4x4 vehicles out of the showroom are pretty capable even on highway AT tires--I've taken this Taco out on a trail that a Raptor couldn't drive (mostly because it was too big/wide of a truck) with barely 500 miles on the odometer.

Every year I've owned a 4x4 vehicle, I always consider not "needing" the ruggedness or capability, but then we always end up using either the 4wd, ground clearance, towing, or cargo capacity at least 4-6 times a year. The cargo part I know I can just rent a van or truck, but on the US West Coast, there are just so many places that you cannot access unless you have a high-clearance/4wd vehicle.

I do carry recovery boards and equipment, but they are neatly stowed away inside a cargo box in the bed of the truck!
  • 64 0
 Stupid truck drivers spending money on something they think is cool but isn't totally necessary. Ok, time to go pick up my S-Works Enduro and hit some gnarly green trails!
  • 16 1
 But my Ram 2500 diesel with 35's is OK right? I mean, I don't have a snorkel...
  • 5 0
 @salespunk: depends really. Are they low profile tires?
  • 13 0
 @XC-Only: You’re in the minority. Most folks just use them as commuter vehicles. 35% of US pickup drivers use their bed to carry something once a year or less. 85% of midsize truck buyers never tow anything.
  • 7 0
 For reference, is a Tacoma for North Americans what a BMW 1300 GS is for Europeans?
  • 4 0
 @vinay:
Probably closer to the frivolity and unnecessariness of a Range Rover combined with the ubiquity of a VW Transporter.
  • 1 1
 @porkchopsandwich: nope. I see it in Las Vegas too. Since we only get about 5 inches of rain annually I guess they must be preparing for a flash flood.
  • 18 0
 @porkchopsandwich: This is like an anywhere thing...like here in the So Cal suburbs. I have a neighbor that went from a small sedan to a lifted Dodge Ram. I have yet to see him put anything in the bed of the truck. The guy just uses it to commute to work and back. Here I am putting two bikes on the back of my small hatchback...that also doubles as my "SUV". These trucks are so massive...some have a camera in the front grill...because they can't see anything directly in front of them.
  • 3 0
 @chumba17: Well, I have one, but it's completely stock. I use it on some pretty muddy and rough construction sites. Also to tow my travel trailer. With bikes in the bed.
  • 1 0
 @workingclasswhore: the TRD comes stock with the snorkel now to...
  • 5 1
 @totaltoads: I assume you don't hunt or fish the backcountry.
  • 6 0
 Posers gonna pose. Same as it ever was.
  • 3 2
 @PorterupO4W9: Amen brother. Fellow issaquate here. It is comical
  • 11 16
flag HciNGPDo (Mar 14, 2024 at 15:56) (Below Threshold)
 @totaltoads: I have a big idiotic truck. There are the obvious and rare benefits of hauling and off road. But as an ER nurse who has kids I primarily bought it so that if a drunk or textng driver hits me at under 65MPH my kids will walk away
  • 2 2
 @salespunk: No! it should be a chevy 2500 with 36" like me so I don' feel inferior that u got a better deal!
  • 28 0
 @workingclasswhore: I will be the first to admit that I put a dorkel on my Tacoma to make the 10-year old in me that used to play 4x4 racing games happy.
Does it serve a practical purpose? Nah.
Do I need to justify it to anyone else? Nope. Never.
Do I make fun of it too? Yep absolutely.
  • 18 1
 @HciNGPDo:
You realise that trucks are much more dangerous than a regular car in the event that you have to avoid something since they're so much easier to roll? The idea that trucks are safer is a complete fallacy and there's a ton of data to back that up.
  • 8 9
 @notthatfast:
I am much more worried about someone hitting me than me hitting something. I have seen the data and you a right to a point. In a collision, my 8100lb truck beats 4800lb lexus/beamer/land rover. Evasive maneuver.....yeah I'm f'd
  • 2 2
 @totaltoads: until you have to ask your friend with a truck to help you move!
  • 18 0
 @shredthe915: I'm an adult, I'll get a uhaul with a ramp.
  • 25 10
 @DylanH93: both are (mostly) for stupid people, but the big dumb truck wears out infrastructure, puts other road users at greater risk, and consumes an unreasonable amount of fossil fuel all because its driver has the aesthetic sensibility of an insecure 12-year-old boy.
  • 13 2
 @HciNGPDo: surely the goal is to avoid an accident entirely. You’re much less likely to do that in a truck
  • 3 0
 @Phaethon85: I fully support the setup for people that actually use the upgraded suspension, tires, and tent, but the fact of the matter is most of them probably make use of them once a year, at best. It’s all for show.
  • 3 12
flag SacAssassin (Mar 14, 2024 at 21:40) (Below Threshold)
 @HciNGPDo: Whoever downvoted you drives drunk on the regular. Upvote for you
  • 10 7
 Meanwhile the environment goes to shit. But no feeling good with yourself is more important in the day to day. And the road could wash out.. ya bever know. It sickens me that north america is like that..
  • 10 6
 @gnarlysipes: If they use it once a Year why is it for show? I own a Jeep Wrangler (lifted, snorkel, roofrack...) which I use once a Year for Trips (been to a Iceland, Russia, Morocco, Tunisa, Albania, Montenegro, Romania and some other Countrys). So is it still just for show because I only do these Trips once a Year and how often do I need to use it for it to be "not for show"?
  • 4 9
flag chriskneeland (Mar 15, 2024 at 4:01) (Below Threshold)
 Joke all you want but owning an 11 year old, paid off Tacoma with not a single mechanical issue is what allows me to fund this money pit of a hobby. If you don't own a Tacoma I almost feel bad for you.
  • 2 0
 @porkchopsandwich: it’s a world thing
  • 6 0
 @PorterupO4W9: I've wondered this for years: could it be just a step to fulfilling their daydream? -- quit that boring "knowledge work" job, and, instead of commuting, turn those fresh mud-tires inland and get lost in the backcountry? The idea of commuting to a cubicle in some office turns my stomach, so maybe this is "daydream" preparation to one day escape from that prison? But then again, isn't craving (and then buying) all that expensive gear exactly what keeps one imprisoned?

Chicken or the egg?
  • 5 2
 @chriskneeland: This can be done with a Corolla, but with better savings as it sips instead of gulps fuel.
  • 3 0
 I think the logic is better aligned with SUVs with AT tires and roof jewelry (basket, rooftop tent, etc.). Kills the milage, used once a year (maybe), and can go off road should that ever be ‘required’ (as in never). The basket is the best - literally useless for camping cargo if you live in a rainy/buggy/dusty area (i.e. everywhere) and want clean dry stuff when you arrive at your destination (i.e. paved camping stall with water and power).
  • 4 3
 @gnarnaimo: But you can't pull and haul stumps, or carry 2,000lbs of wood for ramps in a Corolla. Priorities guy.
  • 1 0
 @Dustfarter: it is rampant down here. However I heard a dude years ago make the argument that the snorkels filter dust extremely well and that he would never submerge his truck to test its aquatic ability. I didn’t and still don’t question his logic. Plus he had a sweet tent.
  • 10 10
 there's a lot of truck-hate on here! A tacoma (or its equivalent) is a good daily if you can only have one vehicle. If you need a car, a truck will do fine, but if you need a truck (which most of us do at least every month or two) then a car is a poor substitute. I had an '02 Tacoma for 20 years, loved that thing and it never let me down.
  • 13 5
 Nothing better than dudes with access to any bike they want not understanding someone who’s only able to afford one bike to cover all their bases…but these Taco comments are even more idiotic and off base. Folks, there are these things called car washes and people also drive their vehicle to their jobs, the mall or Starbucks or whatever, sorry other people’s choices and preferences don’t measure up to your sensible vehicle choices or “cars are coffins” nonsense. Your lame elitism is showing.
  • 4 0
 Lifted with traction boards-but also running boards so it has the same breakover angle and handles worse because of the lift…….
  • 5 2
 @astralzombie: I drive an old Tacoma cause I want more than one bike. If I was to buy a new car I’d buy a Subaru. It will hold my roof top tent and hypoallergenic dog perfectly on my way to the climbing area.
  • 5 5
 @SS-in-VT: Could say the same thing about EVs actually except replace fossil fuels with electrical grid resources and add in child slave labor.
  • 1 0
 @workingclasswhore: I only run 375 15 32's on it. Am I doing it right?
  • 5 0
 TPS pickups. Can't really call 'em "trucks", since they're not being used for any commercial purpose (or anything remotely commercial in nature - like packing around a spare diesel moter for your log loader, and enough fuel for two days running the yarder). Nope. Just peanut butter, white bread, and beer.

What"s TPS, you ask? Must I repeat myself?! OK. Teensy P__r Syndrome. The P-word describing that little red-topped birdy who takes bugs from under the bark of your trees, and wakes you from a sound sleep by banging on your house at first light.
  • 2 0
 Maybe these don't ship across the Pacific, but can't North Americans just ride a ute instead? Still have a bed but at least they're a bit lower. Just don't hang your bike over the tailgate.
  • 8 5
 @chriskneeland: Yeah... But I own a 16 year old, paid off Honda Fit with not a single mechanical issue, that averages over 30mpg, is a hoot to drive around town, easy to park, has all of the interior space I could ever need, can haul multiple bikes (I've had 3 bikes inside on a road trip), and has never let me down getting anywhere I need to...

I'm sorry. I believe in letting people do as they will as long as it doesn't hurt others. However, as previously pointed out in this comment thread, the rise of consumers purchasing pickup trucks does hurt others- environmentally, financially (accelerated infrastructure wear), and physically, as the size of vehicles has increased. These aren't emotionally driven points as well- there is hard data to back this up, that people choose to ignore.
  • 4 9
flag chriskneeland (Mar 15, 2024 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 @aks2017: I'm rural so my Tacoma averages about 22. I also live 7 miles from where I work, and have 9 trail networks between 2 and 10 miles from me. So just because you have a 30mpg vehicle doesn't mean you've making less of an environmental impact. So while you're up there riding your high horse remember everything is relative.
  • 8 4
 @gtill9000: most folks don't need a truck every month or two. If you're not hauling chemicals, towing or hauling incredibly heavy stuff, dirty stuff, or big enough items that tower past the roofline, any random hatchback can haul just as much cargo and do it with better mileage, safety, and ride quality.

Daily driving a pickup truck is the perfect metaphor for this article. It's an aspirational purchase, hoping and wanting to need a truck regularly when you probably just don't. Most Subarus have better clearance than stock pickups if the extent of your off-roading is overlanding to a marked dispersed camping site.
  • 8 8
 So many dudes hurt by trucks lol let people do what they want nobody's coming after your crossover SUV's so the karens can calm down
  • 6 11
flag MattQEkBp1 (Mar 15, 2024 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 @Bro-LanDog: lesbarus?
  • 10 2
 @gtill9000: guessing for some on here it isn't truck hate...it's just how silly it is to own a posemobile to fill the 'tough' void in the modern day soul. people constantly mistaking branding for meaning...
  • 5 2
 @moturner: exactly. It's the Fight Club metaphor. Searching for masculinity in a modern world where most men don't do traditionally manly things like hunting, foraging, building a cottage, defending your land from invaders and predators, etc. Big truck makes some guys feel like a man.

As someone that normally supports gender-affirming care based on your chosen gender identity, I should support truck purchases just like I support Viagra for the God-chosen men with impotence, but they're such silly purchases for most.
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: As I posted above, the vast majority of US truck buyers aren’t doing that.
  • 9 0
 @aks2017: I used to drive Accords and Civics all over the forest roads in WA state. The idea that you need a lift kit and 33” tires to go down a gravel driveway is ridiculous.
  • 2 1
 @chriskneeland: congrats on owning a car?
  • 8 6
 Welcome to pinkbike, where the only allowable vehicle to drive is a Toyota Yaris. All others will be die by negative props.
  • 7 2
 @GTscoob: I replaced my truck with a Mazda3 hatchback about two years ago, and I love it. The Mazda gets better mileage, it's tons of fun to drive, and is a lousy truck. Aside from having much less utility, I scraped something in the ground at the trailhead at my home trails and did about $1500 damage that wouldn't have happened in a small truck with more clearance. A car with more clearance (aka a subaru crossover etc.) doesn't get much better mileage than a 4 cyl tacoma - it's basically the worst of both worlds to me, but for someone else it might be perfect. Everything is a trade-off and there is a legitimate use-case for a small truck to be a daily driver for a lot of people (especially the weekend warrior types that are well represented on this website.)
  • 3 0
 @notthatfast: I pointed at the BMW 1300 GS as a big motorbike with offroad pedigree primarily ridden on the road. Those who want to ride offroad are much better served by a something like a Honda CRF300L which, if they drop it in the mud, they can actually pick it up again.
  • 1 0
 Line of reasoning?
  • 2 1
 @gtill9000: skill issue but yeah subarus are also unnecessary thx for pointing that out
  • 2 0
 @Dustfarter: I think the official name here is Dorkel.
  • 3 2
 You all must not be invited to shuttle days on the local rogue, if you were you’d probably understand the truck thing.
  • 2 0
 @JudyYellow: check out our local brewery in Arizona widdle wadder merch and beer www.goldwaterbrewing.com/shop
  • 8 5
 Do y’all go camping with your family and bikes in a Honda fit? Or am I the only one who needs a cooler AND a tent? Trucks make that happen.
  • 7 6
 Like watching a trump debate. Intelligent , reasonable discussion of the timeless, never boring and all important question "what bike do I need?" blown up by a one liner designed to fire up the PB truck hater rabble. Not cool Kaz
  • 5 0
 @gticket: My original response was not about gatekeeping, but simply an observation. Your truck use/needs fall into that smaller percentage of actual legitimacy. Again, the most challenging effort faced by the majority of truck/SUV owners is finding a parking space at Costco.
  • 6 1
 @gticket: Still depends on how much stuff you bring. We could easily do that with a Renault Clio Estate. Not bringing bikes indeed but then again the Clio isn't a particularly big car. One step up (the Renault Megane) would allow us to take stuff from the roof and put it in the trunk and get bikes on the roof. When we had only one daughter, we did a five week roadtrip through Eastern Europe with a Peugeot 107. Again we did need a roof rack for the tent but the 107 is an even smaller car than the Clio. Obviously fuel consumption increases when you put stuff on the roof so those who primarily ride their cars with so much gear would indeed be better of sizing up a little. But for us most of time we drive on the highway with everything inside the car. Fuel consumption is about 4.5l/100km on average (so that'd be 52MPG). How big of a car one needs is a choice, how much stuff you need to bring on a camping trip is a choice as well.
  • 5 6
 @vinay: lol sounds miserable. Trucks rule for camping.
  • 8 0
 @gticket:
Ever heard of a wagon?
  • 4 0
 @DylanH93: The way a lot of comment sections go, with the money people spend on their n+1 fleet, their AXS, their Kashima, their carbon, and other bits and bobs, I could buy my little truck again. To be clear though, I wouldn’t drive one of those overland clown cars unless I was bleeding out.
  • 5 1
 @RockCrawler: an interesting argument to make could be to rent the jeep wrangler for your once a year trips and use something more suited to the task of commuting, grocery getting, etc the other 11.5 months out of the year. Why spend so much money to own something that only gets used properly once a year? You'd probably save money by driving something smaller and more economical even including the cost to rent the wrangler for a week or two. (I say probably because I don't know the exact math)
  • 3 0
 @moturner: BINGO!! Like with so many bikers riding DH bikes on lake trails & truck-wide berm-fests. They with yet-to-be-matured souls who've allowed themselves to be spun into a lust-frenzy of (for most of us) ridiculous bicycles.

That said - to each his/her/their own (we gotta find an acronym for that BS) desires. Makes for some jolly comedy in the tribe. That & the "ebike" class of motorized vehicles. Pure comedy.
  • 3 0
 @jimicarl:
Oh man, don't even get me started on the ebikers shuttling the local trails here in their pavement princess pickup trucks.
Most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.
  • 1 1
 @gtill9000: Well said. Def gotta be thoughtful about what you do & what you need. My ratty old Sportage has been a good daily driver. Fun, comfy, economical with good utility. And at 135k & running - the stupid thing won't break. With roof-rack and a 3x butt-rack I can pack 7 bikes. Ridiculous. But can pack 5 in a pinch. 4, comfortably. Or 3 & two trail dogs (but the back seat person's gotta be a dog lover). Yea I got me a pee-cup. Gets used +/-weekly for utility on our rural location. Half dozen times a year pulling the camp trailer around (lots of really good overnight riding opps around these parts). And it's a delightful "caw boa caiddy" for long drives. But even at that - I'm thinking that there's a compromise out there for us. Something too replace the Kia & the p/u. Something with great everyday utility that'll pull the camp trailer or cargo trailer, still be comfy & quiet, pack all the bikes/dogs/peeps, and still net neighborhood of 30mpg/hwy. Mid-size SUV, maybe. Smaller breathed-on cargo van, maybe. We're shopping. Just makes sense.
  • 7 0
 I regret commenting on this post last week.
  • 3 1
 @Spencermon: I use a Smart for my daily driving in the City and a Combi (Station Wagon) for everything out of city limits (Trips to Bikeparks, Snowboarding ...). I only got the Jeep for my Trips once a Year. Never thought of renting one though since my Trips last between 3 weeks to 3 months and after owning my Jeep for 11 Years now it already paid.
  • 5 0
 @everythingsucks:
user name checks out
  • 6 3
 @hellbelly: my dude, instead of making broad, insulting generalizations, maybe know things beyond you narrow, myopic opinion. I drive a Toyota 4Runner, I live in Minne(snow)ta and have kids and dogs that go everywhere with all the gear plus bikes, can’t really do what we do in a deathtrap (look it up) Honda Fit or whatever. Also, my vehicle or a Tacoma fits in a Costco parking space just fine and dandy, neither are a GMC Yukon XL or anything silly like that. Not trying to get into an insult hurling pissing match, but this all started because some folks here need to be concerned with what other people’s preferences are or think they should be. If driving a 3 cylinder front wheel drive sub compact car is your jam, own it and enjoy it, but let’s all lay off bagging on other people’s vehicle/bike choices…unless they happen to be dentists!
  • 3 3
 Can y'all shut up at this point
  • 4 1
 @noodlewitnosteeze: Not before everyone has defended their own vehicle of choice in threefold and has publicly disapproved of everyone else vehicle of choice. You do the math!

Kidding aside, this is nothing. Wait 'till the US elections take off and/or when another school mass shooting becomes newsworthy again. By they, you'd wish we'd go back discussing cars. Bikes you say? No one talks about bikes over here.
  • 2 0
 @RockCrawler: those trips sound amazing. Would love to travel like you have. For sure it sounds like you do it well!
  • 3 0
 @GTscoob: @GTscoob: I'll be quite candid, even though I own a Tacoma and do use it, I would happily give up the ground clearance, low-range, and *maybe* 4wd if someone just made a van that can still seat 4 and carry bulky items like bikes fully enclosed with only the front wheels removed and not to carry heavy items or towing.

In terms of developing a vehicle though, if you're going to make something that could carry bulky items, why not just make it be able to carry heavy items AND tow at the same time?
  • 2 0
 If your truck doesn't leave the ground when you drive it, no need to spend 10k on that Total Chaos kit
  • 1 0
 @SkiAlta: But if you don't have that Total Chaos kit, you'll never leave the ground.
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: Not true. Personal experience here.
  • 6 2
 @Rickclarkx: I'm shocked how big this thread got lmao. I never knew trucks were such a triggering subject for so many people on PB. Half the groups of people I see at the trails used a truck to get there. I've never owned a truck but would like a small one at some point. Live and let live, people can spend their money however they want.
  • 5 2
 @DylanH93: I'm not that surprised. I think somewhere inside, some people who bike are starting to get tired of the rich people in our sport showing off their frivolous decisions that actually affect us. The world is getting wackier weather-wise and overconsumption is real, and housing is expensive and then you have people with real money buying into and continuing the needless hype train of bs. I won't be surprised if nobody is looking at this anymore, but no people shouldn't be able to spend their money however they want. You can choose to live an overindulgent, wasteful, polluting life but it makes you an a*shole.
  • 1 0
 @The-Wheel: Whoop whoop!!
  • 2 0
 @The-Wheel: the sport is going to get more flooded with “rich” people as bikes get more expensive and the keeping up with the jones’ culture persists. I’m guilty of it too but as the cost of entry increases the smaller the group that can access it becomes.
  • 4 0
 @blueH2Oj: I disagree. Yes there are more expensive options available now but riding bikes in dirt has become cheaper. I got my first mountainbike over 22 years ago for what would be about 750 euros (not corrected for inflation and we didn't have euros back then). Hardtail, suspension fork (RS Judy TT) with one coil spring and no viscous damping whatsoever. It would resonate and go out of control over fast rough terrain. V-brakes front and rear. Similar money now (and again, not corrected for inflation) gets you a bike with a clutch rear mech, hydraulic disc brakes, a suspension fork with damping etc. It is pretty amazing really. The cost of entry has dropped and once entered, you're a whole lot safer now.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: I did this exercise not too long ago, and your EU 750 would be roughly double today (EU 1500). In terms of mainstream bikes, that gets you into a Trek X-Caliber or Roscoe, much more capable bikes than even the 100mm travel full suspension bikes we had back in the early 2000s. The bike I owned around that time was a Schwinn Homegrown Hardtail, one step below the top model, it was around $2400 USD, but it was still early Rockshox SID, V-Brakes, and fragile wheels. That same money today gets me a Trek ProCaliber. Adjusted for inflation, then I would be on a full-suspension SuperCaliber--both bikes would absolutely wipe the floor with that older XC race bike.
  • 2 1
 @vinay: I completely agree those of us who have been riding and seen the advances in bikes and prices change know that what we buy now is far better and adjusted for inflation around the same price. (I haven’t done the math) that being said. It is a large investment for those entering the sport especially if they don’t know how much better bikes are today. So dropping thousands on a hobby you may or may not like tends to be easier for those that are more well off. Whether those same people are cool or good for the sport is open to debate. I will say that e-bikes have allowed access to trails that many would not ride to on an actual bicycle and those cost even more initially.
  • 1 1
 @blueH2Oj: in a lot of industries, developing a product creates economies of scale where over time a simple product woth limited new technology gets cheaper. Instead, the bike industry makes new "standards" and minor tweaks and marketinf that keep costs high. Yes, you can still pay $400 for a crap bike, but there's not a new bike out there that's $1000 with a good geometry frame and a nice suspension fork, wheels that don't fold over, and something better than NX. We've been at this legit mountain biking crap for 25 years and NOBODY has a solid hardtail build for $1000. Thats a disgrace. Also every year there's some new BS you have to know about.
  • 3 1
 @The-Wheel: The point here is that our definition of a “solid” bike has shifted over the years, and a $1000 hardtail today is a much better bike than the equivalent from 10 or 20 years ago.

This ties to the point that Henry Q made a while back: Good bikes aren’t more expensive these days, but the best bikes are more expensive, and that’s what people are mad about.
  • 1 1
 @The-Wheel: I disagree wholeheartedly - $1000 USD can buy all manner of decently specced hardtails, your expectations have just shifted. You're telling me that NX Eagle isn't better than a 3x9 with no clutch?
  • 1 1
 @notthatfast: Not just that. You can get 8sp or 9sp Microshift drivetrain with clutch.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: microshift is fine but the rivets in the derailleur wear out in a year and the performance turns to junk. What I am saying is that we should have the equivalent of Shimano Alivio from 2012 but with a clutch for the same price as advent (also with Advent range). We haven't had that in the last 10 years.
  • 1 1
 @sfarnum: i agree that our definition of a solid bike has improved, AS IT SHOULD as technologies evolve. However, my $700 Kona hardtail from 2012 is now $1200 in 2024 woth equivalent LEVELS of components. I'm not getting the equivalent of a fox 34 from 2016 on this new $1200 hardtail, I'm getting a heavy clunky low end fork just like I did in 2012. I'm not getting nice aluminum wheels like a stans flow from 2018, I'm getttinf todays low end wheels. I'm saying that as technology evolves, we should be seeing the good shit from 5-10 years ago on low end bikes, not the low end shit from today. That's what I want, and that's what the bike industry has NEVER provided
  • 1 1
 @The-Wheel: You’re saying you want a low-spec 2024 Honzo to come with 2014 XTR drivetrain? It’s not just a matter of “new tech is expensive, old tech is cheap”. XTR design and materials cost more to manufacture, it doesn’t necessarily get cheaper over time like computer chips do.
  • 1 1
 @sfarnum: not necessarily XTR, but yes, I want my low end 2024 hardtail to come with the equivalent of a non kashima 2014 fox 34 and an slx drivetrain.
  • 137 4
 I agree that the problem isn't with all-mountain bikes as a theory, it's with all-mountain bikes as they are being built by most manufacturers in the last 5 years. They are mostly 32-35lb sleds that only differ from Enduro race bikes by .5* HTA/STA and 10mm of suspension. What we need is a large crop of 140-150mm bikes that are 27-30lbs with 75-76* STA and 65-66* HTAs. Not much exists like that today.
  • 62 1
 agree with this. basically trail bikes with some "just in case" extra travel rather than enduro bikes with arbitrarily less travel as henry describes.

oh and btw, you're describing a pivot switchblade Smile (pivot please hire me I am an engineer)
  • 49 1
 @alienator064: Plenty of 130 bikes have those angles. most folks won't miss or need the 10-20mm extra of travel. Esp if you set up your suspension well.

or you can just get bikes from 2018.
  • 6 0
 @totaltoads: yeah basically i just got a bike with geo from 2018 lol. the 5010 was high on my list as well but between enduro racing and occasional bike park visits i think i would miss the travel, especially in the front. but maybe not.
  • 8 9
 i think its the other way around.
We need more "heavy duty" all-mountain bikes(by that i mean frames which can handle bike park and other abuse). They are practicly the better enduros for the most people. I think most riders dont need 170mm of suspension but would profit from a more efficent and respoinsive shorter travel bike.
I think people often buy enduros because they are sexy and versitily but also boring on flow and other non extreme trails. also i think you can make the case that shorter travel bikes produce better riders(especially if you ar enew to mountainbiking) because the respont harsher ad less forgiving to mistakes.


PS i got a range so im clearly part of the group which most of the time would be better of with a less travel bike
  • 2 3
 @totaltoads: I do agree you can just buy some of the older bikes but of course everything has it's lifespan and it's nice to have new things every few years IMO. But if you can keep the maintenance up and the frame lasts then an older bike will work. I have been fitting the "all-mountain" need the last few years with a 2018 Pivot Mach 5.5 that's around 28-29lbs and of course has that 160mm Fox 36 and some EXO+ tires. I've ridden at bike parks pretty successfully and also it can scoot around an XC race course about 95% of the speed of a race bike. But I'd like something new and 29" :-)
  • 2 0
 @alienator064: you perfectly described a carbon ibis ripmo. I have the af with a 38 up front and it weighs 38lbs. It's far, far from perfect. Sure, it's a 5 year old frame, but with the will to put together a light weight build and the wallet to do it, that bike absolutely exists.
  • 8 0
 Yeah. Jack Moir just announced he's likely to run a YT Jeffsy for the EDR races this year. AM bikes are so close to enduro bikes at this point it's just kinda silly.
  • 9 0
 @JasperTS: I ride a 160/150 with DH casings and riser bars. Good to go at the bike park, pedalable enough for long backcountry winch and plummet rides.
  • 4 1
 @freeridemafia420: yeah thats sounds great
160/150 DH casing, 38mm Fork and cat 5 certified frame that would be what i consider optimum for me (with the knowledge i got at thsi moment)
  • 2 0
 @totaltoads: was going to say what he's saying we need is basically bikes from like 5-6 years ago lol
  • 3 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: my carbon ripmo weighs about 34 and that's the lightest I can possibly make it without going to carbon cranks and wheels.
  • 12 9
 @scott4238: so it's not the lightest you can make it then is it? It's as light as you care to make it. Which is fair, but not the same thing at all.
  • 6 0
 @alienator064: Pivot Shadowcat for the 27.5 fans
  • 3 0
 @freeridemafia420: Yup. For me it's a Status 140 with the travel bumped up to 160F / 150 R. Bulletproof and fun pretty much anywhere.
  • 5 0
 @danielfloyd: Charlie Murray is already riding the stumpy evo for EWS races.
  • 4 0
 @Dustfarter: I have a couple friends who ride much better than me and recently downsized from 170 to 140. The trail/all mountain bike is making a comeback. Enduro bikes look cool but they are so specialized; anything less than steep tech and they aren’t as much fun to ride.
  • 8 0
 Canyon Spectral has entered the chat when you can just get a Canyon Torque. At least YT has the presence of mind to give the Jeffsy more conservative pedaling geometry, to differentiate it from the Capra. Also, what Transition has done with the Scout and what Santa Cruz has done with the 5010... Why? Why make it SO SO close to the Patrol and Bronson. Trying to kill off the model? Why would I want a bike of the same weight and design but 10mm less travel? And that's all. Sigh
  • 4 0
 That's essentially why I landed on the Propain Hugene. 140mm rear/150mm front with 76.1* STA, 65.1 HTA, and weighs 30lbs w/ their lowest spec aluminum wheels. Throw on some carbon hoops and now you're in sub 30lb territory.
  • 34 1
 Larger problem here is that modern 120 bikes are wildly more capable than we give them credit for. I currently have 70/120/150/170 bikes at 22/25/30/36 lbs respectively.

My 150 bike is completely redundant.

The 120 bike is faster everyplace except where the 170 bike is absolutely required. This part was really eye opening. In moderate rocks at high speeds the 120 bike can be thrown around way more easily which actually makes is faster over these descents. Main difference is the 5 lbs of weight savings. I actually run the same wheels/drivetrain/brakes on both bikes, but different tires, bigger fork/rear shock and much heavier frame layup make up the weight difference.

My 150 bike is as fast as my 170 bike, but has way less margin for error. When I travel I take the 170 bike because I am going to be riding things blind and want that larger envelope.
  • 3 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: My ‘19 Marin Alpine Trail was a very different bike with an air shock before I switched to a coil rear. Very fast high speed berms with a bit of chunk can get a bit sketchy but thats about it, probably would be better with a stiffer wheelset.
  • 2 0
 Somebody buy my sweet Giant Trance (140/150, 27.5)!!
  • 2 0
 My Occam is right there. Its 30.5lbs with a DHX coil shock and Fox 36. 150mm travel F/R, 65.5 HTA, 76 STA.
  • 1 4
 My boy, I present to you, the Niner Rip 9 Rd0
  • 1 0
 Hightower V1 geometry 2016 is still valid in 2024.
  • 6 2
 Just ride an enduro bike with non DH tires. I ride Exo+ in the front and WTB light casing in the back without inserts and I can count on one hand the number of flats and rim dings I've had in 10 years of riding. Too many people slow their bike down with extra rotating weight when they don't actually ride super gnarly features or sharp shale rock.
  • 1 0
 @Dustfarter: How is that different from a 160 status with 30% sag for the rear?
  • 9 1
 This article is pretty ridiculous though TBH. Trail bikes are totally fine and completely usable bikes for 99% of casual riders who don't race. I have a 140 bike with carbon rims and lightweight build, and I ride it on completely different trails than my enduro sled.
The fact that an XC bike that I don't own would be faster uphill, and the enduro sled I do own would be faster downhill is completely irrelevant since I don't race. I wouldn't want my enduro bike as my only bike, and I had had no problems with my trail bike being my one bike quiver.
  • 1 0
 @abtcup: snap!
  • 5 0
 @salespunk: I have a YT Izzo Blaze and a Nukeproof Mega, and I probably love riding the Izzo more, but I love where I can ride the Mega more. The Izzo starts to feel outgunned at just the points where the Mega properly wakes up. I certainly wouldn't need anything in-between, and if I replace anything, I'd get something a little burlier than the Mega, but wouldn't change the Izzo at all
  • 2 0
 For this reason I ride a 5010
  • 1 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: carbon wheels and cranks would maybe...just maybe take a pound off for $2000. It ain't worth it.
  • 2 0
 @danielfloyd: This is nothing new. Pro enduro riders have been racing Stumpjumpers and bike like it since 2016
  • 2 1
 @dirtbaggraeme: You might want to look up the definition of the word "caveat" and think about how Scott used one in his comment.
  • 1 1
 @pmhobson: Can you show me where in this comment that word "Caveat" appears?
"my carbon ripmo weighs about 34 and that's the lightest I can possibly make it without going to carbon cranks and wheels."
  • 1 0
 @scott4238: You aren't wrong, but again, that's not what I'm saying. Ibis has claimed weights starting at 27lbs on the website. I'm sure that's a size small with a 36 instead of a 38 but even in a size large, you can absolutely get builds down to 30lbs with the right build kit. "Worth it" isn't my point, only that it's possible to get the "elusive" bike described in the initial comment.
  • 2 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: you don’t have to say the word “caveat” to use one.

This is a caveat: “without going to carbon cranks and wheels.”
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: And yet my response remains as true as ever. Perhaps you should read the comment he replied to. "with the will to put together a light weight build and the wallet to do it, that bike absolutely exists." feel free to refute that, caveat or no. Or you can deny a fact and make it about you and your bike, like Scott did. Nothing wrong with it, it's just tangential to the point.
  • 2 1
 Hell yeah, call out the STA and HTA you want without regards to anything else that makes a bike ride well. Just like the folks that know the exact chainstay length they need but are clueless about BB drop and its impact on stability.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: But if you only had one bike... wouldn't it be the 150?
  • 2 0
 @ridedigrepeat: I think that depends on the person and their trails. Also just their general preference. I have a "wildly capable" 120 bike and I just take it everywhere now and almost never ride my other bikes. If I could only have one bike..honestly I'd be torn. I'd hate to lose this 120 bike. I mean it's nice to have the longer-travel bike for a ride every once in a while..but not sure I'd throw away the 120 bike and get a different mid-travel bike just to have "one bike".
  • 1 0
 Yupstate..., YOU DA MAN!! Totally agree. I think that I'm seeing more of that stuff on the market. Have been shopping a new hardtail. Have shopped (and will be taking possession, this af'noon) bikes that fit your description. And even at that - those relatively slack HTAs & steep STAs are a little extreme. My slackest sus-bike (2018 Pivot) sports 66/73.5. My steepest (2015 Turner), at 67/73. Both of those bikes climb
steep dang ratted-out obstacle-riddled challenging singletrack with aplomb. And both will easily take me far beyond the point where my gonads fail me. They're both much more capable than my fears will allow me to be without that long process of learning. I'm replacing a 1st gen TJ (68/73) with a used Stylus (64/76) - partly because it's slack, but mostly because the TJ has been abused & modded for so long that I'm seriously questioning the frame's integrity. Until that nagging worry settled in - it carried me up, down & over anything my sus bikes would - and with it's head held high.
  • 1 0
 @yupstate Specialized made one when they first launched the new Stumpjumper. I picked one up and I'm still grateful to have a "Big Boy XC" bike.

www.specialized.com/us/en/mens-stumpjumper-comp-carbon-29/p/154960?color=253544-154960
  • 79 8
 It's very simple. I ride a lot of XC style stuff, do enduro races, occasionally visit bike parks, but can only afford one bike. What do you suggest, Henry? You want me on a Forbidden dreadnought on my fun before work XC rides? Believe it or not, XC is what most people are doing, even in Utah - theres not much winch and plummet riding in NA outside of the PNW. My main takeaway from this article is that the general obsession over steep STAs is stupid and biased towards a style of riding very specific to the PNW and not found in most other places. I for one, am thoroughly happy on my switchblade with its embarassingly slack (75 deg with 27.5" rear wheel) STA.
  • 31 34
 An enduro hardtail is the bike you want. I have one, it does it all.
  • 20 14
 I'd say there is alot of 'winch & plummet' riding in basically all of British Columbia
  • 51 2
 @dgwww: Is BC not the PNW?
  • 7 5
 I completely agree with this. Growing up in Colorado, a shorter travel bike was perfect, in addition to a dh bike for parks and shuttles.

I moved to Bellingham, had an Evil Calling (130r/140f) and still rode everything, although it was a little scary. But then I bought a Nomad, put a link, shock, and Boxxer on it (190r/200f), and never looked back lol. Now that I’m super out of shape, I have my 165r/180f eebs and a dh bike.

The thing I learned along the way: 130mm bikes are totally fine, you don’t “need” anything more (although big bikes will always be my happy place).
  • 75 1
 I love PB, but it does touch on a complaint I have: it sometimes reads like the editors assume *everyone* lives and rides in the PNW.
  • 58 5
 @charliewentoutside: if you don't ride in the PNW do you really ride?
  • 27 0
 @charliewentoutside: 100%. It's getting a little tiring hearing about all the changes bike companies totally need to make (read: steeper STAs, heavier everything) when it's probably not a great idea for the vast majority of riders outside the PNW.
  • 18 3
 @charliewentoutside: I don’t mind it. Let the whole of mountain biking think the US pinnacle of the sport is in Bellingham. Wyoming/Idaho/Montana don’t have any bike parks, decent trails, or descents greater than 1000’ vert. Maybe go check out Utah because of Moab. I’ve heard CO is nice but overcrowded. There are no mountains in California because they have the ocean, obviously. The PNW is the only place. Everybody should go ride there.
  • 11 0
 @freeridemafia420: I agree. I've been looking into avoiding any mountain biking in the montana/wyoming/idaho area this summer. what's your least favorite trail system that I should try extra hard to avoid? will probably just hangout on slickrock, the best mtb trail in moab, instead.
  • 4 0
 100%. Unfortunately I've tried to run one bike, first it was a short travel trail bike, then an all mountain bike. In both cases I was left wanting, so I've reluctantly accepted a 2 bike garage. a 27lb izzo and a 38lb beefed-up ripmo af, but I can't wait until I can sell that ripmo and get a bigger bike. It's either xc/trail or big mountain, nothing really in between for me, and with the weight of the ripmo there's really no benefit to it over something bigger travel.
  • 7 0
 @alienator064: Im not even sure if it applies to most of the PNW. In the Seattle area riding Tiger or Raging is great, but during the summer 2 out of 3 riders per week for me are places like Duithe and Swan Creek, local systems with no real need for 180mm of travel. I went to both Sun River and Hood River last year, both of which most trails could have been shredded with a short travel bike. That is not an insult, rather the trails were quite smooth.

It's like hunting with a Bazooka, sure it provides for a greater margin of errort, but unless you are hunting tanks you don't really need it. If you dont use your 170+mm of travel, then you didnt really need it.

I'm starting to miss the previous gen Trek Fuel EX, a bike with 130/140 travel designed to literally be capable of racing both XC and Enduro (as a casual racer).
  • 3 1
 @dirtbaggraeme: yeah i would really love to have a downcountry/trail + enduro/freeride quiver but that would require me to have 1. more money and 2. more space (which would also require more money)
  • 2 0
 @alienator064: what about your ceiling? You don't do shit up there.
  • 2 0
 @joecrosby: a kid came past me on an xc procaliber yesterday i reckon another 25mm of travel up from my 130 downcountry bike id have done his skinny little ass
  • 1 0
 @charliewentoutside: and own's a Tacoma
  • 5 1
 @workingclasswhore: no you don't hahahahaa. Come to Verbier and the rest of Valais, mate, you'll never go back to PNW
  • 2 1
 @vhdh666: no I don't what?
  • 8 0
 @charliewentoutside: Wouldn't it technically be the PSW? Being in Canada and all.
  • 5 0
 @charliewentoutside: Once you cross the Coastal Mountains you can drop the 'Pacific' for the rest of BC. Could film a spaghetti Western anywhere in interior BC until you get to the RockyMountains.
  • 2 0
 @dpars63: I totally need it. I’m shit on a bike, live in PNW and need all the help I can get
  • 2 2
 Why not a dreadnought?

You might not get your KOM on the climb, but it’ll still be fun. And pedaling the big rig around will make you fitter. A before-work ride is the perfect example for when the bike doesn’t matter. Ride what you’ve got, it’ll be over in an hour, it’s all good.
  • 5 0
 @charliewentoutside: interesting that @dgwww separates PNW as not all of BC. Interesting because as a BC resident, I would similarly not describe to anyone that I live in the PNW since I'm in the desert of the interior, east of the Coastal range. So as f'd up as it is, I'd say yes I live in Cascadia but not in the PNW. Go figure.

+1 on steep climbs peppered throughout BC. Steep STA is my friend.
  • 2 0
 @charliewentoutside: Amen to that... i don't even know what a Tacoma is !!!
  • 3 1
 Meh-32-35 pounds (with beefy slow rolling tires) pedals about the same regardless of travel. Might as well get a bike in the 150-170mm travel bracket if you need a bike to do it all.

Ride a Ripley built for occasional park duty, then a Ripmo with the same build (aside from frame and suspension). They’ll ride almost exactly the same-until you need the extra travel.
  • 3 0
 @charliewentoutside: BC is in Canada. We dont have a midwest either.
  • 2 1
 @dgwww: I mean call it what you want, but it's on the pacific, west side of the continent, in the north (from a general "North America" perspective). We call the northeastern part of the US "new england", but that doesn't make it NOT the northeast, or northern atlantic coast, or any other geographical descriptor you'd care to apply to it.
  • 3 1
 @dgwww: (but it doesn't really matter for the purposes of this discussion anyway. What we're talking about here as "PMW" is just shorthand for a type of riding terrain – relatively wet, large mountains with (comparatively) long downhills and fire road climbs. Is that not a fair descriptor of many of the popular riding places in BC, in addition to applying to the official American PNW™? Often it seems like bikes are assessed only on how much sense they make in that context/terrain.)
  • 1 0
 @charliewentoutside: Exactly. That's what NSMB is for.
  • 2 0
 @Endurahbrah: @charliewentoutside - PNW is American shorthand for a region of the USA. In Canada we dont call it the Pacific North West - because the pacific north west of Canada would be northern BC / Yukon(ish). We are two different countries with two different cultures & contexts.
  • 2 1
 @dgwww: I would say that, as an American, PNW could be American shorthand for a region of the USA *and* Canada, depending on the context. I think most Americans who care about this sort of stuff would understand that I am including BC when I say PNW under the context of MTB. But I understand that maybe Canadians would describe that area differently.
  • 4 3
 @alienator064: One of the main cultural differences between us is that Americans often view things only from their internal perspective, whereas Canadians often strive to have a more outwardly looking perspective.
  • 5 0
 @dgwww: lol yeah totally, for example all the candian reviewers on this site that only ever care about how the bike performs on BC trails
  • 4 0
 @charliewentoutside: Seems like Canadians should stop letting the US frame their reality. BC should be called the Pacific Southwest for the sake of national pride.

Long live the PSW.
  • 1 0
 @workingclasswhore: okay, you could replace "Valais" by "BC"
I must admit: I've enjoyed riding in Cumberland and Kamloops a lot
  • 1 1
 @BrambleLee: to be fair I think all the riding in BC is northwest of canada's geographical population center, so I think PNW still fits
  • 3 0
 Uh yeah that’s not true. There is ton of “winch and plummet” riding in NA. Like most of Pisgah, a ton of Colorado, most of the good riding around the Tetons, a ton in California, etc etc etc.
  • 1 1
 @charliewentoutside: Yeah, technically it would be the PSW of Canada, but I get it that when describing the overall riding region, PNW kind of fits because much of western WA is quite similar to BC. The term PNW conjures up images of steep trails in dark forests.
  • 1 0
 @BrambleLee: It takes more effort to write, but I think about BC in terms of coastal BC, interior BC, Kootenays, etc. I think three-letter acronyms don't do the place justice.
  • 2 0
 @NWBasser: for a ‘mercan, you have the right idea Wink In the interior here, I am just as likely to come across a cactus or rattlesnake, as a fern or a frog. Plenty of steep trails, just not wet.. by summer we have to deal with moondust, not mud. The Coastal range of mountains is literally a dividing line for what most people imagine as pacific trails.

Southern BC is coastal, interior, kootenays and rockies. All very different riding.
  • 2 0
 @g123: I take most of my vacations in BC and the diversity there is amazing. I need a few more lifetimes to explore the province.
  • 48 0
 this very much feels like a jaded “i have 4 bikes to pick from”
point of view. bigger bikes are more fun on bigger trails but suck on anything flatter and more mellow. why not have a bike that does everything pretty damn good?
  • 20 40
flag MattQEkBp1 (Mar 14, 2024 at 11:35) (Below Threshold)
 Why even bother riding mellow stuff, just take up trail running then
  • 15 0
 I get that this is supposed to be a funny complaining article, but I love my all mountain bike. I ended up replacing my enduro bike for it and in all honesty I enjoy riding more now. It makes the green and blues trails fun, adds spice to the blacks and is always fun attempting anything harder. You don't need to be the fastest or best in your group to have the most fun.
  • 13 4
 because trail running is murder on your knees/ankles.
  • 13 0
 @totaltoads: And trail running is not mountain biking. Maybe MattQEkBp1 thinks his preferred kind of ride is the only kind of ride. See too much of that on PB.
  • 3 28
flag MattQEkBp1 (Mar 14, 2024 at 15:23) (Below Threshold)
 @dcaf: it is the only kind of ride you should be doing, because I’m right and you’re wrong. Just stick it in your wife or girlfriend or boyfriend a little harder if you need a workout
  • 2 4
 @MattQEkBp1: You hit the gapers right in the feels. Well done!!!
  • 1 3
 @MattQEkBp1: thank you. Easy trails suck.
  • 3 4
 @freeridemafia420: exactly I’ll just crush beers on the couch if there’s no gnarly trails to ride
  • 38 0
 I like the bike I ride, it's the best bike when I ride it, and that's all there is to that!
  • 38 1
 Sorry, I don't want a Spire Henry.
  • 33 0
 I converted my wife’s XC bike and my Enduro bike into All Mountain bikes, it was super easy, I just swapped the wheels/tires from one to the other.
  • 63 4
 People's weird obsession with DD/DH Minions or similar for average trail riding baffles the hell out of me...

Plenty of lightweight tires work great if you learn to ride light and not smash into stuff and rely on the suspension.
  • 8 3
 @totaltoads: Trail bike with enduro tires is where shit is at Big Grin there is nothing scarrier (and more fun) than having a handicaped enduro bike. Still fun on green flow trails, while still being fast enough to chase enduro bros on their 170+mm enduro sleds (if you are brave enough). They just have that je ne sais quoi that I have a hard time explaining. LIke enduro bikes are fun and shit, but substract 3cm of travel and you have something that is so simmilar yet so different to them. Idk it is like it is easier to feel the trail, find the flow of the triail. Something like this. And I can count on one hand the trails where I felt really outgunned and I have ridden everything from proper ews trails to wc dh track on an all mountain bike,.
  • 6 2
 @totaltoads: A lot of riders I see on Minions either don't have the skills to lean them past the transition zone or are riding trails that don't really let you do that. They end up sliding around in no man's land, but hey Minions have "trailhead cred"
  • 8 0
 @totaltoads: Sure....but extra suspension travel and big/burly tires allow me to sometimes focus on bike handling, sometimes smash, and sometimes make up for my mistakes. Not to mention, if I carry greater speed I can handle my bike with more focus on agility.

I would say I, on average, have about 5-6 "holy s%&t!" moments per season where, for whatever reason, something doesn't go according to plan. By and large, being over-biked with burly tires means that nearly 90% of these moments do not result in a crash, mechanical failure, or both.

Too me, avoiding injuries is one of the primary reasons I'd choose a big bike over something less capable. I'll happily pay for years' of extra weight and rolling resistance if it means one less broken bone, sprain, or any other injury every few seasons. Being laid up for 6-8 weeks sucks.
  • 3 6
 @totaltoads: “ride light”=slow. This ain’t 100m travel shit. SMESH and charge everything or go back to XC. lol. Jk. Kinda.
  • 2 0
 @totaltoads: **Hans Dampf has entered the chat.**
  • 3 0
 @totaltoads: ah yes, I will avoid hitting the sharp rocks that make up large sections of my favorite trails. Cut sidewalls on blue tails are a blast. Any other tips?
  • 2 2
 @totaltoads: out west beefy tires are a must for a lot of riding. I’m running EXO tires on my XC whip, but DD Aggressor/DHF with CushCores on the big bike-because sharp rocks.
  • 2 2
 @Whataboutism: Gapers don’t like to be called out. Well played!!!!
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: I used to run exo on the front…until I tore a sidewall in the first week…some places have these sharp things called rocks.
  • 25 1
 I laughed out loud multiple times reading this lol

As a British rider with a 150mm travel all mountain bike who is frequently beaten both up and down the hill by friends on "stupid" 170mm Enduro bikes I feel this article was written specifically for me.
  • 12 0
 I do feel though, particularly on trails you know, sometimes 150ish is the perfect amount of travel and it is both faster and more fun than a longer travel bike. If you know the trails (and/or they're not super-gnarly anyway) sometimes lighter tires are fine and so are lighter wheels - so your 150 AM bike can be a maneuverable dream rig in the right setting.

Blind enduro or double-black bike park trails on your 150AM bike is not much fun though and the aforementioned lighter tires and wheels are probably in extreme danger, as are you and your collarbones.
  • 5 1
 As a British rider I'm disgusted by Henry's comments in this article? What Brit with even an ounce of self integrity would under squeeze and over milk a cup of tea?
By all means, intentionally miss bits when mowing the lawn, even the culinary roulette makes sense, but screwing up a cuppa, on purpose?!
I hope the man stays in Canada, and may he be forever stuck on a 130mm travel frame.
  • 24 1
 @henryquinney I think you're missing the fact that, even here in the sea to sky, some of us actually enjoy the uphill, as well as the down. Yes there's a compromise, but no, your 170mm travel bike doesn't 'climb well'. It climbs well for what it is - and that's an important distinction, because what it is, is a big heavy bike with more travel than most people need.

I'm aware that I'm in the smaller camp here, and that's why I quite enjoy a good solo ride. Because I'd rather ride at my own pace than somebody else's Smile
  • 6 0
 Haha! Can't argue with that.
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney:
As a fellow opinionated Brit, I do enjoy your ramblings. Even if I don’t necessarily agree.
  • 7 0
 @notthatfast: That's the sweet spot I was after! Haha
  • 5 1
 @SunsPSD: this is why I drive a 20 year old Civic……and have a 25 pound XC whip AND a 35 pound big bike. I respect anyone who keeps the fleet down to 1 bike……but you don’t drive trim nails with a sledgehammer and you don’t break rocks with a tack hammer.
  • 4 0
 I LOVE that Henry is writing this sort of thing. Way more interesting than another product review, and there is some good commentary on actual product in there to boot.

BUT, as I was reading the argument that one of the central pitfalls of all-mountain bikes is that they don't do well on group rides, I couldn't help but be reminded of this gem, which I remembered because it made me feel heard more than any therapist, of which there have been many, ever has. www.pinkbike.com/news/opinion-group-rides-are-the-worst.html.

Sorry @henryquinney. I'm an attorney, so I can't help it. But I hope you'll consider my having to live with my choice of profession to be revenge/punishment enough.

Cheers, and more of this, please.
  • 18 0
 We must destroy the notion of a continuum of bicycle purposes! Bikes must fit into defined categories with no overlap, just as people must. If you say that a bike both climbs and descends well I will leave COMMENTS on your ARTICLE letting you know that I have FEELINGS.
  • 17 1
 DH bikes and 170mm enduro bikes are slow and boring to ride on trails they’re not designed to be ridden on and just pumping up your shock isn’t really a long term solution for buying the wrong bike. Less travel is just faster, more responsive, more efficient and more fun until they’re not and you’re getting rattled around and beaten up. All depends on what you ride. Theres absolutely nowhere around here where I’d be faster on a DH bike and probably less than a handful trails which would worry a big travel enduro bike. 150mm ish is perfect for around here. Enough to take the sting out of the trails but not too much that it affects your ability to hop and pedal or the responsiveness that you get with too much travel. If I lived near a bike park it would be different.
  • 9 0
 Buy the bike for the trails you ride 90% of the time not a bike for the trails you wish you ride for 10% of the time. A short travel bike in the UK is fine most of the time. I ride a 150/130 trail bike that is slightly over built and it just makes what I ride 90% of the time fun and the 10% fun in a different way as I have to use more skill to get down rather than ploughing through stuff.
  • 1 2
 @Taylor084: Nah, i prefer the opposite... I NEED the extra travel/angles for Dyfi/BPW/Antur/Pearce, so my bike is more suited to the gnarly stuff rather than my tame local stuff. If my legs die on an XC ride because of being over-biked, i just ride slowly.... If i try and ride something less capable on the bonkers stuff, well that ends really badly.
  • 2 1
 Ability, rider size and strength are big factors that aren't considered here. If you're a psychotic gorilla riding a blue trail at mark 9, then that 170mm of travel is quite likely to be used.
  • 2 0
 @Taylor084: absolutely.
My Druid is immense on everything i ride. Only time ive thought differently was racing at the Golfie. Which i do once a year....
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: if you live where the trails are that tame, get a modern XC bike. I have a Sniper and it’s hella fun on trails the big bike is overkill for.
  • 3 0
 @weeksy59: depends on how you ride really. My 150/130 trail bike which is just right for my local has been to Antur and BPW a few times with my mate who rides a Strive. In the rough he clearly pulls away but it marginal and not like he’s waiting around for ages at the bottom. Horse for courses really.
  • 1 0
 @Taylor084: I hear you mate. Mine is a Status 160 so not exactly a massive thing, but a bit burlier.
  • 13 0
 The feel of an all mountain bike can be achieved by just putting on a rear tire thats around 1000-1100 grams, firm compound, fast rolling tread rear tire. Then you have an easy to pedal enduro bike that likes to get sideways downhill. Seems like a win win if you aint racing.
  • 13 0
 This all makes more sense if Enduro bikes actually only weighed 500g more but they don't. My Hightower weighs 30lbs, your Enduro monster weighs 36-40lbs now. I'm also a pussy and can't ride an Enduro bike to it's potential so I'll stick with my 150mm bike. And my 120mm bike.
  • 3 0
 I’m a total wimp. I love my massive enduro bike because I can ride more stuff without getting off Smile
  • 3 0
 @Motdoc: true, it’s harder to get off on the big bike, takes a lot more pumping
  • 16 2
 Anyone that says someone else is over-biked is a pretentious coffee shop order from telling someone they have too many gears.
  • 3 1
 Cue the 'Nobody needs......" lol
  • 10 0
 I found my enduro too unwieldy and boring on anything less than Darkside Shore gnar. So I got an all mountain bike instead, figuring I could ride it the same as the big bike on the steeps and have more fun on the lesser trails. Yes, I could do that but have to put a lot more work into it and yes, it is more nerve-racking. Now I have no idea what to do or which is better. I beefed up the front fork to 170mm and that helped...a bit. Still more fun on most trails but less confidence on gnarlier ones.
  • 11 1
 There used to be enduro bikes with 150mm of travel also trail bikes with the same amount. Back in the day 150mm of travel was a downhill bike. In a couple of years xc bikes will probably have 150mm of travel, but who cares. I used to love waffles, now I’m not so sure.
  • 6 0
 When the Sentinel forst cane out, it was considered an enduro bikem the current version is slacker and longer with more suspension, but is now considered an all mountain bike with its 150/160 travel. I, for one, enjoy the hell out of mine. At the speeds I like to ride, a full on 170mm enduro sled feels dead whereas the 150mm Sentinel is fun and lively, without making me reexamine my life choices when the trail gets spicy. You know, the one bike for all of the mountain, at least for this middling rider in his 50s.

My son, who likes to ride a fair bit faster, feels differently - to him, the enduro bike feels like his perfect one bike quiver.
  • 2 0
 I keep thinking about my first full suspension bike. It was adjustable between 125 and 135 mm of travel, and the angles got STEEPER when you set it for more travel. As a species, we had no idea what we were doing with bike geometry or suspension tuning. That was a freeride bike.

Today my "light trail bike" has as much travel, bigger wheels, and better geometry. Trails haven't changed that much, with maybe a tendency towards being "easier".

For me, 150mm of travel with modern geometry seems like an awful lot. I doubt I could effectively use more.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: when I first started racing DH, 150mm travel bikes didn’t even exist. Nowadays I’m riding a Sentinel as well, and I feel zero desire to own a bigger bike.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: I am 55 and on v1 Sentinel with a Cascade Link and longer stroke shock. I think it is 154mm???? I put a 170mm fork on it and have 2 wheel sets, one with lighter trail tires and the other with DH tires. I swap the wheels for race/park weekends and have fun on my local trails the rest of the time. I keep looking at the Spire but everything keeps pointing me back to the v2 Sentinel as my next bike, or wait for the v3 which I think will only have UDH as the change? For the record due to my schedule I do ride alone a lot though.
  • 11 0
 "You’ll take it to the bike park and loosen more bolts than a Boeing 737 Max 9 on takeoff."

Another classic. Needed that after a long day at the desk, dreaming of a dry trail in the mostly-submerged UK
  • 10 0
 Considering the 130mm Forbidden Druid is used in the Enduro world cup, what if you just considered your all-mountain bike an enduro bike? Then you would have a "light, snappy enduro bike" and could call any descending intimidation "rider error". Problem solved.
  • 12 0
 This is why I ride a 135mm bike. It's an ALLTRLMTN bicycle. Actually its a Banshee Prime, and I think its amazing.
  • 2 0
 A 0mm travel Banshee Paradox with a 160mm Ribbon is silly good times on everything in the southeast except Windrock and Snowshoe. Crank up the ramp control for trail days, and on enduro days turn it back and add 5 psi to the negative chamber. Easy peasy.
  • 13 0
 Wait, I thought you hated riding with people?
  • 4 0
 Maybe because they're always leaving him behind as he tests yet another all mountain bike.
  • 8 0
 While I don't necessarily agree with the conclusion, like our British friend up thread, this made me laugh out loud. Henri, this is your best work to date. Funny in that "British droll" kind of way and very well written.

All mountain has it's place. But then again, I've never found the limits of any bike...the limits are always mine.
  • 10 3
 This website could really use a few contributors who don't ride in the super narrow zone of the Northwest where enduro bikes actually make sense as a daily driver. It's a big world out there folks, not all of us have Squamish in our backyard.
  • 1 0
 You mean a few *more* I guess. I think almost half of them are from Scotland.
  • 1 7
flag wyorider (Mar 15, 2024 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
 @SunsPSD: sorry you live in flatlandia. A gravel bike might play for you best.
  • 5 0
 @wyorider: ah there's that welcoming vibe that the mountain bike community is known for! But yes, you're right. It's literally Squamish or gravel, with literally nothing inbetween!
  • 7 0
 Firstly, fantastic read. Timely analogies. Thought provoking. So pointed and on-point in a lot of ways. Love having this kind of content. Not as deeply soulful or soul-searching as the tag on another site that rhymes with "Diggers would Hide," but thoroughly enjoyable.

Secondly, I love my HT3 (ok, the fork is bumped up to 160mm). I've come to admit I've def got a dad-bod and bike-enthusiast-dad riding skills, all sans offsping (canine version coming soon, though). I entered my first enduro rac...er "timed ride", last summer. There were three of us (I'm guessing) in the 50+ age group, I placed a solid second a few seconds behind a guy on a full enduro rig who has been riding/racing DH and and enduro for as long as I've been riding ('92). I would definitely not want a bike more capable than the HT3, and it's definitely not the bike that is slowing things down on the uphils. I read too many reviews and think way too much about another bike, but every time I ride the HT, I just love riding it.
  • 5 0
 I agree that the current slate of "all mountain" bikes have changed to be a poor compromise, but I also think that many of us mountain bikers have changed as well. In the past we were used to a lot of trail sections feeling difficult or sketchy. That felt normal, and in some ways it seemed more a natural property of good mountain bike trails than a limitation of the bikes. But now modern enduro bikes can provide enough confidence and security to erase those feelings on many trails, and that is a very hard thing for many people to give up even if it means lugging around a heavy bike all the time
  • 5 0
 I think this article exposes a huge problem in the bike industry. While a lot of people that live near big mountains and huge trail networks are mountain bikers, I would argue that a significant amount of mountain bikers don't live in those areas. The trails I ride the most are tight an technical where riding an enduro bike would be like driving a limo through a parking garage. On the other hand, I want to take the occasional trip to some steep rowdy terrain. An all mountain bike fits my everyday needs best while still allowing me to enjoy the more challenging trails. Not every ride has to be would cup race run. I'm there to have fun, not be KOM on strava.
  • 1 0
 Buy an XC bike for home trails, rent a big bike out west. Ski on carving skis at home, demo powder boards out west. Easy peasy.
  • 1 1
 Why is that a problem? There are tons of options for great trail bikes and they're not going anywhere since they're clearly popular, despite what Henry thinks.
  • 6 1
 All mountain bikes are the worstttttt because they cut into my ability to justify buying different bikes for different types of riding

Why would one ever wan't a N=1 life when they can have a N+1 life....HAHA
  • 7 0
 This seems to be premised on me wanting to ride with other people. Which I do not.
  • 1 0
 Best comment here…..by a country mile
  • 4 0
 150/160 sentinel with a coil, 34 lbs pedals alright and can handle whatever I ride it down. I would consider it an AM bike that could easily be your only bike. But then I got a 120/120 Spur, 28 lbs pedals great and can hold its own when pointed downhill but also makes a bunch of mellower trails that feel boring on the Sentinel fun again. Between the two bikes I feel like all of the riding I do is covered.
  • 2 0
 2 bikes does the trick
  • 5 0
 Tires are the best limiter, I think. Don't put 2.5 DD tires on your short travel bike and you won't try and ride it like a 170mm enduro bike.
  • 3 0
 The problem with over built AM bikes weighing as much as enduro bikes describes me spot on. Have a AM category frame, but its built up like an enduro bike cause it can take it. Then I've realized, at the weight it is, maybe I should just go back to an enduro bike and have that wonderful travel too.
  • 1 0
 I have an overbuilt 160/150 bike. My friends on 170s smoke me in downhills, but I climb faster. Now they are buying 140s because the enduro bikes are too easy on black trails and boring on blue trails. Always a compromise.
  • 2 0
 @freeridemafia420: you climb faster because you are faster. The bike is maybe 2%. Trails being boring is valid.
  • 2 0
 @FatSanch: Your right about fitter dude just being fitter. I can say that I enjoy riding big bikes warranted or no, they just makes me happy.
  • 3 0
 I have to agree. I had a 150mm bike for a while and I found it wasn't any lighter and didn't climb any better than a full enduro bike, but the enduro bike was noticeably more stable and forgiving on high speed descents. It used to be that an all-mountain bike would have lower handlebars, and hence have a better climbing position, but now things like steeper seat angle and longer chainstays have eliminated that advantage and enduro bikes climb just as well.

I think there is a terrain type where All Mountain excels though, and that's terrain that's relatively rough, but rolling without big climbs and descents. This is where an enduro bike can feel like "too much" because you don't have the extended downhills to get up to speed, but you also want suspension to soak up the bumps.
  • 3 0
 To add onto this article, I think brands that produce models with slightly different travel options using a different stroke shock on the same frame is pointless. Take my Knolly Chilcotin for example, it started life as a 160 F 151 R travel light enduro bike weighing in around 34 lb. Rode it for a season, popped the shock spacer out and bumped the fork 10mm and boom, 170/170 hard enduro rig. Set up the suspension slightly stiffer to keep it high in the travel. Weight/geo is almost identical, can’t say it pedals any worse and it gives me an extra 20mm to blow through if I decide to do my best Brage impression.
  • 11 4
 5 words. Just ride your damn bike.
  • 4 1
 This 100%. In this sport it's very easy to spend too much time thinking about equipment and miss the the point.
  • 3 3
 I love that someone had to downvote my OP. Good, let the cynicism flow through you my son.
  • 3 0
 I think I own the exact bike Henry describes, a Privateer 141 v1. The frame is just as heavy as it's bigger brother, the 161, and only slightly shorter in wheelbase. With 1000-1100gr of rubber per wheel and zero carbon components it's 35lb/16kg.
I can ride that bike anywhere and for any amount of time. However, it's much more sluggish than a hardtail or a XC bike on mellow trails and I certainly can't keep up with my friends on enduro bikes when things become both steep and rough. It feels just right on 90% of what I usually ride though and doesn't need to go mach 10 to feel fun. It's a compromise, but one I made consciously. If I had the option I would buy the same bike but lighter.
  • 3 0
 "one of the main inhibitors of comfort on big days is excessively steep seat tubes putting too much weight into your hands on flatter terrain" I never thought I would see these words printed on Pinkbike. I am glad @henryquinney remembers that flatter terrain exists when many of the other writers here seem to have forgotten. I have been wondering at what point will these bikes only be comfortable when pointed steeply uphill if the steeper seat tube trend continues unabated? I don't live in the PNW and mellow terrain is part of my regular riding, so a super steep seat tube on my trail bike is a detriment not a benefit.
  • 2 0
 I mean what exactly is an all mountain bike these days? Is it different than a "long legged trail bike" like a ripmo or rail29? What about enduro bikes that have mild geo? Or is it exclusively the 150mm trail bike because 140 is still trail and 160 is enduro?
  • 9 0
 go back 10 years before enduro. all mountain bikes had 150mm travel. 130 was trail. 170 was freeride.

only in the past few years has 150/160 been marketed as trail. 5 years ago 160 was enduro.
  • 4 0
 The ripmo epitomizes all-mountain to me.
  • 1 0
 A ripmo with a 170mm fork and cascade link is the perfect balance of pedeling efficiency and travel.
  • 1 0
 @bones89: You are describing my exact set up (though on the Ripmo AF) but the issue I have with my build is weight. I do have more of a workhorse build; SLX cassette and cranks, xt chain and shifter, Hayes brakes, a 38 and WAO convergence wheels with meaty tires, but the weight of the thing offsets any potential benefit the DW link provides. I could lose a 3/4lb on the fork moving to a 36, but at that travel I want the stiffness of the 38. I can lose another 2ish pounds if I moved to the carbon frame, and that would be a difference maker, but with the build kit I want to run (for cost and durability reasons) I'd still be sitting around 34lbs, which is pretty rough, better certainly, but if you can get more travel at the same weight... why not have more capability? You could even go high pivot to help get similar square edge climbing characteristics to the DW link, something like a Claymore or a Dreadnaught, and never need anything more. It won't pedal as well, but with mine being as chunky as it is, running the cascade with one fewer negative volume reducer, it's not exactly spritely anyway.
  • 1 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: mine is an AF as well with a fox 38 170, cascade link, and Minions. It pedals well but at 36lbs its a tank and not fun on flatter stuff. I primarily use it for rocky trails or bigger jump line/bike park stuff. I have a Norco Torrent hardtail that gets ridden probably 90% of the time.
  • 1 0
 @bones89: I hear ya, I've got an izzo for my local trails. I do still ride the ripmo 2 days a week or so, but I'll admit, I can't see myself holding on to it for much longer. Maybe another season or two while I put some cash away for the next one, but that's it.
  • 3 0
 Just have the right tool for the job with a stable of at least four bikes. Then to be sure you don't have the wrong bike for a group ride, never ride with other people. Problem solved.
  • 3 1
 Yep. Hardtail, XC, Enduro, and Trail bike. No problems.

Also group rides suck, unless the leader is showing you cool hidden trails/features that you didn't know existed.
  • 1 0
 @totaltoads: DJ, Downcountry, AM, DH
  • 2 0
 I just spent a weekend in Nelson, NZ riding. I needed an XC bike for all the fire road climbs (there don't seem to be any trails up, only roads) and a DH bike for the descents.
I was stuck in NoWoMan's land. Stumpy Evo did well but I didn't
  • 4 0
 I just went out to the garage and took the dangle balls off of my truck hitch and hung them from the saddle of my enduro rig.
  • 2 0
 Still waiting for someone to make a saddle sack.
  • 4 2
 I've been saying this for 15 plus years. "If you wanna a lightweight pedal bike, cool. Buy a hardtail or something with 130mm or less. If you want something to get rowdy on the regular, buy something with at least 160mm of travel. No reason for anything in between. It's not really worth it unless you have multiple bikes"
  • 8 2
 Finally. Some good f*ckin content.
  • 4 1
 Meanwhile... Im out here ridingn everything from shuttle days to back country, multi-day epics, xc rides, and communting and absolutely everything inbetween.... On my trusty ole hardatil.....
  • 3 1
 You know how you can tell if someone rides a hardtail? …
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: The same way you can tell if they're a crossfitter, a stripper, or vegan ?
  • 2 0
 I realize this isn't exactly a question, but the answer is the Rocky Altitude. Adjustable Geo, manageable wheel base. It basically is a long travel all mountain bike that pedals and rides really nicely. If you're desperate for more capability, pop in an angle set and you still don't lose much.
  • 2 0
 I agree with Henry here, last year I changed from a sentinel v1 to a gnarvana and feel like its better for everything. The extra travel doesn't cost me anything noticeable climbing but is definitely worth it on the down, and the zeb is so much better than the lyric it's hard to believe. I also went alloy to carbon so lost some weight in the process and much prefer the longer chainstays on the gnarvana for my XL bike. I have this matched with a trail hardtail with a 140 fork and lighter tires for when I want to spice it up making a great PNW quiver and I always have a backup ride in case something is broken. Both were bought used so I'm still into it less than a midrange new bike at msrp.
  • 2 0
 There are just enough bike categories now that we can all have no one to ride with. We'll either be: too fast, too slow, go on to long, or short of rides, climb or not climb, e-nanny or meat power and so on. Good thing for me I've spend 95% of my rides by myself on my...mountain bike (aka: trail bike).
  • 2 0
 Henry is asking the important questions. Is the 140mm bike irrelevant? Can you ride in a humid environment is all denim? I live in the northwest and just built up a slash gen 5 (older model) and threw on a 2022 fox 36...so 160/160 bike. It may have been a mistake (I am 6', 220) . Having gotten in my first real ride yesterday......I was sorta missing the zeb. then again the 32lb (with cheapish parts) is WAYYY easier to climb on than my 34 lb enduro bike with expensive parts. I'm getting old and don't really ride double diamond trails. maybe the lighter bike will help me develop as a rider? Or willI burst into flames and ride into a tree because I put a 36 on there?
  • 2 0
 Certainly round where I ride a 170mm enduro bike is complete overkill. I need a trail like that can also do alpine duties for a couple of weeks a year. This means a 28-30lb 150 trail bike is enough. Light tyres that are easy to swap out for the alps and that it sorted.
  • 3 1
 Enduro bikes are all mountain bikes.
Just a marketing guy changed the name 20 years ago and the new generation were not around then!
Remember when Marin had a quick release to change geometry and we changed our the old sketchy 32mm fork for a 160mm talas, ride panaracer fire xc pros for xc to trail and irc kujo and elgato for trail to all mountain (now called enduro). Then the RM switch came along as a burlier bike, the nomad next....
Nothing has changed really.
Ride the right tyres for the right ride and shred hard.
  • 2 0
 They used to be that. But over the last couple of years they are getting closer and closer to DH bikes with a sleep seat tube so you can get up the fire road.
  • 2 0
 Mike Levy understood that a fast light bike requires fast/ light/ low RR tires to still feel fast.

Here is an example: Yeti's entire line up use to run the exact same tires independent of the use application of the bike. The obvious conclusion by reviewers was often that the SB130/ SB150 pedal exactly the same so why bother with the 130? If the SB130 had come with tires more appropriate for a 130mm bike, they wouldn't have reached the same conclusion.

Imagine if Transition had put the same tires on the Spire & the Spur?
  • 2 0
 Get what your saying, but a few counter points:
1. For shorter riders, extra travel can adversely affect stand over height. Some people don’t care, but personally I do. At 5’6 I find most 170mm rigs simply too big.
2. I get that speed is fun, but risk of serious (think C-spine) injuries increases significantly with speed. A smaller bike might make people be more likely to ride within themselves. While the counter argument would be they have less reserve, overall I still think you will ride a bit slower
3. While I am fortunate enough to afford more than one bike, I prefer to have the least number possible for pragmatic reasons: storage, maintenance, and getting really accustomed to all the idiosyncrasies of how one bike handles, rather than 2 or 3
  • 1 0
 ..as long as that snorkel is pointing backwards
That way your engine can be fighting to gulp enough air to go down the highway.
Just don’t shut off that engine in that 7’ high water. Unless you have a snorkel for the exhaust..
  • 1 0
 This is all totally reasonable but is written with the (unstated) premise that we can all afford a quiver. Yes, if you have two or more bikes, there is no need to have an all around 150mm ish bike. But that’s not most people’s reality.
  • 4 0
 Sorry guys. I lost track. What is an all-mountain bike? An Enduro bike from 3-5 years ago?
  • 5 0
 What a load of pointless waffle.
  • 3 2
 The authors father dropped the ball by giving him a pass when he obviously deliberately screwed up a household chore. Around my house if i botched a chore i would be responsible for that chore until i got it right every time. It helped me grow up to be responsible.
  • 3 0
 I have to say, somewhere along the line as he's writing this article does he say "wtf am I even talking about"? Making tea? Sheppards pie? Border terrier? jeez
  • 3 0
 It’s been so simple, and for so long now, that you’ve all forgotten how easy life can be.
Hardtail. (pick any variety based on locale)
Dh race bike.
Tailgate pad.
Bye.
  • 2 1
 Most people I know and/or see at the trails wouldn’t know the difference between a 150 and a 170mm bike, half of them appear set up all wrong , most people are riding way to slowly to use most of there travel ( I ride south east uk mostly with a bit of wales thrown in) this maybe an issue for people who test ride bikes for a living only
  • 2 1
 I just think we have to accept it's a natural progression of riding. Start with a cheap hardtail, realize it's terrifying but fun, then get an all-mountain full suspension and you feel amazing and confident. But then you realize the geometry on your all-mountain has a dreaded slack seat-tube and it suddenly feels unrideable. The next step is to sell it and buy a trail bike with modern geometry and now you feel faster going up and down unless it's really steep. But then what if you want to keep up your buddies hitting big jumps and flying down steep trails? The only solution is to get an enduro bike too and you are surprised to find out it does all the things well. Confidence goes up and you try a really big drop but you don't have enough speed and you land on your head and break your....hand (not neck fortunately). The moral of the story is be grateful for what you have and make sure you don't check your speed before a drop.
  • 1 0
 All - Mountain bikes are pretty cool imo. I love my Norco Sight. But I do feel the pains of the weight especially when setup for bike park season. The only way that would combat this would be two sets of wheels. One setup with light casing tires for trail rides and one with heavier casing tires and inserts. Obviously not ideal but makes it much easier to setup for different kinds of rides with ease.

That being said, in a perfect world I’d have a long travel bike and a short travel bike. But for most, including myself, only one bike is in the budget.
  • 1 0
 For me it's much more about having two bikes with different geo. While that does correspond to certain travel ranges, it's primarily geo that drives which bike I want. Local hand-built singletrack is tight, technical, and slow: I'm looking for shorter wheelbase, shorter reach, and steeper HA. I still want 130-140R and grippy wheels for the rocky, rooty, wet tech and the drops, jumps, & rollers sprinkled in. But when it's machine built, high speed, bigger everything, then I'm keen for longer, slacker, and some 160+R forgiveness. I had a 150F/150R with somewhat conservative geo, and it performed fine on the singletrack, but I had to work really hard on the higher speed stuff. That's what drove me to a two bike quiver of: 135R trail bike & 160R enduro. The latter being substantially longer and bit slacker. I had to buy used in order to afford a 2 bike quiver, so the cost factor is significant.
  • 1 0
 Should clarify that I agree with Mr. Quinney in my personal experience with an AM rig, but it was more geo than travel or weight. I felt my AM bike was too long for optimal performance on local trails and too short & steep on bigger terrain. So much so that at 181-182cm, I sized down to a medium for a shorter trail bike while remaining at a large for the enduro.
  • 1 0
 Well put Henry. I totally agree. I had a Revel Rascal for 2 years as a light bike addition to my sweet Spire. It seemed like such a great idea for our longer smoother backcountry trails outside of Santa Barbara. 9 out of 10 rides I would just have more fun on the Spire though and almost never grabbed the Rascal. I kept trying to like it as much as the Spire and thought it might be nice when I was riding with a group that I was worried I couldn't hang with on the climbs. Eventually, I just got fitter and sold the Rascal. Problem solved. I love my Spire
  • 2 1
 BRO IS SPITTING STRAIGHT FACTS. Enduro bikes are so good and these compromise catrgorys are less and less usable. i had a cayon spectral 125 and its geo is a modern enduro bike but i blew the shock treating it like that. if i didnt push it it felt like a waste. i love my transition spire and i also now have a kona honzo to practice with my team, jib around, and do climbing. i would be perfectly happy with my spire. Henry is always right. again
  • 1 0
 Dead on mate. I think it's a bit amplified by Squamish and the trails we ride here. Well I assume you ride them, I only ever see you taking pictures of them on the road up @henryquinney !
I've always been a fan of having a bike for each purpose, but with reasonable geometry on an Enduro bike you really only need two sets of tires..or wheels for convenience and you've got a whole lot of terrain covered.
There's enough adjustment in suspension to make a 170+mm bike feel playful, and basically the only other differentiating factor is what you're rolling on.
I've built myself an "all mountain" bike on my cracked and welded frame and parts I had kicking around the shop. It's a 160mm frame with severely progressive suspension and easily as capable as my current 175mm, actually probably the best bike I've ridden..except I've cracked 3 frames, as if it wasn't meant for its daily dose of Poacher Frown The point is, it's an incredibly quick and playful bike, yet it used to be my main do-literally-anything weapon with a Zeb, DH wheels and all. The only difference now is it's got lighter tires and no cushcore, and I'm dead set on it being more fun than a 300 grams lighter bike with 20mm less travel. And easier to pedal than a smaller bike with heavier tires.
Another point is that I never ride that bike. It's fun and I love it, but I still always reach for the bike with DH wheels on it, because after a few rides it may still feel much slower up the hill, but it gets up there and if I decide to ride something stupid on a whim, I've got the best tool for that. So even if I had that lighter wheelset, I doubt it'd see much use. Even my first 100m ever descending in the Chilcotins after climbing for approximately ever and a little, I was really happy I had cushcore when I smoked a rock on a natural gap before my brain even got some oxygen after the climb.
So yeah, moar travel = better.
  • 1 0
 I got sucked in to the allmountain marketing and bought a Trail/Downcountry/Allmountain bike but still prefere to ride my bigger Enduro.
So if anyone is interessted I'm selling a Norco Fluid A1 in Size S for 1'500$ with XT brakes and 165mm SLX cranks upgraded.
  • 5 4
 LOL, mountain biking has become a sport of whiners.
They nag if they aren't riding the absolute perfect bike for the situation, and if they are they will nag about the suspension setup or their tires or their head tube not being slack enough.

Meanwhile me and my friends use our nineties mountain bikes for everything we ride. At the beginning of the winter (a very wet, muddy period here) our tires were bald, but we decided to just keep riding them through winter. And it was fun!
It pushed us to ride with diligence and flow, and the slipping and sliding every now and then was hilarious.

Jeez, just ride what you have and ride it too its limits, instead of 'needing' another bike that might push those limits just a bit further.
  • 1 0
 I mean I am pretty tall and very experienced on technical terrain, but as fit as a dying dog, so a lighter spritelier bike than my mates helps me ride with them. Changing tyres for the ride you're going on makes a huge difference. An Enduro bike with XC tyres will be quicker than an XC bike with DH tyres. However these heavy duty mid travel bikes that save no weight over a 10-20mm longer travel bike are pointless.
  • 1 0
 Just a question… 90% of what I ride could be classed as XC although if I was completely bonkers I could ride a gravel bike over most of the terrain. Only about 10% of what I ride could be classed as enduro or downhill, and I might only make it to a bike park a few times each year, but it’s this type of riding that keeps me coming back for more. So, what type of bike should I ride – XC, downdippy, all mountain, enduro or downhill? I think an all-mountain bike would make a lot of sense for someone like me (assuming the 500g weight difference stated is a gross underestimate), but maybe I read too many articles like this one, so I ride an enduro bike (and I would change it).
  • 3 0
 Change your tyres for what you are riding, they make a the biggest difference.
If you are tubeless, then 2 sets of wheels might be easier/less messy.
1 set for XC/trail, lighter rims, spokes and tyres.
1 set for enduro/dh/bike park

See loads of folk at Tarland and Glenlivet up here on full on enduro rigs with double down tyres and inserts slugging it out. The trails are way more fun and faster with the likes of a crossmark II out back and lighter casing Minion or Assagai up front.
  • 1 0
 Couldn’t agree more. I want as much bike as I can reasonably cycle to the top of the mountain so that I can enjoy the bit I’m here for, i.e. the down bit. And that’s a 160-170mm enduro bike. I’m not racing up. But I’m racing back down.
  • 1 0
 It is same story for years... What you call all-mountain bike now, it used to be an EWS race machine just 5 years ago. A today's enduro bike is bigger than a yesterday freeride bike and as pointless as the freeride bike was for most rider.. Industry upsize each category for years until it is useless then creates not so new category.
  • 1 0
 I ride a bike that USED to be in the Enduro category. Process 153. With a coil setup it’s good enough to get me down some rough AF DH tracks without dying. It’s not the lightest or fastest thing alive, but I’m only racing myself on strava, so I’m fine with that
  • 1 0
 Also have a 29+ Blizzard setup that I ride regularly and comes alive on the more mellow stuff. I'll also never be the fastest bike racer. I should have started riding mtb seriously 10 years earlier. My ship has sailed esp with my poor fitness and overuse injuries. But like I said, I mainly go as fast as I can to try and beat my times. And FEEL like I'm improving...
  • 1 0
 Being lucky enough to own a 18kg DH bike, a 15kg 180/170mm enduro bike and a 12.5kg 160/150mm trail bike, I learnt the hard way that having the right tool is how a job is done right.
But hey, if pumping up your one-and-only 170mm enduro bike is THE way to make it nimbler and more trail-worthy for an epic trip, why whine about it?
  • 1 0
 all these different bikes and everything is really just doing the exact same thing, marching around a labrynth of mediocre enduro trails. The only thing these small travel trail bikes are good for is buying in the smallest size, single speeding, taking the dumb fucking dropper post out, setting up for barspins. Since the industry decided to just up at delete all full suspension dirt jumpers.
  • 1 0
 The problem with mountain bikers is more than half of 'em don't have a clue. The amount of super enthusiastic and super slow people I meet that can pick a bike apart is amazing, they'll scoff at a 36 as too flexy, won't ride a 140mm bike but cream over any 160mm bike. It's all about numbers it seems.
  • 2 0
 I think they’re called Mountain Bikes.
I’ve been riding 160 +/- of travel for the last 15-20 years, apart from my city slicker I’m a one quiver kind of lad.
Suits all what I do .
Love the debate
Thanks Henry
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney
"This is absolute nonsense, and similar results could be achieved by merely pumping up the shock to a higher spring rate. Instead, you’re lugging around the same heavy frame, with maybe a fork that is around 10mm shorter. This isn’t so much bad design as it is a bad joke."

I love you! Doing the lords work. Sorry about my mad 17 page ramble at you on some other thread about backwards forks. All is forgiven. Not that I unforgave you in the first place.
  • 1 0
 In other news, I currently ride a 150mm bike most often, lol. Well, 156ish probably seeing as I took out the 2.5mm travel limiter on the shock and nothing caught fire (or more to the point, the piggyback didnt punch a hole in the downtube)
  • 1 0
 I like Henry's writing - he's very good at that. But he does NOT understand that riders like me buy an All Mountain bike because it will not only enable me to ride the trails I can ride, but also the trails I hope to ride.

I am no super shredder and just short of 60 years of age, I find a lot of blue trails really challenging. I probably would be perfectly well off with a 120/130 trail bike, but the All Mountain feels so much plusher and offers some reserves when I need them.
  • 1 0
 Henry - you kicked butt with this article. Loved it, and have MORE than enjoyed all the comments. You should do one on dropper triggers. Teehee. Oh yea. Massively polarizing. And needlessly so. We got 1x, 2x, and plunger styles all in current use. I just don't think about 'em. Any of 'em. Just stick my thumb out & press. Dropper does what it does. I'll miss, now & then. Rarely. But happens. With any of them. Just gotta remember to do do dropper BEFORE I get to whatever transition requires a dropped or extended post. Especially when the transition involves a rock/root garden one way or t'other.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike was and still is selling the benchmark EVO in most reviews, but after reading this I'm sure that I'm all wrong and just throwing sand into my eyes for not needing an enduro.
  • 2 0
 The only problem is that there are simply way too many arbitrary MTB categories. To me, "Trail" and "All mountain" are practically the same thing.
  • 2 1
 Now write the exact same article except comparing enduro bikes to DH bikes. Why bother with an enduro bike when the fun part is going downhill, and downhill bikes do that better?
  • 1 1
 Efficient DH bike with a steep, straight ST, water bottle mounts, and storage would be interesting. Too bad nobody makes it.
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: thats what I want, but skip the efficiency part, and make it a gearbox ebike. I wouldn't need a new frame for a decade at least
  • 2 0
 @FatSanch: You know, I've tried that one - dropper post, decent gears, and DD style tires on a Norco Aurum HSP (39 lbs too), but in the end it was still a DH bike and painful to pedal on anything but not overly steep fire roads (although idler pulley has to take some blame there due to chain alignment). And as much as I hate the sidelining of DH bikes in the last few years, I had to admit that on anything but a fast, gnarly DH track like you generally only find at parks a big enduro bike was funner and less work up and down. IOW unless you live in Pemberton or Kamloops or something, the tracks you could pedal to were funner on the smaller bike anyway or close enough to not make it worth pedalling the beast.
  • 2 0
 this article perfectly sums up my situation and my friends on their 180mm bikes saying just send it and they will never understand
  • 3 0
 So the argument is that one should always be underbiked or overbiked, but never biked.
  • 2 0
 Also that bike is marketed as "bike" but too often is really just as heavy as "overbike" only with less travel. Key to not getting tricked by fake "bike" is apparently just buy "overbike"
  • 1 0
 what about the great video from a few weeks ago when Henry said enduro bikes will get less slack? Does that counter his point? He also said they will get higher stack...which supports his point
  • 1 0
 Came here to say the Commencal Tempo is a 125mm bike. I love mine, but felt it's necessary to point out because it sounds a decent amount smaller to me than 130 for some reason.
  • 1 0
 I would happily disagree, but the fact is. If I am to buy new bike, it is up 130 mm travel, or 160 mm and more. Assuming there always be enduro bike in the stable. I like all mountain bikes, but don't make sense to me.
  • 1 0
 makes me happy about getting my transition patrol, I was thinking about switching it in for the new Druid V2 but I'm having second thoughts on the now. Might just have to wait for the new dreadnaught to come out now....
  • 1 0
 Honestly, the Druid V2 is a real pleasure to ride! I set mine up with a 160 mm ZEB, DH tires and big brakes. This bike is nothing like other 130 mm bikes. I wonder what his big brother will be like, a real monster on the downhill for sure.
  • 1 0
 Everything I'm seeing about the V2 is insanely positive. Based on how built for versatility it is, it will be my next steed.
  • 1 0
 @imnono29er: you gotta post a pic of that beast man, I'd love to see it! I wanna do the exact same thing! Mullet setup with a 150 or 160 zen and full DH wheels/tires/brakes. Seems like you could do anything on that bike
  • 1 0
 I ride a 150/160 bike, that's my only bike.
Bought a second pair of wheels for bike parks with dh tires on it, way less expensive than another bike, and no dh bike collecting dust for almost a full year.
  • 2 0
 150mm is just enough to allow me to go fast enough to kill myself but without all that annoying reserve of an enduro bike to save me.
  • 1 0
 This was a great piece. I’m not sure where the all-mountain/enduro gap lies, but agree with the gist of the article. For me a big, heavy 150mm rear travel bike seems okay, but at 130 I don’t get it.
  • 2 0
 I just wanna make sure of something.... is there anything wrong with buying an enduro bike for enduro riding?
im so confused with these comments
  • 2 0
 Is it REALLY your all mountain bike that’s preventing you from keeping up with your pals Henry??? Charlie Murray does pretty well on his all mountain Stevo in the EWS…
  • 2 0
 I just rode a 120mm bike at Neko's new Rock Creek, Hendersonville. Didn't miss my DH bike one bit.
  • 3 0
 I have a Bronson that is super enduro'd out. 170/170, carbon wheels, bars and all kinds of brake upgrades. I recently got a Rocky Element 130/120 bike and for daily riding it is WAY more fun. The Bronson will still be my bike park and chunky DH bike. But man that Rocky does amazingly well even on some fairly spicy terrain.
  • 1 0
 I’ve ridden there and I would have definitely missed my big bike!
  • 2 0
 Riding there is why I sold my 150/135 bike and got the big 170 bike. I was tired of bottoming out my bike and my body hurting. I think it all comes to personal preference and there are no wrong answers. Ride whatever you have the most fun on.
  • 2 3
 Big long bikes are like taking a shower with a raincoat. They'll keep you dry, but there's something missed. Get one to keep up with other people who have them, but you're losing something else That said it takes time to adapt to the riding style needed for shorter, smaller bikes, and 27.5
  • 2 0
 Is my Stevo an All-Duro on an En-Mountain? Am I cheating the system or getting the worst of all the things?!
  • 1 0
 You’re getting the worst of some of the things and the best of some of the other things.
  • 2 0
 This is why you need to go broke having 3 different bikes. Enduro, All Mountain, and Down Country... and maybe a fat bike.
  • 2 0
 Why yes, I do have 4 bikes. One I ride and 3 I think that one day I may ride.
  • 2 0
 We need more BOGO bike offers. A 2 bike garage is where it's at, 130mm trail and 160+mm enduro.
  • 2 0
 Tires can change everything for an all mountain bike too. XC ride? XC tires. Bike park? DH tires.
  • 3 0
 Man I love how good Henry is at stirring the pot Smile
  • 3 0
 Great read Henry. I love it.
  • 2 0
 150 trail or 170 enduro is mostly just marketing terms from bike companies, most of us probably couldn’t tell
  • 1 0
 Thought processes like this are why downcountry America revolted (successfully, I might add) against your longer-travel (at the time) home country in the first place, Hank.
  • 3 0
 I pedal up on my Tallboy and ride down on my Nomad
  • 1 0
 This is a way.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree with Henry. Two bike quiver of enduro and downcountry is perfect.
  • 3 0
 Idk man, I love my stumpy evo
  • 2 0
 You’d be making tea twice a day, every day till you got it right ya wee shite.
  • 1 0
 Luckily that's just some guy's opinion and we can all agree or disagree if we want to. As a happy 2020 Norco Sight rider, I certainly don't agree.
  • 1 0
 The weight of modern trailbikes makes them make less sense, although the Habit LT is pretty damn light considering the build.
  • 1 0
 By this metric, my stroked, mullet 187/180mm Enduro allows me to completely gap all my jabroney buds on their incompetent 170/170mm bikes...
  • 2 0
 Like buying a cybertruck so that I can say I'm a truck man now.lol
  • 3 0
 I want Toyota's version of the Maverik. Screw the Tacoma, it's a gas guzzling beast that nobody needs.
  • 1 0
 @totaltoads:

I had a tacoma and was always annoyed by how clunky and bloated it felt. Now I have a Maverick and I'm annoyed by how much of a Ford it is. But as a platform, the Mav is money. I'll buy this style of trucklet as long as they make them. It drives so much better than all the BOF trucks. And its an absolute workhorse for the size. And I get immensely better fuel economy than the crappy taco numbers.
  • 4 2
 the banner picture is as well put together as this "article"
  • 3 1
 so, exquisitely?
  • 1 0
 lets you know what you're getting in for - perfect visual communication imo
  • 1 0
 That video of Finn Iles in New Zealand sure doesn't sell the 'all mountain bike'.
  • 2 0
 The tag line to this article is among the greatest things I've ever read.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure "tenious" in the header graphic will be laughed off as a deliberate mis-spelling but deep down we know it wasn't
  • 5 0
 It absolutely wasn’t deliberate, but after somebody noticed it on the last article it felt wrong to correct it. I am the idiot I am.
  • 1 0
 Hah I read it as Genious (or Genius). Tenuous makes more sense.
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: I read it as 'tedious'
  • 1 0
 Some trail networks absolutely rule on 140 or 150mm. Too bad that's not true for the other 90% of trails.
  • 2 0
 Does that other 90% include the winding green singletrack trails that can be fun when you have a light and lively hardtail or 100-20mm rocketship that makes you feel like you have superpowers on every little uphill section?
  • 1 0
 @showmethemountains: you need 150 for that.
  • 1 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: What if I need to cancel my vrbo reservation the day beforehand? 150 for that too?!
  • 2 0
 @showmethemountains: dh bike with a short cage electronic 9 speed.
  • 1 0
 @dirtbaggraeme: Mmm, yes. That'll do
  • 2 1
 Buy a 150mm bike put a 160mm on it and make sure you take a shit before each ride. The all enduros mountain bike
  • 3 1
 All I need to be happy is a DH bike and a chairlift.
  • 1 0
 Dh bike, Ebike, full sus dirt jumper
  • 2 0
 So in a nutshell........get a bike, go ride, and enjoy riding. Simple.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney - foot out shot looks very all-mountain to me....
  • 3 0
 So all mountain.
  • 1 0
 Remember when Johny T used to go out and win the DH, DS, and XC on the same bike on a race weekend?
  • 1 0
 Utah Phillips - Moose Turd Pie: youtu.be/Q1ajLnuw2oo?feature=shared
  • 2 2
 Modern trail bikes are rad

Long travel pickups go fast in the desert
Pickups also carry your dirt bikes / mtb bikes
Pickups are rad

These are just facts
\m/
  • 2 0
 What’s a Tacoma? I feel like I need one.
  • 1 0
 I was wondering too…..
  • 2 0
 Aren't "all mountain" bikes just what evolved in to enduro bike's?
  • 2 0
 Wish I could get paid to talk(write )a load of shite hahaha
  • 2 0
 I have absolutely no idea what he's on about but I love it
  • 1 0
 170mm decent pedaller with a second set of light wheels/tires for long days ftw
  • 2 0
 So basically....just ride a 170mm enduro bike everywhere?
  • 1 0
 American consumer culture credo: Buy things for the life you *want* to live, not for the one you do.
  • 1 0
 I can't wait to see him discover single speed bikes -- walk up hills to coast back down
  • 1 0
 I ride my enduro bike just to piss off all the people who say that a 120 mm bike should work for everything, everywhere.
  • 1 0
 This is the most “spot on” article that I’ve ever read on PB Thank you Henry!
  • 1 0
 Remember when 160 was enduro. Until I can ride my lyriks like kade Edwards I don't need an Enduro bike
  • 1 0
 Just when I was thinking about downsizing to an all mountain bike...
  • 7 1
 short travel trail bike is where it's at right now, w/beefy fork and tires.

it's all mountain when you need it to be, but trail the rest of the time.

it weighs 33lbs, but it feels more like 29lbsbecause it's so responsive.
  • 1 0
 @totaltoads: agree with this. It's about handling and maneuverability rather than weight and efficiency. I still want the bike to have great traction and handle some bigger compressions, but it needs to maneuver well in tight spaces. You kinda throw the baby out with the bathwater by going down to a super light spec'd XC/DC bike.
  • 1 0
 Separated at birth: Henry and Alex Honnold
  • 1 0
 I think that's Kaz.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I believe Kaz is actually the lost Roger Ballen triplet that Dresie and Casie have been searching for.
  • 1 0
 You are making me hungry at the end of the workday.
  • 1 0
 I missed the days of a 30 pound 150mm bike and All Mountain Races.
  • 1 0
 Dans l'ensemble salopette, mon appétit est augmenté
  • 1 0
 Especially Henry, have you seen him ride!
  • 1 0
 Luckily for him he’s an excellent writer
  • 1 0
 Geometry & Suspension Set-Up > Suspension Travel
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney , Jokes on you. Most of us don't have any friends.
  • 2 1
 There are no bad bikes (except ebikes).
  • 1 0
 430+ comments, nicely done Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Did someone ride the Last Cinto or even Tarvo?
  • 1 0
 *grippy tires
  • 1 3
 Endurobikes truck trail bikes suck
  • 2 4
 180mm plus a motor and battery else GTFO.
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