Breeding the Ultimate Mutt Bike - Opinion

Mar 5, 2018 at 13:38
by Mike Levy  
Mike Levy


Bikes and dogs just kinda go together, don't they? I've never had a proper trail dog, only a sketchy Shiba Inu that waffles between wanting to bite me or watch me pick up her morning steamers while she has a smug expression on her face, but I often see other riders enjoying their dogs' company on the trail. That sure looks nice. And the best trail dogs, the ones we get most attached to, are often those mutt mixes of who-knows-what, maybe with some street dog mixed in for good measure. Those are, at least in my experience, the four-legged friends with more character in their eyes than my stuck-up purebred could ever hope to possess.

It's that shit mix of character that makes a mutt so special, more so than a German Shepard with perpetually terrible hips or a Pug with... Well, Pugs are just loaves of bread with asthma so what else do I need to say? Just concentrate on breathing, lil' loaves.

But take equal parts Border Collie, Lab, maybe some type of hound, and something else that you can't quite put your finger on, and you'll likely end up with the kind of partner who can read your mind and would be happy to battle a sabre tooth tiger to the death if it meant they got one last butt scratch from you as a reward.

If mutts are so great, maybe we should apply that mixed approach to the creation of a mountain bike?
Roscoe the trail dog Photo by Ian Coble
Ian Coble Photo
What if you could 'breed' the best traits, or at least the traits you want, into your next two-wheeled partner? The obvious combo of a 200mm-travel downhill bike that pedals like that weird, euro carbon hardtail that some Spanish guy in an old Mapei jersey still put a lockout on the back of because Europe might sound ideal, but there should be some rules to this game.

A Doberman isn't going to get knocked up by a Chihuahua, at least not without a step stool and some help, so lets at least keep this fantasy a bit realistic. Here's my only rule: your two-wheeled mutt has to take its ingredients from the same genre of bikes. So hounds only mate with hounds, terriers hook up with terriers, and enduro bikes can only do the nasty with enduro bikes. Completely realistic. Or something.

Now that we've established that, my mutts would look a little like this...

I'm the kinda guy who enjoys a fast, efficient bike, and I don't mind being under-gunned now and then, even if that means I end up going a touch slower down something gnarly that only makes up about 30ft of an entire trail. So I'm going to reach into the trail bike genre for my first mutt's DNA milkshake, and I'll start by grabbing the Ibis Ripley's on-power performance. That efficiency means that I could run a slippery, ground-hugging shock like a Cane Creek, without needing to reach for the cheater switch anytime the climb is smooth. Man, I hate those pedal assist levers.


Ibis Ripley. Photo by James Lissimore
Devinci Troy Carbon RR Photo by James Lissimore
James Lissimore Photo

On the flipside, I also want a bike that throws duffle bags of traction at me, and when it comes to trail bikes, Devinci's Troy is the one that stands out. With 140mm of squish, it's on that hazy line between classes, but this is my fantasy, so I'll do whatever I want. The thing is, the Troy's 140mm often feels like it has an extra 10 or 20mm behind it, with it being one of the few bikes that 'ride bigger' than they actually are - it's more common to see the reverse. That active, deep-feeling suspension, combined with the Ripley's pedaling potency, is the stuff that bike dork dreams are made of.

Handling... My steering genes are coming from Cannondale's Habit rather than some slacked out trail bike with numbers stolen from a 2013 downhill sled, simply because I want to have fun on my bike at all speeds, not just at top speed. The last Habit I rode was back in 2015, but I still have it as a high-water mark when it comes to intuitive, pointy-but-not-nervous manners for a short-travel trail bike.

The angles up front are just right for me, and the Lefty's torsionally rigid chassis certainly helps matters to boot.

So, here's what I have so far: the Ripley's pedaling efficiency, the Troy's ground-hugging suspension action, and the Habit's steering prowess. Talk about a mutt of a bike, and now for the details. My mixer would roll on 29'' wheels because that's the correct wheel size and I'm often a dick about it, and I think 120mm of boing front and back is a good all-around number, especially if it's going to take the best of a Ripley and a Troy.

Making the most out of less is much more fun than not making enough out of what you've got.
Cannondale Habit Carbon SE review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
James Lissimore Photo

But if what I've got is more, say, 160mm of help, my mutt bike would still see a lot of its DNA taken from one of the most efficient all-mountain sleds: Breezer's Repack. It's not the most forgiving thing ever, and the rear suspension runs out of travel if you even think about leaving the ground, but the Repack feels like it has a motor bolted to it when you turn the cranks over. It's about as close to an e-bike as I'll ever get, I hope. I'd mate that with handling from Ibis' HD3; yes, it's one model old but IDGAF because it's a really great do-it-all package if you know you're not getting invited to the next NWD shoot.

For suspension action, I'd want something that simply works well without anything weird going on. I don't want some crazy high main pivot that, while providing some advantages, requires a silly pulley wheel and weird ass chain guide. And I don't want to deal with proprietary shocks or any sort of remote levers or buttons - that's why the suspension on my mutt would mirror the design of a Transition Patrol. The thing prefers 35-percent sag, supplies oodles of traction, and bottoms out so softly that you're not sure it happened at all.


Breezer Repack Team review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
Transition Patrol
James Lissimore Photo / Paris Gore Photo

Of course, those two mutts could never exist in the real world, but we might as well cover the details since we've gone this far.

You know they'll need to carry ALL the bottles, too. Because a happy mountaineer always pisses clear, my bikes are going to be able to carry three bottles - two biggies in the front triangle, and a giardia catcher underneath the downtube for when I want to lose 15lb in one night's worth of projectile vomiting and life-threatening diarrhea. I'd choose threaded bottom bracket shells not because PressFit has ever been noisy for me, but just because it's much easier to screw than it is to hammer or push. All cables and brake lines on the outside of the frames, too, because I enjoy working on bikes and want to keep it that way. Both would play nice with 170mm dropper posts, have enough tire clearance for me to still fist my chainstays with 2.4'' wide rubber installed, and sport whatever hub spacing we'll be angry about in 2020. It's best to future-proof them.

Now it's your turn. If you were a licensed bike breeder, what traits from what bikes would you combine and why? Forget about such and such not working with this or that, and pretend that you can mix and match at will. What would your bike look like, and what would you call it?


178 Comments

  • + 178
 i want 4 pork carnitas tacos that can climb like a duck and descend like a thursday-night bowling league pizza after my morning coffee.
  • + 18
 Climbs like the inflation rate and goes down fasta and cheapa than a 2 dolla crack hoe brah. (Excuse me I'm drunk)
  • + 7
 Want me to dimpa-size your meal for 25 cents?
  • + 23
 Something that climbs like my self esteem while drinking, and descends like Taco Bell through my colon
  • + 3
 This meal plan will only cost $28.99!
  • + 5
 You want fries with that?
  • + 1
 Sounds fast
  • + 1
 @blb326: want me to punchasize your face....for FREE?!!
  • + 64
 "If you were a hot dog, and you were hungry, would you eat yourself?" -Mike Levy struggling for new editorial questions
  • + 32
 Yes, yes I would. I'd eat myself slowly and only after I covered myself with jalapeno cheese, onions, and a bit of ketchup. And regret.
  • + 9
 @mikelevy: Good choice, Norm.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: give team robot a bike breed on which he can ride faster than Luke Strobel and he will stop posting here. Oh wait...
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: "Nobody, I mean NOBODY, puts ketchup on a hot dog." Harry Callahan. AKA Dirty Harry.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I see you saw sam pilgrims dh
e-bike with a dropper........
  • + 58
 I want a bike with 200mm travel in the rear (urt), a rigid fork, 72 degree head angle, and coaster brake only
  • + 7
 I think trek had one of those before they stole everyone else's designs
  • + 37
 i want a saran-wrapped bag of nicotine lozenge's in the shape of tony danza's head.
  • + 10
 But Tony Danza cuts in line....
  • + 31
 Descending ability from an Apollo Slant, pedalling characteristics and every day usability of a Cosmic Crossfire, jaw-dropping looks of a Klein Mantra-cum-Fiat Multipla hybrid. In og 650a wheelsize only, with a just for looks elastomer shock in place any water bottles and a faux MX mudguard and fender. Thanks.
  • + 15
 Or something that has NEVER been tought of before. You know, something that can climb like a goat but descend like a mini DH bike. That would be a first.
  • + 1
 Now you've said too much.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: well...there are ebikes.. Razz
  • + 28
 The problem with selective breeding like this is that you think you'll end up with the best traits of both parents, but you're just as likely to end up with the worst traits of both parents. Unless you're willing to keep trying and kill off the rejects.

for example, breed a road bike with a mountain bike, and you could end up with a light carbon 'cross bike...or a heavy 26"-wheeled comfort bike with a suspension seatpost.
  • + 0
 The only way any of this will work is if you take 50 breeds of dog, er, I mean mountain bike, put them in a giant ball, shake, and whatever 3 or 4 bikes come out get mashed together into one bike. Might be really cool, like that trail mutt. Or it might be a train wreck. You just never know.

Oh, and your dog sucks because its inbred. That's code for "Pure Bread"

Training up my 1/2 pit bull, 1/4 bull dog, 1/4 St Bernard pup for future trail rid8ng.
  • + 3
 sorry @mikelevy, it isn't the breed, it's the owner. ha
  • + 32
 I want a bike with a short skirt and a loooooooooong *Jacket*.
  • + 3
 All of a sudden I want dessert. Something baked and with frosting, not sure why.
  • + 1
 Cake
  • + 25
 My next Mutt. Steel frame, coil suspension, 2ply DH tires, lift ticket.
  • + 4
 I want a cotic rocket too! I want mine with a pinion box as well.
  • + 2
 @Doogster: I'm looking at a Swarf, which stands for Sex Was Always Really Fun, cause damn that bike makes me horney.
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: I always thought sex was always really fun, 'til I went to prison.
  • - 1
 @Boardlife69: Swarf 29FS with pinion and geometronesque geometry.

Or a Starling 29 with a pinion.
  • + 20
 I hate to say it @mikelevy but you have reached the zenith of your journalistic career. There’s no way you can possibly top ‘just concentrate on breathing, ‘lil loaves.’
  • + 9
 Not a bad way to top out, either.
  • + 3
 That line got me too. I think @mikelevy is channeling his inner Jeremy Clarkson in his writing style. But not the ogre-like behaviour (as far as I know)
  • + 2
 @belfastbiker: I do get a little grumpy when I don't get my steak, but I probably wouldn't punch anyone.
  • + 14
 I really like my Ibis Mojo HD3, but often get jealous of the efficiency of my Dad's Ripley, it'd be really cool to get a bike that kinda combines the two. A ripley with little longer travel for heavier hits, that'd be just great.

It'd be like some sort of Mopley, or Rip...rip? rip-something. Idunno.
  • + 6
 Maybe you need some mo Rip?
  • - 18
flag andreasgunster (Mar 30, 2018 at 21:23) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe like the new bike Ibis just released... the Ripmo...
  • + 10
 Limiting to the same class of bikes kind of defeats the point of a mutt doesnt it? I want a 27.5+ bike with 100mm of very progressive rear suspension, and 160mm on the fork. Like an aggressive hardtail, but with a little more control on the rear. Now thats a mutt.
  • + 4
 I once rode an Intense Spider 27.5 that was owned by Kovarik, it had this sort of setup (Fox 36 up front) and was possibly the most fun trail bike I've ever been on.
  • + 1
 Actually, just about every Process 111 I see here in Bellingham (including mine) runs their Pike out to 140mm with the 111 rear suspension. Makes for a very nice combo and isn't yet too vague/wandering on the climbs if you slam your seat rails forward.
  • + 9
 I want a 29er on the front a a 27.5 on the back so I can have the best of both worlds - sorta like a vegetarian that wears snakesking boots with the soles glued on with a mixture of cow saliva and crocodile tears. With a 29er only on the front the head angle will surely go to shit and therefore the only way to make it successful is to disregard logic and choose a 64° head angle. Actually, the whole geometry can come straight off of the BTR pinner.

Next I want it to be made out of the same pimp stick tubes of titanium and carbon rivets Robot bikes uses. Pivots DW suspension system is neat, so count that in as well. Oh, and plus sized tires.
Only on the back wheel tho. 160 mm up front with 140mm in the rear. However, to offset the extra grip on the back, of course i want a coil sprung fork. That front wheels gonna stick to the ground like some moist Oreos on a pre-pubesent boys braces. I guess I'll just take something cool like a x2 on the back. But with Cannondales' fun gemini tech.admittedly, I'll never ACTUALLY use the short travel 'hustle ' mode, I just like having options in my life.
  • + 3
 Foes Mixer with an angle set?
  • + 1
 Sounds like you want a Tantrum Shinedown. 63.5 HTA, 27.5 rear 29 front. Can run plus sized tires, etc.
  • + 7
 A VPP Transition Patrol with 170mm travel, super progressive leverage curve like the Capra. 65° HA from the Patrol 1 but with minimal offset from Patrol 2 keeping the wheelbase short and not silly slackness. Tiny stand over like the Process. Ahhhm yeah. Something like that.
  • + 3
 I can't engage 2nd brain gear to do this, so can I have one of these too? Ta.
  • + 1
 According to my calculations- that assembly would actually explode and fall apart in the first rock hit. Please try again
  • + 6
 Let’s start with the geometry of a 2018 Scott genius. Contemporary, but not crazy, and my alligator-esque inseam::torso ratio can still manual and dork around. However, I’ll still steepen the seat tube angle to 75.7 degrees, ceteris peribus. I still get my giardia-free bottle in the main triangle. Now let’s get a little weird...

Let’s talk downtube some more. Pull the swat downtube storage from specialized, but NOT with that hideous bottle cage, mind you. I want my bottle to be protected- so the Genius’ trunnion box shoulders will swing up into the down tube and partly shroud the bottle mount (a la Pinarello Dogma downtubes on the most recent edition). Nothing over the top, I just want it to look like it wasn’t some basement DIYer drilling nutserts into an otherwise undisturbed tube like nobody ever realized a bottle could fit there. Everybody knew a bottle was going there, let’s act like the industrial designers knew it was going there all along, okay?

Let’s dump the twin lock. This is the electronic age. I want my fully active damping system, and I want it with a 29er helm coil up front and a DB coil Inline on the rear. Here’s the kicker - I want a force-plate based suspension system that can measure preload, dynamic sag, and all the other fun things ShockWiz can do. But I want access to all my data, dammit! Stop harvesting my data without letting me access it! Better yet, you pay me some ridiculously tiny fee for each kB of data you harvest. I also want it to output in similar sample rates along with power meter data FROM MY BRAKE ROTORS. I want something to remind me to stay off brakes on MTB like my pm makes me keep on the pedals on the road. I also. Want the heat sync of code calipers plus with ice-tech pad fins and rotors. Basically, I want to spend all my time cleaning details with a toothbrush after each ride.

Let’s talk cable routing. Let’s stary with shifting: I’m just not routing any shift cables. That’s that. I’ll charge it, but no cables. Gimme my Etap Eagle. I want to skip pinion gearboxes and go straight to frictionless continuously variable transmissions. I’ll use my etap Eagle until the nerds sort the completely internal bicycle cvt nonsense.
Let’s talk brakes. I’ll route my cables once. I know the exact setup I want. So let’s just route brake cables right through that
nifty hixon bar and straight through the steerer tube stack (just like a BMC RM01). Yeah, it’s gonns make that whole steered column a lot wider...and awesomer...and enduroer.

I also want absurd clearance for my 2.6” graphene tires. Those tires are going to be 40 durometer shoulder knobs and 47 durometer center knobs on whatever durometer base makes that work. I want it on a lighter trail carcass (850-950 grams). Yep, I’ve come to terms with spending my scratch on tires and I measure each year’s gained experience in the number or tires I’ve worn out without signs I was riding brake levers too hard. Also want a lighter weight, lighter duty Cush Core. Slightly less volume, slightly lower density, and about 150 grams per wheel. I know it’ll do less. I’ll carry a spare tube and tape the blown out core to my frame when it fails. I just love how it makes my entire bike feel every ride. I’m happy to keep 80% of that if it means I feel like I’m paying such a huge weight penalty every time I’m climbing. Besides, you’re making my dream setup, just shutup and take my money!

I want to run clipless pedals, but dammit Shimano, give me another cm of stance width on each side!!. Sadly, even in my wildest dreams, Shimano is only progressive enough to give me +4mm on each spindle, so I say screw it, we’ll take the stance width by way of Q factor. May death come swiftly to the first commenter who says q-factor and stance width are the same!!!

Ditto to Mike levy on spacing. Let’s go full überboost out of the gate.
  • + 2
 Also, that’s a 29er setup.
  • + 3
 I also want the wheelbase to grow under conpression. Probably not as important with the fully active suspension though.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy

"it's much easier to screw than it is to hammer or push"

Do you need to talk about THAT? And is this related to jet skis and lifted Dodges?
  • + 5
 We all hurt sometimes.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: you deserve a raise
best writing about mtn biking all decade
  • + 9
 YT Capra in 26" with wide range 10-speed. Done.
  • + 4
 That was the 26" Evil Uprising, but better.
  • + 5
 I want a bike that makes me as fast as Loic downhill, and as fast as a lift uphill, all while making me as stylish as semenuk, and giving me pescetto’s livestyle and entourage.
  • + 1
 I was thinking about adding the line choice of Aaron Gwin,Connor Fearon's cornering speed and the looks of Danny Hart.
  • + 3
 And the cunning linguistics of RatBoy.
  • + 7
 Dont know where else to put this but can somone call a friend? I'm drinking and posting on PB.
  • + 18
 What's your girlfriend's number again?
  • + 7
 @slumgullion: You mean my wifes number? Here, you can have it, its 55378008. Will trade for See Cups.
  • + 9
 @slumgullion: Hell, you can just have my wife. You owe me one.
  • + 2
 Just tough it out and make sure to tie up any loose ends you leave around the place, because you're making a bit of a mess around here.
  • + 0
 @BenPea: so how do you hide the smell of your lover then?
  • + 3
 If I was a bike breeder I'd like a bike with wheels, preferably two of them, cranks to get things moving, brakes for stopping, let's not forget a frame with suspensions and knobby tires. If one believe missing something on his current ride, maybe your missing the point, and probably live in a world of endless dissatisfaction. Maybe someone "wants" a bike for every possible kind of terrain and day of the week but one surely don't "need" it . Go for a ride with what you got and be happy.
  • + 3
 26", coil suspension, open bath forks, 170/180 travel, dual crown fork compatible, RM Maiden's tubing and bearing size, Santa Cruz collet axle system, Antidote's high pivot+idler, shimano hub driver, Knolly's 157 hub spacing, old Fox QR 20mm front axle, 64 HT angle, external routing, Threaded bb, high/low rebound and compresion adjust and no lockouts or travel adjust.

That's it, that's all.
  • + 3
 Inspired by what BTR does (and the original Specialized Enduro SX), I'm thinking of kind of lightweight steel bike with 3" rear travel, 4" or 5" travel in the front. Kind of their geometry (relatively slack, tall headtube). Superlow top tube, all straight tubes. Now as for the exotic stuff, something like an Effigear or PeteSpeed gearbox. When swapping a rear wheel, the brake rotor, bearings and drive pulley (with belt or chain) stay in place so you're just swapping an empty hub shell with spokes, rim etc. Super steep seat tube but with a lot of setback on the seatpost. So that with the saddle low it is nice and rearwards while when raised up to XC position it is still in the right position for those who do seated climbing. ISCG05 tabs on both sides so that the bash guard is wider hence more stable. A bit like what they have on trials motorcycles. It takes 26" tires or fat 24" tires (inspired by the On-One Baby Fat).

Should be fun.
  • + 1
 Yeah, a Seehorn Skid Plate!
  • + 3
 Steel front triangle, carbon rear, 44 mm travel, 3.3" tyres, elastomer handlebars, single speed, 200mm rotor hydraulic front brake, U rim brake rear, halfords resin pedals with reflectors, gussets, biopace chain ring 43t, and fractal paint job painted by Chas Roberts...
  • + 2
 mutt drive train
5x7 with 11 speed chain width, even up front so that 5 chain rings would be the same width as for 3x8 since there will minimal cross chaining and no need for extra width between chain rings to prevent chain rub that happens from cross chaining
each chain ring would only be used with 2 to 4 cogs on the rear with maximum 10 tooth difference
would only need a mini rear derailleur that can wrap 12 teeth and wouldn't need a clutch or heavy spring tension
move the overshift and return clockwork mechanisms from the shifters to the bottom bracket area with both shift cables running through it, and the clockwork would prevent mistakenly cross chaining to insure you only use 2 to 4 rear cogs with each chain ring
-Unsprung weight would be reduced
-Always nearly perfect chain line
-10 wattts would be saved (the old 1980s Bicycle Science journal made instruments to measure losses due to chain line and using cogs smaller than 14 teeth)
- With only maximum 10 teeth of chain slack (plus 1 or 3 teeth added for suspension action), not as much need for chain retention devices
  • + 3
 An electric BMX bike with 40 MPH top speed stock so there is room for improvement. I would also like it to be sub 30lbs. Fitted with some nasty mud tires so nothing can stop you.
  • + 3
 Except a 4 inch root.
  • + 2
 Evil progressive rear end, name and looks, 140 bottomless like said troy, 29 front, 275 rear, reach/tt like kona, seat angles like transition(75.5+), pricing like yt, color choice like orbea, warranty like santa cruz, availability like santa cruz, lbs like trek/spesh, stand over like kona...team vids like commencal...
  • + 1
 Avaalibilty like trek? LOL. So you don't ever wanna be able to buy it?
  • + 3
 I wish for nothing! I already have my Unobtanium super-bike with 26"wheels, 180mm front and rear travel with Apollo5 Boost and my wife, Morgan Fairchild, to shuttle and coddle me.
  • + 2
 68 degree HA, steel frame with beefy tubing where it's needed and lighter tubing where it makes sense, simple SS drop out option, maximized to run 29 x 2.6-3.0, suspension corrected, chainstays adjustable from 420 (ja mon) to 440, 120 headtube length, modernish reach lengths, and not a stupid low bb height. Oh and 2 bottle bosses in the front triangle is mandatory. Flexing rear stay design (leaf spring style). This whole shebang can't weigh anymore than 28lbs and I should easily be able to get her down to 25lbs without spending too much. Oh, and give me a fat seatube diameter so that I can run a drop it like it's hot post when I need to.
  • + 2
 looks of a mountain-cycle san-andreas with a maverick fork , suspension of a spezi epic ,gears internal like the honda-dh-bike , syntace dropper and vro stem , intergated lights and dyno-hub , bionicon adjustment , 29er full carbon wheels (recyclable), all pivots and angles adjustable like the hot chilli warp something ...vivax compatible and a fake rust paint -job !make it happen bike industry!make it happen!
  • + 2
 I'm a bike snob so I'll stick to my pure breed Pole EVOLINK176. Best bike for riding fast technical, steep terrain here in the Alpes yet still works great in other terrain during the off season. Making it more "pure" I'd run bigger 622mm wheels.
  • + 2
 I kinda do this cross breeding on my own. Adjustable geometry is cool. I have a large Evil Following set in High mode with a minus 1.5 degree Works Components angleset. With 130mm fork it works out to about 65.9 HA, 74.7 SA, 440mm(ish) reach. For a Medium size rider that’s pretty good. It pedals well, has traction for days and feels to me like it has more than 121mm travel. Does not climb as well as my friend’s Ripley but way better than my Process 111. Descends, corners and handles chunk better than either one.
  • + 2
 As a Devinci Troy owner, like you @mikelevy I'll be keeping that 140mm ground hugging ability. I've already mutted it up with a 160mm Lyrik on the front which makes it much better animal. I would also prefer cables to run externally for ease of fettling and I would mate it with a Pinion gearbox like the Zerode, but with the yet unreleased paddle shift. I'll keep my 650b Hope Enduro wheelset & headset, Giant Contact dropper, Chromag cockpit and Saint brakes.
  • + 2
 I love to see the stark differences in writing style between Sarah Moore, Vernon Felton, and Mike Levy.

Some bikes these days seem to be love children betwen models within the same brand- SC, Commencal, Canyon, etc..

Would you call that evolution, hybridization, or incest?
  • + 1
 You can see the differences by reading. Just saying. Wink That said I would love a PB version of the Bible of Bike Tests.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: agree,
would be much better than that 2018 Bible
  • + 3
 I guess there wasn't much going on around the PB staff office today? This is what you get when all the bikes have been reviewed and "sessioned to death" in the comment section.
  • + 1
 mutt dropper and other remotes
2 buttons on one unit
when either button are pushed, the dropper would be unlocked
one button would lock suspension
the other button would unlock suspension (I find I like a lock out for the fork and don't have much problem with unlocked shocks)
everything would be hydraulic since trying to move 3 steel cables with one button/lever would be too much stiction for my damaged thumbs
  • + 1
 Original Kona process xl 153 with 29" carbon wheels, but a titanium frame a la lynsky, a pinion drivetrain that weighs as much as shimano xtr 1x9, hope brakes with the cool braided steel cables but designed around mineral oil, seat angle from a current patrol, unninterupted seat tube length designed around a fully inserted 200m integrated dropper like the weird German ball munching bikes. Threaded bb, and 135 mm rear bolt through 20mm hub, and 20x110mm front hub. Clearance for 2.6mm tires.
  • + 5
 I want an s-works enduro for the price of a Capra al.
  • + 1
 Wheel size: Whatever size Maxxis tires are cheapest
Suspension travel: Free parameter, somewhere between 130-160 both ends
Suspension Progression: like a YT Tues
Hardware: One size steel hex M8, "Torque wrench? we don't need no stinkin' Torque wrench"
Maintenance: Like a modern assault rifle, complete dissasembly and rebuild trailside blindfolded with only a tire lever as a tool
Handling: like an Octane One Zircus
Chain Growth: Same as a BMX
  • + 1
 26" wheeled Zerode G2 with a pinion gearbox (instead of th the high mounted alfine hub) that is actuated with a proper shifter, used trek's split pivot, but with the looks of an Ancillotti Scarab, has a slightly less progressive version of Mojo's Nicolai Geometron geometry, and a full nitrogen-based suspension system.
  • + 1
 Well, I'm in the middle of building my own mutt, but I'll have to wait til it's done to find out if it's any good. Cannondale Habit, overshocked to 140mm of travel with a DBAir inline, running a TALAS 34 130-160 up front. Hopefully that'll keep the playfulness of the Habit, while allowing it to party hearty on the downs.
  • + 3
 I want my bike to ride like a good girl; poker in the back and liquor in the front. Oh wait, that's a bar not a bike - oh well.
  • + 1
 Or like a firefighter. Find em hot, leave em wet.
  • + 4
 Isn't this the point of all modern "enduro bikes".....this article is deemed useless
  • + 2
 Thought so too. My yeti 5.5 is mostly there. 2 sets of wheels, one lighter exo still ex471 rims, other cushcore/agressor DD out back and DHF DH up front.

Going to a 44 or 37offset csu soon because bmx roots and i rid off the back. Its great for everything from 40’ doubles to tight xc singletrack.

I har a spider that might get frankenbiked soon but doubt it will be more fun all around than the 5.5.
  • + 3
 Some might argue that a modern enduro bike is just the worst at everything. They don't climb like an XC bike but don't descend like a DH bike... they're a compromise, even if it's becoming less and less every year. Just playing devil's advocate.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: but they do both well enough that if one only wants one bike, and only climbs for the downs, which is 92.99% of us, then the modern enduro is one hell of an all mountain bike. What I fear though is this push for more race geo. I think we may have found the limits (hopefully) and come a little bit back to maybe a modern enduro/freeride bike geo. I'm an active rider, but I prefer a rally car over a dragstrip rocket.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: agree. I'd rather be be under-biked on trail rides on a trail bike. And for DH I want a real DH rig.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: yeah, theres some fantasy stuff out there that would be nice I suppose

Biggest problem is bikes are human powered and everyone expects to ride like the pros. Reality check - most mtb riders are not half as good as they believe, and are way more risk adverse than whats necessary to get there.

Im a racer at heart, bmx from the moment I could ride and still hit the dj spots on a 20 - but also hit up intervals on my kickr and do an XC or two every year but really love the enduro races cause we have a great atmosphere in TX (and 2-3min stages pinned are a blast). I love riding bicycles in dirt. Its who I am. The road stuff is so i can still go fast enough to have fun.

So an ideal mutt:

Preface:
the sumbich with electronic controls with basic settings run off my garmin-like head unit and eagle etap. An iphone app allows for tuning presets HSC, LSC, LSR, HSR, air volume (imagining settings being more for the trail then fiddling and hitting buttons the whole ride - but you could)

Dropper is optionally controled in setting or under left side in old front shifter area. Wireless either way.

Drivetrain spins on a perfected form of that front freewheel with fixed rear hub. Pulls some weight off the rear and you can shift coasting (whens pinkbike gonna test that?).

Frame:
Basically the new capra 29 is spot on Geo but lets add swappable rocker to run 27.5 or 29 rear wheels.

Only thing on 29 i dont like, jumping. It jus takes so much more effort to swing the rear around in the air (though my efforts have been on a 29 ex471, cush and DD 2.3 tire so it doesnt get much heavier). Hence the 275 R option.

Fork:
Fox 36 with 37mm offset (recalling geo above) Avy cart with digitaly controled comp/rebound/volume short offset so i dont have to go tits-to-bar to weight the front. That feels dumb ad gets my face closer to the dirt its gonna hit.

Id like to be able to raise or lower the stanchions to control HTA seperate from using sag & volume spacers. If that takes a triple clamp so be it. Barspins arent on my MTB menu so why not?

Wheels: carbon rims are better except when they fail. Especially if they fail when your racing enduro’s you spent $300 on for the weekend just to watch. So lets sort this, WTB casing with Maxxis treads. Cushcore’s shape sux. At 180lbs an running below 25 on DD casings it still rolls when carving hard - only now all that roll is on the top so my tires feel square. Sooo round it out - lets get a 150g FTD in there. Between that and the WTB casings it’d be magic. Still shaving weight would be great but not very realiztic So yeah DH tire feel at 900g somehow (waves magic wand).

(Also that berm ripping slomo vid rolling your tires... yeah when that happens up the lip of a hipped jump - welcome to oh shittsville)

Brakes
Hope, saints and codes are pretty good -but what if we could bleed like the revive. Thats in.

Cranks:
Anybody who’s ridden DXR’s on a bmx bike knows how much flex is in a set of XC Cranks. So carbon to the rescue we get a set of carbon saint cranks with built in PM and DM chainring. Shimano crank design for sure. Oh - and thread the BB on the frame for BSA.

Dropper:
Is it Maguras electic one that doesnt make you sit to lower it? Thas what we’re doing. So its up, or down even if im gettng jected after a huckabuck through a rock garden pressing the button.

Should be it.

Get to it industry. Keep the Royalty checks, but thanks for offering.

PS: optional phermone dispenser to entice the ladies
  • + 2
 @Grosey: Love it. Plenty to think about there.
  • + 3
 Awww and you chose THE BEST trail dog for your photo! Roscoe rules!
For the bike: Climb like an SB5.5, Descend like a Process 153, track like an HD4.
  • + 1
 You had me at external cable routing! OK, give me a DW Link bike 110 in back, 130 in front, 74 STA, 67 HTA, room for 29 x 2.8s, Fox DPX2 shock, room for my beloved 33 ounce Zefal Magnum water bottle, and an extra 5 or 6 ounces of carbon in the layup to resist flexing under my fairly fast 195 pound weight.
  • + 1
 interesting that the steering geo from the habit came up on top, with a huuuge offset on the fork, I thought tiny offsets were in now?! * I ride a habit with the lefty and love the steering * but lots of newer bikes have jumped on the short offset bandwagon
  • + 1
 The lower offsets are combined with longer front ends to make them work well, and it's most noticeable on longer travel bikes. Man, I love how that Habit steers.
  • + 1
 i would have a bike with geometry of a transition patrol. 220mm of travel that pedals like a cross country bike and also hugs the ground like a dh bike. and has water bottle mounts, 29 x 2.6 tire clearance and a fork that is as stiff as my old lefty that, while i dont run it anymore still make the pike look a little old.
  • + 1
 I already own a XC mutt... 740 bars, 65 stem, Niner RDO fork on a recent 29er carbon Stumpjumper WC frame with a 100mm dropper post and Enduro casing tires setup tubeless. Goes like stink, the upper limits are my eyeballs bouncing around too much to pick a decent line, well that and big drops to flat...
  • + 1
 For my everyday bike: a 140/130 29" bike with the steering feel of the new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, the rear suspension characteristics of a Slash, the pivot design of a trek, and the industrial design of a Pivot. For my thicc bike, 170/160 29" with the exact same everything as my Slash, but with a 3 degree steeper STA.
  • + 1
 Why dream? 100mm travel Lefty/Ti 29er Gravel+ hardtail.2x11 with a 44/32 up front and 11-40 cogs. Salsa Cowbell drop bars with 105 shifter/brake levers and hydraulic discs. Slaughters "traditional" gravel/cross and hangs with mountain bikes in fairly technical terrain [there's something really fun about catching air in the drops] on the downs and drops a mountain bike on flats and climbs [especially in head winds]. 42 inch wheelbase. Nimble. Stable. Capable. Incredibly fun!
  • + 1
 Dream mutt would be a bike with the innovation and geometry of a transition but the build quality and after sales care of a Santa Cruz. The mightmare would be the innovativion and geometry of a Santa Cruz with the build quality and after sales care of a Transition
  • + 1
 I'll take the efficiency/weight and fun of my Canfield EPO hard tail, add the pedalling performance over roots and tech form the Smuggler I rented, and have it look like and descend like the Starling Murmur. And let's just make that out of titanium while we're at it.
  • + 1
 i ran with a 2015 saracen kili flyer x frame 120mm rear travel with set of 2015 150mm rs pikes on front for almost 2 years the frame is capable with 2.7 tyres i ran 2.6 both front and rear with no problems and the wee bike felt totally dialled
  • + 2
 Front end, rear suspension performance, technical climbing ability, shifting speed and weight distribution from a Zerode Taniwha. Ratchet uptake from anything else.
  • + 1
 I'd mix a spot Rollik 607 (or mayhem) with the chainstays and reach of my Santa Cruz chameleon r+, the downhill llush rear shock feel of a Mach 5.5, and the head angle/steering of an hd4.
  • + 1
 mutt saddle
original Greg Lemon/Benard Hinault Selle Italia Turbo saddle with carbon rails
or original Flite with some under leather softening of the plastic shell, such as with the Tioga Spyder
  • + 2
 Just give me a Carbon (6lbs frame) Canfield Riot/Toir with a 160mm fork and a bit lower bottom bracket and I would happy for a long time.
  • + 1
 That would be a winner - lets add a shorter headtube before they make the molds.
  • + 4
 A single-speed with gears.
  • + 3
 My mutt is usually a frankenstein rescue that is simply happy to still be on the trails no matter what the paw size.
  • + 4
 Bikes? I want my 2001 body. You'll understand one day.
  • + 3
 How about the chainring on the left side and the derailleur,and they are in the right side because ......????
  • + 0
 Because the chainring is not on the left side???
  • + 2
 DW link rear end (but no eccentrics) off a Ibis Ripley. Transition Smuggler Geometry. Santa Cruz build quality and warranty. YT Pricing. 29inch wheels.
  • + 1
 So more or less the new Ripmo. Except the pricing point...
  • + 1
 @Crossmaxx: and build quality. Listen to a Mojo or an HD after it's been ridden for a few weeks. And look at the paint quality.
  • + 1
 I don't care on what I ride on. As long as I can build my bike from second hand parts under $1000. And get only ~25% less performance than an ews bike. Just go out and ride. Stop fussing.
  • + 1
 Can I work at the booth at the Sea Otter for a shift this year? Last year I handed out some of those free sunglasses to trinket-trawlers.

They weren't free? Sorry.
  • + 2
 Wow, it must be a slow news day, when you have to "make up" a bike to write about...
  • + 1
 AUS-TRAIL-IAN SHEPHERD!!!!!! Best bike dog ever. Even has trail in the name. Just thought I would point you in a great direction Mike.
  • + 1
 Greyhound/Belgium Shepherd cross
she could be the stunt dog if Disney every makes the Art of Racing in the Rain movie
  • + 2
 2 huge donuts for wheels, a fork, a frame that looks like a pretzel, and a seat made out of marshmallows.
  • + 1
 That's one sweet ride!
  • + 2
 I think you just described the Ripmo ... www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/ripmo
  • + 1
 pinion gearbox, christini 2wd, naild react rear suspension, Structure cycleworks front "fork"
carbon everything
  • + 1
 I just want a bike exactly like my Fuel EX - only lighter, and doesn't require any maintenance.
  • + 2
 I just want a non-servo wave lever for my XT brakes
  • + 1
 started to respond to this but soon realized i just want a 2016 kona process 167 with DH hub spacing.
  • + 1
 120mm rear travel, 29er, polished steel frame with eccentric BB pivot, single speed, 150mm fork, slack as fuck.
  • + 1
 What's with this obsession with climb switches ? How hard is it to turn a lever to improve your bike for a long climb ?
  • + 1
 Chain ring in the right side because ........,does anybody knows the answer???
  • + 1
 180mm front and rear with a gyro or something to enable them dank spinbars.
  • + 1
 Dude said he can't build a bike that "he'd actually want to ride" for under $2k - this article is for the dogs.
  • + 2
 A Scott Genius Tuned for the price of a Huffy.
  • + 2
 That was a funny read Mr Levy. Well done ????
  • + 2
 I swear Pinkbike will be making their own bike brand. Just you wait.
  • + 2
 ...and every part will have a new standard!
  • + 1
 Didn't a German website do this? f*ckin Germans with their skills and talent.
  • + 1
 160mm fork with a 26” wheel, 2.5” wide tire up front, on a hardtail fatbike
  • + 1
 Are actually bikes that bad today, that there is a space to write something like this?
  • + 1
 It would be a Giant Reign SX with a shorter reach (like the 2017) with 20mm shorter chain stay and 26inch wheels.
  • + 1
 I really want the new Pole The Machine, in large, that's all. Pretty sure it would fit all of my needs.
  • + 2
 My 2017 5010, 26wheeled mutt is pretty loyal!
  • + 2
 starting to sound an awful lot like eugenics
  • + 1
 I just want the bike that I want. And then the next one.
  • + 1
 "a sketchy Shiba Inu"

Such bike, many ride, very pink bike. Wow.
  • + 1
 I really like the pedal assist lever on the shock of my bike.
  • + 1
 I want a hardtail with 10 inches of travel at the back.
  • + 1
 these are all really good ideas!
  • + 1
 An E fixed gear with one toe clip on the right.
  • + 1
 a 2011 specialized demo that pedals well... yeah, that.
  • + 1
 Climbs like a goat deacends like a falcon hunting a rabbit
  • + 1
 Perfect is boring. This comment section is pure entertainment.
  • + 1
 Mike Levy, make 2 of those bikes, they sound good to me.
  • + 1
 An Unno Dash with a 440mm rear centre.
  • + 1
 Norco 29+ enduro long travel hardtail.
  • + 1
 Starling Beady Little Eye
  • + 1
 i like my Maverick ML8.
  • - 1
 6.5 inches of tr250 and eagle 1/12 with a 125 mil dropper and cane creek helm
full carbon with the paintjob from the new m29
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