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Recommend me a decent full suspension X-Country bike ?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by -alan-, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    I've had full suspension for x-country and although not super expensive was a decent spec four bar and reasonably light. Allowed me to roll over tree roots and rocks fast.
    However, I've always gone back to my 2001 Gary Fisher hardtail (admittedly all that's left is the frame) as it climbs better, I enjoy the skill it takes to get down horrible gnarly stuff rather than just rolling over stuff fast, and I can do pretty much all of the stuff at the trail centres.

    I wouldn't bother with full suss for x-country nowadays, only for downhill stuff like the Alps where you do need it.
    I did have my eye on an Orbea a few years back, lovely bike, but I like my climbs and realised it just wouldn't get used to anywhere near its potential.

    My next plan is to maybe recreate the GF in titanium after finding a certain bike builder just half a mile away who does the prototypes for the UK brands....
    (@SteveG - next to The Free Company)
     
  2. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    That is interesting - let us know how you get on. I walk through the farm there with the dog from time to time and am looking forward to the Free Company being open again as it's great fun. I didn't know there was a guy there that built frames, but have found his website now.
     
    JimmyB likes this.
  3. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow pfm Member

    YOu cant go wrong with a YT Industries. If you can get one.

    Forget bike shop bikes, with large markups, YT will give you a higher spec, better build and drop dead good looks.

    They have a newer shorter travel cross country bike out now as well called the Izzo.

    https://uk.yt-industries.com/products/bikes/117/izzo-pro-race-29/preview

    although mine is a Jeffsy.
     
  4. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Depends how tall you are. Under 5ft 10" I reckon 27.5" is a better bet, especially if you like singletrack.
    Sadly the marketing men often don't give us the choice.

    I would try to keep under 130mm travel. Nothing worse than being over-biked.
     
  5. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I haven't ridden 29, and given the choice I'd stay on 26. However the industry has to keep selling bikes, and they don't like consumers like me who keep things for 15 years and buy £100 of spares a year rather than a new £2k bike.

    Still toying with getting a new bike this year.
     
  6. robs

    robs should know how this works by no

    Still have my trusty old 26" Marin Riftzone (1998!) full sus. Loved it at the time, and it got a full makeover/service a couple of years ago as a pub bike - rarely used!
    Bossnut 27.5" I've had for a few years now and thrash around the South Downs Way, but has seen several weeks down-hilling in the Alps too. I think it's just right for me (5'10 and of a lighter build).
    Spent a week on a 29" in the High Atlas, and it was bigger, heavier, more surefooted on the rougher stuff, and if I were to get another bike (probably more for the Alps than the SDW), then I think I'd go 29". For local trails only I think I'd stick with 27.5"....but certainly full-sus!
     
  7. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    My favourite XC full sus bikes were santa cruz superlights with the single pivots. There are no full sus bikes that climb like them or are as non fatiguing over long xc rides. No idea what the equivalent would be new, but Santa Cruz would be out of budget anyway. They're a bit steep and skinny for gravity stuff, though, which is why a bought a Vitus full sus with 2.6" tyres and 150mm travel front and rear, but nothing like that is going to come up much less than 16kg or have much of a lockout and will be a grind to climb on. Personally, I'd be looking at a slackish 27.5 hardtail with 2.6 tyres rather than a full sus for regular long rides with a bit of gravity work. It's a bike that didn't exist a few years ago, but they are great fun for a day's singletrack and firetrail and are super comfortable.
     
  8. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    Edit: actually, assuming you're keeping the cube, I would go for a 150mm travel full sus with fat 27.5 tyres and pimp up the old bike with a single ring setup, the fattest tyres it'll take and maybe a S/H 120mm Fox fork. Anything Specialized, Vitus or Canyon would be awesome.
     
  9. gordon

    gordon gordon

    Except, perhaps, a single-speed, since it forces you to work harder, and keep up momentum. There's no shifting into granny gear, and taking it easy on a climb. You could, of course, ride a geared bike in a single gear, which negate the advantage of a single-speed. This also assumes that the climb isn't so steep that you can't turn the cranks on the single-speed, nor that the declines are straight and long where a higher gear would out weight the benefits gained on the climb.
     
  10. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Seeing as it’s a MTB he’s riding the hills will be steep. The bike makes the least difference, the riders fitness makes the most.
     
    robs likes this.
  11. robs

    robs should know how this works by no

    LOL,...don't think I've ever seen a single speed out on the SDW, nor the Alps. Good luck with that!
     
    Woodface likes this.
  12. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Exactly, a rather pointless observation about a bike that doesn’t exist.
     
  13. robs

    robs should know how this works by no

    Fixed that for ya!! ;):D:D
     
  14. gordon

    gordon gordon

    I see plenty of them here in the Rockies, and in the Sierra Nevadas when I've been there. I'm guessing SDW (not really sure what that is) and Alps are much grander mountain ranges.
     
  15. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    SDW = Sierra del Worcester?
     
  16. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    So you think a single speed gets you up the hills faster? Don't be silly. Yes, I do ride one, a street version. I used to have a single speed MTB. They're extremely hard work, and while they may be good fun, lighter and, yes, you can get up short climbs quickly with a burst of effort, they certainly don't get you up any proper hills faster. That's why the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro bikes all have gears. See them in the Rockies? Sure, here and there. They can be good fun for a whizz round.
     
  17. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    No, it's the dreaded Cote de Box Hill.
     
  18. gordon

    gordon gordon

    Yes, at least for me. A single speed isn't inherently faster than a geared bike, but it forces me to put in more effort, not spin easy. For example, where I ride, there are a lot of tight, steep switchbacks. On a geared bike, you spin through them no problem. On a single speed, you need to enter with speed, and keep the momentum through the switchback.
     
  19. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    I think I might have dismissed the 27.5" bikes too easily. Im 5'8" which might suit the smaller framed bikes better - and also have noticed my old 26" Cube is a lot more wieldy both on tight uphill hairpins, and the snakier downhill single track than my mate's 29".

    Can I ask what you mean by a slack hardtail - is that one with more rake in the front forks (like the more modern downhill bikes) ?
     
  20. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    A real man rides a single speed up vertical granite, and carries an anvil in his backpack.
     

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