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Understanding Mountain Bikes and their Travel

April 30, 2016

In recent years the bicycle industry has been progressing with suspension design and bike geometry on mountain bikes. This means better riding bikes and more confidence for the riders while on the trail. But in the process we have created a good problem but at the same time a bit of an issue for consumers. With so many bikes to choose from it can be tricky. We're here to help and get you on the bike to deliver the maximum amount of fun!


We have also created the Up/Down Fun Factor Ratio. It's a highly technical judging process that we use for each category on the predicted fun factor when heading up or down the trails...hahaha nah, it's actually not that technical. No matter what, we guarantee the expression on your face will look like this as you ride any of these bikes.

 

 

Cross Country - 95-100mm of Travel
So the XC bike is designed to be as fast and efficient as possible. These bikes now weigh as much as road bikes did 15years ago and are designed to be a race bike for normal cross country and marathon events. Available in hardtail and full squish, they climb great and even use technology like "the Brain" suspension to maximize efficiency. Now they will climb better than they descend but that's not saying they descend poorly. Cross Country bikes can be ridden day in and day out without a problem but are deep down a pure bred pony that just wants to run!
 

Fun Ratio - 80:20 for climbing

Bikes - Epic, Stumpjumper HT, Era, Fate

 


Trail - 110-120mm of Travel
Trail bikes are the bikes that most mountain bikers are looking for. These riders are probably never slap on a number and want to have a bike that can go everywhere and do anything pretty well. Also available on HT and full suspension, these bikes pedal great and descend great. With a slightly more slack geometry they inspire confidence and allow riders to handle terrain with ease. Whether you are out on the trails for an all day adventure with your friends or going for a quick post work trail ride, this is the bike you're looking for.

 

Fun Ratio - 50:50
Bikes - Camber, Fuze, Ruze, Rumor

 

 

All Mountain - 130-150mm of Travel

The All Mountain rider is the rider who wants to earn his turns by climbing to the top of any mountain but once at the top...descend like a banshee. The all mountain bike is a more specific category under the "trail bike" umbrella and is designed for the rider who wants to ride everything but focused on the descents a bit more. These riders with (probably) always wear baggies and don't mind taking a break at the top to chat before dropping into the trail. They'll hoot and holler the whole way down. These bikes are slightly more slack and longer travel than a trail bike, climb nearly as well but descend even better than a bike with 120mm of travel. These bikes are ready for anything and everything. This is the travel length where the suspension starts to get more technical and gives the rider more adjustment with on the fly adjustments of both compression and rebound to help you maximize the way the bikes handle.

Fun Ratio - 40-60 towards the downhill
Bikes - Stumpjumper 29, 650 and 6Fattie, Rhyme

 

 

Enduro - 160-170mm of Travel
The enduro category is a tricky one because it can be lumped into the same category as an all mountain or even a trail bike. Bikes around the 160mm of travel mark can do almost anything "pretty well" but when you get them into the terrain they are designed to be ridden on....whoa, lean back and hold on because they are fun!!!! The Enduro bike is designed to be raced in the Enduro style races where there is a heavy preface on downhill performance but still need to be pedaled uphill to get to the fun stuff. 

Fun Ratio - 30-70 in favor of Downhill
Bike - Enduro

 

 

Downhill - 200mm of Travel
Downhill bikes are designed to be use on lift access trails. These are trails with either chairlift or shuttle road access close. With extremely slack geometry and low center of gravity for the rider, they descend very stable handle the roughest of terrain without even flinching. DH bikes should never be pointed uphill unless they are in the back of a truck and shuttling you to the top. They are designed to maximum fun on the descents and will no doubt deliver. These bikes are always recognized by their dual drown fork and usually a coil sprung rear shock. 

Fun Factor Ratio - 0:100
Bike - Demo

 

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