To much travel?

sellisnba Posts: 181
edited November 2009 in MTB general
There is probably loads more debates on this topic but.............

How much travel do you really need on a bike? When i bought my first proper full suss back in 03/04 160mm seemed to be a huge amount of travel, all you really needed for dh/fr. But it seems every year bike companys are adding more and more travel to there bikes. Why?
Only reason i ask is last weekend i test rode a new stumpjumper. 140mm Travel for an xc/trail bike? When i first rode it i felt like i was on a big bounce dh bike. Don't get me wrong it was a amazing bike and i loved it, but i couldn't help thinking do i need this much travel. I have a few mates who are dh/fr type people who are going back to bike's with around 140mm and prefering them over big bounce bikes. One certain company who offer mtb holidays in the alp's have actually started going back to hardtails (the guides anyway).
Just wondered what other people thought


  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Depends on the quality of the travel too. A well set up and damped short travel bike can easily out perform a long travel machine that has poor suspension.
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    2 things;

    - the bike industry has read the public right and the public think more is better so they're feeding that

    - engineering tech has advanced markedly in the last few years to allow more travel with lighter stiffer frames.

    Put these 2 together and you have 140-160mm AM bikes that rule the market atm.

    The improvement in engineering tech is a good thing in its own right, but I think the bike industry is feeding a perceived need rather than providing the best product with 140/160mm trail bikes IMO. Personally, I find 120 is a nice amount of travel for a trail bike and 100 if I was racing. 140+ I find feels too big and saggy under me for trail riding, plus you need to slacken the HA to allow for dive and I don't like riding slack bikes on trails, but ofc that's just my opinion

    For DH, there may not be an upper limit on what's the "best" travel until you breach ergonomic limits, I don't know.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • Not so much now ,but it seems it used to be the more travel you had the slacker the bike had to be.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    sus travel is a funny thing and very personal but folk are tempted by longer travel in lighter packages as it is said to be the best thing ever.

    my fave bike has 150mm at the back and 160 at the front yet rides like a well sorted xc bike until i hit stuff hard at which point it automatically behaves like a big bike.

    the secret is good quality, well setup suspension. then ignore the numbers and believe what is going on underneath you.

    only test riding will tell you everything you need to know.
  • jairaj
    jairaj Posts: 3,009
    agree with the sentiments above. Depends on the rider and suspension technology. IMO if someone wants Xmm of suspension and it works for them then fine. I think currently there is enough choice out there for most people to find something that works well for them. Its just about getting out and finding it and taking it for a spin.

    Personally I'd prefer a shorter well controlled system over a longer system but thats just my preference.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Yeah, I prefer 80-120mm as I find the angle changes and handling to be generally better in tight twisty stuff.
  • _Ferret_
    _Ferret_ Posts: 660
    I'm glad I got 140mm travel. I nearly got one with 120mm and think I would have come to the limits of it quicker.
    I think it is personal preference, but it seems the trend for freeride bikes is less travel on a more stable platform.
    However - since bikes can be made with more travel and all the time lighter, I can imagine the AM catagory going up to 160mm soon.
    Not really active
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Some already are at 160mm. But AM means diferent things to different people lol.
  • _Ferret_
    _Ferret_ Posts: 660
    let's not open up that can of worms shall we...
    Not really active