Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

160/150 enough for Uk trails?

Hey guys , I'm looking at the Canyon Strive as my next bike but i was wandering if the Travel is enough for Bike Park Wales and other bike parks and even abroad. Do you think 170/160 would be overkill ? I also plan on riding alot of flat and uphills but I don't mind crawling up the climbs. Any experience with similar travel bikes/ riding ?


  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    The answer will depend upon where you normally ride, your skill level, and your ambition.

    Personally I would not like to tackle the blacks at BPW on anything less than 160, but buddies of mine could do them on a rigid. (I don't think they'd enjoy it, but you get my drift). I would be quite happy doing any of the blues and the flowing reds on my old Whyte T130.

    If I was limited to one bike, I would choose it to be the best one for where I ride the most. Because then I would get maximum enjoyment for the majority of my riding. If I bought a big travel Enduro bike so that I could enjoy places like BPW from time to time, then I would not be having as much fun as I could be everywhere else.

    Because you "plan on riding a lot of flat and uphills" get a bike for that and maybe hire a big travel bike for your trips to BPW.

    I have had a look at the spec for the Canyon Strive and with its shape shifter tech, you could be on to something there. I can see why you think it may be the one you want. I sure would not go any bigger. Are you sure the bike will fit you? Have you checked the geometry; Canyons they were a bit too short for me that last time I looked.
  • henryhen8henryhen8 Posts: 5
    Yeah i mostly ride in the SW ish area so there's a fair few climbs. I've bottomed out a 150 on where i ride so maybe a 160 would be good ? I would rather have a more capable bike on the descents than the climbs. I've also taken a look at the Meta Essential which is 170/160 but I feel that would definitely be to much. Thanks alot for your input though , I'm just choosing between those two bikes :)
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    As you bottomed out your 150 travel suspension, have you thought of some simple tuning actions you may be able to take that would prevent that? For my last four bikes I have always spent tome and effort making the best of the suspension for little money. It is substantially cheaper than buying a new fork or shock, or even a new bike!

    For example you can alter the curve of the air spring to make it ramp up its resistance to compression a bit (or a lot) more. It's cheap and simple to do, provided your fork and shock are capable of it.

    The spring curve of an air fork/shock is not linear like a coil spring and it can be altered quite easily. If you reduce the volume of air inside the component it changes the shape of the curve and makes it ramp up its resistance to compression the further into the travel. If you max it out, ultimately you would have to weigh a lot more and have a much bigger hit before the suspension would bottom out.

    What you add or remove are collectively called spacers, but different manufacturers have their own terms, tokens for forks and rings for shock are the most common.

    You can do this tuning to either your fork or your shock, or both - whatever is required. On a Norco Sight, I had to add rings to the shock, on Whyte T130 I had to add tokens do the fork, On a YT Capra, it was the fork again. On my Focus Jam2, I had to remove a token from the fork. So far I have never had to do both fork and shock, but that day may come.

    For details on how to do this I recommend you download this guide from Bike Rumour on setting up your suspension. It will have loads more in there than you may need right now, but read it and keep it safe for further access. You will consult it regularly!
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,622
    henryhen8 said:

    Yeah i mostly ride in the SW ish area so there's a fair few climbs. I've bottomed out a 150 on where i ride so maybe a 160 would be good ?

    That's probably down to your fork set up rather than the amount of travel. Have you set the sag and rebound correctly?

    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • henryhen8henryhen8 Posts: 5
    I have around 27% sag give or take, I run 3 volume spacers as well. Not to sure about rebound its just set to whenever i compress the fork it doesn't bounce up and lift the front wheel. I'm one of those paranoid people who worries about having to little travel etc. Although I will say I definitely don't need 170mm of travel as that seems way to excessive. Do you guys reckon i up my rebound so my fork is reset quicker and in theory be able to use more travel ? I ride quite gnarly fast stuff so maybe that will help. Thank you for that link and your explanations , Everything is helpful !
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    Not sure what "up my rebound so my fork is reset quicker "means in this context. Not enough rebound damping and the fork behaves like a pogo stick and will have you off the bike. Too much rebound damping and whilst it feels nice and smooth on normal trails, as soon as you descend anything fast and rough, the rebound is so slow that the fork fails to recover from the hit before the next one arrives. The net effect of this after a few hits is that the fork is bottomed out and with no reserve left. The bike then behaves like one with a rigid fork! Worse than that, because the fork has fully compressed the front end is now 150 mm shorter and the head angle is steeper. You then find yourself descending steep fast rough stuff with a steep head angle and a rigid fork. aaaarrrggghhhh!!

    So if you are regularly bottoming your suspension, try reducing the rebound damping. The guy in charge of Fox suspension said that they have to provide a wide range of rebound damping adjustment to take into account the very wide range of riders and trails combinations. But once any one rider has found the sweet spot, then one click up or down should take care of most conditions. But that is the key "once you have found the sweet spot".

    As I said before, it is always worth making sure that you have got the best out of your suspension before spending serious money on it. All it takes a is a bit of time and patience.

    Look out for anyone you know that has a "ShockWiz". (Google it).
  • henryhen8henryhen8 Posts: 5
    Sorry for the late reply , My rebound is set roughly in the middle so maybe reducing the damping will use less travel , if I've interpreted that correctly. Sorry for being a pain and asking so many questions. Now i'm thinking of getting the Whyte T150 as my lbs stocks them. So many bikes to choose haha, although they do order from Commencal etc. I'm pretty light and I do ride a lot of flat climby sections so a long travel bike probably doesn't make that much sense in my case. BPW is the 'gnarliest' place I will probably go so 150/150 should be good there?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    Reducing the rebound damping will only use less travel if you already have too much rebound damping. I sent you a link to a fantastic guide to setting your suspension. If you have not already read it I recommend that you do so. If you are not setting up your suspension properly now, why should you set up the new bike any better? There is a shortage of bikes right now and no discounts to be had on bikes worth having. So why not spend some time trying different settings on your bike. Maybe go for less sag and one less token? Or one more token? I'm not saying either is the answer, but it will tell you something.

    150 F&R is what I have right now and I would go to BPW without a qualm. But I would have done so on 130 on my Whyte as it is a proper aggressive trail bike. Before that I had a Norco Sight 1 with 140mm travel and although it was a terrific bike for where I used it the most, I was not comfortable at BPW as it was too light and flexible. But the guy I sold the bike to takes it to BPW on a regular basis and thinks it is marvellous!

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with bottoming your suspension on a ride. Many riders set up their suspension because they "don't want to leave any travel on the table" - as they say. Their view is that the travel is there to be used and they want to use it on every ride. I prefer not to do that. I set mine up for maximum enjoyment, best response etc. I know that I will rarely use more than 90% on my fork and maybe 95% on the shock. But I have something in reserve for when I get surprised by a feature. There is no perfect way.

    I repeat that until you are sure that you have the best out of your suspension on the bike you have and can still point to problems with it or improvements that you want to make, then you will only repeat the same set up errors on your new bike. If I was "riding a lot of flat and uphills", I doubt I would be using more than 50% of my travel.
    Go test ride your bike and experiment with suspension settings, what you are doing now is not working for you, so change it! :)
Sign In or Register to comment.