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A DHer's trailbike journey, What do you run?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Jeremy R, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Living where I live, a trailbike is what I ride at least 80% of the time.
    Most of the best downhills in Pisgah and other places I ride locally need to be climbed to get to. But since I spend so much time on my trailbike, I need one that I can ride with the same aggression as my dh bike. Also, I need to be able to race this bike on some of the smoother pedally courses we have here in the Southeast, the originators of the Super D.:busted:
    So, the bike has to feel comfortable for jumping, railing corners, and everything in between. Years ago, I owned trailbikes by Intense and Turner.
    They worked exactly like they were marketed. Great trailbikes. Take the 5-spot for instance, it was practically perfect for trailriding, but it has an upright feel to it, like a xc bike with 5 inches of travel. It wasn't comfortable jumping and being pushed hard on something like a super d course.
    Next, I rode a Specialized SX slalom bike for trail. Its geometry was great for aggressive riding, and it kicked ass jumping and ripping up small bike courses.
    But I was taking this bike on rough rocky trails that a 4 inch air shock bike was getting beat on.
    Next, I turned my SX trail into my trail bike, and I actually had it built to 33 pounds at one point. I loved this joker. Super aggressive geometry and the travel to ride anything at least comfortably. There are not any "Buts" with the SX trail. I only sold it because I had a full blown Dh race rig, and I wanted more or a separation between my bikes, as it was not made for riding rolling xc trails.
    Which brings me to my current bike and the end of the journey.
    The Morewood Shova ST, its their 5.7 inch trailbike.
    On paper, the geometry looks like any other good trailbike, but this bike just rides different.
    Fun is the best word to describe it.
    It's extremely snappy. The bike wants to pop over everything on the trail.
    And in corners, the bike loads up and pops out. The first few berms I hit, I came out with my front wheel off the ground and a smile on my face.
    It livened up all the old trails I was riding.
    It rides like a slalom bike, but with more forgiving travel. It suits the trails I ride perfectly, as I can be as aggressive as possible on the downhill, and it climbs back up with the lightness of a 5 inch trailbike.
    This is my first single pivot trailbike. I always run a 34t single ring on my trailbike, so as far pedal interaction, I simply don't have any. The pivot location is in a perfect place for my setup. As far as brake interaction,
    it is the same way that is was on all those years running a Turner DHR.
    If you are dragging you brake down a steep rocky downhill, you can feel the suspension stiffen a little. Normally for me, its just a little reminder to lay off the brakes and let it run.
    The bike climbs as well as anything I have ever ridden, but the reason I like it so much is simply how fun it is to ride.
    It weighs 28.5 pounds.
    So, I am curious to what other DHers run as their trailbikes, post 'em up!!
    I've found my huckleberry.
    Here are the pics:



     
    #1 -   Oct 1, 2008
  2. bdamschen

    bdamschen Turbo Monkey

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    I currently have a cannondale prophet. The lefty made me nervous, so I ditched it for a Lyrik set @ 5 inches and then later a Wotan also at 5 inches. When set at the 67.5* HA setting, it feels low and slack and fast. It is also a single pivot which I think makes the bike way more fun and snappy feeling. I've had the bike for a few years now and could never really find another trail bike that I would rather have.

    Thanks for the impressions on the shova- my prophet js starting to get a little beat and I've been wondering what I was going to replace it with eventually. Maybe the shova could be the one...
     
    #2 -   Oct 1, 2008
  3. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac Turbo Monkey

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    Your setup reminds me of my trail bike - Sinister Gruitr. Feels slalom like on trails, 5.5" travel, single pivot, running it 9 speed with a 32 Special up front. The bike also runs similiar parts as my DH bike in case I need to "cross-cannibalize"!

    I only have a few crappy pics, need to take some new ones!





     
    #3 -   Oct 1, 2008
  4. sikocycles

    sikocycles Turbo Monkey

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    Knolly Endorphin.
     
    #4 -   Oct 1, 2008
  5. profro

    profro Turbo Monkey

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    I have 2 trail bikes:



     
    #5 -   Oct 1, 2008
  6. retrofred

    retrofred Monkey

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    i am riding a trek session 7 with a mixture of lighter parts. i think the weight of my bike is around 38 lbs. which is light for me, considering that most of my bikes are always over 40 plus pounds. the bike pedals pretty good and decends like race bike. the only thing i really want to change is the rear shock. thinking of a fox DHX air.
     
    #6 -   Oct 1, 2008
  7. al-irl

    al-irl Turbo Monkey

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    cool write up. I'm on a similar journey and currently ride a specialized sx slalom but am just finding it too much of a slog on the climbs due to the slack seat angle making the front end want to lift on climbs. I've my eyes on a Shova st frame that we have hanging in the shop where I work. Its been calling my name when I walk past it I'm sure. How does it compare to the sx on the descents? I've carpark tested plenty of them when i've built them for customers but i've never ridden one out on the trails. I've ridden the mbuzi propperly a good bit and really loved it but for my trail riding i think the shova st will be enough.
     
    #7 -   Oct 1, 2008
  8. manhattanprjkt83

    manhattanprjkt83 Rusty Trombone

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    wow looks like we all ride similar setups...I ride a heckler check er...

    So how do you like that reba 20mm i was thinking about going that route to shed a few lbs:

     
    #8 -   Oct 1, 2008
  9. RD3

    RD3 Monkey

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    Sinister Splinter MX
    Weighs in at about 34 lbs.



     
    #9 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  10. DsDhBxracer13

    DsDhBxracer13 Monkey

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    Don't have any of my own pictures but I am running a pretty much stock 2008 Iron Horse 6point6. By far the best trail bike I have ever ridden. Yes it's a little heavy but you get used to it. I can pedal it up just about everything around in the 36t ring so the weight isn't to much of an issue as it climbs super well. Other thing I love about it going down and cornering is the fact that it has 150mm rear end and 83mm bb. I don't think I could really ask for much more. Could lighten it up easily to with nicer parts, I know the stock cranks are tanks.
     
  11. NJHCx4xLIFE

    NJHCx4xLIFE Monkey

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    This beast. I can't imagine riding a true XC bike. They just feel wierd. I'm happy with my Enduro and it is "DH" enough for me. 32lbs as shown. (X.0/XTR, Thomson, tubeless 5.1s and crappy ass cranks)
     
  12. spoke80

    spoke80 Turbo Monkey

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    :cheers:



    Somewhere in the blur is a Shova St..
     
    #12 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  13. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Its alot more forgiving on the trail than the little sx.
    The air shock on my SX came heavily damped for slalom.
    If felt great with super high air pressures used for slalom,
    but never felt forgiving on rough trails.
    The shova just rides light and snappy on the trails which translates to fun.
    However, I would not put the shova st in the "mini dh" bike category.
    Its not a bit hit, slacked out, ski lift bike.
    Just a sick ass trailbike.

    And Manhatten, that fork is the 20mm Revelation.
    It rides just like my old Pike Air, except its lighter.
    It matches up well with the bike.

    Its cool seeing some of the other bikes in this thread.
     
  14. MMcG

    MMcG Ride till you puke!

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    28 pounds on that Morewood - very nice fun to weight ratio right there! Nice bike!
     
  15. Zark

    Zark Hey little girl, do you want some candy?

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    I'm rockin an Intense 6.6 right now for trailbike/smooth course dh. The bike comes in at 33.5lb with burly tires. Suspension's a Fox affair, 36 talas rc2 and a pushed rp3.

    I've had a tough time getting a good balance of dh handling and descent climbing. The Spec. Stumpy FSR I had climbed like a scalded monkey but descents were scary with a twitchy HA and short travel. I've had a SGS expert which was a lead brick, a Tracer which was undergunned in the travel. Before that a Giant AC2 which flexed a mile, bobbed like a hooker and brake jacked.... Yeah, its been a rough road ;)

    The 6.6 climbs pretty good even with my heavy wheels. It doesn't wander too much and can pedal through really tech stuff uphill, long smooth climbs are a "sit n spin". The descents are really fun on the trail rides. The BB could stand to be a .5" lower and a slittle slacker in the HA. I did my first DH race on it last weekend. It handled it pretty good, but it also highlighted the BB and HA issues. It isn't the stiffest chassis ever either. So its not perfect, but I still have a sh*t eating grin riding this bike.
     
  16. MDJ

    MDJ Monkey

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    That Morewood looks good. I'll have to consider that frame.

    I too have an SX Trail and looking to space out the quiver a little more. DH, a lighter trail/AM, and then an SX for SL. The SX is too small for me to use as a trail bike and my SX Trail is built up close to a DH bike right now, although I use it for trail riding.

    I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I want to give the Trek Remedy a try. The Moorwood looks good and I'll also check out the new Nomad when it's released. An Enduro SL would do the trick but I don't think I can buy another Spec right now. I haven't checked out the geometry on the DW Turners yet.
     
  17. MDJ

    MDJ Monkey

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    That frame looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
     
  18. pinkshirtphotos

    pinkshirtphotos site moron

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    haro mary ss



    its just leaning on that moto kickstand
     
  19. monkeyfcuker

    monkeyfcuker Monkey

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    Here's my trailbike, currently sitting in bits after I robbed most of the parts to build a 4x hardtail but I'm building her back up very slowly!



    Loved this bike, done alot on her despite the apparent XC only tag, she performed well on proper DH runs, a week in Spain and even dirt jumps!
     
  20. teamkranzelbike

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    my baby. 30# on the nose with pedals
     
  21. daday

    daday Chimp

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    changed:
    tires to fat alberts
    and crank bro candy pedals ;)
     
  22. Hesh To Steel

    Hesh To Steel Monkey

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    Haven't really done any trailriding yet but when I do it'll probably be on my kona coilair. I beat the crap out of that thing riding it at diablo for like 3 months this season, before getting a true dh bike.

    It's a weird bike though. Odd mix of AM and DH parts. 6" of travel but an oddly slack HTA. We'll see how it does on the trails this winter after the parks close.


    In a related sidenote, I remember reading a thread on either mtbr or this forum about a guy who went on an epic xc/trailride...on a Socom with a Totem Air. Seemed to work out ok for him, which means you can probably use just about anything if you really want to.
     
  23. atrokz

    atrokz Turbo Monkey

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  24. Acadian

    Acadian Born Again Newbie

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    Nice ride J-Man! :thumb:

    Geo is everything for me. Far from going custom, I've been struggling finding a bike that meets all my requirements. For the past few months I’ve been very happy with my Nomad (that’s after going through a handful of other bikes). Weight is pretty decent, angles are great (slack), suspension works great (that’s a personal preference since not everyone likes the falling rate of the Nomad) – but it’s not the most efficient pedaler in the granny gears. Yeah it’s not perfect, but man do I ever like the geometry of that bike. Even if it doesn’t pedal that great in the granny gears, it still pedals much better than many other bikes I’ve tried (and I mean without using propedal or lockouts…which I hate using - I’m the set-and-forget kindda guy). One of those bike that is not perfect, but the pros overshadows the cons.

    So recently I got a 09 Reign – and I think I might have found a Nomad replacement. 66.5 head angle, 45.2 wheelbase and 14.1 BB, pretty light at 29lbs, supper efficient pedaler in all gears, fun up AND rips the DH's. I only have a hand full of rides on her, but they've all been FUN! Until something else more appealing comes along - this will probably be my go-to bike...

    no I haven't sold my soul to the Giant Devil. Independent of the manufacturer, I just like to ride whatever suits ME! that's the reason why I go through so many bikes - I like to make my own opinions because what suits one rider might not suit another.

    oh and BTW, I don't ride....so please don't take anything I say seriously.

    ride on!



     
  25. big cal

    big cal Monkey

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    ^^^ your great pictures sell that bike very well!!
     
  26. davep

    davep Turbo Monkey

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    I will post a pic later, but what I found (after a pretty hard look for the same kinds of things you after) was an 06 Turner 5 pack with a U-turn Lyric. I also have 6.2" rocker plates for it but usually just stick with the 5.3"ers. The bike also has a CCDB on it.

    It could be a little lower to the ground for my personal preferences, but I certainly wanted something that could take more than typical trail bike abuse (jumps and drops) and most 'trailish' bikes that are much lower are either too XC or dedicated 4X bikes (poor seat tube angle...and possible too fragile/light).

    The bike pedals great, and loves agressive rough trail riding, but it can also bombed down hill and beat upon...or drop the front end and it becomes a pretty fun bike for jumping or BMX track kind of stuff.


    Do you guys not find the falling rate of the shova to be 'odd'? I suppose the air shock would make up for some of that (not a fan personally). That design always felt a little wierd to me.
     
  27. FlipFantasia

    FlipFantasia Turbo Monkey

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    weagle hater! ....... ;) I got a glory this summer and love it....the girl is probably getting one of these (reign/trance x) for next year, they're such great value and ride quality....she's diggin' on my commencal too, but I don't think she can afford it compared to the giant's....
     
  28. Banshee Rider

    Banshee Rider Turbo Monkey

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    For cross country I use a Blur 4X. It sits around 67* with a Pike, while being long and low. Its a pretty rad bike for those of us who feel comfortable on downhilll bikes, but realize you cant ride legit xc at lycra pace with fat tires and excessive travel. It sits at 28lbs due largely to the fork that was needed for its A-C, but with a new Revelation over the winter it'll be 27lbs. I have alittle bit of fat that could be trimmed in the stem, bars, and cranks, but the stans 355 rims and 2.0 michelins keep it rolling fast enough to forget the small stuff.



    For all mountain I use a Reign X. It's relatively new but so far I'm really liking it. It gets hung up alittle more in straight rough terrain than my previous Nomad, but really finds traction I didn't know was there in turns. It's 31.5lbs in the pictures, with a build I consider perminate. I really only use it for long climb-long descent riding, which its great for. Too much bike for proper xc riding though IMO.

     
    #28 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  29. Demomonkey

    Demomonkey Monkey

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    I've been riding this for the last few months, coming off a Specialized SX. Loving the geometry and stiffness of the chassis. Unsure of weight but guessing around 30.
     
  30. al-irl

    al-irl Turbo Monkey

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    Daday how are you finding the Sunn Kern ? I looked at those as i ride a radical and am kinda tempted but my radical has tire clearance issues. So i'm thinking I'd be better off with the morewood.
     
  31. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    No, but it took me a while to figure out what I needed to do air pressure wise. I thought I could set it up soft for downhills and use pro-pedal for the climbs. I was trying to set up the bike like my old FSR bikes and the ole push down on the seat to see if the air pressure was right.:bonk: I finally equaled my body weight to the PSI in the shock and it was spot on on the trail. Pushing down on the seat, the bike feels stiff, but on the trail, it rides in the sweet spot of its travel, and I have no bottoming issues. I only use the propedal for a paved road climb we do on a local loop. Otherwise, the bike works better with the propedal open. Traction is good on the climbs as well.
    As far as the double barrel on these things, I have ridden one on the Mbuzi, and it suits it great. The only thing you give up to an air shock is weight,
    and you use the adjustments to control bottomout.
     
  32. ufdff15

    ufdff15 Monkey

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    I'm on a Sinister Gruitr with a Lyric Solo Air up front and a DHX on the rear. It weights some where in the low 30's but should be going a bit of a diet this winter.
     
  33. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Mmmm, slack

     
  34. AlmostHeaven

    AlmostHeaven Turbo Monkey

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    i hate you. :biggrin:
     
  35. frorider

    frorider Monkey

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    early in 2007 i wasn't sure whether i wanted a lyrik-oriented trailbike, so as a temporary, cheap solution i got the Covert frame and put on a coil pike and parts from my other bikes. these days it's running an easton havoc AM wheelset (22.1 mm inner rim width, works well w/ all kinds of tires in my collection) and formula k24 brakes w/ a bigger rotor up front.

    13.7 inch BB height with big tires, 17 inch CS, and low center of gravity. super plush and progressive linkage leverage curve.

    right out my door are some 3k vert rides with sweet bermed turns and lotsa small rock hits. this bike rails that stuff pretty well and is light enough to make the climb painless.
     

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    #35 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  36. demolition dave

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  37. Dogboy

    Dogboy Turbo Monkey

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    Cool thread Jeremy. My criteria for a trail bike were pretty much exactly the same as yours. I wanted something that had more of a dh bike "feel". I rode a lot of bikes and ended up with one that I'm am super satisfied with - a Commencal Meta 6. The numbers on it are pretty much exactly what I wanted after trial and error on the other bikes I checked out. 66.5* head angle, 13.75" bb height, 16.75" chainstays, etc, - yeah, I'm a numbers nerd :nerd: Other things I really like are the dropouts that allow for 10mm qr/12mm through-axle/12mm Maxle, adjustable head tube angle, and the contact system. The contact system that they use to control the shock rate really needs to be ridden to fully appreciate it. It one of the major things that makes this bike feel like a little dh bike. Killer grip and a progressive, bottomless feel are the best ways I can describe how it rides. I've truly never ridden anything quite like it. With the exception of the XTR cranks there is really nothing XC light on it (DT5.1 rims on Hadleys, XT brakes, Van36 fork, Sunline V1 bar and stem) and it comes in at a reasonable 32lbs. Here's a recent pic and the only thing different now are a pair of Maxxis Ardent tires.
     
    #37 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  38. scrublover

    scrublover Monkey

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    Not a DH guy, but do love my trailbike.



     
  39. PatBranch

    PatBranch Turbo Monkey

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    I'm building up a medium chameleon. :D

     
  40. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Turner 6 pack with Avalanche rear shock and 66 ETA (rc2) up front.

    Except that I cracked the frame a little while back, Dave Turner turned it into a horst-link RFX. I get the resized avalanche shock back this Friday (Anyone want to buy a new RP23?)
    , although the Turner Demo is on Saturday, so I'm either going to ride a DW 5.5 spot, DW Sultan, or my avalanche-RFX. Win-win-win situation. Future plan is to lower the front end with a new fork, perhaps a fox vanilla 36 or something similer..ideally a coil with travel adjust, but lyric horror storries are scaring me.


    I've never been much of a racer XC-type, but I'll say this; If you want to go fast on XC trails or with XC guys, drop the super-heavy kind-of-AM bike and just get a fast HT. I got a 29er, put an ultegra cassette on it, and I haul a$$ on it, I still kind of ride it like a DH bike on the DHs (probably not good for it), but it's way better than trying to ride a 35lb bike and keep up with those guys...not that I try to do this all the time, but if you ever have to ride flatter trails for whatever reason, convenience, after-work training, group/friend ride, etc, it's nice to have something that is kind of full-blown XC, in fact I'd say the diff between it and some XC FS bike isn't really all that great, not like the diff between a full on XC bike and an AM/FR bike. This in terms of weight and ability to ride fast on level/uphill.
     

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    #40 -   Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008