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Thread: 120 v 150 for a lightweight

  1. #1

    120 v 150 for a lightweight

    Hi all,

    Long time reader first time poster.

    I have only been mountain biking for 11 months on a hardtail but with some spare cash have decided to treat myself to a full suss.

    I have been told that 140mm should be enough for this country and what I mainly do being trail centres of blue and red grade plus the odd bit of geurilla riding in South Wales.

    Having been to the LBS and advised I was after a 140mm travel bike they suggested that I may be better off with a 120mm bike. This was on the premise that I was quite light (for the record I'm a tad over 10 stone and 5ft 7.5in.

    Is there any credibility to this and should I go for the 120 or 150? I want a bike that I can have fun doing everything I do rather than just getting through some stuff I will come across.

    Thanks
    Redspaniel
    Last edited by Redspaniel77; 26-May-2012 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Redspaniel77, welcome to the forum.

    You will receive conflicting advice because there is a large range of skill levels in the forum members. Similarly there are big fans of hardtails who will assure you that you don't need a full suss for blue and red trail centres. The answer to your question will aso depend upon the bike you ride. An excellent 120mm suspension on bike with good geometry will serve you far better than mediocre 150mm suspension gear on a poorly performing and heavy bike. So the cash you want to flash will be very relevant.

    I accept that if I was more skilled, I wouldn't need the 140 fork, 150 shock that I have on my lightweight full susser. But I'm 60 with a dodgy back and I need all the help I can get. Typically, the bigger the suspension, the heavier the bike unless you start spending real money. If you were to give an indication of your budget, the forum members will be better able to guide you towards several bikes that you might like to consider. The consensus is to always test ride the bike before purchase, and we don't mean a turn around the carpark! But I accept that this is not always possible.

    This may all seem rather non commital, so I'll plunge in. If you are young and fit, go for 120m, otherwise stop at 140.

    When you decide what you want, be aware that you don't have to buy the latest model, nor even a brand new one. The forum knows where bargains can be had.
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  3. #3
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    Personnally I have more fun on bogger bikes, I don't have to hold back on descents and can jist plough! 120mm is still sfficient for most riding

    Welcome also
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  4. #4
    Hi,
    Thanks for your thoughts thus far.

    I'm 34 with a reasonable level of fitness. I currently ride a 100mm hardtail. The suspension is very basic (rockshox dart) but I have done Cwmcarn on it and only struggled on the roots downhill next to the road. My mate behind said it was like watching somebody do a rodeo.

    In terms of bike I am thinking Canyon Nerve AM7 or XC7/8 due to spec and budget.

    Eventually I would like to be able to handle small jumps/ drop offs etc and would like a bit of future proofing.

  5. #5
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    The Canyon AM7 with its 150mmm and only 29lbs weight does it for me, but I'm not you. The XC 7 with 120mm and 27lbs is also an awesome bike. With your lighter weight and intended use, it may be a much better proposition. Its a shame you can't ride one to try them out. The XC 7 head angle is fine at 69 degrees, and will be the same or close to what you are used to. The AM is only half a degree slacker which I have found to be too steep when I have tried one, but at least you should have little difficulty maintaining steering up the steep hills.

    Look out for Canyons on the trail, engage the owners in conversation, ask them about their bike, what they think etc, they may let you throw a leg over it.
    If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member MTBLeague's Avatar
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    What would you feel over or under biked on? as your skills and confidence play major factors in the enjoyment of your riding, as you are not heavy you could get away with thrashing a lighter bike around, but the more toward an AM machine you go what you gain in weight and travel may be proportional to the fun & adventures you may have on 2 wheels.

    Difficult one this, go to some demo days and try some short light then some other machines just to get a feel of what you could live with, best bit is it won't cost you anything.

  7. #7
    I have been on the XC7 as one of my mates has one and he defo rates it. In fact I know 2 other people with the XC but no one with the AM. For my mate the XC is perfect as he is doing the level of biking he wants to do. It would be perfect for about 90% of my riding but it's when I become a better rider and do more challenging rides e.g black runs I thought the AM would be better.

  8. #8
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    You've answered your own question.

    If the xc7 is perfect for 90% of your riding, get it.
    It'll cope fine with the black stuff later.

    Do you want a bike which is perfect for 10% of your riding, or 90%?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member fredmundo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reevil View Post
    You've answered your own question.

    If the xc7 is perfect for 90% of your riding, get it.
    It'll cope fine with the black stuff later.

    Do you want a bike which is perfect for 10% of your riding, or 90%?
    +1 to that!

    Unless of course you are stuck with a head vs heart dilemma... In which case, which looks prettier?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member gorehound's Avatar
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    Morning Red.

    WTTF.

    Can't understand this weight/suspension travel thing myself. I'm around 14-14.5 stone and ride a 100mm HT, a 130mm HT, A trek Ex8 120/130mm full suss and a Kona dawg 140mm full suss and don't have any issues with suspension travel in any situation.

    If your suspension is set up to suit your weight you should be OK on any length travel.
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