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Paring down a bike stable

if you had to pare down a bike stable to 2 bikes what would it be?

i had my Enduro (do-it all bike), 29r hardtail (part time commuter, winter training bike), and DJ/Pump track bike.

I'm in the process of reassessing and rebuilding my stable. and with a 3rd kid on the way, storage space is at a premium. hence a reason to simplify.

i ride my DJ/Pump track bike the least. so I am in the process of selling that.

i just sold the Enduro. (just wasn't happy with the efficiency of the FSR and honestly more travel than I need)

i will be selling the 29r hardtail i think. (i may consider keeping the frame around just as a backup)

I'm thinking of this combination:
- 150mm travel endurbro
- cross/gravel grinder

or

- 115-120mm slack 29r (Following, 429 trail, ripley LS)
- 27.5 dh bike

thoughts?
 

Sandro

Turbo Monkey
Nov 12, 2006
2,232
1,199
The old world
I don't see how you could justify owning a DH bike living in VA and having 3 kids if you look at the ride time that this bike would see, so your first option looks pretty good to me.

A second wheel set will go a long way in increasing the versatility of your main bike, you might even go for 160mm travel to have something to take to the bike park. If i lived in the states, i'd be tempted to give the new Evil Insurgent a try.
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,357
2,585
I replaced an XC, AM and DH bike with a Nomad3.
Great all around trail bike and enough bike for the limited lift access/shuttles I see these days.
Were I to add a bike, I'd get another DH bike because they rule.
 
I replaced an XC, AM and DH bike with a Nomad3.
Great all around trail bike and enough bike for the limited lift access/shuttles I see these days.
Were I to add a bike, I'd get another DH bike because they rule.
i've thought about this. i'd say 85% of my riding is local, and trails are pretty chill, low tech. and a 150-160mm bike is, i think, too much for that. pedalling around something in-efficient is kinda a drag. this is why i'm sipping the short travel, long, slack 29r koolaid

in the 15% that i do get to DH, i might as well go full bore and have a dedicated bike. even tho, it won't be ridden much.

in my mind, the most efficient 150-160mm travel bike is dw-link based. so that really is the only platform i would consider going with option '1'.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,842
1,037
in my mind, the most efficient 150-160mm travel bike is dw-link based. so that really is the only platform i would consider going with option '1'.
Aside from that one company that ripped off his design.
A new Reign will match most DW options for pedalling performance in my experience (have tried and owned plenty of both), while generally having superior leverage curve characteristics for something that needs to double as a DH bike. They also have far more modern geometry than current options from the DW camp, and in my experience tend to be more durable (nothing to do with DW, everything to do with the frame manufacturers of the brands using the design). I'm all for supporting the originator of the design but the desire to choose the better bike overrides that in my book.

If the budget supports it, I think it's really hard to go past the carbon Reign for an all-bike replacement these days, especially if you have something else for commutes and flat/uphill grinds.
 

dtm1

Monkey
Apr 11, 2015
101
2
Aside from that one company that ripped off his design.
A new Reign will match most DW options for pedalling performance in my experience (have tried and owned plenty of both), while generally having superior leverage curve characteristics for something that needs to double as a DH bike. They also have far more modern geometry than current options from the DW camp, and in my experience tend to be more durable (nothing to do with DW, everything to do with the frame manufacturers of the brands using the design). I'm all for supporting the originator of the design but the desire to choose the better bike overrides that in my book.

If the budget supports it, I think it's really hard to go past the carbon Reign for an all-bike replacement these days, especially if you have something else for commutes and flat/uphill grinds.
What are your thoughts on the Reign for bigger dudes? I'm eyeing one too but the LR has me concerned at 120kg. Thinking about waiting for the carbon patrol. Sry for the hijack, carry on...
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,842
1,037
What are your thoughts on the Reign for bigger dudes? I'm eyeing one too but the LR has me concerned at 120kg. Thinking about waiting for the carbon patrol. Sry for the hijack, carry on...
Test ride one and see if the pressure you need falls within the manufacturer specs for the shock, and if the damping range and consistency is up to your standards. I think you'd definitely be near the upper limits, but on the other hand, the average leverage ratio on that frame isn't as high as team-blowbot would have you believe - at 2.8:1 it's not too different from something like a Sunday which was considered the standard for low leverage at 2.67:1. For comparison, the v10 for years was 3.63:1, then 3.33:1, and finally after being locked only having 8.5" of travel, it's 2.83:1 - still higher than the Reign.

On the other hand if it doesn't feel right to you, or if Vegeta needs to pump over 9000psi into the shock and you're concerned for his personal safety then I'd go with the Patrol. The suspension and weight aren't quite as good on the Transition but they're built burly and stiff so combined with the lower leverage might be more suited to you. The other AM bikes I think work quite well for those not weight conscious are the Banshees, maybe worth a look.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,439
2,042
Yakistan
I like to keep a squishy trail bike with gears and a single speed hardtail. (Scout & transam currently) They get ridden lots and split pretty evenly. All my friends are building gravel grinders and riding them lots. I still am saying duck that shirt.
 

herbman

Monkey
Feb 16, 2011
104
8
North West Tasmania
What are your thoughts on the Reign for bigger dudes? I'm eyeing one too but the LR has me concerned at 120kg. Thinking about waiting for the carbon patrol. Sry for the hijack, carry on...
I'm 100kg in gear at the moe and on a new Alu reign. Great bike that climbs far better than any bike I have owned, the the rear end does flex a bit when pushed hard. Not sure if it's the giant brand wheel set or the rear end flexing, but a wheel up grade is on the cards to find out.
Even with the flex it is a better at going downhill fast than my old DH ever was.

And for the OP, when I cut numbers,I went for a good 150-160mm fully and a hardtail. As they seemed to cover all bases
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,550
2,716
AK
I'm pretty happy with an e29 and a carbon fatbike (which I have skinny wheels and tires for the summer). The carbon fatbike is my hardtail/commuter/winter bike and the e29 is everything else. Got some decent suspension on the e29 and carbon hoops, great for all day rides and with pedal and tire swaps, rips downhill at the park. Wish the suspension was a little more efficient, but I think the wheel size is good for those longer rides. Tons of traction uphill.
 

Trasselkalle

Monkey
Oct 28, 2014
138
24
Sweden
FWIW - cross bikes are sweet rides. If you go that way, consider picking up one that lets you put on even wider tires than normal cross tires and with stronger sidewalls. They make better trail bikes that way as long as the trails have limited sharp rock or huge root sections, else the risk for puncture gets too big. Gravel-like stuff is no worries, even with the regular width tires.

Cross bikes are sweet to ride, and an extra set of tires or two is cheap and quick to throw on (assuming you stick with tubes) if you want to go all-road riding and use slicks, or a wider tire for trail riding. They usually come with a tire that's either good for mud or (better) a tire for grass/dirt/gravel that's decently good for asphalt also (largely a slicks tire in the center, with knobs on the sides). You need to be really comfortable on dropper bars to ride trails with a cross though, but it's good fun if you get to that point. Spandex is optional ;)

However much I like and prefer DH, I'd likely lean towards the first alternative if I were you. You could go for less travel but as aggressive geo as you can find, possibly even a 29er. For the few times you go DH riding, rent a bike instead of buying one if you don't ride more than what you estimated.
 
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Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,745
1,428
01776
I just went to a Following and 26" DH bike. If you ride lift assisted, at all, it's worth having a DH bike, in my opinion. Others will disagree, but watching your $7k carbon endurbro bike ricochet off into the woods would suck. Knowing that it's built out of sturdy aluminum or at least sturdier caaronz would be better.

The following is light and efficient enough for trail derping without having too much travel (Enduro) nor too little (hardtail). It's a great _mountain bike_.

You might also consider keeping or building a beater roadbike, as there's no replacement on the road for a road bike. That would make a great commuter/roadie/etc. I wouldn't want to commute on a carbon wonderbike.

That's what I have anyways, following, fury, and a diamondback century.
 

DH Dad

Monkey
Jun 12, 2002
434
30
MA
if you had to pare down a bike stable to 2 bikes what would it be?

i had my Enduro (do-it all bike), 29r hardtail (part time commuter, winter training bike), and DJ/Pump track bike.

I'm in the process of reassessing and rebuilding my stable. and with a 3rd kid on the way, storage space is at a premium. hence a reason to simplify.

i ride my DJ/Pump track bike the least. so I am in the process of selling that.

i just sold the Enduro. (just wasn't happy with the efficiency of the FSR and honestly more travel than I need)

i will be selling the 29r hardtail i think. (i may consider keeping the frame around just as a backup)

I'm thinking of this combination:
- 150mm travel endurbro
- cross/gravel grinder

or

- 115-120mm slack 29r (Following, 429 trail, ripley LS)
- 27.5 dh bike

thoughts?
Been through the bike reassessment several times in the past 14 years. When my son was born the DH bike was the first to go as I had a 6" FR bike at the time which was burly enough for DH when/if I ever went. DJ bike was fun to keep around as he learned to ride and got into bmx racing and DJs. I think that bike got a lot of use up til he was about 10 which is when I herniated 2 discs in my lower back and had to give up on hardtails. At that point my 6" travel trailbike (Spitfire for a few years and now Carbine) became my only ride until I picked up a fat bike last year as well to ride in the winter, great move but I'm in MA and we got a ton of snow, not sure about VA. This year, at 14, he's become obsesses with DH and DJs. I'm all but done with the DJ phase but have really enjoyed Downhilling with him so I'm ready to retire the 15 year old FR bike and put together an 8" DH rig again 10 years after selling my last one.

Basically your bike stable needs to suit your life and that changes over time with kids. I've been lucky enough to have a kid who loves bike parks as it's made it so much easier for me to justify what I spend on these crazy 2 wheeled toys:)

BTW, the 27.5" Carbine is a really great bike and saved my love for mountain biking. After rupturing my L5-S1 I was miserable for a few years until I found this bike and the Fatty is just stupid fun in deep snow.
 

Metamorphic

Monkey
May 12, 2015
274
176
Cackalack
I just went to a Following and 26" DH bike. If you ride lift assisted, at all, it's worth having a DH bike, in my opinion. Others will disagree, but watching your $7k carbon endurbro bike ricochet off into the woods would suck. Knowing that it's built out of sturdy aluminum or at least sturdier caaronz would be better.

The following is light and efficient enough for trail derping without having too much travel (Enduro) nor too little (hardtail). It's a great _mountain bike_.

You might also consider keeping or building a beater roadbike, as there's no replacement on the road for a road bike. That would make a great commuter/roadie/etc. I wouldn't want to commute on a carbon wonderbike.

That's what I have anyways, following, fury, and a diamondback century.

Came here to pretty much say the same thing.

If I didn't have a DH bike, I would not ride lift assisted DH, that simple. So it's worth it to me for the 10-15 days per year I ride lifts. My stable is pretty stable right now with a Spitfire for the 95% bike, a DH sled, and a completely bastardized skinny tire commuter/roadie/gravel bike. So yes, I am recommending inbreeding of your two options and the final result of 3 bikes. But really you can find some cheeeeep commuter/gravel bikes on teh craigzlists. Less than the cost of a fork for either of the MTBs.

Good luck.
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,444
392
Fenton, MI
I like the mid travel bikes for the do almost everything bike (27.5 130mm front, 125mm rear) and DH bike as my current, I do also have a DJ which I only ride 2-3 times a year at Ray's, and to be honest I'd almost just assume rent if I didn't already own a cheap DJ. Same for my road bike, I did not ride it outside a single time this summer. I paid $150 and I ride it on the rollers in the winter, I could also live with out it if I didn't already own it.
 

Mulestar

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2007
1,062
0
in the dirt
If I lived in Northern VA I'd have a fast and light FS 29er with 120 mm or less... Dress tires appropriately for trips to Harrisonburg or Frederick...be happy.

I have no kids, live in a place with local DH runs, and I still have only ridden my DH bike once this year. Unless I lived at a park (which will never happen), its hard to justify. The trail bike is just easier to get out on.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
6,420
2,096
Ottawa, Canada
Been through the bike reassessment several times in the past 14 years. When my son was born the DH bike was the first to go as I had a 6" FR bike at the time which was burly enough for DH when/if I ever went. DJ bike was fun to keep around as he learned to ride and got into bmx racing and DJs. I think that bike got a lot of use up til he was about 10 which is when I herniated 2 discs in my lower back and had to give up on hardtails. At that point my 6" travel trailbike (Spitfire for a few years and now Carbine) became my only ride until I picked up a fat bike last year as well to ride in the winter, great move but I'm in MA and we got a ton of snow, not sure about VA. This year, at 14, he's become obsesses with DH and DJs. I'm all but done with the DJ phase but have really enjoyed Downhilling with him so I'm ready to retire the 15 year old FR bike and put together an 8" DH rig again 10 years after selling my last one.

Basically your bike stable needs to suit your life and that changes over time with kids. I've been lucky enough to have a kid who loves bike parks as it's made it so much easier for me to justify what I spend on these crazy 2 wheeled toys:)

BTW, the 27.5" Carbine is a really great bike and saved my love for mountain biking. After rupturing my L5-S1 I was miserable for a few years until I found this bike and the Fatty is just stupid fun in deep snow.
this. listen to this man. I sold my DH bike this spring, and picked up a DJ bike to fart around with my almost 5 y.o. son at skate parks and at the pump track. I think we have a few years of that, and then hopefully he'll get into gravity riding, at which point I'll buy a DH bike again. For now, it's trail rides on my unrideable dentist's bike, and skate parks and indoor bike park with the wee lads.
 

FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,018
313
If you have 3 kids, I'd suggest keeping the DJ or sell it and purchase a BMX instead. It'll certainly be the bike that will get the most family action in the next few years. My experience is that a 20" BMX race bike is really the best to play around on the street and sessionning the local pump track with a young (like 3-6 y.o.) kid.

The other bike should definitely be some kind of all-mountain bike, but then you would not really have a commuter bike...if you really need one, then you may need to keep a stable of 3. Your best option is probably to decide that your commuter is technically not a "bike", but a "money-saving transportation alternative". ;)
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
3,069
1,149
UK
I have at least 3 kids and still ride around 10-15 hours most weeks.
in order of most hours use per year (I don't think miles wouldn't be a fair comparison) here's my most used bikes:
100mm travel Giant STP dirt jump hardtail- I ride everything from all day XC to DJ/DH on this with a 2 min switch between a reverb or a 450mm seatpost for DJ/DH/XC
Giant TCR Carbon - miles and miles for smiles. (as opposed to training/racing or shitey sportives with road dentists)
GT hardtail (hack/pub bike with mudguards) - everything from light XC to towing kids around in child seats, trailers/tag-a-longs.
Race BMX - track, park and short (10mile) xc rides with kids.
short travel full sus DJ/4X bike - DH (without uplift, pissing around and the odd XC ride)
DH bike - uplifted DH track use only.

Where I live is pretty flat but just 40mins drive away is UK DH/Enderpo heaven. What I found was the moar kids I gained the less time I wanted to sit behind a wheel to ride my bikes or fuck about cleaning bikes and kit after short rides.

if for some weird reason I had to have less than 10 bikes I'd get rid of them in reverse order.
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,101
721
Northern California
I did this last year. My approach was to get the longest travel fr/dh bike that could still climb (climb friendly seatpost angle) and a trail bike. So far so good, although I may swap the 5" trail bike for something with just a little more travel in the rear next year.
 

mykel

Turbo Monkey
Apr 19, 2013
2,336
953
sw ontario canada
Tried to do the one bike thing - Knolly Delirium (165mm)
Worked - ...to a point.
Even with a Lyric and Light wheelset and tires and a 66 and heavy wheels and dh meats -
It was still a lot of bike for general trail riding.
It was great for bike park flow / jump and moderated tech dh, plus a bit of urban freeride - staircases, retaining walls etc.
It was not enough bike for tech dh - at least for my hack azz.

Now back to multiple bikes.

Trail - Knolly Endorphin 140mm

DH - Knolly Podium 215mm

Am now much much happier.
While the Podium may not be quite as much fun on the jumpy stuff, it feels better on the flow stuff than the Delirium did in fast tech dh - so that trade off is a win in my book. Trail wise, no contest. There is not much terrain that is accessible to me that suites the Delirium better, so for me going back to 2 bike was the ticket.

as always, with old fat guys, your mileage may vary.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I had the idea of one bike that would do it all - Ibis Mojo HD w/ ~ 150mm of travel - but it always got a beating on DH trails so I got me a DH rig (DHR). Then I downsized the trail bike to 130mm with a 650b Mojo HD-R, but now I miss the travel of the HD. So I am re-building the HD-R as a b6er with 650b front / 26 rear, 150mm x 150mm. For winter riding, I have a SS hardtail with studded tires that is tons of fun on icy trails.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,209
2,943
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Depends on what you value when you're not making moar kids. In my case, basically all climbs and flat ground riding are just a means to an end: Mr. Newton pushing me down a grade.

I could ride most lift assist places with any one of the excellent trail/AM bikes available these days...I would ride most lift assisted places like a bleedy vag on said trail/AM bike. DH to me is like high quality cocaine, and shouldn't be snorted through a wrinkly one dollar bill that slipped out of a 42 year old strippers thong. It should be enjoyed through a nice alloy straw and amongst other law school compatriots - which is to say, if you actually ride DH (even a little), get the appropriate tool for the job.

If you have to pick 2, get a 29r shredder like a Following or Phantom and a rock blaster DH bike. Also, like me, seriously consider a vasectomy :thumb:
 

supercow

Monkey
Feb 18, 2009
970
126
What are your thoughts on the Reign for bigger dudes? I'm eyeing one too but the LR has me concerned at 120kg. Thinking about waiting for the carbon patrol. Sry for the hijack, carry on...
@dtm1 The stock Monarch will shit the bed at that weight imo, so you'll need to upgrade to an X2 air, or ride a coil shock of some description. The Storia "enduro" coil shock on this, is incredibly good and well worth the money. Have ridden it extensively now, and it's ace. A mate of mine worked wonders (apparently) on Marcello Gutierrez' RS Vivid coil, which worked great / saw him to the win at the Whistler long DH race on his Reign... whatever that's called again.

If going X2 air, then it will be easy enough for your local suspension to work the main compression stack for a fatty :p
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,444
392
Fenton, MI
Depends on what you value when you're not making moar kids. In my case, basically all climbs and flat ground riding are just a means to an end: Mr. Newton pushing me down a grade.

I could ride most lift assist places with any one of the excellent trail/AM bikes available these days...I would ride most lift assisted places like a bleedy vag on said trail/AM bike. DH to me is like high quality cocaine, and shouldn't be snorted through a wrinkly one dollar bill that slipped out of a 42 year old strippers thong. It should be enjoyed through a nice alloy straw and amongst other law school compatriots - which is to say, if you actually ride DH (even a little), get the appropriate tool for the job.

If you have to pick 2, get a 29r shredder like a Following or Phantom and a rock blaster DH bike. Also, like me, seriously consider a vasectomy :thumb:
mid to small travel trail bike - check
DH bike - check
Vasectomy - check

It appears I have entered "middle aged"
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
6,420
2,096
Ottawa, Canada
I am re-building the HD-R as a b6er with 650b front / 26 rear, 150mm x 150mm.
Keep us (me) posted on how you like this. If (when?) my Pike blows up again (would be the 5th time), I'm going to consider a 650b fork and front wheel. (To assist in future-proofing frame purchases, not for any potential perceived performance advantages.) But I'm curious to know how this rides. The last time my Pike went back for a fix, my shop lent me a 650b 34 that I ran my 26" wheel in. I found that I noticed the "floppiness" of it, I'm guessing due to the increased offset? I wonder if running a 650b rim would alleviate that floppiness...
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Keep us (me) posted on how you like this. If (when?) my Pike blows up again (would be the 5th time), I'm going to consider a 650b fork and front wheel. (To assist in future-proofing frame purchases, not for any potential perceived performance advantages.) But I'm curious to know how this rides. The last time my Pike went back for a fix, my shop lent me a 650b 34 that I ran my 26" wheel in. I found that I noticed the "floppiness" of it, I'm guessing due to the increased offset? I wonder if running a 650b rim would alleviate that floppiness...
I will PM you when I have something meaningful to report, this place does not tolerate dentists' bikes and 650b. ;)