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It's funny, I hear and read this sentiment quite often. I guess the logic stream makes sense, you have less travel so it needs to be as dialed as possible.
In all of my experiences, regardless of what suspension design we're talking about, the longer travel a bike gets the trickier it is to set up in terms of balance. Balancing the front and rear suspension. Balancing good pedaling performance with excellent descending capabilities. Etc.
It's amazing how a 120mm bike, like the basic 1500 USD [**Hawk Hill**](https://nsmb.com/articles/min-maxing-budget-bikes-marin/) I tested in 2017, can pedal very well, be fun and poppy on the trail, and remain composed with one of the cheapest OE shocks on the market (most basic X-Fusion O2) but if you put that same shock on a 150mm+ travel bike it would either pedal like garbage or require so much anti-squat that it descends like a much shorter travel bike.
If you were to ride a couple of bikes back to back with similar suspension platforms/kinematics (again, any system) but with significantly different amounts of travel with the most basic RockShox Deluxe coil or air shocks (rebound only), I'm positive you'd come to the same conclusion. Lots of fun on the 120mm bike and you'd be wishing for a higher-end shock with tuneable low-speed compression on the longer travel rig.
I find the same to be true with forks as well. On a 150mm+ fork I'm playing with the damper, volume spacers, trying to find that sweet spot between ride height, bottom out, composure in steep terrain.
On my (yes, super-slack) 120mm travel bike I can run the fork quite linear, use all the travel, it doesn't bother me when it bottoms out, and it's much easier to balance with the rear suspension (which I also run very linear with less sag).
It's neat? I also think it would be a universal experience for folks doing A:B testing.
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