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Anyone running a "tiny" bike on the shore?

Oct. 16, 2020, 7:56 a.m.
Posts: 269
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

So I grew up riding rigid bikes. 

Like a frog in a frying pan my bike keeps getting bigger. I'm now on a 170/150mm 29er and honestly I'm just not sure it suits my riding style. I keep modifying hoping to help with it more and.... I dunno. 

I rode my buddy's 2018 devinci spartan yesterday and although it's a 170mm bike it's 650b and plenty shorter than my bike, certainly *felt* much more manageable. 

Having never ridden it before I was more comfortable and could rip corners and jump better than my own bike. 

I also really like hardtails so I often find myself questioning whether I should be on something a bit non-typical for the shore like a 5010 or a mojo 4. The challenge is that nobody really sells or demos bikes like that around here.

It's wierd becuase the "smaller" bike actually felt less sketchy as it felt less like a runaway train. 

I was even thinking about getting an old school transition scout and having the option to mullet it as an experiment. 

So who's riding a "small" bike on the shore as a primary set of wheels?

Oct. 16, 2020, 8:26 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Worth a read: https://nsmb.com/articles/personal-rides-andrews-custom-waltworks-v2/


 Last edited by: Vikb on Oct. 16, 2020, 10:01 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 16, 2020, 9 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I built up this bike for winter riding here on Vancouver Island. It's not "The Shore", but it is decently hard technical riding in sloppy conditions on natural trails. In the past my typical bikes would have been something like a 160mm/160mm FS bike, but I've been moving towards "smaller" bikes over the years. No regrets so far. No desire to get a big bike again.

Oct. 16, 2020, 9:11 a.m.
Posts: 599
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Titanium progressive 29" hardtail

I just put mine on the back burner after a really fun season on it exclusively. Titanium, 29" wheels, the right geometry and Cush Core are nigh unstoppable. For someone over 200lbs I don't see the short travel FS bike as a real option. I'll destroy that smaller shock and replace It with a coil and at that point you're back Into proper FS bike territory without the benefit of the extra travel. For me it's HT or 150mm or both but no short travel FS.

It's worth it as an experiment in developing skills, appreciating how precise you have to be on a hardtail to ride at customary speeds safely.

Worst case scenario it doesn't really take but you have a fun backup bike.


 Last edited by: craw on Oct. 16, 2020, 9:15 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Oct. 16, 2020, 5:19 p.m.
Posts: 269
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Oh don't get me wrong, I always keep a hardtail in the stable for sure. Have had several chromags and have a mullet Santa Cruz chameleon with an Angleset and biggass tires chilling in the garage.

I do love the hardtail but it can't replace a full suspension bike for me, I just don't have the fitness as much as anything. It's not much slower than my full suspension and there's not a lot of stuff I'll not ride on it. 

But, for something like Darkside laps or shuttles I am just destroyed by the end of the ride. When my big bike was down in the summer for a few weeks for some suspension stuff and I was riding my hardtail a few times a week including shuttling I was well and truly ready to get my full suspension back.

I tend to ride the hardtail 25% of the time in the summer and a little more often than that in the winter. 

But I guess that also reinforces my theory that for my type of riding and skill, maybe a sled of a bike is not really the answer. But you pretty much never see these bikes for sale around these parts and you can't help but think there's probably a reason. For example I can't think of when I ever saw a 5010 at steed or Dunbar, vs the sea of Bronson's and Hightowers.

Oct. 16, 2020, 8:12 p.m.
Posts: 659
Joined: May 11, 2018

I suspect we have pretty similar taste. I ran fully rigid until 2015. I sold the only 29er full suspension bike I have ever owned after 4 months. I have a carbon warden that I have run mullet 150/155 and normal with 170/155. I also have an evil insurgent that has seen every permutation of front end. These two bikes are totally different in ride feel than a similar 29er. For sure less top end speed/confidence but in tech, there is equally no comparison. The shorter wheelbase and ease to get on the back wheel and maneuver the bike makes for a totally different experience. I wouldn't do short travel 27.5 on the shore (like the 5010). They likely wouldn't be stiff enough and with the small wheels you can run a lot more shock and not lose the trail feel. 

Love the little wheels. Not necessarily little bikes though. 

Oct. 16, 2020, 8:25 p.m.
Posts: 116
Joined: Feb. 8, 2016

Tiny in what way? Reach, wheel size, travel? I'm considering downsizing from a medium Sight to a small next season to mix it up. Reach would be similar to my previous medium Range frame. I can do a lot of the same tech stuff I could on my old Range and the extra stability of a longer bike does come in handy, but I definitely can't throw it around quite as easily. Curious to swap back to a shorter bike and see how it plays with my riding style.

Oct. 16, 2020, 9:42 p.m.
Posts: 124
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I went from a 155/160 Warden to the 135/150 Fugitive LT, and never wish I had more travel.  I occasionally wish I was back on the smaller wheels, but 95% of the time I prefer the 29er.

Oct. 17, 2020, 7:07 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: Kenny

But I guess that also reinforces my theory that for my type of riding and skill, maybe a sled of a bike is not really the answer. But you pretty much never see these bikes for sale around these parts and you can't help but think there's probably a reason. For example I can't think of when I ever saw a 5010 at steed or Dunbar, vs the sea of Bronson's and Hightowers.

Yes that was my point that if folks are riding hardtails on challenging terrain riding a "smaller" bike [however you choose to define it: smaller wheels, less travel, etc...] is just a matter of deciding what your minimum needs are and working through the options in that niche. My recently departed FS bike was a Knolly Endorphin with 130mm rear travel and I rode that everywhere that I used to take my longer travel bikes. Sure I had to ride with more care, pick lines and maybe avoid a small % of features, but the tradeoff in capability was offset by the fun in working the bike through the tech. I'm on the wrong side of 50 now and I'm happy to trade overall speed for challenge/fun because that leads to fewer ER visits.

LBS are going to stock the most popular models. "Small" bikes are not popular for the masses on hard terrain, but that doesn't make them a bad choice as long as you are up for the trade off/challenge. Most people are overbiked. Heck most people are over-vehicled if you look at a typical MTB trailhead parking lot and count the number of 4x4s and then the number that actually get used for anything that really needs 4x4 and higher clearance. People/guys like to feel "burly" being overbiked or overtrucked ticks that box for a lot of people even if the result is making life less challenging and hence making them arguably less "burly" people.


 Last edited by: Vikb on Oct. 17, 2020, 7:10 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 17, 2020, 7:57 a.m.
Posts: 599
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: Kenny

But, for something like Darkside laps or shuttles I am just destroyed by the end of the ride. When my big bike was down in the summer for a few weeks for some suspension stuff and I was riding my hardtail a few times a week including shuttling I was well and truly ready to get my full suspension back.

I tend to ride the hardtail 25% of the time in the summer and a little more often than that in the winter. 

Agreed. I can do anything on my HT as my G1 but it takes its toll. I was happy to get back on FS. Riding at my desires speeds in relative comfort and safety Is pretty awesome. If I lived outside of the S2S corridor I'd get a less aggressive bike - the G1 is awesome here but overkill in just about any other place. I've always wanted a mid-travel bike but we don't really have the riding here for it. If I want to go on really long multi-mountain lockdown rides I'll take my hardtail.

Oct. 17, 2020, 8:03 a.m.
Posts: 236
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I ride both a 2019 Chromag Wideangle and 2020 Transition Scout on the Shore. They are both a blast.

Oct. 17, 2020, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 1621
Joined: April 25, 2003

I generally ride a 150/135mm bike over here on the South Island. Recently rode a 160mm e-bike and although the extra travel was kinda nice, I really missed a more active ride of a shorter (and lighter) bike. It was all a bit numb feeling. I started riding in the mid 90’s so have a LOT of time on rigid bikes and I think that is a big part of my preferences.  I think folks that have always ridden modern FS bikes often don’t miss the “connected” feel that is at the core of my comparisons. 

I also found that I really needed to rip, either by going super fast or taking gnar lines, in order to feel like I was doing anything. Put me at a risk level that I don’t like anymore. The littler bikes are fun at lower risk levels. Miata vs. S8

Recently built up a RSD Wildcat which, at 140/120 might be a bit short on travel for the shore but the geometry seems to allow for some aggressive riding, it’s just not plush.

Oct. 18, 2020, 9:36 a.m.
Posts: 103
Joined: April 26, 2004

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: Kenny

Most people are overbiked. Heck most people are over-vehicled if you look at a typical MTB trailhead parking lot and count the number of 4x4s and then the number that actually get used for anything that really needs 4x4 and higher clearance. People/guys like to feel "burly" being overbiked or overtrucked ticks that box for a lot of people even if the result is making life less challenging and hence making them arguably less "burly" people.

That's lol funny. 

I ride a 120/100 Element on the Shore, like lycra (often look like an elderly figure skater), and when driving typically hide my bike in a hatchback or small wagon.

I don't feel more burly though, I just try to flow through everything with more efficiency, less effort and less interruptions of momentum. So a lower travel, lighter bike works for me.

Oct. 18, 2020, 4:46 p.m.
Posts: 14643
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

the new bikes are just so good, bike components, bike geometry/design, bike tires, bike wheels got bigger, sure i'm overbiked but

I'm not gona go out and buy less bike now

bikes got better but I just got older so the most likely next mtn bike will be a dreaded E bike

Oct. 18, 2020, 5:31 p.m.
Posts: 723
Joined: March 15, 2013

My next bike is almost definitely going to be a shorter travel 29er. 

I wanted to do that for the current bike that I'm building but the deal was just too good, and general bike availability just too bad right now.

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