I still have that new bike itch, might as well continue with that train of thought. Lately I’ve been obsessing on what I should do: build up a frame, upgrade my current bike or just go full store purchase to keep up with the new “standards.” To help me out, I’ve decided to make a list of things I have and like, things I’d like to have on my bike and what I really need.
Let’s get techy today…
What I currently have?
I have a Czech handmade aluminum full suspension frame, not the lightest but can take a beating. It has 150 mm rear travel with a single pivot McPherson strut. A linear system that’s lively, quick and hard to bottom out. It climbs amazingly well, sitting at 25-30% sag it moves +/-5% during climbs. 67º Head tube angle, 560 top tube length.
Fork: I have a Magura TS8 set to 150 mm. It has 32 mm stanchions with little to no flex due to the double arch. A light solid reliable fork, that I wish it had a little faster recovery.
Shock: a 216×63 Monarch RT. It’s nothing spectacular but works. It has had a couple of issues compressing and not returning.
Brakes: Magura MT5. These brakes are awesome, lots and lots of modulation but can also have a hard bite. These are definitely staying on whatever bike I end up with.
Dropper: I have a KS Supernatural 125 mm, reliable albeit a bit slow to go up. It would need replacing on a new 31.6 frame as it’s 30.9.
Wheelset: RaceFace Turbine 27.5’’ good set, I’ve only snapped 2 spokes in 3 years. Hubs are quiet and smooth (not a fan of loud hubs). However they are a bit narrow for modern tire standards and the hubs are not boost or boost compatible. So, they stay if I keep the bike or get a non boost frame.
Drive train is a mix of GX, XT Cassette and RaceFace crankset. All are good, non flashy, affordable, built to last components that still have life in them.
Lastly cockpit is a PRO FRS set, handlebar 750 mm and 50 mm stem; good, solid, affordable.
What I want?
I’d still like a small production model, material of choice is not really that big a deal. I really like small companies and unique bikes over material and buzz words.
I prefer riding 27.5 tires, but wouldn’t rule out a good 29 offer.
Front suspension travel, ideal 150-160 mm. This range covers my riding style and trails perfectly. I ride varied terrain from fire roads, natural trails to unkept single track and occasional downhill trails, 150 has been my choice and has worked perfect over 90% of the time. However, I have started racing a bit more and feel that bumping up to 160 can give me a small extra without sacrificing much on climbing.
Rear travel 140-150 mm. I’m not much of a jumper, so I see no point in getting longer rear travel. Having shorter travel helps with long climbs or pedal sections.
1×11 Is a must, currently I run 32 t front and 11-42t rear.
Slacker geometry is great, so 65º-67º headset would be ideal. Low bottom brackets are awesome when riding park and flow trails, but Mexico has a lot of natural rocky trails where a higher bottom bracket is actually better.
Top tube length 580-600 mm eye to eye. I’m not a tall guy so that fits me nicely, only Nicolai frames are longer at 620. I am seriously inclined to test them, but can’t afford them.
What I need?
I need a mountain bike that gets me to the top well and rides down really well. Full suspension at around 150 mm front and rear. A good suspension system that does not bob while climbing or jack when braking. I need a solid All Mountain bike I can take on fun rowdy trips, but can just as well handle a calm fire road day. With the occasional Enduro race thrown in the mix. Funny thing is, it describes my current bike just as much as a new bike. I guess we’re still itching and thinking!
What I don’t want is easier, no fat bikes, no e-bikes, no plus tires, no old 2×10 systems.