Reply To: Short Travel 29er – Heavy XC/Light Trail Advice?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Short Travel 29er – Heavy XC/Light Trail Advice? Reply To: Short Travel 29er – Heavy XC/Light Trail Advice?


Hey all,


In my experience a few things are true

  1. Every bike change is in some ways a concession.
  2. What matters most is your trails and your riding style in determining the best type of bike for you.
  3. You still need a bike that fits your body.

you describe the geometry changes fairly well. However describing those changes doesn’t necessarily make them bad changes. In general, the slacker and longer approach creates a more balanced platform for climbing and descending. However you are correct that if you go too big or too slack, especially for your trails or body type, you’ll have a less maneuverable bike. It will take more effort at times to weight the front wheel or to handle a tight technical turn. I recommend Lee McCormack’s stuff on bike sizing as he focuses on bike handling.

That being said, not everyone needs the newest geo for their riding style or trails. Stuff like the Neuron can provide a comfortable and familiar platform for many.

@knurrli I learned a lot from this discussion too. I think the most helpful thing is to determine the range of bike trails you’ll ride before picking the bike. The Spectral 29 looks like a great bike with great geo, but it’s more of an all mountain bike. If you are more concerned with comfortable climbing and having a lot of bike on the way down for larger features, it’d be nice. But it’s really different than a short travel bike. If you are looking to do longer rides, or fast XC style laps, the extra travel and weight will affect you in the long run. For me, I ruled that out. I didn’t want extra bike on my 4th 8-10% climb of the day 🙂 But if I was getting a bigger bike, the Spectral would be on the list.

The epic Evo has handled all the downs and tech effectively (Moab, bike parks, etc.) and been a fast and efficient bike for bigger or faster rides (XC race, etc.). That’s the range that worked for me.