Our man in Japan
Good question...either I am amazingly smooth or I just don't have the sensitivity that everyone else seems to whine about when it comes to small bump sensitivity on a dual suspension bike. For reference here is my current rice's build thread:I really like the idea of a Slopestyle bike, but the advantages seem so few over a Dirt Jump hardtail.
My Hardtail DJ with my forks dropped to 80mm is still a big bike to handle on BMX jumps, and any bigger jumps where it would be nice to have rear suspension to soften the landing, have enough brake bumps and tree roots to make a plusher bike seem more appropriate
Could you get small-medium bump compliance on one of these things and not lose that firm jumping platform that they are designed to have?
I'm running about 15% sag in the rear and 20% up front in 120mm. The bike is used for about 15-20km of commuting most days, skate park, street, dj, freeride trails, enduro trail, even am trail sometimes...
My local trails (glenrock lagoon in newcastle) are mostly hard packed clay pitted with brake bumps and ruts (because people can't ride), so there isn't a lot of small bumps by my reckoning. There is a few small (up to 1m drops) and jumps ranging up to about 5m or 6m and a set of poorly maintained table tops dirt jumps. Nothing particularly technical or hard core, but enough fun. I've ridden these trails for a long time on 100mm dj hard tails right through to 9 inches of freeride madness. The current pivot is my favourite bike of all torque there. The bike glides over this kind of stuff like I'm on a cloud, with the bonus of being small, light, and very responsive over jumps. When I feel inclined it is easy enough to ride the am/xc trail that runs through the place as well. There is also a 7km flat amd up hill ride to the trails, and 7km down hill and flat ride home.
I've taken it to Ourimbah and ridden the dh and gravity trails there a lot of times. The only spot there I have any concerns with is the rocky chute at the end of the top section, where you enter via a pallet ramp and exit via a step down onto long wooden ramp then have a brief straight stretch of sandy soil before the rocky winding mod section starts (I'm sure locals will understand). This is a stretch of narrow straight trail littered with bowling ball rocks and sharp edges lined by close trees. With only 120mm up front I'm a little concerned that the front could hook up easily and throw me. This hasn't happened yet, but I do ride it a bit slower than on my dh bike.
I guess I'm saying that I find the slope style bike to be more versatile than a hard tail and more comfortable, without the bull of a bigger bike. I've owned quite a few bikes over the years and a lot of different suspension designs. I also don't enjoy riding hardtails. After a few hours of chugging around on them, even just commuting, I find the vibrations shit me and give me a sore back.