Recommendations for a fun enduro bike?

motas

Likes Bikes
Hey guys,

Been riding a (borrowed) Kona Process for a while, but jumped back on my hardtail the other day and realised just how "dead" the Kona feels. Really takes the fun out of some of the tracks.

I'm looking for a new enduro bike though, so I'm hoping to find something that can handle the DH tracks but still has the playfulness of a hardtail. I'm only ~60kg so don't really need anything heavy duty.

Any recommendations? Budget is around $4k.

Heard good things about the Rocky Mountain Altitude. I'm thinking a 27.5 mid/long travel (150ish) bike with fairly high anti squat might fit the bill, but not really experienced enough to be judging that for sure.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Oddjob

Wheel size expert
Banshee Rune or Spitfire is going to be one of the cheaper options with a really stiff rear end and lots of anti-squat. Other options include the Pivot or Santa Cruz bikes but they are exy.

Four bar/faux bar bikes tend to be more squishy but there are exceptions like the Orbea Rallon.

A good resource is http://linkagedesign.blogspot.com



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motas

Likes Bikes
Too big for me! Need a medium.

Banshee Rune or Spitfire is going to be one of the cheaper options with a really stiff rear end and lots of anti-squat. Other options include the Pivot or Santa Cruz bikes but they are exy.

Four bar/faux bar bikes tend to be more squishy but there are exceptions like the Orbea Rallon.

A good resource is http://linkagedesign.blogspot.com



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I'd rather wait and spend more on the right bike, so budget is fairly flexible. I'll check the Rune and Spitfire out. What kind of suspension should I be looking for if not a 4-bar? I'm reasonably across suspension geometry from cars but not so knowledgeable on bikes yet. Am I right in thinking the anti squat is what's going to make the difference for me?

Cheers guys.
 

Ultra Lord

Beanie Fitment Specialist
Banshee Rune or Spitfire is going to be one of the cheaper options with a really stiff rear end and lots of anti-squat. Other options include the Pivot or Santa Cruz bikes but they are exy.

Four bar/faux bar bikes tend to be more squishy but there are exceptions like the Orbea Rallon.

A good resource is http://linkagedesign.blogspot.com



Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
Spitty’s not all that poppy though. It pedals well but there are better bikes for jumping around on.

@motas anti squat will try to extend the shock when you pedal. Unless you’re pedalling off up ramps it isn’t gonna make it better to hyuck. It’d mostly come down to shock tune and how hard the leverage curve ramps up. You don’t want to have to push down super hard and lose all your input to squish

Check out Yt jeffsy, anything transition (exxy unless you find a second hand jobbie, i think they have patrols on runout froma few years ago?).
 
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motas

Likes Bikes
Spitty’s not all that poppy though. It pedals well but there are better bikes for jumping around on.

@motas anti squat will try to extend the shock when you pedal. Unless you’re pedalling off up ramps it isn’t gonna make it better to hyuck. It’d mostly come down to shock tune and how hard the leverage curve ramps up. You don’t want to have to push down and lose all your input.

Check out Yt jeffsy, anything transition (exxy unless you find a second hand jobbie, i think they have patrols on runout froma few years ago?).
Love the look of the YT's, shame they are always out of stock. I'll read up on some reviews on the Jeffsy, I was more looking at the Capra but think that might be too much bike for me.

I think there's two issues with the squishy Kona suspension, the first is it's pretty useless putting in cranks while in a high gear, the other being its not very poppy off smaller features. Makes anything but a downhill track boring. All the reviews focus on pedaling uphill, which it does fine, but I'm starting to think pedaling downhill is just as important. Although in saying that I still need a bike that isn't out of its depth on downhill tracks.

I understand the concept of anti-squat from automotive, although it seems anti-squat comes from the chain, rather than the suspension arms.

For the "huckability" I am looking for a progressive leverage curve which makes the suspension stiffer more quickly? Still trying to get my head around how the leverage curves relate to how a bike feels.

Thanks!
 

creaky

The obviative
Have you tried a bit more air pressure in the shock/fork and/or a bit less rebound damping?

Are the trails that you are riding not gnarly enough to be fun on the Process (153?) but more ‘on the edge’ with the hardtail?
 

motas

Likes Bikes
DMR Bolt Long sounds like it'd do the job.
Looks interesting. I love the look of the Swarf Cycles FS frames but they cost a small fortune just for the frame, plus I'm not to sure on the 29ers.
Have you tried a bit more air pressure in the shock/fork and/or a bit less rebound damping?

Are the trails that you are riding not gnarly enough to be fun on the Process (153?) but more ‘on the edge’ with the hardtail?
I honestly haven't fiddled with the shocks much. I borrowed it to do a couple of (amateur) downhill races and didn't want to stray too far during practice. I'm hoping to get some time on the bike over the weekend so I'll have a bit more of a fiddle with pressure and rebound. I should probably give it back one day soon :rolleyes:

The problem I have with the hardtail is the smaller obstacles, roots and rocks and things, which just take all my speed away and make the big features like jumps really difficult, plus I'm donating my hardtail to my partner. A lot of the tracks I ride are great on the Kona, but I just feel like I'd be a bit faster and have a lot more fun with something a bit more poppy and easier to crank in the flatter spots. While I'm not a DH racer and wouldn't hit anything too gnarly, I am getting better and don't want the bike to limit me either, and I am definitely much more keen on the descents than climbing, I do shuttle days reasonably frequently too.

To be honest I'm not sure that what I'm looking for truly exists, but if I'm spending $4-5k I'd like to get as close as I can. I am an engineer and a bit of a perfectionist, so I don't mind getting into the suspension details and understanding what is going on, but I'm not overly familiar with mountain bike suspension kinematics just yet.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
For reference I'm in Vic. Ride Youies, Black Hill, love Bright when I can get there etc. Mainly stick to the black diamond or the easy end of double blacks. Also do Lysterfield and Buxton and things like that from time to time with my partner.
 

Ultra Lord

Beanie Fitment Specialist
@motas
Yup. You want it to ramp up real hard.

Play with the kona’s shock and fork though. Can you get volume reducers for the shock +fork? What sag are you running? A quick peruse through a few reviews tout the kona’s manoeuvrability and keenness to bounce off stuff.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
I haven't got a clue what the shocks are set at. Just got them both rebuilt at the local shop and he set them to his best guess. Is there a sag % you guys would recommend? I should probably do some reading on shock setup.

I really should give the Kona back at some point soon, so a new bike is on the cards regardless but another Kona could definitely be an option.

Thanks for all the help though I really appreciate it. Unfortunately online reviews seem to say the same positive things about almost every bike.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
@motas
Yup. You want it to ramp up real hard.

Play with the kona’s shock and fork though. Can you get volume reducers for the shock +fork? What sag are you running? A quick peruse through a few reviews tout the kona’s manoeuvrability and keenness to bounce off stuff.
Also, could you satisfy my interest. Why would a highly progressive suspension feel firmer and be more playful? So a progressive suspension would be softer at the top of the stroke and firmer towards the end, wouldn't that encourage more pedal bob and soft feeling suspension on small things?
 

Ultra Lord

Beanie Fitment Specialist
Rear shock at 30%, fork 20% and see how that goes. You could have it set up too soft. Play with the rebound after changing sag and going for a run. I reccomend taking a shock pump with you on a ride and testing different pressures. The kona could be amazing and just what you want, but it’s set up too soft.

Also, could you satisfy my interest. Why would a highly progressive suspension feel firmer and be more playful? So a progressive suspension would be softer at the top of the stroke and firmer towards the end, wouldn't that encourage more pedal bob and soft feeling suspension on small things?
Progressive doesn’t necessarily mean soft off the top. Spring rate and dampening will have an effect on that too.
It feels more playful and firmer because when you compress the suspension to bounce of something, you don’t need to push the bike through all of it’s travel to get to the point that will support you so you can jump. It feels like you reach a little platform.

For instance, my transition scout is easier to jump than my banshee spitfire, partly due to to it’s linear to progressive leverage ratio compared with my banshee spitfires progressive to linear (the leverage ratios change from initial travel to bottom out on both bikes). Simply put, I have to compress the spitty alot more than the scout. More than the 15mm difference in rear travel.

I think you might’ve jumped the gun abit here first though, coming off a hardtail onto an enduro bike is gonna feel off. Get the shocks set up for you. A 5% difference in sag changes how a bike feels a fair bit.
 

LPG

Likes Dirt
Are you compressing the suspension by pushing down with your legs prior to a jump or bump you are using to pop off? This is something you wouldn't be doing on a hardtail. Doing this was a big difference to me. I just got my first proper FS a couple months ago and getting this right makes a huge difference as you spring into the lip instead of letting the suspension suck it up.
 

tkdbboy

Likes Dirt
Some good bang for your buck in these:
YT Jeffsy and Canyon Spectral
or go a little bigger with Commencal Clash, YT Capra or Canyon Torque (All of these pedal well for a 'big' bike)
If you're open to 29er then the Commencal Meta TR29 and AM29 are options too.

As you mentioned, the YT's are usually sold out and can be quite delayed. Plus I'm pretty sure their closest office is in NZ whereas the other two are in Vic (Canyon) and I think Commencal recently made an office in Sydney?
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Rear shock at 30%, fork 20% and see how that goes. You could have it set up too soft. Play with the rebound after changing sag and going for a run. I reccomend taking a shock pump with you on a ride and testing different pressures. The kona could be amazing and just what you want, but it’s set up too soft.


Progressive doesn’t necessarily mean soft off the top. Spring rate and dampening will have an effect on that too.
It feels more playful and firmer because when you compress the suspension to bounce of something, you don’t need to push the bike through all of it’s travel to get to the point that will support you so you can jump. It feels like you reach a little platform.

For instance, my transition scout is easier to jump than my banshee spitfire, partly due to to it’s linear to progressive leverage ratio compared with my banshee spitfires progressive to linear (the leverage ratios change from initial travel to bottom out on both bikes). Simply put, I have to compress the spitty alot more than the scout. More than the 15mm difference in rear travel.

I think you might’ve jumped the gun abit here first though, coming off a hardtail onto an enduro bike is gonna feel off. Get the shocks set up for you. A 5% difference in sag changes how a bike feels a fair bit.
Thanks, I'll dial in my sag tomorrow morning and give it a go and report back. I should have said a progressive wheel rate rather than leverage rate though.

If I owned the Kona I wouldn't be replacing it, but I need to get my own enduro bike anyway so I thought I might try to find something which suits my riding just a little better. By no means am I saying the Kona is a bad bike!
Are you compressing the suspension by pushing down with your legs prior to a jump or bump you are using to pop off? This is something you wouldn't be doing on a hardtail. Doing this was a big difference to me. I just got my first proper FS a couple months ago and getting this right makes a huge difference as you spring into the lip instead of letting the suspension suck it up.
The Kona jumps great, no problems there. I may be describing the issue wrong, it's more on the slightly flatter bits of trails and parts where you want to pump and hop over things, everything just feels muted and less direct. I want something that feels a bit more like a sports car than something built for comfort. Over the rock gardens and jumps it's great.
Some good bang for your buck in these:
YT Jeffsy and Canyon Spectral
or go a little bigger with Commencal Clash, YT Capra or Canyon Torque (All of these pedal well for a 'big' bike)
If you're open to 29er then the Commencal Meta TR29 and AM29 are options too.

As you mentioned, the YT's are usually sold out and can be quite delayed. Plus I'm pretty sure their closest office is in NZ whereas the other two are in Vic (Canyon) and I think Commencal recently made an office in Sydney?
I'm certainly open to 29ers, my only concern is being a bit shorter and lighter than most, the ones I've ridden feel quiet bulky, but I've only ridden 2 or 3 briefly. I'd be interested to try a mullet bike though.

I'm liking the look of the YT Jeffsy, but I'll check out the others as well.

Thanks guys!
 
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