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  1. #1
    Super Moderator David Arthur's Avatar
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    The best 26in trail bike for UK riding?

    Now that our 'month of 29ers' is behind us, we're shifting our focus to 26in trail bikes, starting with an upcoming look at possibly the definitive bike in this category, the Orange Five.

    I want to know which bikes you think sum up the perfect UK trail bike. Let's have your nominations below...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    ASR-5. Lighter, and better handling than the 5.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    Define Trail 1st.
    Are we talking centres or proper ones ?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Neil Helks's Avatar
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    Can't a bike be good for both ?

    Define trail centre , they're not all the same .

    I had an EX8 which was pretty good at virtually everything , but there is little difference between any of the offerings from the big boys these days IMO .
    Last edited by Neil Helks; 07-03-12 at 12:17.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dirty Karlos's Avatar
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    You're splitting hairs. Anyway it's too subjective, all my bikes have been good, just in different ways.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    All trail centes are the same, manufactured. You know excactly wht to expect.
    Its like skiing on and off piste.

    You know that for a given grade there will be no suprises, no neeed to use other skills.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dirty Karlos's Avatar
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    You've not ridden Wolftrax at Laggan then?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    No but I guess it will be like Stainburn. Blast down the trail and you soon realise how hard the ground is.
    Reds a red is a red pretty much anywhere else. Obstacles similiar shapes and sizes drop offs you aren't going to find anything you can't roll.

  9. #9
    always thought a Cotic soul was pretty much a perfect trail hardtail,
    As for MTB, Rotwild X2, but then i would say that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sniper's Avatar
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    I think bikes are like cars these days...the more you pay the better the quality, regardless of brand they all offer similar experiences, the differences can only be tiny, seeing as they all use the same equipment such as shocks and gears.

    Am I wrong?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
    I think bikes are like cars these days...the more you pay the better the quality, regardless of brand they all offer similar experiences, the differences can only be tiny, seeing as they all use the same equipment such as shocks and gears.

    Am I wrong?
    Nope totally correct, a lot is down to setup and tyre choice, there really isn't a lot in any of them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member The BIG GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    a lot is down to setup and tyre choice, there really isn't a lot in any of them.
    I agree with DT!!

    Remember March 8th, 2012, people.

    Right, now just to agree with JG and Mike S on something and that's 2012 done...


  13. #13
    Senior Member Stephanos Wephanos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Nope totally correct, a lot is down to setup and tyre choice, there really isn't a lot in any of them.
    I agree, find a geometry that suits you and you're good to go, it's the rider not the bike.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    It's too subjective a question.

    For instance, I hated the 5 when I tested it and have yet to find a FS from Santa Cruz that I like yet they're some of the most popular 'trail' bikes out there.

    Local trails also vary greatly, even trail centres. DM is quite wrong in that the 'red' routes between (say) Thetford or Bedgebury are far less technical than (say) Dalby or CYB. The former rely on making trails twisty & tight using what little elevation they have for shorter, sharper climbs & descents whereas the latter give you a long drag of a climb then use the natural height and curvature of the land to make mode flowing trails.

    Personally, I've not needed more than 100mm of travel in the last 3 years despite having ridden all over the UK. I know I'm a mincer but doesn't that just prove my point - it's not about the bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member TimmyA's Avatar
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    Tough crowd! I think we all know a trail bike is something with more travel, weight and comfort than an XC race bike, but not one of the longer travel niche machines. Trails can be at a centre or not, round a field or over a real mountain.

    What's the best? Dunno, but Neil's close. I'd say a 120ish full susser, so anything between a Nerve XC at 1300 to all sorts of carbon stuff at twice that price for the frame alone.

    Orange 5 has developed into something that's too much travel and too slack for a "trail bike". Everything in my very humble opinion of course

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    Nobby 2nd post asks for definition of "Trail" as for saying southern Reds are different maybe so, I'd still just set off down it having no worries as to what was coming up.
    So a 29er hardtail maybe the answer, or a Horst linked 100mm FS and as already mentioned the correct tyres for the conditions.
    For Scotish natural Dales or Lakes I'd have 3 totaly different bikes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    Maybe DM but I know folk who've headed off to CYB with their only previous trail centre experience being Bedgebury. By the time they'd got to the end of the first section of 'The Beast' they gave up & went & rode some of the other 'family' trails. That said, I think it's now been reclassified as a "black" route.

    I still remember my first Afan trip. Rode Penhydd & thought it was a breeze so expected the same of White's Level - how wrong I was. In fact the 4 reds at Afan are all quite different which is why it works so well down there.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    "What's the best? Dunno, but Neil's close. I'd say a 120ish full susser, so anything between a Nerve XC at 1300 to all sorts of carbon stuff at twice that price for the frame alone."

    Like an ASR-5 with an F120 upfront ?

    It was great yesterday in the soft to intermediate conditions, but I was yearning for my new bike (not built yet) as I reckon a 100mm HT is far better in the softer stuff as the FS rear sometimes drags in the gloop - but then I do run my rear end quite soft.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    I've been to Afan, seem to remember a lot of climbing so a good climbing bike with a triadd shock locked out.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dirty Karlos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalesman View Post
    For Scotish natural Dales or Lakes I'd have 3 totaly different bikes.
    But then that's your choice, I used to have three bikes as you fall into the trap of thinking you need them. Having ridden all those places a hell of a lot, I now 'get by' with a 100mm hardtail. It does the job perfectly well, rocky descents will be slower but there's obviously a certain finesse needed when riding a hardtail over such terrain and that brings with it enormous satisfaction.

    So what I'm saying is, Yeti Arc is the best trail bike, lightweight, racey but slack enough for the techy stuff. ;-)

    I'd agree that some Northern (Scottish) graded trails are tougher than their southern counterparts too. For example Glentress blue way more scary for a beginner than Dalby blue, which is essentially a lap of the forest by fireroad!

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