Episode discussing the various styles of mountain bikes (Jonathan)

There was an episode where Jonathan laid out all the different styles of mountain bikes (Travel, fork angle, etc.) and which ones to use for what kind of riding. I can’t find it though–can you point me to the correct one?
Also, would make a great blog post to refer to in writing.


36 perhaps?

I’m listening to them all from the beginning and it was one of the last couple in my playlist:

• What is the difference between different types of mountain bikes?
• Which mountain bike to start out with


We also have Episode 57 where we talk about Mountain Bike Racing and Set up with Geoff Kabush:


On the topic of @Jonathan and MTB discussion there was mention of a simple bar attachment that can offer up some extra hand positions. Anyone recall what that product is? Thanks.

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They are called TOGS



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I love my TOGS, I have them on my XC race and fat bike

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I think that’s every episode. It seems that Jonathan is extremely passionate about suspension travel and head tube angles.

Just subscribe to the MTB podcast that Jonathan does. Much more in the weeds on Mtb than anything you’ll get on ACC.

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Accurate perception :wink: . Bike geometry is a relatively complex thing to understand, and there is a lot of misunderstanding out there on the topic. My goal is to help make people faster, and I regularly see people making bike choices that aren’t optimal for that goal.

Very Exaggerated Example 1
Bike choice for a roadie getting into MTB is strictly limited to the Epic Hardtail or the Epic Full-Suspension.

Clearly a silly exaggeration, but I see a lot of road cyclists only consider a bike with 0-100mm of travel because they are afraid of inefficiency or being branded a mountain bike bro.

Truth is, a rider with plenty of power to go fast but less technical skill may be safer/faster on a full lap with a little more travel and relaxed geo. I’m almost certain they would have more fun as well!

Modern suspension designs are crazy efficient, and I’m sure @larry or @Bryce could chime in on how efficient their long travel Evils are, considering how much travel they have. The new SB150 has 150mm of travel and it pedals better than the 100mm Giant Anthem I rode in 2014.

Very Exaggerated Example 2
I send way too hard for a 120mm trail bike.

I see a ton of people on a bike that has more travel/excessively relaxed geo than their abilities require for the terrain they regularly ride. It always surprises me how capable a short travel bike is in the hands of a skilled rider like Nate Hills

The good part about this one is that at least it keeps you safer when the trail gets rowdy. The bad part about it is they are missing out on how fun and efficient a short travel bike can be.

My brother is a good example of somebody who had a bike that was built for the gnarliest of circumstances, and while he was prepared for that moment, the majority of his riding was on regular trails with friends, and his 160mm travel monster truck of a bike made everything trail that wasn’t extremely steep and technical a miserable and tiring experience. He got a shorter travel bike, and while he has to go a bit slower in the super rowdy stuff, he enjoys riding so much more, and does more of it.

In the end, a bike is a bike, and whatever we can afford is awesome. If you are privileged enough to choose, then hopefully my strangely passionate ways can help make riding more fun and fast :wink:


Here’s a related post on mtb racing.

All I’ll say on this topic is that if you hop on a 160mm 29er built like a mini-DH bike that weighs ~36lbs expecting climbing performance that could be described with words like “efficiency,” you’d be as disappointed as I am anytime the trail points upward. :sweat_smile:

Horses for courses though, and your point still stands that most modern “longer travel” bikes are crazy efficient and surprisingly wield-y considering what they’re capable of on the way down. It definitely depends on your setup though! I completely agree that bikes around 120-140mm are the sweet spot for most riders getting into MTB or looking for a do-it-all rig. Something like the Stumpy/ST, Following, 429 Trail, Fuel EX, Hightower, or @Bryce’s Offering are all rad “1-bike quivers.” :wink:


I have yet to ride my Evil Offering (I’ll update you after tomorrow :laughing:), but my Scott Spark 29 is one of the most versatile and fun bikes I’ve ever owned. I have it set up as a 130mm front, 120mm rear and it weighs in around 25.5 lbs with Maxxis Minions.

I have competitively raced Pro Enduro Races on this bike, and with lighter tires installed I plan to race some of the Epic Rides 50 mile races on it in 2019. I regularly ride it on terrain that was 180mm+ DH bike territory just 5-10 years ago. The only things it can’t handle comfortably are 4+ foot flat drops which is reasonable in my opinion. It’s crazy how much range one bike can cover just by swapping out the tires :ok_hand:


Yep - these bikes are super versatile, and a great choice for someone getting into mountain biking. I have a Fuel Ex that I’ve ridden at Leadville, and also Porcupine Rim. Not the “ideal” bike for either, but certainly can have a great day on either type of trail with that one bike.

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