Recommended minimum MTB suspension Travel (Trail & Enduro)

Looking to purchase a bike that would cover both Trail & Enduro. What would be the minimum front & rear travel recommended to cover both. Been looking at the YT Jeffsy. Got a budget of $2,500 so any other recommendations would be appreciated.

I’m on 160 front (fox36) and 140 DW link rear. 2.5WT tires.

It’s a blast for everyday trail riding and plenty for my level of enduro race skills. Wouldn’t want to line up for an XC race on this bike, but tons of fun for most everything else. Also bullet proof for regular riding which I generally prefer vs faster, lighter, more fragile.

Where do you live and plan to ride the most?

To answer your question directly though, 150mm travel up front would be my choice if I had to choose one bike with no intentions of XC racing or epic rides and leaning more towards “enduro” and occasional bike park days. With the slacker front ends these days, 160mm would be fine too. For the rear travel you can usually get by with a little less.

Consider where you do most of your riding. If in the west or in the mountains with easy access to tech terrain, definitely leans towards a little more travel. Live in the midwest but plan to travel to places with more hills on occasion, then lean towards a little less travel. I usually ride Santa Cruz, so I would choose a Bronson if I lived in a techy area or a 5010 or Hightower if I lived with less tech around.

The Jeffsy is a good choice, IMO, if you are going to frequent enduro type rides. A lot of bang for your buck with the direct-to-consumer brand. A good friend of mine, who lives in SoCal, rides the higher end version and likes it a lot. I think it covers the range of trail bike to a downhill park bike (easily handles black-rated trails). It could start to be a bit of a drag on long trail days as it would easily be too much bike for more XC trails, but it is all a trade off, and things like a tire change could help a lot for truly long days.

If you think you might do endurance rides or XC races, then it gets hard to do it all with a single bike. I currently have a 150mm travel bike (older high-end 26" that I want to replace) and a 120mm 29er, to cover all of my riding. If you forced me to get one to do it all “good enough” (including participating in XC events) then a modern 130mm 29er with two wheel/tire combos would be my choice.

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I started to make a much longer response to this :joy: I really like Mountain bikes lol.
I ride a 150/130 mm travel bike with 27.5 wheels and I think that combo sits right in the middle of the Trail/ Enduro spectrum. It can take the hard hits, pedal back up and pop off rocks and roots when I want to get playful.
@blitz134 is right, there are bikes in every configuration built to suit many different needs. You just have to decide which blend will fit your needs the best.

Another vote for the 130mm 29er trail bike. I’m on a fuel ex8. It pedals great and rips downhill. I love the downhill, but I also have done a few xc races. It’s a bit on the heavy side for xc, but it’s ok. And it goes downhill faster on it than anyone in my category.

It shreds on flow and jump trails, it’s great in tech, but does get very bumpy in rock gardens.

If you want a do it all bike, 130mm is where it’s at.
But If you definately have no interest in xc and only want to ride gravity then I’d go something bigger, I’ve ridden a trek remedy around mystic MTB park and it ripped, it pedalled almost as well uphill, definately not a problem there. But much more fun going downhill, 150mm of travel is so forgiving.

Couple of Qs:

Where do you live/ride? How are the trails? Do you travel a lot to bike places?

Do you have any other MTBs?

Do you ever plan on doing any racing with it? If so, what type?

Alu versions of the Orbea Occam or Canyon Neuron would be worth looking at…

Important note, the new 2020 Trek Fuel EX changed. It is now more Enduro focused with the long and slack trend, comes with a 140mm Fox 36 and is heavier as a result. Its not really the same poppy and snappy trail bike of old.

In some ways, it may be better for the OP goal than it used to be. Either way, just know it is a different bike now than the prior years.

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SC Highball is 150/140, around your price point.

130-150 rear, 140-160 front. The trails you ride will determine if you chose on the higher vs lower end of this range.

Lots of bikes in this range. Your budget will likely rule out some (eg Yeti SB130). If you’re looking to buy new, check out the Canyon Spectral.

Thanks for pointing that out. The Fuel EX was on my short list and now I am not sure about it. I ride the relatively punchy, rooty trails of Southeast Michigan and am tired of my hardtail. I am looking for an Aluminum 29er with full suspension and on paper the Fuel EX 5 was looking really good.

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The Jeffsy is the best bang for your buck. I was going to buy the 29 version and they were out. My friend who works for Rocky Mountain had a 2018 Altitude sitting around in pretty flawless shape with the MRP Ribbon fork. My lord. This thing is a blast. From DH days at Winter Park to long back country days; I do not regret it. I do have an XC bike FWIW.

In a perfect world, I’d get a downcountry bike - Something 140’ish for everyday trail riding and save the Altitude for shuttle laps and dh days

Take a look at the Canyon Neuron. 130mm front and rear, a very similar bike to the old Fuel. Also, great deals on the 2019 models now that the 2020 model is being released.

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Yeah, I’m not overly pleased with Trek’s 2020 offerings.

Supercaliber is too much of a full and not enough hardtail (I like the Procaliber better and got a 2019 after seeing this)

Top Fuel is now a blended XC/Trail bike that is quite good really (but I already had a 2017 version that is the pure XC fully).

Fuel EX is now a Heavy Hitter Trail bike that flirts with Enduro (I got the 2019 EX 9.9 closeout since I wanted more of an all-around bike and don’t want the heavier build and lazier steering).

I just think Trek shifted the entire line up a half-step in the “burly scale” and kinda ruined what they had originally.

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I’ve looked at the Neuron - just wish I could ride one.

Unfortunate. Many of us live in non-burly areas and still like to MTB…

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Canyon has a return policy … course you won’t be able to do much more than ride around in a parking lot.

This is a great deal for top of the line spec right now: