More thoughts on Long travel vs short travel on the Hollowpoint
Tried a timed loop to compare the short travel mode (3.75") to the Long travel mode (4.5") on my Iron Horse Hollowpoint.
I did a loop that had a little of everything. Some big ring flowing singletrack. Some single track climbing. Climbing through some small baby head rocks and then climbing through some bigger rocks, and a short steep, pretty technical downhill.
I rode at an even pace. Not time trial or race pace, just something that I could try and reproduce. I kept the shock unlocked and in the same damping position. SPV on the rear shock was set to the same on each setting
Short Travel mode:
Is set with the shock in the upper holes. This setting makes the bike feel tighter overall, and I think feels more balanced compared to the long setting. Sag was set to 20% of the 1.5" of travel of the shock.
The short travel mode feels tight, and fast, and seems to work better with my overall timing in technical situations. It climbed well everywhere and shined when climbing through the rock garden sections.
Long travel mode is set up with the shock in the lower holes:
Again sag was set to the 20% mark.
In the long travel mode, the bike feels looser in general and has more of a rearward weight bias. The shock moves more when pedaling, but it is not the kind of bob that takes away your energy, it feels like it works with your energy. So climbing in general felt very good and the movement of the shock felt beneficial.
I did have two major dabs when climbing through the rock garden sections.
It was due to the rear bouncing more and sucking down in the the troughs more than the short travel mode, and I just lost my timing and dabbed. I haven't ridden in this mode in some time, so I imagine if I'd had some more saddle time I'd feel better with it. Plus I was not going into them with a lot of existing momentum. Had I had some speed I don't think it would have been an issue.
Going down the technical downhill felt noticeably better in the long travel mode than the short.
Time:20:18 w/the two dabs that probably cost 15-20 seconds
So we are talking a 25second difference, and if I had just put a little more effort, or maybe had more saddle time I wouldn't have dabbed.
The long travel mode has more of 'fun factor' to it in terms of just rolling along. The only deficiency seems to be when climbing through these rock gardens and the increased suspension falling into the holes, and causing a delayed reaction in my pedaling and throwing me off a little.
I'm going to try increasing the SPV a little from 50 to 60 to see if that might tighten it up a little when climbing through the rocks. I wonder if quickening up the rebound would help too?
If the downhill was longer, I'd imagine I'd pick up a little more time in the long travel mode.
For now I think I'm going to keep it in the long travel mode. Brush mountain is just plain rough all over, so I think this mode will work better overall. I'm just not sure which is truly faster from a race perspective especially over longer races like the Rowdy Dawg. I guess I really need to do a longer ride more in the hour range to see a significant difference shows itself.
I upped the SPV pressure to 60, and it tightens up the feel some. I rode down the BEAST the other day:
And it was one of the best runs I've ever had. So I'm going to stick with the long travel mode more for the fun factor than anything else. The pedaling efficiency in the long travel mode is still so good that it isn't too much of an issue. And for terrain like Brush mountain it is probably the best overall setting.