4X/DS bike for trail riding?

Hi Lee,

I’ve been looking at different four cross/slalom type bikes that can cross over and be used for general singletrack riding. Given your experience with Specialized, how do think the SX (4.2″ travel) would work out?


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Me gettin’ some Santa Cruz love, February 2005.

Hey Jason,

I’ve ridden my Specialized SX on trail — and it RIPS!!!!!!!

– Run a small (32-34t) front ring.

– Use a chain guide. The Gamuts work well for me.

– If you do a lot of trail riding, run a standard MTB cassette. 11-32 or 11-34. With a 1:1 ratio you can climb really well. Any steeper than that — just hike!

– Run a short cage rear derailleur, for less chain slap than a medium or long cage. I love X.0 because it doesn’t hit the stay (BTW, I pay for all my SRAM stuff).

– You’ll need a really long seat post for trail and a really short one for 4X/DS/DJ. A Maverick Speedball would be sweet as the long one: You enjoy full XC height on the climbs, then you instantly drop the seat 3 inches for ripping DH action.

After all that, you can run a low seat and rule a 4X or DS. Pretty sweet!


— Lee

Lars Thompsen, jefe of Trail Head Cyclery gets some too. This was on a two-hour XC loop.
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