CrossCountry / XC with rear suspension

mrgeoff

Pedelecer
Mar 12, 2015
32
14
50
UK
Hi, had my Cube Ebike for 5 years now. Its a hardtail, I ride it 80% road, but I do like some off road when I find some trails.
I have always built or set my bikes up to be XC/Crosscoutry/Gravel, before these sayings even existed, and im struggling with how the rear suspension bikes are going, with super huge 29s, and even 27.5 bikes having super huge suspension, even fatter tyres etc.

In the non-ebike world, the high quality/pro XC bikes with rear suspension still has some slenderness, sharp handling and balance, but im not sure if Ebike world has got there yet? Or not that I can find now? Maybe 5 years ago?

So im looking for 27.5 rims, but without super fatties, on a more slender full suspension, but with smaller travel than a full "mountain" bike. It needs to be a quality piece of kit, built for crosscountry, rather than the budget end of a mountain bike range. If it costs 5k, so be it.
Head tube angle ideally in the 69-70 degree range is the key to sharper handling.

Does such a thing exist for 2020/2021?


Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Edward Elizabeth

Pedelecer
Aug 10, 2020
63
84
Central England
Sorry, I'm a little confused - cross country, or XC, is a racing discipline, and the requirements for an effective XC machine are rather at odds with a gravel bikes, where the emphasis is more on stability. You're saying you have always set up your Ferrari to behave like a Land Rover.

Head angle, or more correctly, rake, is but one small element when considering handling and to concentrate on that is misleading.

Rake, trail, offset and wheelbase are all equally important- indeed, the combination of those measurements is what defines a bikes behaviour.

Concentrating on rake alone will not bring you that which you seek. For example, a 69 degree head angle is meaningless if you're fighting a large trail measurement which brings greater stability, or a long wheelbase that contributes to a slower steering response - seeking a bike on the basis of head angle alone is simply meaningless, you may as well buy on the basis of speed stripes or racy looking red paint if that is the yardstick you're using.

Go back to the bikes you have set up in the past that meet your requirements, measure their characteristics, and try and learn about the various ratios of measurements work and which golden ratio hits your sweet spot. Only then can you start thinking about what ebike might meet this need. The relationship between these measurements is what is important, not any one measurement on its own.

Remember, even when you've done all that, something as simple as moving to a larger section tyre can affect trail and thus radically affect behaviour.
 
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peter.c

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 24, 2018
1,154
316
thurrock essex
The only way to get what you want is to build it, or throw extra money at it all the factory fs bikes are expensive for a high spec bike, but most have low end motor performance as standard.
Nearly all off the peg bikes will need some form modification to reach its full potential
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
862
234
EX38
Hi, had my Cube Ebike for 5 years now. Its a hardtail, I ride it 80% road, but I do like some off road when I find some trails.
I have always built or set my bikes up to be XC/Crosscoutry/Gravel, before these sayings even existed, and im struggling with how the rear suspension bikes are going, with super huge 29s, and even 27.5 bikes having super huge suspension, even fatter tyres etc.

In the non-ebike world, the high quality/pro XC bikes with rear suspension still has some slenderness, sharp handling and balance, but im not sure if Ebike world has got there yet? Or not that I can find now? Maybe 5 years ago?

So im looking for 27.5 rims, but without super fatties, on a more slender full suspension, but with smaller travel than a full "mountain" bike. It needs to be a quality piece of kit, built for crosscountry, rather than the budget end of a mountain bike range. If it costs 5k, so be it.
Head tube angle ideally in the 69-70 degree range is the key to sharper handling.

Does such a thing exist for 2020/2021?


Thanks!
Maybe something like this https://www.specialized.com/gb/en/turbo-levo-sl
 
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mrgeoff

Pedelecer
Mar 12, 2015
32
14
50
UK
Sorry, I'm a little confused - cross country, or XC, is a racing discipline, and the requirements for an effective XC machine are rather at odds with a gravel bikes, where the emp
Didnt know how to broach the question, so dumbed it down a lot ;-) great reply, so yes I do want mostly what I cant have, but we do need to recognize that most bikes are called by their discipline, although names change like fads, im sure a modern gravel bike is just a new take on a cyclocross? It was my assumption an XC or cross -country bike would be a full suspension trail bike, a trail bike like what we all rode in the early 90s with no suspension and called mountain bikes, before mountain bikes got too fat, too large wheels etc. I know stuff evolves, when the gap gets too big, the normal and mundane does come and fill the gap.

Anyway, I just dont want a huge 29 inch wheel thing, there are no "mountains" where I live, not really any hills, its just im getting old and I think a bit of rear suspension would be nice, along with the age assistance the motor gives!


Cheers!
 

Bobajob

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2019
286
127
Cornwall
Didnt know how to broach the question, so dumbed it down a lot ;-) great reply, so yes I do want mostly what I cant have, but we do need to recognize that most bikes are called by their discipline, although names change like fads, im sure a modern gravel bike is just a new take on a cyclocross? It was my assumption an XC or cross -country bike would be a full suspension trail bike, a trail bike like what we all rode in the early 90s with no suspension and called mountain bikes, before mountain bikes got too fat, too large wheels etc. I know stuff evolves, when the gap gets too big, the normal and mundane does come and fill the gap.

Anyway, I just dont want a huge 29 inch wheel thing, there are no "mountains" where I live, not really any hills, its just im getting old and I think a bit of rear suspension would be nice, along with the age assistance the motor gives!


Cheers!
rear suspension is great but you can flatten a hard tails bumpy rear end by a suspension seat post and a spring saddle.
I’ve done this to my haibike trekking and it’s transformed it’s off road capabilities now, this I add will be no good if you want to ride serious off trail.