Colorado’s Guerrilla Gravity has introduced a new long travel 29er option dubbed The Smash. The frame has 140mm of travel, can accept up to a 160mm fork, and has room for 29×2.5 tires.
When designing The Smash Guerrilla Gravity says there was a concerted effort to avoid common compromises found on long travel 29erS, namely long chainstays, excessively tall BB heights, and slack actual seat tube angles. To accomplish this, travel was set to 140mm and efforts were focused on tuning the kinematics, instead of increasing travel. Compared to their other models, The Smash’s leverage curve is tuned to be softer off the top, where most of the smashing occurs, and then have more ramp up for hard hits.
It’s also notable that after riding and testing various 29er setups and comparing them to their 27.5 counterparts, Guerrilla Gravity believes that a 29er performs as if it has 10mm of additional travel versus 27.5 wheels. This is due to the larger wheels’ ability to smooth out the trail by reducing vertical accelerations, hence allowing the rider to carry additional speed.
The Smash utilizes the same steep actual seat tube angle geometry found on the company’s other models. It’s important to note that the actual seat tube angle, as effective seat tube angles can be misleading. A steep actual seat tube angle allows for an upright, efficient climbing position at any saddle height.
As with all Guerrilla Gravity bikes, The Smash was designed with versatility in mind. Riders can choose between Crush Mode and Plush Mode to dial in the suspension platform that’s ideal for their local terrain. Crush Mode has a more supportive mid-stroke for flow trails and long trail rides, while Plush Mode is softest off the top, making it better for plowing into rock gardens.
Riders can also choose between an air shock and coil shock. Designing a platform that works well with a coil shock was a priority given the bike’s intended use: smashing whatever’s in front of you. As a general guideline, Guerrilla Gravity recommends running an air shock for a lighter weight trail setup and for those that don’t have exceptionally rocky or loose terrain, while a coil shock is ideal for those that prioritize small bump compliance and traction over weight.
While pedaling will be most efficient with an air shock in Crush Mode, The Smash is designed to impress with its climbing ability in either mode and either shock, even without the aid of a climb aid on the shock. This is due to the refined kinematics and efficient geometry designed into the frame, says Guerrilla Gravity.
Taking inspiration from the Megatrail, The Smash uses the Guerrilla Gravity custom tubeset. It also includes the frame storage system to carry a water bottle and flat-change supplies with the NUTS bracket (Necessities Under The Saddle). The team at GG are big fans of reducing the need for a backpack on the average ride and frame storage goes a long way to making that happen.
The Smash, like all of their frames, is designed and manufactured in-house at their Denver, Colorado facility. This holistic structure allows them to maintain quality control, have a short and efficient supply chain, and offer riders extensive customization options.
FAQ with Guerrilla Gravity
What sort of rider is The Smash for?
It’s for the rider who wants a 29er they can take on anything from epic big mountain rides to days in the bike park to your rock-strewn after work lap.
How did you decide on 140 mm of travel?
For a 29er trail bike, going beyond 140mm creates geometry compromises, namely long chainstays, excessively tall BB heights, and slack seat tube angles. By focusing on the quality over the quantity of travel we’re able to optimize geometry for the most well-rounded package possible for its intended uses.
By really analyzing how the bikes use their travel and making fine tune adjustments to the leverage curve, it’s possible to have a slightly shorter travel bike that rides like a longer travel bike downhill, but is going to have a noticeable pedaling advantage uphill. With “gravity” as part of our name, or what we describe as the fun part of mountain biking, we obviously prefer to go downhill. But any help we can get on the climbs here in the high country of Colorado is appreciated. Plus, 29er wheels smooth out rocky trails to the tune of approximately 10mm of travel due to the larger diameter that reduces vertical accelerations when you run over a rock and rides higher over holes in the trail.
What’s the difference between Plush Mode and Crush Mode?
Plush Mode and Crush Mode allows riders to adjust the bike between two different leverage curves, tuning the ride characteristics to their local terrain. Crush Mode is more poppy and supportive, while Plush Mode is smoother in the rough.
How does this new bike fit into your current bike lineup?
The goal was to create the 29er Megatrail in regards to ride characteristics, more so than a longer travel Trail Pistol, which has a suspension platform that is very supportive and poppy. This is ideal for trails that are more on the flowy, less-rocky end of the spectrum. The Smash is softer off the top and through the mid-stroke, yet has more bottom out protection towards the end of its stroke. The Smash will be the ideal bike for riders that have relentlessly rocky and high speed terrain.
We really scrutinized how the suspension would feel compared to the Trail Pistol and Megatrail throughout the travel, making minute changes to achieve the goals. From there, the kinematics were fine tuned to allow a similar amount of sag at the rear wheel as the Megatrail, giving a rock gobbling feel, and enough support mid-stroke and at bottom out for big days in the saddle and sending it in the bike park.
You take a different approach to seat tube angle. Can you explain a bit more about it?
Steep seat tube angles are all the rage right now, but most companies are only providing effective seat tube angles and not the actual angle. The problem with effective numbers is that they are measured at the height of the top of the head tube and are only valid for one point in space. That point is usually closer to the saddle height used during descending than climbing, and hence, by itself, does not tell the full story. Typically, the steep effective angles use a slack actual angle with significant offset in front of the BB. This can mean even with a steep effective seat tube angle, when the saddle is at climbing height, it is still too far behind the BB. Then, on rolling terrain, lowering the saddle an inch or two makes for a noticeable change in cockpit length.
In contrast, GG bikes have steep actual seat tube angles, which puts the saddle in an efficient upright position throughout a wide range of saddle heights. Additionally, on rolling terrain, the cockpit length has minimal change as the post is lowered. Back-to-back tests have shown that this geometry is 10% faster on climbs compared to their previous geometry, which used a 71o actual seat tube angle.
Build kits feature components from SRAM, Shimano, RockShox, Race Face, e13, DT Swiss, Industry Nine, SR Suntour, MRP, and Maxxis. Frames and build kits are customizable: riders can choose their fork, shock, control components, brakeset, drivetrain, wheelset, and tires for each model. Frameset: $2095. Ride 2 build: $3295. Ride 1 build: $4295
Race build: $5295.
For more info visit RideGG.com .