Thanks Si, always good to hear the expert view, I can now knock that idea on the head
Will all your bikes be mtb's, I dont actually need another mtb, I'm thinking a relaxed geometry rugged tourer but with disc brakes is more me. An all rounder for less extreme offroad stuff.
Whats your view on suspension. Is it really needed or can relaxed geometry such as the old clunkers allied to complient tubes make a big enough difference. How complient are modern tubesets ?
Ha, don't know about being an expert! It's very early days and I'm having to learn a new craft. Ask me again in 20 years and I might have a better idea.
Suspension forks? I think its a good idea to be flexible. Building around a fork is all important- you can then choose suspension or a corrected length rigid fork on the same bike depending on where you are going. The Cotic Soul is a great example of this kind of thinking. Its great with a 100mm fork for general trail use, awesome with a 140mm for big stuff but still compliant with a rigid fork for less challenging stuff. That said I rode rigid over the Blue Man on Saturday which is the toughest trail I have ridden in 25 years.
It is difficult to make a bike as good as that, but with good design and careful tube selection you can have a bike that is a true jack of all trades.
Interesting thought on your ideal bike. I've been working on a design this weekend for a bike that would fit that description. I want to build a bike that does everything from fast xc singletrack to touring. Something like the Jack Taylor roughstuff bikes. Its a flat bar cyclocross bike with attitude really. Comfortable and compliant and built to handle rough trails and the added weight of camping/touring gear. More upright than a cross bike too with and easy going riding position. It will run 650b wheels and have clearence for a 1.9 tyre. I should have the design finished this week so I can order the tubeset and the lugs.
It will be a little small for you but I guess you will get a good idea of what i'm aiming for when you try it out.