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  1. #1
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    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?

    I like to downhill speed of suspension but thinking I might switch back for every other reason.

    Would love to hear others stories of success or failure after switching.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox View Post
    I like to downhill speed of suspension but thinking I might switch back for every other reason.

    Would love to hear others stories of success or failure after switching.
    Sure, as an attempt to get some SS work in last fall, I went from this for the off season....

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8671710371/" title="XCRIP9Tires by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8261/8671710371_1869c844c7_c.jpg" width="800" height="503" alt="XCRIP9Tires"></a>

    ....to this...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8232853112/" title="KMDisc by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8058/8232853112_c054f27804_c.jpg" width="800" height="544" alt="KMDisc"></a>

    ....which quickly led to this....

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8680937766/" title="drinking by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8406/8680937766_77e23e9f8d_o.jpg" width="493" height="335" alt="drinking"></a>

    ...which led to me being on the couch....

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8680947036/" title="Businessman at psychoanalysis by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8523/8680947036_21aa966cf4_o.jpg" width="350" height="233" alt="BB"></a>

    ....which led to a chain reaction of events and now I'm happily back on suspension.


  3. #3
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    Discovered that this,

    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-p1010991.jpg

    is overkill on most nearby trails.
    ------------
    Now this,

    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-p1020007.jpg

    most often gets taken to carve them up.

    Hadn't thought of it as fail / win, and so far no couch-time, or family intervention has occurred.
    Last edited by Flyin_W; 04-25-2013 at 10:14 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have a 26er FS bike with 6"+ of travel which I use for a lot of my MTBing needs. I had a 29er HT which I just replaced with a 29er rigid bike - although I went from 2.4" tires to 3" tires. I'm using the 29er for bikepacking and smoother XC rides. If you made me get ride of all but one MTB I'd keep the 26er FS bike.

    I think having 2 MTB options is nice to pick the right tool for the job and for some variety.
    Safe riding,

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  5. #5
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    I usu. ride a rigid 29er.
    I bought a 5" FS 26er just to see what all the hubbub was about. It is fun and fast on the downs, but I go to the rigid 29er 95% of the time. For me that's the "real" MTB experience. FS insulates me too much from the terrain.
    But I don't switch at planned intervals or anything. The FS comes out on random impulse.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    just recently got an old squishie fork from a friend so for the first time in 8-10 years i am riding front suspension. fun! it haz lockout so it can be squishie or not. i see no downsides so far and am wondering if i will ever go back to a fully rigid front.

    back in the day standing climbs plain sucked with suspension; these days with a lockout not so much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I have a 26er FS bike with 6"+ of travel which I use for a lot of my MTBing needs. I had a 29er HT which I just replaced with a 29er rigid bike - although I went from 2.4" tires to 3" tires. I'm using the 29er for bikepacking and smoother XC rides. If you made me get ride of all but one MTB I'd keep the 26er FS bike.

    I think having 2 MTB options is nice to pick the right tool for the job and for some variety.
    Same, have JET9, recently bought a Krampus for the front range trails that aren't too techy. Digging the climbing efficiency, still having way too much fun going downhill.
    The correct number of bikes one should own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.

  8. #8
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    Every time I switch to my susp fork, I curse it on the climbs (bobs, and adds a couple of lbs). And then I hit some sort of root or rock or tech feature too fast and I think "that would have sucked rigid". I'm at about 60/40 rigid/suspension for most of my riding (one bike, 2 forks). If I had 2 bikes, I dunno...

  9. #9
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    Why not one of each? I keep it fresh by switching back and forth from FS to SS hardtail depending where I'll be riding and what mood I'm in.

  10. #10
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    Have had a Tallboy and a Jet9.
    Both of them barely got ridden in comparison to my Blacksheep so I sold them.


  11. #11
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    Sold my FS bikes. Still have a HT SS, and built up a rigid SS 3 months ago. HT SS gets the call when I'm headed out with fast people. But rest of the time, rigid has been awesome.

    Also, whenever TR posts his BS, it pisses me off and makes me hot-n-bothered at the same time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Sold my FS bikes. Still have a HT SS, and built up a rigid SS 3 months ago. HT SS gets the call when I'm headed out with fast people. But rest of the time, rigid has been awesome.

    Also, whenever TR posts his BS, it pisses me off and makes me hot-n-bothered at the same time.
    You get hot and bothered??
    I have to walk past her several times a day!!

  13. #13
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    TR You don't miss squishie on bombing downhills?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox View Post
    I like to downhill speed of suspension but thinking I might switch back for every other reason.

    Would love to hear others stories of success or failure after switching.
    Went from a 6"x6" santa cruz bullit to an El Mariachi and then a jones diamond.

    I just got tired of the full suspension dance. My time is precious and having to tinker with suspension settings, checking pressure etc, just cut into my few minutes i have available to ride. With the rigid bike I check air pressure, lube the chain if it needs it and ride.

    I got a fat front setup for serious traction and some cush when needed but I have a matching front which I ride most the time anyway. However I still dream of a full suspension rig here and then. Something with cush travel and fast roll over descending....but it isn't going to happen for a long long time because my money is tight but not as tight as my time.
    Try this: HTFU

  15. #15
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    Rockcrusher you just summed up my whole life story and reasoning for switching back right there. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    l like having front suspension...although i like one speed and the simplicity of vee brakes...along with the ability to go long and fast...get my drift?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-dscn0520.jpg  

    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-dscn0551.jpg  

    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-img_20120512_174049.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Unlike wives, (like wanting two headaches), bikes for me are like girl-friends: the more the merrier. Why pick? I'd someday like to run my local trails on a dirt jumper and a cyclecross. For now I mix it up with ss ridgid 29er, 1x9 29er ht trail bike, and ht 26er am bike. I can't seem to make it more than two or three rides in a row before I've got to mix it up. OCD?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox View Post
    TR You don't miss squishie on bombing downhills?
    Not really, but that is more because there is not much technical stuff where I ride.
    That said, I am stockpiling parts to build up a Prime.
    Hopefully it is not an expensive mistake.

    My other current want is a CX bike.

    For real downhill adrenaline, I have 2 road bikes.

  19. #19
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    Re: Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by TR View Post
    Not really, but...
    For real downhill adrenaline, I have 2 road bikes.
    Just saying this ^ on a mt bike site could invite an arse kicking.

    Now quit playing in traffic, the fumes are making you daffy.

    (by phone)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox View Post
    I like to downhill speed of suspension but thinking I might switch back for every other reason.

    Would love to hear others stories of success or failure after switching.
    There need be no "switching" bikes in mountain biking. Only "adding".

    I did not switch to rigid, but I did add one. It was fun to shake things up and make things challenging again. This went along with SS. For a couple years I rode this way more than the geared FS.

    After a while, I got tired of getting beat up and I added a suspension fork...... then I got tired only having one gear, and went 1x3..... then 1x5.... then 1x9.... then I just started riding the FS most of the time.

    I have since re-purposed the rigid for on/off pavement exploring.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  21. #21
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    Here's two trails. Riding one, I'd like a fully. On the other, I'd prefer my 20 pound rigid. I have no interest in a half suspension bike for either.

    (Rocky trail was borrowed from daily pic thread, smooth trail was horsethief bench along the colorado)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-horseshoe-bench.jpg  

    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?-8682773446_224f047a4a_c.jpg  


  22. #22
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    I kind of agree with Teton29er here. I keep wanting to downsize from a FS 26" and a rigid (not ridged) SS 29er to a HT 29er, but for me a hardtail is a middling compromise. When I try to blast down the trail like on the FS, the rear end gets slammed around. If I pick my line to avoid that, well, why not just enjoy the sharp steering or a rigid bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post
    Here's two trails. Riding one, I'd like a fully. On the other, I'd prefer my 20 pound rigid. I have no interest in a half suspension bike for either.

    (Rocky trail was borrowed from daily pic thread, smooth trail was horsethief bench along the colorado)

  23. #23
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    I rode with front suspension for fifteen years. I picked up a custom steel 29er in 2006 with suspension-corrected rigid fork. At the same time, I bought a suspension fork. I never installed the suspension fork, and have been riding rigid ever since. Less to futz with, better steering, concentrate on the trail and improving skills. I'd be faster with a suspension fork, but who cares? Keep it simple.

  24. #24
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    I'm in this club.

    Just sold a beauty of a full sussy frame because I just got so used to the niceness of standing on the pedals without the suspension sucking up the energy.

    Rigid is what I like...

    SPP
    Rigid.

  25. #25
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    and TR that is one fine rig.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  26. #26
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    I rode a FS 26 for about 9 years till i cracked the shock mounts early last year. A friend of mine had a super light rigid he let me borrow.

    I rode it once. Not my cup of tea.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I rode a FS 26 for about 9 years till i cracked the shock mounts early last year. A friend of mine had a super light rigid he let me borrow.

    I rode it once. Not my cup of tea.
    26er or 29er?

    Makes a difference on the rigid.

    Plus, once is not enough...

    SPP
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    26er or 29er?

    Makes a difference on the rigid.

    Plus, once is not enough...

    SPP
    Agreed. Plus, you don't ride a rigid like a FS.

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    It was a 26. I have strong doubts a 29 would have made much of a difference.

    Yes, i realize you cant ride a rigid like a FS. Thats exactly why i didnt like it. Its not like i am a sloppy rider who blasts through chunk with out even trying to ride a smooth line, quite the opposite. I am famous for threading a very narrow needle at breakneck speeds. Each trail is different, but on a FS you can push hard enough to lift up and float over the terrain. On a FS if you are doing 16-18 mph over a smooth section and hit a rougher patch you dont even flinch, just keep mashing over the crap with out having to stand up.

    On that one ride, guys who cant keep up with me normally were waiting for me to catch up. I am sure there are rigid riders out there who can keep up with me if not ride faster. Props to them. On that evil bike i was beat to crap trying to ride at the speed i enjoy. I had no desire to give it another try. Gimie my reclinalounger on wheels tyvm.

  30. #30
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    Why does it have to be either or, why be limited, seriously, have one of each I have a rigid, HT and FS. The FS gets out the most, but I also enjoy riding the HT and rigid. Different tools for different jobs. I enjoy when I ride the rigid, it's the opposite end of the spectrum to the 130/140mm FS, I have to watch my lines, can't just bash over stuff, but the precision and control on a rigid is amazing and when you need to put the power down, it goes down. Fact is, I can ride EVERY trail here on either my Rigid, HT or FS, just my speed changes, but I still have fun on all 3.
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    I'm not too fussed about ultimate downhill speed every time. I love downhills that are either steep, slower and techy or fast+flowy. Rigid bikes work ok there. I'm not in a hurry to get the downhill over and done with, they're not that big where I live. I also got fed up with service-needy bikes that just don't seem designed for 15-20hr weeks. Rigid SS came and went, came back again and is now full-time, for about the last 3 years. Before that, hardtails and the odd susser. It helps that my rigid is a Jones, that bike is so much fun and just needs tyre or chain swaps, oil and brake pads. And as said above, if I want speed thrills I have a road bike and plenty of 45-50mph roads nearby.
    But if I lived somewhere rocky or with >500m downhills, I'd be back on suspension..

  32. #32
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    im just picking up bikes again but i gat a giant talon 0 and am building a BMX from friends discarded parts. Hell I think my next bike might be a home made cycle rickshaw! Hell I should try make a full squishie Cycle ricksaw Just need to find some beat up wallmart bikes and a shopping cart from the lake

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Why does it have to be either or, why be limited, seriously, have one of each I have a rigid, HT and FS. The FS gets out the most, but I also enjoy riding the HT and rigid. Different tools for different jobs. I enjoy when I ride the rigid, it's the opposite end of the spectrum to the 130/140mm FS, I have to watch my lines, can't just bash over stuff, but the precision and control on a rigid is amazing and when you need to put the power down, it goes down. Fact is, I can ride EVERY trail here on either my Rigid, HT or FS, just my speed changes, but I still have fun on all 3.
    I have just found that I always grab the rigid.
    Even when I had a Tallboy.
    The poor thing just hung on the wall unloved much of the time until I sold it.

  34. #34
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    Hey, looking at going rigid and wondering if it will make much of a difference going from a 19mm rim to 21mm rim. Will I notice a slightly better ride?

  35. #35
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    I don't ever expect that to happen to me, I'm lazy Now when I get the scratch together for my "proper" wheelset for the Monkey (MTX33/... rear/Rabbit Hole front) and am running a nice big 2.5" in the rear and Knard upfront, it could see some serious trail usage, but until then, they all get some love, FS more so now with my fugged finger needing the FS relief.
    Quote Originally Posted by TR View Post
    I have just found that I always grab the rigid.
    Even when I had a Tallboy.
    The poor thing just hung on the wall unloved much of the time until I sold it.
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  36. #36
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    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why? ---> If you are talking no suspension I would say the best part would be no shocks to maintain so you'd have a very low cost ride.

    Personally I like at least a front shock for the trails in my area, it's very rooty around here.

  37. #37
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    One 29er of each flavor is my solution: Geared FS & HT and rigid SS. I choose a different weapon depending on what trails I'm riding and what state my trick back (that's brought 11+ years of chronic PAIN eheheh) is in.

  38. #38
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    Yaw, I own a rigid SS but at the end of the day I enjoy my FS bike much better; however, I'm going to a local hill today and am taking the rigid SS. It makes easy rides hard and is fun.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capnsideburns View Post
    Hey, looking at going rigid and wondering if it will make much of a difference going from a 19mm rim to 21mm rim. Will I notice a slightly better ride?
    Not to help you hijack this thread, but to answer your question... probably not. That is too small a difference to be worth the cost. Ride what you have until you decide if you like rigid enough to keep doing it. I say (partly because I'm 195lbs) that I wouldn't want to ride anything smaller than a Stan's Flow rim.

  40. #40
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    Most trails around me require front shock at least, FS recommended. So I have one.

    A few trails around me are smooth and buttery, so I have a rigid for those too.

  41. #41
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    Just because a trail is not smooth, does not mean it requires any form of suspension. You may like it better with suspension or be able to ride it faster or without as much thought to line choice, but it most likely isn't "required" - required means without it you CANNOT do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by schnee View Post
    Most trails around me require front shock at least, FS recommended. So I have one.

    A few trails around me are smooth and buttery, so I have a rigid for those too.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Just because a trail is not smooth, does not mean it requires any form of suspension. You may like it better with suspension or be able to ride it faster or without as much thought to line choice, but it most likely isn't "required" - required means without it you CANNOT do it.
    Agreed.

  43. #43
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    Anyone go back from suspension to rigid and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by TR View Post
    Agreed.
    + 1.
    Trails around here are not super chunky but FAR from smooth.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  44. #44
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    Similar to locking out the front suspension, how truly different from a hard tail performance is simply adding air pressure to the rear shock on a FS?
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
    Similar to locking out the front suspension, how truly different from a hard tail performance is simply adding air pressure to the rear shock on a FS?
    weight is a pretty big difference I would think...that's the biggest thing I notice when comparing my locked out fork to my rigid fork...the front end feels way heavy with the locked out fork. When I had a FS and climbed locked out, it was like riding a heavy hardtail.

    Both have their pros and cons

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    (I should have started with 'weight aside'.....or....'adapting for weight'.....)

    What situations can a hard tail or rigid handle that a locked out FS can't? And visa versa? Is it an apples to bananas comparison or more like oranges to tangerines?

    A few scenarios come to mind:
    1) You have an FS and are debating the conversion to or addition of either a hard tail or rigid. Will locking one or both give one a reasonable comparison and similar performance?
    2) You are shopping for the next bike for yourself, spouse or kid(s) and are trying to avoid unnecessary future upgrade expenses.
    3) By simply messing with air pressures and lock outs (and/or swapping rims/tires), can your existing FS handle certain situations better than not in a similar fashion to a rigid or hard tail.
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  47. #47
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    You cannot leave the weight out of it as that's THE biggest difference you'll actually feel. 5-7lbs is significant and that's about what the difference between a similar FS to rigid build will weigh and that's HUGE in how the bike handles and is to move about and climb with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
    (I should have started with 'weight aside'.....or....'adapting for weight'.....)

    What situations can a hard tail or rigid handle that a locked out FS can't? And visa versa? Is it an apples to bananas comparison or more like oranges to tangerines?

    A few scenarios come to mind:
    1) You have an FS and are debating the conversion to or addition of either a hard tail or rigid. Will locking one or both give one a reasonable comparison and similar performance?
    2) You are shopping for the next bike for yourself, spouse or kid(s) and are trying to avoid unnecessary future upgrade expenses.
    3) By simply messing with air pressures and lock outs (and/or swapping rims/tires), can your existing FS handle certain situations better than not in a similar fashion to a rigid or hard tail.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Biker View Post
    Less to futz with, better steering, concentrate on the trail and improving skills. I'd be faster with a suspension fork, but who cares? Keep it simple.
    Thats it! Last year I bought the book "Mountainbike Skills" from Brian Lopez and Lee McCormack. A downhiller on a hard course has to do the same body work like a rigid rider on a demanding trail. I only had practice a few weeks but improved my skills a lot in this short time.

  49. #49
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    Yep did that.

    I went from a FS 26'er to a SS rigid 29'er. I sold the FS, that was 2008. I love SS, and I love rigid, but I have a SS 29'er with a fork too for when I ride in the mountains of western NC. I am thinking of buying another FS 26'er or 29'er. I have never ridden a FS 29'er, so I have no basis for comparison.
    -rides bikes for fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    You cannot leave the weight out of it as that's THE biggest difference you'll actually feel. 5-7lbs is significant and that's about what the difference between a similar FS to rigid build will weigh and that's HUGE in how the bike handles and is to move about and climb with.
    I get the weight difference and guess I'll need to try both to answer for myself.

    Just back from an LBS with a 29er Trance to demo and we discussed the HT versus FS. One advantage advocated (and I've heard for years) of an FS vs HT regarding traction is that the FS does not tend to bounce off of as many surface variables like an HT does and the dampening maintains better contact and therefore better traction. Maybe good HT technique can compensate in a lot of situations but not all variables found here in the San Juans and the Utah canyons & desert.
    Last edited by Alpinord; 05-01-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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