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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Not your normal HT vs. FS Dilemma

    Hi there - new to the forum.

    I've been riding a HT for the last three years off and on, but I think I'm going to be doing a lot more riding since I cancelled my gym membership and justified using those saved funds towards buying a mtb!

    I only ride a Trek 4300 and a Specialized Rockhopper. I feel like I'm riding a Harley in the Trek as it seems to me that I'm way laid back and in the Specialized I feel like I could go over the bars without notice - but I think I like the Specialized setup more - it feels more speedy and seems more geared for climbs.

    My daily ride is down a paved road from about 1,121' to about 400' in about 1.5 miles or less. The climb back up is on packed dirt paths mainly because I don't trust the drivers who speed up the hills who are on their cells or are putting on make up. Whenever I am in the bike lane I like to bunnyhop onto the sidewalk and get out of the way of cars that seemingly aren't paying attention (I think this is why I'll never own a roadbike).

    My other choice path is to ride 5.5 miles each way on the paved bike path to a singletrack along Folsom Lake. Otherwise, I ride as the pace car with my wife and daughter on weekends.

    I know that I want a 29er and I have my eye on a 2012 Carve Expert that I think I can get for $1300. I also see that I could probably afford a used Niner Jet 9. Something FS with a Fox23 which I hear has a pretty study LO or close to LO and I could LO the front for the street riding. Why is this different that other HT/FS debates? I'm not a racer and I'm purely recreational. So I guess what I'm asking is which bike would I have more fun on? I like the HT because it's new and probably warranteed. But is seems like a FS would also be fun and more versatile so long as it doesn'f feel like a slinky as I'm trying to get up those steep hills - besides on climbs I'm usually in 1st gear and in the saddle. Speed is always fun, but on my singletrack excursions my hands go numb and I feel like my filings are going to fall out on the Rockhopper and Trek 4300. I'm not sure that the Carve Expert would be a noticeable improvement to the exposed roots and large rocks.

    Anyway - really confused here - oh and I hear that some of the Jet 9 frames have a tendency to crack so I'm not sure if they fixed that issue or not or if there are model years I should avoid.

    Thanks in advance,
    I'm going to go fly down a hill and then trudge back up it.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    It really depends on where you ride and what you like to do. Judging by the limited info provided in your post, it seems like a HT would be just fine. Full suspension is great on rocky trails, jumps, and technical downhill. Older people with joint issues or back problems also generally lean towards FS, regardless of type of riding. If you ride smooth trails and/or fast up hill, and/or road riding then HT might be more appropriate. Fit and personal preference are the most important things to consider. If you have tried the FS bike and like it better than the HT and you have the money for it, then go for it. Personally, the first time I rented a FS on vacation, I thought I would be buying one when I got home, since thats all the MTB media talks about. However, I have to say that I was not all that impressed when compared to my HT (at the time I was riding a Spec Stumpjumper FSR compared to my Spec Rockhopper 29er). Regarding the numb hands and fillings on your rockhopper, try new grips and gloves and get rid of that horrendous SR Suntour stock fork. I put a RS Reba on my Rockhopper 29er last year...its a game changer.

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