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  1. #1
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    Anyone switch from 6 in full sus to AM hardtail and regret?

    So I just sold my GT force and I'm contemplating what to get next..
    Initial plan was a Yeti ASR 5 or Sc blur tr for more agility and
    Rally car handling opposed to GT's trophy truck style handling.
    On a whim I decided to look into SC Chameleons and trans Am hardtails..
    Now I'm thorn! I ride a lot of smooth flowy east coast trail but occasionally
    Enjoy going to Asheville and hitting DuPont and some rockier rootier stuff. I'm also 40 yrs old and I'm concerned that going HT will hurt my back, knees etc. I enjoy waist high jumps to flat, tabletops and smallish doubles as well as pumptrack riding even thought Thats just 20% of my riding. I mostly ride trails aggressively and enjoy the occasional 22 mi loop.
    Please help me choose ! I'm looking into 140mm travel either
    On the asr 5 or on the new HT. I just saw SC blur tr vid with josh
    Shredding and that made my decision harder

  2. #2
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    if youve never ridden a steel hardtail you gotta try it!
    check out the AM hardtail thread. ive heard great reviews about the transam. should be perfect for east coast singletrack and capable on the rocky, rooty trails. might not be the first one to the finish line but you will have the biggest smile when you do arrive.

    this guy doesnt seem to mind the bumps.

  3. #3
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    I built up a Ragley Blue Pig last year and ride the same trails including DH runs that I ride my Specialized Pitch on. If I were to use your auto racing metaphor, the Pitch would definitely qualify as the trophy truck while the Pig would be a rally car. The Pig is very quick to accelerate and easy to flick around and overall a very fun bike. However, it requires more finesse to maintain flow on the trail and I definitely feel more beat up after a long technical ride on the Pig compared to the Pitch.

    I built mine with spare parts lying around; it's ghetto, but I love it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone switch from 6 in full sus to AM hardtail and regret?-reduced-size.jpg  


  4. #4
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    I've been riding full-suspension bikes since 2000, and I recently bought a Blue Pig X to build up. It was fun, but only for short rides, and definitely not as much fun as a full-suspension bike for me. I didn't like getting beat up, and I didn't like the feel of suspension in the front and nothing in the back. I much prefer a balanced feel. Now, I could get on board with a fully rigid bike for playing around...

  5. #5
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    I think at 40 you wont like getting beat up now and going forward.
    6'5" 230lbs
    My Build: Vitalmtb - Bike Check

  6. #6
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    I'm 33 and love a full suspension. I used to ride BMX and a hardtail. The full suspension is much easier on the body and I can ride harder and longer.

  7. #7
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    I have both. I only REALLY notice the downsides of a hard tail when I start to get beat and tired then my body does not soak up the rocks and such as well anymore and then I notice how rough it is. On longer rides it can beat you up for sure and I really noticed how much more tired I get going downhill for extended runs on the hard tail compared to the fully. If you mainly ride shorter rides (for me 10-15 miles) each time you go out then you should be smiling the whole time on a "AM" hard tail but once it starts getting past that things start to hurt and I start to get sloppy then I always wish for 5" travel fully that is light and quick. Long story short, I could not have a hardtail for my only bike, it would limit my distance of "enjoyable" miles and time on the bike. It would turn the long weekend rides with the buddies (4-6 hr) rides into full on suffer fest for me. However for quick solo or with a buddy blasts then not much beat the turning lame and tame into fun like a hardtail can.

  8. #8
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    Depends on your trails. If you ride smoother trails it'll be easier. If you "Schralp some gnar" all ride long, it'll be harder.

    I expanded from a 7"fs bike and added a 6" hardtail. I'm on a mix of smooth and rocky, I regularly use all 7" of travel if I ride hard. I can ride the hardtail longer and farther, but I have to be in better shape to do so. If I sit and pedal, it'll kick the snot of out me. If I'm strong enough to stand and hammer on a ride for hours, then its the most enjoyable ride that I've ever had.
    Just another redneck with a bike

  9. #9
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    Seems comfort is the issue here. Never had a full suspension. Just got a bike with front suspension 2 years ago after riding since the 80's. Still love my full hard ons. However I now have a Blue Pig X to build up too. But the idea that having an easier time has never occurred to me.

    And that's with long days in the saddles over miles of natural mountain tracks.

    Do I have sore muscles after a day in the saddle? Yeah. Do I resent this? Hell no. Fantastic feeling. A hot bath eases it all.

  10. #10
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    I had a 6 inch full suspension bike for a few years and I sold it recently for a steel 29er hard tail. Why? Full suspension bikes are a pain to use every day. I spent a lot of time and money replacing bearings, shock bushings, getting the shock rebuilt once season and I spent a lot of time trying to track down creaks and squeaks. I also though the frame to be flexy and not the best pedaler.

    My new hard tail will handle most any terrain, its simple, fun and all I have to do to maintain it is lube the chain and top off the tires. No more creaks, leaky shocks, setting sag or trying to find what part of the frame is loose this time. The hard tail also climbs and pedals like a champ and gobbles up New England single track.

    No regrets here. The simplicity of a hard tail will keep me riding everyday without the hassle of a finicky FS bike.

    And for the days where a hard tail isn't enough there's a DH bike in my garage too.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
    2015 Trek Farley 26fat
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er

  11. #11
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    I have a 5.5" FS (not sure if that qualifies) and a OnOne 456 w/5.5" of travel. On longer rides, I prefer the FS. On shorter (lunchtime) rides of 1.5 hours or less, the HT is a blast. The HT was originally built as a backup, and it gets more riding time. It is just fun to ride and I dont understand why, it just leave a smile on my face (especially on fast swoopy downhills).

    My 2 cents, if you can have 2, you wont regret it.

  12. #12
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    I agree with what has already been said. If I could only have one bike and ride my rocky trails, then I would have a FS. I have more than one bike, including a XC HT and an AM? HT (On-one 456). The HTs are the most fun for less than 2-hour not-so-technical rides. For technical, extremely rocky, or over 2 hour rides, then it is the FS. At my age (55), I just get beat up too much on the HTs to do extended rides. Fortunately, I can have more than one bike. If only one bike, it would likely be a 5-6" FS.

  13. #13
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    Here's my 2011 enduro next to my 2010 transam. I purchased the transam as a backup and play bike, but now I find myself riding it more and more. I took a friend on a ride who rode the transam because I didn't want him riding my expensive FS bike. Halfway through I made him switch and I rode the transam. It's just so much fun. The chunk can be easily negotiated on a HT, it just takes a different style of riding and you can't pedal while in the saddle as easily. I was shocked at how good the steel frame eats up the bumps.


  14. #14
    Axe
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    I alternate between a 170mm full suspension Nicolai, and 150mm front fork steel TransAm hardtail and I have fun on both. I grab hardtail for shorter rides, but mostly because it is a single speed. It is surprisingly comfortable for a hardtail - high volume tires and a plush coil fork make a lot of difference.

  15. #15
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    I rode a SC chameleon with a 140mm fork as an only bike for two years before picking up a 5.5in full suspension (ventana el ciclon) a couple years ago. I kept the chameleon around for short rides and as a backup bike. More than 90% of the time I grab the full sus. I ride the chameleon when I feel like suffering; the stiffness of that frame is really rough on the back and knees.

    As a second bike an AM hardtail can be fun. As an only bike I'd much rather have the full suspension.

  16. #16
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Idea View Post
    I rode a SC chameleon with a 140mm fork
    Compared to Chameleon, I could swear that TransAm is a soft-tail. Not sure if it is geometry, or frame material, but it does not beat me up as bad.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Compared to Chameleon, I could swear that TransAm is a soft-tail. Not sure if it is geometry, or frame material, but it does not beat me up as bad.
    It's frame material.

    Chameleon is Aluminum - stiffer
    TransAM is Steel - it absorbs bumps better.

  18. #18
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    It's frame material.

    Chameleon is Aluminum - stiffer
    TransAM is Steel - it absorbs bumps better.
    In general, yes it is true - mostly because you can use narrow tubes on a steel frame; but I have also ridden some really stiff steel frames, and on flexible aluminum (scandium alloy) ones. And plush, low stiction, coil fork certainly does a lot for comfort on a hardtail.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    In general, yes it is true - mostly because you can use narrow tubes on a steel frame; but I have also ridden some really stiff steel frames, and on flexible aluminum (scandium alloy) ones. And plush, low stiction, coil fork certainly does a lot for comfort on a hardtail.
    Thanks! Didn't know that.

  20. #20
    skobiken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Compared to Chameleon, I could swear that TransAm is a soft-tail. Not sure if it is geometry, or frame material, but it does not beat me up as bad.
    I don't doubt it. Before the Chameleon I had a steel framed GT, built similarly to the trans am, that was orders of magnitude smoother. If the trans-am had been an option at the time I probably would have gone with it for that reason. I'd like to pick one up eventually to try out, but it's going to be awhile. Lately all my bike money has gone into keeping the two I have rolling. Took the Chameleon for a 25 mile ride last weekend because the fork on the full sus is sticking. 25 is about my limit on the lizard. It's fun to do it every now and then though, really makes you appreciate the comfort of the fully!

  21. #21
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    Thanks! Didn't know that.
    Not sure if sarcasm. I was just talking to the general audience, not to you in particular.

  22. #22
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    I recently built up a Ragley Bagger (steel). 2003 was the last time I rode a ht. I was a little apprehensive/anxious before I took it on it's first run. Primarily I took it easy on some nice loamy single track, and from that point on I graduated to riding pretty much all the trails I can ride The One on, just taking advantage of all the ride-arounds and a lot slower.

    It does beat the $h!T of me and the sessions are shorter but let me tell you, it's worth the physical abuse, so much fun! It'll never replace a fs though...

  23. #23
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    The transam is a special bike. It really does feel like it has a rear shock. Mine has a RS Pike with 140mm of travel and the bike just flat out rips. It's a little slower on the rougher stuff, but its so much faster everywhere else, it easily makes up for it. The only place I can tell it's a hardtail is crazy rocky stuff that is half a mile long. I'm talkin stuff so rocky, there's no dirt on the ground whatsoever. Short rock gardens, you won't even notice it, the bike will hammer through.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    The only place I can tell it's a hardtail is crazy rocky stuff that is half a mile long. I'm talkin stuff so rocky, there's no dirt on the ground whatsoever.
    You are in SD right? Are these 1/2 mile rock only trails in SD or somewhere else?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Not sure if sarcasm. I was just talking to the general audience, not to you in particular.
    Not sarcasm, I'm serious.

  26. #26
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    Switched from a 5" fully sus to a custom steel hardtail with 150mm fork and slack head angle at the end of last year. You do get beaten up more although steel is suprising compliant....you can't sit and pedal through stuff like on suss...but that is why I swapped to HT for a while....I was getting lazy not picking smoother lines and sitting down. I wanted a bit of change and to have to work a bit more. Its doing my riding a favour if I'm honest. I am faster than I was on suss (I dodn;t say I wa fast cuz i aint )....so hopefully when I switch back to a susser frame sometime I'll get faster again with my refreshed skills.
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  27. #27
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    I'm 45 with a mostly office job however climb ladders (18-25 feet) half my day. I am still in reasonable shape at 5’-7” and 150lbs and ride everything from cross country, self-propelled shuttles to lift service shenanigans.
    The difference between 30 and 40 was insurmountable, 40 to 45 not so much… at least for me.
    I have a carbon hard tail that I used to pound living heck out of in my early 30’s. I thought full suspension was for dough boys and sissies.
    I still have that carbon hard tail. It’s a beautiful machine and it makes for an amazing piece of garage art, however I reach for my full suspension bike every time these days. If you are in really good shape and only need a saddle to keep the post from… you know… than by all means, a hard tail may be perfect for you. I need to sit and spin for the most part (no stranger to jumping out of the saddle when needed tho) and the hard tail just plain old thrashes the life out of me. I can see running a hard tail in loamy/rooty north east (where I spent the first 30 years of my life) but get into rocky conditions (Arizona is where I now reside) and… full suspension every time thanks.
    My bike, Slayer 70

  28. #28
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    There's a few good places in SD that will remind you you're on a hard tail.

  29. #29
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    I really enjoyed my cannondale Rize, has great geo with a 140 fork (same as blur tr) It was a blast to ride. Could have been made a bit beefier but a super light bike and I always had fun on it. Once I can ebay up a new chainstay I will be back on that bike in a heartbeat.

  30. #30
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    Dang I hope the revise 2013 chameleon is not as harsh as the old ones. They shave a pound off and slack it a degree. I was torn on a Trans Am and a Chameleon and decided on the lizard after I saw RATBOY and PEATY getting loose on one. The 456 evo ti is back in stock ti be nice also!!

    I'm in the same boat I'm currently on a stumpy carbon evo with a 36 and want to try a am hardtail. Just waiting on the frame which is back order for a few months. Have a fox 34 and a pretty nice build for it can't wait.

  31. #31
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    My path since the 80s was rigid, 3" FS, 4" hardtail, 5" FS, 6" FS + rigid SS, 6" FS + 6" hardtail.

    There are some days when I swear there's some sort of telepathic bond between me and the hardtail [456 Carbon with a TALAS 36]. Everything just clicks and is amazing. At the same time, that feeling only lasts for ~90 minutes until I get tired and the bike starts to punish me for my mistakes.

    In contrast, the FS is the same all the time. We get along, we forgive each other. After 4 hours I'm tired, but mistakes don't put me in the rhubarb. The FS is more like, "Oi mate, I'll get the next round. Take a load off."

    As others have said, if you can get both, do it. If you can only get one, a 6" FS that pedals well can be a great do-it-all ride.

    Also, your wheels and tires make eleventy-jillion times more difference to how the bike rides than the frame material. Bank on it.
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  32. #32
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by kneetowaist View Post
    So I just sold my GT force and I'm contemplating what to get next..
    Initial plan was a Yeti ASR 5 or Sc blur tr for more agility and
    Rally car handling opposed to GT's trophy truck style handling.
    On a whim I decided to look into SC Chameleons and trans Am hardtails..
    Now I'm thorn! I ride a lot of smooth flowy east coast trail but occasionally
    Enjoy going to Asheville and hitting DuPont and some rockier rootier stuff. I'm also 40 yrs old and I'm concerned that going HT will hurt my back, knees etc. I enjoy waist high jumps to flat, tabletops and smallish doubles as well as pumptrack riding even thought Thats just 20% of my riding. I mostly ride trails aggressively and enjoy the occasional 22 mi loop.
    Please help me choose ! I'm looking into 140mm travel either
    On the asr 5 or on the new HT. I just saw SC blur tr vid with josh
    Shredding and that made my decision harder
    I pulled the trigger on the Yeti ASR5 Alloy (Comp Cyclist $999) with 140mm Revelation RLT (Jenson USA $374) . X9,X7 build. Gravity dropper, 750mm bars and 45mm stem. Can't wait to put it together, full review to come..
    The HT lost due to many replies here that confirmed my thoughts. I want to be able to do epics, flow singletrack like im on a giant pump track, ride skinnies and wheelie drop to flat from 4 feet high, race enduro and keep up with my buddies through rocky gnarl. The bike that can do all that seems to be the ASR 5. Lastly, I was able to pick up a frame and build kit from Competitive Cyclist for less than what an equivalent build and frame on a Transition Trans AM would run me..Thanks for all who pitched in on this thread!

  33. #33
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    Sweet i think you will really enjoy it. Yeti calls that their cheater bike cause it is so good going up and still goes well on the way down.

  34. #34
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneetowaist View Post
    I pulled the trigger on the Yeti ASR5 Alloy (Comp Cyclist $999) with 140mm Revelation RLT (Jenson USA $374) . X9,X7 build. Gravity dropper, 750mm bars and 45mm stem.
    Excellent choice and smart shopping my friend.

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