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  1. #1
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    Hardtail vs full suspension for all mountain

    Let's discuss the pros and cons of each, which is better for type of all mountain and what not. I really want a dj bike setup as an all mountain hardtail 1x9. Any reason otherwise. Yes newbie and if this in another thread feel free to direct me to it.

  2. #2
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    DJ geometry sucks for pedalling. specially on long rides, it wont work.

    I migrated from a 5.5in FS bike to an CroMo AM hardtail.

    Pros and cons have been discussed repeatedly and are a bit obvious really,

    HT: Pros: better pedalling efficiency, reduced weight (will depend but overall yes), simplicity and low maintenance. Cons: No suspension (duh)

    FS: Pros: Suspension Cons: pedalling efficiency, even though with effective suspension systems these can help traction and have damn good pedalling efficiency.

    I know I'm sounding like hardtails are better than FS bikes. I dont mean to, but just to have the advantage of suspension is enough. Now, right now I have a HT, but when I get the chance (and the money) I will buy a FS bike. I miss my old FS bike as much as I love my HT. Hardtails will give you a harsher ride, but it will eventually make you a better rider.

  3. #3
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    Depends a lot on where you ride too. We have nothing but rocks and roots so I wouldn't ride a HT around here. Many do but that's all personal preference.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by topicstarter
    Hardtail vs full suspension for all mountain
    wrong question IMO.
    i'd rather say about hardtail and full suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    DJ geometry sucks for pedalling. specially on long rides, it wont work.
    my hardtail is based on the scott voltage frame with dirt jumping geometry. i successfully did long rides (150—180 km) on it. the difference with random dirt jumping bike is frame size — medium instead of usual small. a bit harder to learn, but much more versatile.

    hardtail is excellent for learning to choose right path, especially on those technical sections.
    Last edited by cunnilinux; 06-07-2010 at 01:30 PM.
    GT force && scott voltage

  5. #5
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    i agree, a hardtail will force you into good style and lines and once you have those skills down a fs is more fun and lets you push the envelope more imo.

  6. #6
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    easy, penis size is inversely correlated with amount of rear suspension

  7. #7
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    This has to be a trick question.....Do they even make hardtails anymore ??

    Seriously...go FS...you can always lock it out if you have to....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    easy, penis size is inversely correlated with amount of rear suspension
    precisely. case in point: i don't even have a bike right now, and i can touch the dark side of the moon with my tip

    though i will be picking up a new trail bike in a few months, so it'll shrink back down to "normal" size

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vyper005
    This has to be a trick question.....Do they even make hardtails anymore ??
    Nope, for the last few years the luddites have been buying fs frames and welding the back ends solid.

    Works a treat y'know.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vyper005
    This has to be a trick question.....Do they even make hardtails anymore ??

    Seriously...go FS...you can always lock it out if you have to....
    Have you even tried a hardtail?

  11. #11
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by vyper005
    This has to be a trick question.....Do they even make hardtails anymore ??

    Seriously...go FS...you can always lock it out if you have to....
    no offense...but you likely have no clue as to what a "Real" hardtail can bring. i used to sound like you but now? well now i found FS bikes boring. granted i ride like a girl but still

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweet
    precisely. case in point: i don't even have a bike right now, and i can touch the dark side of the moon with my tip

    though i will be picking up a new trail bike in a few months, so it'll shrink back down to "normal" size

    More like if you have no travel you can touch the moon with your tip. No bike = no penis.

    just messing around with you man, cheers!

  13. #13
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    Dude, take a good piece of advise.

    Go for HT, until you get experience... and lots of experience.

    After that go with a FS, you will do miracles on it...and enjoy the ride..

  14. #14
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    HT, you get a better bike for the same money compared to buying FS.

    Really though it's rider preference. I started out on the old XC HT, I went to a decent XC dually but then I brought a HT for my husband and I really enjoyed the feel of HT again, feeling the ground under the back wheel and knowing what exactly the bike was doing, so as you're wanting to do now I went to a DJ HT for an all round ride to also get into a bit of DH. Then I got a DH dually and now I'm down to one bike, my DJ HT. So for the riding I do (or lack of it) a versatile hardtail is all I need. Now you might ride more than me your terrain might be rougher who knows. Start with a good HT, you will probably at some point want to go to FS (the grass is always greener as they say) but then you might go back to the HT. It's all good experience never the less.

    I think you're the best judge in which is better for you, get whichever you want the most otherwise just plan for a future addition to your stable, nothing wrong with having one of each!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vyper005

    Seriously...go FS...you can always lock it out if you have to....
    that isnt even close and im pretty sure doing that to try and acheive a hardtail feel is both bad for the frame and the shock.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    that isnt even close and im pretty sure doing that to try and acheive a hardtail feel is both bad for the frame and the shock.
    Full suspension frames aren't designed to withstand the forces hardtails are obviously because they have a shock. Sure you can place a tube replacing the shock so you have an unnecesarily complicated and heavy hardtail, but that contraption wont last a couple of weeks before it breaks.

  17. #17
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    For YEARS we just had HT's... And I'm still pedaling my [HT] '95 GT Zaskar. I also have a [FS] Diamond Back Mission 3. I will not let the HT go! I still ride it and if I was to only have one bike, I would have the GT Zaskar.

  18. #18
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    hmmm

    ive decided to with a chameleon, might not if they dont have black, my lbs has specialized and giant. i saw a couple santa cruz and asked if they can get me a chameleon since ive heard so much good things about that frame. they said they can get me the bike, kit and fork for 1300. pretty good i think. Then i saw a trance x for 1500 closeout sale reg price was 2000. if i get that bike i would hav to change stuff to make it all mountain and end up paying more in the end.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuietKaos
    ive decided to with a chameleon, .
    Good choice, that doesn't sound a bad price either.

    Give us a ride report when you've got some miles under it!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade
    Good choice, that doesn't sound a bad price either.

    Give us a ride report when you've got some miles under it!
    the salesman at lbs gave me the price of a package deal for which i told him the same components as the stp2, so i dont know how that works since there two different companies. he told it to me via voicemail and hes off today for details.

  21. #21
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    i road an ironhorse yakuza chimpra (hardtail) with a marzocchi bomber forker (120mm travel) and some 2.4 tires for a little over 4 years before getting a full suspension.

    i road everything i could on my hardtail. riding a hardtail makes you a better rider, atleast in my opinion.

    i do however love my ironhorse 6point4, especially on awesome rooty or rocky downhills.
    my bike is my happy place

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuietKaos
    Let's discuss the pros and cons of each, which is better for type of all mountain and what not. I really want a dj bike setup as an all mountain hardtail 1x9. Any reason otherwise. Yes newbie and if this in another thread feel free to direct me to it.
    I think a fs is technically a more capable bike in most situations, but if the point is to enjoy the sport, then no one can tell you which you will enjoy more. Overall, I like some squish in the back for rough trails, especially with long DH sections, but a two of my good riding buddies have recently gone from FS AM bikes to AM hardtails, and they are having more fun, even if they are not as fast on the tech stuff. I do notice they are now faster on the smoother flat sections.

    Get what you want, but I do not go for the argument of getting a HT first because it makes you a better rider. You learn to ride what you have. Otherwise, everyone should start on 35 lb rigid ss bikes with cantilever brakes.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  23. #23
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    everyone should start on 35 lb rigid ss bikes with cantilever brakes.
    i agree

  24. #24
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    Learn it with HT, keep up your skill with HT, then "pick up the berries" with a proper FS.
    I reckon my Chameleon as a riding high school - always after a while with FS, it really gives a reality check! Getting lazy with FS is easy, and having a good balance of using both will keep you up to the challenge.

  25. #25
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    I ride a hardtail, but not because it does anything better than a FS bike. It's just a simple economic choice for me. When I got into the mountain bike riding, I couldn't afford the cost of an entry level for an FS bike, so I picked up a Diamondback HT.

    My best friend has a FS bike and rides the same trails I ride. The main pro of the FS bike is that he doesn't have to choose his pathways through the forest and mountains. I typically ride around roots, rocks and other obstacles while he just goes right over them without paying too much attention to how rough it is.

    The only cons I see is that my bike possibly seems to climb a little better, but it's a negligeable difference at best..........and my next bike will be a FS model.

  26. #26
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    Started on a fully rigid mtb back in the early 90's, transitioned to a cheap aluminum HT in about 2000. Rode the hell out of it, way beyond what the manufacturer intended, still I rode and had a great time and kept up with some crazy fancy FS bikes. Then got a FS XC bike and rode that for about 6 years. Loved it, but it broke a lot. Don't think it was designed for what I wanted to do.

    As I looked for options, really got interested in the AM HT idea for durability, the steel feel and the overall burliness. Wound up on a Onone Summer Season. It took about 6 weeks of regular riding to feel at home, but I am loving it. A few more thoughts for you...

    - I am slower on my HT than I was on my FS
    - I am more capable (meaning I can ride obstacles and such that I could not clear before) on my HT
    - I fall less on my HT
    - My level of overall fitness is better on my HT (self perceived) due to all the body english to manuever and the standing for climbs

    I will be hard pressed to return to a FS.
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  27. #27
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    Why would anyone in their right mind use a hardtail for "AM" riding?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hardtail vs full suspension for all mountain-normal_att-23jun10-22.jpg  

    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  28. #28
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaholic
    Why would anyone in their right mind use a hardtail for "AM" riding?
    yeah right dude....nice photoshop - we all know you had a little help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hardtail vs full suspension for all mountain-aqua.jpg  


  29. #29
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    how'd you tag along on a ride with that kid from the Goonies movie?

  30. #30
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    Why would anyone in their right mind use a hardtail for "AM" riding?
    Because we're daring unlike your type!
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  31. #31
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    I rode FS for many years and then decided to go back to an AM hardtail just to try something different. A modern 5-6 inch travel FS is a blast to ride, but that comes with negatives - price, acceleration, overall maintanence, pedaling efficiency, etc. Hardtails are great for those who favor simplicity. Every time I ride, I just lube my chain, check the tire pressure and that's it. No shocks, no looking for play in the frame, no cable rub, no moving parts to worry about.
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  32. #32
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    LOL, funny how just about everyone goes full circle, Back to a hardtail
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  33. #33
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    What about brain? You get best of both worlds . . .
    I went from a hardrock pro to an epic and it made a huge difference. I could still kill my full suspension friends on the climbs and traverses and finally keep up on the downhills.

  34. #34
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    I went from a Gary Fisher Tassajara HT to a Fezzari Nebo Peak FS. There's no way I'd EVER want to ride a HT again. I didn't know what I was missing until I got the FS bike. U even used a Thudbuster LT suspension seatpost on the Tassajara which made it much smoother but it still didn't have near the control the Nebo has. Unless the trails are very smooth or unless I was going to race (on relatively smooth trails) I can't imagine EVER wanting to ride a HT again.

    FS Pros: More control, much smoother ride, less energy to get through technical terrain, smoother ride, faster rides through the rough stuff, smoother ride, jumps are smoother and easier and safer, smoother ride.

    FS Cons: more weight. Unless you are a racer you probably have 10 lbs to loose around your waist so this can be dealt with other ways if its really that important.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice, the
    What about brain? You get best of both worlds . . .
    I went from a hardrock pro to an epic and it made a huge difference. I could still kill my full suspension friends on the climbs and traverses and finally keep up on the downhills.

    Apples and oranges dude. You're talking about a worldcup winning XC FS frame, off course it pedals like a hardtail, its meant to. We're comparing 5-6in, burlier, heavier "AM" frames to "AM" hardtails.


    tshulthise: did you seriously think using a suspension seatpost (which is completely useless) would give you more control? And after you say "smoother ride" 72 more times in a single sentence, learn to choose lines, then when you have a FS bike and you know how to pick a line you'll be extremely fast. People get lazy on FS bikes, i did when i had mine.

    I'm not completely against FS bikes, in fact i'm currently on the market for one, but people who are against hardtails usually have no real arguments.

  36. #36
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    I have a '07 jamis komodo and a '08 parker. Today I rode the komodo for the first time in about 6-7 months, and it was ripping. Its set up as a general trail bike- 120mm travel, bash, 2.4 tires. Thats it. Pedaling uphill was so much better than the parker. Downhill is not as good as the parker but it was good all around. It is probably 8 lbs lighter than the parker so that helps out too. the parker is about 35lbs, and handles really well in rocks, roots and going down.
    I love both, and it really depends on the terrain your riding and what your feeling that day. Its like having a corvette and a superduty if that makes sense

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    Apples and oranges dude. You're talking about a worldcup winning XC FS frame, off course it pedals like a hardtail, its meant to. We're comparing 5-6in, burlier, heavier "AM" frames to "AM" hardtails.
    Yeah, even mentioning an Epic in this forum is pretty much sacrilege.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    Apples and oranges dude. You're talking about a worldcup winning XC FS frame, off course it pedals like a hardtail, its meant to. We're comparing 5-6in, burlier, heavier "AM" frames to "AM" hardtails.


    tshulthise: did you seriously think using a suspension seatpost (which is completely useless) would give you more control? And after you say "smoother ride" 72 more times in a single sentence, learn to choose lines, then when you have a FS bike and you know how to pick a line you'll be extremely fast. People get lazy on FS bikes, i did when i had mine.

    I'm not completely against FS bikes, in fact i'm currently on the market for one, but people who are against hardtails usually have no real arguments.
    Show some respect Luigi. If you want to reply to a post at least say something useful. Otherwise you are just noise folks have to sift through.

  39. #39
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    how abt looking at different material for the frame? if there's no big drops to be taken i m quite sure a steel or Ti HT frame would suffice and also make for a very different ride experience.. i previously had 3 fs from Spesh/SC/Trek.. now riding a steel HT. 1 thing i notice, i m not as beatup riding steel than alu.. fs or not..

  40. #40
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    You really need to have both. Riding the exact same trails on my 6"/160mm FS, 100mm FS, weenie titanium hardtail with 100mm fork and burly steel hardtail - single speed with 150mm fork - all different kind of fun. Picking different lines.

    If I had to leave only one mountain bike - I would have left 6" AM FS. I just like it. No real reason.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    You really need to have both. Riding the exact same trails on my 6"/160mm FS, 100mm FS, weenie titanium hardtail with 100mm fork and burly steel hardtail - single speed with 150mm fork - all different kind of fun.
    That's more like four than both.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho
    That's more like four than both.
    I maximize my fun.

  43. #43
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    I don't think a HT is going to make you a better rider. You make yourself a better rider by learning technique, by riding more for improved fitness, and by challenging yourself to try to clean new obstacles, going bigger. Get the bike you feel most comfortable and confident on, that will give you the confidence to try new challenges and ride all the time.

  44. #44
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    I started with technical flat(ish) trails on a rigid bike that was Dirt Jump based, and I then went on to use my friends HT and you see a dramatic difference, but the difference between FS and HT isn't that great until you get to crazy speed and jumps and when the technicality of the trail increases. I wouldn't use a dirt jump orientated bike because it won't have the right components or Geometry to allow you to climb well or to descend rough and technical trails. Steep climbs require good geometry and components.

  45. #45
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    sounds to me like you need a steel HT.
    try to find an Evil Sovereign frame.

  46. #46
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    I find that riding my hardtail (chameleon) has a lot of pros and cons when compared to my FS (claymore 2). If you are riding a lot of flowing, single track, the hardtail is hard to beat. Its faster and much easier to jump. If you are riding techy, rocky terrain with hard drops, then the FS is the way to go.

    I ride both often but when riding a new trail, and in doubt, I bring the FS, just in case. My FS has adjustable travel so I can always dial back the amount of travel if the terrain isn't hard enough to use all the travel available.
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  47. #47
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    I have a FS, and a HT. To me, the HT is a more engaging ride; I have to pick better lines, and use more body english, therefore I think the HT is more fun. I also like the simplicity. My FS pretty much just collects dust now. It just comes down to personal preference.
    "Caught my first tube this morning....sir!"

  48. #48
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    I started off on cheap second hand rigid Diamond back back in the 1980's.... It lasted about 2 months... I loved going out so I then got a Checker Pig rigid XC race bike. Light at about 22 lbs with DX (XT equvelent at the time) XT mix (Highest spec as there was no XTR then). I rode that bike everywhere from smooth trails to quarry drop in's which were near vertical. It made me a better rider and even after a very long break from riding I now have an AM HT which lets me have a more comfortable ride compared to a 20+ year old long low rigid. I may be older and wiser (disputed by many) but I still ride almost anywhere even though I have only a few regular rides under my belt again. It makes you a more thought full rider who has to learn to use technique to get the best out of the bike.. Hell going from a rigid to a front suspension bike lets you get away with more than you could on a rigid and I think all I learned riding that has helped me get back up to some form of speed a lot sooner in the HT.

    I dont see a FS in my near future. I love looking at them and some are almost MX bike capable but it lets riders plough through and over obstacles and takes away some of the skill to get round a ride. But I think it takes longer for a beginner to improve their skill set and as unfit as I am at the moment I still pass riders on FS and HT bikes just because they lack some riding finesse and even make the "easier" down hill sections hard work.

    For a beginner who wants to improve HT all the way..... For a family that just want to ride in comfort or someone who wants to just ride at their pace get a FS. Quick guys will always be quick regardless of bike... But I would guess the quickest riders came from rigids or HT's.

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