Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 126
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    142

    Why the hardtail doesn't make sense.

    Ok. So, while this isn't one of those "Bike A vs. Bike B." threads, it kind of is. Sorry

    Here's my major dilemma. I'm finally going to be making enough dough to get myself a nice AM rig this summer, but my problem is justifying one of my choices.
    That choice is the Transition TransAM.

    So Im guestimating that I'll have just under 3k (thats with tax already included) to blow on my 'do it all' dream bike. My lbs has the built up TransAM listed for 2600 bucks. However at this price, there is a ton of other amazing rigs available to me.
    For example, the praised '12 Spesh StumpJumper FSR Comp for just 50 bucks more (yeah it's a little more on the trail bike side but whatever). Or '12 Giant Reign 1 for 50 bucks more. A '12 Heckler R AM for the same price. A '12 Butcher for 100 less!

    My problem is that I'm so in love with the TransAM. It's looks. It's steel hardtail-ness. The simplicity. The endless options like running it ss...
    But the rational part of me is screaming that it just wouldn't make sense!
    Why get something for the same price/more expensive, that is 'less capable' (when it comes to comfort, speed on the trails, the drops I can take with it)?

    HELP?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,818
    I'd say that the limitations of the HT vs full susp are more based on the rider - to a degree. My $0.02, why get a HT as your main ride unless you're ridden FS and prefer the HT. I tried going back to a HT and it wasn't for me. Built up a Ragley Pig and while it was a really nice bike, I found myself wondering why a HT???

    Some guys like Ht's and others, not so much. Ultimately, the choice is yours. If I were you, I'd demo lots of bikes in my price range and see if I liked any of them. If you fall in love with a bike, get it. Buying a complete bike without demo'ing it is like buying a car without test driving it.

    Buying a frame-only is a bit of a different story as you can use all of the parts on a different frame if you end up not liking the bike. But, if you can, demo the frame that you might buy.

  3. #3
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,709
    How about "more capable" with regards to other aspects?

    Price is not just a matter of suspension and descending prowess...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  4. #4
    JDM
    JDM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JDM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    626
    I was thinking about getting a hardtail for a little while so I borrowed my buddy's hardtail and rode it around for a little while. I had plenty fun on the it, but I just didn't like it quite as much as a full squish bike.

    For me, a hardtail would top the list as a second bike, but not as my single do-it-all rig.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: socalMX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,188
    GET THE BUTCHER!!! A friend has one and its amazing!!! With the better technology in rear shocks, they have a much better climbing platform than the shocks of old! The rest of the trail its a no brainer which setup is funner (AND EASIER ON THE KNEES/BACK!!!)There are alot of old schoolers who swear by the HT but I know at least 10 guys that made the switch to FS and the only complaint was not doing it sooner!!! Enjoy!!!

  6. #6
    LightJunction.com
    Reputation: lightjunction's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    774
    There's nothing wrong with choosing a hardtail as your only bike, as long as it suits your riding style. If you're going to be riding singletrack, lots of climbing, commuting to trails, fire roads and the like, the hardtail makes perfect sense. If you want to do all-mountain riding with the potential for larger drops (a few feet), rock gardens and more rugged obstacles, the full-suspension makes more sense. It's not that the hardtail wouldn't work on those features, it just wouldn't work as well. Even if you got the hardtail, if a particular rock garden/trail feature were too much for your hardtail to handle, you could always get off and walk around. If it were my only bike, my personal preference is still the full-suspension, but I think you'll find answers from all over the spectrum on this one.

    My .02: ~$3000 seems like an awfully high price point to be looking at bikes with rigid frames that aren't carbon.
    We sell quality bike headlights and flashlights.
    www.LightJunction.com

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    67

    Hardtail Fan

    I think it depends on what you like to ride. If you enjoy the climbing aspect get the hardtail. If you prefer the downhill aspects of bike riding get the FS. If you are going to do some lift riding, get the FS. I think people like hardtails becasue it makes you faster on the climbs. I have a hunk of junk fully rigid bike and I always beat my buddies on the climbs but when it comes to descending I am always the last one back to the parking lot.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    142
    mnigro, I would agree it's MOSTLY down to the rider, but not completely, of course.
    Yeah I haven't test ridden half the bikes I mentioned, so that's the first step.
    But while riding a FS, i can't help but love the ease of ripping down a rooty rocky section.
    It's just that for me, where I live and the types of trails I have accessible to me, a squishy is overkill most of the time. The amazing trails are an hour+ away, so the commuting aspect of a hardtail doesn't apply (but then again a hardtail isn't favourable for those trails).
    As for climbing, I do love it, but arguably most full suspension rigs out there today climb just as good as rigid frames.
    And yeah, unfortunately 3000 is a huge amount of cash, but once again where I live, everything has to be shipped from far away and is overpriced.

    I guess I'll just have to weigh my options and test ride as many bikes as I can.
    It'll most likely come down to the type of trails I ride, not the types I want to ride, unfortunately.

    Keep the comments, opinions, and recommendations coming!

  9. #9
    Chubby Chaser
    Reputation: Will Goes Boing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    664
    Go with a FS bike. IMO unless you have godly skills you're not going to have a lot of fun on the really gnarly stuff.

  10. #10
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,709
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
    I would agree it's MOSTLY down to the rider, but not completely, of course.
    I would say it's TOTALLY down to the rider. Some people ride hardtails especially because it's technically harder. For others, they can't get off their single speed because they love the beating.

    Your statement is just like saying compact cars make no sense becasue a Jeep can go everywhere a compact can and then some.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    887
    Price-wise, does the TransAM have a more expensive fork/wheelset/etc than the FS bikes? Definitely seems like a hardtail should be less than an fs bike.

    I agree with terrain. I ride a steel ht & it's excellant for what I have to ride regularly but if things were steeper with more drops, chunky rocks, etc., I'd want a fs.Transition's Bandit would be excellant for my local trails...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I would say it's TOTALLY down to the rider. Some people ride hardtails especially because it's technically harder. For others, they can't get off their single speed because they love the beating.

    Your statement is just like saying compact cars make no sense becasue a Jeep can go everywhere a compact can and then some.
    Well in respects such as opinions and preferences, yes, you're totally right. I meant 'competitively' though. Take one dude that has no preference, make him do one run FS, one run HT on the same rocky/rooty trail and the numbers will tell the story.

  13. #13
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,709
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
    Well in those respects, yes. I 'competitively' though. Take one dude that has no preference, make him do one run FS, one run HT on the same rocky/rooty trail and the numbers will tell the story.
    They will tell the story of what rider was more suited to what bike, not that any given bike is superior to the other. This is just like the debate about wheel sizes, there is no superior wheel size, just a preference for a given rider in a given condition.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    Price-wise, does the TransAM have a more expensive fork/wheelset/etc than the FS bikes? Definitely seems like a hardtail should be less than an fs bike.
    Yeah I guess it does. A fox 32 float 140 rlc up front (in trying to get them to toss in a kashima). Better wheel set, headset. Apart from that, it has comparable shifters/derailleurs/brakes. However, when comparing it to the FSR Comp, they have he same brakeset (Elixr 7) and the stumpy has an x9 at the back, while the TransAM has a carbon x7 (I guess there's not that much difference there actually).

  15. #15
    TNC
    TNC is offline
    noMAD man
    Reputation: TNC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,059
    Your term, "makes sense", means lots of things to lots of people. However, if one really looked at the HT vs. FS debate in the most logical, Spock-like manner, I would always say the FS MTB is going to be superior in true function if the trail is really classified as a decent off road track...read into that a bit of roughness, technical, and fast descending. This is the AM forum, right?

    Listen carefully...I'm not talking about what riders "can" do or what they actually do. I'm talking about a machine that is moving on, over, and down terrain that has features of some consequence. It doesn't matter if Joe "Mountainbike-God" Schmoe can ride a freakin' unicycle on the downhill course at the next DH WC. The fact would be that a more suitable mode of transportation would do a better job.

    The example I like to draw from that absolutely infuriates some MTB'ers is the dirt motor venue. Like it or not it is a vehicle with 2 wheels made to tackle all manner of rough, off road terrain...often even on the same trails ridden by MTB'ers. How many hardtail dirt motors do you see? Comparing dirt motor riders to MTB'ers, however, brings up a very big difference. Mountainbikers are a more diverse lot of people with different views, opinions, and self-examination than lots of dirt motor folks. Since there's usually an extreme physical element in MTB, there's often more of an ego and challenge aspect to MTB'ing that's not as apparent in the dirt motor world. Yes, dirt motors ridden to a level of competence definitely require a good deal of physical fitness and effort, but still, it's a different type and level IMO...and I talk from off road motorcycles since about 1971 'til present and MTBs since about '95...at least serious MTB'ing. Many MTB'ers have a kind of concept of tying a hand behind their backs at times just to push themselves or maybe even satisfy an occasional masochistic bent. This is why you see things like fixies, singlespeeds, unicycles, etc. And this is also why you see some folks crowing about how they can go faster than most other riders on their singlespeeds, hardtails, or other mechanically challeged vehicles. Many MTB riders can appear somewhat weird to the rest of the world, and perhaps that's a bit of what they're looking for.

    No...this isn't a rant against those who want to go against the grain or prove a point to others or to themselves. That's the great thing about being individuals. Still when comparing the absolute best hardtail to the absolute best FS bike for a given AM level trail in the realm of machine-vs-machine, the best FS bike with gears and all the other beneficial components to make the best bike possible is superior. And while money, the desire for simplicity, bike ridng prowess, and bragging rights all enter the picture to muddy the water, I think the AM FS bike will be the best tool for AM trail riding in the foreseeable future. Now...the next debate will surely be, "What is AM?"...LOL!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    171
    I'd argue that as soon as any given person realises that they have more fun on a HT than a FS or vice versa all other arguments fall flat on their backs, because at the end of the day that's all that matters.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Kayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    41
    Get what you want. If you like how it looks and how it feels get it.

  18. #18
    Flying in High in the Sky
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    271
    You'll answer your own question if you'll just go out and demo the bikes you mentioned. I rode a hardtail for a year and it did just fine untill i rode my buddy's FS bike. Now i understand why FS are soo much better than a hardtail in everyway. So much so that I'm actually in the process of building my ultimate all mountain FS bike.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: eurospek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,400
    After owning a Transition TrasnAM last year (built for $2300), I think you should look at the FS choices. $2600 plus or minus a few pennies can get you a lot of bike these days.

    But being a bigger guy, I'm partial to a beefy hardtail, no messing with rear suspension, sag, and I feel I can a throw down more power without rear suspension.

    Did you check out any of the used TransAM completes on Pinkbike? There's a couple decent ones recently.
    konahonzo

  20. #20
    I am a pathetic rider...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    645
    You don't ride a bike thinking about how much sense it makes, if the bike really makes you excited, buy it and ride it like you stole it. The best bike is the bike that gets you out and riding with a smile on your face, not the bike that gets you around a trail .0002 seconds faster.
    Save the Earth, Ride a Cyclist

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,603
    Here is my past weekend experience with both HT and FS.

    I did about 16 miles at one of my favorite spots, mostly on the HT and starting with it as well. I enjoy riding for a few hours etc. but this was my first real trail ride of the season so I was working on getting in trail shape again.

    The place I was at is great, and I was having a blast on the HT.... but there are a lot of root bumps etc. there. The problem is on the HT i'm constantly getting my back beat on by bumps or i'm constantly getting out of the saddle to handle the jarring and after a while on longer outings it really starts to take a toll on you..it just wears you out and you get tired of it to the point where you feel like not dealing with it anymore and eventually I got sick of it...and that's when i switched to the FS. (this is the 2nd time i've gotten sick of the HT at this place lol)

    The FS is great because it takes all those bumps and smooths them out...I can just ride over a lot more of them and it doesn't wear me out. I think it makes me faster too as i can more consistently apply the power. And it seems to improve my stamina in how far i can ride since i'm not burning all this extra energy getting out of the saddle all the time. On top of that, it makes the ride more pleasant.

    SO...when I am looking to spend a lot of money on a new really nice bike....it's not going to be spent on a HT because for that kinda money I'm going to get a lot more out of a FS.

    Now I still love riding the HT so i'll always have one. It feels awesome and fun with it being so connected to the ground as a solid piece so you can feel so much. But on the longer rides for me, the FS has a clear advantage.

    However if all you ride is generally pretty smooth singletrack, then obviously there isn't as much of an advantage.

    Just my two cents.

  22. #22
    Life Is Short
    Reputation: fatcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,780
    I have to agree with the majority here, get a f/s bike at that price. I too built a Kona HT and thought it was going to be fun again...not. I don't want to get in trouble with HT fans but its like opting for dial up internet again. Life is Short, get a f/s at that price point.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    248
    My personal opinion (Evil Sovereign rider here):

    FS: Will be faster than a hardtail going downhill, slower going uphill, will be more expensive
    HT: Will be slower than an FS bike going downhill, it WILL be more fun and it WILL teach you better riding technique. It's easier on your pocket as well.

    I'd love to have both an FS and a HT to use, but if I only had to have one, I'd pick the HT. I like improving my riding skills and nothing is a better school than a good steel AM HT bike!

  24. #24
    Weekend warrior aspirant
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    400
    I'm going to agree with the "get the one that really works for you"

    I'm a HT guy, just don't care for FS 95% of the time. The 5% of the time that I do care, I can just live with.

    However, if I was on the fence, I'd probably go with whichever bike handled best at that price range.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    916
    i agree with a alot of things here such as, being stoked on your ride makes you wanna ride it and have fun. I think choosing a hardtail for all mountain purposes is somthing you would rather do when you get bored of your FS and want different feel. I am speeking in general here. But i also agree that if i had one do it all bike i would go FS.

    Heres why: while you could do almost all the same things on a hardtail that you would with FS with good bike skills, I just truly beleive if your pushing the envelope, a FS will add more stability at breck neck speeds. it also more comfortable for long rides. Especially if you hit a rock garden; the bike will smooth out rougher lines where you would always have to be choosier about your lines on a hardtail. By comparison; run a hartail down a line as fast as you can down a technical trail , then do the same line on an FS and it becomes less work. The Fs invites you to push harder. And as far as climbing goes; yes a hardtail equates to minimal power transfer loss, but an Fs can smooth out a super tough techy climb. And with descent levered rear shock, you can get real close to a hardtail. My suggestion is shop FS bikes and maybe you will build the same kind of fixation for an FS model as you did for the transition. I have to admit that somtimes im guilty of form over funtion combined with reputation. Transition seems to be one the non conglomerate companies that build alot of street credibility, but when it comes to actual funtion, most companies are pretty much on par these days for a given pricepoint. What makes us stoked is when we are looking at a new bike, how do you imagine yourself on it, and what do you imagin doing with it. Funny thing is that how the bike is styled and built can feed our imaginations which we try and make real.

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •