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  1. #1
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    Which full suspension ?

    Some background first . I am a mountain bike newbie. I just moved here from Nebraska in March , then I was a 100 % roadie. I brought a mountain bike with me. I was an UN-official employee of a bike shop there where I would upload the pics on their web site. For this I was given cost on anything. The bike I purchased was a leftover 2011 Giant XTC hardtail. I upgraded the the shifters and derailleurs to SRAM X-9 and the forks are Bomber 44.
    I now work at Performance Bicycle in Scottsdale. I was selling cars but that didn't give me any time to ride so I quit ( brutal hours) . I went riding on South Mountain on Thanksgiving, we went from Javalina to Mormon to National up to the waterfall. I was getting beat up on the ride. It was the first time on a trail of that nature, I had several minor crashes, my rear end was jumping around on the downhills and there were several obsticals I could have made ( I thought) if I had full suspension ?? I also suck at climbing, on the road as well.
    So which bike has the suspension design that is efficient on climbs and works well on rutted or rocky downhills ect?? I will probably be a XC rider. I do well on the Sonoran Preserve, BCT and McDowels.
    The question is I can get employee pricing ( EP) from the following, De Venci, GT, Giant and Felt. Age here is 54 and I weigh 200 lbs. What do you think ??
    Joel





    Not my house and car in the pic.

  2. #2
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    If you are limited to the above brands, the Maestro suspension from Giant seemed well balanced to me. I don't have any experience with the others.

    Outside of those brands... Pivot is popular in this state for a reason. Santa Cruz as well. I went with the Rocky Mt. and their smoothlink 4 bar system and it is awesome going up and down.

    Demo everything you can.

  3. #3
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    EP is close to half of retail, so I'm limited to the brands above unless some other manufacturer will give me EP because I work in a bike shop?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Licketysplit View Post
    EP is close to half of retail, so I'm limited to the brands above unless some other manufacturer will give me EP because I work in a bike shop?
    Performance sells Giant?
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    Performance sells Giant?
    No the bike shop in Omaha sells Giant and Felt.

  6. #6
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    I'd probably demo anything you're interested in and go from there. Nobody can tell you how a certain bike climbs or descends, you gotta feel it.

    I like Santa Cruz's VPP system. I think my Tallboy LT is a pretty good climber, and a reasonable all around bike for my skill level. That said, they told me when I bought my Tallboy that Santa Cruz's employee discount is really low. Something about they want you to ride one because you think it's the best, not because you were able to get it cheap.

    I'm all about getting stuff cheap, but if you try them all and don't think they'll work, did you really get a bargain?

  7. #7
    RHRF!
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    If you want to ride terrain like SoMo, Sedona, PMP, etc. and not only survive the ride but have some serious fun doing it, then I would recommend a 6-inch AM bike. The deal on the Titus El Guapo frame is a steal @ $999.00 - and with your bike shop discount on parts, you could build a very 'SoMo worthy' bike. I've been on my EG since 2008 and it can handle everything Arizona has to offer.
    "The secret of joy is the mastery of pain." (Anaïs Nin)

  8. #8
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    Based on your description, I would say you need to improve your skills on the XTC hardtail before moving to a FS bike. The XTC is more than capable for the trails you are riding. Using a FS to mask the deficiencies in your riding skills will just lead to more trouble. I would concentrate on improving your handling (track stands, bunny hop, braking, cornering, shifting weight on bike, lowering seat and sitting back on descents) and climbing skills for the next few months. During that time pay attention to the demo's and like Eazy said, demo as many FS bikes and figure out which one works best for you. Then in about 6 months, you will be ready to take advantage of the FS.

    Just my honest opinion (and I am no expert)...

  9. #9
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    If it were me, I'd go devinci first, giant second. Devinci has a new DW link this year, and few people have them, which I think is pretty cool. Giant is just a great brand. I can't imagine being disappointed with either. Realistically, coming from a HT, you won't be disappointed (not that HT's are bad). Also keep in mind that it takes someone who practically lives on their bikes to actually notice a substantial difference between the suspension types.

  10. #10
    Go Speed Racer
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    Also, if you decide to sell the XTC let me know, I may be interested...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Based on your description, I would say you need to improve your skills on the XTC hardtail before moving to a FS bike. The XTC is more than capable for the trails you are riding. Using a FS to mask the deficiencies in your riding skills will just lead to more trouble. I would concentrate on improving your handling (track stands, bunny hop, braking, cornering, shifting weight on bike, lowering seat and sitting back on descents) and climbing skills for the next few months. During that time pay attention to the demo's and like Eazy said, demo as many FS bikes and figure out which one works best for you. Then in about 6 months, you will be ready to take advantage of the FS.

    Just my honest opinion (and I am no expert)...
    I'm inclined to agree with Dennis on this one. The reasons you gave for wanting a FS sounds more like you need time getting used to the terrain and improve your bike handling-skills. However, I'm not one to tell someone how to spend their money, or what to do.

    So what does a FS do exactly? In my experience (as someone who recently purchased his first) a FS:

    --Makes the trail smoother. I'm really just talking about random trail chatter that any hardtail can handle. With a FS, most of that gets smoothed out. When I first got on a FS, it felt like I was cheating!
    --Increases the margin for error just a bit. With a hardtail, you have to know when to use your legs for suspension so the saddle doesn't smack into your prostate or knock you off balance. With a FS, if you forget to get out of the saddle on an especially rocky or technical portion, you won't be thrown around as much. The rear wheel should also track better with the surface helping traction
    --Allows you to take the rockier/crappier line. Whether on accident or on purpose (similar to above).
    --Gives you an inflated sense of courage. With a FS, you feel that you can take lines that you never could before. I mostly believe it's a mental thing. If you believe it will be easier, you're more apt to try it instead of chickening out ("You can do it!").
    --Makes you look for harder/more-difficult trails. Once you've conquered all the now- easier trails on your new bike, you'll feel like you need something more to challenge you.
    --Makes my back hurt less. This is in the "beat up on my body" category. Obviously, a FS lessens the impact of drops, etc.

    Just remember, you can still make stupid choices and wreck on a FS bike.....it's not a miracle worker. You can still lock up your brakes and take a spill. You can still go OTB. You an still fall over for what seems like no reason at all.

  12. #12
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    If I could get EP on a Devinci Dixion I would pick one up in a heart beat. With modern suspension design the only way to buy a crappy bike these days it to buy a bike that does not fit your riding style.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Based on your description, I would say you need to improve your skills on the XTC hardtail before moving to a FS bike. The XTC is more than capable for the trails you are riding. Using a FS to mask the deficiencies in your riding skills will just lead to more trouble. I would concentrate on improving your handling (track stands, bunny hop, braking, cornering, shifting weight on bike, lowering seat and sitting back on descents) and climbing skills for the next few months. During that time pay attention to the demo's and like Eazy said, demo as many FS bikes and figure out which one works best for you. Then in about 6 months, you will be ready to take advantage of the FS.

    Just my honest opinion (and I am no expert)...
    Point well taken....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    If it were me, I'd go devinci first, giant second. Devinci has a new DW link this year, and few people have them, which I think is pretty cool. Giant is just a great brand. I can't imagine being disappointed with either. Realistically, coming from a HT, you won't be disappointed (not that HT's are bad). Also keep in mind that it takes someone who practically lives on their bikes to actually notice a substantial difference between the suspension types.
    The majority of the guys at work have the Devinci.

  15. #15
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    Unfortunately, it's difficult to go out there and test every suspension bike and find what you might like the best, it's even less likely that the bikes you test will be set up perfect for you, with the right amount of air pressure/spring, damping features such as high and low speed, etc. One suspension type might feel good from one manufacturer, whereas the same suspension type from another manufacturer has different traits. Most bike companies know what they are doing by now, which is good, back in the 90s there were some very haphazardly designed bikes, and this continued well into the 2000s, but by now, they are getting this all down very well. Anything from one of the large manufacturers is going to be pretty well thought out and perform well. With some of the smaller-but-still-name-brand manufacturers it's going to be pretty decent, but not quite as good as the ones that have the ability to dump more money into R&D and patents. Then you get to the small-production and boutique manufacturers, these often have some of the best constructed bikes. Notice I didn't say best designed, as they sometimes lack the cutting-edge of the biggest companies, but what they do not have there they more than make up for in execution, quality control, and customer service.

    These days, there are few bikes I would completely stay away from. Gary Fisher has had a tough time designing and making FS bikes over the years, and I'm not sure why. He seems to build them without enough thought for the pivots and structural parts, and they get better all the time, but when thinking about bikes like Kona, Trek, GF, Specialized, Giant, and a few others, GF is probably my last choice. The 2nd tier is made up of those smaller companies that still mass-produce bikes, like Rocky Mountain, Devinci, Mongoose, GT, KHS, and others (some of these used to be bigger, but collapsed and were bought out and have never really been able to get back into the 1st tier). Then there are the more boutique ones like Ibis, Pivot, Turner, Titus, and so on. All of these make great bikes, and ANY one of them might make the one that "feels/rides" best for you.

    Confused? Yeah, but the bottom line is that any major brand is going to be pretty good. The less mainstream the "mass-produced" bike is, the more skeptical you should be. KHS and some of those 2nd tier companies make "ok" bikes, nothing wrong with most of them, but just closely compare the feel, geometry, and parts between those kinds of bikes. The boutique ones are often more expensive, but may not feel any better and there may be no real advantage to going there.

    I'd say the most important thing is make sure the bike suits your needs and preferences. It's a little hard to know what that is before you go out and ride, but realize a few things:

    It's not a hardtail and it won't feel like one. Don't worry about a little bit of suspension movement, and don't buy the bike based on the one that feels "most like" a hardtail. You'll end up disappointed and frustrated by the suspension that doesn't really help you out like suspension is supposed to.

    Think about your intended use. Many shops, magazines, and resources STILL point "serious" mountain bikers towards XC race bikes. This is total crap and an unfortunate part of the accessibility of mountain bike racing. It's great it's accessible, but 95% of the riders do NOT need to be on a 3" travel XC race bike with race geometry. It can be downright scary trying to descend on something like that, and for a slight tradeoff in weight, you can get something that is far more stable and FUN all-around, rather than something that makes descending and technical terrain scary.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  16. #16
    My other ride is your mom
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    I'd roll the DeVinci....

  17. #17
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    Liketlysplit, You've got the hat, now get the bike. Check out the Felts. The Equalink suspension rocks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by m77ranger View Post
    If I could get EP on a Devinci Dixion I would pick one up in a heart beat. With modern suspension design the only way to buy a crappy bike these days it to buy a bike that does not fit your riding style.
    I second m77,the Devinci Dixon is the best F/S rig I have ever ridden.........not an expert on F/S but I know what I like. 2 Wheels Good

  19. #19
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    Borrow your co-workers rides if you can. Every bike, geometry, and suspension is unique so ride those you are considering - get demos from the reps, they would like you to be riding what you sell. Keep the hardtail if you can.

    Mormon/National for a newbie? Desert Classic might have been a friendlier choice but good for you!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RV2011 View Post
    Liketlysplit, You've got the hat, now get the bike. Check out the Felts. The Equalink suspension rocks.




    I have one already.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    Borrow your co-workers rides if you can. Every bike, geometry, and suspension is unique so ride those you are considering - get demos from the reps, they would like you to be riding what you sell. Keep the hardtail if you can.

    Mormon/National for a newbie? Desert Classic might have been a friendlier choice but good for you!
    I went with a group from work.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Licketysplit View Post



    I have one already.
    Very nice. These are mine. They're 08 models. I'd love to check out the 2013 Compulsion but it probably best that I don't.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  23. #23
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    DeVinci first, Giant second. Either way you will have a blast!

  24. #24
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    I've owned/ridden a lot of FS configs over the last 20 years (starting with a GT RTS. Go ahead, laugh. It was just about all we had.). Most of my riding time (like, 10 years straight) was spent on Horst Links, such as the Titus offerings. After Chris Cocalis left Titus, I followed him to Pivot. The DW-link is my favorite, by far.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick View Post
    I've owned/ridden a lot of FS configs over the last 20 years (starting with a GT RTS. Go ahead, laugh. It was just about all we had.). Most of my riding time (like, 10 years straight) was spent on Horst Links, such as the Titus offerings. After Chris Cocalis left Titus, I followed him to Pivot. The DW-link is my favorite, by far.

    My 2c.
    I like the Four by 4, it has a much longer DW-link than what Pivot uses .
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

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