Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 73
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jasonf150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    82

    HT or FS for AZ trail riding?

    I know the ole "this bike or that" has been asked time and time again, but hopefully this Q will be a little more specific to me and this area. What I really want to know is whether I should get a Full Susser or stick with a Hardtail for my next bike? A little about me and my situations....

    Me: 33 years old, married with kids, 5'7", 175lbs, not in very good shape

    Current bike: '12 spesh hardrock 29er hardtail; running 2x10 with SLX rd and shifter, mech disc brakes.

    What I ride: trail 100, lookout mountain (although I hate it), other various mountainy trail type stuff, and the occasional 22mi round tripper to work.

    Riding ability: uphills kill me. I know I'll get into better shape as time goes on, but I hate to admit I've thrown up a couple times at the top of a mtn. I go all out climbing and once I get up there I can barely breathe.

    I'm not going to ask the question what bike will make me a better mountainbiker, cause that's just dumb. What I want to know is whether getting a FS is really worth it considering what I ride? Then on the other hand, I already have a HT, so why not grab a FS to have a more well rounded stable? As a beginner, will I really notice the lighter weight of a quality HT? If I'm spending X dollars on a certain HT, why not get a FS right? I just don't know....

    Incase anyone is wondering, some of the bikes I'm considering...

    FS: Giant Trance X 29 1 or 2, Airborne Hobgoblin (maybe XO, bit of a stretch)
    HT: Giant XTC Composite 1 or 3, Goblin (maybe XO), stumpy evo

    I really like the Giant dealer and he's within a few miles of me. If I went with an internet bike, I would probably go to them to get it serviced.
    2013 Giant Trance X29 2
    2012 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29er

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    157
    You have a HT, round out the collection with a FS like you mention. Then you will truly know what you like better.

    or

    Grab a FS that has a soft lockout on the rear... I really enjoy the lockout on my trek fuel when I just go for a quick ride through somewhere flat like Papago or DC.
    "This fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream" - 311

  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,678
    I'm gonna have to say that for what it sounds like you ride, a FS will be overkill. Sure, it will be comfy, but I think it's a wiser decision to have one really good bike, than two lower quality bikes. You'll inherently ride one more then eventually decide to sell the other. Plus the fact that keeping 2 bikes running (fresh stans in wheels, etc) takes more work. If you're on the fence, go borrow or rent a FS and ride it a few times. Also, take in to account that FS bikes have higher maintenance needs (pivots, rear shock). BTW, I ride a Ti hardtail bike and the only stuff I steer clear of is the big drop stuff since a steady diet of that will start to fatigue my back.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,678
    Also, I'd suggest looking at other brands like Kona and Salsa. You'll get way more for your $ than with a big namer like Specialized or Trek.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    521
    In what way do you think your Specialized is falling short that a new bike would address?

  6. #6
    I love bike!
    Reputation: dsittman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096
    Agree with juggles. I would go for the longer travel Giant then you will have two distinct bikes. Plus the Giant will be more capable (slacker angles and longer travel) when your skills improve and you want to test your nerves a bit. Otherwise if you're just looking to log cross-country miles I think you will be overlapping bikes too much with the shorter travel Airborne and keeping the HT. If you want to stick with shorter travel but want to upgrade and take the edge off a bit then I think selling your HT and getting the Airborne would be a nice upgrade. Really depends what type of riding you see yourself doing. I have a HT for the easier trails and a 6" full-susp for the chunkier stuff which to me is a perfect combo. Just my 2 pesos.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,144
    What do you want to do with the new bike? Do you feel you can't ride certain trails because of the bike you have? Having HT and long travel FS bike is nice, but only makes sense if you ride both of them.

    There are alot of riders who put alot of miles on HT's here in Arizona. Nothing wrong with them. It comes down to personal preference mostly. To me a '12 specialized is new bike already. No need to replace it. I went something like 4 years on my first mtn bike before replacing for something lighter. I have many miles and years on the replacement bike have no desire to get a new bike to place a perfectly good one. I am 38 years old married with one kid and have better things to do with my money than trade in perfectly good bike for another one. Right now I don't feel like the bike I have is limiting where I can ride or how I ride so spending more to ride the same trails as not does not make much sense.

    Don't assume you need to upgrade just because it is the "cool thing" to do or all the other riders on the trails have such and such bikes.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  8. #8
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,089
    I purchased a 2011 Rocky Mountain Slayer a few year ago for my slack, long travel AM rig. Fun bike and I really learned a lot riding it. It gave me the confidence on more difficult trails to over come my mental fears. I dont think I "needed" that bike to ride stuff like the waterfall on National but it gave me the confidence to try. It also gave me the confidence to pick up the pace on the downhills a bit more. All of a sudden more lines opened up to me. I saw the trail different and realized I could ride them.

    Fast forward a year and a half and I picked up my TransAM 29er HT. I was immediately impressed on how much faster I felt on it, on everything but the gnarliest DH. I feel I can corner faster on it and maintain more speed in general. No it doesnt feel as confident on the chunky DH but in reality I dont spend much time doing that and running a large volume tire like a 2.4 Ardent helps out a lot. Honestly I felt I was able to take the confidence the Slayer allowed me to gain and then applied it on a more suitable bike for the majority of my riding. Im starting to consistanly see average speeds over 11mph and max speeds over 25mph on a 10 mile ride at Hawes on the Trans AM (not fast I know but getting better for this weekend warrior)

    I would still take the Slayer if I plan to hit up National for example but for everything else (Hawes, Gold Canyon, BCT, AZT Picketpost, McDowell Mtn Park) I feel the Trans AM is a much better choice.

    Its ultimately up to you and it is nice to have variety. That being said if I were to get rid of one of them it would easily be the Slayer. Cant beat the ease of maintenance on a HT either.

    Maybe get a good wheelset for your current ride. I bet you will feel the difference and way cheaper than another bike.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jasonf150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    In what way do you think your Specialized is falling short that a new bike would address?
    Good question. Really it's just the quality of bike all around. And the weight. I'd like a higher end bike with better components and less weight. I figure buying a new bike is better than upgrading this one. I'm just not sure it's worth adding a better fork, etc to this bike.

    As far as the guys asking what I plan on doing and where I ride. Really just trails around phx. Trail 100, and some others. I agree that a FS would serve me better for the chunky stuff, but isn't that really only on the downhill? I do feel that having a FS bike would allow me to do more with regards to chunky downhill and drops (although where are there drops in the greater phx area?). I'm doubtful I'm ready to try drops just yet anyway (see Youtube fail videos).

    Maybe I should ride something like t100 on my current bike then the next day ride the same thing on a rented FS and just see what I like better.


    Also, even if I did end up with another HT, I would probably keep this Hardrock and use it as a spare, or for friends to ride. It's really not worth much $, was only $540 new.
    2013 Giant Trance X29 2
    2012 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29er

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2,996
    Bike choices depend mostly on what sort of trails you intend to ride, and how fast you want to be riding on them.

    In general it's: FS for chunky trails & bombing downhills, or HT for smoother trails, lighter bike, longer ride distances.

    It's really up to each rider. I went from a Trek Remedy AM bike to a Raleigh XXIX+G 29er, even though I miss the chunk-swallowing Remedy, I enjoy riding the 29er more, even though it's slower on the big chunk.

    Ideally, you'd have both kinds of bikes in the garage!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    521
    If I were in your shoes I'd probably upgrade the wheelset AND don't buy a new bike. That should get the most bang for your buck in terms of upgrades and all around performance. Put aside the extra cash and wait till the fall/winter when all manufacturers flock to Phoenix with their demo fleets. Like you kind of mentioned, riding your HT on a McDowell loop and then hopping on a demo to hit the same loop will give you a much better idea of which way you want to go long term. Whether it be aluminum/steel/carbon HT, 4 inch F/S or longer travel F/S, etc.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GR1822's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,144
    Ask the shop if they will let you demo the Trance 29er for a few hours and go ride your 'regular' trails to see if you can really tell a difference. If it's the shop I'm thinking it is, they will probably let you do it for $20-$50,and apply the fee to the purchase price if you decide to buy it.
    No one really NEEDS a new bike, but they sure are fun to buy.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,144
    Quote Originally Posted by jasonf150 View Post
    Good question. Really it's just the quality of bike all around. And the weight. I'd like a higher end bike with better components and less weight. I figure buying a new bike is better than upgrading this one. I'm just not sure it's worth adding a better fork, etc to this bike...
    Not a bad idea. Now on HT vs FS. For a given dollar spend the HT will be lighter and have better components. It just the nature of bikes that the simpler frame can be made lighter and given better parts are compared to paying for more complex rear suspension.

    For riding around here you can do fine on light hardtail. It may limit your speed on downhill chunk, but if that does not bother you so what. Best thing to do is take your time. Ride demo bikes to see how they feel and determine if they are really so much more fun as to be worth the $$$.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,587
    A lot of good advice here. I am going to add just this.

    1. You have a nice bike already but it sounds like may be need to get dialed in better. Just proper adjustment of the seat - up down forward or back - can improve your pedaling power. On my bike - putting a shorter stem and seat setback - made much more comfortable on the downhill runs. Going tubeless would make you ride a lot more comfy as well.
    2. FS will not help you climb. So if you have trouble climbing, FS will only make it worse. Yes FS can help better tracking, but you have to work on you technique.

    3. Two bikes make sense only if you do a lot of riding. I average about 80 MTB miles/3-4 rides per week. I have a nice FS bike - Pivot Mach 5.7 with a dropper seat for more gnarly rides - but in reality I don't get to use it that much. I live by Sonoran Preserve and riding FS there is overkill. I do use the FS bike for Deem Hills.
    and maintenance on two bike is a hassle...

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,587
    Of course if you must spend the money on a new bike- I would look at santa cruz tallboy, Pivot 429 or ripley. Very efficient climbers for a FS, light, short travel bikes. They would give you comfort on the chunk without much sacrifice in performance.

    These are high end bikes. Your money would be spent on upgrades to your HT instead of a cheaper FS bike.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jasonf150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    82
    First off, I do plan on waiting until the 2014's are out so I can at least what color options, even if nothing specs-wise changes. I know Giant has some bikes in 27˝ coming in 2014, but I don't think that size suits me.

    Bikes of Phoenix is the shop I was referring to. Andy has treated me very well in the past. He probably doesn't know me from another other Smoe that comes in, but I like the way he runs a bikeshop. I could take a nice light hardtail, such as the Xtc Composite 1 and the trancex at the same time and just ride them around for a few hours. This would also tell me whether getting a nice new shiny bike will even make that much difference.

    Another option would be to save my dollars and cents for a whole 'nether year and wait until my skills catch up. Wait, what am I saying? That's complete hogwash! Forget I said that.

    I'm anxious for some demo events this fall. Do those really happen? How does one find out about these events?


    Speaking of a Tallboy, there's this one on CL.
    2013 Giant Trance X29 2
    2012 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29er

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GR1822's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,144
    Jason,
    I'm riding tomorrow at 5am from 7th st/T-bird if you want to join me.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jasonf150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    82
    I'd would, 'cept I gotta be at work at 6am downtown.
    2013 Giant Trance X29 2
    2012 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29er

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    157
    Douger-1 kind of makes a good point, in that learning to ride another type of bike can be worthwhile in and of itself. I have a similar story in that my first "real" bike was my Trek Fuel, and even though I took it down chunky stuff like Geronimo a number of times, it wasn't until I picked up my Giant Glory, and bombed the same lines, that I really had the confidence I now have in my riding ability.

    My fastest time down Geronimo, National, and Javalina are all on my Trek Fuel now.

    The major benefit was the Glory was very forgiving comparatively, and helped me to learn to ride faster and with more confidence.

    With that said, buying a new bike is not really a financially efficient way to help yourself improve, but hey if you got the money and like owning bikes, its way more exciting than the $$$ sitting in a bank somewhere.
    "This fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream" - 311

  20. #20
    bland
    Reputation: m77ranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,272
    In my opinion there is plenty of terrible advice in this thread. Upgrades to a $550 bike should stop at pedals and tires. The money spent on a new wheel set that will improve the performance of your bike will cost at least 300 bux. If you have never ridden a fs bike before a two hour demo on a fs bike will do you no good. There is a different riding style that comes with full suspension that takes longer than 2 hours to learn, once you get it figured out you will be faster on the ups and downs.

    If you love the sport sell the ht and drop $1500 in to a 5" trail bike from 2-3 years ago and ride it all on one bike. Have a bike nerd buddy help you pick out the used bike.

    If you don't plan on becoming an obsessive bike nerd like the rest of us the bike you have is perfect.

    I started on a ht 12 years ago, I currently own one 6" do it all bike and it does it all, I can't imagine going back to a ht.

    *disclaimer: I'm just some dude on the internet!*

  21. #21
    High Desert MTBer
    Reputation: rockerc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,677
    Quote Originally Posted by m77ranger View Post
    In my opinion there is plenty of terrible advice in this thread. Upgrades to a $550 bike should stop at pedals and tires. The money spent on a new wheel set that will improve the performance of your bike will cost at least 300 bux. If you have never ridden a fs bike before a two hour demo on a fs bike will do you no good. There is a different riding style that comes with full suspension that takes longer than 2 hours to learn, once you get it figured out you will be faster on the ups and downs.

    If you love the sport sell the ht and drop $1500 in to a 5" trail bike from 2-3 years ago and ride it all on one bike. Have a bike nerd buddy help you pick out the used bike.

    If you don't plan on becoming an obsessive bike nerd like the rest of us the bike you have is perfect.

    I started on a ht 12 years ago, I currently own one 6" do it all bike and it does it all, I can't imagine going back to a ht.

    *disclaimer: I'm just some dude on the internet!*
    I agree with this... For me a FS opened up so much more fun on the rocky stuff, and I have not seen too much downside on the climbs, and I do some killers. But, the climbs I do are mostly steep and chunky, not too much near me that is long and smooth. A used FS as mentioned, picked out by someone who knows what to look for is a great idea. I am long(er) in the tooth tho, and do not relish my old(er) bones taking too many hits...
    It's all Here. Now.

  22. #22
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,265
    I rode my Kona Unit rigid on all these rough trails out here for quite a while, I prefer riding rigid, but ultimately the rugged trails beat me up on longer rides and I got a susfork. But I miss riding rigid.

    So unless you want to bomb over obstacles with reckless abandon, unless you have a bad back, unless you have a weak disposition, HT is my pick.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  23. #23
    Shovel Ready
    Reputation: Cycle64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,776
    85% of these posts are going to tell you what they like or use. You said you have some time, demo as many brands as you can. After the summer many manufactures will be in town with their demo fleets.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    145
    Dont listen to these guys saying you dont need another bike. You ALWAYS need another bike. Just one more.

    I started out on a Hardrock 29er like you. It is a good bike, but the geometry and build is geared towards a very entry level, smooth cross-country type of riding. For a newbie, it is not very forgiving in the technical sections. A full suspension with moderately aggressive geometry can really boost your confidence and skills. At least for me, I found adding the FS opened up a lot of riding for me. I developed skills I wouldnt have learned on the Hardrock because I just wouldnt have tried.

    Those same new skills transfer back to the HT, but would have been much harder to develop on the Hardrock. Can you manual your Hardrock? Yeah, neither can I. But being able to do that on a FS 26er will make you much more confident in clearing techy sections on your 29er.

    You NEED another bike.

    I say keep the Hardrock for cross country and get a good do it all FS with 140-160mm of travel for everything else.

  25. #25
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,678
    So I think we all violently agree that there is not one type of bike that works for everyone. Just like if you asked what kind of car to purchase, you'd get 100 different answers. We've all arrived at our choices for one reason or another which of course do not necessarily reflect your needs and wants in a bike. Although I hate to say it, all the above is just opinion...no real data. So go out, ride some bikes, have some fun and make the best decision you can...worst case, you sell it and buy something different.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Trail Riding with dog
    By down2ride in forum Passion
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 06-05-2013, 07:38 AM
  2. DJ for trail riding also
    By bgfthntr in forum Urban/DJ/Park
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-22-2013, 06:38 AM
  3. Cuyamaca Trail work Timelapse and Ellie Lane trail riding
    By Scott forty G. in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-25-2013, 07:59 AM
  4. Riding to/from the trail worse than the trail
    By sjhiker in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-23-2012, 11:20 AM
  5. anyone use there DH for trail riding as well
    By Gilly32 in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 87
    Last Post: 02-03-2012, 04:22 PM

Posting Permissions

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