1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
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    Do I need full suspension?

    Or is a hard tail ok for me? I am 45 y/0 relative beginner and I do lots of trail riding that have occasional pebbles and the odd rock. I am definitely more into mountain biking for the cardiovascular exercise and for the love of nature. I want a bottom tiered high end mountain bike, ie, good components but nothing exorbitant. thanks for the insight.

  2. #2
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    Sure. If YOU think you need one go for it. If you dont mind the extra bumpiness on a HT then stick with a HT. Demo some full suspensions on the trails you ride

  3. #3
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    from the trails you describe, a hardtail will be just fine. keep in mind you might be riding more technical stuff in a year or two.

    if you want to spend around 2k, build a nice hardtail. 3k can get you a nice FS if you take your time looking.

    sounds like you want an XC or trail type bike. maybe shimano slx group...

  4. #4
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    Most trails can be riden on most bikes ,Where I ride I don't need full suspension but I have one . If you ride more than a couple of days a week you don't get quite as beat up with full suspension.

  5. #5
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
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    I'm 42 and ride FS but my buddy is 47 and rides a hardtail. I do more aggressive riding and the FS suites me well. I have no plans on going back.

    Like the others have said, test ride a few and see what you think. Ultimately if you have the dough then it's a worthwhile investment.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  6. #6
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    I'm 54 and ride both a FS and a HT, but usually ride the hardtail because I like the efficiency, and my hardtail has a 120 mm fork vs. the 100 mm fork on my FS bike. After riding for close to 20 years and riding and owning several different bikes, if I had to just choose one, I think I would keep the hardtail. You may feel different for your own reasons.

    "Occasional pebbles" and the "odd rock" sounds like a hardtail would be just fine (I would recommend a 29er). I would suggest riding some on trails like you'll be riding if at all possible. When climbing a smoother trail, the hardtail will be more efficient, and as the trail gets rougher, eventually, a full suspension bike will get to be easier to climb with.

  7. #7
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    There is an easy answer to this question. NO. You don't need a full suspension bike. However, you don't need more than a kitchen, a bathroom and a place to sleep. You don't need a car that travels above 70 MPH, you don't need a phone, or a tv for that matter.
    I ride FS, I have a hard tail that has LOTS of dust on it from sitting in the garage. I found that I really enjoy riding more with my FS. There is a give and take though. If you do go FS, get one that has a pro pedal shock so you can shut the rear shock off and get the power to climb without wasting energy. It sucks that a portion of your power goes into collapsing the rear suspension.

  8. #8
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    Do I need full suspension?

    Hardtail it until the bike holds you back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrimm View Post
    Hardtail it until the bike holds you back.
    ^X2 on that. I get some pretty freaky stuff done on my HT. Also I find the HT a lot more fun to ride on less technical trails where rear suspension would otherwise be useless.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantrain View Post
    Or is a hard tail ok for me? I am 45 y/0 relative beginner and I do lots of trail riding that have occasional pebbles and the odd rock. I am definitely more into mountain biking for the cardiovascular exercise and for the love of nature. I want a bottom tiered high end mountain bike, ie, good components but nothing exorbitant. thanks for the insight.
    Don't need full suspension and hardtail will be fine. I ride a hardtail and don't shy away from rocks at all. On smoother trails a FS bike will be heavier and not provide much benefit. A hardtail however will require you to be a more active rider. You will need to stand more at let the rear wheel bounce on the terrain. If not you will feel it in the seat. I pretty much stand and hover over the seat when the terrain gets rough and I have some downhill speed. On flats when I pedaling I just pedal through it. A FS bike even on smooth stuff will be smoother, but it will also tend be less effective at pedaling. Also you will spend 25% to 50% more get similar quality FS bike compared to a hardtail.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    I'd vote for the HT as well. An HT is much easier to maintain. What I will suggest, is possibly going with a 29er hardtail. The larger wheel, although won't make it any more comfortable, will make those rocks a little easier to tackle.

  12. #12
    o<o NYC pebble jumper!
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    I would say it really all depends on the trail riding you do. If your local trails are just more cross country riding, then it would not benefit much to go FS. HT will do just fine. If you were planning on riding trails and downhills that tend to be more advanced and a rougher ride then a FS may be more suited for that style of riding.
    On smoother surfaces, the FS may exert more energy out of you during the ride and not be as efficient.

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