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.
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  1. #1
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    Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency

    I like the look of full suspension they are just sexy so I was looking at them until my friend a mechanic told me that in this area a hard tail would be all I need.
    I haven talk to him about all the different technologies out there now day that full suspension bike have. Dont know if he is old school.

    My main question now are full suspension on part with hard tail when it comes to ride around town, street, pulling the little one in his trailer?
    I know you can lock the rear shock but do you still loose energy when pedaling.
    I still cant believe some FS bike weight about the same as a HT with about the same components.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    are full suspension on part with hard tail when it comes to ride around town, street, pulling the little one in his trailer?
    I'd stick with a hardtail 29r for this.

    Over a rough trail and distance, a good FS can be as efficient as a hardtail because it acts to absorb some things (roots, rocks) that'll effectively push a rear wheel backwards. On a street or smooth climb, I'd take a hardtail.

    Note that I also said "good FS" - good suspension isn't cheap. For an area that doesn't need it and for the purpose of towing kids, I'd put money into better components all around.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I'd stick with a hardtail 29r for this.

    Over a rough trail and distance, a good FS can be as efficient as a hardtail because it acts to absorb some things (roots, rocks) that'll effectively push a rear wheel backwards. On a street or smooth climb, I'd take a hardtail.

    Note that I also said "good FS" - good suspension isn't cheap. For an area that doesn't need it and for the purpose of towing kids, I'd put money into better components all around.
    This..sure you can get a FS that weighs what some HT weighs..gonna pay big time to do it...right tool for the job..if you do not need a FS then I would stick with a HT 29er...less maintenance and you can build one up to be very light if your budget allows it..if I was using my HT 29er for city riding..street..trailer duty and that was its primary duty I may think about a rigid 29er..pretty much budget and real world use I guess would depend on what you want vs what you need...but then again cool thing about bikes...rock what you want.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    My main question now are full suspension on part with hard tail when it comes to ride around town, street, pulling the little one in his trailer?
    Thanks.
    Sounds like you're just cruising around, is maximum efficiency really important?

  5. #5
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    I'd buy a rigid for what your describing

    Please post a link to an FS that weighs "about the same" as a HT with same specs. Not sure what you call "about the same" but a few pounds is not "about the same" in the cycling world.
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  6. #6
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    It all depends on what you want and enjoy. If you already have a ht then a fs is a nice addition but so is a road bike. Sure a ht is more efficient than fs on smoother stuff, but if having some fun and getting some exercise is the goal than that doesn't matter.
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  7. #7
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    You would have to spend a lot more on a full suspension bike to get the same efficiency of a hardtail. If what you seem to be using it for a good hardtail would be enough.

    If at a later time you find yourself doing more technical stuff then you can sell and get fs.
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  8. #8
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    My advice is to buy an inexpensive full rigid that you can use for riding around town and pulling the kids, and then saving for(or just buying) a HT or FS to use when you want to go off road.

    Why compromise if you dont have to?

  9. #9
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    couple of things

    I use a hybrid beater for around town stuff. It was $300 used and it's a ton faster than a $1800 mountain bike (new). Also, it's safer to be targeted by bike thieves.

    To get a good FS that doesn't weigh a ton and has good suspension front and back, you are looking at 2k new. to get a same level hardtail, more like 1200 (airborne gobline or bikesdirect bike).

    you don't any suspension for around town. A $500 rigid will be faster.

    I still cant believe some FS bike weight about the same as a HT with about the same components.
    not true. you take a significant weight penalty for FS. not that it matters in around town riding.

  10. #10
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    It all depends on what you want and enjoy.

  11. #11
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    Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    I like the look of full suspension they are just sexy so I was looking at them until my friend a mechanic told me that in this area a hard tail would be all I need.

    I haven talk to him about all the different technologies out there now day that full suspension bike have. Dont know if he is old school.

    My main question now are full suspension on part with hard tail when it comes to ride around town, street, pulling the little one in his trailer?

    I know you can lock the rear shock but do you still loose energy when pedaling.

    I still cant believe some FS bike weight about the same as a HT with about the same components.
    Thanks.

    This is tough.
    You don't need Mtb as a commuter. You are just wasting your money as well as extra weight.
    Since you seem to know the different technologies out there, why would you need any lock out. Most FS riders nowadays don't use them, unless they are racers.

    Believe it, a 5.5 lbs FS frame weight exactly the same as a 5.5 lbs HT frame, since both have the same components both bike would weight the same.

    That said a 5.5 lbs HT frame may only cost $800, but the same 5.5 lbs FS frame can be $2200. That's the main difference. My ibis mojo steel HT frame weight the same as my FS seven duo ti frame at about 4 lbs and change but there's a $3000 price difference. And yes the FS is more efficient than the HT anyway you look at it.


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  12. #12
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    I have that around here. That why I asked since I would like to get a nice bike to do the activities mentioned and ride in the area
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency-image.jpg  

    Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency-image.jpg  


  13. #13
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    If those are pictures of the stuff you will be riding, I have no idea why you would even consider a full suspension.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
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    This is a local intermediate trail that I just rode for the first time on a hardtail 29er which was perfect. The first part of the trail is beginner so jump to maybe 29 minutes to get to the intermediate sections


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    I have that around here. That why I asked since I would like to get a nice bike to do the activities mentioned and ride in the area
    Based on your pics, which describe where you ride a HT is the best choice. FS is a waste.

    I ride much more technical and steep stuff than what your pics show and I am more than happy on my steel HT.

    (don't believe the ads and articles in Mtn Bike Action)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    I like the look of full suspension they are just sexy so I was looking at them until my friend a mechanic told me that in this area a hard tail would be all I need.
    I haven talk to him about all the different technologies out there now day that full suspension bike have. Dont know if he is old school.

    My main question now are full suspension on part with hard tail when it comes to ride around town, street, pulling the little one in his trailer?
    I know you can lock the rear shock but do you still loose energy when pedaling.
    I still cant believe some FS bike weight about the same as a HT with about the same components.
    Thanks.
    Just buy a beat up banger bike. Maybe a single speed rigid 29er for the around town stuff and get a mounrain bike for tje trails... dont buy a mountain bike to ride around town and pull trailers. Thats a touring bike your after

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    My advice is to buy an inexpensive full rigid that you can use for riding around town and pulling the kids, and then saving for(or just buying) a HT or FS to use when you want to go off road.

    Why compromise if you dont have to?
    I think a rigid ss 29er is tje conpromose... his best bet would be a touing bike from surly

  18. #18
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    For around town and the dirt road type terrain in the pics, a hardtail is more than adequate and will cost you less in general.

    If a full suss bike caught your eye and would get you more excited to ride, and you don't mine compromising on either price point or overall quality versus a hardtail, then go with it if it's more likely to help inspire you to get out and ride more.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
    Based on your pics, which describe where you ride a HT is the best choice. FS is a waste.

    I ride much more technical and steep stuff than what your pics show and I am more than happy on my steel HT.

    (don't believe the ads and articles in Mtn Bike Action)
    I do have a few issues and the pictures are motivational

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    For around town and the dirt road type terrain in the pics, a hardtail is more than adequate and will cost you less in general.

    If a full suss bike caught your eye and would get you more excited to ride, and you don't mine compromising on either price point or overall quality versus a hardtail, then go with it if it's more likely to help inspire you to get out and ride more.
    Yep that why I asked about the full suspension this days but even with all the technology they still not as efficient as the hard tails.
    But they do look sexier :-)
    Now time to look for a sexy HT frame

    I mostly wanted to know about that if they still lacked in efficiency even with the rear locked in flat terrain.

  20. #20
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    Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudbuster View Post
    I do have a few issues and the pictures are motivational



    Yep that why I asked about the full suspension this days but even with all the technology they still not as efficient as the hard tails.
    But they do look sexier :-)
    Now time to look for a sexy HT frame

    I mostly wanted to know about that if they still lacked in efficiency even with the rear locked in flat terrain.
    Again, you have the wrong info and conclusion about efficiency as well as how to use a full suspension.

    FS are more efficient than HT, the suspension absorb the bumps and keep the rider moving forward, unlike HT where any bumps translate into a vertical movement that kills momentum.

    HT may feel solid at every pedaling stroke but that's just the way it is. It's just the feel of connection to the road, not efficiency. If the road is smooth then it's a good thing but if it's rough then it just bounce every time you hit the bump.

    If you take the time to transition from HT to FS, you'd feel just as connected with added control and comfort. Both wheels would stay planted on the ground more than HT. there's no need for any pro pedal or lock out the anti-squat would take care off the bobbing issue.

    It's a myth that's been argued by people whom never own, ridden or properly transition form HT to FS. Once that happen they'd turned into someone like me arguing for the other side.

  21. #21
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    BEST advice you've gotten, I'd seriously listen and take heed, but that's just me Nice cheap, used rigid from Craigslist or such for town/trailer duty and then save for a nice FS to start going exploring the trails. As to the ones who tell you you don't "need" an FS for those trails, most people are over biked these days anyways, choose what you like for the trails, but don't waste cash to look cool around town pulling your kid on an FS..
    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    My advice is to buy an inexpensive full rigid that you can use for riding around town and pulling the kids, and then saving for(or just buying) a HT or FS to use when you want to go off road.

    Why compromise if you dont have to?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Again, you have the wrong info and conclusion about efficiency as well as how to use a full suspension.

    FS are more efficient than HT, the suspension absorb the bumps and keep the rider moving forward, unlike HT where any bumps translate into a vertical movement that kills momentum.

    HT may feel solid at every pedaling stroke but that's just the way it is. It's just the feel of connection to the road, not efficiency. If the road is smooth then it's a good thing but if it's rough then it just bounce every time you hit the bump.

    If you take the time to transition from HT to FS, you'd feel just as connected with added control and comfort. Both wheels would stay planted on the ground more than HT. there's no need for any pro pedal or lock out the anti-squat would take care off the bobbing issue.

    It's a myth that's been argued by people whom never own, ridden or properly transition form HT to FS. Once that happen they'd turned into someone like me arguing for the other side.
    don't get this. While I can see and agree with loosing momentum going over rough stuff, you are wasting energy and loosing pedal power with suspension when you pedal period. That energy you put into the pedal that makes you go up and down on the suspension is lost on moving forward. Not to mention a rider isn't dead weight so even on a rigid you can lift, pull,whatever to get over rough stuff minimizing your momentum loss.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    BEST advice you've gotten, I'd seriously listen and take heed, but that's just me Nice cheap, used rigid from Craigslist or such for town/trailer duty and then save for a nice FS to start going exploring the trails. As to the ones who tell you you don't "need" an FS for those trails, most people are over biked these days anyways, choose what you like for the trails, but don't waste cash to look cool around town pulling your kid on an FS..
    Thank you, Sir!
    I love my full rigid SS 29er for commuting and getting me in shape.

  24. #24
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    Efficiency isn't the holy grail for every rider.
    For some of us, fun is more important. I have more fun on my squishy bike on most trails. The only thing I prefer a rigid bike for is BMX or pumptrack type stuff, where they are far superior. Though if I were ever forced to start riding pavement exclusively, I'd probably go rigid. Either that or kill myself.

  25. #25
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    Full suspension vs hard tail - now days efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    don't get this. While I can see and agree with loosing momentum going over rough stuff, you are wasting energy and loosing pedal power with suspension when you pedal period. That energy you put into the pedal that makes you go up and down on the suspension is lost on moving forward. Not to mention a rider isn't dead weight so even on a rigid you can lift, pull,whatever to get over rough stuff minimizing your momentum loss.
    I know what you are saying. If you stump the pedal so hard that the action would overwhelm the suspension it would compress the shock or fork, it's not the right way to pedal. That's the main reason why mashers have the hardest time cleaning steep technical climb. They'd break the rear traction and loose momentum and control. It's just as bad on the HT as it would on FS. Inefficient riders do not make inefficient designs.

    Good example about the weighting and unweighting the front and rear of the bike to get over obstacles, experts and experienced riders can make it look so effortless but it's not. It requires a lot more energy and core strength to execute the move. My goal on the trails is keep the front wheel from bashing into any obstacles, it's much better now, but it was not easy. I still spend a lot of energy even on the descend.

    The anti-squat that built into many good FS designs would shoot you forward firmly without any loss of energy while providing active suspension, some people have the habit of looking down at the shock wallow while pedaling. The movement is not necessary power robbing motion. I'd be worried if there's no movement on the suspension that I paid for. Easy test for people who insist on proving, look at the shock action when pedaling forward, then try pedaling backward and see, the shock will become much more active when there's no anti-squat.


    If people still insist upon no suspension movement while pedaling, you can always find older designs like sweetspot, or URT the era called for a HT like suspension lock out.
    Then they can properly evolved and appreciate the current offering.
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