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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhosinski View Post
    Okay, so I can just sit on an FS and it will do all of the riding for me???

    Really?
    Yes, on technical trails a fs will help you keep your balance. when with a ht its much harder.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by homegrownbadassblue View Post
    in my opinion, lighter and faster
    No question HT are lighter. I do think the quality of the rider has more to do with how successful or how much faster they will ride when put on an FS vs HT though. Anyone just starting out can benefit from an FS, just as they would a HT if not more. I don't think they will really know until they are accomplished riders, and until they have ridden both frames to know which complements their riding style best.
    To tell someone what they should start out on is strictly personal opinion. The main factor to consider when purchasing your first bike is obviously cost. You get the most bang for your buck with a HT, unless you can find a closeout or something on an FS.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredb View Post
    Yes, on technical trails a fs will help you keep your balance. when with a ht its much harder.
    I don't think it's balance, I think it has a lot more to do with control and confidence.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredb View Post
    Yes, on technical trails a fs will help you keep your balance. when with a ht its much harder.
    Let's not argue for the sake of arguing. Let's base our comments on fact and not just personal opinion, especially in a forum where people who are trying to break into the sport are asking for the best advice.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhosinski View Post
    Let's not argue for the sake of arguing. Let's base our comments on fact and not just personal opinion, especially in a forum where people who are trying to break into the sport are asking for the best advice.
    compleatly agree.

    I own a hardtail and i do everything with it, Eveything from Dj to DH, 2 weeks ago i went to do some Dh with a friend, i used his bike on a part of the trail and knoticed that i didnt have to use some of my HT habits ive developed ( which are good habits ).

    I didnt have to stand on the pedals... i could sit down on less techincal parts. and i had way more control over the whole bike.

    With my hardtail i have learnt how to ride well and not be a Noob.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredb View Post
    compleatly agree.

    I own a hardtail and i do everything with it, Eveything from Dj to DH, 2 weeks ago i went to do some Dh with a friend, i used his bike on a part of the trail and knoticed that i didnt have to use some of my HT habits ive developed ( which are good habits ).

    I didnt have to stand on the pedals... i could sit down on less techincal parts. and i had way more control over the whole bike.

    With my hardtail i have learnt how to ride well and not be a Noob.
    Based on you're comments, I suspect you are a noob
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredb View Post
    compleatly agree.

    I own a hardtail and i do everything with it, Eveything from Dj to DH, 2 weeks ago i went to do some Dh with a friend, i used his bike on a part of the trail and knoticed that i didnt have to use some of my HT habits ive developed ( which are good habits ).

    I didnt have to stand on the pedals... i could sit down on less techincal parts. and i had way more control over the whole bike.

    With my hardtail i have learnt how to ride well and not be a Noob.
    NICE!!!!

  8. #108
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    To those suggesting that one should start with a HT because it teaches you better handling/line picking skills, I have a question: Why start with a HT instead of a fully rigid bike?

    The logic that is being used to recommend HT over FS would apply to recommending rigid over HT as well.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    To those suggesting that one should start with a HT because it teaches you better handling/line picking skills, I have a question: Why start with a HT instead of a fully rigid bike?

    The logic that is being used to recommend HT over FS would apply to recommending rigid over HT as well.
    Good point. I started out with a completely rigid bike and it took a lot of getting use to. My friends all had at the bare minimum Rock Shox forks with 25mm of travel, but they were praising them. The front fork alone does a great deal more for ones control. Adding the rear suspension definitely creates a more comfortable riding environment and boosts confidence.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    To those suggesting that one should start with a HT because it teaches you better handling/line picking skills, I have a question: Why start with a HT instead of a fully rigid bike?

    The logic that is being used to recommend HT over FS would apply to recommending rigid over HT as well.
    The best bike to start so you can "Maximized" the riding skills would be a Cross bike then move up to Rigid, then HT, from there you can go with SoftTail or an XC 4" FS before hitting the trail bike

    Most riders would give up within a few weeks because of the learning curve but hey they would be doing more work than the bike for sure

  11. #111
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    I would of got a rigid except I have a jacked up wrist from the Army.

    Im looking of going fat bike in a few years though.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmac999 View Post
    I think a hard-tail with a suspension fork is really middle ground between an FS bike and fully rigid. Truthfully I can ride my hard-tail everywhere I ride my FS bike, it's just more fun and faster on my FS bike. People can claim they are too hard core for a hard-tail but really, a skilled rider on a hard-tail can ride everything including DH. I raced a local dh on my AM hard-tail and my time beat a lot of people on full DH rigs. Too many people get wrapped up in what they are riding, it's really about rider skill and I personally believe I learned more riding my hard-tail with a suspension fork over an FS bike. I bought my wife a hard-tail this summer (Transition Trans Am) just to help her with her bike handling skills. She has an Intense 5.5 and she was struggling learning a few moves. A month on the hard-tail and the next time on her 5.5 and she was flying.

    That's my personal experience, others may disagree.
    I think that for each his own. One thing that I'm very doubtfull would be the suspension posts, but you feel otherwise.

    What I doubt about that is that the suspension would only work when you're seated, and that means climbing, and that cushy won't do any benefit of what FS work for. Better traction and control, and a suspension post won't help for that, it will only work for your back. When you're descending, you should be standing, and that also, the suspension post won't help.

    Regarding HT vs FS, I don't think that it is a given thing that a HT will make you a better rider, it depends on one. I think that for some riders, having a FS will make it more confortable and they would ride more on a FS than a HT. It just depends on what a person wants to do on a bike, not everybody want to do long mileage or be able to pick lines and such, some just like traveling to different places and have fun. Maybe a HT is better for that scenario. I also started with a HT, but moved to a FS when I saw that I really was having fun and wanted to move on.

  13. #113
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    i think it depends heavily on your style of riding.

    if you are purely commuting on roads and pavement, hardtail definitely.

    beginner off-roader but not really into speed, just leisurely enjoying scenery, FS

    beginner off-roader but concerned with speed, hardtail first then decide from there.

    the ht might train your fundamentals better than a more forgiving FS initially, and starting out with a FS may cause you to be complacent. also, a ht will help you appreciate and pinpoint and perhaps even help you understand the mechanics of the bicycle better. if there is something running subpar on a FS, the cause is typically harder to pinpoint than on a FS.

    my personal opinion is 75% hardtail first, because i agree that the HT will make a more skill-ed biker initially, which might help you appreciate the comfort and fogivingness of a FS ride later on. besides, if you are just starting out and are not very clear on maintenenace, maybe a more minimalistic HT would be a better choice, as your experience and passion grows, you may upgrade to a FS for offroad duties, and "relegate" your older HT for flatter terrain duties.

    cheers

  14. #114
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    If you are purely commuting on roads and pavement you should DEFINITELY not get a mountain bike. You should get a bike that is at its best on pavement, instead.

    A rigid bike is great for a somewhat skilled rider who finds that the trails are too easy when riding a squishy bike.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #115
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    I've read that full suspension is just added weight, and makes it harder to go uphill.

  16. #116
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    sorry i stand corrected - MOSTLY* (not purely) on pavements

    haha cheers

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrandom View Post
    I've read that full suspension is just added weight, and makes it harder to go uphill.
    Don't believe everything you read.

    Well, actually... having more than one gear is also just added weight and makes you more slow on the uphills

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrandom View Post
    I've read that full suspension is just added weight, and makes it harder to go uphill.
    There are pros and cons to FS on climbing.
    One of the pros is that while you are pedaling if you have a "fully active suspension (works all of the time) then while the suspension is compressing the rear tire is being forced into the ground giving you better traction. Some suspension components offer the option to "lock out" and thereby give you the characteristics of a HT. On some front forks you can activate a mode where the front fork compresses on the hits and doesn't return angling the bike so it favors climbing but still offers a small amount of travel.

    The cons: Weight is obviously 1, 2nd I have a SweetSpot suspension and found with the coil over sprung shock that my bike would pogo while climbing causing my knees to be higher and requiring me to push much harder and make the climb more difficult. I don't believe anyone makes this design anymore? Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    I have my fork and rear shock dialed up so that they aren't too mushy so that I lose power when climbing, but when I hit bumps they take up to hard hits and the high frequency bumps.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    To those suggesting that one should start with a HT because it teaches you better handling/line picking skills, I have a question: Why start with a HT instead of a fully rigid bike?

    The logic that is being used to recommend HT over FS would apply to recommending rigid over HT as well.
    Because I don't feel as if you needed rigid up front, however my FS is a little too cushy and doesn't tell me enough of what is going on for me to learn from. The HT still allows me to feel out the trail and learn how to deal with stuff better.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Don't believe everything you read.

    Well, actually... having more than one gear is also just added weight and makes you more slow on the uphills
    For what it is worth, my 1999 Spec' FSR Comp weighs 30lbs, and my 2011 Hardrock Disc weighs 32lbs. As for climbing, I really haven't been able to tell which one is better, though I could say the FSR is better as it will roll over stuff smoother allowing me to apply power more consistently.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Because I don't feel as if you needed rigid up front, however my FS is a little too cushy and doesn't tell me enough of what is going on for me to learn from. The HT still allows me to feel out the trail and learn how to deal with stuff better.
    I gather your FS is set up for long decents and big hits? I think the other post was suggesting that a majority of the people who have HT's also have front suspension. Given that, they don't truly have a rigid bike which would be an entirely different learning curve altogether.
    No one can argue that. I have a XC FS bike, with short travel 3.75". Normally I stand over rough terrain which on my bike locks out the suspension in the back providing the feel of a HT for all intensive purposes.
    There's no question you will take a different line with an FS once you see how well the FS handles the rough areas as compared to taking the same line with a HT. Again, it doesn't matter which bike you buy, you tailor your riding to what you can handle. Riding an FS allows you to be more agressive over rough terrain. If an FS is heavier and people see that as a negative, then so be it. Not everyone here intends to race or do time trials everytime they ride.
    Some buy FS bikes for medical reasons, some for comfort. A lot of riders buy HT's because they like the response the bike gives them. I think before someone dismisses the thought of having an FS when they haven't ridden one is cynical. I know you have one and like I said, maybe you should explain how your bike is set up. Do you do downhilling, mostly XC? Because the bike setup makes a difference too...

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrandom View Post
    I've read that full suspension is just added weight, and makes it harder to go uphill.
    It depends on the bike, terrain and user preference. On some climbs, a FS will outclimb a HT, and for some downhills, maybe a HT could be better than a FS. Suspension has improved a lot over the years, specially the rear suspension design and shocks. A good FS will make the rear tire follow the terrain better because it makes the rear tire stick to the ground and not bounce around, so if the climb is technical or has not that good traction (like having gravel, rocks) a FS might give you better traction than a HT. Over smooth hardpack, yes, the HT will probably be better.

    Another benefit of FS is that it won't tire your back up as much over long rides, so you have more energy to continue. It will very likely make your riding more smooth. I think that this is a good reason to get a beginner on a FS, so that they can ride longer.

    But, a good FS is not that cheap. So, most of us when we start(ed) don't want to invest much in a bike for several reasons. One is that we think bikes should be cheap, and when we see a bike that has all the bells and whistles (at least that we think has all the bells and whistles), and ask for the price, we are astounded. Another reason is that we don't know if we will like the sport or not, so why spent our money on a thing that probably we would dump it after the first ride. Another is that someone comes with the idea that a FS is just heavy and not useful.

    I don't think that a HT is bad to start, or that a FS is bad, it's just what one wants to do. Probably a HT will help improve one's skills IF they want to do that and actually try to learn new things. But, for some others, they just want to go out to nature and see scenery, and if they have a good budget, I would suggest a FS, it will make it easier.

    About learning, I really think it's more of what the rider is interested and that he/she tries to go to learning clinics and group rides and practice than the type of bike. A HT will not teach someone just because it's harder, it will just limit his lines, and if the user doesn't learn how to ride and read the terrain, it will just make him scarier.

  23. #123
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    My bike isn't for DH or anything like that (geometry), it is just older and there isn't a lot of travel but it may be a lil more cushy though (older spring/shock) I don't find the standup-hammer bob to be that bad and it still climbs awesome (sometimes feeling better than the HT). Actually i've always gotten some impression that the bike felt more efficient at power delivery...might be because of tires (both were supposed to be fast rolling)..or component level...and this includes hauling ass on paved bike paths too.

    The thing is when I was just starting out a couple of months ago, trail riding was a whole new thing to me and I felt pretty "unknowing" on how to hit the trails when I was going around them. Keep in mind that I started on a wallyworld Schwinn FS, took it back, got a Hardrock...then not long after got the 99 FSR Comp.

    I didn't really start hitting the trails until after I got the FSR (I was doing a lot of urban riding). Once I really got into the trails I would actually go back and forth between each bike.

    Riding FS was definitely a different beast. In the end though what I found was that I learned far far more on the HT due to the responsiveness and feedback the HT was able to provide me which ended up teaching me how to ride the trails better. The problem with the FSR is that the full suspension basically deadened that feeback. There was a time where I actually wanted to take the HT out more just because of this and wanted to take it out as it felt like I was gaining more from it.

    Now I am finding myself bombing through downhill rough rooty sections way faster on the HT before as I've found the perfect stance to let the bike just rock back and forth as it bombs through it.

    Yes a FS is a little nicer in this situation as it will soften it, keep my feet a lil more stable on the pedals...but it just seems fun on the HT! It also makes climbing a little better by smoothing out roots etc.

    The other thing I enjoy about FS is how i can sit on my ass more on annoyingly bumpy trails....I found that this also makes me lazier though.

    I really enjoy both worlds, it's just that I found a little more enlightenment and perspective on the HT.

    Ya must also realize that I am a very dynamic person. I am not someone that is going to be like "ohhh I never touch my HT (or 26er) after going FS (or 29er). I really enjoy the experience and difference of all the different setups (that are practical) and love swapping between them just to change it up (I don't have a 29er yet).
    Last edited by zephxiii; 11-23-2011 at 08:07 AM.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    The best bike to start so you can "Maximized" the riding skills would be a Cross bike then move up to Rigid, then HT, from there you can go with SoftTail or an XC 4" FS before hitting the trail bike

    Most riders would give up within a few weeks because of the learning curve but hey they would be doing more work than the bike for sure
    I'd been riding for a few years before I did my first 'cross conversion. It was still not easy to ride off-road. I'm slower on trails on my current, purpose-built 'cross bike than my hardtail, except for one very boring, fairly steep, sustained climb that I visit whenever I ride in one of my spots. And if there were things I needed to lift the front wheel over... well, I can do that, but it's a lot harder, and the obstacle had better be smaller. That's why I think people who haven't been riding off-road and think it's a one-bike solution should try it before they tell others the same.

    And, this is why I think people should just get whatever bike makes them the most happy. For some people, FS bikes are training tools before they go back to hardtails. For others, hardtails are training tools to make them smoother on FS bikes. Still others don't want to drag around some complicated equipment that's actually designed to absorb and dissipate energy, and any bike with suspension is just a training tool. Who's right?

    Ultimately, I think people are probably happiest getting the bike that fits the kind of riding they want to do. It's already a good training tool.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'd been riding for a few years before I did my first 'cross conversion. It was still not easy to ride off-road. I'm slower on trails on my current, purpose-built 'cross bike than my hardtail, except for one very boring, fairly steep, sustained climb that I visit whenever I ride in one of my spots. And if there were things I needed to lift the front wheel over... well, I can do that, but it's a lot harder, and the obstacle had better be smaller. That's why I think people who haven't been riding off-road and think it's a one-bike solution should try it before they tell others the same.

    And, this is why I think people should just get whatever bike makes them the most happy. For some people, FS bikes are training tools before they go back to hardtails. For others, hardtails are training tools to make them smoother on FS bikes. Still others don't want to drag around some complicated equipment that's actually designed to absorb and dissipate energy, and any bike with suspension is just a training tool. Who's right?

    Ultimately, I think people are probably happiest getting the bike that fits the kind of riding they want to do. It's already a good training tool.
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  26. #126
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    I am in the phase of challenging myself with drop offs...and have been really enjoying it so far.

    i'm on a entry level 26 hard tail right now...and was wondering how much difference a full suspension bike would make...as far as absorbing landings. FS worth it for drop offs...or not (big difference)???

    i am not heavy...130 lbs...but i don't think the factory suntour XCM fork will not survive all the way thorugh 2012.
    have been wondering if a FS bike would be better for me....don't know where i'll get the $$ from though...heh

  27. #127
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    less than 140mm suspension, then might as will go hardtail, light steel, if you can afford it
    i'm guessiing that a "quality" 140+mm bike costs over $2000?
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  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urbansniper View Post
    I am in the phase of challenging myself with drop offs...and have been really enjoying it so far.

    i'm on a entry level 26 hard tail right now...and was wondering how much difference a full suspension bike would make...as far as absorbing landings. FS worth it for drop offs...or not (big difference)???

    i am not heavy...130 lbs...but i don't think the factory suntour XCM fork will not survive all the way thorugh 2012.
    have been wondering if a FS bike would be better for me....don't know where i'll get the $$ from though...heh
    If' you're doing drops there's no doubt that an FS with long travel would be your best bet. If you plan on doing more (i.e. both downhills, drops, and cross country) then you might consider a shorter travel rear suspension. I think I would focus on a very good front fork, with a dual brace maybe by FOX or Marzocchi that offers a lot of adjustment on the compression and rebound dampening and a lot of travel. Oil sprung will probably takes the hits better than air sprung forks but they are also heavier.
    If you plan on racing XC this setup will not work for you.

    Good Luck with whatever you decide.

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhosinski View Post
    If' you're doing drops there's no doubt that an FS with long travel would be your best bet. If you plan on doing more (i.e. both downhills, drops, and cross country) then you might consider a shorter travel rear suspension. I think I would focus on a very good front fork, with a dual brace maybe by FOX or Marzocchi that offers a lot of adjustment on the compression and rebound dampening and a lot of travel. Oil sprung will probably takes the hits better than air sprung forks but they are also heavier.
    If you plan on racing XC this setup will not work for you.

    Good Luck with whatever you decide.
    thanks for the information
    better start saving my pennies...

  30. #130
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    Yea a FS is definitely going to dampen the *SHOCK* of landing after a drop on a hardtail. Hell it should be easier on components too.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Yea a FS is definitely going to dampen the *SHOCK* of landing after a drop on a hardtail. Hell it should be easier on components too.
    the drop offs i started working on are small...but anything to soften the landing; i will appreciate (especially as i add more height).
    the first time i tried the below drop off...my rear tire hit the exposed tree root; it caused quite a bit of shock...as you would say. made sure to speed up and clear it, on my following attempts....heh


  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urbansniper View Post
    I am in the phase of challenging myself with drop offs...and have been really enjoying it so far.

    i'm on a entry level 26 hard tail right now...and was wondering how much difference a full suspension bike would make...as far as absorbing landings. FS worth it for drop offs...or not (big difference)???

    i am not heavy...130 lbs...but i don't think the factory suntour XCM fork will not survive all the way thorugh 2012.
    have been wondering if a FS bike would be better for me....don't know where i'll get the $$ from though...heh
    Maybe it's that the biggest things I jump off of are cornices, skiing, but I don't actually see suspension as being for drop offs per se.

    Suspension is rated in millimeters. Maybe because 5.5 is a smaller number than 140. But they're equal, just different units of measurement.

    Not that it's not a lot of travel, but think about how long your legs are. Most of us have a lot more than 5.5" of suspension travel before we even get on a bike.

    When people on long-travel bikes really push the envelope, the role of the suspension is to keep the wheels tracking. They still do all the riding, and a lot of work to absorb hits and keep the bike under control. Watch some DH videos and pay attention to the riders' hips. (Also to how awesome the fast guys are.) While you're at it, go find Danny MacAskill's latest. What he's doing is a different animal from trail riding, but you can see what he's doing to absorb some of the bigger hits.

    Drop your seat post and go. Do think about a fork that doesn't suck, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Ultimately, I think people are probably happiest getting the bike that fits the kind of riding they want to do. It's already a good training tool.
    But what about beginners who don't know what kind of riding they want to do?

    That's the only reason I said hardtail. It makes you appreciate FS more and is cheaper to get into the sport, and they can be set up for any kind of riding.

  34. #134
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    Bored at work and was thinking HT (have no idea why)

    After reading through this thread I began to miss my HT which was stolen. Now I want to buy another HT to mix the ride experience up every now and then. I started on a HT and have no regrets. For me it was not just about picking lines but also learning how to absorb with my legs and body and how to adjust/react to bumps etc. I even began to do some mediocre drops with my HT(nothing bigger than 4 feet and of coarse not landing flat but on the descent.) But my FS is definitely my go to bike for the majority of my riding and an HT will never be that go to bike again. FS is just way more fun and comfy plus I like to ride hard. Having my HT back would be nice though.

    For the noobs who end up reading this thread, get an entry level HT first. Why? Primary answer: You don't know if you will end up pursuing the sport (so why invest in FS) and if you do what riding style do you like. You can get FS XC bikes these days or do you want a FS AM bike? You'll have to bike for a few months to see what you are more into. 2nd reason: My opion only of course, you learn to react and absorb without using the rear suspension thus learning to truly handle the bike (that was more important to me than picking lines).

    Don't even think Rigid...Do this and you may end up hating the sport without giving it a fair shot.
    A spotless bike is a bored bike.

  35. #135
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    Hi to all, pardon me for being a newbie just wanted to ask the same question Hardtail or Full Sus?

    First time I rode a friend's mountain bike (used to ride a bmx when I was a kid) mostly on rough roads and small trails, I loved it, wanted to do a lot more so decided to buy one. Problem with that borrowed bike, it caused my buttock to feel so much pain so I told myself I must buy a full sus although costlier and I can't find enough extra small sizes (I am only 5' 2" tall) unlike the hardtails, I might feel more comfortable.

    Do I really need a full sus or do I just need a good saddle on a hardtail bike which would minimize the pain in my butt? I intend to ride in the trails during weekends in my province but I also want to join some of my friends during weekdays to roam around the city after office hours in their hardtail bikes .

    Basically I need an all-around and very flexible mountain bike but I am more inclined in buying a full sus with carbon fiber frame so I can easily catch up with my friends. Is it ok to ride a full sus while roaming around the city mostly on a flat but sometime rough roads?

    Sorry, I am really confused whether a full sus or a hardtail mountain bike is really the ideal bike for me? Thanks!

  36. #136
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    Any MTB is a good remedy for a pain in the butt. For instance sometimes my wife can be a pain in the butt, I go and ride my mountain bike and not so bad. At times my kid can be a pain in the butt, same solution, my job.....my bills..... so on and so fourth. Any way I am a big fan of FS now. But they all work and are a blast to pedal.
    1988 GT Timberline R 26"
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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwinski View Post
    Hi to all, pardon me for being a newbie just wanted to ask the same question Hardtail or Full Sus?

    First time I rode a friend's mountain bike (used to ride a bmx when I was a kid) mostly on rough roads and small trails, I loved it, wanted to do a lot more so decided to buy one. Problem with that borrowed bike, it caused my buttock to feel so much pain so I told myself I must buy a full sus although costlier and I can't find enough extra small sizes (I am only 5' 2" tall) unlike the hardtails, I might feel more comfortable.

    Do I really need a full sus or do I just need a good saddle on a hardtail bike which would minimize the pain in my butt? I intend to ride in the trails during weekends in my province but I also want to join some of my friends during weekdays to roam around the city after office hours in their hardtail bikes .

    Basically I need an all-around and very flexible mountain bike but I am more inclined in buying a full sus with carbon fiber frame so I can easily catch up with my friends. Is it ok to ride a full sus while roaming around the city mostly on a flat but sometime rough roads?

    Sorry, I am really confused whether a full sus or a hardtail mountain bike is really the ideal bike for me? Thanks!
    The saddle is your issue. A saddle that isn't right for your sit bones is going to be an issue no matter what suspension the bike has.
    He who dares....wins!

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    The saddle is your issue. A saddle that isn't right for your sit bones is going to be an issue no matter what suspension the bike has.
    Could be both the saddle and his ass and whatever ass padding he might or might not be using. Could be something else. Can't really declare the issue without knowing all the variables. It's normal for a beginner, who's never been on a bike saddle for years, to get saddle sore in maybe an hour or two.

    I can categorize cycling ass pain symptoms into 2 groups. There's chafing, which is damage to the surface of the skin. The skin suffers from abrasions and is painful even to the lightest touch--this pain is persistent even off the bike. Then there's saddle sore, which is the inner flesh getting tenderized and becoming extra sensitive. There's only pain if you sit in a saddle with significant pressure on the inside of your sit bones, but none if you sit on a chair. Saddle sore goes away overnight. Chafing damage is awful... you don't ever want to suffer from it. It will cause you discomfort and maybe some misery for days.

    Whether you have FS or HT shouldn't make much of a diff, since you should be out of the saddle and a tire inflated to no more than 40 psi, assuming you're running tires with a width of 1.9 to 2.5 and you weigh under 300 lbs, should take care of the smaller bumps.

    A good pair of riding shorts helps with chafing. To prevent saddle sore, you basically need to toughen your ass. It takes quite a bit of riding to build up the endurance to go hours in the saddle without soreness. You need to keep riding until it's sore and let it heal and repeat. It will get tougher after healing and you might gain 20 minutes of extra saddle endurance the next time you ride a similar "epic". You should be able to get it over 3 hours within a season. Some riding shorts help with saddle sore, but most just focus on minimizing chafing. The ones that does help with saddle sore, might alter your preference of what saddle you like and may compromise its anti-chafing performance.

    A good saddle, made to fit the contour of your sit bones better, helps spread the weight out better, so your weight isn't focus in a small area around your sit bones.

    Less weight being on the saddle helps a load too. Carrying a ton in a backpack or carrying a spare tire in your gut puts more pressure on your ass, so pack lighter and don't fill up your hydration bladder to full if you don't need to.

    Personally, I get saddle sore more from riding on the asphalt, basically since i'm in the saddle more. I used to ride to and from the trailhead and I'd turn back as soon as my ass started hurting and the ride back on the road was painful at times. The more time you spend out of the saddle, the longer you'll go without saddle sore. It's more fun riding out of the saddle anyways--it's not a bad idea to work on your endurance out of the saddle too.

  39. #139
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    good read

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Could be both the saddle and his ass and whatever ass padding he might or might not be using. Could be something else. Can't really declare the issue without knowing all the variables. It's normal for a beginner, who's never been on a bike saddle for years, to get saddle sore in maybe an hour or two.

    I can categorize cycling ass pain symptoms into 2 groups. There's chafing, which is damage to the surface of the skin. The skin suffers from abrasions and is painful even to the lightest touch--this pain is persistent even off the bike. Then there's saddle sore, which is the inner flesh getting tenderized and becoming extra sensitive. There's only pain if you sit in a saddle with significant pressure on the inside of your sit bones, but none if you sit on a chair. Saddle sore goes away overnight. Chafing damage is awful... you don't ever want to suffer from it. It will cause you discomfort and maybe some misery for days.

    Whether you have FS or HT shouldn't make much of a diff, since you should be out of the saddle and a tire inflated to no more than 40 psi, assuming you're running tires with a width of 1.9 to 2.5 and you weigh under 300 lbs, should take care of the smaller bumps.

    A good pair of riding shorts helps with chafing. To prevent saddle sore, you basically need to toughen your ass. It takes quite a bit of riding to build up the endurance to go hours in the saddle without soreness. You need to keep riding until it's sore and let it heal and repeat. It will get tougher after healing and you might gain 20 minutes of extra saddle endurance the next time you ride a similar "epic". You should be able to get it over 3 hours within a season. Some riding shorts help with saddle sore, but most just focus on minimizing chafing. The ones that does help with saddle sore, might alter your preference of what saddle you like and may compromise its anti-chafing performance.

    A good saddle, made to fit the contour of your sit bones better, helps spread the weight out better, so your weight isn't focus in a small area around your sit bones.

    Less weight being on the saddle helps a load too. Carrying a ton in a backpack or carrying a spare tire in your gut puts more pressure on your ass, so pack lighter and don't fill up your hydration bladder to full if you don't need to.

    Personally, I get saddle sore more from riding on the asphalt, basically since i'm in the saddle more. I used to ride to and from the trailhead and I'd turn back as soon as my ass started hurting and the ride back on the road was painful at times. The more time you spend out of the saddle, the longer you'll go without saddle sore. It's more fun riding out of the saddle anyways--it's not a bad idea to work on your endurance out of the saddle too.
    Great input, my problem I believe is more of the saddle sore rather than the chafing and as suggested better choice of saddle and some more regular practice might solve it. I'll do that.

    Now on the issue of a more "all-around and flexible mountain bike" which is more accurate for me between the two statements:

    "Buy a full sus because it is more durable, comfortable and fun in the almost every condition. In addition, one can always lock out the suspension when travelling along flat roads with minor bumps or humps. It's also better to buy a carbon fiber full sus frame and other accessories to compensate for the weight and gain more speed in pedaling. It could also be like buying a 4 x 4 truck ready for all eventualities compared to a simple 4 x 2, although most of the time the 4 x 4 functionality is not always used. It could be cheaper to buy a more expensive carbon fiber full sus now rather than buying a carbon fiber hardtail instead then realizing I want/need a full sus so i'll be buying a second bike (this is what I really don't want to happen because for sure, the other bike would become idle and useless)." Or;

    "Stick with buying a carbon fiber hardtail. Its advantages of being more simple, faster and more efficient, easier to maintain, and costs less would simply outweigh the "little" discomfort" and possibly "lesser reliability" you might have if traveling along rough terrains." Choose the most appropriate saddle to somehow lessen the "little" discomfort".

    Some important inputs for consideration:

    Schedule and areas of Biking: 2-3 times Mondays to Fridays mostly on flat but sometime rough (with humps and pot holes) roads. 1-2 times Saturdays and Sundays in the province with rougher terrains in non-concrete/non-asphalt roads and sometime would be doing single track trails.

    In addition, I like speed when travelling both on flat and rough terrains but I am almost quite sure I would not do big jumps so I think I would not be needing those bikes with longer suspension travel (if I buy a full sus).

    What do you think guys, carbon fiber full sus or carbon fiber hardtail is really best for me? Thanks again for your replies.

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by vftr View Post
    Any MTB is a good remedy for a pain in the butt. For instance sometimes my wife can be a pain in the butt, I go and ride my mountain bike and not so bad. At times my kid can be a pain in the butt, same solution, my job.....my bills..... so on and so fourth. Any way I am a big fan of FS now. But they all work and are a blast to pedal.
    I'll take note of this solution, aside from my wife causing a real pain in the ass, sometimes my in-laws also share some more of the pain I experienced

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwinski View Post
    Schedule and areas of Biking: 2-3 times Mondays to Fridays mostly on flat but sometime rough (with humps and pot holes) roads. 1-2 times Saturdays and Sundays in the province with rougher terrains in non-concrete/non-asphalt roads and sometime would be doing single track trails.

    In addition, I like speed when travelling both on flat and rough terrains but I am almost quite sure I would not do big jumps so I think I would not be needing those bikes with longer suspension travel (if I buy a full sus).

    What do you think guys, carbon fiber full sus or carbon fiber hardtail is really best for me? Thanks again for your replies.
    Full suspension seems like overkill for that type of riding. I'd go hardtail, personally.

    Also, if that 2-3 times per week road riding involves locking your bike somewhere and leaving it, you may want to reconsider the nice carbon bike for those days. It may be that a nice FS bike for the weekends and a beater hardtail for the week is what you need.

  43. #143
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    dwinski - if you can afford a carbon fiber FS, you can afford two more modest bikes that are appropriate for what you're doing.

    For road riding, get a road bike.

    For mountain biking, get a mountain bike.



    It sounds like you're going off-road less than once a week. I have some road bikes and a mountain bike, and while I still see myself as a mountain biker first, it's too much of a pain in the butt for me to get to trails mid-week lately, so I don't. Riding a mountain bike on the road sucks. At least, once you know what the alternative is like. Road bikes aren't made of blown glass. You can ride them through potholes, up and down curbs, up and down modest stair sets, on mellow singletrack... it's really sustained off-road climbing and descending that pushes the level of need to a mountain bike, although they may still be more fun on flat to rolling singletrack. EDIT: also, nice to have a MTB for riding fire roads, it takes quite a lot of attention with a road bike. Although 'cross bikes are good for this...

    If your technique doesn't suck, you don't need rear suspension. If your technique does suck, it probably won't help enough anyway. No change in saddle, IMO.

    Don't worry so much about the frame material. Most good designs are now available in both aluminum and carbon, and the tire pressure makes a lot more difference. So if you have to downgrade from a badass carbon FS to a badass aluminum FS... meh.

    If you're just riding the roads to get in shape, you don't need an expensive road bike. The last important change in technology happened in 1992, give or take, so if you get one that fits you well, a few hundred dollars on a nice older model is enough. That leaves you with most of your budget intact for the MTB. As a side benefit, you won't thrash the tires on asphalt, or have to mess around with swapping back and forth whenever you want to go mountain biking, and when one of the bikes is in the shop, you won't be grounded.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  44. #144
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    I got a free bike from my coworker last spring. I'm a noob. It's really old but it's a FS. Needless to say, FS bikes from close to 20 years ago are light years away from what we have now. But it got me into mountain biking and back into riding bikes in general.

    So because of a so-so experience with an old FS for a few months, I bought a new 29er HT. Went riding with some friends and got jealous of how they were able to go faster down the techy spots so I bought a used 2011 FS 26 inch. After riding a bit more and a whole bunch of flats, I decided to go tubeless on the FS. After going tubeless on the FS 26, I said why not go tubeless on the 29er HT? Probably much better benefits for that bike. After going tubeless, I can say I love riding the 29er HT again.

    Just this past week, I bought a rigid SS off of craigslist. Looking forward to trying that out on the local trail.

    So, in conclusion, I would say:
    Buy a hardtail 29er with tubeless for being able to run lower pressure. You can probably get a sweet, plush fork. Then, if budget allows, you can move on to a full suspension (26/29). And then graduate to a rigid singlespeed.

    Man, I have too many bikes.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  45. #145
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    Gosh, I am really inexperienced in these things, all the while I thought I could have an "all-round" and "very flexible" single bike but I seem to agree that it is almost inevitable for me to have at least two bikes for this hobby.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not that rich buying a full sus or a hardtail, carbon fiber built bike at an instant. Actually I plan to build a bike in a span of 2-3 months (carbon fiber full sus or hardtail) piece by piece, frame first, then fork, group set, wheel set and finally other accessories. My philosophy is that even though it would turn out to be more expensive for as long as I enjoy using it at least 3 times a week, it is efficient for the place where I am going to use it and plus factor is a "little show off" or bling bling to some friends, then the price to me would be fully justified.

    A confession to make, I am not that tall a man, quite short actually around 5'2" so a road bike or a 29er is not that ideal options for me personally. I already made a month old of research looking for a carbon fiber full sus frame with low stand-over height and slanting top tube and only two frames topped my list namely: Santa Cruz Blur TRc or Ibis Mojo 140 HD. For the hardtail carbon frame it is a toss between Ibis Tranny and On one 456. Now comes another problem, no budget for both (full sus and hardtail at the same time) actually, only one at a time or should I more precisely say, only one for quite a long time. Who knows if I love using one type of these bikes, might not pursue buying the other one anymore. So which is which?

    Many thanks again.
    Last edited by dwinski; 05-16-2012 at 10:39 PM.

  46. #146
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    You know you're going to get hosed buying your bike a piece at a time.

    So why do it?

    Leave CF to people who don't know what else to do with their money. (Hopefully that will be me in about a year. But objective differences in performance are close to non-existent.)

    Those really big bikes are going to be major overkill for only going on singletrack every now and then, and you'll hate 'em on the road. Look at XC bikes. Most of us start on those, and a lot of people are quite happy to stick with them.

    If you can't afford the bike now, either buy used or start putting your money in a savings account. At least let it accrue a little interest, and take advantage of the better pricing on complete bikes when you're ready to buy.

    One of the problems with mountain biking is that it thrashes equipment. Nice frames tend to last, but with everything else, you should buy within your means. There's a saying, "Don't race what you can't replace," and it also applies to taking things off-road.

    I broke my last derailleur. Hardly an exceptional experience. My particular model is online for about $60, after shipping, although I got a better price. (Disclaimer here, I have two jerseys with that shop's name on 'em.) It's a part that can easily cost over $200, but since it's also easily broken by the right kind of fall, I'd just as soon not do that. Too much money relative to what I make. Etc.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    You know you're going to get hosed buying your bike a piece at a time.

    So why do it?

    Leave CF to people who don't know what else to do with their money. (Hopefully that will be me in about a year. But objective differences in performance are close to non-existent.)

    Those really big bikes are going to be major overkill for only going on singletrack every now and then, and you'll hate 'em on the road. Look at XC bikes. Most of us start on those, and a lot of people are quite happy to stick with them.

    If you can't afford the bike now, either buy used or start putting your money in a savings account. At least let it accrue a little interest, and take advantage of the better pricing on complete bikes when you're ready to buy.

    One of the problems with mountain biking is that it thrashes equipment. Nice frames tend to last, but with everything else, you should buy within your means. There's a saying, "Don't race what you can't replace," and it also applies to taking things off-road.

    I broke my last derailleur. Hardly an exceptional experience. My particular model is online for about $60, after shipping, although I got a better price. (Disclaimer here, I have two jerseys with that shop's name on 'em.) It's a part that can easily cost over $200, but since it's also easily broken by the right kind of fall, I'd just as soon not do that. Too much money relative to what I make. Etc.
    You know what, after more than two months of extensive researching, canvassing and planning, you just opened my mind to a whole new perspective in so far as mountain biking is concerned. I guess I have to put my head down and go back to the drawing boards all over again so to speak.

    Thanks for the advise and tips Bro., very much appreciated.

  48. #148
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    ... and if we just ...

    Hello all,

    I've been reading the posts and they have been very informative. However, I'm more confused than ever. I am just getting back to riding from a 10 year hiatus (since high school). I wasn't a seasoned rider, but enjoyed it very much.

    A couple of issues though:

    1. I'm 5 foot nothing!
    2. I am debating between a HT and a FS. I am looking for either the Myka HT series, the Anthem 4W and the Myka FSR. (Again, I'm limited due to number 1).
    3. I am riding on my own, my SO isn't interested at this point. That's not a big deal, but a point of interest since I see many people discussing riding with their lady
    4. In addition to riding trails (in Northern Jersey), I am going to use the bike 1-2 times a week for a 3.8 mile commute each way to school -- not a long distance but in a city atmosphere.

    So my questions, which type of bike?! I'd like to purchase within the next few weeks, so I"d love some help!

    Thanks again all!
    Last edited by Cutestuffies; 08-19-2012 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Correct Ambiguous Language

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutestuffies View Post
    Hello all,

    I've been reading the posts and they have been very informative. However, I'm more confused than ever. I am just getting back to riding from a 10 year hiatus (since high school). I wasn't a seasoned rider, but enjoyed it very much.

    A couple of issues though:

    1. I'm 5 foot nothing!
    2. I am debating between a HT and a FS. I am looking for either the Myka HT series, the Anthem 4W and the Myka FSR. (Again, I'm limited due to number 1).
    3. I am riding on my own, my SO isn't interested at this point. That's not a big deal, but a point of interest since I see many people discussing riding with their lady
    4. I am going to use the bike 1-2 times a week for a 3.8 mile commute each way to school -- not a long distance but in a city atmosphere.

    So my questions, which type of bike?! I'd like to purchase within the next few weeks, so I"d love some help!

    Thanks again all!
    Since I posted in this thread I've gone back to FS but instill have my HT. Like has been previously stated, you'll get more bang for you buck starting on a HT.

    I do not suggest a bike worth over $400 for school. School is a mega for bike thieves.

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutestuffies View Post
    4. I am going to use the bike 1-2 times a week for a 3.8 mile commute each way to school -- not a long distance but in a city atmosphere.
    For this, get a cheap cruiser. A children's model if you have to. Look for used bikes in your area.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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