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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    hardtail with suspension seatpost vs. full suspension

    Would a hardtail with a suspension seatpost be comparable to a full suspension bike?

    The way I see it, it should weigh less and still be pretty good on bumps/drops..
    It would have no bob i believe, and it would be good on climbs..

    As far as i know, both should be able to take drops if they are quality parts right?

    Thanks
    Alex

  2. #2
    Crash Gordon
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    Not the same thing.

    The two are not really comparable. I'm not saying one is better than the other. That depends on your needs.

    The biggest difference is when standing. On a hardtail your body weight is not suspended, on a a fs it is. The FS typically creates some bob when pedalling hard, but also absorbs bumps. This can increase your traction on climbs and comfort on decents.

    What you said is true to a certain extent. A quality hardtail will take reasonable drops, but a FS will do it in more comfort and be able to go higher. The seatpost has little to do with it because you are generally standing when landing.

    This is a very simple explanation and there are a lot of other subtle differences, but you get the idea.
    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

  3. #3
    Riding free's the mind
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    No comparison

    The other big factor is a full susp (FS) bike is control and traction. This can not be accomplished through a seat post.

    People forget, that FS is not just for a more comfortable ride, it aids in a ton of other things. When climbing, it helps keep the rear wheel on the ground allowing you to continue to power the drivetrain in spite of the terrain. On descents, it's all about better control at higher speeds and better braking performance. In both cases the distance between your seat and bottom bracket does not change, which is also important for optimal performance.

    I was a hardtail hold out for years, but now that I have a FS, I'll never go back to a hard tail. Go with FS, it's worth it, guarantied... your mtn biking will take a huge leap forward in every aspect.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTail
    The other big factor is a full susp (FS) bike is control and traction. This can not be accomplished through a seat post.

    People forget, that FS is not just for a more comfortable ride, it aids in a ton of other things. When climbing, it helps keep the rear wheel on the ground allowing you to continue to power the drivetrain in spite of the terrain. On descents, it's all about better control at higher speeds and better braking performance. In both cases the distance between your seat and bottom bracket does not change, which is also important for optimal performance.

    I was a hardtail hold out for years, but now that I have a FS, I'll never go back to a hard tail. Go with FS, it's worth it, guarantied... your mtn biking will take a huge leap forward in every aspect.
    I see.. I will probably stick with hardtail for now as i'm still a beginner. I've read that hardtails help you learn biking skills better as you have to pick your lines rather than jumping over everything you see . I also like the fact that its lighter, makes it a bit easier to carry around. The expensive FS bikes are probably just as light, but I can't afford those right now.. When I improve/still have interest in biking/or break my current hardtail, i'll definitely look toward a nice FS bike.

    Out of curiosity, what was your last hardtail model and what is your current FS bike?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by d3vil
    I see.. I will probably stick with hardtail for now as i'm still a beginner. I've read that hardtails help you learn biking skills better as you have to pick your lines rather than jumping over everything you see . I also like the fact that its lighter, makes it a bit easier to carry around. The expensive FS bikes are probably just as light, but I can't afford those right now.. When I improve/still have interest in biking/or break my current hardtail, i'll definitely look toward a nice FS bike.

    Out of curiosity, what was your last hardtail model and what is your current FS bike?
    [size=3]FYI, I ride a Giant Rainer. If you looking for a new bike asking people what they ride is not the best way to make a decision on the bike you should get. Iím purely a XC rider. You might want to do something more aggressive like free ride. In that case the Rainer is not the right bike for you.[/size]

    [size=3]What I suggest you do is determine your budget (how much do you want to spend), the type of riding you planning to do (XC, downhill, freeride) and then check your LBS to determine the brands of bikes they carry. Once you have that info, we can help you select a bike.[/size]

  6. #6
    Riding free's the mind
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    big leap

    My first hardtail was an old Giant chromoly frame monster, huge 19" or so frame with the old Manitou 3 shocks that used rubber bumpers for springs. This was about 1992 or so. Then in 1996 I got a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp with XT components and Rockshox Judy fork. This has been a great bike and rode it for 7 years only upgrading the seat,tires and pedals. It has great geometry, light, and stiff. Then in last year I got a deal on a 2001 Ellsworth Truth updated with the 2002 swing arms. Great bike, but I dropped a lot of cash putting the best stuff on it!

  7. #7
    Ride Instigator
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    Apples and Oranges....

    There's really no comparison between the effects of FS vs Suspension post. With a suspension post, the only thing that is "suspended" is everything from the saddle and above. With FS, everything from the rear axle and above is suspended. FS will allow your rear wheel to remain in contact with the ground over bumps at speed providing you with better control and comfort, a suspension post will only provide your butt with some cushion.

    Another thing to consider is the amount of travel that a sus post will give you which is only about an inch or so. FS can be anywhere fron 1.5" for a soft tail frame on up to 8" or more for FR or DH rigs.

    You are correct in saying that a HT requires more skill/finesse to ride given terrain. With a HT you have to pick your lines more carefully and a HT is certainly less forgiving when you get squirrley. FS will allow you to make some really stupid mistakes and remain in control....I need all the help I can get .

    Look at it this way, if just suspending your butt is sufficient...cars, motorcycles etc. wouldnt need suspension, just cushy seats.

    Control...it's all about control

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    I wouldnt recommend a suspension seatpost for the hardtail. Your knees should do most of the shock absorption mountain biking. Stay out of that saddle when you ride over bumps.

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