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  1. #1
    SOG
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    Anyone else go from squish to hard?

    I was wondering if anyone from the norcal scene has switched from a squisher to a hardtail. I mostly have been dirt jumping a hardtail for the past 15 years or so but rode dh as well. About a year and half ago I purchased a carbon 29er for trail riding because I became bored with dh. I have to say it has been fun riding a ht again and it seems to work really well for most places I ride(i.e. skeggs, waterdog, monte bello, demo- ridge sawpit). I also like the limited maintenance and my overall conditioning is so much better. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar.

  2. #2
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    This full suspension technology... not familiar...

  3. #3
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    I finally made the 29er ht jump for last years race season. I probably wouldn't pick it for demo, but for everything local to me, it fits the bill. I was late on the wagon wheel bandwagon, but I can see the positives now. More and more, I find myself grabbing the ht. There are still trails that are fun on the squish bike though.

    My squish bike is also 10lbs heavier, so that probably doesn't help.

  4. #4
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    I’ve been riding fully rigid for quite some time. I do have a race bike with a suspension fork in the front though.
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  5. #5
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    I'm primarily riding a HT 29er, and I like the fact that it's less clunky and noisy and heavy and sluggish than my FS. So, I'm in your camp.

  6. #6
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    In my stable: a hardtail with 140mm fork, 150/140mm full sus trail bike, and my rigid 'retro' bike. (all 26" cuz I'm a short guy, I fit small wheels better)

    Horses for courses... they're all fun bikes, it just depends on what terrain I'm riding and the mood I'm in.
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  7. #7
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    I gave up my big bike (Intense SS), and only ride my hardtail DJ (Blkmkt Mob), as I could not justify a big freeride bike that I hardly rode. Now I only have one bike that I hardly ride.

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    PluSS

    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    I'm primarily riding a HT 29er, and I like the fact that it's less clunky and noisy and heavy and sluggish than my FS. So, I'm in your camp.
    It helpSS it'SS a SStealthy SSpecialized SS maSSheen!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  9. #9
    James.Hamilton
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    My squish is a carbon dream build imo and I couldn't be happier with it. Being that it is an xc race build it is not clunky at all. That is unless I go out with my 29er climbing freak friends They are in better condition but when the pull away on the long fire road type climbs I see the ht 29 advantage. I would like to get a hardtail 29er for racing and keep the squish for the fun rides.

  10. #10
    Weird huh?
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    Fully rigid, all the time, front and back. Mt. bike and the cross bike both.
    Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...

  11. #11
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    I go soft to rigid at least 3 times a day

  12. #12
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    I have a 2010 Trance X which has served me well.
    Then this November, I got a Salsa Mukluk 3 Fat Bike. It's full rigid.
    I haven't ridden the squish since.
    I ride on rock, sand, mud and snow and you can't rip the smile off my face.
    I'm about 10% slower but I usually ride alone anyway.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone else go from squish to hard?-img_2779.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SOG View Post
    I was wondering if anyone from the norcal scene has switched from a squisher to a hardtail. I mostly have been dirt jumping a hardtail for the past 15 years or so but rode dh as well. About a year and half ago I purchased a carbon 29er for trail riding because I became bored with dh. I have to say it has been fun riding a ht again and it seems to work really well for most places I ride(i.e. skeggs, waterdog, monte bello, demo- ridge sawpit). I also like the limited maintenance and my overall conditioning is so much better. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar.
    I built up a fun, 29er hardtail and I have stopped riding my bouncy bikes. I love this thing, and ride it almost exclusively. It does great on downhills, and I can "shuttle myself" back up, because it climbs really well.

    Morgan

  14. #14
    Beaubien
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    Misleading title?

    I thought this post was about something's else. I was hoping it was about hot women mountain bikers. That can change me from squish to hard! I'm just saying!
    Will Beaubien
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  15. #15
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    I tried shoes. Found them way to confining. Now I only ride barefoot and wow, I forgot how great it is to really feel the trail while riding in bare feet. Some of my riding partners agree about the disadvantage of shoes but didn't feel they could make the complete jump to riding barefoot. Instead they ride in their stocking feet. I guess they don't understand the purity of riding skin to pedal.

    I definitely don't see the need for all that suspension nonsense. Next thing you know, people will want pneumatic tires and such.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  16. #16
    Axe
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    I have two hardtails (~20lb with 100mm fork, and ~26lb SS with 150mm fork) and two (assembled) full suspension mtbs (at 26lb 120mm both ends, and some 30+ at 170mm both ends), and alternate between them about equally. Mostly for a change of pace. About an equal amount of fun each. None makes me fast up or down. For a short ride I usually get the TransAm single speed, with some large tires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaubien View Post
    I thought this post was about something's else.
    That's what she thought.

  17. #17
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    Just recently built up an AM hardtail and had so much fun on the first ride that im thinkin the squishy isnt going to see much use. Beginning to be of the mind set that simpler is better.

  18. #18
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    I had a 6 six trail bike but I found it heavy, inefficient and flex. I also was tired of squeaks and creaks. I just finished building a steel 29er hard tail. For a daily driver bike, a hardtail just makes sense.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
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  19. #19
    fc
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    rigid alllll the way!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone else go from squish to hard?-img_3717-001.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    rigid alllll the way!
    Where is it spring/summer right now? That is NOT a wintertime shot!
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  21. #21
    tjp
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    Went back to a hardtail 2+ years ago, down the lightweight carbon 29er rabbithole. My FS bike has been hooked to the trailer for hauling tools ever since. I guess I occasionally miss the squish bike, but never enough to take it off the wall. I have a heckuva lot of fun on my hardtail. Quick, direct, light, descends just as fast as the squish bike, just have to lay off the occasional big drop so save the 1450 G wheelset...

  22. #22
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    SOG,
    I have been all over the map with FS bikes over the years . I built up a SC tallboy ltc in September , it was a sweet looking bike with an exceptional build . All top of the line parts, enve wheelset , xo , etc. It was fun to ride but I felt like I was getting somewhat bored of riding this type of bike so I sold it and built up two bikes . The first is a Transition Transam 29 , set up 1x10 . The second is a Soma juice rigid SS , I honestly can say I have not had as much fun on a bike in years since going HT and rigid . I have some friends who think I am nuts but I honestly don't care what people think as much as the fun factor and pure enjoyment of riding again ! Get out and ride whatever your taste .

    Scab

  23. #23
    SOG
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    Quote Originally Posted by scabbyass View Post
    SOG,
    I have been all over the map with FS bikes over the years . I built up a SC tallboy ltc in September , it was a sweet looking bike with an exceptional build . All top of the line parts, enve wheelset , xo , etc. It was fun to ride but I felt like I was getting somewhat bored of riding this type of bike so I sold it and built up two bikes . The first is a Transition Transam 29 , set up 1x10 . The second is a Soma juice rigid SS , I honestly can say I have not had as much fun on a bike in years since going HT and rigid . I have some friends who think I am nuts but I honestly don't care what people think as much as the fun factor and pure enjoyment of riding again ! Get out and ride whatever your taste .

    Scab
    I love all the responses and I feel the same way. I'm all for riding whatever gets you there but I'm loving trail riding on the ht and the simplicity. I must admit my dj 26in wheel gets the most abuse with coffee cross, dirt jumping and bmxing with my kids but I wouldn't change a thing. Happy trails and thanks for all the great responses. It's always nice to know you're not alone.

    Get some

  24. #24
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    I've only ever owned and ridden hardtail and rigid. I'd love to add full squish to my collection but having a hard time justifying the cost when I doubt I could ever fully put it to good use.

  25. #25
    Uncle
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    I bought a $99 Access frame a few years ago while waiting for backordered Blur parts to ship. I had so much fun on it that the Blur sat disassembled ~a year after the parts had arrived. I rode a lot of great rides on that bike before it was stolen, and in doing so remembered how much fun NorCal XC trails can be. This was right about the time that the Mojo was becoming the new standard, and finding a good bike with <120mm travel was basically impossible (except for all of the used ones).

    Now it seems that only when my planned ride exceeds the range I'm able to cover with my hard tail ss bike, I bring my Blur (15% of the time perhaps); I usually end up wishing I'd brought the hard tail bike anyway. I foresee a multispeed hard tail replacing the Blur soon; just not sure if it'll be a 29er or something a littler smaller.
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  26. #26
    Uncle
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    Where does that leave that gorgeous Retrotec of yours?
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  27. #27
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrenador View Post
    Where does that leave that gorgeous Retrotec of yours?
    I sold it cause it's a 26er

    Hardtails, singlespeeds, rigid forks are all part of the cyclical nature of biking for me. I guess it's one of the things I like about it. You can obsess about a certain area and get really immersed in it.

    Right now though, I can't see myself riding a hardtail. There's so much to learn and enjoy in the other bike categories at the moment.

    fc

  28. #28
    Cheesiest
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    My response probably isn't of much use (just moved to NorCal 5 mos ago), but I've jumped back and fourth between FS (long and short travel) and find rigid to be the most fun and practice. I'd rather pour my limited funds into one rig. I do like to jump on an DH bike every so often, as long as I don't have to climb too far on it.
    "Paved roads...just another example of needless government spending"—paraphrased from rhino_adv

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    I have three bikes: a hardtail DJ, an 160mm AM bike and a 9" downhill bike (all 26" wheels).

    Love them all. Lately though, my DJ adds fun to otherwise boring trails and I'm finding newly found fun at the BMX track.

    Funny thing is, the DJ is making me firm up my suspension on my AM bike. Definitely liking the firmer feel.

    A few years ago I tried to go to riding a hardtail all the time, but my body can't handle it. Too much abuse for me.
    Lol! That's exactly the stable I have right now (to the "T"), except +1 for my $h!tbike 25 lb hardtail XC. Just picked up the DJ bike this weekend to work on the DH/jumping skills. Few people have observed that I rely to much on my suspension to absorb the hits... gotta keep the legs engaged.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    That said, I love my AM bike too because what I can do on the DJ I have so much more confidence to try things on the bigger bike. Where do you take your DJ?
    Probably gonna start off at Pleasanton bmx park... I have no clue what to do on this bike. I just got it last Saturday (and I'm already swapping parts out... low rise handlebar, brakes, K-Rad tires, seat... I need help). Also going to nail some of Dion's homework in the skill of the month thread. =)

  31. #31
    rox
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    I just got a 29er ht in an attempt to be more racey but its nowhere near as fun to ride as my 29er fs. Its marginally faster uphill but slower downhill and more uncomfortable all the time. It sits lonely in the garage unless im doing a big ride with a lot of road segments or a race. Im not sure why someone would willingly ride a ht unless they are just trying to be more "hard core" or something

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    Im not sure why someone would willingly ride a ht unless they are just trying to be more "hard core" or something
    Sometimes riding a HT makes tame trails, that would otherwise be boring on a FS bike, fun and challenging.
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  33. #33
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    I have given up on hardtails a long time ago, but I see myself longing for a fatbike these days.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  34. #34
    rox
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    back when I only had a ht I used to use that argument. now I just go faster.

    and lets be honest, trails that are boring are pretty boring on any bike. feeling every tiny rock on the fire road doesnt really make it more exciting.

    Quote Originally Posted by splatworldwide View Post
    Sometimes riding a HT makes tame trails, that would otherwise be boring on a FS bike, fun and challenging.

  35. #35
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    Got a fully rigid dirt jumper that's also single speed. I like the simplicity for jumping and hitting up easier trails near my house. It also doubles as a beach cruiser, pit bike, and for grabbing a Polish on McKean from the Dutchman's hot dog stand. It's also good for wheelies, bunny hops, whips, and kick-outs. It looks cool and if I ride with a hoodie, I get mistaken for the local punks.

    I have a regular, very light, HT XC that I almost never ride except on the trainer. It climbs well but if I want to climb all day, I grab for the road bike instead.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    back when I only had a ht I used to use that argument. now I just go faster.

    and lets be honest, trails that are boring are pretty boring on any bike. feeling every tiny rock on the fire road doesnt really make it more exciting.
    I'm curious if you've ever tried a really light, slack, short stem + wide bar 29er?

  37. #37
    SOG
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    I'm curious if you've ever tried a really light, slack, short stem + wide bar 29er?
    Great point I run 30 inch width bars and 70mm stem and love it. My main riding buddy says my bike looks like a big slalom bike I find on a ht that I'm more efficient and I think more about carrying speed more and making the most of the advantages and where I can make time on buddies cause I know there will be sections of the trail they will have an advantage. I guess it depends on the trails everyone rides. I ride skeggs 80% of the time so it's not very technical or bumpy. In most cases I'm faster than my friends on dualies. The only place i miss the squish is the lower part of Sawpit at demo. Those braking bumps are tough at speed on the body.

    At the end of the day it's all about fun and the cool thing about bikes are there are so many options. Hope to see you all on the trail and if I see you in parking lot I always have good beer. Cheers
    Last edited by SOG; 01-14-2013 at 07:36 PM.

  38. #38
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    Started mountain biking in 2008 with a decked out 26" (coincidentally 26lb) FS bike. It was fun and fast but I (not the bike) sucked at climbing. A buddy of mine (happens to be an 'expert' rider) recommended building up a cheap SS to help build up strength, which I did in 2009. Just went rigid last month with no regrets.

    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    Im not sure why someone would willingly ride a ht unless they are just trying to be more "hard core" or something
    You don't need to understand, it's o.k.. There are many reasons, but here are a few that may help you understand (or not).

    Cost: Comparatively, FS bikes cost more and so does maintenance. And to get one that climbs like a hardtail cost even more. There are more parts that need attention and of course there are more things to break. I know personally of 4 people who have broken the rear triangle on their FS bikes. Sure 3 of them were replaced under warranty, but the down time sucked.

    Simplicity: Some people don't want to deal with the extra adjustments, tuning and care that comes with rear suspension (I don't even want to deal with front susp.).

    The ride/feel: Some think the hardtail is more fun to ride. This may not be your opinion but that is o.k.. I think riding style also has a lot to do with it. Even with FS I never bombed down technical descents so I was not taking advantage of the rear susp.. I also am a better technical rider and do things on my hardtail that I did and would not on my FS (like popping the rear tire over a rock rather than letting the bike absorb the bump) and I love how the hardtail (now rigid) climbs. Plus, it is lighter (comparatively) and you can feel it...and if you couldn't, there would still be the Placebo affect.

    I for one don't think that riding a hardtail, or rigid makes me 'hard core'. That is usually a moniker given by FS riders that think it is harder. I think endurance riding in freezing temps, or 90+ temps makes anyone hard core regardless of ride (fine line between hard core and crazy). FWIW, I did experience lower back soreness on the FS, but since I switched to a hardtail (SS) I don't recall any back issues, even after 100 mile or 24hr events...and I don't have no six pack abs...or maybe I do, just hidden beneath what I call my 'Camel-Front'.

    Hope that helps.
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  39. #39
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    and lets be honest, trails that are boring are pretty boring on any bike. feeling every tiny rock on the fire road doesnt really make it more exciting.
    You also walk on the beach at sunset in combat boots, right?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I sold it cause it's a 26er
    Shame on you.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    back when I only had a ht I used to use that argument. now I just go faster.

    and lets be honest, trails that are boring are pretty boring on any bike. feeling every tiny rock on the fire road doesnt really make it more exciting.

    That's sorta true. Someplace like Fremont Older is boring on every bike.
    Demo is more fun on a full suspension bike....but Kennedy isn't.

    HT and full rigid bikes will make you a better rider on your full suspension bike though.



    Also, 26ers are way better than 29ers.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    I just got a 29er ht in an attempt to be more racey but its nowhere near as fun to ride as my 29er fs. Its marginally faster uphill but slower downhill and more uncomfortable all the time. It sits lonely in the garage unless im doing a big ride with a lot of road segments or a race. Im not sure why someone would willingly ride a ht unless they are just trying to be more "hard core" or something
    All good points. I demoed FS for months but stuck with HT mainly because I just don't want to deal with even the possibility of shock and linkage induced down time (SS conversion potential was another factor). It was definitely a compromise. I'd go rigid if I could, but I tried it on one bike and it is slower and not as fun. But, I'm certainly willing to swap in a rigid fork to deal with suspension fork maintenance windows just to be able to keep riding.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    Also, 26ers are way better than 29ers.
    And 650b is halfway better than either a 26er or a 29er.
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  44. #44
    rox
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    the guys who say maintenance is a good reason to ride a ht had better be riding full rigid singlespeeds with tubes in the tires. even those need maintaining though.

    cost is definitely a good factor to consider though


    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    I'm curious if you've ever tried a really light, slack, short stem + wide bar 29er?
    if I had to ride a ht that wasnt for racing that is definitely what I would get since it sounds like a lot of fun. but I still dont see what advantages it has over an equivalent squish bike.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    the guys who say maintenance is a good reason to ride a ht had better be riding full rigid singlespeeds with tubes in the tires. even those need maintaining though.

    cost is definitely a good factor to consider though
    I, for one, am riding a rigid single speed, but tubes? Those require way more maintenance than tubeless. If you are riding with tubes, you might as well be on a FS.
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  46. #46
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    Hard for racing (not D-ville) and boring ass fire-roads
    Squish for fun

    thats real^^^^
    26, 29 or 650 doesn't matter as long as your faster than Rumpfy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    the guys who say maintenance is a good reason to ride a ht had better be riding full rigid singlespeeds with tubes in the tires. even those need maintaining though.
    This is actually a philosophical question, not just a question of strictly minimizing maintenance. At any given time, you are in a state of being able to ride, or not being able to ride. If you can't ride because your shock or frame has issues, how much of a problem is that for you? People will respond to this differently based on various factors, including a) availability of spare bike(s), b) how much they are willing to tolerate down time, and c) their willingness to work on their own shocks/frames and/or spend time with the LBS and deal with any delay that that might require. All of this is weighed against one's preference for ride characteristics. In my case, a slight preference for full suspension did not outweigh the other factors. However, hypothetically speaking, were I to get a second MTB, the answers would be totally different, due to the first bike being available as a backup.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    the guys who say maintenance is a good reason to ride a ht had better be riding full rigid singlespeeds with tubes in the tires. even those need maintaining though.
    That would be me.

  49. #49
    fc
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    squish to hard, hard to squish, squish to hard. It's a cycle to enjoy. Enjoy each genre by really getting immersed in that type of bike, understanding it and getting good at it. Then buy the next bike

    The real reason I ride hardtails is because squishy singlespeeds suck!!

    fc

  50. #50
    Wēk Sôs
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,635
    There's lots of wisdom here. I ride 3 variants, FS, HT and rigid, no complaints really, just different perspectives on a trail. It's a bit tricky to manage the rough stuff on a HT. Even more so on a rigid. If I had to have just 1 bike, it would be a FS. That said, I have 2 FS, 1 HT and a rigid. I tend to ride the HT the most in the area. In some ways, it's a reminder to keep my speed in check.

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