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  1. #1
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    I think I want a hardtail, Thoughts?

    Hey guys, I am looking to get back into the sport and I am leaning heavily towards a hardtail, but the catch is I would like to get something nice. I almost decided on a Kona Hoss Deluxe, but the local dealers are not very helpful, and the closest good dealer is 100 miles away. even the local dealer is about 20 miles away. So anyways I have been researching the local LBS scene and just about everyone is recommending the Specialized line of bikes. I was also fortunate to speak to the Specialized sales rep about their products. He assured me that their bike frames would be fine with my size and weight (6'0" 260) He said that the entire bike would work well, but if I as worried about it I should simply swap the wheels and everything else would be fine.

    So, I am looking at the Stumpjumper Comp. I want a high end bike with high end components.I think that the parts on the Stumpy are superior to those on the Rockhoper line. I also feel that a hardtail is going to be fine for the kind of riding I will be doing.

    I live at the top of a hill so I will be riding up hill on ever ride I will ever be taking. I also will be doing some off road stuff, but no major drops or any huge jumps. I will, assuming I can get enough stamina going, be heading to Tahoe with my bike to do some down hilling next year. I used to go every sumer about 15 years ago. I road it on a Hardtail back then also.

    So what do you guys think. Will the Stumpy be OK for me? What else would you recommend assuming the Hoss D is out? Should I re think my no FS idea? I can get a basic SC Heckler for the same money as the stumpy, but they will have to upgrade the shock to a coil for me. Thanks to any who are willing to help.

    Juan

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    A hardtail is still a feasible solution. It is just harder if you want to go fast on rough ground.

    Mine is built on a Banshee Scirocco frame. Santa Cruz Chameleon and Cove Stiffee are other similar tough HT's.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddj8052
    So what do you guys think. Will the Stumpy be OK for me? What else would you recommend assuming the Hoss D is out? Should I re think my no FS idea? I can get a basic SC Heckler for the same money as the stumpy, but they will have to upgrade the shock to a coil for me. Thanks to any who are willing to help.

    Juan
    the stumpy isn't meant for downhilling, it's an XC race bike.. but if the rep says it's ok for your weight (ie-they'll warranty it if it breaks), then it's cool. I really like the handling of the 90's stumpy's (I'm still riding a steel one).
    My only problem with a bike like the stumpy is the lack of big rear tire clearance (I'm not sure it'll fit something like a 2.35 tire, but they may have fixed that issue in recent years). On the 90's stumpjumpers, anything bigger than a 2.1 tire rubs the chainstays. For clydes, it's nice to have a fat/hi volume tire.
    the only other comment is that for epic/long rides, alu bikes can be hard on your back (but fat tires will help this).
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    I have a SJ FSR and I'm thinking of a HT too although I'll probably go with a 29". That should soften up the ride a little being that those wheels are supposed to roll better. This is all in theory of course.
    Lou
    04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro
    Airborne Ti HT
    Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  5. #5
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    I recently "got back into riding" and thought.. "I'll get a hard tail and save a few bucks.".. so I bought a hardtail frame and swapped out all the parts from my broken Trek Ybike.. Rode it for a week before I thought my crotch was going to bleed and my spine was going to blow our my back... The hardtail sucked every bit of life out of me wherever there were any little bumps or dips.. Took about a week before I was riding a new Spec. Stumpjumper FSR Expert.. LOL.. If you can swing the price I would recommend full suspension.. they have come a long way and climb like a hardtail without giving your back and ass a beeting... Also I feel much safer on the downhills.. more control and stoping ability, etc..
    2007 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert
    Check out my rides/routes on Geoladders.com

    8/23/2007 292 lbs.
    6/6/2007 330 lbs.

  6. #6
    Captain Underpants
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    I would definitely look at the SC Heckler. Am not sure if you would need another shock (what does that come with, rp23? If so, you do not need a coil) and I would, speaking from personal experience, go full suspension. I have been riding a HT for the past few months and while fun, it just does not compare to suspension, esp. if you have rocky trails or like to go fast.

    HT's make great second bikes--they are good for polishing your techinque, or for groomed fireroads, but I really think a clyde needs full sus for his/her main bike.

  7. #7
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    GO WITH THE FS!!!

    As the others have said, you'll get the HT, ride it a while, and end up wishing you'd spent the money on a FS. It happened to me, too. If you're going to have one bike, make it the best you can possibly afford and don't look back.

    The Heckler comes with a Float R, which I've been using without problem for the past few months. I think the fork might be a problem, so you should see about getting a little better one than the bottom of the line.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by logbiter
    the stumpy isn't meant for downhilling, it's an XC race bike.. but if the rep says it's ok for your weight (ie-they'll warranty it if it breaks), then it's cool. I really like the handling of the 90's stumpy's (I'm still riding a steel one).
    My only problem with a bike like the stumpy is the lack of big rear tire clearance (I'm not sure it'll fit something like a 2.35 tire, but they may have fixed that issue in recent years). On the 90's stumpjumpers, anything bigger than a 2.1 tire rubs the chainstays. For clydes, it's nice to have a fat/hi volume tire.
    the only other comment is that for epic/long rides, alu bikes can be hard on your back (but fat tires will help this).
    It's an XC race bike. Nobody runs fat tires for racing, they roll too slow. I wouldn't bet on any more tire clearance having been added.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddj8052
    Hey guys, I am looking to get back into the sport and I am leaning heavily towards a hardtail, but the catch is I would like to get something nice. I almost decided on a Kona Hoss Deluxe, but the local dealers are not very helpful, and the closest good dealer is 100 miles away. even the local dealer is about 20 miles away. So anyways I have been researching the local LBS scene and just about everyone is recommending the Specialized line of bikes. I was also fortunate to speak to the Specialized sales rep about their products. He assured me that their bike frames would be fine with my size and weight (6'0" 260) He said that the entire bike would work well, but if I as worried about it I should simply swap the wheels and everything else would be fine.

    So, I am looking at the Stumpjumper Comp. I want a high end bike with high end components.I think that the parts on the Stumpy are superior to those on the Rockhoper line. I also feel that a hardtail is going to be fine for the kind of riding I will be doing.

    I live at the top of a hill so I will be riding up hill on ever ride I will ever be taking. I also will be doing some off road stuff, but no major drops or any huge jumps. I will, assuming I can get enough stamina going, be heading to Tahoe with my bike to do some down hilling next year. I used to go every sumer about 15 years ago. I road it on a Hardtail back then also.

    So what do you guys think. Will the Stumpy be OK for me? What else would you recommend assuming the Hoss D is out? Should I re think my no FS idea? I can get a basic SC Heckler for the same money as the stumpy, but they will have to upgrade the shock to a coil for me. Thanks to any who are willing to help.

    Juan
    The Geometry on the Stumpy is quite aggressive (71 degree head tube until the '08's, which are a slightly more relaxed 70.5). A great ride if you want to charge up hills and descend carefully, this is not a bike designed to be forgiving on the descent, and it's definitely not something that I'd want to go downhilling at tahoe on (The SJ FSR on the other hand would be a capable do-everything FS bike, it's not the race machine its HT brother is). It's not a general purpose bike, the geometry is too steep (unless, like me, you find a more general-purpose frame too slow handling).

    I'd look at something like the Norco Fireball as a good all-round HT ride. It's actually tougher than the Stumpy, has a more relaxed frame with a fair bit more travel. Parts spec is quite similar to the SJ Comp. Most 'All mountain' or trail-oriented hardtails would be better options, look for something with 100-120mm of travel up front.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    GO WITH THE FS!!!

    As the others have said, you'll get the HT, ride it a while, and end up wishing you'd spent the money on a FS. It happened to me, too. If you're going to have one bike, make it the best you can possibly afford and don't look back.

    The Heckler comes with a Float R, which I've been using without problem for the past few months. I think the fork might be a problem, so you should see about getting a little better one than the bottom of the line.
    Some of us are quite happy on our Hardtails. They don't beat you up once you get the hang of using your arms/legs as suspension, and they handle better IMHO (FS bikes are too slack for my taste, I like steep headtubes).

    FS bikes do have their advantages in the really rough stuff, but HT's are great too unless the local trails are really rough.

  11. #11
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    I'm 230lbs and abusing a HT. Crotch pain is a sign you haven't been on a bike in a long time and back pain is often from not standing through the bumps. In my experience the HT is more fatiguing but if it's painful there's a set up problem or a new rider. I've broken 2 front wheels but never a back one, i just run a little more air pressure in the back.

    The real difference between the rockhopper and the ht stumpys is the geometry- the RH will feel a lot more comfortable descending but not as sure futted and efficient uphill- a good trade in my book.

    - FS is faster through the rough and more comfortable and less fun for me. If you have known back problems FS is the way to go.
    .

  12. #12
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    Im 290, and prefer a HT as well.

    The days of Trials riding has kept my back, legs and arms strong enough to soak up irregularities.

    Right now Im on a Cannondale F5. So far Ive upgraded the brakes to BB7's. My wheels are now Hope Pro II hubs with Sun Singletrack rims with an XT cassette. XT shiters with a deore rear derail. I didnt like any of the SRAM stuff that came on it and was used to Shimano anyway.

    Ive always ridden a HT, raced a HT. I never liked the feel of a FS bike, but I hear they have come leaps and bounds.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg
    futted and efficient uphill-
    *footed

    that's the wierdest typo i've ever done.
    .

  14. #14
    Freelance Whatever
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    If you wanna go high end.....

    If you really wanna go high end, just get yourself a nice custom frame and hang some roughneck parts on it. I built a Rock Lobster SS and told Paul exactly what the situation was(5'10", 235), and I'm extreeeemly pleased with my purchase. This offers you the flexibility to choose your set up and find what works best. Some like SRAM, some shimano, etc. Being roped into BB7's because you want to ride shimano drive parts doens't make sense. If you want to drop the coin, make sure it's what YOU want. Not some corporate exec.

  15. #15
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    Good day guys.Sorry for hi-jacking this post.I'm 6' and 330lbs rider.Been out of shape for 4yrs.I also want a hard tail bike to start lossing weight,Is the Marin indian fire trail or the pine mountain can handle my weight?Just for xc or road use no crazy stuff,not yet until I loose some pounds(hehehe).I'm leaning more on the pine mountain coz its made of columbus steel.Any help is highly appreciated.

  16. #16
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    Indian Fire Trail/ Pine Mountain

    I looked at both of those while shopping for a geared machine to add to the stable, and the Indian Fire Trail is STIFF, like along the lines of Cannondale stiff. I liked the idea of the steel frame (and the fact that someone still sells them as completes!) and the bits seemed to be an alright mix. The only problem was the Indian Fire Trail was out of stock from the supplier to the LBS until the '08s came out! They might still have sizes in the ends of the spectrum, but don't get too excited. The guys at the shop told me a few of them were getting the Nail Trail and upgrading the parts. Same frame, though. A few bucks cheaper...

  17. #17
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    I'm 6'4" 243 (down from 265-270). Last year I bought a Norco Manik. It's a great hardtail free-ride bike. It's big and heavy so a little hard to ride uphill, but it's got 6" travel in the front and can handle everything I've given it. I ride all-mountain and take up to 5-6 foot drops and haven't had to replace anything yet! I've heard Norcos are hard to find in the US norco is a canadian company). I live in Belligham, WA which is right next to the Canadian border, so we have a Norco dealer here.

    Anyway, not sure it's the type of bike you're looking for (ie. not the best for uphill), but it's a great bike for handling abuse from big riders.
    Just grip it and rip it, that's how I live my life.

  18. #18
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    I've only ridden steel hardtails since '89. everyone doesn't need a full suspension. or want one.

  19. #19
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    I think the marketing is certainly getting to everyone. Look at all the bike magazines, there are hardly any advertisements for hardtails (apart from high end XC race machines).

    OP if you plan on making the downhilling a regular thing on your bike and see riding as more for fun rather than serious I'd consider hardtails along the lines of what Perttime mentioned.

    A hardtail is still a feasible solution. It is just harder if you want to go fast on rough ground.

    Mine is built on a Banshee Scirocco frame. Santa Cruz Chameleon and Cove Stiffee are other similar tough HT's.
    And also consider Norco - Sasquatch, Manik, Rampage, the '08 range looks to be lighter in frame design and to me it seems like it would be a good all round hardtail something that can handle the downs very well but also the ups and just about anything else, built strong but not overweight.

    In saying all this I'm sure the Stumpy would handle the riding you described, even the occasional DH, and like the rep mentioned you may just have to add tougher wheels, but it is still after all intended to be an XC hardtail. Perhaps it would be a great bike for you, if you found that you wanted a dual suspension rig a year or two later then the Stumpy would well be worth keeping for commuting, road, xc trail rides and the such, and your dually would be for the rougher stuff.

    I've got a dually (Trance 3) but I find myself longing to ride a hardtail again as well, maybe just for the simplicity, or to appreciate dual suspension more. Looking at getting an '08 Norco Rampage myself because I can see it has the best of both worlds, slack geometry for fun, long travel for downhill and the hardtail aspect to keep it simple and easy to maintain, hopefully on the '08's the suspension travel is adjustable too so it can be wound down for the more xc rides.

  20. #20
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecrazyfinn
    Some of us are quite happy on our Hardtails. They don't beat you up once you get the hang of using your arms/legs as suspension, and they handle better IMHO (FS bikes are too slack for my taste, I like steep headtubes).

    FS bikes do have their advantages in the really rough stuff, but HT's are great too unless the local trails are really rough.
    Some of us were quite happy with our Hoss for a few years until we learned about FS and wanted to try it out. Some of us regret selling our Hoss to pay for a Heckler, but we realize that FS helps when we have suffered from a crushed back and broken wrist and are pretty damned arthritic.

    Point is, I would be happy going back to my Hoss and riding gentle trails. When the going gets a little bit rougher, the comfort of a FS becomes a distinct advantage. If I had it to do all over again, I would still sell my Hoss to help pay for my Heckler. If I could only have one bike it would be a FS.

    BTW: I put a 120mm travel fork on my Hoss, which slacked out the headtube and made descents easy.

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