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  1. #1
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    Bike mag hates hardtails

    Iím so done with this magazine. Can they not throw the hardtail crowd a bone once in a while? Just got my March issue titled 2018 Bible of bike tests, And if you hadnít already guessed from my subject line, thereís not one hardtail in it. Why not just call it Bible of full suspension bike tests? I guess Iíll wait till next month when they feature some more $8000 fs bikes in the back. Ooh canít wait.


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  2. #2
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    Hard tails are a niche these days. For budget riders, and weirdos. That said I plan to build on up soon.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Hard tails are a niche these days. For budget riders, and weirdos. That said I plan to build on up soon.
    R u my goatworthy rep? Same name. Anyhoo, I donít buy that. The weirdos are the ones riding the midwestern states, or most states for that matter, with full sus bikes. Save for the people that have back issues or the like. I know this topic is beaten like dead pony but plain and simple these riders just want to look cool, and how could you not with an extra shock.



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  4. #4
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    FS is so good these days, there is no reason to ride a hard tail, other than cost, or just because. Don't get me wrong, I love em, but it's not a rational love.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    FS is so good these days, there is no reason to ride a hard tail, other than cost, or just because.
    Or because it's a single speed?
    "...rhetorical hyperbole..."

  6. #6
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    even though modern FS bikes are really nice and the target market is old while guys who light cigars with $100 bills every day, there are some really fun hardtails out there. I don't get why the bike media ignores them. I know some guys who only rode FS bikes until they tried a Trek Stache or a Chameleon and that's all they talk about now.

    that said, I have never owned a FS bike and don't have any plans to any time soon. I get excited when I flip through a bicycle magazine and spot a steel hardtail among the sea of cookie-cutter aluminum squishy bikes, but maybe that's because I am a stingy retrogrouch and therefore not part of the target market.

    genuinely curious, though: what incentive does the nominally objective media have for focusing so much on FS bikes as if hardtails don't exist? does Bike Magazine know their audience better than we give them credit?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 01-04-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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    ^ an FS bike is cookie cutter, but a hardtail isn't, come on. I started riding steel hardtails in the 1950's.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    genuinely curious, though: what incentive does the nominally objective media have for focusing so much on higher-end products? does Bike Magazine know their audience better than we give them credit?
    Ad dollars.

    By showcasing a 9k FS rig in reviews and gushing on about it's "dialed, yet bottomless" suspension, "incredible small-bump compliance", and "amazing lateral stiffness paired with fun whippyness", to the average consumer those traits become tied to the brand, not the bike. They will feel the "dialed" suspension of their 5k FS bike, the "incredible compliance" of their $1,500 hardtail, and even the "amazing stiffness" of the $500 cruiser they buy their non-riding spouse. It's creating and advertising an aspirational model, and couching it as a review. In doing so, it sells more of a specific brand's bicycles, even if it sells only a handful of the reviewed (aka, advertised) model. Said company sells more bikes, said company has a larger ad budget.

    Also, it's making a showpiece review, same as a car mag reviewing a M5 or a Civic Type R. When's the last time you read a review about a Civic DX, or a 530i? I'd be interested in reading an (honest) review of a mid-range hardtail, but let's not kid ourselves: that doesn't sell magazines, which in turn doesn't bring in ad dollars.
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  9. #9
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    everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is fine with me, and yes I do ride a hardtail and enjoy it daily.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    FS is so good these days, there is no reason to ride a hard tail, other than cost, or just because. Don't get me wrong, I love em, but it's not a rational love.
    Sometimes fs is too high maintenance, ht can rack up 2x the mileage without the wrench/down time compared to fs....
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  11. #11
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    I love hardtails, probably more than FS although I'm lucky enough to own both, but I'd say that I ride my 29+ Waltworks 80% of the time.

    Custom hardtails are great but it might be that a lot of the off the shelf ones (I own a couple of these too) are much the same as each other. There's not a lot of difference between them that separates them from each other nowadays, in my opinion. SO I can understand why they are left out of the tests, to a degree.

    To me though, get the right hardtail, with the right geometry, worthy components and big tyres and I'll ride it forever, which I will...

  12. #12
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    Hardtails are so simple, light, and easy to maintain! I love them!

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    I love my hardtail. For 80% of my riding, I ride my hardtail. All my PRs are on the hardtail. I only use the fully now on long group rides where I am in the saddle more than out of it.

  14. #14
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    FS bikes allow you to ride faster for longer, while being safer. They're pretty dialled right now and almost anyone is able to find an off the shelf complete that suits them. Technical climbs are actually easier with rear suspension, as long as it's not a gravity-focused rig we're talking about.

    That said, hardtails are comparatively lighter, more cost-effective and more tolerant of bad weather or neglect. Then there's the feel... Like in skiing, snowboarding and surfing, some people are after a certain feel and choose their rides accordingly, while a different option would normally be better suited for the conditions.

    Personally I love the feedback-rich ride of a ht. I'm not tough enough to cope with a full rigid, but a ht gives me the right balance of control vs excitement on trail. Sure, there are limits in speed, terrain and duration (sometimes combined) but I'm just riding for fun.

    Right now is a great time to get one, as they have finally broken free from the XC racing geometry that restricted the designs forever. Even major manufacturers have a "trail/enduro/AM" ht in their line ups with longer forks and more relaxed geometry than the typical XC ht.

    Many small/custom brands have had such offerings forever, especially in the UK. The British seem to have evolved and refined the genre due to their wet climate that can be cruel to frames with moving parts and bearings. Cotic, Orange, Ragley, On-One, Nukeproof, Whyte, Stanton, Bird, Stif are some of the production brands that offer fun-focused ht's and there must be at least as many custom builders out there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    even though modern FS bikes are really nice and the target market is old while guys who light cigars with $100 bills every day...but maybe that's because I am a stingy retrogrouch and therefore not part of the target market.....genuinely curious, though: what incentive does the nominally objective media have for focusing so much on higher-end products? does Bike Magazine know their audience better than we give them credit?
    The bike mags know their advertisers and their advertisers' targets better than we do and if they don't shill for the high end stuff they don't exist.

    I am not part of their target market because I am not wealthy and only buy garage queens from the target market people who "need" to upgrade.

    My $5000 CF hardtail cost me $1200 and it is the one bike I would not be without.
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  16. #16
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    A few years ago I switched to FS (Trek Remedy 9) and loved it like no tomorrow. Due to snow in New England, I borrowed a buddy's Spec. Fuse Plus HT and I am having a freaking blast on it - I'm prolly going to buy it from him and use it as my 'regular' bike. Fun to 'feel' the trails again.

  17. #17
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    I feel as though the bubble is gonna pop on the full sus market. Iím not saying itís gonna deflate, just thinking flatten out. I think a lot of folks will start migrating back to the simplistic nature of hardtails.


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  18. #18
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    I really enjoy my FS rig on long, big days, but on the easier, local stuff, the hardtail gets the nod the majority of the days. I just enjoy the feedback the bike gives. And with the newer, slacker geometry on many and the larger volume tire options that are available today, they really don't beat you up like the XC oriented HTs did. Honestly, if I were starting out now with a carbon hardtail that could take up to a 2.8 tire with a 66-68 HTA, I might could live with a one bike quiver. Now this could be due to where I live and my riding style, but I really don't think I'd miss the FS that much.

  19. #19
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    And yes, I wish Bike mag would review a couple of hardtails as well!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    ...I think a lot of folks will start migrating back to the simplistic nature of hardtails.
    I think you mean simple. Simplistic means something else.
    Do the math.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I think you mean simple. Simplistic means something else.
    Thanks


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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    I feel as though the bubble is gonna pop on the full sus market. Iím not saying itís gonna deflate, just thinking flatten out. I think a lot of folks will start migrating back to the simplistic nature of hardtails.


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    That's not a bubble.

    I think as FS get better and cheaper they'll become the common for entry level bikes. They're already close. You can get a FS bike that doesn't suck for around $1500 now. The HT market will most likely continue to shrink.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Or because it's a single speed?
    I heard that...
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Sometimes fs is too high maintenance, ht can rack up 2x the mileage without the wrench/down time compared to fs....
    Budget.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Or because it's a single speed?
    Weirdo niche You know it.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  26. #26
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    I have 3 bikes that get leg time, only one has a sus fork while the other 2 are rigid all the time (1 of which is fat). I even have a rigid fork on the wall for when I really want to get beat up.

    If you aren't enjoying the read, dump the subscription and go ride.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That's not a bubble.

    I think as FS get better and cheaper they'll become the common for entry level bikes. They're already close. You can get a FS bike that doesn't suck for around $1500 now. The HT market will most likely continue to shrink.
    Iíll accept that but it still does not change the fact that fs bikes have unnecessary parts and maintenance for the vast majority of us.


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    I have never owned a FS bike and don't have any plans to any time soon.
    Confession time: I have never even ridden a hardtail - went straight from rigid to full squish back in 2000 or so. I'd quite like to have a go as I can see the attraction of the things, but I couldn't justify buying one as I wouldn't be able to put in long rides on one for medical reasons. A hardtail fatbike though, that would be something to consider.
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I have 3 bikes that get leg time, only one has a sus fork while the other 2 are rigid all the time (1 of which is fat). I even have a rigid fork on the wall for when I really want to get beat up.

    If you aren't enjoying the read, dump the subscription and go ride.
    Call me a ***** if you want but it was -8 this morning in northern IL.

    And now enter the Minnesota crowd to give me $hit about how up there -8 is their sunbathing weather lol


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonmason View Post
    Ad dollars.

    By showcasing a 9k FS rig in reviews and gushing on about it's "dialed, yet bottomless" suspension, "incredible small-bump compliance", and "amazing lateral stiffness paired with fun whippyness", to the average consumer those traits become tied to the brand, not the bike. They will feel the "dialed" suspension of their 5k FS bike, the "incredible compliance" of their $1,500 hardtail, and even the "amazing stiffness" of the $500 cruiser they buy their non-riding spouse. It's creating and advertising an aspirational model, and couching it as a review. In doing so, it sells more of a specific brand's bicycles, even if it sells only a handful of the reviewed (aka, advertised) model. Said company sells more bikes, said company has a larger ad budget.

    Also, it's making a showpiece review, same as a car mag reviewing a M5 or a Civic Type R. When's the last time you read a review about a Civic DX, or a 530i? I'd be interested in reading an (honest) review of a mid-range hardtail, but let's not kid ourselves: that doesn't sell magazines, which in turn doesn't bring in ad dollars.
    Exactly. This is not any different than car magazines showing Ferraris and Porsches. You don't see a lot of car magazines having an $11,000 Chevy Aveo on the cover, because it's not glamorous. And although the Aveo is an automatic transmission, hardtails are kind of like manual transmission cars: the technology is outdated, but the feel and control are still desired.

    The bike manufacturers know most people will buy the cheaper bikes out of budget necessity, so they advertise the expensive ones more out of competition with other companies than anything else. It's prestige. You see it with Shimano & SRAM all the time, one comes out with an improved component, and the other immediately has to follow their lead, or they will be left behind in the marketing race. Most of it is hype if you ask me. Mountain bikes have improved so fast in the last 5-10 years, it would be a good idea to take a step back and just appreciate all of the great choices we have, even in the lower-end hardtail 'niche'. A $700 hardtail today has way better technology than a $700 full-suspension bike 10 years ago. People forget that.
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  31. #31
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    I am deciding between a Chromag Rootdown, NS Eccentric Cromo, and a Kona Honzo Steel. Looking for a low maintenance bike for slower conditions during Winter. Saving money on pivot hardware, and shock rebuilds is a big part, the other part is weirdodum.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  32. #32
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    Injected59 loves hyperbole. They don't hate hardtails. It's a matter of capacity.

    https://www.bikemag.com/2016-bible-o...eres-the-love/

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    Call me a ***** if you want but it was -8 this morning in northern IL.

    And now enter the Minnesota crowd to give me $hit about how up there -8 is their sunbathing weather lol


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    That could be me, here in St. Paul atm, but I won't do it. I'm fine with it, I married a girl from IL so I get some light pestering from the WI relatives. Also, I didn't wear my balaclava on the way in today...D'oh! Yeah, it's cold out there, it's a personal decision but the cold is no reason not to ride. Cyclicious posted some pics from a -11C ride up in Canada. Gotta admire that couple, she and the hubby are getting out there... participatin' in the crazy cold on "skinny" tires even. Sometimes, in order to really appreciate the warm, you gotta get cold. Ride when you can, Happy rollin'!
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    Injected59 loves hyperbole. They don't hate hardtails. It's a matter of capacity.

    https://www.bikemag.com/2016-bible-o...eres-the-love/
    Lol.
    Had to look up hyperbole btw


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  35. #35
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    Nothing compares to a nice light HT. FS is overkill for many folks.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  36. #36
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    The irony is that most riders in Marquette (site of this year's test) ride HT fatbikes. When you get snow 6 months of the year, 1 bike for all seasons is the ticket. Plus, the terrain is well suited for HT.

    Say ya to da UP eh!

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    Lol.
    Had to look up hyperbole btw


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    I pronounced it incorrectly for many years. It's a great word.

  38. #38
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    My previous comment was off-base. Of course they want to showcase high-end bikes in magazines, even if most people can't afford them. This general disdain for hardtails from cycling media is still a mystery.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 01-04-2018 at 12:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    This general disdain for hardtails is still a mystery.
    I haven't experienced that. It's the insecure need to tell other people they're overbiked that I don't get.

  40. #40
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    They don't like any bikes under 135mm. They are all enduro and DH riders and that's what they gravitate too. XC style bikes are "No Fun" unless they are have a 66 HTA and then they are just okay.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  41. #41
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    I will be picking up the FS version of my current HT XC bike soon (Cannondale F-Si to Scalpel). At the end of this season I will decide if I am going to sell one, or keep them both, based on race performance.

    But I've been racing XC on a HT since I started. The winner of the local series won on a HT. But, he's also a monster and would win against all the local pro's on a cross bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    They don't like any bikes under 135mm. They are all enduro and DH riders and that's what they gravitate too. XC style bikes are "No Fun" unless they are have a 66 HTA and then they are just okay.
    Well, they are right about that...

  42. #42
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    Pretty sure it wouldn't be hard to build up a magazine-suitable AM hardtail priced somewhere around $10k retail.

    So yeah, I do see the dismissal pro reviewers have for hardtails and shorter travel bikes.

    The whole title of the "Bible of Bike Tests" becomes a misnomer. It's its own hyperbole. Because the article covers what amounts to an extremely limited subset of what's available or new or exciting on the market. Yes, hardtails are different. It's true that they lack rear suspension and that eliminates one of the major talking points that mag reviewers often use. But by no means does it simplify the review. Overall ride quality is not limited to looking at the geo chart, as the linked 2016 bike mag article states. If anything, differences become more subtle due to materials and construction. The language of the review would have to change when talking about hardtails in the same level of detail as a full suspension bike.

    Maybe what ought to happen is breaking things up and covering subsets of bikes in different issues. Give an entire issue to covering hardtails. There's certainly enough there when you look at xc bikes vs. trail bikes vs. bikepacking bikes, at minimum. So many 29ers can also take 27+ wheels now - why not spend some time discussing whether a given bike handles one better than the other, or whether it handles either equally. Another issue for xc/trail FS bikes. Another for AM/enduro. Another for DH. Spread them out throughout the year.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    Maybe what ought to happen is breaking things up and covering subsets of bikes in different issues. Give an entire issue to covering hardtails. There's certainly enough there when you look at xc bikes vs. trail bikes vs. bikepacking bikes, at minimum. So many 29ers can also take 27+ wheels now - why not spend some time discussing whether a given bike handles one better than the other, or whether it handles either equally. Another issue for xc/trail FS bikes. Another for AM/enduro. Another for DH. Spread them out throughout the year.
    They already do that. It's called "Bike Magazine." Only difference is the regular issues don't just focus on gear/bikes. They had an issue relatively recently that only reviewed hardtails, so ...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I am deciding between a Chromag Rootdown, NS Eccentric Cromo, and a Kona Honzo Steel. Looking for a low maintenance bike for slower conditions during Winter. Saving money on pivot hardware, and shock rebuilds is a big part, the other part is weirdodum.
    Might want to throw this gem into the mix too Travis.

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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I haven't experienced that. It's the insecure need to tell other people they're overbiked that I don't get.
    To clarify, I meant the disdain from bicycle review magazines, not specific riders.
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  46. #46
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    I thought the same thing when flipping through the magazine. There are so many awesome, non-XC hardtails out there with slack head angles and high quality components. It would have been nice to at least have a couple included, especially when the bikes featured are kind of same-samey. They put out a new Bible every year. Do they really need to have an Evil The Following featured every other time? Mix it up a bit.

    The last hardtail I remember in the Bible was the DB Mason in 2013. The video featured someone riding like a complete newb. I mean, just look at this form (skip to 1:45 if the link doesn't do it automatically):

    .

    If you're going to ride like that, a hardtail is probably not for you.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    I pronounced it incorrectly for many years. It's a great word.
    It's not hyper-bowl?
    "...rhetorical hyperbole..."

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I thought the same thing when flipping through the magazine. There are so many awesome, non-XC hardtails out there with slack head angles and high quality components. It would have been nice to at least have a couple included, especially when the bikes featured are kind of same-samey. They put out a new Bible every year. Do they really need to have an Evil The Following featured every other time? Mix it up a bit.

    The last hardtail I remember in the Bible was the DB Mason in 2013. The video featured someone riding like a complete newb. I mean, just look at this form (skip to 1:45 if the link doesn't do it automatically):

    .

    If you're going to ride like that, a hardtail is probably not for you.
    You do realize that's in slo-mo, right?
    "...rhetorical hyperbole..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Might want to throw this gem into the mix too Travis.

    Guerrilla Gravity | Pedalhead | Info, Geometry, and Specs
    Supercool, but to pricey for what it is, plus 44mm head tube, WTF?
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post

    The last hardtail I remember in the Bible was the DB Mason in 2013.

    I think the Salsa El Mariachi was in the Bible that year, too.

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    It's the Bible of Gucci Bikes, so a hardtail ain't going to cut it. Even within all the FS bikes, they seem all about the same. In reality, they're only showing a combo of what the people want and what the manufacturers are pushing at the moment.

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    Another factor may be which bikes the manufacturer chose to send.

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    This is a bike mag thing in general and I remember years ago when MBA pronounced that a 27lb hardtail wasn't suitable for anything.

    I tend not to buy bike mags, just about every issue of every mag will have an article "First full test, Giant Anthem / Trance!" LOL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    even though modern FS bikes are really nice and the target market is old while guys who light cigars with $100 bills every day, there are some really fun hardtails out there. I don't get why the bike media ignores them. I know some guys who only rode FS bikes until they tried a Trek Stache or a Chameleon and that's all they talk about now.

    that said, I have never owned a FS bike and don't have any plans to any time soon. I get excited when I flip through a bicycle magazine and spot a steel hardtail among the sea of cookie-cutter aluminum squishy bikes, but maybe that's because I am a stingy retrogrouch and therefore not part of the target market.

    genuinely curious, though: what incentive does the nominally objective media have for focusing so much on higher-end products? does Bike Magazine know their audience better than we give them credit?
    Hmmm i think you have that backwards. Only FOGís in spandex want to ride a hardtail. Simple answer is they suck. Flame on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    Hmmm i think you have that backwards. Only FOGís in spandex want to ride a hardtail. Simple answer is they suck. Flame on.



    Pfffft! I don't even have front suspension. Only one gear too. Maintaining suspension is what really sucks.
    It ain't supposed to be easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Supercool, but to pricey for what it is, plus 44mm head tube, WTF?
    The headtube works fine with all tapered forks. The pricing doesn't seem much off from the bikes you posted.

    It seems to have the LLS geometry that you like. I'd bet that slack HA would be pretty spiffy on our west coast steeps.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a hardtail on a trail around Durango... except for the one that I'm riding


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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    You do realize that's in slo-mo, right?
    Yeah, and even at double speed his riding position doesn't get any better. He's super stiff and doesn't seem used to unweighting the back end or getting in any pump, not to mention his cornering at the end really sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    I think the Salsa El Mariachi was in the Bible that year, too.
    You're right. That bike was in there. That issue eventually led to me buying my current favorite bike. I had to wait a few years because my wife and I started having kids but I did eventually buy a Mason at the end of 2016, although it was the plus version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    He's super stiff and doesn't seem used to unweighting the back end or getting in any pump, not to mention his cornering at the end really sucks.
    That's because he is handicapped from riding a squishy bike for so long. He lost actual riding skill and that is the result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Pfffft! I don't even have front suspension. Only one gear too. Maintaining suspension is what really sucks.
    You kids and your newfangled gear and pedals. This is what I've been mountain biking on for 200 years and it's perfect but don't tell that to these weenie riders with their suspension forks to protect their delicate hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Supercoo, but too pricey for what it is, plus 44mm head tube, WTF?
    Truth
    video=youtube;][/video]...

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    Magazines are still published? People still read them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I haven't experienced that. It's the insecure need to tell other people they're overbiked that I don't get.
    Well if you want to go there... I can't figure out why more and more 130, 140, and 150mm bikes keep showing up where I ride a bike with no suspension? My guess is people read too many articles like the one we're discussing and think it's cool, at least to some extent. I think a lot of people who don't have a lot of experience are under the impression full suspension bikes are more fun, and that's just not the case, depending on where you live.

    It's partially a personal choice. I would rather be under-biked and have things be more challenging than ride something with 140mm of travel and let the bike do all the work. That's what's fun for me. Working the bike, feeling the trail, earning your speed. And I love the efficiency, most of my climbs are done standing.

    Not to mention the additional expense, weight, and maintenance of full suspension. I can confidently say riding a hardtail, and especially a rigid bike, increased my skills at a much higher rate than if I had started riding on a FS. Also instead of one dream bike I can have multiple pretty freakin sweet bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Supercool, but to pricey for what it is, plus 44mm head tube, WTF?
    I love the different perspectives here. You think 44mm head tubes are weird?! I have them on everything. My cross bike, two previous MTB's, my custom SS (by request), and my fatbike. it's not weird at all to me but by far the most common on steel hardtails.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    I bet if you tried a hardtail Harley your busted taint would be crying uncle pretty quick. Most folks don't like getting kicked in the balls all ride long. OP, If you are so hard give up the front fork too.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

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    lets just cut to the chase and let this become the idiotic "hardtails vs FS" pissing contest it was bound to be, starting now. forget that people have different riding styles, living in different parts of the worlds, and different priorities when it comes to budget and riding. "my bike is better than yours because X and Y." nevermind that is not the even question that this thread was trying to address.

    for my part, I personally emailed Bike Magazine tonight and asked them this simple question: "why are there no hardtails in the Bible of Bike Tests?" I will let you know what they say. the answer probably more interesting than a bunch of keyboard jockeys arguing about it. other than asking the question that none of you seem to have thought to ask to the only people who can actually answer it, I am going to practice the art of not giving a **** and just ride my bike.
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    I'll add that riding a hardtail keeps me in check a bit too. I frequently test the limits of my tires and skills as it is. I somewhat regularly exceed the limits and I've paid dearly for it a couple times.

    Every time I ride a FS bike they're so capable and make things so easy I seek out more challenging terrain and bigger features. I get even more thirsty for rowdy shenanigans, can't help it. I feel like the risk factor is significantly increased.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    Iím so done with this magazine.
    did you think to ask the folks that publish Bike Magazine what they think? maybe they asked manufacturers for whatever bikes they wanted reviewed and only got FS bikes. maybe they are elitist snobs. maybe they just don't like you and wanted to piss your off personally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Well if you want to go there... I can't figure out why more and more 130, 140, and 150mm bikes keep showing up where I ride a bike with no suspension?
    Maybe they didn't buy the bike to ride where you ride. Maybe they enjoy the challenge of riding a less effecient bike on smoother trails. You could ask why instead of assuming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    did you think to ask the folks that publish Bike Magazine what they think? maybe they asked manufacturers for whatever bikes they wanted reviewed and only got FS bikes. maybe they are elitist snobs. maybe they just don't like you and wanted to piss your off personally.
    Hmm, interesting, very The Truman Showíish. Yes, I have emailed them before, mostly to the fact that theyíre showpiece bikes are 8k, which is more money than I paid for my 2014 Impreza. Seriously, I do like their pieces on trail systems and destinations.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Magazines are still published? People still read them?
    Always one of these in a mag thread. Usually it's DJ.

    I subscribe to maybe 6-8 mags and buy more at B&N, so maybe I'm the last one.
    "...rhetorical hyperbole..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    even though modern FS bikes are really nice and the target market is old while guys who light cigars with $100 bills every day, there are some really fun hardtails out there. I don't get why the bike media ignores them. I know some guys who only rode FS bikes until they tried a Trek Stache or a Chameleon and that's all they talk about now.

    that said, I have never owned a FS bike and don't have any plans to any time soon. I get excited when I flip through a bicycle magazine and spot a steel hardtail among the sea of cookie-cutter aluminum squishy bikes, but maybe that's because I am a stingy retrogrouch and therefore not part of the target market.

    genuinely curious, though: what incentive does the nominally objective media have for focusing so much on FS bikes as if hardtails don't exist? does Bike Magazine know their audience better than we give them credit?
    Hardtails (not at the pure budget end) are pretty niche and individual.
    Most buyers are probably going to know what they want anyway.... if someone wants a steel framed SS there are limited choices and (I'll get slammed but whatever) comparatively little difference compared to a review of mid travel or long travel FS bikes.

    Most of the more expensive HT's are either pure XC machines or custom built (to some degree or other)... so how to compare in a meaningful way???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post

    Most of the more expensive HT's are either pure XC machines or custom built (to some degree or other)... so how to compare in a meaningful way???
    Easy, just throw 2 or 3 into the review and let the riders voice their opinion. Not rocket science, weíre just riding bikes here. $hit if Bike was smart they could have played on that on the cover. ď2018 squish bike review with three hardies thrown in, see how they hold upĒ. That would have made me buy it off the shelf while still not isolating their precious fs crowd.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    Most of the more expensive HT's are either pure XC machines or custom built (to some degree or other)... so how to compare in a meaningful way???
    I don't know if that's necessarily true these days. For a while, hardtails were either entry-level, XC focused, or boutique. Now, just about every major bike company has at least one well-specced hardtail that is meant to get more rowdy.

    I don't think BIKE needs to include hardtails all the time in their Bible, but this issue seemed like it could have used a couple, especially since part of the point Bike was trying to make is that the lines between traditional categories are becoming more and more blurred. A vs. battle between a 27.5+ and a 29+ hardtail would have been nice.
    Last edited by s0ckeyeus; 01-05-2018 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Fixed typo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by injected59 View Post
    Iím so done with this magazine. Can they not throw the hardtail crowd a bone once in a while? Just got my March issue titled 2018 Bible of bike tests, And if you hadnít already guessed from my subject line, thereís not one hardtail in it. Why not just call it Bible of full suspension bike tests? I guess Iíll wait till next month when they feature some more $8000 fs bikes in the back. Ooh canít wait.


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    Trying reading Dirt Rag, they review all types of MTBs monthly, including less well known brands and handmade frames by smaller builders. Lastly, they only focus on MTBs.
    Klunk on............

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    forget that people have different riding styles, living in different parts of the worlds, and different priorities when it comes to budget and riding. "my bike is better than yours because X and Y."
    This is a pretty sensible post. Pissing contests tend to be absolutist and the real world is not. By the same token, I don't put a lot of weight into magazine reviews either because it's usually one or two testers giving subjective opinions on one or two highly specific trails. It may or may not be relevant for me ; I have no way of knowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irideiam View Post
    Trying reading Dirt Rag, they review all types of MTBs monthly, including less well known brands and handmade frames by smaller builders. Lastly, they only focus on MTBs.
    Thanks! Iíve seen the mag but never read it


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    Most of the more expensive HT's are either pure XC machines or custom built (to some degree or other)... so how to compare in a meaningful way???
    I don't think that holds true these days. nearly every big company has an "AM hardtail" and that's been around for a few years. plus a lot of bikes that are moving their own new categories that can't be ignored. plus-tire hardtails with dropper posts, slack head angles, long top tubes, mid-travel forks and short rear ends make up most of the HT selection these days. in fact, it seems to me that race-oriented XC bikes are the niche product now.
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    This thread is funny. It seems like there are people who really think that hardtails (and I guess rigid bikes as well?) are obsolete. I guess I know why the bike shop salesman thinks I'm a nut job because I prefer not to ride an aluminum bicycle. People really buy into whatever marketing is presented to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't think that holds true these days. nearly every big company has an "AM hardtail" and that's been around for a few years. plus a lot of bikes that are moving their own new categories that can't be ignored. plus-tire hardtails with dropper posts, slack head angles, long top tubes, mid-travel forks and short rear ends make up most of the HT selection these days. in fact, it seems to me that race-oriented XC bikes are the niche product now.
    Make it from steel and sign me up for one of those plus-tired hardtails!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    in fact, it seems to me that race-oriented XC bikes are the niche product now.
    Agreed. There seems to be a growing gap between carbon XC race bikes (very niche) and Trail hardtails. I don't think that's a bad thing either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Make it from steel and sign me up for one of those plus-tired hardtails!
    take your pick. there are several on the market.
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    Ti Timberjack would get them in a froth, just look at the price tag
    video=youtube;][/video]...

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I love the different perspectives here. You think 44mm head tubes are weird?! I have them on everything. My cross bike, two previous MTB's, my custom SS (by request), and my fatbike. it's not weird at all to me but by far the most common on steel hardtails.
    Weird? not really. Zero stack bottom just affords more weight balance up front for their slackerness, 12mm or something like that....doesn't make you reduce axle to crown on these newer era moar travel 29eer+-27 rigs
    video=youtube;][/video]...

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    The 2019 Bible will contain only eMTBs. Mark my words.

    2020 will be full of Occulus Rift mtb simulators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    The 2018 Bible will contain only eMTBs. Mark my words.

    2020 will be full of Occulus Rift mtb simulators.
    2019, you mean. 2018 is what we are discussing. You're probably joking, but BIKE doesn't seem to be that e-bike friendly.

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    Fixed. I have not seen the mag in print yet, but their website only has the 2017 Bible at the moment so I was confused.

    Only half-joking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Supercool, but to pricey for what it is, plus 44mm head tube, WTF?
    How else do you fit a tapered sus fork?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    How else do you fit a tapered sus fork?
    Tapered head tube.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    The 2019 Bible will contain only eMTBs. Mark my words.
    Yeah, I'll give a nervous laugh on this.

    I wish you were being completely silly, but who the hell knows what's going to happen anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    take your pick. there are several on the market.
    I know of two, and have yet to see a shop that has one in stock in my size. If there is such a shop somewhere in my travels, I may return with one, however...

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Well if you want to go there... I can't figure out why more and more 130, 140, and 150mm bikes keep showing up where I ride a bike with no suspension? My guess is people read too many articles like the one we're discussing and think it's cool, at least to some extent. I think a lot of people who don't have a lot of experience are under the impression full suspension bikes are more fun, and that's just not the case, depending on where you live.

    It's partially a personal choice. I would rather be under-biked and have things be more challenging than ride something with 140mm of travel and let the bike do all the work. That's what's fun for me. Working the bike, feeling the trail, earning your speed. And I love the efficiency, most of my climbs are done standing.

    Not to mention the additional expense, weight, and maintenance of full suspension. I can confidently say riding a hardtail, and especially a rigid bike, increased my skills at a much higher rate than if I had started riding on a FS. Also instead of one dream bike I can have multiple pretty freakin sweet bikes.



    I love the different perspectives here. You think 44mm head tubes are weird?! I have them on everything. My cross bike, two previous MTB's, my custom SS (by request), and my fatbike. it's not weird at all to me but by far the most common on steel hardtails.
    Agreed 100%. I ride a hardtail...in fact I sold my Santa Cruz and bought a Rocky Mountain. I am all about simplicity in my ride. The upkeep of a 1x11 HT vs a FS was very appealing to me and just love the feel of the trail on a hardtail. The terrain I ride can get pretty rough but I can handle anything on the HT that I did on my FS. I dont ride anything at blazing speed and just love being out in the woods on my bike.

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    I have two HT bikes and 1 FS bike.

    Since I have owned each a different amount of time I can compare miles directly. However I can compare miles per month to get an idea of how much I ride each.

    Highball - 29er HT geared = 157 miles per month (22 month ownership)
    Verhauen - 29er SS = 105 miles per month (12 months ownership)
    SC Solo - 27.5 FS = 38 miles per month (19 month ownership)


    So you can see clearly my FS trail bike gets the lest number of miles and also corresponds to least use of my 3 mtn bikes. Yet even today a 68 Deg 130/125 mm bike is considered "small" and barely adequate for trail use. However to me is more than enough for even most difficult trails. I don't ride it alot for 2 reasons. It is rather heavy at 29lbs and is overkill for most of my riding. I save it for places I need to use it.

    I suspect that the vast majority of actual riders are dragging around way more bike than they need for most of their riding in part because of perception that you need big bike for riding trails.

    Also interesting to note is we have group rides on smoothish, but fun trails every tuesday evening. Most of us ride singlespeeds, but we allow all kinds. One guy has a SC Bronson for his mountain bike. He is fast on the descents, but a little, but always struggles on the climbs. He has way to much bike to climb up the hills to stay with us. One day he borrowed a Rigid TI Singlespeed with 29+ tires. Instantly he was not just in the pack, but near the front end when climbing with a very small impact to downhill speed.

    So a big bike often not the weapon of choice on fast paced group rides. I don't bring my Solo out for group rides unless I know I am with a slower group and don't want to surge too far in front on the climbs.

    It is too bad bike magazine does not realize HT bikes are worth reviewing be then XC style, SS or AM style. Not everyone ( in fact most don't) need 150mm bikes.
    Joe
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  93. #93
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    I have been a follower of Bible of bikes test and thought the same, it's a shame they are leaving hardtails aside.

    My XC is still a hardtail and even when I spend more time on my trail bike I don't think one is superior to another, for long day in the saddle, climbing or XC racing my hardtail works great.

    On the other hand, trail bike still my fun bike
    Highball CC
    Ripley 1st Gen

  94. #94
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    I think plus-size and fat bikes are helping to bring hardtails back. I have several bikes I ride on trails and while most are hardtails, for the past 10 years or so I considered my FS to be my "main trail bike". However, this past spring I picked up a 27.5+ hard tail to be my new "main trail bike". I had an absolute blast riding that the past 6 months. While a 3-inch tire doesn't completely compensate for the lack of a rear shock, it certainly helps to take the edge off. Part of my decision was related to maintenance, reliability, and longevity of the bike. I've had a lot of issues with full-suspension frames/shocks/pivots over the years, including several that ended the ride (multiple occurrences of shocks stuck down, broken pivots, broken frame). I have an over 20 year old carbon hard tail that I still ride, that's just not practical with full suspension. I'm hoping I'll still be riding my new hardtail for many years.

    This doesn't mean I don't appreciate a full squish. But for a bike magazine to think that a decent mtb needs to be FS is clearly not reality.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have two HT bikes and 1 FS bike.

    Since I have owned each a different amount of time I can compare miles directly. However I can compare miles per month to get an idea of how much I ride each.

    Highball - 29er HT geared = 157 miles per month (22 month ownership)
    Verhauen - 29er SS = 105 miles per month (12 months ownership)
    SC Solo - 27.5 FS = 38 miles per month (19 month ownership)


    So you can see clearly my FS trail bike gets the lest number of miles and also corresponds to least use of my 3 mtn bikes. Yet even today a 68 Deg 130/125 mm bike is considered "small" and barely adequate for trail use. However to me is more than enough for even most difficult trails. I don't ride it alot for 2 reasons. It is rather heavy at 29lbs and is overkill for most of my riding. I save it for places I need to use it.

    I suspect that the vast majority of actual riders are dragging around way more bike than they need for most of their riding in part because of perception that you need big bike for riding trails.

    Also interesting to note is we have group rides on smoothish, but fun trails every tuesday evening. Most of us ride singlespeeds, but we allow all kinds. One guy has a SC Bronson for his mountain bike. He is fast on the descents, but a little, but always struggles on the climbs. He has way to much bike to climb up the hills to stay with us. One day he borrowed a Rigid TI Singlespeed with 29+ tires. Instantly he was not just in the pack, but near the front end when climbing with a very small impact to downhill speed.

    So a big bike often not the weapon of choice on fast paced group rides. I don't bring my Solo out for group rides unless I know I am with a slower group and don't want to surge too far in front on the climbs.

    It is too bad bike magazine does not realize HT bikes are worth reviewing be then XC style, SS or AM style. Not everyone ( in fact most don't) need 150mm bikes.
    This is so consistent with my experience. I have a 29lb full squisher and a 23lb hardtail and I ride that hardtail most of the time because my rides involve climbs and descents and I lose almost nothing on the descents. There is a difference in comfort for sure but not a large difference in control. I'm sure if we are talking about the pointy end of gnarly trails, then there will be a difference in control but it's rare to encounter those types of trails east of the mississippi.

  96. #96
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    I emailed Bike Mag. Here is part of the response:

    "As for why no hardtails in Bible, we donít include them for the same reason weíve stopped including XC and DH bikes. With so many bikes to cover and limited time to do it in, we choose to spend that time on the bikes that our surveys show will have the broadest appeal across the widest number of our readers. Itís that heartlessly pragmatic Ďneeds-of-the-manyí argument in action."

    Fair enough. Their readers are interested in such bikes, so that's what goes in the mag. They don't have the space, the time, staff, or budget to cover everything, so they shoot down the middle. Dirt Rag and Freehub seem to have a different readership and therefor probably review different bikes.

    He went on to say that they plan to review some more hardtails this year.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
    Vassago Jabberwocky

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by *onespeed* View Post
    i heard that...
    yup!

  98. #98
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    My last four frames have been custom builds because the industry thinks they know what I want. The last two frames were hardtails.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  99. #99
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    Sounds like a lot of people that don't like, read or pay for Bike Mag are upset that the people at Bike Mag are not devoting a significant portion of their time, effort and budget to reviewing the type of bikes that people who don't like, read or pay for magazine like to ride, and instead are concentrating their time, effort and budget on bikes that people who do like, read and pay for their magazine like to ride. Keeping their paying customers happy? What kind of way is that to run a business?

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    Sounds like a lot of people that don't like, read or pay for Bike Mag are upset that the people at Bike Mag are not devoting a significant portion of their time, effort and budget to reviewing the type of bikes that people who don't like, read or pay for magazine like to ride, and instead are concentrating their time, effort and budget on bikes that people who do like, read and pay for their magazine like to ride. Keeping their paying customers happy? What kind of way is that to run a business?
    I've been a subscriber since issue 1 volume 1. I subscribe for the travel pieces and not the bike reviews, although in the early days they were reviewing stuff MBA would never give a second glance, like the Airmet and beryillium frames. It was a breath of fresh air to see photos like those found in Surfer Magazine and not the crap the Wrecking Crew was putting out.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

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