Help me decide FLY vs Fantom
So I'm going crazy...I keep going back n forth between a HT and FS. This will be my 3rd year riding all on a Kona Dawg which is a pretty basic FS that weighs a ton. I've gotten fairly quick and am in great shape so I want to step it up big time this year with a lighter bike. My LBS owner ( and awesome rider) bought a very nice HT this last year and says he hasn't touched his FS since (both bikes are top of the line).
I live in central IL so all my trails are in the hills of the river valley...very up and down, lots of roots, no big jumps. I like to ride fast, the quicker the better.
I've never ridden a HT but everyone I ride with says I would fly on one. My best friend and riding buddy says to stick with a FS because of all the roots we ride over. I'm thinking if I can get a little quicker I should be able to glide right over them.
So I'm going with either the Fly Team or the Fantom Team.
Originally I was going to go Fly and upgrade my Dawg to have as a second bike, but money won't allow that right now.
based on my novel above, what would you choose?
thanks for your opinion
I have a Fantom Team and LOVE IT! Before that, all I rode was a hardtail (Cannondale F400). Recently I took the Hardtail out on a pretty challenging trail. Was it the hardtail, bike, the front fork being too soft, a combination?...but I was beat up after one 6+ mile loop when on my FS I do two loops and would do a third if I could get the guys I ride with to go for another. I still ended up doing another half-loop before hitting the bailout but the next week when on my Fantom Team, I went around that trail twice with ease (no aching back, legs, arms...) For reference, this is a root filled trail with a couple lengthy rock sections. The FS rolls over the trial nicely absorbing much of the impact while the HT let me feel every bump, nook and cranny of the trail.
Still, people who love hard tails will swear by them but still, the rider makes all the difference. If you are accustomed to full suspension I would definitely borrow a hard tail (or demo one) and go on your typical good ride and see how you feel. Only then will you know if you love it, or hate it.
Yeah borrow 1 and try it out, in my personal experience i rode a HT for around 4 months on a very technical trail with lots of roots , rocks, etc..., and then switch to a FS and i do prefer the FS over the HT for rotts, rocks, etc, I dont know if is me the only 1 but over those kin of trails the FS is faster, maybe cuz you stay more on the gruond and less bouncing and jumping , now if you have a really XC trail with long hills and 1 or another rock or root here and there the HT will be faster, my opinion
Fly is a lightweight frame. Depending on your weight and riding style it may be a bit too flimsy for you.
My opinion is that unless you are making a weight weenie or a race only bike, go with steel or titanium for a hardtail, avoid aluminum and carbon fiber. So I got the Fly Ti.
But for a good nice build you will be quicker on a full suspension on your trails. It does not mean you will have less fun on a HT though.
If you just want to be a bit quicker - upgrade your wheelset and tires on Dawg, and maybe some other heavy bits (crankset/seatpost etc are usual suspects). Its a great bike. You can go to chainreaction cycles and get Hope Pro II wheelset on 4.2d or similar rims, and XT cassette (i think yours is Deore) and it will save you probably a couple pounds for about $360.. Then maybe SLX crankset.. No real need for a second bike...
Thanks for the opinions guys, it's good to hear them. For reference, I'm 6'1 175lbs. I've thought about upgrading the Dawg, but by the time I do fork, shock, wheels, and maybe a few other items I've got $1,000 (if not more) in her and still have Deore and crappy brakes. For the most part I'm not into modding bikes, I just like to throw it in the back of the truck and ride till I can't feel my legs.
I've got a friend with a HT that rides with me so I'll see if I can borrow it for a ride.
Oh yeah, should I be getting a 20in frame?