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  1. #1
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    Is hard tail all the rage now?

    Today was my fourth time being on one of the trails Michigan has to offer and i have seen only 3 FS mtb out of the 4 times iv been out. I own a FS and im thinking to my self wft what's with all the hard tails? Im not a hard tail hatter im just wondering are they all the rage now?
    Last edited by trail-adventure; 05-16-2013 at 08:58 AM.
    mountain biking is my passion. ill bike just about any were even it its off limits to bikers.

  2. #2
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    Can't speak to how technical your trails are, but around here, full suspension is used for its comfort, not its performance. The guys on full suspension are fast, but they are actually faster (and race on) hardtails.

    I'd think that since a full suspension bike will almost always be more expensive for component/material spec, you will always see more price point hardtails than full suspension.

    I would have loved full suspension, but I would have spent 2x to get the bike I wanted compared to what I spent on a hardtail.

  3. #3
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    Is hard tail all the rage now?

    In the Midwest a fs bike is overkill IMHO. A hardtail is usually a better value. Fewer parts to break and adjust. We don't ride them because its fashionable. It just makes sense for the application.

    Notice we don't use 780mm bars and 50mm stems either?
    If you gorge yourself into morbid obesity, you can skip everyone else in line at Disney World.

  4. #4
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    I agree with previous poster. Hardtails are popular depending on the type of riding/trails but it's probably more of an economic decision for many given that full suspension bikes are about twice the price of a decent hardtail.

    That plus full suspension are for girls and sissies. Hardtails on the other hand are only a couple of slight modifications away from being a 'real mans' rigid single speed.

  5. #5
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    Of the five bikes I ride regularly, only one is full-supension. But I ride it fifty percent of the time or more. Nothing beats a good full-supension bike for having a pleasant ride.

    But sometimes you want to go faster or be a little more challenged or even go slower (Krampus..cough...cough).

  6. #6
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    Is hard tail all the rage now?

    Spell check is your friend. It really is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail-adventure View Post
    Today was my forth time being on one of the trails Michigan has to offer and i have only seen only 3 full suspension mtb out of the fore times iv been out. I own a full suspension and im thinking to my self wft what's with all the hard tails? Im not a hard tail hatter im just wondering are they all the rage now?
    Hardtails are just way cheaper...not everyone can afford any type of bike they want. I think I'd prefer a FS but it's just not in the budget for the foreseeable future.

    And like the other dude said you, FS is overkill for a lot of trails around here unfortunately.
    "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." -Back to the Future

  8. #8
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    It's not always about the money......believe me. Some folks "like me" just prefer hardtails.

    To expound a little, I purchased my first MTB when true full suspension wasn't yet available, and have just always stuck with hardtails. I've ridden the rooty rocky mess of the Mid-Atlantic, and now live in Northern California. There is nothing I have not been able to do yet based solely on lack of rear suspension. Do I get beat up on fast downhills and rock gardens? Yes. I will however ride a hardtail until I am un able to.

  9. #9
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    When I lived in SE MI, I rode a hard tail with a 80mm fork, bar ends and clipless pedals. Now that I ride in different terrain, my main bike is a 6" FS bike, but I still have a hard tail for the days that I want to take it easy. I don't think it has so much to do with cost as personal preference; my hard tail was more expensive than my FS new...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
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  10. #10
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    Come out to the desert. You will see the exact opposite. Ride a hardtail around here and farts stop making sounds. I lived in the South for a year. Trails were easy and smooth. HT's as far as the eye could see...

  11. #11
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    I can't afford a full susp. rig. I put together my 26" HT while working on-again off-again in 2008-2009, bought a 29" HT while working 3 p/t and temp jobs in 2009-2010. Now we moved to an area where the job situation REALLY sucs! Getting together $2000 or more for a decent full suspension bike is in my dream book right next to retirement!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Spell check is your friend. It really is.
    Spell check is useless when they use the wrong word spelled correctly. Still need to be literate.
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  13. #13
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    In technical terrain a f/s will always be faster/more capable, but unless you're racing, speed isn't what mtb is all about. The point is to have fun. A ht with a good fork and big, grippy tyres is light, nimble and still provides enough control in rough descends.

    The cost/vfm issue has already been mentioned, but equally important for many people, a ht is easier to clean and requires far less maintainance than a fs (linkages and such).

    Learning to ride without rear suspension also forces you to learn some skills and pick better lines.

    Ideally I'd have one of each (plus a road bike) but I can only afford and store one bike and that's a hardtail for me. I ride it around town and up & down techy singletrack and enjoy it all the time. I clean and lube the drivetrain every 2 or three rides and clean the fork stancions and that's all the tlc it needs.

    Edit: One occasion where I'd love a good full suspension rig is all day epics. Staying relatively fresh for the tech bits after pedalling for hours has it's appeal.

  14. #14
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    Is hard tail all the rage now?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Spell check is useless when they use the wrong word spelled correctly. Still need to be literate.
    True, literacy is way underrated.

  15. #15
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    michigan/midwest......i would not ride anything but a hardtail. the desert (southern nevada)....well still a ht although f/s is way more common. I just like the simplicity of h/t. just two triangles bonded together for a frame.


    shiggy,
    1998 join date.......thats crazy

  16. #16
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    I personally don't understand the need for FS for most riders/situations myself. I ride a 29er hardtail on trails that are technical, rooty, and all the rest, and I far prefer it to FS. I like to spend a lot of time out of the saddle anyway, so I simply let my legs absorb the extra bumps you might get from a HT compared to FS. I've demoed quite a few FS bikes over the last few years, figuring that I must be missing out on something as most riders in my area ride FS, but every time I find myself quickly wanting my HT back.

    When I casually ask FS riders why they went the FS route (most of which are 29er FS), pretty much every answer involves comments relating to absorption and such. But then again, I rarely see these guys riding out of the saddle, whereas I borderline despise being in it. Maybe I'm doing myself a disservice by spending so much time out of the saddle in terms of faster fatigue or whatever, but it simply is what I'm used to and is far more fun for me overall.

  17. #17
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    OP......just noticed your signature line. C'mon man. The message that is coming across in this thread is that hardtails are for beginners and/or poor people. This thread is pretty lousy.

  18. #18
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    Hard tails are generally lighter and certainly more rigid which is best for climbing and efficiency. You'll see more of them ridden by new riders, too. If your body can handle the abuse, hard tails are all the rage. My body cannot but I trained on one to get back into shape. It practically pedaled uphill for me. Once I got my strength, balance and endurance back I found myself blasting down the hills a high speeds. It was then that I had reached the limit of how much abuse my middle aged body could handle. I stripped the components of the HT frame and sold it. Bought a FS frame, put the components on it and now things are just fine and dandy.
    fee-fy-fo-fum...

  19. #19
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    Another point - when I got into mountain biking 20+ years ago, a 2.1" tire was wide. Pumped to 40 psi on a 26" wheel, that tire was your only suspension.

    Now tire volumes are bigger and air pressures are lower which gives HTs a lot more comfort/passive suspension than before.

    Of course, maybe I could have avoided the bruised shoulder, swollen calf, and banged up knee I'm sporting if I had had rear active suspension. Got rolling at a pretty good pace. I got the front over the roots, but the third big root bounced the back wheel up and over my head. By then I could only tuck and roll.

  20. #20
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    I rode fully rigid 26ers for 20 years and loved it.

    Last year, I bought my first hardtail and love it, too! I like to ride aggressively and am out of the seat all the time. I long ago taught myself that my body is my suspension. I have demo'd several FS rigs and they are fine, but they ride like a Cadillac. If you want no bumps, why not just ride on the road with a road bike? To each his own, but I prefer hardtails.

    That said, I can feel my body getting worn out more now than 20 years ago. I'm sure eventually, I'll have to get a FS to absorb more bumps so my body doesn't have to. But I'm not there...yet.
    Nathan

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    I rode fully rigid 26ers for 20 years and loved it.

    Last year, I bought my first hardtail and love it, too! I like to ride aggressively and am out of the seat all the time. I long ago taught myself that my body is my suspension. I have demo'd several FS rigs and they are fine, but they ride like a Cadillac. If you want no bumps, why not just ride on the road with a road bike? To each his own, but I prefer hardtails.

    That said, I can feel my body getting worn out more now than 20 years ago. I'm sure eventually, I'll have to get a FS to absorb more bumps so my body doesn't have to. But I'm not there...yet.
    I'm right there with you. I mountain bike so I can get out there and feel the bumps and all the rest, while letting my body act as the suspension as many, if not most experts advise. As you said, I don't want to feel like I'm in a luxury car driving through the woods, in which I don't get to feel and experience all the thrills of MTB. I also certainly don't want to sit in the saddle all day either...that isn't fun for me at all, as I can do that on my stationary bike at home.

    I'm in my mid 30's now so I'm not terribly young, but thus far my body has held up great with few aches/pains. I know guys in their 50's that ride HT, so I plan on riding another 20 years before perhaps having to make a switch.

    All in all, it mostly comes down to how healthy of a lifestyle you live. The guys in their 50's I know who ride HT are all in great shape, eat very healthy and exercise 5-6 days a week (including weight training). On the flip side, I know plenty of guys in their 20's and 30's who ride FS because, in their words, HT is too brutal on their bodies. Yet these same guys tend to be weekend warrior types, eat a poor, fast food diet, drink quite a bit, and aren't in as good of shape as the 50 somethings I mentioned.* The connection is obvious.

    *note, I'm NOT saying all or even a majority of FS riders fit this profile, or that all HT riders are fitness freaks. What I am saying is, based on my experience, if you feel HT is too brutal on your body, perhaps try making a few lifestyle changes before thowing in the towel and going the FS route.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Notice we don't use 780mm bars and 50mm stems either?
    what? i'm in MI and ride a HT w/ 740mm flat bars and a 50mm stem. its way better for me. i tend to push the envelope when i ride so it makes sense to me.

  23. #23
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    I bought my first mtn bike May of 2012. It was a HT, and the nicest bike I had ever owned. After my first year of consistent riding, I'm ready to try out a FS bike. The trails I ride during the fall/spring semesters in VA are super rocky and rooty...I've gotten at least 7 flats just from going too fast over rocks and roots downhill. My HT has been great, but I think I'll be able to go faster and not worry about flats as much with a FS. I'm not concerned with comfort, 'cause I don't hardly sit on the seat anyhow...
    "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Can't speak to how technical your trails are, but around here, full suspension is used for its comfort, not its performance. The guys on full suspension are fast, but they are actually faster (and race on) hardtails.

    I'd think that since a full suspension bike will almost always be more expensive for component/material spec, you will always see more price point hardtails than full suspension.

    I would have loved full suspension, but I would have spent 2x to get the bike I wanted compared to what I spent on a hardtail.
    what he said... for me its all about cost. Also what I need it for. I'd feel like a dweeb riding an FS on the carriage paths of Acadia, or the local fire roads. But i do ride less technical singletrack, and so far the HT cuts it. Though I hear at my age (56) FS is more popular!
    Last edited by iCollector; 05-16-2013 at 12:30 PM.

  25. #25
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    my previously compressed vertebra cant take a hard tail but i dream about riding a 17 pound carbon ht
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is hard tail all the rage now?-227693_41067_tif_raw_4.jpg  


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