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  1. #1
    Soy Chingon
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    Hard tail to full suspension back to hard tail.

    Who else out there started riding a hard tail MTB then moved on to a full suspension bike and found themselves back to riding a hard tail.

    I started riding a Trek hard tail about fifteen years ago. That bike made me fall in love with the sport. I've since had a few full suspension bikes. I kept my SC Nomad which I love for MTB parks, and trips to Moab and other places, but I find myself riding my hard tail Niner EMD the most nowadays. I don't know if it's because I like the efficiency of the 29er wheels or that and the hard tail. Maybe I should look into getting a full suspension 29er.

    Anyone else have the same experience? Went from HT to FS back to HT? Or should I change that to HT 26er, to FS 26er to HT 29er and is now thinking that maybe I should look into a FS 29er? Well now that I think about it a FS 27 1/2er?

    Too many options... Think I'll demo a bunch of bikes and see what I like.

    What do you guys think?
    Soy Chingon

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rev Bubba's Avatar
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    Many years riding = many changes

    For the first 20 years or so mountain biking, there was nothing but hardtails. My first FS was a GT I-Drive. I didn't like it and I moved the parts to a SC Chameleon and build what I would call a long-travel HT (had the original 140 mm Pike fork). That was fun but heavy so I built up a custom steel XC hardtail. Eventually the Chameleon sat unused and was sold. Over the years, no surprise, I got older and it was back to FS. A Giant Trance. All were 26" of course. Now I'm selling the custom XC hardtail and thinking of a 27.5" or 29" FS for my one and only mountain bike. For me (and my back), riding in the rocky, root filled Northeast, FS is the only way to go. My road bike is my hardtail. I find myself interested in something like the Diamondback Mason but realistically, that is not the right bike for me and where I ride.

  3. #3
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
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    My latest bike happens to be a HT 29er but I also have a FS 26. To me variety is the spice of life. Where I live (in AZ) I tend to lean toward an AM geometry (read slacker HA and slightly more suspension travel) whether its a HT or FS. I think having both is a perfect balance. I usually use my Trans AM 29er for my endurance rides > 40 miles and my Slayer for hitting the chunk. I alternate between them on my local trails, with it all coming down to what experience I want to have. Sometimes I want to rip on the HT using a bit more finesse and line selection. Other times I just want to hammer through everything on my Slayer. To me the best bike to ride is the one you are on at that moment.

    I think pigeon holing yourself into the "I need this bike for A and this bike for B" is just short sighted. I can climb everything on my FS 26 that I can climb on my HT 29 and I can descend everything on my HT 29 that I can on my FS 26 it just comes down to the riding experience that a particular bike gives you.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    I went from a tricycle to a rigid SS (BMX) to a rigid geared (Huffy MTB) to a hardtail (Raleigh M400) to a FS (bunch of them). Then several years ago, went back to a HT, then back to a SS, then back to a rigid SS. Just need to get a tricycle to complete the circle.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    rigid to hardtail to full suss back to rigid.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  6. #6
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    I'm back on a hardtail after spending the past decade on full-suspension. The biggest thing I noticed was how much of a difference the wider tires and rims we take for granted now have increased the abilities of a hardtail. Back in the 90's a 1.9 was the standard XC tire width. Nowadays anything 2.1 and thinner is practically a road-bike tire.

    That extra volume (and no doubt decade of tread design and compound advancement) gives a lot more grip and capability and helps to take some of the hard out. I feel a lot less beat-up after a ride on my current hardtail than I used to with a ten year younger body on my old hardtail.

  7. #7
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    I've made this transition twice over the past 10 years. Went from a 26" hardtail Trek to a 26" FS Trek. Then to a rigid SS 29" (Karate Monkey) and a 26" HT (Kona Cinder Cone). Then back to a FS 29 (Spearfish), but now I just have two HTs (one geared YelliScreamy and one SS Nimble 9).

    Probably won't ever go FS again unless it's an enduro or downhill bike.

  8. #8
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    Go FAT.

  9. #9
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    Trek 830 rigid 26" (91) to ht 26" to convert my rigid 26" to ss to rigid s 29er (luddite) to ht 29er (El Mar). The last two I ride. My original bike Trek I still have also but is sitting in the shed. will not get rid off her. Thinking of making it to a gravel grinder/commuter?

    i did try a few fs bikes but never really liked them. Would love to try a fat bike. next bike will be a cx bike or fargo

  10. #10
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    I have always been a hard tail guy. I got a really nice 29er full last year, and while it is a nice bike and there are some places that it can just flat out go faster. I am a hard tail guy, take the light weight and the simplicity and its a joy to ride. A better all around choice for myself. Then again I have both so, there isn't really much to complain about.

  11. #11
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    I'm one of those riders that can't seem to stay put been through the progressions.

    Rigid26....Ht26....FS26....FS29 120mm....HT29....FS29 100mm.

    The bike I simply fell in love with was my 29HT but I got restless once again and find I sit and spin more now "age" but still wanted the efficiency of my HT so I now ride a 100mm FS race bike with lock-out front and rear
    I may stay put for awhile but will always love HT's .

  12. #12
    slow
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    My first 7 mountain bikes were all rigid front and rear because there as no other choice. Then I went to a ti soft tail MOOTS YBB and felt like I had found the perfect bike. Next bike I got was a 26" FS (Trance 1), which I rode for a couple of years, but never let the soft tail go. I sold the FS because I prefer the simplicity and lower maintenance requirements of the soft tail. A little over a year ago, I picked up a FELT Nine 29" hard tail, but is only sees about 25% of my riding time. My 26" soft tail is still the go to bike and sees the remaining 75% of my trail time, including endurance races and short track races. It is nice to have a bit of cushion, but still have most of the efficiency of a hard tail.

  13. #13
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    I did the back and forth thing and then in 2010 I went to the 29er HT and FS bikes. I liked the HT 29er better at first because it was lighter then I got a better FS 29er and got the weight down & also learned that a FS bike gets better traction. I do the 24 hour solo racing thing so it's good to have a back-up bike and that is what my HT became and while all this is going on I'm getting older and I have a bad back to the point of not wanting to look at a HT bike anymore other than a fat bike I just ordered, I took all the parts off my HT 29er and sold them. I kept the HT frame 1. it's beat 2. I might build it back up into a gravel road bike later.

  14. #14
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    Why not keep the current cycle collection and add the 27.5 to the stable? If'n space and $$$ are not of concern, then having a surplus is a good thing! You can hop on whatever rig you desire...
    Get me the knuckles of Frisco..

  15. #15
    inner peace to make peace
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    "26" HT and a "26" 7" dual-crown/7" FS.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  16. #16
    local trails rider
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    - 26" HT
    - 26" 7" travel FS
    - converted HT to SS
    - second 26" SS HT
    - replaced second 26" SS HT with 26" rigid SS

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  17. #17
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    Bottom line is you need both.

  18. #18
    wounded knee
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    Started out on a hard tail (hardrock), got a FS (Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe) just couldn't get the bike setup and went over the bars more times than I can count on that bike, went back to a hardtail (salsa El Mariachi), then updated that with a custom Rich Adams steel hardtail, just had an opertunity I couldn't pass up a 2013 Giant trance X1 for $1500.00, it's been 2 years since I rode an FS and I gotta say I'm impressed with how well it climbs, the suspension is incredible, on full open it floats on fast downhills, definately doesn't beat me up as much in the rock gardens.
    My plan the FS on chunky rock rides
    Hardtail on smoother faster rides
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  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    I've always been a HT guy. Started on a Marin Nail Trail to a Pine Mountain back in the early 90s. Since then, I've had a GT Zaskar, a newer Nail trail and ended up with a Marin Team Issue Scandium. Never felt the need to go full suspension especially for the riding I was accustomed to, but we started on more aggressive trails and I picked up a Rocky Mountain Altitude a few years back. Its always nice to have the option to go FS or HT depending on where I'll be riding. If I'm riding Repack or a similar trail out here, I take my HT but for rides like Skeggs or Waterdog Lake, I'm on a FS. I also like to throw slicks on my HT and do night rides around the city.

  20. #20
    Sergeant Spandex
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    I went from a tricycle to a rigid SS (BMX) to a rigid geared (Huffy MTB) to a hardtail (Raleigh M400) to a FS (bunch of them). Then several years ago, went back to a HT, then back to a SS, then back to a rigid SS. Just need to get a tricycle to complete the circle.
    That is funny

    I started on a full rigid went to front suspension and now am back on full rigid.

    Steven

  21. #21
    Happy Trails
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    Hard tail to full suspension back to hard tail.

    Me. I rode my hard tail F-29 on my long ride last Sunday, then rode the full-sus Scalpel today, but am planning to go back to the hard tail on Tuesday.

  22. #22
    Soy Chingon
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    Great replies! I guess we've all been through the different bicycle journey. Conclusion get one of each. Next purchase I'm thinking if making is a SC Bronson.
    Soy Chingon

  23. #23
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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    I had some hardtail from Kmart, then a Next Power Climber from KMart, then a Schwinn Sidewinder from Kmart.
    Lol.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  24. #24
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    I started with a hartail and went FS but I don't see myself going back to hardtail again anytime soon. I have considered one for the smoother rides around the house but a majority of my rides involve DH and the hardtail wont cut it.

  25. #25
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    My most recent bikes were a 26 inch hard tail, then I went to a 26 inch full suspension now I'm back in a 29 inch hard tail. Then I had to have a DH bike for lift served days.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2005 Trek Bruiser SS

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