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  1. #1
    Jonee loves...
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    Full Suspension Or Hardtail

    can't make up my mind between the 08 chameleon or full suspension. i'm 75 to 25 on the chammy though. yo boy got ass, do i need full suspension, ahahaha. hollar

    any thoughts? thanks


  2. #2
    nerfherder
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    Chachee, you're a spaz.

    So, before we all go picking a bike for you why don't you tell us more about your:

    Height
    Weight
    Trails (smooth and buff? Rocky and rooty?)
    Riding Style (XC around a loop, downhill and fast, jumps, all of the above?)
    Etc.

  3. #3
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    Every customer that I put out on a hardtail & a full sus. in only the parking lot end up going to with a full suspension, regardless of price. Now, that doesn't mean EVERYBODY wants/needs a full suspension, but theres a reason why they're popular. XC racing is even populated by full suspension bikes. The picture I paint is a 5 mile fireroad climb with a friend. Both of you are at the same fitness level, but you're on a 28lb trail 5" bike, and hes on a 25lb hardtail. Sure, to the top, he might beat you a little bit, a 100 yards or so. But, all you need to deal with is an extra 3 pounds. Lock out the rear, and you're just on a heavier bike. Same feel, dif. weight. Now, when you get to the top, you get to flip that switch, and you've got 5 inches of plush travel for the dh. You'll just smoke his butt, and thats where the fun is for me, going dh on the trail, not the up. If you enjoy hammering and going up, you might look at the cham, blur xc, or even superlight. But for all around trail, you might look into a fully. Granted, people dirtjump and freeride on hardtails, but more do it on fullies.

  4. #4
    Jonee loves...
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    ughhhh, bullys w/ fullies. i like that. doesn't hurt to have the best of both worlds.

    scruff, 5'9 170 all ass, haha. so far i did a few trails, a few railroad singletracks and lots or road just to get my stamina up and get used to the damn craigslist burning man bike.

    damn i want an sc so bad.

  5. #5
    nerfherder
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    I think you'd be fine on a hardtail but if you have the means go fully. Something to grow into as you progress. Superlight or Heckler.

  6. #6
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    It's best to learn on a hardtail, that way you learn about body positioning, picking lines and more importantly, juggling traction. Starting on a full sus lets you be lazy, allowing the suspension to do all the work. Are you new to the sport or a veteran?

  7. #7
    Jonee loves...
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    i'm a new booty. used to ride a bmx when i was younger. still getting used to riding w/ shocks.

  8. #8
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    I'd suggest you get a hardtail then. They're cheaper, less stuff to break when you fall off (which you will, we all do), and by the time you get onto a full sus you'll be an awesome rider. I started out on a really cheap full sus, then went to a hardtail for a year, when I got my Kona I was thrashing my dad on the downs, because he'd been on full sus all the time.

  9. #9
    TNC
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    Scruff, you're all wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by scruffylooking
    I think you'd be fine on a hardtail but if you have the means go fully. Something to grow into as you progress. Superlight or Heckler.
    I was just reading a thread on the AM or Suspension forum where one guy declares that he "progressed" from a full suspension rig to a hardtail, and that he is a waaaay better rider on the hardtail...but then he was interrupted in his post when the police and mental health authorities showed up with a straight-jacket.

    Geez, I'm tired of hearing these hardtail vs. FS threads and the touted superiority of both. People without the financial means to buy a good FS bike should just "man up" and state that they're looking at hardtails becasue that's all they can afford. When dirt motorcycles start coming without rear suspension systems, or when all trails are paved, I'll consider getting me one of them hardtails.

    There...I hope I've adequately pissed off all hardtail advocates...LOL! No...I'm not that serious about this issue, but I've always wanted to say that. Yes, there are definitely venues where hardtails are equal or better than FS bikes...trials, dirt jump, etc., but c'mon...if the trail has much in the way of "gnarl factor" to it, an FS bike is probably a better choice.

  10. #10
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    I've tried talking hardtail holdouts into FS

    if they are asking the question--HT or FS. Not anymore. They have no basis for knowing what I'm talking about when I describe the difference between my 4" bikes and my hardtail. Then if they do decide to make the plunge they get a 38 lb trailbike and complain about how squishy and heavy it is. I guess I've decided that if a hardtail rider feels he needs to ask whether he should go FS, he really doesn't want to and I'd be wasting my breath offering my opinion. What really stopped me was when a hardtail rider was eyeballing my Superlight. I said, yeah 26 lbs, sweet ride. He looked aghast..."26 lbs!?! I'm going to wait till they get lighter." Meaning, never. And, really, what's his decision to me?
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
    nerfherder
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    I'd suggest you get a hardtail then. They're cheaper, less stuff to break when you fall off (which you will, we all do), and by the time you get onto a full sus you'll be an awesome rider. I started out on a really cheap full sus, then went to a hardtail for a year, when I got my Kona I was thrashing my dad on the downs, because he'd been on full sus all the time.
    On the flip side, a nice fully makes everything a little bit easier and for some people that translates to more fun. And fun is a key ingredient to wanting to keep riding. Not saying you can't have fun on a hardtail but there's not much downside for riding a modern FS bike these days.

    TNC - Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell...

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    It is all good. Just different.

    I sometimes ride the same trails on my very stiff singlespeed HT and my long travel FS. On the HT I need to pick my lines carefully and it beats me up when trying to go fast over rough spots. Great fun. On the FS (much heavier in this case) I am slower going up although I have better traction climbing over rocks and roots. Going downslope over the rough spots is more like point and go as fast as you dare. Great fun too.

  13. #13
    Jonee loves...
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    Thanks for the all the advice and humor guys. I think i'll just have to get both. chammy HT and a FS. like glock and sig.

    yeeeeee

  14. #14
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    Wahey! We've done our job well. Made you want two bikes instead of one! Enjoy them.

  15. #15
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    Guess I'll say a few more things

    Hardtail riders have so many reasons to either distrust going FS or to judge it as cheating. It's either too complicated mechanically (my bikes never break down) or they think that not feeling all the bumps on a trail somehow doesn't make it real (hiding from reality, you know, like they sleep on the floor or drive a go-kart)or when I tell them how it's great to not have to stand all the time they'll say "but I LIKE to stand" or when I say it's just more fun they have no idea what I'm talking about (like a guy bombing a gnarly trail on a dialed-in Heckler somehow isn't having fun). Or they'll even say they just don't want to spend $4,000.00 on a new bike. Say what?!?

    If a rider comes to me and says he's made the decision to go FS, please advise him on what bike to get...that sometimes insurmountable hurdle of that first decision is thank gawd over with and now I'll help him out. A sub of mine who went back and forth on his own finally up and bought a previous year but still on the dealer's floor Trance 4 for something like $800. If he'd asked me if it was a good deal and I thought he'd really get into riding I'd have talked about the 4's components and how he'd want to probably upgrade either now or later. But all I said was, dude, you have to start somewhere. Great choice. It was 30 lbs but he weighs 235 so I wasn't going to be all weight weenie on him. :
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  16. #16
    Jonee loves...
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    gotta point there xcguy. the trail is probably a better experience bumpy rather than smooth. good logic.

  17. #17
    CAN YOU DIG IT??!!??!!!??
    Reputation: man w/ one hand's Avatar
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    Full sus'er, I got tired of beatin' th' crap outta myself on my old ht. Now I beat th' crap otta myself on my VP Free.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  18. #18
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    I've got a Marin Rocky Ridge (play hardtail with 5" of travel up front) and a SC Heckler. As much as i love my Heckler, on balance, i'd say hardtail.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    ...if they do decide to make the plunge they get a 38 lb trailbike and complain about how squishy and heavy it is.
    sounds like a dh bike to me...38lbs? Take a look at the whole lot of 4" & 5" trailbikes. I'd say they really aren't too 'squishy' or heavy anymore, thanks to platform shocks and good rear sus technology.

  20. #20
    TNC
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    Lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by scruffylooking
    On the flip side, a nice fully makes everything a little bit easier and for some people that translates to more fun. And fun is a key ingredient to wanting to keep riding. Not saying you can't have fun on a hardtail but there's not much downside for riding a modern FS bike these days.

    TNC - Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell...
    No...just kidding...mostly...pretty much...90%...

  21. #21
    nerfherder
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    I hate the internets. I can't understand anyone.

  22. #22
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    I had been riding hardtails for all my life since I was 8.. months old (: I've got the Chameleon for 2 years, now have the Nomad.. although I loved my lizard / the best HT I ever had / I would never go back !! // I know pedaling on HT is more efficient, but.. everytime I have an ocassion to ride a hardtail - my knees hurt (: Maybe it's stupied, but in my opinion pedaling on FS bike is more.. natural, even it swings a little (:
    Last edited by LSDancer; 08-03-2007 at 02:54 PM.

  23. #23
    Jonee loves...
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    i too been riding hardtails all my life, can't wait to try out a fully. but i still wanna have the baddest HT out. i don't know which full suspension to pick yet, really expensive. what the hell do you guys do for a living anyways.

    thanks

  24. #24
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    I know what you mean when you talk about pedaling a hardtail

    Quote Originally Posted by LSDancer
    I had been riding hardtails for all my life since I was 8.. months old (: I've got the Chameleon for 2 years, now have the Nomad.. although I loved my lizard / the best HT I ever had / I would never go back !! // I know pedalling on HT is more efficient, but.. everytime I have an ocassion to ride a hardtail - my knees hurt (: Maybe it's stupied, but in my opinion pedalling on FS bike is more.. natural, even it swings a little (:
    On my Superlight the slight compression of the rear shock seems to even out my cadence. On my hardtail (yes, I own one--24 lbs and sweet but it's on my trainer now) I seem to bounce up and down off the saddle when pedaling hard. I take the HT out every now and then to remind me why I like my FS bikes so much. It doesn't climb any faster, the pedaling doesn't seem any more efficient and I come home all beat up. Oh, what bike to choose...decisions decisions.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  25. #25
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    Full sus = better traction!

    I have been riding mtb's on and off for 20 years. I got a Kona blast in 2000 and swapped out the rubbish rst forks for rigid project 2's as my previous Kona Fire Mountain had em.

    I suppose I would have seen myself as simply enjoying the trail and liked to feel the bumps. I was a full sus sceptic untill I got a full sus a few months ago and man, what a difference. For me, full sus is a no brainer. The suspension has developed so much that even on a lower specced bike like mine (07 Giant Trance 3) the performance is amazing.

    What sold it for me was reading an article in a mag, that pointed out that rear wheel traction is improved with rear suspension. My hard tail bugged me that the rear would bounce and I would spin out on really technical steep climbs.

    I was also concerned about the rear suspension for climbing and pedal bob.. The Giant is superb. I can't feel any bob. I have had a guy watch the rear suspension on a really steep fire road climb when I was sitting and he confirmed there was no visible bob.

    Overall, totally satisfied with the move to full sus. It just adds another element of fun to cycling

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