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  1. #1
    KVW
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    New question here. Full suspension and Hardtail - best of both worlds with a flick of a switch!

    OK Let me just start off by saying I'm new to the full suspension world. I now have two of them (one's built second one is in the works). One thing I always loved about my Rockshox Reba RLT fork on my hardtail was it's lock out. When I recently switched to a Fox 32 F120 RLC, the lock out was even stronger! That thing doesn't even budge like switching to a fully rigid!

    However it was a bit of a disappointment when I finally built up my fully and found my Fox Float RP2's "propedal" is a joke, plain and simple. I honestly cannot tell a damn difference. I come to find out (through calling my vendor thinking it's defective and asking on mtbr) that's just how propedal is. It's not so obvious - it's "subtle" I'm told... Yeah... subtle would be an understatement of the year.

    So let me ask the experts in the Shocks and Suspension subforum of mtbr... does a rear shock exist with a *real* lockout? Something as good as my Reba or F120 forks? If not, why not?

    Why isn't there a rear shock you can completely lock out and make that rear as tight as a drum? It exist for a reason on forks, why not in the rear where you need it most when standing up and hammering the pedals? Hell, a remote triggered lockout would be just as useful if not more useful than a fork remote lockout!

    Please edjoomicate me.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  2. #2
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    Lockouts are bad.

    If you've designed a suspension bike and then have a full lockout, the peak loads will quickly fatigue and crack some part of the frame.

    A properly designed suspension linkage can give efficient pedalling without a lockout. Different frames and different companies offer varying degrees of pedalling efficiency from their suspension designs. Some are less compromised in other areas than others, but the expectation that a suspension bike should be locked out to be efficient is a recipe for a short-lived frame.

    Some designs need more propedal than others. The objective is not to have lockout but to have an active suspension that supports you through the pedalling stroke. If you're relatively new to full suspension, this may feel strange compared to the simple solidity of a hardtail. If your bike choice doesn't suit your riding style it still doesn't justify locking out the bike. Spend the time adjusting to the riding style that works best with the bike and then you'll find that any change you actually require is fairly subtle.

    Renowned shock tuners such as Push typically modify Fox shocks to have an even more subtle transition from propedal into the full stroke.

    Give the bike time to prove itself. Lockouts are bad.

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    If not, why not?
    Because it completely eliminates all the benefits of suspension, and ruins the action. Full lockout makes bikes perform much, much worse. Its detrimental to suspension.

    Regardless of that, foxes medium and firm tunes have drastic propedal. Makes the bike harsh and rigid feeling.

    When you lock out your suspension, your body uses more energy absorbing the trail, and it wears you out faster, and ultimately makes you a slower rider.. climbing included.

    As a new full suspension rider, you kinda have to refine you style and learn to appreciate the benefit of suspension. Running locked out is a downgrade, not something that helps you.

    The biggest upgrade I ever made to my bike was ditching the fox shock and getting something that had no platform or "propedal" at all, just smooth proper damping.

    Lockouts exist on forks to compensate for bad damping, or to appease newer riders to suspension. Id give it a little time, and practice a different style to take advantage of the suspension.

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    Locking out suspension is also horrible for the seals inside the fork/shock. If you ride with your lockout on often you will ruin the seals in side the fork at a greatly accelrated rate. In the case of Rock Shox this usually means the oil will leak in to the lower legs and lock up the fork completely. Also, maybe it's just because you are new to suspension that you don't notice the Fox Propedal platform, but all four of the settings on my new Adaptive Logic RP23 are quite noticeable and I'm really a fan of the design in general.

    Specialized makes rear suspension bikes that use something called a "Brain". The Brain sits in a locked out position while you are pedalling, but senses bumps on the trail using an inertia valve, and will make the suspension active whenever you hit anything rough on the trail. The amount of force required to put the suspension in to action is adjustable, as well. Not something I really have a desire for on my own bike, but I have ridden a handful of Brain bikes and I find it works quite well.

  5. #5
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    My first MTB was a 1999 Gary Fisher Joshua F4 (full suspension) and it had a RockShox Deluxe rear shock with remote lockout. It worked very well and would fully lock out the suspension. The whole bike was heavy as a tank, though. It was nice to lock it out on climbs and then flick it off when headed back down.

  6. #6
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    In my opinion, Petercarm and One Pivot really nailed it. If you're going to have full suspension, then go ahead and have full suspension. There are so many great pedaling designs to choose from now. Don't try and make you FS bike ride like a hardtail. If that's what you want, then just buy a hardtail. Riding full suspension is different than riding a hardtail, and requires some changes in technique. Learn how to do that, and enjoy everything FS has to offer.

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    I use a bionicon supershuttle fr with an x-fusion rear damper. The lockout on this damper is excellent. I can compare it with my Reba race lockout in my hardtail.

    But as the others say, if you forget to open the lockout and go hard downhill then you can kill your frame/suspension!

    For uphill I use the travel adjust in the fork and frame (a cool bionicon feature, google it...). Total lockout is only for very technical hard terrain. In normal climbing a little suspension is better. It holds your tire on the ground.

    Try the new bionicon alva. It uses a frame Change for lockout. Hard as a hardtail.

  8. #8
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    Cannondale has bikes with a remote lockout for the fork & shock. I believe that the shock lockout remote is patented though but it does exist.

  9. #9
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    I'm curious if you anti-lockout guys race? Seems to me a front/rear lockout (or even partial lockout like my Bomber ETA) would save a lot of watts on climbs, especially non-technical climbs?

    BTW, OP I have a 2006 Kona with RP3 Propedal and agree that it is not that great.

  10. #10
    KVW
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    Some very interesting points made and I do appreciate the input. It's made me and perhaps others realize some things I've never considered before.

    I do understand that some suspension under climbing actually aids traction and is more of an advantage then a hindrance but traction aside, I find the suspension causes a greater tax on my cardiovascular system vs a my old hard tail overall.

    What I mean by that is, provided you *are no't* struggling for traction but the climb is long and enduring, one of by best "secret weapons" if you will, is to climb out of the saddle, relax every part of my body except what's absolutely necessary (no unnecessary flexing of ANY muscles not in use) and let myself fall on to the pedals while slighting pulling up on the handlebars (usually in a rocking motion) as needed. I'm sure this is no "secret" however it feels almost like cheating and taxes my lungs quite a bit less than grinding through it on the saddle. However, this technique is *very* bob inducing on my suspension but I attest, it uses the absolute minimal amout of energy, at least on a hardtail! I can out climb all my friends by doing this and now that I've switch to a full suspension, I feel like that's been robbed from me.

    Now I know you can use "technique" to compensate, to minimize bob ... what that really translates to is using a whole mess of other muscles to prevent bobbing (mostly core muscles) which is fine but that also means the climb just got a whole lot more expensive in the currency of oxygen requirements. Having a rigid lock out, just for the low speed climbs, I would love to have back. Notice I said low-speed climbs. That totally makes sense about the stress on your seals and frame if you're creating harsh impacts on a locked out suspension bike so it would be imperative it's unlocked for anything over say 5-6mph.

    So as it stands from the few that have said they've seen something of which I'm looking, it would be possibly a new frame by Bionicon or Cannodale or a "brain" feature of Specialized. Buying a new frame is out for me - I'm still recovering (and will be for a while) from the recent purchases of my current frames so perhaps I should look in to a X-fusion rear shock solution... perhaps next winter when the down times become more frequent again and funds recover, lol.

    It still amazes me that it's the accepted norm to not have a decent rear lockout. I don't know how many times I've read people actually preferring a hard tail for the exact same reason I stated over a full squish. Would seem like quite a selling point if you could build a bike that could double as both with the only downside being a slightly heavier frame than a dedicated hard tail.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  11. #11
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    KVW,

    I totally know what you mean, man. I do a fair bit of road biking on my MTB, and it would be nice to have a more firm platform available. To answer your original question, some of the older Fox shocks like the Float RC and Triad had very firm lockouts. These days, full suspension bikes are better at anti-bob, so shocks have weaker platforms than they used to.

    My current Fox RP2 had a moderate lockout. I sent it to Push for a retune and asked for the lockout to be firmer. It came back softer. They said that due to some design constraint, they couldn't make it any firmer without messing up the damping in the open position.

    I think a good goal to aim for is a lockout that is just firm enough that you don't bob a lot when standing and mashing. It sucks trying to pedal smoothly when you are already tired.

  12. #12
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    That's the reason why I went with a Brain shock when I switched from a HT to FS. I wanted the ability to climb like I was on a HT.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    I do understand that some suspension under climbing actually aids traction and is more of an advantage then a hindrance but traction aside, I find the suspension causes a greater tax on my cardiovascular system vs a my old hard tail overall.

    What I mean by that is, provided you *are no't* struggling for traction but the climb is long and enduring, one of by best "secret weapons" if you will, is to climb out of the saddle, relax every part of my body except what's absolutely necessary (no unnecessary flexing of ANY muscles not in use) and let myself fall on to the pedals while slighting pulling up on the handlebars (usually in a rocking motion) as needed. I'm sure this is no "secret" however it feels almost like cheating and taxes my lungs quite a bit less than grinding through it on the saddle. However, this technique is *very* bob inducing on my suspension but I attest, it uses the absolute minimal amout of energy, at least on a hardtail! I can out climb all my friends by doing this and now that I've switch to a full suspension, I feel like that's been robbed from me.

    With no disrespect intended, maybe you need to ride your full suspension a few more times to give yourself a chance to get used to it before deciding it doesn't work for you. Yes it is true that you can't throw your body weight up and down on the cranks any more and until you learn your technique standing and pedalling is going to be incredibly taxing, but that's something that most likely every person who went FS likely had to adjust to as well. You'll learn how to pedal standing up just fine if you actually take the time to do it.

  14. #14
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    Having a full lockout is awesome in the right situations, even on modern, efficient suspension design. You likely won't spend a ton of time with it locked out, but for those specific situations where it is appropriate, it does make a large difference in getting the power to the ground with the least amount of effort.

    Much of it depends on your riding style and local terrain. If you like to really dig deep and hammer very steep, but relatively smooth climbs, you'll get a lot out of it.

    Many folks don't notice much of an effect when they move the propedal lever on their Fox shocks, due to the factory tune of the shock itself. Different manufacturers spec different tunes for their shocks, and if the factory compression tune is low (one bar on the little red sticker), then the propedal does almost nothing.

    If you want a Fox shock with a true lockout, check out the RL.

    -D
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full suspension and Hardtail - best of both worlds with a flick of a switch!-foxrl.jpg  


  15. #15
    KVW
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    Quote Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
    With no disrespect intended, maybe you need to ride your full suspension a few more times to give yourself a chance to get used to it before deciding it doesn't work for you. Yes it is true that you can't throw your body weight up and down on the cranks any more and until you learn your technique standing and pedalling is going to be incredibly taxing, but that's something that most likely every person who went FS likely had to adjust to as well. You'll learn how to pedal standing up just fine if you actually take the time to do it.
    No offense taken - I haven't given up on a full suspension, hell I just invested a significant amount towards it. Don't get me wrong, coming from a hard tail, absolutely love full suspension. In fact on the trail now, I sort of feel like a hardtail is like bringing a knife to a gun-fight now.

    I'm going to continue to work on sprinting technique and I think there's still a bit more setup and tweaking i can do before trying to find a new "better lockout" rear shock to buy. I went out for a ride last night once again with a bit more air pressure and set the shock to a slower rebound and it made a noticeable difference. Of course I still cant see any difference with the propedal switch but I'll get over that soon enough, lol. Just wanted to see what people's thoughts are on the subject and if there is any thing out there like a switch to make your fully in to a hardtail.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

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    Excellent, I think you'll be happy with some more time on the bike. I came from a fully rigid single speed before I got my FS and my first time climbing out of the saddle felt like I was jumping around in a bouncy castle instead of climbing. Nowadays I don't feel that my suspension takes anything out of my climbing at all, it's just a matter of adjustment and trying to keep your center of gravity more or less stable instead of jumping up and down

  17. #17
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    Lockout your fork and lean fwd, especially with a virtual pivot bike. The pivot is at it's highest anti squat posn with less sag.

    Spinning seated is more efficient and less tiring than powering up standing. You won't see marathon xc racers standing for long. Try taking your seat off and riding your normal loop and see how far you get. Or go single speeding.

    You could also have a faulty shock. Does the rebound damping work with the pro pedal on. If not,the nitrogen may have leaked past the floating piston. Propedal on the boost valve shocks is much weaker than pre propedal shocks. they were very close to locked out , pre boost valve. Bike mfg's have been pushing for more active shocks since most now have good antisquat properties. So Fox responded and opened things up with boost valve shocks.

    Spawned a nice retro up grade market back to less active Rock shock shocks for those who don't like the change.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    OK Let me just start off by saying I'm new to the full suspension world. I now have two of them (one's built second one is in the works). One thing I always loved about my Rockshox Reba RLT fork on my hardtail was it's lock out. When I recently switched to a Fox 32 F120 RLC, the lock out was even stronger! That thing doesn't even budge like switching to a fully rigid!

    However it was a bit of a disappointment when I finally built up my fully and found my Fox Float RP2's "propedal" is a joke, plain and simple. I honestly cannot tell a damn difference. I come to find out (through calling my vendor thinking it's defective and asking on mtbr) that's just how propedal is. It's not so obvious - it's "subtle" I'm told... Yeah... subtle would be an understatement of the year.

    So let me ask the experts in the Shocks and Suspension subforum of mtbr... does a rear shock exist with a *real* lockout? Something as good as my Reba or F120 forks? If not, why not?

    Why isn't there a rear shock you can completely lock out and make that rear as tight as a drum? It exist for a reason on forks, why not in the rear where you need it most when standing up and hammering the pedals? Hell, a remote triggered lockout would be just as useful if not more useful than a fork remote lockout!

    Please edjoomicate me.
    Float RL has a full lockout.

    I'm going to go against the flow here and say that there is really nothing wrong with a lockout (preferably with a blow-off threshold), and for some frames/applications/situations, actually a benefit. I've had several FS bikes that either benefited (or could have) from a lockout in certain situations. Did I use them often? No, but it is plain as day to me from riding HT and FS that there are some situations where a HT is the better climber and a lockout just allows you to tap into that on an FS bike.

    On the other hand, my old MKIII and my current 5-Spot really don't ever call for it. My Spot came with an RL, which has a full lockout, and I've never used it.

    I would disagree that a shock lockout is more useful than one on a fork, unless you are on some really crappy suspension design.

    In the case of Propedal switch , it is not a lockout, it is more subtle. How subtle depends on the tune of the shock. In some cases it is immediately apparent, in others it is REALLY subtle, to the point where you barely notice a difference (this was the case on my Marin Mt Vision with an RP2.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  19. #19
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    Keep both a hardtail and full suspension in the stable. When you ride them, enjoy them for their benefits, and it'll make you appreciate both of them even more.

  20. #20
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    KVM don't cheat yourself of learning and properly trasitioning from hardtail to FS. It takes a few weeks to a few months depending on how much you resist the process

    Your explaination of the "secret weapon" move is a very useful move for SS I do that all the time it works really well be cause a lower torque gearing. However doing the same on a HT and FS may cause the rear tire to slip more.

    I do what bad mechanic said, I ride both and enjoy both differently. Take your time to transition I wanna to say forget the lockout you don't need it once you get used to FS you won't feel like it's taxing you extra, you'd be happy later

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    Give it a while to get used to it. But if you can't then The RT3 with a large air can stiffens up the MV to give a nice pedalling platform. You'll get more travel and the Platform lever on the RT3 is pretty good. I've tried the L tune RT3 and it stiffened it up fine. M tune may lead to the bike skipping over the rough stuff.

  22. #22
    KVW
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    Have thought about it and per mimi1885 & bad mechanic suggestion, I'll be keeping my old Moto Ti Hardtail frame rather than selling it off. But will likey turn it in to a fully rigid so it can be sort of a CX bike/29er hybrid. It was always a fun bike - something tells me I may regret it if i sell it for cheap and want a change a year later.

    Thanks all who chimed in to help. Really appreciate all the suggestions and opinions on the subject. Gave rep where ever I could. kapusta experience with the same shock on the same bike at least puts me at ease that it's not defective or something. Trying to do my best not to replace things just on the hopes the replacement is that much better because often times, they really aren't. It's always most cost effective to upgrade when it's time to replace (I'm terrible at this though, lol).
    "Single track is for pansies!
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  23. #23
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    I also have to "buck" the trend on this thread and confess that I have a bike that gives me excellent full suspension benefits AND full lockout features in one! The BMC Trailfox I ride is equipped with a X-Fusion Velvet RL front fork that has a wide range rebound knob and a lockout. In the rear I run a DT Swiss XM180 that has a semi-full lockout. I can easily reach down and flip the switch, which I always do, to more efficiently climb any type of hill here in New England. I really feel like I am old my old hardtail when I do this and the frame is already very light and compares to many hardtails. I have 130mm in the front and 120mm in the rear, which is perfect for my style and terrain around here. The semi-full lockout is great and still offers a stiff platform without that harsh hardtail felt on a full rigid bike. This bike is also capable of bombing down nasty trails at Highlands and I stay right up with my brothers new Jekyll most of the time. So, you can have it BOTH ways!
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  24. #24
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    A lockout on the rear is the best way to break a good FS bike.

  25. #25
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    You can break any bike if it's used for something it is not designed for...like huckin off 6-8 foot jumps. A lockout feature on any bike is there to function as a stable platform ONLY when climbing and flats at slow speeds. Use it but don't abuse it and you will see all the benefits it can provide.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    You can break any bike if it's used for something it is not designed for...like huckin off 6-8 foot jumps. A lockout feature on any bike is there to function as a stable platform ONLY when climbing and flats at slow speeds. Use it but don't abuse it and you will see all the benefits it can provide.
    Who goes slow on the flats?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Who goes slow on the flats?
    me
    I also go slow on the downs.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    me
    I also go slow on the downs.
    Oh Jesus!

  29. #29
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    I go slow going down too...especially when I am all locked out and a busted fs frame,,,Damn!
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    A lockout on the rear is the best way to break a good FS bike.
    Huh?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  31. #31
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    Agree with the general sentiment that you should let your suspension do its job - lockout is practical on xc race bikes but for most everyday trail/am and up its not necessary.


    But, i don't think its so much about the frame - lockout is dangerous for the shock (a big hit will blow the valves), but the impact to the frame probably isn't a big deal.

    When locked out:
    - Unsuspended parts of the frame (mainly rear triangle) will take slightly less stress, because you're not stomping as hard (your body absorbs more shock than usual too). This also includes wishbone linkages and other linkages on many suspension designs which are common failure zones.

    - Suspended parts of the bike (main triangle, head tube junction, bottom bracket area) will take slightly more, but countering that is that you're not going to be hitting those drops and what not except for an occasional slip up . . on the balance i don't think it will have that much affect on the longevity of the bike.
    Last edited by Procter; 11-21-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  32. #32
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    If you are riding trails where the lockout makes you faster, then you shouldn't really be riding an FS bike in the first place, as chances are it's so smooth you benefit from the weight savings of a hardtail or rigid. Remember that a RACE is about going as fast as possible. Comfort and having fun aren't really part of it. A hardtail will usually still be the best weapon (especially a 29er that can "roll" over stuff easier) due to it's weight, long sustained climbs that are often relatively smooth, and so on. Most of the time it's a "sprint" over a relatively short amount of time (2-3hrs or less). If you're out riding for fun and like to claw up the technical climbs, then a FS bike might be better for you, because the increased traction will help with the climb.

    Here's my biased opinion on wheel sizes:

    There's no replacement for suspension travel, BUT, the 29er hardtail bike has made the 26er XC FS bike obsolete. The 26ers in the 3-4" travel range are easily outdone by a 29er hardtail, and make no mistake it can be difficult to "hold on" while you are bouncing around on that 29er hardtail, but modern components and designs are still lighter than that older-generation 26er FS XC bike, and you carry more momentum through turns and in other places.

    With more "trail" type bikes, then it comes down to more personal preference, some people like a 5" 26 wheeled bike for it's maneuverability and the 29ers of the same size can feel a bit sluggish and heavy, although there are some FS XC 29ers that buck that trend pretty well now.

    With even more travel, like DH bikes, the difference is even more apparent, the 26" wheels and tires are much heavier than XC bikes, so you already have more gyroscopic action, and making it a 29er limits the travel too much, constrains the geometry, and makes it hard to make very tight maneuvers. Not impossible to downhill with a 29er, in fact it's my dream to build up one, but it's where there's the most difference compared to the 26er version IMO.

    Soooo, a 29er hardtail has kind of redefined "fast" IMO, blows by the guys that bought into the "I have to buy a 26" XC FS bike if I'm serious about mountain biking" (helped by media, bike shops, magazines, etc ). It kills these bikes, and it's still a good bit faster than a 29er FS bike due to it's weight advantage, those rocks and tech sections have to be pretty extreme where the 29er FS really starts to shine more, even if it's a matter of dealing with the jarring ride.

    On the other hand, a lot of times it's not about what's "fastest" for many of us. What is your goal? Winning races? Being able to climb tech climbs? Being able to climb extremely steep sustained smooth climbs? It's all different...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are riding trails where the lockout makes you faster, then you shouldn't really be riding an FS bike in the first place, as chances are it's so smooth you benefit from the weight savings of a hardtail or rigid.
    .
    This line of reasoning (which I often see used) would make sense if someone only rides one type of trail exclusively. But in reality, few people do (why would you even want to? ) In fact, most rides I have done anywhere in the country of any real length are not one type of trail surface.

    My bike sees everything from forest service roads to very technical singletrack, and occasionally some road to link up singletrack sections. Even most 100% singletrack rides will have everything from silky smooth to root/rock choked trails. It's not very practical to grab a different bike for each section of trail.

    On some climbs, the lack of suspension movement favors a HT or rigid. Lockout just gives you the option. The weight is almost besides the issue. Sure, maybe on the one smoother fire rode climb you would be better of with a light rigid than a locked out FS, but that ignores the rest of the ride. Lockout gives you a HT only when you want it.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    This line of reasoning (which I often see used) would make sense if someone only rides one type of trail exclusively. But in reality, few people do (why would you even want to? ) In fact, most rides I have done anywhere in the country of any real length are not one type of trail surface.

    My bike sees everything from forest service roads to very technical singletrack, and occasionally some road to link up singletrack sections. Even most 100% singletrack rides will have everything from silky smooth to root/rock choked trails. It's not very practical to grab a different bike for each section of trail.

    On some climbs, the lack of suspension movement favors a HT or rigid. Lockout just gives you the option. The weight is almost besides the issue. Sure, maybe on the one smoother fire rode climb you would be better of with a light rigid than a locked out FS, but that ignores the rest of the ride. Lockout gives you a HT only when you want it.
    It's not my idea or perception, but it's what's out there and what a lot of people believe. They are on some group ride with a bunch of friends, and some fit guys on light bikes "walk away from them" on the climbs. If only I had lockout, or my bike was more efficient, or lighter, etc...

    The perception is what's fastest is best. I was trying to make the point that often time's what is fastest is not comfortable or fun, for a variety of reasons. What is fastest uphill may not be fastest downhill. Then there's the issue of where do you spend more time, how technical, etc. That means you gotta really dig deep and look at what you really want to get out of the sport.

    Back in the 90s, even the 2000s and today to a much smaller extent, bike shops, magazines, and everyone in the industry tried to sell the idea that "if you are serious about mountain biking, you need an XC race bike", with race geometry, etc. People even ask me TODAY: "Do you race?". XC racing goes hand in hand with the sport, which is somewhat unfortunate. Even though I did ski-racing, people don't ask me all the time "do you race?" when I'm skiing. It's great that mountain bike racing is organized and ACCESSIBLE to normal people, no doubt, but XC racing is not what the majority of the riders do or want to do.

    So for many people, it boils down to "is it faster", whether this is what they really want or not. I don't agree with it, but this is where they are coming from, And then as you say, it depends so much on the circumstances.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Remember that a RACE is about going as fast as possible. Comfort and having fun aren't really part of it. A hardtail will usually still be the best weapon (especially a 29er that can "roll" over stuff easier) due to it's weight, long sustained climbs that are often relatively smooth, and so on.
    I think this is a good point.

    29er HT may not be as efficient as well design FS but the solid pedal feel can really pump you up in the race situation.

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    Lockouts.

    I disagreee with the earlliest posters who said having a lockout makes you slower. I have a FS bike with a RP3 and wish it had a lockout almost every ride. It all depends on conditions. Having a lockout makes the bike more flexable. I do alot of rides from my house where I spend 45 min onI pavement with several short climbs with 20% grades. My FS bike feels like **** on these hills where I want to stand a hammer. My hardtail with a true lockout on the front feels great. There are situations where having the suspension locked out is an advantage.

    I also disagree that using the lockout is damaging your fork. There may be models where this is true but it is not true of all forks. I have a fox F100 RLC with the lockout with an adjustable threshold and run it with the lockout on like 90% of the time. I set the blowoff so that I can stand and pedal without blowing though it, but it activates with moderate hits. I leave the lockout on basically all the time unless im desending. That fork has been working fine with just oil changes and a couple sets of new seals for 5 years and over 5000 miles. I also have a lefty with a lockout which I use often, but since it has no blowoff threshold adjustment I unlock it on most offroad climbs unless its so steep I want to stand. I have always thought its Odd that I ride my FS bike with the fork locked out, and my hardtail with the fork open.
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    Its all about energy transfer. HT's are more efficient because the most of the pedaling energy is converted to forward acceleration. This is evident by the fact that a lot of bike companies use(d) rear shocks that utilize(d) a platform (specialized's brain, lockouts, etc.). Fox's Propedal was developed to to mitigate the undesired effect of the shock sinking into its travel in dramatic fashion when an impact blows open the platform or the harshness of a lockout, especially if left on for the downhill. Propedal does a good job of smoothing the transition between a subtle platform to active suspension, but at the LOSS OF EFFICIENCY. You set the sag for good down hill performance then turn on the propedal for the climbs. Think about this, propedal (or increasing LSC) works by increasing the damping to a level where the pedal bob is minimized to try and give that hardtail feel. Great, but what happens is that the energy from each pedal stroke that goes into propelling the bike forward, a percentage goes into compressing the shock. The damping absorbs that energy and it is lost. This is why a lot of people still run hardtails, want lockouts or just turn off any damping to maximize the energy transfer into forward acceleration. Using damping of any kind to counter pedal bob is just robbing energy that can be used for forward motion. As an experiment try increasing the sag (add more air), minimize any damping AND reduce the rebound (this is damping also) and even out the pedal stroke. This will maximize the energy going to forward motion. Yes, the suspension will move more, but the nature of springs is to store and release energy. Damping just absorbs that energy. DW link suspensions are great because, by design pedal bob is countered by rider input thru the linkage and not damping. That is why there are statements from Turner owners not using propedal and Turner runs shocks with a "low" tune (minimal compression and rebound damping). Most of the pedal stroke energy goes to propelling the bike and rider. Realistically, you need some damping (rebound and compression) to improve the quality of the ride, after all we ride mountain bikes.

    $.02

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBng4fun View Post
    Its all about energy transfer. HT's are more efficient because the most of the pedaling energy is converted to forward acceleration. This is evident by the fact that a lot of bike companies use(d) rear shocks that utilize(d) a platform (specialized's brain, lockouts, etc.). Fox's Propedal was developed to to mitigate the undesired effect of the shock sinking into its travel in dramatic fashion when an impact blows open the platform or the harshness of a lockout, especially if left on for the downhill. Propedal does a good job of smoothing the transition between a subtle platform to active suspension, but at the LOSS OF EFFICIENCY. You set the sag for good down hill performance then turn on the propedal for the climbs. Think about this, propedal (or increasing LSC) works by increasing the damping to a level where the pedal bob is minimized to try and give that hardtail feel. Great, but what happens is that the energy from each pedal stroke that goes into propelling the bike forward, a percentage goes into compressing the shock. The damping absorbs that energy and it is lost. This is why a lot of people still run hardtails, want lockouts or just turn off any damping to maximize the energy transfer into forward acceleration. Using damping of any kind to counter pedal bob is just robbing energy that can be used for forward motion. As an experiment try increasing the sag (add more air), minimize any damping AND reduce the rebound (this is damping also) and even out the pedal stroke. This will maximize the energy going to forward motion. Yes, the suspension will move more, but the nature of springs is to store and release energy. Damping just absorbs that energy. DW link suspensions are great because, by design pedal bob is countered by rider input thru the linkage and not damping. That is why there are statements from Turner owners not using propedal and Turner runs shocks with a "low" tune (minimal compression and rebound damping). Most of the pedal stroke energy goes to propelling the bike and rider. Realistically, you need some damping (rebound and compression) to improve the quality of the ride, after all we ride mountain bikes.

    $.02
    Holy Wall-of-Text! Use paragraphs.

    I believe you are mistaken about damping robbing you of energy that could propel you forwards. Yes, a spring stores energy, the problem with bike suspension is that the stored energy just lifts you back up, rather than propel you forwards.

    What you are saying would make sense if we were talking about traveling by pogo stick.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    <hr class="messageHeaderDivider colorK2" noshade="noshade">
    Quote Originally Posted by MTBng4fun View Post
    Its all about energy transfer. HT's are more efficient because the most of the pedaling energy is converted to forward acceleration. This is evident by the fact that a lot of bike companies use(d) rear shocks that utilize(d) a platform (specialized's brain, lockouts, etc.). Fox's Propedal was developed to to mitigate the undesired effect of the shock sinking into its travel in dramatic fashion when an impact blows open the platform or the harshness of a lockout, especially if left on for the downhill.

    Propedal does a good job of smoothing the transition between a subtle platform to active suspension, but at the LOSS OF EFFICIENCY. You set the sag for good down hill performance then turn on the propedal for the climbs. Think about this, propedal (or increasing LSC) works by increasing the damping to a level where the pedal bob is minimized to try and give that hardtail feel. Great, but what happens is that the energy from each pedal stroke that goes into propelling the bike forward, a percentage goes into compressing the shock.

    The damping absorbs that energy and it is lost. This is why a lot of people still run hardtails, want lockouts or just turn off any damping to maximize the energy transfer into forward acceleration. Using damping of any kind to counter pedal bob is just robbing energy that can be used for forward motion.

    As an experiment try increasing the sag (add more air), minimize any damping AND reduce the rebound (this is damping also) and even out the pedal stroke. This will maximize the energy going to forward motion. Yes, the suspension will move more, but the nature of springs is to store and release energy. Damping just absorbs that energy. DW link suspensions are great because, by design pedal bob is countered by rider input thru the linkage and not damping.

    That is why there are statements from Turner owners not using propedal and Turner runs shocks with a "low" tune (minimal compression and rebound damping). Most of the pedal stroke energy goes to propelling the bike and rider. Realistically, you need some damping (rebound and compression) to improve the quality of the ride, after all we ride mountain bikes.

    $.02
    Sorry it's pretty hard to read.

    Well, I just disagree. A few reasons that HT is a choice of racers, would be lighter weight and firm feedback, not efficiency. When you stump on the pedals and it feels it the bike is shooting forward it can motivate you to repeat over and over.

    FS would be more efficient because the suspension just absorb the bumps and help you keep the momentum, where HT would just translate the bump into a vertical movement killing momentum. Sag is your friend, reducing it by increase air would just ruining the ride. How's making the suspension firmer help with efficiency?

    The reason why DW link owners not just Turner are not using the PP is because the design is a mechanical PP, when you pedal forward the bike has built in anti-squat and not effecting the suspension. DW links riders can set whatever sag they want from 25-40% and not effecting the pedaling. The main reason why bike companies still spec bikes with PP is because usually the feature is offer in the highend models.

    Any well designed, suspension designs can reduce or eliminate the pedaling bob with out the use of propedal. It takes some time to properly transition from HT to FS but once that done it's all good. Using pp on the trail is pretty much defeats the idea of having full suspension.

    Sent from my iPad 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Using pp on the trail is pretty much defeats the idea of having full suspension.

    Sent from my iPad 2
    Not if tuned properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post

    FS would be more efficient because the suspension just absorb the bumps and help you keep the momentum, where HT would just translate the bump into a vertical movement killing momentum
    It depends where you are riding and how you ride. That statement isn't always true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    It depends where you are riding and how you ride. That statement isn't always true.
    Yes, where and how is the key. Buff trails why not? as for the how, I'd think that moving your body mass around to manipulate the bike so that both wheels would not hit the bump would mean that the rider spend more energy than just pedaling, regardless of how effortless a skill riders make it look

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    not efficiency. When you stump on the pedals and it feels it the bike is shooting forward it can motivate you to repeat over and over.
    That sounds like efficiency to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    That sounds like efficiency to me.
    yeah in that context

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    Ages ago, my canary yellow Y-33 featured a slick Stratos shock with a handlebar lever lockout. When it was locked, the thing didn't move a mm. Then again, when open that design left a lot to be desired! (esp by today's suspension standards)

    Fast-forward to today and you have some incredible designs (like DW Link) which benefit from active travel for 99% of all terrain. (my own BS number)

    Oh, and I believe Specialized bought-out Stratos shock and use them now (in some capacity) for their own suspension designs.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelly_NH View Post
    Ages ago, my canary yellow Y-33 featured a slick Stratos shock with a handlebar lever lockout. When it was locked, the thing didn't move a mm. Then again, when open that design left a lot to be desired! (esp by today's suspension standards)

    Fast-forward to today and you have some incredible designs (like DW Link) which benefit from active travel for 99% of all terrain. (my own BS number)

    Oh, and I believe Specialized bought-out Stratos shock and use them now (in some capacity) for their own suspension designs.
    No, the big S sued Stratos out of existence. I still have two of those shocks. You were right, when locked, they didn't budge. But, for the time, they were very good shocks.

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    All good points. Efficiency is how much of the energy inputed is converted to work. As related to mountain biking, energy from a pedal stroke in converted to forward motion and squating the suspension, so a percentage gets stored in the compression of the shock. If damped, this is lost. If not damped, the spring returns the energy. This return of energy can work in our favor or against us. It just depends on which side of the "bump" the wheel is on. A pogo stick returns the stored energy, but if one is leaning forward the energy propels one forward. If one is leaning backward...you get the picture. Think about it, ever experience a slowdown in speed going downhill while going over certain sized bumps? If the frequency is such that the spring unloads the wheel on the front side of the next bump, you just lost some of the forward momentum. When you ride pump tracks your legs are the spring and you always unload on the back side of a bump to keep the momentum going without having to pedal. Try it if you haven't. It is actually pretty fun.

    Biking is pure physics. That simplicity is the attraction of biking in general. Gone off on a slight tangent, but hope this sheds some light. At the least something too chew on!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBng4fun View Post
    All good points. Efficiency is how much of the energy inputed is converted to work. As related to mountain biking, energy from a pedal stroke in converted to forward motion and squating the suspension, so a percentage gets stored in the compression of the shock. If damped, this is lost. If not damped, the spring returns the energy. This return of energy can work in our favor or against us. It just depends on which side of the "bump" the wheel is on. A pogo stick returns the stored energy, but if one is leaning forward the energy propels one forward. If one is leaning backward...you get the picture. Think about it, ever experience a slowdown in speed going downhill while going over certain sized bumps? If the frequency is such that the spring unloads the wheel on the front side of the next bump, you just lost some of the forward momentum. When you ride pump tracks your legs are the spring and you always unload on the back side of a bump to keep the momentum going without having to pedal. Try it if you haven't. It is actually pretty fun.

    Biking is pure physics. That simplicity is the attraction of biking in general. Gone off on a slight tangent, but hope this sheds some light. At the least something too chew on!
    You appear to have a very good grasp of the underlying physics, here.

    However, you are seriously mis-applying them to pedaling and suspension.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    You appear to have a very good grasp of the underlying physics, here.

    However, you are seriously mis-applying them to pedaling and suspension.
    ^ This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    ^ This.
    ^ That

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