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  1. #1
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    is full suspension necessary for oleta river park?(south Florida)

    Im a new rider and I'd to bike a new bike , but I am not sure between full suspension or 29er hardtrail... ..

  2. #2
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    full suspension isn't necessary anywhere. it's just one of the many types of bike setup that make riding around fun. Oleta was pretty rocky and rooty last time i was there but nothing that would be impossible on a hardtail, especially a 29er.

    IMO a hardtail is a better setup for someone new to the sport, it helps you progress your riding skills and will make you a smoother rider. It's also kind of a "test", if you can put up with a hardtail and the sore ass that it can occasionally bring, then you'll do just fine as a mountain biker.

  3. #3
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    Hardtail in FL. every time for me. Heck, I ride full rigid more than not...

  4. #4
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    Full suspension isnot necessary, but for place like Oleta with all the roots and rocks, it makes life more comfortable.

  5. #5
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    You don't need F/S for Oleta, but it sure helps. You find very few riders at Oleta on H/Ts that do multiple laps. The F/S isn't just for big drops, it is also for small bump compiance (roots/rocks) and it makes that trail a whole lot more bearable. The F/S will make your ride a whole more fun, and you will feel better at the end of the ride.

    If you are a new rider, chances are you won't be carrying the speed as the racers, or experienced riders so it is less necessary. As your skills develope, you will outgrow your bike, and probably opt for a F/S. Once you make that transition, you will be riding further, longer, and faster especially at places like Oleta.

    H/Ts are superior on pure XC trails with a lot of elevation ( I am originally from Michigan, most ride H/Ts there), but with the way the technical singletrack is here, I wouldn't use anything else. Many of the better newer F/S have a decent pedalling platform that improves energy transfer while climbing and acceleration.

    Like everyone is saying, you can ride a H/T there, but look around and see how many actually are? The numbers don't lie, there is a reason for it.

    As far as choosing a 29er over a F/S....29in wheels do not compensate for what a F/S can do. What you are considering is still a hardtail, so you will inevitably be spending more time out of the saddle at Oleta or you will pay the price. The more time you spend out of the saddle, the more energy you are wasting. Some of the bumbs are compensated by the bigger wheels, but not as much as a full suspension. You will ride faster for longer on a full suspension.
    Last edited by dubdryver; 08-27-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I would agree that a hard tail will be better to start out on, but at Oleta, a full suspension is defitnitly a blessing, the first time i went therre with my hard tail i bent the seat on my bike from seating too much on it while going over all the roots.

  7. #7
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    Do gilligans Island on a hardtail and then try it on a full suspension. That trail alone will make up your mind for you.
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  8. #8
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    The thing about Gilligans is that it is the slowest (and longest) trail in the park. You will spend more time out of the saddle on that trail than any other trail anyways. Not to say that is a good way to test. I say muster up the endurance to ride the park 2 laps. Do 2 laps on a F/S and then do 2 laps on a 29er, that is where you will see a big difference. 29ers are not faster, they have their drawbacks just as 26ers and F/S with H/Ts but the comparison between F/S and H/T, there are more advantages to F/S than there is to H/Ts otherwise they woudn't be every bike company's biggest sellers.
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  9. #9
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    If you want to ride sharp, and blast out of every corner, and be awesome; then a 29er hardtail is all you need. Full suspension is for bikes that lean up against the truck while the hardtail guys are being awesome and riding all fast like.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by unstuckpilgrim
    If you want to ride sharp, and blast out of every corner, and be awesome; then a 29er hardtail is all you need. Full suspension is for bikes that lean up against the truck while the hardtail guys are being awesome and riding all fast like.
    Where do you guys come up with this garbage? Because 9/10 of anyone that isn't an recreational rider will be on a full suspension.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver
    Where do you guys come up with this garbage? Because 9/10 of anyone that isn't an recreational rider will be on a full suspension.
    Independently gathered empirical data. I have had enough FS bikes to know that they are far superior at leaning against vehicles in the parking lot than hardtails. 1/10 riders know this. The other 9 must not be having any fun since they are not recreating.

    FS bikes are not fun to clean either. But then, they don't get very dirty leaning against the truck.

  12. #12
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    Yep, guess that holds true until you actually do something thats technical, but then again, no so much of that in Wisconsin..that is where you live right? For there you either venture up to the U.P. for anything with gnar...Wi. is all rolling hill cornfields and farmland..I am from there..and for that location, I wouldn't need a F/S. I guess you could go to Dibuque, IA. there is a couple trails there. The 1/10th that you talk about don't ride more than one lap at Oleta, 29er or not. I have yet to see it, meanwhile I roll through on 2-3. My hardtail doesn't even make it to a trail to lean against a vehicle..it stays hanging in the garage for when I am riding something boring.
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  13. #13
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    You didn't have to ride through cornfields when you lived in WI. We have some very technical trails there. Blue Mound eats bikes and is way more harsh than any FL trails. There are at least 6 other trail systems just off the top of my head that I have ridden and raced on in WI that are techy with plenty of rock, ledges, and exposed roots at speed.

    I'm really just giving you a hard time though, because I just can't agree with "You will ride faster for longer on a full suspension.".

    We actually met a few weeks back when you pulled into Alafia one evening and I was getting ready to leave (red Pivot 429, just moved from WI).
    I have since sold the bike because I bought it specifically for racing 12 hour events in WI. I have gone back to a hardtail single speed for FL riding now that I live down here again because this stuff can be taken so much faster, and this kind of rig is more fun IHMO.

    Look forward to seeing you out there. I have been out for about 4 weeks since I broke my elbow on the BMX bike. One week to go and I should be OK offroad!

  14. #14
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    Yah we did meet. Now I would say that Alafia...is much more forgiving for a hardtail than Oleta. The roots and rocks on that trail.even at speed will give you a beating, especially on a hardtail. Markham is a bit more forgiving. I know there is some good riding in Wi. but most of it is tame XC, just like much of the U.P. until you get to Marquette or Houghton.

    Question though, why did you go to a F/S for 12hr events and not a H/T? There had to have been some mechanical advantage to a F/S at the time when you made the purchasing decision. I am not that familiar with how DW Link feels, but I do know how VPP 2 for Santa Cruz feels, and it rips and climbs like a hardtail w/o a pedalling platform, with bump absorbtion. F/S have came a long ways over the years, they can be built up just as light, offer the same stiffness and power transfer, but with a butt load more verticle compliance which at the end of the day will save your body so you can ride longer w/o fatigue. Which in my opinion is why you opt'd for a F/S for 12hr events.

    Hope your elbow gets better, it had to be nasty, the elbow is the hardest bone in the body!
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  15. #15
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    WI has an 8 race series of 12 hour events and all but one of those courses are very punishing both up and down. The engineer in me says a Full Suspension rig should be the obvious choice for this kind of racing, but every few years I give an FS rig a try and come away broke and disappointed. Adding axis and moving parts to the drivetrain of a human powered bike just does not work yet. The rider is punished for aggressive riding, unless one defines aggressive as plowing straight through some tech that could have been taken with much more grace and rider finesse. Standing up and hammering and really attacking a course doesn't work very well on FS. Suspension wants you to sit and spin and watch the trail go by (slowly) while it does all the bouncing for you.

    At the highest levels of 24 hour racing, where efficiency and the effects of fatigue on the body mean all the difference; FS has a place. For the rest of us racing most courses (especially in FL) in 12hr events and shorter, the hardtail is a faster and more sprightly machine.

  16. #16
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    Based on the original question in this thread dealing with the specific trail, and not generally speaking because everything that I rode in the Tampa area, Santos, Carter...yes you can get by very well with a hardtail. Back to the original topic....Have you rode Oleta to know the terrain that I am speaking of? If you compare Alafia, to put it into perspective, there is about 5X the rocks and roots, and also its 3-4mi. longer. It is right on the intercoastal which means the water table, and tide play a part on tree roots growing horizontally.

    You can't generalize Florida based on your experience if it has not included the trail specific to the top of discussion. I have rode many places, out west (Colorado,Utah,Cali) Texas, Arkansas, East Coast (NC, Tenn, SC) Up North, Michigan, Canada, A lot of Europe (Belgium, Germany, Switzerland) and pretty much all of Florida in comparison, and this specific trail (Oleta) is the least comfortable of anything that I have ridden. Not to say it is overly brutal because one trail at Syllamo MTB Park in Arkansas (don't ask the name, don't remember) was pretty brutal to the point where I wasn't enjoying the ride, and I am not confusing "gnarly" with torturing at all. Oleta is pretty rough, and the people that do ride hardtails even 29er hardtails don't usually do over 1 lap.
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  17. #17
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    motobecane mountain bikes in south florida?

    thank you very much for ur info...

    I am a person with many questions... any opinions about motobecane mountain bikes in south florida? I checked the motobecane' forum and I see it is a good brand... any opinion?

  18. #18
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    mmmm motorbacon...

  19. #19
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    lol it is motobecane... check bikesdirect.com .. any opinion about those mtb?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver
    Where do you guys come up with this garbage? Because 9/10 of anyone that isn't an recreational rider will be on a full suspension.
    Have you ever been to a race before? Because 9/10 of them (non-recreational riders) ride hard tails or rigid in this state. Most recreational riders do ride FS, but it sure as crap isn't because it's needed (or even advantageous for anything in Florida other than comfort).

    I see where an FS might make you be able to ride longer. But they are in no way needed, and are in no way faster in the right hands. Unless you're on a downhill track.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfms2004
    lol it is motobecane... check bikesdirect.com .. any opinion about those mtb?
    Great way to save tons of money on awesome components. Then put those components on a better frame...

  21. #21
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    From the same retailer I suggested a Windsor Cliff 29 to a friend: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...liff29team.htm

    Looking at the components list for the price he couldn't go wrong, after helping him with the assembly & tuning the result had me smiling & thinking I could buy one to start a 29 project.

    It's a good bang for the $

    The problem for beginner is confidence... so take what your riding buddies are suggesting you they will support you more!

    If you're alone go with what you think or can afford, I made it through almost a year at Oleta with a $60 fully rigid & piece of sh.. Huffy

    It's not bike power it's mental power that will get you through the first 6 months.

    Have fun see ya at Oleta

  22. #22
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    just my two cents It all depends the type of rider you are, and how long will you be riding the bike for... i think you will be happy on a full suspension specially if you are riding Oleta and if you are just starting into MTB.... A hardtail will beat you up if you don't know how to ride it.... I have done a bunch of racing in my hardtail at oleta from xc to endurance races, and a full suspension handles much smoother than a HT. But usually full suspension are a little bit more expensinve, I don't know what's your budget but in the end, if you are just a recreational rider both of the bikes will do the same thing...

    Good luck..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214
    Have you ever been to a race before? Because 9/10 of them (non-recreational riders) ride hard tails or rigid in this state. Most recreational riders do ride FS, but it sure as crap isn't because it's needed (or even advantageous for anything in Florida other than comfort).

    I see where an FS might make you be able to ride longer. But they are in no way needed, and are in no way faster in the right hands. Unless you're on a downhill track.



    Great way to save tons of money on awesome components. Then put those components on a better frame...
    I go to the races and I'm going to have to disagree with you. Most of the bikes I see are FS bikes. Mostly 4" travel bikes.
    Ride

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74
    I go to the races and I'm going to have to disagree with you. Most of the bikes I see are FS bikes. Mostly 4" travel bikes.
    This might be true. I might just notice the HTs and Rigids more in the same way you notice the cars on the street of the same kind you own.

    Bottom line, is an FS "necessary" to ride Oleta or anywhere else in FL? Nope. But if you like it more you're more inclined to stay with the sport.

    Get whatever you think you will truly enjoy more. I enjoy hardtails and rigids more, that's why I ride them even though I have a buddy that thinks I am insane for it. He rides an FS because that's what he likes, even though I think he's insane for it. HAHA

    Bottom line, test a few bikes and go with what you will like the most.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214
    This might be true. I might just notice the HTs and Rigids more in the same way you notice the cars on the street of the same kind you own.

    Bottom line, is an FS "necessary" to ride Oleta or anywhere else in FL? Nope. But if you like it more you're more inclined to stay with the sport.

    Get whatever you think you will truly enjoy more. I enjoy hardtails and rigids more, that's why I ride them even though I have a buddy that thinks I am insane for it. He rides an FS because that's what he likes, even though I think he's insane for it. HAHA

    Bottom line, test a few bikes and go with what you will like the most.
    Lol naaaa I'm pretty sure most are FS bikes. I do notice the bad ass hardtails too don't get me wrong. But you can go online and look at the races held at Oleta, Markham etc and I guarantee you will notice that atleast 70% are FS bikes. I know because to make sure I just looked at one of the vids
    Ride

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