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  1. #1
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    How many of you race on a hardtail?

    So I was curious how many of you race on a hardtail?

    How many on a hard tail 26er?

    Hardtail 29er?

    I know about controversy of 26er vs 29er and fs vs hard tail etc (all that jazz), and dont' really care to hear who thinks what is faster, but from a actual practical standpoint how many of you train or race on a hard tail?
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  2. #2
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    Hardtail 29 here. 08 Orbea Alma

  3. #3
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    26" Hardtail 2010 Jamis Dakota dXC

  4. #4
    fux
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    Big wheels on my race bike.

    How many of you race on a hardtail?-white06.jpg
    Disclaimer. I now sell bicycles and bicycle tyres.

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  5. #5
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    Depends on the race, full rigid, hard tail, or full suspension. Last year was mostly on HT, although a full springer was really better for some of the races. If you have to choose one, I'd do a HT.

  6. #6
    AZ
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    Hardtail 29er in some races , dually 26er in others. If I had to choose one it would be the 29er .

  7. #7
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    Niner Air 9 (29er hardtail) for the '08 and '09 race seasons. Now riding a Santa Cruz Tallboy. The Niner felt faster but my lap times on the Tallboy prove otherwise. My Tallboy is 2lbs heavier too. It's amazing what a little suspension can do for overall speed...(smooth fireroad climbing excluded).

  8. #8
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Seems like these threads are never going to stop. Anyways +1 on the ht. You should have created a paole far teh ht.

  9. #9
    The Missing
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    26 hardtail


  10. #10
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by fux
    Big wheels on my race bike.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My feeling for 29ers are well known.

    But that is a beautiful bike.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  11. #11
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    29 HT

    If I could afford HT & FS, I would race FS in about 20% of races.

  12. #12
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    depends on the course,,,, but my choice is always between a 26 HT or a 26 FS.... No 29er accepted at home

  13. #13
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    Course and distance specific: Litespeed 29er, Lenz Lev. 3.0, and RIP 9 for the 'all mountain' course. I probably won't be invited to dinner at Sebastian's.

  14. #14
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    i went from starting with a trek fuel ex (full sus 120mm) to a HT 26er sub 20 pounds. the hardtail is superior for racing no doubt. this will be my first full year on the ht and i can't wait to kick some ass! the races are won and lost on the hills not the DH... but i am fast there as well

  15. #15
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    I race on a 26" Ti hardtail, because it is my only mtb. I do love it, but I will be doing some endurance events this year, and I would really prefer a f/s for those. Sadly, the budget hasn't allowed for that yet (I serve two mistresses, and the roadie budget is a *****).

  16. #16
    Twin Six METAL
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    Alma 29er HT, love it!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How many of you race on a hardtail?-200110_10150417380815523_596450522_17656824_598956_n.jpg  

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  17. #17
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    Last year's configuration:

  18. #18
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    26" HT and 29" HT

  19. #19
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by sworkspilot
    Alma 29er HT, love it!!!

    An SWorks Alma? Sweeet!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.
    Course and distance specific: Litespeed 29er, Lenz Lev. 3.0, and RIP 9 for the 'all mountain' course. I probably won't be invited to dinner at Sebastian's.
    lol

  21. #21
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    I do.

    It's the bike I have. There weren't many 29ers out yet in '07, let alone at my pricepoint that year. FS bikes were, and are, similarly too expensive.

    Employment situation should change in two and a half years. So unless a nicer race bike falls into my lap before then, I'll reconsider my options when I get a "real" job. FS rigs haven't impressed me so far, but I've had little saddle time on them - I'd try to demo some on real trails before making a decision.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    I ride a steel 26r HT single speed. I've tried the 29r thing (Air 9) but didn't like it (maybe it was the scandium frame). I plan on building a carbon 29r. I live in Austin, Texas, and 29rs work on terrain around here.

  23. #23
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    29er HT. More cush then a 26er HT but lighter than a FS 26er. Best of both worlds at an affordable price.

  24. #24
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    For what it's worth, Bishop just used a 29 HT to crush it at last weekends Pro xct. And, he has long been a fan of the light 26 FS, only using a 29 Ht for the first time at Leadville last year.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    For what it's worth, Bishop just used a 29 HT to crush it at last weekends Pro xct. And, he has long been a fan of the light 26 FS, only using a 29 Ht for the first time at Leadville last year.
    I beat plenty of niners & full suspensions this weekend on the same course on my 26 HT. Its the rider not the bike.

    Pros are paid to ride what the sponsor tells them to ride.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    For what it's worth, Bishop just used a 29 HT to crush it at last weekends Pro xct. And, he has long been a fan of the light 26 FS, only using a 29 Ht for the first time at Leadville last year.

    No doubt it is the engine.

    Bishop is one to switch tire configuration with the course. He has a 650b bike that he uses from time to time along with a SS with 650b front and 26er rear.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  27. #27
    endurance xc
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    what about a 29/26 hardtail. Say a 29 out back with a 26 in the front? Why?. i dunno, but i want to see one.

  28. #28
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    Alot of you say you feel faster on a hardtail. I used to feel the same way.

    I strongly urge you to take a good full susp XC racer of similar weight and run a time trial on your course using both bikes. You will most likely be surprised.

    I am assuming the course has more than a few rocks and roots here and there. I could never go back to my hardtail for endurance events (>2hrs).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    For what it's worth, Bishop just used a 29 HT to crush it at last weekends Pro xct. And, he has long been a fan of the light 26 FS, only using a 29 Ht for the first time at Leadville last year.
    The fact that he put out an average of 376 W for the duration of the race probably didn't hurt either.

    I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk about the Bonelli race in this forum as it was a pretty exciting XC race.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagz007
    Alot of you say you feel faster on a hardtail. I used to feel the same way.

    I strongly urge you to take a good full susp XC racer of similar weight and run a time trial on your course using both bikes. You will most likely be surprised.

    I am assuming the course has more than a few rocks and roots here and there. I could never go back to my hardtail for endurance events (>2hrs).
    I actually feel faster on a full suspension, but my times show otherwise. I went from full suspension to hardtail and showed significant improvement. This is likely a result of my body responding better to standing and mashing occasionally rather than staying in the saddle consistently. Racers really must choose the bike that best offsets their weaknesses.

    The bike's got to match the rider and terrain. There are a few races that I'd be faster on full suspension.

  31. #31
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    29" hardtail with front suspension. At 6'5" little wheels make very little sense.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    The fact that he put out an average of 376 W for the duration of the race probably didn't hurt either.

    I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk about the Bonelli race in this forum as it was a pretty exciting XC race.
    Truly, it's the engine. From looking at the standings, Bishop looks the strongest he has in years. It's almost if his last couple of years focusing on endurance events has made him faster.
    But, he does get some leeway on what bikes he gets to use from Cannondale, they were quite happy letting him use his scalpel most of the season last year. For the Breck Epic, the C-dale team switched between Scalpels and Flash 29ers from stage to stage. Ok, they only used the 29ers on one stage, but you get my point, that their riders can choose the weapon for the course. On many courses, a 26 HT will be the fastest weapon, under the right rider, of course.

    I also beat some riders on every fancy race bike configuration on my 28 lb 5" trail bike, but I also get my ass kicked by plenty.
    Last edited by Whambat; 03-14-2011 at 03:27 PM.

  33. #33
    \m/ \m/
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    Both (see below)
    13' Lynskey M290
    13' Venge Pro Force
    13' Crux Elite
    12' Co-Motion Speedster Tandem

  34. #34
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    Cannondale F1 26" hardtail for me. Around here there will be about 15 miles of trail on about 40-50 acres. It is pretty hard to go straight longer than 100 feet. In these conditions the 26" hardtail works best for me. I like the light weight, quick acceleration, and control of 26" wheels and the finesse of the hardtail on the tight trails.

    When I used to live in the West the story was completely different. Open, very little switches, and lots of rough stuff. A FS or 29" hardtail would be my preference there.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    I actually feel faster on a full suspension, but my times show otherwise. I went from full suspension to hardtail and showed significant improvement. This is likely a result of my body responding better to standing and mashing occasionally rather than staying in the saddle consistently. Racers really must choose the bike that best offsets their weaknesses.

    The bike's got to match the rider and terrain. There are a few races that I'd be faster on full suspension.
    Agree with this. When seconds count on a race, your pedaling, accelerating, rough terrain handling styles determine what's best for you. Then comes the terrain adjustments. Whatever saps your energy the least will give you that much more advantage.

  36. #36
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    29er HT.


  37. #37
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    29er hard tail

  38. #38
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    29er hardtail.
    Spinnin' & Grinnin'

  39. #39
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    im with 26" hardtail. 29" is stil yet to gain lots of popularity here.
    n its easier for me to beg for a spare tube when i get a flat

  40. #40
    Rock and/or Roll
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    I actually feel faster on a full suspension, but my times show otherwise. I went from full suspension to hardtail and showed significant improvement. This is likely a result of my body responding better to standing and mashing occasionally rather than staying in the saddle consistently. Racers really must choose the bike that best offsets their weaknesses.

    The bike's got to match the rider and terrain. There are a few races that I'd be faster on full suspension.
    Totally agree! I am in the same boat as yourself. I raced on a 26 fs, and actually did pretty well on it, but I just switched to a carbon 26er rigid, and it just suits my riding style better. It's also about 8 lbs lighter, which doesn't hurt either, lol.

  41. #41
    go vegan!
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    17 year old 26" HT frame.

  42. #42
    M_S
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    29er hardtail.

    Thinking about trying singlespeed because I enjoyed it so much for the second half of last cross season.

    Hopefully I'll be able to do more than 2 or 3 xc races this year too...
    - Simon

  43. #43
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    So I got myself a hardtail.

    Alot of people like the 29 incher, but I'm 5 foot 5 so I got myself a 26 incher thanks for all your posts.

    Have only taken this guy on a few rides.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  44. #44
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    Clearly I suck at the internet. Let me try that again.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  45. #45
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    Good Choice.....

  46. #46
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    29er ht, but I would go with full suspension if I could afford it.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover
    Totally agree! I am in the same boat as yourself. I raced on a 26 fs, and actually did pretty well on it, but I just switched to a carbon 26er rigid, and it just suits my riding style better. It's also about 8 lbs lighter, which doesn't hurt either, lol.
    I freakin love your bike!!

  48. #48
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    Ride and race a 26" FS: Titus Motolite, Fox Talas R

    I use the term "race" loosely. I'm not very fast no matter what I ride


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover
    Totally agree! I am in the same boat as yourself. I raced on a 26 fs, and actually did pretty well on it, but I just switched to a carbon 26er rigid, and it just suits my riding style better. It's also about 8 lbs lighter, which doesn't hurt either, lol.
    I used to be a FS man, until recently got myself a nice Norco HT then I start to discover that they really do climb better especially steep ones with front fork locked out.

    I think it's really come down to what suit your riding style like others said, but I think the design of each manufacturer also played a big part. All the HT's I rode are all very harsh (old designs may be) but the 2010 Norco Charger that I bought is really light and has aggresive XC geometry which probably what makes it climbs so well.

    If the budget allows, I would probably get a really good AM bike (a bit kinder to my rear end and knees on descends) but if just on a moderate budget, I would take my Norco Charger any day!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab
    29er HT.

    nice workshop!

  51. #51
    JD1
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    For XC races, fully rigid 29er single speed.

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