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  1. #1
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    Trance to 'hardcore hardtail' ?

    Hey all, so i kind of jumped in the deep end on my trance. I really should've bought a hardtail to hone my skils and now im regretting it.

    I'm flat out bunny hopping, i can't jump for sh*t, and the only skill i really have is monster wheelies. I am just wanting input as to whether or not i should sell my trance and buy a Commencal AM HT or similar to hone my skills, and then move onto a monster dually?

    Looking for opinions and help with this, it'll be tough letting go of the trance but if it makes me a better rider its worth it!!

    ~elias

  2. #2
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    Elias,

    IMHO, if you aren't riding flat pedals try those first. They will most certainly reinforce proper technique for the skills you are working on.

    I personally went from duallies to ht bikes and love them for my trails as well as for traveling. However, skills progression is due to proper practice and time on the bike. Buy the new bike if it keeps you stoked, but don't expect it to be a magic pill.

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  3. #3
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    Personally I say don't do it, not unless you like taking a big hit on your not so old bike. What I would suggest is maybe look for a lower end HT to compliment your Trance, or better yet if you have access to Skills Camps, put your money into attending one of them. You can learn all the skills you want on your Trance, it may just take a bit more work than on a HT as the penalty isn't as harsh because the suspension will help negate a lot of bad landings etc. but can be done.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  4. #4
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    Ι wish I could do monster wheelies too...

    I wouldn't sell a perfectly good trailbike in order to learn the basics. Better get a used hardtail (preferably with trail/AM leanings) and spend some time trying to master the skills you aim for.

  5. #5
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    Or just lockout your suspension.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I wouldn't do any of those things.

    People have this story that it's harder to learn the basics on a full suspension bike. I don't really subscribe to that. I do think full suspension bikes give people a higher speed limit at the outset and are more forgiving of jumps landed a little short.

    I may not understand "flat out bunny hopping." I read that as you can bunny hop quite well. But I think that's not what you meant? For me, manuals, bunny hops, and jumps are pretty intimately connected skills. Can you manual?

    Ever ride a pump track?

    Circling back to contradict myself, I have thought about picking up a freestyle BMX. I don't think you'd need to sell anything to buy one of those, or a used dirt jump bike.

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  7. #7
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    If you can't jump your full suspension bike, you won't be able to jump a hardtail or rigid bike. The techniques aren't much different other than suspension preload.

  8. #8
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    Echo what has been said... I own a fully custom build trance sx and a hard tail. Neither is better at teaching riding techniques. The caveat to this is that the hard tail will teach you better line selection, or your body will pay for it the next day.

    The only answer to your problem is saddle time... Ride three times a week and you will get better. Don't, and you won't.

  9. #9
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    I second the other comments. You won't learn anything "more" on the hardtail (except line choice of course). But, they make more playful bikes and having a playbike is a good way to get motivated to learn. I can spent hours just doing wheelies, stoppies, trial moves or go to the pump track on my hardtail because it's a fun bike to be on !

    That's the way I see bikes at least !
    French line enthusiast and expat in Denver, ig; lazoup

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  10. #10
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    Both are fun, I have a full squish and Hardtail. I'm no where close to being a pro rider, but I really enjoy the Hardtail for most if my riding needs

  11. #11
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    I'm going to echo most of the other posters, keep your dually and buy a 26" HT on craigslist to play on.
    Plenty of youtube vids on building basic mtb skills.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  12. #12
    Your bike sucks
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
    Both are fun, I have a full squish and Hardtail. I'm no where close to being a pro rider, but I really enjoy the Hardtail for most if my riding needs
    If your budget allows, a HT is a great tool to have. While certainly not faster, I think riding it breeds good habits that can go neglected in the wide-tolerance-margin-of-error world of FS. That said, sometimes I need to break out of the HT mindset and push the limits to what FS allows - for me, it's different.

    I've been riding my HT most often this year and I have some great bikes in the fleet. Fun factor is high. Lessons are good but it's not the be all to end all quiver killer.

    Anyway- IMHO cheapest and most relevant feedback for good technique is simply putting flat pedals on whatever you have and do deliberate practice. If you want to spice it up, throw the hard tail into the mix.

  13. #13
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    Agreed with most of what's already written.

    Don't sell your Trance. The money you lose in resale is definitely worth a good used hardtail. Plus, you can use the hardtail as a utility bike to ride around town without putting wear and tear on/or risk the theft of your thoroughbred!

    Ive got a few bikes, but ride hardtails almost exclusively, unless I am riding very techy trails or if I am trying to best a strava time

  14. #14
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    OK, can't resist adding...keep the Trance and keep practicing. Honing skills can be done on just about any bike, but no matter what it takes time in the saddle. Only buy something else if that's what you want, because you don't NEED it.

  15. #15
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    If you want a little push I would advice to get a basic BMX. A MTB requires more effort but still I think it will help you to develop skills or atleast it will motive you more than the Trance.

  16. #16
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    I have 3 mtn bikes now and like them for different reasons.

    29er carbon HT = Ideal for most rides, races and big days 40-80 miles with l lots of climbing. This is my go to bike.

    27.5 FS 5" bike = Good for hitting the rough stuff or playing around. Also good on slower paced group rides since I am slower climbing on it than the HT.

    26 HT - Single Speed = Picked it up cheap and built it using left over parts. Love it the SS experience, but not really my "long distance" bike. My lighest bike and easiest to do tricks on since it feels like big wheel BMX. That said I am not good with tricks at all.


    Each bike has it different riding experience and fosters learning new skills to ride them properly. Most skill building on one bike transfers over to the other to make my overall riding better.

    I agree on the idea of not getting rid of the trace. Get a cheap HT used and ride that. If you really want something different go Single speed on it and it will change the way to ride for the better.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  17. #17
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    Wish I could do any kind of wheelie, have no idea how to even start.

  18. #18
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    Nice to see people coming around to the hardtail myth!

    I firmly believe riding a hardtail teaches you nothing, and hones no skills at all. I also find FS bikes a lot more fun to ride, and a lot easier to ride all day long. Literally all benefits with no downside. Theres never a wrong time to jump into a FS bike.

    I think its a good idea to buy a bike appropriate to the type of riding you're planning on doing. For mountain biking, my opinion is to use a full suspension bike, if your budget allows. The only time I would want a hardtail is if it wasnt a mountain bike (dirt jumper, trials bike, etc).

  19. #19
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    I'm sure glad I don't mountain bike since I own and ride rigid, HT which are not appropriate for "real" mountain biking according to you, good thing I also have an FS for when I want to fit into that silly opinion

    I firmly believe you are wrong, but then that's your opinion and you're entitled to it, my opinion (although others do also share it as well) is that HTs do teach you to pick better/smoother lines and to float the bike over the rough stuff and not ride it like a brick. Rigid teaches you even more about picking lines and being smooth, keeping the flow and also slow speed tech skills, which lots of people sorely lack knowledge of these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Nice to see people coming around to the hardtail myth! I firmly believe riding a hardtail teaches you nothing, and hones no skills at all. I also find FS bikes a lot more fun to ride, and a lot easier to ride all day long. Literally all benefits with no downside. Theres never a wrong time to jump into a FS bike. I think its a good idea to buy a bike appropriate to the type of riding you're planning on doing. For mountain biking, my opinion is to use a full suspension bike, if your budget allows. The only time I would want a hardtail is if it wasnt a mountain bike (dirt jumper, trials bike, etc).
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Nice to see people coming around to the hardtail myth!

    I firmly believe riding a hardtail teaches you nothing, and hones no skills at all. I also find FS bikes a lot more fun to ride, and a lot easier to ride all day long. Literally all benefits with no downside. Theres never a wrong time to jump into a FS bike.

    I think its a good idea to buy a bike appropriate to the type of riding you're planning on doing. For mountain biking, my opinion is to use a full suspension bike, if your budget allows. The only time I would want a hardtail is if it wasnt a mountain bike (dirt jumper, trials bike, etc).
    That's a very narrow POV and kind of misleading. This is your opinion which is all fine but it's just an opinion. Hardtails can be much faster in some MTB terrain. Bike-packing with a fully rigid bike or HT on ST, DT trails and roads is mountain biking. To offer a couple examples.
    I love my squishy bikes, they can extend ride time, comfort as well as tame terrain but they aren't the only way to mountain bike.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I'm sure glad I don't mountain bike since I own and ride rigid, HT which are not appropriate for "real" mountain biking according to you, good thing I also have an FS for when I want to fit into that silly opinion

    I firmly believe you are wrong, but then that's your opinion and you're entitled to it, my opinion (although others do also share it as well) is that HTs do teach you to pick better/smoother lines and to float the bike over the rough stuff and not ride it like a brick. Rigid teaches you even more about picking lines and being smooth, keeping the flow and also slow speed tech skills, which lots of people sorely lack knowledge of these days.
    I owned a rigid too. It was fun to ride. It did everything terrible and was a huge challenge. Ive had tons of hardtails too, geared, SS, rigid, and with suspension forks. I enjoyed most of them, for the most part.

    None of them worked as well as a comparable FS bike, functionally. All of them lacked, functionally, compared to the FS bike. There was never any situation where id pick the hardtail because it was functionally better. Id pick the hardtail because I wanted to ride it that day, or wanted a challenge, sure, but never because it was better. Tons of people ride hardtails, because they enjoy the challenge or just like them for whatever reason, or for low upkeep.

    I never said you shouldnt buy one if you want one... but why try to pass it off as some advantage? Some people ride unicycles. Its fun, its not better though.

    Context also matters a lot... the OP wanted to sell a FS bike on the premise that a HT would facilitate building skill and his FS wouldnt. I dont find this to be true.

  22. #22
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    You keep forgetting, IYHO because that's all it is, YOUR opinion, lots of others would tend to disagree, myself included. So just remember to include that one main thing IMHO and you'll be good in the future with your posts, because believe it or not, you're not the #1 authority on what mountain biking is, what makes it fun or what you should be riding to make it any of that

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    ...........I never said you shouldnt buy one if you want one... but why try to pass it off as some advantage? Some people ride unicycles. Its fun, its not better though.

    Context also matters a lot... the OP wanted to sell a FS bike on the premise that a HT would facilitate building skill and his FS wouldnt. I dont find this to be true.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  23. #23
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    To the OP - I would not sell the bike for a bike. Look for a used HT that is spec'd decent and give it a go.

    HTs expose some mistakes that FS cover up. Having both will make you a better rider and you will find they actually compliment one another. As you improve with one, the skills translate to the other... and yes, it goes both ways.

    My HT skills help in everything technical and pedaling related to my FS.
    My FS skills help with my jumps and more specifically landings on my HT.

    The FS leaves me more margins of errors when it comes to leaving the ground.
    As I sort out my issues, it can then be used on my HT.

  24. #24
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    My rigid rides okay, and it's surprising how little it gives up to when I had a fork on it. But the handling envelope is way smaller than on my XC full suspension bike, let alone my 140 mm bike. I don't know that I'm learning anything - honestly it takes me a few minutes on Saturday to shake off the tentativeness I develop on the rigid during my midweek ride. I might get a new suspension fork for it, or retire it to kid trailer duty. Though it sure is convenient to have a bike waiting for me at work.

    One of the coaches who posts over on XC Racing and Training has said that riding less capable bikes mostly makes people better at riding slower.

    That said, the direct feeling is pretty cool. I can see why people use hardtails and rigids for dirt jumping and trials. It just seems futile to me to try to develop the ability to move an entire mountain bike fast enough to soak up a rock garden or root bed, as opposed to allowing suspension to filter out a lot of that stuff between the much lighter wheel and the frame and me. Different challenges, really - I think mountain biking on trails tends toward smaller moves and less prepared surfaces vs. big moves on smooth surfaces.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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