cant decide, hardtail or suspension?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    cant decide, hardtail or suspension?

    so heres the story, had a ventana el rey 5" travel 28# bike and a nomad built burly for downhilling and riding up once in a while. im 6' tall 215 lbs with a 32" inseam. loved both of my bikes but some piece of s### broke into my garage and stole them, hope you die! so now i need new bikes and not sure what to get. sometimes i wondered if full suspension
    29ers were a waste when i was using my nomad for the rough stuff anyways, sometimes i thought the el rey was a good all around bike and maybe i should have stepped up to a freeride specific bike? at 41 years old and a bad back going to kill me on a hard tail just to save 3 or 4 lbs? keep in mind i still freeride so rough stuff doesnt usually bother me but ive never ridden a hardtail either. what about the new niner wfo and a freeride bike, or is that just overkill? i live in arizona where there is lots of big rocks and small chatter, will a hard tail just get beat to death? should i go with what i had, mabe a rip 9 and another nomad. or maybe a rip 9 and a freeride bike?
    need help please, my head hurts!

  2. #2
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    Build up an inexpensive 29er hardtail (Vassago or similar) with good parts. Then if you decide a hardtail is not for you transfer the parts to the 29er squishy of your choice (Sultan).

    A 26er "Freeride" will still be necessary, sounds like you know what to do in this category.

    Sorry about the loss. If I see them I will kill them for you.

  3. #3
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    Sucks that your ride got jacked.

    Starting with a low end hardtail is not a bad option.

    Full sus 29rs rock though I just went back to a hardtail fits my riding style.

    I know one guy who has two Lenzsports one Leviathan for XC and one Bahemoth for freeride SOMO type riding.

    At your height you should definitely give the big wheels a go.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  4. #4
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    I'm also one of those guys with two Lenzsports. A 3" Leviathan for XC and a 5" Lunchbox for freeride. Will also be adding a Milk Money SS because I'm ridiculous in that way.

    As a 40+ year old, I've also made the move away from hardtails. I don't buy the whole 29er is like a 26er with a few inches of suspension. I call BS. A 29er hardtail is like a 26er hardtail with bigger wheels.

  5. #5
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    has anyone ridden the new wfo, is it anything like a 26" bike when downhilling? i know my nomad was way funner than the el rey going down, but that wfo just looks knarly as hell and the reviews say its great downhill. my el rey just plowed through everything where my nomad i could just look for things to launch off of and it was fun. i dont know maybe 29ers are just supposed to be easy trail xc long ride stuff and 26ers are still best for rough stuff

  6. #6
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    If you are planning on getting 2 bikes again I would think having a WFO AND a Nomad or something like it would be somewhat redundant- so maybe a ~100-120mm travel 29er to handle the general riding and the 26" built for dedicated downhill stuff. The only other option would be a nice steel 29er HT with a fork- I am blessed with no back issues as of yet and I really enjoy my rigid 29er becasuse it is pure and simple fun on the right stuff.... and while I can ride most anything on it if I had a do it all bike it would be my 29er F/S- it is not quite as snappy as a HT but does everything quite well and at the end of a 1hour or 3 hour ride I feel alot fresher than a similar ride on my rigid.

    Pivot 429, Sultan, Tallboy... just skims the surface-
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  7. #7
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    I tried to ditch the hardtail altogether after being converted to FS by my Niner Jet, but I really think you need both. There are some areas I prefer a hardtail and some that I'm scared to ride without suspension. If I were starting from scratch, I'd go with a steel hardtail that I could run SS or gears, with a rigid fork....and then something with 4" of travel in the back. Either way, I can't imagine why anyone would stick with 26" stuff now that 29er tire, fork and frame selection is as good as it is.
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  8. #8
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    i read good things about how the banshee paradox ht rides. is a ht a ht or is there really a diifference. can a ht with a 120 fork take a lot of abuse, or am i looking at it the wrong way. just use the 26" for the rough stuff and get a nice 29er xc bike. its just so nice going uphill on a 29er but coming down i find myself wishing i was on my 26.

  9. #9
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    The Fisher Rumblefish get's good reviews, Good price for a stiff FS frame and 120mm TA Fox. Still waiting to see one come through the shop.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  10. #10
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    Hey confused,

    Quote Originally Posted by confused
    i read good things about how the banshee paradox ht rides. is a ht a ht or is there really a diifference. can a ht with a 120 fork take a lot of abuse, or am i looking at it the wrong way. just use the 26" for the rough stuff and get a nice 29er xc bike. its just so nice going uphill on a 29er but coming down i find myself wishing i was on my 26.
    I wasn't going to jump in but between you asking about the Paradox and the fact that Crash Canipe has NO CLUE( OK maybe a bit harsh. ) what he's talking about (A 29er hardtail is N-O-T-H-I-N-G like a 26er hardtail NOTHING!!!! This one anyway..) I do and I can own and ride any bike I want, and I ride a Paradox...One of my riding buddies I'm always letting borrow one of my bikes (he LOVES my Turner Sultan) He always says to me everytime we ride "with all those sweet bikes at home again mostly that Sultan, why do you ALWAYS ride that Paradox hardtail?" It's easy I tell him, it's the best and most FUN riding bike that I've EVER owned...And the BEST BEST part about my Paradox (Crash Canipe you'll like this part) it does not AT ALL feel like or ride like a hardtail...I've been riding, racing, bikes for A LONG TIME, this Banshee Paradox is the real deal...This is of course my opinion so keep this in mind..but if you ask around here about the Paradox you'll find 9 out of 10 if not 10-10 feel the same way...There are good guys around here who know there stuff so your in good hands, just keep asking questions..Good luck..CF.

  11. #11
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    +1 for a WFO.
    I own an RIP9 and love it. The RIP climbs like a mountain goat. It sounds like your looking for some serious downhill performance as well though.
    You can still climb with a WFO and it should satisfy your downhill desires and your bad back.

  12. #12
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    Age 46, live in Phoenix and ride fully rigid (all steel) 29'er hardtails.... save one, that has a Thudbuster ST.

    Ultimately, you'd be best served by trying some out on your trails. I disagree with CrashCanipe as well- a 29'er hardtail is nothing like it's smaller wheeled sibling. That's the only reason I'm riding a fully rigid bike in Phoenix, the big hoops make a substantial difference on a hard tail.

    You'll get some good advice here, but it's ultimately just that. A test ride or two will serve you better yet.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=moondoggy]. I disagree with CrashCanipe as well- a 29'er hardtail is nothing like it's smaller wheeled sibling. That's the only reason I'm riding a fully rigid bike in Phoenix, the big hoops make a substantial difference on a hard tail.

    CF.

  14. #14
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    Wow, Crazy Fred disagrees with me, I guess it validates my point and also reconfirms my thoughts on a general decline in reading comprehension skills.

    I wouldn't compare a Banshee Paradox with a racing 26" hardtail. Totally different animals. Read my statement - I didn't say a 29er hardtail and a 26er hardtail are the same. I said a 29er hardtail is not like a 26er with suspension. Still stand by that point.

    Second sentence is that a 29er hardtail is like a 26er hardtail with bigger wheels. It doesn't imply anything negative about a 29er hardtail. I'm sold on bigger wheels - they smooth out the trail and get better traction. But it is still a hardtail and does not feel like a full suspension bike. That was my only point.

  15. #15
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    I'm with Crazy... I ride hard tail in 26 and 29, all in single speed. tubeless 29er is a completely different beast than the same in 26, on the trails I ride anyway. The 29er ht rides like a very stiff full suspension 26er, which is the way I like to ride.
    Phx in da hizzy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashCanipe
    I'm sold on bigger wheels - they smooth out the trail and get better traction. But it is still a hardtail and does not feel like a full suspension bike. That was my only point.
    Whoever is responsible for creating the 29HT = short travel 26FS has alot to answer for IMO.
    Biggest load of rubbish going round.
    Agree with the above quote 100%.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by clintadel
    I'm with Crazy... I ride hard tail in 26 and 29, all in single speed. tubeless 29er is a completely different beast than the same in 26, on the trails I ride anyway. The 29er ht rides like a very stiff full suspension 26er, which is the way I like to ride.
    A 29er hardtail rides like a 29er hardtail I don't care what anyone has to say !!!!!

    I guess most people like 29er hardtails & they are a large step up from a 26er hardtail & this most would agree.

    But to say a 29er hardtail is like a hard 26er FS bike is BS,If that was the case why would everyone even bother with a 29er HT.

    A good 29er hardtail will nail most if not all 26er FS XC bikes, but the HT will be harsher than the FS.

    This is a debate that comes up so often & people make it harder than it is,You just have to work out what is the most important to you, Speed or comfort.

    There is so much you can do to a 29er hardtail to numb it down & alot of it works & works well but the fact remains you are numbing it down.

    Some people just like hardtails & some like FS & this you will know in your heart what is for you & nothing anybody says will change that.

    FWIW I came off a Giant Reign & went to a 09 Rip9 & go much faster on it down hill.The local Giant dealer took my Rip9 for a ride (he rides a 2010 Reign ) & he loved the RIP9 & couldn't wait to go to a 29er & said if Giant made a 29er FS he would have 1 tomorrow.

    When he got the Giant 29er HT in stock he had a big smile on his face right up until he rode it. Now not trying to down the HT & I know there is so much better HT's out there but the problem was more about the fact he is a FS rider through & through.

    So I think you need a 29er SS & something like a 120mm Rip9 & a large travel 26er to try & kill on the realy tuff stuff.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  18. #18
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    well said....
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

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