FS 29er vs. HT 29er for xc racing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    FS 29er vs. HT 29er for xc racing

    I have a 26" ht now its ok but beats me up too much. I rode a cannondale f29 and noticed a big difference its way easier to get over everything. I also test rode a santa cruz blur xc which i also like. The bikes i was looking at were the gary fisher HiFi deluxe 29er or the garyfisher paragon 29er. I was thinking why not get the advantage of both by going with a full suspendsion 29er, it would take the edge off with the suspendsion and i will be able to get over things easier. My only concern would be is it overkill. I am 18 and plan on doin a lot of racing. What do you think.

  2. #2
    mvi
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    For racing XC I would go HT at your age. FS will add a lot of weight it seems. At 18 you can stand being beat up , can you?
    I have no experience racing FS though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalemtb65
    I have a 26" ht now its ok but beats me up too much. I rode a cannondale f29 and noticed a big difference its way easier to get over everything. I also test rode a santa cruz blur xc which i also like. The bikes i was looking at were the gary fisher HiFi deluxe 29er or the garyfisher paragon 29er. I was thinking why not get the advantage of both by going with a full suspendsion 29er, it would take the edge off with the suspendsion and i will be able to get over things easier. My only concern would be is it overkill. I am 18 and plan on doin a lot of racing. What do you think.
    There are 2 age old arguments it seems.

    1. HT or Full Suspension for XC racing

    and

    2. 26" or 29" for XC racing

    I like your thought process about having the best of both worlds.

    You are young and have the kidneys, back, legs, arms and neck of a youngster which means quicker recovery than some of us older racers when it comes to a race on a HT. Obviously, if money is an issue racing a HT can keep your costs down. But if you can swing the $$$, I can certainly give you a and a big for racing a full suspension 29"er such as the lighter weight, shorter travel bikes (3") like a JET 9, HiFi, Titus and some really nice looking up and coming stuff from Fisher (Superfly 100 carbon fully) and Specialized. Most of the frames - if enough cash and thought is thrown at them - can build up to a race weight in the 23 - 26 lbs. range with the right wheels, tires and components. That's a respectable weight for a full suspension 29"er race rig that you can enjoy racing with out on the course. It all depends on the terrain where you race. I've got a 4" travel fully 29"er outfitted as an XC racer as well. It's nice and plush and eats up most everything I throw it at during a race.

    This season, I have finally found that I much prefer the full suspension 29"er bikes for XC racing. I've done about 3 or 4 events on my HT and the other 15 or so on the full suspension bikes. I find I can just hammer more through the rough, over the roots and in the end - probably have the same time as if I were on a HT (without the beating). But that is for my own needs and goals. There is a young racer in the Minnesota series about your age who has been on fire riding his JET 9 this season.

    Can you demo both a full suspension race bike and a HT in 29"er format to get a better feel of what would work well for you? Is there a HiFi and a Paragon at your local shop you can test? If not, I'm sure the Fisher/Trek truck is heading out for demo rides this fall pretty soon. I test rode their bikes last year in the fall when they rolled through our area.

    I think you will find a lot of opinions as well as examples of pro XC racers who reach for different bikes depending on the course, their schedule and needs/desires/goals of each particular race. Many (well, how about some?) race both HT's and full suspensions - be it 29" or 26" or both.

    BB

  4. #4
    What's "social pace?"
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    Softail?

  5. #5
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    This might be of interest:

    http://www.velonews.com/article/9759...t-pacocha-says

    Terrain probably depends a lot. I ride a HT 29er and am approaching the 'old fart' category. I like the marathon type races such as the Leadville 100, or anything 50 miles or longer. I get along on my HT great. When I am out on a more leisurely ride with guys riding 26er FS, I tend to kick there butts going up, down, over rocks (as long as there are no drops). That said I am looking to complement my HT with a 29er FS. If the VN article is correct, then a 29er FS seems to be the best overall.

  6. #6
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    Ht 29er for short xc easy choice (my primary ride and I am older than dirt and never thought I would ride Ht again but I got a superlight super forgiving 29 wheelset and run tubeless at lower pressure and it just works on most except extreme terrain. MUCH easier to keep them rolling thus making my cadence more effective.), ....Fish Fly 100 for endurance.

  7. #7
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    thanks for the good input i live in pa where its pretty rocky, so the fs might help. I am young and may test the waters with a ht and maybe later in life get the ultiamte everything bike fs 29er.

  8. #8
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    For me, and this is strictly my opinion, I think that hard tail is the only way to go for RACING. It is a more efficient peddler, but not nearly as fast on downhill sections; then again the extra large wheels do offer something in the form of shock absorption.

  9. #9
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    I'm 23, ride aggressive XC, do a bit of racing here and there when able, and want to get more into the epic ride/endurance ride thing. I ride a Jamis Dakota 29 HT and love it. Mainly it's a cost thing for me. If you convert the 29er wheels to tubless and have a lightweight build, you'll be able to keep up with anything out there. I'm a HUGE fan of FS, but it is costly and weighs more. For you, I'd recommend putting that extra money you'd spend on FS 29 into getting an even nicer and lighter HT 29er. Racing is hard on components, you'll need all the quality and low weight you can get your hands on. Thats my 2 cents.

  10. #10
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    in our races here in WA that have many many miles of climbing i like my HT. In our last race there was a 4 mi fire road climb then a fairly technical downhill and then some rolling singletrack x 2 laps. Climbing on my HT with the fork locked out I made up lots of time then only would lose a little bit going down more due to my scared factor then bike capabilities.

  11. #11
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    Can anybody point me to a quantative study done on a HT29er v FS26er?

    There seems to be a lot of opinions but no hard data on which is faster...

    The Dave Harris quantative on FS26er v FS 29er where he used to powertap hubs was good stuff but I feel missed the point... most folks are looking to a HT29er to iron out the trail a little but not go FS because of the power loss of a rear suspension.

    Of course this assumes you want to ride a hardtail in endurance races

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