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  1. #1
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    Dirtjumper or hardtail

    Hello to all, I need advice!
    I just moved from switzerland to massachusetts USA. IN switzerland i rode mostly enduro and trail. I had a Scott Genius 720 or 740 can't remember, and i loved it in every aspect. And my favorite type of riding is all mountain. Climbing up, and shredding down. Here in Boston though, there are not as many hills, as you may imagine. My plan is to get a dirtjumper for street riding, to get better at technique and jumps. The thing is I'm not sure whether to get a 27.5" hardtail, or a DJ. We do have some trails in New England, but i don't have the budget to get another enduro full suspension bike. I'm looking for this kind of advice: Can i enjoy trail riding as much on a dirtjumper as on a hardtail? Can i raise the seatpost on a dirtjumper? And from these brands (a lot), if someone can help narrow it down for me it would be greatly appreciated: Scott, Commencal, GT, Polygon, Norco, NS bikes, Transition, Pivot, Dartmoor, Haro, Octane One, Orange, Diamondback, Nukeproof, Vitus, DMR, Saracen, Marin, Trek. If i can narrow it down to three or four it would help a lot. I know its a lot of brands, but since ive never owned a dirtjumper, I'm not familiar with these brands in the same way as enduro. By the way, budget is from 700 to 1500 dollars. So, out of these, Dirtjumper or hardtail? For mostly street, and sometimes trail. Thank you very much to anyone who takes the time to help me! Cheers

  2. #2
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    While a dirt jumper looks like fun, I have seen many people say they are not great as a trail bike. However, a hardtail can be fun for dirt jumping- example is Chromag Stylus... quite a bit above your stated budget but I just throw that out as an example.
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  3. #3
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    Hey, just looked on their site (although probably isnt the best option for pricing to do that) and looked aroung the hardtails they have. I like them, but you're right, starting at 3000 dollars is quite out of my price range.For half that price i'll be looking at a Nukeproof scout 275 comp, which I was really considering. But thanks for the heads up tjchad!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjchad View Post
    While a dirt jumper looks like fun, I have seen many people say they are not great as a trail bike. However, a hardtail can be fun for dirt jumping- example is Chromag Stylus... quite a bit above your stated budget but I just throw that out as an example.
    Hey, just looked on their site (although probably isnt the best option for pricing to do that) and looked aroung the hardtails they have. I like them, but you're right, starting at 3000 dollars is quite out of my price range.For half that price i'll be looking at a Nukeproof scout 275 comp, which I was really considering. But thanks for the heads up tjchad!!

  5. #5
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    Dirt jumpers can be a lot of fun, but I think a good hardtail would be more versatile. I have an old Azonic Steelhead dirt jump frame that I want to build up again someday. I just added a Kona Big Honzo to the stable though. I was looking at hardtails in the same price range and landed on the Kona. The others I was looking at were the Rocky Mountain Growler, Diamondback Sync'r, and the Commencal Meta AM. That Nukeproof Scout looks like a fun one too. The Commencal and the Nukeproof have pretty slack HTA's.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05stroker View Post
    Dirt jumpers can be a lot of fun, but I think a good hardtail would be more versatile. I have an old Azonic Steelhead dirt jump frame that I want to build up again someday. I just added a Kona Big Honzo to the stable though. I was looking at hardtails in the same price range and landed on the Kona. The others I was looking at were the Rocky Mountain Growler, Diamondback Sync'r, and the Commencal Meta AM. That Nukeproof Scout looks like a fun one too. The Commencal and the Nukeproof have pretty slack HTA's.

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    Thanks 05stroker, i quite like the meta hardtail, nice looking bike! I've heard a lot about how good kona is as well, gonna look into it. I think it isnt too expensive as well, anyway good luck with your rebuil on the azonic!

  7. #7
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    Tons of trail riding in the greater Boston area. Most all are quite rocky and rooty, great for HT of FS trail bikes. All mountain or enduro bikes are too much for most all of it, though plenty of guys ride those too. You might post in the mtbr MA forum: https://forums.mtbr.com/massachusetts/

    And, check out this vid of some Boston area riding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=zglOtQLySXE
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Tons of trail riding in the greater Boston area. Most all are quite rocky and rooty, great for HT of FS trail bikes. All mountain or enduro bikes are too much for most all of it, though plenty of guys ride those too. You might post in the mtbr MA forum: https://forums.mtbr.com/massachusetts/

    And, check out this vid of some Boston area riding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=zglOtQLySXE
    thanks bud will do!

  9. #9
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    I'd go with the HT for sure. Much more versatile. The Scout is a great bang for the buck as well. I still want one pretty badly. Maybe next year...
    Overall sex appeal; the Commencal takes the cake IMO.

  10. #10
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    I'm sitting here wondering about a DJ vs HT as well-- for slightly different reasons: I'm riding mostly with my son (avg. 8 yr old, 24" FS XC bike) on harder blue--easier black trails--more techy than climby

    Little one has a dedicated bmx bike, and he loves dirt jumps as well, so we play at skateparks, and dirt jumps whenever possible-- would a DJ let me do both reasonably well, I was wondering?

    Thanks for the comments above!

  11. #11
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    I don't like riding DJ bikes on MTB trails myself. Suspension on a DJ (if any) is set up for isolated big hits, no front brake, single gear that's probably higher than most would want for trail riding, standing up the whole time, little to no knobbage on the tires...all adds up to a great time for jumps/park/pumptrack but a shitty time on all but the smoothest and flattest of actual MTB trails. Way better with a trail bike for trail riding and a DJ/park bike for DJs and park riding.

    My $.02 anyway.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I don't like riding DJ bikes on MTB trails myself. Suspension on a DJ (if any) is set up for isolated big hits, no front brake, single gear that's probably higher than most would want for trail riding, standing up the whole time, little to no knobbage on the tires...all adds up to a great time for jumps/park/pumptrack but a shitty time on all but the smoothest and flattest of actual MTB trails. Way better with a trail bike for trail riding and a DJ/park bike for DJs and park riding.

    My $.02 anyway.
    Thanks for your 2c-- you mentioned several characteristics I didn't think about, majorly--brakes and tires!
    I definitely need those for the trails we do/want to ride!

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  13. #13
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    Set up a hard in between the 2 specs. Get a fork you can drop travel and stiffen up. Make sure you have a front brake and intermediate knobs on the tyres that will do a bit of both.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I don't like riding DJ bikes on MTB trails myself. Suspension on a DJ (if any) is set up for isolated big hits, no front brake, single gear that's probably higher than most would want for trail riding, standing up the whole time, little to no knobbage on the tires...all adds up to a great time for jumps/park/pumptrack but a shitty time on all but the smoothest and flattest of actual MTB trails. Way better with a trail bike for trail riding and a DJ/park bike for DJs and park riding.

    My $.02 anyway.
    To be fair, tires, gearing and brakes are fairly easy to change. But yeah standing is fun for a bit but gets old quick.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    To be fair, tires, gearing and brakes are fairly easy to change.
    No, not hard, but who the hell wants to be swapping them out constantly?

    Not I...
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  16. #16
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    I have a 26 dirt jumper, although using it as a trials bike. For a while I had a quick release so I could raise a massive 300 mm seat post for regular riding. It quickly became a hassle and it didn't make very fun trail bike anyway. So if you have the room and budget for multiple bikes go with the DJ, else I'd say you can't go wrong with a hard tail, about as close to do it all as you can get.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No, not hard, but who the hell wants to be swapping them out constantly?

    Not I...
    Fair. I mean if it was me and I really wanted to do that, I'd leave the front brake on all the time. Have a second set of wheels with different gearing on it which seems easy enough to me.

    But realistically I could see a dj as being fun to dick about with on features on a trail but not actually ride a trail for any distance.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Fair. I mean if it was me and I really wanted to do that, I'd leave the front brake on all the time. Have a second set of wheels with different gearing on it which seems easy enough to me.
    I'd probably (well, definitely) just buy a BMX or DJ bike for about the same price as a spare wheelset. I'm not much of a SS guy for trail riding, and gears suck on DJ bikes, so just too much fiddling and compromise in trying to force one bike to serve different purposes for me.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabitoblanco View Post
    I'm sitting here wondering about a DJ vs HT as well-- for slightly different reasons: I'm riding mostly with my son (avg. 8 yr old, 24" FS XC bike) on harder blue--easier black trails--more techy than climby

    Little one has a dedicated bmx bike, and he loves dirt jumps as well, so we play at skateparks, and dirt jumps whenever possible-- would a DJ let me do both reasonably well, I was wondering?

    Thanks for the comments above!
    I would just buy a cheap BMX bike. The Mongoose Legion L100 is a pretty legit BMX (full chromoly, sealed everything, double walled rims). You can get it off of Amazon for sub 300 and use that for goofing around while letting you keep your current bike for trails.

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