Hard tail to Full Suspension?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hard tail to Full Suspension?

    Hi All,

    This may be a stupid question, but is it possible to swap a hardtail frame for a full suspension?

    The reason I ask is that I ride a Rockhopper with top-end components, and I don't want to drop another $2000 to get a FS with top end components, I'd rather just swap the frames if that's possible.

    Thanks!

    Mike

  2. #2
    Chubby Chaser
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    Of course you can, with the exception of the seat post which MIGHT be a different size. Everything else can be carried over to the new frame. That's what I plan to do eventually too.

  3. #3
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    There are some other bits that you should make sure are compatible with the new frame. For example, some newer headtubes are tapered and front derailleurs aren't always compatible bike-to-bike. Also, you have to make sure that the new bike accepts forks with the same amount of travel yours has. The other issue that might arise is steerer tube of your fork might be too short if your current bike has a shorter head-tube than the new bike and if you don't have any spacers currently.

    That said, we've been successful many times in moving components from one frame to another. We have had to buy a new seatpost and front derailleur and that's about it.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, you just need to check your bottom bracket, seat post and head tube size for compatibility. Also you'll need to be sure the frame you want to switch to can handle however much travel you have on your fork. oh and depending on the frame you might need to buy a new front derailleur too but those don't run too high.

  5. #5
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    looks like miatagal beat me to it - that pretty much sums up what you're looking for.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Some of the specifics have been covered. I'd say that, more broadly, if you're switching from a hardtail to a FS bike in the same class - like hardtail XC bike (yours is) to a FS XC bike, you're fairly likely to be able to do it. You still need to check the dimensions for large-ticket items like the fork. I'd be disinclined to worry too much about the derailleur and seatpost - they're $15 items if you're not too picky. The bike industry's general allergy to standards means that you also need to think about the headset, and on some frames the bottom bracket (and maybe the whole crankset.)

    If you're switching to a trail bike, chances are not so good that you can move your fork over.

    If you're thinking AM and heavier, you're likely to start running into issues like different attachments for the wheels too.

    Think about what you want from the new bike, figure out how many major components or systems you have to replace, and price that. You should get a good sense of whether or not a frame swap will actually save you money at the end of the day. This is assuming you're sticking with the same wheel size. If you're not, I'd be surprised if you can make swapping frames save you money over buying a complete.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Great, thank you for the information.

    Does brand compatibility matter? I'm looking to upgrade from a Rockhopper to a Stumpjumper (probably), does anyone have any experience with those specifically regarding head tube size and compatibility?

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The Stumpjumper FSR is a pretty different platform from the Rockhopper. With current-model Stumpjumper FSR frames, my attitude would be don't bother. You have to get a new suspension fork to make it work, and if you want a through-axle system or something, you're into new wheels too. (Unless the frame uses through-axle for the rear, I didn't look.) For this model year, the SJ FSR has a funky bottom bracket too, which you may or may not be able to address with an adapter.

    I think Rockhopper to recent SJ FSR is going to be a big change to be a money-saver. An older SJ, maybe.

    If none of the SJ FSRs appeal to you out of the box, though, cannibalizing the Rockhopper will save you some on the drivetrain, brakes, and cockpit.

    EDIT: Oh yeah - tapered head tubes on current-model SJ FSRs. Not a huge deal if you could transfer your fork, which you can't. There are reducer headsets, they're relatively common.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    bi-winning
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    I swapped frames from a hardtail to a full suspension in 2005. It was easy. All I had to do was switch from a top swing to a bottom swing front derailleur, and get some longer cable housing.

    It's not always that easy.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  10. #10
    Just Ride
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    I plan to go HT to HT after I upgrade everything on my current ride. Or maybe FS, I haven't decided yet. I still have a few years to go yet.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  11. #11
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    Any suggestions for an affordable used FS frame I could swap my stuff ober after cracking my vertex carbon? Its XX equiped, fox 32 rlc and dt swiss 1600 wheels.

    I thought about older model scalpel but they look odd without a lefty

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