2 HT & 1 FS bike to choose and still so confused- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    2 HT & 1 FS bike to choose and still so confused

    Hi guys,
    I was looking at spending £1100 to £1500 on a bike, I had decided on the Giant VT2 from reading in the Magazine and looking at the reviews on this fantastic site and I am currently on the waiting list for the new 2005 version that should be in stock in a month.

    The problems have started after calling into a different local bike shop as I have been doing over the past 6 weeks, while looking over the bikes the chap said had I thought about a HT with better parts and a lighter frame than the FS bike.
    This got me thinking was I doing the right thing, I had spent so much time looking at the FS bikes like the Kona's, and specialised etc as I thought the FS was the moderm way to go, I didn't concider the HT bikes. It has been about 7 years since I have been riding and my last bike was a fixed frame Diamond Back, I am now confused to what to get and i have narrowed it to 3 bikes from reading reviews on here and looking in the shops.

    The 3 bikes are Giant VT2 FS, Trek 8500 HT 2004 model and the Specialized Stumpjumper HT Comp.

    I dont want the race the bike but i will want it for a variety of situations from rocks tracks with stumps to easy going woodland trails, uphill rough climbs over heather moorland and downhills but no big drops/jumps etc.

    Any advice would be really appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    HT vs FS is a personal decision. People can't give you meaningful advice. Go out and ride both and see what you like more. I'm going HT. Read this thread.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=70216

  3. #3
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    i'm with tenbsmith

    Quote Originally Posted by tenbsmith
    HT vs FS is a personal decision. People can't give you meaningful advice. Go out and ride both and see what you like more. I'm going HT. Read this thread.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=70216

    ht or 6&6" fs
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    ht or 6&6" fs
    Ah thanks, you helpful chap lol, oh well maybe you are actualy amusing in real life. I see not all people are helpful this forum

    I know its one or the other but I was hoping that someone may have thoughts on the spec side of things i.e is it better to get the better groupset lower weight etc etc

    tenbsmith, thanks for your reply/normal post I have booked to take a HT and a FS out this weekend.

    cheers
    Chris

  5. #5
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    I'm wondering the same about fs/ht

    I think it depends a lot on the trails you are going to ride. The longer and more rough the ride, the more you'll appreciate the fs.

    It seems the old-timers like their ht's and are dismissive of fs. But new riders will find fs a lot easier to ride.

    A good friend of mine who has a lot of bikes and stays current with the bike magazines, tells me that he thinks fs is the way to go now. The adjustable shocks give you lots of options and the weight difference isn't much any more. The biggest downside is the extra cost.

    I'm not sure what your currency is worth, but it sounds like you're spending plenty of money to get a good fs.

  6. #6
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    Hi CleG

    Quote Originally Posted by CleG
    Hi guys, Any advice would be really appreciated.
    .
    re: "...I was looking at spending �1100 to �1500 on a bike,..."
    Budget of 1500 Cable, Old English for British Pound, there are many great choices: That's is about $2400 USD.

    re: "...
    I dont want the race the bike but i will want it for a variety of situations from rocks tracks with stumps to easy going woodland trails, uphill rough climbs over heather moorland and downhills but no big drops/jumps etc...."


    I'd try three types of bikes

    1. 100mm to 130mm coiled fork on a steel hardtail with hydro disk brakes, and rear tubeless wheels (eh good luck find it at a LBS)
    2. 150mm coiled fork on a 150mm fs, like a Coiler or Coiler delux type
    3. '05 Specialized Epic Comp Disk or a 05 Stumpjumper FSR Comp Disc 100 ( yeah i know i bagged xc fs, but for an only mtb, it's worth consideration...test ride 'em, just to be sure you made the rigfht choice with a hardtail, esp. since you have the money to buy a really good xc fs bike.

    Coiler 6/6" xc amb (34#?) maybe more weight that you wish to challenge yourself on climbs, from what you've described the best choices maybe a disk hardtail or a disk xc fs.

    I'd recommend a custome steel hardtail setup, well within your budget of $2400usd, or a 05 al. Rockhopper Pro Disc with Marzocchi Drop OFF Comp fork 130mm travel or a 05 Marin Pine Mountain steel ht. With a hardtail, a tube less rear wheel is an excellent option to consider, with Stans no tubes or dt-swiss no tubes additives or from UST or Stan's tubless wheel rim build. Another consideration is a titanium seatpost for the hardtail, to soften the ride. Hardtail with tubeless rear wheel has a lot of simplicity and durability that will climb well, most of the times, and will descend well, most of the time. there' more feedback to a hardtail so tou may enjoy the rough trail more. The key is to find a good , coiled - at least in one leg - springs and good damping, front fork of at least 100mm+ of travel. Editors of Mt. Bike Action magazine really dig the xc fs concept, but as an all rounder that has great reliability and trail feekback, a hardtail still has the best bang for the buck. Most hard climbs are not so rough in terrain, but are steep and long. A knobby rear tire with lower aire pressure of a tubeless wheel will grip well and will put more of your energy to forward motion. the trail feedback may make you a more skilled rider. I for one have ridden down many rough descends in the company of fs xs rigs and have kept up well...like that trite truism, "it's not the bike, it's the rider." For the really scary fun descends, fs xc may do it all, but, over time, may breakdown faster than a hartail: that is where 6"/6" fs all mt.bikes like the Coiler really comes alive: on rough scary descends, the real heart and joy of MTBing, imo. But you gotta pay with the climb to descend.

    i believe in the hardtail, steel preferred, for all around mtb fun. if my bike got stolen I set aside $$ for another light steel hardtail: with a 130mm~150mm M. All Mountian 1 fork (or even a 20mm axle 150mm Z1 ETA fork for a non xc race trail bike; ti seatpost maybe w/setback, and Stans 350gram rims for rear wheel with tubeless conversion that can also run tubed tires.

    Eventually I'll own a 6/6 fs am bike like a Coiler, which i feel that's luxury, not a primal mtb need. But i see why so many xc fs are popuplar, even with the fast xc race crowd. Active rear suspend does help on rough climbs and rough descends and one or two pounds don't matter.

    Personally, I really like the simple and strong reliability with the trail feedback that keeps my straight downhill speed in check..heck i'd hate to crash at 40 mph on any xc trail. I've ridden my ht for hours and hours on big mt.s, climbing and downhilling. anything i can do on a xc fs i can do well enough on a ht, but on most climbs i can climb faster on a hardtail 'cause of its stiff rear end...and on xc rides, you still spend 70+% of your time & energy on climbing.

    Your regular terrain matters much into your decision. My terrain is either mostly hardtail (with capable suspenson fork) country in the hills or rarely Coiler or Stinky-dual-crown-fork country in the Sierra Nevada Mt.s, know what i mean. Your terrain maybe perfect for a 05 Specialized Epic Comp Disk xc fs.

    With brakes, go with disks, hydros preferred: more fun, control and is safer.

    My son says all that a fit man needs is light racing hardtail then a downhill race bike (and a road training bike).

    whooa!
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    Last edited by TrailNut; 01-06-2005 at 06:44 PM.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  7. #7
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    not all people are helpful this forum

    Quote Originally Posted by CleG
    Ah thanks, you helpful chap lol, oh well maybe you are actualy amusing in real life. I see not all people are helpful this forum
    Chris
    Chris,

    "...not all people are helpful this forum..."
    ouch, Chris.
    Ok, you asked for it, check out my musings.

    regards,
    Chris
    Last edited by TrailNut; 01-06-2005 at 06:35 PM.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  8. #8
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    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...697653830&rd=1

    Try that bike, within your budget, and comes with really nice parts.

  9. #9
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    Riding terrain and age matter..........

    I was tired of having a achey back after riding. Can ride faster both uphill and downhill. Can ride longer due to less fatigue. Enjoy a fast downhill more. I live in Pa now and it is rocky and rooty here, need the fs if I want to go over the rocks. I own a 04 VT2, it has been a great bike, it is a bit heavier than my old Cannondale F1000 HT but it is much more fun for me.

  10. #10
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    Unless the hardtail is a singlespeed get the full suspension - you'll be glad you did.

  11. #11
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    Well I have never been hard into riding till I got my first FS bike back in March last year and since then have missed 2 months riding and still cranked on over 1500 miles on both trail and road. I was getting a Fuel EX7 '05 but it was delayed from Nov 15th and is now expected to be ready sometime after Jan 20th. As a suggestion the bs suggested the new GIANT Trance 3 as a replacement at a slightly lower price. However I think that the Trance 2 would be a better bike w/ better components for a couple hundred more. Talk of this new FS design is very positive and to tell the truth I am going to cancel my order for the TREK Fuel EX& and order the Trance 2. You can check it out on the GIANT forums, here's one thread http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...134#post600134 and here's the web page for them http://www.giantbicycle.com/us/030.0...04&model=10991

    The Fork for the Trance is the same as what is coming on the EX series RockShox REBA and has lockout and full adjustment/dampening etc, the rear shock is standard FOX Float R, no lock-out, but the suspension design seems to almost completely eliminate peddle-bob and from reports is very plush to boot - so no worries there.

    good luck on your new bike, and I'd have to agree that w/ age you appreciate FS more especially w/ all the new tech making them better at climbing etc, etc.......

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by CleG
    had I thought about a HT with better parts and a lighter frame than the FS bike.
    Wow. Is that an old sales pitch or what! With the advent of good inexpensive DS mountain bikes, there is pretty little to recommend a hardtail. As for lighter, well if that is important, realize that you will be giving up comfort. As for better components, there are two reasons for making that a serious consideration: 1. Hard/advanced/abusive riding 2. Harsh/demanding conditions. If you will be riding through a lot of mud, good components will continue to work with a lot of gunk on them where as lesser components will fail sooner.

    You will be served much better by a DS bike 95% of the time. Forget about a hardtail unless you are in an extreme financial crunch, and figure out which DS bike you like.

  13. #13

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    Excellent post Trailnut thanks for that, sorry if I sounded harsh had one of those days!.

    Cheers for the other chaps for replying, i am now trying 3 bikes at the weekend 1 DH, 1 DT and a FS Stumpjumper.

    Would you guys always buy new with regards MTB's or would you trust a second hand bike, I have been cautious on the second hand front incase of abuse and poor maintaniace from previous owners)

    Thanks again for your contributions.

  14. #14
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    get new, definalty

    Quote Originally Posted by CleG
    Excellent post Trailnut thanks for that, sorry if I sounded harsh had one of those days!.

    Cheers for the other chaps for replying, i am now trying 3 bikes at the weekend 1 DH, 1 DT and a FS Stumpjumper.

    Would you guys always buy new with regards MTB's or would you trust a second hand bike, I have been cautious on the second hand front incase of abuse and poor maintaniace from previous owners)

    Thanks again for your contributions.
    no worries, mate.

    get new, since you got the sterlings.

    i had a cool used bike, but during a fun rough ride i bounced of a rock on a g-swoop..as i climb out over the lip, my handle bar went left and my front wheel went right and i fell off (good thing i' was proficent with "air falls" and rolls) i should have know as the previous owner, my racer roomate, is a real hammer head...harsh on equipment dispite emacuate bike maintanance. (note: since the chris king headset install, i've not had that problem again)m my point: get new, so that you'll know the history of your equipment use the better.

    once case where i may buy used is a full on downhill race sled...they're either abused or lightly used.
    Last edited by TrailNut; 01-07-2005 at 11:11 AM.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  15. #15
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    Go FS, you won't regret it... unless you decide to make a SS, in which case you need a HT.
    The Giant is a decent bike, but why not get into the Maestro series (Reign, etc)? Or better yet, grab a Marin Quad-link (another virtual pivot) as it has lifetime warranty on the bearings... excellent for the "British Winters".
    Check out 'MBR' and 'What MB'... they have rave reviews for the Marins.
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