Hard tail or full suspension for 24 solo hour races??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hard tail or full suspension for 24 solo hour races??

    I am doing a couple solo 24 hour races this year and wanted to ask what the current consensus was on whether to go with a hard tail or full suspension.
    Currently I am riding a full suspension Giant NRS Air and as much as I like it, the rear shock does get that bobbing effect, I am now presented with the option of getting a Trek 9.8 carbon hard tail with new XTR. Any thoughts on if I am going to get beat to shreds going from the soft tail to the hard tail for these races?
    One of the races I am going to do is Montezumas Revenge so the weight factor needs to be thrown in there as well, hence why I am considering the hard tail.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploglet
    I am doing a couple solo 24 hour races this year and wanted to ask what the current consensus was on whether to go with a hard tail or full suspension.
    Currently I am riding a full suspension Giant NRS Air and as much as I like it, the rear shock does get that bobbing effect, I am now presented with the option of getting a Trek 9.8 carbon hard tail with new XTR. Any thoughts on if I am going to get beat to shreds going from the soft tail to the hard tail for these races?
    One of the races I am going to do is Montezumas Revenge so the weight factor needs to be thrown in there as well, hence why I am considering the hard tail.
    Thanks in advance.
    nrs isn't a soft-tail...

    Anyhow i'd suggest seeing if you could ride the hardtail for a day or two. It will give you a better judgement as to if you "need" the full suspension. This question is so personal it really depends on the individual. See if you can ride a hardtail for a day or two and see how you feel. ..

    The best trial would be to visit all the locations and gauge if you need the full suspension by doing a few laps on each bike.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I know it is somewhat of a personal thing but I thought I would ask how many people are riding hard tails for their solo efforts. As much as I like the soft tail, I am not sold on it what with the bobbing effect and the weight disadvantage. I could go and get a lock out shock I guess but that would only solve the bobbing effect and not the weight problem.

    Not sure why mtb_biker doesnt think the NRS is a soft tail, maybe I got the lingo wrong on it but it is a full suspension bike so I guess that is why I call it a soft tail. Not only do I own one, but here is the link to view one as well.
    http://www.giantbicycles.com/us/030....60&model=10820

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploglet
    Yeah I know it is somewhat of a personal thing but I thought I would ask how many people are riding hard tails for their solo efforts. As much as I like the soft tail, I am not sold on it what with the bobbing effect and the weight disadvantage. I could go and get a lock out shock I guess but that would only solve the bobbing effect and not the weight problem.

    Not sure why mtb_biker doesnt think the NRS is a soft tail, maybe I got the lingo wrong on it but it is a full suspension bike so I guess that is why I call it a soft tail. Not only do I own one, but here is the link to view one as well.
    https://www.giantbicycles.com/us/030...60&model=10820
    um a soft-tail and a full suspension bike are two different things. A soft tail is like a trek stp, moots ybb , etc. The frame flexes and gives a small amount of travel. heres a picture. The bottom part of the stp doesn't have a pivot, the carbon actually flexes up to the shock to give the travel.

    <img src="https://www.light-bikes.com/BikePhotos/mtb/codman.jpg"> <br>

    A full suspension bike would be an nrs, fuel, racer X etc.

    Personally i would think a full suspension bike would be faster on a 24 hr race. If nothing else i'd bring two bikes if possible, one full suspension, one hardtail. That way you can ride each bike for a lap and figure out which is faster. Chances are towards the end of the day you'll be on the full suspension as wear and tear sets in...

    For a 24 hr race, or even a 12 hr race i'd prefer a fuel I think. I race with a Trek 9.8 . You can get full suspension bikes to be pretty light if you pay attention to what you're putting on the bike...

  5. #5
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    firstly,

    if your NRS is set up properly it will NOT bob. Check that the shock air pressure is correct, i suspect it is'nt.

    2ndly,

    bike choice depends a lot on the nature of the course. I always take a HT and FS so if it starts to rain I use the HT. It does not collect mud and crud like aFS does.

    Keep the NRS and get it set up properly and buy a Gioant Hardtail to go with it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploglet
    I am doing a couple solo 24 hour races this year and wanted to ask what the current consensus was on whether to go with a hard tail or full suspension.
    Currently I am riding a full suspension Giant NRS Air and as much as I like it, the rear shock does get that bobbing effect, I am now presented with the option of getting a Trek 9.8 carbon hard tail with new XTR. Any thoughts on if I am going to get beat to shreds going from the soft tail to the hard tail for these races?
    One of the races I am going to do is Montezumas Revenge so the weight factor needs to be thrown in there as well, hence why I am considering the hard tail.
    Thanks in advance.
    I just did Laguna Seca and on that course, I think you would enjoy the race a lot more on a full-suspension bike. Last year the course wasn't as thrashed at the start of the race, and I was even able to run semi-slick tires for two laps before it got too sandy and dusty. Not this time.

    If you had a hardtail AND a softtail, I thnk it would be wise to start with the hardtail, and as conditions deteriorated, switch to the softtail. That's the best of both worlds. Really, what is ideal is a softtail where you can lock out the rear shock. That way you can lock it out to simulate a hardtail as needed.

  7. #7

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    Full for Montezumas Revenge!

    Mr Spin-

    My advice for you in Montezuma's Revenge on a Full Suspension. With the new course you will find a full suspension a lot better in the long run. The old course had a 68 mile lap that a hardtail was OK on. I have done the Revenge four times, three times on supercalibers and once on a sugar. The Sugar was a much better setup. Last year, at the 24 Hour Global Championships in Europe, I locked out my sugars (only in the rear) for the whole race. This was just to see if I wanted to race hardtails anymore in 24's if the course was not too washboardy. I did that in that race because I had a comfortable lead and was having an exceptional day. My body was so abused after the race that I questioned my decision. In the end, I will not race a hardtail anymore in 24's. Perhaps, I may run a few first laps--but that will be the extent of it. Your recovery is much more important than the weight you will not have to push for the day. Stay Suspended. Good Luck in your races, Nat Ross

  8. #8

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    HT vs FS for 24hrs

    fwiw - just did Laguna Seca (solo) on a DBR ti hard tail and based on the body parts that are sore and the parts that aren't I don't think suspension would have made much difference. I would have gone downhill a little faster and uphill a little slower. My concern with FS has always been the complexity & maintenance - lotsa stuff to wear out & go bad. My ti frame is bombproof & zero maintenance, which is something to consider if you can only travel with one bike or don;t have a mechanic to help tune things while you are between laps. For this reason I have always thought a softail (like the ones mentioned above) would be the most "suspension" I would consider but it has never made the budget.

    good luck
    Karl

  9. #9
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    I should add that my FS is a Cannondale Scalpel and thus a short trvel bike. It' light and equiped with lock out so provides the benefits of two bikes in one.

  10. #10
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    I just finished reading all the other responces you've gotten in this thread and thought I would add my own experience from this past weekend where I did my first solo 24 hour race at Laguna Seca/Monterey.

    I had taken both a fs as well as a ht to swap around periodically during the race, figuring the course had always been smooth in the past. This year, the singletrack became such a washboard that by the time I switched to the ht on my 5th or 6th lap it was a very harsh ride. Reasoning that I needed to look at the long haul and save my body as much wear&tear as possible, I switched back to the fs and never looked back. I ended up completing 20 laps in 23:22, (19 of those on the fs) placing 2nd in the Mens Solo.

    I think it very much depends on the course, the bike and the rider.

    Some notes on the two bikes I took:
    My fs is a 2002 Giant NRS Air with many aftermarket components such as the 2004 Fox F80X and Fox Float R/AVA, Easton Carbon Bars, 2004 XTR Hollowtech cranks, etc. The bike weighs in at about 24 lbs and climbs almost totally rigid once dialed in properly.

    The ht is a custom assembed bike using a steel Haro Werx singlespeed frame converted into a 1x9 with a Marzocchi Marathon SL ECC5 sus fork, CK/Mavic wheels, etc, etc, etc (won't bore you with the full specs). Weighs in at about 21 lbs. The bike climbs like a dream and is super responsive - but it really felt harsh - when compared to the ride on the Giant.

    Normally I train on a fully rigid singlespeed, so I am definitely used to the lack of suspension. But over the course of 200+ miles, I think the fs really worked out [for me] the best even though the Haro/ht hands down is the better climber (I specifically designed with heavy climbing in mind).

  11. #11

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    FS for sure!

    Quote Originally Posted by ploglet
    I am doing a couple solo 24 hour races this year and wanted to ask what the current consensus was on whether to go with a hard tail or full suspension.
    Currently I am riding a full suspension Giant NRS Air and as much as I like it, the rear shock does get that bobbing effect, I am now presented with the option of getting a Trek 9.8 carbon hard tail with new XTR. Any thoughts on if I am going to get beat to shreds going from the soft tail to the hard tail for these races?
    One of the races I am going to do is Montezumas Revenge so the weight factor needs to be thrown in there as well, hence why I am considering the hard tail.
    Thanks in advance.
    Go with a FS, no doubt. Many current FS bikes, like the Truth etc, are almost as light and in my opinion, climbs better (more efficiently) than a hard tail. Mostly, along the lines that Nat brought up, it will keep your mind, body and back from taking as much punishment and you'll rider further/faster in the long run. Good luck!
    Fred

  12. #12
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    sweet STP!

    go FS.... but i think what people are saying about nasty conditions and rain is true. last year i did both Snowshoe and Great Glen... Great Glen was 23 hours of rain.... Thankfully I had my Litespeed HT for it.

    Disc brakes are a must regardless though I say.

  13. #13
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    The thing is, in the Montezumas Revenge race you are not allowed to swap out bikes. So you stick with the bike you are starting on. And from Nate's response up top I am going to be riding the full suspension for the race. Sounds like the wear and tear is not worth going the hard tail in the long run.
    Thanks for all the input on this very personal subject!

  14. #14
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    I would say go with whatever works best for you when you go out and train for 8 to 12 hours on the weekends.
    I use a hardtail with a suspen seatpost for most 12 and 24 hour races.

    The full suspen I used (trek fuel 100) was just a little too heavy, at the time when I raced 24hours on it I could not afford nor was i sponsored for a superlight FSmtb. (course they have a trek carbon fuel now)..

    If you going to do the motnezuma, I recommend watching the video. You have to hike with that bike, not just ride it.
    Be sure that the FS componentry does not interfere with the comfort of carrying the bike on your shoulder or on your backpack. Some frames have lots of suspesion stuff in the middle of the frame which also cuts into bottle cage mounts.. but not all bikes.

    Other than that if its your first time, just remember it is your first time and mistakes are expected.

    As David brought up courses change over the years, Laguna Seca is not as friendly a ride as it has constant surging surfaces and no longer smooth like the old days. So investigate the course before you race it if possible.


    Have fun
    Brent

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