is a HT safer than a FS bike for a kid- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    is a HT safer than a FS bike for a kid

    My thought is - on a HT they have to ride a little slower than a FS bike - i know its the case with me

    I am looking at getting my 10 year old son a FS bike - its a sweet used bike for a good price - good parts and light - i have another thread on it. But then again he will start to go down hill faster and could that make things more dangerous? I know a FS bike will have better traction but still - higher speed is another issue

    So now i am second guessing buying a FS bike and just thinking ill let him ride his HT longer. With the crappy fork its more like a 30 pound rigid - I know FS is more fun but he doesn't know the difference yet

    thoughts?

  2. #2
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    No, A full FS is safer than a HT. My son has both. He is very good at picking lines & super smooth rider, however when downhilling in tech. terrain - rocks, root clusters the HT is swapping, bouncing & pogoing everywhere - its scary. On the same trails with his FS bike it floats through the same sections straight has an arrow & he's in complete control although he's going faster.Strickly from a safety issue I don't let him ride the HT on rough tech. rides ( he prefers the FS anyways) He rides the HT around home & uses it for dirt jumps & jump parks where its great.
    Surf, I would go for the FS your looking at without question.

  3. #3
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    Has he ridden a HT for a while? I'd think if he has, and biking is intuition and he knows his limits already, then go for the FS. But if not, hard tails have a lot of good practice to offer

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmtnbkr1 View Post
    Has he ridden a HT for a while? I'd think if he has, and biking is intuition and he knows his limits already, then go for the FS. But if not, hard tails have a lot of good practice to offer
    You've been busy! 48,885 posts in one month

  5. #5
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    At 10 years old, it won't be long before he outgrows any nice bike that you buy him. Also, what kind of terrain do you ride on? Do you yourself ride a full suspension bike?

    If you still want to buy him a bike, then there's still the problem of quantifying how safe it is to ride a hardtail versus riding a full suspension. Full suspension bikes are more forgiving in that you are able to just roll over bigger obstacles and still maintain control, but that encourages you to go faster and might lead to some bad riding habits. Riding a hardtail instead encourages paying close attention to trail obstacles, maintaining a careful line, and moving at an appropriate pace. It's a different kind of thrill than just blasting down a steep techy downhill on a full suspension.

    All that said, if you're really that concerned about your kid's safety just buy him a nice helmet and some knee/elbow pads, no matter what bike you buy he'll probably be fine.
    Last edited by AladdinP; 11-25-2011 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Grammar

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies.

    to answer a few questions. Yes I have a FS and HT - but my thought was that on a FS you can push things faster and even though a HT might bounce you around more usually - at least for me - i ride the HT a little slower. I go back and forth - a FS bike is so fun but then again a HT does force you to pick better lines and so forth. Right now i make him ride anything challenging with his full face helmet +pads. Sill going back and forth on the decision.

  7. #7
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    The FS you can push, but I don't think you would ever push beyond your skill set. I know I don't. I never bomb out of control on my FS. My kids would be the same.

    Buy whatever you want. It doesn't sound like your kid is crazy or bombing down lift access trails.

    I think you're just rationalizing now. Where's that FS bike you can get at a good deal? I'll snatch it from under you, make your decision easier.

  8. #8
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    "I think you're just rationalizing now. Where's that FS bike you can get at a good deal? I'll snatch it from under you, make your decision easier. "

    lol - its always good to get a little vote of confidence before a purchase like this

  9. #9
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    FS and rider weight

    I think FS is safer. I see my 10YO girl going down some rocky trails and her bike jumps back and forth (Hardtail). She is controlling it but it makes me scared because some of the rear wheel hops are pretty close to wipeouts.

    I'm looking for a full suspension bike for her now in XS.

    Better question is the weight. At 65-70 lb will rear shock work? It is Fox RL shock I'm looking at but what is the lowest rider weight it is designed for?

  10. #10
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    Guys I ended up getting my son a FS Titus ML bike - size XS and he is really happy! He has much more confidence and it is safer i think --- but he does ride faster... He is coming from a Trek 3500 HT bike with rim brakes - the disc brakes make a huge difference. Luckily the new bike has great components (XT stuff, RP23, Sweet fork, light rims, good tires) so its pretty light.

    And yes at his weight of 80 pounds the suspension works great - if anything i have it stiff but to him it feels really squishy coming from a near rigid bike.

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