Why hardtail when already have a fs bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why hardtail when already have a fs bike?

    I already own a rumblefish pro and love the bike, i was thinking of the stashe 8,
    my reason was for better climbing,but is it true ? i don`t have alot of exspearience. what are the pro`s to a hardtail ?
    Does in make sence to have a hardtail and a SS bike, or should i just stick with one bike? maybe another question would be what bike would be a good complimanet to the rumblefish if i wanted another bike? singlespeed,fat bike or what ? thank`s Will

  2. #2
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    The reason I have several bikes is because they all perform differently. I don't want the same ride.

  3. #3
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    Hardtail definitely climbs better. I broke my FS frame and went back to hardtail and noticed the difference immediately. Even with propedal and all that jazz, there is power loss. Plus the weigh savings help too.

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  4. #4
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    Fun. That is all the sense they have to make.

  5. #5
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    Faster, lighter, more responsive, cheaper. My reasons for riding HTs instead of my FS.


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  6. #6
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    I have this thing about "mastering" (and believe me, that term is very loose when it comes to me!) the rigid 26" single speed. I don't think there is any other way, that is practical, to strip a mountain bike down to it's barest essentials that will make you work harder. Whether it be climbing, downhill, flow or obstacles, you really, really, really have to be on your game to handle a 26" rigid single speed with any competence.

    It's my personal belief that if you can rock a 26" rigid single speed at a high level, everything else will feel like a cakewalk.

    So, if you want a skill building bike-to-value ratio purchase, I would try to find an old 26" Redline Monocog with v-brakes or build one up. Even a 29'er rigid single speed is cool, but for the challenge, a 26" will put you at a serious disadvantage: making you work harder, and therefore get better.

    The bike I ride the most is my 26" On-One 456 singlespeed conversion. It's a BEAST at 27.68lbs, which is very heavy for a singlespeed. Although it has a suspension fork, I spent a lot of time on on old unbranded Kinesis 26" SS rigid, and Leader 510H SS rigid and an On-One Inbred 29'er SS rigid. These bikes taught me a lot about momentum, flow, climbing, line choice, acceleration, body english, energy conservation, etc.

    At first, you will be, like, "Why would I want to go backwards in technology?" but after a month of riding it, like many, you may end up riding it most of the time. You'll get props from other riders and there's a satisfaction when you're riding past people on far more superior equipment. Also, it's very refreshing to bust out your bike without having to mess with lock-outs, suspension adjustment, drivetrain, etc. Just check your air-pressure and you're out!

    This is what I rode for awhile. You really have to be on your game with something like this, but it's rewarding once you get good with it.

    Why hardtail when already have a fs bike?-ss1.jpg
    Last edited by Dion; 09-03-2012 at 07:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    Depends on how, where, and what you like about riding. If that's something you have to ask, you need to ride more, and different bikes.
    There's so many to chose from. SS, FS, 29er, cross, DH, AM, XC, road, etc. They're all better at some stuff and worse at others. It's kinda like asking someone else what flavor ice cream you should get.
    Round and round we go

  8. #8
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    Pros of a hardtail:

    1. Stiffer and more responsive
    2. Usually a shorter wheelbase
    3. Lower BB height for better handling. (FS needs a higher BB to account for suspension compression)
    4. Climbs more efficiently, and will be faster on smooth climbs.
    5. Usually at least 2 pounds lighter
    6. If you have the skills, can be a lot more fun to ride.
    7. Less maintenance.
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  9. #9
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    with a hard tail you dont lose any riding energy from the spring in the bike, everything you do is translated to the bike thus being more responsive.
    Both full suss n hard tails have their place, i still love gettin out on my dirt jumpin bike, its a totally differant beast to my full suss, cheers
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I have this thing about "mastering" (and believe me, that term is very loose when it comes to me!) the rigid 26" single speed. I don't think there is any other way, that is practical, to strip a mountain bike down to it's barest essentials that will make you work harder. Whether it be climbing, downhill, flow or obstacles, you really, really, really have to be on your game to handle a 26" rigid single speed with any competence.

    It's my personal belief that if you can rock a 26" rigid single speed at a high level, everything else will feel like a cakewalk.

    So, if you want a skill building bike-to-value ratio purchase, I would try to find an old 26" Redline Monocog with v-brakes or build one up. Even a 29'er rigid single speed is cool, but for the challenge, a 26" will put you at a serious disadvantage: making you work harder, and therefore get better.

    The bike I ride the most is my 26" On-One 456 singlespeed conversion. It's a BEAST at 27.68lbs, which is very heavy for a singlespeed. Although it has a suspension fork, I spent a lot of time on on old unbranded Kinesis 26" SS rigid, and Leader 510H SS rigid and an On-One Inbred 29'er SS rigid. These bikes taught me a lot about momentum, flow, climbing, line choice, acceleration, body english, energy conservation, etc.

    At first, you will be, like, "Why would I want to go backwards in technology?" but after a month of riding it, like many, you may end up riding it most of the time. You'll get props from other riders and there's a satisfaction when you're riding past people on far more superior equipment. Also, it's very refreshing to bust out your bike without having to mess with lock-outs, suspension adjustment, drivetrain, etc. Just check your air-pressure and you're out!

    This is what I rode for awhile. You really have to be on your game with something like this, but it's rewarding once you get good with it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    DION I AGREE, I just orderd a Gravity 29er singlespeed just for these reasons,not big bucks, i want to check it out. I also have a stashe 8 on order, i put alittle money down but it will not be here till beginning of november i am having 2nd thoughts about buying it! do i need it to get better? or do i just WANT IT? HMMMM.....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by winginit View Post
    DION I AGREE, I just orderd a Gravity 29er singlespeed just for these reasons,not big bucks, i want to check it out.
    There you go! You've eliminated any "help" (suspension, gears) and now it's just you and your fitness. The 29'er is an advantage over a 26" bike, which is why I recommend going with a 26" bike, but it'll still be chore to haul around.

    There are technical climbs I can clean on a rigid 29'er that I can't with a 26" rigid bike.

    Get really good with that SS, and come back to your geared FS bike. The benefits of riding an inferior bike will be apparent right away once you get back on some technology. Or, get bit by the bug (like many of us) and stick to the SS!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I have this thing about "mastering" (and believe me, that term is very loose when it comes to me!) the rigid 26" single speed. I don't think there is any other way, that is practical, to strip a mountain bike down to it's barest essentials that will make you work harder. Whether it be climbing, downhill, flow or obstacles, you really, really, really have to be on your game to handle a 26" rigid single speed with any competence.

    It's my personal belief that if you can rock a 26" rigid single speed at a high level, everything else will feel like a cakewalk.

    So, if you want a skill building bike-to-value ratio purchase, I would try to find an old 26" Redline Monocog with v-brakes or build one up. Even a 29'er rigid single speed is cool, but for the challenge, a 26" will put you at a serious disadvantage: making you work harder, and therefore get better.

    The bike I ride the most is my 26" On-One 456 singlespeed conversion. It's a BEAST at 27.68lbs, which is very heavy for a singlespeed. Although it has a suspension fork, I spent a lot of time on on old unbranded Kinesis 26" SS rigid, and Leader 510H SS rigid and an On-One Inbred 29'er SS rigid. These bikes taught me a lot about momentum, flow, climbing, line choice, acceleration, body english, energy conservation, etc.

    At first, you will be, like, "Why would I want to go backwards in technology?" but after a month of riding it, like many, you may end up riding it most of the time. You'll get props from other riders and there's a satisfaction when you're riding past people on far more superior equipment. Also, it's very refreshing to bust out your bike without having to mess with lock-outs, suspension adjustment, drivetrain, etc. Just check your air-pressure and you're out!

    This is what I rode for awhile. You really have to be on your game with something like this, but it's rewarding once you get good with it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SS1.jpg 
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    I agree with this except for the reference to climbing. Climbing on a rigid ss is s huge advantage. When i rode my rigid ss regularly, i walked all over my homies on the climbs. All power to the rear tire all the time.

    Sent from my daggum phone because I have no life.

  13. #13
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    Good question. I've been on a giant trance then anthem 26 full suspension for 8 years thinking I would never go to a hard tail again-I love the feel of flying downhill and going over rough terrain fast, something I thought only possible on a fully... until I test rode a carbon 29 hardtail (Felt team nine). I rode it for the heck of it as I was testing new bikes out looking for a 29er full susp. The 29inch carbon hardtail honestly felt similar to a full suspension and handled better than my bike on the corners. Of course climbing and acceleration was amazing. Most likely I'm going to try one for next season. I race XC so I feel the hardtail 29er will improve my results. My 2cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I agree with this except for the reference to climbing. Climbing on a rigid ss is s huge advantage. When i rode my rigid ss regularly, i walked all over my homies on the climbs. All power to the rear tire all the time.

    Sent from my daggum phone because I have no life.
    Very steep, technical singletrack climbing is not easy on a rigid SS. On certain trails, I've actually broken some PR's and drop riders regularly, but on some trails, gears and suspension does give you an advantage.

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    "Bound to cover just a little more ground"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Very steep, technical singletrack climbing is not easy on a rigid SS. On certain trails, I've actually broken some PR's and drop riders regularly, but on some trails, gears and suspension does give you an advantage.
    True, true.

    Sent from my daggum phone because I have no life.

  17. #17
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    I bust out my single speed when I feel I have become week and complacent

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    I am slow therefore I am

  18. #18
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    FS makes you look like a dainty little *****. It really does.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Get really good with that SS, and come back to your geared FS bike. The benefits of riding an inferior bike will be apparent right away once you get back on some technology. Or, get bit by the bug (like many of us) and stick to the SS!
    I would dare to say the bike with technology IS the inferior bike .

    I hate going back to my FS bike after riding my softtail or SS for a while. I feel like I am being punished on the uphills for what little benefit I gain on the descents.

  20. #20
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    hardtails are a little bit more challenging on the trail but thats what makes them fun and they climb very awesome have good pedal response to.

  21. #21
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    because n+1

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by markj2k4 View Post
    I would dare to say the bike with technology IS the inferior bike .

    I hate going back to my FS bike after riding my softtail or SS for a while. I feel like I am being punished on the uphills for what little benefit I gain on the descents.
    I've only ridden a FS bike a handful of times. I had one, but rarely rode it and eventually sold it. I remember it feeling like a couch.

  23. #23
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    I'll admit, I like my FS bike because I have no skillz...seriously, I just sit there and it practically rides itself! I have a hardtail and when I ride it I have to think, and actually use finesse and that's too much like work. My 6" FS bike has made a lazy rider out of me...but I have a BLAST on that thing

  24. #24
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    I can ride my dually harder down tech terrain without flatting my rear tire...though my dually is a slopestyle bike and my ht is AM.


    Prime example...when the SMP drops were barely open (prior to the closing)...I would drop the small one on my dually...but not on my HT.

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  25. #25
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    I still don't get the SS thing... I mean I do get it but I still don't get it. lol

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Uno View Post
    I still don't get the SS thing... I mean I do get it but I still don't get it. lol
    Analogy / Example: Deer Hunting

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    Option 2: Use your stone axe. Run it down and kill it. Howl at the moon. Clean and store the meat.

  27. #27
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    Not a very good analogy. Shouldn't it be more like a bolt action rifle vs an assault riffle?

    Like I said I get it as in it's a training tool to get you stronger... but at the same time I still don't get it as it doesn't necessarily guarantee to make you better.

    I like going fast. I don't need help getting up a hill either. So maybe SS isn't for me?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Uno View Post
    I still don't get the SS thing... I mean I do get it but I still don't get it. lol
    Me thinks SS'ers have a masochistic trait...you gotta' respect those folks though!

  29. #29
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    Hmm. Nice thread. I like my Superlight. Does everything well. Nice bike.

    I truly enjoy my steel HT. Given the choice of only having one bike, I'd rather keep the HT.

    Just me.

  30. #30
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    Becareful! Once the S bugs bite, it bites hard!

    I build my SS up as a training tool and to see what the fuss is all about since I got the frames lying around.

    By the 3rd ride, I'm hooked and keep looking for more tech trails to ride. Ended up selling my FS and bling up the SS. Now its my one and only bike

  31. #31
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    Hardtail is less forging than FS, it makes riding the same trail and the same line more challenging. If you ride the same trail all the time riding different type of bikes and wheel size definitely keep things fresh. Avoid SS at all cost, they are so addictive

  32. #32
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    For me it's simple. I ride a hard tail better. On the most technical local trails I ride better on my hard tail. There are several huge rock gardens that I can clean on my single speed hard tail that I was never able to clear on the full suspension. I finally sold the full suspension, and built up another single speed.

  33. #33
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    Ask any woman why she has so many shoes.... Cause it all depends on the mood.

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  35. #35
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    HT---really depends how old you are. At 50, I can't ride them anymore, especially rigid. It sends that
    familiar "blamo!!!" shock to my lower back when descending chunky stuff. Also that nice shock wave that hits your shoulders thru some tough stuff. Climbing is fine but eventually you'll have to come down off that mountain.

    If you're under 50 or even 40, fine but its like asking your 60 plus year old parent to begin riding mountain on a hard tail. And I'm talking about real mountain (like the San Gabriels) not the dirt path at the parks. Most (99.9%) of the old farts that I ride regularly with are on f/s
    and the one that has a HT complains about his back but doesn't sell his HT because he got such a good deal (Litespeed Titanium). Oh well, Jim, hope you don't become a cripple


    Good luck! on your decision.
    Last edited by fatcat; 09-09-2012 at 02:08 AM.

  36. #36
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    Why not?

    I went nearly a decade without a hardtail and when I built one two years ago I wondered why I didn't have one all that time.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  37. #37
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    I went from a Spec 26" f/s to an Orbea 29 h/t about 7 months ago. I recently "injured" my rear wheel and have been riding my f/s. As others have said, I feel like I'm riding a couch. I even started riding with the shock locked out, but you still get some movement. I cannot wait until my
    29er parts come in. Btw, I'm 46 and know several people in their 50s that ride hardtails and even one that rides fully rigid,
    If ya ain't bleedin'...ya ain't ridin'.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Uno View Post
    I still don't get the SS thing... I mean I do get it but I still don't get it. lol
    Clearly, you need to get one and try it!

  39. #39
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    I'm newb
    But I would recommend riding your hard tail up the trail and the FS back down.
    It just makes sense.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I'm newb
    But I would recommend riding your hard tail up the trail and the FS back down.
    It just makes sense.
    Naw that I agree

  41. #41
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    I just rebirthed my mtb hobby. I'm loving it. I was lucky to hook up with some very experienced riders all hardtailers minus one or two that are a bit older and admit that that is why the ride FS. I just upgraded to my flash carbon lefty 29er. Bigger wheels made me slower so far. But I will adjust. My next bike will be a 27.5 FS. It it will have to be carbon light. Heavy bikes suck really bad especially on the uphill.
    Again I am newb. So take this with a grain of salt.

  42. #42
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    I climb better on my heavier FS bike than on my hardtail unless the grade is moderate and the trail is smooth. Steep, loose or chunky, the FS is better.

  43. #43
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    Gave the Anthem back to the LBS I work at,
    nothing wrong with it, great riding bike.
    It just wasn't me, I will be sticking with the HT
    until I can't anymore.
    HT's are plain fun.
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  44. #44
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    I have a am bike but I would also like to have an HT so I can change them depending what terrain I am riding.

  45. #45
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    You don't lose any pedal efficiency if you ride a Scott MTB bike with the Twinlock remote system.

    They do make hardtails with the remote lock out as well. So even if you have a FS or HD Scott bikes have the best of both worlds...if you can afford them as they come with a heavy price tag.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxman12 View Post
    Why not?


    If you already have a FS bike, the advantage of a hardtail is that it gives you a different ride. If you really want something different, get a rigid SS 26er, and learn the seriously different riding style that it demands if you don't want to break yourself

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  47. #47
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    With a hard tail, your legs are your rear suspension.

  48. #48
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    For a while there I didnt enjoy hardtails (aluminum) and rode only FS. Then I built an aluminum SS and it was new and fun again. Then I moved to El Paso with slower (very) rocky trails and the SS lost some fun but I recently built a On One 456 as a 1x9. This is now my ride of choice over the FS and SS. Not the full gear range of 3x9 or 10, but it is a steel hardtail, and a major bump up in fun factor. Cant explain it beyond that either.

    Its also fun to listen to the sex pistols before the ride. Cant explain that either.

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