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  1. #1
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    The Limitations of Hardtail?

    so until now i was used to riding a full suspension X-mart bike. so Hardtail and it's limitations are new to me. so right now i've just been riding around the neighborhood to get used to my bike and and climbing. i thought that it could handle going off a curb (not jumping but lighting rolling off while standing). but when i try to absorb the shock with my legs, the back the bike still seems to take a beating.

    so i was wondering, exactly how much can an xc hardtail take? i know no freeriding, but what about the in-bewteen? and how do you properly absorb shock with your legs to minimize stress on the frame?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I can ride just about anything on my hardtail that I can ride on my full suspension. The only difference is that I have to let my legs be my shock a little more so I can't stay on the saddle as much. I also have to pick my lines a little better. Other than that I am just a little slower in the technical sections.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Dai Baka! Brate's Avatar
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    Slic your in the same position as me, but I've already gone offroad with my hardtail and ill tell you it can handle anything that x-mart bike could handle and better. You may need to get you wheels re trued after your fisrt trail ride though so if your tires are wobbling dont freak out minor trueing should be a part of your free maintenace most LBS give with there new bike sales.
    Vas Corp Por!

  4. #4
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    I've ridden every Norba course in TX, a few in LA & AR without issue, FS doesn't doo too much to benefit a decent rider on technical singletrack courses, the only place I thought it'd be fun to have one was the course at la jitas out near the davis mountains in west Texas, where they have the cactus cup, but even there a hardtail was fine.

    If you go from an x-mart FS to, say, an entry to mid-level hardtail, you will notice a significant increase in performance, a tremedous weight difference, smooth shifting, your enjoyment mountain biking will be x100

  5. #5
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    I would say just about ANY hardtail bike will handle more than a full suspension x-mart bike. The suspensions on those x-mart bikes are insufficient to say the least, and more likely dangerous. In my experience, I have seen more damaged FS bikes than HT bikes. Im really not sure what sort of impact you would need to sustain in order to bend or break a HT rear triangle... Id hate to see it though.
    2008 Cannondale System Six
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  6. #6
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    What bike are we talking about? Anyway, I don't think a curb is going to hurt it.. I've taken my hardtails off lots of drops up to about 3' and never had a problem. Once again, you have to realize that before the mid '90's, all we had was hardtails, and we rode the same trails then.

  7. #7
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    What hardtail?
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  8. #8
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    I've taken my hardtail down 6" drops and jumps, some one cement (stair gaps), some flat to flat and I've abused my bike throughly...

    hardtails are a lot tougher than people think, the limitations of a hardtail are way beyond a curb , some people drop like 8-10 feet on fully rigid bicycles.

    And by the way, you most likely don't need a full suspension bike to start freeriding or downhilling.

  9. #9
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    A quality hardtail will make you quit before it will.

  10. #10
    Junior Member DarkHaze's Avatar
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    i take 6 step jumps with no problem... it may just seem harsh but its all good

  11. #11
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    you can probably do more on a nice hardtail than an x-mart fully
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

  12. #12
    Desert Rider
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    I have to agree that any decent hardtail is better than an X-Mart FS, however the difference between a decent HT and FS is quite noticable; I have a Trek 4300 that can take quite a beating (more than I can dish out), but the trails that were a bit beyond me are now my regular rides since the purchase of my Trek Fuel EX6.

    In two years I am lucky if I put 500mi (trail riding) on my hardtail; I've had the FS for a week and have just passed a little over 100mi.
    I'm doing the canyon run this afternoon.
    "When you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging"

  13. #13
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoine
    What bike are we talking about?

    a Marin Bolinas Ridge: http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...nas_ridge.html

    so would you say that taking a drop may feel hard on the bike from my POV (i.e. i think my comfort level = bike condition) but the bike is actually not being damaged?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  14. #14
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    I found my limit on my hardtail not to long ago.

    It was a 47foot double.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  15. #15
    Mullet Boy! Pink_Ninja's Avatar
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    yeah, he's got an xc type hardtail, not a fully sick uber 8 inch front travel dh huck-o-mobile
    Bansheeeee!

  16. #16
    Senior Member SneakyMilo's Avatar
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    My girlfriend rides a bolinas ridge. It seems like a nice bike for the money. My biggest issue is with the cheapo fork, but I guess you can't get everything you want with a 400 dollar bike. As for hurting the bike.... you would have to do something pretty serious to damage the frame. Maybe you aren't using your arms and legs to absorb the shock properly so that you feel a more jarring hit?
    ~Get Sneaky~

  17. #17
    I=Your Mother
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    The thing you're probably hearing is the chain hitting the frame. Sounds like its doing damage but it wont hurt your bike any(other than maybe chipping and/or scuffing the paint). I would get a chainstay protector or make one yourself out of something.

  18. #18
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    With that stock Marin fork, I dont think you should do over 3' jumps.
    My personal opinion is that HT is more immune to drops than FS. Because they have so many nuts and bolts in the FS that can fail you.

  19. #19
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    Yeah, some people just wrap some thin neoprene around the chainstay.

  20. #20
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pink_Ninja
    yeah, he's got an xc type hardtail, not a fully sick uber 8 inch front travel dh huck-o-mobile
    I didnt know my bike hardtail had eight inches in the front, it's always felt like five. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    My Zulu on the other hand has a 8" fork and 9" rear travel.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  21. #21
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    With that stock Marin fork, I dont think you should do over 3' jumps.
    My personal opinion is that HT is more immune to drops than FS. Because they have so many nuts and bolts in the FS that can fail you.

  22. #22
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston
    I've ridden every Norba course in TX, a few in LA & AR without issue, FS doesn't doo too much to benefit a decent rider on technical singletrack courses, the only place I thought it'd be fun to have one was the course at la jitas out near the davis mountains in west Texas, where they have the cactus cup, but even there a hardtail was fine.

    If you go from an x-mart FS to, say, an entry to mid-level hardtail, you will notice a significant increase in performance, a tremedous weight difference, smooth shifting, your enjoyment mountain biking will be x100
    A good rider can ride most anything on a hardtail but on tech trails FS is a benefit. I agree that the OP will be much happier with a good HT.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  23. #23
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wethepeople
    I found my limit on my hardtail not to long ago.

    It was a 47foot double.
    Ouch. Any photos?
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
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  24. #24
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Hardtails can be extremely tough. Go check out some DJ (dirt jump) frames if you are going to do any decent hits on it.

    My XC bike is more than capable of taking curbs and whatnot....I've done some outright abuse to it, and it keeps coming back for more.

    Just got find something you love and go with it....oh and avoid x-mart bikes if you are going to be doing any serious off-road riding. It's like comparing a Rav4 to a Jeep Wrangler...only comparable on paper...in real world it's a whole other story.
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  25. #25
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    I remember I was so happy when I got my first x-mart bike, and now I slap myself every time I look back
    *smack my own face* =(

    The quality you get is like.. a 49 cent hamburger at mcdonalds to a $6 burger at Carl's Jr.

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