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Old 05-22-03, 08:36 AM   #1
live311
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question for former HT purists: What made you switch to FS?

Or, if you're a current HT purist, what will it take to make you switch to FS?

Personally, I love my HT Stumpjumper, but peer pressure and a sore lower back after any ride longer than an hour are making me consider my FS options. I am hesitant for a few reasons:

1. $$$
2. I doubt any FS will climb as well as my HT.
3. Maintenance--I don't know squat about rear shocks (not a big deal to learn)
4. $$$$
5. I'm not really satisfied with my riding skills as is, even though I've been riding for about 7 years. How will it look when I'm carrying a FS rig over a technical obstacle (at least a HT is a somewhat decent excuse)?
6. The aesthetics of some FS designs are downright ugly. The only type I would even consider is an FSR or something similar (I-Drive was nice before they went the way of X-Mart quality):irritated
7. Did I mention money?
8. I'm kind of a weight weenie. Anyone know of a sub-25 lb FS rig well under 2 g's?

Not necessarily looking for advice, just wondering if others feel the same way I do about FS.

Oh, and a suspension seat post is not an option
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Old 05-22-03, 08:55 AM   #2
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I embraced the full suspension from the point I could afford it. I tend to be a techno weinie, and the whole concept appealed to me immediately.

1. $$$, you can't take it with you. If you enjoy the sport, it's Value, not cost.
2. The claim that HT climb better is being dispelled by many riders. With a HT, you often loose traction over rough terrain. With a FS, you remain seated and the rear wheel tracks better and stays in contact with the ground providing continual traction.
3. Not as big of an issue that people think. But, I admit, there IS more time involved.
4. Skip meals, the money you save, you can put towards your bike.
5. With a FS, you just ride through or over the obstacle.
6. No argument there, but I do like the look of my FSR inspired Intense.
7. Carpe Diem!
8. I've seen some FS bikes built up to a respectable 22 to 24 lb range. The additional weight is the trade off for having more control and less fatigue.
9. Easy on the back!
10. New designs are incredibly efficient and have little bobbing.

L8R
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Old 05-22-03, 08:59 AM   #3
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I'll back A2 on all of these points.
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Old 05-22-03, 09:06 AM   #4
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i drive is still high quality and made in the same factory it is just owned by pacific, you will not see an i drive in k mart etc for a few years! As for the climbing thing well all things aside, of course a fsr is not going to climb as well as a ht due to a plethora of reasons and im sure all will post pros and cons but from an unbiased opinion they just climb different you get used to it and you will be climbing just as good as you did on your ht. I ride a xcr 2000w/lockout so on the climbs i lockout somtimes and BAM i have a hardtail again. Some say the i drive climbs like a pig but i love it and find it climbs great, If you liked the i drive before the pacific buy out you should look a little more into it, some shops stopped carrying gt last year due to the uncertainty of what was going on. I have talked to a few people from pacific and they have ensured me that gt is going to stay as a high end bike and the quality wont change. I am hoping the prices of gt bikes will drop cause man the new rukus has got to be the best frames ive seen in a long time!
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Old 05-22-03, 11:54 AM   #5
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I'm always afraid to lock mine out. I think I would rather deal with the suspension than risk damaging the shock. The trails here have a way of sneaking drops and sketchy stuff up on you in a hurry.
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Old 05-22-03, 11:54 AM   #6
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I think there is a place in this world for both. Ht's are signifgantly better jumpers and urban riders which is why more riders are moving towards them in those scenes. Going big isn't as nearly as important as 'flipping' the bike around into tricks and such.

I am a ht lover but really have two reasons not to get one

1 - I am not ready skill wise. I really believe you should be a decent rider before you can REALLY ride one otherwise you become a sloppy rider.
2 - $$$ I am poor ...

As for point number 6. If I was to choose performance over looks I would always take performance so that point is moot to me I am also no weight weenie. At my size I can afford to loose weight before my bike. I imagine my dually will be in the plus 40 pound range pretty easily
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Old 05-22-03, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maelstrom

I am a ht lover but really have two reasons not to get one

1 - I am not ready skill wise. I really believe you should be a decent rider before you can REALLY ride one otherwise you become a sloppy rider.
I fully agree with that statement but I'd also like to add that you just can't transfer the skills without some modification. The jury is still out on whether or not I'm a good rider or even a decent one but before switching to full-suspension I was riding fully-rigid for over 15 years and I had to modify some of my riding technique when I went to full-suspension. I skipped front suspension because I didn't just want to throw a suspension fork on my beloved rigid that wasn't designed for it and I didn't have money for a long time for a new bike. My then current bike performed well enough and I was happy riding it. When I got a bit of windfall, I decided to indulge in full-suspension. I also made the mistake of getting rid of my old bike. I now sometimes miss riding my old fully-rigid. I've also been eyeing hardtails lately. Some (as I did) view full-suspension as an upgrade from a hardtail. It didn't take me long to modify my view. A full-suspension bike is not always better or more fun... it's just a different kind of bike that can offer different fun. I say don't simply switch to full-suspension if you want full-suspension... just add it. There's really no reason to limit your experience.
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Old 05-22-03, 01:29 PM   #8
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Personally i am a hardtail junky. It is tiring as hell it may need more skill to ride through tough terain but i love the simplicity and the clean lines of a hardtail. Also i dont like to service bushings bearings and shocks on an FS bike. If i had two bikes i would probably had an FS as a second bike to play (SC V10).IF i have to have one bike i ll go with my HT.
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Old 05-22-03, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by live311

Personally, I love my HT Stumpjumper, but peer pressure and a sore lower back after any ride longer than an hour are making me consider my FS options.
Screw peer pressure. Unless your peers want to pony up the cash, tell them to stuff it. Of course, if you feel bad for your friends having buyer's remorse (just guessing) and want to help them justify spending all that money on fancy gizmo's, go ahead and indulge them.

Sore back is an important issue. Maybe there are other things you can try besides going FS. They may help even if you do go FS. I would consider seeing a physical therapist or scanning the internet for exercises that will strengthen your back. Another thing that may help is to adjust stem length/rise and saddle height to get the best fit out of your current bike. Last thing I can think of is to get out off your saddle more, especially on climbs. That has helped me alot with lower back pain.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:06 PM   #10
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I couldnt agree with you more khuon. But i dont miss my ht at all but i would never say my fs is "more fun" cause your right its just different fun. I find a ht is easier to control when your in the technical sections or on bridges etc, and that you have to really pay attn and "work" the bike on a fs
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Old 05-22-03, 06:44 PM   #11
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I road full rigid up until 3 years ago when I bought my first fs. I used my ht for everything including drops and dh stuff. The only thing that changed about my riding technique was the fact that I did not have to choose the smoothest line when riding and I could hit bigger drops with out the frame breaking. other then that I drop, jump, dh and ride xc the same way(same technique and style) as I did with my ht.

I also found that climbing was much easier with fs because of the facts previously mentioned. As long as you can keep a smooth cadence you can climb just about any hill you encounter.


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Old 05-22-03, 06:53 PM   #12
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2 grand is a decent amount of money. You can get pretty damn nice fs bikes for that money, and if you look used, 2G will buy you a lot of bike. Im kinda in the same position right now, just much less money ,
And I agree with A2 on those points!
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Old 05-22-03, 07:38 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input, guys. Allow me to clarify a few points. The peer pressure is coming from one advanced rider with a Big Hit and a couple novices with I-Drives. Last weekend I went riding with these guys and despite my slight hangover I pretty much owned the new guys; in fact, they were following me on some of the downhills because I picked the smoothest line! Of course the expert was out of sight and was in the air for half the ride.

There's not much I can do about the lower back issue, really. An M2 frame is very stiff and efficient but very harsh. I have a short stem and feel very comfortable on the bike, and I know my seat is the right height. I do my best to flow over obstacles and try to stay seated on climbs. The trails are very rocky here in the northeast, and we are forced to ride on primarily modified hiking and ATV trails (that allow riding, of course) that are often similar to dry stream beds. There isn't as much pure MTB singletrack out here as there is in, say, California. Riding such trails are a real treat for me! But I've lived with the pain for this long. It goes away after a few hours of rest.

As for money, well, that's what you make of it. If I really wanted a new bike bad enough I could probably afford it. There are times when my Stumpjumer seems to pedal itself. It just makes you want to go fast

Again, thanks for your replies. Nice to have some insight. Maybe if I grow some cajones and try to ride the more extreme stuff, I'll convince myself that I am worthy of a cushy new steed.
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Old 05-22-03, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by live311
Again, thanks for your replies. Nice to have some insight. Maybe if I grow some cajones and try to ride the more extreme stuff, I'll convince myself that I am worthy of a cushy new steed.
Maybe that nice cushy dually will give you those cajones
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Old 05-23-03, 02:52 PM   #15
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and try to stay seated on climbs
Do this less and your back will hurt less.
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Old 05-23-03, 03:02 PM   #16
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Maybe that nice cushy dually will give you those cajones
Cajones are overrated... but sheer ignorrance works wonders!!
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Old 05-23-03, 07:42 PM   #17
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Hard tail? Full suspension? Full rigid lives! Yes, I still do not have any suspension on either bike. I do however have a big bottle of Advil, two before the ride, two after.
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Old 05-30-03, 08:03 PM   #18
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i was going towards a kona stinky, untill i demoed it...that compleatly changedf my mind about fs...i hate them i cant do some of my best tricks...sao i bought an 03 sasquatch, norco
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Old 06-02-03, 12:00 PM   #19
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Rev, rigid's are a little too hardcore for me. God bless you for being able to enjoy riding one, though. You're a lot tougher than I am!

I think that maybe my goals have changed from the time I bought my stumpjumper. Going fast is cool and all, but body fatigue is becoming more of an issue. I figure if I ride consistently well this season, and I can put away some money, I might treat myself to an Intense Tracer next year.
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Old 06-02-03, 01:04 PM   #20
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I too have only owned hardtails, and still love my 98 Klein Attitude. Like you, I've gone throught the pros and cons regarding FS vs hardtails; however, one thing changed my mind forever. I demo'd a Blur.

That FS experience changed the way I think about mountain biking. I've raced, and ridden a lot over the past 6 or 7 years - all on hardtails. I couldn't understand why everyone was singing the praises of FS. I was loving my lightweight hardtail, and had thrown down some serious (to me) hard cash to purchase it. The experience of riding the Blur changed all that for me.

On my one and only ride thus far, I was decending like a freak! The downhill experience was not only much faster, but I felt in total control over about everything. The Blur climbs well also - I hardly noticed the over 4 pound weight difference.

The bottom line is that I ordered a Blur the next day. Yes, it's expensive and I'm going to have to wait until July, but it will be worth it all in a BIG way. Other than the cash, and a couple of pounds (the bike should come in @ less than 25 pounds, even with discs and the 100mm Fox fork), it's all WIN regarding FS for me. I'll don't think I'll ever go back to a hardtail.

Anywho, if you get the chance to demo a FS, I would give it a shot. Then, like me, you can make a more educated decision. If you don't try it, you'll never know!

Good luck!
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