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Old 08-29-07, 09:28 AM   #1
Flash
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For those riding obstacle-strewn singletrack on a hardtail >>>

For those riding obstacle-strewn singletrack on a hardtail, may I ask for your impressions re: if/when you decided to upgrade to a full sus rig. Most of the singletrack I ride is quite nasty, rock and root strewn, very windy with steep and quick ascents/descents, at the end of which descents often lie massive root groupings jutting several inches out of the ground...then time to turn on a dime etc.

I ride a 2006 Iron Horse Warrior Comp (no snickering pls) on these trails and have adapted/learned to live with the hardtail bounce. I have tamed the bike, essentially, but there are times when I'm in the thick of the nastiness, having committed, when things feel a bit sketchy and I long for more control in the rear.

The Warrior is my only bike. I use it to commute to work everyday, 7-mile round trip, so this is another issue/factor potentially influencing my decision on a full sus rig (e.g. preserve the commuter, get a new bike for the heavy stuff only)

Some of you may have seen my recent posts on the Santa Cruz Heckler vs. Cannondale Gemini, now you have the backstory, FWIW. All of this, of course, feeds into my elaborate plan to get a new bike -- a plan which necessarily must clear the General's desk before it can become reality. But...my concerns are genuine.

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Old 08-29-07, 09:30 AM   #2
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you need to learn how to pick better lines. Better lines are key when it comes to hardtail riding
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Old 08-29-07, 09:49 AM   #3
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better lines and stay off the seat
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Old 08-29-07, 10:26 AM   #4
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Why picky-picky around stuff when you can blow through it with aplomb? Sounds like you're ready for FS. Save the hardtail for commuting chores and get that terrain-tamer.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:40 AM   #5
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Why picky-picky around stuff when you can blow through it with aplomb? Sounds like you're ready for FS. Save the hardtail for commuting chores and get that terrain-tamer.
my preferred answer ;-)

In all seriousness, your point is well taken. The first two responses to this thread suggested taking a different line and staying out of the seat. I'm always out of the seat and the singletrack in question is about as wide as a spaghetti noodle. Options for different lines are quite limited.

More to your point, I am counting on the impact, I really enjoy the teeth-rattling, forearm crunching impacts, that's why I'm out there.

cheers
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Old 08-29-07, 10:55 AM   #6
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Hi Flash,
I am a recent convert to FS bikes. "adequately" influenced by dminor and some others from this forum. Its a Jamis Dakar XLT 3.0 (2006) frame I am going to build it up with new and used parts that I "gathered" over time.

Although I have not built up my bike yet. I have been riding a very similar bike (XLT 2.0, 2005).

After riding hardtails for about 15 years it was a hard decision to move to a full suspension. The simplicity, low maintainance, and efficiency of a hardtail is undeniable. But, my aging lower back, weakning right knee and quest for pushing myself to the next level made me go for a full suspension bike.

The experience has been very positive so far. Although I have been crashing a little more and went through some scary times on the trails (no fault of the bike itself, its just I am becoming more adventurous)....the full suspension bike helped me ride on stuff I never thought I could ride. My lower back is in much better shape even after a long ride. and I have been riding a wider range of new trail system that I used to avoid on a hardtail.

Funny enough, even though I am riding the full suspension for a few months I still do the kind of things that I used to do on a hardtail while going over difficult terrain....like standing up on rooty and rocky section to negotiate the shock with my feet, standing up on a climb, and trying to go around stuff that I would usually avoid while riding a hardtail.

If you have the money and want to push yourself further and want more comfort while mountain biking....A full suspension bike would be a good idea. Go for it.

And get a decent bike/frame (good suspension desing and rear shock). In my opinion, you are better of riding a decent hardtail than a poor quality full suspension.

good luck.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dminor View Post
Why picky-picky around stuff when you can blow through it with aplomb? Sounds like you're ready for FS. Save the hardtail for commuting chores and get that terrain-tamer.

why not blow through it with aplomb on a hardtail?
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Old 08-29-07, 11:11 AM   #8
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why not blow through it with aplomb on a hardtail?
point taken, I've been attempting this on the Warrior, but I lose my poise a bit when the going gets really sketchy. Practice makes perfect, of course, but the pull of the full sus-side is strong.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
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point taken, I've been attempting this on the Warrior, but I lose my poise a bit when the going gets really sketchy. Practice makes perfect, of course, but the pull of the full sus-side is strong.
my first post was sort of in jest, fyi.

edit: but I would add that going from a 3'' travel hardtail to a 4'' travel dual suspension isn't going to be a magic pill or anything.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
Time for a cross bike.
Word. Take a Redline Conquest with 35c tires through those tricky spots, then go back to using the Hardtail. It'll feel like riding a mattress, trust me. The Redline becomes your commuter, and the desire for FS is cured


Just kidding.


No, really, get a cross bike. Very fun.

...If you want to turn your wrists numb and your legs to jelly.



Get one.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:54 AM   #11
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Sounds like the Heckler would be a perfect match.
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Old 08-29-07, 12:14 PM   #12
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our crew switched to FS's during the last two years and its made a huge difference...not just on the rough stuff (we don't get it too rough in Ontario...roots and rock gardens, mostly), but they make a huge difference on the climbs and fast descents.

Perhaps its the bikes we ride, but we now stay in the saddle on the climbs and fly down the sketchiest slopes...

The bikes in our group include 2 Trek Fuels, a Stumpjumper FSR, a 2 week old Santa Cruz VP-Free (not a great climber), a Blur, and an Ellsworth Id.

I still keep my hardtail as its great on light trails and unpaved concession roads, but eveyone else has sold theirs.

here's a couple before a ride
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Old 08-29-07, 12:58 PM   #13
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2 week old Santa Cruz VP-Free (not a great climber)
Is this guy Superman or do you have to wait up for him?
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Old 08-29-07, 01:12 PM   #14
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he sold his Trek Liquid two weeks ago when his new frame came in...it was a heavy bike as well

He built it with a 22/32 chain ring and a 200mm Boxxer fork...came in just under 40lb, but he does keep up with us.

He used to ride with our national MTB team (with...not for) and was a semi-pro downhill racer 10 years ago...that's why he went with the VP-Free, he's been on the gondola on our hill the last two weekends
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Old 08-29-07, 01:17 PM   #15
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Time for a cross bike.
you mean like the 2002 Bianchi Volpe I rode for five years? I shudder to think of the monster faceplants I would execute trying to take that bike on this trail.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:25 PM   #16
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You know, the IF/When came early for me. when I first got into mountain biking, I noticed it was hard to get any braking effect from the rear tire, cause it was always in the air from bouncing over things. ( I didn't have any skills back then and still don't mind you ) You seem to know enough about biking to know if your time has come. I now ride a very stiff full susser, but still find the hardtail quite a workout in comparison.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:37 PM   #17
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Yeah, but something less forgiving than the Volpe's steel. That's why I suggested the Conquest. it's all aluminum.


Seriously though, there might be shops that will let you test ride bikes on the trail. That'll be the best way to see if you like it better than the hardtail.
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Old 08-29-07, 02:36 PM   #18
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Word. Take a Redline Conquest with 35c tires through those tricky spots, then go back to using the Hardtail. It'll feel like riding a mattress, trust me. The Redline becomes your commuter, and the desire for FS is cured


Just kidding.


No, really, get a cross bike. Very fun.

...If you want to turn your wrists numb and your legs to jelly.



Get one.
yikes. that conquest is giving me Volpe flashbacks

good one. this is
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