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Old 09-12-09, 09:44 PM   #1
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All-Mountain 'hardtail' ??? seems like an oxymoron...

....in that, AMountain seems, to me, extreme XC or soft DH...

i hear so many folks saying that full/dual-suspension is the only way to go once the going really gets rough...

what are the advantages of having a really decked out HT with great front suspension for AMountain versus a slightly heavier FS AMountain bike?

seems to me that AMountain riding demands a full suspension bike...or do AMountain riders with HTails just avoiding things more creatively/deftly?
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Old 09-12-09, 11:25 PM   #2
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If you think an AMHT is an oxy-M...what do you think about a FRHT?

-riding style
-how fast you wanna get there
-what you wanna feel like when the ride's over
-terrain


Case in point...go check out the new "Blindside" video at transitionbikes.com by Joel Spackman. The Blindside is an 8" bike and all of the trail on this video could be ridden pretty much in the same manner by probably the same dude on a Vagrant or God forbid...a Komodo with a good 160mm fork.
-There aren't any sections on there with repeated big rocks and crap that you have to plow through with an 8" bike.
-All the drops have nice sloped trannies
-All the rocky sections can be gapped

Why ride an 8" dually? More fun? More comfortable? More margin for error?

We have a few local trails here that would in my own mind necessitate a good 5-6" dually if I lived near them and rode them weekly...and that's just for XC. A hardtail will take more abuse than you are apparently aware of...but I'm gonna say that if I had the funds to do it properly...I'd be on a dually.

That's what I prefer.

Reasons to ride an AMHT (I guess):
-cheaper (by far) //You know there are some of us who live on a single income...yeah, like...OMG, right? I spent $144 for my brand new hardtail frame. Find me a good dually that will not break for that price.

-lighter // On a really long ride...just losing 2-3lbs of bike can make the end of the ride so "fresh" and fun b/c I still have the energy to enjoy it. The Covert frame weighs 6.7# with a dinky air shock...my Komodo is only 5.1lbs and is probably a bit overbuilt in comparison.

-better climbing, possibly? //If you're on a really climby trail on your AM bike...you may prefer a good AMHT with the ability to lock out the fork. It really makes quick work of the longer/smoother climbs. If I were to change back to my aluminum bars and run a PIKE instead of the Float I've got...my bike would still be basically the same bike it is now. Same angles, similar feel. To me, it would be considered an AMHT instead of the "trail bike" that it is now. I'd still ride it on the street, urban, trails, commute...it would handle the abuse but still be efficient enough to handle the easier stuff, I guess.

-less maintenance....this is a weak excuse to do the HT over the FS IMO


There are several reasons that I can see someone preferring a good HT over a dually.

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Old 09-13-09, 05:45 AM   #3
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appreciate all that!

since jumping back into what i guess is still XC, i am definitely upping my game and want to spend my hard-earned money accordingly. have thought through alot concerning HT or FS, terrain and my attitude towards it...an all-around (extreme XC?) bike will definitely be the best thing...one bike can't do it all for sure....but one can do most of it....lucky for me, i don't care to ride in a way that i have to put on body armour...!

thanks for the clarification.

by the way, what would be your recommendation for such a AMHT bike in the $1100 range?

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Old 09-13-09, 07:37 AM   #4
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Hmmm...that's a tough one. Most of the AMHT's that I "know" about or have researched are something you'd need to build. Banshee Scirocco, Sinister Ridge, Transition TransAm, etc...

There are definitely some "burly hardtails" out there though.
Jamis Komodo II
Norco Wolverine
Norco Bigfoot
Kona Five-O
Kona Shred

I'm kinda wondering though...if maybe you'd be better served by something a little less burly like:
Kona Kula
Specialized Rockhopper
Jamis Dakota
Norco Nitro

If you have the time and wanna build a bike, maybe the On One 456 is a good place to start. It's a good strong frame. You could build it light and efficient, yet tough enough to handle your "non-body-armor" shredding. Like I mentioned...my frame was $144. It's a FRHT frame, but can be built light enough for AM.



To me, an all mountain bike has a PIKE or Fox32 QR15 fork. Non-carbon weight weenie componentry. Good/tough non-XC wheelset.
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Old 09-13-09, 09:12 AM   #5
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yep, burly hardtails suck. very addictive. don't get one.
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Old 09-13-09, 12:04 PM   #6
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Old 09-13-09, 01:16 PM   #7
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youtube some danny macaskill videos before thinking that rigid is a bad thing.
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Old 09-13-09, 01:34 PM   #8
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Yes...b/c we ALL posess his skill. I don't see what Danny's rigid trials bike has to do with an AMHT. If you can ride like that...don't matter what you ride. I'm a bit sick of his name being thrown around.

Danny couldn't hang with Sam Hill on a DH course while riding that rigid.



I'm quite positive the OP isn't a trials rider.
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Old 09-13-09, 02:10 PM   #9
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yeah, the banshee i've checked out...someone on a trail today told me to go 29er if i wanted an AllMountain HT...weight weenie me still wonders about the pounds...but i see his point....roll over things etc.

yes, a bike that can do more than others is one thing. skill is another. i'd like a bike that, should my skills (which are pretty good) or just challenging terrain knocks me off trail, i can confidently roll with it and have fun finding my way back without slowing down too much...

i might work on building one up slowly...while that is going on, i might just jump on a rockhopper.
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Old 09-13-09, 02:13 PM   #10
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btw way, checked out danny's videos...sure, he's good. no, GREAT at what he does....but i don't think i'll be hitting brandywine valley trail and rocks the way he does....i like to roll, not hop!
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Old 09-13-09, 06:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
I'm a bit sick of his name being thrown around.
i'm not someone who supports hype for hype sake.
in this case i believe mr. macaskill deserves everything coming to him.
riding on a level others may not match for many years to come.
(in terms of extreme city trials-bike riding and tricks.)
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Old 09-13-09, 06:23 PM   #12
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Agree'd...though when you see the same video get posted over and over all year...

Not discounting his efforts at all...he's the PIMP.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:28 PM   #13
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Haven't ridden any of them, but they seem like pretty good deals. Maybe someone else can weigh in on how they ride.
http://www.brodiebikes.com/2009/onli..._clearance.php
2007 Bigshot $1200
2007 Brute $1000
2008 Bruzza$1000

Some cheap frames on there too, if you're looking to build one up.
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Old 09-13-09, 08:22 PM   #14
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Haven't ridden any of them, but they seem like pretty good deals. Maybe someone else can weigh in on how they ride.
http://www.brodiebikes.com/2009/onli..._clearance.php
2007 Bigshot $1200
2007 Brute $1000
2008 Bruzza$1000

Some cheap frames on there too, if you're looking to build one up.
thanks zephyr...these look quite good...and those frames
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Old 09-14-09, 09:48 AM   #15
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same video get posted over and over all year...
Here i'll agree. i want to see more from the man. only other thing i found was some lame one of him practicing one trick and another which was a nike commercial with people chasing him through london streets and alleys.
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Old 09-14-09, 11:20 PM   #16
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It's only all mountain if it has 29" wheels.





Too soon?
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Old 10-15-09, 12:44 PM   #17
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Well, I'm in a bit of a quandry here. I'm also considering the FS vs. HT problem, and if money were no issue I'd just go with a light FS with lockout. I currently ride an old steel Gary Fisher hardtail. Climbs like a monkey, but pretty harsh ride in the rock gardens and rough downhill sections. My concerns are listed below:

1. I primarily ride in Bidwell Park, which has a lot of rocky technical sections, and really not all that much smooth singletrack. There is quite a bit of rough climbs as well, which makes me lean towards a full suspension bike.

2. I'm no clyde, but I weigh in at 180...not sure if that matters in the whole FS vs. HT decision making process.

3. Price - I'm looking for something in the sub $1700 category.

4. Weight - I'd rather not get a SUPER heavy bike as climbs are a natural part of my riding environment.


Seems to me I can get better components and a lighter ride by going with a HT. However, being able to handle the rocky technical patches, drops, and rough uphills would be better on a FS even considering the extra weight. What would you choose?
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Old 10-15-09, 12:54 PM   #18
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If I had the coin, I'd be on nothing but duallies. I'd have a nice 7x7, 6x6, and 4x4.

But...given your pricepoint and terrain, see if you can find a lightly used or old closeout Stumpy FSR.

Perfect for your described terrain.

That or a Heckler/Blur on eBay.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:14 PM   #19
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If I had the coin, I'd be on nothing but duallies. I'd have a nice 7x7, 6x6, and 4x4.

But...given your pricepoint and terrain, see if you can find a lightly used or old closeout Stumpy FSR.

Perfect for your described terrain.

That or a Heckler/Blur on eBay.
Yep, you can get something mid-level nice in the 4-6" travel range for that kind of money, or likely something much, much nicer built if you go used.

Or you can do up a nice slack burly hardtail with a pretty smoking parts spec for that money. Run a nice amount of fork sag, and some fat tires and all is good.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:22 PM   #20
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Why ride an 8" dually? More fun? More comfortable? More margin for error?



All of the above. Plus you will do it at warp speeds and plow straight lines through things that you might otherwise nervously weave and pick through.

I'm not one of Transition's video supermen like Joel and some of that stuff would have me stopping, looking, pushing back up and doing a couple more roll-ups before I'd boost it - - on my Blindside. The camera makes it look tame but there is some big stuff on that trail and silly-steep, glad-I-have-a-64°head-angle roll-downs.

Tell ya what, Ed: come on out to Whistler next year after you get your new HT finished and ride In Deep with me. After you've changed yer drawers, we'll ride back up the Garbo lift and you can do it again on eight inches and then tell me which you'd prefer .


Nice Offspring soundtrack on that vid.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:40 PM   #21
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Old 10-15-09, 02:17 PM   #22
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Tell ya what, Ed: come on out to Whistler next year after you get your new HT finished and ride In Deep with me. After you've changed yer drawers, we'll ride back up the Garbo lift and you can do it again on eight inches and then tell me which you'd prefer .


Nice Offspring soundtrack on that vid.
I already told ya what I "prefer". I miss my XLT...but I don't "need" it. I'd definitely rather be rocking an 8" dually on crazy DH stuff...even mediocre DH stuff. But you don't "need" it...if I were your neighbor Doug, I'd be on your old Yeti. I'd have snatched that thing up fast!

Heck man...when I had the XLT...I just rolled over curbs. Now I have to hop or transfer weight. Duallies are undoubtedly more fun for me. But I can't afford to build one that I'm happy with.

Though all of this bargain hunting lately has made me wonder what I could get out of "both bikes" and into a nice dually again. But then I run into that caveat of too much and not enough. Say I get a 6"-7" Gnardually. I have too much to hang with my XC regulars. Say I get a 4-5" trail bike...not enough to go downtown and huck loading docks to flat with a clear conscience.

To my knowledge there isn't a good 6" alternative that would be within my price range.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:18 PM   #23
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you should be fine, it's all mountain, your most likely not hitting 15 foot drops, 20 foot gaps and ect. Not saying their aint some big stuff on the trails but it's a bit of everything, your not going to be hitting massive jumps or doing big road gaps. Also why would we avoid rocky sections? We might have to go a bit slower but so what (unless you can gap it). It's definitely possible to have a amht. You should see what some people can do on hardtails freeriding. Just saying....
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