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Old 03-15-10, 09:53 PM   #1
xfimpg
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What climbs better: hardtail or dualie? And why?

This is a question i've been asking myself for quite some time... so I thought i'd put it out here.

What climbs better: a hardtail or a dualie?

Let's assume the dualie has a run of the mill rear suspension unit, and you don't use the lockout feature on it, you just go.

So which one climbs better? And why?
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Old 03-15-10, 10:35 PM   #2
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1) It depends on the geometry of the bike moreso than whether or not there's suspension. i.e. a slack bike won't climb as well as a bike with a steeper headtube and seattube angle that sits your weight farther forward.

2) It depends on the intended purpose of the bike. This ties in with point #1 since it influences the geometry of the bike. A FR or DH bike will provide a less efficient pedaling platform than an XC bike.

3) All things being equal, the hardtail should climb better. A similarly spec'ed hardtail will be lighter and no extra energy is lost to the suspension. Modern suspension designs are good enough that the actual energy lost to suspension is pretty minimal though, especially on those super efficient 4" XC bikes, so I wouldn't get too concerned about rear suspension sapping up all of your pedaling power.
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Old 03-15-10, 10:47 PM   #3
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Depends on the trail. And on your definition of "better."
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Old 03-15-10, 10:59 PM   #4
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Depends on the trail. And on your definition of "better."
Pretty much says it.
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Old 03-16-10, 12:33 AM   #5
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Yea I agree on the depends on the trail statement. My Dawg can more easily climb up steep hills that are riddled with rocks and roots than my hardtail can. The rear wheel bounces around a less and I don't loose the traction.
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Old 03-16-10, 06:15 AM   #6
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3) All things being equal, the hardtail should climb better. A similarly spec'ed hardtail will be lighter and no extra energy is lost to the suspension. Modern suspension designs are good enough that the actual energy lost to suspension is pretty minimal though, especially on those super efficient 4" XC bikes, so I wouldn't get too concerned about rear suspension sapping up all of your pedaling power.
What determines if a bike is a 4"?
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Old 03-16-10, 06:32 AM   #7
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^zephyr is referring to the amount of (rear) wheel travel that the suspension provides.
Some uphills can be done much faster on a FS. Especially short, bumpy ones that come after a downhill.
But good suspension is designed to absorb energy and convert it into heat.
It's very hard to design one that doesn't rob the rider of some of his/her pedaling watts.
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Old 03-16-10, 07:30 AM   #8
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^zephyr is referring to the amount of (rear) wheel travel that the suspension provides.
Some uphills can be done much faster on a FS. Especially short, bumpy ones that come after a downhill.
But good suspension is designed to absorb energy and convert it into heat.
It's very hard to design one that doesn't rob the rider of some of his/her pedaling watts.
Thanks
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Old 03-16-10, 11:01 AM   #9
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Like cryptid said depends on the trail. I can't imagine climbing this on a hardtail.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...uicide-mission!
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Old 03-16-10, 03:05 PM   #10
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the skill of the rider is more important than the bike. I am assuming we are talking typical XC type of bikes. You just can't buy climbing ability.

sometimes it is the HT and sometimes it is the FS bike. It just depends on the terrain. In the early days of FS, people would talk about how much of a dog a FS is in climbing but with the modern suspensions and settings, it's hard to tell the difference. The prime example would be the specialized epic or the FSR elites with the brain rear shock. you can set those babies up to nearly be like HT or the suspensions where you can lock the rear shock or at a minimum have propedal.

Time in the saddle and how i felt after a long FS or HT ride determined which bike i would ride. I can no longer ride a 26" HT without it killing me so I went FS but now I can ride a steel HT 29er pretty much all day too.
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Old 03-16-10, 05:33 PM   #11
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Typically hardtail's can boot it up hills when stuff is smooth, but i'll throw my hat in with a FS(horst-link) taking it on a rocky and rooty climb. With the sag dialed-in your rear-wheel will always tend to keep itself planted and not kick-loose as badly as it can with the hardtail.

Other things that play a big role are chainstay length to keep your centre of gravity forward of the rear axle which prevents popping wheelies and the tire type(big fat ones with knobs to grab rocky lips and grooves)



Check out those chainstays
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Old 03-16-10, 06:03 PM   #12
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^^^

Do you think he using grany gear?
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Old 03-16-10, 06:20 PM   #13
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Typically hardtail's can boot it up hills when stuff is smooth, but i'll throw my hat in with a FS(horst-link) taking it on a rocky and rooty climb. With the sag dialed-in your rear-wheel will always tend to keep itself planted and not kick-loose as badly as it can with the hardtail.

Other things that play a big role are chainstay length to keep your centre of gravity forward of the rear axle which prevents popping wheelies and the tire type(big fat ones with knobs to grab rocky lips and grooves)
A lot of this suspension technology is new to me.
Would you consider the horst-link the best technology for the rider who wants an FS bike that performs well on climbs? all things being equal, of course.

Last edited by xfimpg; 03-16-10 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 03-16-10, 07:13 PM   #14
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A lot of this suspension technology is new to me.
Would you consider the horst-link the best technology for the rider who wants an FS bike that performs well on climbs? all things being equal, of course.
Yeah, it is one of the better ones when it comes to climbing for sure. One of the worst is a single pivot design which can bob a lot. With shock "pedal platforms" it's more controlled now so it is not as bad as it used to be... the old heckler i used(single pivot) used to bob and "kick-back" the pedals a lot on the slow stuff.
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Old 03-16-10, 07:25 PM   #15
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Yeah, it is one of the better ones when it comes to climbing for sure. One of the worst is a single pivot design which can bob a lot. With shock "pedal platforms" it's more controlled now so it is not as bad as it used to be... the old heckler i used(single pivot) used to bob and "kick-back" the pedals a lot on the slow stuff.
Is this the single pivot design?


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Old 03-16-10, 07:28 PM   #16
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Is this the single pivot design?


Nope, that is a VPP design.

This is a single pivot:
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Old 03-16-10, 07:29 PM   #17
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Yeah, it is one of the better ones when it comes to climbing for sure. One of the worst is a single pivot design which can bob a lot. With shock "pedal platforms" it's more controlled now so it is not as bad as it used to be... the old heckler i used(single pivot) used to bob and "kick-back" the pedals a lot on the slow stuff.
Kick Back???? I had no more problems out of my single pivot bikes than I have out of my FSR design while climbing.
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Old 04-26-10, 12:13 AM   #18
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My 19-pound hardtail can climb ANYTHING. I have a 20t granny and a 27t rear cog now...

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Old 04-26-10, 06:57 AM   #19
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This Q also depends on riding style. If you have strong quads and like to stand on a climb...the a HT is slammin'. If all you're gonna do is sit and spin the granny...then a dually "should" be better in all arena that aren't weight related. (sit'n'spin climbind over the chop yields more traction...yada...)
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