Talk me into buying a FS, not a hardtail (Motobecane Fly)
I'm about to buy a mountain bike. I used to ride an intro-level 30lbs Gary Fisher bike which was eventually stolen =(, and since then I've been a road cyclist.
Am going to get back into mtn biking. I love climbing, but don't enjoy descents too much - I'm not a particularly strong downhiller, but I can keep up with all but the racers on hairy descents. Amongst nonracers, I'm considered a good climber (I train with competitive road cyclists.)
I was going to buy a light hardtail like the Motobecane Fly, but after hearing folks swear by their FS bikes, I'm wondering if I should go that route.
THe one time I rode a FS, it was pretty sweet, but again, I'm not a ferocious (and will never be) downhill rider. No big drops for me, but somewhat challenging singletrack will be expected.
What do you think I should go for - FS (to climb FAST) or hardtail?
A fat tire & a skinny tire & two others I loaned out
If climbing is your game, hardtail. The compromise you make with w FS (though smaller & smaller of a compromise with advancing suspension technology, from what I hear) is pedal-bob when you climb. For most people, the descent is the icing on top, so the slight pedal-bob on the way up is worth the smooth ride down. But for you it would be the opposite--you would want a HT so that you can fully enjoy the snappy, responsive climb, & then manage with the bumpier ride down.
to be honest if I were you and not sure I'd buy the bikes direct FS bike although the fly ti bike is also very sexy.... worst case you can sell the frame but a hard tail and swap over all the top shelf components
I just replaced my FS bike with a hardtail. I'm the same - I'm not into going crazy fast downhill. Thus far I'm actually just as fast on my hardtail as I was on the FS on downhills, which I guess means I really wasn't pushing the limits of my FS. It was also cheaper with better components, and I'm about 20% faster on climbs all around. It's more pleasant on smooth trails and trails with small rocks (no pedal bob and 29" wheels make a big difference).
I'd say stick with the hardtail unless you think you want to go fast downhill or hit big rock gardens. Those Fly frames look pretty sweet.
And FWIW, I got a bikesdirect bike. I practically took the whole bike apart and put it back together well greased and torqued right. So far it looks like the only actual problem is that the front wheel is a little dished, but for $800 I got a great bike (Windsor 29er Pro) and it'll cost $20 to have my wheel trued at my LBS. As long as you're comfortable with a wrench, Bikes Direct is no big deal IMO.