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Old 05-31-11, 10:03 AM   #1
gavo
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29er or first full sus?

Hey guys. First real post and looking for some advice. I've never ridden a full susser, only hard tails. Since I turned 40 a few months back, I'm thinking I might need to be a little kinder to my spine. I'm thinking of getting either a KHS 204 frame and building it up with parts I have or a new Gary Fisher Marlin ss. Both would end up costing about the same when all is said and done. The trails near me are fairly tight and choppy. I'm 5'7 with about a 30" inseam. What do you reckon?
Thanks for any input.
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Last edited by gavo; 05-31-11 at 10:08 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-31-11, 04:48 PM   #2
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I'm 57 and 6' 3", so the size is a little different. But I went F/S last Fall, A Scott Spark 20. It is super sweet. I kinda wish I would have gone 29er, but have no riding regrets about the F/S. It enable you to take bumpy conditions with more speed and control. Mine has full lock outs so climbing is still all my fault if I can't get it done. I bought used, so I got a lot of bike for $1500.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Daspydyr. Do you find the maintenance to be difficult on the F/S?
Just wondering about linkages and pressure settings etc. I'm clueless about these things. Plus,
I'm a lazy sod.
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Old 06-01-11, 12:15 PM   #4
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The maintenance has been a piece of cake so far. The shocks do require a special Needle Pump. The pressure is based on rider weight. Not much work once you get it down. Then you get to play with the pressure settings once you are in the range to get the ride to your liking. Its not really a big deal, just something to tinker with. I was born tinkering.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:03 AM   #5
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Have you considered a 650B? Might fit someone 5'7" better.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:51 PM   #6
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A 650b would be ideal but it's just not in the budget.
Maybe some day. Ahhh, if only I could win that pesky lottery.
Thanks for the replies though - I appreciate your input.
Gavo
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Old 06-04-11, 01:18 PM   #7
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At 5'7" you would have a lot of trouble finding a 29er that does not pressure the crotch when you straddle the bike. The standover figures I have seen apply to the first inches under the saddle.
At 5'7" myself I don't want to become a father, but I also don't want to have to move my testicles to a spot under my chin just to get bigger wheels.
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Old 06-04-11, 10:49 PM   #8
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I am 5'7 w/ 27 3/8 inseam and have no problem with my small El Mariachi 29er. No squishing. I have been eyeballing that new Spearfish . . .
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Old 06-05-11, 01:08 AM   #9
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Got the cash? Get both! You only live once.

You might be able to convert your current bike to 650b if you have the fork and rear triangle clearance. Only cost would be a new wheelset and tires.

I'm 5'6" and ride a small 29er, 'nuther El Mariachi!. Don't let standover height put you off on 29ers. Who buys a bike for standover height? To look good stopped at the Starbucks? A bike is for riding, not stopped and standing over it. IMHO, ETT size is more important in bike sizing. There are several FS 29er suspension designs that have lower top tubes to accommodate shortys.

Full suspension is nice and smooths out rough trails better than hardtail 29ers.
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Old 06-05-11, 02:08 AM   #10
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I am between 5'7 and 5'8 ... tad under 5'8 with 30 inseam and stand over my 2011 Fisher 29er Paragon (medium - 17 frame) with no trouble. OP (Gavo), as far as FS or 29er hardtail it comes down to the type of riding you do. If it is more XC or smoothed single tracks then I would go with a 29er hardtail...fisher Cobia is an excellent bike and you can get a great deal on last years model. Local shop here has one for about $700. If you ride in areas with more technical areas such as rock gardens, large roots, drop offs, etc then go with a full suspension. A decent full suspension will cost you more...but you can get the Giant Yukon fairly cheap which is a decent entry level full suspension. I have a specialized stumpy full suspension and a GF Paragon hardtail 29er...love riding them both. I have a trail by my house that is packed single track with some good climbs and sections where you can fly...i ride the 29er hardtail there as it climbs like a goat and carves through the trails...after riding the 29er on those trails i swear that is the best bike in the world. Then i go higher up the mountain on weekends to more technical trails with rocks gardens and some small drops offs and that stumpy is a dream...it takes pretty much whatever i through at it like i am riding on a couch (FS make sure your suspension is dialed in) and i swear the stumpy is the best bike in the world. It handles great, accelerates quick, and rides like butta. On the XC trail by my house the full suspension doesnt climb that flattened single tracks as well and doesnt maintain rolling speed as well...on the more technical mountain trails the hardtail is a teeth rattling experience...both are doable...and can be fun...but the other bike seems to do it better.

I was going to get a 29er full suspension but I just couldnt find a good fit on one and it just didnt ride as well as the 26er...less suspension, not as comfortable cockpit, and to me just not as good as handling. I broke down and got two for the different riding and love them both. So my long drawn out point, pends on your riding style, where you ride, and your price point as a secent full suspension will cost you more (common sense). Good luck on your bike hunt and as long as you ride it you will more than likely enjoy it.
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Old 06-09-11, 10:42 AM   #11
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Speaking as a mid-40's guy.....get both! Full susp + 29'er. I love my Trek Superfly 100. Here's a report I wrote about it on my team blog:

http://rock-racing.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-bike.html

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Old 06-09-11, 01:20 PM   #12
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45 y.o. Been riding a Specialized FS since 1997. It's time for a new bike.

Trek had a demo day a couple weeks ago so I took quick spins on a 29er hardtail, 26 FS and 29 FS. It took less than three minutes on the hardtail to know that I wanted a FS (still have to decide between wheel sizes on that).

Reason being is that the hardtail felt like a much beefed up version of my cyclocross bike. A lot of fun but I would probably get tired of the rear end jumping around over everything. Even my old, out-of-date full suspension rides smoother.

Now, if I didn't have the CX bike I might consider the hardtail more due to weight, cost and versatility. But for just mountain bike trail riding I want the cushie rear end (so to speak).
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Old 06-09-11, 03:39 PM   #13
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I think I'm leaning toward the full sus build. I have a couple of cross bikes and a couple of other hardtails so I should be otherwise covered. Its seeems that the amount of bikes I own is inversely proportional to the amount of riding I get to do (2 jobs and father of 3). Thanks for all the advice guys, I appreciate it.
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Old 06-09-11, 04:12 PM   #14
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I would go with a full sus. *shrugs* its a person preference.
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Old 06-09-11, 06:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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One small point: Trek has owned Gary Fisher since the '90s. All they did a year ago was start putting "Trek" on the Fisher frames.
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Old 06-09-11, 07:58 PM   #16
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One small point: Trek has owned Gary Fisher since the '90s. All they did a year ago was start putting "Trek" on the Fisher frames.
Yep. Trek purchaced the Gary Fisher brand from the Tiawanese firm Anlun back in 1993. Gary sold it to Anlun in 1991. Trek realized it was difficult to market the brand without Gary, so they brought him in around 1996. Trek successfully fooled most people into believing the two brands were seperate, but the reality was that the GF Bicycle Company was nothing more than a cubicle farm at Trek's world headquarters in Waterloo, WI.
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