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Old 11-15-04, 09:14 AM   #1
Juniper
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I posted this in 'Racing' yesterday but haven't got a response yet. Thought I'd try here, too.

***Since the thread is HT vs FS relative to racing, here is something I've wondered: how much rough trail can a HT handle relative to FS? I know the HT will be harsher on the body but how about the bike?

I ride an '05 Kula with the Easton Ultralight race frame (I'm not sure if the rear triangle is the same tubing or not) and the bike is fast, light, climbs like a rocket and is a really forgiving ride (for a HT). However, when I get into some very rough sections of course that seem almost all-mountain or downhill style ('Where's the trail? Straight ahead and down this bumpy hill, apparently!') I start to wonder if a HT can typically handle it without too much stress. I'm not talking big air but more of a fast, major washboard course section with occasional small air (under 3 feet). Am I at risk of cracking or bending the chainstays or other frame sections?***

Thanks!
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Old 11-15-04, 09:54 AM   #2
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I don't know about the racing-designed lightweight hardtails, but they certainly make some freeride/dirt-jumping oriented hardtails that can take really big drops without hurting anything but maybe the rider.

I don't guess you'd hurt it much, it's not like the frame is made out of tinfoil or anything... is it?
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Old 11-15-04, 10:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MadMan2k
I don't know about the racing-designed lightweight hardtails, but they certainly make some freeride/dirt-jumping oriented hardtails that can take really big drops without hurting anything but maybe the rider.

I don't guess you'd hurt it much, it's not like the frame is made out of tinfoil or anything... is it?
Thanks for the reply. No, it's not made of tin-foil! But it is darn light and the stays are pretty thin in diameter.

I've seen the same freeride and DJ HT's and that's got me thinking it would take a massive bad landing to bend the chainstays or other frame sections (not talking big air, of course). Perhaps the bends aren't in danger of happening so much to the bike's frame as to MY frame.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:32 AM   #4
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I rode my trek 4300 down some HAINOUS DH/AL stuff with my friends over the weekend, and every one else had BIG travel full sussers.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:25 AM   #5
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Well... my brother officially turned his Trek 4300 into a trials / urban / DJ machine..

He's grinded on the rear stays numerous times... there's no paint left, and it's all dinged up. It rides just fine.

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Old 11-15-04, 12:09 PM   #6
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Treks heavier 3700-6700 HT's can handle abuse, well, at least the frames. The components are another story, but I know the frames can take it.
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Old 11-15-04, 12:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by snakehunter
I rode my trek 4300 down some HAINOUS DH/AL stuff with my friends over the weekend, and every one else had BIG travel full sussers.
This won't become a Trek praising thread that bashes every other brand, let's keep it to the mentioned topic, this is actually a good topic with discussion over it, let's keep it that way. Do check the head tube welds, the welds at the seat post and the stays. There was probably a reason your friends with the big travel bikes for that section.

Well, my Stuff is holding to alot of stuff. It depends on how smooth of a rider you are.
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Old 11-15-04, 01:07 PM   #8
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Ah, good ole' KonaRider's anti-Trek bias showing through
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Old 11-15-04, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaRider24
Well, my Stuff is holding to alot of stuff. It depends on how smooth of a rider you are.
I ride a hardtail and I am pretty aggressive with it on my type of riding ( XC ). A couple of friends of mine have Full susp. and they have finally got their skills up to be as fast as me on the Downhills. Point that stops me getting more aggressive is my body and my pocket. My body can't take much more shaking, and the wallet does not like rebuilds. Hence me also being a smooth rider. I wear things out. I don't break them. (except helmets) The two friends of mine with Full suspension are always dinging rims, Snakebites and tyre tears are common, and I have lost count on the number of bits that "Just fell off and Broke".
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Old 11-15-04, 02:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses. I'm getting the sense that, with the exception of the most extreme big air freeriding, I should be fine with my HT if I can handle the bone-shaking terrain physically. I've been eyeing this fairly steep (30 - 35 degrees?) straight downhill slide maybe 150' long that is rutted hardpack with the occassional babyhead and thinking I'd do it right now with a good all-mountain or freeride but I don't want to cross from use to abuse with my HT, since I really like that bike! Maybe I'll give it a try next time I'm there.

Last edited by Juniper; 11-15-04 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 11-15-04, 09:31 PM   #11
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Think about the guys that do these huge jumps in parks and whatnot, or the bmx riders. I see not rear suspension on them and their bikes dont seem to snap. HT is fine,
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Old 11-15-04, 09:48 PM   #12
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Phantom

While I agree keep this in mind. Wheels are smaller with many many more spokes. Strength of thei wheels is signifigantly more. The tringles and also smaller and tighter, again being smaller.

But agree, with the right ht, it can be very strong. I would be far more concerned tacoing a 32 hole wheel before breaking a frame.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:08 PM   #13
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Well, everything has its weak spot. Frames break at the weld (usually, under "normal" circumstances), wheels bend (taco) parallel to the ground, on the axis where there is less strength, and mountain bikes break at the wheel, which is the weak point of the whole system (aside from a tire, which should be an obvious assertion). 9-10 times, the wheel will bend, throwing you off of the bike long before the frame can snap. The most important thing to look for are small stress fractures and cracks, mostly in aluminum frames, as these are what WILL lead to a sudden, catastrophic failure. Unless you are trying to jump the peloton on your 4300, I think that a steep, rutted downhill will be no problem.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:24 PM   #14
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hartails are still used in racing for a reason: they work.

i dont race, but my hartail does fine, even in situations where washboard would be like glass compared to what I was on...it may be harsh, but you always know how that bike is going to react...plus with the rear wheel being in a fixed spot I find it easer to "assist" in steering input using my feet to shuffle the bike around when traction is low.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:57 PM   #15
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The Evil HT frames look pretty damn strong.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Phantom
But agree, with the right ht, it can be very strong. I would be far more concerned tacoing a 32 hole wheel before breaking a frame.
I've seen cracked BB shells and cracks around the headtube from hard hits, usually. You're more likely to pop some spokes or shear a BB spindle than drop the BB out, but it's still possible, especially on aluminum frames, which most XC bikes seem to be.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:21 PM   #17
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any frame will be strong and hard to brake but hard tails will aways be a lot stronger. i've never heard of a hardtail breaking, only softtails.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:30 PM   #18
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I've seen cracked BB shells and cracks around the headtube from hard hits, usually. You're more likely to pop some spokes or shear a BB spindle than drop the BB out, but it's still possible, especially on aluminum frames, which most XC bikes seem to be.
True. But in the past couple of years frames have been built up in those areas. Less likely to happen.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:53 PM   #19
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i broke my friends giant xtc not even on the weld top tube and down tube completely broken in half. 4 ft drop caused that
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Old 11-15-04, 11:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dirtjumpP.1
i broke my friends giant xtc not even on the weld top tube and down tube completely broken in half. 4 ft drop caused that
Hmmm, I guess an Aluminium bike.

http://www.243racing.com/page155.htm These guys are a skip away from me, I think I'm gonna get one.

Chromoly DH HT.

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Old 11-16-04, 07:49 AM   #21
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Indeed so .
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Old 11-16-04, 08:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Phantom

While I agree keep this in mind. Wheels are smaller with many many more spokes. Strength of thei wheels is signifigantly more. The tringles and also smaller and tighter, again being smaller.

But agree, with the right ht, it can be very strong. I would be far more concerned tacoing a 32 hole wheel before breaking a frame.

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