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  1. #1
    Back to granite skunkty14's Avatar
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    Hardtail to FS switch...in reverse

    Anyone here made the switch from riding primarily or exclusivly(sp) a FS bike to or back to a hardtail? When I picked riding back up about 2 years ago, I was going to get another hardtail like I had always ridden before, but found a good deal on a year end closeout and now have a FS bike. I'm thinking of building a hardtail next year, partly to have a project and also b/c I miss having a bike that will climb walls.

    So have any of you gone back?

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I haven't gone back, wouldn't even consider it. But I do ride both ..both have purposes and work well for those

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    sorta.....a friend of mine went away and i said can i try your FS and hes like sure i cant bring it on the plane anyways so i said woohoo and i tried it and yea its nice and then he came back and well yea he wants it back so i went on my hardtail. I like my HT, i dont know it just seems more responsive, easier to climb, better for my purposes. I do a lot of road travel as well so yea thast to take into consideration.

  4. #4
    Senior Member arboc!'s Avatar
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    ive done it, and its a little bit hard, but after a few days/weeks (depends on how much you ride) youll get used to it, and feel more in tune with your riding.
    ps. what kind of riding do you do.

  5. #5
    Back to granite skunkty14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtjumpP.1
    ive done it, and its a little bit hard, but after a few days/weeks (depends on how much you ride) youll get used to it, and feel more in tune with your riding.
    ps. what kind of riding do you do.
    I would think it would take some time to get used to again, but I'd be okay with that.

    I guess I would catergorize myself as riding XC/all mountain. Not really into huge drops or big stunts, but if something I can ride is in the trail, I take it. I've started looking for skinnies a little more lately b/c my confidence has increased and I've been working on balance and taking better lines on my rides. That said, only one of my regular rides has any stunts or drops, so a HT would and has worked fine on my other rides in the past.

    Oh yea, may as well add in that I'm riding a C-dale Jekyll right now. HT I would build up would probably be a Klein, Rocky Mountain, or an M5, but still up in the air.

  6. #6
    Senior Member arboc!'s Avatar
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    well, a hardtail is definatly a bit harder on your body, but once your used to it, you'll be glad, because your in tune with you riding style, and your trails... skinnies... what ever. Also one of the reasons it was easy for me to swich, was because the geometery of the 2 were fairly similar.

  7. #7
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    it is harder on your body yes but i found it forces me to use my legs as a means of suspension more, so eventually it isnt as harsh feeling.

  8. #8
    Senior Member arboc!'s Avatar
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    yeah, because for some riders suspention makes people ride beter, because it lets them take it to the limit, but for others they arent ready for it and never learn how to ride properly, and they depend to much on the suspention.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    Anyone here made the switch from riding primarily or exclusivly(sp) a FS bike to or back to a hardtail? When I picked riding back up about 2 years ago, I was going to get another hardtail like I had always ridden before, but found a good deal on a year end closeout and now have a FS bike. I'm thinking of building a hardtail next year, partly to have a project and also b/c I miss having a bike that will climb walls.

    So have any of you gone back?
    The trick is really to find a good rear suspension design. I went from a rigid to a FS and I am much faster on everything with my FS. There is no way I'm going to a hardtail. I feel just as connected to the road as my rigid bike, except I'm about 100% more confident over technial terrain.

    On my last night ride, I was using my friend's crappy 12W light. I didn't see quite a few big roots and it would've hurt big time on my rigid, but my bike just soaked it up as the roots weren't there. It is much nicer to have your bike take care of the unexcepted...

    Ming

  10. #10
    Back to granite skunkty14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparks_219
    The trick is really to find a good rear suspension design. ::snip:: It is much nicer to have your bike take care of the unexcepted...
    Out of curiousity, what do you ride right now? I think from your pic it's a Rocky Mountain, maybe an Element......??? If so, do you like it? I think my next bike if FS would be more XC oriented than than my Jekyll is......

  11. #11
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    I think he rides a slayer.

    I have gone from rigid to FS then to a hardtail. The rigid forced me to pick the cleanest lines and honed by skills a whole heck of alot more than my FS. But with the FS I try things I wouldn't try on a rigid so it pushed my riding level a bit.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    Out of curiousity, what do you ride right now? I think from your pic it's a Rocky Mountain, maybe an Element......??? If so, do you like it? I think my next bike if FS would be more XC oriented than than my Jekyll is......

    My bike is a 2003 Rocky Mountain Instinct. It basically is an Element w/ XT/XTR components. I got it at the Toronto Bike show this October and I obsolutely LOVE the bike. I can not only keep up to my previously faster riding buddies over technical terrain, I can hang onto them on climbs as well. The better quality drive train does help a little bit, but the full suspension just keep me at the same position over rocky sections.

    I questioned the sales person when I bought the bike about not having a ProPedal shock, but now I know how efficient the 3D link setup really is. It barely moves when pedaling on the road, and I never even lock it out anymore. The bike is smooth over the smallest bumps and soaks up the big hits as well. Given that I've been riding a full rigid for 5 years, I still tend to be very smooth in terms of riding and picking my lines. I think I was ready for a full suspension

    A few pictures of the bike....





    These are some poor quality photos I took the first day I bought the bike. I have some better pictures of the bike now, and they're up on http://ming.hostopia.com/bike

    My apologies to the origional poster. I didn't mean to hi-jack you thread here. To answer your question, I will not make a move back to a hardtail because I believe a properly designed full suspension is superior to a HT in every aspect.

    Cheers

    Ming

  13. #13
    Digs technical steeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    Anyone here made the switch from riding primarily or exclusivly(sp) a FS bike to or back to a hardtail? When I picked riding back up about 2 years ago, I was going to get another hardtail like I had always ridden before, but found a good deal on a year end closeout and now have a FS bike. I'm thinking of building a hardtail next year, partly to have a project and also b/c I miss having a bike that will climb walls.

    So have any of you gone back?
    I've gone full circle; well, sort of. My first mtn bike was a full rigid in 1980 (you had three choices of bike design back then: full rigid, full rigid or full rigid ). Then suspension forks were introduced; crappy by today's standards, for sure. Then full susp; also crappy by today's standards, all things considered.

    After 20+ years of riding, my main ride today is a 2005 Kona Kula HT. My friends say, 'We can ride over roots and rocks and stuff without even thinking about it!' That's my point; I want to think about it. I like the connection with the Earth my HT gives me. I like to have to finesse my way down a technical section, not steam-roll it. I like the simple, straight-thru foot-chain-tread drive connection I get without having valves, springs, pivots, rocker arms and elastomers in between. I like the simplicity, much the same way riders of single-speeds like their aspect of the sport.

    Sure, my body gets more pounded on my HT. I don't particularly care for that. And there is certain terrain I won't ride on my HT, out of respect for my bike and my body and their limitations. That's why I've got a FS, too

    But for my favorite type of riding (fast, narrow, steep rails of single track) I take my HT as my first choice.

    Last edited by Juniper; 11-29-04 at 10:26 AM.
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  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Iroinically, I feel on a dually I am more connected to earth. It tracks soooo much better at speed ...

  15. #15
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Nevermind hardtail... I still pretty much treat my FS bike as if I'm riding a full-rigid. Old habits die hard. I guess many would say that I'm riding wrong and not taking full advantage of my bike but my instincts still force me to pick the cleanest lines. I do miss my old full-rigid and I'm thinking that my next MTB build will either be a short-travel hardtail or more likely a vintage steel full-rigid again.
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  16. #16
    Hills, more hills please! SadieKate's Avatar
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    I can go full circle whenever I want but with the right design FS would be my choice. I have a Unicoi ST and yes, it can climb mountains but I can't go full-out blasting down a hill. At the end of the day, it uses more energy because you have to stand so much more and I'd rather have the energy for climbing. I also have a Titus Racer-X. Not only can I go faster downhill, but when you turn her nose uphill you better hang on tight. She's going to the top with or without you. She is every bit the climber and maybe even better than the Unicoi because the traction on the rear wheel is better. I love the Unicoi for all day cruises on tamer trails but the Titus can climb just as well and certainly goes down better.

  17. #17
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I guess I can think a little differently...I started on a ht but moved to a dually within 2 years. On my ht's I pick the fastest line (not always the cleanest, as cleanest does not equal the fastest 100% of the time) but on my dually, the idea for the cleanest gets broader as it can handle more hits, allow me to go even faster through sections.

    I think cleanest in my eyes is fastest on the bike/skill you have. Not always the smoothest. Finding the smoothest line might well make for the slowest line available. Having a dually doesn't make you a worse/less clean rider if you ride it right. I would love to watch someone tell Wade Simmons he isn't finding the cleanest lines haha

  18. #18
    Digs technical steeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Iroinically, I feel on a dually I am more connected to earth. It tracks soooo much better at speed ...
    I do know what you mean, Mael. It's a fine line (pun intended ; ) and could be a whole other discussion.
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  19. #19
    Senior Member Xilant's Avatar
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    My first bike (real bike) was a Diamondback Topanga Comp. I thought hard tail was the best ever and i could beat all my friends when we went in mud (they had either CCM, Supercycle or infinity bikes). When I got my Element Race, I knew then I'd never go back to hardtail...

    I also don't like the fact that when I go on a bumpy trail with a HT my rear tire keeps bouncing crazy...
    Last edited by Xilant; 11-29-04 at 04:43 PM.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I am relatively new to a FS bike, so I doubt that I will switch back to a HT any time soon. The FS is far easier on the body and does hook up really well on technical climbs.

    But I would not be on an FS if I could not afford one that has a decent rear triangle & shock set up. It has to be reasonably competitive with a HT, otherwise you give up too much.

  21. #21
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    I think kona transfered from a duallie to ht.


    Anyways, sparks, how much did you get that bike for in CDN?

  22. #22
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparks_219
    My bike is a 2003 Rocky Mountain Instinct. It basically is an Element w/ XT/XTR components. I got it at the Toronto Bike show this October and I obsolutely LOVE the bike. I can not only keep up to my previously faster riding buddies over technical terrain, I can hang onto them on climbs as well. The better quality drive train does help a little bit, but the full suspension just keep me at the same position over rocky sections.

    I questioned the sales person when I bought the bike about not having a ProPedal shock, but now I know how efficient the 3D link setup really is. It barely moves when pedaling on the road, and I never even lock it out anymore. The bike is smooth over the smallest bumps and soaks up the big hits as well. Given that I've been riding a full rigid for 5 years, I still tend to be very smooth in terms of riding and picking my lines. I think I was ready for a full suspension

    A few pictures of the bike....





    These are some poor quality photos I took the first day I bought the bike. I have some better pictures of the bike now, and they're up on http://ming.hostopia.com/bike

    My apologies to the origional poster. I didn't mean to hi-jack you thread here. To answer your question, I will not make a move back to a hardtail because I believe a properly designed full suspension is superior to a HT in every aspect.

    Cheers

    Ming

    Superiour technology wise. Some people just prefer the hardtails. For me, I feel as though I have a solid platform, and it usually gives you a bigger launch for a jump, no? I mean, pardon my ignorance, I see quite a few pro dirt jumpers (e.g. john cowan, timo pritzl (sp)) using hardtails.

    Yes, duallies are really cool, but it all comes down to feeling when you're riding your bike, not necessarily technology. There are some people I know who will swear to stay on a hardtail, rather than a duallie, despite the better tech.

  23. #23
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Yes hts are generally better to jump on. Especially if they are built like bmx kickers

  24. #24
    Ride bike or bike ride? Hopper's Avatar
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    Yeah hardtails are better for DJing because they don't absorb the lip and are lighter, therefore easy to do tricks on. They also feel better taking off, but you can actually set up a dualie to catapult you pretty high off a jump.
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  25. #25
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Yep. You can. But hardtails come that way.

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