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Dual Suspension MTB?

Old 09-06-18, 01:09 PM
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Hondo Gravel
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Dual Suspension MTB?

Any of you 50+ ride a dual suspension mountain bike? I have never ridden one so I am clueless about the ride over various off road terrain. I would love hear you’re two cents about these bikes.
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Old 09-06-18, 02:42 PM
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Try one out. I picked up FS Diamondback Catch 2 last year and it's fun, fun, fun. It's a plus-sized 27.5 with a nearly 3 inch tire.
I've been slowly adding different terrain to learn the bike and learn handling.

Have fun!
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Old 09-06-18, 02:53 PM
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I ride a Salsa Spearfish (among other bikes). The rear suspension really helps with my lower back issues, especially traversing rock gardens. For me, it’s the sudden jolts that I didn’t see and anticipate that the rear suspension helps most. Most FS MTBs will allow locking out the suspension when on pavement or smoother surfaces, too.
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Old 09-06-18, 03:05 PM
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I have an old Cannondale Rize 4 F/S (full suspension or full squish) and it is wonderful. The suspension makes up for a lot of the bike-handling skills I lost in the nearly two decades I was off the trails, and since my legs lack the strength and suppleness needed to act as shocks ... I have shocks. Less physical abuse and more obstacles cleared = fun to me.
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Old 09-06-18, 04:29 PM
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Yup. Been riding a 2011 Trek Fuel EX8 for a few months now and love it. It rides on Fox 32 full floaters. Definitely more fun now on my rides. Jumps are easier.
I transitioned from years on hardtails so it wasn't that hard an adjustment. Still learning on how to fine tune my sag and rebound though. Before hardtails I was on full rigids.
Test ride one and see if it's for you.
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Old 09-06-18, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I am clueless about the ride over various off road terrain.
Check out Skills with Phil on youtube.
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Old 09-06-18, 11:05 PM
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A lot depends on the terrain you are riding on. Some trails are so smooth you can ride a road bike on them. Other trails have ruts, rocks, and soft dirt or sand.
To me, rear suspension make a big difference on square-edged type stuff, both climbing and descending.
In March I bought a 6 inch travel "plus" bike, (2.8 inch wide tires). That thing is really fun to ride and I find myself trying things I wouldn't try on other bikes I've had.
I also feel more confident in the traction of the wide tires. I'm 64 and I thought it would help with my lack of skill and it has.

If you do mostly smoother trails and fire roads you can get a bike with less travel and save some weight.
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Old 09-07-18, 09:42 AM
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I've ridden full suspension almost exclusively since I got serious about trail riding in 1995. It has always worked well for me, and these days it's even better because the bikes are soooo good! Seriously, the technology had some hiccups early on, but the designs and technology available these days is amazing. Full suspension is much easier on the back and body and it also climbs better (the rear wheel tracks over stuff instead of bouncing around and slipping). Seriously, it's hard to think of a downside except maybe the increase in maintenance and potential for funny noises. (even these have been minimized lately with the advances in pivot design and materials.)
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Old 09-07-18, 10:57 AM
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They are so much faster downhill on dirt, gravel, rocks etc than a rigid bike. Worth the slog up hill carrying the extra weight to do the downhill.
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Old 09-08-18, 08:40 AM
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My wife and I have carbon fiber Specialized StumpJumper 6Fatties. 3" tires, quality drop seat post, and reasonably light for how robust the bikes are. You can ride over most anything on these bikes. Like 5teve said, modern dual suspension bikes are pretty amazing.
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Old 09-08-18, 02:56 PM
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Yoosa mite'n be sayin' that...

80mm rear travel, 50mm front travel is all I need..
I don't have the skillz to ride the technical stuff at the State Rec Area.. and as such, I don't have the need for a longer travel bike for the bike park..
I can ride around the pasture checking fence, I can ride the two-tracks scouting for turkey season.. about all I do..

Last edited by JLDickmon; 09-08-18 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 09-08-18, 04:17 PM
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Went through the same recently. Really wanted to try to keep it simple with a hard tail. After a few rides, I starting to wonder if I wouldn’t be able to ride the mountain bike at all. It was beating me that badly. I’m 64, and getting back to mountain biking after having both knees replaced. Tried a full suspension bike and it was a night and day difference. Better control, and I feel like I could keep doing this. Go full suspension!
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Old 09-08-18, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
80mm rear travel, 50mm front travel is all I need...
I have mostly ridden road bikes but I had fully rigid steel, then aluminum mtb's, then 63mm fork hardtail, then 80mm front and rear, then 100mm front and rear and my new bike has 160mm front and 150 rear. There is a huge difference in the new bikes on rough terrain.

Now there are 170mm travel bikes in the 30 pound range. Incredible!
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Old 09-08-18, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Any of you 50+ ride a dual suspension mountain bike? I have never ridden one so I am clueless about the ride over various off road terrain. I would love hear you’re two cents about these bikes.
I have one. The shocks help counter the adverse affects of an aluminum frame.
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Old 09-09-18, 09:01 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies and the pictures. Having the rear suspension would give my behind and back less punishment. I shied away from the earlier full suspension bikes but as you all have stated the bike industry is getting it right. I have too many bikes already but I’m still considering full suspension. I would sell some bikes off but resale prices are lousy I would rather give the bikes to underprivileged kids that would really love to ride them not just ride a few times throw it aside.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:38 AM
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I guess it depends on the type of riding you do and the types of trails and roads you encounter. I still like my non-suspension mountain bike (and road bikes), but almost all of my offroad cycling is on relatively tame, very non-technical multitrack trails. When I tried my elder son's Cannondale Rush (his college graduation present from me) and a friend's early full-suspension mountain bike, I was unable to get used to the up-and-down "squishy" feeling, but "chacun à son goût," as Strauss's Prince Orlovsky would say.
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Old 09-10-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
When I tried my elder son's Cannondale Rush (his college graduation present from me) and a friend's early full-suspension mountain bike, I was unable to get used to the up-and-down "squishy" feeling ....
On trails where you don't need suspension, you don't need suspension. (Yes, as a matter of fact ... I Am a genius. )

Modrn MTB engineering has dramatically reduced the amount of useless bobing and bouncing and wasted pedaling energy. …. But still, if the trail is smooth enough to ride without suspension, why carry the weight and lose any efficiency at all?

I would imagine if a person were asking about F/S, that person would be planning to ride trails where suspension was pretty much necessary to hold an speed at all, and the person would be choosing between front- and full-suspension.

One gets used to F/S very quickly after hammering up a few steep, rutted, root-cut climbs with nine-inch steps and such.

When I rode with XC suspension (minimal front, less rear) back in the dark ages, a climb like that was deadly, even though I was in great shape and had there-times the bike-handling skills. I had to do perfect (I forget the actual name now) lunging pedal thrusts and then try to lift the back end and get back on the power to maintain moentun over each step or root … and the slightest error meant a fall or at least, walking.

I tried a climb like that on my old Rze 4 after about two rides back on the trails after 20 years … and cleared it. One Hundred Percent due to the suspension. The back end soaked up the bumps and kept traction, even when my weak body and sloppy timing worked against the bike.

The other time F/S will seem like manna from heaven is on a long descent after a tough climb after a hard, hard day on the bike. One time I was doing such a descent—basically residing down a mountain, cutting back and forth across the face—and my thighs felt like someone had been beating them with a ball-peen hammer.

Standing a little, holding the seat between my thighs, nor sitting seemed to work … but without the rear suspension taking the peaks off the impacts, I would have had to walk—Downhill. Instead of getting bounced off the bike when the occasional, unavoidable big hit came, the suspension soaked it up enough that I could keep the bike pointed down the trail and not over the edge.

For flat trails, two-track jeep trails, and flat dirt work, a gravel bike is just as much fun… at least as much fun. The F/S is just baggage until you start slamming into obstacles.
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Old 09-10-18, 11:29 AM
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Me? No, but watching the UCI World championships MTB races ,
they, are on full suspension MTB,
29ers , from the looks of the wheel size (on TV, from Switzerland)
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Old 09-10-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Me? No, but watching the UCI World championships MTB races ,
they, are on full suspension MTB,
29ers , from the looks of the wheel size (on TV, from Switzerland)
I was going to suggest the OP watch some of that racing, but it might be hard to find.

When I look at the terrain they ride and the apparent ease with which they ride it ..... sometimes I just watch their back wheels to see how much they absorb while the riders' bodies seem to be suspended above the bike, unaffected. I know they are working their legs and their timing is impeccable and their skill is amazing ... but what the bikes do is amazing too.
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Old 09-10-18, 05:33 PM
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There's nothing like a modern full suspension bike for going fast over rough terrain with roots, rocks and dropoffs. My first was a 2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 26", then a 2013 Stupjumper FSR Comp 29" and now a 2017 Niner Jet 9 Alloy 29". They keep developing the geometry and shock performance to work better and better, nothing like the pogo stick bouncing of the early models.

That said, over the years I find myself riding less and less on the kind of terrain that the full suspension bikes excel at. I'm thinking about trimming the herd by selling the full sus bike and letting the hardtail plus bike handle both the trail riding and any offroad bikepacking I might want to do.
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Old 09-10-18, 10:41 PM
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When I first rode full suspension I noticed how much better the brakes work, especially the rear. Instead of bouncing around, the wheel follows the bumps and traction is better.
The other thing that stood out right away is the ability to pick any number of lines, or no line at all. Instead of having to pick my way through the rocks and bumps the bike can safely plow through stuff.
And yes, the pro racers are amazing, cross-country greyhounds or downhill juggernauts alike.
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Old 09-10-18, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I was going to suggest the OP watch some of that racing, but it might be hard to find.
They have the XC and downhill on Redbull TV on Redbull.com
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Old 09-29-18, 09:46 AM
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I bought an old GT STS bike a couple of years ago because most of my riding was on gravel rural roads. The bike is way overkill for this, but so much nicer to my knees and ass. The down side is when I get back on my road bike I forget to lift off the seat over the big cracks and rock in the pavement.
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Old 09-29-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Yoosa mite'n be sayin' that...

80mm rear travel, 50mm front travel is all I need..
I don't have the skillz to ride the technical stuff at the State Rec Area.. and as such, I don't have the need for a longer travel bike for the bike park..
I can ride around the pasture checking fence, I can ride the two-tracks scouting for turkey season.. about all I do..
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Old 10-05-18, 11:45 AM
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Our bikes. Next stop - north rim of the Grand Canyon.

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