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Hard Tail VS Full Susp.

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Hard Tail VS Full Susp.

Old 11-02-04, 07:49 PM
  #1  
jmckee100
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Hard Tail VS Full Susp.

Im an older rider (40+) considering attempting to race next season and was wondering if its better to go full suspension to race or stay ridgid. I presently ride a FS bike but still have a little trouble with big hills also I should mention that this will be my first time racing a mountain bike.

Thanx
JM
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Old 11-03-04, 06:32 AM
  #2  
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since you're a bit more mature than the race whipppets on the world cup circuit I'd advocate a Short travel Full sus.
Specialized Epic, Cannondale Scalpel, SCott Genius kind of bike
Intense Spider also has great reviews but I don;t like that many pivots.

Hardtails are much more responsive though but they do dish out a beating
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Old 11-03-04, 07:15 AM
  #3  
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I do agree with him but only for people who want to do some competition and not find it too hard. I'll explain: Hardtails are so much more responsive to anything you do with them but when coming off big jusp they'll take a beating. They arent very confortable to land anything above 4-5feet on flat surface. Its easy to be done, but not very nice for the bike or rider. So if I were you I'd go for a Norco ALine, Fuse, or Atomic
https://www.norco.com/bikes/2004bikes/vpsaline.htm :ALine
https://www.norco.com/bikes/2004bikes/vpsfuse.htm :Fuse
https://www.norco.com/bikes/2004bikes/vpsatomik.htm :Atomic

they are pretty good dually. But a good and pretty cheap dually is around $2,350 and its the atomic. On these sites it shows you the price and everything on and about them.

hope this helps
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Old 11-03-04, 09:18 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by tha_nic
hope this helps
I don't think it does. I believe he was refering to XC racing, can't see an Atomic doing to well on even the most extreme XC course.

To try to help answer the original question... it depends. I race with a hartail, some other local racers have FS, it all comes down to personal preference. A hartail will be lighter so on more tame courses it will have an advantage, whereas on rough courses the added comfort and downhill capability of an FS would be an advantage. Test ride all the bikes you can and see what works for you. Also consider your budget, if you only have say $1500 to spend I think you would be FAR better off with a hartail as most FS bikes at around that price point will be a bit on the heavy side.

Most important thing, get a bike you want to ride and race! It's a blast! Let us know what you decide on.
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Old 11-03-04, 10:15 AM
  #5  
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lol thats true but some people like to ride those for XC. But if he wants to do some DH then taht way he wont have to switch so many times..
but for a good hardtail for XC that can do some DH...
look into a Norco Saskwatch, Manik, Rampage or even Taurent
https://www.norco.com/05_us/bikes/shorehardtail_us.php
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Old 11-04-04, 04:25 AM
  #6  
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I doubt anyone would RACE a DH rig in an XC race. Perhaps in FUn class but then some of those guys wear totoo's when riding....

jmckee100, if you can supply a maximum budget it would be easier to recommend a bike but I would still steer you toward a FS for racing..
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Old 11-10-04, 09:36 PM
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i rride a hardtail in xc races and i abosolutely recomend you to one. my freind rides a full suspension kona coiler, i kick his ass every time riding my hardtail raleigh m50 dx, which by the way, is an awesome hardtaill.
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Old 11-11-04, 02:57 PM
  #8  
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I recommend that you buy the highest quality HT you can afford. However, if money is no object (hopefully that is the case for you), get a FS. It will be much easier on your body and if it is a sub 25 lbs bike, it will be very close to a HT in performance. At your level you will not notice the difference in performance, but you will notice that the FS is far less harsh a ride.
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Old 11-11-04, 07:51 PM
  #9  
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Dude, it depends on the courses you ride. If its usually smooth stuff with alot of climbing, a hardtail is fine. If its some climbing and rough, rooty trails around where you live, obviously a FS is going to be the ticket. If you can have only one bike, and there's varying types of terrain, an FS will be the more adaptable of two, especially if you can lock it out for climbs.
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Old 11-12-04, 12:41 PM
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Lots of good advice from the folks above. For more inspiration, see if you can find out what the world championship folks tend to steer towards. I watched the olympics and nearly 100% of the men and 100% the women had hardtails. The race was 42km's long for the men, and it was mainly XC terain with a few climbs and drops, (Bikes I could see in the races: Rocky Mountain Vertex Team SC HT x2, Merida HT, Fusion HT, Specialized Stumpjumper Sworks HT, Cannondale team replica FS, Scott scale 10 HT among others).

Hardtails won for men and women olympic competitions.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:04 PM
  #11  
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Since the thread is HT vs FS relative to racing, here is something I've wondered: how much rought 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?
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Old 12-05-04, 04:59 PM
  #12  
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jmkee-
hardtails are lighter and more rigid, however, at your age, something softer might be better. Try doing some serious rides on both and see how they feel. You may consider going in between with a soft tail.
If money is an issue, a hard tail may be more up your alley.
-javajumper
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Old 12-10-04, 11:57 AM
  #13  
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i think u should try a jamis full suspension the dakars they are really nice
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Old 12-13-04, 11:27 PM
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Get a full suspension

i used to ride a titanium hardtail which was great but at this point there no reason not to go FS.
I can pump up my 5th element shock to where it is practically locked but will still activate on big hits (for race day) or I can set it normal and have a great epic bike. And with a weight of 25 pounds. Its not a hefer by any means.

Also, if you live anywhere where it is rocky at all. The full supension will leave you fresher at the end and give you more traction.

If money is no object-

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Old 12-14-04, 09:30 AM
  #15  
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Go for full suspensio in you can afford it. try the kona king kikapu
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Old 12-14-04, 09:48 AM
  #16  
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[QUOTE=TimB]I doubt anyone would RACE a DH rig in an XC race. Perhaps in FUn class but then some of those guys wear totoo's when riding....

My BF rides a DH rig for XC racing, a KONA Stab, 24hr relay races. He can keep up with the guys on the light XC bikes too, his time only ends up being a min or two slower. NOTE: he is planning on buying a Kona HT for the races this year though (too much ribbing from our team mates about getting a lighter bike) He loves his DH but realizes he will be faster on a HT while expending less energy too. I race my Norco HT.
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Old 01-25-05, 07:05 PM
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I might only be 14 but I have had hardtrail bikes all my life, they may not be the softest ride but they are really fast.
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Old 01-26-05, 01:10 PM
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Hi, I'm 43 Y/O and been racing since 1987 riding hardtail bikes exclusively, this past season I was beset with serious back pains turning most of my races into a painfull experience to say the least. A friend of mine loaned me his Cannondale Scalpel 3000 for the last(and longest,an 80km Enduro) race of the season. What a difference! I cruised to my best time ever in the event @ 5 hrs 35 in pretty crappy/mucky conditions with no issues other than a little cramping in the last hour. After checking out a couple of other machines I've ordered a Scalpel for next season, even though the F/S rig is marginally heaver than my hardtail (Specialized M4 pro) I really feel that the comfort level will easily overcome any weight penalty. any way us "old guys" need all the help we can get to get our bodies through the summer don't we!!

I hope this helps
'Rasher
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Old 01-28-05, 06:52 PM
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What kind or racing/riding do you do? I'm going to start XC racing, and I have heard that hardtail bikes seem to be the favorite, but I guess it is all about personal preference huh?
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Old 01-31-05, 12:12 AM
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I prefer HT, but FS are heavier, unless you have the money to get all the light parts. Yeh it does depend on what your riding, I like the feel of HT, but I dont do XC, just light off-road. Its a whole new type of riding FS, with HT you really use your legs and arms for suspension, but FS sit back and relax.
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Old 01-31-05, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by myenzo
I might only be 14 but I have had hardtrail bikes all my life, they may not be the softest ride but they are really fast.
Indeed the fastest, and I have ridden FS before. If your taking the bike to an off-road location like in a Car then FS would be ok, but If you transport yourself then, Its so much easier with HT, and its not worth riding the FS. All up to personal preference though.
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Old 02-01-05, 11:03 PM
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some of the new 4'' 4'' fs weigh 22lbs. i don't consider some of these expensive but i don't realy know your buget.
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Old 02-02-05, 10:55 PM
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When I say more expensive i'm comparing with the price of a good HT.

Over here, forgeting about all the US$ to AU$ conversion stuff. GOOD FS bike would range from $2,000 upwards. They probably start around the $1,500 mark depending on what you want, then range all the way up to $4,500 and to $7,000. But theres no limit for the $$$ of a bike :
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Old 02-03-05, 04:10 AM
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Hi Guys i am 45 overweight 17.5 stone but quite fit, do you suggest a hardtail or FS I only have about $1000 or 600 to spend
Thanks

Today is for living as tomorrow may never come

Last edited by kayakman; 02-03-05 at 04:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-03-05, 04:35 AM
  #25  
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I'm 43 and have been racing XC on and off for the last eight years or so.

For no more than two hours duration, I'd ride the Bontrager hardtail.

For longer races or enduros (more than 50 miles) I'd definitely ride the Trek Fuel.

That said, as the Fuel is only about a pound heavier, I'm inclined to prefer the Trek for all future competitions. The Fuel accelerates and feels just fast and agile as the Bonty (trust me, after about an hour of race pace, you'd not notice the difference) but is so very much more comfortable, I can remain seated through a lot of stuff so is less fatiguing, and at the end of the race, I do not feel as beat up.

Kayakman - have a look at the Trek Fuel 80.
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