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Full suspension or hardtail?

Old 11-27-19, 11:19 AM
  #1  
kq2dc7
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Full suspension or hardtail?

I've been riding a 27.5 full suspension with 140 mm front and back for the last 6 month's. I recently added a 29+ hardtail stache. On a trail that I've been on numerous times I had a series wreck and was lucky to have just broken my wrist. The trail is pretty technical and on a 20 inch drop I got tossed over the bars. I went off at a bad place causing me to fall another 5 feet off the side of the trail. I'm new to biking and was wondering if there is that big of a difference in the two bikes? It was my second time on the hardtail.
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Old 11-27-19, 05:07 PM
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I'm not looking up the geometries of the bikes since you only listed one anyway but I'd say geometry. The 140mm bike is probably slacker in the front end which makes it more stable going downhill but you probably just goofed up and wrecked, it happens.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:59 PM
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Skill level. Accidents happen.
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Old 11-29-19, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kq2dc7 View Post
I've been riding a 27.5 full suspension with 140 mm front and back for the last 6 month's. I recently added a 29+ hardtail stache. On a trail that I've been on numerous times I had a series wreck and was lucky to have just broken my wrist. The trail is pretty technical and on a 20 inch drop I got tossed over the bars. I went off at a bad place causing me to fall another 5 feet off the side of the trail. I'm new to biking and was wondering if there is that big of a difference in the two bikes? It was my second time on the hardtail.
Is there a big difference between a 140mm FS and a hardtail? Yes, they are pretty different.

What exactly is your question?
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Old 11-29-19, 07:15 PM
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My experience riding the same trails with three different bikes is:

26" rigid old school mtb - slow and picking lines very carefully to avoid rocks/drops etc...
26 hardtail - still need to pick lines but more forgiving on the rocks/drops...
27.5 FS - Flowing over obstacles to the point of going way to fast for some corners until I adapted. Far less concern about picking lines in regards to rocks/drops.
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Old 11-30-19, 01:21 AM
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I have 26 full suspention and once i just tried the 29 (never tried 27,5) it was just a spaceship compared to 26. I would say stick to full suspension for trails and go big
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Old 12-01-19, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Is there a big difference between a 140mm FS and a hardtail? Yes, they are pretty different.

What exactly is your question?
Is there that big of a difference in riding techniques? I had only been on it 2-3 times prior to this ride.
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Old 12-01-19, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kq2dc7 View Post
Is there that big of a difference in riding techniques? I had only been on it 2-3 times prior to this ride.
There is some difference but I still don’t know what you are asking specifically.

What does “THAT big of a difference mean?” Big enough to do what?

Are you asking if the fact that you were on a HT is why you got so badly hurt? No, it is not.
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Old 12-01-19, 08:44 AM
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Any new bike you ride, even bikes of the same design, you absolutely should go slow until you know how the bike will react when pushed. It might very well mean different techniques to control your bike, Increase your speed slowly. Any time you approach you limit, Even with years of experience a safe ride can still be a crap shoot depending on how bad you want to win or how fast you want to go.

As far as oversize tires vs suspension bikes go, A big tire bike will react much like a basketball when over inflated. Correct tire pressure is essential for a safe fast ride.

Proper suspension bikes are damped so the rebound is much better controlled. They can often be adjusted for various situations. For most competitive activities I'd choose a full suspension bike hands down.

For recreational riders, Both should be fine with some experience. I do like the simplicity of a hardtail.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 12-01-19 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 12-04-19, 01:03 AM
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Two completely different bicycles. One that can go over rough terrain at high speed and yet remain in control. The other bicycle needs to maybe slow down some to do the very same terrain. At least until you get used to no rear suspension other than your legs. On a rigid bicycle you stand quite a bit more of the time than on a full suspension. The rigid tail will be rougher on you because you are the suspension. Sorry to hear you broke your wrist. Heal well.
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Old 12-05-19, 10:53 AM
  #11  
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Learn on a hardtail, then ride whatever you want.
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Old 12-06-19, 11:41 PM
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Both bikes should be able to handle a 2 feet drop. Doe I'd want the rear squish on most days when I'm deciding to send it.
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Old 12-07-19, 07:08 AM
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If you own both bikes and don't know the difference, I'm afraid we can't help you.
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Old 12-12-19, 01:46 PM
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We rode drops and jumps before we had suspension. You need to learn to ride, your full suspension rig has been babysitting you and keeping you out of trouble.
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Old 12-13-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
If you own both bikes and don't know the difference, I'm afraid we can't help you.
Right?!

Common sense ain't so common!!!
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Old 12-13-19, 10:54 AM
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Funny how people are dogging you about the riding skills you should have yet can't seem to negotiate a sentence.
(bolding is mine)

Originally Posted by kq2dc7 View Post
Is there that big of a difference in riding techniques? I had only been on it 2-3 times prior to this ride.
To answer your question directly. There is a difference between a hardtail and a FS bike but also between a 27.5 and 29r. The hardtail will be less forgiving of terrain that can throw you and a 29 can be less responsive on technical trails due to the larger tire diameter creating a larger turning radius. This can be more pronounced if you are a shorter rider. The two together are probably the reason you are experiencing difficulty where you didn't before. Dial it back and give yourself time to adapt to how the bike wants to flow.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 12-13-19 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
If you own both bikes and don't know the difference, I'm afraid we can't help you.
The 29 hardtail is a new bike and I'm a 57 year old that took up riding 6 months ago when I retired. I know the difference in the bikes but was curious if the skills to ride them were that different.

Thanks for the reply it's always helpful to hear from helpful experienced riders.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Any new bike you ride, even bikes of the same design, you absolutely should go slow until you know how the bike will react when pushed. It might very well mean different techniques to control your bike, Increase your speed slowly. Any time you approach you limit, Even with years of experience a safe ride can still be a crap shoot depending on how bad you want to win or how fast you want to go.

As far as oversize tires vs suspension bikes go, A big tire bike will react much like a basketball when over inflated. Correct tire pressure is essential for a safe fast ride.

Proper suspension bikes are damped so the rebound is much better controlled. They can often be adjusted for various situations. For most competitive activities I'd choose a full suspension bike hands down.

For recreational riders, Both should be fine with some experience. I do like the simplicity of a hardtail.
Thanks, the air pressure in the rear tire was 40 pounds I dropped it to 20. I've had 5 weeks that I couldn't ride a bike but Monday I may be cleared.

I've walked the trail 4 to 5 times since the accident and am pretty confident that the tire pressure and being in a hurry caused the wreck.
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Old 12-17-19, 09:44 AM
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full suspension

Full suspension will not prevent falls [ 10 broken bones, concussion, separated shoulder, operation on private parts from top tube connection can attest to that] but will get you though areas where the hardtail might seem edgy. Tucson's rocky trails are more comfortable with full suspension, on the flow trails a hardtail is certainly faster, or feels faster. My bikes are all fullsusy as comfort wins over speed for me.
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Old 12-17-19, 01:31 PM
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In terms of crashing, the main difference I find is that with FS I am going faster when it happens.
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Old 12-23-19, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
In terms of crashing, the main difference I find is that with FS I am going faster when it happens.
Kapusta you are so right. The full suspension allows faster passage over much rougher terrain but don't fall off. Rock piles are favorite haunts of full suspension bikes but if you fall into one of these piles at speed good luck.
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Old 01-14-20, 05:19 PM
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You probably crashed because you did not get your weight far enough back to take the drop. Your center of gravity propelled you over the bars after the drop.
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Old 02-15-20, 03:55 PM
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hard tail for XC full suspension for downhill. Its much harder to ride downhill without full suspension
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Old 02-15-20, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Glidedon View Post
You probably crashed because you did not get your weight far enough back to take the drop. Your center of gravity propelled you over the bars after the drop.
You are exactly right. I am pretty sure that I was even sitting on the seat and I know I didn't use the dropper seat. I've been riding again finally and became aware of how little I stand while riding.
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Old 02-15-20, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kq2dc7 View Post
You are exactly right. I am pretty sure that I was even sitting on the seat and I know I didn't use the dropper seat. I've been riding again finally and became aware of how little I stand while riding.
I was surprised by an unseen drop of similar height one time and managed to save it by shoving the handle bars forward, putting my rear end way out over the rear tire, purely on instinct .

Good luck, keep riding.
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