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Full Suspension or Hardtail?

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Full Suspension or Hardtail?

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Old 02-20-06, 11:44 AM
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dtrain99
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Full Suspension or Hardtail?

I'm starting the new mountain bike purchase process. I am a weekend rider, mostly riding trails and single track in the local hills of Orange County, CA. I currently have a bike with no suspension, but I'm ready to upgrade. I have heard varying salesperson opinions on full suspension vs. hardtail. My question is, do I need full suspension for what I do? Will a hardtail do just fine, if not better (lighter = better climber). What are the other tradeoffs?

As an example, one local shop I went to had an '05 Specialized Enduro for $1K, as well as a Gary Fisher Tessajara for $500. Is it worth spending the extra $500?

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-06, 11:47 AM
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For equal quality the fs will cost more, and in my opinion you are better off with a quality hardtail. If you have $1000, spend it on a nice hardtail.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:40 PM
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mcoine has it right.
at that pricepoint you're better off with a nice hardtail.
most riders can ride most terrain on a hardtail,
full suspension is not usually a necessity.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:57 PM
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There's very few things you can't do on a hardtail that you can do with suspension.

On the other hand, there's very few things that you can't do easier on a suspension bike.

If you're in good shape and are interested in developing mountain biking skills, get the hardtail. If you just want to get out and enjoy the scenery on weekends get the suspension bike.

The difference between the two is way overblown. Given that the bike's are for the same application (normal trail riding) then pedal choice (flat or clipless) makes just as big a difference as suspension style.

Also keep in mind that if you spend 1000 on the hardtail you can get something pretty fly.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:37 PM
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get what you want, but when I bought my first bike it was a hardtail. 1.5 years later I was like why the hell did I get a hardtail? I like full suspensions a lot more because they are more comfortable to ride. Plus I ride downhill a lot and I wouldn't want to on a hardtail (but have in the past). I would get the Enduro... its more comfortable, but a little less pedal efficient than a hardtail.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:45 PM
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I ride hardtails, partly cause I can't afford Full suspensions (partly cause I'm hardcore, or I like to tell myself I am). I got a tass last year and it did great. I've now swapped to a rigid steel hardtail. I say go with what you want. But if you want to actually hone your skills you should start with a hardtail. It's kind of like starting with an acoustic guitar. Yes the electric is easier, but if you haven't played acoustic you don't really have respect for the ease.
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Old 02-20-06, 02:30 PM
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as others said, i'll echo:

what's your overall budget? if 1k or less, go hardtail. you'll get a much better buildup on a 1k hardtail than a 1k fully.

how about a burly hardtail, with a longer travel fork, and room for fatter tires in the back end? a little more comfy than a skinny hardtail, and you can ride pretty much anything on one of those that you can on a fully.......

if you shop carefully, you can also get scremaing deals on a last years model: gets you more bike per buck, so long as you don't care about having the absolute newest thing.
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Old 02-20-06, 02:57 PM
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As an Enduro rider myself, I can attest that it is not a good bike for sprinting or hammering up a hill on. The suspension is very squishy and absorbs a lot of your power during hard, out-of-saddle pedaling. However, because of that same squishy suspension, it handles very rough terrain l ike a champ and provides a very comfortable ride.

I think an Enduro is probably wrong for your application, if you want a FS bike, I would suggest a Rockhopper FSR instead.
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Old 02-20-06, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by WD_40
As an Enduro rider myself, I can attest that it is not a good bike for sprinting or hammering up a hill on. The suspension is very squishy and absorbs a lot of your power during hard, out-of-saddle pedaling. However, because of that same squishy suspension, it handles very rough terrain l ike a champ and provides a very comfortable ride.

I think an Enduro is probably wrong for your application, if you want a FS bike, I would suggest a Rockhopper FSR instead.

you realize that the Enduro and the FSR share the same basic suspension design, right? they look different, andutilize differing shock mounts/positions, but are the same basic four bar/Horst link design.......

it sounds like you need to tune in your shock a little better. you can get it so that it stays nice and stiff for hammering/sprinting/climbing, but still plush on the hits.

Last edited by scrublover; 02-20-06 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-20-06, 06:01 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Isn't the Enduro a pretty solid bike, even at $1K (given, it's on sale)? It comes with Shimano XT components and a Fox Float fork. More of the details are here: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec
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Old 02-20-06, 06:14 PM
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Wow an enduro pro for a grand? I'd say that's really good... It's new? As a weekend rider myself, I have to say that purchasing a FS was a good choice. Since I don't have time to race, I enjoy just riding the full susser even if it is heavier or a little tougher going up hill.
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Old 02-20-06, 08:32 PM
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the enduro pro for a grand? where is this bike? whats the phone number?
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Old 02-20-06, 08:36 PM
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If you are just doing trails, no jumps or drops, then maybe the hardtail, save some money. And maybe upgade later.
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Old 02-20-06, 08:47 PM
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dude just get the enduro... seriously
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Old 02-20-06, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dtrain99
Thanks for the feedback. Isn't the Enduro a pretty solid bike, even at $1K (given, it's on sale)? It comes with Shimano XT components and a Fox Float fork. More of the details are here: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec
That's an incredible deal. If I could have purchased an Enduro for that price it would be in my garage right now. The best I could do was an 05 FSRxc Comp for just over 1K.
I considered a GF Tass when I purchased my hardtail. It's a nice bike and the price you were quoted is good. But for pure value, the Enduro deal is IMHO, outstanding.
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Old 02-21-06, 12:28 AM
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What kind of bike were you riding rigid?
As it sounds you might be into XC type bikes.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by scrublover
you realize that the Enduro and the FSR share the same basic suspension design, right? they look different, andutilize differing shock mounts/positions, but are the same basic four bar/Horst link design.......
Yes, I realize that. I would say that having completely different suspension components and mounting points would make it a much different bike, wouldn't you?


it sounds like you need to tune in your shock a little better. you can get it so that it stays nice and stiff for hammering/sprinting/climbing, but still plush on the hits.
You may be right.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by WD_40
Yes, I realize that. I would say that having completely different suspension components and mounting points would make it a much different bike, wouldn't you?


You may be right.

nope. what makes it a different bike is the geometry and the travel difference. the mounting points are not that much of a big deal to the overall suspension design. neither is the type of shock.
what would help us more is if the OP was more clear about what type of bike he wanted.

possibly. play with your shock more. not sure what you've got on there, but try more low speed compression/SPV pressure/whatever. that should help tune out more of the pedaling input, but not too greatly affect your bump absortption-though you may lose a small amount on the little hits, but it can make a huge difference in how it sprints/hammers/climbs.

to the OP: your initial post didn't make it clear which model of Enduro. i'll agree with the others; if you have a line on a Pro for a grand, do it!
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Old 02-21-06, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Perhaps I am wrong on the Enduro model if the deal sounds too good. I thought it was a Pro, but maybe it is the 130? Even so, isn't that a decent bike? I guess I'm just wondering if full suspension is overkill and if a less expensive, but quality hardtail would work just fine for me. One post recommended starting with a hardtail to improve biking skills prior to going to fs. What are your thoughts on that?
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Old 02-21-06, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dtrain99
Thanks for the responses. Perhaps I am wrong on the Enduro model if the deal sounds too good. I thought it was a Pro, but maybe it is the 130? Even so, isn't that a decent bike? I guess I'm just wondering if full suspension is overkill and if a less expensive, but quality hardtail would work just fine for me. One post recommended starting with a hardtail to improve biking skills prior to going to fs. What are your thoughts on that?

i'm a big hardtail fan, so am a bit biased on that point...... but yeah, that is a good way to go, though you are already unsuspended.

ask yourself this: what is it that you dislike about your current bike? is it a fit thing? geometry? too harsh in the rough stuff? do you like technical stuff? drops? fast, tight singletrack? feel like it's holding you back from riding to your limit?

to know if you're getting a good deal or not, we really need to know which enduro model it is, and what year. that would narrow it down quite a bit. none of them are bad bikes. this years lowest enduro has an msrp of $2200, so even it at $1k is a scream of a deal. even a last years at that price is good. unless you find you want another bike, it sounds like a good buy for you.
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Old 02-21-06, 06:07 PM
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I'd get that Enduro.
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Old 02-21-06, 06:09 PM
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I don't buy the 'hardtail will make you a better rider" BS. I also don't buy the "FS will make you a sloppier rider" BS. I started out on full suspension (granted, I brought some basic handling skills over from motorcycle racing), and I think it just made me more confident quicker. There was some forgiveness when I blew something. If you can do decent full suspension on your budget (the Enduro falls into this category) go for it! Why beat yourself up needlessly?

EDIT>> As far as climbing with FS, just keep your behind planted in the saddle and learn to 'pedal in circles.' A smooth spin will do you in good stead no matter what you ride .
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Old 02-22-06, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I called the shop and they said it is an Enduro FSR. I looked at the '05 Specialized website, and I don't see an Enduro by that name. The guy claims the retail price was $1700. I know it has a Marzocchi fork and an XT rear derailler, so I'm guessing it is the Enduro 130. Does that sound right? Is this a good bike for my needs? Is this a good deal?
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Old 02-22-06, 04:33 PM
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It could be as early as a 2002 with that designator.
Does it look like THIS? (click)
If so, it's list then was just under $1,700. If he's trying to clear out an older one on you, he'd better be dropping the price way off full MSRP.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:34 PM
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do you want to feel bumps on your ass or not?
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