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Are there trails in which a full-suspension is critical?

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Are there trails in which a full-suspension is critical?

Old 07-18-10, 12:26 PM
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Are there trails in which a full-suspension is critical?

I'm just getting into mountain biking and all my friends are recommending a hardtail. It's not just price, but they say I don't need full suspension. Is there a huge difference if you're bombing hills and getting a little air?
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Old 07-18-10, 12:33 PM
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I do things on my hardtail that guys with fulls wont do, and there are things they do that I wont do. I think it depends on skill level, your local terrain, what style of riding you are most into. I went with hardtail because I do mostly single track, but we do have some very challenging sections, In my case a full would be overkill, and would be to much bike for the trail ( I like to do some of the work, dont want mybike doing it all)
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Old 07-18-10, 02:37 PM
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No one "needs" full suspension. After all, people bombed gnarly stuff long before full boingers were widely available-think early 80s. That said, I'll give up my dually when it can be pried from my cold, dead hands.
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Old 07-18-10, 03:47 PM
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I ride some pretty rough downhill with a fully rigid bike. Granted, I do XC so the downhill only lasts about 100m tops, but it's still rough & I consider myself more a man than all of you because of it! HA!

No but seriously, I'd kill for a quality FS bike. But I don't have the money right now & my bike works fine, so I use it. The longer I use it, the longer I have to hone my skills by having absolutely no forgiveness from suspension.
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Old 07-18-10, 03:59 PM
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For me full suspension is a neccesity. I have a bad back and I wouldn't be able to ride with out my FS.
Of course that's just me.......
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Old 07-18-10, 05:46 PM
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Full suspension sucks.......
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Old 07-18-10, 08:39 PM
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Where do people downhill in Georgia? Are there outfits that take people up or lifts?

I'm going to XC mostly (if I can just get a bike--I'm bike pathing now, which is okay, but not as fun as dirt).
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Old 07-18-10, 09:35 PM
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I've heard there's some good DH in north GA, though you have to ask around the local bikers to find out where a lot of it is. I haven't had the time or effort to look into it. And I don't think there are any lifts in GA.
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Old 07-18-10, 11:29 PM
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To succinctly answer your question: There are trails in which a full suspension bike would be ideal but I dont think that it's critical. If it's critical, you generally know this already. As with many things the balance of what one can afford and the type of terrain you ride will determine most of it. I suspect in an ideal world one would have both a HT and a FS as arrows in the quiver.
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Old 07-19-10, 10:48 AM
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Old 07-19-10, 03:38 PM
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i used to only ride hard tail, all over, and it was fine. i swore i would never get a full suspension, i didn't need one. now i live in Fruita, CO, and when i got here, still only hardtail, but riding for some reason seemed less fun. We planned a trip to Moab, it was suggested i get rent a full suspension for the trip, i decided to just buy one. HOLY COW what a difference. now riding is super fun again. If you were to ride UPS/LPS in Moab, i would say you NEED a full suspension, i would say on that trail, full suspension is critical. i saw one guy on a hardtail, he was walking and not having a great time. East coast i don't think you need one. i rode from delaware to south carolina, north carolina, georgia, maryland, i never needed a full suspension. out west, its waaaay more rocky and full suspension definately helps. that said, there are people here who ride only hardtail single speeds, so, i guess you don't *need* one. i can say it has made riding waaay more fun, and i can ride stuff i wasn't riding before. if you got the cash, and can get a good full suspension, sure, why not.
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Old 07-19-10, 04:26 PM
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I ride almost equally, both a hardtail and a fully. The hardtail helps develop skills so if you are a newbie I would buy one to hone your skills. But at some point you will want a fully - it just makes riding easier... it definitely took the fear out of descending and gives me more energy. Riding a hardtail is more work - you have to use your arms and legs more and you can't pedal over as much as a person on a fully. That said, if your budget is limited, buy a good hardtail not a cheap fully.
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Old 07-19-10, 05:22 PM
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Its like dating women, you want some chemistry! So the comment about ffind what gleams to you-yeah, that works.

FWIW I like to keep things simple, the fewer moving parts, the less that can break 15 miles from the road. You can also shave a few pounds for the same bucks.
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Old 07-20-10, 08:47 AM
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Old 07-20-10, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Moozh
I suspect in an ideal world one would have both a HT and a FS as arrows in the quiver.
Yes, but in that circumstance you have to consider whether you'd be happier with one really good FS than the equivalent $$$ in a FS and a HT (I've been there). Of course, if it was truly an ideal world, money wouldn't be a factor...
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Old 07-20-10, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
Yes, but in that circumstance you have to consider whether you'd be happier with one really good FS than the equivalent $$$ in a FS and a HT (I've been there). Of course, if it was truly an ideal world, money wouldn't be a factor...
Yes... I am lucky to have a good HT and a fullie! Really makes a difference!
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Old 07-20-10, 02:37 PM
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awesome video,,, nothing close to that trail in LA
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Old 07-20-10, 03:16 PM
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^^ Saw segments of Original Sin, Freight Train, In Deep, Schleyer and Detroit Rock City - - plus the big gapper was on the Canadian Open course. Impressive. I have a good friend who is an equally-skilled hardtail pilot and am continually awed; but I'll take every advantage I can get for the Whistler gnar, thank you very much.
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Old 07-20-10, 09:23 PM
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In San Diego, you 'need' a FS for some of the longer trails if you intend to enjoy them. You'll enjoy some stretches on a HT quite a bit, you'll just deal with long stretches of stuff that's very bumpy and annoying with no real payoff. It just makes you too tired to really engage in the super fun stretches in between.

When I was first learning and doing shorter rides, a HT was okay, but once I started doing long stretches out in Cuyamaca, Lake Morena, etc. it made less and less sense.
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Old 07-20-10, 10:29 PM
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A good rider is a good rider, on any machine. Get the bike you want, and ride, and you will get better. What your friends think really doesn't matter, its you who's riding it, and it's you who's gonna determine how good you get. The best bike is the one you will RIDE!
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Old 07-21-10, 06:06 AM
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I was in the market for a new MT bike because the trek Y-5 FS had seen better days. I took your exact question to my brother. Super nice hard tail or mid priced FS?

His response was simple. " we are not getting any younger,the full suspension sure does feel nice on long runs" So I bought another FS and I do not ache after good 2 hour rides.
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