Hardtail vs. Full suspension ...

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FallGirl1430

Guest
Yesterday I rode my hardtail at Tymor Park, a few weeks ago I rode my full suspension bike. My Gary Fisher hardtail is 3 lbs. lighter than my Epic full suspension. I feel that the hardtail seems to climbs better. My climbing is my weakest link to my racing. Can anyone shed some light the pros and cons?

Christina ... :)
 

walter

Fourth Party
My Gary Fisher hardtail is 3 lbs. lighter than my Epic full suspension. I feel that the hardtail seems to climbs better. My climbing is my weakest link to my racing.
Christina ... :)

You kinda answered this yourself. I think this is a pro.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Well I'd be curious if you felt you needed your FS yesterday. I raced a FS Stumpjumper last year and I was really happy to get off of it because it was so heavy.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Yesterday I rode my hardtail at Tymor Park, a few weeks ago I rode my full suspension bike. My Gary Fisher hardtail is 3 lbs. lighter than my Epic full suspension. I feel that the hardtail seems to climbs better. My climbing is my weakest link to my racing. Can anyone shed some light the pros and cons?

Christina ... :)

Just to make sure this thread derails properly...Get a 29'er!!:D

No, fo' real now, I would race the hardtail at all the faster places like Tymor, Stewart, Lewis Morris...And use the Epic for Jungle Habitat, Ringwood, Kittatinney...Most of the pros have a few bikes and choose depending on the terrain, of course we usually aren't that lucky;)

-Jim.
 
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FallGirl1430

Guest
Jim ... thanks for the post, would the HT climb better for me? and would it also be faster?
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Jim ... thanks for the post, would the HT climb better for me? and would it also be faster?

More times than not, a hardtail climbs better, except maybe for very technical climbs where the suspension bike will "dig in" a little more on rocks and roots...With a slight technique change, a hardtail could be faster everywhere...Simple things like braking before corners and not in them, and staying seated while climbing, really give a hardtail just as much traction...You become the suspension by weighting you're bike in different situations and soaking stuff up by bending your knees...With a little time on the bike you'll get it...

-Jim.
 

CrossAddict

New Member
29er is the way

I switched to a two-niner 3 years ago and I hope I never have to go back. Lower pressure and more contact area = better traction:D

Just my thoughts.

Peace

-RF
 

MixMastaMM

Team Bulldog Rider
The latest issue of Mountain Bike Action has a good article on this topic. Basically, its user preference. Any given hardtail is more than likely lighter than any full suspension rig. The lighter weight has a huge difference for climbing. The full suspension bike also needs to be setup correctly for the riders weight to pedal well. I would argue that I ride better on my FS rig though. I feel more comfortable on it and that lets me go faster.
 

jbogner

NYCMTB: President
JORBA.ORG
With a slight technique change, a hardtail could be faster everywhere...

A lot of racers "feel" that hardtails are faster, because there's no loss of power while climbing (even the best full suspension bikes with platform shocks do rob a tiny amount of your power output through the dreaded "bob", even if you don't perceive it). However, most also don't take into consideration how much energy it takes to suspend themselves over the hardtail, and how much effort is involved in absorbing trail chatter and impacts with only their legs. The net balance, as born out by a few scientific studies, is that Full Suspension bikes result in faster times with lower wattage expended than hardtails when riding technical courses.

Here's a thread that hits on a few of those studies:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=293726

All bikes are trade-offs. There is no perfect bike for everyone. If you enjoy the way a hardtail feels and rides, there's no reason to go buy a full suspension bike just because you might save a few watts over the course of a 2 hour race. Conversely, I wouldn't look to a hardtail to make you faster if you're having trouble on a fully. The engine is much more important than the bike...
 

warcricket

Like a Jerk
i was reading around on mtbr, and one thing that i found that seemed to make sense to me was the fact that many people found that riding a hardtail helped them pick out better and smoother lines on the fly than on a full squish. especially on rockier trails because of the naturally less forgiving ride of a hardtail. so, i guess training on hardtail could be beneficial to your speed...
 
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FallGirl1430

Guest
Conversely, I wouldn't look to a hardtail to make you faster if you're having trouble on a fully. The engine is much more important than the bike... (JBogner)

Thanks to all for your postings. Jim and Jbogner had excellent answers, the trouble for IS the engine for me. Having trouble keeping speed on the climbs the hardtail for this race makes more sense. I've only have been riding/racing for less than one year. For the most part Tymor is not nearly as rough as the other parks ... Chimney Rock, Blue Mtn, Plattekill is all about full suspension, Tymor is all about the climbs, this is where one could loose alot of time.

Christina ... :)
 

Spartacus

New Member
I most recently have been riding my HT rather than my FS.

My HT (Marin Triple butted 4130 cromo frame with Judy sl fork 22-23lbs) is old and my FS (Intense tracer with RP23 and Fox F100rlc sub 25lbs) a little newer

I have found at the local trail (GR) the HT just beats the piss out of me. Backend hops and hobbles and yamahops over every bump nook and cranny. I have to think and select and be methodical about my lines. I can hammer log piles and rough lines, but work twice as hard.
It is difficult to preload the bike B4 logs and moguls. This bike to me gives me the illusion I am going faster.....But alas......its an illusion

The intense sticks like glue and tracks straight. I can hammer log piles and rooted sections without hen pecking for lines. I can easily preload this bike and kick the backend around any obstacle to steer the bike even though it is heavier. I can easily turn faster lap times on this bike. I have this bike set up to go fast, so at slow speeds it is harsh.

But then again I have not raced since the 2004 chequamegan fat tire 40

So for racing ?

Right now I would still go FS
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Once again in an attempt to derial this thread...GET A 29'er!! Then you can have your cake and eat it too!!:D Unless you don't like cake, which is absurd, but stranger things have happened...

-Jim.
 

Spartacus

New Member
I'd let you ride mine, but it's a XL with a 32" standover, a 25.75" TT and 105mm stem, so it *might* be a tad bit too big for you. ;)

you know what they say about a guy who has big wheels





Big bike



ha ha


one day we will hook up and I will spin it

This sat is a ride at RP. Some guys are comming down from CT and need a tour

Join us
 
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