Hardtail vs Full Suspension

Stocky

Member
I know this is a loaded question , but......

I've only been riding for just under 2 months now.
I have a used Trek 4300 ( a few years old) it has a few up grades, rims, tires handlebars.

I have been riding Mahlon exclusively . I'm ok . My endurance is not there I do not do well climbing the steep uphills . This also might get better if I opt to go clipless. right now I'm not confident enough.

I love to rip thru the flats and tight singletrack type of sections. I'm good at navigating the rocks gardens, I love ( as mentioned in another thread) the steep rocky downhills.

I also love to look for things to launch off of, that's the old BMX rider in me.

I think that the 4300 is fine for me , but explain to me why I would want a full suspension bike, DO I NEED IT ? That question in itself is a dumb one when being asked by a guy . Of course you need it, it's cooler, more badass and just plain stupid if you don't get one .

Where will I see he difference ? Will I feel I difference during the steep rocky downhills ?
Will I feel I difference in the rock gardens ?
Will I feel a difference when I'm just riding up the gravely fireroads ?

and to disc break or not to disc break ?



next question would be what to get, I'm thinking a Trek Fuel, 7 or 8 . I'm also feeling like this is way to much money to spend.

Sorry for all the questions...

Thanks in advance for all of the opinions and insight.

Mike
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
and to disc break or not to disc break ?

No disc "break"...Get ones that are working, they stop better;)

-Jim.

PS-Hartail fo' Life son:getsome:

PPS-Get a 29er, then you won't need a dually...

PPPS-Sorry, someone has to turn this into a "Buy a 29er" thread!!

PPPPS-I'm not really sorry, you should test out a 29er, you really won't be sorry, and if you're looking at a Fuel, you're in the price range to get a Gary Fisher Paragon, as seen here...

paragon.jpg
 
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Stocky

Member
ok Jim explain yourself, gimme the 411 on what and why a 29 ? I have heard you guys talk about them, but really have no clue.

Why no on the disc brakes, I have no problem with the breaks on my current ride, it does seem that once you step up in models they all come with disc brakes.

Is it true that Garry Fisher is owned by Trek ? Are we getting into a Ford or Chevy kinda thing with Trek or Fisher ?
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
ok Jim explain yourself, gimme the 411 on what and why a 29 ? I have heard you guys talk about them, but really have no clue.

Peep these links...

http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/series/twoniners/tech/

http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/series/twoniners/tech/2

Why no on the disc brakes, I have no problem with the breaks on my current ride, it does seem that once you step up in models they all come with disc brakes.

I was joking around, you spelled "brake" wrong, get it? Break? Brake? No? Anyways, we'll just move on:D

Is it true that Garry Fisher is owned by Trek ? Are we getting into a Ford or Chevy kinda thing with Trek or Fisher ?

Yes, Gary Fisher is owned by Trek, just like they own LeMond, Mirraco, Klein, Bontrager, etc, etc, etc...It doesn't have a lot to do with anything, kinda like Cannondale being owned by Pacific or Masi being owned by Haro doesn't have anything to do with anything either...And in your example Trek would be GM and Gary Fisher would be Chevy, or Pontiac, or Cadillac, or Saturn, etc, etc, etc...

:)

-Jim.
 

Madness

New Member
Stocky,

I have been on a Trek 8000 hardtail for about 5 years till I finally made the switch to full suspension very recently (about two weeks ago) and I am loving it big time. I love the fact of not having to pick the smoothest line on the trail and just going over things with ease. It also feels like I am riding a lazyboy in the rough stuff. I would suggest going with the Fuel EX for two reasons......
1. The new design with the full floating rear is awesome and everybody that has ridden one has had nothing but great things to say about the bike.

2. The new Fuel EX 8 is so damn sexy looking in that gold and white color, and it's a Trek.

If you do decide that you want to stay with a hardtail I would suggest drinking the 29er coolaid. From what I have heard they are awesome in the trails and the big wheels roll over everything with ease. My boy rides a 29er and he likes it and so many people on this board are members of the 29er cult that I know you will get good 29er advice from them.
But for my 2 cents, go with the Fuel EX all day long I know you will be happy
 
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Stocky

Member
Sorry Jim it took me a minute to realize I had spelled brake wrong.

So what are your thoughts on the disc brakes ?

The whole 29er thing sounds very interesting, I will have to ride one and research it further.

thanks for those two links, very informative .

thanks again.
 

gtluke

The Moped
i'm an ex bmx rider,
and ride a hard tail
but last week my buddies and i went to utah on vacation and while in moab rented bikes for a day. we got some full suspension bikes, a high end trek 26" and 2 gary fisher 29er hi fi's
i have to say i didn't really like them. the full suspension made the bike feel less "manuverable" and the 29'ers just added to that.
i think i need to try a more cross country setup and i want to try one in morris county but i like to hop and pivot my bike around a lot and the full suspension and 29ers slowed that down significantly.
i also ride a tiny bike, a medium specialized rockhopper comp disc
its a lot smaller all around than all my buddies bikes and we are all about the same size. i just keep coming back to the tiny bike, and the full suspension and 29er just adds size.
must be the bmx in me.
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
To answer the 1st question..:


3 years ago my answer would be this:

If you are spending less than $1500 than you should stick with a hardtail. You will get better parts and the bike will require less upkeep. It will also be lighter.


This year:

If you are spending more than $1000, Buy a 29er hardtail.




I was a dual Sus 26" rider for a long time. I swore off 29" as big, heavy, dumb and clown-like. I have to say that it took ONE ride on a $900 Haro Mary to change my mind. I have spent the last 2 seasons on both a SS and a geared 29" wheeled bike. Every time I am out on either of them I just have more and more fun. That being said 29" might not be for everyone.

To counter this I just bought my first 26" wheeled bike since 2005. It is an Eastern Night Train. http://www.eastern26.com/

If you are a jumper or a BMX kid you will most likely still prefer a 26" bike.

The good news is that there is room enough for both standards.


The thing that I am baffled by is the lack of 29" wheels in DH. I would figure that a 29" wheel up front might be killer on a DH bike??


I know that my bike handling has improved since I got off the dual squisher. The night train has done even more.


go ride.

Please wear a hlemet too!
 
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stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
along the lines of what jdog was saying, hardtails build mad skills when it comes to bike control, hence, everyone should ride one when they start out instead of buying a fully and just plowing over anything...

ps, don't drink the koolaid, 26ers aren't evil!
 
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Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Stocky,

It is *possible* I'll be at MD very early on Saturday with my 29er HT. If so, you're more than welcome to at least give it a spin. What pedals do you use?

Also, there's a TM session there later that morning so maybe you and your buddies could join in? Steve should have more details later in the week.

Also to lend a counter to what Jay and STB say, if you're skills are really lacking a FS will help you get out, which is the main goal. 2 years ago I bought a FS and I loved it. After 2 years, I was done with it and wanted something else. But if I hadn't bought the FS I don't know if I would have been so pumped to be out on the trails. I don't see myself buying a FS again. But I'll never say never.
 
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Stocky

Member
Stocky,

It is *possible* I'll be at MD very early on Saturday with my 29er HT. If so, you're more than welcome to at least give it a spin. What pedals do you use?

Also, there's a TM session there later that morning so maybe you and your buddies could join in? Steve should have more details later in the week.

Also to lend a counter to what Jay and STB say, if you're skills are really lacking a FS will help you get out, which is the main goal. 2 years ago I bought a FS and I loved it. After 2 years, I was done with it and wanted something else. But if I hadn't bought the FS I don't know if I would have been so pumped to be out on the trails. I don't see myself buying a FS again. But I'll never say never.

Norm, I would love to help on TM, but my shop is open on Saturday mornings from 8-12. So that's not good for me. In my much younger days we used to maintain a BMX trail in the woods behind my house and a few neighbors.

I appreciate the test ride offer. I think I'm going to have to spend a few dollars and rent a full and a 29er and take them for a "regular" ride, not just a lap around the parking lot. I know Martys rents how about Cycle Craft or another nearby shop ? (I'm in Rockaway .)

It sounds like I should for the time being continue to work on my skills and ability on the hardtail.
My skills ( mostly leg strength and stamina) lack on the hill climbs. I think alot also has to do with me positioning myself correctly on the bike for the hill climb as well as the correct gearing.

As for pedals, right now I'm using platforms/clipless . I have not gone clipless yet, I just don't feel 100% confident yet to make that switch. I alos like the freedom of NOT being locked in, again something I will need to try inorder to see what's right for me.
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I would definitely get disc brakes. The guy who you are following on the trail will appreciate it too...
 

warcricket

Like a Jerk
i also ride a tiny bike, a medium specialized rockhopper comp disc
its a lot smaller all around than all my buddies bikes and we are all about the same size. i just keep coming back to the tiny bike, and the full suspension and 29er just adds size.
must be the bmx in me.

i just got the rockhopper 29er and after test riding both the 26er and the 29er i definitely felt that the larger one suited me better. I ride bmx too but when it comes to xc i like bigger wheels better.
 
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