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Thread: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

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    Mojo's Minions lex666's Avatar
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    Default Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Hey guys,

    I currently have a hardtail mountain bike. On my last ride, I was going over some very bumpy terrain and now I'm contemplating getting a full suspension bike.

    Is it worth it to trade or sell my hardtail for a full suspension? Full suspension bikes start at approx $1500 and can get very, very expensive. Will I enjoy the ride on a full suspension bike that much more?

    I don't ride on rocky trails that often. I usually see paved and dirt roads and hills. But I do like to go 'off road' every once in a while.

    Another thing I'm concerned about is locking up an expensive bike in public. I'm worried that an nice full suspension bike will be too tempting for theives.

    I've never ridden a full suspension bike. Is the ride quality worth the extra $,$$$ and the risk? I'd like to hear thoughts and pros/cons on the subject from anyone who rides... I'm really trying to talk myself out of buying a $1500+ bike. But will I enjoy the ride that much more?

    sorry, not enuff budget or room in the garage for both bikes...



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    Mojo's Minions Carl762's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Stick with the front suspension. No need for overkill, considering your style/type of riding. Buy accessories, etc.

    Enjoy.

    GJ???
    ""Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch, Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the decision." Unknown Author

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    One important thing to keep in mind is that a full suspension bike needs to be pedaled harder to go the same distance at the same speed. The suspension soaks up some of the force of your pedaling, and the end result is more energy needed to go the same distance as a hard tail.

    If you're not doing much downhill rides or bumpy rides, I'd say stick with the hard tail. The extra cost and loss of power aren't worth the trade-off IMO.

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    Mojo's Minions subanots's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    real men ride hardtails..... and play em too.

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    Mojo's Minions 3'scompany's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    One important thing to keep in mind is that a full suspension bike needs to be pedaled harder to go the same distance at the same speed. The suspension soaks up some of the force of your pedaling, and the end result is more energy needed to go the same distance as a hard tail.

    If you're not doing much downhill rides or bumpy rides, I'd say stick with the hard tail. The extra cost and loss of power aren't worth the trade-off IMO.
    +1

    Lex, you said yourself that you don't normally ride bumpy/rocky trails. If it is mostly smoother surfaces and street that you ride, that extra money spent will be a complete waste.

    If you were riding a lot of down-hill or really rocky terrain, I'd say pony up. But unless you're doing a lot of really aggressive off-road riding, I'd stick with a hardtail.
    DayGlo

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    theodie
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Hardtail by a mile unless you are doing alot of stupid downhill stuff.

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Yeah, full suspension bikes are designed for guys who literally ride down the side of a mountain over rocks, tree roots, creek beds, etc. If that's not you, you're good with front fork suspension at most.

    Personally, for city riding, I prefer no suspension whatsoever. I don't mind the bumps, and the trade-off in efficiency is more than worth it.

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    theodie
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Yeah, full suspension bikes are designed for guys who literally ride down the side of a mountain over rocks, tree roots, creek beds, etc. If that's not you, you're good with front fork suspension at most.

    Personally, for city riding, I prefer no suspension whatsoever. I don't mind the bumps, and the trade-off in efficiency is more than worth it.
    Nothing wrong with a fully ridged bike either. I personally like front suspension becasue I have the urge to bunny hop stuff and jump curbs and whatever is around. I have bent some forks in my day.

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    Mojo's Minions 3'scompany's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Personally, for city riding, I prefer no suspension whatsoever. I don't mind the bumps, and the trade-off in efficiency is more than worth it.
    Gotta love lock-outs. Best of both worlds.
    DayGlo

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    Mojo's Minions lex666's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it. I'm gonna keep the hardtail... good thing too cuz I really like my hardtail and don't really have the funds for a new bike.

    RD, thanks for the advice about the dual requiring more effort to pedal. I probably see more hills than I do off roading.

    My front suspension does have a lock-out, but I've yet to use it. I'm gonna try locking it out on my next ride and see if that makes my ride easier. Where I ride, the entrance is a long, steep, paved ramp. Because I stand when I pedal, I thought the extra bounce was a good thing... I'll use the lock-out feature to see if that makes things easier.



    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Pretty much all the points have been covered already, and I have to agree.

    I think too many people gravitate toward full suspension because the bikes look cooler, despite what they're going to be doing with it.

    The kind of riding I do borders on the need for full suspension, and I even have one, but don't use it. I like a stiffer feel when I'm flying down a mountain trail, because I let my legs and arms absorb the bumps, which gives me a more controllable feel.

    And what goes downhill usually has to go uphill, and the energy loss from a rear shock isn't ideal for pedaling uphill and on flat terrain. This is where a front lockout feature on suspension forks comes in handy. It's locked at all times, except when I'm about to start going downhill.

    And believe it or not, I'm offroad mtn biking nearly every work day, right after work.
    I change clothes in my truck, put on my helmet and gloves, ride 1 1/2 miles straight up a paved road, then bomb about 3 miles through the mountains in a semi circle, back to my truck. On the other days, I'm BMX racing or road biking.

    My playground

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    Mojo's Minions lex666's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Thanks GJ,

    Man, I wish I was 20 again. When I was 20, I had a cheapie Roadmaster mountain bike I bought from Montgomery Wards, LOL. The brakes sucked, the shifting was a total PITA and the thing was HEAVY. But, I rode that bike everyday and put it thru more bashing than any bike could handle. I used to take it everywhere and ride every chance I get, probably similar to what you do now.

    Now that I'm older, I rarely get was wild as I used to. What a drag.
    If I know I'm going crazy, I must not be insane.

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  13. #13
    theodie
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by lex666 View Post
    Thanks GJ,

    Man, I wish I was 20 again. When I was 20, I had a cheapie Roadmaster mountain bike I bought from Montgomery Wards, LOL. The brakes sucked, the shifting was a total PITA and the thing was HEAVY. But, I rode that bike everyday and put it thru more bashing than any bike could handle. I used to take it everywhere and ride every chance I get, probably similar to what you do now.

    Now that I'm older, I rarely get was wild as I used to. What a drag.
    I remember those days. Way before indexed shifting. The first bike I got with indexed shifting, I thought I was in heaven. Of course no suspension or nothing. I was always scraping other bikes to cannibalize parts. I used to tear the hell out of it. I have officially broken every part there is to break on a bike.

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    I thought real men rode single speeds?

    ...then who rides fixies?
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

  15. #15
    theodie
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    I thought real men rode 3 speeds?
    Who are you, the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz?? LOL!!!!

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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    ...then who rides fixies?
    These dorks!


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    What's Your Forum Nameologist? MikeRocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    #1 to what everyone said about hardtails. Hey Jonesy, where is that? Looks like a lot of fun!

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRocker View Post
    #1 to what everyone said about hardtails. Hey Jonesy, where is that? Looks like a lot of fun!
    That's the Victory Trailhead, which is the far west mountain range in the San Fernando Valley. Take Victory Blvd west till it ends past Valley Circle.
    You don't even have to do any uphill/downhill. You can just go there and ride flat trails.

    Another one is south of Ventura Blvd on Reseda Blvd.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

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    Mojo's Minions Carl762's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Ya, GJ, looks like a great place to ride.
    ""Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch, Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the decision." Unknown Author

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    Tone Member Spudman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain bikes: Hardtail vs. full (dual) suspension

    Wait until you are in your late 40s and then get a dual suspension bike. You'll be ready for sure by then and your ass will love you for it.

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