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  1. #1

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    Default Mountain bike riders, Hard tail or Full suspension

    Hey people,
    I own a GT Avalanche 2.0 hardtail and i have done some upgrades to it. I got new cranks Truvetiv Blaze with a ISIS bottom bracket in 175mm.Truvetiv Hussfelt Pedals(non clipless) also have Shimano M505 clipless, climbing bars,Bondrager seat and post. The bike is nice and I like it but I'm checking out full suspension bikes which after a few different conversations with bike shop techs, for the kind of riding I do, is the right kind of bike for me.

    I'm really liking the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR series bikes. I tried out the Pro, the expert and comp. All these bikes where very nice. I like the hydraulic disc brakes.My bike has rim mechanical brakes which do work very well but the disc brakes seem much smoother and more controled.

    My bike uses 2 different size tires. The back is a 26 x 1.95, the front sports a 26 x 2.1. talking to the techs, this was the idea for years. Control and handling was the idea behind the different sizes. Specialized don't agree with this anymore and make there own tires(another world I learned about on this quest).The bike I like has 26 x 2.0 front and rear but Specialized tire are a bit taller then most. They look really cool and look like they would help alot in certain trails.

    Anyone ride a full suspension? After riding about 6 of them now, I'm convinced that they would benefit my riding alot.The FSR's are killer but I want to ride a few more different brands before I buy another bike. I tried out a Trek but I forget the model number. It was around 1800.00 or so. I'm trying to stay around or under 2 grand for my next bike. I'm no expert or serious rock down hiller so I don't see the reason to buy such a high end bike.But after riding a few bikes, I noticed the difference in the better shocks both frame and fork plus the Hydraulic disc brakes are now becoming a must for me. I love the feeling.Crankwise I love the Truvetiv Stylo external bearing. Damn they are smooth. You can feel the difference over internal bearing cranks.

    I'm leaning towards this one.


    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec



    Dan
    Last edited by mantis; 06-17-2006 at 08:33 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Personally, I dont do enough hard core trail riding to warrant a full suspension model. I like nice leisurely trail rides and I also do a lot of road riding as well and the power loss with full suspensions aint for me.

    As for which brands I really love my Raleigh M80 and like most of the bikes they make. They dont have the prestige of a Specialized or Cannondale but they have dont have the high price either. Mine is a $600 bike but has LX/Deore drivetrain. That is unheard of at that price point. Their phase line is definitely worth a look and run between $800-1800 . http://www.raleighusa.com/depts.asp?deptid=12

    Another brand I really like is Fuji. Theyre a little more pricey than Raleigh without but are still excellent bikes. If I were to buy another bike, Fuji would be my second choice. http://www.fujibikes.com/mountain/default.asp?yr=2004

    Another cool thing about Raleigh and Fuji is that theyre pretty rare. Everybody has the Big 3 (Cannondale, Trek, Specialized) and I like having something a little different.
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  3. #3

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    Fuji are great bikes, or at least they were.

  4. #4

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    Real men ride hardtails.

  5. #5

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    I ride a hardtail. I've been a fan of Specialized bikes for quite a while now. Like Macleod, I don't do enough serious riding to justify spending that much on a bicycle.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod
    Personally, I dont do enough hard core trail riding to warrant a full suspension model. I like nice leisurely trail rides and I also do a lot of road riding as well and the power loss with full suspensions aint for me.

    As for which brands I really love my Raleigh M80 and like most of the bikes Another cool thing about Raleigh and Fuji is that theyre pretty rare. Everybody has the Big 3 (Cannondale, Trek, Specialized) and I like having something a little different.
    Thats exactly what I thought. Power loss isn't true on a full suspension. Actually it has more power on climbing due to the flex point of the bike. No hopping around.After a test drive, you can feel the difference.

    I have seen a few very nice Fuji's. No Raleighs around my way. Our bike stores don't carry them or at least I haven't seen any of them. I remember them being pretty big years ago.

    I just got back from a pretty hard run of 10 miles.

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  7. #7

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    i ride a giant NRS Air and would not trade it for any other bike, it weighs in at 23lbs which is light for a full suspension. Now days the nicer FS bikes have the anti bob in it so you dont bounce so much vs the old style where you would lose power when you stood up to climb. If you can afford FS go for it.
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  8. #8

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    I ride a downhill style hardtail. I've ridden a few softtails and didn't really like the feel of them (everything from the low end ones to 10k totally custom sponsored bikes). They've never really felt quite controllable imo. I like the extra stiffness I get with my hardtail. With nearly seven inches of travel on the front of my bike (norco manik) it handles remarkably well over rough terrain.

    I think it might be beneficial to go fs if you did lots of downhill hardcore riding, but other than that maybe stick with a hardtail... I guess it's all personal preference.

    I have hayes hfx-9 hydraulic brakes and absolutly love them. They're a little more complicated to fix if anything goes wrong with them, but if they're set up correctly they're freaking beautiful. They just have such a different feel to them since you're pushing fluid instead of pulling a long cable. The smooth feel just can't be beat, not to mention the one finger front tire skids on dry pavement :D I'd have to say the only thing I hate about them is that I've become paranoid about bashing the rotors. At $60 each to replace they're not exactly cheap but I guess it's the price you pay for nice brakes (and not having to deal with true rims).

  9. #9

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    I ride a Cannondale hardtail. I'm not into downhill stuff or hucking, so I don't need rear suspension. The type of riding that I mostly do is XC, with nothing bigger than 1' drops and log climb-overs. Everything that I've read on Bike Forums (www.bikeforums.net) about full suspension bikes seems to say that you shouldn't buy any FS under $1000. The Specialized Stumpjumper seems to get a lot of praise.
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  10. #10

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    All depends on what you're doing with it. For that money you might be able to custom build a FS bike with better components and frame.

    http://www.universalcycles.com/
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  11. #11

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    I've never really been a fan of full suspension. I have a Gary Fisher hardtail that I got like 5 years ago, don't really remember what components are on it anymore, the markings are all scraped off :D

    It's not that I don't LIKE FS.... the benefits just don't seem to be big enough to be worth it. I've ridden one or two, and yeah, you can feel it, but.... meh. I like being able to feel what my bike is doing. That probably doesn't make sense, but consider me a non-fan of front suspension.

    And I gotta ask, what can you POSSIBLY get out of HYDRAULIC brakes on a bicycle?! Unless you're riding at 40MPH or something... I mean... my brakes stop me like INSTANTLY if I need them to. Is it just smoother action for slowing down or something? Personally, I wouldn't want yet another t hing to go wrong on a trail - I've broken damn near everything that can be broken while out there, and at least most of the time I can fix it.
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  12. #12

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    FWIW I ride a giant hardtrail. Like others I don't ride enought to justify the extra for a FS bike.

  13. #13

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    My favorite technical bike-

    Cannondale M800 "Beast of the East". Hardtail and rigid fork.

    Has a 13" bb, GREAT for tech sections.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman1235
    but.... meh. I like being able to feel what my bike is doing. That probably doesn't make sense, but consider me a non-fan of front suspension.
    +1

    If I pull my handlebars up half an inch, I want the tire to come up half an inch, not pull up, then the suspension travels and the tire stays planted. I like to feel everything and ride mountain bikes hard.

  15. #15

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    I just bought a used Spec Enduro a couple of months ago and can say that my lower back and butt have thanks me. I have had 4 hard tails before this and the last had 3 different forks on it over the years. I got this for $850 used on CL and it was 2 years old and was almost new. I am into trail riding not racing and this bike goes up and down the trails easier. Lots of fun.

  16. #16

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    my cannondale has full suspension with dual lock-out. can lock-out both front fork and rear shock. best of both worlds. but i'd still choose full suspension for the tracks i ride on.

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  17. #17

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    I ride an original Bontrager Race hardtail (made by Keith himself before he went corporate) with full XTR and the other typical goodie upgrades but I don't ride anywhere near what I used to now that I moved to Cape Cod 8 yrs ago (recreation time now spent in boat). I used to ride alot of single track outside (and inside) Philadelphia. Some of it was pretty technical and I liked my hardtail (alot) for that kind of responsive riding. I've never even done downhill. FS wasn't really figured out back then and the topic was more aluminum (harsh but light) or steel (more compliant but had to be "handmade" to get a really well done light frame).

    It really matters where and what type of riding you do. I assume FS is much better now but as has been said you need to spend alot to get one that is worth it. If you are not hardcore I would stick to a hardtail with a good front fork and superior wheels. A good wheel set will improve a bikes characteristices a whole bunch. Just like audio though you can find some VERY nice bikes on the used market. Definitely need to check them out though since you don't know how many trees the previous rider used in lieu of brakes.

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