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Hard Tail vs. Full-Spension

Whether it's cross country, marathon or gravity, post all your MTB chat here.

Moderator: Red Rick

17 Sep 2010 00:07

Ht 29er gets my vote, though Giant's present version is better avoided.
User avatar TexPat
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17 Sep 2010 00:13

kiwirider wrote:Apologies, didn't realise from your posts that you'd got a solid base in MTB - thought you were "just a roadie" who's seen the light! ;)

I still stand by the recommendation of HT though (your countryside sounds similar to the sort of stuff I was riding on up north of the 49th - and I felt that a fully wasn't really necessary there) - and also the follow up that if you go fully, keep it as simple (and therefore robust/reliable) as possible ... :)


No worries! I haven't been on an MTB for nine years, but yes, there were nine years on an MTB before that.

I don't expect to be incarcerated before next year at the earliest, if at all, and while I'm not free to travel about the world, I could make a request to officially move to a different sector of the US while awaiting sentencing - which means I could go stay with a friend in Utah, for example, or Colorado.

Since dreams are all I have right now, I have to think that I might be bale to access some killer single-track. And given all of the feedback I've received here, I think it makes sense to go w/ a full-suspension cross-country race bike, like one from either the Giant Anthem or Specialized Epic ranges.

The FS might be overkill for the trails in my immediate neighborhood, but if I'm going to dream I need to dream big - and who's to say I might not be riding proper singletrack in a month or two? :D
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21 Sep 2010 13:52

Black-Balled wrote:What he said. Get yourself a cross-country f/s with lockout and be done with it.

I raced hardtails for a long time, then got a santa cruz blur. I can't believe I waited so long to go to f/s.


What he said. The current crop of FS Blurs probably weigh less than the hard tails we used to ride.

Did you buy a bike?
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21 Sep 2010 16:07

bc_hills wrote:What he said. The current crop of FS Blurs probably weigh less than the hard tails we used to ride.

Did you buy a bike?


Thanks everyone.

I've decided on the Giant Anthem X Advanced SL 1, pending availability at the special pricing I was offered.
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23 Sep 2010 07:58

TexPat wrote:Ht 29er gets my vote, though Giant's present version is better avoided.


I don't want to hijack Joe's thread too badly but do you care to expand on this a little?

I can actually get one at a relatively decent price and had been considering one...
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23 Sep 2010 08:14

flyor64 wrote:I don't want to hijack Joe's thread too badly but do you care to expand on this a little?

I can actually get one at a relatively decent price and had been considering one...


Do you mean a Giant?
If so, the Giant HT has heavy wheels for a bike in its price range. Additionally, the wheels have been reported to be very difficult to convert to tubeless. This matters because of the oft heard response to 29er riding characteristics (i.e at they feel slow and sluggish when cornering). In my experience in 29ers, the lighter the wheel, the sharper the handling.
The second reason is the geometry.
Gary Fisher's G2 offset fork helps sharpen steering further. If you have the chance to ride a Fisher, give it a go and compare the handling to the Giant.
I reckon Giant has a little bit to learn yet.
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23 Sep 2010 11:44

TexPat wrote:Do you mean a Giant?
If so, the Giant HT has heavy wheels for a bike in its price range. Additionally, the wheels have been reported to be very difficult to convert to tubeless. This matters because of the oft heard response to 29er riding characteristics (i.e at they feel slow and sluggish when cornering). In my experience in 29ers, the lighter the wheel, the sharper the handling.
The second reason is the geometry.
Gary Fisher's G2 offset fork helps sharpen steering further. If you have the chance to ride a Fisher, give it a go and compare the handling to the Giant.
I reckon Giant has a little bit to learn yet.


Thanks for the reply.

I concur wholeheartedly on the wheels and tubeless. I run my steel SS tubeless on a pretty light wheelset...

Was just considering a "29er race bike on a budget". I actually can and will look at the GF...the price is higher though.

Thanks again.
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23 Sep 2010 17:29

flyor64 wrote:Thanks for the reply.

I concur wholeheartedly on the wheels and tubeless. I run my steel SS tubeless on a pretty light wheelset...

Was just considering a "29er race bike on a budget". I actually can and will look at the GF...the price is higher though.

Thanks again.


be sure to compare Geometry. Head tube angles vary quite a bit with some frames. GF has a theory worth looking into but it works for some and not for others.

The head angles might be specific to fork offset and the amount of travel you like might not flow for you. I have found that going from 80 mm to 100mm with some frames changes the game quite a bit

also consider top tube clearance and TT length. there is a good chance you can run a smaller frame for the maneuverability cornering with out TT length compromise. I refer to clearance while riding not standing

I like every thing about giant, esp the anthem. But getting giant at a reasonable price for even insiders is a tough one.

as for wheels on a spec bike expect to upgrade regardless of brand. especially if you are racing. get the bike, sell the wheels on thebay for whatever and build a set. Or Handspun have a great wheelset with SRAM x9 hubs and stans flow more than reasonable
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24 Sep 2010 03:55

If you're willing to pay the weight penalty, FS generally climbs better on technical terrain than HT. It's all about keeping that rear tire in full contact with the dirt. I was simply AMAZED at the difference it made. Stuff that was completely unclimbable (word?) on my rigid bike was stupid easy on the FS.

The downside of FS is that it does take more energy to pedal over the long hauls even with a Fox "lockout" rear shock - which will still wiggle a little bit when you pedal. I try to commute to the dirt from my house when possible and it does grind you down after many miles.

Whatever you do, don't skimp on the fork. If you get a long travel fork, one that switches into a lower position really will help for climbing the steep stuff. I didn't get that feature, and I wish I had now. Bar ends can shift your weight forward and help, but the real solution is to lower the front end.

If you get out into the NW with your bike, happy to take you out on the trails here. Lots of good riding.
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24 Sep 2010 04:06

AnythingButKestrel wrote:If you're willing to pay the weight penalty, FS generally climbs better on technical terrain than HT. .


i guess it depends on ones riding style but this is not my experience.

the constant stiffness and pedaling efficiency of a HT outweighs any bump to the rear IMHO. especially if you have the tire contact point of a 29er

If you are suggesting that rear suspension can allow for sustained momentum on a slow hard hit as it absorbs and allows the wheel to roll over then there is a slight argument for it
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24 Sep 2010 05:16

Boeing wrote:i guess it depends on ones riding style but this is not my experience.

the constant stiffness and pedaling efficiency of a HT outweighs any bump to the rear IMHO. especially if you have the tire contact point of a 29er

If you are suggesting that rear suspension can allow for sustained momentum on a slow hard hit as it absorbs and allows the wheel to roll over then there is a slight argument for it


My experience is on a 26, but the consensus around here is that FS rules the roost for everything but *true* XC. For that I won't argue against a HT. For all around riding, I simply prefer to climb on a FS just because I feel so confident that the rear tire will hook up. The HT just seemed to spin out a lot more. Maybe it was just bad frame geometry....

Joe's getting a FS and wisely went with the RP23 option, so he'll have about as good as it gets for a XC full suspension ride. :)
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24 Sep 2010 06:51

Boeing wrote:be sure to compare Geometry. Head tube angles vary quite a bit with some frames. GF has a theory worth looking into but it works for some and not for others.

The head angles might be specific to fork offset and the amount of travel you like might not flow for you. I have found that going from 80 mm to 100mm with some frames changes the game quite a bit

also consider top tube clearance and TT length. there is a good chance you can run a smaller frame for the maneuverability cornering with out TT length compromise. I refer to clearance while riding not standing

I like every thing about giant, esp the anthem. But getting giant at a reasonable price for even insiders is a tough one.

as for wheels on a spec bike expect to upgrade regardless of brand. especially if you are racing. get the bike, sell the wheels on thebay for whatever and build a set. Or Handspun have a great wheelset with SRAM x9 hubs and stans flow more than reasonable


Thanks for the tips. I will keep them in mind. I find that while I ride a "large" frame in a 26" a "medium" passes well for me on my 29er, a Vassago.

I know nothing of the GF geometry other than it is different. If I had one gripe with my vassago it would be the sloppiness in the corners, anything off camber, switchbacks etc. So if the GF geometry and fork offset help with that I would consider it. I hope to ride one this weekend...

As to the insider price on a Giant, nothing so special as that. The shop that sponsors our club sells them so we can get a club discount is all. But at Norwegian prices, every little bit helps :D
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24 Sep 2010 15:47

Well...

Howzabout the 29 front end and 26rr?

I have a buddy who works in the industry and he says that it is the best of both worlds...and that the majority of real riders at his work use that combo.
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24 Sep 2010 17:50

AnythingButKestrel wrote:My experience is on a 26, but the consensus around here is that FS rules the roost for everything but *true* XC. For that I won't argue against a HT. For all around riding, I simply prefer to climb on a FS just because I feel so confident that the rear tire will hook up. The HT just seemed to spin out a lot more. Maybe it was just bad frame geometry....

Joe's getting a FS and wisely went with the RP23 option, so he'll have about as good as it gets for a XC full suspension ride. :)


I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Sure there are technical answers but In the end it is what works for you and me etc. and our budgets

Geometry is debated too. I have heard it argued either way on short or long stays HT for traction. I have friends who swear that a short stay keeps the wheel under you for traction. But my preference has always been contrary to that explanation although I understand it

I run full rigid again now on a 29 with the biggest tires on the widest rims tubeless and am having a great time. But I can't say one is better than the other. Terrain dictates a lot of that for me. I like FS on slow tech climbs where rocky or stair step type routs really slow momentum. A little cush can get the wheel rolling where a rigid might stop. I have yet to try a FS 29

because my skills are limited i might need a different bike for every course:).....

you know how it is
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24 Sep 2010 17:56

Black-Balled wrote:Well...

Howzabout the 29 front end and 26rr?

I have a buddy who works in the industry and he says that it is the best of both worlds...and that the majority of real riders at his work use that combo.



My wife cant fit a 29 at her size. She rode the old Trek 69er and liked it a lot but they are discontinued.

Carver bikes make a 69er as you describe and a lot of people like them. good point

I have thought about that combo for Free ride. for me a 29 is quite difficult to counter steer/slide because of the large contact area and the gyro effect of a big wheel at speed. The 26 in the rear might work that well in back with the roll over up front.

but as I stated, my skills are limited at that level so it might be rider error
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26 Sep 2010 06:05

Black-Balled wrote:Well...

Howzabout the 29 front end and 26rr?

I have a buddy who works in the industry and he says that it is the best of both worlds...and that the majority of real riders at his work use that combo.


Having to carry two different size spare tubes is stupid.
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Outcome

28 Dec 2010 02:39

Though it didn't materialize until recently, I was able to obtain an MTB: a Giant Anthem X Advanced SL1. Wish the weather in PA was like CA (though without the rain). Thanks to everyone who provided feedback. I don't think I'll ultimately be able to keep the bike, but it's great for now.
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28 Dec 2010 09:38

SS rigid 29er, the money you save by not having suspension forks and gears can be put into a better frame and wheels. Niner's Air Nine would have to be the top of my list.
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30 Dec 2010 16:44

Rip:30 wrote:Having to carry two different size spare tubes is stupid.



Yeah well...The jerk store called :eek::rolleyes:

The choice is not for you then, is it? For one who feels the performance is better it is a good choice.

To you I bequeath the following: I M O
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30 Dec 2010 21:31

Black-Balled wrote:Yeah well...The jerk store called :eek::rolleyes:

The choice is not for you then, is it? For one who feels the performance is better it is a good choice.

To you I bequeath the following: I M O


Yeah, seriously - can we not insult each other for our ride tech preferences? Nothing here worth fighting over - it's not The Clinic after all.

I'll make a new topic if you want, but unrelated to my original inquiry, now that I have a bike, what exactly should I carry in my tool-kit, and what kind of saddle bag should I use?

Tube
Tire levers
Allen Keys/multi-tool? (if yes to multi-tool, which model/brand?)
CO2 kit

Also, do you guys mount a water bottle cage or use something like a camelback? This bike is so nice that I don't want to even ride it, let alone break the clean lines of the choppy, geometric carbon downtube by bolting-on a water bottle cage. :p
joepa

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