Mountain Bike Qs - Hard tail or Full?

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    Mountain Bike Qs - Hard tail or Full?

    ADHD version- Is full suspension that much betterer?

    Getting back into riding after 20 years or so and getting my son his first real mb. Currently riding a vintage KHS rigid. It was badss back in the day. All XT/XTR, wasn't much over 20 lbs. Still fast af over smooth stuff. But, I figure something from this century could be fun. So...

    I'm looking at used bikes around $500. Everyone I've talked to said usually there's plenty of good stuff to be had, especially if I don't need to be on 29s, but this year is slim pickings. I am finding way more choices (relatively speaking) in hard tails than full suspension. Will be riding mostly single track now, on the low end of technical. We do have two downhill parks within an hour, so I'm sure as The Boy gets better we'll hit those up a couple times a year.

    I am closer to 50 than ever before, and I'm too busted up to get rowdy anymore, so no airs/drops/launches for me. Being fatterer, I like the idea of a light bike again. Will a good hardtail suck on a smooth downhill run? Will a full suspension suck on single track climbs? I've never even had a front shock. What do I want?

    #2
    Im older than you and just made a leap from a 30 year old decent 26 to a 1500 dollar front suspension 29. I keep the front fork locked out 70 percent of the time. Front fork is amazing when I need it. Modern geometry and gearing is worlds better than my old bike which was pretty decent in its time and worked great for 30 years. I can't imagine any circumstances where I would need rear suspension with the type of riding I am doing. I shopped used on CL and FB here for well over a year before buying new. Used prices on everything but box store bikes here new is stupid expensive.

    Edit Those new 3ft wide handlebars are retarded. I cut mine down to a more reasonable width and have not died or killed a buss load of nuns yet. If someone needs the leverage of the wider handlebars they should eat some Wheaties.
    Last edited by ChiScouter; 06-15-2020, 12:51 PM.

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      #3
      I hear new geometry rocks. What type of riding are you doing? Any downhill machine made stuff?

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        #4
        You're going to have to ride both styles to see what you think you'd be better off on. A good hard-tail is just fine on the smoother stuff. Personally, I'd grab a Hard tail with good components (Preferably in the 27+ tire size or 29+ size if you can find one) Run a tubeless or crush core setup and rock out. Good components being a good air fork, clutch derailleur, and a DROPPER!

        Rent a Full Suspension bike if/when you make it to a down hill park. Less stuff to maintain, and a much lower initial purchase price. Unless you're hitting the parks routinely, it just works out better $ wise to rent the stupid things.

        While I'm just a shade under 40 at this point, I can say with confidence that I am amazed at how good the newer hard-tails are compared to what we used to ride.

        Also, good luck finding a dang bike right now. New stock is dang near nonessential right now, and the good used stuff disappears immediately.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Kage View Post
          You're going to have to ride both styles to see what you think you'd be better off on. A good hard-tail is just fine on the smoother stuff. Personally, I'd grab a Hard tail with good components (Preferably in the 27+ tire size or 29+ size if you can find one) Run a tubeless or crush core setup and rock out. Good components being a good air fork, clutch derailleur, and a DROPPER!

          Rent a Full Suspension bike if/when you make it to a down hill park. Less stuff to maintain, and a much lower initial purchase price. Unless you're hitting the parks routinely, it just works out better $ wise to rent the stupid things.

          Man, I've thought about this a bit, but when you say it out loud it totally makes sense.

          While I'm just a shade under 40 at this point, I can say with confidence that I am amazed at how good the newer hard-tails are compared to what we used to ride.

          Also, good luck finding a dang bike right now. New stock is dang near nonessential right now, and the good used stuff disappears immediately.
          Great points, thanks. We'll see what pops up. I'm checking out CL couple times a day t this point.

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            #6
            https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/

            mtb market is all fubar'd right now because of therona. no one has new bikes, buddy sold his 2yr old yt for $2k, i think he bought it new for $3k and rides twice a week in less than 12hrs on cl.

            i think your budget it too low. add a dropper to what you have and come back when you are willing to spend more. there are plenty of small travel 29 bikes out there that would be a good fit for what you are after.

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              #7
              I bought a new bike last year to get back in to MTB after about 15 years.

              The new stuff is SO MUCH better than the old stuff its unbelievable.

              I went from a rigid singlespeed that was fast but beat the shit out of me, to a 130 rear 140 front full suspension 12 speed 29er bike.

              The new bike is faster, less fatiguing to ride(even at about 10 pounds heavier), and is much more comfortable to boot.

              It has taken me a bit to get used to the wide bar, and to learn using the dropper post.

              IMO rear suspension is huge. It adds loads of traction on climbs, and makes downhills faster.

              That said you can get a much nicer specced hardtail for the same money. My bike was almost 6k with an XT build .

              You should at least double or triple your budget if you are serious about it, even for a hard tail. 2021 model bikes are coming out soon so you my be able to find deals on older models.

              Good luck!

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                #8
                Yeah this market sucks. I'm in no rush. My bike is still fun, and tbh he's done true single track exactly once. ​​

                Me, on the other hand, I'm all like 'holy shit this place is 45 minutes away! Hurry up and get good, Boy!'

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                Thanks for all the input.
                Last edited by Fivepointfive; 06-16-2020, 11:15 AM. Reason: pikchers r hard

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                  #9
                  Just bought a Commencal Meta HT 27.5 plus. The geometry feel very good. Because of the slack head tube angle it will work very at the dh park. I also have a demo 7 for dh duty. I try to get over to hit the bike park in your hood once or twice a year.

                  The meta was $1099 plus shipping. It's their lowest build. well worth it. Just need to find time to ride it.

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                    #10
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                      #11
                      commencal's bike are well priced for the spec you get

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Fivepointfive View Post
                        Yeah this market sucks. I'm in no rush. My bike is still fun, and tbh he's done true single track exactly once. ​​

                        Me, on the other hand, I'm all like 'holy shit this place is 45 minutes away! Hurry up and get good, Boy!'

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                        Thanks for all the input.
                        Where is that park at?

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by TiTRD View Post
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                          What size frame is that? Im looking for a new bike but not a lot available in jumbo.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Stuck View Post

                            What size frame is that? Im looking for a new bike but not a lot available in jumbo.
                            It's a large. I'm 6'. They do make an XL I believe. Size chart is on their website.

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                              #15
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