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Mountain Bike Qs - Hard tail or Full?

Fivepointfive

CJ Retard
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
135
Messages
315
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?
 

ChiScouter

Red Skull Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Member Number
1753
Messages
256
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.
 
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Fivepointfive

CJ Retard
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315
I hear new geometry rocks. What type of riding are you doing? Any downhill machine made stuff?
 

Kage

Confused at best.
Joined
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436
Messages
22
Location
St. Louis MO Area
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.
 

Fivepointfive

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Messages
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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. :homer:
 
Joined
May 19, 2020
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248
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859
Location
socal
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.
 
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
457
Messages
199
Location
Yorktown, VA
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 :eek:.

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!
 

Fivepointfive

CJ Retard
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
135
Messages
315
Yeah this market sucks. I'm in no rush. My bike is still fun, and tbh he's done true single track exactly once. :laughing:
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wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==
​​

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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Click image for larger version  Name:	image_9245.jpg Views:	3 Size:	294.2 KB ID:	41255



Thanks for all the input.
 
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TiTRD

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May 19, 2020
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87
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1,044
Location
Wilmington, VT
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.
 

Stuck

But not in TX
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May 20, 2020
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424
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1,439

What size frame is that? Im looking for a new bike but not a lot available in jumbo.
 

RDY2ROK

Red Skull Member
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May 28, 2020
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1619
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23
Location
NM
Started out last year "after decades of not riding" with a HT- Scotts Aspect 29 after a couple months it was not enough bike and ended up with a FS- Stump Jumper which has held up nicely...

20190625_092837.jpg
 

Alboy79

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Member Number
2083
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5
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I just got back into mountain biking after a 15yr break. My 11 year old daughter was pushing me to ride with her. So I bought a Trek Roscoe 7. So far it’s been good to me. I’m a fat ass so a regular XC bike felt flimsy under me. The Roscoe is touted as a fun bike that can be peddled and still taken off some drops and jumps. Since I bought it, I’ve gone out and bought my kid and wife new mountain bikes and we have taken up weekly excursions to single tracks around our area.

26BA4D6B-467A-4438-89EC-2D9BFEFE57E7.jpeg
 

Fivepointfive

CJ Retard
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May 19, 2020
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135
Messages
315
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.

Nice ride. How is it in tight stuff with the slack angle?
 

DirtRoads

Uninformed
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105
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Memphis 10
I ride and race a lot in the Memphis area and Ozarks on a Specialized Camber Comp Carbon that's just about bone stock out of the box. I have had it for two years and could not be happier. Yesterday, I laid down a pretty competitive lap at a local time trial. I got smoked by TEN MINUTES by a guy on a fawking single speed hardtail on a rooty trail with a good bit of climbing, he's just that good. There isn't a one size fits all for this stuff. That being said, I would go ahead and get a mid travel full suspension bike and rock out. In the old days, you would ,lose a lot of pedaling efficiency with any full suspension bike but those days are over. The new stuff keeps the bike so planted that any loss as a result of added weight or pedal bob is mitigated.

A Stumpjumper or the like will have no trouble getting around a bike park. As time goes on, you might find yourself stepping up to an actual downhill bike, but you can't ride a downhill bike on an easy trail near the house. They're just not made for flat or uphill ground.

The other consideration you might make is a 6fattie style bike (not a fatbike). It's like a 26"wheel with a 29" outer diameter tire. You get a lot of sidewall so it absorbs the terrain better and still feels planted. I believe that is what the Trek Roscoe is that is posted above

That being said, you aren't going to find anything like that around here for $500. All of the used bikes have been bought up and anything besides a 'decent' hardtail will be a good bit more expensive.
 

Tech Tim

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Wet side of WA
Hit the local bike shops and try a bunch of different bikes, see what you like.

FS is pretty awesome especially if your bones and joints are getting old.

I started riding after a 20 year break with my 25 yr old Canondale. It worked, but it was soon obvious the newer bikes are insanely better. I found a 2019 demo Canondale FS cheap and it blew the old bike out of the water. Geometry was so much better, the 29s roll over stuff the old 26" would bounce on and going from 50mm to 130mm travel was crazy. Just recently picked up a 2019 demo Yeti with 150mm rear and 178mm front. It makes that new Canondale feel like rubbish, it hooks up and climbs so much better and the extra travel makes the downhill/enduro stuff fun.
 

Fullsize80cherokee

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May 21, 2020
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1024
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CO, USA
I broke down last year after riding cheap bikes for a long time and dropped about 5k on a full suspension 29er with 162mm rear and 170mm front travel and it was well worth it, but I put a lot of miles in it to justify it. I do a lot of fat biking in the winter too and at about 10 psi even with no suspension fork on a hard tail it’s a nice cushy ride.
 

Dead Pool

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May 20, 2020
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491
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Texas
I looked at a ton of bikes in the $500 to $1200 range, and ended up with a Giant Talon 3 for $600 new. Not the best, not the best components, but light years ahead of the circa '98 Gary Fisher Marlin I was riding. Figure if I used it enough, I can upgrade later. I really love the Giant Fathom, just couldn't justify the coin at the time.
 
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