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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up fellow HT riders,
I bought a Marin San Quentin 3 back in March and the thing can absolutely rip when you point it down the mountain. I've had no issues riding down the gnarliest of stuff in CO and UT.
However, as ive been riding it harder and harder and trying to go faster and faster, ive had quite a few issues with the components holding up. To name a few, I got tubeless install done a few weeks ago, and yesterday I punctured my rear tire and had to purchase a completely new one. I also found out on that trip to the bike shop that my rear rim was also dented and needed to get a new one to ride confidently. My derailleur is also constantly getting jacked up and needing adjusting.
I guess I just want to hear you all's thoughts on if riding a HT over gnarly terrain at a fast speed creates a bigger risk of messing up bike components than riding a FS bike over the same terrain at the same speed?
I love my HT and it can make it down all kinds of trails, I'm just tired of spending all of this money and not being on my bike.
 

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Yes, riding a hardtail fast requires more body input than FS over rough terrain. Tires can be damaged by a lot of things, but if you're hitting jagged rocks at speed you could be ripping them. If your rim is damaged you need either higher pressures or better lines. The derailleur strikes would be the same on FS.
 

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slow
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If you are coming from a FS bike, you will need to adjust your riding style, body finesse, and line choice. Most of my riding has been on hard tails, but during the breif periods when I rode FS bikes I found I could be a lot more lazy about my line choices and didn't have to finess my body input nearly as much because the FS bikes were a lot more forgiving of mistakes. I haven't had a FS bike since 2017 and my parts and repair expenditures haven't increased in the past 4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, riding a hardtail fast requires more body input than FS over rough terrain. Tires can be damaged by a lot of things, but if you're hitting jagged rocks at speed you could be ripping them. If your rim is damaged you need either higher pressures or better lines. The derailleur strikes would be the same on FS.
I think my primary issue is line choice. 90% of the time I have no issues but those few times when line choice goes terribly wrong at a high speed is when my bike gets messed up
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are coming from a FS bike, you will need to adjust your riding style, body finesse, and line choice. Most of my riding has been on hard tails, but during the breif periods when I rode FS bikes I found I could be a lot more lazy about my line choices and didn't have to finess my body input nearly as much because the FS bikes were a lot more forgiving of mistakes. I haven't had a FS bike since 2017 and my parts and repair expenditures haven't increased in the past 4 years.
Not coming from a FS, but I think I'm just paying the consequences of occasional poor line choice on unforgiving trails
 

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Hard tail bikes are usually a budget choice but that one is pretty well spec'd... for trail use anyhow. It's pretty likely whatever busted your tire would have busted it on a similar spec FS trail bike too. Maybe you should be looking at downhill, not trail parts. For example your rear rim was house brand and strength unknown, your rear tire was not the toughest by far (there are Exo+, DH, and DD versions), and you could have had a Cush Core in there.

The others are right too, the bike will reward you better if you play with it more. That's basically the reason bikes like this still exist at all. They respond more to pumping, hopping, etc than a FS can
 

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Hardtails get more hammered but you don’t have to deal with shock/pivot/bearing maintenance, so it’s pretty much a wash as far as upkeep.

Get gnarly on normal wear replacement, repair, adjustment of tires, rims, drive, brakes – which is possible for even a ham-fisted fuk like me – and you’ll almost never go to your shop. You can learn nearly anything with YouTube, and the most frequently-needed services are simple. No need for a master tool set, just buy tools as needs arise.

You sound like a good candidate for tire inserts like CushCore. They can save some carnage.

Ride on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hard tail bikes are usually a budget choice but that one is pretty well spec'd... for trail use anyhow. It's pretty likely whatever busted your tire would have busted it on a similar spec FS trail bike too. Maybe you should be looking at downhill, not trail parts. For example your rear rim was house brand and strength unknown, your rear tire was not the toughest by far (there are Exo+, DH, and DD versions), and you could have had a Cush Core in there.

The others are right too, the bike will reward you better if you play with it more. That's basically the reason bikes like this still exist at all. They respond more to pumping, hopping, etc than a FS can
Good point on the downhill parts. Definitely my favorite part of riding. I think my rear rim was a pretty cheap one so hopefully the new one holds up better.
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into Cush core
 

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What's up fellow HT riders,
I bought a Marin San Quentin 3 back in March and the thing can absolutely rip when you point it down the mountain. I've had no issues riding down the gnarliest of stuff in CO and UT.
However, as ive been riding it harder and harder and trying to go faster and faster, ive had quite a few issues with the components holding up. To name a few, I got tubeless install done a few weeks ago, and yesterday I punctured my rear tire and had to purchase a completely new one. I also found out on that trip to the bike shop that my rear rim was also dented and needed to get a new one to ride confidently. My derailleur is also constantly getting jacked up and needing adjusting.
I guess I just want to hear you all's thoughts on if riding a HT over gnarly terrain at a fast speed creates a bigger risk of messing up bike components than riding a FS bike over the same terrain at the same speed?
I love my HT and it can make it down all kinds of trails, I'm just tired of spending all of this money and not being on my bike.
I would tell you to stop trying to be "fast" and instead put the focus on being smooth. Also, know the limits of your bike. Going out of true or adjustment should not be an issue.
 

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furker
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99% of the time, riding a HT over gnarly terrain at a fast speed creates a bigger risk of messing up bike components than riding a FS bike over the same terrain at the same speed.

I hear the line choice argument a lot. But at some point when the trails get more advanced, there just isn't a hardtail friendly line left that can be taken at speed without risking breaking things.

I tried going the way of stronger and stronger parts, but by the time I had retrofitted a set of steel Redline 401 Flight Cranks on my HT I realized that I wasn't getting any of the weight savings or the $$$ savings of an HT anymore. No matter what I beefed up, something else became the weakest link and bent next, and it just wasn't that fun to ride with all the heavy parts. It rode like a DJ bike. It was cheaper to buy an FS for those trails than to keep replacing parts, and the FS was lighter than my beefed up HT.

I put my HT back to the way it was originally, and I ride it when I'm not going to be going fast on hard trails, and it works great for that. It is like using a sports car on a race track. When I want to go fast on hard trails, I grab an FS bike. Right bike for the right speeds on the right trail. There are no trophies awarded at the trailhead for choosing the wrong bike for the wrong speed on the wrong trail.
 

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I think my primary issue is line choice. 90% of the time I have no issues but those few times when line choice goes terribly wrong at a high speed is when my bike gets messed up
I think of increased suspension travel as almost the same thing as increased margin of error. I used to ride a rigid 26" bike on the same trails we ride FS 29" now, and the best part is how many mistakes I can make and not get hurt.
 

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I think my primary issue is line choice. 90% of the time I have no issues but those few times when line choice goes terribly wrong at a high speed is when my bike gets messed up
this sounds like you aren't bunny hopping like you should. if the line isn't there I always bunny hop the rocks. when you have speed 90% of the time you'll clear them and then get back to a good line.
 

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I have only ever ridden hardtails exclusively here in CO. All of my riding friends have full suspensions and are constantly asking how my bike holds up. There is defiantly a technique to unweighting the rear end for a brief moment when the wheel is about to be jarred up, then getting right back there as soon as it bucks you forward. I'm only 150 lbs and ride pretty wide, thick tires as well. Rode the tough casing wtbs and have moved on to spec grid trail. Its also a single speed so I can't help on rear deraileur issues. Good luck and remember to stay loose and relaxed and your arms and legs will soak up so much more and help you ride "light"
 

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I have only ever ridden hardtails exclusively here in CO. All of my riding friends have full suspensions and are constantly asking how my bike holds up. There is defiantly a technique to unweighting the rear end for a brief moment when the wheel is about to be jarred up, then getting right back there as soon as it bucks you forward. I'm only 150 lbs and ride pretty wide, thick tires as well. Rode the tough casing wtbs and have moved on to spec grid trail. Its also a single speed so I can't help on rear deraileur issues. Good luck and remember to stay loose and relaxed and your arms and legs will soak up so much more and help you ride "light"
I was going to say something similar. I come from a BMX freestyle background and with a hardtail, you have to use more body-English on the rough stuff. When I started mountain biking, I was naturally doing this more to unweight the wheels because you know if you smack into something square on a rigid bike, you're going OTB and or destroying your wheels. I agree, it's absolutely imperative that you develop the technique to quickly unweight that rear wheel when needed or you're going to destroy stuff. I see new riders depend solely on suspension for everything. They just smash into stuff without shifting their weight at all. They're at the mercy of the suspension and tires and if they ever rode a rigid bike, they would seriously hurt themselves. Whether you're on a HT or FS, work with the bike (by shifting your weight) and let the bikes suspension work for you. It's a partnership.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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What's up fellow HT riders,
I bought a Marin San Quentin 3 back in March and the thing can absolutely rip when you point it down the mountain. I've had no issues riding down the gnarliest of stuff in CO and UT.
However, as ive been riding it harder and harder and trying to go faster and faster, ive had quite a few issues with the components holding up. To name a few, I got tubeless install done a few weeks ago, and yesterday I punctured my rear tire and had to purchase a completely new one. I also found out on that trip to the bike shop that my rear rim was also dented and needed to get a new one to ride confidently. My derailleur is also constantly getting jacked up and needing adjusting.
I guess I just want to hear you all's thoughts on if riding a HT over gnarly terrain at a fast speed creates a bigger risk of messing up bike components than riding a FS bike over the same terrain at the same speed?
I love my HT and it can make it down all kinds of trails, I'm just tired of spending all of this money and not being on my bike.
Finesse counts! Bull in a China Shop takes out bikes and their parts. Just wait til the rider breaks! Bikes all over the world will laugh!
Seriously tho'... You MUST bend the elbows and knees and use your internal suspension at all times. Locking any of those will have a cost and consequence. Eventually, the act of utilizing that suspension in you will become autonomous. Loads of practice, Grasshoppah!
Punctured tires happen. Some do enough damage to a tire that it goes in the can and a new one is needed. Sometimes the mold nubs are still there and yus,it is a pissoff at 80 or more.
Work on riding style and unweight while using the elbows and knees to take up inertia and impact.

I have only ever ridden hardtails exclusively here in CO. All of my riding friends have full suspensions and are constantly asking how my bike holds up. There is defiantly a technique to unweighting the rear end for a brief moment when the wheel is about to be jarred up, then getting right back there as soon as it bucks you forward. I'm only 150 lbs and ride pretty wide, thick tires as well. Rode the tough casing wtbs and have moved on to spec grid trail. Its also a single speed so I can't help on rear deraileur issues. Good luck and remember to stay loose and relaxed and your arms and legs will soak up so much more and help you ride "light"
Trials... Trials has been the one discipline to educate me on the methodology to preserve a bike through some intense service.

I was going to say something similar. I come from a BMX freestyle background and with a hardtail, you have to use more body-English on the rough stuff. When I started mountain biking, I was naturally doing this more to unweight the wheels because you know if you smack into something square on a rigid bike, you're going OTB and or destroying your wheels. I agree, it's absolutely imperative that you develop the technique to quickly unweight that rear wheel when needed or you're going to destroy stuff. I see new riders depend solely on suspension for everything. They just smash into stuff without shifting their weight at all. They're at the mercy of the suspension and tires and if they ever rode a rigid bike, they would seriously hurt themselves. Whether you're on a HT or FS, work with the bike (by shifting your weight) and let the bikes suspension work for you. It's a partnership.
Same as previously stated. Using weight shift and unweighting is learned over a long period of expenses.
Internal suspension has far more travel than any bicycle on the market!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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What's up fellow HT riders,
I bought a Marin San Quentin 3 back in March and the thing can absolutely rip when you point it down the mountain. I've had no issues riding down the gnarliest of stuff in CO and UT.
However, as ive been riding it harder and harder and trying to go faster and faster, ive had quite a few issues with the components holding up. To name a few, I got tubeless install done a few weeks ago, and yesterday I punctured my rear tire and had to purchase a completely new one. I also found out on that trip to the bike shop that my rear rim was also dented and needed to get a new one to ride confidently. My derailleur is also constantly getting jacked up and needing adjusting.
I guess I just want to hear you all's thoughts on if riding a HT over gnarly terrain at a fast speed creates a bigger risk of messing up bike components than riding a FS bike over the same terrain at the same speed?
I love my HT and it can make it down all kinds of trails, I'm just tired of spending all of this money and not being on my bike.
Naw, you just need to learn how to work on your own stuff. Your tire could likely be sewed/patched up. You need to run enough pressure to not ding/dent rims. Your derailleur hangar may be bent, a derailleur hangar alignment tool is a good investment (one I held off on way too long).
 
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Disgruntled Peccary
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I'd argue, in hindsight of course, that a derailleur alignment tool should be one of your first bike-specific tool purchases. It'll pay off in spades over the long run. If nothing else, it totally reduces frustration with adjustments.
 

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A derailleur can get damaged on any bike.

I take my hardtail down certifiably ridiculous trails, but most of them are so steep, they must be ridden fairly slowly. So even though it’s rough, my wheels fare just fine. I do use EXO+ Maxxis DHR IIs (29 x 2.6).

What I’ve found is the thing to watch out for is the high speed chunk. The higher the speed, the more you’ve got to worry about your tire and rims. Sometimes even if your line selection skills and unweighting skills are impeccable, you just can’t avoid the harsh hits. I’ve never ridden in Colorado, but a lot in Utah. If I was going to ride Porcupine Rim, for example, on my hardtail, I’d want an insert in the rear and would just be happy going a little slower to save the rims. I did ride Ahab once on my Honzo and my Maxxis Ardent Race in the rear didn’t survive the trail. It was brand new.🤦‍♂️ A Minion probably would have been fine.
 

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Get some tire inserts! Cush Core may be expensive... you could always try one of the less money-sucking options such as Vittoria inserts or Mynesweepers.

Edit: Most (all?) Marin bikes come with their stock rims... my Commencal Meta HT cost 1600 bucks and came with a pretty nice wheelset. I've got Formula hubs on e*thirteen LG1 enduro rims with Sapim spokes. Strong combo.
Can confirm, this has been bashed to flat with far-too-low tire pressures. They're true, and eventually I've learned to stop checking.

I bought a hardtail because of the price. As a teenager, this is a pretty significant factor.
IMO, a well-specced hardtail will always be better and stronger than a FS bike of the same price, but once you start spending piles of money, the lines blur significantly.
 
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