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Jabberwocky Jockey
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I have been riding a full squishy for several years along with a rigid singlespeed that has gotten more trail time than the F/S in the past few years. No more than I ride the fs bike I have to do alot of maintenance on the pivots e.t.c to keep everything tight.
In short I am starting to get a little disenchanted with the fs and am thinking of going back to a good hardtail.

Anybody else had this happen??
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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How About FS to Full Rigid

I've got 3 full rigid bikes and a 'cross bike that each log more miles than my FS rig now.

I will admit that I never 100% committed to full suspension; at best I was splitting time 50/50 between FS and a hardtail. I found FS bikes offered no overall improvement in riding. Sure you gain some "comfort" if you're going to be out riding for 6+ hours but (when riding rigid for years) you also have to learn a different riding style to take advantage of that. For race situations and trail type riding the fastest way for me to get from point A to boint B is on a rigid bike. And going back to rigid leaves 2 less potential problems behind: blown shocks front and rear. I had my fair share of both of those happen in the middle of nowhere. Not fun.
 

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I grew up racing bmx in the 70's and understand the hardtail and the method of riding. But I haven't touched my hardtail since I went FS. I still ride like I'm on a hardtail but I don't think the honeymoon between my butt and my FS will ever end :D Comfort combined with being able to get more braking action when skittering down a slope of wet rocks :eek:
 

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I think there are quite a few especially in the race crowd. I had an FS that weighed 32 pound and had a tendency to bob going up hills and finally went back to a HT. For my type of riding a hardtail is usually more than enough bike. I ended up buying another hardtail so I could have two race bikes. I ended up buying two race grade hardtails for a total of $1400 which is probably a little more than a decent used FS would cost.
 

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borregokid said:
I think there are quite a few especially in the race crowd. I had an FS that weighed 32 pound and had a tendency to bob going up hills and finally went back to a HT. For my type of riding a hardtail is usually more than enough bike. I ended up buying another hardtail so I could have two race bikes. I ended up buying two race grade hardtails for a total of $1400 which is probably a little more than a decent used FS would cost.
Borrego Kid,

Any connection to the Anza Borrego Desert area???
I ride there a lot.
 

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After 14 years of riding rigid, I finally broke down last year and bought a F/S frame - mainly to ease some of the strain on my back. Since I had been riding hardtails for so long, I was a little leery of the bobbing while climbing on a F/S, so when I got the F/S, I got one with rear lock-out. I like the bike, but I am SERIOUSLY considering buying another hardtail. I find that my riding style on a hardtail is much more fluid. The only thing that has been keeping me from buying another hardtail is the fact that my wife is gonna kick my a$$ when I do. It took me two months of saying to her "but honey, I need a full suspension because my hardtail messed up my back" before she gave me the nod. It's a good thing that she's pretty understanding about my riding addiction!
 

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SSasquatch
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535 Posts
Back from the dark side

After riding a HT for 15 years I decided this past spring to go to full squishy. I definately loved the benefits of the FS (screaming down hills, less fatigue, etc...) but I found that I missed the feedback and climbing ability I got from the HT. I am more of a climber at heart and began to miss the ability to stand and hammer up a steep hill without feeling like the suspension was sucking the life out of my pedal stroke (even with Fox propedal rear shock).
Additionally, I found that the additional maintanence on the pivots and rear shock were a pain in the rear. In retrospect, I don't think it was that much more work, but I am a VERY low maintanence type of guy.
So after 350 miles on the FS I bought a cheap-o Access HT frame from supergo, built it up and haven't looked back. I sold my FS because it got 0 use once I built the HT. Since then, I have put almost 500 miles on the new HT and am loving it although it took me close to 100 miles to re-learn how to ride a HT (brain required for negotiating technical terrain).
This winter I am going to go 1 step further away from technology and build up a singlespeed with an old Cannondale frame I had lying around. See how that goes ...
 

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I got my first dualie in 93 and have had several since. I just ordered a hardtail frame. I've fond my low-speed technical abilities have falled off dramatically, I believe due to the instable geometry of the dualie (largely the BB height, I never know if my chainrings are going to hit as I ride over things now). I really think I'd like a hardtail 90% of the time.

Also, high-end hardtails are becoming a rarity these days, and I seem to like disagreeing with everyone else. I'm keeping the suspension fork.
 

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galleywench said:
So after 350 miles on the FS I bought a cheap-o Access HT frame from supergo, built it up and haven't looked back.
Just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size Access HT did you buy? I am 5'11" and had picked up one of their 18" frames and it was WAY too small for me. This was after I rode a 17.5" steel Fisher Cronus for about 6 years that fit me fine. I was afraid that the 20" HT would be too big.

Thanks!
 

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I went from a 24 lb HT to a 27.5 lb FS (Yeti ASR-SL- an XC racer) and now also a 28 lb Yeti 575 (more of a trail bike). I can drop my ASR-SL to around 25 lbs but I'm faster on it on all my trails than the HT and I love riding it so the 2-3 lbs does not matter- I just keep them all under 28 lbs.

I don't have any maintenence issues at all and don't ride HTs anymore. But I will say that if you ride a FS bike, you have to have a high quality frame. I don't know what you ride but I'd be annoyed with constant maintenence too. Then again, I only think a few brands are worthy of my money so I like Yeti and would buy Ventanas and maybe Turners- that's essentially it. I leave the rest to the rest.

My situation is different and a HT is technically lower maintenence but irrelevant in my personal experience. If you're set on a HT, maybe consider a high-quality HT frame with good components unless you can cough up $1,200 - $1,800 plus for a quality FS frame. If you're budget-minded, stick with a HT frame. You can't go wrong. Just don't buy a budget FS frame- they suck eventually :D
 

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SSasquatch
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oddestfellow said:
Just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size Access HT did you buy? I am 5'11" and had picked up one of their 18" frames and it was WAY too small for me. This was after I rode a 17.5" steel Fisher Cronus for about 6 years that fit me fine. I was afraid that the 20" HT would be too big.

Thanks!
HA, you are definately asking the wrong guy about fit... I actually like a bike that is too small for me. I think it harkens back to my bmx days or the sad truth that nobody makes a production frame that properly fits me. I am 6'5, and have 39 inch arms... If you are not sure what that looks like, think of a hairless sasquatch, and you'd pretty much be able to pick me out of a lineup.
Oh, I have the 20" model (I think the TT is 23.5)... I deliberately didn't order the XL (22"?). I won't go into it, but once upon a time, a LBS employee convinced me to go for the XL frame on a Cannondale and I absolutely hated it... Not the employee's fault, he was just sizing me according to spec.., but I don't like the feel of a tall bike.
 

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oddestfellow said:
Just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size Access HT did you buy? I am 5'11" and had picked up one of their 18" frames and it was WAY too small for me. This was after I rode a 17.5" steel Fisher Cronus for about 6 years that fit me fine. I was afraid that the 20" HT would be too big.

Thanks!
I'm about the same hight as you are and got the 18'' as well. Hight is not as important as inseam. I have an inseam of 32.5''. What makes you think it is WAY to small?

To get back on topic. I went back from a fs to a ht and am happy. Most of the time I ride smooth st wwith a few technical sections.
 

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Saving lives with knives.
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FS to Softail

I've been riding full suspension bikes since 1996 and switched to Castellano Softail this year. Overall I definitely have more fun on the softail than my previous dual suspension bikes. It depends on lots of things though: If you live in an area where the trails are brutally bumpy or you do really long rides, I think a full suser might be a better way to go.
 

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Went back this year....

Darkwing Duck said:
I have been riding a full squishy for several years along with a rigid singlespeed that has gotten more trail time than the F/S in the past few years. No more than I ride the fs bike I have to do alot of maintenance on the pivots e.t.c to keep everything tight.
In short I am starting to get a little disenchanted with the fs and am thinking of going back to a good hardtail.

Anybody else had this happen??
Since 1996, I have been riding a Trek Y-22 and have absolutely loved it, especially for climbing. Do not believe the nonsense that it cannot climb.....it is as light as a feather. The superlight weight more than makes up for any bobbing (which I have never really experienced anyway). What concerned me was the fact that the carbon might crack and I wanted to start doing more technical runs. In recent years, I have been coddling the bike and that is not what a bike should be for. I was worried about cracking the frame becase 1) I love the bike, and 2) they do not make it anymore so any replacement would be a much heavier Fuel. So this past October I bought a Gary Fisher Marlin. I also missed the hardtail feeling that goes along with it.

Now I love riding and not worrying about cracking the frame.....hammering as hard as I want to.....That is what biking is about. I will still ride the Y, but I think it is in semi-retirement now.
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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The frames is too small..

oddestfellow said:
Just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what size Access HT did you buy? I am 5'11" and had picked up one of their 18" frames and it was WAY too small for me. This was after I rode a 17.5" steel Fisher Cronus for about 6 years that fit me fine. I was afraid that the 20" HT would be too big.

Thanks!
Access Frames and a few of the other House brand frames tend to have VERY short Top Tubes.
Case in point your Access has a 22.0 TT on an "18" frame. The new norm is close to if not 23" TT's. That's why I ordered a 19/20" frame for my Hardtail commuter to get the 23" TT.

(BTW - Im 6' tall)
 

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I don't know if this is relevant or not but I've been on a hardtail for 15 years. I outgrew my first, broke 2 klein hardtails, then moved on to titanium. I've ridden some freinds full sus bikes and I guess I'm just a creature of habit now cuz I prefer what I'm used to. I tried a Trek Fuel and it was lighter than my hardtail, a Titus Switchblade, a Specialized (the one w/ "the Brain"), and a Yeti 575 with a Maverick fork. I was amazed at the geometry being so laid back and the travel allowed me to plow through things I never would be able to do on my bike. Funny thing is that these new full-sus bikes are not that heavy in comparrison to mine. The Yeti w/ Maverick fork was almost the same weight and was a lot less scary over drops and stuff. The maintenance issues do sort of scare me off, so I've decided to stick with hardtail for now. Saves money not being caught up in needing the latest technology. Having said that; I do get back, neck, & wrist pain more than my friends it seems
 

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Bearlike
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I went from a FS Motolite to an On-One HT last month and I'm sooooo much happier. FS was great for all day epics, but I didn't remember the trail. I just plowed through it and didn't feel a thing, it was like riding in back of a 72' Buick Electra. Take a nap and wake up at the end of the trail. I love to feel the flow of the trail, FS didn't let that happen. Also, I didn't like having to play with air pressure, pivots, squeaks, groans, creaks, and tappings of cables, chains, etc... quite distracting. However, my HT has some flex built into the rear triangle coupled with a 2.5" Conti Gravity, which makes for a forgiving ride that doesn't allow me to slack off. So right now all of my FS frames are looking for good homes. I figure that when I'm 60+ years old, then I'll look at FS
 

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carl1266 said:
I'm about the same hight as you are and got the 18'' as well. Hight is not as important as inseam. I have an inseam of 32.5''. What makes you think it is WAY to small?
I have about a 34" inseam and it felt like I was on a BMX bike. I couldn't extend the seat high enough for my liking. I think that part of it was that it was hard for me to get used to the more sloped top tube of an aluminum frame after riding a steel Gary Fisher with the tight geometry that his older bikes had. I ended up trading the frame with a friend of mine who had a 19" aluminum Raleigh frame that was too big for him, which I am building up as a hybrid/road warrior bike - mainly to put my daughter's kid carrier on so I can cruise around with her. It's my winter project.
 

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OldTeen
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So much depends on the specific F/S you're riding. I mean a 3" travel F/S XC racer is going to feel different from a 5-6" squishy. I have an HT and an "all-mountain" F/S (03 IH Hollowpoint w/rear shock set to 3.75" travel). I ride both frequently & both have their place. No question that I'm less beat-up on my F/S than on my HT after 20-30+ mi on the trail. OTOH- the HT and slicks (or semi-slicks) is my prefered ride for suburban tours or combo tour/trail rides. If I had to choose just one for all my riding here in the Midwest, I guess I would go HT.
 
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