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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been riding hardtails forever and SS for the last 5 years. Tried FS many times over the years but always go back to HT.

Some of my friends recently talked me into a 5" travel bike. I test rode a few and picked one that was highly recomended and in my price range, Jamis XLT, Minute 2 fork, Sram XO/X9 drivetrain. Had the shop help me dial in the suspension and have been tweeking it to try and get it better .

I can not stand the feeling of slugishness while accelerating the mush of the fork and rear when climbing. Is it just something that takes getting used to? a different riding style maybe. Or is my latest FS bike going to end up like the rest...for sale.

Anyone else out there have this experience?
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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Hmmmm.

I have always liked hardtails, but all my buddies ride FS, most notably I Drives. I thought my next bike might be an FS, but having ridden these bikes that supposedly are the best pedallers around, I dislike the "pedaling thru treacle" feel on climbs. I also considered a Teocali, thank god I didn't as it was like pedaling a tractor.

There also appears to be constant maintenance, too - who wants that? Another of my mates has a Norco linkage bike. In the 6 months he's had it, the swingarm has broekn and then it blew a shock. I think he's coming back to a hardtail now too.

For my money, I'll take a hardtail in the 23 to 26 pound range, with a 100mm fork, decent trail worthy tyres, dual discs, carbon post to take out a little buzz, and ride happily ever after.
 

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Just sell it. You are not going to like it no matter what you do. If you needed it, then it might be a different story, but it doesn't sound like you need it.

Nothing wrong with riding HT forever.
 

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I Have Gnarly Potential
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Doesnt Fox make a rear shock that has a impact lockout?

Im almost positive it does (not shure if it will fit) but the lockout on it only releasses when it sensses a impact (a decent one) so peddeling while not taking hard impacts will not give to that "slushyness"

You could prob look into something like that maby if im not just totally nuts with bad memmory :D
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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slugobikes said:
I can not stand the feeling of slugishness while accelerating the mush of the fork and rear when climbing.
A weak rider is a weak rider, no matter what bike they are riding. An FS bike is usually 3-5lbs heavier, and that extra weight is what makes the biggest difference IMO. There's a lot of climbs I can power up because my rear wheel has traction. Climbs that people on hardtails spin out on.
 

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Jayem said:
A weak rider is a weak rider, no matter what bike they are riding. An FS bike is usually 3-5lbs heavier, and that extra weight is what makes the biggest difference IMO. There's a lot of climbs I can power up because my rear wheel has traction. Climbs that people on hardtails spin out on.
Did that make any sense? I must have missed the point.

What does being weak have to do with anything in this case? Also, if a person doesn't weight the bike correctly for traction, spin outs happen. That is related to skill more than a bikes suspension.

FS bikes can feel sluggish if you come off a HT. It is because they are more sluggish than a HT. I can understand "hating" the feeling.
 
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uh, fellas.

dualies don't ride like hardtails.

there's something called a learning curve. ride the bike a while longer in a lot of different situations. still got your hardtail? why not ride it in the places that maybe aren't so rough.

my opinion is that my superlight extended my range by about a half hour because i don't get as beat up.
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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I understand where he is going with that. For one, you said a 24 to 26 lbs HT. Fullys weight 27lbs or above, in most cases, and so its heavier and it feels sluggish. It takes a stronger rider to ride a full suspension vs. the HT IMHO. I ride both types of bikes and I am always faster on the HT. There is trade offs for both. HT is more efficient but beats you up. FS is less efficient, but you can descend faster without the rear end going all over the place.
 

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I just had an interesting experience today. Pulled out my old Trek 8500 hardtail after riding a FS Epic for the past two years. To my surprise, I seemed to climb better and felt more control over my front end on climbs where the Epic used to wander. I was planning on purchasing another FS, but now the Trek 8500 has me questioning that logic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
learning curve...

thats what I was thinking. Just going to ride the FS and the FS alone for a few weeks. I do like it on the truly rough downhills but I just do not know if it is that much better than my hardtail.

Oh and Jayem sounds like your still a bit sore about me putting 30 minutes into you at the Whiskey on my SS :D
 

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Takes awhile to get used to FS

As someone above stated, there is a definate learning curve for FS. And if you don't ride technical trails, HT may be a better option for you. I loved my old HT, but wouldn't go back now. I feel like I am a better climber because of my FS bike, especially on technical climbs, but also on longer climbs where fatigue is more of a factor. I did feel slower at first.

I didn't like my new FS rig initially, and thought I had made a mistake for the first 6 months. I have now have had it for 1.5 years, and and love it. Also, I don't spend more time maintaining it than I did my hardtail.

That said, nothing wrong with hardtails. Obviously, plenty of pros still win races on them so they are plenty fast.
 

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slugobikes said:
So I have been riding hardtails forever and SS for the last 5 years. Tried FS many times over the years but always go back to HT.

Some of my friends recently talked me into a 5" travel bike. I test rode a few and picked one that was highly recomended and in my price range, Jamis XLT, Minute 2 fork, Sram XO/X9 drivetrain. Had the shop help me dial in the suspension and have been tweeking it to try and get it better .

I can not stand the feeling of slugishness while accelerating the mush of the fork and rear when climbing. Is it just something that takes getting used to? a different riding style maybe. Or is my latest FS bike going to end up like the rest...for sale.

Anyone else out there have this experience?
Allow me to introduce you to the Giant NRS - the HT lover's best FS'd friend.;)

Next time, do yourself a favour and come here for advice first, not your "friends". Being such a HT lover and jumping onto a 5" travel bike isn't necessarily the way to go. That can get you where you're at now - frustrated, inappropriately biased and with a few less bucks in your pocket.

If your suspension is really the hinderance you say it is why not post up in the Let's talk about Shocks section to get some real help? Personally, i'd reommmend jacking up the SPV pressure AND the main air spring pressure on your Minute and following suit with whatever is on the back of your XLT for starters. If your THAT much a purist for a HT then you'll probably want very little sag in your suspension. And please, DON'T tune your suspension for max travel - just trust me, don't bother. It shouldn't be your primary suspension tuning criteria with what you want and what you have (which is more travel then you "need").

And yes Jayem, I know - platforms suck. :p :D (i'm agreeing with you, NOT mocking you)

If you have the feelings you have due to reasons of weight then start spending money on WW parts.
 

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I used to love FS, but now I can't stand the ooey-gooey feeling. The older I get, the stiffer I get. Hoowahhh.

I might buy a FS again some day for downhill shuttle rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks

Weight is not the issue. I have ridden my hardtail on multi week rides dragging a loaded BOB trailer behind me. It is just that lack of "snap" when you step on the pedals that is going to take some getting used too. That said I do have to admit I cleaned a tough technical climb on it that I have never made on a hadtail.

I have ridden a Giant NRS, first incarnation. After the shock mount broke the third time I said bye bye to it. It was a great riding frame though. By far the best FS I have ever ridden.
 

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noMAD man
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Some of these issues must have something to do with where some posters ride. Most of the group that I ride with wouldn't ride a HT by choice where we ride. All of us own or have owned hardtails, so it's not like we don't know how they operate. Our favorite riding areas have lots of rocks, ledges, and other technical features. In our opinion all of us feel we have a lot more fun on our FS bikes in these conditions, and for the most part, go faster. Now...I know I've ridden some places that have very technical sections with longer stretches in between that one could easily ride on a hardtail. And I'm pretty sure in some of those types of places that if I had a stopwatch timing a ride on a hardtail and an FS bike, I could probably go faster on the hardtail overall in a full tilt effort on both bikes. But the question is this...Am I always riding for absolute speed from point A to B?...Am I riding for the challenge of "clearing" technical sections? Even in some of these places that I'm describing with these technical sections that I could probably go faster on a HT in an all-out effort from start to finish, I'd rather ride the FS bike for the ability to ride more techical terrain. So...what that boils down to is, "why do you ride?" Some people just want to go fast and not necessarily be constantly challenged by technical terrain. Others want to go fairly fast but put more store in the ability to ride more challenging terrain.

Some hardtail fanatics can claim all they want about how much gnarly terrain they can ride on their hardtails, but that same rider with the same familiarity on a good FS bike can do even more. When the terrain gets really rough, the FS will generally be superior. The fact that many riders want to ride hardtails, or single speeds, or whatever, is usually a personal choice, or an economic choice, or a terrain compatibility choice, or a combination of these issues or others...and that's perfectly fine. But for the most part, as the terrain gets nastier, the FS becomes the better choice. So again, it comes down to what you want to ride, how much can you spend, how challenging is the terrain where you ride, and what's your preference when you're riding on that terrain.
 

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slugobikes said:
Anyone else try FS and HATE it?
No, been on a FS for 9 years and haven't looked back, well till the ghetto SS build last year. But last week went from a 4" xc fs to a 6" trail fs.

5" bike was probably too much of a transition for you, an Epic or a 3-4" travel Vpp or DL bike probably would have been a better choice with their firm pedalling platform.
 

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Start slow and taper off
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I've ridden FS exclusively since 1994.

7 years ago I bought a softtail (not quite a hardtail, but definitely not FS, with a little over an 1" of travel). At the time, I was in excellent shape, and rode 4 days a week, primarily rocky east coast singletrack. The descents were my strengths, as was log hopping.

I hated that softtail from day one. For the reason another poster stated, the learning curve. I tried to ride the bike exactly the same way I was riding my 4 to 5" travel suspension bike. I hated it on climbs, as my wheel would bounce I every single rock or tiny ledge and I'd lose traction. I sold that sucker quick, at a big loss.

Fast forward to late '04, early '05. I not in near as good shape, for a whole bunch of reasons I don't need to go into. I would still rather descend than climb, but these days I take it much slower (for me, having a kid did that, I think about getting hurt and what she and my wife would do, and tend to enjoy the scenery more than blast down technical trails completely balls out).

In the classifieds I see a really good deal on a steel Dekerf softail, so I figure what the hell. Half the times I go out I'm riding rail trails anyways (with the wife and kid in tow), so even if I only ride the bike their its worth it.

Low and behold, mainly because I take it slow anyway, I discover that I have to ride this bike different (mind you, I rode rigid from '87 till '91, then HT till '94, so I'm no stranger to rigid rear ends). I have to weight the bike differently when climbing, and when descending.
Again, being in not the best of shape, most days I pick the softail over my 5" fs, primarily because its 7 pounds lighter, and I those times I have to hoof it, its an easier bike to push or carry.

The long of it is, when I do ride the FS, I ride it much differently than the softail. The FS, even at 7 pounds heavier, DEFINITELY climbs rocky technical single track better, when I can actually push my weak legs on the pedals.

Some people never take to FS. Others never take to rigid or HT. But they do take slightly different techniques to ride, and learning those are as important as having your shock set up to your weight correctly (which can make any ride suck).
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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i would not say "hate", but no longer interested. at least not in a 5"+ travel bike.

I think if I ever get another FS bike, it will be a short travel, race-oriented bike (like the one I sold like an IDIOT! Doh!). In any event, being used to hardtails for a short while now I do prefer them to FS for sure, but a short travel might be sweet oneday as it will still feel nice when mashing in comparison to a longer travel bike (generally speaking).

Having said that, I just had a new hardtail built with PERFECT geometry and I honestly feel as if I give nothing, or at least very little up, to my 5" bike I had to sell recently (with the exception of drops where the rear suspension is a big deal for me...but I dont do a lot of drops since i am sort of a girly man nowadays).
 

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Combat Wombat
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Couple reasons.

slugobikes said:
So I have been riding hardtails forever and SS for the last 5 years. Tried FS many times over the years but always go back to HT.

Some of my friends recently talked me into a 5" travel bike. I test rode a few and picked one that was highly recomended and in my price range, Jamis XLT, Minute 2 fork, Sram XO/X9 drivetrain. Had the shop help me dial in the suspension and have been tweeking it to try and get it better .

I can not stand the feeling of slugishness while accelerating the mush of the fork and rear when climbing. Is it just something that takes getting used to? a different riding style maybe. Or is my latest FS bike going to end up like the rest...for sale.

Anyone else out there have this experience?
First, a 5" bike should feel sluggish when compared to most HTs. You can mess with the suspension to try and tune some of this out, but then you would be defeating the whole reason for having a bike with this much travel. It sounds like you are expecting Mustang performance out of a Jeep.
I went from a GT Zaskar to a Giant VT-1 a few years back and there is definately a difference in riding style. I still ride both, and like both, along with a SS now. There are ups and downs with each. Sure the VT is not as snappy as the Zaskar, but I can ride all day on trails with the VT that would have me checking for loose fillings after a couple hours on the Zaskar. And I have also found that while the Zaskar is usually faster initially, after a couple laps, the differences in times start to get less and less when riding the VT.
I guess it all comes down to if you really wanted that kind of bike. It does sound like you would have been better off trying a FS design geared more towards XC than an AM setup. Then again, maybe FS is just not your thing. We are talking about adults riding bicycles out in the woods here, do what makes you happy.

Brian
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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29Colossus said:
FS bikes can feel sluggish if you come off a HT. It is because they are more sluggish than a HT.
It's SOOOO good to hear someone else thinks that too!
 
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