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Hi all, I am wondering if it is time to take the FS plunge.
A little history. I am 58 in good shape, a little too heavy. 3 yrs ago I demoed a Specialized Fuse and bought a 2016 Fuse Expert with Magnum Comp fork. Still running 3.0 Purgatory's, and service the shock when small bump compliance is gone. I usually use most of the available 120mm of travel.

Also have a 2006 Surly Karate Monkey full rigid. Installed dropper post, 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents on Flow and Crest rims. Shoulders and wrists complain sometimes after riding this one.

Terrain, right near town we have great single track. No long climbs or descents. Most everything is punchy roller coaster. Some more flowy high speed. Some more techy, twisty, tight punchier rollers, rock and root obstacles. Can't ride when wet. Mountain riding starting at 60 miles away. Forest roads and challenging ATV trails. Grinding long hills and descents. Also hiking/biking trails in heavy forest, downhill speed intentionally slower to avoid Grizzly, horsey and human conflicts.

So, do I need a FS bike? Love the cornering traction of the 3.0's. They are heavy grinding up hills. Thinking of new 29er in 2.6. Maybe 27.5 in 2.8 or 2.6. Local dealers have very little on hand, no rentals or demoes. Trek, Specialized, Cannondale. Prefer the Cannondale shop. 100-200 miles gets us to towns with better stocked shops.

I love climbing, my other bike handling skills have really improved over last couple of years. A few small drops, no real airtime.

So will I like a new FS bike?? Any recommendations? Bike would get ridden in all the described areas. We do have sharp rocks that get kicked hard onto down-tube, makes me leary of carbon frames.

TIA, MikeB
 

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With a FS you can sit down more, or hit rougher stuff faster. It'll bob when pedaling standing so most pedaling is best done seated. If that sounds good, go for it. Al is perfectly fine for a FS bike. Carbon is good too, but has more angst attached.
 

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No. Nobody needs a FS. You talk about rich people dilemma.
I am 61, last year happy on my 100 HT 29x2.3
Last 3.5 months having a blast on 120 HT 27.5x3.0/2.8 on 40 mm
That traction, extra confidence i enjoy. Some say less precise so you should try for at least an hour on trails to see if you enjoy.
The important is a good fit, no brand fits all.
The 29x2.6 is also interesting in my opinion.
120-130 is worth looking at.
Definitely 30 mm rims or more.
My fun is climbing and many admit FS is more $ to buy, to maintain, i just enjoy simplicity. Using $$ to feel like an expert is not my style. I started playing in expert trails but i am no expert. Just keeping fit, slim, healthy and happy. Maybe i should write FS on my frames to be cooler??
 

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Hi all, I am wondering if it is time to take the FS plunge.
A little history. I am 58 in good shape, a little too heavy. 3 yrs ago I demoed a Specialized Fuse and bought a 2016 Fuse Expert with Magnum Comp fork. Still running 3.0 Purgatory's, and service the shock when small bump compliance is gone. I usually use most of the available 120mm of travel.

Also have a 2006 Surly Karate Monkey full rigid. Installed dropper post, 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents on Flow and Crest rims. Shoulders and wrists complain sometimes after riding this one.

Terrain, right near town we have great single track. No long climbs or descents. Most everything is punchy roller coaster. Some more flowy high speed. Some more techy, twisty, tight punchier rollers, rock and root obstacles. Can't ride when wet. Mountain riding starting at 60 miles away. Forest roads and challenging ATV trails. Grinding long hills and descents. Also hiking/biking trails in heavy forest, downhill speed intentionally slower to avoid Grizzly, horsey and human conflicts.

So, do I need a FS bike? Love the cornering traction of the 3.0's. They are heavy grinding up hills. Thinking of new 29er in 2.6. Maybe 27.5 in 2.8 or 2.6. Local dealers have very little on hand, no rentals or demoes. Trek, Specialized, Cannondale. Prefer the Cannondale shop. 100-200 miles gets us to towns with better stocked shops.

I love climbing, my other bike handling skills have really improved over last couple of years. A few small drops, no real airtime.

So will I like a new FS bike?? Any recommendations? Bike would get ridden in all the described areas. We do have sharp rocks that get kicked hard onto down-tube, makes me leary of carbon frames.

TIA, MikeB
I have avoided full suspension for the last decade at least. Last one i owned was a santa cruz bullit. Sold that for a 29er salsa el mariachi and haven't gone back. Approaching my 50 bday and have relocated from AZ to Seattle. Riding here is similar to what you note, flowy, some high speed, some tech, twisty, with ladders, skinnies, etc thrown in. I now ride a Jones steel with a fat front. The fat front gives a little compliance, the stiff frame and fork gives nice climbing and big move abilities.

I'd love to try a full suspension bike but am scared that I will really want that compliance or cush, even knowing that I can ride what i usually ride with the current bike I have without a complaint.

The wet here scares me too, my commuter gets creaks and cracks, wears through bearings, etc at least once a season depending on rain amount during winter and I don't ride it on trails or in much dirt so suspension bearings and shocks and all that make me think I will spend more time maintaining the bike than actually riding and as a busy professional and parent my time to ride is limited and I want to get out and ride when I get the chance and not spend time working on my bike or driving it somewhere to have someone work on it. Things to consider.
 

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I have avoided full suspension for the last decade at least. Last one i owned was a santa cruz bullit. Sold that for a 29er salsa el mariachi and haven't gone back. Approaching my 50 bday and have relocated from AZ to Seattle. Riding here is similar to what you note, flowy, some high speed, some tech, twisty, with ladders, skinnies, etc thrown in. I now ride a Jones steel with a fat front. The fat front gives a little compliance, the stiff frame and fork gives nice climbing and big move abilities.

I'd love to try a full suspension bike but am scared that I will really want that compliance or cush, even knowing that I can ride what i usually ride with the current bike I have without a complaint.

The wet here scares me too, my commuter gets creaks and cracks, wears through bearings, etc at least once a season depending on rain amount during winter and I don't ride it on trails or in much dirt so suspension bearings and shocks and all that make me think I will spend more time maintaining the bike than actually riding and as a busy professional and parent my time to ride is limited and I want to get out and ride when I get the chance and not spend time working on my bike or driving it somewhere to have someone work on it. Things to consider.
Amen to that !
Pedal, maintain chain Repeat
 

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I think you will love a FS based on your post. I'm 59 and been on FS since 2001. I'm in NE with rocky, rooty, tight wooded singletrack. Being 6'4" means XL or XXL and there is never any selection at local shops to demo. I've bought my last 4 bikes on-line and they show up at my door. I do all maintaining/modifying myself...it's just easier for me than dealing with BS from shops. Current ride is a Kona Process 153 in XL which is huge so I chose a 27.5 vs 29 for better maneuverability. I prefer 2.5's running tubeless at about 20psi and this Kona really climbs great for such a big bike. After 1.5 years and 2000 miles I still love this thing...super fun and more capable in tough technical terrain than any bike I've had.

No doubt it's tough on equipment around here with the rock walls, stream crossings, mucky sections, etc and I ride year round in temps as low as 10degF. I've never bought carbon due to cost and concern over how it would handle the abuse. Todays bikes are designed so much better (sealed bearings at pivots, improved shocks, etc) so I don't think maintaining a FS is a huge difference when compared to a HT. No matter the bike, it will give you problems if you don't maintain it.

I would consider at least 140 range seeing you already have a nice HT. Some are better than others for 'all round'. During my search I wanted a decent climber as well as ability to handle technical terrain and downhill fun. I was looking at SC Bronson, YT Jeffsey, Canyon Spectral, Fezzari, and Kona Process 153 which I eventually chose due to a crazy good deal ($2300). A buddy bought a 2018 Jeffsey in 'L' about 6 months ago for $2500 and loves it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When it gets wet here, the bike packs up immediately and grinds to a stop. The wet in the mountains is ride-able. Didn't think about more maintenance- good point. I do all my own maintenance- I've seen too many hacks turning wrench's.
I have also thought about going 29x2.6ish.
Thanks for the input everyone!
 

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I spent 14 years scoffing at FS bikes, swearing I would not have one. I took the plunge last year and picked up a Scott Spark FS 27.5+.

After the first 10 mile ride on the trail, I realized how stupid I was for not going FS much sooner. At least for me, I won't go back to a hard tail if I can help it. I am a better and more confident rider on the FS by far.

Also, I went from a 29er hard tail (for 8 years) to the 27.5+ FS and love it. Now I am a big fan of 27.5.
 

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Hi all, I am wondering if it is time to take the FS plunge.
A little history. I am 58 in good shape, a little too heavy. 3 yrs ago I demoed a Specialized Fuse and bought a 2016 Fuse Expert with Magnum Comp fork. Still running 3.0 Purgatory's, and service the shock when small bump compliance is gone. I usually use most of the available 120mm of travel.

Also have a 2006 Surly Karate Monkey full rigid. Installed dropper post, 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents on Flow and Crest rims. Shoulders and wrists complain sometimes after riding this one.

Terrain, right near town we have great single track. No long climbs or descents. Most everything is punchy roller coaster. Some more flowy high speed. Some more techy, twisty, tight punchier rollers, rock and root obstacles. Can't ride when wet. Mountain riding starting at 60 miles away. Forest roads and challenging ATV trails. Grinding long hills and descents. Also hiking/biking trails in heavy forest, downhill speed intentionally slower to avoid Grizzly, horsey and human conflicts.

So, do I need a FS bike? Love the cornering traction of the 3.0's. They are heavy grinding up hills. Thinking of new 29er in 2.6. Maybe 27.5 in 2.8 or 2.6. Local dealers have very little on hand, no rentals or demoes. Trek, Specialized, Cannondale. Prefer the Cannondale shop. 100-200 miles gets us to towns with better stocked shops.

I love climbing, my other bike handling skills have really improved over last couple of years. A few small drops, no real airtime.

So will I like a new FS bike?? Any recommendations? Bike would get ridden in all the described areas. We do have sharp rocks that get kicked hard onto down-tube, makes me leary of carbon frames.

TIA, MikeB
Based on your age, yeah, FS makes sense unless you're a luddite and want to feel everything ;)

Have you demoed an FS bike on your trails?

FS bikes ride smoother, get better traction, and are generally more comfortable.
FS bikes cost more, weigh more, and are typically less efficient.

I ride an FS bike all the time because I'm old and I don't like feeling beat up after a ride that shouldn't make me feel beat up.
 

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When it gets wet here, the bike packs up immediately and grinds to a stop. The wet in the mountains is ride-able. Didn't think about more maintenance- good point. I do all my own maintenance- I've seen too many hacks turning wrench's.
I have also thought about going 29x2.6ish.
Thanks for the input everyone!
I think 120mm is plenty. Buy used you can flip it if you do not like it.
Often we discover what we enjoy and part is discovering what we do not like.
At 61 i love my 120mm HT 27+.
I demoed a 140mm FS, it was a pain going up wich i love on my HTs(i also have a 29 100mm).
 

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No. Nobody needs a FS. You talk about rich people dilemma.
OK, so we've established that you live in a place where FS isn't fun to ride, or at least you don't know how to make it fun, and otherwise you really know nothing about FS.

So, why then are you opining as though you know something about FS?
 

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I would not say that nobody needs an FS, but neither would I say that everyone needs an FS. It depends on your riding style and terrain.

Personally, I got excited about FS about 12 years ago when 29" fullies started finally showing up on the market. It was fun for a while, but I sold it after a year or two when I realized that I'm not that aggressive of a rider, like to pedal while standing and often prefer a water bottle in a cage (not an option on my bike) to a camelbak. That probably goes double now, since from my current home I ride to trails much more often than I drive to them. I realized that if a Lenz Leviathan didn't work for me (as mikesee knows - he sold me the bike) then FS just wasn't the right tool for my job. I've ridden fully rigid since then, though my aging wrists (I'm over 50) may demand a suspension fork eventually.

It sounds like you might be a candidate for staying on a hardtail, given what you've said, but a FS is probably worth considering. The downsides for most people are pretty small, and they add a lot of fun to the equation. If at all possible, it would be a good idea to rent or demo a FS bike on your local trails and give it a workout riding as hard as you think you might want to given a FS bike's capabilities. Even if it isn't a plus bike or your preferred wheel size, you can speculate/extrapolate from your experience and try to figure out whether FS is for you.
 

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Because then he wouldn't be able to post at all ;)

OK, so we've established that you live in a place where FS isn't fun to ride, or at least you don't know how to make it fun, and otherwise you really know nothing about FS.

So, why then are you opining as though you know something about FS?
 

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I often wonder why we ask complete strangers (who never ride with us) what we should ride or buy.
Nurse, Mike, Mendon (who i have never met nor ride with) often give the best advice, " ride as many as you can" then decide.
 

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I often wonder why we ask complete strangers (who never ride with us) what we should ride or buy.
Nurse, Mike, Mendon (who i have never met nor ride with) often give the best advice, " ride as many as you can" then decide.
Perhaps its a bit moral support and that we dont want to learn something the hard way if we can help it. Or that we can buy a used car cheaper than some fs bikes. So do we really need to take the plunge....

I have a 2016 fuse 6fattie and love it. Its tricked out with some nice upgrades. Rode it everywhere. Love those purgatory grids! But dam its hard on the backside. You can never sit down.

So i got a left over 2018 stumpjumper fattie last fall in aluminum, xxl. Then I upgraded some parts as needed with the money i saved.

I got a much more stable bike both in front and in the rear. Your feet stay on the flats so much easier. Your more confident, more in control, you can pedal seated to extend the ride and save alot of energy. Your amazed at what you can pedal over and feel nothing negative from the rear. Places Where the fuse would be kicking the rear around. So much easier on the body. Its been just as reliable as he hardtail.

You do have to adjust a bit as it will never be as efficient to pedal as the hardtail. some designs work better than others. So choose wisely. I will rebuild the shock for an annual maintenance cost increase. At some point bearings will be needed in the rear. When im not sure. But the performance increase is justified. I do miss that bad ass feeling you get when dropping in on trails where everyone else is on a fs.

Ive ridden the fs all year and have done all the same trails and a few more. Ive ridden the fuse twice!

Anyone want to buy an xxl fuse?
 

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Given your trails, age, interests, etc. consider a more trail oriented bike. Fuel ex 8, pivot trail 429, jamis portal. those bikes will have good suspension and pedaling performance and a similar or improved feel to the fuse. 140-150mm front is best.
Now is a good time to get a deal! Good luck.
 

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Buy used you can flip it if you do not like it.
This! I had a similar dilemma last season (Is FS for me?). I bought a 2 year old carbon Santa Cruz 5010 V2, rode it for a whole season and decided FS wasn't for me (I guess I'm also a luddite :) ). I was able to sell it for $100 less than I bought it for. Used is a good way to get an extended 'demo' without as much financial risk if you don't like it.
 

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If $ isn't an issue there are some really good FS options.

52 YO here that rides fairly aggressively and I feel that FS would be overkill for the vast majority of trail sections that people ride. But that said, if money were no object I'd be looking at it for sure.

My personal preference is 29+. B+ just doesn't feel as profoundly different over 26 IMO. B+ would probably suit a smaller person better.

First world problems.....I doubt any of us 'need' to have the bikes that we do, so just select what you want/ hope that it brings joy to your life.
 
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