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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am in the market for a mountain bicycle for both my girlfriend and myself. (and my daughter, but she's not getting a full-suspension ;) ) Neither of us intend on racing, or jumping off anything higher than a couple feet. I would like to get both of us out on some trails for recreation and fitness.

If you were in my shoes, and where going to spend $1500/each on two bikes hard-tails, would it make sense to pony up and just go full suspension for a little bit more? I understand if I spent the same amount of money on a hard tail, I'd get a lighter better equipped bike. But is buying entry level FS worth the trade off for comfort if I'm not intending to race?

From what I've read and been told, a full suspension bike isn't necessary for these purposes. My question is, why not? The last thing I want, is to buy a +$1500 hard tail, go out the trails and find my girlfriend isn't comfortable.

For what it's worth, I was looking at the Superfly FS 6 and Lush 29. The cheapest version for both. I will not consider going any higher than that.
 

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Have you considered buying used? Depending on your local market, you could score something really nice in your price range that sold for twice as much a few years ago.

IMO, a decent FS bike is likely to pay off in both comfort and confidence level for many beginners. Whether it would be the best choice for you (or your girl) depends a lot on your local riding conditions/style and your own mechanical inclination though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply. After much thought (and a few test rides), we both felt the FS bikes where significantly more comfortable. Since we felt a big difference on concrete, we knew the difference would be amplified on the trail. Today we ordered a Trek Fuel EX 7 and Trek Lush 29.

Thanks again for the advice. It definitely made me seriously consider FS as a good investment on comfort and confidence, which are very important to us.
 

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Nice. Make sure you take the time to set up the suspension for your respective weights. Also, spend a little time adjusting the cockpit (controls, seat angle, etc) so everything fits right. It makes a big difference. Your shop should help you out, and you can get tons of tips in the Beginners' forum here.

Pretty sure the bikes should come with a shock pump also; if you don't see it, ask. Probably wouldn't hurt to pick up a some spare tubes, a few quick-links for your chain, and some sort of mini-tool and pump while your at it. Most shops will throw you some discount on gear if you buy a bike from them.

I know a lot of people might not think FS bikes are the best choice for beginners, or that they don't 'need' them for whatever reason, but I'm convinced that if more people could start out riding on decent FS bikes, more would end up getting into it. At least here in New England, where we've got no shortage of roots and rocks to chatter around on, a little squish is nice.
 
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