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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering about the real benefits of an all-suspended bike versus a hardback bike. I see a lot of people on the paths riding full suspension bikes but not too many on the old style bicycles. I used to ride a lot and it was with a bike with out even a front end fork. It was a good riding cycle with reliable components. I've researched (via this website) different forms of full suspended bikes but it's hard to muddle through all the reviews. The reviews are comprehensive but are too advanced for me to understand. Can anyone give a new rider a quick honest opinion on the difference between an all suspension bicycle and a hardback? Thanks and have a good day.
 

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Faller - Expert Class
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My 2 cents

Hey Thax, I hope this helps some, and maybe some others in here can chime in also.

The hardtails are usually associated with being fast and great climbers, with just about absolutely no flex in the back end during hard pedaling, i.e. up a steep hill. However, the hardtails do seem to give the body a pretty good jarring.

The full suspension setups were, at first design stages, pretty bad since they robbed the rider of pedaling efficiency due to the rear triangle flexing so much. I think they have evolved so much, that the flex is pretty much non-existent with the rear shocks that have total lockout or ProPedal on them. The full suspensions are also supposed to be really good and fast at descents, since they absorb some of the obstacles better, helping you better keep your line.

I'm a relative newb, having gotten into the sport last year, but have been reading every mtb mag out there from cover to cover about three times per mag! So far, that seems to be my understanding on the whole deal.

Hope this helps a bit!
 

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Play all day
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Full suspension bikes give a softer ride since they absorb the smaller bumps and big hits on the downhill, so you can fly without overly worrying about picking a clean line. Now adays, some full sussers are pretty light for the weight weenies too. Hardtails have crisper steering control and more power transferred from the cranks to the rear wheel, and they can be super light. Pedalling uphill while standing yields alot of power with a hardtail, but is pretty much a waste of energy with a full sus rig IMO. I've been riding full suspension bikes for about 14 years, and just switched to a steel hardtail. I think I'm in love with hardtails all over again.
 

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My own answer to thax is that if your trials are more swoopy and roller coastery then a hardtail is really nice as it has that crisp feel. But if you have lots of rough rocky trails or lots of roots and small root shaped stair steps then a full suspension can really smoothen that out in BOTH the uphill and downhill parts. Yes, the full sus actually helps climbing in rough stuff. It helps me so much that I would gladly take a 35 lb full susp bike over a hardtail for the terrain around here.

But I'm old and decrepit and need all the help I can get....
 

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choose FS

How you choose a bike depends on how fast you age. I used to ride hard tail for long time unitl I started aging :D then every bumps on the trails hurt my butt really hard. My whole body just vibrate like a violin wire even after a ride. I rode over bumps, roots and rode bridges. For every small shock create by a bump or a root the shock wave gets magnified when it reach your body. I may sound a little melo-dramatic here but please bear with my writing.

I couldn't tolerate the vibration any longer thus I bought the specialize stumpjumper. I felt much better after every ride and less fatigue too. whenever you buy a FS bike, you must choose the one that has long rear travel so you can adjust the plushness of rear shock to your preference. The bones in your body will thank you as you age further into dust.
 

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I went from a hardtail to a full susp and to and a hardtail again. I had som finacial problems so I had to sell the full susp,

One thing I noticed very well, is that your legs will become way more tired on a hardtail during long decents. And overall it's much more comfortable. If I had the money I would surely buy a full susp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses and not getting overly technical..Your answers have convinced me that total front and rear springs are the best way to go..Have a good day..
 

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My .02 cents

I have an old rigid and decided to dust it off and take it on the trails. After 15 minutes my back, legs, and arms were killing me. I picked up a XC FS bike from LBS and realized immediately that this was a night and day difference. I was gliding over everything in the path. I recently brought the FS to a long gravel fire road. On a slight downhill section at 20mph, I thought I would test the FS in the small erosion gaps on the side of the road. The FS just blasted right over them. I watched the front fork and rear shock vibrate like crazy yet very little of this was being transferred to me. I am a firm believer in FS now.

BTW, it's a Fisher Cake and there is no pedal bob and it climbs like a mountain goat. Too bad the rider can't performer at the level the bike wants to.
 

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dirty trail dog
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Speaking of pedal bob.....

I've been a hardtail rider since getting into mountain biking. I just bought my brother's 2002 Giant XTC NRS Air frame and I am going to build it up this summer.

Now, it's been said in this thread that full suspension has come a long way with pedal bob, but I'd like to know how much I can expect from this bike, being 3 year old technology, basically. Is pedal bob linked to the design of the rearend, or the shock? The frame is coming with the OEM RockShox Sid XC w/ rebound adjust. Should I replace this shock or would it be okay for a little while longer. The bike was not ridden very much before, no drops or anything like that. It wasn't abused at least. Any input would be helpful.
 

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I rode a hardtail for 12 yrs on rough terrain and was simply tired of the punishment so i bought a full-suspension in 2004 and find myself riding more with less body fatigue.
Sorry i have to cut this short,i'm going riding.
 
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