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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious how much I would miss a full-suspension 29er if I go to a hardtail. I'm not an agressive rider and live in NorCal if that helps.

One of the reasons, I'm considering crossing over to a hardtail is because
it's less maintenance. I currently ride a V1 Ibis Ripley and am tired of dealing with all the creaking. Every 6 months I always have to address some issue which leads me to wonder if I really need rear suspension?

Has anyone else crossed over or is thinking about it?

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

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I've really enjoyed my Trek Procaliber HT, so decided to push it's (my) limits on riding some of the tech trail that I ride frequently. Not nearly as enjoyable as I thought it would be, so looking at a better climbing FS (ripmo or ripley v4).
 

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I've sold all of the FS bikes I've owned for similar reasons. I prefer to keep things simple, with fewer items to maintain. I enjoy the ride of a nice FS bike and still demo them frequently, but I only own hardtails. I ride fairly aggressively in the mountains and deserts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and rarely miss the cush on most of the trails. Hardtails do cause me to fatigue a bit sooner on 20-50 mile rides, but the trade-offs are worth it to me.
 

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Get the geometry right, build it like a proper trail bike (big fork, wide bars, short stem and party post) and you'll be surprised what a hard tail can do.

I love throwing my slack, steel hardtail down the same trails that I ride on my 150mm 29er trail bike
 

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I'm curious how much I would miss a full-suspension 29er if I go to a hardtail. I'm not an agressive rider and live in NorCal if that helps.

One of the reasons, I'm considering crossing over to a hardtail is because
it's less maintenance. I currently ride a V1 Ibis Ripley and am tired of dealing with all the creaking. Every 6 months I always have to address some issue which leads me to wonder if I really need rear suspension?

Has anyone else crossed over or is thinking about it?

Thanks :thumbsup:
Purchase a hard tail that suits the demans of your trails. Do you ride down steeper stuff all the time with a bit of technical (technical to you) where a slack headangle is appropriate? Do you pedal flat stuff and just like to go moderately quick?

I have a Stumpjumper FSR and Chameleon. Both are fun. Ride very similar to each other and I enjoy the two bikes.

I assume you mean the bay area (norcal).

Keep in mind, the used value of your bike is probably not tremendous. Is it worth it to take the financial loss to not have the creaking? Only you can answer that, but wanted to bring it up.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I ascribe to the theory that riding a hardtail makes one a better rider on a FS. That said, the happiest guy in the world when I bought my Honzo was my physiotherapist. I am sure he immediately booked numerous family vacations in anticipation of an increased revenue stream.
 

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Why not own both? I do...

29er AM HT, Nukeproof Scout 290 @140mm travel - running a Pike.

My fs rig is a Polygon Siskiu N8 160mm front & rear.

80% of the time I can get away with riding my HT... It's running relatively large rubber i.e. 2.6/2.5 tires front to back.

If the trails are mildly rowdy, I'll ride HT with clipless.

If things are a little gnarlier I'll run flats.

When it gets super steep/chunky I'll defer to the FS -=or=- if I just feel like changing things up.

If I had to choose one bike, it would be the HT.

Sent from my Nokia X6
 

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A hardtail would cover 90% of what we have down here in So Cal. I've had a few with modern geo and they handle the gnar just fine. I prefer a hardtail for it's pedaling efficiency but the bumps are rougher and you cannot fly through the techy sections as fast as you can with a FS bike.

If you are young (non-arthritic), go with a hardtail.

BUT... invest in quality. Aluminum frames are a bit harsh. I hear this about carbon fiber frames as well although I have never ridden one. Steel is more compliant and provides a softer ride but it is heavier than aluminum. Titanium is the best of the best. It is compliant like steel but light in weight like carbon fiber. Go for the titanium.
 

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I'd say it largely depends on the type of trails you ride.

I bought an XC 29er hardtail a few years ago and have come to the realization that my 180mm dual suspension enduro-style bike is FAR more than necessary most of the time.

I grew up riding rigid and hardtail 26" bikes so I was never a stranger to what could be done on them. The 29" wheels were a game-changer. I started using Strava last year, and have accumulated a few KOMs; mostly on DH segments. A lot of those were on my 29er hardtail, against people on current endur-bro bikes. The hardtail is just so stinking fast on flatter sections, and carries speed over chunk. It takes very steep pitches and consistent gnarliness for the entirety of the trail for my other bike to be faster, in most cases.

The other day I had to take my big bike on a local XC loop because I'm awaiting the funds for new brake pads for my 29er. I marveled at how much slower it was, downhill included. Since there was nothing on that trail for my suspension to do, all it did was slow me down.

My next bike will be a 29" hardtail again, but with more modern geometry (less than a 67 degree head angle). I'll keep it somewhat light, run a dropper and wide bars, and you won't be able to wipe the smile off my face.
 

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One of the reasons, I'm considering crossing over to a hardtail is because it's less maintenance. I currently ride a V1 Ibis Ripley and am tired of dealing with all the creaking. Every 6 months I always have to address some issue which leads me to wonder if I really need rear suspension?
Hmmm... or get a FS that doesn't have those issues? Just sayin'. :)

But to your question... I've thought about "crossing over" just for the different feel of the two (FS vs HT). Used to keep a HT around. These days I just lock out the rear of my FS's when I want a HT feel. Doesn't address your situation, though. But I'd still consider one of each, mainly 'cause I'm not interested in dropping the FS's.
 

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Creaking and clicking is the worst! I feel your pain. However, getting a hardtail doesn't guarantee you'll have a creak-free bike. A lot of times creaking comes from the drivetrain somewhere. My two FS bikes run quite silently, much more silently than a few of my previous hardtails so if you'd rather have a fully then you could get one that's more quiet than what you have now.

Do you favor climbing or descending? Do you climb seated 100% of the time or do you like standing? Do you want/need comfort? Those are factors that will affect your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Do you favor climbing or descending? Do you climb seated 100% of the time or do you like standing? Do you want/need comfort? Those are factors that will affect your choice.
A priority for me is having a bike that can climb well. I do like to stand when I descend. I do want some comfort.
 

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A priority for me is having a bike that can climb well. I do like to stand when I descend. I do want some comfort.
You might like a hardtail then, unless the trails get rocky or pocked, in which case a short-travel 29er FS might be more fun. On smooth trails nothing climbs as nicely as a hardtail when you stand and hammer. If you sit down all the time to climb then some suspension might be better. Suspension is better for ripping descents, I don't care what anyone claims about descending on their HT.
 

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One thing I don't like about hard tails are the long flattish trails that has one seated the entire time. Small trail undulations or rocks that slightly protrude. It gets a little uncomfortable on a 2-3+ hour ride where you're stuck in the saddle and having been pedaling the whole time. Some trails don't allow coasting (too flat and/or bumpy) and are just chattery enough that it's challenging to stand to pedal across for a 'break'.

That reason alone is why I hunted for a full suspension, got tired of being beat up on a few local trails that were all pedal and a few hours of riding.
 

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I love my hardtail, but if your real reason is that maintenance is required every 6 months, I'm sorry to tell you that a hardtail with a dropper and a suspension fork isn't that much less maintenance. We're talking about a few bearings and a shock as the only difference. The remainder of the parts (drivetrain, fork, dropper) all need maintenance, too.

I have ridden black diamonds at the bike park on my hardtail and so if what you want is to ride a hardtail, don't let anyone talk you out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I love my hardtail, but if your real reason is that maintenance is required every 6 months, I'm sorry to tell you that a hardtail with a dropper and a suspension fork isn't that much less maintenance. We're talking about a few bearings and a shock as the only difference. The remainder of the parts (drivetrain, fork, dropper) all need maintenance, too.

I have ridden black diamonds at the bike park on my hardtail and so if what you want is to ride a hardtail, don't let anyone talk you out of it.
Good point!

I love my V1 Ibis Ripley. It's an insane climber and is fun to ride on the descents but is infamous for creaking! I've had the bike for about 4 years now and am planning on getting another bike later. I guess for the time being I have to learn how to be a "Creak Exterminator!"...LOL!!
 

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I have a 29 HT that is set-up single speed. This bike runs 2.3 or 2.6 tires and the 2.6 feel like a bike with an inch of rear travel. I also have 100/100 FS geared bike. Love that for longer rides and chunk. Climbing both bike are very similar, but one being SS they use a different technique. Descending the FS bike is faster when there is light grade rubble as it just zips through. The HT bounces around and you can go just about as fast, but it take more effort. I just picked up long travel 29er 145/160 and this noticeable heavier and slower to climb, but makes DH line choice irrelevant on easier trails. However I got it for serious chunk where my XC FS is just out matched.

If I had to have just one of my bikes I would be the FS XC bike, but I really love that SS HT. Just a fun riding experience. These days I do not want a geared HT. The only exception is maybe for bikepacking where a HT is nice, but I can easily put gears on my SS for that. I used to have a nice carbon 29er HT that rode pretty much everywhere. It got replace by my XC FS bike as that bike did everything my geared HT did, but more comfortably. I kept my Steel SS because I like SS.
 

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My new aggressive 150mm travel 27.5+ hardtail is making me question my bike quiver and if I need a FS at all. Things are pretty chunky down here in So Cal, and if I lived up in Northern CA I’d definitely just have only the HT- or a short travel (115-120) modern geo bike like Ripley v4, trance advanced 29. Anything past that is too much bike. My 140/150 coil sprung enduro ready “trail bike” with modern geo is overkill and a burden.

Geometry is a better indicator of capability. Travel is there to support the speeds you want to go.

The HT is perfectly capable taking jumps, drops, steeps, etc. But it keeps me honest about my skills, the speeds I go, and the features I hit. It’s made my riding a lot more skilled, alert, and therefore safer.

I spend way too much time tinkering, upgrading, and tuning my FS bike. When I feel something on it I go “is that LSR? HSC? Spring rate?”. When I feel something on my HT I ask myself “what did I do wrong? Line choice? Weight distribution? etc…” They’ll tell you a mid travel 29er will pedal uphill like a mountain goat but I run circles around everyone on those bikes with my HT…
 
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