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Dork
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as the title suggests I have not been riding regularly for awhile. Until recently I have only had the chance to get out ~4 times a year... since '99. Now that I am in a position to start riding avidly again, I am thinking of getting a more modern bike. Although my current bike, an old Stumpjumper M2, still works fine. But looking around the marketplace... things have change a lot. So I have some questions.

What is the state of rear suspension? It seems to be everywhere now. Last I remember it was used for strictly downhill. It was heavy, and the designs reduced your pedaling efficiency. From the looks of things, those issues have been dealt with. Still, I there are hardtails being sold. So, what are the benefits of rear suspension along with the disadvantages? For a XC rider, does it make sense to go with a full suspension rig?

Brakes have also changed quite a bit. From the Vbrakes to hydraulic... Im sure that with hydraulic you get more stopping power, but with added maintenance and more weight. Am I missing anything here?

Also, bar ends? Where did these things go? I honestly dont know if I could ever live without them on long climbs or when my hands get numb. Is there a good reason for their demise?

FYI: I have always been happy with my Stumpjumper so I have been looking at the current Specialized lineup. For a hardtail I am looking at the Stumpjumper Comp. And for the full suspension bike, looking at the Stumpjumper FSR Comp.
 

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If it isn't broke don't fix it. Keep riding your stumpjumper until it stops working for you. I went through the same thing. The last bike I built was in 1999 and when I left Colorado for Florida, I stopped riding for a while. I got back into it in 2006 and was surprised how components had improved. You definitely get more bang for your buck now. I had to buy a new bike after my old bike was getting to expensive to fix.
 

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There's no app for this.
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On brakes...

there's an older FAQ in the upper right corner of the brakes forum...it helps dispell the myths about disc brakes benig heavier and more maintneance, both of which are no longer true.

Jim
 

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Live 2 Ride
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What is the state of rear suspension? It seems to be everywhere now. Last I remember it was used for strictly downhill. It was heavy, and the designs reduced your pedaling efficiency. From the looks of things, those issues have been dealt with. Still, I there are hardtails being sold. So, what are the benefits of rear suspension along with the disadvantages? For a XC rider, does it make sense to go with a full suspension rig?
It also has to do with the fact we have let ourselves accept that a 30 to 35 pound bike is OK as opposed to the old days where everything was lighter...
 

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LoL......I have the same issues and the exact same questions. I used to race until I went to college and someone choped the lock on my bike an stole it. Havent ridden since then in '98.

I have been taking an old Marin from '93 up and feel like I am riding an antique, and have huge bar ends.....because I too refuse to loose them, heck the big ones make for good nerf bars. WTF happen to them? Did people stop climbing hills, did all you just get lazy on your cushie suspension bikes? Anyways I am dealing with the same stuff.
 

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Dork
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. Its good to know Im not alone in this situation :)

JimC: the Brake FAQ was extremely helpful.

With respect to the weight thing... I stopped at 2 shops today on the way home from work just to check stuff out. Lifted a couple ~$3k rides... wow, they are kinda heavy! I guess Im just getting old...

And the whole bar end thing is just bizarre. I asked this one guy at the shop and he told me "they went out of style". Maybe hes right, maybe I was just a "fashion victim", but I could have sworn they helped me out lol.

I do think Im going to just stick with the stumpy for this summer and fall. Even after not using it for years, I still feel a special bond with that bike. See how the bike performs in the coming months, then reevaluate.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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People stopped caring about big, long climbs, and the tendency of bar ends to snag on trailside vegetation made them go away. FS works, and is fine for XC, but don't expect 5" of travel to be appropriate for such. XC FS is short travel stuff, everything else is built just as light....those bikes just don't sell as much because people don't care much about racing anymore, either.

The weight weenie mindset has been pushed to the fringes. You can still put together a low 20'slb full sus, but chances are you won't find it on any sales rack. People seem to be focused more on just getting out and riding, and riding more technical obstacles. FS helps keep you less tired over a long ride (less jostling of the muscles/fat) and the more technical riding necessitates heavier bikes.

If you want light, take a look at a rigid singlespeed. Not hard to get sub-20lb on one of those.

I think you're just being blinded by the number of choices out there. I have both a HT and a FS, although in the next year, I will probably buy a new HT frame for all the nice components on my FS...and then buy a new FS. The current HT will be relegated to commuter-only duty.

A good FS won't sap pedaling power, but a crappy one still will. It's worth it if you want it, but it's not the only solution.

Disc brakes will completely supplant vee's eventually. They're really only marginally more powerful than GOOD vee's, but the big improvements are with bad-weather performance (discs work much better when wet than vee's) and with modulation (takes less raw force from your hand to clamp down, and smaller adjustments to vary power). Good hydraulics won't need much of anything. I've been using the same hydros since 03 and haven't even changed the pads. I've trued bent rotors a couple of times and that's it. I haven't ridden a ton (I would have changed pads by now if I had), but my wife has replaced v-brake pads since 05, so the pads are better.
 
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