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I have raced BMX many years ago. Then a few years ago I had a DB with front suspension. I love to jump and ride on tracks. I am looking at a Mongoose Vanish that has dual suspension. But I am seeing videos and most jumpers and track racers ride hardtails. I like cushy landings since I ride a CRF250, but want to get into MBing.

What is the good and bad of dual suspention?? Is it good for jumping and riding tracks??
 

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Still a child inside...
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What is the good and bad of dual suspention?? Is it good for jumping and riding tracks??
FS allows you to ride at higher speed at gnarly sections and in general,
but it makes you lazy, cos you motor over everything.
Hardtails are stiff in the rear, and that gives you stability and control.
You cannot fly at gnar or DH, and have to pick a line.

Both can jump and do singles.
 

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My thoughts. I prefer a hardtail (as you will see) :)

For a given quality, a DS setup will cost a LOT more. You can get cheap DS bikes, but they are not too good. The price I have seen mentioned is about $1000 _minimum_.

The problems are:
- cost
- weight; a lot of the price in the DS bikes is trying to get weight down. All those linkages and the shock add up to much more than a set of front shocks.
- pedal bounce; this happens anyway when people spin the pedals. Unless you can lock the rear, you really have to practice to avoid this, especially uphill.
- shocks absorb energy, and that means your energy, as well as the bump up your rear end. The rear takes up more than the front, usually, because if you have DS you tend to sit your rump on the saddle, so there is a lot of weight to be handled.
- sitting on the seat more will lower your manoeuvrability. If you are up off the saddle, you only have to throw the bike about. That's a generalisation, but off-saddle riding is a lot more spritely.

So if you want comfort, lash out and get DS and enjoy the cushy ride. :)

Otherwise front only. Get up off the saddle and your body does the job. Many models even allow locking out the front as well.

I speak as somebody whose knees are a bit dodgy. Since riding along quite rough tracks and over logs up to say 12" diameter, my knees are far _better_, because I made sure I set the bike up right, and pedalled healthily.

Nick
 

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I have a DW-Link rear suspension XC race bike with 3.5 inches of travel. It dosent bob hardly at all and is tight when I stand up and pound like a bmx race, but then if a big bump comes it absorbs it.

If you get an XC race bike (with the right anti bob suspension technology) it will feel like a hardtail 75% of the time. My ride is not "cushy" thats more of a trail bike with 4/5 inches, my bike is tight and always moving me forward, yet so much easier to stay on the bike all day.
 

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I fought it for a long time

I was a die-hard hardtail rider for a long time. I couldn't even stand the idea of the back bobbing up and down. I had demo-ed a few bikes and they all had the annoying pedal bob. I finally gave in this year and built up a full suspension bike. I got one with very little rear travel (3") but I put a coil shock on the back. The coil shock weighs about 1 pound heavier than an air shock, but there is almost no pedal bob. Landing drop off's is SO NICE with the coil shock. BTW, the front fork is a Reba Team, so landing is super nice. If I want to lock out the front shock for road stuff, I have a remote lock-out. All in all, it was a good decision. The whole bike is 26 pounds, so I think I can afford the one pound difference in shocks.

I enjoyed riding my hard tail, but now that I have the FS, the hard tail sees no trail time. The trails around me are also pretty rocky with a lot of drop offs and technical climbs. Oh, and my hard tail was only one pound lighter (before I stole the Reba off it). Go figure. Now it has a rigid fork and is my commuter/road ride.

As for being expensive, I bought a FS frame with coil shock off ebay for $325, and took parts off my other bikes to build up the new bike. I didn't spend a lot of money.

I guess it all depends on the terrain that you ride. If you need it, it is great. It is great for jumping too. I have to say that I think the rear coil shock greatly adds to my enjoyment of the bike. I wasn't a big FS fan until I put that shock on this bike.

Here it is before I put the coil shock on:

Photobucket
 

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pedal pusher
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Find a way (rentals, maybe?) to try out both hardtails and DS bikes and see which works best for YOU. Everyone has a preference as to which is better, and some of us don't even use shocks at all.
 

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local trails rider
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Can of worms?

Maybe I should get my beer and popcorn....

I like FS and HT.
 

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Weekend Warrior
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I ride HT but i rode some $2000 to $3500 DS and they feel very, very nice. If you do any kind of jumping that would definitly be the bike for you, and I'm talking about 3+ feet jumps. I like the HT because I bike in Florida and I do little jumping and most is XC trail riding. The HT gives you so much more control. A $1000 HT will be already on the high end side. Mine is around $600+ upgrades, but to get the same in a DS i would have to drop at least $1800. I will probably get a "cheap" DS (Like the Specialized FSR XC Comp or Pro), but for serious Florida riding I like my HT.
 

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HT vs DS?

I've struggled with this question... and have at least temporarily resolved it in my mind. My primary beef with FS has been the bob/inefficiency that tends to tire me out on climbs (I'm pushin 50). Plus the maintenance headache and COST!!! I've owned 4-bar suspension and single pivot bikes and BOTH were a royal pain (in my opinion) to maintain. Blow a shock and you're out at least $250 if not more. Annual rebuilds are a must. I always felt one stroke of bad luck away from a blown (or problematic) shock. To me that creates a seriously flawed situation. And the more sophisticated your suspension setup, the more problematic it can ultimately be.

My solution: "passive" suspension... I ride steel 29er hardtails. I love the feel of steel; it flexes, it's reasonably priced, and it LASTS!!!! (I had a Ti bike last year that I busted... I'm stickin with steel). My XC ride is a Niner MCR with a Reba 80mm fork. The 853 steel frame is really nice, and provides a small amount of flex. Add a Brooks leather saddle and tubeless tires (at reasonably low pressure), it's SUPER comfy! It also feels light (strangely enough), AND I feel I can climb all day in the saddle without getting totally worn out. Moreover I'm starting to ride technical sections as well (if not better) than I did on my 26er FS, with fewer endos.

I also ride a fully-rigid Karate Monkey 29er as a single speed. This bike is SO MUCH fun to ride, once you get used to it the ride is actually quite comfortable. Between the frame flex, Brooks B17 saddle (a MUST), carbon seatpost, and Panaracer Rampage tires there is plenty of cush to take the edge off... The simplicity and responsiveness of this bike make it so enjoyable and comfortable to ride.

In fact, I just picked up a Salsa Cromoto rigid fork for my Niner... I need to have that simple solution as a fallback (when my Reba fails or is out getting Pushed). I plan to periodically switch out the Reba fork for the rigid fork... Riding rigid (even at my age) has so many other benefits in terms of making me a better rider (ie having to pick well-thought-out lines), having lighter, stiffer, more responsive steering... It definitely is worth it to switch back and forth... you'll appreciate riding more... If you're used to picking a straight line and bulling through rock gardens, you simply have to change your riding style a bit. But then again, if you're the type that bombs a ski slope without enjoying the turns, you're likely to be happiest with a FS. But if you like to savor a trail and choose a line the same way you'd pick a line snowboarding through the trees, maybe you should rediscover the feel of a nice, steel hardtail. It's pure, it's simple... it's a little slice of heaven.

My friends all ride FS and they genuinely hate my guts for saying all this... I've been riding MTBs for over 20 years, and I am certain of one thing: You must absolutely love (and be one with) your bike. For me, I love simplicity and mechanical beauty... THAT to me is what makes the perfect mountain bike. Whatever you ride, make sure you love it.

Peace,
MBB
 

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pop_martian said:
Clearly the duel suspension wins hands down as it is faster on the draw!
D'Oh nuts!

We had all avoided that so far. I was going to have a dig at you for bad form <G>, but the OP got it right in the text. Just a typo. :D

I hate getting a heading wrong. It keeps on coming into the email inbox over and over....

Nick
 
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