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Bloody Bastard
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167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. My apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. I've been a member here for over 11 years now and I've spent most of my early days on this board reading and learning. When I first joined MTBR I was researching what would be the best option for my first mountain bike. I had only one goal, which was to build up lower body strength and endurance in preparation to go through an assessment and selection process for a special unit during my time in the service. I ended up purchasing a Montague Paratrooper folding hardtail since I could travel with it and ride while on temporary duty assignments, and it was a sensible solution considering we lived in a small two-bedroom apartment near Washington DC at the time. I still have that bike, still fun to ride, and at this point the only thing that remains of the original bike is the frame, having upgraded all of the components over time. Mission requirements and life in general slowed down my riding frequency and I eventually stopped riding altogether for a number of years.

Now that we've settled in Colorado and I've since retired from active duty military service, I have a lot more time to enjoy traveling and outdoor activities with my family, which includes a lot of bike riding. My oldest son (13) started getting more into mountain biking this year and we ride together several times a week. We have a hardpack trail near our home we use for our family rides, and he's currently riding an older Trek 4500 hardtail that I picked up years ago, but could use some fresh components. The wife is rolling with a modest 2018 Specialized Pitch Comp 27.5, and my two daughters each have Specialized Hotrocks for their respective ages (8 and 5).

As mentioned, my son rolls the Trek when on family friendly rides, but jumps on mom's Pitch when we go trail riding on more challenging terrain. When my son and I aren't out riding, we often spend a good amount of time enjoying a variety of mountain bike channels on YouTube, which has only contributed to our growing enthusiasm, passion, and appreciation for the sport. At this point in his development, I just want him to gain more skill and confidence. To be honest, I'm no spring chicken and lack the agility I once had, and I could stand to gain more skill and confidence myself when negotiating more technical stuff we encounter. I'm considering a new bike for his birthday this year, but I'm torn whether to keep him on a hardtail or go all out with a full-suspension bike. I'd like to get a full-suspension bike myself and will be in the market next season. As for my son, I'm wondering if it's better to have him learn and appreciate the merits of riding and improving his skills on a hardtail, or just go with a full-suspension option and get him started out on "easy mode" for a lack of better words, perhaps moving up to a full-suspension bike down the road as his needs are refined by the type of riding he prefers. Maybe I'm off-base here, but in my mind I equate it to learning how to navigate with a map and compass before using a GPS, or learning how to shoot with iron sights before moving on to more advanced sighting solutions. Looking forward to thoughts and opinions. I appreciate you guys.
 

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Bloody Bastard
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167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, it's settled. Just had a conversation with my son says he wants the exact same bike as mom, but wants the Mens' Specialized Pitch Comp one size up (medium). He says he really enjoys riding the hardtail and wants to increase his skills on the bike before deciding what type of full-suspension bike he wants down the road.
 

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Enjoyed your post, great to see a family riding together.

You may want to keep the used market in mind for the next full suspension purchase. If you can take your time you may find a gem.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
 

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Well, it's settled. Just had a conversation with my son says he wants the exact same bike as mom, but wants the Mens' Specialized Pitch Comp one size up (medium). He says he really enjoys riding the hardtail and wants to increase his skills on the bike before deciding what type of full-suspension bike he wants down the road.
Well, that was easy. :)
 

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Bloody Bastard
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167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, that was easy. :)
Yes, I suppose it was. :)

Enjoyed your post, great to see a family riding together.

You may want to keep the used market in mind for the next full suspension purchase. If you can take your time you may find a gem.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
Sounds like your son has made a good choice. I still prefer hardtails after 35 years of mountain biking.

When you decide to get your FS bike, be sure to check the Front Range Bike Swap page on facebook. I see deals on used bikes cross that page pretty regularly.
I appreciate the advice. I've been exploring quite a few options in the used market. Also looking at bikes that are holdovers from previous years that have been marked down (2017 and 2018 models). Lots of great choices out there.

Sounds like your family have heaps of fun together. Awesome :)
We sure do! I run my business from home and travel when I need to. That means I get to spend a lot of time with them and my work allows them to travel with me during the summer break. Life's good.
 
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