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· In Transit
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm getting back into riding after a 7 year absence and excited to hit some singletrack once everything dries out in the spring. My old Fisher hardtail is shot, so I'm looking at new bikes and actually considering a full squish at this point. What do you guys recommend, HT or FS, for singletrack at Skeggs/Montebello/Russian Ridge (my regular spots back in the day, along with Arastradero)? I'm a heavier rider (205 lbs), if that matters.

Cheers. :thumbsup:
 

· aka dan51
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FS. It can be ridden on either, but the FS will be more comfortable. You'll eventually want to start riding elsewhere too.
If you end up with both, it seems the 29er is the way to go for HT these days.
 

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ht. i lived next to skeggs (200 yards from the TH) for two years and you don't want or need a FS there. i would opt for 29er though if you have the option. another reason to go hardtail, you get the added benefit of being able to put better wheels, and other components on your bike for the same price. dropping 3-5 lbs will make a bigger difference than FS ever will on those trails- especially russian ridge and montebello.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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kinda depends on how old you are and how beat up your body is. I love riding hardtails but I got to the point that my lower back protested severely for a few days after a hard days ride. Since I made the switch to FS in my 40's I can ride day after day with no pain which in my 50's is really a nice thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input, guys. I originally intended to go the HT route, but after visiting some local shops, I came away with the impression that no one was buying them anymore and everyone had switched to FS. Good to know that that is not the case.
 

· Life is strange
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I have yet to ride a FS bike that feels fast. They all feel too squishy. Plus for all of those parks you can ride everything on a cyclocross bike.

So I say long-travel hard tail with big tires and light wheels.
 

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Buzz Cut said:
kinda depends on how old you are and how beat up your body is. I love riding hardtails but I got to the point that my lower back protested severely for a few days after a hard days ride. Since I made the switch to FS in my 40's I can ride day after day with no pain which in my 50's is really a nice thing.
I'm with Buzz on this. I was very wary of going FS when I bought my last bike, as I'd seen guys I rode with squishing up and down on older FS bikes. On the other hand, a couple hours on my old hard tail left my back and shoulders feeling like somebody had been hitting me with a baseball bat.

I test rode a bunch of bikes, FS and hardtail. I finally decided on a relatively short travel FS bike. There was a learning curve to pedaling efficiently. An unexpected bonus was that I can both climb faster on loose terrain because of better wheel hookup, as well as pedal faster across rough sections that you might have to coast across otherwise.
 

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I ride Skegg's all the time and my weapon of choice is a Niner SIR9 singlespeed hardtail. I also have a full-suspension 29er (Niner RIP9) but I can go faster on the hardtail and it's more fun. Sometimes I put the rigid fork on it, but I have to slow down a little bit and the full suspension guys start to catch up to me on the downhills. There is really no good reason to ride a full suspension bike at Skegg's - it will only slow you down.
 

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dan51 said:
.......If you end up with both, it seems the 29er is the way to go for HT these days.
+1, If you do buy a HT, buy a 29er with short chainstays (think Banshee Paradox, Sinister Simon Bar, Canfield Bros Nimble 9er). Other than being slightly more cumbersome on very tight switchbacks you probably won't notice any other negative impact and you'll get all the benefits of a 29er (e.g. rolls over almost everything, feels much more plush, but not FS plush, very stable when descending, greater grip from larger contact patch, etc).
 

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You make it down the lower part of Fir trail on a CX bike without dumping it??????? Impressive to say the least.

rho said:
I have yet to ride a FS bike that feels fast. They all feel too squishy. Plus for all of those parks you can ride everything on a cyclocross bike.

So I say long-travel hard tail with big tires and light wheels.
 

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If you are only going to have one bike, get a full suspension that has the ability to lock out front/rear suspension. You can then take on any trails that "require" full suspension and lock out the rear (and front if you really want to) for other trails. get the bike that can take on all kinds of trails that you may now and in the future want to ride.

but if you've got the $$ and room in your abode, get one of each...ht, fs, ss, unicycle, tandem, recumbent (wait, what?) and on and on.
 

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marcus4333 said:
If you are only going to have one bike, get a full suspension that has the ability to lock out front/rear suspension. You can then take on any trails that "require" full suspension and lock out the rear (and front if you really want to) for other trails. get the bike that can take on all kinds of trails that you may now and in the future want to ride.
That ended up being my approach. I have to say after five years of riding that bike, I hardly ever use the lockouts any more. The only two places I'm likely to use either or both of them is on long climbs on fire roads or pavement, or on a long pavement stretch in a loop.
 

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The trails in the title are sorta my bread and butter. I just bought a 5" travel FS bike this summer, after riding the same hardtail for 10 years, and I love the FS on these trails. I have no desire to ride my old hardtail anymore. I started out using lockout on my fork for climbs, but now rarely bother. I've got the Specialized Brain ('06) on my rear shock and used to adjust it firm for uphill and soft for down, but now just pretty much always leave it on firm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As I ride (and rehab) my Fisher more and more, I feel like a new hardtail is the best choice for my budget and riding style (this year anyhow). I'm actually gravitating towards a slack geometry (HT 68/ST 72) frame like a Santa Cruz Chameleon rather than a race geometry (HT 70.5/ST 73) frame like a Stumpjumper. Given how slight the difference is, I'm guessing that I wouldn't really notice it, but is there any reason why this would be a bad idea?
 
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