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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need your advices. I have two bikes. Banshee Rune and Jamis XAM. The first one i use for AM-FR stuff and second for AM enduro. Both bikes pretty similar and i think to replace my XAM with 130mm of rear travel to steel hardtail.

The main reason for this changes because i want more speed and less maintenance. I want to ride faster all year long! My nearest XC trails are pretty flat with a lot of roots and they are almost always wet (territory of swamps). My biggest fear is about how comfortable the steel hardtail would be? The last time when i ride on hardtail was almost 8 year ago and i'm afraid what after short period of time i want to sit on FS again. Don't want to waste my money.

Thank you.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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its rather fascinating that there "appears" to be a growing interest in AM hardtails (self included). Perhaps its just an mtbr thing but if mtbr is any indication then they are definitely more on the radar now than in the past.

personally, i think they are b!tchin so hellz yeah, go for it - LOTS of great choices of which, the Trans Am has to be near the top since ebextreme has one and he knows everything but damn if there aint a TON of good option, at varying price points too
 

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Dirt Deviant
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I'm pretty stoked with my On One Inbred 456.
I ride it all the time now. When I built it up, I just wanted to have a fun simple bike to bomb around on..........now it is my main ride. I have ridden it on every ride I have done since I built it up.
Great fun, and it can handle the rough stuff pretty good.
I thought I would have some lower back pain, or some kind of pain after doing longer rides on it, but it doesn't beat me up at all.
I should mention that I am almost 300lbs and 6'3" ish and the 20" fits me perfect.
I built it up with strong parts, so it doesn't crumble under my weight......haha
 

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squish is good
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Cheap option is the Leader 526H. I bought one to just put together a cheap get around town bike but it's turned out to be a really fun bike out on the trail. Rides smooth with high volume tires. I still have a 6" bike and a 8" DH bike that I ride on the trail more often but the long travel hardtail could easily be a one quiver bike with nice components.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank for your replies, but i don't read convincing words yet. If you replaced your FS bike for a steel hardtail please write about it and also say couple of words how long your ride on them.
 

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well mannered lout
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Lots of advice on which bike to buy, huh?

I got a steel hardtail this spring and love it. It did have me second guessing myself after the first ride but it's all good now, just takes a few miles to re learn the whole riding above the bike thing.

The bike didn't replace my FS bike (Spec. enduro sl) but I split my time between them. I hadn't ridden a hardtail on trails for about 5 years.
 

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local trails rider
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GR_Russia said:
If you replaced your FS bike for a steel hardtail please write about it and also say couple of words how long your ride on them.
I have not replaced bikes but I ride HT and FS.

My tough steel HT (the German 2soulscycles) is singlespeed. My normal rides tend to be between 2 and 3 hours in "broken terrain": lots of shorter ups and downs. Twisty, rocks and roots too but not much wet ground. My longest ride on that bike took 8 hours: easy paced group ride, with me in the lead setting that pace ;)

The obvious difference is that on the HT I stand more: my legs are the rear suspension. That means that my legs get tired sooner. Going over a single rock or root is just a matter of going ahead and doing it. The tiring thing is when you have something like a washboard of bumps that goes on and on, just rough enough that you cannot sit.

I enjoy my HT. It is not like riding a FS bike: it is a different kind of fun, you need to adjust your style and the lines you take.

... who says you cannot ride your Rune XC style too, when you feel like riding FS ...
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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GR_Russia said:
Thank for your replies, but i don't read convincing words yet. If you replaced your FS bike for a steel hardtail please write about it and also say couple of words how long your ride on them.
i would never "replace" my FS with a hardtail, but would now always have both
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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This category of bike is so huge right now. If I were a prospective buyer, it would be a tough choice - many, many good options. Some companies knew all along, and others are just figuring out that slack and burly can be just as fun as steep and light!

If your XAM fits and feels good, try to find a hardtail that'll give you similar fit/geometry, maybe something that'll even just let you swap your parts over to do it nice and easy. You should be able to find a frame to swap to pretty easily for not too much money.

Then if you find you don't like it, it's easy enough to swap all your parts back to the XAM if you choose.

I'm like many others - I've got both full suspension and hardtails (two of each) and won't give either one up. Both are fun, and both have their places/uses. It can be really fun taking the hardtails on trail that are a bit too much for them, and it can also be fun taking the suspension bikes on trails that they are way overkill on. I still ride my hardtails over half the time.
 

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scrublover said:
Some companies knew all along, and others are just figuring out that slack and burly can be just as fun as steep and light!
Word. Last year there were only 2-3 options, this year we're past a dozen already. Competition is always good for the consumer!
:D

Along the same lines. A lot of people are buying these as their second or third bike, not their primary ride. Nothing wrong with that, but don't sell the hardtail short! The longest rides and the biggest climbs I have ever done, were done on a FR hardtail, and to me that's where these bikes shine (if not overbuilt). Light enough to climb all day on, but slack and burly enough to be fun on steep techy all-mountain trails. Plus hardtails generally have a much lower BB than duallies, so you get a lower C-of-G without hitting your pedals too often.

It's not right for everybody though- hardtails require a differernt riding style, and I always found it took me a few rides to adapt.
 

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"El Whatever"
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GR_Russia said:
The main reason for this changes because i want more speed and less maintenance. I want to ride faster all year long! My nearest XC trails are pretty flat with a lot of roots and they are almost always wet (territory of swamps).

Thank you.
Less maintenance? Yes. Absolutely, no contest.

More speed? Wrong reason. The FS will always be faster unless you're riding a very smooth place.

Roots? Wet? Get a monopivot FS bike and call it a day.

An Orange or some other bike designed in the UK will do better as for low maintenance and speed.

That said, I'm myself considering a steel HT. I rode one when I was starting to ride and the ride of steel (cheap or expensive) is unique, special and very rewarding. Aluminum may be the "best" material to make bikes off, but it doesn't have the "feel" of steel.
 

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I think it's a terrible idea. I've been riding long travel hardtails exclusively for several years now, and i don't want to be that doofus saying 'see, i was in on the trend before it was even cool!'

I don't want all you wankers coming late to the party, cribbing my style and turning my ride into a fad. I don't need your silly movement to make more parts available, and i don't want to answer questions about my goofy bike at the trailhead. Stop reading dirt rag, go see what the coolest 6" rig MBA is pushing, and if you wanna chase a trend go get a 650b. I'm a crotchety pseudo-freeride luddite, and i just want to be left alone.

A long travel hardtail is slower than your X-AM in almost any condition, even going uphill, frequently. It feels faster, though, and for me not having to worry about shocks and linkages is a real boon. Our local trails are roller coasters with single hits or short rock gardens that you can just pinball down, so it works out fine. When i travel and ride trails that are just rough, even if they're not as steep or technical, i yearn for a full suspension bike. There's a lot of variety of design in the long travel hardtail market, and i don't think the geometry has really been completely figured out yet. Best to wait a few years and reap the benefits of the fad.
 

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I didn't buy steel, but I did go from 6-7" FS bikes to a HT. GF Paragon to be exact, 29er. Soon to be up for sale is my 2008 Enduro with the e150 and my 2007 Enduro with a Marzocchi 66 and TST rear coil.

Going to replace the FS bikes with a FS 3-4" travel 29er. (not sure which frame, but researching now) Been on the 29er since first of April and have ridden it on all types of trails, longest time in the saddle was 6 hrs. Fruita, Moab, and Syllamo's Revenge to name a few places. I am a little over 6ft and 220 lbs racing in the 50 + division.

I tried a 26 HT for a few days, made my back hurt:( Got on the 29er and haven't looked back:thumbsup: Big wheels + tubeless = big air volume = cushy ride
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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flyag1 said:
I didn't buy steel, but I did go from 6-7" FS bikes to a HT. GF Paragon to be exact, 29er. Soon to be up for sale is my 2008 Enduro with the e150 and my 2007 Enduro with a Marzocchi 66 and TST rear coil.

Going to replace the FS bikes with a FS 3-4" travel 29er. (not sure which frame, but researching now) Been on the 29er since first of April and have ridden it on all types of trails, longest time in the saddle was 6 hrs. Fruita, Moab, and Syllamo's Revenge to name a few places. I am a little over 6ft and 220 lbs racing in the 50 + division.

I tried a 26 HT for a few days, made my back hurt:( Got on the 29er and haven't looked back:thumbsup: Big wheels + tubeless = big air volume = cushy ride
not trying to be a jerk, though i am one, but a specific 26er vs 29er hardtail discussion is not in the scope of the question...while a given "design" may be more comfy on a 29er vs comparably buit/designed 26er, thats a bit off the question IMHO.

The paragon is not what most would consider an AM frame by any means and yes, I know people who have them and are good riders, but its an intended XC design...though i agree i will definitely ride more comfy than a similar XC 26er from on same trails

There are not a lot of "off the shelf" 29er AM (though i hate that term) frames....mostly XC, like the Paragon....though some are at least being "built" to handle more AM riding...most I have seen that warrant AM+ are custom, though its changing a bit in terms of options as you probably know

having owned many hardtails, FS, etc...while its just one lame opinion, there is merit for sure to an AM 26er hardtail, 26er XC hardtails are lame for other than racing per my preferences anyway (ie, i hate 26er XC hardtails)

Its only one example, but a fair one to compare and contrast, and i can DEFINITELY say a 26er hardtail, if designed as an AM+ frame, is very very b!tchin...I love mine
 

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FoShizzle said:
FoShizzle, you are right! the Paragon is not what most would consider an AM frame:

There are not a lot of "off the shelf" 29er AM (though i hate that term) frames....mostly XC, like the Paragon: yes I agree!

having owned many hardtails, FS, etc...while its just one lame opinion, there is merit for sure to an AM 26er hardtail: I tried riding a 26 ht before I bought the 29er.

26er XC hardtails are lame for other than racing: I totally agree!

With that being said: I really didn't expect to like the paragon, but it turned into a love / hate relationship. Bike is great everywhere except the DH, and it's not that I don't have directional control on the downs... it that I don't have a rear brake! I have never been one of those who slide the rear around corners, but with the HT 29er I can't seem to stop myself from sliding right up to the corners... setting back on the bike helps but still the rear wheel is easy to lock up! I've found that I must depend on the front brake. Other than the braking: the HT 29er has actually seeded up my lap time:eekster: I know what your thinking, XC rider.... but not the case! I have actually seeded up in the climbs (that's a given) but also I have gained time in the rock gardens, the technical turns, and the flowy sections. The bike corners better, not as tight... but holds a line better so you can point the front into a 3 inch line and expect to execute... but you must also pick the line:skep: On a 6 in bike, I could plow:D Hence, I think a 3 inch 29er might just replace a 6 in 26err :thumbsup: Maybe I'm dreaming?
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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flyag1 said:
26er XC hardtails are lame for other than racing: I totally agree!
unless you have ridden a true 26er AM bike, dont be so quick to judge. I have owned 4 29ers hardtails and NONE come close to being able to handle what me new 26 AM makes me comfortable handling. But yes, for XC duty, 26ers are lame given their geometry as there simply is no logic to them over their 29er counterparts. This is not to say a more slack angled/robust 29er hardtail wouldnt handle it even better, just compared to typical 29er hardtails, no comparison.

flyag1 said:
Hence, I think a 3 inch 29er might just replace a 6 in 26err :thumbsup: Maybe I'm dreaming?
you are dreaming, yes. having never ridden with you, i have no idea what you use a 26er 6inch bike for...i know PLENTY of people riding 6" travel bikes who simply dont need 6" travel bikes therefore, for them, a 3" 29er could replace it. However, if you are using a 6" travel bike, and not one of those lame roadbike versions which are nothing but XC bikes with long travel, there is NO WAY a 3" 29er will suffice. Having said that, for at least what i consider all around riding, by a mile, the best bike i have ever ridden is my new 4.7" Sultan....entirely dominates any bike i have ridden. Other than the super chunk, where 29ers are not so much...i am faster on my sultan than i was on my 6" terremoto and even my 7.75" UZZI VPX in some cases (ie, not overly chunky)
 
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