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Hard Tail or Full Suspension

  • Hardtail

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • FS

    Votes: 11 84.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about moving from my hardtail (SC Chameleon) to a Full Suspension (SC Blur) and was just wondering what people's experience of this is. I've been riding trails and been mountain biking for a number of years, but have never actually rode a full suspension bike before, not even in a parking lot! I generally ride the local NY/NJ trails like stillwell, rockypoint, bethpage, hartshorn, cunningham, highbridge and such. I do like to flow the doubles at highbridge, go off some 10 stairs on my ride back south, but I think 80% of my riding is XC trails on LI. I just swap between my clipless and platforms.

I plan on keeping my Chameleon and building a urban/dirt bike, so here's what I want to know in a XC pov; you guys' experience with the first few rides on the FS, likes/dislikes, plus/minuses. and your current view on switching, worth it/ not worth it.

Your input will really help as FS frames are pretty expensive these days. Just want to make sure I like it before i take the plunge and place the order. Thx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I started riding my Chameleon, I was really impressed and still am. So, I think I'm going to stick w/ Santa Cruz. I'm considering the Blur XC or the Superlight. I'm probably going to get the frame and move my parts over, then rebuild my chameleon as a single speed. But just don't know if I'll like the FS thing.
 

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You will get better traction with a FS bike, that's for sure. The downside is a little lost power transfer, but IMHO it pales in comparision to getting good traction.

I visit LI once a month or two to visit the mother in law, and I know those trails - I ride my 5" travel bike (Sinister Gruitr) at Stillwell all the time and despite its 36 lb girth, I can still turn a sub 25 minute lap - about on par as when I used to bring my HT.

Another positive is your improved ability to preload the suspension for j-hopping and bunny hopping trail features. Take the log piles at Stillwell - if done currectly, you can hit all of those like jumps. You could also do this with a HT, but I find it to be a smoother proposition with my FS!

Hope that helps some!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Per the last post and JPE mentioning that he wanted the Blur LT, is more travel better? I'm not talking overkilling. But, the Blur for example, think it's at all possible that I'll find myself regretting getting the XC vs the LT or visa versa?
 

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I think that really depends on what kind of riding you do, and also want to do in the future. If you want serious XC performance, and some tougher terrain then the xc is great. I want to go with the LT simply because its the AM version of the blur. It will handle me going bigger on it than an xc would. So the way i see it is i can grow into that bike, and do bigger things i might not want to put the xc through. There are more than likely some tradeoffs like weight and climbing ability, but i'll always have my hardtail for trails where i may need that type of performance. It really boils down to what riding you do, and the rider you want to become in my opinion.
 

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I have a Chameleon, which is great for shorter smoother trails and jumps then I also have a Bullit set up on the lighter side of heavy and use that for the off island trails or longer rougher stuff.

If your going to jump off things...go with the Blur LT or save money and get a Heckler or Bullit.
 
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Up here in rockland county there are really technical and rocky trails with LOTS of climbing and some fast and scary rock descents. I used to beat myself up with a hardtail on these trails while now I crank through them in relative comfort and much better traction on an IH Azure. I am much faster at the trails now and couldn't imagine going back to a hardtail for these trails. If I wasn't riding over 6" rocks every 3 seconds I would consider sticking with a hardtail.
 

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I took this same route some years ago. I dont currently own a hardtail but, I'd like to build one back up again. Long story short: I began the switch from HT to a 4x4 travel iron horse, then soon after into a 5X5 Kona. As I started to enjoy the FS and loosen-up, it prompted me to ride the free-ride trails in my area...in-turn I wanted a bike with more travel and more importantly a slacker geometry and lower standover...so i sold the Kona Dawg and got into a Specialized Enduro Elite(all in one season...3 fs bikes bought and sold!). I'm not sure what your riding style is, but FS may change it, so, my advice is, buy a bike that will serve all of your needs and beyond; from the get-go. Imo, the right FS rig could open alot of doors for you on the trail! The Santa cruz bikes sure are nice and I'm sure thats a great place to start. unfortunately I want and SX or Knolly for next season...I love the enduro...but I'm putting it through the ringer! Cheers! Steve:D
 

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klamnyc said:
I've been thinking about moving from my hardtail (SC Chameleon) to a Full Suspension (SC Blur) and was just wondering what people's experience of this is. I've been riding trails and been mountain biking for a number of years, but have never actually rode a full suspension bike before, not even in a parking lot! I generally ride the local NY/NJ trails like stillwell, rockypoint, bethpage, hartshorn, cunningham, highbridge and such. I do like to flow the doubles at highbridge, go off some 10 stairs on my ride back south, but I think 80% of my riding is XC trails on LI. I just swap between my clipless and platforms.

I plan on keeping my Chameleon and building a urban/dirt bike, so here's what I want to know in a XC pov; you guys' experience with the first few rides on the FS, likes/dislikes, plus/minuses. and your current view on switching, worth it/ not worth it.

Your input will really help as FS frames are pretty expensive these days. Just want to make sure I like it before i take the plunge and place the order. Thx.
Suspension is really an unproven, bleeding edge technology at this point.

I think you should give it a few more decades to figure itself out.
 

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Ummmmm. You could wait forever to try FS...thats fine...I believe trail riding a hardtail or rigid could obviously create a technical riding experience that is unique to itself. However, I believe that the FS technology (even though it is still being, and probably always will be, being developed) could create a different, and possibly(hopefully) a fun ride for folks coming from XC hardails. what could I say? I dig both...they both serve a utilitarian purpose in a different way...enjoy! ...whatever you may choose!:thumbsup:
 
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