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Just bought a Jamis Durango as my first "real" bike and I was wondering what it can handle as far as drops, small jumps, wheelies, bunny hops, etc...being a hardtail I wasn't sure if leaving the ground would be murder on the frame. I'm just getting into biking again (since before I had my drivers license) so I won't be going off of any HUGE drops anytime soon, but even bunny hopping or taking a couple foot drops concerns me... is there any special technique to use going off small jumps or drops and what should I consider when deciding if the bike can handle it?
 

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local trails rider
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Not all hardtails are designed to be fast XC bikes.

Even with XC bikes, it is not really about how far you fall: it is about how hard you hit the ground.
 

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local trails rider
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A hardtail frame is similar to a BMX frame in among other things, that they are not all made for the same purpose or to take same kind of abuse. A racing BMX frame is built for speed. A BMX for dirt jumping or street/park tricks is built to take more abuse.
 

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perttime said:
Not all hardtails are designed to be fast XC bikes.

example please, not really sure why you would want a hardtail for all mtn or DH or freeride

Even with XC bikes, it is not really about how far you fall: it is about how hard you hit the ground.
that would fall under the term finesse
 

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local trails rider
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Example?

a few burly ones:

Banshee Morphine
Transition Vagrant
Knolly Free Radical (still not in production)
Chromag TRL

still a bit tough to be called XC bikes:

Banshee Scirocco
Santa Cruz Chameleon
Cove Stiffee

there's more (a lot more)
 

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perttime said:
Example?

a few burly ones:

Banshee Morphine
Transition Vagrant
Knolly Free Radical (still not in production)
Chromag TRL

still a bit tough to be called XC bikes:

Banshee Scirocco
Santa Cruz Chameleon
Cove Stiffee

there's more (a lot more)
I stand corrected
 

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local trails rider
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Why I want a tough hardtail...

- I am not exactly a lightweight guy
- I like trails that are a bit rough for "XC"
- the local trails make good acceleration (power transfer) a useful feature.
- HT's are simple (low maintenance)
- "because" :)

Here's my (still unfinished) steel SS HT trailbike:
 

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I post too much.
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rmcphers said:
are hardtail frames similar to bmx frames at all because bmxers take their bikes off of some huge stuff sometimes?
Hell no. XC hardtails use thin aluminum tubing to be light and responsive, whereas BMX bikes user much thicker cromoly tubing specifically designed to be abused with weight as a far second thought.
 

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snaky69 said:
That depends on how smooth you are and how big you go. Nothing extreme, that's for sure.
Well I am 255 lbs. I definitely don't plan on doing any jumps with it. Just single track with some general technical areas.

this is probably the biggest stuff id go off with it. maybe a little bigger.


and
 

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Hardtails can take quite alot. It also depends on your level of skill as well. Ive done quite a lot of All Mountain riding on my XC Diamondback Topanga hardtail. Ive been downhilling at the You Yangs (Victoria, Australia) and even in outback Australia. However, i found my bike and my own limits when riding down a mountain walking trail for the second time. I came unstuck on a set of drop offs and was flung over the handlebars(rear end came up quick on a bump due to no rear suspension. My butt was well behind the seat) Cut up my face and had quite a few stitches in the hospital 50kms away. The important thing is to ride hard, but know your limits. Try harder stuff as your skills progress but know you and your bikes limits. Dont think that as a 16 year old kid you are invincible and nothing can stop you.
 

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In my "engineering" opinion, the likelyhood of a single-event catostrophic frame failure from aggressive riding is unlikely. The static strenght of a bike frame is going to be quit considerable. In most cases fatigue failure is going to be the more likely cause. In other words the frequency of "abuse" you lay on your HT. Now some things that can considerably expedite a fatigue failure and/or a single-event catostrophic failure are material defects, weld defects, etc. These defects serve as a stress riser, which will expedite a frame failure. This is were quality control becomes important with manufacturers. Also if I recall correctly, Aluminum has a much lower fatigue life than CoMo, hince why Al frames tend to be stiffer, so as to improve the fatique life of the frame.
 

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Your frame can take a fair amount of abuse.....I wouldn't do much more than light freeriding on it. I wouldn't take it downhilling all day or take it off any drops or huge jumps.

It's your components - wheels, cranks, stem, bars, brakes, etc - that will fail first
 
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