same trails smoother. I used to ride in New England a lot when my wife was working in Salem, MA. Seeing what they ride in NE on hardtails and ss bikes was a real eye opener for me. SHOCKING is more like it. Not that I did not see fs bikes as well, but there are tons of guys up there that can ride ANYTHING on a xc hardtail or ss bike. I met guys doing 50-100 mile rides on ss bikes in super rocky, super rooty, tight and twisty NE. I was stunned because to me 20-30 miles was a lot and where I live (Long Island) is not nearly as technical as NE.It really depends where you ride. I use to love my 29 SS hard tail but lately I've been riding trails that are very rocky and that have a lot of roots. My body is getting beat up too much; time to dust of the FS rig.