Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling, triathlon & fitness apparel.

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Full Suspension to Hardtail

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    I've been mountain biking for almost a year now, and I really love my bike (Trek Fuel EX 8)...I'm a big fan of the full suspension, as I feel like it has made it easier to learn/make mistakes without crashing every time...the suspension really seemed to make up for my lack of skill especially in the beginning...
    That being said, I'm delving more into longer endurance racing, 60-100 miles, and with a lot of climbing...I'm finding the more I train on this bike, the more I feel like the squishiness is taking away some of my power on the long (4+ hr) endurance rides I've been doing...I love this bike for when I'm doing fun technical trails, with punchy/techy climbs and sweet descents, but long gravel roads it's definitely not built for

    So, I'm looking into getting a 29er hardtail...I'm pretty tall (5'11") so have been inclined to a 29er all along, just all of the ones I wanted were sold out when I was purchasing my first bike...Now there are a few options I have available to me, and I'm just concerned about how much of a difference I would feel going from that rear suspension to a hardtail...am I going to feel like my rear is just bouncing all over the place? Sometimes I feel like I'm going to endo going downhill even with all of the suspension I have, and I'm worried it will be worse on a hardtail...though I think it will help my skills even more, and force me to pick better lines

    Also, the bike I'm looking at (fingers crossed it's available) is the Salsa El Mariachi Ti...I've read and heard it's a standout bike, and perfect for long cross country races (Breck 100, LT 100, etc)

    Does anyone have experience going from full suspension to hardtail, and also 26er to 29er?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,012
    I have no experience to share, but I will mention what the shop manager where I bought my bike told me. He races XC and he said if he's doing short races he always rides a hardtail, but if he's doing longer and/or endurance races he always rides a FS. He said it's just too hard on his body on the long rides. He's 25 and in excellent shape for what it's worth.

    Good luck on your search and let us know how it turns out for you.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,532
    Quote Originally Posted by tothepeak View Post
    I've been mountain biking for almost a year now, and I really love my bike (Trek Fuel EX 8)...I'm a big fan of the full suspension, as I feel like it has made it easier to learn/make mistakes without crashing every time...the suspension really seemed to make up for my lack of skill especially in the beginning...
    That being said, I'm delving more into longer endurance racing, 60-100 miles, and with a lot of climbing...I'm finding the more I train on this bike, the more I feel like the squishiness is taking away some of my power on the long (4+ hr) endurance rides I've been doing...I love this bike for when I'm doing fun technical trails, with punchy/techy climbs and sweet descents, but long gravel roads it's definitely not built for

    So, I'm looking into getting a 29er hardtail...I'm pretty tall (5'11") so have been inclined to a 29er all along, just all of the ones I wanted were sold out when I was purchasing my first bike...Now there are a few options I have available to me, and I'm just concerned about how much of a difference I would feel going from that rear suspension to a hardtail...am I going to feel like my rear is just bouncing all over the place? Sometimes I feel like I'm going to endo going downhill even with all of the suspension I have, and I'm worried it will be worse on a hardtail...though I think it will help my skills even more, and force me to pick better lines

    Also, the bike I'm looking at (fingers crossed it's available) is the Salsa El Mariachi Ti...I've read and heard it's a standout bike, and perfect for long cross country races (Breck 100, LT 100, etc)

    Does anyone have experience going from full suspension to hardtail, and also 26er to 29er?
    I'm not a mountain biker (yet!), and can't offer a lot of advice on suspension (except that it will be lighter). It depends on the terrain you'll be riding in too. Here in Ohio, we don't really need full suspension. Wherever you are, you might. Yes, you learn skills faster on a hardtail than a FS because you can't rely on the suspension, which is why at work we tell beginners to start off with a hardtail. Being jarred repeatedly is exhausting, regardless.

    As for 26er to 29er, the thing you might want to watch out for is the cornering, because the bigger wheels don't corner as well.

    (I've been drooling over the steel version of the El Mariachi. Very nice. As well as Fuji and Specialized 29ers. But I'm looking in a rather different price bracket.)
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by tothepeak View Post
    I've been mountain biking for almost a year now, and I really love my bike (Trek Fuel EX 8)...I'm a big fan of the full suspension, as I feel like it has made it easier to learn/make mistakes without crashing every time...the suspension really seemed to make up for my lack of skill especially in the beginning...
    That being said, I'm delving more into longer endurance racing, 60-100 miles, and with a lot of climbing...I'm finding the more I train on this bike, the more I feel like the squishiness is taking away some of my power on the long (4+ hr) endurance rides I've been doing...I love this bike for when I'm doing fun technical trails, with punchy/techy climbs and sweet descents, but long gravel roads it's definitely not built for

    So, I'm looking into getting a 29er hardtail...I'm pretty tall (5'11") so have been inclined to a 29er all along, just all of the ones I wanted were sold out when I was purchasing my first bike...Now there are a few options I have available to me, and I'm just concerned about how much of a difference I would feel going from that rear suspension to a hardtail...am I going to feel like my rear is just bouncing all over the place? Sometimes I feel like I'm going to endo going downhill even with all of the suspension I have, and I'm worried it will be worse on a hardtail...though I think it will help my skills even more, and force me to pick better lines

    Also, the bike I'm looking at (fingers crossed it's available) is the Salsa El Mariachi Ti...I've read and heard it's a standout bike, and perfect for long cross country races (Breck 100, LT 100, etc)

    Does anyone have experience going from full suspension to hardtail, and also 26er to 29er?


    I ride a hard tail exclusively and the interesting tidbit I never thought about...you mention "rear bouncing about" ...I never sit...or very rarely anyway. I was taught to "hover" even if it is just an inch off the seat. The "attack" position allows you to react quickly and throw your weight around. My sons have both types (as well as BMX and downhill) and the only time I ever see them "sit" is on their road bikes........Just a thought....might not be relevant (: Have fun shopping (:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,690
    I just upgraded my geared bike, and debated the exact same thing. I'll spare you the saga but, after much deliberation, I settled on a short-travel FS 29er. My Niner Jet 9 has ~3" travel in the rear and a 100mm travel fork. It's a very efficient-feeling design. I can definitely get out of the saddle and hammer, without it bobbing all over the place. I guess my point is this: different suspension designs have different ride characteristics. Try a few before deciding. For an enduro event, I would take my Niner without a second thought. Less bouncing and vibration means less fatigue overall. The extra traction is a plus too.

    As for the 29er cornering argument: not all 29ers corner like dogs. My Salsa El Mariachi isn't a corner-carver, but my Niner sure is! Geometry has a big impact. Again, I recommend trying a few different bikes.

    Good luck with your decision!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I find my 29er corners awesome, I think it is because it is a race geometry? My husband races a hardtail for everything and prefers the endurance racing. He only had one race he wished it was a FS and that was a crazy rocky course. Overall our opinion is endurance hurts no matter what, it might be a silly way to think but we both specialize in endurance racing and that is what we think. What I really want to do for next season is strengthen my core and work to be more efficient in every part of my riding. A lighter bike will help me some which is why I am leaning towards a hardtail.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I just upgraded my geared bike, and debated the exact same thing. I'll spare you the saga but, after much deliberation, I settled on a short-travel FS 29er. My Niner Jet 9 has ~3" travel in the rear and a 100mm travel fork. It's a very efficient-feeling design. I can definitely get out of the saddle and hammer, without it bobbing all over the place. I guess my point is this: different suspension designs have different ride characteristics. Try a few before deciding. For an enduro event, I would take my Niner without a second thought. Less bouncing and vibration means less fatigue overall. The extra traction is a plus too.

    As for the 29er cornering argument: not all 29ers corner like dogs. My Salsa El Mariachi isn't a corner-carver, but my Niner sure is! Geometry has a big impact. Again, I recommend trying a few different bikes.

    Good luck with your decision!
    A coworker of mine races. She has race mountain bikes--26 and 29--and she says with a given geometry, the 29 doesn't corner quite as well. I usually say things like this with "all else being equal" implicit. Doesn't always make it across, though!
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    925
    There are defintiely lots of great points for any of us to consider here. I'll also mention that like Tealtreak mentioned, I was always taught to be up an off the seat.... with a hardtail, you quite often have to aid the suspension that you have on the front of your bike... elbows and knees are always bent to help with that. And if you should ride like that, I can definietly see where it would take alot more energy in an endurance ride/race. Of course, we say the same thing with a fully, more weight ... more energy. The shorter travel full suspension bikes quite often fill that void, but as others have mentioned... it quite often can be decided with knowing the terrain you'll be racing. You mentioned the LT 100, that's a course where it's quite a bit of pavement, dirt roads and some rough... and it seems that people with both types of bikes will race that. Does your LBS have demos or bikes that you can rent? Thought that might be a way for you to 'ride' what you think you'd like to purchase... also find a shop that can truly 'dial' in the suspension for you and your weight that might aid in your decision as well. At any rate have fun looking for a new bike!!

    PS I know from customers that I have sold bikes to over the years, the Cannondale Scalpel is a great short travel bike if that is what you are looking for.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,765
    Quote Originally Posted by ridebikeme View Post
    PS I know from customers that I have sold bikes to over the years, the Cannondale Scalpel is a great short travel bike if that is what you are looking for.
    This. I LOVE my Scalpel. And at 23 lbs, there isn't a huge weight disadvantage over a hard tail. I race, but I also ride A LOT. No way am I going to a hard tail. The comfort of the FS is key for me. Does it climb great? Not entirely, but it's not a dog either. I do MTB rides for fun that are about 45 miles, with approx. 4000 ft of climb (or more) on the FS, and don't have an issue.

    That said, everyone is different. You need to try the bikes to see what will work for you.

    Oh, and yes my 29er corners well, but I totally get the point about it not being as responsive as a 26 inch wheeled bike.

    SheFly
    Last edited by SheFly; 02-17-2013 at 06:46 AM.
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,524
    This thread is a little older already so this information may not be of much help.

    I have a very similar history to you in that I got back into mtn biking with a full suspension and as I started doing longer races I felt the suspension was costing me too much. So about a year ago I bought a Moots Ti YBB. It's a soft tail. It rides like a hardtail but has just a tiny bit of travel in the back to take the edge off of hits on the back end. This helps a lot with the really long races when I can't hover all the time while descending. Or even just on long flatter bits or climbs when the surface is rocky. The rear suspension is very clever and doesn't add any significant weight. I opted for the 26 but they make it in a 29er as well.

    I love my Moots and I will never go back to riding a FS for long endurance races.

    Here's a link to the thread I started when I finished the build.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.
    Want to see what I mean? Check out my blog.

    http://cassiept.blogspot.com/

    1999 Specialized M4 Stumpjumper converted into a mullet SS
    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    The Mountains
    Posts
    92
    Oh that bike is soooo pretty. A moots is my favorite bike porn
    "I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood." Susan B Anthony

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    430
    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    This thread is a little older already so this information may not be of much help.

    I have a very similar history to you in that I got back into mtn biking with a full suspension and as I started doing longer races I felt the suspension was costing me too much. So about a year ago I bought a Moots Ti YBB. It's a soft tail. It rides like a hardtail but has just a tiny bit of travel in the back to take the edge off of hits on the back end. This helps a lot with the really long races when I can't hover all the time while descending. Or even just on long flatter bits or climbs when the surface is rocky. The rear suspension is very clever and doesn't add any significant weight. I opted for the 26 but they make it in a 29er as well.

    I love my Moots and I will never go back to riding a FS for long endurance races.

    Here's a link to the thread I started when I finished the build.
    I am hoping that you are 5ft 1in so that I can buy your used, "soft-tail" Moots off of you some day.
    _____________________________________________________
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite, upgraded carbon handle bars, Jett saddle 143mm switched to 145mm 2012 Selle Italia Max SLR Gel Flow saddle
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals
    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •