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DougSloan MTB advice. My .02(10 posts)

DougSloan MTB advice. My .02Juanmoretime
Jul 1, 2003 5:59 AM
Doug, I ride both road and mountain bikes and I do currently own a Santa Cruz Superlight, my first full suspension bike. I went with the Superlight because of the single pivot, low maintenance and no issues, so far, and it's a year old.

Regarding the whole full suspension debate, it works. On my Superlight I can cover more distance at a greater rate then my old hardtails or my softtail with much greater control and comfort.

Another benefit, probably the biggest, is that when I ride my hardtail on the same course, afterwards, I'm trashed and ready for a nap, not so with the full suspension bike. With the Superlight, I can train more, because I can go further with less fatigue or recover quicker from my ride since I didn't beat myself up as bad. In my book, recovery is the most important component of training. You can't progress if you can't recover.
good points; thanks nmDougSloan
Jul 1, 2003 6:09 AM
Hardtail is not an albatrosspitt83
Jul 1, 2003 6:15 AM
More than with road bikes, you've got to ride them to know. No matter what, FS is going to have give, that's what it's designed for. Can't say for sure about epic and lock-out type FS.

But, the hardtail is not dead, nor should it be. As a road cyclist, I appreciate the way my hardtail tracks, climbs and for it's weight. I have a FS (Rocky Mtn. Element) and like the ride, but prefer for racing or when it counts, the hardtail.

Agree with you Juan that recovery is key and if you're not beat from the MTB ride, you feel better.

Doug, it probably depends on what riding you want on that bike. If it's fun with the guys, FS is your pick. If it's competition / hard core training, I'd go hardtail. Probably get more bike for your buck in hardtail too.

My opinion, all you FS devotees may flame at will.
Agree with everything you sayOldEdScott
Jul 1, 2003 6:21 AM
I prefer hardtails myself. But age has forced me to comrpomise a bit, in the form of a Brooks Champion Flyer sprung saddle (as I mentioned on Components this morning). Takes the hurt out of the hits without compromising performance and 'feel' too much.

Check the comments here:
also depends on terrain, geographic locations...dante
Jul 1, 2003 7:02 AM
Have to say, I've seen many trails out west that you could do on a full rigid and be fine, the trails are smooth as a baby's butt and perfect for a nice lightly sprung HT. However, here in the NE (hudson valley area in NY, CT, MA), HTs with small high PSI tires get bounced all over the place. (sorry, should've mentioned that I run 2.35" tires on my HT and my GF runs 2.4s on her HT, so that provides a WHOLE lot of suspension) So while some people say "HTs aren't dead, everybody uses them" and others say "no, everybody here uses FS", take each with a grain of salt.

(personal suggestion, I think you should get a Santa Cruz Bullit, 7" front and rear, 8" Hayes disc brakes, Marz SuperT up front, only about 40lbs.) :)
Jul 1, 2003 1:23 PM
I never wanted FS when I lived in California. Now that I live in the Northwest, I'm getting the snot knocked out of me by all the roots. My next mtb will be FS.
Some of those reasons FOR FS are my reasons AGAINST itcory
Jul 1, 2003 7:35 AM
Now that I'm only (the phrase I thought would never apply) a middle-aged recreational rider, I've just about bailed on FS. Nearly all my offroad riding is on an old Cannondale that was rigid when I bought it, but now has a Rock Shox fork. I don't care about covering "more distance at a greater rate"--I'm just doing a training loop anyway, and part of the point of the ride is to GET trashed, to get a good workout. I started mountain biking in the early '80s, when suspension was unknown, and worked to develop the skills it took. I enjoy using them in tech sections and other places where, if I were riding FS, I might be able to cruise sitting down. At least for me, doing what I do most of the time, suspension takes too much of the edge off.
"part of the point of the ride is to GET trashed"NatC
Jul 1, 2003 11:08 AM
No way! To get a good workout, yes, but to get beaten into pain? Not me. Bar fights work better for that anyway.
Get both...HillRepeater
Jul 1, 2003 9:09 AM
Get both. Hardtails/rigid bikes are great for their light weight and 'snappiness'. They also force you to be a little more selective with your line choice and require you to be a more active rider - which will enhance your skills.

A -good- full suspension bike can come close to the weight, handling and accelleration of a hardtail while still providing more comfort and traction. You're going to pay a lot for that, though.

If you're interested in racing, make your choice based on the trail and the distance. If you're on smoother trails and racing 1 lap beginner races, FS is likely a detriment. If the trails are rough and you're doing 3-4 lap expert class races, the extra comfort a good FS provides can be worth the trade-offs.

If you can only have one bike (heaven forbid!) look at the trail your likely to ride the most. If it's smoother with lots of climbing and tight turns, I'd lean towards a hardtail. If it's rough, I'd go with a nice XC FS bike (Superlight, Titus Racer-X, Blur, etc)
It could be just my curmudgeonly nature, but...The Walrus
Jul 1, 2003 11:15 AM
...I'd vote for a hardtail; they just feel more responsive, precise and lively to me. That could be just my mindset at work, though. I had a perfectly respectable XC FS rig (Jamis Dakar Team), and I realized that after riding it for 2 years, I was
i still
coming up off the saddle in anticipation of rocks/ruts/roots instead of letting the bike suck it up. Sold it, and went back to the Boralyn hardtail.