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Full suspension or hardtail?

Old 05-13-19, 08:29 AM
  #26  
sputniky
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Originally Posted by WFdave View Post
What I like these days is the ability to lock out a shock when climbing giving me the best of both worlds.
"These days"?

Compression lockout has been available for ~20 years.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:30 AM
  #27  
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Another thing to add regarding pro XC racing: Never take what pro XC racers use as the final word of what is fastest. Pro XC racing has been late to nearly every party in terms of MTB progression. Examples include....

-Dropper posts
-Slacker Head angles
-Ditching narrow bars, long stems, and bar ends in favor of wide bars and shorter stems
-Full suspension
-Larger volume tires.

After years of poo-pooing these things, all of these are now found on the pro circuit.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:35 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sputniky View Post
"These days"?

Compression lockout has been available for ~20 years.
It has been at least 10 years since I even felt the need for a lockout on any rear suspension I have owned
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Old 05-13-19, 09:05 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
It has been at least 10 years since I even felt the need for a lockout on any rear suspension I have owned
Horses for courses. My kid's 2019 race bike goes full rigid at the stroke of his thumb. It's a really well designed setup.
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Old 05-13-19, 09:50 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by sputniky View Post
Horses for courses. My kid's 2019 race bike goes full rigid at the stroke of his thumb. It's a really well designed setup.
Yeah, I guess that makes sense for racing in some conditions.
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Old 05-13-19, 12:43 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
That article is either out of date or just plain wrong about what pros use. Anyone who knows anything about xc racing knows that short travel FS bikes are very common in pro level xc racing. Take a look at these bike check-ins from 2017 and 2018:

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/5-cros...tter-2018.html
https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/racing-xc-mountain-bikes
https://bikerumor.com/2017/05/25/pro...oke-prototype/

Of course, this will be course dependent. Some courses are rougher than others. back in the 2000's I remember pro XC racing getting a bad rap for many of the courses being too smooth and non-technical. This really came to a head when people started riding competitively in some XC races on CX bikes. My understanding is that the pro circuits have gotten more technical to more accurately reflect what mountain bikers typically encounter on real world singletrack. Every local XC race I have entered or volunteered for has been WAY more technical than what I used to see the pros often racing on.
The context here was that the original poster said they had tried both full suspension and hard tail and couldn't decide between them.

Appreciate the links, the conclusion is that pro's are riding both full suspension and hard tails and winning right? The conclusion from your links is that neither hard tail or full suspension is clearly faster than the other. And this is with pro's who are no doubt putting quite a bit of energy into making sure their rear suspension is just right, dialed in correctly, right amount of travel, right amount of pressure.

In the context that I actually responded in - someone who had tried both types of suspension and couldn't decide - I would go with the hard tail because it's:
- cheaper
- less maintenance
- at minimum the same speed, or faster, in general vs a full suspension

Also other comments are suggesting some bikes have lockouts on the bars for the rear shock, something they wouldn't put on if the rear shock didn't sometimes eat some of the pedalling power.

If you look on youtube comparisons, clearly when riding uphill the hard tail is faster and the full suspension loses power in comparison. Could you lock out the rear suspension? Is it made up for by full suspension in more uneven terrain? Could be. With a hard tail you just don't have to worry about it.

Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
As far as your own experience: There is a lot that is off, there. For one, any decent modern air shock (since the early 2000s) from the major manufacturers (e.g., Fox, Rock Shox) do NOT need to be filled every ride. Unless you have a bad seal, they really don't lose air at all. I've been running air forks and shocks since 1997. A few of the forks from the 90s (Mag 21, Z2 Superfly) did lose air, but nothing put out since 2000 has. Once I have my pressures set, I check them maybe every 5-10 rides, and I cannot remember EVER losing pressure. Even over a long winter my shocks are right where I left them, or pretty darn close. As someone else mentioned, when you hook up the air shock pump, the pressure drops as the air fills the pump. That may have been what you were seeing. Otherwise, you just has a very faulty (or unmaintained) shock.
I didn't raise this level of hysteria, that was the other poster.

I'm a casual rider, and the minnesota weather means you can't even ride until it's been dry a day or two since the last rainfal, so I don't get out all the time. Obviously the shock needs to be filled at some point so my approach was to recheck the shock every ride, so like every 2-3 weeks when I had the time to ride and the weather cooperated. I don't know how long it "needed" to be topped off at other than it would definitely lose some air by the end of winter. I do know that if you don't have a rear shock you don't need to top it off.

I have to top off my tires every time I ride (as I said I was usually riding once ever two or 3 weeks) it's not like it was maintenance vs no maintainence, it was just a bit of additional hassle I didn't have to worry about with a hard tail. Again my context is in the context of "hard tail vs full suspension: both felt good can't decide".

Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
As far as going from not being able to keep up to hanging with ease? Unless you are talking about riding on pavement or really smooth trail AND a really crappy suspension design and/or blown shock damper, Something ain't right, there. You did not mention what bike and shock you had.
I had a $1,500 Specialized, that like I said, I bought at least 10 years ago directly from Erik's Bike Shop. I don't recall the exact model offhand.

Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Yes, full suspension does require more maintenance. Shocks need servicing every so often (I lube the air cans about once every year) and pivots do wear out and need bearings replaced.... some faster than others. Some go many, many years, some notoriously bad designs go out in a season.
Right, I wasn't trying to get into a debate on which is the "universal winner" or something, just if you've ridden both and you like both, my opinion is to lean towards the hard tail.

If you like full suspension better than a hard tail, no problem with me, I don't have the interest or the level of experience with them to try to talk anyone out of it. If someone finds full suspension more comfortable and more fun to ride - great.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 05-13-19 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:03 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I didn't raise this level of hysteria, that was the other poster.
Nah, that was you.

Right here:"It's one more thing to have to fill/adjust every time you ride."

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Obviously the shock needs to be filled at some point so my approach was to recheck the shock every ride, so like every 2-3 weeks when I had the time to ride and the weather cooperated. I don't know how long it "needed" to be topped off at other than it would definitely lose some air by the end of winter.
Again, you're doing it wrong. Every time you attach the pump you are taking air out of the shock.Shocks don't need to be checked every 2-3 weeks, let alone before every ride as you continue to claim.

Heck, even Fox doesn't recommend topping off your shock every ride, or every 2-3 weeks. If you are that worried that your shock is losing air (despite no fluid leaking out...) all you have to do is confirm that the sag is still in the right range.

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I have to top off my tires every time I ride (as I said I was usually riding once ever two or 3 weeks)
Hilarious.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:58 PM
  #33  
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The Stache is not your average hardtail. Those 29+ tires absorb loads of energy which would otherwise be transferred to your body. This is no substitute for a FS, but it is hard to deny the capabilities of the 29+ tire. I just bought a Stache last week and I couldn't be happier. I am simply amazed with the capabilities of the bike and the tires (tubeless) at low pressures.

FWIW, take a look at the Stache 7. The carbon frame only saves about a half pound over the aluminum of the Stache 7. You could do a lot of upgrading with that $1,700 you saved.
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