From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

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From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby Victor-Victor » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:45 pm

I was wondering other peoples experience from the change.

A little back ground ... I have been riding casually and Hard tail, front suspension for the last 10 years (Giant AXT860, 1998),Commuting and riding Trails around Tuggeranong Canberra. I moved into city central and my riding almost stopped. I am again riding again but looking for trails close to city center. I am trying rebuild my fitness, its almost like starting again. I have been a little out of touch with new technologies in cycling and I am looking is its is time for an upgrade, as my gear sets are starting to ware out ($$ by my new LBS) or just fix the problem.

So the question is, how did people find the change from Hard tails to the new dual suspension models. Is it a good experience or would they have preferred to stay with a the hard tail or was it a waste of money? . Did you change the type of riding you did?

Just curious as I am looking at spending money with I got or upgrade with something that is current (I do love my frame ... just how much?).

Victor
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by BNA » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:12 pm

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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:12 pm

G'day Victor,

Welcome to the forum.

Moving to FS was a fun experience for me. I went from a Giant XtC to an Epic. Then I converted the XtC to a rigid single speed.

They are both great bikes, but I'm now torn over which bike to ride - they both have their strong points, and I usually ride the SS for the shear fun of it - it's like a BMX bike from my childhood, just bigger!

The FS did change the places I ride, rather than the way I ride. Going back to SS rigid made my old tracks come alive again (FS tends to remove some of the challenge of a track - rigid SS makes the same track harder.)

Now, I realise that this answer does not help you decide what to do, but I don't really know how better to answer. I love both bikes, I ride both bikes and do so for different reasons. I find myself on the SS most often though ....

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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby mikedufty » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:31 pm

I just bought a scott reflex fx15 after 15 years with a shogun prairie breaker expert which was unusual for having front suspension at the time I bought it (~50mm travel).

I've found the dual suspension bike really good. It seems to turn any track into a pleasant one to ride on, (except the ones overgrown with prickly moses).
Not sure if it makes it easier or faster, but makes it more fun for me. This bike has front and rear lockout so you can turn the suspension off, which seemed like a nice option, but about the only time I've found I want it locked out is accelerating hard standing up, which really only happens when I've made a mistake, so I don't have time to muck around finding lockouts either.

It actually weighs about a kg less than my old hardtail. Really happy with it, but I'm sure other peoples experience varies. The last Australian Cyclist magazine did a comparison of soft vs hardtail and reckoned it didn't make much difference. Hard for me to believe when flicking the lock out lever on mine makes a big difference.

I should admit I don't actually ride it much, mainly 5 or 6 MTB orienteering rounds a year. Trying to get out more though.
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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:48 am

I decided to go back to hard tails...I just hate bob and even having had bikes with lock out rears it still bobbed...just love a solid platform.
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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby Victor-Victor » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:45 am

I am still undecided but I will need test ride a few to get a feel of a FS. What is confusing is all the different rear configurations and the benifits. I remember the late 90's where FS were expensive and felt "spongy" when test riding them.

My bike is now at my LBS for a service and I will see if I can test ride a few. Hopefully looking for a new bike in the next 6 months and keep researching on locally available models. FS contender at the moment is Giant Trance X3 or Halo 1 and HT the Fuji Tahoe Pro.

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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:57 pm

The bob from a FS is overrated unless you ride on the road a lot. Off road, you do most of your climbing seated, as standing in the saddle uphill usually results in wheelspin. The more challenging the climb, the more likely you are to stay seated, and if you get bob pedalling seated then you are a masher and need to do some single leg drills. :P

For me, the transition to FS meant I enjoyed my off-roading a lot more, as I didn't need to stand nearly as much, which meant it was a lot kinder to my back. I also feel I have better control on the gnarly bits.

The longer the ride, the more likly you are to want to go FS. Unless you are planning on making the top ten with the whippets, you'll enjoy your riding on a FS a lot more.
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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:00 pm

Thats because I am a masher...even seated the slightest bobbing annoyed me...lock out shocks with a 100kgs are not perfect.Hopefully I will have a new mtb frame soon....maybee a FS but I need something like a Cannondale because most XL frames with full suspensions feel too small for me.
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Re: From Hard Tail to Dual, How did you find the transition?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:06 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Thats because I am a masher...even seated the slightest bobbing annoyed me...lock out shocks with a 100kgs are not perfect.Hopefully I will have a new mtb frame soon....maybee a FS but I need something like a Cannondale because most XL frames with full suspensions feel too small for me.


We-e-e-ell, 8x30sec single leg drills (each side) for you then! :P :lol:

Truth be told, they're not that perfect with 80kg either. On mine, with the rear lockout engaged I get bouncy-bouncy-bouncy-bounce when I pedal, it's so annoying that I have to turn the lockout off. Granted it's now getting to be an "older" bike, so the technology should be better on newer shocks. With the pedal platform on instead I don't get the bounce, but the bike seems to go faster than with it set to full plush and the wheel stays in contact with the ground more on the techy climbs.

Truth be told I prefer a little movement off road even climbing, as I use the bob as feedback as to the quality of my pedalling technique! :P
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