Is full suspension worth the extra money

Mountaineer204 Posts: 19
edited April 2011 in MTB beginners
Hi, I'm new to this forum and after having a quick look round I thought i'd ask a few questions as although i'm not new to biking i'm not 100% clued up on all the technical parts.

As I said i'm not new to biking but i am looking at buying my first 'proper' mountain bike for use on trails and in the hills. I've narrowed my choice down to 2 bikes; Jamis Dakar XCR Sport and the Scott Aspect 40. First of all I know that the Jamis is a full suspension rather than a hardtail bike which the Scott is but was wondering is the extra 150 quid is worth spending to get a full suspension and if the quality of the standard parts is worth it. ... 8#features ... t#features

Any feedback or other recommendations would be gratefully received.
Giant Propel Advanced 3 2014
Specialized Allez Elite 2013


  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Depends what you want to do, and to a large degree it's personal choice.
    You could do a lot better than those two though.
    Boardman or Carrera from Halfords, or Rockrider from Decathlon well worth a look.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    TBH full sus doesn't reallly make sense on a £500 bike, as the rest of the bike spec gets compromised too much. Having said that there are a couple of good deals here: ... 1b2s1p1498

    But with a cheap full sus you will find hill climbs quite hard. Personally I would start with a better hard tail and then "upgrade" to FS once you realise the benefits. Its really only for fast XC over rough ground and DH where the tail can kick up that you will really notice it. The other benefits of FS wont be available on a bike in this budget.

    If I was spending 500-600 I think I'd prefer a lighter XC HT
  • mak3m
    mak3m Posts: 1,394
    im still newb at this and keep thinking i need a full susser, however 90% of my riding is xc and i can go at a fair pace down most bridleways and greenways on my old heavy GT HT

    in the summer im thinking about getting a new bike and i will be going to cannock or sherwoodpines for the day on a couple of demo bikes

    the only way to make your mind up is too suck it and see in my book :)
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,857
    Go and try a few different bikes and see what appeals
  • bennett_346
    bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    why would you need full suspension for bridleways and greenways dude
  • mak3m
    mak3m Posts: 1,394
    why would you need full suspension for bridleways and greenways dude

    i dont thats the point :oops:

    bike porn and peer pressure just need a nice lite ht :)
  • thanks for the quick responses. After a bit more thought, browsing and taking on board whats been said i'm going to go for a hardtail in the price range around £550, think going for a FS at this moment in time is a bit overkill; just seemed like a good offer straight off thats all.
    Giant Propel Advanced 3 2014
    Specialized Allez Elite 2013
  • d3matt
    d3matt Posts: 510
    why would you need full suspension for bridleways and greenways dude

    I know there's a lot more hard tail fans here than full suss fans, but I'm very glad I got a full suss bike. Maybe my inexperience showing now, but I think I would have always been wondering what (and sometimes really wanting) rear suspension would be like, if I'd had a hard tail. For most people, buying a bike is a once only purchase and full suspension was a couple of hundred quid extra in my case (2010 Boardman Team) and it wasn't much more to find. I didn't want to be in a position of spending £800 for the hard tail and then a few months later, wishing I'd spend the extra £200 for the full suss model.

    I've found the same with cars too. Once I've chosen the brand and model, I'd now always get the top spec model, so you're not left wishing for that different trim or luxuries later when it's too late to do anything about it.

    My mates I ride with all have hard tails. I'm the only one with full suspension. Many times we've discussed the differences over sections of our rides and they've often commented how my bike looked more comfortable and would have been the better ride. These are normally the bridleways were the horses have left the ground very rough or the path through fields, were it feels like your teeth are going to fall out.

    Maybe I'm wrong here, but if I wanted my full suss to be more like a hard tail, couldn't I just pump my rear shock up to the max anyway?

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Or swap the shock for pro-pedal, brain or something with a lock.

    The downside of full sus is really in the maintenance and a bit more weight. typically 5 or more extra sets of bearings and linkages to maintain not to mention the can itself. they also can't be as rigid as a HT just purely because of the design needing to allow the rear triangle to move.

    But at a £1000 budget, its less of an issue as you start to get a reasonable set of kit, its really the £500 budget end which leaves you with an entry level rear shock which will leave you bouncing, like a psychobilly in a mosh pit, when climbing.
  • xtremedash
    xtremedash Posts: 182
    The Hard tail Full suss debate has been going on for years. In my experience as a MTB instructor there's some really key things to think about when buying a bike:

    1. What am I going to use it for (also what do I aspire to use it for). You may only be learning now, but a few years down the line do you think you'd like to try racing, etc?

    2. What is my budget? It is still the case that it's almost impossible to but a new FS bike for under £1200 without making some serious compromises in weight or quality (or both).

    3. What do my friends ride? If you mainly head out over nice smooth trails (like those at Sherwood Pines), then a FS bike really is wasted and a lot of extra weight to carry. If you can see if you can borrow friends bikes and see how they feel.

    4. If you're just getting in to off road cycling then a FS bike can be bad for your learning process as it tends to hide bad technique.

    5. Most of it is down to feel. I do mostly enjoy riding my FS bike, it has 6" travel front and rear, it's a pig lugging it uphill, but being able to go flat out downhill is what I enjoy most.

    6. It is easy to get drawn along with the crowd, but once you're out and riding you don't want to find yourself regretting buying a heavier bike because you're being left behind on all the climbs.

    7. Demo some bikes both HT and FS, you need to be happy that you can comfortably ride a bike for several hours. Try demoing bikes above your price range as well as the bikes you can afford. This will give you a feel for why the price is so much higher. And if you can't tell the difference yet, there's no point buying the expensive one!

    I hope this is helpful.
    If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    As above posts .

    Get a hard tail and see how you go.

    A £500 HD is a better bike than a £500 FS

    Giving it Large
  • Thewaylander
    Thewaylander Posts: 8,594
    IMO these days as prices get tighter it's hard to find a well specced FS bike for much less than £1800 to offset the extra weight.

    but thats just my opinion. below that unless it's a nicely discounted bike i'd stick to a good hardtail where you will geta more complete pakage for your cash.
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    I have got a FS trail bike & a HT downhill bike. I can ride the hardtail much faster than the FS down hairy descents (mostly because of geometry) & I don't really think that rear suspension really adds much other than comfort for me. I do like having a bouncy back end when I'm out on a long ride & I guess that good rear suspension does give a little more traction but for me that makes it less fun. For pure fun I don't think you can beat a proper hardcore hardtail.
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    matthew h wrote:
    Go and try a few different bikes and see what appeals


    Surely it all coes down to what you like riding / feels nice / is within your budget? Try some, and buy the one that you can afford and feels the best riding!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    diy wrote:
    The downside of full sus is really in the maintenance and a bit more weight. typically 5 or more extra sets of bearings and linkages to maintain not to mention the can itself.
    I don't buy the maintenance issue. Singlespeeders claim the same about gears, but frankly, it's all just set and forget.
    After two full years of riding on my current full suss, I've needed to sort out...
    Wheel bearings
    Bottom Bracket
    Brake pads
    Tyre change.
    should really get round to changing the DU bush on the shock.

    And that's it. All bar one of those would have to be done on a hardtail too. It's not like I even look after it well. I ride it, then it gets kept in the garage. I only clean it when I need to examine something on it, or it's it's got great clumps of mud hanging off it. And even then it's only a hosepipe job.

    I reckon a lot of people obsess over things way too much and assume that things need tweaking or fiddling with - when it's that very tweaking and fiddling that causes problems.

    There is typically a little more weight on a full suss bike compared to a hardtail of the same price though, sure.
    And I wouldn't reccomend getting a new full suss bike for less than around a grand. Too many corners are cut. I mean, it's hard enough to find a hardtail with a decent fork and brakes for entry level money.
  • Daz555
    Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    FS bikes at £500 are too much of a compromise. They start to make much more sense as you get nearer a grand.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
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  • i've done th cheap FS in the past and its just not worth it. the extra weight and usually lower qualiy parts just become a hassle.

    if you want to spend £500-£600 there are some decent hard tails but you will be getting a really low quality FS.

    i have just ordered a Cube Acid hard tail for £730 but if i was looking at a similar spec and weight FS youd probbaly be looking £1300 upwards.

    get a decent hardtail and if you stick to biking over time then upgrade.
    Cube Acid 2011
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    You could always look for a slightly older model full suss bike, or a second hand one. That's really the only way to get a good one for bargaineous prices.
  • Mccraque
    Mccraque Posts: 819
    I own both. Got a zesty 514 fs and a boardman pro ht. Which do I prefer?

    I love riding both. it totally depends on what I am doing. Racing or trying to hammer something as quick as I can? HT without a shadow of a doubt. That thing is a quick racing machine.

    Trails, downhill andall day riding - probably reach for the FS. Wonderful bike.

    I were to choose one, on a fairly limited budget - hmmmmmm

    I think I may go for a harcore hardtail. Less pivots, less maintenance stll able to hit your harder than average trails. or...if not hardcore then the 120mm Boardmans this season look pretty damn cool.

    But certainly less than 1k I would ensure I got the best ht that i could afford.
  • mac_man
    mac_man Posts: 918
    People saying you can't get a good full suss for less than £1800 or even £1200.... what are you guys on>

    And only £999

    Or ... tml?b=2072

    For 1200 euros

    And finally for less than £1800 ... tml?b=2074

    Rear Shock Fox Float RP2 Boost Valve XXV
    Fork Fox 32 F120 FIT RL
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X9 Long Cage 10-speed
    Front Derailleur SRAM X.9
    Shifters SRAM X9
    Brake levers Avid Elixir R
    Brakes Avid Elixir R 185/185
    Hubs DT Swiss X 1700
    Cassette SRAM PG-1070 12-36 10-speed
    Rims DT Swiss X 1700
    Tyres Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,25" Evolution Line
    Cranks SRAM X9 10-speed
    Chainrings 44/33/22
    Bottom Bracket Truvativ GXP BB

    Yeah... some real 'compromise' stuff there. :lol:

    Just because it doesn't have Orange, Santa Cruz or Yeti on the tubes doesn't mean it's cack

    But, unless on special offer at Pauls cycles, I wouldn't personally buy a £600 FS for £500-£600 at full list price.
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