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Going from FS to Hardtail, and I mad?

EyonEyon Posts: 623
edited April 2012 in MTB buying advice
OK, I am considering selling my Giant Anthem and my jump bike (which is only ever used on 4x or slalom tracks, too scared to jump properly :lol::lol: ) and putting them together and building up a nice hardcore hardtail, with cash to spare.

I'm loving the look of the Stanton Slackline http://www.stantonbikes.com/content/sla ... ilable-now and have even got one organised for a test ride some time in May around Cannock.

But there is something holding me back a bit. I've ridden a full bounce bike pretty much since starting MTB, and I really like it. The Anthem really rides well, but sometimes I wish for something slacker and with more travel when I'm really going for it over the rocks and roots.

Who here has gone from full sus to hardtail? How did you find it? Do you regret doing so? What does a long travel hard tail even ride like??

Please share your experiences

Thanks
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Posts

  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    Eyon wrote:
    The Anthem really rides well, but sometimes I wish for something slacker and with more travel when I'm really going for it over the rocks and roots.

    Not sure how this necessarily translates into wanting a hardtail...??!

    I considered getting a hardtail for racing (well, my occassional foray into xc racing :lol: ) but I - like you - have only ever really ridden full sussers. In the end I concluded that whilst it might be interesting, it would undoubtably mean a big shift in riding style (ie the way I attack technical sections etc) and to be honest i'm just not prepared to go backwards for the sake of a different type of bike. I think it would also be a lot more uncomfortable!! In the end I built up a lightweight full susser which seemed a fair compromise!

    I'm not suggesting that your logic will neccessarily follow the same pattern - but that was my thought process anyway!!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Matt-r8Matt-r8 Posts: 298
    I usually ride a Trek Remedy 8, but for the last month I have been riding a charge duster rigid. I love it and had considered selling the Remedy. However, as good as the duster is round my local trails (Cannock chase) I can not imagine riding it on more extreme terrain. So for now I'm keeping both. Although I'm toying with the idea of an extreme hard tail.

    You could rent on for the day and see how it goes.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    Doing the right thing demo'ing but I'd get a few in before you make any switch. There's a knack to riding a hardtail and being comfortable and staying comfortable on long rides. And it'll take time to adjust and do the same stuff you do (take for granted) on a susser with a hardtail. Both have merits and drawbacks and either or suit some better than others. But on the whole both are a blast if you like hooning about on a bike, just different, requiring different things of you.

    miss notax has a point though, you might want to demo a different full susser while you're in demo'ing mode. Might as well make the right decision over time than regretting things.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    In the end I concluded that whilst it might be interesting, it would undoubtably mean a big shift in riding style (ie the way I attack technical sections etc) and to be honest i'm just not prepared to go backwards for the sake of a different type of bike.

    I think you could be nicely surprised. Saying a step backwards is a big thing to say lol, and pigeonholes all HTs as being inferior.

    Test a few machines. For example could build up a OnOne 456 carbon for the same price as a basic Orange 5 S, yet will be hugely lighter, just as strong, and better equipped.
  • delcoldelcol Posts: 2,848
    i have both in my aresnal a top end fullsuss and a top spec hardhitting hardtail..

    i always find my self reaching for the hardtail i dont know why i just prefare the hardtail.. i not used the f/s since september last year.. i guess it's hard to say as everyone is different and we have our own tastes and preferences..

    for me it's the hardtail....
  • 1mancity21mancity2 Posts: 2,355
    With you starting on a FS and only using the jump bike for some 4x (smooth tracks) a HT will be quite different over rocky/ rooty ground to what your used too.

    Test a few if you can but they are great fun and make you ride, won't say better but lets say more aware, great way to improve your technique.

    Go for it.
    Finished, Check out my custom Giant Reign 2010
    Dirt Jumper Dmr Sidekick2
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    Thanks for the feedback all. Looks like the rest ride I'm having around Cannock will be a good indicator on how it is to ride.

    If I'm honest, my local riding a HT might actually be better, even if it is long travel. Over here in the mountains of east anglia, it's pretty smooth and rear bounce tends to take some effort out of the pedalling, even with something as efficient as the Anthem.

    There are a few things that got me thinking though about this HT. One, I test rode a longer travel full susser (Saracen Ariel) around Whites Level on Monday and it was fantastic, technical climbs were easy and the descents were fun. A long travel FS is out of the question for me right now though, but I really enjoyed that slack long feeling.

    I also own both the jump bike and the Anthem, and what with the road bike included I really don't ride all 3 very often. Add in rowing and the gym I really don't have much time these days and I can't really warrant 2 off road bikes right now, so am looking into something which can do XC when needed, tackle a trail centre fast, but will be able to go to chicksands and other bike parks and hit the downhills and 4x style tracks without exploding. I also find the Anthem a little serious. It's fast, real fast, but lacks the fun feel I've found from other bikes. Yes it gets you up and down the hills super quick, but it's edgy, body abusing and doesn't feel like it wants to get lairey!

    Also I'm returning to the world of education soon, so need to slim my bike shed down a little :(

    What are the best 140mm-ish hardtails on the market? 456? Something ragley-ish? Cotic? Cove? Orange?
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    Eyon wrote:
    Looks like the rest ride I'm having around Cannock will be a good indicator on how it is to ride.
    Hmm maybe not test rides on new bikes always seem good and unless you are familiar with the terrain it's unlikely that you will be riding it as hard as you could.

    My personal opinion is that if you don't mind getting the sh!t beaten out of you on every ride then you will be fine with a HT.

    There's a place for long travel HTs (I have a Commencal Ramones) and it's not the canal. There's a magic time aka The Flow when you are absolutely on fire and destroy every obstacle on the trail at warp speed and this is when a long travel HT is in its element. The rest of the time when you are not on fire and not destroying every obstacle on the trail you'll wish you'd kept your Anthem

    Good luck
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    supersonic wrote:
    In the end I concluded that whilst it might be interesting, it would undoubtably mean a big shift in riding style (ie the way I attack technical sections etc) and to be honest i'm just not prepared to go backwards for the sake of a different type of bike.

    I think you could be nicely surprised. Saying a step backwards is a big thing to say lol, and pigeonholes all HTs as being inferior.

    I didn't mean a step backwards in technology or bikes (why would I say that?!) :? I meant a step backwards for ME suddenly having to rethink how I tackle trail features as opposed to blasting over them as I do at the moment. For me, I would not want to go from being able to clear most stuff to 'learning' how to ride it again.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that any one bike was better than the other - I always avoid threads like that!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • 1mancity21mancity2 Posts: 2,355
    Best 140mm HT is going to be a custom build for me so depending on budget but I would say £1400- £1600 would cover my build.

    I have a F/S and a DJ and if im honest the F/S is overkill for some of things we do i.e Hope line at Gisburn the DJ is in its elimante on stuff like that.

    One thing you will find (or I did) HT are easier to get airbourne, on a comparison with the F/S.
    Finished, Check out my custom Giant Reign 2010
    Dirt Jumper Dmr Sidekick2
  • DodgeTDodgeT Posts: 2,255
    Similar kind of situation here, although i started on a hardtail - well rigid actually years ago..

    Currently got a 160mm bouncer and don't get me wrong, I love it. But, I find hardtails can be fun too, hence my current project, building a long travel hardtail - carbon 456.

    I'm not expecting it to be a replacement for the bouncer and it won't as i'll have both. But it'll just be a different toy for different rides.

    Once the frame finally arrives and I get it built up and ridden i'll be able to find out if it's been worth it - best be the amount i've bloomin spent :)
  • GSP1984GSP1984 Posts: 79
    miss notax wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    In the end I concluded that whilst it might be interesting, it would undoubtably mean a big shift in riding style (ie the way I attack technical sections etc) and to be honest i'm just not prepared to go backwards for the sake of a different type of bike.

    I think you could be nicely surprised. Saying a step backwards is a big thing to say lol, and pigeonholes all HTs as being inferior.

    I didn't mean a step backwards in technology or bikes (why would I say that?!) :? I meant a step backwards for ME suddenly having to rethink how I tackle trail features as opposed to ng18 4xq them as I do at the moment. For me, I would not want to go from being able to clear most stuff to 'learning' how to ride it again.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that any one bike was better than the other - I always avoid threads like that!

    Riding a hardtail is harder than riding a FS... you have to think about your line and approach a lot more. So rather than taking a step back, you would be improving your riding technically. Rather than, as you put it... 'blasting over trail features' that is.

    Almost anyone can hammer down a technical rocky descent on a 160mm FS... a lot less can happily do it on a hardtail, it takes more skill, that's a fact.

    However, to answer the OP... whether you will regret it depends on how and which trails you ride the most.

    I have a Five AM that weight 15kg+, I also have a Reaction GTC that weighs under 10kg. If I ride the Five around Dalby it's like being on a magic carpet... if I do it on the carbon hard tail it's bloody hard going, I get rattled to bits, but I do it an hour quicker. If I only had the hardtail I would soon be falling apart and would regret selling the FS.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    GSP1984 wrote:
    miss notax wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    In the end I concluded that whilst it might be interesting, it would undoubtably mean a big shift in riding style (ie the way I attack technical sections etc) and to be honest i'm just not prepared to go backwards for the sake of a different type of bike.

    I think you could be nicely surprised. Saying a step backwards is a big thing to say lol, and pigeonholes all HTs as being inferior.

    I didn't mean a step backwards in technology or bikes (why would I say that?!) :? I meant a step backwards for ME suddenly having to rethink how I tackle trail features as opposed to ng18 4xq them as I do at the moment. For me, I would not want to go from being able to clear most stuff to 'learning' how to ride it again.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that any one bike was better than the other - I always avoid threads like that!

    Riding a hardtail is harder than riding a FS... you have to think about your line and approach a lot more. So rather than taking a step back, you would be improving your riding technically. Rather than, as you put it... 'blasting over trail features' that is.

    Almost anyone can hammer down a technical rocky descent on a 160mm FS... a lot less can happily do it on a hardtail, it takes more skill, that's a fact.

    Yes, exactly, and I accept that. What i'm saying is that is that i'm quite happy taking the easier option on my full susser thank you very much! I accept that others will want the challenge of riding hardtails or rigids or whatever, but I am extremely content with my 'blasting over trail features' :lol:

    Anyway, I was trying (obviously badly :oops: ) to make the point to the OP that it might require a change in technique to go from a full susser to a hardtail - and for them to consider whether they wanted to do that or not.

    I am clearly not making any sense today :roll:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • EH_RobEH_Rob Posts: 1,134
    I'm not sure if 'easier' or 'harder' are really the best terms here. I'd just say they're totally different - you get completely different things out of riding both.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Different is probably the best word, as 'better' is so subjective. And of course being a HT doesn't automatically mean a race bike.

    Taking the C456 as an example, has slack geo that many love, add a 150mm fork (or one with travel adjust), some big tyres and you'll still be able to roll through a lot of stuff (if you wish), but with a bike that could be less than 25lbs! Certainly an option - and quite possibly a faster one for a lot of places. Maybe more fun too...
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Long forks on a hardtail complete miss the point of a hardtail. If you want to fit long forks and just ride through stuff then you may aswell just keep the full suspension bike.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Of course it doesn't! You get lighter weight, the less complexity, no issues such as chain feedback and pedal bob, never mind a lot less cost - for some it can be a great solution! Might not suit you, but doesn't mean it misses the point for others.

    It won't be as adept at rolling through stuff, but the rider may come to appreciate the light weight and use it to their advantage over stuff.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    I am also making the switch from FS to HT this month (Mongoose Super Wing Pro to Cube LTD).

    Had many problems with the rear suspension and I find myself constantly tinkering, buying new parts and adjusting. Will be glad to just have a few rigid pieces of metal back there instead..

    My reasons for switching are weight saving, cost, and I'm sick of seeing my mates ploughing up long climbs while I bounce up behind them! I could get a new FS but I wouldn't get as much for my budget as far as drivetrain and brakes etc goes.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    It won't be as adept at rolling through stuff, but the rider may come to appreciate the light weight and use it to their advantage over stuff.

    The thing is though, a "hardcore hardtail" cant be light weight, otherwise it'll brake. You need some strong and heavy wheels and tyres to really make use of 160mm of travel. And then that defeats the point.

    Hardtails are good cos they are completely different to a full suspension - light/nimble/agile. Adding a 160mm fork goes against all of this.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    edited April 2012
    FWIW, I've got a Carbon 456 and I'm really pleased with it. The only FS I've ridden that felt as fast, fun and capable was a Yeti ASR5 with a pretty high spec build. All the others (Ibis Mojo HD, Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon, Genius 10, Zesty, Focus 140mm something-or-other) have felt a bit 'flat'. They did a good job of smoothing the trail out, don;t get me wrong, but they also felt like they were stopping me from flicking them about. It may well be my technique that's at fault, but I prefer the directness of my HT.

    So you can have fun on a HT, you can have fun on a long travel HT. Will you have more fun on a HT than your FS? Who knows!? See how you feel after the demo.

    miss_notax, I know what you mean, I don't ride my HT because I want the challenge of no rear sus. I ride it because I enjoy it. I enjoy more than a short travel HT, which might not please stxyd, but it's no different from choosing to ride a FS because you enjoy it more than a HT.

    edit: Stxyd, a FS frame witll always weigh more than an equivalently strong HT frame. So even if all the components are the same, the frame itself will be lighter. Compare a £250 456C to a ~£2k Ibis Mojo HD. Both designed for 150mm forks. The HT weighs 3.3lbs, the FS weighs 6.45lbs, that's 1500g, or an entire XC wheelset, in extra weight.

    Edit2: You've also got £1750 in change to put a decent spec on the bike, then go on holiday!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I still disagree. A tough 140mm FS frame weighs about 7lbs (or more), and often costs over £1000. The C456 weighs 3.5lbs, and costs £250. And as said, no issues with sus related perfomance such as bob, brake jack and pedal feedback. The main reason I don't like long travel FS is because of pedal feedback and the feel underfoot.

    It is what suits the rider, and for many, this is a great option (as 1000s in the UK ride like this!)
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Yes, but if you ride the hardtail hard enough to warrant the 150mm forks then you end up breaking your lightweight wheelset. So you need heavier components to mae up for the lack of rear suspension.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    That's simply not true. Plus travel is not always about how ultimately hard you can ride (front or rear), hence why jump forks are often short travel - and many ride totally rigid. Rear sus is often there for grip and traction, not just hit ability. Do race HTs need stronger rear wheels than Race FS?

    It is quite surprising how the rear wheel will follow over what the front has just ploughed into, especially if you learn to unweight the rear (on your lighter bike).
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    styxd wrote:
    Yes, but if you ride the hardtail hard enough to warrant the 150mm forks then you end up braking your lightweight wheelset. So you need heavier components to mae up for the lack of rear suspension.

    If that's aimed at me for
    that's 1500g, or an entire XC wheelset, in extra weight
    then I think you've misunderstood? I could have been clearer though....

    I didn't mean you'd be putting an XC wheelset on the bike, I was just using it to show that 1500g isn't an insignficant chunk of weight. So yes, a tough 1800g set of wheels on a HT will be a lighter package than a 15-1600g set of wheels on a FS frame that weighs an extra 1500g.

    As for on eof your other points, I probably don't 'warrant' 150mm of travel. If I really had to I'm sure I could ride what I ride on a 100mm HT. But I like it on 150mm, I like the slacker angles, I like the extra squish.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Plus travel is not always about how ultimately hard you can ride (front or rear), hence why jump forks are often short travel - and many ride totally rigid.

    Im not quite sure what point you are trying to make? We arent talking about jump bikes anyway.
    It is quite surprising how the rear wheel will follow over what the front has just ploughed into, especially if you learn to unweight the rear (on your lighter bike).

    Or just learn how to unweight both wheels rather than ploughing into things. This is made easier by using shorter travel forks.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The point is you are equating travel to only big hit ability. And that after a certain amount of fork, you must have rear travel for damage limitation. My point is that while for many this is true, for a lot of applications it is not. Some people do not have long travel forks to use them to the ultimate of their hit ability. Some people like the extra sag and ability to suck up medium hits. Some like to unweight the rear through obstacles and work the fork. Not all need travel out back to ride hard and enjoy themselves, but like the big fork for the reasons above.

    And of course some use short travel rigs for the reasons you say. People ride in different ways and like different things, that is the ultimate point. No one way is better. To say this way, that many people like and love is 'wrong' is very wrong in itself.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    No one way is better.

    My way is better!
    To say this way, that many people like and love is 'wrong' is very wrong in itself.

    But I agree! :)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lol.

    Test if you can ;-)
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    Ooops! Didn't mean for this thread to turn into such a "debate"!

    So, going from above, looks like the only way I'm going to be able to do this is to go ride one myself and make up my own mind. I'm either going to love it, or hate it.

    Fortunately Dan from Stanton has been super helpful so far. I've ridden Cannock quite a lot so fingers crossed I'll make a good comparison when I get to take one of his bikes around there.

    Does anyone know of a place to test ride a Ragley Blue Pig X? That is my only other real option. I did look at the 456, but damn it is ugly!

    Thanks again for all the comments
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    I dont know where you can test a blue pig, but if you want to fit long forks to a hardtail, thats the noly one they look "right" on.

    It was designed around 140mm forks. All the other hardtails that people insist on ruining with long forks havent been designed specifically for long forks.
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