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What would you do......?

sopworthsopworth Posts: 191
edited May 2013 in MTB general
Hello MTB'ers
I'm a roadie who has been bitten by the offroad bug recently. I'm after some thoughts and advice on my impending decision(s).
Since last owing an MTB around 15 years ago, things have certainly changed in the market and after a bit of research, i'm still quite unsure what to make of it all. Being in the forces I live and work in two different regions so the riding I will be doing will vary between trail and XC woodland tracks so i'm initially confused as to what style of bike I should purchase.
I'm intending to go and ride a few F/S bikes and see how I get on but I'm now thinking maybe of getting a decent H/T and if I continue to enjoy off roading, then maybe get a F/S with more travel later down the line. Would this be a good train of thought?
I currently race my road bike and would like to get some off road racing in, in the future - probably XC racing. Would a H/T be more suited to this?
I appreciate I can probably answer most of the above my trawling through the forum, but always a pleasure to hear what people have to say.
Thank you in advance,


  • MaroMaro Posts: 226
    Put simply, your budget will determin your choice of HT or FS.

    For the same money a hardtail would be lighter and have better (and lighter) components. A full susser might be more comfortable, and easier to ride in some instances.
    Bird Aeris. DMR Trailstar. Spesh Rockhopper pub bike.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    I was very sceptical about FS at first (I'm 46, so I saw them come onto the market, and couldn't understand why anyone would pay good money for a bike that weighed almost as much as a tractor). I was 'forced' to borrow one for a day ride and once I'd done that, that was it for the old hardtail. Unless you're seriously into XC racing (and even then, I think a lot of people are using FS these days), I'd have to recommend a FS even if you have to down spec a bit.

    They're more comfortable for long rides, normal people can go faster on them (largely because your eyes aren't shaking around in your head quite so fast on the downhills), they're more forgiving of mistakes, and they tend to stick to the corners better. Why sink a load of cash on a 'decent' hardtail if you've already been 'bitten' by the bug? There's no point being uncomfortable for the sake of it.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    And I disagree ;-). Well it depends. I only use an FS for short, fun rides that involve jumps and drops. For all my XC riding, the hardtail rules for me. Much lighter for the cash, still comfortable with good saddle/seatpost/tyre selection, and this weigth allows me to be faster and ride longer. Glad I got rid of my my FSR XC pro, was slowing me down considerably.

    Is horses for courses really, but many race xc on HTs still. And win ;-).

    Best thing to do is try and test some.
  • sopworthsopworth Posts: 191
    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    I guess the choice between a H/T and F/S is always going to cause debate (much like the Q ring debate I'm loving on the road side).
    What sort of travel should I be looking at? I know it's a question of where I ride etc, but I need something that is going to get me out all year round. I love doing long rides on the road and would like to spend weekend on the trails in the Lakes and do some long distance rides, yet at the same time I want to be able to hit the local trails and throw it around - am I asking too much? My last bike didn't even have disc brakes and about 80mm of did we ever cope :roll:
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    What sort of budget are you looking at? 100-120mm of travel (either end - if you go for FS) is about the norm for this type of riding, but geometry can vary significantly ie from the low, slack and stable, to steep and 'nippy'.
  • sopworthsopworth Posts: 191
    Budget is flexible really. I'd happily spend £1500 if the bike felt right.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    £1500 will get a very well equipped hardtail, and an entry level/mid range FS bike. it's hard to go wrong with the deals at OnOne for hardtails:

    FS wise I'd be looking at the Anthem, another highly regarded bike.
  • sopworthsopworth Posts: 191
    Thanks for the help pal, I appreciate it.
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    My local shop has a 2012 Anthem X4 in large for £929, if that's of any interest to you.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    I have both a HT and FS and race both XC, weight difference there is only 700g between them after I fitted carbon bars, carbon seatpost + lighter wheels and a few other bits changed, the Anthem is better/faster downhill and over rough terrain and is a little easier to control through technical twisty sections, the HT Scott is much quicker over flat ground and uphill but always feels on the limit on the technical singletrack, overall I can ride the Anthem quicker.
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