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Hard Tail vs Full Suspension?

sherbssherbs Posts: 37
edited January 2016 in MTB general
Evenin all

I'm looking to get back out on a bike this year after selling my road bike last year as it just wasn't for me, I would much prefer some trails dirt tracks etc etc! I have been looking at a few Boardman MTB on Gumtree and new from Halfords, the question I have is that I don't really see myself doing anything crazy like jumps etc but more trails off road rides, would a Hard Tail be ok for this or would I really need a full suspension?

Thanks in advance for any advice

sherbs
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Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,843
    Depends on the trails you intend riding, I have done cannock,Sherwood, coed brenin and llandega on a hardtail and although it handles it I've found my aged bones suffer so have upgraded to a Full sus bike. I got the Giant Anthem SX as it has enough suspension travel to everything I do and more, purely to make it easier for me.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Hard tail is fine for any UK riding - full suspension also works. Depends.
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    oxoman wrote:
    Depends on the trails you intend riding, I have done cannock,Sherwood, coed brenin and llandega on a hardtail and although it handles it I've found my aged bones suffer so have upgraded to a Full sus bike..
    Ditto - mind you you could almost do Sherwood on a road bike - and I've just upgraded (January) to FS for this reason, I'm older than cyd, but not by much!
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    Friend of mine was in a similar position recently with a budget of around £1000 - £1200. As he is more of a roadie he would be doing more XC based riding so I advised him to get a decent Hardtail as it would be more than up for the job and the budget would allow for a better quality bike over FS.

    A Hardtail with updated geometry to take a longer travel fork is more than capable of handling most of what it on offer in the UK and the right one is a blast to ride. I always have a huge grin on my face whenever I ride mine compared to my FS bikes. I have just as much fun on my FS bikes but it's just a different kind of buzz.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,843
    Agree with Rookie regarding Sherwood, however as I'm the dreaded 50 in a few months I like comfort. Like most older riders we like to try and keep up with the younger riders so comfort is key. Whatever bike you get make sure it fits you and is suitable for the kind of riding you want to do. No good getting a mega travel downhill bike for local nature trails, believe me it happens. Good look choosing.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    The Rookie wrote:
    and I've just upgraded (January) to FS

    Well I never! Checking that out now...
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  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I'm 44 next month I have road, hardtail and FS. I ride the HT on the same trails I ride the FS. Strava times are a mite faster on the FS, but only a mite.
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  • sherbssherbs Posts: 37
    Morning folks

    Thanks for all your replies, it is very much appreciated, I have my heart set on a Boardman either HT or FS, there is a full FS model from Halfrods at just under 1k so that suits my budget if I need to go that far, at the moment though there is a HT version on a very well known second hand web site that sells gum and trees for £800 and it has had some extensive upgrading done to it so that looks like my first stop if the Mrs will release the funds!! I'm still at a young age of 35 so hopefully shouldn't be to much of an issue :D


    Sherbs
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    If you're looking to buy new, joining British cycling for roughly £20 will give you 10% discount on bike related purchases from halfords.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,891
    I was in the same boat. Just got my first FS and much prefer it to the Stumpjumper HT I had a few years ago. Was £1150 last week! http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tre ... e-ec042087
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    This is like the elephant graveyard for elderly mountain bikers ;)

    Unfortunately at 42 I can already tell my next MTB will be FS rather than HT. At the moment I am OK but comfy cycling slippers and a pipe are calling.
  • sherbssherbs Posts: 37
    edited March 2015
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I may be the youngest on this thread!! Maybe I should be asking folk a bit younger.....something closer to my own age!! :P
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    sherbs wrote:
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I may be the youngest on this thread!! Maybe I should be asking folk a bit younger.....something closer to my own age!!

    Not quite, I'm a couple of years younger. I've got both a full suss and hardtail, the full suss is used for my ,ore aggressive riding (it's not as aggressive as if like yet but working on it) and I plan entering a couple of Enduro races on it. The hardtail is mainly used for riding with my daughter, I enjoy riding both but I do prefer my full suss.
  • dirkpitt74dirkpitt74 Posts: 518
    Antm81 wrote:
    If you're looking to buy new, joining British cycling for roughly £20 will give you 10% discount on bike related purchases from halfords.

    Also worth signing up for Halfords email alerts too - they sometimes have 'Flash Sales' with 10% of everything.
    Use that with you BC discount and sign up for Quidco (or similar for Cash Back) and it can bring the price down quite a bit.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    When you get people telling you that a HT is fine for U.K. riding, take note of the language. A HT is 'fine' for... A HT can 'cope' with... You 'can do XXX' on a hard tail... Sure you 'can', 'could' and all the rest. But why would you when there's a better ride to be had on a FS? I'm 52 but I don't ride a FS because I'm old - I can take as much punishment as most 20 year olds and more than many of them. I ride a FS because it's a nicer experience. It's just more fun.
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  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    When you get people telling you that a HT is fine for U.K. riding, take note of the language. A HT is 'fine' for... A HT can 'cope' with... You 'can do XXX' on a hard tail... Sure you 'can', 'could' and all the rest. But why would you when there's a better ride to be had on a FS? I'm 52 but I don't ride a FS because I'm old - I can take as much punishment as most 20 year olds and more than many of them. I ride a FS because it's a nicer experience. It's just more fun.

    Bollux

    12/13 years ago when I bought my first bike I bought a hardtail because I couldnt afford full sus, I have since had a number of hardtails and a number of full sus. I love my Bronson but the purity and joy of riding my hardtail on technical terrain makes it a more enjoyable experience in many ways than the FS.

    I can ride the same terrain on my HT as my FS and do. Times over the terrain are similar, the FS gives me the feel of a tank rolling over things, crushing the trail into submission - fun and exciting but not much faster, HT needs finesse and better riding skills for the same speed and is consequently more involving and gives me a more direct connection to the trail. Sure its a personal thing but to say one is "more fun" is simply not right.
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    The obvious answer is unicycle.
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  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    At a youthful 35 years young I would have the Boardman HT. The FS just doesn't ride as well. They didn't get the rearsuspension or geometry right in my opinion. Plus I like a good hardtail.
    Im getting a Boardman Team HT 29er on cycle to work next month, havent had a hardtail in a couple years and miss the direct feel of a hardtail, for more traditional xc I would prefer a hardtail. I enjoyed my last hardtail too much, I snapped the frame riding it a bit too hard
  • I was asking the same question in December.

    Had a hardtail that was needing renewed and fancied a full sus.

    What i learned on route to getting a full sus.

    Don't buy a cheap nad named one if that makes sense, i nearly did until i took it a ride, they are heavy and have poor components.
    It's personal preference, full sus suits some people and not others. My mate has a hardtail and doesn't like the feel of a full sus, he does bigger jumps than me and is an all round better rider on his HT.

    I bought what was within my budget kind off, never told the misses how much it was, considering I am just getting back into biking I bought a Giant Stance 2015 - Been out a few times and its a hell of a bike.
    Did some trails today (Redrock) and it's so much more fun and I feel i can push so much more on a full sus (Again this could just be me).

    You can get some cracking second hand bikes, ex demos etc if you look around.

    Good luck ;)
  • shindigshindig Posts: 173
    We each ride for our own reason. I am fortunate to have a Full sus, hardtail and fat bike. Most of the time I ride the FS as I'm too am heading towards 50 years old and my body can't take the battering it used too. However depending on my mood i'll take the Hardtail or the fatbike. The fatbike for me is like being a kid again. Very simple and connected to the tail and a very different riding pace. The HT is somewhere in between, and also my commuting and up-the-stret bike.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I'm 50 both my MTBs are rigid - a 29+ and a 5" fatty and I often ride them quite hard including racing. Many full-sussers are "push-bikes" on the kind of routes I enjoy - uphill progress on foot - until someone develops a full-susser that isn't an energy-robbing slug uphill, I'll stick to hardtails.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Have you ridden a full sus bike made since 1992? Modern FS bikes are extremely efficient.
    The last hardtail I had was a Giant XTC, a fairly light and racey bike. I replaced it with a Nukeproof Mega TR (130mm rear, 140mm front) and I can get up any hill on the Mega that I could get up on the XTC. On technical climbs the rear suspension even increases grip.
    The days of wallowy, bobbing full suspension bikes which drain your energy are long gone. Even big enduro bikes are efficient enough for 50km of hilly racing. Some of the light xc full sus bikes arr proper whippets.
  • Dirtydog11Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    I ride a FS because it's a nicer experience. It's just more fun.

    :shock:

    Hope your not offended but that's so far from the truth I actually wonder whether you've ever rode a hardtail, if you have it must of been absolute censored .

    Not necessarily a nicer experience, a different one.
  • Dirtydog11Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    You can't question a personal opinion.

    Fair comment, can't argue with that.
    couple of hours on the hardtail makes me feel like I need medical attention.

    This is true, I was surprised when I got my FS at how lazy you can be/become, I'll often jump on the HT and forget that I need to stand up, can't say that I have more fun on one than the other though. In some respects I do find the HT more involving , FS doesn't require a lot of rider input, that's not to say it doesn't respond to input, it's just not absolutely necessary like it is on the HT.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Dirtydog11 wrote:
    You can't question a personal opinion.

    Fair comment, can't argue with that.
    couple of hours on the hardtail makes me feel like I need medical attention.

    This is true, I was surprised when I got my FS at how lazy you can be/become, I'll often jump on the HT and forget that I need to stand up, can't say that I have more fun on one than the other though. In some respects I do find the HT more involving , FS doesn't require a lot of rider input, that's not to say it doesn't respond to input, it's just not absolutely necessary like it is on the HT.

    Any terrain you stand up to ride on a hardtail you should be standing up to ride on a FS.
    cooldad wrote:
    The obvious answer is unicycle.

    Passed three Germans on Unicycles today on some blue trails in Whistler. Nutters.
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  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Those crazy Germans.....
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Monty Dog wrote:
    until someone develops a full-susser that isn't an energy-robbing slug uphill, I'll stick to hardtails.

    As RM said, what a stupid comment. Plenty of very efficient FS bikes out there.

    I enjoy my 29er hardtail. I could have gone FS, but I'd have had to compromise on the spec, which would have exaggerated the weight difference. Would consider FS next time, but I don't find it uncomfortable at all, although I admit most rides are 30-40 miles rather than any longer.
  • shindigshindig Posts: 173

    How about those times when you've ridden the FS for a couple of weeks then you take out the HT for some variety and half way down that bumpy descent you remember that you can't just grab a big handful af back brakes on the HT the rear wheel just skips over the top and the corner at the bottom is coming up real quick :lol:

    Yip, I can relate to that. Modern hardtail ar pretty good and it's eay to forget your on one rather that an FS.....until you come to that section which is realy rooty, rocky or a big drop. :D
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