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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help? (Read 790 times)
Ridefour15
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Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
12/24/18 at 1:23pm
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I've been riding hardtails as long as I've been mountain biking (which is close to 20 years now, actually).  They work well for pretty much everything in the Charlotte area, but when the stuff gets really bump - especially in the summer when the clay gets really dry - I just get bounced around, have no traction, and feel like I can't take corners or quick descents as fast as I want because I'm not in control.

Currently riding a 2012 Stumpjumper HT with a Reba at 90MM and 2.4F/2.3R tires at 21PSI tubeless.  This does a great job smoothing out things the best I can without slamming the rim on every root (although I do still hear that ping sometimes), but I still find it lacking when the trail gets really bumpy.

Perfect example: the descent of Goat Hill at USNWC. I want to take this so much faster, but I end up riding my brakes for most of it in hopes that my tires can get purchase to slow me down before the turns so that I don't slam into a tree.  Earlier this summer I actually did hit a tree on a bumpy clay left turn descent (also at USNWC but not Goat Hill) when my tires just bounced around and I couldn't get any traction to brake.

I mostly ride at USNWC and RRT, but would like to ride some rougher trails and get up to the mountains.  I also feel pretty beat up at the end of rides around the 2 hour point so I'm also wondering if a FS would help there, too.

Would a FS bike help me get the traction I really need in these areas of the trails?  And would it help me last a little longer without feeling beat up?
  
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JustinCeez
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #1 - 12/24/18 at 2:00pm
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IMO for what your looking for I'd opt for another hardtail with a little bit more slack geometry, greater travel in the front and plus size tires.  You'd be hard pressed to get better traction than plus size tires.  Bikes that come to mind are the Specialized Fuse, Trek Roscoe and Surly Karate Monkey.
  
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hudsontp
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #2 - 12/24/18 at 2:27pm
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Might be worth demo'ing something like a Specialized Epic or Pivot 429 to see if that gets you what youd like. Still very pedal friendly, but IMO FS does have that extra traction you are seeking and you may feel less beat up after the ride.

The other poster also has a good point that more slack hardtail will help, esp if you try 2.8 - 3.0 tires on a hardtail, you can run equally low pressure, or lower, without having tonworry about your rims.

Bikesource and South Main cycles both offer demo's and are roughly close to WWC, as well as offering some free demo days periodically. Other shops offer this too in case you already have a preference,  these two just come to mind as they advertise their days the best and both have solid choices for Demo fleet selection.

Hope this helps.
  
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #3 - 12/24/18 at 3:14pm
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Absolutely! I have a 2014 Stumpy HT and a 2016 Stumpy FS ride. The FS will smooth out your ride. After riding a FS, I rarely ride my HT. The back tire just gets bounced around too much on the HT.

The FS equals a smoother ride. A smoother ride equal a faster ride.
  
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flynbryan19
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #4 - 12/26/18 at 2:30pm
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One of the greatest improvements I found with my FS bike (Top Fuel 8) was the improved traction in the rough stuff over my HT (X-Caliber).  As others have said.  Certainly demo bikes if you can.  My Epic FS was even more firm than my TF and felt more like a HT.  Perhaps a trail bike might be even more up your alley?
  
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Bryan Sutherland
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #5 - 12/26/18 at 3:55pm
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The answer to all bike problems is buy a new bike haha...

Is it uncomfortable riding the bike? Or is the issue more with control? 

Alloy hardtails with skinny tires (yes 2.4s are skinny now) and 90mm of fork handling the business is gonna be a rattle box on anything but pavement smooth trail.  Before getting a new bike try different tires that are more aggressive. That can help traction tremendously. 

Play with lower pressure in the rear of you can. I run a tire insert so I can get down real low and not worry about dinging rim. 

Maybe try taking the fork to 100mm or even 110mm too. 

If all else fails start shopping but definitely demo like others have said. Some XC full suspension bikes can be extremely rigid. 


  
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Advocat wrote on 08/22/13 at 5:16pm:
...packin some Chub in the back of the pick-up.


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Ridefour15
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #6 - 12/27/18 at 4:38pm
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I'm already running aggressive tires for the winter mud; Continental Trail King up front and Specialized Ground Control rear (I switch to a Renegade in the dry summer months).  Tires were how I experimented to make it better the last few years, going wider and more aggressive each time.

I did a lot of riding/testing and debating with myself this past long weekend riding RRT, Sherman Branch, and USNWC.  I confirmed the tires stayed lower (21PSI) so that the trail was as smooth as could be and traction was the best I ever had it, but I was pinging the rim on roots still.  Climbed like a mountain goat uphill, even on wet roots and rocks, but I was still bouncing around on anything even remotely fast and had difficulty maintaining control on those sections.

My wife and I did some budget planning for the new year and I ended up pulling the trigger on a FS, which will be here next week, and I'm going to sell or part-out my hard tail.  It was basically a now-or-never situation with the budget so I let my impulsiveness win  Grin
  
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flynbryan19
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #7 - 12/27/18 at 5:14pm
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Hooray!  New bike is always more fun.  On rough technical climbs a HT is just not going to get the traction a FS bike will.
  
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Bryan Sutherland
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #8 - 01/01/19 at 2:57pm
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You'll definitely have a smoother ride. And will be able to just roll over more things without thinking so much about it.

With a corresponding weight penalty (maintenance is not really an issue unless you have a problem with your shock or pivots).

Climbing is a trade off. Extra weight and some bob in the frame is to be expected when comparing the two. But like somebody pointed out, the frame is doing some of the leg work for you.

My 120mm front and back FS weighs 2-3 lbs more than my HT and my SS rigid which is steel. And although I enjoy riding all three, the FS is definitely the all around better ride.
  
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Ridefour15
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #9 - 01/13/19 at 2:45am
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Today was my first ride on a full suspension, and hoooooooly crap what a difference!

Generally around 15ish miles I start to feel like I'm toast, but today I did 26 miles in total - one lap at RRT and one lap at Sherman.

All the areas where I felt like I was getting bounced around - like Crystal Garden and Mine Fields at RRT, or rooty fast secions - I was able to maintain control so much better and my brakes actually did something.  Even though I was on narrower and less aggressive tires (Ikon 2.2 rear and Ardent Race 2.2 front) I felt like I had even MORE grip than my previous setup on the hardtail.

Now I see why most people who get a FS for their "second" bike stop riding the first!  Grin
  
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sCvHeaVens
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #10 - 02/14/19 at 5:16pm
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After 20 years of riding HT and 1 day of FS would you ever recommend anything besides FS again?

I tip my hat to the HT lovers!
  
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #11 - 02/16/19 at 4:52pm
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HT for life! With a FS in the stable  Grin

Ridefour15, so what FS did you get, need to show it off!
  
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Remember.....Don't be Afraid of it!
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Ridefour15
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Re: Tired of getting bounced around - will a FS help?
Reply #12 - 02/16/19 at 10:24pm
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I got a Canyon Lux, and a week after I took this pic Jerry/Enoch built me some new wheels with I9 torch hubs and Stans Flow rims (I wanted wider rims!).  Rides like a dream.  I've already put 160 miles on it, which is about 75% of the amount of miles I did for the entirety of 2018 on my last bike.

I still see some of the merits of a hardtail, and there are a few times where I still kind of wish I had one, but when I can only justify one mountain bike it makes more sense for me and my riding right now to have a full suspension.
  
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