29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

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29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby DustinB726 » April 12th, 2013, 6:19 pm

I know that they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!! and I'm stuck
Currently Riding a 26" Specialized Camber Comp

Looking at a 2013 Trek Superfly Carbon Frame, and a 2013 Fuel EX8

I ride pretty hard, log a lot of miles at Stoney, and Bloomer, and hope to go to Pontiac Lake more this year too.
I like the feel of the Superfly, It's FAST!!! I feel like I would be SO much faster on this bike
However, I am afraid of giving up the versatility of a full suspension bike, and I am also in love with the EX8.
I don't race and don't really plan to, but I feel like if I had the 29er I might just go for it.

Either bike will be a huge upgrade from where I am at.

Anybody have some good advise for me???

Thank in advance

Dustin
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby balexander87 » April 12th, 2013, 6:48 pm

For starters, look here.

You will quickly find that this is a topic that has been discussed ad nauseum. Each have their advantages. Each has their drawbacks. The topics in the link above will provide some insight into what those advantages and drawbacks are, but you'll find most come down to personal preference. In the end, what do you have the most fun on? 26" FS? Go for it! 29er hardtail? More power to ya! The important thing is that you get something that you enjoy and will get you out on the trails as much as possible.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby iamkickstand » April 12th, 2013, 7:19 pm

can't really help you with your decision, but I have an older trek fuel ex8 (2009) and I absolutely love it. The bike is a riot.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby Sortaslow » April 12th, 2013, 7:23 pm

Everyone is riding a 650b this season. 26 is out. 29ers are so yesterday.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby MediumRB » April 12th, 2013, 8:25 pm

So I ride a 26" frame with either a 29" rigid carbon or 29" suspension fork (and dirt drop bars). Usually my wheels are 650b front and rear, but sometimes I run a 26" rear wheel, and this year I have a 29'r front wheel in rotation. Mind you all this is for under $1000* and I pound the heck out of Pontiac Lake and Highland. So my vote is for a versatile platform and do it all. There are plenty of frames out there that will take a 650b rear** and you can always swap forks around. I have no idea what my bike's intended geometry is supposed to be and I do not care.

*Seriously. I do work eBay, shop around, and put it all together myself, but a good bike need not cost that much. Of course I only have a front brake and no derailleurs...

**Not quite as many options if you require good sliding dropouts for fixed-gear or freewheel, but there are still options.
Everything I ride makes sense.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby b_b » April 12th, 2013, 9:51 pm

I'd get the Superfly fo sho! You already have a squishy 26r. I went from a very nice 26r Giant Anthem FS to a 29r Specialized Stumpy HT (Carbon Expert) comparable to Superfly and haven't looked back. Now I always ride the Stumpy and I'm bummed if I have to ride the Anthem for some reason. I really don't miss the squish and love the simplicity, weight, and crisp climbing. Btw the Anthem is a very capable rig and I'm really not that much faster on the Stumpy, but I love that bike.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby jfactor! » April 14th, 2013, 8:29 pm

You'd be a perfect candidate for the upcoming demo day. I'd assume that they'll have both of those options available to ride since Trek's a major brand. It'd give you a much better idea of which will serve you better.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby Roy » April 15th, 2013, 7:02 am

Speed or Comfort, maybe not.
A F.S. bike might be faster for you if consider the reduced fatigue it affords. Using your legs as a suspension system takes energy on a rocky trail like Poto. ( after ridding PLR, Poto is next)
Switching from a hard tail to a F.S. might take some time to get used to.

Last, don't believe all the hype you read in the Bike Mags.
Last, last, more suspension travel does not equal softer ride.
Last, last, last, do not pay extra for suspension lock outs unless you are a highly skilled rider. Pay extra for adjustable compression damping, rebound damping is not as useful. Air springs will give you the most suspension adjustment.

Roy
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby flamingo » April 17th, 2013, 6:18 pm

Yesterday I had my first ride at Pontiac on my 29er hardtail (winter project). It was my first ride on a 29er ever. My other bike is a 26er FS. Both bikes are made from the same material, their weight is within 1lb and both have 100mm of front travel. I was going to wait a bit to write a more comprehensive comparison, but since the question popped out I will give my first impressions. First of all when I started the ride, except for the hardtail effect I did not notice much difference in handling of the bike. I felt pretty much at home. The thing that you have to get used to riding a 29er did not apply at all.
Speed or Comfort, maybe not.
. That sums it all up. 26FS absolutely rides better than a 29er HT. The biggest difference is on the downhills with roots or rocks. The 29HT shakes like *beep* to the point of being difficult to maintain control. From all the stuff I heard before about 29er to be smooth and roll over obstacles like a tank, I think there is a big exaggeration in that statement. I still felt all the bumps on the front wheel and honestly did not notice much difference over 26er. As for the speed factor I did not notice it during the ride, but when I finished it and looked at my stopwatch I realized that I did quite better than I did previous years on my first ride of the season at Pontiac. The biggest difference to the advantage of the 29er that I felt, was during the climbs. I don't know whether this is attributed mostly to the fact of the bicycle being hardtail or a 29er, but I definitively felt them easier specially on the Puke Hill. I need to get few more rides on the 29er to get better opinion, but at this point if I had to keep only one bike it would be the 26er FS. I would not be able to keep up with the 29er crowd on Strava but I would sacrifice that for a softer ride and better handling.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby Sortaslow » April 17th, 2013, 6:38 pm

Hmm. Time for a 29 fs then!
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby b_b » April 17th, 2013, 8:35 pm

Flamigo - HT after FS takes some getting used to, so report back after you get at least a couple hundred miles in. I agree 29 effect is overrated and 29HT is much rougher than any FS...
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby iamkickstand » April 18th, 2013, 7:59 am

Roy wrote:
Last, last, last, do not pay extra for suspension lock outs unless you are a highly skilled rider. Pay extra for adjustable compression damping, rebound damping is not as useful. Air springs will give you the most suspension adjustment.

Roy

WTF are you babbling on about?

Rebound damping would be your most basic and most useful adjustment on any suspension component. Compression damping is key for dialing it all in, and having the ability to lock out a FS bike for XC riding is an absolute advantage more so to a beginner who needs that hardtail feel then it is for someone who would be considered "highly skilled" and can dial in their suspension and riding.
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby Ricky Billy » April 18th, 2013, 8:36 am

iamkickstand wrote:
Roy wrote:
Last, last, last, do not pay extra for suspension lock outs unless you are a highly skilled rider. Pay extra for adjustable compression damping, rebound damping is not as useful. Air springs will give you the most suspension adjustment.

Roy

WTF are you babbling on about?

Rebound damping would be your most basic and most useful adjustment on any suspension component. Compression damping is key for dialing it all in, and having the ability to lock out a FS bike for XC riding is an absolute advantage more so to a beginner who needs that hardtail feel then it is for someone who would be considered "highly skilled" and can dial in their suspension and riding.


Unless you are a highly skilled rider what does any of it really matter? If you are only racing your friends and they are beating you… and the only way you can beat them is to spend more money on your bike to make you faster. Then all it proves is that you are willing to spend more money on your bike.

There is absolutely no reason to buy a race ready bike and never enter a competition. Its like driving a Nascar to get groceries.

If you cant cut time off your laps by trying harder then why spend money to get faster? I can understand if your bike is excessively heavy so you by some lighter/better components to avoid killing yourself. But if you spend lots of money on components and a sweet bike and now you can beat your friends…then you just bought your speed “you” didn’t get any better!
Shake - N - bake!! Shut your d*mn hole chip!!!
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby iamkickstand » April 18th, 2013, 8:43 am

Ricky Billy wrote:
iamkickstand wrote:
Roy wrote:
Last, last, last, do not pay extra for suspension lock outs unless you are a highly skilled rider. Pay extra for adjustable compression damping, rebound damping is not as useful. Air springs will give you the most suspension adjustment.

Roy

WTF are you babbling on about?

Rebound damping would be your most basic and most useful adjustment on any suspension component. Compression damping is key for dialing it all in, and having the ability to lock out a FS bike for XC riding is an absolute advantage more so to a beginner who needs that hardtail feel then it is for someone who would be considered "highly skilled" and can dial in their suspension and riding.


Unless you are a highly skilled rider what does any of it really matter? If you are only racing your friends and they are beating you… and the only way you can beat them is to spend more money on your bike to make you faster. Then all it proves is that you are willing to spend more money on your bike.

There is absolutely no reason to buy a race ready bike and never enter a competition. Its like driving a Nascar to get groceries.

If you cant cut time off your laps by trying harder then why spend money to get faster? I can understand if your bike is excessively heavy so you by some lighter/better components to avoid killing yourself. But if you spend lots of money on components and a sweet bike and now you can beat your friends…then you just bought your speed “you” didn’t get any better!

WTF are you babbling on about?

Is this the twilight zone?

Roy says rebound dampening isn't important? do you KNOW what rebound dampening does? Do you know what compression dampening does?

*beep*, this is a thread about 26" full suspension bikes, do you even know what dampening is?
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Re: 29er hard tail or 26" FS??????

Postby ColorVoyeur » April 18th, 2013, 9:59 am

Clearly they don't.

Personally, I like my suspension being consistent. I'd rather a rigid than a bad fork.

I also like my front wheel to remain in controlled contact with the ground for some of those highly skilled maneuvers like TURNING!

Forks without adequate rebound damping (I'm looking at you stock SR Suntours) ride like pogo sticks. You lose front end control and any semblance of front braking.

I'm not good enough for a front brake anyway... maybe I'm not skilled enough to join this lovely conversation either.
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