Which Full Suspension Should I Buy?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Which Full Suspension Should I Buy?



This topic contains 19 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  KatzenJammer 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #228870

    I attended Alafia fat tire festival in Florida and rode many bikes.  My final 2 choices for a new FS bike are Giant Anthem Advanced 2 and Cannondale Scalpel SE1.  I would appreciate comments.  Difference is in $1500 in price and Sram (Cannondale) vs SLX on Anthem plus Lefty vs Rockshox. I also have a 10% discount coupon good for UBC Bikes in Tampa. I ride intermediate trails and both fit my riding. I do not do ride up mt and barrel down. The Alafia blues are my style. What say you? I have the coupon discount until Nov 30 so need to decide ASAP.

  • #228874

    That Scalpel is the shit. Spend a few hours on one, and you’ll never want to get out of the saddle. Seriously. It’s that nice of a whip.

  • #228882

    I was there!!! From the bikes I tested (not just there but over this year), I prefer the lefty over the rockshox fork, but I prefer the SLX shifter/derailleur over the Sram. I also like the Fox shock better than the Rockshox shock, but I think the Giant linkage works better than the Cannondale. Tough call.   I know Cannondale did not have any Bad Habit plus tire bikes for demo this time, but I demo’d it earlier this year and liked it better than either the Scalpel or Anthem. Handling was much like the Anthem but more forgiving and more fun for me.

  • #228967

    I need to add that i like Alafia State Park for its long flowy, turny, trails . We also have that in Tallahassee where i live. I also rode the Scapel SE1 in Tallahassee at a demo. My present bike is an entry level Specialized Jynx with Suntour XCT shock and Altus, Acera that i bought a couple of months ago as an upgrade from my rigid 95 Trek Mt Track thst was making my hands numb riding the rooty Tallahassee trails. I am getting into mountain biking after moving to Tallahassee bc so many mt bike trails here. I previously rode a Specialized Vita Elite road bike with straight handlebars on the extensive paved bike trails in Orlando. The Jynx performs ok (compared to the Trek rigid) and riding it constantly has really improved my skills, confidence  and fitness so im greatful for that. However, on my initial FS rides on the demos in Tallahassee and at Alafia State Park i was amazed at how these much better machines totally upped my capabilities.  I was a little intimidated before arriving at Alafia after watching numerous YouTube go pro videos of the blue trails but i did great and had a blast so now am committed to getting a FS. I also will mention i am 50 yrs old and saw LOTS of older riders at the fat tire festival.  I think these modern finely tuned bikes allow thw senior set to keep riding and having fun.

  • #228972

    exactly, the FS bikes are so much easier on the old body, I’m 60.. I’m thinking of moving from my 120mm FS bike to a Trance that is 140/150mm FS or even a Reign 160mm FS.   We did a long weekend in the Tallahassee area, nice trails. We did Munson and Maclay Gardens,, I like Redbug trail best.

  • #229042

    Do you really need a full suspension in florida? I have one in Michigan and its useless in the lower peninsula. still trying to sell it.

    • #229438

      Yes, come to Florida and see what we have here.  Its the best state for total outdoor activities.  PS I also scuba dive so have that bias.

  • #229043

    I was there at Alafia FTF also.  It was very fun.  I recommend the Giant Anthem.  The reasons are… symmetric fork (nature loves symmetry), cheaper, you sound as if you’re an intermediate rider like me; when you need replacement parts, there are more options; the lefty is too unique to own just for the sake of owning; save the 1500 so you can get a higher model with “better” components.  It’s cheaper, in the long run, to get better components on a new bike than it is to upgrade later.  If you have any more questions, let me know. And yes to full suspension…

    • #229439

      Thanks.  I did just buy the Anthem. Rode it on Thanksgiving Day around my  local Tallahassee trails.  Now am getting 780 mm bar cut down a bit as i am short.  Too many people put me off the proprietary Lefty fork for now. But i remain curious about the Cannondale Scalpel SE 2 with the Fox fork and the Habit. Anyhow, as an older rider i just want a light feeling sportscar like ride, similar to my car,  VW GTI.

  • #229060

    If you don’t need full suspension you are not riding hard enough trails. At 60, if I didn’t have full suspension I couldn’t ride near as long and would have much less fun. As far as that goes, you don’t actually need suspension for down hill trails in the mountains if they are smooth with no jumps.  Here are some of the technical trails around florida. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oo-wTGINCQ

    • #229130

      I like my full suspension bike for super rooty trails and for casual group rides, but I would not say I “need” it even in the most technical courses in the midwest.   There are no courses around here that I can’t ride on my hardtail, and I’m usually much faster on the hardtail.   All my PRs are on the hardtail.  But the full suspension bike is more comfortable while sitting and pedaling so good for long days in the saddle.

  • #229139

    @heymanode said: the lefty is too unique to own just for the sake of owning;

    You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, and are simply repeating something you’ve read somewhere. I’ve owned a Lefty-equipped bike for 10 years. I’m sure there are many many thousands out there as well. They’re no more difficult to rebuild than my other forks, and it’s a joy to ride a bike with such a light front end.

    • #229440

      Yes, i am certain that i will circle back to the Scalpel SE1 in time. On my first ride, i felt like an expert had taken control of my body.

  • #229444

    IMO good call on not getting into a proprietary component.  My first bike was a Scott Ransom AM bike.  I loved the bike but hated the hassles with the proprietary rear shock.  Also great call on FS.  When I first started riding, I was 50 years old.  I did a ton of reading on FS vs HT.  Then one day I was reading an article comparing the two and giving a long list of pros for each.  Finally, at the end of the article the guy said if you are over 45 forget everything he had written and do your body a favor and get a FS.  I did so and after five years I can say it was totally the right decision.

  • #229446

    Seeing as you bought the anthem, for a second bike that would be for rougher more technical riding, I would suggest test riding a Cannondale bad habit with a lefty. I test road one and it was a blast.



    • #229478

      Yes, i have a Specialized Jynx hardtail for general riding. Next time i go to Alafia State Park i plan to rent a Habit for an hour to test ride.

  • #229527

    Go for the Scalpel. My local bike shop has had the anthem in and out for weeks with shifting problems. I like the giant rear shock and linkage more, but overall the lefty feels better than the RockShox in front. I would suggest the Scalpel because of its capable drivetrain and great suspension.

    • #229531

      I like my Specialized Camber FSR.

    • #229707

      Next year when Cannondale is back in Florida for demos, i will likely change out the Anthem for a Cannondale Scalpel or Habit as the sizing just fits me better as a short person . The Scalpel felt like the perfect fit.  With Anthem am now making stem and spacer adjustments.

    • #229708

      Lesson learned is to go with that first great impression and suck up the extra cost with temporary deprivations.


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