info needed, hard tail or full, mechanical or hydro disk

Singletracks Mountain Bike News, Reviews, MTB Trails and Community Protected: Forums Mountain Bike Forum info needed, hard tail or full, mechanical or hydro disk

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    • #83495

      Hey, new to the site. I have been riding since i was a kid. BMX and freestyle when i was younger and had a halfpipe too. got away from it for a long time and have been riding and racing dirt bikes ever since. I have wanted a full suspension bike for a while. got tired of waiting and went with a hard tail K2 zedx. prety much stock but got a good deal. my Q is are full suspension bikes that much better then a hard tail with front shocks. do you loose any power with the rear shock soaking up your leg power. I ride to aid my dirt bike training and do most single track off road. Im no pro on a mountain bike but i do ride hard and fast. learning new stuff every ride. shure helps me ride a dirt bike better and the dirt bike helps with the mountain bike. also wanted to know if hydro disk brakes were worth the money as compared to mechanical. i have rim brakes but the bike is set up for disk. i dont ride it much in the wet so the rim brakes have done ok. any help on this would be welcome. Thanks guys.

    • #83496

      Hey todrod,welcome to the site and let me see if I can help…

      I rode a bmx/freestyle when I was younger as well,always loved jumps but I quit riding anything around high school and picked it back up with a MTB a few years later.I started with a hardtail and rode it for maybe 3 years and the whole time I wanted a full suspension,they were just really expensive.I finally went to a bike shop and rode a real full suspension bike just around the parking lot and it was such a difference in feel I had to have it…that exact bike,so I put it on layaway (bike shop was cool like that) and picked it up a few months later.The whole time I was paying on it and still riding my hardtail and making the best of it.

      The biggest reason I didn’t like the hardtail was downhill sections at a good speed with roots or bumps would throw my feet off the pedals.Another was that it was just stiff and un-giving if you hit the seat,or landing a jump,or again,the evil roots.

      What I did like about it is one thing you mentioned…ALL of the power you put down on the pedals is transferred to the ground,or rear tire at least.When I swapped over to the FS bike when I got it,that’s the one thing I noticed was the rear suspension soaking up what seemed like almost 1/4 of the power I was putting into it but I was owning those pesky roots and drops.

      I jumped into FS with a bike that had about 4" of travel in the rear,there are a couple different styles of FS bikes that have more or less travel in the rear.Cross Country or XC bikes generally have the least amount of travel in the rear,Freeride and All Mountain style bikes step it up to medium travel and the Big Hit and Downhill bikes have some insane travel in the rear.

      I would think you would want something in the medium travel range to match the feel of the dirtbike in jumps where you kinda lean back to preload the suspension off a jump.

      As far as the disc brakes I’ve only had mechanical discs but I love them compared to rim brakes,no pull on the brake lever when you get a rim outta whack.

      Hope some of that helped man,the FS bike I ended up getting was actually a K2 2001 Disco Monkey and what initially attracted me to it was the look of a dirtbike it had to it… … &Type=bike

    • #83497

      You have more riding options with the full suspension bike. I rode hardtail for a while but I have recently switched over to a full suspension bike and I am about 10% faster on it. But if you want the freedom to also ride BMX with it I would go with a hardtail.

      Hydro brakes are the next step after mechanical brakes and I feel that in a few years will start becoming standard on mountain bikes like they do now with mechanical brakes. Yes they are more expensive and require more maintenance, but the stopping power cannot be competed with. If i was you I would go with meachanical brakes, they are reliable and because you don’t ride in wet conditions you will definently be fine with them.

    • #83498

      What kind of trails are you riding mostly? Are they fairly smooth, or really rooty and rocky?

      I started on a nice full suspension bike. I just built up a new bike, and it’s rigid. I like the lighter weight, and no suspension bob. And most of the trails in my area are pretty smooth. Some roots here and there, but very little rock. The rigid works just fine.

      My full suspension bike (Giant Anthem) weighs right around 30lbs. My steel framed rigid 29er single speed weighs less than 23lbs. The difference is night and day. I also used to ride BMX, so I like the single speed thing.

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