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Discussion Starter #1
I live in South Florida and some friends have started riding some local singletrack trails and I want to join them.

Can some more experienced riders help me with the pros and cons of full suspension and hardtails? I'm 5'9" 220 lbs (I recently lost 50 lbs, and plan to lose at least 50 more). I rode a Giant Talon2 29er in the parking lot of a bike shop and loved it's feel. But I'm seeing some of the cons about frame breakage and thinking at my height a 26 would probably be better. It is a hardtail.

Also, are hydraulic disc brakes a worthwhile upgrade over mechanical ones? I'd basically be riding in the east Everglades, lots of limestone rocks, lots of sand.

Thanks in advance.
 

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It depends on the maker -- if you're talking about Avid BB7 mechanicals, I'd say no. I'm 6'1", 235, been running BB7's for 3-1/2 years, and they are plenty strong for me! I run 185's f/r, because my old setup (203f/185r) put me on my head!

I've also run Hayes and ProMax mechanicals, and I wouldn't really hesitate to replace either one of those.

At 5'9", I'd look harder at 26's, yeah, if I were you. Not that the 29er is ruled out, but you may well find something that feels as good as the Talon.

Comparing bikes by test-riding is pure enjoyment; don't minimize it!
 
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