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Agree, depends on how far your going to take the sport. Weekends on the bike path, or getting into some sweet singletrack with technical downhills. If you plan on mountain biking frequently on technical trails a DS may be the way to go.
I have a hardtail with an adjustable front shock I can lock out on the uphills. I probably ride fully rigid 60% of the time. Would be nice occassionally to have a DS for some of the hairy downhill sections, but not willing to add the extra weight or lose the energy from the rear shock bounce, although I realize they have come quite a long way with rear shock technology.
 

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zero the hero
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I think noobs getting a dually as their first bike teaches them how to ride without picking up basic handling skills.

A hardtail is just as capable of doing anything a dually can, it's just a matter of comfort.

I rock both HTs and duallies. Swap back and forth to keep myself honest. :)
 

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A hardtail will teach you to be a much better rider b/c there is less room for rider error. FS bikes will help you become a faster rider once you do learn all the basics though. I would only buy a FS as a first bike if you had a decent amount of money to spend on a nice one. Cheap FS bikes dont ride very well in my opinion, but thats just me.
 

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I have a HT bike and actually it does everything I want it to do wonderfully, granted im not doing anything extreme but it holds its own when it needs to.
 

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A hardtail will teach you to be a much better rider b/c there is less room for rider error. FS bikes will help you become a faster rider once you do learn all the basics though. I would only buy a FS as a first bike if you had a decent amount of money to spend on a nice one. Cheap FS bikes dont ride very well in my opinion, but thats just me.
I agree.

I'm wanting to fix up my old hardtail to get back to some basics.
 

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A hardtail is just as capable of doing anything a dually can, it's just a matter of going a lot slower.
Fixed that for you.

Hardtails are good in some instances (pump tracks, dirtjumps, skate parks), but I can't think of one instance in any sort of rough trail, or downhill or freeride where I would choose a hardtail over a full suspension. I've ridden a hardtail at whistler and it is a severe hindrance when trying to keep your speed up.
 

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gnar! gnar! gnar!
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I don't mind my hard-tail when going off-roading. I stand on the pedals most of the time anyway.
 

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i have to admit i miss my old ds when i go on trials with hundreds of roots laying on the ground. i hate having my rear end bouce up, then having my feet slip off the pedals when the rear tire no longer had contact with the ground and i'm giving her all i got... although overall i like my hardtail better. still the same crappy bike though.......
 

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SMILEY CAR
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I like having a hardtail since I'm new to really doing trail-riding, and I don't mind the bumps and whatnot on more gnarly trails. I'm also off of my seat most of the time for those kinds.

I think it is good if you're new because a Dual doesn't really give you a good impression of the trail.
 

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In a word...YES. It also depends majorly on your riding technique and skills to begin with though. Some peeps are just bombers and want to fly fast and heavy so ofcourse starting on a hardtail wouldn't be as enjoyable, however the skills you'd learn on a hardtail on a downhill course whilst trying to stay ON the bike would be detrimental to you long term ability to progress in the sport. I ride downhill and freeride on a hardtail but when my knees just cant take anymore I switch to my 7" fully and blast the pain away with shots of adrenaline at speed.

Its all in the rider and where they are comfortable. Granted you may or may not learn other important skills as fast; regardless you'll learn your own style and your bikes abilities. Just ride.
 

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Shore Rat
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Ride a hardtail for free riding and an Epic for cross country Hardtails can do any thing a fully can just sometimes at a slow speed
 

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Here in Texas most people that I know just ride hardtails which I myself prefer. Truthfully in Texas there is little need for a full suspension bike. IMHO
 

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FS or HT?

The heavier you are the harder it will be to dial in an FS.

Even on the bumpy trails I found myself really only needing my FS about 5% of the time. It slowed me down on the other 95% due to excessive bobing both front and rear. I've only owned one FS and it wasn't a true XC bike but I've ridden many of my buddies XC FS and I basically felt the same about those also. Subtract 50-60 lbs of body weight and I might be singing an entirely different song. I prefer HT's and I go alot faster both up and down on one.

It's all about preference, however, and I'll end with saying you should definitely try out a FS just don't go cheap!
 

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FS bikes are always a faster ride when properly setup. Jeremiah Bishop and the Trek team tested this theory before and even though a hardtail might seem like you are going faster and really pushing it, its just not true. It feels faster b/c it is so much harsher. Rider weight only affects a FS with proper shock setup. Yes, a heavier rider will not enjoy a true XC full suspension as much as an All Mountain full suspension but still a faster better bike. You cant buy the cheapest FS out there either though or it will ride like a pogo stick.
 

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Have to agree with TxJeeper; I've ridden a high-end FS (Epic) and while it was pretty cool I'll take my HR Comp hardtail for everyday riding. I like the feel and control on the terrain around here.
 
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