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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm starting to think about going whole hog and getting a double suspension 29er.
So there're tons of different designs, and I need to know the what to look for. What works best? What's lightest? What's best $ for $?
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Hmm. Do you want a dual suspension, or do you want a 29er? Because the two platforms are a bit at odds with each other. It's like asking "What's the most compromised design I can buy?"
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter #3
Well it depends. I'm afraid it hadn't occurred to me that the 29s could be a liability when you ad in suspension. :( But I'm confused by the verity available. I see the ones with the shock/spring horizontally under the top tube, there's ones w/ single pivot at the bottom and vertical shock. I found a Cannondale that has a 2 piece thing where part of the fork pivots and in the middle. Then there's multiple brands on the components.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Cannondale is a separate discussion. What kind of riding are you looking to do? High speed XC, on mostly fire road type trails are where the 29er excels. As it gets rougher and more technical, 26" wheels reign king. How much suspension you need is determined by terrain and speed. We used to ride rigid bikes through some nasty stuff, but at a crawl. Suspension helps a skilled rider navigate sketchy trails at higher speeds, but it won't make you a better rider. Let us know your goal, and we can steer you in the right direction.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Cannondale is a separate discussion. What kind of riding are you looking to do? High speed XC, on mostly fire road type trails are where the 29er excels. As it gets rougher and more technical, 26" wheels reign king. How much suspension you need is determined by terrain and speed. We used to ride rigid bikes through some nasty stuff, but at a crawl. Suspension helps a skilled rider navigate sketchy trails at higher speeds, but it won't make you a better rider. Let us know your goal, and we can steer you in the right direction.
Just learned my "something new" for today!
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter #6
Cannondale is a separate discussion. What kind of riding are you looking to do? High speed XC, on mostly fire road type trails are where the 29er excels. As it gets rougher and more technical, 26" wheels reign king. How much suspension you need is determined by terrain and speed. We used to ride rigid bikes through some nasty stuff, but at a crawl. Suspension helps a skilled rider navigate sketchy trails at higher speeds, but it won't make you a better rider. Let us know your goal, and we can steer you in the right direction.
OK. The majority of my riding is paved trail and city streets or road shoulder. That's what it is and I enjoy my hard tail mtb and don't mind that it's not a street racer. :thumbsup:
Then occasionally I find some trail to ride, I've just gotten a taste of it, and I don't ride fast but I want to get better. I'm on the road in a truck so I ride where I find it, but not real technical stuff. I love climbing hills, and fast down hills like a nice fire road, and single tracks winding around rooty stony trails. HA I just want to be able to go anywhere / do anything(except fly, takes too long to heal these days)
 

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hardtail hardass
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OK. The majority of my riding is paved trail and city streets or road shoulder. That's what it is and I enjoy my hard tail mtb and don't mind that it's not a street racer. :thumbsup:
Then occasionally I find some trail to ride, I've just gotten a taste of it, and I don't ride fast but I want to get better. I'm on the road in a truck so I ride where I find it, but not real technical stuff. I love climbing hills, and fast down hills like a nice fire road, and single tracks winding around rooty stony trails. HA I just want to be able to go anywhere / do anything(except fly, takes too long to heal these days)

If you like climbing/don't jump/don't typically ride anything overly technical, then I'd stick with a hard tail. A 29er would be really fun for the fast fire road stuff, but rear suspension will probably not be of much benefit to your riding and will only make you less efficient.
 

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You most definitely DO NOT need a Full Suspension bike to do mainly paved trails.
Hard Tail all the way.

I do single-track trail riding, nothing but roots, rocks and dirt - up hill,downhills whatever... full suspension would be wasted on me, and wouldn't help me any either.
You only need full suspension if you're doing some wicked high speed downhill or cross country riding.

I rock the Trek Mamba - Hard Tail 29er - perfect for the riding I do.
Sounds like you fit the profile for more of a hybrid what with all the smooth paved roads you ride on, but for the occasional trail a hybrid would still be fine, unless your talking trail like a REAL mountain bike trail or just a dirt walking path.
 

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One thing you need to remember is when you add a suspension, you lose some pedal efficiency. Ever see a road bike with a suspension?? Not me and there is a reason for that. They go over bumps too, but its not worth the power loss.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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One thing you need to remember is when you add a suspension, you lose some pedal efficiency. Ever see a road bike with a suspension?? Not me and there is a reason for that. They go over bumps too, but its not worth the power loss.
Mark, that's no longer the case. Ever seen a road bike on the trail? They're significantly less efficient when the back tire has trouble maintaining contact with the ground. Modern suspension designs only respond to impacts, with the pedal input having much less effect. This greatly increases efficiency.
 

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I have tried a road bike on a trail Hack and yes I spun the rear tire like everyone else does. Never seen a 2.25 in a 700c (or whatever that would be in metric) but I do wonder how bad it would be. I tried it with like a 1 inch years ago, and a 23 c just for the h e double toothpicks not too long ago for about 20 feet for laughs.

The suspensions if they give when pedaling, in my mind I can not see how the power would transfer as well. When you get out of the saddle the body weight should make it give a bit shouldn't it?? If it does there almost has to be some loss. You are far more up on the current designs than I and maybe things have improved. The pedal efficiency would be much better on compression, but it has to unload and on rebound it would lose that. You have the upward forces of the suspension as well as Newton working against you for a bit. Still better than being in the air, and if you are riding terrain that air time is common I agree with you 100 percent suspension is the way to go. Yet if they get a suspension that would give me the old LTD ride on a road bike without the penalty, sign me up. I am game.
 

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hardtail hardass
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Mark, that's no longer the case. Ever seen a road bike on the trail? They're significantly less efficient when the back tire has trouble maintaining contact with the ground. Modern suspension designs only respond to impacts, with the pedal input having much less effect. This greatly increases efficiency.

Going to have to disagree here. Although you're right there are some modern designs which have less of an effect on pedalling power than the older ones, I've yet to see/ride one that doesn't bleed at least some of your power to compress the rear pivot. Combine that with the fact that adding suspension adds weight, and you have a much less efficient ride.

As someone mentioned earlier, suspension may allow you to go faster over an obstacle while maintaining tire contact, but the same features that allow this to happen bleed energy on sustained climbs and flat terrain.....'responding to impact only' would only be possible if the rider was completely static and had zero mass.
 

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You can get a shock or fork with a lockout, which is as about as stiff as no suspension, but that's the easy way out. As the technology in platforms is progressing, engineers are getting better at preventing loss of efficiency. By combining shock technology with suspension design, it's possible to isolate pedal action from affecting rear wheel movement, but not for mashers. Smooth spinners with a high cadence take advantage of this on short travel XC bikes, to good effect.
 

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I knew about a fork lock out, but a shock lock out I haven't heard about. It would make for a good compromise. When you need it, its there and if you don't lock it out.
 

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scotsman, you've obviously never seen/heard of a Curnutt-equipped Foes, or the Specialized Epic, or Ibis' dw-link bikes.

Charlie Curnutt developed his technology YEARS ago, and teamed up with Brent Foes to put it on a mountain bike. It worked so well, you could pedal a Foes downhill bike UPHILL.

Specialized teamed with Bob Fox (Fox Racing Shox guru) to produce the platform valve rear shock that ABSOLUTELY eliminated any pedal bobbing. A very similar design was marketed by Stratos as an aftermarket item for suspension forks, the reputation was right up there, too. The Specialized "Brain" shock expanded to several other bikes in the line as the concept developed.

Dave Weagle is a true tech-geek genius; he described how his design worked for MBA, and I didn't get a bit of it -- I get the Fox/Stratos design concept, I get VPP, I got the differences and problems between the Horst Link 4-bar and the Giant NRS, so I'm not a drooling fool. The bottom line is, dw-link WORKS.

Lockouts for shocks have been around for YEARS, as well; I had one on a cheaper FS frame in 2005. I don't recall seeing one on a COIL shock, but air shocks have had them for a long time.

29'ers and FS are at odds? Really? Niner Bikes would like to know that.... For that matter, so would Lenz.

OP's described riding conditions would suggest a 29er hardtail, but if the dude wants to experience FS as he expands his 'range', the reasons put forth here against it are pretty lame.
 

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OP's described riding conditions would suggest a 29er hardtail, but if the dude wants to experience FS as he expands his 'range', the reasons put forth here against it are pretty lame.
Seconded.

29er wheels carry momentum better, and roll more easily over rough terrain. For this reason, riding full rigid bikes like the Kona Unit and Redline Monocog work better with 29" wheels than 26".

If you're mostly riding pavement, a full rigid isn't a bad idea either, so long as you're not trying to run the DH course at Champery. Another thing to be aware of, though, is the fact that 29" wheeled bikes handle a little bit more.. sleepily... than their 26" wheeled counterparts.

That said, suspension designs are getting a lot better for the 29er market. Specialized, Trek and Giant all have good designs for short-mid travel bikes, so argument that 29" sussers are a compromise is pretty weak, particularly in this context.

Be prepared to spend a lot more time truing your wheels if you take a 29er. You feel wobbles a lot more, and they'll happen more often.
 
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