Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu





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  1. #1
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    Default Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Since its very quiet in the cycling section, lets hear what you guys prefer and why. Hardtail or Full Suspension, Carbon or Aluminuim? Myself are only on hardtails at the moment, I had a full suspension a few years back and I was kind of not bad, did a solo Dash and a few 200km plus rides on it. Never really loved it to bits, so 3 years back I went back to hardtail (alu) and did a 2 man Dash on it, sold the full suspension shortly after to buy a carbon hardtail for the long rides (100 km and more). The alu hardtail is just for those really rough singletracks and down hills (still scared of hurting the carbon I guess). I love the response of the hardtail and also the way you can "feel" the road, its rigid and the transfer of power is quick and efficient. It can be tough on the behind on rough terrain and also multi day events can get tough. Guess I am still young at 40 and might change my tune in a few years time, but so far I love my hardtails.
    2012 Suzuki Jimny (40mm ZOR suspension lift, 215/75R15 General Grabber AT3)
    Can go anywhere

    2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Tdci Trend
    (Race Chip, free flowed, 280 nm)
    Can go pretty fast

    Specialized Epic Expert (Carbon frame hard tail)
    It's lighter than your road bike

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    I've been using Hard Tail all my life and also used it on last years Dash, and I agree with all your thoughts on riding Hard Tail.

    I have, however, very recently switched to a carbon Full Suspension. So far I love it (my backside too)! With the ability to lock the rear shock to have that "feel" when you want / or need to, may work out well. Still too early to say, perhaps, I haven't taken it on a proper trail yet, but so far - I'm not switching back yet any time soon.
    -

    Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto
    (Tough Dog Suspension / Frontrunner Roofrack and some more goodies...)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Both. Horses for courses.
    My hardtail will never be as fast over rough terrain as my trail Bike. And my trail Bike will always be a las in a marathon riding scenario. So I have a 140mm travel fullsus for the gnarly stuff, and a lightweight hardtail for the long and fast stuff. Both my bikes are Ali, but that was a budget decision.
    But if budget wasn't an issue then I'd have a lightweight 100mm travel fullsus bike for the marathon and XCO stiff as well. And a singlespeed. And a fatbike. And a downhill bike. And a lekker Patrol or Cruiser for a shuttle bakkie to get me and my mates to the top on shuttle days.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    I ride an ali full suspension. Aluminium is a budget decision and full suspension comfort for my fat butt ! If I didn't have a budget then carbon full suspension cos I guess I'd still have the fat bum !

    I have to say that I ride for pleasure so anything that makes my life more enjoyable is better.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    I used to ride a Scott dualie as it was more comfortable on the endurance rides and suspension technology is really amazing. These days speed only counts when going down the mountain so I have a 140mm travel trail bike.

    I always had alu. I simply couldn't justify the price to save a few grams. For a trail bike I'll always go alloy given the abuse it takes.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhlippieV View Post
    Both. Horses for courses.
    My hardtail will never be as fast over rough terrain as my trail Bike. And my trail Bike will always be a las in a marathon riding scenario. So I have a 140mm travel fullsus for the gnarly stuff, and a lightweight hardtail for the long and fast stuff. Both my bikes are Ali, but that was a budget decision.
    But if budget wasn't an issue then I'd have a lightweight 100mm travel fullsus bike for the marathon and XCO stiff as well. And a singlespeed. And a fatbike. And a downhill bike. And a lekker Patrol or Cruiser for a shuttle bakkie to get me and my mates to the top on shuttle days.
    Agree on the fatbike, one day...
    2012 Suzuki Jimny (40mm ZOR suspension lift, 215/75R15 General Grabber AT3)
    Can go anywhere

    2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Tdci Trend
    (Race Chip, free flowed, 280 nm)
    Can go pretty fast

    Specialized Epic Expert (Carbon frame hard tail)
    It's lighter than your road bike

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
    I've been using Hard Tail all my life and also used it on last years Dash, and I agree with all your thoughts on riding Hard Tail.

    I have, however, very recently switched to a carbon Full Suspension. So far I love it (my backside too)! With the ability to lock the rear shock to have that "feel" when you want / or need to, may work out well. Still too early to say, perhaps, I haven't taken it on a proper trail yet, but so far - I'm not switching back yet any time soon.
    I remember locking on the climbs and unlocking again on the down hills all the time, going up Kupferberg pass every afternoon. I was irritating myself sometimes, but got used to it later. Must say, the suspension does give you a more relaxed ride down the Uss pass, at 70 kph down a pass on a BAD gravel road you need to be wakey on a hardtail. Damn, love that little downhill
    2012 Suzuki Jimny (40mm ZOR suspension lift, 215/75R15 General Grabber AT3)
    Can go anywhere

    2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Tdci Trend
    (Race Chip, free flowed, 280 nm)
    Can go pretty fast

    Specialized Epic Expert (Carbon frame hard tail)
    It's lighter than your road bike

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyRanger View Post
    did a solo Dash and a few 200km plus rides on it. Never really loved it to bits, so 3 years back I went back to hardtail (alu) and did a 2 man Dash on it, sold the full suspension shortly after to buy a carbon hardtail for the long rides (100 km and more).
    Did you do the 2 man in the new format?
    Would be interesting to hear your comments on a solo Dash with the alu hardtail!

    I have the carbon hardtail for <100km rides, the carbon dual-sus for >100km rides and an alu fatboy for the 40-50km commute from work.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
    I've been using Hard Tail all my life and also used it on last years Dash,
    What happened with the DNF?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sias View Post
    Did you do the 2 man in the new format?
    Would be interesting to hear your comments on a solo Dash with the alu hardtail!

    I have the carbon hardtail for <100km rides, the carbon dual-sus for >100km rides and an alu fatboy for the 40-50km commute from work.
    My last and only solo was way back in the 340km era (that easy era) and that specific race I did on my full suspension, was a 26 inch still. Sold it a year or two later for a 29ner hardtail, been on a hardtail since. My last Dash was a 2man on that hardtail. I missed two years due to work and family responsibilities, but I am back in training again this year. Planning to tackle the Dash again at the end of the year, only in 2man team again (will do solo again in the future, just not this year), still looking for a reliable partner though (if you know of somebody, feel free to let me know, my old partner is in solo mode this year).

    Mind you, if I remember correctly, the quickest time ever (340 km format) was done by Mannie on a carbon Merida hardtail in 2010. Was that 12h13 time if my mind still serves me right.
    2012 Suzuki Jimny (40mm ZOR suspension lift, 215/75R15 General Grabber AT3)
    Can go anywhere

    2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Tdci Trend
    (Race Chip, free flowed, 280 nm)
    Can go pretty fast

    Specialized Epic Expert (Carbon frame hard tail)
    It's lighter than your road bike

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sias View Post
    Did you do the 2 man in the new format?
    Would be interesting to hear your comments on a solo Dash with the alu hardtail!

    I have the carbon hardtail for <100km rides, the carbon dual-sus for >100km rides and an alu fatboy for the 40-50km commute from work.
    Sorry, did not answer the whole question. No, I did not do the new format 2man yet as I have been out for a bit, only the old format where you do 2 stages each. I actually think the new format is a lot better and more of a challenge. Looking forward to it this year though.
    2012 Suzuki Jimny (40mm ZOR suspension lift, 215/75R15 General Grabber AT3)
    Can go anywhere

    2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Tdci Trend
    (Race Chip, free flowed, 280 nm)
    Can go pretty fast

    Specialized Epic Expert (Carbon frame hard tail)
    It's lighter than your road bike

  12. #12
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    Posts
    2,587

    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sias View Post
    What happened with the DNF?
    Eish - where to begin. Once on top of Kupferberg, I did the cardinal mistake of wanting to drive myslef the "4x4" section to the C28 as it was my 4x4 and I wanted to drive it and have fun of course. I also had it in my mind, for some reason, that the drive to the CP was not going to take that long?? Yeah, I know, and for someone that is good with maps, I don't know how I got to that conclusion...

    Once on the C28, I only then realized, hey, I need to eat and get rest. As we stopped to quickly organise that, I smelled oil and low and behold, oil came gushing out of the left rear wheel...

    Thankfully Klaus Zahadricy drove past us with his fortuner and offered to help. So we hooked our trailer on his fortuner, and in all this, we just stuffed all things in the bakkie (stuff from the fridge, food, sleeping bags, beer etc) in the trailer and off we went. So massive adrenaline rush and worries got added. Eventually, again, I realized I at least need to get some rest. All my food was now in the back of the trailer, lekker deurmekaar.

    Just as I fell asleep, an official sped past us with his toyota and hit a horse!! So we stopped, helped the driver out of the bakkie, thankfully he was ok. So I ran back to the horse - and the horse is not dead. The official had a pistol with him so we shot the horse and then we had to pull the horse off the road. After that, we helped the official kick and cut out the shattered glass so that he can continue.

    Again, massive adrenaline rush and now I couldn't get to sleep.

    Eventually go to the half way mark with no rest and no replenishment for my body. I thought to myself - let me just get my bike ready. As I was getting my gear setup, I found my cycling stuff soaked in beer... Of course a beer bottle had to break - I smelled like a shebeen.

    So I got my bike ready, chowed some stuff (had no appetite at 01:00 in the morning) and tried to get some sleep. I sent a sms to my partner to check where he is at. I sms'ed back and saif he DNF'ed - I must wait for him at the half way point he is on his way with a support vehicle. I at least can finish the race for myself. So I went to the CP and waited for an hour almost. Eventually, 02:15 I got going. I did Stage 4 in a good time, for me, and was well on track.

    When I got to the end of Stage 4 - I was now really REALLY hungry. I found my partner and heard that Klaus, who was now supporting us, broke his collar bone and can't help us. My cycling partner phoned his wife to come take our trailer and support me, but this was now hours ago and she is still not there and now my cycling partner can't get hold of her, he is stressing his ass off and I still don't have food...

    So I carried on...

    The story is getting long now, but let me just say when I got to the end of stage 5 (still in very good time though), my body was shaking and I just couldn't continue. With all the bad luck, adrenaline rushes, no sleep and no food or replenishment, I just couldn't go on...

    So next year I will have backup vehicles ready both from Windhoek and Swakop and a bunch of other measure will be put in place.

    My body recovered well and I was happy with my fitness level, but the fact that I did not manage to replenish, was the final straw...

    The new 2-man format is quite challenging, maybe I should not have done that on my first attempt, but then again, even with all our troubles, I would have finished as a 4-man team if you compare and my fitness level was ok, so this year definitely 2-man again.
    Last edited by Sniper; 2017/02/03 at 11:13 AM.
    -

    Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto
    (Tough Dog Suspension / Frontrunner Roofrack and some more goodies...)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Hardtail or full suspension

    I use a hardtail as a commuter. Love it to bits ! Crisp handling.

    When heading out on a trail .... uhmmm .... full suspension is just SO much more comfortable. And when you get to a ride like we did on Saturday in Hexriver .... millions of small fist sized rocks in the road .... GLAD I was on a full suspension !!

    A hardtail must be the better option for the racers .... but for comfort there is no debating it ...



    Alu or carbon fibre

    Saw a lady with a broken carbon fibre seat post on Saturday. New Pyga .... matching set for his and hers .... that bike has never fallen over, yet the seat post broke. Daddy will be at the dealer on Monday. I am starting to wonder IF that bike was in a workshop stand Fracture is at the bottom of where the workshop stand clamp would be .....

    Way too many incidents with Specialized seat clamps cracking the frame .....


    For now I will stick will Alu frames .....

    Though some of those carbon frames looks seriously sexy !!!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post



    Alu or carbon fibre

    Saw a lady with a broken carbon fibre seat post on Saturday. New Pyga .... matching set for his and hers .... that bike has never fallen over, yet the seat post broke. Daddy will be at the dealer on Monday. I am starting to wonder IF that bike was in a workshop stand Fracture is at the bottom of where the workshop stand clamp would be .....

    Way too many incidents with Specialized seat clamps cracking the frame .....


    For now I will stick will Alu frames .....

    Though some of those carbon frames looks seriously sexy !!!
    It's not necessarily a workshop stand that caused the fracture.
    My guess is that she was pedaling in a seated position through the rough stuff. People with full suspension bikes develop that habit very quickly. And it is a bad habit.
    In my life I've broken 3seatposts. 2ali and one carbon. Oh, and I've bent an Ali post as well. The carbon post was on a carbon fullsus. The Ali posts was on hardtails.
    Now I ride dropper searposts so the saddle goes out of the way, forcing me to stand and pedal when it gets rough.

    The seat clamps cracking the frames is not just a specialized issue. I've seen it on other brands as well.
    it happens to other brands as well, it happens when the bolts are over tightened.

    I used to think that carbon is not as strong as Ali, but after abusing mine for three years and seeing what my friends do with their carbon trail bikes I would not hesitate to ride one again. I tried my best to break that frame, but like a honey badger it just came back for more.
    Ali is more friendly to the wallet though.
    I would make the decision based on cost next time.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhlippieV View Post
    It's not necessarily a workshop stand that caused the fracture.
    My guess is that she was pedaling in a seated position through the rough stuff. People with full suspension bikes develop that habit very quickly. And it is a bad habit.
    In my life I've broken 3seatposts. 2ali and one carbon. Oh, and I've bent an Ali post as well. The carbon post was on a carbon fullsus. The Ali posts was on hardtails.
    Now I ride dropper searposts so the saddle goes out of the way, forcing me to stand and pedal when it gets rough.

    The seat clamps cracking the frames is not just a specialized issue. I've seen it on other brands as well.
    it happens to other brands as well, it happens when the bolts are over tightened.

    I used to think that carbon is not as strong as Ali, but after abusing mine for three years and seeing what my friends do with their carbon trail bikes I would not hesitate to ride one again. I tried my best to break that frame, but like a honey badger it just came back for more.
    Ali is more friendly to the wallet though.
    I would make the decision based on cost next time.
    Thanks, that makes sense.

    There were LOTS of small rocks along the trail. The suspension REALLY worked !!


    Just strange how the post snapped in the middle .... would have expected it to snap closer to the frame clamp if it was the loading of the rider .....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    There were LOTS of small rocks along the trail. The suspension REALLY worked !!

    Just think how hard it must've been in the old days..............
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    hehehe ....

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    I cant say I'm in the market as we speak, but, coming or going, a soft suspension definitely seems to be the choice that holds the least surprises.

    What do the experts say?
    Of COURSE I have a Bad Habit. I take Tea at Three (Mick Jagger)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by Petri Oosthuizen View Post
    I cant say I'm in the market as we speak, but, coming or going, a soft suspension definitely seems to be the choice that holds the least surprises.

    What do the experts say?
    As jy net een fiets mag (kan) h, en die budget laat dit toe, sal ek 'n fullsus voorstel.

    Ek het die naweek 'n 2dag resies op my ligte, vinnige hardtail begin. By waterpunt 3 het ek 'n kraak in my fiets se raam ontdek. Op dag 2 het ek toe maar my swaarder fullsus gevat, en ek het dit baie meer geniet. Ek kan nie s of die hardtail rerig vinniger sou wees overall nie, maar ek kan wel s dat ek dit meer geniet het op die fullsus, en dat dit lekkerder was. En dis eintlik al wat saak maak.

    So my hardtail se parte is afgehaal, en ek het 'n singlespeed opgebou met 'n ou raam in my werkwinkel. Dis 'n perd van 'n ander kleur daai.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hardtail or Full suspension, Carbon or Alu

    I had a 26 Scott fully carbon for 5 years and had to switch to a 29 since my cycle buddies all had 29s and it was just a pain to try and keep up. Bought a 29 frame and transferred all the components to the 29 except for wheels and fork. Fullsus is the way to go especially with lockout. Very happy. Did 2 dashs and contemplating a third solo.
    Had a few serious falls and the carbon took it all in a stride.
    2002 Discovery td5

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