650b HT or 26" Full Sus?

Xiorell

Über Member
Location
Merthyr, Wales
This pretty much boils down to the question in the title, but just a little background -

My experience of full sus bikes is limited, I had one a while ago but sold it on because at the time, the full bounce I felt was taking away more than it added to my rides (was on smooth ground 99% of the time).
This has changed a bit now, I've got a CX bike that sort of pulls double duty as a road bike for when I'm on tarmac, and I've started heading out into the rough stuff, getting mucky on my hardtail.

So anyway, my hardtail is an upgraded 13 Incline Beta - 650b setup, mix of Deore and XT parts, 120mm travel provided by some Rockshox Air Solo forks, quite a nice thing to ride really.
I've been offered a swap on an older, 2008 Specialized Stuntjumper Expert, 26 inch wheel, 120mm travel full suspension job.

Looking for thoughts, opinions etc, do it or keep the hard tail? I'm on the fence.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
Keep what you have. 26" are noticeably harder to ride than the larger wheeled bikes.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
26" are noticeably harder to ride than the larger wheeled bikes.
I can't agree with that comment but would suggest you stick with the 27.5" bike anyway.

Just got back from a holiday where I did lots of riding on a modern 29" hardtail of reasonable spec. Much of this was not hugely technical but was rocky/rough and, on paper, should have been well suited to the bigger wheels as all the hype around the bigger wheels suggests they roll well over uneven ground, smooth out the bumps, carry speed better on uneven ground, etc..... My experience was the exact opposite and I found I was wishing for my old skool 26" hardtail on anything more untoward than fire-road or canal towpath type conditions. As soon as the terrain got rough I found the bike so imprecise and ponderous I was soon floundering and struggling to maintain progress on stuff I knew I would have breezed through on my 26" bike.

Despite the above, I would not suggest you change bikes just to upgrade to 26" wheels (even though they are better :tongue:). I would also question what you want to achieve by going from hardtail to full-suss? Full suspension has it's place (but not in my fleet) although you currently have what sounds like a bike that suits you and has been upgraded to a good spec. I would be wary of swapping it for an unknown quantity of an older bike which may be in worse condition and you may not need.

Have you done a proper test ride on the Stumpjumper, on a ride that you know well and have previously ridden using your current bike?
 

TeeShot

Veteran
This pretty much boils down to the question in the title, but just a little background -

My experience of full sus bikes is limited, I had one a while ago but sold it on because at the time, the full bounce I felt was taking away more than it added to my rides (was on smooth ground 99% of the time).
This has changed a bit now, I've got a CX bike that sort of pulls double duty as a road bike for when I'm on tarmac, and I've started heading out into the rough stuff, getting mucky on my hardtail.

So anyway, my hardtail is an upgraded 13 Incline Beta - 650b setup, mix of Deore and XT parts, 120mm travel provided by some Rockshox Air Solo forks, quite a nice thing to ride really.
I've been offered a swap on an older, 2008 Specialized Stuntjumper Expert, 26 inch wheel, 120mm travel full suspension job.

Looking for thoughts, opinions etc, do it or keep the hard tail? I'm on the fence.
It depends.

I had a Stumpjumper of very similar vintage to the one you have been offered, also 26". Compared to my previous bikes I found going downhill, it inspired confidence was much more fun and hardly surprisingly much faster. I couldn't keep up with either of my sons but could go as fast as I wanted to. Over 4 years, we rode at many trail centres around the U.K. red or black routes. As they moved more towards DH my outings lessened and my need for full suss diminished.
My multi purpose hardtail (still 26") will now get me round the occasional trail ride and is better than the full suss in every other way, except going downhill !!

Pick your weapon according to the task and you will be fine

P.S. If you're an expert, you can ride anything anywhere significantly faster/better than most of the rest of us on the latest bestist kit!!
 
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