/ Boardman HT vs FS. HELP!

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Ged Desforges - on 10 Oct 2013
I have 1000 to spend on a bike. I've settled on getting a Boardman MTB because I'm on the cycle to work scheme and Halfords is the easiest way to go. The Boardman bikes seem to get really good reviews. I don't know a whole lot about mountain biking. I'll eb mainly be using it for trail centres singletrack (but not hardcore downhill stuff), and rides over dartmoor and similar.

I'm completely stuck as to wether to go for the full suspension team, or the hardtail pro. The pro is 2kg lighter, and is a 29er. The fs might be a bit more comfortable and fun on the rough descents.

Opinions and advice please!
Alun - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges:
For a grand you get a good bike, regardless of whether its hardtail or full-sus. Especially with Boardman, as they are an excellent brand with a well-deserved reputation (my road-bike is a Boardman)

The only real issue in your situation is that Boardman is unashamedly targeting light-weight XC speed in its range, especially with its hardtails. This is no bad thing, there lots of fun to be had pinning it with a lightweight hardtail. However, when the going gets a little rougher, a stiff frame, 29" wheels and 100mm fork are going to force you to slow down. Still, if you want to pin it up the hills, or along smoothish singletrack, as fast as possible, then its the bike for you.

I'm guessing the full-sus you mention is this:
http://www.boardmanbikes.com/mtb/fs_team650b.html

if so, then it would be my preferred choice. It is still perfectly capable of riding uphill, but with the rear-suspension and an excellent front fork and general spec, and when things start going downhill it will be double the fun of the hardtail.
Dave Kerr - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges:

For a grand go hard tail. Whilst 1000 FS bikes are better than they were that kind of money is still better spent on a HT. It is also more versatile.
Chris the Tall - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges:
Might be worth reading a couple of thread on singletrack

http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/is-rear-suspension-worth-bothering-with-on-a-29er

http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/boardman-29er-advice

My advice would be to get a FS 29er !

But given a choice between a FS 26 or HT 29, go for the latter, far more versatile. I'm currently using mine as a road bike in prep for a short tour (having changed the tyres), but have also used it for all manner of MTBing. including a 100 mile race
Ged Desforges - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: I've got a road bike, so would definitely never be using it for long road rides. Would that sway your decision?
Chris the Tall - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges:
Probably not. As mentioned above 1000 is a bit on the cheap side for an FS. If you're a roadie getting into MTBing then the HT is a more obvious stepping stone, and if you find you are really enjoying the more technical stuff then get an FS at that stage. N+1 rule applies.

Undoubtedly my favourite bike is my 29er FS, really changed how I feel about MTBing (to the detriment of my rock-climbing!). Got the HT as a back-up - there's only a couple of tracks in the peak I wouldn't take it down, but quite a lot where I'd be much happier on the FS.
rubbercrumb - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I've got a Boardman FS 26er my mate has a Cube HT 29er. We swap sometimes and I'm just so glad to have rear suspension.

The HT just kicks you in the ass whenever you hit a decent bump. Ugh.
Alun - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> Whilst 1000 FS bikes are better than they were that kind of money is still better spent on a HT. It is also more versatile.

5 years ago I would have agreed with you, but I'm not sure that's the case anymore - just look at the specs on the two bikes in question. The full-sus is by far the more versatile bike.

Braking and shifting technology has advanced so much that even lower end stuff performs excellently now. The only potential issue is that you may get a cheaper fork on the full-sus, but the 130mm Sektor on the Boardman full-sus in question is not a bad fork at all - in fact I would argue that it is more capable than the 100mm Recon on the Boardman 29er.

So the question is not "which is the better bike", but "which is the more suitable bike for the OP". The hardtail is lightweight, has the lower rolling resistance of the 29" wheels, and will be whippet fast and great fun on fireroads and smooth trails, but it will start struggling when the going gets rockier. The full-sus will climb steadily, but really come into its own on rougher descents and technical singletrack. ANd not forgetting that it feature the new 27.5" wheel size (which seems to be the future for "all-mountain" bikes).

Personally, I would go for the full-sus. But that does not mean that it is "the better bike", by any means.
deb_the_reb1 - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges: If you want to save some money I have a comp FS in excellent condition, hardly used
Dave Kerr - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Alun:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
> [...]
>
> The full-sus is by far the more versatile bike.
>
>but it will start struggling when the going gets rockier.

By versatile I mean 'put a rack on it and go touring' versatile. Difficult to do that with a FS.

It's not the bike that will start to struggle in that scenario, it's the rider. I know plenty of folks who are happy to ride rocky, technical terrain on a 29er HT. Unless that's the majority of your riding I think the HT will offer more fun.
Dave Kerr - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Alun:

But like you say, it all really comes down to what the OP will be doing.

I also notice that sometimes people get inappropriate advice as folks use the terminology differently.

Some people use XC to mean 'everything that isn't DH' others use it to mean 'hammering like in an XC race' You'd ideally want 2 two very different bikes for that.
SI - profile removed on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ged Desforges: I fairly recently switched a 26" full sus turner for a 29" hardtail on one, in an ideal world I'd have both (although i'd go for a 29" full sus too), the Turner was fantastic in morzine but over here I don't find the decents long enough to justify the sluggishness elsewhere.

The on one by comparison is awesome, got a 100mm lock off Reba up front, so much faster. I decend faster on it too but I think this is more the frame size. I was riding frames too small for me for years, a couple of inches make a big difference, make sure you get it right.
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In reply to Dave Kerr:

> By versatile I mean 'put a rack on it and go touring' versatile. Difficult to do that with a FS.

Racks are just so last decade dude. :) Bikepacking is where it's at - http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2013/09/bikepacking-new-bags-new-camera.html although obviously you still can't get much of a frame pack in FS triangle.

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