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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,310

    Ditch the hardtail?

    I currently have two bikes, a Norco Range 29 (170 front, 150 rear) and a Chromag Rootdown BA (29er hardtail with 150 fork). I am debating moving the parts from the Chromag to a short-travel full-suspension frame. Currently, I have my eyes on a Django 29.

    I tend to ride my Range most of the time since, living in Coastal BC, a lot of the terrain warrants a bike like that. The hardtail comes out if I'm doing a solo ride, have ridden lots and want to mix it up, or am riding with my wife. The short-travel bike would be for similar use, but potentially improve on some of the hardtail's drawbacks.

    What I like about the hardtail:
    - Distinctly different experience from riding my Range
    - Responsive and efficient
    - Adds challenge to easier trails
    - The "wow, he rode that on a hardtail?!" factor

    Things I don't like about the hardtail:
    - It's punishing on longer rides
    - It makes flow trails ride like tech trails; on fast, natural singletrack trails that aren't all that rough, the hardtail skips around and chatters in corners rather than holding, making for a less fun experience
    - When taking weekend trips to places to mellower places with my wife, I've grabbed the hardtail but then have found myself wishing for suspension when set free for that solo lap on something rowdier
    - I just signed up for a marathon XC race on some challenging terrain, and I think the hardtail would be punishing but the Range would be too much bike

    So - if owning two bikes, does it make more sense to have a Norco Range and an aggressive hardtail, or the Range and a short travel 29er trail bike? With how capable some shorter travel bikes are, is there too much overlap with my Range?
    Last edited by D(C); 02-13-2019 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    10,994
    Can't really help you as I have N+1 but I can say that resale values on the Rootdown BAs are very strong. If you get a deal on the Django (for example) you'll do fine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,310
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    N+1
    Yeah, I agree. Not an option, unfortunately.

    I have a good lead on the Django frame so the cost to swap would be minor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    4,611
    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    - It makes flow trails ride like tech trails; on fast, natural singletrack trails that aren't all that rough, the hardtail skips around and chatters in corners rather than holding, making for a less fun experience
    - When taking weekend trips to places to mellower places with my wife, I've grabbed the hardtail but then have found myself wishing for suspension when set free for that solo lap on something rowdier
    I've considered ditching my hardtail for these exact reasons you mentioned. It's less the comfort loss than the fact that it just doesn't corner and flow all that nicely. It's ok but the whole experience is usually less fun. I even find climbing to be more smooth and consistent unless the trail is basically paved.

    My FS bike is a bit less burl than your (160 front, 140 rear) and my hardtail is sort of burly (heavier steel with a 140 fork) so the most sensible thing to do is to just ride the FS all the time. However, it is kind of nice to have a super efficient, simple bike that climbs nicely on smooth trails.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    44
    Turn the hardtail into a SS bike = more fun than any bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,211
    You could always build up the short travel FS bike and hang onto the Chromag til you know if you like the new ride or not. If not, sell the FS frame. I'm thinking of doing the same but would likely convert the hardtail to singlespeed. I mostly have it for bikepacking but since I need a size small frame I can't fit much of a frame bag in the front triangle anyways, so might as well go to FS.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    7,914
    So if you pull all the parts off of the Chromag, you'd just be selling the frame, right? That frame costs $750 new, so you'd get, what? Like $350 or $400 selling it used? That seems like a waste. The correct answer here is N+1.

    Buy the short travel 29er frame and switch the parts over. Hang on to the Chromag frame. Find deals on parts and slowly rebuild the hardtail as funds permit. Win at life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central VT
    Posts
    3,820
    Hardtails also rule because your steel Chromag will last forever - it has modern standards and you'll always be able to find parts for it. Its also worth mentioning you can ride the shit out of your hardtail in muddy, shitty weather and not trash your FS bike.

    I considered selling my Surface for a new SC Blur but, like toast said, it makes more sense to keep it and just build more bikes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,114
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    So if you pull all the parts off of the Chromag, you'd just be selling the frame, right? That frame costs $750 new, so you'd get, what? Like $350 or $400 selling it used? That seems like a waste. The correct answer here is N+1.

    Buy the short travel 29er frame and switch the parts over. Hang on to the Chromag frame. Find deals on parts and slowly rebuild the hardtail as funds permit. Win at life.
    Do this. I had a 26" transam set up with a 140 fork and singlespeed. I missed it for years. Finally got myself a honzo to replace it, I see less and less time spent on the trail bike this year.

    I'd take the gears off and just figure out way to get it running later.

    Flipside, the django is a bruiser. Frame will take a lot, your ankles and short travel will be only parts holding you back for most trail riding.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,310
    Cool, yeah maybe holding onto the Rootdown frame is a good course of action. I can either build it up as another full bike over time or switch the parts back in the fall for a winter rig. The main issue with n+1 is storage space and spousal approval, but having an extra frame kicking around could likely fly more under the radar.

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