Beware the full-suspension Band Aid
do you think that even for a fairly slow downhiller a dually would make a rocky track smoother?
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Yes, a full suspension bike makes trails smoother. Sounds logical.
Suspension gives you some added leeway, but if you ride poorly, the trail will still feel rough. A super-expensive bike doesn’t fix poor riding technique: gripping the bars, weight too far forward, shoulders too high, looking at the ground, etc. The cush makes these flaws a little less noticeable than on a hardtail, but when they finally make you crash, you’ll be going faster. Sounds dangerous.
If you buy a new bike, devote some effort to developing your skills. Without skill, you’ll ride your $3000 bike just as sketchily as your $300 bike. Sounds silly.
That said, a dialed bike gives you the confidence to rock the skills you have. Set yourself up with a quality bike, then learn to ride it. Sounds fun.
I couldn’t agree with you more Lee. What I suggest Rob is buy a great all around bike which Lee could point you in the right direction on and take a one of Lee’s classes to polish up the skills. No matter what level you are at, Lee can always clean up your style and make sure you are getting the full potential out of that new ride.
On the other hand, I do feel that sometimes a bike with the right squish can help you be a better rider (I know I know… let me explain). For instance when I ditched my XC bike for a DH ride I felt like the bike was made for me. Why? better geometery and parts for what I was doing. Feeling comfortable allowed me to take my fingers off of my security blanket (brakes), and ride much better.
The main point is that the important thing in a bike choice is not more or less suspension. It is about a bike that feels natural to you, and that you trust. If the bike is freaking you out you will ride like my grandma, and sometimes that actually is the bike’s fault… but not always.
Thanks for that. I would love take one of your classes but i live in Australia. What type of all round bike would you recommend?
I am not Lee when it comes to the knowledge of knowing how every bike in the world handles but I consider somewhat educated in this field. I am not going to lie to you and tell you I ride suspension cause I don’t, I ride a ADDICT dirt jumping frame (hard tail) but last week at one of our little sessions Lee showed up with his Specialized Enduro and let me be the first to tell you I was a bit skeptical about the big bike but it was great. It rode like a champ and felt much smaller then it looked for sure. It was very quick under foot, sucked up the rollers great and had a very smooth pop off the lips so I give it two thumbs up. I didn’t climb with it so I can’t give that feed back but I have seen Lee track up hills with it like a champ. It ate the dirt like a fat kid eating a cup cake and I think Lee would agree. I hope this helps.