Dirt-jump hardtail for all-around riding?

Billy is considering a Giant STP-0 for his do-all bike, and I think that’s a fine idea.

Terrific website you have! I have been mountain biking since around 1996, started with a Specialized Hardrock rigid and quickly moved up to a Specialized FSR full susp. I rode that bike into the ground until it did the same to me … [injury details deleted].

So i have been on the search for a new ride and while searching came across your site of which I read frequently now. I want to get a do-it-all hard tail, partly due to cost and also to get back some of the simplicity (much has changed in bikes in the last 10yrs, its amazing).

I would like a bike that can handle a bit of everything, some trail, jumps, Freeride/DH. I decided I think I want to go for a Giant STP-0, though it will be a blind purchase as no dealers here keep them in stock.

Thought about the larger of the two frames being that I am 5’10 and the little extra room would be better for all-around riding. Will a 9spd 11-34 with a 36t front alone be sufficient gearing for all that was mentioned?

Do you have any comments you might share regarding the particular bike? I know you are fond of your P.3 and I intend to use it for much of the same, maybe a little more as it will be the only ride for a while, though I know you have taken that P.3 for some pretty tough shore style riding too if I am not mistaken.

I know you’re busy with a lot, thankfully others get to benefit from your work. I wanted to just say I think your site is great, you provide a lot of information that is based on experience that we all need and is often times hard to find with much validity. If you get a chance to answer my question great, if not I’m still going to be checking out LeeLikesBikes.



2009 Giant STP-0 (U.S. model).

Hey Billy,

Thanks for the nice note.

I’m starting to think dirt-jump hardtails are the ultimate do-everything bikes — especially if you want to keep things simple. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can ride them pretty much anywhere. They won’t rail rough terrain like an all-mountain suspension bike, but they’re super fun in town, at the jumps and on many trails.

The Giant STP-0 is a very nice bike that will serve you well (as my P.3 has served me). The Rock Shox Argyle fork is a winner, and the short stays and 69-degree head angle have become standard for DJ hardtails. Thoughts:

– Get the longer frame.

– Get the longest seatpost you can, with a quick release collar. This will let you rip the dirt jumps or spin across the rugged landscape.

– The 1×9 gearing will work fine, as long as you’re strong and the trail isn’t crazy-steep. If you have to walk a section, so what?

Buy from a local bike shop, and have fun!

— Lee

Also read: The most versatile bike ever

11 replies
  1. Eric says:

    Uh, is that really the ’09 color? I was all set to pick one up to work on some skills with this winter but I’m having a really hard time with the white/purple.

  2. Chris says:

    The coloUrs celebrate Oz and NZ’s world-leading history of Women’s Suffrage (the green was left out on purpose). Plus it doesn’t affect the ride.

    Billy, I love my STP. I run a 32T up front. A 32-11 is good for 30+ mph and then let gravity do the rest. A 32-34 will get you up much more.

  3. Josh says:

    A buddy of mine just picked up an STP a couple months ago and rails all our downhill and freeride trails with it. After we get back from the trail he’s pedaling it around town popping manuals and bunny hopping all over the place. They really are great bikes for all around riding.

    Just a quick note, I have a Leader 526 hardtail bike that can accomodate up to a 160mm fork which is my trail and dirt jump bike. There are lots of long travel hardtail frames out there and they are tons of fun and super versatile. You can build them up at right under 30lbs and have a very capable bike that will do everything. Get a travel adjustable fork and it will run great at long travel on the trail and jump like crazy when you drop it down.

  4. Billy says:

    All good to hear! I may have to go with the STP1 and then upgrade some bits later on, but I’m stoked either way.

  5. Lee (also) says:


    Good luck on the STP1. I am looking at purchasing the exact same bike and it was good to read all the postings about the bike. Thanks again!

    Lee (from another mother)

  6. Billy says:

    well Lee, hopefully we will both be happy campers then. I went ahead and got the STP1 but I also went ahead and upgraded the drive train with an X-9 mid cage, X-9 shifter and SRAM PG-990 11-34 cassette; I didn’t feel the 8 speed would be sufficient. I will upgrade the brakes later, though I am not sure if I will go hydro or a pair of BB7 mech’s. Who knows, maybe next spring we can get them side by side at one of the clinics…

    Chris and Josh, thanks guys for your input.

  7. clay says:

    My 05 STP 1 is still the best all around bike I’ve owned. With the 110mm fork and 420mm seatpost on it, I can rip trails all day long, ride street, or hit the jumps. Only time the 2.35 holy rollers are out of their league is when its wet. Otherwise I just leave them on there.

  8. Kristina says:

    Hi Billy, I had the same idea as you earlier this year. I got an STP 0 (going from a Trance 3) because I wanted a bike that was light enough for the trails but strong enough to start trying a bit of DH. I put a Pike U-Turn on it, changed a couple of other bits for personal preference & voila I had my all round bike.
    However I did decide to get into DH more so I’m building up a dually, the STP has been relegated to a more XC build for trail riding, back up DH bike and hopefully I’ll get game enough to try some dirt jumping!
    Now my only dilemma is weather I should change the Tora back down to 100mm or bump it up to 130mm? Or maybe leave it at 120mm where it’s at the moment.
    Granted if you’re into serious all mountain – lots of up to go back down then you really need to get fir to be able to pedal up in a 32 x 32 gear combo! Something to aspire to anyway!

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