Hardtail or suspension for a (re)learner?


Throughout 2011, I’ve been trying to get to grips with flat pedals on my Enduro SL. After a couple of decades riding clips and straps then clipless, this past year has been about the worst I can remember. Admittedly, I haven’t managed to ride as much as I’d have liked, but when I do get out, I don’t feel secure on the bike and live in mortal dread of becoming detached from the bike should the rear wheel ever leave the ground… I’d really like 2012 to be different. So, would I be better served by a hardtail for re-learning some basic skills or am I kidding myself that switching to a hardtail will make any difference? Should I just knuckle down with MMBS and the Enduro?



Hey Don,

If you can’t stay on your pedals on natural terrain on an Enduro, it ain’t happening on a hardtail.

Your options, cheapest first:

• Learn to ride the bike you have. Balance on your feet. Move your hands and feet with the terrain.

• Get a hardtail or BMX bike and spend time on a pump track and just riding around. This will help you learn balance and suppleness. After you gain those skills in a sterile environment, it’ll be easier to execute them on natural terrain.

I learned to ride flats on dirt jumps and pump tracks. I now ride flats on trail too, but I couldn’t do that pre-pump.

Tip: When you can bunny hop with flats, you are ready for the big show.



Know more. Have more fun!

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