Suspension vs hardtail for pump/jump?

Pick your brain? Quick question: Intense Tazer vp, or a hardtail 4x bike for pump and jump duty? I have access to two world class flow trails, and with a hanky ankle, the cush might just save me. The primary purpose of this impending purchase, however, will be skill building on the pump track. Does having a soft rear end (well, firm, but not static) muddle things and defeat the purpose?



Thanks for this question. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten one like this.

I hear you saying you want a bike for flow trails, which means pumping and jumping and probably some braking bumps, and pump track, which also means pumping and jumping.

I’m lucky enough to ride two exquisite bikes for these purposes:

Specialized P.3. Full on pump/jump hardtail with FOX 831 32 up front and full XT build including XT Trail wheels. This is the nicest pump track bike most people have ever ridden.

P.3 in smooth mode, on the lower Valmont Bike Park pump track:

Specialized Enduro SX. Full on world class slalom race bike with FOX 831 36 up front and full XT build including XT Trail wheels. This is the nicest slalom/slopestyle bike most people have ever ridden.

The Precious.

This is all about style and preference.

For pure pump track, the P.3 cannot be beaten. But the SX does not suck!

SX, not sucking, on the upper Valmont Bike Park pump track:

For general riding including slalom and slopestyle, I prefer the SX. Maybe I’m getting old, but I dig the extra error margin, and the timing — the Sine Wave of Love — feels more like my trail bikes (Camber and Enduro). Also, when you crush the SX into a corner, the bottom bracket gets super low. That bike rails!

Ideal: Two bikes!

If I had to pick one, and I wanted to do a range of riding with an old/broken body, I’d choose the suspension bike. Keep in mind you can make it as stiff as you want.

Coach Kevin Stiffler does some crazy things on my SX. He finally got one for himself.

2007 Sea Otter Classic dual slalom on a 2005 Enduro SX. I qualified 2nd in semipro! And, after the race, this bike loved some Santa Cruz singletracks.

Have fun out there!


Know more. Have more fun!

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