Ragley Blue Pig Hardtail - Review

Jan 11, 2016
by David Arthur  


Ragley Bikes is a British bicycle brand that first launched in 2008 with a range of hardtails, but after a brief absence, they're back with a line of completely redesigned bikes, including the Blue Pig tested here. The original brief for the Blue Pig - designed by Brant Richards of On-One fame - was for a hard-hitting steel frame with a long-travel fork, the sort of hardcore hardtail that plays really well on UK trails and with British mountain bikers.

That design philosophy continues, but the geometry has been brought right up to date, and there are a number of other changes as well. The biggest one, of course, is the transition to 27.5" wheels, which has largely become standard in mountain biking. The new Trail Geometry (that's what Ragley calls it) reflects the changing nature of modern trail mountain bikes, namely full-suspension models, with a (static) 64-degree head angle when combined with a 150mm travel fork. The idea has been to provide the handling, poise and fit of a modern trail full suspension bike, albeit without the rear suspension.

Ragley Blue Pig Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Rear-wheel travel: none
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Head angle: 64° static / 66° dynamic
• Triple butted steel frame
• Shimano SLX / XT drivetrain
• Fork: Manitou Mattoc Comp 150mm
• Weight: 31.4lb / 14.2kg
• MSRP: £1,499.99 / $2,000 USD complete bike or £449.99 / $550 USD frame only
• Contact: Ragley Bikes / @ragley-bikes

The Ragley range also includes the Piglet (a diluted Blue Pig with a 130mm fork); the MmmBop, an aluminum version of the Blue Pig; the BigWig 29er and an entry-level aluminum hardtail dubbed The Marley. The Blue Pig is available as a frame-only (£449.99) with four sizes to choose from (XS-L) or the complete bike I’ve been testing, which costs £1,499.99 and gets you a build kit consisting of a Manitou Mattoc Comp fork, Shimano SLX and XT transmission and brakes, Nukeproof OKLO Air 125mm dropper post and WTB Trail Boss/Vigilante tyres on WTB/Novatec wheels.


Ragley Blue Pig
The Blue Pig adopts modern mountain bike geometry with more length and a slacker head angle

Ragley Blue Pig
Smartly designed frame with lots of mud clearance (essential for UK riding) and reinforcing

Frame Design

With the light weight and stiffness benefits of more advanced materials like aluminum and carbon fiber, you’d think steel frames would have gone the way of the dinosaurs a long time ago. But the fact is, steel is still a bloody good material to build a bicycle frame from, and the Ragley Blue Pig is proof of this. The frame is constructed from triple butted custom shaped 4130 chromoly steel, nothing fancy, but it’s well put together with some nicely executed details. It retains the three-finger bridge from the previous version of the Blue Pig frame, which maximizes clearance around the rear wheel for mud clearance, a nod to its British roots, and there are plenty of additional bracing tubes where they're needed, including the curved top between the top tube and seat tube.

Ragley Blue Pig
Interchangeable rear dropout allow the frame to be run with either a thru-axle or quick release rear wheel.

Ragley Blue Pig
Steel might not be cutting-edge but it works well in this hardtail frame


The frame wears a 44mm head tube for stiffness up front, and skinny rear stays out back, which along with the natural give that steel provides, do a good job of removing any harshness that might otherwise spoil the ride. It's no magic carpet ride of course, but it's not as rough or jarring as you might imagine. Certainly, coming from a full-suspension bike might require a short period of adjustment.

Pointing towards the aggressive riding this bike is intended for is the reinforced down tube/head tube junction, radically sloped top tube to provide loads of clearance and stealth dropper post hose routing. The rear dropouts are interchangeable, allowing riders to choose between either a quick release or 12x142mm thru-axle configuration. There are also ISCG 05 tabs so you could easily slap on a chain guide too. And in case you do take up the Blue Pig on its hard-hitting potential, the frame comes with a five-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement policy, which provides a bit of peace of mind. Oh, and I just love the head badge too, better than a cheap sticker.


Geometry / Specifications

Ragley Blue Pig geo


Specifications
Release Date 2015
Price $2248
Rear Shock None
Fork Manitou Mattoc Comp with TPC Damping + Doardo Air Spring, 150mm Travel, 15mm Thru-Axle, Tapered Steerer
Headset FSA No. 9 - Sealed bearing
Cassette Shimano HG-50, 11-36T
Crankarms Shimano M677 SLX 2x, 175mm, 38x24T
Chainguide None
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Pedals None
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M786 10Spd Shadow Plus
Chain Shimano HG-54
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore M616 Down-Swing 2Spd
Shifter Pods Shimano SLX M670 2x 10 Spd
Handlebar Ragley Wiser Riser Bars - 760mm Wide, 25mm Rise
Stem Ragley Stubbing Stem - 50mm Reach, 0 Deg Rise
Grips Ragley Single Lock On
Brakes Shimano SLX M675 180mm
Hubs Novatec hubs
Rim WTB STI23, TCS, 27.5”, 32 Hole rim
Tires WTB Vigilante TCS 2.3 / WTB Trail Boss TCS 2.25
Seat Ragley Tracker
Seatpost Nukeproof OKLO AIR, 125mm Travel






Climbing/Handling

Ragley says the geometry of the Blue Pig has been intended to provide “better control” and “improved stability,” and these traits were very clear from the first ride on the Blue Pig. It took very little adjustment from the 150mm full suspension bike I had previously been riding to adapt to the Blue Pig, and I felt right at home, both with the geometry and the fit of the size large, for my 5’11” height.

You’d probably write-off the Blue Pig at first glance for lacking any climbing prowess, what with its long-travel fork and slack head angle, but it was surprisingly well mannered on the climbs, although its 31.4lb (14.2kg) weight does keep it from breaking any hill climb records - it’s definitely more of ‘winch to the top, enjoy the descents’ sort of bike. I found myself spinning quite happily up climbs, from long drags to steep and technical ascents, where the 2x10 drivetrain was welcome to overcome the high weight. Scaling steep technical climbs on a hardtail, without any rear suspension to soak up the bumps and provide traction, is more of a challenge, but the WTB tyres put down a load of traction and the Blue Pig’s stability kept the tires planted on all but the most treacherous climb. The rear WTB tire coped in most mud situations and only struggled in the most claggiest of gloop. I used the Blue Pig for everything from weekday night rides to longer cross-country jaunts to sessioning downhill tracks, and this variety of riding really highlighted just how well the Blue Pig can turn its hand to any sort of riding. I could live with this bike quite happily, because, even coming from a full-suspension rig, there was little compromise. It was a lot of fun.

The combination of the wheelbase length and slack head angle meant the Blue Pig was resolutely stable over rough terrain. It isn’t easily unnerved when dropping into rooty descents, with the tires finding loads of grip and the Manitou fork staying on point. While line choice is always more critical on a hardtail, the Ragley does allow you to be less fussy and can, to a degree, straight-line tricky obstacles. It definitely gives you more confidence when the going gets rough compared to a cross-country race hardtail with a low front end and short travel fork. Comfort over longer distances benefits from the compliance in the frame and the low slung top tube provided loads of clearance for moving the bike around through the corners when carving switchbacks. It probably wouldn't be my first choice if distance and speed were high on the list, but if you're not in a rush to get to the top and not worried about your average speed, the Blue Pig is a compelling choice.

Ragley Blue Pig review


Descending

While climbing isn’t the Blue Pig’s forte, descending definitely is. Going down rough tracks at speed is clearly the designers had in mind when penning the new Blue Pig. It's so planted and stable at speed, and the geometry instills huge confidence and lets you tackle the sort of trails that you might normally shy away from on a hardtail. I definitely rode familiar trails faster on this bike than any other hardtail I've ridden in recent years. I reckon it's probably faster than some cross-country full-sussers too, and I wasn't expecting to write those words in a review about a steel hardtail.

High-speed stability, whether dropping into steep rooty trails or carving through flat-out fast berms is a joyous experience on the Blue Pig. There’s a surprising accuracy from the frame and it never felt like it was twisting or squirming under high loads. It doesn’t noticeably deflect under heavy landings or through fast corners, and the beefy front-end ensured the fork kept tracking accurately. While you can get down tracks pretty swiftly if you just hang back and let the Blue Pig loose, it suits a rider that is prepared to really take charge, for it needs a bit of weight over the front wheel to really get the fork to work at its best and get the front wheel tucked neatly into corners.

While you certainly can’t take the same liberties that you can on a full-suspension bike, it’s surprising just how fast and hard you can ride the Blue Pig. Line choice is a bit more critical; a hardtail challenges you to read the terrain to pick a smoother line, but to some extent the Blue Pig can just batter its way through a tangle of roots or garden of rocks. Get the weight over the bars and work the fork and let the rear wheel rattle and skip through afterwards. It might not be the fastest bike against the clock, but that’s missing the point of this sort of hardtail: it’s all about the engaging ride experience and sheer simplicity.


Ragley Blue Pig
Manitou's Mattoc fork offers 150mm travel and a HexLock axle.


Ragley Blue Pig
Ragley's house brand takes care of the bike's bar and stem.


Component Check

• Manitou Mattoc Comp fork: Manitou isn’t a familiar sight on mountain bikes these days, but the latest Mattoc Comp has a lot going for it. With the 34mm stanchion and reverse crown, it's a stiff fork and tracks well, although the damping didn't feel quite as refined as the latest offerings from Fox and RockShox. The Hex Lock QR15 is fiddly to use and takes some practice to get the hang of.

• Shimano SLX brakes: They might not cost a fortune but I really like the shape of the Shimano brake levers and they bed in very quickly and provide loads of power all of the time, with no maintenance required. It's really useful having lever reach adjustment as well, as I prefer my levers closer to the bars.

• Nukeproof OKLO AIR dropper post: Nukeproof's 125mm dropper post offered reliable performance for the majority of the time, but it did start to suffer towards the end of the test with a slower return speed than when the bike arrived. The handlebar remote lever could be larger for easier use, and the routing of the cable mitigates the internal seat tube dropper cable routing.

• Ragley Wiser Riser 760mm bars / 50mm Ragley stem: The frame is built around a short stem and fairly wide bar setup, and the fitted Ragley kit suited the bike well. I really liked the shape of the bars, with no hint of flex from them on the trail. I should also mention the matching Ragley saddle which was a comfortable shape for long stints in the saddle.

• WTB Vigilante/Trail Boss tires: A confidence inspiring tire pairing, providing consistent traction, both when braking or cornering. Rolling speed was good though the front tire did feel a bit draggy on some surfaces. They did cope pretty well with the mud as well, but the rear tire might go if I was to ride the bike through the entire winter.

Leaning the pig over.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesYou could probably build it lighter, but I'm not sure there would be much to gain from going down that route, as it would risk losing the hard-hitting capability the Blue Pig so clearly expresses on the trail. The combination of the slack head angle and long-travel fork is a winning combination, and if you haven't ridden a hardtail for a long time, I'd urge giving the Blue Pig a go, as it might just open your eyes to how capable this sort of aggro hardtail is. - David Arthur



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About the Reviewer
David Arthur is a freelance mountain biker writer based in the UK. Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'11:” • Weight: 154lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None



276 Comments

  • + 61
 Nice review, but how come every bike review I read on Pinkbike seems like there's a whole lot talk but not a lot being said?
  • + 34
 I feel like they have to be really light with their interviews of every bike because the mtb industry is too small compared to the amount of consumers that read these articles. If a PB article just bashed on this bike, I'm sure it could be close to a death spell for Ragley. The audience of this site is absolutely massive at this point in time. I'd imagine they're just trying to not hurt anyone.
  • + 35
 True. But on the other hand all bikes reviewed here are simply good and don't differe from each other. Who deserves bad review? Trek? Scott? SC? When i read that bike is fast or descends well i wonder which one doesn't? Those reviews are more like presentation if bikes.
  • + 13
 Yep, agreed.

There are so many options for hard hitting hardtails these days, people who might buy this bike already know what they're about (often coming from full sussers btw).

What I'd like to hear is : what makes this one different, apart from the color?
I'm talking about HA (64° is the slackest I've seen), length (these are not so long) and the importance of steel.
In the same price range you have the Shan, quite the reference. Also Commencal stepping up with a sexy crmo for 2016. How do they compare?

And 14.2kg is heavy. Ok it's not meant to be light, but if I went the hardtail route I wouldn't want it to be "winch to the top, enjoy the descents". So if someone cares about the uphills, should he consider a Mondraker Vantage (aluminium)? 67°HA but forward geo... Chris Porter would approve.

Please, answers!
  • + 5
 just my two cent, something that is really horrible and deserve a bad review maybe just doesn't belong in a PB review.
  • + 13
 I think the way bikes and components have come along its probably hard to find a truly bad bike. I think the worst that could be said of most hardtail is that they got the spec wrong or didn't fullfil the goals of their intended market
  • + 5
 I have about 10-12 rides on my 2016 Blu Pig and I found the exact same thing to be true as was said in the review. It is remarkably stable through rough stuff. Also that build is just heavy because of the components. My build is around 28 lbs and there's not once bit of carbon on there.
  • + 6
 My only complaint about the new blue pig is the frame pricing. 100 bucks more gets you a stanton made from 631 and same geo, for 20 bucks less, you can have a cotic bfe with some 853, although you lose the bolted rear end, and a hope headset. Why do they want so much for generic 4130? Even the piglet is more expensive than the bfe
  • + 2
 Yea the pricing is a little out there for that frame. I got mine for 494 USD on CRC so that's significantly less than I would have paid for a Privee or something similar.
  • + 2
 @kopaczus ..FFS give it a rest ,Specialized Bikes are like what Apple is to phones one of the best out there but more expensive(and for a reason). generally the people who slate them have never had one.
  • + 4
 Yea agree. Even if you may not like the company I don't think you can jump to the conclusion that their bikes are bad. They know how to make a good bike hands down.
  • + 1
 Read inbetween the lines...
  • + 10
 @Uuno I agree 100%. I would like to hear more about how this bike handled compared to other "aggressive" hard tails which sport more conservative geometry. This reads like it was written by someone who does not ride them very often. You could write a lot of what was said about a lot of different bikes. Climbs well enough, likes to descend. I want to hear more about this bikes personality.
  • + 3
 Agreed. I'd love to see how this bike compared to an on one, honzo, Canfield, chromag, ns surge etc... I may be updating my surge one day and would like to have an idea what the handling differences are
  • - 1
 I wouldn't say specialized is awful, im not a fan though. Ill even admit that their EVO and the new Carbon demo are pretty sexy although i wish they would change it up with the paint job on them. i just dont like how they are every where i see. too main stream for me.
  • + 10
 Why does Specialized come up in every single conversation... this is tired guys, lets stay on topic.
  • + 4
 So back to arguing about boost then @darkstar63?
  • + 4
 I suppose.... I'm waiting for another wheel size to come out so things can get interesting around here again.
  • + 2
 Agreed. I know journo's are apprehensive about doing old-style bike shoot-outs, and having a winner or loser. But could they at least have a 10-category comparison, its impossible to tell what bikes better at what without some sort of comparison. You don't have to give each a final score per se, but at least a scale-based comparison that helps average joe to pick the bike, or even kind of bike, that fits his or her style, abilities and pocket. These reviews are pretty wet these days. I appreciate that lots of bikes are better these days, (Less margin for error with such an increased knowledge base from ever-increasing years of trial and error) but this means its even more important to be able to pick the right bike for you.
  • + 12
 Why does everyone rag on PB reviews? For one, they are not reviewing crappy bikes because generally companies only send them good bikes they think will get good reviews. But when one does fail, crack or otherwise not good at something, you definitely hear about it. They tell you all you need to know, minus direct opinions about how it ranks vs. competitors. But a bike is a very personal thing. One rider's style will prefer one geometry, or frame material in this case, while another's will like something else. That's why Bike Mag has a panel go through each bike in its Bible. But this being a small company, I would bet only this reviewer got on this particular model, I'm glad to know about it and I like how PB does review the obscure models and companies.

Re: how it stacks up against other hardtails: "I definitely rode familiar trails faster on this bike than any other hardtail I've ridden in recent years. I reckon it's probably faster than some cross-country full-sussers too" - doesn't mean it's better than other hardtails, just faster. Would have been nice to hear what else he has ridden though.

Re: how it handles/what it feels like to ride: "High-speed stability, whether dropping into steep rooty trails or carving through flat-out fast berms is a joyous experience on the Blue Pig. There’s a surprising accuracy from the frame and it never felt like it was twisting or squirming under high loads. It doesn’t noticeably deflect under heavy landings or through fast corners, and the beefy front-end ensured the fork kept tracking accurately. While you can get down tracks pretty swiftly if you just hang back and let the Blue Pig loose, it suits a rider that is prepared to really take charge, for it needs a bit of weight over the front wheel to really get the fork to work at its best and get the front wheel tucked neatly into corners. " - what more can be said? If you ride front heavy, this bike is for you. If you ride back heavy. get something else.

Re why you want this bike: "It might not be the fastest bike against the clock, but that’s missing the point of this sort of hardtail: it’s all about the engaging ride experience and sheer simplicity." In other words, don't buy this to race buy it for fun or for inclement weather as it is designed for the mud, as he stated in the review.
  • + 2
 Yea exactly. Let's not rag on hard tails because they're not as fast as FS bikes. They obviously aren't, but that doesn't mean they're not good. Also I can verify that a hardtail really does make you a better rider not in the sense of physical skills, but line choice and reading terrain. You have to be able to analyze what's coming up because if you hit a rock with the back end, there's no suspension there to soak it up. Therefore, you have to be able to choose the line that's the smoothest and most direct. Just since getting my Blu Pig I've noticed my ability to read terrain has greatly improved just out of necessity.
  • + 1
 @rubberelli I like PB reviews, many are good.

But this is the exact situation where it should have helped me out : I'm buying a hardtail, and it's time to choose.
So I did my research, and the bluepig is on the list.

And this review taught me nothing ("64°HA, steel frame" just reading the bike's specifications is enough to say it's going to be fast downhill)

For example as you said, I'd like to hear what were the other hardtails that were slower.
  • + 2
 @Uuno - the review goes into depth, and I even copied and pasted it, how it handles In varying terrain, corners etc. And what riding styles suit it. That is about as much info as they can possibly give you. But what you really want is info on what it is or is not better than. However, they can't do this objectively without a panel riding it. A bike isn't a car, so the 0-60 mph and cornering G's are solely dependent upon that rider and their health and experience on a particular trail. So, while it may be faster to him, he may be riding different trails, at different times of the year, and he may have recovered from an injury so he can't difinitely say one bike is faster than another. Especially because his friend might kick his ass on the slower bike because they have different riding styles, different weight, leg and arm reach etc. Etc. There are too many factors to be scientific about what bike is faster than another. You can't resposnibly come out and say the V10 is a faster bike than a Demo, because you know what: Aaron Gwin won WC on a Demo. But you also know what, the Demo didn't win Champs. What is better is too rider dependent.
  • + 2
 One thing missing from PB reviews is rounding-up many bikes and having a big test session and write-up ... oh wait, that's what print magazines did once upon a time Wink

Seriously tho, when's the last time that PB did a review of multiple bikes at once? Trail Bike shootout, XC hardtail vs. FS speed fest test, Top Dog Cheap DH rigs, best Trail/Park/Street hardtails, BMX for MTB riders, etc. Grab a genre and stuff 4-to-6 bikes in a comparo with the same people riding the same trails. Or... "old versus new" and take a bike from a couple years ago and pit it against the new version, is newer really better? etc etc etc... so many good themes available.

I don't see fault with the single-bike reviews on PB but it would be nice to see more head-to-head comparison tests on here. Yes it's harder to coordinate many bikes and people but it would be nice to see a couple feature reviews with multiple bikes all head-to-head. Do it smart and work-in some celebrities at cool venues (Tippe vs Rachel Atherton on beach cruisers at the Whistler pump track, for example... which cruiser should I buy? LOL!)
  • + 1
 I think it's a matter of different strokes for different folks. They say what the bike does well. If that's what you're looking for, and the geo fits your height, must be for you!
  • + 2
 Yep exactly @AZRyder. If they were comparing different bikes, it wouldn't necessarily help you (general) any more. Everyone has different tastes and riding styles that will sway their saying if said bike is good or not.
  • + 0
 I didn't know why people hated on the big S, but now I do. Won't be seen on one of their bikes no matter how good they are
  • + 26
 You really need to ride an aggressive hardtail to understand, and appreciate, why they can be so good. In the UK at least where half, sorry, two thirds of the year are spent wallowing around in mud, leaves, slop and water a bike like this makes a lot of sense.

No, it isn't as quick as a good full suspension bike but as the review says, it might not be the fastest bike but that definitely is missing the point.

I run a 150mm 65 degree aggro hardtail alongside my full suss and I love it. Better still the frame cost me £40. It'll do trail centres, natural stuff, road schleps and its even been taken to a regional DH race and didn't kill me.

A lot of new riders, especially in the UK, would do well do spend their cash on a bike like the Ragley and not only learn to ride properlyand have a damn good time doing it too.
  • - 39
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 1:31) (Below Threshold)
 I don't understand the 'hard tail for the winter slop' thing. You go slower in the winter as it is, on both ups and downs. Why make it even harder? Hardtails are best for beginners in my opinion. Since I learned to ride faster a hardtail just slowed me down. I'll never go back again. Obviously I'm talking about real mtbs not DJ bikes here.
  • + 56
 I can't see why a hardtail is any slower, or any harder.

With all due respect, if, as you say, you learned to ride faster, but a hardtail slowed you down, you haven't learned to ride faster, you've (presumably) just bought a skills compensating full suspension bike.

A good rider is quick, regardless.

As above anyway, it isn't about going quicker, its about having fun. If someone's idea of fun is ploughing through everything then so be it. But being able to be creative and feeling the trail more is just as fun. I have a hardtail and a full suss, both aggressive geometry. Neither is better than the other, they are just as good in different ways.

Some people don't, and never will, "get" what a good hardtail is, or can do for their riding.
  • + 8
 I think the hardtail for winter thing boils down to not making the most of the benefits your high end Susser gives due to inevitably poor trail conditions. Personally I'm happy to run my enduro all year long and replace various bits of worn drive train an bearings because of it. Some people just prefer to have a simple hardtail in their stable to protect their fancy linkage and xtr groupo
  • + 13
 Thom, I think it's more about the lower maintenance of a hardtail in the winter over destroying your lovely full sus bearings and shock. I took my Habit out in the gloop yesterday and decided that it's just not worth the agg of constantly cleaning it. Unless you have the luck and luxury to be riding on "all weather" trails, muddy paths and fields (I'm in Hertfordshire) just suck the life and fun out of a decent (full suspension) mountain bike. My fancy 1x11 cassette and BB30 bottom bracket give bugger all advantage when slogging through flooded paths and tracks, and will cost way more to replace when they are shagged than the cheap gear on my boardman cx bike. Some people choose a hardtail, for me even that would be pointless in the mud out there at the moment, and it was pissing down all night again last night too. The cx bike will be the first choice for now while the weather is what it is at the moment.

As for this Ragley, it looks fun but my 40 year old back can no longer put up with a hardtail, and I think it is just too heavy as well.
Feel free to disagree, my opinion is merely my opinion.
  • + 13
 Maybe.

If you can afford to run one alongside your full suss bike then these aggro hardtails offer 80% of the performance and don't sacrifice any of the fun.

I still maintain that a lot of beginners could do much worse than run something like the Blue Pig as their first bike.
  • - 11
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 2:52) (Below Threshold)
 Hardtails find less grip, trying to ride one up my local climb (especially in the winter) is pretty much impossible - it's harder than any fs I've taken up the same climb. Same thing goes for trying to match my times on the way back down really. There's less pop (especially with steel) off objects when you're unweighting through sections or doing quick direction/ line changes, you can't unweight the wheels while you're still on the ground as easily. There are many more reasons that a hardtail is slower and more difficult to ride. I learned to ride on the Blue Pigs and they were great but I wouldn't ride one now. As for buying skills, isn't that what we all do? Ever done skills course? Unless you're riding a Raleigh chopper you've paid money for a bike that has certain benefits to your ride. I'm not pretending to be a fast rider, I'm as average as they come, that's why I feel my point of view could help people from making the mistake of buying a hardtail. I know, I did it last year.
  • + 17
 "...but a hardtail slowed you down, you haven't learned to ride faster..."

I couldn't agree more. Once I learn how to be light in my HT, or read the trail better to anticipate and absorb the bumps with my legs and arms, I'm sure I'll be faster. Now imagine how faster I will be on a FS bike having these skills + the help of the suspension.
  • - 14
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 2:59) (Below Threshold)
 PS yes ploughing through shit IS fun. If you've never experienced that I highly recommend it. This old cliche of having to learn on a hardtail is just bs from the old guard looking down on less experienced riders. Why does it matter how 'good' you are? All that matters is fun as you said yourself. I can't imagine how anyone could ever convince me a hardtail is more fun than a full suspension bike. I even ride mine on our dirt jumps and it's hilarious.
  • - 10
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 3:05) (Below Threshold)
 @ugez that's exactly my point dude - imagine how much faster you'll be + the help of suspension!
  • - 9
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 3:12) (Below Threshold)
 @snorkelsucker
"I still maintain that a lot of beginners could do much worse than run something like the Blue Pig as their first bike"

That's what I was maintaining too :-)
  • + 4
 Thom, glad we agree.

At the end of the day it is great there is so much choice out there, especially for beginners. I, like everyone else, was a beginner once. And I had a hardtail. I quickly "outgrew" it in terms of the bikes ability, because it was an XC biased bike with a steep head angle and very little suspension. I see many many people riding those kinds of bikes, and I know friends who have run them, only to find they quickly outgrow the bike.

Something like the Blue Pig, or any other more aggressive hardtail makes sense - and I do say that with the benefit of hindsight - for a beginner because not only do they cost less than a (good) full suspension bike, but they also allow you to progress beyond just the initial limits that you find as a beginner.

A good, solid, well proportioned aggressive hardtail has many benefits from low maintenance winter riding to skills enhancement. They are most definitely NOT for everyone, or every situation but to dismiss one without riding one is naive.

Someone said above that it is all about fun - amen to that. Fun comes in many packages though and I know, being lucky enough to run two bikes, that a good hardtail and a good full suss bike can be just as much fun as each other.
  • + 3
 Yeah but I will not learn how to be light on pedals and rely everything on the suspension if I went straight to a FS.

Learning to bunny hop on a HT then apply it on a FS bike, is different than learning to bunny hop straight to a FS bike using the suspension. With a HT, you'll be forced to read the trail than to just plow through it with a FS. For a beginner(specially with a limited budget), I'd rather advice him to spend the money on HT with better parts and not on whatever FS he can afford.
  • + 3
 If the trails are running fast enough for my full sus, it wins every time, I will never go back to a hardtail. I just can't be bothered and don't get enough ride time to want to ride anything other than my prime bike. That's why I laid out all that cash right?

The only reason my cx bike will get a look in at the moment is because the trails round here are just a pure slog fest in this heavy rain and no amount of front or rear suspension can inject any extra fun into low speed mud plugging. Sketchy narrow cx tyres, no grip, dodgy drop bars and cable discs make the grind like old school fun again, without an expensive maintenance bill...
  • + 6
 Because you don't have to replace bearings every 5 mins or look after a hard tail like you do a full suss in shitty conditions. I own both and riding the hardtail quickly removes bad habits and makes me a better rider on the full suss...
  • - 5
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 4:34) (Below Threshold)
 I'm still not convinced, all my bearings are fine and always have been. And if you've got the money for an expensive bike what's a set of bearings every now and then? I do ride a DJ bike so I'm not against the hardtail or the hardtail rider for that matter but I just think get the best you can afford and ride the shit out of it. As somebody mentioned (I'm now totally lost in this thread, what was my point again?) there is a price point where it makes more sense to have a hardtail but why you'd chose a high end hardtail (like this one, pricing wise at least) over a solid mid range FS I just don't understand.
  • + 13
 Hardtails can be super fun, like masturbation behind the boiler in the basement (what will happen to you as soon as you get two or more kids), but I still prefer it on the couch when no one's around... comfort makes me focus on better, more important things. Occasionally anddue to lack of other possibilities, you embrace what you have, but for most of the time... You know, every analogy is flawed.
  • + 6
 Riding a hardtail is completely different than riding a full suspension bike. It's not better, it's different, and that's why it is enjoyable. There's no better feeling than accomplishing the same line gnarly line that you enjoy on the FS, while dealing with the unmitigated chaos of the hardtail. It also forces greater attention paid to every minute detail of the terrain, since there is such a small margin of error, and that trial-focus carries over to the full suspension bike when you switch back. Hard tails are also way more fun on mellower trails and at slower speeds, so great for night rides, rides with buddies and beers where you just want to muck about, or girlfriend rides where you know your speed is going to be lagging a bit. Every hard tail review creates the same debate, but really it's not debatable. Full suspension is fun. Hard tails are fun. If you only have one side, you're missing out on the other.
  • - 16
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 I disagree, it is debatable (even if I'm the only one debating it) and I'd be fine if they were made illegal. It'd be a shame for new riders cus they'd be forced to fork out more dosh for a decent full sus bike. But you do not need to punish yourself by riding a hardtail every now and then to be better rider. And what if you don't care about being a better rider anyway? There's too much cliche bs going on concerning the hardtail. I didn't get better or more creative riding a hardtail, I just had a horrible time and starting thinking bad thoughts. The classic 'everyone should learn on a hardtail' is the purest form of bs, the only reason there's any truth in it is because they're much more affordable to somebody new to the sport.
I agree that hardtails are different: They're terrible and full sus is not ;-)
If somebody genuinely prefers the ride of a hardtail or just likes to mix things up that's fine by me, just don't start preaching that everyone should ride them to make them better riders.
  • + 0
 I agree totally mammal. As far as rough terrain is concerned, how can one say that hardtail teaches some technique when you take different lines depending on the bike you ride (and that applies to 120trail bike vs DH bike as well) and even if you do try same lines, you ride them in a different manner. I have a super rocky section on a trail around here and yes, when in top form I can approach it with same entry speed buuuut by the time I am in the middle of it, I already lost some deal of speed compared to fully and it would simply be foolish to attempt to go for the line with biggest stones (which is probably fastest if you ride a fully) when you can go in more control, taking the outer line around them. When you ride a longer travel fully you try to put bike into certain places, pick one rock to get over the other, find support for cornering. In all that chaos, fully gives a platform to launch from one rock to skip another to aim what you want to do, while on a hardtail you simply hold on for life, plowing through stuff, wobbling like an idiot. You would never ride a trail for the first time on HT as you would on a fully. You would simply not dare, it would be stupid to do so. Some refer to it as having balls and skill. I will put to them that it takes more skill to find a flow through a rockgarden by weighing and unweighing the bike, a thing that is greatly limited on a HT. It also has to be said here that such kind of approach to riding a HT, forces me to use clipless pedals where I'd be quite fine on flats on a 140mm+ fully. Just because someone rides some sketchy steeps or launches big jump on HT in the same way as on fully doesn't mean anything and does not contribute to anything else than to increasing your willingness to get wobbled around with limited vision.

To me HT is an excuse to be slower than others, to show some balls, but in the longer run it doesn't do much. Skills coaches like McCormack or Hamilton say it clearly, riding HT in the woods does not contribute to better skills. It is a completely different discussion if we talk having HT to ride pumptrack, street, trials, which does make you a better rider. Riding BMX track with BMX will make you a better rider, but riding BMX in the woods definitely won't.

Finaly remember that beginners need confidence and telling them to take a HT and ride DH trails is just plain stupid. It will only teach them hanging off the bars. So tell them to get a used FS bike. And most of that patronizing BS about honing skills comes from people who put 140, 160 forks into their HTs with 65 head angles to do nothing else but emulate DH/Enduro bike qualities.
  • + 5
 Advantages of hardtails:
1. You do learn to read a trail better on one. You can master a trail on a HT, then hop aboard your FS and get your best time.
2. You will not muck up your rear suspension. shops can charge up to $200 for servicing your rear, with most of that being labor, meaning if you do it yourself, you better have a lot of time on your hands.
3. Easier trails become a blast on a HT and you can many times go faster on pedally courses on them. It's not much fun to overbike a trail. Something boring on your Nomad can be a blast on a HT and you will probably be quicker on that 'boring' trail too.
  • + 2
 Waki has made my point better than I ever could have.
@Rubberelli
This reading trail thing is part of the cliche, do you stop reading trail the minute you get on a full suspension bike? No, unless you're taking a DH bike down a green run you still have to read the trail. And to no lesser extent. Perhaps even more so since you're going faster.
  • + 6
 People like hardtails cuz theyre just plain fun ,maybe slower i dont know i couldnt give a shit i just tend to have fun on mine. Also find it a bit of a challange to try and keep up with the full sussers. And you can argue til blue in the face they are defo less maintenance/ cheaper to run than a full sus so long as your not buying cheapo alu frames that snap every 2 seconds
  • + 6
 I ride FS and HT... I still love my HT. If you can't enjoy a HT... then I guess you don't fully enjoy MTBing.
  • - 5
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 9:57) (Below Threshold)
 So why do people like full suspension bikes? They're plain fun too.
If a hardtail makes you a better rider why not go rigid and become a seriously better rider? Why not ride a bmx down a DH trail and become Josh Bryceland? Why not forget the bike altogether and go trail running, when you get on a bike you'll be so much faster.
  • + 0
 @zephxiii :-0 oh no you didn't.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson - call reading the trail a cliche if you like, but since we are all in agreement that down a gnarly trail you will go slower on a HT, then it only makes sense that you will notice lines better. Furthermore, when you take those lines you are much more connected to the trail. A small hole after a drop might not be too noticeable on a FS but would be on a HT and you may not have realized how much speed it sucked up. If, as you seem to indicate, you read a trial better at high speed, then I guess we would never see WC pros walk tracks right?
  • + 1
 Lol some people do ride rigid and enjoy it, horses for courses. Fs are fun too just generally more expensive to run and id say overall i have a bigger grin on my face after a spin on the ht. Nowt wrong with having either so lets all just chill out.

As to why fs ? Generally people have full sus for comfort, and i by this i am talking about the vast majority of uk riders who are not out hitting super gnarly shit but just trail riding. Fs defo is an advantage for dh and the gnarly stuff, a hardtail is never gonna keep up on there (fun to give it a go tho).
  • - 3
 Reading trail isn't a cliche it's a necessity. The idea that you'll get better at doing so on a hardtail is the cliche, one of the biggest in mtb, so big that when anybody actually has an original thought on the topic they get pooped all over.
I think you know full well that we are talking about two different things as far as your non-sensical track walk argument goes. I'm suggesting that riding faster means you have to make decisions quicker, you have to react to the trail quicker and to do so you have to read the trail quicker. Full suspension bikes ride faster (I'm not saying this makes them better) that's what they're designed to do. The faster you go, the faster you have to think and the faster you have to react - just to make clear my point (do you see my point lolololol etc etc).
  • + 1
 I see your point in terms of developing your reactive skills, but reading a trail is really learning the ins and outs and the slower you go the better you will learn it. Walking is the best, but if you're not competing or being paid, then have some fun and ride it with a HT to learn it and then move to FS to develop your reactive skill to get even faster,
  • - 2
 @jaydmf all I'm challenging here is the notion, idea, cliche that riding a hardtail makes you a better rider/ that everyone should learn to ride on a hardtail/ hardtail riders are technically better or able to read trail better. It's a popular idea and is spouted as fact by almost every mtb rider ever whenever the topic of hardtails comes up.
Anyone who enjoys riding their hardtail, or rigid or even lunatics riding bmx's down DH trails and having fun is cool with me, my best bud rides a hardtail very similar to the Blue Pig, he's a bellend but not because he rides a hardtail. I see it like this - how d'you know you're talking to a hardtail rider? Don't worry, they'll tell you. I'll be going into hiding now.
  • - 2
 @Rubberelli reading trail is the opposite of learning the ins and outs. Reading trail means reacting to what is in front of you at any given moment while flying along. Walking a track beforehand to get an idea of which lines you'll take (and which drops you'll be dismounting and walking down) is a different thing.
  • + 1
 My $.02, I would like a HT for zipping around town, riding up hills for a good workout and hitting some nice XC trails. For any other trail riding, full suspension. Sure, you can have fun on anything. I even took my old hardtail (a bike inferior to the Ragley Blue Pig) to Highland MTB Park and while fun, I was holding on for dear life and had no choice but to slow up on several sections. WTF was I thinking?!? Haha. Making the switch to FS was has made all of my trail riding more enjoyable and I don't even have the greatest FS bike/components. But riding the FS around town is when I wish most that I had a HT, except when I go down stairs of course. So I would like to add a HT to the stable, but between the 2, FS.
  • + 3
 Thats fine Thom, i have a lot of people i know who have the total opposite opinion and are hardtail only . All i will say is from the people i know who ride, generally the ones that put a lot of time in on hardtails (mainly because back in the day they couldnt afford FS) are the faster riders. You can debate the reasons why forever and a day but thats the general trend that ive seen, so IMO there is some truth to this whole ht theory. Maybe not as much as everyone makes out but there is some truth to it.

I also do think people should start off on a HT, in the same way you dont start off on motor bikes buying a 1200 cc super bike, its gonna end in tears as you dont know how to handle the damn thing Razz
  • + 1
 What do you mean by reading the trail? I look for different things on HT. On HT I am always chosin a smoother line, I may even be braking in different places. I even have a different riding stance on HT, much more forward so I utilize my arms more, because if I used my hips as much as on HT I'd be puncturing more often. Sure if your trails are less rocky, then yea it seems great to chose HT. If your trails are super rocky and you like a bit of trials exercise, HTs are awesome! But there is no denying that riding HT in the woods requires a different approach which is not always applicable on FS. The more travel you have the longer is the frequency of the sinewave of weighing and unweighing the bike. Yes suspension can numb you but well, progress is always reserved for those who want to progress. Riding with high seat taught me to move around on the bike, lowering a bit motivated me to pedal standing as much as possible - I still love my dropper post
  • + 1
 Did you read the first paragraph of what you linked @ThomDawson? This is pretty much the argument that everyone here advocating HT's is making: learn on a HT, go fast on FS.
"Sure, certain essential bicycle skills are better learned on a shorter travel, easier-to-ride bicycle. And yes, newer riders may indeed find themselves in over their heads on a big travel downhill rig. But when it comes time to take those essential skills to the big leagues, when the buttercup in you wants to buck up, it’s time to go deep. "
  • - 1
 I read it in 2012, then about 10 mins ago yeah. He's not talking about hardtails dude he's saying you can't just jump on a DH rig and kill it.
  • + 4
 Greg Minaar, Steve Peat, Mick Hannah, Rob Warner, Lopes, Kovaric, Nico, Barel.... All of them started out on HT. They learned their craft on it. I remember reading something on one of the French sites where Nico talked about how riding a HT taught him about weight distribution and positioning a bike in corners correctly to maximise speed. Does that mean that the skills learned on a HT transfer directly to a FS? No - but anyone who knows anything about skill development will tell you that this is normal and not a bad thing. Certainly with FS being so much cheaper at the starting point the younger crop of riders will probably not share this path, but I don't think it hurt any of the guys mentioned.

I float between riding FS and HT depending on how I feel about my riding. At the moment I am building up a 140mm travel Oka because I want more fun and I enjoy the challenges a HT can provide in this department. I have no doubt I will return to a Fs at some stage, but I have found my riding has really benefited from not sticking with one or the other. Personally, I find the arguments for or against a bit silly. Both have their place and the rider decides which is 'best' as the consumer decides the value of a product (basic marketing 101 there). If HT is not for you, great - rock on. Trying to convince you otherwise would be like trying to convince a snowboarder that grovelling between lifts and facing sideways all the time is shit compared to skis ...
  • + 1
 Jesus, this escalated!?...
  • + 1
 I find the ht/fs debate funny. At one time ht is all anybody rode. There was no fs.
  • - 3
 Funnily enough I used to be a ski and snowboard instructor and couldn't stand the arguments between the two. But just to reiterate I'm not against hardtails. I'm against people trying to make others believe that hardtails are better than full suspension for learning some bs they call 'proper technique'. I do believe that a half decent full suspension bike will put a bigger grin on most people's face than a hardtail ever could but for those guys and gals out there who prefer the hardtail I'm cool, I won't ride one but that's not to say I'm agin it. Same goes for newer riders who don't wanna blow half their income on something they're not fully invested in yet. I just hope those guys know that starting on a hardtail won't necessarily mean they become a better rider down the road. The best way to have fun is to improve, progression - whether that means to go faster, to fly farther, whatever you aspire to. The best way to improve is to get out there and ride, push your limits and on a hardtail you'll find those limits quickly.
  • - 3
 @brncr6 then we got awesome full suspension bikes that are better in every respect. D'you still watch a black and white TV? :-P
  • + 1
 As soon as my daughter gets big enough to ride 20" wheels I will buy her a full suspended Commencal. This will surely destroy her moral code and by the age of 18 she'll be a stripper. Unless I change my mind soon enough and make her rip BMX track on her 16" Spec Hotrock...
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson I get what you're saying what I want to know is who you're donating that nice HT in your photos page to?
  • - 4
flag ThomDawson (Jan 11, 2016 at 13:44) (Below Threshold)
 The switchback? It's long gone. And it was awful.
  • + 3
 Never ridden one. I wouldn't know. It did look pretty though, maybe I just liked the colors.
  • - 2
 Yeah I'll admit it looked good, and it was probably one of the better hardtails but I preferred my old blue pig tbh! I found the chainstays too short on the switchback, it felt all mixed up like a giraffe with a alligator head
  • + 7
 dont watch a black and white tv but prefer my 1994 toyota 4runner over a 2015 anyday, itll last longer, and go further. just cause its new doesnt always mean its better. i ride my chromag stylus more than my carbon giant trance. the trance is definitely better on a 50-100km bike ride. but anything under that i promise im having more fun on the stylus and probably faster than most(passing dudes in their spandex on 120mmtrail bike is the best). so maybe you just need and extra pad for your vagina. because the only true all mountain bike, a bike that literally can do it all pretty good (dirt jumps, enduro, dh,xc,trials) is a hardtail. @ThomDawson
  • + 0
 yea a hardtail is as good at DH as is putting all hardtails to the same bag. Giant Trance? I'd rather ride a HT, Give me Giant Reign and we can start talking about suspension
  • + 2
 Hardtail isn't for everyone sure, but it is pretty well established that anyone who can push themselves on a hardtail does become a better rider for it. Does that mean that everyone should have a hardtail? probably not, but I do think that everyone should try it out, and if they have the cohones to stick with it, they will see a vast improvement to their overall riding. But increase in skill is not the only reason to have a hardtail, some trails are just more fun on a hardtail (usually trails that are so overly groomed that they become boring on a FS)
  • + 2
 the most sophisticated, advanced suspension platform available to us is our legs, riding a hardtail trains you to use those as well as possible.
  • + 1
 Rode specs and gt f/s and still prefer my hardtail. I live in cal. Bay area and almost everything can be ridden on a hardtail. Different bikes are for different places. When I go to whistler I rent dh bikes, when I ride the valley trails at whistler I rent a am bike. Hardtail is the best for the home trails.
  • - 2
 That's another thing that always gets repeated - hardtails are good for trails that are boring on a full sus. Where are these trails that are so boring you have to get on an ancient relic to make them enjoyable again? Are you sure you're going fast enough? Even the buffed out tracks at bpw are more fun on a full sus because you just go faster, if you ride slowly then yeah they'd be boring but on a full sus the rollers become booters and the roll ins are drop offs. I wouldn't chose a penny farthing to ride the High Peak trail just because my full suspension made it boring, I'd be looking for ways to make it more fun! I haven't yet ridden everywhere in the world so I don't know what every trail is like so if you do live in an area where a full suspension is genuinely overkill then that's cool, no worries. But I think a lot of people are living in the past and riding hardtails when they could be having a blast, worst bit is they then tell everyone else that a 'hardtail is all you need' and 'it'll make you a better rider for sure'. If your trails are anything like the ones I ride then by choosing to ride a hardtail all you're doing is having a bad time. No I'm not suggesting my trails are gnarlier than anyone else's but I can only speak with conviction about my own area.
  • + 5
 the fact that hardtails are more efficient, lighter and lower maintenance seems to have been forgotten...why does pinkbike always descend to an argument on which is 'better'? If you ride long distance all mountain epics then get a hardtail. If you ride trails and have a car to get around in then get a full sus.
  • + 8
 this is like the wheelsize debate all over again, cant you just accept that they are good for different things?
  • + 3
 Thom, your going to argue no made what, couldn't find a wheel size thread to argue on so you picked hardtails?
  • - 3
 I agree to a certain degree on the efficiency, hardtails transfer pedal power more efficiently but even this is an over used cliche in my view. Pedalling efficiency doesn't really help if you can't actually clear a section (whether up or down) - if you can't grip and bouncing all over the place, often you'll have to stand and pedal through sections where you could sit on a full suspension which blows all the pedalling efficiency out the window. Unless you're riding pretty smooth surfaces, which I admit we all encounter from time to time, then I don't see pedalling efficiency as important as some would have you believe. I also don't really get the low maintenance thing as I mentioned previously. I really do think the time has been and gone when hardtails should have been put aside for those new shredders or anyone looking for a more wallet friendly bike. And lighter...? Did you see the weight of this thing? It's not light, and it's expensive. Im happy to admit that some people will have more fun on hardtails, it depends on where, what you ride etc etc. But I think there are too many myths and just pure bollox spouted about the hardtail that may have been true once upon a time but these days the hardtail just can't live up to a full suspension at all. Especially for £450? What? In the last few years I've had several 130-160mm trail bikes that all cost the same price albeit good second hand condition.
  • - 2
 What's the matter with debate? I can't ride today so I'm talking shit on here! It helps me deal :-) I'm good with all wheel sizes btw, I like new technology. I like old, I don't like bullshit. I've already accepted they're good for different things chaps, that's fine by me. My argument isn't as simple as hardtails bad/ full sus good. That's the point I've been trying to make this whole time.
  • + 0
 I don't think Thom argues whether FS is better than HT, both his and my original points were that saying that HT helps being fast on everything else, or that everyone should start with an HT is bollocks. It is misguided bullcrap generated by people who I doubt, are able to ride any bike in a decent manner, otherwise he/she would know what different sets of skills are and how to practice them - deal with it. I have an HT and an FS, I practice deliberately on HT - on pumptrack and on streets, but I won't be taking it to the woods often.
  • + 4
 Hardtail make you a better rider? I don't know or care. I just ride the bike I like to ride. Am I slow on boring trails, I don't know ? All I do know is have a crap load of fun riding my bike. I think that is one thing everyone can agree on, mountain bikes are fun.
  • + 1
 By more efficient I mean over long rides (30 miles+) where lots of the riding is over non technical areas where even front suspension is unnecessary. Not all of us are lucky enough to have man made trails nearby. As for weight, compare like for like; a carbon fibre hardtail will be lighter than a carbon fibre full sus, the same for alu or steel. (there's simply less material and no shock, so how could it not be?)
  • - 4
flag ThomDawson (Jan 12, 2016 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 Ok @jesse-woodward I'm with you dude, my comments on efficiency were more or less the same as yours there. I don't think anyone would disagree that a hardtail is the right choice if you're riding where you don't need front end suspension (that's would be a weird bike). But we're not really talking about that. I don't have any man made trails nearby btw but that's besides the point. I'm gonna leave it alone now, but the next time somebody mentions hardtails making you a better rider I'll be there and they'll wish they hadn't uttered that old festering cliche (I will bore them to death). Oh and I still think riding a hardtail in the winter is daft, i want my best bike for the worst conditions not the other way around but it's all good - I'm not hating on anyone for what they ride, I am hating on anyone who chooses not to base their opinion on their own experiences but instead on what they've heard or read. I just wanted to challenge some ideas that I feel are often repeated without any thought as to whether they have any truthful grounding. Just to reiterate here because so far nobody (apart from Waki) seems to have got it - I am not saying that if you ride a hardtail then you cannot think for yourself. Oh yeah and short chainstays are rubbish.
  • + 5
 I'm pretty sure at least 90% of hardcore hardtail riders have had plenty of time on FS bikes, and plenty of them have both still, we're not basing our opinion off of what wer are told, but off of experience. You tried a hardtail and you couldnt handle it, so now you're a bitter keyboard warrior about it. It's one thing to decide that hardtails are not for you (that is fine) but to bash a style a bike because it does not align itself with what you want is BS.
  • - 2
 You may not be, Buggyr333 don't take what I'm trying to point out as a personal insult to you as somebody who rides a hardtail, that's not what I intended. If it aligns with you I'm all good with that. Maybe you're right, I couldn't handle the hardtail and I must be a lesser man. If you've never spouted shit about hardtails being the only true way to ride like some kind of zenned out religious maniac, I have no issue with you.
  • + 3
 I think you convinced me to HTs, I will buy a Scott Scale 29. Or should I go for a modern HT like Trek Stache?
  • + 9
 Well this all turned into a surprising pile of bullshit.
  • + 1
 You are comparing an XC race HT to an AM HT. However the Scale is modern and very good geo that leans more towards the slacker side of XC racing. The Scale Plus HT (27.5+) was designed with slacker geo that is more AMish so consider that as well (you can put 29er wheels on it too). I've read the geometry of it is very good (as is the Scale).
  • + 2
 i maybe a lil too late to celebrate this review but YAAAY! to hardcore hardtail!
  • + 1
 The irony, Thom, is that having read all your posts you have pretty much spent hours doing what you have accused the HT fraternity of doing... You obsessed FS zealot ha ha. I have really enjoyed reading all this though - it is great to see everyone passionate about something other than whether it looks like a session Smile
  • - 1
 Yes I'm aware it may seem that way. I have repeatedly tried to make the point that I'm not against anybody who rides a hardtail but for some reason people keep taking it that way. I've also tried to make clear I'm not arguing that fs is 'better' than hardtail but people don't seem to be able to grasp the concept of my argument. That may well be my fault for not putting my point across very well. One last time then - riding a hardtail does not make you better at riding. They are inherently different to a full suspension so the idea that you could become a quicker or technically better rider on a full suspension by riding a hardtail - in my opinion - is a load of codswallop. There are many similar ideas concerning the hardtail that I also believe are codswallop such as 'riding them in winter is better than using your precious full suspension' - it doesn't make sense to have a second bike that doesn't work as well in poor conditions just because you don't wanna replace the bearings. It's £30 vs £1000+ I don't get it. I think SOME riders (and not just hardtail riders) enjoy repeating these myths when perhaps they're not based on experiences of their own. There are of course going to be times and places where a hardtail is a better bike choice, I had assumed since the Blue Pig is a descent orientated bicycle that we'd be talking about that kind of riding but yes, of course there will be occasions when a full suspension bike isn't the best choice. I'm not a full suspension elitist or against hardtail riders. I'm happy whatever you ride and I also believe the more the merrier. Just some stuff I can't swallow, that's all. I know by now that people will keep refusing to see my argument and attack me for being against hardtails and hardtail riders despite my best efforts to convey my point. So if I've offended anyone, my apologies.
  • + 3
 That was longer than the review!!!!
  • + 4
 Actually, Thom, I think I understand your argument perfectly - I just think you are wrong and thankfully for the mtb industry most people swallow cods wallop like yours and end up buying overpriced, over specked FS rigs that are well above what they need and leave them with a ride that is about as fun as driving a big rig on a velodrome... (Am I now doing the same thing I a used you of... Yes). I do believe that using a HT does improve skill sets and these include picking lines, body position adjustments, timing. There are sections of trail that on my 170mm 'the one' I could just blow through and did. It was fun, yeah, but I didn't exactly grow much ( but it was fun...). On a HT there is less room for error and your mistakes show up straight away usually as you're picking your ass off the turf. Can you learn everything on a HT? No - not even close, but I see so many riders out there that are just lazy and have all the style of someone who learned their trade on a big arse dually that forgave their errors for them - and like you I just can't swallow that that was better.

Just as a point of interest - I worked around the industry for forgive years, managed a WC DH/4x team for two and managed Mick Hannah for three. That does not make me an expert in riding, but the one consistent theme that came up with team managers and brand owners was wanting to know the background of the riders they were going to sign. It is only my opinion but I believe they wanted to make sure they had a mix in there - ie that they hadn't just strolled straight onto a DH rig. Not staying this proves my point and disproves yours, but I think those at the sharp end see the benefit of learning skills on all bikes.
  • + 2
 @thom, maybe it's codswallop to you, because it seems you hardly gave it a real chance, once again, it's not for everyone. Do you not think it's possible that the "difficulty" you experienced on a hardtail was a challenge waiting to be met, that could make you a better rider in the long run? Is it not possible that the only reason that you found it more difficult to ride that you're so use to relying on your suspension to do the work for you, when in reality, your body must do just as much, if not more work to reach your riding potential?

To reiterate, my point is"
Hardtails are not for everyone, they require you to work harder. But like most things, the more work you put into it, the more you get out of it. Not having rear suspension teaches valuable lessons that full suspension bikes do not, such as riding centered over the bike instead of hanging off of the back, or riding lightly on your pedals rather than plowing.

If hardtails are not for you, that's fine, but arguing that claims of improving your riding skills are false just because you didn't see it that way or didn't stick with it long enough to see the benefits is bull.
  • - 1
 Bullsht with that difficulty making you more resilient. Go and learn to wheelie by removing the front wheel. Let's see how it goes for you. Look, I was planning to make and sell hardtail frames, I was making up stuff like that to justify my stand point. a d that riding HT in the winter is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
  • + 0
 @Buggyr333 and @gavind thanks for providing a rational and non reactionary response and seeing that it's perfectly fine to disagree without becoming irate.
I appreciate what you say, I have accused others of basing their opinions on nothing but other people's opinions when mine appear based only on a short period of hardtail riding. So I can see where you're coming from. Maybe I should go and get on a hardtail again just to make sure that I won't become a better rider but then how much experience is enough to form an opinion? This is a genuine question to you and myself.
I like the challenge to be met thing it's a good way to think about it, but to that end I come back to why not just go rigid if a challenge is what you're after? I believe there is still a challenge to be met on a full suspension, it's just a bit more like 'let's see how many beers I can drink' than 'let's see how many nails I can stick in my eye' ;-P please accept that as a joke about my view point I'm trying to keep things light hearted here, honest.
I don't believe people stop using their legs the minute they jump on a full suspension bike. I don't think that hardtails necessarily require you to work harder, I think they require you to work harder for fewer rewards. Put the same amount of work in on a full suspension and you'll get more out - that's the way I see it.
And I think you can learn the very same lessons on a full suspension as a hardtail only difference is hardtails get in deep water at a lower level than a full suspension bike. You could say that a rigid bike teaches lessons you can't learn on a hardtail - it doesn't - you'll learn the same lessons on both but you'd have more fun on the hardtail doing it, likewise you'd have more fun on a full suspension than a hardtail.
One of the main factors behind my opinion is snobbery - People looking down on other riders because of their skill level. Why does it even matter if a guy is riding his Nomad with pencil legs and hanging off the back? "Ugh another guy that should have ridden a hardtail for X years" - who cares? The guys having fun and he'll be having fun with or without 'proper technique' (I don't ride a Nomad btw :-D) And the Pro thing I don't really get either, if the rider is getting the results isn't that all that matters?
If you don't agree with something, when is it ok to argue against it? Should I wait until I really don't agree? Or would don't-agree-a-little-bit-more-than-that-but-not-quite-really don't agree be ok?
The time has been and gone when I should have said let's agree to disagree with you guys (and practically everyone else around here). I'll keep my mind open.
  • + 2
 Essentially it's the flats vs clipless discussion under a different guise. Different things work for different people, neither are wrong, but if I was to start running around and telling people that clipless pedals are terrible and you shouldn't even use them, that would not be right, it's one of those things that people need to make a decision about themselves rather than be told what is best for them, I'm not saying you have to go back out and seriously ride a hardtail, but if you want to argue about it on the internet then I do not take your opinion on the matter seriously unless you have.

hardtails are not for everyone, I do not think that comparing them to fully rigid is a fair comparison (to me that's like if someone enjoys driving/building "classic" cars such as muscle cars, and someone coming along and saying "you may as well buy a model T if you like classic cars", it's not the same thing) I have done fully rigid though, and It is a much larger step from HT to Rigid than it is from FS to HT.

So here we go again, I have no problem with you not liking hardtails, but to outright attack them because you didn't get what you want out of them is what I have a problem with it. I for one, do not like coconuts, but I wouldn't post a negative review for a coconut based product just because I don't like the taste of it, despite how many people say coconut is delicious.
  • + 1
 No buggy - for the clipless debate it would be like if Thom and I would be saying that flats don't make you a ride better in clipless pedals and that is actualy true to some part. But to make it fair we could make it into a wheelsize debate where I think you guys have the logic of: riding a 26er makes you better on a 29er which just isn't true. Again: riding hardtails making you a better rider then riding a fully is a myth. There are so many generalizations in that belief alone that it's just silly. Do you even BMX bro?
  • + 3
 I'm not saying that riding a hardtail makes an individual rider better than another rider who only rides full suspension, What I am saying is a rider who rides a hardtail can potentially become a better rider than they were before riding hardtails on the trail, simply because it forces you to learn techniques that are not a necessity on a full suspension bike, but they can improve your technique overall. FS bikes probably have just as many techniques that you tend to only learn on a FS bike, and those are just as important, and the two skill-sets can work together for a more well-versed rider. Same goes for BMX, bro.

If we really want to run with the flats/clipless debate, think about it this way. Many riders who begin on clipless cannot do a "proper" bunny hop, and rely on pulling up with their feet as they simultaneously pickup the front end, while that usually gets you more height, it does not do as well for clearing obstacles. You certainly CAN bunnyhop the correct way with clipless, but people often do not learn it that way, because it is not a necessity for riding clipped in. But if they were to ride with flats, the correct bunny-hop motion is the only way that it will work, so they learn it that way, then when they go back to clippling in, they should be able to get the bike higher than they could with flats, or than they could with clips before learning on flats.

so sure, riding off of the back of the bike and letting the rear suspension works fine, but if a rider rides chunky trails on a hardtail, that riding style will not work well, so it teaches the rider to ride more centered and lighter on their feet to absorb impacts on the rear wheel, which will make a rider faster/flowier on a HT or a FS. You can certainly learn these skills on a FS bike as well, but it is not forced, so some riders completely overlook them. If you're a rider who already has these skills mastered, then sure, a hardtail wouldn't do much for your skill level.

but in my opinion, while I believe everything I've just said, it's not that big of a deal, and everyone can have fun on a mountain bike regardless of skill or speed, Honing my skills is not the primary reason I personally ride a hardtail, it is just an added benefit. I ride a hardtail because I enjoy it, plain and simple. And I feel like most hardtail riders feel the same.

and no, I don't BMX bro. and I'm not on BMX threads telling people that BMX does not make them better at mountain biking, or any other cycling discipline.
  • + 2
 This thread is becoming the most interesting thing on Pinkbike.

Only speaking for myself, I have found that riding my hardtail makes me a better rider on my full suspension. Yes there are times that riding a full suspension bike opens up lines that are unmanageable on a hardtail. However I have found that on my local trails more often than not the smoothest line with my hardtail is also the fastest line on my full suspension. Riding my hardtail forces me to find these lines which instills the habit while riding the full suspension to look for and make these lines rather than relying on my suspension to eat up everything in my way. Every time your rear suspension is being activated it's because of a force that in reality is trying to slow your forward progress. Yes riding that chunky line with my full suspension will always be faster than if I was to ride it on my hardtail. I have found though that the majority of the time the smoother lines my hardtail has me trained to find are the faster lines, uphill as well as downhill. Does the hardtail teach me every skill needed to be a well rounded rider no. My full suspension has taught me to be much more comfortable staying off the brakes and dealing with the speed when the super chunky sections come up which has opened up lines that I would not have ever noticed on my hardtail. The full suspension has also taught me to be much more comfortable in the air which also has opened up line choices I wouldn't have gone for on my hardtail.

I'm out there riding for the full experience not just for the downhills. Because of this I care how the uphills and the flats ride for me. My hardtail may be a little bit slower going downhill but it is a lot faster than my full suspension everywhere else which leads to my hardtail rides being .5-1mph faster than my full suspension rides.

Fun is all in the eye of the individual rider and I have just as much fun on my hardtail as I do on my 160mm enduro bike. Do I ride them differently? Of course I do. I'm not hucking myself off every jump I can find on my hardtail nor am I rolling the biggest steepest rollers out there. I'm still having a hell of a lot of fun though. I think every rider is out there to have fun and I think most rider are out there to become better riders as well (at least I like to think that others are always trying to be better at what they do rather than settling for the status quo) so if changing up disciplines once in a while makes some one better in one way or another I think that's a great thing. No I'm not going to be taking my hardtail to the parks and if I'm going someplace that's new to me nine times out of ten I'm going to take my full suspension but my hardtail has made me a better rider all around.
  • + 3
 Your paragraphs...look immense... on my dashboard.
  • + 0
 Hi @lifeloon, thanks for the input. I was gonna leave this thread alone but since there seem to be some good arguments being made im whipping my point out again.
Does riding your hardtail actually make you a better rider on the full suspension? Or are you just faster when riding the same lines on your full suspension? I agree that the fastest line is usually the smoothest - you're usually faster with the wheels on the ground so it makes sense to stay away from the bigger obstacles that will have more of an impact on your speed (if speed is what you're after, most of us are). But do you need to ride a hardtail to figure that out? I don't believe you do. If you strive for speed you will learn to spot and ride the fastest line on whatever bike you're on - from rigid to DH rig and I believe you might actually learn to spot lines and read the trail 'better' on a full suspension bike, your limits of speed are higher on a full suspension and therefore you will have to learn not just to actually select your line quicker but to manouvre the bike onto and off of those lines quicker.
I'm like you - if all I cared about was riding DH I would ride a DH bike - but I like to ride up and over too. Riding uphill presents slightly different challenges to downhill and that's what I feel makes mtb such an awesome thing, the variety. We're both talking about our own trails here so there are going to be differences but as I've already said somewhere in the mess above the pedalling efficiency of hardtails is another thing I take (some) issue with, I don't refute that they transfer power to the rear wheel more efficiently but whether that rear wheel can transfer your power to the trail really depends on the conditions and the trail you're riding - if it's flatter (no harm in that, we all encounter flat stuff) and dryer then yeah it's probably a better tool but if you are out in the wilderness, in the mountains, in all conditions then a full suspension will find more grip and while some of your power is being taken by the rear suspension, it's being given back in equal amounts in grip to the trail. It's as has been said - one may not be better than the other, just better in different situations. But people do say that hardtails are better riding up and over or that they are more efficient all the time and I believe that is inaccurate - I realise you were only talking about your trails so that's all good. But it's another thing that gets talked about as if it were fact. Things get carried over from the road bike world which is very straight cut but no one mtb trail is the same as another.
I actually blame the journos for most of these myths. One guy says something in one review about one bike and the trails they were on and it then gets repeated. And some of what I feel are myths are what were once facts from way back in the day when the hardtail was more closely aligned to the full suspension bike.
  • + 3
 You may need to read what I posted last again, nowhere am I saying that you NEED to ride a hardtail to learn these skills, rather that it forces it while riding a Full-Suspension does not, because you can get by without them, You certainly CAN learn these techniques on a FS, but it does not force you to, so therefore a lot of people overlook them. How many people do you see on full downhill bikes riding completely off of the back of the bike keeping their body stiff and letting the suspension do all of the work for them? I for one see that alot. Sure it gets them down the mountain, and they don't realize there is anything wrong with it, because it gets them by. Poor riding technique like that can very quickly be fixed by having to ride a hardtail down the same trails.

I agree 100% about the climbing efficiency though, However, that is just another way riding a hardtail can improve your overall technique, It takes a lot more body motion to search for traction on a hardtail, while on a FS you can usually just sit and spin, however that is not always the best way to do it, learning where and when to put down the power without losing traction can make you a more efficient technical climber. Once again, not saying you NEED to ride a hardtail to learn this, but it certainly forces it.
  • + 3
 I'm just enjoying this civil conversation on biking theory.

I agree with both of you that no I do not need the hardtail to teach me to find those smooth lines. It does however require me to look for those lines rather than becoming complacent and just allowing the suspension to do all the work because it can. I think we can all get a little complacent at times but when we allow that complacency to become the norm it's detrimental to our progression and for me the hardtail keeps me honest in this way. I learned on a hardtail years ago but it wasn't until this past summer that I got back on one and realised just how complacent being on a full suspension has made over the last so many years.

As most of my local climbs are fairly long with small very technical sections thrown in the hardtail still climbs them quicker. However I would agree that because of the nature of suspension the very technical sections are easier on my full suspension because of the how much more traction the bike is getting. On the contrary though knowing where and when to use my body English and peddle strokes on the hardtail in those sections makes them that much easier on my full suspension. Both styles have different advantages. There's one particular uphill technical section where on my hardtail I have to enter slowly and use some trials skills to get up where as on the full suspension I can just carry a lot more speed and give one good push at the top to get over the crux move. Is one style better than the other? No. Though I do enjoy being able to utilize both skill sets when circumstances require.

In terms of muddy and winter conditions I also feel that it doesn't matter which style you use as long as you're having fun. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to my trails in those conditions, going slower and avoiding the worst areas. I have found because of this my suspension is not getting destroyed by the mud. Instead I find that the drivetrain sees the most wear and tear which is the same for both bikes.

In general I don't feel that a hardtail is needed to learn these techniques that make me a better rider on my full suspension but it's unforgiving nature keeps me more aware of them when riding.
  • + 0
 @lifeofloon I think you have just pretty much brought us to a conclusion! I feel quite elated. I agree that we can all become complacent from time to time. I'll usually figure that out when I go and ride somewhere Im not used to riding and get destroyed by my buds - happened to me today! So I guess that's another way to avoid complacency; variety. Which would include riding other bikes as well as trails and areas. I still firmly believe that riding a hardtail does not make you a better rider but I agree that riding other bikes could help avoid complacency and more generally anything that takes you out of your comfort zone would help, a hardtail may be one of those things. Maybe that's what some people mean when they say their hardtail makes them a better rider?
Now when are we going to debate chainstay length? :-P
  • + 1
 Maybe "better" isn't necessarily the right word, it just makes the bag of tricks bigger, versing yourself in any different discipline gives you more diverse skillset that you can use on the trail, Just like BMX, Trials, and even Road Bikes encourage different techniques you can employ on the trail, I am just suggesting that long travel hardtails contribute to that bag of tricks, just as any other discipline of bike, and I feel that anyone with the means to do so should verse themselves in as many cycling disciplines as they can to become the best they can be.
  • + 1
 I started riding on flat pedals, by the time I clicked in for the first time, my bunnyhops were pathetic to say the least and haven't improved for two more years. On one occasion a friend of mine said that I am doing it wrong and showed me some moves. Still clipped in I could jump over a 20cm log. Then 10 years later I followed a course on how to do it properly by consciously utilizing hips for pop and I can jump over a 40cm log. Proper deliberate practice makes perfect.

I learned to clear 2-6m jumps on a hardtail, crashing occasionally. A friend of mine said I am doing it wrong and showed me some moves. I learned to lean backwards, send and squash stuff on a full suspension bike, because by that time I could afford it. I did my first whip on a fully, my first suicide no hander on a fully.

I learned to launch from one rock to jump over another on a FS bike because it happened on a day where I chose to ride one.

I "learned" to ride hanging off the bars, too far back on a HT. Most of the time spent learning to ride in a neutral position with weight over the BB happened to be on a fully. Because I became aware of it after I read about it in Lee McCormacks book on riding skills that I bought a year after I got myself a fully.

I learned the insides of braking hard and in right spots on a fully

I learned to climb steep technical stuff on a fully, because I ride mostly on a fully.

I learned to pump terrain on a fully, I practice pumping on a hardtail, because it's stupid to ride pumptrack on a fully.

I learn to manual on a ridid HT because that is the bike I am riding on my way to work and I don't want a suspension fork on a commuter - is that an argument for rigid forks?

I learned all of my bad habits on a HT because at the time I was starting riding I had no money for a fully. Where does a particular type of a bike fit in some overall gaining skills ideology? NOWHERE. Deliberate practice in a right way fits all sorts of bikes and is the main factor in learning. Now If you take skills clinics while riding a FatBike with electronic suspension ...

Good night
  • + 2
 Individual results may vary. In case you haven't noticed, not everyone is exactly like you Waki, which is probably a good thing.
  • + 2
 Muscle memory... it teaches you this. Get on any bike FS/HT... and you'll just do it... Nike.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson @WAKIdesigns you guys are pathetic!!! you have been talking about damn ht vs. fs on this thread for 18 DAYS!!! maybe you should try riding your bikes for once...
  • + 3
 Jesus, just let it go.
  • - 1
 Thom , I think will not stop till everybody is riding fs only. I think his mission in life is to eradicate the earth of ht bikes.
  • + 1
 lmao.. for F sake .. go get 1 steel aggressive hardtail and start ride it!
  • + 1
 I'm glad somebody can see the funny side @cikudh! I've actually started a campaign group and an e petition to have hardtails banned...nahht. I just read pretty much the same point I was trying to make in the Whyte review on Dirt and couldn't help myself :-P everybody chill, it's the weekend.
  • + 1
 You're all just a bunch of poor wee buggers with minority complex. I ride my brand new, 650B carbon 160 full susser and pee on starving children of Africa as well as Greenlands ice cap.
  • + 3
 Choose your favorite amount of suspension travel, Be a dick about it.
  • + 3
 Seriously people? What started as a very opinionated thread that turned into a pretty rational discussion on bike theory is now being resurrected just to stir the pot and start shit amongst others. Go ride your damn bikes!
  • + 2
 Hardtail teaches you a good technique, it's like saying driving Ford Fiesta makes you faster in La Ferrari on Nurburgring
  • + 4
 And yet strangely, Waki, over 60% of the current F1 drivers have backgrounds in karting... They did not just jump into a race car.... I equate what some of you are saying to the kind of blokes who turn up at a range with their fist rifle and it is a AI AX... $10,000 rifle designed for snipers. Sure it will work really well, but it won't make up for a lack of a base in shooting technique (or the ability to understand why it shoots differently than a $1000 rifle)
Loving how passionate this all got while I was off in hospital though ???? I actually do see the points made by Waki, and Thom and I don't see them as ridiculous. You don't 'have' to learn the skill sets some of us have talked about on a HT, I just think that this path has proven to be better for many and it remains something consistent across the world's top riders. If you learned bad techniques on a HT, Waki, maybe stop blaming the tool...
And yes, Waki, learning to drive in a fiesta rather than a F1 WILL make you faster - find me a single driver iPad the top level that did not start from lower lev racing and I will happily eat my words
  • + 1
 I should also add that as well as the privee Oka I am building (thanks to Pinkbike I got a fee drive train from the Rampage Fantasy contest) I am also waiting on a reported new YT 140mm dually that is coming later this year. Does that make me a cheap ignorant bastard?
  • + 1
 Ok, ok... so if I buy a hardtail to my daughter and she rides it for a week and then she starts on fully is that enough? Or does she need to spend some specific time on it? Conversely if some bloke is invited for Formula GT, he says no, fk it, I need to drive Gokarts a bit more. This comparison to motorsport was a joke from my side and absolute set of bollocks from yours, because if we were to analyze it closely (you know, put away this idealistic bypassing closing your eyes for parts of reality that don't fit the picture) you'll notice that there is only one way to move up in formula 1 ranks, there is simply no way you can drive a GT car when you just want to do it, while you can buy a DH or Enduro bike anytime you want. Also if you may have noticed driving a gokart is quite different from riding a bike therefore they are incomparable. What is closer? Oh MX? So.. do you have a pic of that hardtail MX that got Bubba so good at full suspended MX?

If you want to learn general skills sell that PeePrivee HT, buy a DJ bike and hit the BMX track. Why? Because you will learn to accelerate quicker than you ever thought is possible, you will become a master at jumping and putting your tyres down on the ground anywhere you like, after whatever big jump by squashing or launching, you'll get good at manualing, your overall ability to generate speed by using hips will improve, you'll be pumping terrain like a God afterwards. All coaches know it - In simple words: quality, deliberate practice time spend off the woods and sometimes even off the bike contributes to the overall riding skill. Riding cluelessly in the woods on whatever bike doesn't. Same goes to mindless Strava-ing. Cuts 2 seconds off the segment, teaches you one thing, strenghtens 10 bad habits.

Yes YT is cheap, but even if you had a Lynskey on DVO with ENVE wheels aside of 10k S-Works Enduro, and kept on propelling this "HT makes you better on FS", you'd still be an ignorant bastard with little clue how skills are built. No worries Sam Blenkinsop has no clue either. Greg Minnaar asks coaches inviting him as a mentor for clinics, to say that he is bad at teaching.
  • + 2
 I think you are being a little disingenuous when you say the F1 comment was a joke, Waki, but I will take you at your word. As for the rest of what you said... the term gormless dill comes to mind.

The MX comparison is perfect as again there are clear levels of progression in motorcycling that involve a change in equipment. Very very few riders start out riding 400cc machines - most progress from smaller bikes.. The reason we start all riders off on smaller motorcycles is so they learn. They learn body position, braking, jump technique and track position all without a f*cking great engine. Before you say "but they are kids, so the bikes are smaller', look at road bikes and see how we do this now in most countries too. Learners start on 400cc- 600cc bikes and can progress only after a given time.

Take martial arts - and this is near and dear to my heart as I swapped from Judo several years ago after competing at a fairly reasonable level to Crav Maga. Now I started these new sessions with a fellow bunch of newbies, and yet four years in I have reached a high level and they have all fallen behind. Am I some ultra fighter? No - horseshit I am. It is because I have the basic understandings of body position, weight transfer, stance, vulnerabilities of an opponent... the things that form the basis of any combat.

You put words into my mouth, Waki - I did not say that riding a HT makes you a better FS rider. Riding a FS makes you a better FS rider... I agree - but riding a HT makes you a better rider. You will not be a complete rider without mastering both (and BMX and dirt jumps and unicyle.... very f*cking Zen I know)

Thanks for the suggestion of the dirt jump bike, BTW, but you are assuming I don't already ride BMX and the odd bit of jumps. Yes - I am old, but I am flexible and bounce very well Smile

I think part of my disagreement with you is the fact that you talk about coaching and teaching and learning, but I don't think you actually understand these things. As I have coached I feel I speak from experience, but your comments suggest that you do not.
  • + 1
 So a hardtail like Production Privee is less likely to make you ride in a bad stance? How exactly is that happening? How is HT good at teaching people to look ahead? I will just let you talk
  • + 2
 So if riding DJ and BMX makes you a better rider (which I agree, it does) why wouldn't riding a hardtail make you better? in a way it's the same type of techniques, just not as stark of a difference between a long travel hardtail and a FS bike. It's just a more manageable middle-ground. My hardtail rides like a biggish dirt jumper, and I take it to dirt jumps... but it handles closer to a bigger bike, so if anything the skills I learn on my hardtail should transfer over to a bigger bike easier than skills learned on a dirt jumper.

I personally do not care if riding a hardtail makes me a "better" rider (once again, probably not the right term) I ride it because it is more fun for me. If you're not into that, that's fine.
  • + 4
 God... Is this still going on. Its a bicycle. Ride it, you will get better. Ride a diverse range of different types of bicycle, you will get better. It's not rocket science and it doesn't need analizing to death.
  • + 1
 You don't actually read what people write, do you Waki....?
  • - 1
 Yes I did read and you nobody had any explanation for this, instead of saying what, HT does for a rider, you were talking of perils of suspension. Ok, I'm done. All in all the more bad riders the better for me so please keep on spreading your gospel of hardship
  • + 2
 Oh please, explain how riding a hardtail makes you a worse rider

and also how more bad riders is better for you...? Not seeing a connection.
  • + 2
 No - you didn't read...or maybe the whole English as a second language thing got in the way. I never said FS makes you a worse rider. I said that jumping on a 160mm travel rig without learning basic techniques and thus plowing through lines, blowing through the travel on small jumps etc etc is not going to set you up to be a good rider as well as learning these basics on a bike that will not forgive such errors. Waki, I have no doubt you are a good rider, and training properly with coaches on a FS will achieve this - but 98% on those who but buy a mtb will never see a coach or 'train' in the way that training is meant to be done. This means, like most sports (and yes they are compatible - the fact you can't see that shows the level of ignorance you have in terms of coaching and physical skill development) progression paths are present and available. Historically, those riders who have achieved at the highest levels in our sport have followed a progression from HT (and box and DJ) to FS.
On a HT there is no 160mm (or more) get out of jail free card. If you can not read a line, position your body correctly, take a drop, use your legs as shocks and clean ou landings...well you get flogged. I have nothing against FS, I only don't own one at the moment as I sold my meta am to do a new build and did not have the money to do two.
You keep getting angrier and angrier, Waki, so go have a ride, champ. Like many, I enjoy your rants on here.
  • + 0
 I did read all that, but learning to squash or launch jumps, getting that slight lean back on the lip, extending for landing is a matter of a MOVEMENT PATTERN of contracting sets of muscles in particular order, being aware of what you can do within your range of movement on the bike, it is irrelevant whether you practice it on a DH bike, ENduro, HT with 160 or 100 fork or race BMX. It does matter though WHERE you practice it - BMX track or Pumptrack or particular spot in the woods. One also has to be aware of what he is doing since practice can be a broad term and I guess we all did our share of taking some berm and riding it brainlessly 100 times or riding one section of trail 20 times a day, believing it will make us better at something something dark side.

Yes FS does leave some people passive over rough bits, but Hardtail shakes beginners a bit too much, making them less likely to relax and from all the things it is more likely to keep them looking down instead of as far ahead as they can. I also believe it is more likely to make them hanging off the back of the bike since they are more scared. Riding HT requires finding amplitude for the trail to much more precise degree than any other bike with suspension fork. Once you get good you know that you should stay forward because you must make use of your arms to work the terrain. Whiiich is not the case on FS where you want to teach them so use hips as much as possible. It also somewhat forces them to use clipless pedals as you must be a demi-god to ride HT any faster on flats. Most importantly, some people don't give a fk about excelling, they are weekend warriors, they will be happiest to swing their leg over 120-140, 275+ bike and God bless them for that.

So as for steps from gokart to F1 I only take masturbation and sex Smile All the best.
  • + 2
 You actually made a lot of good points there Waki. As far as looking down and not ahead, If anyone is only paying attention to the terrain beneath them and not ahead, then they will get themselves into trouble really quick, which should teach them to focus on both, which is better for you no matter what kind of bike you're on (and is not impossible, the brain is an amazing tool) I don't know about riders hanging off of the back more on a hardtail, but that really just depends on the individual rider, I personally have never had that problem or witnessed that sort of problem. And using only your arms and not your hips/legs on a hardtail is a great way to go OTB really quick on any type of technical terrain, so I feel like most riders would learn that lesson real quick. So yeah, if somebody can't manage those things, then they should be on a FS bike for sure. I think of it as a trial by fire type thing. I'm not saying, nor have I ever said that every rider should be riding a hardtail. But for those who find joy in them it is a very rewarding experience.

I do feel that there are certain technique benefits to riding a hardtail, but once again, this is not why I ride one, and if someone is riding one for just those benefits, then they're probably missing the point, as the point is to just have fun on a bike, and I personally have more fun on a hardtail most of the time.

thanks for making me feel special about riding flat pedals on my hardtail too, although it seems like you may think it's a bit harder than it really is.
  • + 1
 When I ride HT I am using my arms a hell of a lot on rough bits filling the holes with the front wheel, I need to have my gun loaded all the time to be able push the bike ahead and extend when I see that obstacle will bring me forward anyways. I used to ride flats on HT with some success for a year, but then I noticed that compared to riding on FS, I am less active with my hips because I am focusing too much on performing an action that will keep my feet on pedals, rather than pump the terrain. Switching (back) to clipless felt like my HT got some suspension, because I could use my hips more freely, weigh and unweighing the bike according to terrain, not worrying that I will lose pedals.
  • + 2
 Well, as I said before, Individual results may vary. But If you're worried about focusing too much on keeping your feet on the pedals to use your legs effectively, that sounds like just the kind of thing that riding a hardtail can teach someone to overcome. Keeping your feet planted without thinking about it constantly while still being able to use your hips/legs freely is a valuable skill whether you're on a HT or not. Sure you can learn that on a FS bike, but as you've noticed it certainly doesn't force you to do it.
  • + 1
 'So as for steps from gokart to F1 I only take masturbation and sex Smile All the best.'

After all this, now you go and make me laugh when I just f*cked my shoulder (again!)... You ar evil Waki, EVIL!!!
  • + 0
 Suspension isn't a get out of jail free card, it's a ride stuff faster and fly farther than any hardtail will allow you. If you're using it as a get out of jail free card then you're just not going fast enough or not riding stuff that will engage your mind and body. The point of a full suspension is not to make it easier (necessarily) it's to allow you to ride and to push your limits to places a hardtail just will not go. And if you're doing that with your full suspension you will be just as involved with the ride (if not more so) than on a hardtail, plus you'll be going faster, riding more dynamically, over rougher terrain, bigger jumps, taller drops. Yeah, there'll be times when I drop a blue run and I can't do whatever I like, you can do the same on a hardtail on a green run. You can't assume that everyone who gets on a full suspension becomes a lazy pencil legged rider, same as not everyone who rides a hardtail becomes some sort of trail guru mystic.
That's kind of what we had concluded earlier on I guess.
PS totally agree with the clips on a hardtail @Waki (as I've mentioned before) - if you really want to use your legs as suspension (on a ht) it's the only way to do it.
  • + 1
 Yes, we concluded a lot of this earlier, so why keep arguing it?

the clips thing really comes down to the rider, I have never had trouble keeping my feet on the pedals personally on my hardtail. I've honestly never even thought about it before waki mentioned it because it is so far from my mind while riding. And I do ride full suspension as well (as I have mentioned) and i don't notice any difference in difficulty keeping my feel on the pedals.
  • + 2
 I don't know if anyone here is saying that hardtail riding makes them a guru mystic, just as nobody here is saying that everyone who gets on a full suspension becomes a lazy pencil legged rider.

there is a middle ground here.

Hardtail riding CAN (not will, but potentially can) make a rider more versed in different handling techniques.

Full suspension CAN (not will, but potentially can) allow a rider to rely too much on their bike's suspension, therefore not learning all of the best handling techniques (once again, not will but potentially can) (and there is nothing wrong with that if a rider just wants to ride and does not concern themselves with progressing, I just want to clarify that)

Basically what Ive been saying this whole time. I think part of the problem is you're misinterpreting what I'm saying as some kind of attack on full suspension bikes, which is not. I have always kept a FS on hand and am an advocate for both, hell I I've owned a lot more full suspension bikes than hardtails.
  • + 2
 Likewise,here. And perhaps I worded my last post poorly, Thom, because I agree with your sentiment, I have never been able to take some sections of a trail on a HT as fast and hard (or long) as I could on a FS. Problem is day in, day out I see blokes on the trail who couldn't ride their way out of a car park plowing through shtml with all the control of a moose on ice skates. They hoot and yahoo and tell you what an awesome trail it was, but riding behind I see the only thing between them and a fall is the grace of a 160mm safety net. No, this is not everyone, but it is too many folk. If these folk learned to ride first on a bike that teaches you not to cock up, maybe they could ride their new FS to the bikes actual ability, rather than their on limited one.
  • + 21
 Bike companies take note - more fun hardtails please
  • + 2
 The only big company that really has one is Kona with the Honzo - which is an incredible frame. But Cromag and Canfield also make some nice hard tail slack geos. Spesh tried one last year with the Stumpy Evo with a 120mm Pike and they sold about zero. They just didn't get it right.
  • + 11
 I dont want spesh and Giant to start churning out steel hardtails, mostly because it would put the likes of Ragley out of business. Please keep making boring full sus bikes Spesh
  • + 6
 There's a decent selection currently on the market, Nukeproof had the best looking one, imo
  • + 1
 Don't forget the DMR Trailstar. That thing looks absolutely mint!
  • + 3
 Santa Cruz chameleon for life, absolute blast to ride.
  • + 3
 Commencal also makes a great HT, the Meta HT AM. And Diamondback's new Sync'r seems like a nicely built hardtail as well.
  • + 14
 Great bike. Although it does aggrovate me when i see people use the term "hardly cutting edge" in referrel to the steel frame. Steel is one of the best meterials to make a frame out of....always has been always will. It will out last any carbon rubbish frame out there. If i was looking for a new hardtail then this along with the DMR and the Stanton frame will be high on my list .
  • + 6
 Steel, if done right, is probably the best material to build a bike from out of in terms of ride quality and longevity.
  • + 7
 Negative. The best material for hardtail ride quality and longevity is titanium. Springier than steel, doesn't rust, and significantly lighter.
  • + 5
 Significantly more expensive to build from titanium so steel wins as it performs well all round at an affordable price. These ragleys are great to ride.....
  • + 6
 Obviously it is subjective. While ti is awesome, its very expensive and hard to work with. A nice 853 or 953 frame is hard to beat when factoring in all the pros/cons. But like I said, not everyone gets it.
  • + 1
 When talking about bike frames, TI isn't really any stronger than steel, as long as we are comparing similar quality of the 2 materials, It's just lighter with almost as much strength,
  • + 0
 It's not subjective, you said "steel is best for ride quality and longevity". Didn't say anything about cost. If money is a factor, throw out Reynolds 853 and use chromoly like a Walmart bike. Steel is great no doubt. There's a reason Ti costs more- rides more better, lasts more longer.
  • + 2
 Does Ti really last longer? If ridden just as hard, and just as often?
  • + 8
 If you're all about complaining that HTs are slower than FS than you're really only interested in going downhill. You're ignoring all the uphill and flat sections where a HT is definitely faster than your FS and not factoring in your entire ride. If you can't come out of a corner and step on the pedals and be faster on a HT than you've still got some skills to work on. No pro pedal platform or shock lockout will give you the energy transfer from pedal to wheel like a HT which ultimately leads to faster speeds.
I ride AM trails and switch from my HT and 160mm FS almost every other ride yes my downhill sections are almost always faster on the FS but when you factor in the entire ride my HT rides are always at least 1/2mph faster than my FS rides.
To each their own though. If you don't like it don't ride it but if you don't ride it/haven't ridden it don't knock it.
  • + 8
 I think i'd like a site devoted to hardtails so I could read a review of one that wasn't a story about how hardtails don't ride like full-suspension bikes. Hardtail reviews on PB read like their about one-off oddities, everything is qualified against what a normal bike feels like. I don't come away actually knowing if this is a good hardtail or just a hardtail that's better than you would expect a hardtail to be.
  • + 6
 I built a ht around a 140mm fork last year after years of riding full sus, at first It frustrated me how rough and slow it felt through chunky sections but once I learned to read terrain and choose lines I truly enjoy the bike. Full sus is faster and absolutely serves its purpose but the way a ht manuals, hops and responds instantly to rider input is addicting! If you don't know what I'm talking about give it a try, but I recommend going clipless or you will blow pedals! Also $2500 for a dually is going to be a poor build, a $2500 ht will get you all the parts you need and it's cheap to upgrade frames later
  • + 8
 Moarrr HT reviews!!!
  • + 4
 Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out Hard Tail Shoot Out
  • + 3
 Bottom line for me is that this is a review of a hardtail, there's not really a whole lot to say. If it was a full susser you could talk about rear suspension performance, how balanced the bike feels, how the rear shock performs etc - for a hardtail review, it's a good review
  • + 7
 425mm reach on a large.... and they think that is "long" hmmmmm
  • - 1
 Yeah I thought the same, there are still some elements of oldskool road bike geometry in there. Which is a shame, I was really hoping we'd see a complete redesign. As I was saying somewhere else - an entry level rider could get past the geo pitfalls and still really improve on this bike but then it's priced too high for them imo, it would have been for me.
  • + 5
 425mm reach - static.
When the fork is sagged HA & SA steepen, WB shortens, reach and TT lengthen.
So if you're comparing to a full susser you have to mind this.
  • + 3
 @Uuno True, good point.
  • + 2
 Sorry, explain how the top tube and reach lengthen as your fork compresses?!?
  • + 3
 Well it's a little difficult to explain in words but imagine the opposite, if your forks extended and kept extending, yours bars would get closer and closer to you, the top tube would become ever more vertical and therefore reduce the effective top tube and the reach. The same is true in reverse as the bars go lower and lower (until they then too would start to become closer again but the bike wouldn't work long before that point...) sorry for a shitty rambling explanation.
  • + 3
 The geometry on this hardtail is terrible! Reach and wheelbase are tiny compared to seat tube length! 72º seatangle? Seriously they chose to go slacker instead of steeper! Only things decent on that bike are: head angle, tire clearance and frame price.
  • - 6
flag rokboy (Jan 11, 2016 at 3:18) (Below Threshold)
 The only thing that changes as your fork compresses, assuming the rider is seated, is the wheelbase. The top tube, stem length and combined reach, relative to the seated rider, can only change if your frame collapses. They are fixed elements.
  • - 4
flag rokboy (Jan 11, 2016 at 3:36) (Below Threshold)
 Ha, it's fact, neg away
  • + 5
 They don't but you will be pitched forward meaning a deeper position on the bike. That said, those reach numbers are still very short IMO.
  • + 6
 @rokboy - you do not understand what reach or ett is. Real TT does not change. But effective TT and reach are always measured PARALLEL to the line crossing both wheel axles. If you do not believe - measure reach with 0 spacers under stem and then with max you can fit.
Another thing is that reach only makes sense when you do not sit ...
  • + 2
 Somebody link to a good geometry calculator. It's easier to understand visually.
  • + 5
 @rokboy what we call "reach" is the horizontal distance between bb and top part of headtube.

To simulate Sag on a hardtail, I suggest you try this :
bikegeo.muha.cc

As a reference, choose a 150mm fork, and compare it to a 125mm fork, which is like having your 150mm fork sagged at 25mm. And then read the numbers.
If it's still not clear, I'll let someone else find some nice illustrations, or you can pick a pen and a sheet of paper.
  • + 2
 It may change ever so slightly with sag, but even so a medium Kona Honzo has a reach longer than this large
  • + 2
 According to the calculator (that one is slightly temperamental but accurate afaik) the reach would grow by about 15mm at sag.
  • + 1
 @Sintrafreeride have you ridden one of these ragleys yet? keen to know why you think they are so terrible. I have rode several models and couldn't fault any of them
  • + 2
 I rode a L blue pig for about 9 months before deciding that it was too small (went to an XL Kona Taro). When I heard that they updated the geo and made it "longer" I was pretty excited. They are awesome bikes but they hardly lengthened the reach, 5mm doesn't count. I emailed them about an XL size but they said that there is nothing in the worksFrown
  • + 0
 @lkubica your definition of reach is merely different from mine, I've never come across that way of measuring it before. I was referring to the top tube and stem, you brought up effective top tube length.
I'm sure we could split hairs and call each other names ad nausea but I can't be arsed, there's plenty of that on these comments already...
  • + 2
 These bikes are too short. Period
  • + 1
 @digthehills The reason I said the frame was terrible was due to the geometry. There is a reason why mtb geometry is evolving away from roadbike geo. Looking at the geometry table I can tell I won't like riding it because all the sizes are way too small. The reach on the L is 425mm which is less than a M from the specialized brand. I ride an L which has a reach of 450mm and I'd like something even longer! The wheelbase on the L is 1176mm which again is short so I find it strange that the tester thought it was stable at speed! But the worst part is the slack seat angle which put more weight on the back wheel and thus will make it even harder (than the average bike with a 74º seatangle) to keep the front end from lifting when climbing. It is a shame because all else considered it could be a great hardtail.
Longer front end, longer wheelbase and a seat angle of 75-77º and then you'd get a great hardtail.
This is closer to what I'm on about: www.btr-fabrications.com/product/belter
  • + 2
 I agree it's a bit conservative in 2016 especially when the Blue Pigs were famed on the geometry when they were first brought out. But as @Uuno pointed out at sag the geo is better, the sagged reach is more like 440mm on the large, head angle just under 66° and seat angle just under 74° I think. Don't quote me, that's all a bit rough but I was wrong to be so harsh at first. I'd gotten so used to looking at full sus geometry I'd forgotten the subtleties of hardtail geo. Like I said though, most of us now have seen the benefits of nice long bikes so yeah this seems a bit 2014!
  • + 4
 ok maybe i can clear up a lot of confusion here.... the blue pig is RAGLEYS conception of aggressive HT. NOT YOURS. If you dont like the geo of the ragleys then look elsewhere, theres a whole array of frames out there to suit every preference.
  • + 1
 I know it's crazy money @SintraFreeride but have you seen the Nicloai Argon? shop.nicolai.net/index.php/hardtails/argon-am.html
  • + 1
 @a-d-e the point we are all trying to make is that RAGLEYS's conception of an aggressive HT is outdated! If I ever bought a hardtail again, which is highly unlikely unless it is a trials frame, then it certainly wouldn't be this! I'd get myself a custom one or the geometron hardtail mtbnews.tumblr.com/post/127676106173/eurobike-nicolai-2016-ion-gpi-und-das
  • + 1
 Sorry just realised it was @Uuno who mentioned he was in the market
  • + 1
 @a-d-e you're right.

And for those who know what would be their perfect geometry : www.descendence.com/the-trail-frame
Starting at $650 AU, custom geo included
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride the nic is a rad bike but its HUGE & really I would expect that not to be very versatile. same with the btr belter. you WOULD NOT want to ride that thing uphill its designed as a DH HT. curios to see how geo will evolve but the ragley geo is pretty much identical to every other current aggro hardtail. & the 5-10mm or 1degree that you find so upsetting is really splitting hairs. HT static reach numbers should not be compared to FS reach numbers.
  • + 2
 Yes the Nicolai is extreme even by today's standards but this is where we are headed. If I had said there were going to be 160mm bikes with a 65º headangle 5 years ago no one would have believed me and yet they are standard affair now. The nicolai would take some getting used to but I'm sure it would climb great and be a demon on the descents. And it is not 5-10mm or 1degree that I find upsetting it is -2 to 3º slacker seat tube AND 30-50mm shorter reach!!! Even by hardtail standards it is a compact bike! I'm not a fan of "We'll just make it up by running a longer stem"!!! But hey if it rocks your boat good for you. I've tasted longer bikes and I won't go back to bmx style mini bikes.
  • + 3
 I'd love to own an aggressive hardtail like this, but they are pretty much impossible to find here in Brazil. All you can get as far as hardtails go are short travel XC bikes.
  • + 2
 What a lucky fool I am to own a 2012 Ragley Bagger 288 Smile Nearly same angles, but considerably longer and on 26" wheels. From trails to bike park, I just love it!!!. Never understood why Ragley didn't continue building it, maybe it was ahead of it's time with the geometry.
fotos.mtb-news.de/p/1878894?in=set
fotos.mtb-news.de/p/1813199?in=set
fotos.mtb-news.de/p/1813200?in=set
  • + 2
 That's a bad-ass looking bike
  • + 2
 Well i'm fully enjoying my 2016 Blue Piggy! Despite only having been able to ride it twice since I got it and the Mrs knocking it over and putting a gurt dent in the top tube the day i brought it home! thats the joy of steal i guess!
  • + 2
 Bought the frame and built up with lighter parts, haven't weighed it but does not feel excessively heavy compared to my nomad. Then again it's a beefy aggressive hardtail so I'm less concerned about the weight. I'm 6'3 and the large fits me fine for my riding style; 50mm stem, 760 bars and no setback post. I found a dropper lends much more confidence with the lack of rear suspension (I don't have a dropper on my nomad; I know, how much less ENDUROOOO could I be, oh well). Overall really fun bike!
  • + 1
 I'm ENDURO and your doppelganger...
  • + 2
 Calling the Mattoc Comp's damping not as refined as Fox or RS kinda dismisses Manitou... why not simply state that the damping isnt as refined or adjustable as the Mattoc Pro (which is killer)??
  • + 1
 Why is this Mattoc Comp with black stantions? Is this a new anodization that will find its place on the higher versions in the future? Cause there was a Dorado prototype in 2015 with black stantions on some of the DH races....
  • + 2
 i miss my old ragely marley. stupid fun on any trail i pointed it down. from urban sessions to light dh work it was a blast. still butt hurt ragely refused to cover the cracked frame under warranty.......
  • + 1
 For more information refer to product line of every BC bike manufacturer back in '99. Brodie, Rocky, Cove, Banshee, .243, Norco.....all had a hardtail with "trail geometry", 5"+ travel fork, 2.5"-3" tires, single chanring, wide dh bars and shorty stem. Heck of a lot cheaper then for the exact same product. Those bikes are still rockin the local trails too!
  • + 1
 I find it funny that we see released hardtail bikes with 150mm travel at the front, reminds me of a some urban fr I've seen people building good 15 years ago using Drop Off's or Junior T's Big Grin Only difference now is that frames got longer...
  • + 7
 Keep thinking that, cause maybe today, tomorrow and also in the future, someone will fly by your full sus rig on one of these Big Grin
  • + 3
 Naah
  • + 1
 150mm is great on a hardtail. Slacker head angles allow more aggressive riding styles and put more emphasis on "riding the fork". Having a bit more travel up, as long as the geo is designed around it, allows for more mitigation when things get hairy.

The problem with raked out hard tails from 15 years ago, is they were never designed for it. Basically dirt jumpers with huge forks.
  • + 1
 I don't think leaning on the front is a good riding position on any bike, just check Phil Atwill's edit again and you'll notice he has the same stance on his ht as on the big bike.
  • + 1
 yes same stance but what he means is you can ride slightly more weight bias over the front & NOT ALL OF THE TIME but moreso to allow your legs to suck up more of the ruff stuff. THAT is riding the fork..
  • + 5
 WHY YOU NO BUILD XL!?
  • + 0
 They YT'd it : short frames and no XL.
  • - 1
 Their L is a M so want you want is a XXL...
  • + 1
 "If you're not worried about average speed..." "It might not be the fastest bike against the clock..." & then "It's just surprising how fast & hard you can ride the Blue Pig."

Huh?????
  • + 1
 At a 31lb build this is a little excessive for a hardtail review the bike could shave a couple I hope with less goop. I feel as though a hardtail should be lighter than my full Bronson?
  • + 2
 i am a fan of the raggles greenone www.youtube.com/watch?v=se7QZ0Ykgqc
  • + 2
 I recently picked mine up. I have left it standard for the moment which is rare for me. But I love it!
  • + 1
 Steel hardtails rule! I ride mine for almost two years now and I've definitely became more technical overall.
  • + 1
 72* seat angle sounds old fashioned, but keep in mind that sagged it's 74* and it won't sink in to it's travel climbing.
  • + 1
 so call it 73 when climbing a 1:2?
  • + 1
 it will sag, less when climbing more when descending.
  • + 1
 Trust me. Get a Blue Pig, you won't regret it.

Ask me how I know.

www.instagram.com/p/BALD2cOoqZB
  • + 1
 that is rad.
  • + 1
 I'm buying a Marley when the wonga is in my wallet ,the rasta pig sealed the deal !
  • - 1
 get the mmbop. the marley is for ladies only.
  • + 2
 Why blue pig?

Because it's blue, and is made for mud.
  • + 8
 Its named after a descent that leads to a pub called the Blue pig. Much like the descent, the pub is gritty, rough and the sort of place id like to spend all of my time.
  • + 1
 it's named after this www.pinkbike.com/video/267129
  • + 1
 what was that goddawful song?
  • + 1
 It sounded like The Offspring...and your not kidding...classic diet punk...the worst.
  • + 3
 How is the Mattoc?
  • + 1
 i hope not too flexy for heavy riders....
  • + 3
 I'm 90kg and have the pro! Very nice stiff flush fork. And a bargain.
  • + 1
 I have one... older but same fun!!!!! Love my Ragley Blue Pig, more even than my dirt bike
  • + 1
 ooo i need one of these and looks awesome for thrashing around the south downs on one.
  • + 2
 No pic of the head badge? I wanna see that.
  • + 1
 But wait, the fork is on backwards!
  • + 1
 I'll take a Matter Slay Ride... Hands down, best steel hardtail out there.
  • + 1
 Looks like a nice whip. Steep price. Nicely outfitted tho.
  • + 1
 I dig it minus the cabling
  • + 1
 Sexy and a true beast. But it is a wooping 10000 pennies for the frame... even tho the choice of specs is astonishing.
  • + 1
 So a hardtail that's heavier than my trail bike... Good one...
  • + 1
 Yeah, my Capra weighs the same or less, and my rigid HT is in the 20's.
  • + 1
 well the frame weighs 2.7kg. lighter than any trail alu FS frame. The actual built spec is completely irrelevant.
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