Is my LBS selling me a line?

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  • Is my LBS selling me a line?
  • soperman
    Member

    I am currently coming back after a long lay off to MTB. I had a huge bone cruncher a few years ago and lost the mojo somewhat, then got a new job that took all the hours for riding I had.

    I finally got back in the saddle yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Pumped by the experience I popped into my LBS to have a gander at the latest bikes, particularly Marins as I ride a 2000 East Peak, just to see how much things have advanced in the years I’ve been away.

    Almost exclusively the bikes on display were hardtails (very nice ones I have to add) but hardly a full susser to be found. Upon enquiring I was informed by the sales guy that demand for full suss bikes had almost dried up. FS bikes were for the guys who race the long distance enduro races, but the average joe these days rides a hardtail, as the new technology of hydroforming meant these bikes were really rather good these days.

    I am interested to know what the informed STW massif’s opinions are. Is a modern HT bike really as good or better than a 10 year old Mount Vision clone. How many guys on here now ride hardtails who would have been riding suspension a decade ago? All opinions valued. Can’t say I am necessarily going to be buying a new bike anytime soon, but have to admit the new breed of hardtails did look appealing.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Demand for FS drying up?? Taking the micky definitely. About 50-60% of bikes out round here are FS. I presume that it had more to do with what your LBS had in stock more than anything else. I’d take my business elsewhere since if they tell you this BS what else will they tell you?

    cubemeup
    Member

    HT dont apeal to me sorry

    FROGLEEK
    Member

    Just built a new hardtail with ‘hardcore’ appeal but will never replace the FS for the downs.
    However given I now have options two hardtails and a FS; for general trail riding the new hardtail is the first choice – lighter and less maintenance for winter slop.
    Coming back to MTB as you say after a long gap I would definately embrace the new hardtail options as first purchase

    spock
    Member

    he’s taking the pith

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Is a modern HT bike really as good or better than a 10 year old Mount Vision clone

    Noexpert but after 20odd yrs of biking I would say yes.

    How many guys on here now ride hardtails who would have been riding suspension a decade ago?

    Only got into FS 5yrs ago, it is now in the loft replaced for the moment by a Blue Pig.

    Full sus bikes have become too expensive imo for the average income rider. One of my lbs`s is currently struggling to flog some of their stock from last year and the manager says the buzz from the trade is that there is a definite downturn in fs sales, esp high end stuff.

    In answer to your questions;

    Looks like fs may have had it`s day, at least high end stuff.

    Good, long travel hardtail is te way to go.

    Premier Icon PeteG55
    Subscriber

    I’d say it probably depends very much on where you live. My shop doesn’t sell many mountain bikes full stop, so its mainly road bikes.
    You don’t say where abouts you are, but I know the local shops who do sell MTBs round here have about 50/50 full sus/hardtails.

    jedi
    Member

    just ride what you want!

    MRanger156
    Member

    A bit of personal thing but personally I love riding my full compared to several hardtails ive had/tried.

    poppa
    Member

    Get whatever you want! It depends on where you ride, how you ride, and how much you have to spend.

    If you need any advice this forum is excellent IMO, but you will get a lot of ‘banter’ alongside the useful stuff.

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Hradtails and FS are both better now than they were a decade ago. However as much as I love my hardtails the FS does pretty much everything they can do only faster.

    As for what your lbs is telling you, they either have a very particular market to whom they sell or they are doing what most salesfolk will do and that is sell you what they have.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    One FS, one hard tail, one rigid here – and a road bike. It’s all riding.

    Dibbs
    Member

    Sounds like the LBS either have a load of HT’s to shift or are waiting for the 2011 FS’s to arrive 😆

    Rockhopper
    Member

    I’ve got one of each and to be honest its horses for courses. Each have their pros and cons and really it comes down to the type of riding you want to do.

    uplink
    Member

    Regardless of what bike best suits you

    Find another LBS – that one is a liar

    z1ppy
    Member

    I’d say he was talking out of his bottom. My 2 LBS’s (MTB shops not cycle shops) have a 50/50 split at least.

    backhander
    Member

    I built up a very nice dialled PA in addition to my FS thinking that “everyone should own a hardtail”. I was slower up and down and when I did try to get some pace from it, it just battered me. I just never rode it and sold the thing in the end. I don’t know if it was the frame or the size, I learnt to ride on a HT but for me FS is the way now. Doesn’t stop me letching at the brodie holeshot Ti though 😀

    hora
    Member

    soperman how old are you?

    I personally would look into buying a short travel lightish bike and go down the Specialized route if you are new back.

    You can not go too wrong with say an Epic I reckon.

    I’d say he’s definitely selling you a line. What bike shops stock tends to depend on their location and their target market. Mine mostly caters for commuters, but still has a good selection of HTs and FS – prob 50/50%.

    Like the others, when the time comes test ride both HTs and FS bikes and see what you like best. Either way, yes, I’d say you will be very impressed by how things have come on in 10 years! Having said that, if you’re having fun on your old bike then great – just enjoy riding for now!

    thomthumb
    Member

    FS bikes were for the guys who race the long distance enduro races, but the average joe these days rides a hardtail,

    nonsense.

    I don’t have a FS but i don’t get on with them. hardtails go from uber light race bikes through to downhill monsters(perhaps not off the shelf) and there is a full suss bike to match at every point. finding what bike is best for you on the scale between XC and DH is more important than how squisy the back is.

    chrisdb
    Member

    Sounds very much like a case of trying to sell you what they had in stock

    Zoolander
    Member

    You only have to pick up a magazine to see he’s talking poop. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardtails mind and they’ve sure improved over the years as you say. The only reason i can see for selling alot more hardtails is that you can naturally get a much better spec for your £ in comparison to a ful sus and that may be important in these times of fiscal woe. Try some out and make your own mind up as to what feels right for you – or just whichever one you really want. You’ll ride a bike that you really wanted far more than the one someone wants to sell you irrespective of weather it’s superior or not!

    hora
    Member

    Cyclesurgery ‘taught’ me never to believe what they say or trust what they touch.

    Bumhands
    Member

    The bike shops assistants I have experienced rarely know what they are taking about.
    I only ride trail centres and Hardtail’s are def in the minority at the moment 80-20 split.

    If you are keen on honing bike skills and improving as a rider – get a HT.
    If you are shit hot, old, injured or just really shit and scared – get a full sus.

    Definitely bullshit.

    I ride in a pretty big club and I’d reckon the majority own a full sus bike. There’s a large proportion that also ride hardtails and there might be similar numbers that own a hardtail as their only bike as for full sus.

    Perhaps the biggest trend in the last decade is towards owning more bikes.

    Bikes in general are a lot better though, so for you buying a bike now, either would be a perfectly valid choice. I’d get a medium-weight 140mm travel FS and diversify from there, but it really depends on where/what you’re planning to ride etc.

    Bumhands
    Member

    ‘Perhaps the biggest trend in the last decade is towards owning more bikes.’

    +1

    ojom
    Member

    If you are keen on honing bike skills and improving as a rider – get a HT.
    If you are shit hot, old, injured or just really shit and scared – get a full sus.

    Not always true.
    Many on our group are all over the trails on HT’s like tramps on chips.
    It’s generally the full susses that mince. Me included.
    The HT’s are the ‘shit hit’ ones.

    Bumhands
    Member

    Not always true.
    Many on our group are all over the trails on HT’s like tramps on chips.
    It’s generally the full susses that mince. Me included.
    The HT’s are the ‘shit hit’ ones.

    Agree – a decent rider can rock whatever he/she slings a leg over.
    I just prefer to see good skilled riders riding expensive full sus’s.

    don simon
    Member

    I’ve never ridden a FS in anger, in fact I’ve only ridden a neighbours for about 50metres and didn’t like it.
    I don’t think there’s anything around here that you can’t ride on an HT upto and including a few guys who compete downhill on HTs.
    I’ve done 109km races on the HT without problems. I just can’t see what returns I’ll get from the extra cost of a full suspension bike.

    mrbump
    Member

    HT= lighter,better acceleration,lower maintainance,less pedal bobbing,

    FS= more traction,bump absorption,

    my preferance is HT for cross country and trail riding because it is less of a chore to get up the hills and flats,and is more fun to gain speed from pumping and boosting.
    FS for downhill and freeride beause of the need for traction when doing high speeds on rough terrain and the need for big hit aborbtion.

    many people do like the comfort and extra tration of full sussers for xc/trail thou some it is definitly best to try before you buy!

    also tyre size and air pressures can make a big differance on a HT, and also many people are buying steel HT’s for extra vibration damping but at the cost of a bit extra weight.

    whytetrash
    Member

    This is the wrong place to ask mate….they will be telling you you dont need gears, SPDs are wrong and suspension is overrated!

    It does depend where you ride but a light 120mm travel full sus will cope with most UK riding pretty well I reckon

    Is your local bike shop road orientated?…as a quick check ask him what tyre pressures they advise…above 35psi should sound alarm bells!

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    FS, HT, long or short travel. I just what’s least broken at the time.
    Of course I’m not stomping down rock gardens on the light weight HT, or smashing up hills in the big ring on the FS.
    Rung what you bring & I dig both.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Most occasional MTBers I know ride FS “trail bikes” with around 100-130mm travel, a few ride HTs due to budget restrictions.

    Some people who work in bike shops have strange ideas about bikes, without necessarily being liars.

    poly
    Member

    I’ve had an LBS tell me something similar, but he worded it slightly differently:

    WE don’t get a lot of demand for Full Sus MTB’s, because the entry level price is quite high compared to our average buyer’s pocket. He then suggested quite openly that if that was the interest then, whilst he could get one in, we’d be better going to his competitor 5 miles away who did get much more Full Sus customers.

    Its a bit catch 22 of course, if he doesn’t have much full sus on display, customers won’t see him as a serious full sus style MTB shop and go elsewhere therefore perpetuating his belief that it is not what his customers want. Similarly if he doesn’t hold demo stock selling £2k bikes may be tricky… …when someone down the road is offering a try before you buy policy.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    Everyone I know who has bought a bike in the last few years has bought a FS.
    Take from that what you will.

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    I think the shop guy’s allowed an opinion, and you’re allowed to interpret it however you like. If you want to apply a pinch of salt you can. Isn’t that always the case? Ride your bike for a bit longer before you decide anything.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    A bike shop on the Chase told my mate the Orange P7 was probably the worst type of bike for Cannock Chase & the occasional trip to Wales (CyB / MachX / NyA etc).

    hora
    Member

    If you walked into a Ford main dealers and the secondhand pitch was mainly Fiestas I wonder what the salesman would recommend to you……

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    it depends on where you ride and what size wheels you use.

    I am in the process of selling off my SantaCruz Superlight in favour of a new 29er hardtail which should be about the same weight and just as comfortable but more confident on the steep technical stuff and slightly quicker to cover ground.

    Don, with respect, if you’ve never ridden a FS in anger, and you accept that they’re popular with riders of all abilities, maybe you should have a go on one properly to see what you’re missing?

    They’re just different, not better, not worse, in general. I usually ride whichever I feel like at the time, it’s good to mix things up a bit so you don’t get bored of your trails. It’s also good to have backup, eg I’ve a rear brake that needs bleeding on my hardtail and I’m riding Thursday, I can fix it or I can leave it as I’ve got bouncer I can take out instead.

    hora
    Member

    I’ve never ridden a FS in anger. I have however ridden one as though it was a fine wine or treated vulgulary as though it was a cheap tart.

    I have to say, having been a big full suss fan for over a decade I cant see why anyone with enough wedge would choose a HT over a properly specced susser-especially now the sussers are so sorted.

    HT’s are great to start with, and hone skills and theres a lot of people who really love long travel, hard hitting HT’s…..but…..

    If you are of a certain age (as I am) and like a bit of comfort, a susser can pretty much out-ride a HT in every aspect. They climb better (unless its on a motorway), descend better, are hardly heavier and allow you to doze though things you would avoid on a HT.

    Sure, it makes you lazy but….who cares…its about enjoying the ride.

    Just my opinion….but I’ve been around a bit!!

    To address the OP:

    Our sales trends seem to be HT up to £800 and FS from £1700 upwards…..we advise customers away from a susser much below £1500rrp as they tend to be low spec and weighty. Most customers who are looking for their second bike (not a second bike) tend to save up for a susser.

    soperman
    Member

    Thanks for all the feedback peeps.

    I’m 46 and ride in Cornwall. Certainly not buying a new bike yet (gotta get really back into it…) but was interested for feedback on what I’d been told

    I did get the impression it was because that was what the stock was, and they are (used to be?) a road orientated shop.

    I feel like there might be a general theme forming:
    1 New rider – gets a hardtail cos it’s cheaper and wants to get into the sport
    2 Wants to progress – under force of marketing and salesman buys a FS it works for a time as a skills compensator and makes it possible for rider to ride and enjoy tougher longer trails
    3 More progression comes – rider gets love back for HT (or SS) to ensure continued enjoyment of easier trails and keep down costs associated with riding a lot.

    This is a sweeping generalisation of course but does it work as a potential hypothesis?

    Premier Icon Stiggy
    Subscriber

    Ha! Crotchrocket: you’ve just about summed me up there! 🙂

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