Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

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viking87
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Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by viking87 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:55 pm

I had a cozy beach cruiser with a soft seat last year for my first burn, which I may bring back for comfort's sake, but am wondering if zipping along the playa would be better in a mountain bike. I don't recall feeling too rattled by the riding last year, but my partner and I felt a little held up by them at times.

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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:55 pm

I’ve brought mountain bikes several times, I swapped the seat and bars for cruiser parts.
And I put a gas motor on one... but that was 2000 when you could do that.
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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Papa Bear » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:16 pm

Last year was a remarkably hard and durable surface that was easy to ride. It isn't always that way.

Many years, the playa is more of a "potato chip" texture that crumbles easily and quickly turns into seas of dust dunes. Heck, in '17 the dust was six inches deep in parts of the 9:00 side. When it's like that, the wider tires you have, the better.

A more upright posture is also nice, since it lets you take in everything around you more easily and so miss fewer of those awesome little serendipitous moments.

(My personal solution is a low-end fat tire bike refitted with cruiser bars. Those big tires are low pressure and act like a suspension to smooth out the bumps, and they absolutely float over the dunes.)

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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by BBadger » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:59 pm

I'd only switch to a mountain bike if I weren't able to gear down my cruiser to something more easy to pedal or power through some dunes. Otherwise, I would not miss the mountain bike handlebars or the seats. Apehangers and a cruiser seat are wonderful.
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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Sham » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:07 pm

5 years ago, I switched from a mountain bike to a cruiser bike. I would never go back. Soft seat, you get to sit up straighter and you get to view things in front of you much better.

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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Luigi » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 am

Stick with the cruiser, gear it down - either change the front chain wheel or back hub. Sit upright and go slow.
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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:43 pm

It’s not like it’s one or the other.
There’s zero reason you can’t put the same seat and bars and gears on a mountain bike as on a cruiser.

The Mongoose Beast or Dolomite are about the ideal playa bikes.
Cheap, fat (4”) tires, and you can slap whatever comfy seat and handlebars on you want.
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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by mcgyver2k » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:09 pm

Are you a Mountainbiker in the other 51 weeks of the year? If not, stick to the cruiser. If you are, you might find your usual riding position more comfortable and efficient. MTB suspension is usually designed for bigger impacts and doesnt give you much comfort on the small bumps that you find on the playa. Thats where the fat tires work really well, plus they give you better flotation on the soft parts where suspension doesn't help at all.

But this is burning man and you can build anything you want. If your cruiser feels too slow you can mount faster tires , change gears etc and still keep it quite comfy. I have a cruiser that i butchered to fit 3.8/4.8 tires, a brooks leather seat and handlebars that i know i can ride all day long. And it fits in a regular suitcase.

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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Toe » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:14 am

Bear in mind that playa dust destroys the tender bits of bicycles. You might want to forego the full suspension for a simple springy seat on a hard tail. This could give you most of the comfort and avoid deterioration of your nice full suspension bike. My personal favorite is a single speed with a spring seat. It's cheaper and there's no derailleur to gum up.

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Re: Mountain bikers... full suspension or hardtail?

Post by Elorrum » Wed May 01, 2019 12:05 pm

Don't go full suspension. It's flat, so the shocks will just sucked energy, especially in the real dusty traps.
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