Posted: Mon Aug. 08, 2011 8:24 am
Ryan, "rear suspension wouldn't be good for a rookie" is hog wash. I've loved my full suspension bike since the day I got it.
In my opinion there are only 3 reasons [b:bef6080378]NOT[/b:bef6080378] to have rear suspension: 1) no suspension cuts down on the weight of your rig which might be beneficial for racing, 2) no rear suspension means less maintenance on your bike, saving you on upfront and maintenance costs, 3) the kind of riding you plan to do is on baby smooth trails (this would not include NH,... yeh, yeh, this is a bit of a stretch but you get the idea).
Now to be fair these are some of the positives: 1) [b:bef6080378]smoother ride[/b:bef6080378], 2) arguably more control on bumpy ascents and descents, 3) no pinch flats, 4) smoother landings from big air.
If your idea of riding fun is "the more technical the better", then you will likely really enjoy a full suspension bike better. If you are looking to race, most of the people I know are moving towards 29ers with a hard tail and this might arguably be the better setup for that.
Riding a hard tail is a different style of riding then a full suspension bike. I wouldn't say it's harder or easier, better or worse, just different. When I start shopping for my next mtb I will likely be looking at full suspension 29ers first and go from there.
More important than hard tail or full suspension is FIT. The bike has to be the appropriate size to fit your height, weight, and body dimensions. My first real year of riding was on a hard tail that is too small for me which equated to a lot of crash time (that and inexperience).
To start off with you are not going to love the technical stuff, but for me that is what it is all about.