Making move to full suspension

Debating on making the move to full suspension. Right now I have a Trek Xcal 8 hard tail and as I gain more confidence on the trail im starting to feel its not gonna hold up.
Cant really afford to buy a full suspension upfront. So looking at maybe financing. Just looking for recommendations on full suspension bikes and dealers that finance

Thanks and sorry for the long winded post haha

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Another option is to save up a bit and keep an eye out on the second hand markets.

You never know what will pop up and if you don’t find something you have a good start for a down payment.


Yeh was also thinking that route. Been keeping my eyes open

One of the reasons im looking at upgrading is that ive been having troubles with broken spokes. On 3 different ocassions now ive broken spokes this season. Getting sick of bringing it in to the shop as i dont have a wheel truing machine.
Is this because im riding the bike too hard or does is it just happen over time? The bikes not even 2 years old

Depends on your trail preference. I find HT’s are hard on the chain stays, hubs and rims especially on rooty sections and square landings.
Wise words from a living legend @adventurer Save your back, go FS”.:grimacing:


Whatever you do don’t try and cheap out on a dual suspension, save your money you’re going to want at least a couple of thousand dollaroos. If you are seriously mountain biking you will regret a cheap new bike from cheap components and wheels that break and suspension that is crappy and not worth the cost of servicing if it is serviceable at all.

You can pick up higher quality bikes that are a bit older on the used market for a decent price but it is buyer beware. Worn drivetrains, roasted brakes that have never been bled, pads rotors, seized pivot bearings, suspension that has never been serviced could have you in for $$$ trying to get it running properly.


Yeh if i go new im looking in the 3000-4000 range not sure about used.
As much as I want a FS like immediatley lol. Someone made a goodpoint about financing. If i cant afford it I prob shouldn’t get it lol. So ill prob start putting some money aside. Maybe next season or get a good deal end of this season


As for the spokes, sounds like the wheel just needs to be rebuilt with all new spokes. Some wheels can’t handle the abuse. Had this issue on a CX bike. Rebuilt the wheel and never had a spoke issue again. Hard tails can certaintly handle some abuse. I used to race DH with them when I was a teenager. Having said that, full suspension is the best thing in the bike world. Look on the used market and you’ll find something.

Also most shop finance through Financit( Go online and get approved, then start shopping around! Don’t spend less than $2500 on a new full suspension bike.


Spokes typically break do to fatigue. That fatigue is a result of low or uneven spoke tension.

Broken spokes by itself isn’t a reason to go to full suspension. You could just rebuild your wheels or get a new wheelset. Upgrading wheels is something that can make a big difference to a bike’s performance. In my experience stock wheels don’t usually last more than a couple of years on my bikes, although I’m heavy, and ride hard without a lot of finesse. You could be outriding your wheels though. I think the X-calibers are more XC bikes, and not meant for brutal riding, so if you’re jumping, dropping, and riding rough terrain, then you may be doing more than the bike was intended for. One issue I get every once in a while is bending my derailleur hanger and then catching my derailleur on the spokes, which wears my rear wheel spokes. The front wheel takes a lot of abuse running into objects, especially if you side load it. Wheels can lose their spoke tension and then are prone to breaking spokes. Just tensioning up your wheels may keep them running. Rebuilding your wheel with stronger spokes (heavier gauge) may give it some more strength (while adding a bit of weight), but your rims are still narrow XC rims, so the rims will still be a weak point for hard riding. A stronger performance wheelset could give you better strength and may even save you weight. Like anything else, though you get what you pay for though. A performance wheelset could easily be $1000 new. I’ve found some good buys on eBay and Kijiji though. On my 26’ers I replaced my wheels with Mavic Crossmax ST. Never bent a rim or broke a spoke, and kept spoke tension with these, but did break hubs every once in a while. Currently running Mavic XA-35 wheels. So far so good with these.

On the other hand, I’ve had full suspension bikes as my main ride for many years, so going full suspension is pretty nice. They are much easier on my back, and give better control and traction. With a lot of our trails being rocky and rooty they work really well around here. But make sure to do your research and match the bike to your riding style. There are lightweight full suspension XC bikes, there are heavy but strong downhill rigs, and everything in-between, so match the bike to your riding style.


Thanks all great info man. I decided to get a new back wheel. Nothing special just something to get me through this season until I beat the shit out of that one too lol. Im also a heavy rider at 200lbs plus counting quarantine weight lol.
When I bought the x cal i didnt know id fall in love with mtbing so quick haha just wanted a good brand name bike and didnt do much research. Should have went full suspension right off the get.
Anyways im prob gonna keep my eyes peeled end of season try to maybe get a good deal from someone clearing out this years stock

If only there was a custom wheelbuilding shop that was also a site sponsor…


I busted and wore out all kinds of things on my first mtb as well. Glad I did it on one that wasn’t worth that much.


Although I agree with that logic in principle, depending on one’s personal situation it’s not necessarily a bad idea to go with a cheap new dual suspension. This was the route I went. I wanted a FS bike and didn’t have anything to ride at the moment so I picked up a $2k Norco Fluid FS3 because it was what I could afford. This allowed me to get back on the bike without having to wait and save for something nicer. It’s not what I would consider a dream bike (far from it :laughing:), but it’s “enough” for now. Plus being brand new, I have some peace of mind knowing my LBS has me covered in terms of repairs/warranty. I also acknowledge it won’t save me any money in the long run because I intend to upgrade the cheaper components over time (primarily the brakes and suspension). I’m also still a fairly novice rider, so my hope is that I’ll appreciate what better performing parts will bring to my ride experience as my skills improve.


I see your point for sure but your expectations have to match what you purchase. Although it is a lot of money, a $2000 full suspension bike is an entry level bike. Having expectations that do not match the mechanical capabilities of your bike is a recipe for dissatisfaction. I see it on almost a daily basis. So as long as that is understood and one doesn’t expect an entry level bike to perform like a pro’s enduro rig it’s all good. Run what ya brung!


Exactly what happened to me lol. Saw the name trek instead of ccms i drove all my childhood amd thought i had a cadillac lol.
Sadly mistaken when i started really hitting trails around the province haha

Its all good, when you’re just getting into MTB, falling and making mistakes is guaranteed. Better to trash a $50 derailleur vs a $200+ one!

Many don’t stick with serious MTB riding or do not progress to the point of surpassing the mechanical limitations of their bikes. Again as long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right. That isn’t to say that a serious dedicated MTB rider requires the highest end components either, often the highest end come with other considerations that again lead to disappointment, sacrificing durability for weight for instance. One thing is certain, MTB riding isn’t cheap when it becomes your main activity.


Lmao awsome!

I cant really fault my Norco Fluid FS3… 2550 on markdown last year, not as nice bits as my Rootdown, but threw on a set of hope wheels and it serves me well. Fast at Elgin, rides fight, vic park, Wentworth and Edmunston without fault. For around 3 g you get the 12 speed, Revelation fork, better brakes. Just saying a few Gs will get you a decent bike with great geo.