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  1. #1
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    $2500 budget...best 27.5 options?

    Sorry if this kind of question gets repeated a million times here...

    I went from a FS 26" to a hardtail 29er about 4 years ago, and I'm craving full suspension again... and very much leaning towards trying out the 27.5 thing. I mostly do "trail riding" kind of stuff... lots of climbing, lots of descending, some techy rocky stuff, some jumping but nothing too huge, lots of flowy/bermy trails with some rock and roots thrown in... looking for a trailbike. Not too "all mountain", which is what I seem to be running into the more I look.

    I've read a few reviews on the KHS sixfifty 6500 that have me excited...that seems like it's right up my alley (and not too far out of budget) but I'm admittedly out of the loop on what's out there in 27.5 land.

    Any suggestions on what else to look at for around $2500?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Rocky Mountain Altitude?

  3. #3
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    Norco Fluid 7
    27.5
    Full suspension/120mm travel

    MSRP - $1700- $2600
    Available - Oct. 2013

    From Norco:

    The cycling community fell in love with 27.5"/650B wheels but there remains a lack of choice at the lower price points that the majority of mountain bikers are looking for. Suspension kinematics and geometry are specific to the wheel size, delivering the ultimate trail mountain biking experience in a very affordable package.

  4. #4
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    If you're a smooth talker you might be able to get a GT Sensor Elite for $2500 (they all come with FOX CTD shocks which is why the prices are so high), but I think it's supposed to be a while before they hit shop floors. Other wise on the Giant side of things, Anthem 27.5 3 is $2250 and the Trance 27.5 3 is $2125 or less. Your local Giant dealer should be be at these prices or below.

    I too have been concerned about the trail market getting made into all mountain huck bikes with no bikes left for normal people to simply enjoy MTBing. Both because it's completely not my style or interest and there's no riding like that for hours from our shop, and because the majority of our customers are average joe's not bike park bombers. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that these bikes actually haven't lost any trail-ability like climbing and what not, but are simply more capable bikes that can do what they used to and take on more craziness. I'm really hoping for a win-win here.

  5. #5
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    JensonUSA has the Rocky Mountain Altitude 730's for $2200 right now.

  6. #6
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    Second vote for checking out the new Giant Trance 2. Right around $2K, leaves you a little cash for upgrades (I'd probably put some Shimano SLX or XT brakes on there). Geometry looks great for what you're asking.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, I will check these out. Jenson doesn't have the Rocky Mountian in my size. Reading up on that one though, sounds very good... I will check out the Giant for sure.
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  8. #8
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    im in the same boat, and i am thinking the giant trance as well. Also an ibis mojo transfer 650b or (i know, i know) a upcoming motobecane fs 650b.

    But I think my heart is on this - Showcase: Trance Advanced 27.5 - Giant Bicycles / Bikes

  9. #9
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    The Norco looks promising too, thanks. I like everything about the Giant except the horrible paint scheme/graphics. Why can't they make the cheaper models in the same sweet black as the more expensive ones?

    Ooh edit: maybe it does. What's the difference between the Trance 27.5 1 and the Trance 27.5 2? Looks like the 2 comes in Black.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHMB View Post
    im in the same boat, and i am thinking the giant trance as well. Also an ibis mojo transfer 650b or (i know, i know) a upcoming motobecane fs 650b.

    But I think my heart is on this - Showcase: Trance Advanced 27.5 - Giant Bicycles / Bikes
    Well, you're not quite in the same boat as the OP since the Trance Advanced and Ibis you're looking at are more in the $5K (or higher) range. Nice bikes for sure, though. Also take a look at the Santa Cruz Bronson and Solo, since they're in a similar price and performance range.

  11. #11
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    I was in the same boat when the Trance 27.5 came out. I bought the Trance 3. paid MSRP but got $300 in store credit for pedals and a new brain bucket. It has been great so far.

  12. #12
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    I was considering the Jamis

  13. #13
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    Check out the New Santa Cruz bike that was released yesterday...

  14. #14
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    I think this Santa Cruz Bicycles BANTAM is right up your alley!
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zgroove View Post
    Check out the New Santa Cruz bike that was released yesterday...
    Wow, SC is just rolling them out this year! So this Bantam is basically a slightly heavier duty Superlight with 27.5 wheels, yes? Price is right, though the kit seems a little low-end for the dollars.

  16. #16
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    Check put the Norco website it has been updated and some very nice and well equipped bikes for under 2500.

  17. #17
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    All NORCO Bikes here
    Fluid 7.1 = $2575 Canadian/some XT
    Fluid 7.2 = $1915 Canadian/Deore spec

    In general, nobody is discussing bike weight, but is it assumed ~ 30 lbs in this price range?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    All NORCO Bikes here
    Fluid 7.1 = $2575 Canadian/some XT
    Fluid 7.2 = $1915 Canadian/Deore spec

    In general, nobody is discussing bike weight, but is it assumed ~ 30 lbs in this price range?
    Norco's look nice but note the 13" BB height if you ride in lots of chunk or rocks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    Norco's look nice but note the 13" BB height if you ride in lots of chunk or rocks.
    I just rode a Large Norco Fluid 29er (9.1) last weekend, and yes, the BB seems too low for my riding style over rocky terrain; I was constantly being clipped out by bottoming over the rough stuff. It took some getting used to, but by the end of the ride I was able to modify. Overall, I loved the bike, but would throw shorter cranks on it if it was mine. I do prefer short cranks anyway; I run 170 on my MTB's and 165 on road/TT.
    I have the Giant Trance 3 27.5 on order already, and can't wait for it to show up! I was dead set on staying with 29er, but after reading rave tester reviews on the Trance in the mid-wheel-size, I figured I'd pull the trigger and see how it went. If it comes before you decide, I'll post my thoughts here.

  20. #20
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    Hmmm good point on the BB height, I hadn't noticed that. Not sure if that would bug me or not. I'm pretty tall, so it's a positive and a negative. The BB height on the Bantam is 13.1, and it's 13.3 on the KHS. All in the same ballpark really.

    Weight...I'm not too picky about weight. I don't think I've ever weighed the bikes I have now. Durability is a much higher priority for me.

    I wish there was more info/reviews already on the Bantam Anyone have any brilliant observations about that design? 68*/73* geometry...
    the KHS is 68.5*/73*, and for the same money you get 2x10 and Sram X7/X9... the more I look the more I like the KHS.
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  21. #21
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    SC is calling the Bantam a 27.5 lower-travel Heckler, for what that's worth.

  22. #22
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    Jamis Dakar comp

  23. #23
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    ^^ The Jamis is on the list too... I like the rear thru-axle.
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  24. #24
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    I'm in the same boat as the op and am really interested in the trance 27.5 3. Does anyone know if it comes with iscg tabs like the 27.5 1? Sorry a little off topic

  25. #25
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    the NEW 2014 Kona PRECEPT DL - $1899 usd - its based on the Satori which has been a brilliant bike - they didnt just slap wheels on it - they engineered the frame geo and sus for the wheels (apparently all similar to new process but on their swinger platform) - my lbs owner was at dealer camp - rode it and said it rips like no other for the money. might be one to add to your consideration. decent component/brake and wheel spec, 130mm rr travel/140mm frt with the lefotver money - you could add a dropper, some sweet blingy bits (bar/stem), upgrade the front fork?


    KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | TRAIL DS | PRECEPT DL

  26. #26
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    The Bantam is growing on me, but I'm not stoked on the parts spec.

    I'm realizing that I really want 2x10. Does anyone know of anything in my price range that comes with SRAM 2x10 other than the KHS 6500? All that bike is lacking that I want is a rear thru-axle. How much will I miss not having a rear thru-axle if I don't have it? Just about all the others I'm looking at have one. A thru-axle fork seems to be a given...everything has that.
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  27. #27
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    Another question: Bantam vs. Solo... Single pivot vs VPP... basically Superlight vs Blur suspension-wise? I'm sure there's a good write up on that comparison somewhere? Anyone have experience with both and want to share pros/cons of the two designs?
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  28. #28
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    I am debating myself between the Trance 27.5 3 but I hate the colour and the giant bikes seem to built a little light duty compared to the Norco's. My other consideration is the Norco fluid 7.1 love the colour and well spec'd.
    Norco also has the Sight 7.2 my dream bike but not spec'd as good as the fluid7.1.
    Oh the decisions.
    Friends of mine own Norco's rave about customer service and advice and the bikes seem bullet proof. Giant bikes customer service? not sure.

  29. #29
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    Niko: I have the Trance 3 and I am a Clyde' I am at 250# and have been hitting some smaller drops and jumps, nothing extreme yet. I have not had problem one with my Trance 3 and expect that to continue. My suggestion would be to ride them both and see which one fits you best and buy it. Pretty much you will go through the LBS you bought the bike from for any warranty items, so support them and they will support you.

  30. #30
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    +1 for the Kona Precept DL, killer bike for the money!

  31. #31
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    I'm in the exact same boat as the OP. I think at this point I'm between the Giant Anthem and Trance, though the SC Bantam is tempting, but I like the idea of a well tuned maestro over single pivot, though haven't ridden any Santa Cruz.

    I rode both the Anthem and Trance around the shop parking lot today, but wasn't able to glean a whole lot from that. I'm not sure ill be able to get full trail test rides on both.

    I guess the concerns are how well the Trance climbs over how well the Anthem descends/plows through rock gardens and roots. 140mm vs 100mm travel seems like a huge gap to me, though people seem to think they can each handle both XC and "trail."

    Spec wise I might be most interested in the "2" level as posted in the Giant site gallery. Showcase: Trance 27.5 - Giant Bicycles | United States. Any rumors on when this will become available, specific specs and cost?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcro View Post
    I'm in the exact same boat as the OP. I think at this point I'm between the Giant Anthem and Trance, though the SC Bantam is tempting, but I like the idea of a well tuned maestro over single pivot, though haven't ridden any Santa Cruz.

    I rode both the Anthem and Trance around the shop parking lot today, but wasn't able to glean a whole lot from that. I'm not sure ill be able to get full trail test rides on both.

    I guess the concerns are how well the Trance climbs over how well the Anthem descends/plows through rock gardens and roots. 140mm vs 100mm travel seems like a huge gap to me, though people seem to think they can each handle both XC and "trail."

    Spec wise I might be most interested in the "2" level as posted in the Giant site gallery. Showcase: Trance 27.5 - Giant Bicycles | United States. Any rumors on when this will become available, specific specs and cost?
    I am not sure why but the Trance 2 is not available in the US.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajar66 View Post
    I am not sure why but the Trance 2 is not available in the US.
    I just assumed they haven't rolled it out yet with the new model year. The jump from a ~$2150 3 to a ~$3100 1 is massive.

  34. #34
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    Well now I'm looking at JensonUSA and they have a couple Ibis Mojo Sls for under $2400. What to do??

  35. #35
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    ^^ I saw those. Tempting.

    I am really stumped here. The Bantam is growing on me, but now the Kona Process 134 is in the picture....

    If the Bantam was 2x10 I'd be snagging it I think. I want 2x10, but it's not a total deal breaker. I like the simplicity of a single pivot. It still seems pricy for the parts you get though.

    If I can find something else to sell I'll probably go with a Solo. Kidney maybe?

    The KHS hits all the marks except for a rear thru-axle. If it had a rear thru-axle I'd be snagging it I think.

    Kona's hitting all the marks but their geo/sizing scares me. The geometry charts make no sense when you look at their reach measurements...I feel like I really need to ride one to be confident. The others are so similar in angles and BB height that I feel like I know what I'd be getting into. I have ridden SC 26ers (superlights) and liked them.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcro View Post
    I just assumed they haven't rolled it out yet with the new model year. The jump from a ~$2150 3 to a ~$3100 1 is massive.
    I agree. I think they are missing an important price point by not offering it. I know the 2 is available in AU. I am not sure why they would wait to roll it out in the US.

  37. #37
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    Anthem 27.5 and its a great bike for the money, MSRP is $2,250. Was a little over 29# in a Large with Deore 2x10 and hydro's. Its only 100mm but I suspect with a 120mm fork up front it'll be allot of fun for me.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  38. #38
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    I just chose between a trek fuel ex and a remedy. For maybe a bit more all mtn than you I chose the remedy. Right at $3000 with tax and all. I was looking to only spend $2500 as well but the bike doesn't get released until December where I'm at so I put it on layaway and can easily get the extra $500 that way. The fuel is more xc/trail from what I understand for the same price.

  39. #39
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    I'm also looking for 650b around $2,500. What do you think about Lapierre Zesty AM 327? I would be under $2,500 for pre-order.

  40. #40
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    Just to follow up since I posted in this thread a few times:

    A couple local shops didn't know when they could get a Trance 27.5 3 in stock, so I went with a lightly used Niner RIP 9. I think I'd still like a 27.5, but with a great wheelset and the right tire pressure, my 29er handles great and really rips through corners. I'm really happy with it.

  41. #41
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    I am also looking for a new bike from $2.5k to 3k range so far my heart was set on the new Heckler but the Bantam also looks good to me.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Thanks guys, I will check these out. Jenson doesn't have the Rocky Mountian in my size. Reading up on that one though, sounds very good... I will check out the Giant for sure.
    I demo'd the RM 730 this Saturday in large field behind the LBS that included most feature except drops and climbs (I know, big gaps). I was impressed with the bike even though I was really looking for a 750, which they didn't have in my size. My concern would be how it climbs since it was pretty squishy and there wasn't a lock-out the rear shock they had installed - a Rockshox, but can't remember the model.

    But since I'm going for a bike I won't be inclined to immediately upgrade, I've decided on the SC Solo. I know, out of your price range...

  43. #43
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    heckler

    second that, only a pound or so heaver then a carbon bronson, 12mm rear axle, refined geo/design, reliable... reasonable price...
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    build trail!

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    Too bad that Scott bikes are so pricey. I love my Genius, but it is a bit higher on the price point. Had a Jamis 650B but snapped that frame after a few months. I like the look/price of the SC and Rockey Mtn. rides, just a lucky SOB to have a super LBS hook up!

  45. #45
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    Trance 3 has arrived

    00 budget...best 27.5 options?-giant-trance-3.jpg

    So after weeks of waiting (and test riding many bikes), my '14 Trance 3 finally arrived on Friday the 13th. Today I took it out for a 3.5 hr ride through some of the best sections of the Wissihickin Trails here in Philly, and my verdict is that it was WELL worth the wait! The bike tackled big rocks with ease, allowing me to make it over many obstacles that I've never been able to do. The 650b size lost nothing noticeable in 'roll-over' ability, but added a nimble feeling that made technical sections easier, and I felt more a part of the bike than I do on a 29er. The rear suspension is spot-on, and really let's me get on the power sooner when exiting a high speed corner without a hint of lost traction. I also appreciated how balanced and stable it felt when jumping and tearing through downhill sections. Another factor was the weight: while I don't have an exact number yet, the bike is extremely light for a full suspension bike at the 2k price point. All things said, I really couldn't be happier with my decision to go 650b, and love this bike!

  46. #46
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    What about the new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt | Rocky Mountain Bicycles

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    I'm also in the market for this price point and have been looking around quite a bit. Does anyone have any first hand experience with the new Jamis models? I'm not sure if I'm going to go FS or hardail, but really like the look and specs of both the Nemesis Race and Dakar XCT Comp.

  48. #48
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    OP here, still trying to decide... From what I can gather, the Bantam is to the Heckler what the Solo is to the Bronson... same deal, less travel. I'm more of an XC guy than an all mountain guy, but I don't hesitate to hit trail features/jumps when they don't put the fear of death into me. I think the Heckler would be overkill... is this good logic? Bantam sounds pretty ideal...and the last time I bought a full suspension bike, 4 inches of travel was a long travel trailbike. I've been on a hardtail for several years.
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  49. #49
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    Sounds logical to me.

  50. #50
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    I think it really depends on how competent a rider you are. I know guys that ride a 140mm Blur LT on trails I want a full DH bike for. I ride a Bronson and love it but if I had tamer terrain, the Solo/Bantam would be an awesome bike. Don't get stuck in the idea that more travel is better.

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