Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 132
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sid Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    280

    Benefits of a high-end bike

    Hi all, I'm planning to get my first full-suspension bike, likely in about 6-12 months. I'm currently riding an XC 29er hardtail, but looking to get something a bit different, likely a 27.5 trail bike.

    It's hard to not be seduced by the high-end stuff, and the Yeti SB5 is currently at the top of the list, as all the reviews talk about how stable and nimble it is, while being great for climbs as well as descents. But then I stop and think, do I really need that much bike, and would I even be able to appreciate the difference between a 5-7k bike and a 3-4k bike? I'm do more XC right now, but want a bike that allows for rock gardens and moderately technical descents, which I plan to tackle as my skills improve. I don't plan to ever go bombing down tight trails at really high speeds, or do big jumps (though a little bit of air or jumping small gaps may be in my future). I like a trickle of adrenaline, but don't need or crave a huge rush.

    I'm sure I could get a perfectly adequate bike that meets all my needs in the 3-4k range, but I'm worried about spending that big chunk of change, then regretting that I didn't go for that bike that was calling me from the beginning.

    When I drive my buddy's BMW M5, it just feels so much nicer than my Mazda. Even though the Mazda does what I need it to, and I don't need the performance of an M5, I would definitely prefer to drive the M5. Would you say high-end bikes are similar to that, or would I just be spending a few thousand dollars on something that I likely won't even be able to notice?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Junersun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,691
    Life is too short to ride a bike you feel is mediocre. High end component is exactly like your car comparison. You don't need it, but the fruit on that side is sweet!
    Current Bikes

    2018 Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+
    2016 YT Tues AL
    2016 Banshee Rune

  3. #3
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9,648
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    Hi all, I'm planning to get my first full-suspension bike, likely in about 6-12 months. I'm currently riding an XC 29er hardtail, but looking to get something a bit different, likely a 27.5 trail bike...

    ... I'm do more XC right now, but want a bike that allows for rock gardens and moderately technical descents, which I plan to tackle as my skills improve. I don't plan to ever go bombing down tight trails at really high speeds, or do big jumps (though a little bit of air or jumping small gaps may be in my future).
    Sounds like your current bike is perfectly compatible with those goals.
    Death from Below.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,581
    Theres no benefit, kind of at all. Its really all a bunch of crap with false perceived benefits.

    That said, I go for high end stuff. My bikes are somewhere in the thousands, and everything has been replaced. Its fun for me. I live modestly, drive a toyota, and have a good job. I can afford to blow/waste cash on my hobby. This gear absolutely does not make me a better rider, its just fun for me and thats all that matters. Theres so many people trying to justify their $5000+ bikes, then you hit the trails and some guy on a $100 1997 trek blows them out of the water. Im not knocking either rider anymore, I hope they're both having fun going whatever pace they want. Just be real about it.

    You will notice that higher end stuff works differently. Im extremely reluctant to say better. Ive been on a full deore level bike and everything on it was 100% functional. It shifted every single time without fault, the entire drivetrain was smooth and functional. Its hard to really get better than working 100%, if you're real with yourself. The XT or XTR group feels different, smoother, quieter and just nicer. Its fun to have that kinda stuff. If you have the income to do so, awesome! Enjoy. If you have a budget, dont worry about not getting the best stuff, the lower end stuff still works great.

    ... ok, one exemption. A nice fork will stop your hands from hurting. I couldnt hang with my harsh damped white bros fork anymore, so I got something much nicer (a revelation). If you're getting physically beat up and want to continue riding those trails, a good fork does pay off. You *can* ride the same trails on a fully rigid bike, and people do, but I dont like feeling beat up while riding.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    234
    Lots of variables... I have 2 full seasons a 2014 SC 5010. I bought the high end frame (carbon C, now CC), but the low end components package. The bike came in just under $4K.

    This is my first fs bike, so I've had time to learn the components that are important to me and adjust. I like learning and changing things on my own, so if I'd bought high-end I would have missed that experience.

    What I've done myself to "customize": 3x10 converted to 2x10, 710cm carbon bar, replaced the damper, seals in the fork (which transformed the ride). I would have missed out had I bought differently. LBS added Hadley rear hub.

    In the long run I think I'm still under the cost of the higher-end versions, but I would have missed the learning experience. For people who have more experience and already know the components they want, that probably isn't important to them.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: targnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,630
    You'll definitely have a lighter wallet ;-)

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    -=snifff!!=- What's that you say?
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    734
    You can build a sweet boutique for $4K.
    Find last years close out, for example a Santa Cruz Carbon 5010 or Bronson from Competitive Cyclists, add a pike, get a smart speced set of wheels like Hopes/Flows or similar, 1 x 10, XT brakes, and get your shred on.
    I just built a close out Devinci and Ibis, both for under that price point.
    Want to spend less? Find a close out alloy frame.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    391
    I find that if I'm not trying to keep up with a fast group, I don't need all the latest updates just to have fun on the bike. But when you are in a fast group, it does suck to be equipment limited. For example, if your bike's heavy and everyone elses' is light, you'll have a much harder time keeping up on the climbs. If your suspension sucks, you may keep up for a while with better skills, but after a long ride, you'll still be more beat up and start to make mistakes when your friends are cruising along in comfort at the same pace.

  9. #9
    Keep on Rockin...
    Reputation: Miker J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,497
    If you are an experienced, fit rider, who is able to get the most out of his gear, then going high end is worth it.

    If the bike is a whole lot better than the rider, the rider isn't going to use the performance available.

    Match bike to the rider.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: upstateSC-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,356
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Sounds like your current bike is perfectly compatible with those goals.
    I agree.
    A hardtail will improve your skills faster than a FS because you have to choose your lines a little more carefully.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,581
    Having to choose lines isnt very fun, and I don't think it makes anyone a better rider. It takes more skill to take the bad line, a hardtail just beats you up more doing it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,189
    If you have are asking if you "need it" then the truthful answer is generally "no." So what?

    If you are interested in a new bike then do some research on a bunch of bikes and try to ride as many as you can and demo those that you can. You might surprise yourself and decide to wait longer before getting the new bike.

    Nothing will live up to the expectations, except of course dropper posts, hydraulic disc brakes, short stays, tubeless set up, wider bars, etc...

    there is always, always, always going to be something better...

    okay, I rarely go to bike shops anymore, but went to one a few weeks ago. Wow! seeing all these new bikes, carbon, wider rims--it was amazing. I want a new bike. A few days later I thought, "My Yelli is the best fitting bike I have ever owned. why would get another bike that would replace it?" Then I thought more for a few days and determined that it could use a new front wheel as I built it 3 years ago with a real old marginal front wheel and thankfully have not folded on me. (got to justify through safety). so for $225 there is a new custom wheel on its way. the itch has been scratched, the yell lives to ride another day, probably a few more years...

    I hope that answers your question.

  13. #13
    Dream it, Do it.
    Reputation: Spectre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,437
    A suggestion: Instead of considering whether to get a high-end bike, do demo rides and decide on the bike you want regardless of price. I've ridden high priced bikes that felt awful and lower priced bikes that felt great so I wouldn't necessarily use price as a determination of what's better. Another thought is to get the right frameset, add components to fit your budget and upgrade over time.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    210
    If you have 10 lbs extra on your body to spare, carbon is a waste of money. You know why. $3k bike component performance is plenty good enough. So crisp if setup well. Since you are going to fs consider that you will want to experiment sizes and geometry. Buy 2k USED a time or two then buy $5k+ dream rig. Would suck to buy $5k bike that aint right for you from the get go.

    If you have 20+ lbs to spare on your body then drop another 10 lbs then repost...

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    210
    Oh and btw i am still 30 lbs over what i should be and ride a $3k trek fuel ex 8 2014

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sid Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    280
    Much thanks for the replies! Very interesting and useful to hear all the different perspectives. To clarify, I am talking about high-end frame, fork, and wheels. My current mid-level drive train (SRAM x9) has never had any issues, and I don't think it would be worth paying a lot for components that are a little lighter, or shift slightly faster.

    The comment that my current bike meets my needs is probably true, though sometimes the trails I ride get a bit rough and I find myself thinking that a FS would be nice. I'm not denying that I could ride these trails with my HT, but just looking for a more pleasant ride. Also, when I say that I don't want to go bombing down descents, I only mean that I don't want to push the limits of being in-control. I would like to go faster, but staying well within the limits of what the bike can handle.

    The comments about test-riding is definitely well-taken. I guess my question boils down to: will the right bike make for a more enjoyable ride at all speeds (plusher, better control), or only when getting close to the limits of what a lesser bike can handle. I supposed demo'ing a bunch of bikes will help me to answer that question.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,214
    I went from XC29 to AM27.5 and couldn't be happier, lots of XC style riding, long climbs, etc. No downside at all. And it's so much faster/more fun on the DH stuff. So consider that a big vote in favor of changing bikes.

    As One Pivot said, it can be "fun" to spend more on a bike if you can afford it. My first bike was $1800, second is probably close to $3K with upgrades. Does it make it better? Don't know, but it's sure sweet. When my kids get big enough for the next round of hand-me-downs, I'll probably look at the 5K range, because why not? Not sure if I'll bother with carbon, I recently noticed a big dent in my downtube that likely would have been the end of a carbon frame.

    A few things I noticed that were significant improvements / value for the dollar: Wheels - wider, stiffer, lighter, with high POE hubs. When I get on my HT29 with Deore hubs, the flexiness (of the wheel), the rolliness (of the tire on the rim), and the low POE (of the hub) make it harder to ignore the bike and just ride.
    Dropper post (obvious)
    Brakes - the XTs on my FS (vs Deore on my HT) are so much easier to use one-fingered; that leaves three fingers (and a thumb!) for holding the grips on the gnarly stuff.
    2016 SC 5010
    2017 Norco Torrent
    2014 Giant Trance (the boy's)
    2014 Kona Process 134a (the other boy's)

  18. #18
    Just here for the scenery
    Reputation: EddyKilowatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem1 View Post
    You can build a sweet boutique for $4K.
    Find last years close out, for example a Santa Cruz Carbon 5010 or Bronson from Competitive Cyclists, add a pike, get a smart speced set of wheels like Hopes/Flows or similar, 1 x 10, XT brakes, and get your shred on.
    +1... this strategy worked for me, almost to the letter (though with a more XCish frame and components). Nothing on my Tallboy is high end or bling, but everything is solid and nice to work with, and, (after some enjoyable trial and error) well matched to its task and to my riding. It's a little more bike than my skills deserve, but a pleasure to climb onto every time, and it motivates me to keep working to improve.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: andyfloyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    486
    I started out on a FS Walmart bike made by Triax. It had a front fork with 26mm stanchions, no damper, a rear shock that was locked up from brand new, flexy wheels that would bend two miles onto the trail, and somehow it was a boat anchor @ 40lbs....and I still had enough fun on that bike to warrant a $400 Diamondback HT purchase that next spring. Rode that around, then upgraded to a couple older FS frames from Trek and Specilaized ( vintage stuff ). Soon after I got a Litespeed Niota alloy frame and rode that around for a year and a half...kept upgrading it until I realized I needed a really good bike to ride the way I wanted to. All these other bikes were fun and as long as I was out on the trail I was happy.

    Now I have a SC Blur TR, and its the best bike Ive ridden. It isnt necessarily more fun than the other bikes Ive had....but its allowed me to get PR's on the trails, ride harder and corner faster, jump higher, etc. All I can say is, when you feel like your bike is holding you back, its time for an upgrade. So OP, sure you could keep your HT for those trails, but do what I did get a closeout end of year deal on a Santa Cruz 5010 for example and upgrade parts as you see fit. And youll have a badass bike.
    2014 27.5" SC Blur TRa - 2014 IP-106 Chiner 29er - 2005 Fuji Team SL 16.2lbs -

  20. #20
    Trail Rider
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    821
    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Theres so many people trying to justify their $5000+ bikes, then you hit the trails and some guy on a $100 1997 trek blows them out of the water.
    My bike retails new at about $7k, though I am a mechanic at a bike shop, so I paid EP prices.

    That being said, If I was riding with my clone, who was on a $100 Trek, not only would I drop him like a bad habit, I would have so much more fun as well.

    Every ride on my current bike is a joy, and yes, I had fun on all of my previous bikes (riding mtb for 25 years now), but not this much fun.
    Trek Fuel EX 9.8

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: d365's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,975
    The only way you'll truly appreciate a $5-7K bike, is if you've ridden a $3-4K bike long enough to know why you "needed" the upgrades. If you had never driven a Mazda, you'd never know just how great the BMW is, or why.... it would just be a car. If you owned a Pinto, that Mazda would seem super awesome...

    Someone spending $7k on a bicycle, should understand why they need it, part by part. If money is no object, then why not.... but you'll never know why it's so great, or if it was worth it.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,822
    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    The only way you'll truly appreciate a $5-7K bike, is if you've ridden a $3-4K bike long enough to know why you "needed" the upgrades. If you had never driven a Mazda, you'd never know just how great the BMW is, or why.... it would just be a car. If you owned a Pinto, that Mazda would seem super awesome...

    Someone spending $7k on a bicycle, should understand why they need it, part by part. If money is no object, then why not.... but you'll never know why it's so great, or if it was worth it.
    That's a good point and I agree.

    There's definitely a law of diminishing returns in bikes between $4K and 10$K. Like others have said, it's pretty easy to buy even a high end frame, wheels and fork and equip it smartly but without all the XTR/XX stuff for around $4-5K (even less if you get a close out frame from previous year). It's all the fluff that takes it from there to $10K..... and with smart shopping you can get equally good high end stuff without paying that premium. For example you can get high quality, strong, well built carbon wheels for considerably less than Enve.



    In general
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    623
    My experience: after reaching a level where components are functional and well maintained, geometry is king. A carbon frame is less important than a degree here and a couple of cm's there.

    If you allready have that and are willing to spend more, then by all means go for it and enjoy both the process and the ride.

    Is a 5.000 bike twice as good as a 2.500 bike?

    No.

  24. #24
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    A suggestion: Instead of considering whether to get a high-end bike, do demo rides and decide on the bike you want regardless of price. I've ridden high priced bikes that felt awful and lower priced bikes that felt great so I wouldn't necessarily use price as a determination of what's better. Another thought is to get the right frameset, add components to fit your budget and upgrade over time.
    Even the lowest level parts on high end frames are "good enough." You're not going to find a company selling $2-3K frames with Deore on them.

    Buying cheap with the intent of upgrading is absolutely the worst piece of bike buying financial advice known to man. Buy the bike you want to have, parts will never be cheaper than when purchased as part of a complete bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by kevbeer View Post
    If you have 10 lbs extra on your body to spare, carbon is a waste of money.
    Are you some sort of a hybrid financial adviser/personal trainer/bicycle designer?

    In most cases, carbon is what you want when you start looking at what works the best, especially for FS frames. It's both more durable AND it allows the suspension to work better by keeping everything in alignment.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    124
    Look at used bikes, its amazing how many less than year old bikes are for sale around the popular riding areas. Not too hard to look at a relatively new bike and tell if its been beat or not. I live in Bend and lots of riders here have to have the latest ride so they sell off their bike at the end of the season, good deals to be had.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,189
    Get a killer, frame, fork, and shock on closeout. Get the bottom of the market drive train version of the bike. Get a closeout front wheel. Get a nice custom rear wheel. Then upgrade any parts of the drive train that need to be upgraded by sniping killer deals on parts that fit your need. Also consider running larger volume tires and a longer fork on your xc bike.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bgkz25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    121
    If bike is really your passion, either way you'll end up craving for more, high end or not. You will have a hard time resisting the "itch" for an upgrade. If this sounds like you, then go for the high end as you will end up spending that amount of money or even more when you upgrade from the 3-4k range.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    734
    I would put a premium on quality suspension, most lower level completes will come with evolution series forks and shocks, usually featuring only rebound control.
    Hence my first post, you can build a hella bike for under $4K, that will have the tires, saddle, etc: you want.

  29. #29
    STEEL IS REAL
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,877
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    Hi all, I'm planning to get my first full-suspension bike, likely in about 6-12 months. I'm currently riding an XC 29er hardtail, but looking to get something a bit different, likely a 27.5 trail bike.

    It's hard to not be seduced by the high-end stuff, and the Yeti SB5 is currently at the top of the list, as all the reviews talk about how stable and nimble it is, while being great for climbs as well as descents. But then I stop and think, do I really need that much bike, and would I even be able to appreciate the difference between a 5-7k bike and a 3-4k bike? I'm do more XC right now, but want a bike that allows for rock gardens and moderately technical descents, which I plan to tackle as my skills improve. I don't plan to ever go bombing down tight trails at really high speeds, or do big jumps (though a little bit of air or jumping small gaps may be in my future). I like a trickle of adrenaline, but don't need or crave a huge rush.

    I'm sure I could get a perfectly adequate bike that meets all my needs in the 3-4k range, but I'm worried about spending that big chunk of change, then regretting that I didn't go for that bike that was calling me from the beginning.

    When I drive my buddy's BMW M5, it just feels so much nicer than my Mazda. Even though the Mazda does what I need it to, and I don't need the performance of an M5, I would definitely prefer to drive the M5. Would you say high-end bikes are similar to that, or would I just be spending a few thousand dollars on something that I likely won't even be able to notice?
    High end bikes are mostly about lower weights which helps you rider longer before fatigue sets in and makes the bike more flickible. Higher end components can perform a little better than lower end components but IME, it's not "night and day" different anymore.

    For XC riding a high end bike isn't necessary (but it's always nice to roll along on the bling) because this type of riding isn't harsh on a bike compared to enduro/all mountain or other types of more extreme riding.

    I would go with a "lower" high end bike if I were you. For example, if you like Shimano components, look for a bike built around their XT drivetrain/brakes. It will get you the same goodness as the highest end stuff and nearly the same weight class, yet it won't cost as much.

  30. #30
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,181
    When a building a bike there are a couple of parts to get right:

    1. Obviously the frame
    2. Fork, do not skimp on the fork. Get the best possible fork you can afford. (And maintain it, changing that bath oil frequently makes a huge performance difference)
    3. Dropper post. Pick carefully, reliability should be you number one concern.
    4. Rear hub. Get a good hub, cheap ones will cost you weeks of riding.
    5. Brakes. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good brakes and you can spend a lot of money and get terrible brakes, make sure you get good ones.

    The rest of the stuff matter but those top 5 are critical.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    94
    I was in the same boat as the OP. I had a hardtail xc 26er with 100mm front sus. (trek 4300) which I had rode for 3 years. I wanted something new as I felt my skill had surpassed the bike. After debating about going carbon hardtail or full susp I decided to go full suspension. I had the funds to go up to 5K but I really wanted to stay at 3K or below, as my previous bike cost around $600 if I remember correctly. At the bike shop the high end bikes where really tempting, but I found a 2015 Fuel Ex 8 for almost $1000 cheaper than its list price, and I grabbed it.

    I am very happy with my purchase, the bike is a joy to ride. I have destroyed all my old strava records, and I can ride longer and not feel beat up at the end of the day. The components (SLX brakes, Shadow Clutch rear der., SLX shifters, Fox shocks) are great compared to what I had before and I really can appreciate the difference in the 2 bikes. I think going full suspension will be a big change in and of its self and getting a 3K full squish should make u quite happy IMO.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    734
    Or you could click on the ad page right.
    Niner Jet 9 XT/SLX Exclusive Pro Build Bike

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    473
    When I bought my first FS bike I thought, "this is more bike than I'll ever need," and bought a very average equipped, 100mm travel bike. Two years, three bikes later, and I finally have a bike that is a good match for my riding style.

    If you have the money, spend it. If you're wavering between a 130mm XC and a 150mm trail bike, get the trail bike. The efficiency difference is probably a couple watts. The difference descending is worth it.
    T275a

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    When a building a bike there are a couple of parts to get right:

    1. Obviously the frame
    2. Fork, do not skimp on the fork. Get the best possible fork you can afford. (And maintain it, changing that bath oil frequently makes a huge performance difference)
    3. Dropper post. Pick carefully, reliability should be you number one concern.
    4. Rear hub. Get a good hub, cheap ones will cost you weeks of riding.
    5. Brakes. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good brakes and you can spend a lot of money and get terrible brakes, make sure you get good ones.

    The rest of the stuff matter but those top 5 are critical.
    This.

    Of these 5 I would put frame, fork and rear hub as the top three. Can't say enough about a good rear hub with a high point of engagement. I have been riding Chris King hubs (the same Chris King hub actually) for 10+ years now. It'll spoil you. When I get on my cross bike the 'play' in the pedal stroke drives me crazy.

    Good luck on your search!

  35. #35
    Workin for the weekend!
    Reputation: -Todd-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,330
    I find the further up the scale you go, the more durable the parts are. This is a generalization, but it's something I've found out in my trials & errors.

    Carbon frame is much more resilient to repeat stresses (non crash related)
    X0 Components outlast X9 components - better pins & materials
    XTR brakes are consistently great.
    XTR cassette is pinned more than the XT version. Both have perfect shifts.
    DT Swiss Hubs don't miss-engage. Ever.
    Stans Tubeless rims never burp. Their fit works awesome, with any tire I mount.
    Easton Bars / Seatpost - No fear of breaking while pushing/pulling as hard as I can.

    The only "high end" part I skipped was the XTR pedals, they seem weak for a 225# rider.

    Everything else has outlasted the previous part it replaced. You do get what you paid for. My "needs" were built around durability and weight. I think my setup meets both goals without alot of fuss.

    Carbon wheels would be nice though...
    Todd

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,822
    Quote Originally Posted by justwan naride View Post
    My experience: after reaching a level where components are functional and well maintained, geometry is king. A carbon frame is less important than a degree here and a couple of cm's there.

    If you allready have that and are willing to spend more, then by all means go for it and enjoy both the process and the ride.

    Is a 5.000 bike twice as good as a 2.500 bike?

    No.
    Correct, but I think the gap is more apparent between $2500-5000 than between $5000 and $10,000. For instance you might notice a 30-50% improvement going from a $2500 bike to a $5000 bike, but I think in general, you might only notice a 10-20% (or less) improvement going from a $5000 to $10,000 bike. Law of diminishing returns.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sid Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    The only way you'll truly appreciate a $5-7K bike, is if you've ridden a $3-4K bike long enough to know why you "needed" the upgrades. If you had never driven a Mazda, you'd never know just how great the BMW is, or why.... it would just be a car. If you owned a Pinto, that Mazda would seem super awesome...
    That's just really sound logic that I can't dispute.

    On the other hand . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bgkz25 View Post
    If bike is really your passion, either way you'll end up craving for more, high end or not. You will have a hard time resisting the "itch" for an upgrade. If this sounds like you, then go for the high end as you will end up spending that amount of money or even more when you upgrade from the 3-4k range.
    Yes! that does sound like me.

    Thanks for all the good discussion on here. Very helpful

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BeanMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,226
    Being 56 years old and having paid off my house...I bought a high end bike. The heck with any other arguments. I did switch the Pike out for an MRP Stage.

  39. #39
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,127
    When u crash and break something, itll cost 2-3x more to fix. Just like high end cars, cost of ownership increases insanely.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    335
    If you're looking at a $3k bike then I'm going to guess the light bill next month will not be a problem. If the difference between a $3K bike and $5K is then a personal decision based on how fun biking is to you and how often you ride and how important that $2k is.

    Unfortunately the SB5c is an awesome bike and $5k is the price of admission. Shoot the money gun once and enjoy the bike. If not, enjoy the bike you end up with and don't second guess it. Everyone here will give their own advice, but it'll be you and your money in the shop when it is time to buy. Have fun with the process.

    Based on your responses so far, get the Yeti. You'll love it.
    Yeti SB6c
    Cannondale Jekyll Carbon Team
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Cannondale Scalpel

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    Hi all, I'm planning to get my first full-suspension bike, likely in about 6-12 months. I'm currently riding an XC 29er hardtail, but looking to get something a bit different, likely a 27.5 trail bike.
    This is EXACTLY where I am as well! Thanks for starting this thread. Interesting responses and suggestions.

  42. #42
    Lone Wolf
    Reputation: Osco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,745

    Cool-blue Rhythm

    OP,, you sound like a spoiled rich kid.

    Go to the trail head, take a look at what people are riding.
    Odd's are If you see ten of this bike and only two of that bike you should start with 'This' bike,, follow me ?

    U drive an M5,,does it get you laid often ? :P.... Ok so you got money,, BUT do you have skills ? Prolly not asking what your asking.

    Are you In shape ? Howz your Guns ?

    It ain't the bike, It's the engines,, The skilled riders get more out of Uber bikes, regular hacks like me crash more and big dollar bikes often break easier, costing far more to fix...
    Wait you got an M5. you got money,,buy a $10,000 bike, It will be a great ride....

    All jokes aside,,skills will give you a better ride but you gotta earn those with Blood sweat and tears...
    For me It was a bunch o blood mixed with sweat,,in my eyes, I ride a 30 pound low level bike, Did a few key up grades as I wore things out.
    I love my bike and last month when I watched It cartwheel away from me I was glad it was not 'High-end',, I broke nothing that time:P
    wait for it,,,
    ,,
    ,
    Velominati, The Keepers of the Cog,,,Rule #5 definatley applies to you...

    Velominati › The Rules

    Forgive my sour azz additude I crashed and am still healing,, gonna need a new helmet dagnabbit ~
    I seek only the Flow,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    OP,, you sound like a spoiled rich kid.

    Go to the trail head, take a look at what people are riding.
    Odd's are If you see ten of this bike and only two of that bike you should start with 'This' bike,, follow me ?

    U drive an M5,,does it get you laid often ? :P.... Ok so you got money,, BUT do you have skills ? Prolly not asking what your asking.

    Are you In shape ? Howz your Guns ?

    It ain't the bike, It's the engines,, The skilled riders get more out of Uber bikes, regular hacks like me crash more and big dollar bikes often break easier, costing far more to fix...
    Wait you got an M5. you got money,,buy a $10,000 bike, It will be a great ride....

    All jokes aside,,skills will give you a better ride but you gotta earn those with Blood sweat and tears...
    For me It was a bunch o blood mixed with sweat,,in my eyes, I ride a 30 pound low level bike, Did a few key up grades as I wore things out.
    I love my bike and last month when I watched It cartwheel away from me I was glad it was not 'High-end',, I broke nothing that time:P
    wait for it,,,
    ,,
    ,
    Velominati, The Keepers of the Cog,,,Rule #5 definatley applies to you...

    Velominati › The Rules

    Forgive my sour azz additude I crashed and am still healing,, gonna need a new helmet dagnabbit ~
    Lol, those rules are awesome. However for this thread wouldn't rule #4 come into play then rule #5?

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    OP,, you sound like a spoiled rich kid.

    Go to the trail head, take a look at what people are riding.
    Odd's are If you see ten of this bike and only two of that bike you should start with 'This' bike,, follow me ?

    U drive an M5,,does it get you laid often ? :P.... Ok so you got money,, BUT do you have skills ? Prolly not asking what your asking.

    Are you In shape ? Howz your Guns ?

    It ain't the bike, It's the engines,, The skilled riders get more out of Uber bikes, regular hacks like me crash more and big dollar bikes often break easier, costing far more to fix...
    Wait you got an M5. you got money,,buy a $10,000 bike, It will be a great ride....

    All jokes aside,,skills will give you a better ride but you gotta earn those with Blood sweat and tears...
    For me It was a bunch o blood mixed with sweat,,in my eyes, I ride a 30 pound low level bike, Did a few key up grades as I wore things out.
    I love my bike and last month when I watched It cartwheel away from me I was glad it was not 'High-end',, I broke nothing that time:P
    wait for it,,,
    ,,
    ,
    Velominati, The Keepers of the Cog,,,Rule #5 definatley applies to you...

    Velominati › The Rules

    Forgive my sour azz additude I crashed and am still healing,, gonna need a new helmet dagnabbit ~
    Osco - dude; you're an OLD FART indeed. First, WORK on your spelling; second, read CAREFULLY what others are saying. The OP never said he has M5. Let me help you:

    "When I drive my buddy's BMW M5"

    Do I need to bold this sentence for you?

    Please be kind to others and delete the garbage of the post you scribbled here....

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    518
    Wow - relax, Szy_szka.
    Quit the back seat moderating - it isn't going to make you any friends here.

    On topic;

    For me - since I like to tinker with my bike all the time it is more about buying the best frame you can. Plus I can't really justify spending more than 2000-3000 USD on a bike - I just don't think the added utility you get from going over that 200-3000 USD price bracket is worth the crazy prices.

    Same with cars - I just spent 275.000 NOK (Norwegian Kroner) on a used SUV. I could have gone for a new one - I could have gone for a sportier more expensive model - I could afford it, but I'm Scottish... Plus the extra utility just isn't worth it for me. The car I have can take a large load, has a tow hitch for the bike rack and can tow a trailer. It can drive the family around safely and has 4WD for the winter. Job done.

    Anyway... Generally I find that the entry / one above entry level carbon frame for most manufacturers is offered with lower spec equipment to keep the price point relatively low. It doesn't matter that it might be kitted out with a mixture of SL/SLX/XT and have alloy bars, seat post, a boat anchor for a saddle or super heavy cranks - in time I'm going to replace all of that anyway.

    But get a nice light frame that fits you well and you have a bike you will want to ride more. The more you ride, the more you think "hmmm, maybe if I went for a carbon bar and some XTR shifters"... So you upgrade! The more you upgrade, the more fun it is to ride so you ride more! The more you ride, the more you think "well... maybe a dropper post will make descending more fun"... So you upgrade! You then want to ride it even more because of your new toys!

    This is how it is for me, at least... Plus I just really like riding bikes - I would happily ride a beater, no problem. I would still tinker with it, though...

    For you - if you can afford it, why not go for something like a Stumpy Evo or a Remedy - something that can do XC but also can get down and funky when the terrain requires?
    Evil The Following or Evil Insurgent is also lovely but very expensive and a bit less "XC-able"...

  46. #46
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by rhale View Post
    Lol, those rules are awesome. However for this thread wouldn't rule #4 come into play then rule #5?
    He is, obviously, a twatwaffle.

  47. #47
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost_HTX View Post
    Wow - relax, Szy_szka.
    Quit the back seat moderating - it isn't going to make you any friends here.

    On topic;

    For me - since I like to tinker with my bike all the time it is more about buying the best frame you can. Plus I can't really justify spending more than 2000-3000 USD on a bike - I just don't think the added utility you get from going over that 200-3000 USD price bracket is worth the crazy prices.

    Same with cars - I just spent 275.000 NOK (Norwegian Kroner) on a used SUV. I could have gone for a new one - I could have gone for a sportier more expensive model - I could afford it, but I'm Scottish... Plus the extra utility just isn't worth it for me. The car I have can take a large load, has a tow hitch for the bike rack and can tow a trailer. It can drive the family around safely and has 4WD for the winter. Job done.

    Anyway... Generally I find that the entry / one above entry level carbon frame for most manufacturers is offered with lower spec equipment to keep the price point relatively low. It doesn't matter that it might be kitted out with a mixture of SL/SLX/XT and have alloy bars, seat post, a boat anchor for a saddle or super heavy cranks - in time I'm going to replace all of that anyway..
    That's weird, you can't get on a carbon HT for much less than $3K, FS is well above that.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    518
    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    That's weird, you can't get on a carbon HT for much less than $3K, FS is well above that.
    Let me break it down for you. I wrote (or at least meant) the following;

    1. I don't think that spending more than 3000USD on a bike is worth it.
    2. You can get a nice carbon framed hard tail for less than 3000USD (just look around they are everywhere)
    3. My frame of reference is from buying hard tails
    4. Didn't say the OP should buy a hard tail (he wants an FS)
    4. My point is;
    A. buy the best frame you can afford - components can be swapped out - a frame cant.
    B. Ride the bike, have fun and then upgrade the parts you are not happy with later.

    5. I didn't say that a carbon FS is available for less than 3000USD either.
    6. None of the bikes I mentioned (Stumpy Evo, Trek Remedy or Evil the Following) are available new for anything near 3000USD.

    Now - what was weird?
    Last edited by Ghost_HTX; 12-30-2015 at 03:23 AM.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    That's weird, you can't get on a carbon HT for much less than $3K, FS is well above that.
    Oh, but you can:
    Devinci Troy Carbon XP Complete Mountain Bike 2015 | evo
    Intense Carbine 275 Jenson SRAM 10SPD > Bikes > Mountain Bikes | Jenson USA

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sid Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    OP,, you sound like a spoiled rich kid.
    Osco, I get where you're coming from. I can understand that it's obnoxious that someone pretty new to mountain biking is considering an up to 7k bike.

    First, sorry to hear about your crash. I hope your bike is still ridable and your recovery is a quick one.

    With that sentiment out of the way, please allow my defensive response:

    As szy-szka pointed out, you misread my post. I don't have an M5, I just test drove my friend's. I drive a Mazda, which is great and reliable, but the M5 is unquestionably a lot more fun to drive.

    I think your assumption that I'm a spoiled rich kid is pretty far off the mark. I grew up lower/middle class. Lucky to always have food on the table, clothes, and a roof, but was far from getting a car and a ridiculous party at 16 years old. The materialistic highlight of my childhood was a super nintendo for christmas in the 5th grade (which was sweet, I'm not complaining).

    Was also lucky to have the opportunity to go to college and made the most of it. Took out loans to pay for, got nothing from my parents (nor did I expect it, or feel entitled to anything more from them). Continued education for 4 years after college, with much larger loans. This was followed by 6 years of additional training, with 80ish hour weeks, earning just above minimum wage (below min wage in some place of the US), and a lot of nights and weekends working.

    Now, at age closer to 40 than to 30, I'm fortunate to be at financially comfortable place, where I can buy an expensive toy without breaking the bank. But my situation is the result of a decade and a half of living very frugally, and a lot of hard. None of it was handed to me. And I don't buy expensive cars, have a mansion, or go on extravagant vacations, so I don't feel too guilty spending a good chunk of change on a hobby that I really enjoy. Just looking for a sweet ride that will be a ton of fun, but also don't want to blindly throw away money on the best stuff without even being able to appreciate why the extra cost is worth it.

    As for your other questions: yes, I am in good shape. My guns are puny. I do push ups and pull up, but no longer see the point of a lot of weight training. Not sure how this is relevant.

    Re: the blood, sweat and tears, yeah, had a taste of that. On my 2nd or 3rd time on trails, went over the bars. A broken bone, subsequent surgery, 5 months off the bike, and a lot of youtube skills videos later, I now know that the crash was 100% my lack of skills and mistakes I made because I didn't know what I was doing. My priority is now safety first, as my job and being the parent of toddlers become significantly more difficult with a gnarly injury.

    Ok, end rant.

    Ghost - thanks for bringing back to topic. Lots of excellent and helpful discussion on this thread. Going to demo as many bikes as I can get my hands on over the next several months.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    105
    OP could not have said it any better. I'm a middle class, middle aged, "regular working Joe" who knows the value of a good relationship with my LBS. They were already giving me a good deal on a new $3000+ bike when a close out came across their radar. Ended up with a $8000 ride for a couple of hundred more. It was a no brainer and now I have my dream bike after 30 yrs. Of course I've loved every bike along the way, but none can compare. Great deals are out there, good luck!

  52. #52
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    A suggestion: Instead of considering whether to get a high-end bike, do demo rides and decide on the bike you want regardless of price. I've ridden high priced bikes that felt awful and lower priced bikes that felt great so I wouldn't necessarily use price as a determination of what's better. Another thought is to get the right frameset, add components to fit your budget and upgrade over time.
    One of the truths of the internet that when discussing prices, some doofus will pipe in with a massive sale, or ebay ad, and act as if it's the normal price and available to everyone at any time.

    It's not. That Intense is a discontinued bike that was probably strippped down for parts and assembled with the "most cost efficient" parts to make it look like a good bike. Sorry, if you're going to get a 6" travel bike, a 34mm fork, non-expanded range drivetrain and 160mm brake rotors just.don't.cut.it.

    Same with the Troy, stripped down, rebuilt and repriced. Deore isn't "mid-range" either, that's the starting point of being a usable mountain bike.

  53. #53
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost_HTX View Post
    Let me break it down for you. I wrote (or at least meant) the following;

    1. I don't think that spending more than 3000USD on a bike is worth it.
    That's fine for you. But if you've never owned a mid or high end FS bike, what exactly is the frame of reference you're using to comment here?

    I do mean "owned" instead of "ridden," btw. There's a massive difference between riding a nice bike and owning one, just hopping on one for a quick ride isn't going to feel that great because you don't have the opportunity to actually USE what makes it mid-to-high end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost_HTX View Post
    A. buy the best frame you can afford - components can be swapped out - a frame cant.
    B. Ride the bike, have fun and then upgrade the parts you are not happy with later.

    5. I didn't say that a carbon FS is available for less than 3000USD either.
    That is horrible advice on all fronts. It's a waste of time and money and has absolutely no upside. If you want a good fork, and nice shifters, they're never going to be as inexpensive as when packaged with an entire bike.

    If you buy an inexpensive bike, it's made of inexpensive parts, the frame might be nice, but the brakes, drivetrain, suspension and wheels are going to be on the cheaper side. Without spending a whole lot of money, it's not going to be as nice as the mid-to-high end models. There's just no other way around it.

    If you're willing to eventually pay more, why not just do it from the start, or maybe even use a little delayed gratification and get what you want right off the bat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost_HTX View Post
    6. None of the bikes I mentioned (Stumpy Evo, Trek Remedy or Evil the Following) are available new for anything near 3000USD.
    I'm not made of money either, but cycling is my only hobby that even approaches being expensive, and I do it a lot, so I'm pretty comfortable making a big investment in it...because over time, the cost is justified.

    It's not about bling, it's about me demanding a lot from my bicycles and buying the equipment that is up to my demands. I don't want to buy something knowing that I want something else, or that I'll replace it with something better when it breaks/wears out/I finally get around to spending more money on it, I want something that won't break/wear out/won't get tired of looking at it.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    One of the truths of the internet that when discussing prices, some doofus will pipe in with a massive sale, or ebay ad, and act as if it's the normal price and available to everyone at any time.

    It's not. That Intense is a discontinued bike that was probably strippped down for parts and assembled with the "most cost efficient" parts to make it look like a good bike. Sorry, if you're going to get a 6" travel bike, a 34mm fork, non-expanded range drivetrain and 160mm brake rotors just.don't.cut.it.

    Same with the Troy, stripped down, rebuilt and repriced. Deore isn't "mid-range" either, that's the starting point of being a usable mountain bike.
    Point taken but my point was simply that it can be done, not that they were the best overall packages and always available. I agree that there are compromises on those builds.

    Worth noting that the Troy is an OEM build, not a stripped and rebuilt sale. Perhaps I should have linked the RC (XT / SLX) model listed $200 higher, which I would call mid-range.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4,356
    That Intense looks pretty good to me. Just add a Sunrace 40/42T cassette...and I'm good.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    518
    I dont agree, richde. I say that buying the best frame you can afford, even if the components fitted aren't top spec is a perfectly reasonable way to acquire a nice bike. Assuming that the frame fits you properly and you like working on your bike.
    You are also maybe misunderstanding me a little; I never at any point recommended buying a basic entry level bike.
    I believe I wrote words to the effect that buying an entry level carbon frame (this is relating to HT bikes, mind you) would get you a nice enough bike and you could swap out the Deore/SLX or equivalent stuff as you feel the need.
    Hell, it doesnt even need to be carbon. That was just an example of where in the product range most bike manufacturers start to offer a good balance of cost and spec.
    For an FS bike maybe you do need to spend a bit more too.
    Regardless my advice is the same. Buy the most frame you can for your money then upgrade your components as you go.
    Like it or not, different strokes for different folks and all that.

  57. #57
    Lone Wolf
    Reputation: Osco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,745

    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Ok Sid,,all my crazy posts aside I have demo'ed far better bikes than my current ride.

    Yes they are better.

    But when I spent the morning riding a $4000 bike that was four pounds lighter than my $2000 bike with It's $500 In upgrades and add ons I was very glad I did not spend $4000 and then add $500 or so to that bike.

    I will admit,
    When I wear out my current steed I will start with a frame and build one myself and most likely end up with $4000 or so in the thing BUT by then I hope my skills are worthy of such a bike...

    IMO some one just starting out should do a $1000 hard tail or a $2500 full sus. and save the big dollar bike for when your less likely to Tomahawk the thing down the trail with you running behind it :P
    I seek only the Flow,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    227
    I personally believe it to vary and depend on who's riding the bike.
    Of course yes, it stands to reason that someone who has ridden something mid market for a while will then notice the benefit of high end kit, once their skills and appreciation have developed enough.

    As has been stated, generally;
    One gets what one pays for and pays for what one gets.
    There's a point of diminishing return, $10k bike isn't 2x as good as a $5k bike
    Value, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
    Running an expensive bike is different to buying an expensive bike.
    Expensive parts don't always yield the results one is after - sometimes a level below can be a better buy.
    Just because the bike is $xxxxx and top of the range, doesn't mean it's the right bike for you and where you're riding.
    And it's a MTB, so you really want to enjoy riding it, not living in fear of scratching / denting, cracking it on some rock because it's an uber bling carbon wonder bike. That's no fun....

    For me I remember demoing a top of the range bike in a brand's range and really not feeling it, however another model, at an equivalent level was outstanding.

    And there are some places where it makes a load of difference to spend the money,
    Forks, Wheels, Saddles, Brakes and handlebars. Expensive tyres aren't always the best (I find Maxxis are outstanding but reasonably priced). Pedals aren't that important relative to other areas.

    Be careful not to make the assumption that expensive = good and right for my application. Demo everything because fit, geo, tyres, suspension set up, grips and saddle can all add up to making a bike feel wonderful or like something you want to burn with fire.


    And OP, Kudos to you for having the patience to explain your situation to some of the respondents here, it's more than I think I could muster. :^)

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BigHit-Maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    749
    In my experience, Suspension, Framesets, and wheels shouldn't be skimped on. Group sets are meh above XT / SRAM X9. I honestly feel zero difference on a bike w/ XT or XTR other than the bling factor when you look @ it against a wall.

    Oooooh.. You just spent $700 more for a full XTR setup and saved.. 200 GRAMS? wow... real bragging rights. Ya know?

    I love great plush suspension with lots of small bump sensitivity, really good feeling brakes, good tires, and light & strong wheels. Everything else is just meh.

    IMO carbon is still a complete and utter rip off. I have a Trek Slash 8. It's all stock except for the seat and the grips. I test rode the Slash 9.8 when Trek held their test riding event out here.

    I'll be honest. I felt not in the least bit faster, or "better" on the 9.8. It's a whopping 2 pounds lighter than my Slash 8, and it costs an ADDITIONAL $2000 out the door after taxes.

    $2000 to save 2 lbs.

    Mofo, I'll kill myself in the gym before I feel the need to have to justify pedaling 2 pounds less on my bike!

    Not to mention a 31 pound full-tilt trail rig w/ 6" of travel, and beefy-ass tires is way more capable than my last bike which was 39 pounds and had the same capabilities 5+ years ago.

    The changes I DO however want to make to my current Slash 8 are the following (and all based solely on personal feel and preference, not just to waste money for bling)

    -Rock Shox Lyrik 180mm fork (because I've always wanted a 7" travel bike. And nobody makes them stock anymore!)

    -Industry Nine Enduro wheel set or equivalent. Why? My buddy let me borrow his set that he's had for several seasons, and I LOVE how the engagement of the rear hub is, the feel of how light they are, and how downright reliable and stout they are.

    -Deity Bar & Stem. Why? Because I had them on my last bike, and like a jackass they went with my bike when I sold it. Not even carbon. Just pure sexy Aluminum and beefy.

    -Tires. I'd like to swap to my all-time favorite: Conti Trail King 2.4" UST's. Why? Because they downright rock!

    Again. Everything Ive spoken is purely opinion based.

    I've owned 10+ bikes. From bottom of the barrel Wal-Mart garbage, all the way to full on downhill rigs.
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    18
    I can't say what is best for anyone else. Started MTB riding in the late 80's, Univega Sport. Upgraded many times over the years. Went Moto for 20 years and after a career ending crash went back to MTB. Got back on my rigid ant thought; This sucks. bought a fs Giant AC. Swapped shocks, forks and components. Bought a Rocky Mountain ETSX70, Replaced every thing on it while I owned it. Had $5500 in to it. Wanted something "bigger" and bought an Intense UZZI SLX and kitted it to the T. Weighed 36 pounds and realized that it was more bike than I needed. Got a Turner 5 Spot HL worked great and decided That I needed a Turner 6 Pack. Once again built up to 34 pounds and realized I didn't ride that way; watched too many videos. Bought new Turner 5 Spot DW, Loved it till New bike itus got the best of me and needed the 27.5 Burner Bought used for $3500. Replaced or upgraded everything. Worked great and did everything I asked of it. Got the urge again that I wanted to go big. (You might see a trend here.) Bought a Knolly Chilcotin and built it ups with XT level components but high level suspension and wheels. 34 pounds but went down hill awesome climbing not so much. One year later Turner finally brings our the new RFX Carbon. Weighs in at 28 pound, XTR Carbon custom wheels built the way I want based on the years of trying to build the "perfect" bike. Did I succeed? I don't know but it is more plush, lighter more capable than anything I've owned to this point. Is $8500 too much? My logic is as such: $200 is too much to spend on something that hangs in the garage and it cost less to buy complete than to try and piece it together.
    Buy what makes you feel good as long as you don't short the family.

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    210
    OP, a friend of mine has a similar story to yours--he went from a hardtail XC to an SB5C. He had no issues justifying it since he had the hardtail for many years and plans to own the Yeti for many. He also is the best rider I know so he definitely has the skills to be worthy of the bike.

    IMHO, once you hit the $4K mark on a trail bike, it will be awesome and unless you're a top level rider it won't hold you back.

    BTW, I love my Mazda3!

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    210
    For me, buying a cheap bike with a good frame then upgrading judiciously worked out great. I got a Transition Bandit from Pricepoint for $2000. As some of these posts point out, the build kit was very sketchy, probably most parts were selected from their overstock/closeout inventory. 34 Pounds. So I swapped out the wheelset, tires, brakes, saddle, and replaced the 2 chainrings with a single 28T NW. Now the bike is dialed just like I want it. Put in about $600-$700 but made up about half selling the old parts. Dropped over 5 pounds and now I'd say it's comparable to a $3500 bike. However, I like working on my bike and buying/selling used parts.

    Not the way to go if you don't like to do the work yourself, but if I had to do it again, I would probably do it the same way with a used Kona Process 134. Those have been around for a few years now and you can find them pretty easily on Pinkbike and ebay.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J_Bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    Hi all, I'm planning to get my first full-suspension bike, likely in about 6-12 months. I'm currently riding an XC 29er hardtail, but looking to get something a bit different, likely a 27.5 trail bike.

    It's hard to not be seduced by the high-end stuff, and the Yeti SB5 is currently at the top of the list, as all the reviews talk about how stable and nimble it is, while being great for climbs as well as descents. But then I stop and think, do I really need that much bike, and would I even be able to appreciate the difference between a 5-7k bike and a 3-4k bike? I'm do more XC right now, but want a bike that allows for rock gardens and moderately technical descents, which I plan to tackle as my skills improve. I don't plan to ever go bombing down tight trails at really high speeds, or do big jumps (though a little bit of air or jumping small gaps may be in my future). I like a trickle of adrenaline, but don't need or crave a huge rush.

    I'm sure I could get a perfectly adequate bike that meets all my needs in the 3-4k range, but I'm worried about spending that big chunk of change, then regretting that I didn't go for that bike that was calling me from the beginning.

    When I drive my buddy's BMW M5, it just feels so much nicer than my Mazda. Even though the Mazda does what I need it to, and I don't need the performance of an M5, I would definitely prefer to drive the M5. Would you say high-end bikes are similar to that, or would I just be spending a few thousand dollars on something that I likely won't even be able to notice?
    As you have read, so many options and so many ways to find your own perfect bike. There is no, one way to do it. It's what works for you! It seems we share similar situations. Keeping my Chevy Silverado I just paid off let me acquire another bike.

    I started with a $800 (I paid $350) and proceeded to upgrade everything one by one. Really, the only item I still use from that bike are the rotors. After building a custom hardtail over the last year, I decided I want a Full Suspension bike for the steeper and burlier downhills. I demo'ed Specialized, Trek, Pivot (my favorite), Niner and Marin. Not to mention riding other bikes that my riding buddies have.
    I landed a year old Marin (which was my second favorite) that was brand new and still in the box. The Pivot was $5900 and I could get at best 10% off. But I ended up ordering a year old Marin Mount vision 9 for $3000 instead. That's a more than 57% off...
    I've been riding a demo'ed Marin for a month now and I couldn't be happier! It handles great and fits my style good.

    So, moral to the story is; demo, ride, or borrow a bike to see how they fits you and how they ride. Then look for a year old model and you can get a great deal and get that M5 for a Mazda price. And yes, I appreciate the M5 for how it drives and I don't care who sees me in it. I'm not driving it to pick up chicks.

  64. #64
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
    Reputation: azfishman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    256
    I'll chime in with a quote from one of my buddies regarding the justification of owning an expensive mountain bike.

    "My .....Fill in the blank...Ibis Ripley, Sworks Epic, yeti SB6c....costs a whole lot less than cardiac rehab. "

    Point being, if your dream bike gets your butt off the couch and doing some cardio, the cost in my mind is irrelevant.

    Regardless, a 5000$ bike doesnt make you a great rider, but it makes it more fun, than have at it. I know my Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo from back in the day wouldn't last 5 minutes on the trails I like to ride, but my current bike makes it like an amusement park ride. So for me, that is cost I will gladly pay.

  65. #65
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,127
    After now having demoed high end carbon, having an aluminum hardtail and bought a 2011 mukluk, it comes down to smiles for me. I felt no benefit of carbon vs aluminum. High end suspension doesn't like a Clyde without custom tuning. Manitou which is what I use is easily user tuneable and easy to tune for my weight. Xt grouping is about as far as id bother with. Only carbon part I found I like is bars. No hype there, stiffer but definitely takes the vibrations out. Need a set for my fat bike too for sure lol.

    My bike money is lots of overtime etc, dont make the money to buy good bikes. But I can build them over time hunting down good deals, which works out well. Can't match my 29er build at lbs for what I built mine for.

    Price doesn't always mean better. Latest and greatest is best to avoid as its prone to problems at first till bugs are worked out.

    Buy what you like, not what others think. And try to keep price out of your mind if money isn't a big issue. Mental conditioning will try to make you like expensive more.

  66. #66
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,081
    High end bikes tend to retain above satisfactory performance longer, with far less maintenance time, than the mainstream priced stuff. The thrills that come from the bike being lighter tends to fade within a few dozen rides, as you become accustomed to it, unless you freshen the feel of the contrast by riding something heavier now and again. To me, lighter bikes are undoubtedly more fun, as it's like getting a bit of a tailwind all of the time. When it comes to a frame, save up. That's one place that I'd happy downgrade other parts, such as the drivetrain, to be able to fit into a budget. Betting the sticker shock fades as soon as you start riding it.

    I have a habit of replacing stuff that wears out with cheaper stuff, until I enter the zone of stuff that breaks or is just crap/unsatisfactory. If something breaks, then I buy something more expensive. If it doesn't break or wear out, I think about getting something lighter to upgrade (which can break/wear out, which I then repeat the process). I consider this rather inefficient. I wish I could just be happy with the stuff that doesn't break or wear out. Must be some weight weenie disease. Been holding off on buying one of those new fangled superlight cranks, and stuff from Tune, Extralite, McFk at least...

    The SB5c is a pretty dreamy bike. I demo'd it, and it felt so right as a trail bike that it was like a very close partner.

  67. #67
    May contain nuts
    Reputation: Haggis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,184

    Benefits of a high-end bike

    My old aluminium ReignX was only a pound heavier than my plastic HD3 and did most things just as well (better down, not quite as good going up). Cost half as much. Carbon makes for a nice looking but expensive and delicate frame, IMO.

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    734
    I would put a premium on suspension, That supposedly stripped down Troy posted has a Monarch rear shock and Pike fork both very tuneable pieces of the puzzle. That intense is specced pretty nice too.
    You can upgrade brakes, shifters, derailleurs down the road, they are'nt going to make or break your ride experience like a poor suspension will.
    A sweet set of wheels is a game changer, but it seems only the upper tier completes usually come with anything better than house brand stuff.

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Salespunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,432
    Interesting thread. Having ridden for MTB for the last 25 years (yes, I am OG) I have a pretty good base of experience. Buying a high end bike comes down to a few factors.

    First is skill level and how much you push your equipment. Do you go out and cruise around on Saturday afternoons with your friends or are you pushing every climb and descent even without a stopwatch timing you?

    Second, what type of terrain do you ride regularly? Are you bashing through the rocks and chunk of Socal and AZ or riding the never ending loam of Santa Cruz? Do you take the craziest steepest lines with the biggest hits or do you prefer to find the smooth lines at moderate pace?

    Third question is how much do you really ride? 90 minutes every other week or 2 hours at a time multiple times per week?

    Fourth and most important is what can you comfortably justify? Everyone has their "thing". For my mother in law it is dolls and she will drop $1K on a single item without even thinking about it. She goes to a doll club weekly and travels to different conferences. While that may seem crazy to us, for her it is perfectly normal.

    When you put all of these together you can figure out pretty quickly what makes sense and what doesn't. Demo'ing bikes while useful is not the end all be all because ultimately it is not your setup. I gave up on this a while ago just because it takes me a few weeks to dial in anything I get. Most have different bars and stems along with the time it takes to really dial in suspension these days makes a 2 hour demo ride of questionable value for me.

    For those people that say they can't feel the difference between carbon and aluminum, they obviously aren't pushing the bikes that hard or don't have the terrain to feel it. At speed on rough trails it is the difference between being able to place your front tire within a 3" space and a 12" space. It can mean being on the ground or being a hero. As an example of this one of my riding buddies is insanely fast and used to ride a Merlin HT with V brakes, and 80 mm of front suspension. At the local Enduro races it was 50/50 if he would be on the podium or in the medical tent while racing Expert and Pro. Last year he changed to a modern carbon 160 bike. Not any faster, but never goes down and consistently is on the podium.

    After my experience I can also tell you that XT or XO RD's will last me less than a season before they start to wear out and shifting performance degrades. XT pedals I will blow out bearings in about 4 months. Aluminum wheels I destroy in less than 2 months. Do carbon wheels make sense for me? Absolutely because I get 2 years out of them. Same with XX1 drivetrains. Some of it does come down the just having cool stuff too. Do I9 hubs really work better than Hadley? Probably not, but they are lighter and look great.

    To the original question of the SB5c, it is worth every penny. If you want start out with the "Enduro" build, but once you get on it you will wonder why you waited to long to spend the money.

  70. #70
    May contain nuts
    Reputation: Haggis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,184
    Put your buddy on an equivalent aluminium 160 bike and he would be just as fast... Don't kid yourself, It isn't anything to do with the frame material.

  71. #71
    Life Is Short
    Reputation: fatcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,544
    Drop the coin on the bling bike. Its worth it. Why? Because you can't (pardon the pun) back pedal and wonder...if? Because you have it.

    Nobody wonders if? About owning a M5 and wondering if a Mazda 3 would have been nicer.
    Brad Pitt doesn't wonder if, when he divorced Jennifer Aniston and married Angelina. I don't wonder if, when I booked a room at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and drove by the Travellodge. I have XTR on my latest bike. I don't wonder if, it may be just as good to have Deore
    Ride More, Eat More

  72. #72
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,081
    Don't forget the crashes that happen on crappier bikes costing you in medical fees, helmets, riding gear, and other damaged bits. Though, I find that in my case, that's more about what wheel size I'm on (my riding is more wild on 26, therefore crash more often, compared to on my 29ers).

  73. #73
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Don't forget the crashes that happen on crappier bikes costing you in medical fees, helmets, riding gear, and other damaged bits. Though, I find that in my case, that's more about what wheel size I'm on (my riding is more wild on 26, therefore crash more often, compared to on my 29ers).

    Winner for most useless and wrong post!

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OwenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,305
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    But then I stop and think, do I really need that much bike, and would I even be able to appreciate the difference between a 5-7k bike and a 3-4k bike?...I'm sure I could get a perfectly adequate bike that meets all my needs in the 3-4k range, but I'm worried about spending that big chunk of change, then regretting that I didn't go for that bike that was calling me from the beginning.
    Depends on where that extra money goes. It's a rare factory build that has a combination of components I want(and forget about the wheels!), so I'm another who thinks frame first.
    I'd also be much more likely to buy a lower end build and upgrade than a high end one that doesn't fit my preferences and that I'd still be replacing everything on. Spreading out the cost over time and having a usable bike meanwhile would also weigh into it.


    This is what I'd be thinking on, though:
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Sounds like your current bike is perfectly compatible with those goals.
    I ride a 29" HT, too, and have been thinking ahead a few years to what new toy will eventually replace it.
    From your description, the terrain here may be a little rougher than yours, but our needs sound similar.
    Things like full suspension, 27.5 handling, + size traction and flotation, and, for the places I most often ride, even going single speed are all tempting in their own way. The truth is, though, that none of them is better suited to the majority of my riding than what I already have. That certainly gives a different perspective on the "value" of a new bike, because I'd have to have an entirely new and much more expensive bike with a different frame, fork, and wheels to end up with anything significantly better-and whatever incremental difference(for a rider of my level, anyway) those features came with would cost thousands of additional dollars.
    I may well be riding the same hardtail until my body demands FS, and have decided that I'm quite ok with that.

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SDMTB'er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Put your buddy on an equivalent aluminium 160 bike and he would be just as fast... Don't kid yourself, It isn't anything to do with the frame material.
    Wrong. SalesPunk absolutely shreds here in SoCal. The man knows what he speaks. Enough with the "a good rider will be just as good on this or that..." Just not true.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    692
    Sam Hill won two world cup DH races in 2014 on an aluminum bike with aluminum rims. Bruni's 2015 wold champ bike was aluminum.

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SDMTB'er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by westeast View Post
    Sam Hill won two world cup DH races in 2014 on an aluminum bike with aluminum rims. Bruni's 2015 wold champ bike was aluminum.
    Their bikes certainly aren't inexpensive.

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J_Bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    Their bikes certainly aren't inexpensive.
    And customized specifically for them.

    Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk

  79. #79
    May contain nuts
    Reputation: Haggis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,184
    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    Wrong. SalesPunk absolutely shreds here in SoCal. The man knows what he speaks. Enough with the "a good rider will be just as good on this or that..." Just not true.
    Lol, have you ever watched his POV?

  80. #80
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,189
    Variation on the OP question (is he still waiting or did he buy a bike?.

    What do you think would make the most noticeable difference for the money: aluminum frame with an upgrade to carbon wheelset? Or, carbon frame with carbon wheels?

    I have been eating whether to get new carbon wheels for my Heckler (aluminum) or wait and save some more and try out some all-carbon bikes (carbon wheels, too) later this year?

    A friend of mine has said meh on carbon frame but is a true believer on carbon wheels. I also met another rider recently who claimed to have done 5 Demos with santa Cruz at different locations this past summer. Was able to ride most renditions of Nomad and Bronson, and his take was similar to salespunk in that the carbon frame and carbon wheels Nomad allowed him to put the bike wherever he wanted and that the bike popped instantly on jumps and drops.

    I know world class riders can ride anything, so what, I am not a world class rider and will never be one.

  81. #81
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Salespunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,432
    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Put your buddy on an equivalent aluminium 160 bike and he would be just as fast... Don't kid yourself, It isn't anything to do with the frame material.
    You need to work on your critical reading skills. I specifically said he is not any faster on a carbon 160 bike compared to his hardtail. If he is not any faster on the carbon 160 bike then he obviously wouldn't be slower on an aluminum 160 bike would he?

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Salespunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,432
    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Variation on the OP question (is he still waiting or did he buy a bike?.

    What do you think would make the most noticeable difference for the money: aluminum frame with an upgrade to carbon wheelset? Or, carbon frame with carbon wheels?

    I have been eating whether to get new carbon wheels for my Heckler (aluminum) or wait and save some more and try out some all-carbon bikes (carbon wheels, too) later this year?

    A friend of mine has said meh on carbon frame but is a true believer on carbon wheels. I also met another rider recently who claimed to have done 5 Demos with santa Cruz at different locations this past summer. Was able to ride most renditions of Nomad and Bronson, and his take was similar to salespunk in that the carbon frame and carbon wheels Nomad allowed him to put the bike wherever he wanted and that the bike popped instantly on jumps and drops.

    I know world class riders can ride anything, so what, I am not a world class rider and will never be one.
    Can you move the carbon wheels to the carbon bike later? My recommendation would be carbon/carbon if you can.

  83. #83
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SDMTB'er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Can you move the carbon wheels to the carbon bike later? My recommendation would be carbon/carbon if you can.
    Or, do it like me and several of my friends. Carbon bike (in my case a Pivot M6 and 429 Carbon), and carbon rims from Light Bicycle. I have over 4000 miles on mine and they are fantastic. I buy the rims and have my LBS build up the wheels. Less than 1,000 bucks all in including labor and that is with I9 hubs. Less if you swap hubs from the wheelset that came with your bike.

  84. #84
    May contain nuts
    Reputation: Haggis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,184
    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    You need to work on your critical reading skills. I specifically said he is not any faster on a carbon 160 bike compared to his hardtail. If he is not any faster on the carbon 160 bike then he obviously wouldn't be slower on an aluminum 160 bike would he?
    Correct.

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    692
    I enjoy and value SP's bike comparisons. SP, any chance we can convince you to purchase an identical built AL bronson when it's available? I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in a comparison like that.

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    692
    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Lol, have you ever watched his POV?
    One of the lamest comments I've ever seen on MTBR.

    Back to the OP, maybe you should try and demo some 3-4k range bikes and the SB5c to see if you get that x5 vs mazda feeling or not.

  87. #87
    May contain nuts
    Reputation: Haggis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,184
    Sorry SP, was rude of me and uncalled for...

  88. #88
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,189
    Thanks for the feedback. There is a risk in doing just carbon wheels now because the next bike may be or likely to be a 29er in the Following genre, waiting to see what new TBLTc looks like. If anything it is an excuse to just get another bike.

    I had not heard of Light Bicycles carbon rims, thanks for that lead. Those are ridiculously cheap. I could easily do those for the Heckler and still be working towards n+1 carbon/carbon bike.

  89. #89
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sid Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Variation on the OP question (is he still waiting or did he buy a bike?.

    What do you think would make the most noticeable difference for the money: aluminum frame with an upgrade to carbon wheelset? Or, carbon frame with carbon wheels?

    I have been eating whether to get new carbon wheels for my Heckler (aluminum) or wait and save some more and try out some all-carbon bikes (carbon wheels, too) later this year?

    A friend of mine has said meh on carbon frame but is a true believer on carbon wheels. I also met another rider recently who claimed to have done 5 Demos with santa Cruz at different locations this past summer. Was able to ride most renditions of Nomad and Bronson, and his take was similar to salespunk in that the carbon frame and carbon wheels Nomad allowed him to put the bike wherever he wanted and that the bike popped instantly on jumps and drops.

    I know world class riders can ride anything, so what, I am not a world class rider and will never be one.
    I can't give any great insights about carbon bike/carbon wheels, vs alum bike/carbon wheels, but I would certainly think about upgrading the wheels on your current bike. I just upgraded the wheels on my road bike, and I am really happy I did. They weren't baller wheels either, just the stock cheapo wheels upgraded to a lighted, stiffer, wider, and more aerodynamic aluminum wheelset for about $500. I was really surprised by how much difference it made: faster, more responsive, and have been shattering almost all my PRs on segments I ride frequently. It feels like a whole new bike!

    Nah, haven't bought a bike yet. The plan from the beginning was to buy in about 6 months. I enjoy perseverating and thoroughly research big purchases. I think the wait makes it all that much better when you finally get it. Also, I want to continue to develop skills and good habits on the hardtail, as several on this thread have suggested. A follow-up question related to that:

    I am going to be taking a skills course in February. I was planning to take a demo FS bike to the course, but do y'all think I may get more out of it with my hardtail. In other words, is it reasonable to assume that skills learned on a hardtail will easily transfer to a FS?

  90. #90
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SDMTB'er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,106

    Benefits of a high-end bike

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. There is a risk in doing just carbon wheels now because the next bike may be or likely to be a 29er in the Following genre, waiting to see what new TBLTc looks like. If anything it is an excuse to just get another bike.

    I had not heard of Light Bicycles carbon rims, thanks for that lead. Those are ridiculously cheap. I could easily do those for the Heckler and still be working towards n+1 carbon/carbon bike.
    The thread on these rims I believe is the longest thread on all of MTBR.

    (Cheap) Chinese Carbon Rims?

    http://www.light-bicycle.com/

    Here they are laced to I9 hubs on my Pivot M6.



    Closeup of same rims but on DTSWISS 240s hubs:


  91. #91
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mountain Cycle Shawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,706

    Benefits of a high-end bike

    The benefits are lots and lots of *****!!

  92. #92
    Dream it, Do it.
    Reputation: Spectre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,437
    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Variation on the OP question (is he still waiting or did he buy a bike?.

    What do you think would make the most noticeable difference for the money: aluminum frame with an upgrade to carbon wheelset? Or, carbon frame with carbon wheels?

    I have been eating whether to get new carbon wheels for my Heckler (aluminum) or wait and save some more and try out some all-carbon bikes (carbon wheels, too) later this year?

    A friend of mine has said meh on carbon frame but is a true believer on carbon wheels. I also met another rider recently who claimed to have done 5 Demos with santa Cruz at different locations this past summer. Was able to ride most renditions of Nomad and Bronson, and his take was similar to salespunk in that the carbon frame and carbon wheels Nomad allowed him to put the bike wherever he wanted and that the bike popped instantly on jumps and drops.

    I know world class riders can ride anything, so what, I am not a world class rider and will never be one.
    My take on this is that it is not aluminum vs carbon, but rather finding the right frame. I've ridden carbon bikes that really don't ride well and aluminum bikes that do. Of course, the lightest, stiffest version of a good frame design would be ideal, but I wouldn't rule out a bike just because it is aluminum.

    As far as carbon wheels, I've found that the main advantage is stiffness not weight. If you corner hard, carbon wheels will make your steering more precise. It is a matter of degrees rather than a wholesale difference

    I would suggest finding the right bike frame first. Carbon wheels will make a good riding bike feel even more precise in its handling, but won't fix a bike that doesn't ride well overall. I believe that good climbing and descending characteristics come from the frame design rather than the wheel. For all-around trail riding, I think you'll see a big difference when riding a well executed VPP, Yeti Switch, or dw-link design compared to the Heckler you have now. PM me if you're interested in getting links to my reviews of 160mm travel bikes from Interbike this past September.

    Before going to carbon wheels, I would also put effort into finding the best tires for your terrain. I've also found that I would rather ride aluminum wheels with the right tires than carbon wheels (even Enves) with the wrong tires. The right tire combination will roll faster and corner harder.
    Last edited by Spectre; 01-04-2016 at 10:31 AM.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  93. #93
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    151
    I can't say I have many points of comparison, but I'm pretty happy with my high end upgrade. Went from my 10yo Avanti hardtail, to a Yeti SB5c.

    New bike rides like a dream.....and weighs the same!



  94. #94
    Dream it, Do it.
    Reputation: Spectre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,437
    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. There is a risk in doing just carbon wheels now because the next bike may be or likely to be a 29er in the Following genre, waiting to see what new TBLTc looks like. If anything it is an excuse to just get another bike.

    I had not heard of Light Bicycles carbon rims, thanks for that lead. Those are ridiculously cheap. I could easily do those for the Heckler and still be working towards n+1 carbon/carbon bike.
    I see you're from San Diego. Some of the new trail-oriented 29ers would do great for your area. I used to live in OC and rode Aliso, the Santa Ana mountains and the San Juan trail all of the time. I rode the new Pivot 429 Trail at Interbike and was very impressed: INTERBIKE 2015: Pivot Mach 429 Trail Review (29er with 116mm travel) ? DIRT MERCHANT BIKES
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  95. #95
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,189
    Thanks for all of the responses to my question, and sorry to the OP for diverting his thread a little. I have recently put a 30mm internal aluminum front wheel on my Yelli, and am blown away by the added traction in cornering. It makes me think long and hard about wide carbon rims for my Heckler.

    Not in SD anymore, lived there years ago, but still home away from home to me.

    I was thinking about Derby wheels as they seem to get solid reviews and are cheaper than Enve, but I will need to read some of that monster theead on LB rims.

    Love that pick above of Stanley Peak, used to ride Daly Ranch a lot, and recall getting chased by swarming bees there once. Hope they have more single track there now, recall it was a lot of fire roads, but very steep heavily rutted, it was hard riding.

    In any event, the responses have given me a lot to think about and research. The easy way out is to just do carbon wheels for Heckler and a fullcarbon bike later this year. This actually makes more sense if I do the budget version carbon wheels.

  96. #96
    Magically Delicious
    Reputation: Cleared2land's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,178
    Benefits of a high-end bike-7a5b3fd1d88a58737bcd639d8d744dda.jpg
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  97. #97
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,189
    Agree with Cleared2Land. It reminds me of many years ago when my fave LBS kept steering me away from FS bikes. This was central Illinois nd the shop was really concerned with selling someething I didn't need. Then when I moved to SoCal and bought a full suspension bike I thought "WTH!!" I loved those guys back at the shop but I could have been riding and enjoying this 4 years ago. It reaLly made me think of lost time.

  98. #98
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cherok1212's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    10
    First post and in the same situation. Ability to resell high end usually convinces me.

  99. #99
    Magically Delicious
    Reputation: Cleared2land's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,178
    ^^^ An interesting way to see the this. Asset value retention.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  100. #100
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally Posted by cherok1212 View Post
    First post and in the same situation. Ability to resell high end usually convinces me.
    I don't plan on getting rid of my bike until I break it, so life is indeed too short to ride shit bikes.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 29 inch wheels on cx bike....any benefits?
    By italianbike74 in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10-28-2015, 08:09 AM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-06-2014, 03:25 PM
  3. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 08-29-2013, 08:41 PM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-12-2012, 01:57 PM
  5. Fork/Bike Benefits
    By Dkash in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 01-02-2012, 01:03 PM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.