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  1. #1
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    Help me pick my cancer present!

    Hello everyone,

    So, I just got done with chemo (yay) and I decided to get myself a new full suspension 29er congratulations you're going to live present! Hooray for me, right? Problem is, I've been so wrapped up in all this, and am still undergoing a lot of stuff, so I don't have a ton of time to research all the awesome new 29er technologies out there (boo). That's where I'm hoping you guys can help me out.

    I've never owned an expensive mountain bike before. In 2004 I purchased a Gary Fisher Marlin hardtail (L), which I rode until last year, when I bought a craigslisted 2004 Trek Fuel 90 (XL). I'm pretty sure the Trek was too big but I rode it hard till I destroyed the wheels anyways because I'm cheap.

    Now I finally found a reason to treat myself to a nice bike (Plus a lot of my other sports are out of the question now because of complications from biopsies)

    I am about (or just under) 6'2" with a long torso. I weigh about 250 but a lot of that was because of the treatment and I say normal weight for me is somewhere between 200 and 230. It's hard to know since it turns out the lymphoma was causing weight fluctuation for the past couple years.

    Anyways, as you can tell there's a lot of variables floating around I'm trying to deal with that has made this pretty difficult. I want a bike that fits my tall frame, and can handle the weight. Since I don't know how this is going to play out, I'd rather prepare for the worst (Maybe bottom out around 220-230)

    I ride pretty hard, and really don't want to baby the bike. I'd rather have a heavy bike that I can rely on than a super light xc bike I have to worry about. I live in Atlanta, GA so our riding isn't crazy intense, but the roots have really gotten crazy now that riding has gotten so popular that the trails in the area are degrading pretty fast. I also like to take any drop-offs, etc that I can manage, thought it's not DH by any means. I don't plan on doing any crazy xc racing, but would like to be able to enter some fun amateur races in the future. I'm a pretty strong rider, so a little extra weight is ok. I suppose I would prefer more of a "Trail" bike than an XC bike it seems.

    I'm trying to keep the budget as low as possible, because, well, cancer is expensive. I'd really love to come in at or below 2,000, and even that is pushing it hard, but I'm not sure if it'll be possible, given the research I've done.

    My current potentials are:

    Specialized Camber
    Salsa Horsethief 3 (my favorite, but expensive)
    Giant Trance X 2
    Santa Cruz Superlight DXC 29 (I think this might be too XC for me)
    Trek Superfly Elite (the cheapest one)
    Any other ideas in this price range you smart folks suggest,

    I am going to try and ride some, but most are demo-able at my local shops, only parking lot rides.

    What do you guys think? I don't really have anything to compare with (never even ridden a 29er), so I'm totally in the dark here. I just want the most reliable bike that will support my thrashings and weight. Fork/shock/frame/wheels is what I'm most concerned about since I can more easily upgrade the rest.

    I know this is a lot, which is why I just figured I'd reach out for help to those of you who know way more than I do. Thank you already in advance!

  2. #2
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    I'm clueless on bikes...looking to buy one myself. Just wanted to say congrats on finishing chemo.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Salscott. It's 6 months of hell, but life's fundamentally about what you do with what you're given, so you gotta make the most of it. Exercise is actually seen now as one of the pivotal aspects of survival in patients, especially young ones (I'm 28), which is why I'm prescribing myself a mountain bike =)

  4. #4
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    First and foremost, CONGRATS on beating cancer!!! You definitely deserve a present for yourself.

    I thought I had your answer and then I realized it's a small... bummer Maybe you can find someone to price match?!

    2012 Salsa Horsethief X.9 grey. MSRP: $2949. Was $2238. CLEARANCE $1999

    Small: Item #21232

    Clearance Mountain Bikes - The Path Bike Shop
    C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
    C-DALE BB1

  5. #5
    never summer
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    Congrats on getting through chemo. No struggle, no progress. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than riding.

    Check out the Transition Bandit 29, or the Covert 29.

    *guess my suggestion is on the high end of your price range...at least the MSRP is. Good luck with the bike hunt! Check out Universal Cycles or Tree Fort if you decide you want a Salsa, they usually have some good deals.
    Last edited by singlefin; 01-24-2013 at 09:17 PM.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

  6. #6
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    Congratulations on beating cancer! And what better way to celebrate than with a new bike. I just wanted to say that there are still some pretty good deals available on the 12 Horsethief 2, and it's a great bike. I love mine even though my trails don't really require that much travel.

    Universal Cycles -- Salsa Horsethief Complete Bike - 2012

  7. #7
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    Glad you are feeling better. Think about what sort of trails you ride on. Sounds like you are a trail rider or XC rider. I'd recomend a Camber. It's between the Epic and Stumpjumper as far as travel goes (110 mm).
    I did a review on it you might find beneficial or you might not, At any rate, here is the vid.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SuppUN2rWo

  8. #8
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    Congrats on your new stab at life! Get a Tallboy LTc. You'll get your smile and your zest back with that one... All the best!!!

  9. #9
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    Popping by to say Congratulations for finishing chemo. Having close friends and family that have gone through chemo, I can only imagine how hard it was to go through

    No bike suggestions from me, just saying CONGRATS

  10. #10
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    Congrats! If your already considering a trance x, you might wanna also look at the anthem x. Your not giving up durability or reliability...only a little suspension and geometry. The trance is a great bike, but if you wanna do a little recreational racing..the anthem might be a little faster.

    Now a days, trail and XC riding have a lot of overlap. I've ridden many different 26 inch 4, 5, and 6 inch travel bikes...and consider a 100mm travel 29er more along the lines of 5inch fs 26er. The bigger wheels make the ride a little more forgiving.

    Anyways, I wouldn't disclude the 100mm 29ers simply because you may feel they are less capable. I've found that most new 100mm fs 29ers can be built as either a lightweight XC machine, or a burlier trail bike. There are exceptions but alot actually ride great when adding a 120mm fork up front. I'm not gonna list all the bikes, but they are the perfect happy medium.

    If your looking to huck the bike off booters or drop offs...you might be happier on a 26 inch. The 29ers are a lot more difficult to loft the front wheel. Of course, it can be done....but it's something I immediately noticed when making the switch.

    Keep up the positive attitude and good luck with your search!

  11. #11
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    Congratulations to you on your victory! As an earlier poster mentioned, you should consider a 2012 Horsethief over the 2013 3. Much better component spec and the closeout deals are terrific. If you can't find one through the link that he posted, they also have great prices at Universal Cycles. I grabbed one a couple of months back and have been loving it. I wish you great riding for many years, whatever you choose!

  12. #12
    two wheel whore
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    I think you'd be ok with any of the ones on your list. I was looking between the Superlight 29 and a BMC SF29 - they both had similar geometry. I went with the latter and am happy with it. They are marked down right now.

    Congrats on crushing cancer, hope you get out on the trails soon!

  13. #13
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    Yes...congrats,you have a lot to be thankful for and your additude is awesome.

    So many great 29ers out there but from your list I'd go with Trance or Camber.

  14. #14
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    As with everyone else, first of all - congrats on your success! And what a great way to reward yourself!

    Couple of thoughts on the bike options... I think everything listed there is good. Is there a particular shop you gravitate to? Someone at a shop you have a good connection with? That's where I'd start - and find out what the shop guys ride and what they like (and where they ride). See what the locals ride and why. Maybe there are some clubs or group rides that you can talk to a little before buying. They could have some very specific advice for your area.

    And whatever you get - ride the Hell out of it!
    2004 Specialized FSR Pro
    2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er
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  15. #15
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    first and foremost good luck in your continued recovery and I hope you never have to go through anything cancer related again.

    salsa and the spec are the two I'd narrow it down to

  16. #16
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    Congrats dude, go nuts on a bike, you deserve. Full XTR Santa Cruz Blur LT carbon. You've earned it.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5

  17. #17
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    Put me on the list of people who've beaten cancer AND are rocking the 2012 salsa horsethief. It was delivered from UC yesterday-- gonna build it up tomorrow. I put a lot of research in and for $2100 with shipping -- I dont think you can find much better value. I am 5'10.5 175lbs and went with a M. UC is sold out of Ls but you might be a XL. There are some Ls out there in the interwebs for around the same price.

    CONGRATS MAN -- you definitely deserve a new rig.

  18. #18
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    Man, awesome news about kicking cancers ass.

    I just got a FS 29er that I just don't think you could beat the deal on.

    GT Sensor 9r Elite. for $1035 shipping included from giantnerd.com (MSRP is $1999).
    The bike is heavy at about 33 lbs which like you does not bother me.

    They are out of larges now but last I checked they still have XL.
    I am just a bit over 5'10" and the I could probably be ok on either a Med or a Lg.
    So you would probably be ok on an XL.

    The bike looks good and feels good. If money is a concern I highly recommend checking them out.

  19. #19
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    I am still looking, but wanted to congratulate you!!! Good luck and take care.

  20. #20
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    Thanks everyone on the advice, and glad to see another survivor on the thread!

    So it seems from my list the Camber, Horsethief, and Trance scored the highest, with some awesome new suggestions to research. The only issue with ordering a bike online is that A) I can't wrench, and B) My current bikes are un-ridable, and I'm getting the itch.

    I do like the 2012 horsethief, though. I wonder if I could pull off the XL form Universal.

    It seems like I may be overly worried about my weight and the bikes. I've busted wheelsets before, but maybe they have come a long way.

    Riders on my local trails are pretty much all over the place. Most are rocking XCs, but they also pick good lines and avoid the hucks. Not habits of mine. Are trail bikes overkill for my neck of the woods, it's very possible I'm just paranoid about spending 2k+ and then breaking something, so I'm erring on the side of beefy.

    Again, thank you for all the help, I was getting overwhelmed!

  21. #21
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    Horsethiefs tend to run big, so check the measurements carefully on Salsa's website. They are designed to have a long top tube and be run with a short stem. You might also use the fit calculator at competitivecyclist.com to double check some things. I found that very helpful before I ordered mine. If UC is out of your size, I'm sure there are some others floating around out there at good prices.

  22. #22
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    For what it's worth I'd get the Tallboy LTc, it's what I went with., go read the hundreds of happy posts on it in the owners thread. Tallboy LT and LTc Owners Thread

    It's a bike you will want to take with you everywhere, and it can hanoe the Xc-all mountain range well. If you are the guy who when you come to a fork in the trail, one side going up one down... Chooses the trail going up, just so you can ledge drop onto the lower trail: this bike is for you.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a fanboy or get hooked up by santa Cruz, I am just extremely picky and have great taste...

  23. #23
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    Universal Cycles has the 2012 Horsethief on sale for $2059. But they don't have any Larges, which I think will probably fit you better than an XL. The 2013 Horsethief 3 is $2550.

  24. #24
    Rod
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    I also support the guy who said you should try the Anthem. I had a 26 inch model and I truly enjoyed riding that bike. With the 29 inch wheels and 100mm of travel I think it would do exactly what you want. It could float over the roots, do some small jumps, and race. I think this is an extremely well rounded bike, very efficient to pedal/ race, and do everything you're looking for. For a little more travel and relaxed geometry you could pick up the trance.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  25. #25
    Fat & Single
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    Congrats on finishing your treatment and good on you for treating yourself to a new bike. Happy riding !!!
    Ti O'Beast
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