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  1. #1
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    Advice on used short/mid range travel 29er under $2k

    Iím looking to get back into mountain biking. I switched to road a few years back but Iíve moved states and now have many trails close by. I am looking for a short/mid travel 29er. I will be riding tight, fast, flowy trails with some rock gardens and features mixed in. Iím not going to race so weight isnít a huge factor but donít want to climb a tank either. Iím 6í3Ē w/34Ē inseam so will need an XL frame. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Looking to spend $2k or less on used bike.

    Preferences:
    -130 minimum up front
    -poppy/can get rowdy
    -dropper post

  2. #2
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    Kona.process 111 is my vote.
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Kona.process 111 is my vote.
    What do you like about the Kona process 111?

  4. #4
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    Iíve found a 2015 niner rip 9 w/140 pike and a 2016 Kona process 111 in my price range. Thoughts on either? I have shops locally that sell both brands.

  5. #5
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    I think it depends on what you're looking for. I know the Process 111 has been billed as a an aggressive short travel 29'r. Something that pedals well, gets up to speed & has excellent poise going down. The rear travel is very well thought out & feels like there is considerably more travel then just 111mm. There are a ton of reviews on it.

    I know in 2017 it went a half degree slacker & a little longer in the top tube. 2017 they also went to 130mm front 111 rear. 2016 they had 120mm front.

    Benefit of the Kona new is lifetime warranty on the frame from a company that is stable.

    Niner just went through a restructuring and was purchased by a different company, so that's a bit spooky.

    But if both are local I'd take em out for a test run and see what feels best. Try and get some aggressive riding on both.
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I think it depends on what you're looking for. I know the Process 111 has been billed as a an aggressive short travel 29'r. Something that pedals well, gets up to speed & has excellent poise going down. The rear travel is very well thought out & feels like there is considerably more travel then just 111mm. There are a ton of reviews on it.

    I know in 2017 it went a half degree slacker & a little longer in the top tube. 2017 they also went to 130mm front 111 rear. 2016 they had 120mm front.

    Benefit of the Kona new is lifetime warranty on the frame from a company that is stable.

    Niner just went through a restructuring and was purchased by a different company, so that's a bit spooky.

    But if both are local I'd take em out for a test run and see what feels best. Try and get some aggressive riding on both.
    Thank you for the update. I was unaware niner just went through restructuring. The one local shop still sells Niner but the have started pushing SC more. Kona seems to be tried and true. From what Iíve read Kona Process seems to be more playful than the Niner Rip as well.

  7. #7
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    Have you looked at the least expensive 2019 stumpjumper? It meets all of you criteria except a dropper. A brandx dropper from crc, however, will still keep you under budget.

    The Process is a great bike from what I have read and I would try to find one of those first because Kona. And because it's a FS based off my hardtail. Just trying to give other options.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    Have you looked at the least expensive 2019 stumpjumper? It meets all of you criteria except a dropper. A brandx dropper from crc, however, will still keep you under budget.

    The Process is a great bike from what I have read and I would try to find one of those first because Kona. And because it's a FS based off my hardtail. Just trying to give other options.
    I have not but not a huge fan of the shop chain that sells specialized around here.

    The local shop that sells kona is leaning me towards a Hei Hei. They have an xl to demo but donít have process 111 in stock.

  9. #9
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    Thoughts on transition smuggler?

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    Smuggler be fun--a used Mach 429 Trail Pivot may be an option---with the new bike prices should drop a ton---- note asking prices tend to be nonsense --

  11. #11
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    Couple of big threads on here about niner and warranty issues... not good ones.

    My friend has an older kona process amd likes it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    Smuggler be fun--a used Mach 429 Trail Pivot may be an option---with the new bike prices should drop a ton---- note asking prices tend to be nonsense --
    I will have to check out the pivot as well. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Couple of big threads on here about niner and warranty issues... not good ones.

    My friend has an older kona process amd likes it.
    I didnít get to dig that deep but good to know! Thank you

  14. #14
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    It seems it has come down to these 5 bikes:

    Transition Smuggler
    Kona Process 111
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Evil Following
    Tallboy v3 (demoíd before)

    I am upping my budget from $2k to get into a better bike after talking to a lot of friends and reading advice on here. Would like to spend $3k max.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobert2083 View Post
    It seems it has come down to these 5 bikes:

    Transition Smuggler
    Kona Process 111
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Evil Following
    Tallboy v3 (demoíd before)

    I am upping my budget from $2k to get into a better bike after talking to a lot of friends and reading advice on here. Would like to spend $3k max.
    Iím trying to decide between 3 bikes now:

    Kona process 111
    Transition smuggler
    Evil following

  16. #16
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    I'd say smuggler. Newer design than the 111 which is being put out to pasture,

    I think Evil bikes are awesome but since I have zero experience with them I would assume the linkage could be over complicated and a pain to replace bearings in, also small company could be problematic to source parts when your bike is middle aged to ancient. But this could be totally and completely false and irrelevant.

    Smuggler looks fun, simple design, well thought out and durable. Sounds like a win win to me. And the company is based in Bellingham Washington. My most favorite place in the whole wide world.

    Although you may want to read this.... https://www.bikemag.com/gear-feature...tion-smuggler/
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I'd say smuggler. Newer design than the 111 which is being put out to pasture,

    I think Evil bikes are awesome but since I have zero experience with them I would assume the linkage could be over complicated and a pain to replace bearings in, also small company could be problematic to source parts when your bike is middle aged to ancient. But this could be totally and completely false and irrelevant.

    Smuggler looks fun, simple design, well thought out and durable. Sounds like a win win to me. And the company is based in Bellingham Washington. My most favorite place in the whole wide world.

    Although you may want to read this.... https://www.bikemag.com/gear-feature...tion-smuggler/
    What if the process 111 was $7-800 less expensive?

  18. #18
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    Could you toss up a breakdown of what year the bikes are & specs?
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Could you toss up a breakdown of what year the bikes are & specs?
    Certainly!

    Evil Following Option #1:

    condition: good
    make / manufacturer: evil
    model name / number: following
    size / dimensions: large
    Comes with custom tuned PUSH shock. This has been a wonderful trail/enduro bike, however I have no need for 3 Evils.. In good condition!

    2015 Evil The Following Frame Large Green
    Push Custom tuned Fox Float with factory shock body
    Rockshox Pike RCT3 140mm w/MRP Ramp Control
    Shimano XT Drivetrain
    Magura MT Trail Sport Brakes
    Stans Flow front, Flow EX rear wheel
    Race face Turbine Cranks
    Fox Transfer 150mm Dropper Post

    Evil Following Option #2:

    2016 Evil Following 29er

    Overall the bike is in good shape. The wheels and hubs are incredible, the bikes slays all trails, it has some rock chips and scratches from desert riding but the frame and bike is in overall good condition.

    Frame size - XL, black/GunMetal Grey, carbon
    Wheels - NOBL TR36 Carbon wheels with Onyx Hubs, Maxxis Minion Tires
    Suspension- Rockshox Pike Fork RCT3 equipped with Vorsprung Luftkappe upgrade, Rockshox Monarch Debonair RT3 120mm"
    Drivetrain - Race Face Turbine Crank, Sram XO derailleur, Sram XO shifter, Sram XO cassette, 30T Wolf tooth chainring
    Brakes - XT, XT Ice Tech Rotors.
    Cockpit - Chromag BZA Carbon 800mm Bar, Chromag BZA 35mm, Chromag Trailmaster DT Saddle, QR Seatpost Clamp
    Dropper - KS LEV 150 mm with southpaw remote upgrade
    Grips - Troy Lee Design

    Transition Smuggler Option #1:

    2016 Smuggler


    Key Specs/Upgrades:
    -crank brothers Iodine 3 Wheelset
    -XTR derailer (1x drivetrain - praxis cassette)
    -Fox 34 Talas Fork (travel adjust to 150mm and 130mm)
    -175mm Rock shox reverb dropper post
    -XT brakes
    -Crank Bros Carbon 780mm bars, stem, stamp pedals
    -Maxxis minion 2.5 front & 2.3 aggressor rear tires (tubeless)
    -Race Face Turbine crankset

    Transition Smuggler Option 2:

    2016 Smuggler 3. Few scuffs, nicks and scratches but everything is in good working order.

    Did fluid and seals in the fork fall of 2017 along with the air can service on the shock.

    KS LEV dropper post serviced by KS under warranty in early 2017. Has been perfect since.

    Kona Process:


    2015 Kona Process 111- Upgraded for heavy trail use

    UPGRADES:
    Bigger Fork:
    Rockshox Pike 140mm ($999)

    Better Shock:
    Cane Creek DBinline shock ($495)

    Tires:
    Maxxis DHF WT 2.5 with EXO casing and 3C grip ($68)
    Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 with DD casing and dual compound ($72)

    Lizard Skins Peaty grips ($35)

    Wider Rear Wheel:
    30mm WTB rim w/ Origin8 hub ($170)

    Bigger Front rotor:
    203mm Shimano rotor

    RECENT WORK: (Professionally)

    Derailleur hanger alignment and gear indexing ($20)
    Linkage fully serviced (bearings cleaned and greased)($25

  20. #20
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    Evil Following Option #2:

    2016 Evil Following 29er

    Overall the bike is in good shape. The wheels and hubs are incredible, the bikes slays all trails, it has some rock chips and scratches from desert riding but the frame and bike is in overall good condition.

    Frame size - XL, black/GunMetal Grey, carbon
    Wheels - NOBL TR36 Carbon wheels with Onyx Hubs, Maxxis Minion Tires
    Suspension- Rockshox Pike Fork RCT3 equipped with Vorsprung Luftkappe upgrade, Rockshox Monarch Debonair RT3 120mm"
    Drivetrain - Race Face Turbine Crank, Sram XO derailleur, Sram XO shifter, Sram XO cassette, 30T Wolf tooth chainring
    Brakes - XT, XT Ice Tech Rotors.
    Cockpit - Chromag BZA Carbon 800mm Bar, Chromag BZA 35mm, Chromag Trailmaster DT Saddle, QR Seatpost Clamp
    Dropper - KS LEV 150 mm with southpaw remote upgrade
    Grips - Troy Lee Design

    Is my fav, if it's 7-800 more than the process I'd say it's fair.

    Don't like the wheels on either smuggler option. Crankbros wheels terrify me & Sram hubs on the 2nd option suck.

    On the 1st Following, push tuning for someone else's weight & riding style might not suit you. But it's a Large, not an XL so probably not right for you.

    The process 111 didn't say size, but I do like the Pike upgrade, mixed feelings on the inline due to potential reliability issues.

    Best part about the following is you really can't upgrade much else on it, you will be temped but I don't see what else needs to be done. Someone dumped a TON of cash into it already.
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  21. #21
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    Advice on used short/mid range travel 29er under $2k

    Evil #2 looks like a sick build.

    My only worry would be buying a used carbon frame, but assuming itís all good Iíd probably go with that.

    Iím on a very similar process 111 ( pike @ 130 and dbinline ) and i can assure you it is a fun bike. I do believe 140 fork is too long ( Iíve tried it ). I have a 1 degree Works headset in mine and it comes out to 66.5 degrees. It can handle anything you throw at it. Thereís only been a few times i felt undergunned, but that was before i got the dbinline, which totally changed the bike. Also, the 111 never actually got slacker, just changed .5 degree when they specíd 130 fork instead of 120, but it did get longer. You can pull all the older models geo at the kona site. Their lifetime warranty does not transfer.

    Iíve also ridden a smuggler, which felt nearly the same, just a bit longer. Pay close attention to the size charts. Kona is big and the last gen smuggler is small. For instance i have a small 111 with 50mm stem and my friend has a large smuggler with 35mm stem and the reach is almost identical.

    I hope to try a following mb soon, as Iíd consider one of those to replace my 111.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Evil Following Option #2:

    2016 Evil Following 29er

    Overall the bike is in good shape. The wheels and hubs are incredible, the bikes slays all trails, it has some rock chips and scratches from desert riding but the frame and bike is in overall good condition.

    Frame size - XL, black/GunMetal Grey, carbon
    Wheels - NOBL TR36 Carbon wheels with Onyx Hubs, Maxxis Minion Tires
    Suspension- Rockshox Pike Fork RCT3 equipped with Vorsprung Luftkappe upgrade, Rockshox Monarch Debonair RT3 120mm"
    Drivetrain - Race Face Turbine Crank, Sram XO derailleur, Sram XO shifter, Sram XO cassette, 30T Wolf tooth chainring
    Brakes - XT, XT Ice Tech Rotors.
    Cockpit - Chromag BZA Carbon 800mm Bar, Chromag BZA 35mm, Chromag Trailmaster DT Saddle, QR Seatpost Clamp
    Dropper - KS LEV 150 mm with southpaw remote upgrade
    Grips - Troy Lee Design

    Is my fav, if it's 7-800 more than the process I'd say it's fair.

    Don't like the wheels on either smuggler option. Crankbros wheels terrify me & Sram hubs on the 2nd option suck.

    On the 1st Following, push tuning for someone else's weight & riding style might not suit you. But it's a Large, not an XL so probably not right for you.

    The process 111 didn't say size, but I do like the Pike upgrade, mixed feelings on the inline due to potential reliability issues.

    Best part about the following is you really can't upgrade much else on it, you will be temped but I don't see what else needs to be done. Someone dumped a TON of cash into it already.
    The current owner of first following is my height and weight and said it fits him well. Of course thatís his opinion and just that.


    The 2nd evil Option I like a lot but the scratches just make it hard to justify the cost to some extent and/or I could be being picky. For example:








    The kona process 111 is a L frame. Again owner says he is my height but weighs a little more. Same inseam. I searched the inline shock but didnít dig deep enough to see if there were major issues.

    I really appreciate your help!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennaster View Post
    Evil #2 looks like a sick build.

    My only worry would be buying a used carbon frame, but assuming itís all good Iíd probably go with that.

    Iím on a very similar process 111 ( pike @ 130 and dbinline ) and i can assure you it is a fun bike. I do believe 140 fork is too long ( Iíve tried it ). I have a 1 degree Works headset in mine and it comes out to 66.5 degrees. It can handle anything you throw at it. Thereís only been a few times i felt undergunned, but that was before i got the dbinline, which totally changed the bike. Also, the 111 never actually got slacker, just changed .5 degree when they specíd 130 fork instead of 120, but it did get longer. You can pull all the older models geo at the kona site. Their lifetime warranty does not transfer.

    Iíve also ridden a smuggler, which felt nearly the same, just a bit longer. Pay close attention to the size charts. Kona is big and the last gen smuggler is small. For instance i have a small 111 with 50mm stem and my friend has a large smuggler with 35mm stem and the reach is almost identical.

    I hope to try a following mb soon, as Iíd consider one of those to replace my 111.
    You hit the nail on the head. My worry is the carbon frame as well. I just posted some pictures.

    The process seems like a really fun bike on paper and everyone who owns one loves it! Would it cost a lot to change the pike to a 130? 140 is def a bit much for the terrain around here.

  24. #24
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    Advice on used short/mid range travel 29er under $2k

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobert2083 View Post
    You hit the nail on the head. My worry is the carbon frame as well. I just posted some pictures.

    The process seems like a really fun bike on paper and everyone who owns one loves it! Would it cost a lot to change the pike to a 130? 140 is def a bit much for the terrain around here.
    If those nics in the pics are all rock chips i wouldnít buy it.

    The air shafts are ~$30 ... new debonair shafts are ~$42 when theyíre available. Itís a simple swap. I used to bump mine from 120 -> 140 when i went to real mountains, then lower back when i got home. Finally settled on 130 and left it.

    The dbinline has a history of issues. Mine has been fine since last fall. Newer ones have newer internals and they get updated during service ( which you have to ship it off for ). Not sure if the newer internals have had issues. With the inline you can tune it to feel racey and pedal better, or more plush to handle rough terrain. Itís light years better than the monarch that came stock.

    There are definitely better pedaling bikes, but itís still a really good bike and with pike/dbinline very tunable. Thereís a reason so many reviews still compare bikes to the 111.

    I recently tried a tallboy while a friend rode my 111 and he preferred mine over the tallboy3.

  25. #25
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    I'd shoot those pics over to the boys at evil and see what they think. While scratched carbon certainly looks scary often times it's just cosmetic. If they say it's good might want to negotiate any way. Other benefit of carbon is that it's repairable.

    There whole carbon repair thing was off my radar until I over torqued a suspension bolt (really over did it, didn't have a torque wrench) and spun an insert. Checked with a number of places and got it repaired locally. Repairs arent outrageous and most of the time it gets painted and decals if necessary.
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennaster View Post
    If those nics in the pics are all rock chips i wouldnít buy it.

    The air shafts are ~$30 ... new debonair shafts are ~$42 when theyíre available. Itís a simple swap. I used to bump mine from 120 -> 140 when i went to real mountains, then lower back when i got home. Finally settled on 130 and left it.

    The dbinline has a history of issues. Mine has been fine since last fall. Newer ones have newer internals and they get updated during service ( which you have to ship it off for ). Not sure if the newer internals have had issues. With the inline you can tune it to feel racey and pedal better, or more plush to handle rough terrain. Itís light years better than the monarch that came stock.

    There are definitely better pedaling bikes, but itís still a really good bike and with pike/dbinline very tunable. Thereís a reason so many reviews still compare bikes to the 111.

    I recently tried a tallboy while a friend rode my 111 and he preferred mine over the tallboy3.
    Good to know and not hateful at all on price. I guess when it comes down to the kona will I regret not buying newer tech at this point even though their suspension is tried and true. I donít see myself buying a new bike every 2-3 years. Just looking for something that will last and not have to dump a ton of money into.

    Itís hard not to over look the process 111 especially since the one Iím looking at is just shy of $2k

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I'd shoot those pics over to the boys at evil and see what they think. While scratched carbon certainly looks scary often times it's just cosmetic. If they say it's good might want to negotiate any way. Other benefit of carbon is that it's repairable.

    There whole carbon repair thing was off my radar until I over torqued a suspension bolt (really over did it, didn't have a torque wrench) and spun an insert. Checked with a number of places and got it repaired locally. Repairs arent outrageous and most of the time it gets painted and decals if necessary.
    I have a friend who is a very good welder but I donít want to think about cracking an aluminum frame.

    Thatís a good idea on shooting the pics over to evil and getting their thoughts! Thanks!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobert2083 View Post
    I have a friend who is a very good welder but I donít want to think about cracking an aluminum frame.

    Thatís a good idea on shooting the pics over to evil and getting their thoughts! Thanks!
    The scrapes on the frame just look cosmetic, but the entire bike just looks like itís been blasted with rocks, which is why i would stay away ( personally ).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennaster View Post
    The scrapes on the frame just look cosmetic, but the entire bike just looks like itís been blasted with rocks, which is why i would stay away ( personally ).
    He lives in the SLC Utah area.

    2 more pics for reference:


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