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  1. #1
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    All Mountain Bike options around $3000

    I have been away from the bike world for about 8 years but I have recently started to get back into it with my son now that he is old enough to ride. I have always risen Hardtail bikes and I have decided to buy my first FS bike. I plan on demoing a few bikes and I have most brands available to me. The sheer amount of bikes is a little overwhelming.

    With that said, what are the best options in the $3000 range.

  2. #2
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    Thats tough to answer without some details first. Most importantly is probably what kind of riding do you plan on doing with your son? There are a lot of direct to consumer bikes we can add to the mix, can/do you work on your own bikes?

  3. #3
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    Might as well ask "How long is a piece of string?"
    Rent and demo till you figure out what is for you...
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  4. #4
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    Two popular AM bikes in that price range are the Trek Remedy 8 and Giant Trance 2.

  5. #5
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    I have always had $1000ish 100-120mm XC bikes. Over the years I have found myself enjoying downhill riding the most. I honestly only like climbing so I can do the downhill technical stuff. I was always pushing the limits of those bikes and tended to break components. I just want the right tool for the job. I like to go fast and feel I want a 150 mm travel range bike. Now that I am able to afford a little more expensive bike, I feel the FS bikes are obtainable.

    The bikes I have looked at are the stumpjumper comp 27.5 and the SC bronson 2.0R. These have similar components and specs. Are there other bikes that have similar specs to these in this range? I have also looked at the fuel ex8.

  6. #6
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    I just picked up a 2017 stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29er for my AM bike. There are a number of left over bikes right now. You might call Tam Bikes, that’s where I bought mine and had it shipped. They have a number of SJs at decent prices.

  7. #7
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    YT Capra or Jeffsy depending on how much travel you want.

  8. #8
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    Look at Commencal.

  9. #9
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    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  10. #10
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    2nd this
    YT has a lot a bang for the buck, I have a few buddies on Jeffsy’s that are loving them

  11. #11
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    A Fuel EX8 would be good for the trails you listed near Clemson SC. The first upgrade could be the fork to a Manitou Mattoc IRT.
    https://nsmb.com/articles/manitou-mattoc-pro-fork/

  12. #12
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    Look into the YT Jeffsy. If you can get your hands on one...they got some serious bang for the buck.

  13. #13
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    Trek Remedy 8 is a pretty nice piece of kit for about $3k. The MSRP is $3299, but I bought my 2017 last year about this time and got it for $3k out the door with $100 store credit in gear.

    It's been improved since 2017 as well:
    - Pike 150mm -> Lyrik RC 160mm
    - KS Lev e30 Dropper Post -> Bontrager Drop Line (I actually have this after my KS failed)
    - GX 1x11 -> GX Eagle 1x12
    - Deore brakes -> SRAM Guide R brakes

    I've been so happy with this bike even with the 2017 spec. I swapped out the brakes for XT's and updated the dropper after it failed on me. Aside from that, this bike handles it all. And for 2018 it comes with the Lyrik 160mm, a bit slacker geo, and 1x12 GX Eagle. The wheels and tires remain unchanged for 2018, which I think is a good choice. I planned to upgrade them just because I rarely keep a stock wheelset, but I actually really like them. Easily set up tubeless with a floor pump. The 27.5x2.4" tires are a perfect burly tire with lots of grip and the ability to run low-to-mid 20's pressure. I've beat the hell out of the wheels and they are still true after almost a year of riding. It's a decent climber, but it really shines on the downhill. For the price, I still think it's one of the best values out there.

    If I were in the market, I'd be tempted to try out the YT Jeffsy CF @ $3599 also. It's a few hundred more, and might come with a bit of a wait depending on your size. Another $500 is not bad at all for a CF frame, and it's also a well kitted bike. Comes in about 2 pounds less than the Remedy 8 as well.
    "Got everything you need?"

  14. #14
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    The new Kona Process AL is also in that price range - you can pick between 27.5 and 29, both have same geo...

    I have the 29er AL and the thing climbs surprisingly well for this type of bike
    Kona Process 153 29er

  15. #15
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    Depending on where you live, you may be limited on what you are able to demo. If you are in clemson area there are a few boutique shops that carry Konas and such around you. Otherwise you'll have to wait for an event. Closest I remember from when I lived in Columbia SC was the big event in Helen, GA every summer.

    Based on your 'you only tolerate the climbs to go down'(literally the definition of Enduro) and your 150mm request I'd aim you more towards Enduros than AM bikes. Enduros tend to be a bit burlier and I'm betting would hold up better to the abuse you put bikes through. I was in a very similar bucket with riding style and price point and ended up with a mach 6. That being said I did like the Trek fuel 8, but it was out of my price range. I also liked the 5.5 and SB as well. 429 would be closer to a trail bike. All from pivot.

    Yeti would also be a very good choice if you have a dealer around you. I rode a buddy's SB6 and loved it, but all the dealers are out west. Goes back to my first point that depending on where you live you may have to limit your choices unless you have a friend with one.

    I've had a lot of Specialized over the years(2 SJs and 2 RHs), but wasn't very happy with the fit/ride of the newer Enduros and SJs.

  16. #16
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    I ride local to you here in Columbia, but I'm always traveling to Clemson and NC. I personally ride a commencal v4 am FS that I picked up for $1800. Full GX, pike, all the good medium to high end parts. I personally love it and it's a fantastic all around bike. I would recommend the 140mm travel trail bike though, unless you want to ride up in western NC a lot (which is pretty close to you)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    id get the Bronson. lifetime frame warranty, free pivot bearings for life, threaded bottom bracket, tons of love for this bike

    and i also demoed one in Santa Cruz. things awesome. chewed up anything i could throw at it. fwiw, i grew up racing BMX.

    ps, great demo vids here.. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqj...Bd52lcQ/videos

  18. #18
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    you have 3000 to spend and you cant decide?!
    I have spent the whole winter searching for a bike i can afford.
    (but i dont work yet)

  19. #19
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    For $3299 msrp (may be less at your local dealer) Trek Remedy 8 gets my vote. The spec is incredible for the price: Lyric fork, gx Eagle 1x12 drivetrain, guide brakes and their sweet line wheels. It’s available in tons of sizes too.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I was leaning toward the Remedy 8 until i saw the Commence AM v4.2 essential. How is this bike $2999? Eagle drivetrain and 36mm fox performance fork. It is a 170 travel front and 160mm travel frame which is probably overkill for me at this point, but that price is very tempting. I guess the problem would be not being able to demo one.

  21. #21
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    The commencal is a great bike and insane value. I rode one in southern california chunky DH trails and it ripped. However it is definitely not the most efficient pedaler compared to some other options. If your trails are flatter or you're doing most climbing it would be a ton of bike as your only one. You might be better off on that Remedy or something like the YT Jeffsy.

  22. #22
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    I snagged a 17 stumpy expert barley ridden for 2800. 5500 retail. 3k will get you a great bike.

  23. #23
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    I had the same question recently and after an abundance of research i decided to go with the 2018 Trek Remedy 8. It is a bit over your budget at 3299 but it is worth it i think. Before i made the decision of going with the Remedy i also took a hard look at the Diamondback Release 3.

    After all the research i did, i can honestly say that it is very difficult to buy a "bad" bike right now. Most companies offer great bikes the main difference i found is, Do i buy from a local shop? or do i buy from a direct to consumer brand? both options have their pros and cons but in the end i doubt you can make a wrong choice.

  24. #24
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    OP: hardtail or full squish? $3k is a great budget for a hardtail; you can get some of the best components and features for that $$$. Full squish you may have to make some compromises or upgrades later.

  25. #25
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    I spent a couple long weekends at Fall and Spring Outerbikes in search of my perfect bike. I though I had settled on the aluminum Pivot Mach 6. I loved the Pivot 429T, but it's too rich for my blood. Last time out, my buddy hoped on the new Giant Trance Advanced. We swapped bikes and sparks flew. I ended up with a Giant Trance 2. Upgraded BB, RD, shifters, tires, and stem. Out the door for right about $3k. You've gotta ride them. On paper, a lot of bikes looked good. I loved the YT Capra... until I rode it.

  26. #26
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    Another option in that range is the Canyon Spectral. There are builds below and above $3k.
    The 2018 spectral has a longer wheelbase than some of the other options mentioned above, so I'd like to hear how people are finding the handling of the 2018 on switchback climbs.

  27. #27
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    I have a 2017 Giant Trance 2 and love it. 150mm F/ 140mm R is perfect for me and the trails I regularly ride. The bike climbs very well with the Maestro suspension and is a blast to ride downhill, jumps, etc.

    I have added 50mm stem, 780mm bars, 2.3 Maxxis DHF front, 2.3 Maxxis Aggressor rear and the bike is capable of everything for me. I think it's the perfect do it all bike.

  28. #28
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    You need to specify what you intend to do with the bike. But having said that, and if you must have FS, you can't go wrong with a Trek Fuel EX 8 for about $3200. Solid spec in both 27.5 and 29 wheel formats. The bike is designed to straddle the line between XC and Trail, and accomplishes that goal perfectly. Jack of "Most" Trades, if you will. There's nothing you would need to upgrade right away, imo.

    Edit: Oops, just noticed you were asking about All Mountain bikes. If the Fuel is too XC for your tastes, check out the Remedy .
    Veni vidi velo!

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