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  1. #1
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    All Mountian FS Under $1,500

    Hello fellow MTBR's

    I've been hitting the trails and the urban trails hard on my Schwinn Supermatic for about 6 months now. Basically the equalivent of running a flat track bike in a supercross series. I've spent the last five years tearing up the trails on quads and I've been racing the last two years (XC.) Since racing in any form really requires you to be in shape and very in tune with your body, I figured a great way to help get that form would be mountain biking. Also its a lot more fun than running for five miles and hitting the gym, even though i enjoy both of those to an extent.

    But anyway, instead of rambling on, I'm looking for an all mountain, FS bike under or close to $1,500. Research has showed me that its not as simple as looking into the pro's and con's of five brands of 450cc atv's. There are a TON of different bikes with a TON of different componants out there and i just don't know enough to make a firm decision on whats the best bang for my buck. I've looked into specialized, giant, gt, kona, and a couple others and i just can't decide. I saw some really nice looking fuji and felt's as well but i haven't seen their name dropped all that much so i dont know what to think of them.

    My style isn't specific, i do a little bit of everything. I love going big on dirt jumps and having the smooth landing on the other side, I love to fly through tight trails, fear for my life on crazy downhills, and tear up the streets jumping anything with a lip, or jumping off anything with a drop. I also do a little bit of communting to and from some places, so I figured all mountain was for me.

    I've been a part of many forums and tend to stay and become a regular member and i know how annoying posts like these can be, but any reach i've done is all from '05 and the bikes they refer to arn't even in production anymore.

    Any help would....well...help. I also don't know jack about sizing a bike and the only local bike shop is a trek dealer which im not too fond of. So if I can't test ride a bunch of bikes (which is not a good way to go about it, I know) how would I order one to my liking? are there any formula's?

    THANKS!!!!

    Also, if theres any FL people on here hit me up with some riding locations and we'll do some riding!!! as soon as I get a bike that is. My racing buddies all have cannondales and live 6 hrs away and i don't feel like driving that far.

  2. #2
    ~Disc~Golf~
    Reputation: highdelll's Avatar
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    you can get sized on a trek (try to remember the geometries and sizing), find different things you like / don't like about the bikes in there, then shop around for different deals fitting your preferences. (dons flame suit)
    at least pay them for their time and knowledge either by cash(or beer) on the spot or by buying some supplies at a later date to keep your karma in good shape
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    right on, the guy that runs sales most of the time in my shop is real young so i hope he knows what he's doing, he seems to have a pretty good understanding about bikes...at least more than I do haha. thanks for the advice man.

  4. #4
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    $1500 for a new all mountain full suspension bike is going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. $1500 used will get you a solid bike. You may want to consider a hardtail all mountain bike. $1500 will get you a really nice hardtail. I can't give you any specific names for a $1500 hardtail, mine is only $850. Norco, Banshee, among others have good frames that you may want to check out.

  5. #5
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    Just hit all the bike shops you can and see what they have on clearance. I ride a jamis parker 2, and I love it for the FL riding. drop the seat for freeriding, raise it for xc. As of a month ago jamis had quite a few 08 parker 2's still at the distributers & they lowered the msrp to $1450. So you would have to go to a jamis dealer and get them to call jamis and see what they have left over. as for riding in fl hit the southeast forum. where are you located in fl? then I can give you some spots.
    Last edited by fastmxer99; 03-06-2009 at 07:17 PM.

  6. #6
    squish is good
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    I agree, go around to shops, test ride a bunch of bikes and figure out what kind of bike you want. Then look used. You can get a stellar bike for $1500 used, new it's gonna be tough to get into a decent component spec.
    Bike good, work bad.

  7. #7
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    I built my Yeti 575 for that - granted I bought a used frame & fork and re-used wheels and crank. So if your up for some for fun (read work) you can always build it up yourself.

  8. #8
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    I came from a similar background of motorsports. From my experience I was a suspension junkie from the get go, so my opinion builds from there. If i were to start now, knowing what I do now, I would go with the Giant Yukon. It is a pretty solid bike that is priced in your range that has suspension at both ends and will give you a good idea of what is out there. Be forewarned that once you put on a few miles and read a few forums you will be looking for upgrades but at least you will have a solid base to begin with. If you feel like mountain biking will be something you will stick with and are willing to take the risk that you are correct spend the money and go for something in the 2500 dollar range. The reigh is a much better design and can be had in this price range, as well as many others. The options at this price point are vast. I say go with the Yukon, get it dialed and go from there. You will learn what exactly it is that you are looking for and the next bike you choose can be a much more informed decision based on what you like about your first bike and what you would like it to do. JMTC

  9. #9
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    I agree with most of the good advice above..espcially on the Jamis recomendation.My last 2 bikes have Jamis' and out of all the other brands Ive owned.(Specilized,Trek,Giant) the Jamis' have always felt like they fit me the best. Also I think their a good "bang for ur buck" bike/company.

  10. #10
    cgrocho
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    Quote Originally Posted by agabriel
    I built my Yeti 575 for that - granted I bought a used frame & fork and re-used wheels and crank. So if your up for some for fun (read work) you can always build it up yourself.
    I agree on the build it yourself philosophy but of course not everyone has the expertise and tools for it. But it's not really difficult.

    I've gone through this exercise a few times, because I sometimes build up bikes for friends using similar budgets, and also because I'm obsessed with MTB. All new frame and parts is a challenge but it can be done if you're careful. At the moment I'd start with the BMC Trailfox at Jenson or the Sette Flite AM at Pricepoint and go from there.

  11. #11
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    for $1800 you should be able to get a Specialized Pitch Comp...its a GREAT bike for AM, and a good price, and good option to upgrade parts as you go!

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    While there are 'issues' with Iron Horse the company right now, the bikes are still very hard to beat for the money. You could get a MKIII Comp for about $1400 or a 6point4 for about $1500. Both have excellent DW-link rear suspensions and a good parts mix for the price. Take your pick of the lighter 5" bike, or the burlier 6".

  14. #14
    wait...what?
    Reputation: CaliforniaNicco's Avatar
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    I went around to bike shops and came across a giant trance 2 for $400 off (originally $1,300...It seemed a good AM for be cuz I'm pretty light...I can take it off of moderate sized jumps (who the hell would huck a trance??!!)and drops IN the trail, and it survives the rock gardens...Now that I'm getting into more performance and tearing it up more, I have upgraded to a pike and gonna buy a float r for the rear...as long as you upgrade as you go, you would be fine.

  15. #15
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    i was in the same boat as you, where i wanted all mountain, but ended up getting an 08 stumpjumper for 1650 total. its considered an xc, but gets the job done for me, i still go off jumps, over rocks and all kinds of stuff.....id reccomend checking out the specialized bikes...they got some good bikes for some great closeout prices right now....call around for a specialized dealer and ask them for 08 bikes.

  16. #16
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    I would have to agree that for $1500 you will get a lower end AM build if you go new. I would recommend used through craigslist or maybe even ebay. If you are set on new, I would highly recommend the IronHorse MKlll Comp. It comes in at under 30lbs has a decent run of components and I have logged some serious hours on a friends MKlll and I thought it was fantastic. I ride a $5000 AM bike and just sessioned his while mine was having some things re-done and it was amazing how well it did for the price. (keep in mind without a clearance price on that bike it is around $2700).

  17. #17
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    Used would be a great way to go because of price, for sure, but I would be worried that the thing would be seconds away from falling apart. Since I don't have a feel for how plush or stiff certain suspension would feel like, i'd be worried i'd by a **** bike and have to spend $600 replacing all the components. As far as a build goes, could i build a nicer bike than i could buy for around $1500? I know building a quad or dirtbike from the ground up is big bucks, so i don't know if its the same. Everyone, thanks for all the help, i have way way way way way too many hobbies and most places blow you off or joke around for fun, but all these responses are extremely helpful, so thanks!

  18. #18
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    Here is an option:
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/187...onarch-3.1.htm

    Building yourself (say Kona Dawg Deluxe frame from wheelworld at $600, RS Pike 454 from treefort, $460, wheelset (Hope Pro II, 5.1d) and drivetrain bits (SLX is the sweet spot) from chainreactioncycles will run you above $1.5K, but will yield you a very nice bike - better then what you can pick up off a shop floor for $2.5K upwards...

  19. #19
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    A build seems like the way to go then. What kind of tools do you need to put a bike together? I work on cars and four wheelers so I have a lot of tools to get the job done, so all I would really be lacking are any specialty tools I would imagine. One last question, how much does it normally cost to have the shocks resprung? one review of the RS pike 454 says it's sprung for a 130-160lbs rider and im a good 215 lol. So its something i'd face no matter if i bought new, used, or build it myself.

    Specialized and kona where the two brands I liked the most when I was searching sites so a $1,500 kona build that would be similar to at the very least a 2k bike would be awesome.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by buryurfear14
    A build seems like the way to go then. What kind of tools do you need to put a bike together? I work on cars and four wheelers so I have a lot of tools to get the job done, so all I would really be lacking are any specialty tools I would imagine. One last question, how much does it normally cost to have the shocks resprung? one review of the RS pike 454 says it's sprung for a 130-160lbs rider and im a good 215 lol. So its something i'd face no matter if i bought new, used, or build it myself.

    Specialized and kona where the two brands I liked the most when I was searching sites so a $1,500 kona build that would be similar to at the very least a 2k bike would be awesome.
    Starting from scratch, if you never have done it before, may be mildly challenging and time consuming. I think it is definitely worth your time to learn, but not sure if the first bike is the best opportunity.

    You can get a decent toolset from places like Nashbar, which would pay for itslef with just a few saved trips to a store.

    Operations that some people find challenging include pressing a headset, cutting and installing shifter housing, bleeding and/or adjusting brakes, truing wheels. None of that is really difficult, but it may take a bit to figure out. This place will offer you more advise then you care about.

    You can start looking around for components (I recently used wheelworld, treefort, chainreactioncycles and ebay), compile a parts list, post it here, and many folks would be glad to comment.

    I would suggest SLX drivetrain and brakes (XT where it makes sense, like cassette, chainreaction seems to have some of the best prices for Shimano stuff), the best frame that fits your budget (Kona's, Sette may be a decent start, too bad Iron Horse is dead), Pike/Revelation forks can be found for reasonable deals, or some take offs on Ebay..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgrocho
    At the moment I'd start with the BMC Trailfox at Jenson or the Sette Flite AM at Pricepoint and go from there.
    I bought the $500 BMC Trailfox frame from Jenson... and I probably wouldn't do it again. It just doesn't work as an AM bike. Granted, I'm pretty much a newbie, but the 71-degree head angle just doesn't inspire confidence on downhill sections. At least not with the 130mm RockShox Revelation 426 that I'm using. The Ario 2.2 shock is also decidedly unimpressive.

    Let's face it: if these frames were really great, Jenson wouldn't still have them in stock at $500/ea. After demoing a Specialized Pitch Pro last weekend, I'm definitely re-thinking the Trailfox...

  22. #22
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    IH MK3, close out prices, ride it to death.
    Pitch, not sure if it's in your price range though.
    check out great video coverage of anything mtb (well almost).

    http://www.mtbcut.tv

  23. #23
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    I just picked up a Commencal Meta 666 on Chainlove.com for $1450 shipped. If you check them regularly, they have insane deals now and then.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    cgrocho
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel
    I bought the $500 BMC Trailfox frame from Jenson... and I probably wouldn't do it again. It just doesn't work as an AM bike. Granted, I'm pretty much a newbie, but the 71-degree head angle just doesn't inspire confidence on downhill sections. At least not with the 130mm RockShox Revelation 426 that I'm using. The Ario 2.2 shock is also decidedly unimpressive.

    Let's face it: if these frames were really great, Jenson wouldn't still have them in stock at $500/ea. After demoing a Specialized Pitch Pro last weekend, I'm definitely re-thinking the Trailfox...
    Good catch. I didn't know they were 71 deg... I would definitely rethink that one for AM.

  25. #25
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    I agree with the risk of buying a used bike and finding problems later with it. It all depends on whom you buy it from. You may want to talk with some of your local bike shops and see if any of the staff are selling their old bikes. If it is staff at a LBS you can be some what confident that they took care of their bike. As far as building a bike goes, it can be expensive. Keep your eyes peeled and check the big bike resailers and you are bound to find a "last year model" at a huge discount. That is what I did. Good luck!

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