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  1. #1
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    Best AM bike for around $3k

    G'day. I have recently moved to Canmore in the Canadian Rockies and about to purchase my first Mountain Bike (up until now I have been a road bike guy). Anyway, I am 6'3" and about 220 lbs. I expect to do a lot of full day trail riding with pretty decent descents given the local terrain. I will also do a few resort trips each summer as well. I am looking to spend $3-4k and really want a solid AM FS bike with the best bang for th buck. In chatting to folks a number have recommended the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc or Blur or maybe even the Bronson...others have said that the Trek Remedy or Ibis Mojo would do the trick. They all seem pricey and maybe too much bike for someone starting out? I don't mind spending the money if I have to...I plan on being out on the trails most days so it will get well used! I just want a solid, do all bike that won't break the bank ;-)Keen to hear the experiences of others on this forum with the bikes that you have...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty new myself, but I've been in the market for a new bike as well and I've been doing a good bit of research, so I'll do my best. Depending on how much downhill you're planning on, you may want to look into a hard tail to get some more bang for your buck. I'm currently on a hardtail (Kona Caldera), and although I'm definitely going full suspension on my next bike, my current is perfectly capable on the downhill through pretty rocky terrain (Black Hills, SD). Of the bikes on your list, I've checked out the Tallboy and the Mojo and I've looked into the Blur. The Blur TR is probably your best bet for long rides. It's almost more of a XC bike, but also appears to be a very capable all mountain bike. I'm more of an all mountain rider, and the Blur would be very high on my list, except I'm having a hard time finding one to test ride. It's definitely going to be at the higher end of your budget. The Tallboy seems to be more of an all mountain bike, but those 29" tires would probably be nice for long hauls. The Mojo seems to be a great bike (and probably what I'll end up getting for myself), but I have a feeling it's probably not as geared towards really long rides as the Blur or even the Tallboy.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I think you can get plenty of bang for your buck in the 3-4k range on FS AM rig. Going hardtail for more bang for your buck in the 1-2k range makes a helluva lot more sense. I also don't see the point of spending that much money on a hardtail to run true AM type terrain on -- which it sounds like you will be on some rugged terrain in the Canadian Rockies. Some people prefer hardtails and that's fine...I just don't see the point for that type of riding especially when you have a 3-4k budget.

    The Bronson looks like a badass bike and I'd buy one today if I had the money. Maybe check out a Giant Reign or Specialized Enduro too. Good luck.
    2011 Trance x1

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  4. #4
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    What kind of riding? You plan on running mostly XC with a few steep sections and some technical terrain, or are you planning on going up to get to the down sections - jumps/drops, etc?

    I know this is the AM forum, but be honest with yourself, and the type of riding you will do. If you think you want to get out on the mountain, and you know from your road riding that you like the challenge of a good climb and working on times/lap speed, then dont go get a 160mm 32lb bike, find a nice XC bike, or a 5" "trail" bike in the 25-27lb range. And if you have some finesse, you will be able to adapt to a certain extent with that bike. But dont think that just because you have mountains that an XC bike wont be enough - it really depends on how you plan on riding.

    Have you had a chance to ride any other bikes?

    Will you be able to borrow a friends ride to see what you may like?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_ View Post
    What kind of riding? You plan on running mostly XC with a few steep sections and some technical terrain, or are you planning on going up to get to the down sections - jumps/drops, etc?

    I know this is the AM forum, but be honest with yourself, and the type of riding you will do. If you think you want to get out on the mountain, and you know from your road riding that you like the challenge of a good climb and working on times/lap speed, then dont go get a 160mm 32lb bike, find a nice XC bike, or a 5" "trail" bike in the 25-27lb range. And if you have some finesse, you will be able to adapt to a certain extent with that bike. But dont think that just because you have mountains that an XC bike wont be enough - it really depends on how you plan on riding.

    Have you had a chance to ride any other bikes?

    Will you be able to borrow a friends ride to see what you may like?
    That's a fair point. It will most likely be XC trail rides with technical climbs and descents. I am not likely to get involved in hard core downhill, at least not for now. What bikes do you think fit this bill?

  6. #6
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    If that is the case, OP, get a 5-6" trail bike like Rocks and Stones suggested. I feel like I do a similar style of riding as you and I ride a Giant Trance -- absolutely love this bike. I've also found that it can handle rugged, lift served DH stuff too as long as I avoid the big drops. Other bikes in this category would be the Specialized Stumpjumper, Yeti 575, Santa Cruz Blur or Tallboy, Trek Rumblefish...and a million others. Go ride some!
    2011 Trance x1

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  7. #7
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    I suggest you buy a $1k used 5" travel bike, see how you like the sport, see what you identify liking/not liking on the bike and then re-evaluate the offerings out there after you have some perspective.

  8. #8
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    Has anyone tried Ghost bikes? They look like a lot of bike for the money...interested to see if anyone has had experience with them...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    I suggest you buy a $1k used 5" travel bike, see how you like the sport, see what you identify liking/not liking on the bike and then re-evaluate the offerings out there after you have some perspective.
    I have done some MB on rentals and really liked the sport so I know that I will be spending a lot of time on the trails...

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