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  1. #1
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    Good All Mountain Bike for Newb $4500-$6000 Range

    Cliff notes: didn't post in noob thread bc I want your opinions.
    New to mtb. Just moved up from Louisiana. Will be riding ND Badlands and moving to Denver in a year for work. This will be a hobby i can continue to enjoy. Been to several bike shops and they all push their brand... Which is their job I guess. Don't mind spending some money up front for a good bike I can progress on and keep for 4-6 years. 6'0" 190 lbs. $4500-$6000 budget. considering the yeti sb66c xtr build. I don't want to start a pissing match. Opinions on this bike and others that are similar that you guys think will serve my purpose. I'm sure most of you will call me crazy for spending that money on a new sport to me. I'm prepared for that beating but I hope to get some serious opinions based on yalls knowledge. Thanks.
    Last edited by GEAUX SMOKE; 03-15-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Spend it now. I had your budget, I went with what felt the best under me. Yeti 575, though I really wanted the sb66, the 575 just felt better.
    I rode a ton of bikes, demo'd my favs from the bunch I rode and got my 575. If you have access I recommend riding as many as you can then decide. With that budget get what calls to you.
    Side note: that 66 likes to be pushed hard and didn't fit my slower riding style. I'm hoping in a few years I will have one though.....
    2012 Yeti 575 Race
    2013 Niner AIR 9

  3. #3
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    Thats the only problem... I don't have access to bikes to demo up here. I'm in BFE North Dakota. More or less I'll be buying one and taking it out on my own and learning the ropes. I've done tons of reading and research. Unfortunately I'm going to base my decision on that. I do appreciate the insight troutinco. As stupid as this sounds I do plan on riding pretty aggressive. Thats what appeals to me about this sport. I'm pretty mechanically inclined from my background in auto racing and I'm an engineer. Repair and maintenance shouldn't be a problem. I've always practiced good maintenance from my racing days. That's just as important as the bike itself.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEAUX SMOKE View Post
    Thats the only problem... I don't have access to bikes to demo up here. I'm in BFE North Dakota. More or less I'll be buying one and taking it out on my own and learning the ropes. I've done tons of reading and research. Unfortunately I'm going to base my decision on that. I do appreciate the insight troutinco. As stupid as this sounds I do plan on riding pretty aggressive. Thats what appeals to me about this sport. I'm pretty mechanically inclined from my background in auto racing and I'm an engineer. Repair and maintenance shouldn't be a problem. I've always practiced good maintenance from my racing days. That's just as important as the bike itself.
    are you set on suspension? I'd look at the pivot LES maybe an IBIS mojo SL(r)

  5. #5
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    If I was you I would look at something that is in the 160mm travel range. .

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    In that case are you set on switch suspension? I personally kept going back to the yeti line of the 66 and 575.
    My take of the 66: very firm, great to pedal and hammer on, slack. It never felt like the rear was moving to me, again I feel this was personal riding style, as the faster/harder i pushed the more lively it felt. It is stout, and wants to go fast. I still want one, it just didn't fit me at the time.
    I will let others speak for other makes and models. These were the 2 that I spent the most time on in my search since I kept coming back to them.
    2012 Yeti 575 Race
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  7. #7
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    Pretty hard to go wrong with that budget. SB66-C will likely make you happy. Since you're a bit of a noob, any bike will make you happy, right? If you find a bike that you think looks cool, and the internet isn't soaked with horror stories about how crappy they are, go for it.

    I'd say the SB66 fits the bill.

  8. #8
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    Look man at that price you can build a super sick ride and you should. Even if you can't get full use out of it at first, you won't have to upgrade when you can

    I think its cool to ask for recs but I recommend spending a silly amount of time reading reviews and obsessing over the decision. You can learn a lot still by reading.

    Its my opinion that if your gonna drop that kind of coin it is as equally important that just looking at the bike gets you stoked, and that it doesn't need to be the most logical choice for the trails you ride most often or your current riding ability

    One thing I will suggest since you will have the extra $ is to buy a whole extra set of lower price and quality chain, cassette, and chain rings be cause as you are learning poor shifting technique will trash your setup a lot faster and then you'll have the nice set when you have it mastered

    I would suggest a couple frames: spec enduro, banshee rune v2, the yeti, ibis mojo HD, Sc nomad, trek scratch, banshee wildcard, etc...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic49 View Post
    are you set on suspension? I'd look at the pivot LES maybe an IBIS mojo SL(r)
    This^

    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    If I was you I would look at something that is in the 160mm travel range. .
    Why?

    Haven't been all over ND but it is similar terrain to Mn where my family is from and I don't know of a whole lot there that would make me want full suspension and certainly nothing there that needs 160mm of travel.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    This^



    Why?

    Haven't been all over ND but it is similar terrain to Mn where my family is from and I don't know of a whole lot there that would make me want full suspension and certainly nothing there that needs 160mm of travel.
    Well since he wants something that he can ride very aggressively as he mentioned , plus he mentioned living in Denver which has a lot of different terrain . The way bikes suspension design and geo are made nowadays you can easily pedal around a 160mm from XC to All mountain . He wants to buy something that will last him years , so at least he has the diversity now .I rather have a little too much suspension then not enough esp when your spending big bucks . On a side note with that kind of money i would look at other companies besides Yeti .

  11. #11
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    Don't know how I completely missed the Denver part....doh!

    However, I would almost buy something cheaper for now, get some pedaling legs, learn a little more about what I want and wait til I got to Denver before spending the wad. Then you can buy from a LBS if you want and keep the cheaper bike for friends when they come visit or as a back up. But that is just me.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
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    Good All Mountain Bike for Newb $4500-$6000 Range

    Yeah. Might be worth checking out the available terrain and finding out which tool is is appropriate for the job.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by da peach View Post
    Yeah. Might be worth checking out the available terrain and finding out which tool is is appropriate for the job.
    x2...

  14. #14
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    That's a serious budget for just starting out! Not that I haven't put that and more into a couple bikes. Here's a short list to check out:

    1) Santa Cruz nomad carbon. I ended up with one of these last year, and love it! It isn't the fastest climber out there, but going down the mountain is a blast!

    2) sb66- you already mentioned this one. I love the linkage on this bike. It feels extremely solid and holds the ground well. After riding it, it just felt a little long for me. I just about pulled the trigger on one before riding a nomad

    3) Intense Carbine- these are really good looking bikes, and while I haven't ridden one yet, I would love to check out the 27.5 model

    4) knolly chilctotin- this is another ride I haven't been able to test out. The square tubing is pretty sick and there wouldn't be near as many of them on the trails as the nomad or yeti

    As everyone has said, get the bike that makes you smile. Read some reviews and make sure there aren't any SERIOUS flaws in geometry. You are going to want a dropper post at some point, so if it's an option, definitely make the upgrade. Also, eventually you may change to a 1x10 drivetrain. For now I recommend the 2x10 until you build up that leg strength. Lastly, with the type of riding you are talking about doing, you definitely want a 36 fork on the front end. A 34 will work, but a 32 is going to feel squirlley. Let us know what you decide on! Happy hunting!

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all of the responses guys. Me being a Newb and not knowing what feels good or doesn't is helping me in a way. Whatever bike I get will feel right. That's why I want something good so I'll be able to learn and progress on a good bike. The badlands have a bunch of steep hills and valleys, which is what I want to ride. I've read articles and reviews for about a month now. Bike radar, mtbr, pink bike etc... I've also searched forums on here during that same period. I've talked to some guys at wrench science, jenson, and competitive cyclist. They always came back to the yeti, ibis mojo slr, and nomad carbon. From my research after that they all seem to be similar in the high end all around bike that can be used for everything. The one article that caught my eye with the sb66c was the collegiate rider who used a stock one to run all four types of courses in the omnium. He rode for Colorado University. I know this may seem trivial but that's what stood out as a great all around bike that can handle anything you throw at it. Again, thanks for the help guy. Great forum and you all did not disappoint.
    ETA: NomadSC - great post. That's exactly the type of response I was looking for.

  16. #16
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    i would also read all the Bike and MTB Action reviews, even the bikes that are way less than your budget, or way over your budget. theres probably lots of info in those reviews that you can apply to your own situation

    Bike Magazine - Bikes

    Bike Tests | mountain-bike-action

    id also check this out... Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

  17. #17
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    I'm far from an expert and I was in similar shoes as you. I wanted more bike than I typically need for my home terrain because I do make trips to the mountains often. I am limited in what I could try b/c AM bikes aren't needed where I live. I liked the idea of slack geometry for downhills and upright pedaling position for climbing on the Rocky Mountain Slayer. I did like you and asked around here and that is what i ended up with. I didn't spend as much as you plan to (i got the slayer 50 and added a drop seat post), so your options are pretty wide open. These guys around here will steer you straight though.

  18. #18
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    I like to ride bikes fast.

  19. #19
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    With that budget, I'm sure you'll find something great. A couple of things to consider:

    Take a long, hard look at a Knolly Endorphin - It's more of an epic trail bike, 5.5 in. of travel. I've got a Chilcotin that I absolutely love, but for the vast majority of my riding, it's overkill. Also have a look at a Transition Covert - another great bike - lots of options including (I believe) a carbon option. Second the Pivot as an option, as well as specialized Enduro (heard good things, might be more available). I was a big intense fan (I've had a gen 1 tracer for over 10 years), but had heard some less than stellar things regarding build quality.

    All these options are going to be on the heavy side - not a problem, but just be aware (by Chili's about 31lbs).

    One consideration should be head angle - slack (lower number) is better for descending - stable platform, less of an 'over the bars' feel on steep descents. Steep HA is more geared towards XC & trail - "better" climbing, less of a tendency for front end to wander. (not sure of what the HA's are on the other bikes, but the Chili's slack - 66 degrees)

  20. #20
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    Here is a couple more to look at:

    Foes FXR
    Ventana Zeus
    Transition TR450

    These are also great bikes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmtchl View Post
    Here is a couple more to look at:

    Foes FXR
    Ventana Zeus
    Transition TR450

    These are also great bikes.

    did you READ the ops post? why in the world would you recommend him a DH bike and that Foes FXR.

  22. #22
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    The Foes is very comparable to the Yeti he is looking at. You cannot go wrong with a Foes. The transition I ment the tr250 which is 160mm of travel and is very pedalble uphill. I see you are biased to Knolly bikes.

  23. #23
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    Any bike you spend 5-6k on is going to be legit. If you are going to be owning just one bike I would look for something in the 5-6" travel range. The sb-66 is a hell of a bike and you couldnt go wrong with it. But there are loads of bikes in that category that you could score. Im a Pivot fan myself but thats my personal preferance. Specialized has some pretty killer bikes in that range and usually have great dealer support no matter where you go so maybe a stumpy or an enduro.

  24. #24
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    Good All Mountain Bike for Newb $4500-$6000 Range

    May I suggest a Yeti 575 (full disclosure: ok I'm biased )

    BUT - a 575 is plush, been around many years and proven, not cutting edge tech, but also doesn't have the cutting edge price tag either - you could probably get higher spec components for the same price as a "new" bike like SB66, Jekyll/Claymore, etc

    But a guy your size (6'/190) maybe check out the new Specialized Enduro 29er, or a Niner RIP9...

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  25. #25
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    GEAUX SMOKE, PM sent.

  26. #26
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    Im gonna come from a different point of view, youre a newbie LBS dream customer, but for you that can be a bad thing.

    Buying with a big budget wont ness get you those things, most bikes at all ends of the spectrum are pretty darn good.

    If youre new to MTB or relitively then high end requires you to be able to look after and setup you're bike correctly and many people who have been riding for a long time cant do this properly, if you cant do this, just money wasted and don't expect your LBS to be able to do this for you either, at that level you need to have some idea to maximse what a bike like that can give you.

    Dont focus on budget so much, you've got lots if scope.

    For some of these reasons and what you're looking for!

    Id rec a Giant Regin 1 or even 2, 1 is top specc, excellent bike and what parts are weak, [imo the hubs, bar stem] with your budget you can easily replace upgrade when needed, the overall kit full SLX on the Regin 1, DT, Fox will really set you up for when or if you want to go high end, the difference in performance is so close you'd be amazed and even that with proper setup few comp changes and you'd be hard pressed to improve for the price diff.

    More importantly when you understand good basics of the, bike setup, suspension and riding technique maintenance just good basics, its a simple bike no gimmicks or bs, Im not a big Giant fan but cant ignore some of they're bikes in the range.

    You will learn more from a bike like this and ride better, improve faster than just throwing money down the drain, plus its a very capable 150mm all round bike and anyone telling you different has theyre head up theyre arse.

    Ive had some pretty great bikes over the years and if this had had 142x12 maxle I probably would have brought one myself, changed out the wheels or hubs and some basics other bits to personalise what I know what works for me on a bike around the correct frame size.

    Great Geo, comes with everything you need as std so no need to work out what parts like chain guides etc, just focus on the right frame size.

    Sizing is key, don't end up on short frames long stems as you get better you will like a longer wheelbase and ability to run a few stem options to get where you want, plus you could ride this bike all day, Ds, XC SD, Enduro and mini DH it mostly with a change of tires shorter longer stem Talas adj fork to drop travel as you need.

    Good luck the hardest part is they're are so many options its holding people back nowadays and many are not learning basic technique for advanced riding further down the track.

  27. #27
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    I have also ridden a Giant Reign, they used to spec them with great aftermarket parts. Nowadays Giant specs house brand parts for the same price(points). If it were me and had a big budget I would build it from the frame up. If you were to buy a complete bike and then upgrade you are buying the same part twice. I do have to say that brands like Yeti, Santa Cruz and Pivot do spec there complete bikes very well.

    Take your time during the process because as mentioned above sizing and fit are huge factors in buying a bike. Make sure you have a shop that will work with you and your needs and not their profit margin. That will come in due time if they take care of the customer first.

    You may not like the way a Reign pedals or Pivot for that matter. If you can demo all the bikes you can. I know you live in BFE,ND but there maybe a shop nearby has a demo fleet try whatever you can get you hands on.

  28. #28
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    X2on the knolly endorphin. I think a lot of suggestions are too much bike. Don't forget, you are admitingly a noob, and you have a lot of technical skills to learn before you can even come close to utilizing these bikes for what they are made for. I think too much bike is going to be a hindrance to you actually getting good at riding at bike...it will kind of cover up your flaws. Example, noobs on the 160mm bikes just point and plow never learning the concept of pumping and good body position because the bike doesn't require that. It is the combination of technical skills with these dream bikes that really make them come to life.

    A knolly endorphin is probably too much as well in that regard, but I am biased. I would get a $1500 hardtail and a $3000 140mm FS with that money.

  29. #29
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    Good All Mountain Bike for Newb $4500-$6000 Range

    As others have said, it is near impossible to not get a good bike in that price range. I would add Turner and Ibis to your shopping list.
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  30. #30
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    It would be worth visiting some LBS and seeing where the locals ride. Ask if any of the shops lead bike rides to the local hotspots. Typically they'll have a demo program and you can rent a bike with an option to buy and your rental fee is applied to the purchase price.

    I would like at something like Specialized Stumpjumper FSR or any of the other trail bike offerings from the big box store for a bout $2500. Ride the bike for a year or so and get the flavor of the type of riding you like, the terrain, pace, group atmosphere or solo. Then you'll have the experience to make a decision or at least the experience to ask more specific questions.
    Just get out and ride!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    X2on the knolly endorphin. I think a lot of suggestions are too much bike. Don't forget, you are admitingly a noob, and you have a lot of technical skills to learn before you can even come close to utilizing these bikes for what they are made for. I think too much bike is going to be a hindrance to you actually getting good at riding at bike...it will kind of cover up your flaws. Example, noobs on the 160mm bikes just point and plow never learning the concept of pumping and good body position because the bike doesn't require that. It is the combination of technical skills with these dream bikes that really make them come to life.

    A knolly endorphin is probably too much as well in that regard, but I am biased. I would get a $1500 hardtail and a $3000 140mm FS with that money.
    I agree, I'm also a newb riding on a hardtail 29er and I'm able to learn a lot while still having a very nice bike. Unless you are seriously wealthy and the 5k really is like $500 to the rest of us then knock yourself out but I'm gathering that isn't the case since one of your goals is to be able to keep this bike for an extended number of years. I ride a canfield brothers yelli screamy that is hailed for it's versatility. IT's plenty of bike for me as a newb (i'm also a big dude at 6'3" 250 so I don't know that I'll ever have the balls for any crazy MTB downhill type stuff at my size I'd be constantly worried about the bike breaking in half!

  32. #32
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    Not sure how many others have actually ridden the bikes mentioned here, but in have spent considerable time on a Giant Reign 1, an SB-66, and a Santa Cruz Nomad. It really depends a lot on what you will end up enjoying in terms of terrain.

    The SB-66 is by far the most agile of the three, and that is due to a very long feel and a low bottom bracket height. That also means more hitting the cranks and pedals if you are riding a lot of rock gardens. It can feel a little nervous at first, but that goes away with some mileage. But it is a very fun and playful bike.

    The Giant was the best climber of the three. Although not quite as nimble as the yeti, it felt a bit more confident and controlled when going fast or descending through chop. Some see Giant as a lesser brand, but that could not be further from the truth. I had my Reign for 3 years, and it was an incredible bike.

    If you see yourself as having the most fun while riding down rather than up, the Nomad can't be beat. It climbs very very well, (about the same as the yeti), but descends better than any of the others by a long shot. It inspires a lot of confidence, and seems to urge you to go faster on about any type of trail, which can be great for learning. I've pedaled it up some incredibly long and steep climbs, and it did a fantastic job. If I were to get a 150mm ish bike, this would be it, without question. It does everything and does everything well.

    Others have said to look at ibis. They are good bikes, and climb extremely well, but to me something has always felt a bit off about them... Like I am perched on top of the bike, not part of it. Two people at my work got the mojo and both sold them within a year and a half in favor of other bikes. They are good bikes to be sure, but I think the three above are better when it comes to overall performance.
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    Sad part is your new so you really dont know what should feel right and what doesn't. If that makes sense. What feels ok riding around on the road or a flat trail may feel like crap climbing or flying downhill. If I had that budget I'd by a used something for 400-500 bucks ride it a few weeks then once you get a feel for things blow your wad and either keep the cheapy for a beater or sell it.

  34. #34
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    Are you the type that will most enjoy climbs or downhills, etc? Most will say a mix of both, but they usually enjoy one or the other a bit more. That will be a big factor in choosing a bike that will fit your needs best. If you love to conquer big climbs, a lighter ride with more steep angles should be a priority. If you are like me and ride up for the sole purpose of riding back down, you will like something with slacker angles and a bit beefier design. The trails in your vicinity should be taken into account too.

    For reference, I am on a Canfield One. Weighs in at 34.5 lbs, pedals comparably to a Nomad, but has very slack angles, 8in of travel, and is the greatest bike I have ever ridden in terms of an aggressive downhill bike that still pedals, and pedals well. I just choose the trails that cater to that style of riding.
    Last edited by charging_rhinos; 03-17-2013 at 08:08 PM.
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    I'll be the type that will mainly pedal uphill to make it back down much faster. Ha. But I will want a bike that will pedal at least decent for the days I just feel like getting out and riding. The aggressive side of the sport is what appeals to me most. Thanks again for all of the replies gents. Very helpful people in here.

  36. #36
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    I know this will probably sound crazy to y'all, but what about running a 27.5 fork and tire up front and a 26 in the back. I know I'm getting way too technical about a bike I don't have yet, but that what reading the interwebz so much does to me. More contact and better over large terrain with the same freedom to toss around the back on single track runs. If I don't know any better, it will feel normal to me. Hahahaha. Narrowed it down to the sb66c and nomad carbon. Gonna call some bike shops and work out some package deals this week. I'll be buying everything from tools, helmet, gear, bike, etc... Any advise on some shops?

  37. #37
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    I wouldn't mix tire sizes til you get used to riding. Then you can experiement. Nothing wrong with running a fatter tire in the front. I can't see taller. Me personally I wouldn't at all.
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    You also have to take into account that he will be moving, so he will be going from riding terrain to another. Another bonus for a Yeti is that he is moving to Colorado in a year.

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    Haha. Yea, our office is 16 miles from Yeti's.

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    dude, buy a cheap ass bike and beat the **** out of it for a few months then invest. plain and simple. Don't buy so cheap that it's ill equipped for the job. for example, don't try to downhill on a ridgid chinese carbon bike. but seriously, you can get a bike for around $1000 that will let you wet your appetite.

    Something not mentioned, have you even been cycling? you need to get into a certain amount of cycling shape as well and a cheap bike will let you do that. if your not in cycling shape, your gonna get your ass kicked riding a road bike, let alone a mtb

  41. #41
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    A 27.5 will not do much to help in the front. Most of your weight balance is over the rear wheel, so it will not be of much benefit. I've done a lot of math on the 650b vs 29er vs 26er topic, and I'm definitely sticking with the 26er.

    and if I were you, I would choose the Nomad carbon over the 66 for the simple reason that the 66 is a bit more jittery for a rider that is new to the sport. The 66 is super fun, but it is a bit harder to ride without solid technical skills in my opinion. Don't worry about being new to the sport. You don't need a crappy bike first to learn on. Just be prepared to work hard and take a few hard knocks, but you will be just fine. Oh, and if you are wondering about the durability of carbon bikes, search the Internet for the tour of the Santa Cruz test lab. It's amazing what the Nomad carbon frame withstood.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  42. #42
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    Hey Pivot is selling thier demo fleet. A 7G bike for 3Gs..

    Demo Sale | Pivot Cycles - Mountain Bikes for XC, Trail, Downhill
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    2013 WalGoose

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    dude, buy a cheap ass bike and beat the **** out of it for a few months then invest. plain and simple. Don't buy so cheap that it's ill equipped for the job. for example, don't try to downhill on a ridgid chinese carbon bike. but seriously, you can get a bike for around $1000 that will let you wet your appetite.

    Something not mentioned, have you even been cycling? you need to get into a certain amount of cycling shape as well and a cheap bike will let you do that. if your not in cycling shape, your gonna get your ass kicked riding a road bike, let alone a mtb
    I agree, as I said this in an earlier response. Buy something used for 400-500 bucks. Get used to riding and understand how your gonna ride then invest in a nice bike and keep the used one for a beater or sell it.
    1993 Trek Multitrack 700
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    2013 WalGoose

  44. #44
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    Seriously, don't waste money on a junky bike. I ride with numerous guys who had no prior experience who got good bikes right off the bat. They have gotten in fine riding shape, learned proper technique, and become very good at riding their nice bikes. The only thing they avoided was wasting 500 bucks and a few more weeks shopping for better bikes. You have a budget many dream of, and that is a massive head start. If you are committed to riding, jump right in.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

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    NS soda

    NS Soda could be added to your list, it can be set up with 6"-7" travel and can handle it all. It will put you way under budget and you can upgrade as you go. I ride it all with mine, it is under 30 pounds. But when your cojones catch up to your bike the bike can handle it.

    Good All Mountain Bike for Newb 00-00 Range-santos_sm.jpg
    Your big wheels are so awesome!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    Seriously, don't waste money on a junky bike. I ride with numerous guys who had no prior experience who got good bikes right off the bat. They have gotten in fine riding shape, learned proper technique, and become very good at riding their nice bikes. The only thing they avoided was wasting 500 bucks and a few more weeks shopping for better bikes. You have a budget many dream of, and that is a massive head start. If you are committed to riding, jump right in.
    I agree with this. I think guys that learn on nice bikes have a good learning curve because if you buy a shitty bike, it will inevitably start holding you back before you upgrade. Then u have the money wasted or hassle of selling

  47. #47
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    Just get a good used bike. The question is, which type? The range of bikes is HUGE out there.

    Too much travel, and too hard to climb with, yer gonna have a bad time.
    Too little travel with retardo-gnar terrain, yer gonna have a bad time.

    Rent/borrow/steal a bike, find out where you're going to ride, then maybe get a used one? There will invariably be some improvements in bikes in a year, so why not spend $2,000 on a good used bike, ride it for a year, then sell it in a year for $1,000. But then you'll have a better sense of what you WISH you had, then go nuts on a $6K bike. That's pretty much what I did... Now I'm the proud owner of an SB-66C.

    I'm coming off a 2006 Iron Horse MKIII. I'm pretty happy I went this route.

    Or course, I guess you could just buy the $6K bike now, love it or hate it, and flip it for something else if need be... That normally takes either a very high wealth level, or understanding spouse, or BOTH. Heh.

    It will also depend on WHO you are having most fun riding with. If you meet a bunch of young superfit maniacs, your bike might not let you catch up, so you'll start riding with old and slow dudes on completely different terrain.

  48. #48
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    Lots of brand whore's in here throwing out brand names. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm gonna come at it from another angle. If sitting at the trailhead admiring bike frames is your thing, you can stop reading now. If you are more interested in function over form, then continue.

    Step 1: Join IMBA. Minimum $30 dollar investment.

    Step 2: Wait a few weeks for your membership packet, which includes a promo code. You won't be shredding in ND for a few weeks anyway. My brother used to live in that frigid Northern Plains hell hole.

    Step 3: Join Promotive.com with said promo code. Easy.

    Step 4: Purchase a DB Mission Pro at Pro Deal pricing. It will cost you $3,600. MSRP is $6K, and it sells on Jenson for $5,500. Stoopid part spec. 160/160mm frame with all the goodies. Knucklebox bell crank suspension. You can get a Scapegoat for the same price, but pedaling a 180/160mm frame uphill just seems foolish.

    Step 5: Shred.

    Step 6: Laugh all the way to the bank.

    This method gets you a ridiculous amount of bike for the money. You save almost $2K under online pricing. You won't get the street(trail) cred of an Ibis, Knolly, Yeti, ect, but you'll have more money left in your pocket, and/or more bike than your peers.

    There are a couple caveats. You may have to wait a bit(I waited like two days for a Mason) for your size to become available. Also, there are no returns through that site, so an issue would have to be handled under warranty.

    Good luck with your decision.

  49. #49
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    Based on what you are describing there are a few things I would do.

    1. Get the Bike Magazine Bible of Bike Tests. They have reviews on a lot of different bikes and if you put on your critical reading eyes you can see what they like and don't like.
    2. Read the manufacturer forums and reviews on this site for bikes you are interested in. There is a lot of good info in there to research. Do not go an and ask "what do you think about this bike?". All you will get is a bunch of fanboys.
    3. That being said there are really 3 or 4 bikes I would focus on. The Yeti SB66, Ibis Mojo HD, Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon, and if you are patient the Specialized Enduro 29'r.

    The Knolly Chili is a great bike, but at that price I expect carbon and despite what anyone tells you that material is a game changer. One of my buddies recently switched from a Nomad AL to C and he said it was night and day. I also made the switch about a year ago from AL to C (I don't ride a Nomad) and will never ride AL again. Each of the three bikes that I mentioned has their advantage. SB is more of a trail bike than AM, but has great geometry and loves to be thrown around. The HD is the most balanced bike when considering climbing and descending and just does everything great. The Nomad is another great all around bike, but is more focused on descending than climbing. The Specialized is a wild card, but is not available yet. I have not heard a bad thing said about it yet though.

    Let us know how it turns out and good luck. The frame is only the beginning. You also have to think about suspension (Rockshox, Fox or XFusion?) groups (XX1 or XT/XTR?) and wheels (Easton or Stans?). After 25 years on a MTB I can tell you there are no bad decisions just different trade offs.

  50. #50
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    I am running a 2012 Rocky Mountain Slayer 70.

    Sick bike, super plush, and it comes stacked with great parts.

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