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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 04:08 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. .

  6. #6
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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
    2013 Niner AIR 9

  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
    RideDirt
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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...
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  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
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  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...
    2011 Yeti 575 - 2015 Fox Float 36 RC2 160 / Fox Float X - 31.3 lbs

  25. #25
    Prime
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    GEAUX SMOKE, PM sent.

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