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  1. #1
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    good beginner all mountain

    Ok, so basically I have a budget or 1500 DEFINITELY no more. I am not going to buy tomorrow, but I want to start getting ideas as to what is a good, budget all mountain. Notice how I didn't mention light. I know I can't get a good, cheap, light all mountain for 1500. Anyway, I just want something that can take a beating. It can be MSRPed a little over 1500 (because I can probably find it somewhere that'll go under MSRP), but not too much. I was kinda looking at the KHS AM1000, the Kona Dawg, and Jamis Dakar 1.0. Are those good offerings?? I am relatively new, I've been riding my Kona Blast liek CRAZY, but can already see the HT limitations. Especially in my area (SW Texas), the terrain is very rough and very rocky, so sometimes I feel like my rear tire is a basketball. That's even with PSI at about 38. Anywho, any suggestions. Any and ALL information would be greatly appreciated, and by the way, I did already search.

  2. #2
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    My thoughts

    It's between the KHS and the Jamis. The Kona shouldn't even be considered, as the fork is flat-out substandard. Check Marzocchi's web site for the Fondo series forks and their intended usage. They're not even fit for use as a standard XC fork. Kona has used this fork on a few models this year and I can't imagine what the folks at Kona were smoking when they chose to spec their bikes with this fork.

    As for the KHS and Jamis, I'd say it's a tossup between the two depending on what you're looking for. If you like Fox air suspension, then the Jamis wins. If you like Marzocchi, then the KHS is the way to go. The cranks on the Jamis are better. I can't speak with any degree of authority on either bike's brakes, as I'm unfamiliar with Hayes hyrdos. On the surface, my money would be on the Jamis, but I think either bike would do. It's a personal preference thing.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    I would look very very hard at the Santa Cruz Heckler. MSRP on a D AM kit is 1584. I know it is 84 dollars over your budget, but... It may or may not be worth the extra cash.

    For the ones you are looking at, I would probably agree with Bob. if you want air-go with Jamis. if you want coils-KHS. one thing to ask about, you may need different springs for the different travel settings in the rear.


    good luck

    Matt

  4. #4
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    What will probably happen is your budget will go up and and up and up if you buy new. If you are just getting into it think about buying used. Last years or the year befores models. Take someone who knows a little about bikes and you should do ok.
    All mountain models i have experience with... I have an Trek Liquid55. It is a good bike and the manitou fork with the SPV is pretty good. The only thing you will notice with it is it is bloody hard to get to presure right in the fork. The bike itself is bullet proof. I have taken it off drops, into mountain bike parks and just on trails. With the air shocks i set the air presure different depending on what i am doing. For trails i set the air presure higher so the SPV and air presure is higher so it is less responsive. For downhill i set the rebound slow and have less air in the SPV.

    My Riding partner has a Rocky Mountain Slayer and this bike is zippy. It really doesnt feel like an all mountain and every once in a while we switch bikes just for something different. I will probably take a serious look at the slayer for my next all mountain bike.

    Anyways hope this helps as everyone will have an opinion for you.
    Last edited by Pootin; 07-10-2006 at 07:03 AM.

  5. #5
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    Khs Am1000

    I have been riding one for about 4 months now and am loving it... Very stiff rear end and just loves the technical stuff. It is a little heavy (say 34-36lbs or so) but it pedals nice on the uphills and bombs down the steeps. Don't let the weight scare you and you can shave off some lbs later with upgrades if you want. I came off riding a Giant NRS that I had for 5 years and this bike holds it own on the uphills (of course it's not a racer...).
    Anyways, my vote for the KHS.... even better, you can get a frame $350 (AM 2000 with DHX shock!) and build it up with some better components and probably still keep it under $1500. Just a thought... try Bobs bicycles or Adrenaline bikes.

  6. #6
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    Matt has a point

    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_
    I would look very very hard at the Santa Cruz Heckler. MSRP on a D AM kit is 1584. I know it is 84 dollars over your budget, but... It may or may not be worth the extra cash.


    good luck

    Matt
    A nicely spec'd Heckler for less than $1600. Most definitely something to give serious consideration to. Here's a link:

    http://www.cyclepaths.com/bikes/sc/2...heckler-d.html
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  7. #7
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    wow, ya'll AM guys are freakin awesome. I actually didn't even consider a Santa Cruz cause I thought it was nowhere in my budget range. Thanks for that one, the heckler is a beautiful bike! I would certainly like to buy new, but how much discount do you think I could get say an '06 model (i'd buy this bike probably in early jan, late dec)? I got my Kona for about 100 off MSRP, and it was only a 600 bike to start with, so maybe i could grab a heckler in my price range?? Luckily, I am a pretty good shopper so I don't mind calling about 70 different places within 100 miles of me to get the best deal (that's what i did for this last bike).

  8. #8
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    dang i agree with dp1112 that heckler is nice another bike could be a haro x7 brand new i dont know exact cost i heard 1500 maybe 1600. if thats too much u could go down to the x6 for 1000

  9. #9
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    Check out the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

    Check out the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR at http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec . The MSRP is $2000. But if $1500 was my limit, I know I could find one somewhere for $1500 at this time of the year. You won't find a better bike for that price and it's also pretty light. And by the way, I ride a Yeti 575 so I'm not just hyping the bike I ride. Good luck.

  10. #10
    What are you looking at?
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    Go for the Heckler. It's a really fun, and flickable bike.
    Orange Heckler

    Blue Pinscher

  11. #11
    Harky
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    FWIW...Go for a bike with a Fox or Marzouchi fork. Stay away from the Manitou...too many cheap plastic parts that break or leak! A really good fork can make up for a so so frame, but not the other way around!

  12. #12
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    wow, thanks so much for the suggestions guys. Especially about the suspension and stuff. I was/am definitely not set on ANYTHING, but I was kinda thinking about the kona because I really like the one I have. Good looking out though, i don't know why they would put a sub-par fork on a bike like that.

  13. #13
    Nice no rass
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    It's between the KHS and the Jamis. The Kona shouldn't even be considered, as the fork is flat-out substandard. Check Marzocchi's web site for the Fondo series forks and their intended usage. They're not even fit for use as a standard XC fork. Kona has used this fork on a few models this year and I can't imagine what the folks at Kona were smoking when they chose to spec their bikes with this fork.

    As for the KHS and Jamis, I'd say it's a tossup between the two depending on what you're looking for. If you like Fox air suspension, then the Jamis wins. If you like Marzocchi, then the KHS is the way to go. The cranks on the Jamis are better. I can't speak with any degree of authority on either bike's brakes, as I'm unfamiliar with Hayes hyrdos. On the surface, my money would be on the Jamis, but I think either bike would do. It's a personal preference thing.

    Bob
    I thought the same thing about the Fondo series...at first. Marz's site is just plain F'ed up. They have it listed as a trekking fork for nothing more than gravel paths. My first thought was who would need 120 mm for that? Secondly, they also claim the max tire size is 2.2. Well, Dawgs come with 2.3's and the sticker that comes on the fork itself says for agressive XC and light freeride, no downhill or dirt jumping. There's plenty of room to probably run up to 2.5's on that fork.

    I can say I'm real happy with the fork, super plush and it's beefy enough to handle more than I can dish out to it for sure. Marz's web guys however, need to figure out what they are doing because the site says one thing, the actual fork and manual say another.

  14. #14
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    About a month ago I stepped up to a Kona Dawg Deluxe from a Kona Blast. So far I have been extreamly happy with the bike. I too believe that the Marz. website is incorrect. While there are nicer forks out there, the gran fondo has worked very well for me so far. It has air assist, so you can fine tune your preload. It also has rebound adjustment and lockout. It is a far superior fork to the stock offering on the blast. The rear suspension works well and is also quite tunable. The bike just feels solid, especially on rocky decents and the like. The back end is also quite stiff laterally. I was also impressed with how well the bike pedals and climbs. I'm climbing faster in most areas that I was on my Blast. I felt like my blast was holding my up, especially on the decents, but with the Dawg my skills are defenitly the limiting factor in how fast I am on the trails. The best thing you can do is head to some LBS's and try out as many offerings as you can by different mfg's. The Dawg felt best to me and I already had a good relationship with the LBS, so I pulled the trigger. Good luck with your decision, but don't overlook the Dawg on the basis of the fork.

  15. #15
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    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030...05&model=11149

    'Nuff said. Plenty of bike unless you're doing some downright crazy stuff, and it's not too heavy. The Maestro system climbs very well. I wouldn't compromise on weight too much. Once you start getting above 35 lbs, climbing can be a real chore.

    Deals can be had, I got a (new) '05 $4000 bike for $1500 on eBay. It happens sometimes, keep your eyes open.
    Santa Cruz Bullit AM build
    www.needmusic.com

  16. #16
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    Sierratradingpost sells the Marin Rock Springs for $1300. I have been pretty happy with mine.

    Morten

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