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  1. #1
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    Need some recommendations for a first bike.

    So I've been wanting to get into mountain biking for a while now, and the time has come that I can actually do it. I'm looking to get an AM bike come Spring, but I'm hoping to get some ideas and learn more about bikes in general before then.

    A bit about myself. I'm 21, 6'2 and about 210lbs. I live in UT and I'll be riding in the mountains most, but also desert stuff like Moab on occasion. I'm wanting to get a ~6" travel bike because although I plan on doing some lengthy trail rides with climbs, I also want to have as much fun as possible on the descents. I come from an offroad motorcycle background so speed, cornering and some jumps are something I'd like to do as I progress.

    So far with my limited knowledge of what's all available, I'm leaning towards a 2013 Specialized Enduro Comp. But I'm really interested in some other recommendations and input. Budget is $4000 tops, and I'd like that to be able to include some gear as well.

    I'll have some more questions soon, but for now I just want some basic recommendations.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    try and get out and rent/ride as many bikes as you can. tho i doubt you can go wrong with the Enduro. hell, any Santa Cruz bike is nice!
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  3. #3
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    Hey byoc, I bought a barely used Intense Tracer 2 (adjustable 5.75/6.25" travel) without a scratch on it with an XT build for $2600 about 10 months ago. Put about $400 worth of upgrades and have an awesome handmade In USA all- mountain killer for $3k. Climbs like a beast and handled some rough Mammoth Mountain park days without any issues whatsoever.

    With your budget you should be able to find a top of the line American made bike if you're willing to take advantage of someone's loss on slightly used build. If your looking for brand new than you're probably looking at a nice overseas made production bike like the Enduro. Just my 2 cents.

    Oh yeah, if you want to get even semi serious about riding a good work stand and some core tools are a must have that will set you back a few hundy too.

    Be careful, this stuff gets addicting and there's always something new and cool coming out that you just gotta have. Good Luck.
    Last edited by trojans1993; 11-07-2012 at 11:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Maybe considering going with the Trek Slash. That bike climbs surprisingly well, and is very playful on the way down. Every once in a while, you find a bike that inspires confidence, and for me, the Slash was that bike.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

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  5. #5
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    Test ride as many bikes as you can and be sure to ask lots of questions.

  6. #6
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    With that kind of budget man you have A LOT of choices , def keep your eyes on PinkBike for some sales going on .. Right now is a good time since you still might be able to pick up some 2012 models for super cheap or even a slightly used bike.

    Now for that kind of money , i think you could build a bike from the frame up with your own choices ... The enduro is a great bike but again with that budget i would keep all my options open . Try and test ride a few different bikes first if you can...

    I would prob say look at some bikes from :

    Knolly
    Intense
    Canfield
    Ibis

    These bike companies are VERY common for what you might be looking for , they bomb downhills and climb like goats .

  7. #7
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    An enduro would be awesome. I just bought a new frame and took a good look at the Titus el guapo. I ended up buying a frame with adjustable geometry, which I wouldn't recommend for a new rider.

    The el guap looks great and is inexpensive compared to other nice frames. You'd have $ left for a super high end build vs mid build on some of the other options you'll see

  8. #8
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    As others have said, ride anything you can get you hands on before you make a purchase.

    I'll second looking at gently-used bikes, too. This time of year some bike shops are still trying to sell off demos. You can get a well-maintained high-end bike with a season of use for a nice discount. It's a good way to go to give yourself flexibility in your budget without compromising too much.

    Of course, your budget has plenty of room for options.

  9. #9
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    Just remember when buying a bike that unless you buy it new you wont have a warranty on the frame so keep that in mind.

  10. #10
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    If you have a lot of hours on a dirt bike then you will most likely have a preference for the way a bike rides - as opposed to a beginner that hasn't ridden at all. Like others have said, test ride as many bikes as you can. Once it comes down to a few, 2 or 3, invest in a weekend demo of each. If you can, try and get some ride time on different suspension designs; Specialized/Horst (Enduro), DW Link (pivot firebird or turner), VPP (Nomad is a must) or other mini link (giant reign), and single pivot maybe (trek slash or remedy). A demo on a Knolly would be great but you'll probably have to find someone that owns one to let you try it. Have fun shopping.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    try and get out and rent/ride as many bikes as you can. tho i doubt you can go wrong with the Enduro. hell, any Santa Cruz bike is nice!
    Yeah, I've read that many a time when browsing this forum, so I'll be testing as many bikes as I can to get an idea what I like and am looking for.


    Quote Originally Posted by trojans1993 View Post
    Hey byoc, I bought a barely used Intense Tracer 2 (adjustable 5.75/6.25" travel) without a scratch on it with an XT build for $2600 about 10 months ago. Put about $400 worth of upgrades and have an awesome handmade In USA all- mountain killer for $3k. Climbs like a beast and handled some rough Mammoth Mountain park days without any issues whatsoever.

    With your budget you should be able to find a top of the line American made bike if you're willing to take advantage of someone's loss on slightly used build. If your looking for brand new than you're probably looking at a nice overseas made production bike like the Enduro. Just my 2 cents.

    Oh yeah, if you want to get even semi serious about riding a good work stand and some core tools are a must have that will set you back a few hundy too.

    Be careful, this stuff gets addicting and there's always something new and cool coming out that you just gotta have. Good Luck.
    While I really would prefer new, I'm definitely not opposed to getting a slightly used bike/frame. I'll have to keep my eye out and maybe get lucky and find exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Maybe considering going with the Trek Slash. That bike climbs surprisingly well, and is very playful on the way down. Every once in a while, you find a bike that inspires confidence, and for me, the Slash was that bike.
    Yeah I was briefly looking at the Slash. I'll look more into it and probably go test one out soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by beshannon View Post
    Test ride as many bikes as you can and be sure to ask lots of questions.
    Will do, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    With that kind of budget man you have A LOT of choices , def keep your eyes on PinkBike for some sales going on .. Right now is a good time since you still might be able to pick up some 2012 models for super cheap or even a slightly used bike.

    Now for that kind of money , i think you could build a bike from the frame up with your own choices ... The enduro is a great bike but again with that budget i would keep all my options open . Try and test ride a few different bikes first if you can...

    I would prob say look at some bikes from :

    Knolly
    Intense
    Canfield
    Ibis

    These bike companies are VERY common for what you might be looking for , they bomb downhills and climb like goats .
    Yeah, I was considering some 2012 sale bikes. I was looking at a 2012 Yeti SB66 Race the other day, and I was almost considering picking it up this Saturday. But I'm not sure if I want to buy a bike right before winter. I dont want to torture myself.

    Is my budget enough for a decent build? I'm really not sure how much most components are but it seems like they would add up quick. Forks alone are pretty spendy right? That said, I'd really love to build one. Both to be able to pick out specific parts and to learn the ins and outs of the bike through the process. If I can do that within my budget then I'd love to. I wish I could just go to a site and start adding parts to a kart to get an idea of the end pricing, but I dont know enough about the different components yet to know what I'd need/want and what all works together.

    I've read a few threads about the Knolly Chilcotin, and based on what I've read it seems like an amazing bike. I'd love one of them, haven't seen what the price is though. Same with the Intense Tracer frames.
    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    An enduro would be awesome. I just bought a new frame and took a good look at the Titus el guapo. I ended up buying a frame with adjustable geometry, which I wouldn't recommend for a new rider.

    The el guap looks great and is inexpensive compared to other nice frames. You'd have $ left for a super high end build vs mid build on some of the other options you'll see
    Thanks I'll look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    As others have said, ride anything you can get you hands on before you make a purchase.

    I'll second looking at gently-used bikes, too. This time of year some bike shops are still trying to sell off demos. You can get a well-maintained high-end bike with a season of use for a nice discount. It's a good way to go to give yourself flexibility in your budget without compromising too much.

    Of course, your budget has plenty of room for options.
    I did notice a few local shops had they're demos up for sale. Most were in mediums or not the kind of bike I'd want though. But Ill keep an eye out

    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Just remember when buying a bike that unless you buy it new you wont have a warranty on the frame so keep that in mind.
    Thanks for the heads up.

  12. #12
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    i just realized you said the Enduro. for some reason, i thought you said the Nomad

    anyway, id look into this

    Santa Cruz Bicycles NOMAD
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  13. #13
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    Yboc ... Well the Knolly Chilcotin frame w/ a Fox RP23 shock starts around $2300-2500. You could find a frame for sale tho under 2k brand new as sometimes people dont have funds to finish the build or something came up and they need some cash . My chili is going to be complete next weekend hopefully, even tho i spent a great amount on it , its exactly what i want .... Yes your $4k budget is plenty to do a build ..Pick up a nice frame , fork, and wheels... Then worry about the other stuff later on.

  14. #14
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    All i'll say is with that sort of cash you can get a killer bike so do some heavy research n dont jump into anything then you will end up with a great bike, cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  15. #15
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    I recommend trying to find a Trek Remedy 9 and giving it a test ride.
    You can probably find a 2012 model for an excellent price, and still have enough left over for gear.
    This is a do it all bike IMO...Not that heavy either.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i just realized you said the Enduro. for some reason, i thought you said the Nomad

    anyway, id look into this

    Santa Cruz Bicycles NOMAD[/url]
    The Nomad is one bike I'm really considering. I've read a lot of great things about it, and it seems like a great AM bike that I can do a lot with. Right now the 2012 frames are pretty cheap. Hopefully I'll still be able to find a large one available in a few months.

    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    Yboc ... Well the Knolly Chilcotin frame w/ a Fox RP23 shock starts around $2300-2500. You could find a frame for sale tho under 2k brand new as sometimes people dont have funds to finish the build or something came up and they need some cash . My chili is going to be complete next weekend hopefully, even tho i spent a great amount on it , its exactly what i want .... Yes your $4k budget is plenty to do a build ..Pick up a nice frame , fork, and wheels... Then worry about the other stuff later on.
    Man, I'm jealous. I know looks are not everything, but the Chili is one of the best looking bikes I've seen. Couple that with the great thigns I've heard about it, and it makes me wish my budget was just a bit more.

    As far as a build goes, just to get an idea of what a build might cost, say I'm building a Nomad. The frame is $1500, plus about $1000 for a fork? Will that leave enough for the rest? I still am not entirely sure what all parts are needed for a build. Is there a nice list or something somewhere? And what's a good online shop to browse to get an idea of prices?

    Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    All i'll say is with that sort of cash you can get a killer bike so do some heavy research n dont jump into anything then you will end up with a great bike, cheers
    Yeah, that's why I'm asking now. I'm to wait all winter to get the bike, that way I have a good amount of time to learn and test as many as I can. I figure if I keep my eye out for a really good deal, then once Spring comes along I'll be ready. But for now I'm just wanting to learn and get some ideas about what to look for.

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Ray View Post
    I recommend trying to find a Trek Remedy 9 and giving it a test ride.
    You can probably find a 2012 model for an excellent price, and still have enough left over for gear.
    This is a do it all bike IMO...Not that heavy either.
    Thanks. I'll look around and see what's available.

  17. #17
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    I've owned or ridden every bike in this thread. I sold my enduro because I thought there might be something better. Turns out there isn't. I sold all my bikes and bought an enduro and haven't been happier. Don't even think about it go buy it today.

  18. #18
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    How are the parts on the Enduro Comp? If I were to get one, is there anything I should consider changing right off the bat?

  19. #19
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    I'm a Trek guy so I'd do a Remedy. There is a 2012 Remedy 8 here locally that was a lightly used demo for $2k. New is $2400. Can't get much better for the price, IMO.

  20. #20
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    +1 on the El Guapo. I'm very happy with mine, and the low cost will free up extra funds for you to use on getting gear and upgrading later as you get a better idea of what you like. Before the EG, I had a '10 Diamondback Mission which I still think is an sweet bike. I may have gotten a '12 Scapegoat to replace it if the cost was lower.

    Some other bikes I've ridden and like:
    Specialized Enduro
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Evo (more a trail bike, but still very nice)
    Trek Scratch Coil (discontinued, but one of the most fun bikes I've ever been on!)

    One bike I actually bought and quickly sold... GT Sanction. The rear suspension was very nice, but I hated the geometry. Bottom bracket was too high for me to feel comfortable in the turns. I like my bikes low and slack.

    And a few dream bikes I wish I could afford to consider...
    Canfield One
    Knolly Chilcotin
    Ibis Mojo HD

  21. #21
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    Ibis Mojo HD.. SLX package runs around 4k.. I know they offter a kit called "special blend" which is really a smokin deal.. Its a mix different parts but everyone that ive read using the kit-- loves it(though not sure if they offer it in the hd or just the sl). Not only are you getting a great handling bike--- but Ibis customer service is 2nd to none.. Crashed my bike and wrote off the front triangle.. Was back up and riding within a few days.. Goodluck getting service like that from Specialized..

    The nomad does look like a great bike.. Also the intense carbine 275(though i think that is above your budget).. The Mojo with the dw link is going to climb better (ride a bit higher in the stroke) then vpp nomad/intense.. But the nomad and intense are going to be a bit more plush on the down... I like the up as much as i like the down-- so that is why i have stuck with my mojo HD..
    Last edited by SB Trails; 11-09-2012 at 05:49 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by yboc View Post
    How are the parts on the Enduro Comp? If I were to get one, is there anything I should consider changing right off the bat?
    i like the parts on the Nomad RAM better
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB Trails View Post
    Ibis Mojo HD.. SLX package runs around 4k.. I know they offter a kit called "special blend" which is really a smokin deal.. Its a mix different parts but everyone that ive read using the kit-- loves it(though not sure if they offer it in the hd or just the sl). Not only are you getting a great handling bike--- but Ibis customer service is 2nd to none.. Crashed my bike and wrote off the front triangle.. Was back up and riding within a few days.. Goodluck getting service like that from Specialized..

    The nomad does look like a great bike.. Also the intense carbine 275(though i think that is above your budget).. The Mojo with the dw link is going to climb better (ride a bit higher in the stroke) then vpp nomad/intense.. But the nomad and intense are going to be a bit more plush on the down... I like the up as much as i like the down-- so that is why i have stuck with my mojo HD..
    We have a winner, ding ding, very good advise.
    The Ibis mojo is a killer in every dept not to mention you wont find a nicer looking steed..
    The Santa Cruz nomad is the second choice from this thread imo..
    Either one of these two bikes id be very happy to ride, they leave the specs n treks for dead imo.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by yboc View Post
    How are the parts on the Enduro Comp? If I were to get one, is there anything I should consider changing right off the bat?
    IMO once you hit the X9 or SLX component level, they're all the same upwards with minor nuances that are irrelevant to the everyday rider except for the bling factor. The only thing I don't like about ALL the new build's of AM bikes is the fox 34 fork and 15mm axle. The 36 forks and the 20mm axle's are awesome and are stiff as hell! My enduro came with a lyrik which is a great fork but I had a fox talas built up for it so I can adjust the travel for climbing. The most important part to me when buying a bike is the frame/shock + fork. Those are going to have the biggest influence on how the bike rides, anything else can be replaced for cheap. If you don't like the fork you can replace that easily as well by selling your current fork which is what I did.

    This is my enduro, it's stock except for the talas 36 fork and a giant contact switch adjustable seatpost. I paid 2,300 for it brand new, 400$ for the talas and 200$ for the contact switch post, so it puts my total build at 2,300 still because I sold the lyrik for the cost of my other parts.

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