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Thread: XC/All mountain

  1. #1
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    XC/All mountain

    Hello, i'm searching for a new bike an need some help deciding. I want a bike that I can race and still do some all mountain and small drops (3 feet, possibly more) and jumps on. I was set on getting an all mountain/dirt jumping bike but then I did a few races with my high school's mountain bike club/team and now want a decently light raceable bike. I'd prefer it to be a full suspension, but a hardtail wouldn't be bad either.
    I was looking at the Jamis Dakar sport, but then after reading the reviews for the Manitou splice I quickly changed my mind. My budget only goes to about $1500 (Canadian), might be able to stretch to $1600.
    I am now considering a used 2005 Giant Trance 3 (if I can find one), 2006 Giant trance 4, and a Cannondale rush 400. After reading the reviews about the Giant trance 3 I really wanted one, but i'm not sure how it would handle some small drops and jumps.
    What other bikes out there would you suggest?
    *mods can you please move this to the appropriate forum, noob mistake*
    Quiksilver

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiksilver
    Hello, i'm searching for a new bike an need some help deciding. I want a bike that I can race and still do some all mountain and small drops (3 feet, possibly more) and jumps on. I was set on getting an all mountain/dirt jumping bike but then I did a few races with my high school's mountain bike club/team and now want a decently light raceable bike. I'd prefer it to be a full suspension, but a hardtail wouldn't be bad either.
    I was looking at the Jamis Dakar sport, but then after reading the reviews for the Manitou splice I quickly changed my mind. My budget only goes to about $1500 (Canadian), might be able to stretch to $1600.
    I am now considering a used 2005 Giant Trance 3 (if I can find one), 2006 Giant trance 4, and a Cannondale rush 400. After reading the reviews about the Giant trance 3 I really wanted one, but i'm not sure how it would handle some small drops and jumps.
    What other bikes out there would you suggest?
    *mods can you please move this to the appropriate forum, noob mistake*
    Quiksilver
    Maybe look for a deal on a Reign 3? At least it would hold up to the drops and jumps, but will be a bit slower to race on, but I'd rather race on a beefier bike so I didn't break it during playtime, then pick up a more race-oriented race bike if you end up racing more seriously in the future.

  3. #3
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    I just called a few shops and a Reign 3 was $2000 about $400-$500 out of my reach.
    Also which size frame would I need, i'm 5'11 with a 33" leg inseam. I searched using google and the one I found suggested a 20" would be best. There is one problem though, i'm quite young and my orthodontist predicts i'll grow to be about 6'1-6'3.
    Quiksilver

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiksilver
    Hello, i'm searching for a new bike an need some help deciding. I want a bike that I can race and still do some all mountain and small drops (3 feet, possibly more) and jumps on. I was set on getting an all mountain/dirt jumping bike but then I did a few races with my high school's mountain bike club/team and now want a decently light raceable bike. I'd prefer it to be a full suspension, but a hardtail wouldn't be bad either.
    I was looking at the Jamis Dakar sport, but then after reading the reviews for the Manitou splice I quickly changed my mind. My budget only goes to about $1500 (Canadian), might be able to stretch to $1600.
    I am now considering a used 2005 Giant Trance 3 (if I can find one), 2006 Giant trance 4, and a Cannondale rush 400. After reading the reviews about the Giant trance 3 I really wanted one, but i'm not sure how it would handle some small drops and jumps.
    What other bikes out there would you suggest?
    *mods can you please move this to the appropriate forum, noob mistake*
    Quiksilver

    You can't drop an XC race bike. The Trance and Rush are a little bit tougher than your average racer, but if the Rush 400 is in your price range, I'd say go for a Prophet 400 instead. Prophets are fairly light for AM rigs, and will be able to handle more varied terrain than the Rush. Plus you can upgrade it over time. If your doctor tells you that you're going to wind up 6'3", think about getting an XL frame. It might feel stretched out to begin with, but Prophets ship with a short, low bar & stem, so it ought to be OK to start with and get better over time. I'm 6'5" and the geometry of the XL prophet looked great to me, but when I rode one it felt extremely small because of the cockpit setup.

    The other option, and maybe a better one, is to buy something cheap (like a Specialized Hardrock or something) for 400 or 500 bucks and stick the rest in savings. Ride the crap out of your cheap bike for a couple years and keep saving money, by then you'll be closer to your adult height and you'll have money in the bank for a better bike than you can get right now.

  5. #5
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    I already took the get a cheap bike route 3 years ago. Paid $450 for a GT avalanche 3.0, it still rides fine but i've snapped maybe 5 rear axles, and this year broke 4-5 spokes most of which from trail riding. I chose not to go cheap again. I want a good strong and decently light bike which will last. This is why I chose to look at the Trance, my brother has a 2003 Giant Rainier and he loves it. I thought since his bike is good then i'll check them out.
    My closest Cannondale dealer is about 50 minutes west of where i'm located. I thought the Cannondale Rush 400 would be in my price range after looking at the specs, but i'm really not sure how much it would run me. My closest Giant dealer that has a Trance is about 40 minutes south. The bike stores in my city carry: Jamis, Norco, Kona, Trek, Gary fisher, Devinci, etc.... We did have a Giant dealer but they closed the shop and left. It was the best bike store i've ever been in, the staff treated everyone fair even if you had a cheap bike and another guy with a better one came after you they still would do who came first.
    Quiksilver

  6. #6
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    Gotcha. Sounds like you've got a wide variety of bikes available. Any of the brands you listed ought to have a bike in your price range that will suit you fine. No reason to drive for an hour to buy a Giant or Cannondale if you can get a Kona or Norco in town; both of these brands make sturdy, affordable bikes. And if you're already used to busting up wheels and axles, definately go for something a little beefier than a Rush or Trance. Get a burly bike and upgrade to lighter parts when you have the cash or break your original parts.

    Most manufacturers are making pretty decent, affordable 4"-5" travel bikes these days, so you have a lot to choose from. Ebay is also a good option as long as you research before you buy. If you find something you like on Ebay but are shaky about the seller or something, post it here-people on these forums are usually pretty good about giving feedback on Ebay stuff.

    Bottom line is always fit though-if you're choosing between two bikes that look equal on paper, ride them both if at all possible and pick the one that feels most comfortable. If you can't do test rides, get familiar with geometry numbers so you have a rough idea of how a bike will fit by looking at catalog specs. Look up the geometry of your current bike (if you can find it) and compare to that. And if you're expecting to grow quite a bit, maybe buy a size larger than you would otherwise and run a short stem until you grow into it.

  7. #7
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    I've checked out Norco, Kona and Gary fisher and none seem to have what I want in my budget.
    I will be going to the city that the Giant dealer is in on the 12th. They also carry Specialized. I was also thinking about a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. Would that bike be good for what i'm looking for? What's the limit of the Trance and Specialized Stumpjumper FSR? (not that i'll be going past the limits)
    I've checked Ebay and found a 2005 trance 3 that has 20" frame for $1000 (American), but the seller doesn't ship to Canada.
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 08-04-2006 at 10:55 AM.

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    "Limit" is kind of a subjective thing, but like I said, if you already have a history of breaking components, you might be past the limits of an XC bike. It sounds like you rode your Avalanche pretty hard, and you've got to anticipate riding your next bike just as hard or harder.

    The Stumpy is in the same category more or less as the Trance and Rush-all three are built for "epic" XC riding, meaning no serious drops or jumps. I think that all would do pretty well in technical terrain that wasn't too steep or didn't involve a lot of air. Once you get to that point, the geometry and handling of a bike can limit it almost as much as durability. The Stumpy has slightly more travel than the other two, but also has a crazy low BB...depending on what the terrain is like where you live, you might be bashing pedals all the time on a Stumpy.

    In your original post you mentioned wanting to do small drops and jumps. Small is subjective too, but I wouldn't trust an XC frame to regularly do drops taller than knee height on a regular basis, especially if you weigh much more than 160 or 180. On the other hand, a Prophet or something similar would do just fine.


    What is the riding like where you live? I guarantee you that if you live in an area with a lot of steep FR/DH terrain you'll be tempted to ride it after a while, which means that you'll need a heavier bike than the Trance. If you live in an area with mostly mellow XC terrain, a lighter bike will be okay. Just try to think ahead to what kind of riding you may be wanting to do in a couple years.

    My basic point is that if you've only got the money for one bike, and you wind up with something that limits your riding choices, you'll be seriously bummed. I rode a lightweight XC bike through most of college, and it was nothing but trouble. I broke and wore out a lot of components, beat myself up when I tried to ride challenging terrain, and never really raced XC enough to make the expense and hassle worthwhile. I missed out on doing road trips and group rides at places I really wanted to go because my bike couldn't really handle it. Now I ride an SC Heckler which does very well on all kinds of terrain. And if I ever wanted to race XC again, all I'd really have to do is swap tires and rebuild my fork for 4" travel. It wouldn't be as fast as a dedicated XC machine, but it would do the job.

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    ^^ Knee height? Ive been railing my Trek 6000 for 7 years in total.....broken nothing and im 190lbs. Ive dropped off and taken hits alot bigger than knee height. Not positive because this wasnt when the name craze was happening yet...but I think most would call it a XC bike...I dunno maybe its all mountain.
    8 is great

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHelix XC
    ^^ Knee height? Ive been railing my Trek 6000 for 7 years in total.....broken nothing and im 190lbs. Ive dropped off and taken hits alot bigger than knee height. Not positive because this wasnt when the name craze was happening yet...but I think most would call it a XC bike...I dunno maybe its all mountain.

    I've done some crazy riding on my XC hardtail too, wound up destroying both wheels and bending a droput after a while. No fun. It's possible to ride an XC bike on drops or whatever, it's possible to ride a tricycle, too. If you've already got the bike, then great. But would you go out and buy an XC hardtail for technical riding and drops when you could buy a bike with 5" or 6" travel?

  11. #11
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    for your budget, get something used. You could definately pick up a used trance for your budget, and that would be a perfect bike for what you want to do w/ it anyways.

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