1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Best FS bike for +/- $2k

    I'm sure everybody already fed up with this questions, but here we go again.
    I really want to buy a full suspension bike and have a budget of arround 2k. Unfortunately local bike shops don't have a rental programs and do not allow testing the bikes on trail, so i can't make an informed decision this way. I don't have a problem buying online and working on my own bike. My current bike is Gravity 29.1 with Reba RLT, XT brakes and some other minor upgrades. I guess I need XC or trail bike, something that would be efficient pedaling uphill.
    One of the bikes I'm looking at is
    SRAM XO, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2012 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles
    I really want something with 29 wheels and thru-axle.
    Is there any othe alternative to this bike with the same level of components? I guess I dont want to go any lower than SLX or an equivalent from sram.
    I'm looking at a new bike options right now.

  2. #2
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    No one can tell you what's the best bike for you.Read the reveiws here and in the mags.It would help if you told us what you ride now ,what you like/dislike about it. What kind of trails you ride .You might find a close out bike now for less with better components.There's a reveiw here on the home page of a Fantom.

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    Thanks Shakester.
    Hopgoblin looks really good except it has 9mm quick release instead of a thru-axle up front and I really dont like 9mm on my current bike, I want something more solid. As for Giants they almost fit my understanding of a perfect bike for me.

    rangeriderdave
    I live in San Diego (La Jolla area) and ride my local canyons, mission trails park, los penasquitos canyon. Will start going farther inland to more exiting trails. Basically I mostly ride single track, some times quite technical, with some 1-3 feet drops, small jumps, rocks and roots from time to time.

  5. #5
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    Trance 29er would be a good choice for you.

    As for the level of components, can you clarify because what I saw on your link only show front and rear derailleurs, and shifter in XO, the rest is ??? Can you tell the difference between SLX to XT to XTR beside the logo. This is not a trick question, it's just something to think about. It seems the only thing you saw on that link is XO 3x10 speed, and it's not even Sram drivetrain equipped bike

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Trance 29er would be a good choice for you.

    As for the level of components, can you clarify because what I saw on your link only show front and rear derailleurs, and shifter in XO, the rest is ??? Can you tell the difference between SLX to XT to XTR beside the logo. This is not a trick question, it's just something to think about.
    I'm think I can tell the difference between SLX and XTR and I would actually prefer SLX as more sturdy component (and cheaper to replace) and I dont race, SLX and XT dont think so most of the time.
    It seems the only thing you saw on that link is XO 3x10 speed, and it's not even Sram drivetrain equipped bike
    That is precisely why I started this thread so people might point out some obvious things that I did not notice cause I don't have a lot of experience yet.
    So what is your take on this Motobecane Fantom bike?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by El_Zilcho View Post
    I'm think I can tell the difference between SLX and XTR and I would actually prefer SLX as more sturdy component (and cheaper to replace) and I dont race, SLX and XT dont think so most of the time.

    That's a good start. I like your candid response. The difference between SLX and XT is pretty small too. One is cast and another is forged, stronger spring and different colors, as for the weight not too much.

    That is precisely why I started this thread so people might point out some obvious things that I did not notice cause I don't have a lot of experience yet.
    So what is your take on this Motobecane Fantom bike?
    You can buy a $1500 Giant Trance with entry level components and still out perform any level of components of BD's FS. The heart of any Full suspension bike is the frame and suspension designs not level of components. This is where big brands come out on top, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Cannondale. Stick with these brands on your first FS purchase, then if you want more exotic or small boutique brands then go for Ibis, Pivot, Turner, Yeti, Intense, Santa Cruz(though they are pretty big now), etc. It takes an experienced and well rounded person to buy a buy a bike from BD without becoming a sucker. Their ads are full of misleading statement, so if you can't catch the BS the first time you look, you are not ready.

    You are not too far from Wheelworld, only a few hours away, I'd call them up and check their inventory and take a drive down and get one of this.
    Giant Trance X 29er 2 - Wheel World Bike Shops - Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Bicycle Parts and Accessories. Parts & Bike Closeouts!
    Better yet check out your Giant Dealer in your area, buying from your lbs is a great for many reason, one you start a relationship with your local shop and my giant lbs offer lifetime tune up as well as discount on accessories. If you are new, it's a great thing.

    Another good online store is Titus. If you want value this is it. The rock star 29er carbon is awesome but the alu is just above your budget and it's worth going for it.Mountain

    Also do some research on Ibis mojo special blend, it used to be about $2500 now it's almost 3k dunno why but if you can find one at $2500 it's an awesome deal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    You can buy a $1500 Giant Trance with entry level components and still out perform any level of components of BD's FS. The heart of any Full suspension bike is the frame and suspension designs not level of components. This is where big brands come out on top, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Cannondale. Stick with these brands on your first FS purchase,

    As far as I know, Kinesis makes the frames for BD Fantoms. Kinesis also makes frames for Diamondback Bicycles, Felt Bicycles, GT Bicycles, Schwinn, Jamis, K2, Raleigh, Trek, Kross and Kona.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobaX View Post
    As far as I know, Kinesis makes the frames for BD Fantoms. Kinesis also makes frames for Diamondback Bicycles, Felt Bicycles, GT Bicycles, Schwinn, Jamis, K2, Raleigh, Trek, Kross and Kona.
    I think including Cannondale as well. What's that has to do with anything. Foxconn makes things for many brands you mean to tell me dell and hp is the same as apple because it comes from the same place??? What's your point. I know mike from bd says this all the time and follow by you don't know how things made. Ok tell me.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    I think including Cannondale as well. What's that has to do with anything. Foxconn makes things for many brands you mean to tell me dell and hp is the same as apple because it comes from the same place??? What's your point. I know mike from bd says this all the time and follow by you don't know how things made. Ok tell me.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk pro
    If you can provide facts on how BD frames are inferior to other brand name bikes, then I'll take your word for it. Until then, it's just fan boy talk. And no, posting threads of failed BD frames doesn't count -- cracked frames can happen to any brand of bikes too. But an actual test between the 2 frames in construction, durability, etc is ideal.

  11. #11
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    I know you said youd prefer a 29er..but so many people getting rid of very high quality component 26ers for 29ers and 650b that you could really get an amazing deal for $2k and under...
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobaX View Post
    If you can provide facts on how BD frames are inferior to other brand name bikes, then I'll take your word for it. Until then, it's just fan boy talk. And no, posting threads of failed BD frames doesn't count -- cracked frames can happen to any brand of bikes too. But an actual test between the 2 frames in construction, durability, etc is ideal.
    So one argument fail you are seeking another? Fine, but there's no need to go there. If we are talking about hardtail, how much does one have to do to F it up, but it's on the ad comparing a $2200 BD bike to a $6000 Trek and Fisher bike, it's just BS. Why don't you tell me how it's even on the possible. Follow the link that this OP posted then go to Trek and report back your finding. Don't do just one, do more check out and compare the titanium too. Tell me how BD love to educate people about Shimano DynaSys is so superior then spec the bike with FSA afterburner What suspension design are they using?

    BD is counting on low information fan boy like you to make the emotional argument for them. Until you learn, you are the last to spot the sucker in the room.

  13. #13
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    Re: Best FS bike for +/- $2k

    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    BD is counting on low information fan boy like you to make the emotional argument for them. Until you learn, you are the last to spot the sucker in the room.
    Strongly disagree. Bd has some older style frame designs, but offer higher end components including suspension for the same price tier. For a new bikes, airborne and bd offer some of the best value bikes. This is not a low information emotional argument.

  14. #14
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    There are indeed some great deals on 2013 stock 26", as suggested above.

    I paid the equivelent of $2,000 (down from nearer $2,800) in the UK for my new 2013 Kona Tanuki Deluxe, and l think it is a superb bike for the money.
    However as it is subjective others will disagree, so there is no point in me recommending you look at this bike.
    Oh, wait a minute, l just did. But there is no point really.

  15. #15
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    Check out Scott Spark also. great bikes but like the others said try them out.

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    Paying full retail for a high end mountain bike is silly.
    For $2k, you shouldn't have much problem finding a bike in good shape that sold for double that a couple years ago, if not more.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    Strongly disagree. Bd has some older style frame designs, but offer higher end components including suspension for the same price tier. For a new bikes, airborne and bd offer some of the best value bikes. This is not a low information emotional argument.
    ...but offer higher end components including suspension for the same price tier?

    What higher end components for the same price tier? Please explain how you arrive at that unemotional conclusion? One that based on useful information. Let me save you sometime as I don't feel like setting you up. I do enjoy your response on many posts on the forum and I respect your opinion.

    If I'm selling a bike with a XTR cable housing can I advertise it as a XTR equipped bike? How about shifters and derailleurs? No. You should have crankset, shifter, f/r der, and cassette, ok one of the component may be one level down like XT, but you should have at least crankset. Shimano and Sram probably spend more on R&D than FSA sales on Afterburner crankset to ensure the system works at optimum level. Why mix and match the drivetrain? OK no problem may be they know the secret recipe, but then why keep shouting out about how good Sram and Shimano drivetrain.

    Heck there are more words about how the components would be good on a bike and how it compares trek components spec than advertising their own products??? Run.

    For new bikes, I like many brands including Airborne, and Sette. Airborne was quite an awesome place to buy when I started, great looking ti bikes at great price, now they are offering pretty good package. Sette is another respectable one.

    I'm quite confidence if I'm buying a bike from these 2 and it said it has sram it would have sram, every parts model are listed. I have not visit both site for a while now but I'm quite confidence that they are still doing honest practice. There's no reason to compare their bikes to expensive. Unfortunately, BikeDirect is not.

    I posted 2 links for op of Giant and Titus in his budget range, tell me how the bike compare to BD bike he listed.

  18. #18
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    Kona Hei Hei. Because I have one and it's awesome. For the sake of disclosure, I paid nowhere close to retail. Though I'm not sure if the build on the $2000ish one is that good.

    On a semi-tangent, without looking at the logos, I can't tell the difference between Deore and XTR. Let alone SLX and XT. But I can tell something about the skill of the mechanic who did the install and the owner who does (or doesn't) maintain the bike.

    <-- this guy gets the wrong message from demo days by component manufacturers. And that commercial where they replace speaker wires with coat hangers.

    I have to say that it took me a while to ride a FS I liked. I wouldn't touch a FS catalog bike with a 10' pole.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    ...but offer higher end components including suspension for the same price tier?
    ....
    I posted 2 links for op of Giant and Titus in his budget range, tell me how the bike compare to BD bike he listed.
    I would be really curious to know it too. My current bike is from BD and I enjoy it and don't regret buying it, but in my mind geometry is even more important for a FS bike so if anybody can comment on it that would be great.

  20. #20
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    Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who can actually tell the difference between certain components and that doesn't mean the more expensive the better which is why my bike is mismatched with XT and SLX. But you really have to feel that bike. I swapped a cheapie Sram chain (which was pretty much new) that I had to a Durace and its a world of difference in terms of how smooth it feels and shifts.

    In the end, its not about how much you spend on a bike, its how much you like riding it. Thats the most important thing. If you enjoy a gentle cruise around the park, then a bike from Target will make you happy. Its more about a rider's skill than what kind of components are on a bike, but I will say that a nicer suspension will make help.

  21. #21
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    Best FS bike for +/- $2k

    Quote Originally Posted by El_Zilcho View Post
    I would be really curious to know it too. My current bike is from BD and I enjoy it and don't regret buying it, but in my mind geometry is even more important for a FS bike so if anybody can comment on it that would be great.

    This is pretty much for you op.

    Nowadays any big brands FS designs are very competitive, most are great but to stay in business they all have to be plush, climb well and descend with confidence and control. Like I said most are great.

    Forget the HT, I said already it's difficult to screw one up. Lets talk FS. Few things to considers are

    Intended use; XC, trail riding, AM, FR, DH; same design in different category the suspension act differently. One design may fit your riding style better than another.

    Suspension designs; there are many type of designs, 4-bar, horst-link, SinglePivot, Modified SinglePivot, many types of dual mini links like DW-Link, Maestro, VPP, switch link, Monolink, iDrive, and more.

    Geometry; get one that fits your riding style; when it comes to FS, one shown on paper and one while you are on it are different number so keep that in mind. For example, Trek ABP, are mod-SinglePivot with concentric drop out, the bottom bracket move up and down quite a bit when pedaling and for sure after sag. DW-Link not as much, the bottom bracket stay the same after sag while pedaling, that's why the designer can incorporate lower bb height.

    Components; let's just focus on the top 3 levels SLX, XT, XTR they perform almost identical on flats and small hills, where XTR shine is the very rare time you shift under load in the middle of the steep hill. It's not as common but you sure appreciate the performance when you need it. XTR also has stiffer spring say on the shifter/der, and pedals, as well as more pleasing aesthetic. Weight usually not a big saving.

    Geometry; many people likes to look and compare geometry on paper. It's not always yield the same outcome. Some design react different than the other. For example Trek ABP a modified SinglePivot with concentric dropout the bottom bracket move up an down quite a bit while riding and at sag unlike DW Link which stay the same after sag, so it feels much better grabbing the pedal out of corners as well as the designer can offer the bike that has lower bb for that delicious corner-like-it's-on-rail trait.

    New/used and complete bike/build; if you have the tools and know-how buying used frame and parts and build it would be very rewarding, if not I already covered the lbs. if you allow some time to find the best possible deal it's even better, but if you need it now then you pay premium. It's about being frugal not cheap.

    Now that out of the way lets go back to suspension designs. Big companies can afford and spend a lot of time and money on finding the best possible linkage placement, shock/spring rate and ratio to give you the best possible ride at reasonable price. Another advantage is they also work with suspension companies(fox and rockshox) to customize specific valving to the specific model. Smaller companies can do it too but reasonable or cheap are not in the vocabulary. It's important I'll give you a few example.

    DW Links design is featured in 3 brands at the same travel 140mm ibis mojo, pivot mach5, and turner 5spot they are all great yet none ride identical to another. All hit the holy grail principle of how suspension should act. Plush at the top, smooth transition to the bottomless feeling middle range and great ramp up at the bottom stroke.

    Santa Cruz did similar thing with their SinglePivot designs by mirroring the VPP suspension movement. It's done thru carefully position the linkage to optimize the shock behavior mimicking the ride of vpp, kudos Santa Cruz.

    A companies like motobecane do not licensed any of the big brands' suspension design. Their moto is similar to their marketing" if it looks similar, it must be the same" if their bike has SRAM xo, it must be the same as any bike with xo. What do you think? PricePoint has the '13 xtr groupo on sale for $1800( that's a convenience packaging aka plastic wrapped no box) how can bd sell a xtr bike for $2200, where do they cut corners or how much xtr do you get?

    It's such an insult to intelligent and make suckers out of many noobs on the daily basis. If they sell you a titanium bike for 2,000 and tell you it's the same as the fancy-pansy titanium bikes at $7000 how would most people has the ability to compare that. Unfortunately for them I can. I have not one but several Ti bikes from Seven Cycles, Moots, Merlin, ibis, Litespeed to compare against their bs. As well as all kinds of FS designs and brands. I also make it a mission to swap the ride with bd bikes' rider usually on the noobs ride. I get to learn about their ride and vice versa.

    Buy the components level you want there's no rule. A noob can spend $8000 on a bike or $300. It's all good don't let the moral police tell you any difference. If you want to dress up your bike with xx, xo, xtr do it if it's in your budget.

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  22. #22
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    Thank you for such an informative post, loads or useful info for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El_Zilcho View Post
    Thank you for such an informative post, loads or useful info for me.
    I hope it helps. Worry and research about the frame not so much components. You'd get blind side by what's not the bike not the actual bike. There's absolutely no difference in performance between SLX, XT, and XTR if you have good shifting skills, which includes plan ahead and don't shift under load, you can shift on the climb and not put load on the chain by lighten the pedaling pressure for a few revolutions.

    The main difference between Shimano and sram; Shimano is a 2:1 ratio system and sram now is 1:1 or close to it. Another is Shimano is very quiet up or down, very smooth sneaking to your buddy and launch an attack can be done stealthily. SRAM has very distinct click up or down but you'd never miss the sound or clicking feel of any shift. I like both systems for all the reasons I just mentioned. And one more thing if you are not racing don't buy the suspension with lockout. You arep paying for the suspension in money and weight use it. Learn to ride efficiently with fully open suspension. Many if not most riders don't use lockout.

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    I have demoed the Trance 27.5 and the geometry is really really nice. Suspension was really nice as well. That bike felt like it could tackle anything. It felt a little heavy though (it was base Trance). I'd really like the Trance's geo in a lighter less travel XC package. The Anthem's geo didn't feel as awesome, more neutral.

    Really u need to figure out if u want a Trail or XC bike first though, then select.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post

    Really u need to figure out if u want a Trail or XC bike first though, then select.
    That is the hardest part for me. As I understand XC bike gonna have about 100mm of travel and be lighter than trail bike with about 130mm of travel. What are the other differences?
    There are couple of 2013 specialized epic 29ers on ebay and local craigslist withing my price range. As I understand its a pure XC bike. How does it compare to giant trance?

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