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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    First Full Suspension All Mountain - Help Please

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm 6'1, 225, and like to ride aggressive. Most of my biking in my younger years was BMX, and have been riding a Gary Fisher hardtail for the past 6 years. It is time for me to get an All-In-One full suspension. I want to also do some downhill at my local ski resort. I don't want a bike that is a pain to peddle uphill either. I'm not going to be doing double blacks, but I do like to go fast. My LBS pointed me towards the Spec Enduro Evo, and I reallllllly like the bike. It retails for $4700, and they will sell it for $3500. Seems like a great deal.

    The obvious question is "Do I like the ride of the bike"? Two problems w/ that. How can I really tell on the paved parking lot, and this is my first full suspension so they're all going to feel great.

    I've been looking at this and the SC Nomad. VPP vs FSR? Am I even going down the right path for bikes? Should I just get a cheaper dedicated DH bike, and keep my hardtail for XC?

    I'm so damn confused, and I just want to ride. Any help would be greatly appeciated.

  2. #2
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    People do shuttle days on their Enduros, and trail ride their Nomads.

    What bikes does your ski resort rent? You can probably learn a lot if you can try a couple of different ones. Maybe try riding some of the XC trails while you're at it, and see how palatable it is.

    You're really going to have to get the bike on dirt to get a good sense of whether it's right for you or not. You can get a little idea of how it is doing stuff like riding up a steep hill near the shop or down a stairset, but it's hard to imagine a way to fake trail chatter, berms, etc. It's a tough problem - the shop can't lend you the bike to take off-road because once it's dirty and especially if you wipe out on it, they can't really sell it as new to the next person. They may not get any more '11 Enduros in this year, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    What type of riding will you be doing most of the time?

    Since you have a bike already, you could take your time looking for your dream bike. I would advise taking the time to find demo rides on actual trails. Even better if you can try it on trails you ride regularly.

    I'm not one to say 'get this bike' or 'get that bike'. I'll just relate my experience. My first ten of years of riding were spent on both hardtail and then a full suspension XC type bikes. In 2006, I bought a Giant Reign frame, built it up, and rode it for a few years. Built up a 26" Kona XC hardtail about 3 years ago to compliment the FS rig. Felt like I was set on bikes to own for a while. . . . .

    Then one evening, a friend had a hardtail 29er out on a ride that was my size. I asked if I could swing a leg over since it was rare to get a chance to ride one that was an XL on my home trails. I had tried a few here and there in parking lots that were too small and couldn't really tell much of anything about them. This one, I rode up about a quarter of a mile, and then descended about a mile. That was it. There was no doubt that this was much better for me. Suddenly I was nipping the heels of riders that had always run off and hid from me.

    FF to now. I sold the Kona shortly thereafter and I have ridden the Reign twice in the past 22 months. The message here isn't necessarily that 29ers are better, it's that it takes time on the trail to know for sure. You might make a guess and come up aces, or it could be a pair of threes.

    As for the big wheels, for me (@ 6'5"), they have been a game changer. I ride them all ove the place, including dome fairly rocky terrain. I am not a wild man on the trails, but I trust the 4" travel FS 29er I am riding currently on just about any trail I have the guts or inclination to ride including the lift served trails I have ridden. As long as I have the tires on it that are warranted for the terrain I am on, I trust it more than I do my Giant Reign with 6" travel and it's plenty good (big understatement) for the local XC stuff too.

    You might be different. Everybody has their preferences, but you won't really know what works for you in what situation until you try it where it will live (or someplace similar). You'll hear all sorts of this-n-that about various bikes, and types of bikes. There will be grains of truth to much of it, but the proof is in the pudding.

    Lots of people love their Enduros and Nomads. Others have them, and sell them after riding something else they find more to their liking. Who is right? Neither and both I wouldn't likely buy either one at this point, but I know riders that have them and can ride circles around me (though they could probably do that on all kinds of bikes). And they love their bikes.

    My take: A 6" travel bike is not going to be as efficient pedaling up a hill. The suspension will have more 'monkey motion', the tires will be heavier and slower rolling, and the bike itself will be set up more for descending prowess than climbing. That may be fine with you, or it could irk the *s* out of you. It will be nice for most riders on the way down in a way your old hardtail can only dream of. Only you can decide if that is the bike of YOUR dreams (not my dreams). . . . . . by riding one for yourself.

    Maybe an event like this would be good for you :

    http://outerbike.com/

    I will say this. I would be more inclined to invest in a bike I will spend 90% or more of my time riding on terrain that bike was designed for. If I ride lift served only a couple times a year, I would not invest more in that bike than the one I ride all the time.

    Do your due diligence, take your time, be honest about who you are and get the bike that suits you, not what others ride and recommend because it's what they like for themselves.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm 6'1, 225, and like to ride aggressive. Most of my biking in my younger years was BMX, and have been riding a Gary Fisher hardtail for the past 6 years. It is time for me to get an All-In-One full suspension. I want to also do some downhill at my local ski resort. I don't want a bike that is a pain to peddle uphill either. I'm not going to be doing double blacks, but I do like to go fast. My LBS pointed me towards the Spec Enduro Evo, and I reallllllly like the bike. It retails for $4700, and they will sell it for $3500. Seems like a great deal.

    The obvious question is "Do I like the ride of the bike"? Two problems w/ that. How can I really tell on the paved parking lot, and this is my first full suspension so they're all going to feel great.

    I've been looking at this and the SC Nomad. VPP vs FSR? Am I even going down the right path for bikes? Should I just get a cheaper dedicated DH bike, and keep my hardtail for XC?

    I'm so damn confused, and I just want to ride. Any help would be greatly appeciated.
    Mate
    If you are going to spend that amount of money then there will not be such a thing as a dud bike [within reason].
    If you really dont know much about or do not want to look in to the various suspension platforms dont sweat it - ALL modern designs pedal well.
    Any of the new bikes will feel awesome, particularly if you have nothing to compare them against
    You really need to decide on the type of riding that will take priority for you - if you want to hit s**t hard and fast with gravity in mind but still pedal up hill with some degree then 6 - 7 inches of travel is whee I would look.

    For the record, I have a 2011 Giant Reign X0 - it pedals pretty damn well for a long travel bike, not as well as my 5 inch Trance but certainly well enough to get me to the top of everything.
    Of course climbing ability has less to do with the bike and a LOT to do with the engine

    I would also like to point out that in my opinion Specialized are over priced for what they are.
    Have a look at the new Giants - Awesome value and fantastic specs levels

  5. #5
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    All I know is several guys in the group I ride with have Enduros (not sure of the specific model) and they all love theirs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    What type of riding will you be doing most of the time?

    Since you have a bike already, you could take your time looking for your dream bike. I would advise taking the time to find demo rides on actual trails. Even better if you can try it on trails you ride regularly.

    I'm not one to say 'get this bike' or 'get that bike'. I'll just relate my experience. My first ten of years of riding were spent on both hardtail and then a full suspension XC type bikes. In 2006, I bought a Giant Reign frame, built it up, and rode it for a few years. Built up a 26" Kona XC hardtail about 3 years ago to compliment the FS rig. Felt like I was set on bikes to own for a while. . . . .

    Then one evening, a friend had a hardtail 29er out on a ride that was my size. I asked if I could swing a leg over since it was rare to get a chance to ride one that was an XL on my home trails. I had tried a few here and there in parking lots that were too small and couldn't really tell much of anything about them. This one, I rode up about a quarter of a mile, and then descended about a mile. That was it. There was no doubt that this was much better for me. Suddenly I was nipping the heels of riders that had always run off and hid from me.

    FF to now. I sold the Kona shortly thereafter and I have ridden the Reign twice in the past 22 months. The message here isn't necessarily that 29ers are better, it's that it takes time on the trail to know for sure. You might make a guess and come up aces, or it could be a pair of threes.

    As for the big wheels, for me (@ 6'5"), they have been a game changer. I ride them all ove the place, including dome fairly rocky terrain. I am not a wild man on the trails, but I trust the 4" travel FS 29er I am riding currently on just about any trail I have the guts or inclination to ride including the lift served trails I have ridden. As long as I have the tires on it that are warranted for the terrain I am on, I trust it more than I do my Giant Reign with 6" travel and it's plenty good (big understatement) for the local XC stuff too.

    You might be different. Everybody has their preferences, but you won't really know what works for you in what situation until you try it where it will live (or someplace similar). You'll hear all sorts of this-n-that about various bikes, and types of bikes. There will be grains of truth to much of it, but the proof is in the pudding.

    Lots of people love their Enduros and Nomads. Others have them, and sell them after riding something else they find more to their liking. Who is right? Neither and both I wouldn't likely buy either one at this point, but I know riders that have them and can ride circles around me (though they could probably do that on all kinds of bikes). And they love their bikes.

    My take: A 6" travel bike is not going to be as efficient pedaling up a hill. The suspension will have more 'monkey motion', the tires will be heavier and slower rolling, and the bike itself will be set up more for descending prowess than climbing. That may be fine with you, or it could irk the *s* out of you. It will be nice for most riders on the way down in a way your old hardtail can only dream of. Only you can decide if that is the bike of YOUR dreams (not my dreams). . . . . . by riding one for yourself.

    Maybe an event like this would be good for you :



    I will say this. I would be more inclined to invest in a bike I will spend 90% or more of my time riding on terrain that bike was designed for. If I ride lift served only a couple times a year, I would not invest more in that bike than the one I ride all the time.

    Do your due diligence, take your time, be honest about who you are and get the bike that suits you, not what others ride and recommend because it's what they like for themselves.
    Wow. I think this is the best advice that I've ever read about bikes. Thanks so much! Sometimes at bike shops, you just get so emotional over something that you loose track of what your even there for.

    I wish they had a outerbike on the east coast!

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much to everyone for there advice!!!

    I still don't know what to do, but I think that I'm going to just take my time. The rough part is that the bike is about $1200 off the msrp, and I know it won't last long.

  8. #8
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    Man!!! Outerbike looks sooooo freaking awesome! Such a brilliant idea.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    Wow. I think this is the best advice that I've ever read about bikes. Thanks so much! Sometimes at bike shops, you just get so emotional over something that you loose track of what your even there for.

    I wish they had a outerbike on the east coast!
    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    Thanks so much to everyone for there advice!!!

    I still don't know what to do, but I think that I'm going to just take my time. The rough part is that the bike is about $1200 off the msrp, and I know it won't last long.
    Yeah. . . . that was rational jeffj speaking previously and it's easy for me to blow that sunshine your way. There is a chance you're going to love that Enduro and regret not buying it. I'm sitting here now going, "*****, this guy might miss out on a great deal on the bike of his dreams."

    So, the good news is that if you wait and make sure you've selected well, you'll be more confident you've selected a good bike for you. That's important. But there is also the chance that you'll miss out on a great deal on what turns out to have been a bike that you may end up selecting when all the smoke clears anyway and have to pay more.

    All I can say is that once you have ridden enough different bikes on the trail to be sure, you may have to be really patient to again find a great deal on whatever that turns out to be, but chances are good more good deals will find you. But there is some risk both ways . The bad news is that you could end up waiting a while to get another good deal.

    Honestly, although 25% off is a pretty good discount, you should be able to find similar deals at some point down the road and if not, it's better to have paid a little more than to select the wrong bike. I hope it works out well for you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    Man!!! Outerbike looks sooooo freaking awesome! Such a brilliant idea.
    Expensive though, I can't justify going even though it's really close for me because I happen to have a bike I absolutely love. You know, flights to SLC aren't that expensive if it means getting a bike you love...

    Test riding is tough, you have to have a pretty high level of familarity with bikes to be able to pull off a really good parking lot test ride. I always make sure the suspension is set properly before I ever set off pedaling, that's huge. Ride it fast, ride it slow, try and work through obsticles or run things over. Hit some potholes, try to avoid potholes. Your goal is to simulate riding as closely as you can. Feel how the bike handles when you're going fast and going slow. What does the suspension do when you hit that pothole? How does the bike fit when you're trying to steer around things? How did the bike feel when you rode down the stairs or off a curb or over a parking block? You don't have much experience with FS bikes, so realize that there's only so much you can glean off of a test ride when your baseline is vastly different from the bike you are testing. Try out other bikes too, give them a cross comparison. Maybe you're more of a Stumpjumper guy or maybe you'd really like that SX Trail, or a Trek Scratch, or ...who knows, you won't know unless you try them out.

    So what trails exactly are you riding? I see that you're from not far from where I grew up and I have a small amount of familarity with where you're riding. Are you talking about going to Seven Springs once in a while? Snowshoe? I have a friend in PGH that rides an Enduro among his stable of bikes and it slayed it when he came to visit and we went to Moab.

    You have a bike, presuming you like that bike and it is suitable for normal XC riding then you should be focusing on what your current bike can't do that you want to do. I was in the same boat, wanting a do-it-all bigger travel bike for the occasional trips to the resorts but I needed something I could ride everywhere. And like jeffj alluded to, I had to make the call that a 7" travel Yeti ASR7 was a bike I could deal with in the areas it was not ideal in, namely uphills. Turns out that for me that was a fantastic call because that bike slays every trail it touches.

    When it comes to lift served, it's good but not great; just like any non-DH bike will be. DH riding is such a different world that a dedicated bike is the best way to go if it's going to be something you do frequently. For a couple trips per season your AM bike will be fine, but more than that you'll appreciate the proper tool for the job.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  11. #11
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    ?? Jamis XAM II. At Jensonusa for under2K?? Just a thought.

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    just warning you, i was very good BMX biker, and recently started mountain biking a lot.

    started with hardtail and then went to full suspension

    a full suspension is actually much harder to jump on. yeah the landings are softer, but the bike fights you on the ramp. it tries to sap the energy. there is a big learning curve.

    get on the full suspension bike in parking lot and try do a hop or pop a big wheelie, its a lot harder than on a hard tail, and that is a lot harder than on a bmx.

    full suspension is a lot easier for very rocky terrain / very uneven terrain, and makes landings on jumps much more forgiving / easier.

  13. #13
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    I was about to buy a FS bike but after reading all the above post (which are very informative) I'm not so sure. Lot of good info given.

  14. #14
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    2nd PS I'm a big guy too, and I have tried a few 29 inch bikes now. I dont like them at all.

    con

    1) higher center of gravity
    2) not as nimble
    3) less acceleration for sudden very steep stuff.

    and number 4 which is my gut feeling but I could be wrong

    4) I think the 29 inch rims are going to be more likely to bend or break

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Yeah. . . . that was rational jeffj speaking previously and it's easy for me to blow that sunshine your way. There is a chance you're going to love that Enduro and regret not buying it. I'm sitting here now going, "*****, this guy might miss out on a great deal on the bike of his dreams."

    So, the good news is that if you wait and make sure you've selected well, you'll be more confident you've selected a good bike for you. That's important. But there is also the chance that you'll miss out on a great deal on what turns out to have been a bike that you may end up selecting when all the smoke clears anyway and have to pay more.

    All I can say is that once you have ridden enough different bikes on the trail to be sure, you may have to be really patient to again find a great deal on whatever that turns out to be, but chances are good more good deals will find you. But there is some risk both ways . The bad news is that you could end up waiting a while to get another good deal.

    Honestly, although 25% off is a pretty good discount, you should be able to find similar deals at some point down the road and if not, it's better to have paid a little more than to select the wrong bike. I hope it works out well for you.
    That's funny that you say "rational jeff". I've been going through "rational Ed", and "just buy the damn bike Ed" since I was at the LBS last week. This wouldn't really be an issue if I knew that bike wasn't such a good deal. That pressure of it may be sold tomorrow is enough to make me want to pull the trigger, but rational ed says hold out and test more bikes. ugh... I just don't want to pay $$$ on the "wrong" bike either. Patience I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Expensive though, I can't justify going even though it's really close for me because I happen to have a bike I absolutely love. You know, flights to SLC aren't that expensive if it means getting a bike you love...

    Test riding is tough, you have to have a pretty high level of familarity with bikes to be able to pull off a really good parking lot test ride. I always make sure the suspension is set properly before I ever set off pedaling, that's huge. Ride it fast, ride it slow, try and work through obsticles or run things over. Hit some potholes, try to avoid potholes. Your goal is to simulate riding as closely as you can. Feel how the bike handles when you're going fast and going slow. What does the suspension do when you hit that pothole? How does the bike fit when you're trying to steer around things? How did the bike feel when you rode down the stairs or off a curb or over a parking block? You don't have much experience with FS bikes, so realize that there's only so much you can glean off of a test ride when your baseline is vastly different from the bike you are testing. Try out other bikes too, give them a cross comparison. Maybe you're more of a Stumpjumper guy or maybe you'd really like that SX Trail, or a Trek Scratch, or ...who knows, you won't know unless you try them out.

    So what trails exactly are you riding? I see that you're from not far from where I grew up and I have a small amount of familarity with where you're riding. Are you talking about going to Seven Springs once in a while? Snowshoe? I have a friend in PGH that rides an Enduro among his stable of bikes and it slayed it when he came to visit and we went to Moab.

    You have a bike, presuming you like that bike and it is suitable for normal XC riding then you should be focusing on what your current bike can't do that you want to do. I was in the same boat, wanting a do-it-all bigger travel bike for the occasional trips to the resorts but I needed something I could ride everywhere. And like jeffj alluded to, I had to make the call that a 7" travel Yeti ASR7 was a bike I could deal with in the areas it was not ideal in, namely uphills. Turns out that for me that was a fantastic call because that bike slays every trail it touches.

    When it comes to lift served, it's good but not great; just like any non-DH bike will be. DH riding is such a different world that a dedicated bike is the best way to go if it's going to be something you do frequently. For a couple trips per season your AM bike will be fine, but more than that you'll appreciate the proper tool for the job.
    Great advice again!!! Thank you so much!!! I thought about just getting a DH bike for 7springs, Wisp, and Snowshoe but I don't think that I want to go that route. I want something that I can peddle up the hill too, and I'm not going to be racing or going down the double blacks.

    I ride all around trails in Western PA, some technical and some not. An "All Mountain" SUV like bike is what I'm looking for. A do-it-all, takes a lickin' and keeps on tickn' MTB for my "slender" frame. I need a beefy bike to abuse.

    Also, I'm wheeling and dealing w/ my wife to get a new bike. One of her stipulations was to sell my current bike, so it's gone. If that's what it takes, by by old bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    ?? Jamis XAM II. At Jensonusa for under2K?? Just a thought.
    I would like to take one for a test ride. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    2nd PS I'm a big guy too, and I have tried a few 29 inch bikes now. I dont like them at all.

    con

    1) higher center of gravity
    2) not as nimble
    3) less acceleration for sudden very steep stuff.

    and number 4 which is my gut feeling but I could be wrong

    4) I think the 29 inch rims are going to be more likely to bend or break
    Yeah, I'm looking at a 26 inch for sure. I feel like a can man-handle it better than a 29er.

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    Ed,

    I am 6' 6" tall and 275 - 280 lbs.

    I have a 2011 Enduro Expert (coil shocks are hard to come by when you're over 260).

    I think you would absolutely love that Enduro. It's an awesome bike that you can ride anywhere with a smile on your face.

    Here's mine:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Full Suspension All Mountain - Help Please-img_6117.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by spec d View Post
    Ed,

    I have a 2011 Enduro Expert (coil shocks are hard to come by when you're over 260).
    Thanks! Coil shocks for big guys???? I thought it would be the other way around. I'm 225, do you think that I'd have an issue?

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    I just bought the new issue of Mountain Bike Action, and a Pivot Firebird is in it. Anybody have one or know about them???

    Thanks again,
    Ed

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    The price the LBS is giving you is probably because the 2012 enduro evo is $2750 MSRP.

    http://wildslobs.com/

    This will give you a chance to wait for the right bike.

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    The Enduro is a bad machine at that price point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrniceguy42 View Post
    The price the LBS is giving you is probably because the 2012 enduro evo is $2750 MSRP.

    http://wildslobs.com/

    This will give you a chance to wait for the right bike.
    Good find! I'm guessing that the 2012 models will have a Enduro Evo, and Enduro Expert Evo. The Expert Evo will probably be spec'd w/ components much like the 2011, which MSRPs at $4700. Wildslobs.com has the 2012 Expert Evo at $4300, which is a $300 price drop. This makes me wonder WHY???

    At any rate, I need to grab some patience and ride tons of different bikes until I find the ONE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    At any rate, I need to grab some patience and ride tons of different bikes until I find the ONE.
    Well, find "a" one anyway. You'll never find the perfect bike, every day and every trail feels different so you'll have to pick a bike at some point. I think the best thing you can do is narrow down exactly what type or travel range of bike you are looking for by test riding then do your best to pick one that you like.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Well, find "a" one anyway. You'll never find the perfect bike, every day and every trail feels different so you'll have to pick a bike at some point. I think the best thing you can do is narrow down exactly what type or travel range of bike you are looking for by test riding then do your best to pick one that you like.
    Yup, you are correct about the "a" bike. I'm looking at the 150-160mm travel range. I want something that I can take everywhere. I'm not racing XC, and I'm not flying off big DH drops. Just somewhere in between. Something that I can fly down the hill, and is not brutal to pedal up w/ either.

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    Going to test some bikes after work today. Trek Remedy, Spec Enduro, and hopefully SC Nomad.

    Pretty Excited.

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    Good stuff. My riding buddy rides an Enduro nad loves it. I ride a Norco and took a spin around the lot on his. I really liked the way it rode and can see why it is so popular.

    Like others said, find a bike that fits your riding style, budget and and body and you are there. Plenty of options if you remove the first factor.

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