Are video reviews of upgraded models relevant to lower spec'd bike?
I've been trying to find some information about the bikes in my price range ($2-3k) and one of the places I'm looking are video reviews (the bike bible being one). One of the bikes on my radar is the Kona Process 134... but the review video I found is for the 134DL (which is out of my budget).
How relevant are reviews for an upgraded model when trying to at least get some info on the same but lower spec'd model?
Another example... while out of my price range right now (but a possibility if I'm willing to wait out the whole season), is the Bronson. That review is for the carbon frame (and if I remember right was for the fully upgraded bike). I'd be interested in the Al frame (due to price)... my intuition is that a review of a carbon frame is not all that useful for trying get some ride characteristics for the frame made from aluminium.
I think frame material is way overrated. Especially for full-suspension mountain bikes.
When I ride a mountain bike, I ride an assemblage of parts. The things that are active all the time are the frame, suspension components, and tires. Other stuff too, I suppose, but that's not what I want to talk about.
If you look at a hardtail, as long as they have about the same geometry, a bunch of hardtails will ride pretty much the same. They might respond differently to bumps depending on the fork, but you can separate that out and still draw some useful conclusions.
Some FS frames pedal like ass, even now, without the fancy damper. That means that if you go to a lower-end model, it might ride fairly differently.
If you have a bike now, take your time and demo the bikes you're interested in. If the demo bike has a compression damper and the model in your price range doesn't, turn it off and see what happens. Can you live with it? What about rebound damping?
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx
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