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  1. #1
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    Upgrading, need opinions

    Hey everyone I have a GT backwoods sport I have been riding almost 2 years which has been nice for me but I am getting very serious into mountain biking and looking to upgrade.

    I live in Dallas,TX and only plan to bike around this area, or other areas around Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas but most likely won't ever be in Utah or Colorado.

    I can't decide between full suspension or hard tail as this GT is the best bike I have owned so far, I am 5'8 145lbs looking to spend in the 1500 range but willing to go around 2k if it's worth it.

    One bike I was looking into was the FUJI SLM.

  2. #2
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    If you don't need any suspension support for what you ride now then stick to a good hardtail.


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  3. #3
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    There are many disciplines within mountain biking that you can get serious about. Which bikes that would constitute worthwhile upgrades depends on what type of riding you specifically want to get serious about.
    Do the math.

  4. #4
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    Most of the trails that I plan to ride would be under XC or trail riding, maybe a little bit of all mountain riding once my skills improve.

  5. #5
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    fwiw, unless buying used, a 1500 dollar HT is a far nicer bike than a 1500 dollar FS.
    In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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  6. #6
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    No doubt that if you remain on a HT, you can invest more value into upgrade components.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  7. #7
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    So I found a good deal on a previous year FUJI SLM 2.1, around 2300 so a little more than I was looking to spend but I will invest if it is worth the upgrade. Anybody have experience with one of these or something around that price? That would be my max I want to go.

  8. #8
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    It's difficult to offer an opinion on your pick not knowing what components or wheel size that you're looking at. Is that an all Shimano XT with Rockshox Reba fork?

    Isn't that offered with either a 29 or 27.5?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  9. #9
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    Its a 29 and you are correct Shimano XT and Rockshox reba fork

  10. #10
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    Go HT unless you really want FS. At your price point, you'll get a good HT but a less well-equipped FS. The bike you pick comes down to what suits you best. Ride and demo as many different bikes as you can. Pick bikes that have different geometry so you get a feel for what works best for you. The Fuji, for example, has a relatively steep head tube angle. Compare that to a bike with a slacker head angle. Also if you're spending for a carbon fiber frame, remember that not all carbon fiber is done the same way. Frame material can be tuned in different ways. Some frames will be super stiff and harsh-feeling. Ride the Fuji, then ride another company's model and see how the feel compares. Don't forget that buying a new bike is a ton of fun.

  11. #11
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    I believe your selection is a solid one. Solid components.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  14. #14
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    You can absolutely use a short travel FS bike around Dallas. Northshore is a great trail system for such a bike. You "can" ride a hardtail too, but there are a lot of short steep climbs and descents that really lend themselves to an FS bike that can give you a bunch more traction. You also live in a part of the country where XC races can be set up on very tame terrain, where a hardtail might be the best weapon, but you also have a lot of rocky trails down in Austin, extremely rocky trails outside of Austin (RTR, others) and some rocky riding down in San Antonio. If you plan to ride in the Ozarks, you'll have plenty of vertical to keep yourself interested and again an FS bike would be a good idea IMO. You just have to be realistic about the travel, more than 120mm is probably going to bog you down and not benefit you much and 100mm would be plenty IME there. Even though you can use a full on freeride/enduro bike at RTR, the descents are so short (or flat) that it hardly justifies owning that type of bike for the very limited amount of riding available, unless you plan to travel a lot farther, but even then I'd recommend something with 130mm+ of travel only if you plan to do this and have another shorter-travel bike to use for the majority of your riding.

    As others have said, at ~2000 you don't get a lot of value in an FS bike. By that, I mean the suspension is usually not nearly as capable as the higher end stuff, due to the innards in the shock and fork being rather simple and generally getting worse the faster you go. Usually you'll get solid components that can be ridden for a while, but the build will be pretty heavy, usually more than 30lbs. Not the end of the world, but making significant weight reductions will be expensive. You can think about this a few ways, one is to just take the hit and ride the bike as is and have fun. Another is to spend a little money on shock tuning, which can dramatically improve the ride. Another is to slowly upgrade the parts, which won't be cost-efficient, but it'll spread the cost out, which is important for some people. Yet another is to replace stuff as it breaks/wears out with higher end stuff. But beware, you can easily spend a lot more than if you had just bought the 4K FS bike in the first place.

    I'll be down there riding my pivot 429SL in June, and I have the option of bringing my fatbike, enduro bike, or the pivot.
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  15. #15
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    Hi everyone. So i'm also upgrading from a hardtail to a f.s. bike. i'm looking at getting an enduro or aggressive trail bike so I will not want to upgrade within a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BicyclistBob89 View Post
    Hi everyone. So i'm also upgrading from a hardtail to a f.s. bike. i'm looking at getting an enduro or aggressive trail bike so I will not want to upgrade within a few years.
    That part about getting a bike so you won't want to upgrade really made me laugh...you got to feed the beast.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BicyclistBob89 View Post
    i'm looking at getting an enduro or aggressive trail bike so I will not want to upgrade within a few years.

    Keep telling yourself that.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  18. #18
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    haha!Thanks cjsb. My hardtail is a Scott scale 770 and am looking to drop 3k(unless i fall for a carbon, which case 4k but if that happens i'll try and get a Yeti) on a new bike. I do a little road & cross with my CAADX but am selling both for the love of tough terrain & possibly bone braking wrecks. I'm going to test ride some 29s and 27.5's to figure out which i like more, on paper it seems to look like a 29er will be best since climbing is always half of the ride. Some bike brands i like are Santa Cruz, Canyon(the strive, once they finally get here & establish the US cost), & I get a good percentage off on Kona's(='s a few hundred $'s off) so i've looked at the Kona Process line. My largest concern is the quality of the bikes and if the frames will hold up to a good beating over time and not just brake at the first sight of tough terrain or drop/jump. I'm waiting for the 2018's to come out so I have all summer to ride a few different bikes.

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