Little background, age fitty seven, 6', 240, in shape, exercise which includes urban and mountain biking, local single track stuff but have done mammoth mountain front and back single track stuff for the last 6 years. Current set up is a Cannondale F5 hardtail. Our last trip to mammoth that bike beat the Sh*t of me. I was exhausted from the constant hammering after two runs, the F5 just could not keep up with my ever improving riding skills. Time to upgrade to an FS bike. Plenty of used 26" bikes on the market but had to try a 29 so rented a Santa Cruz Tallboy. WOW, okay so all the hype is on point about the 29'ers. I expected a difference but not a huge difference. Without trying cut 10 minutes off my time, I digress.
I am old school vintage Schwinn type mentality so dropping 5k on a bike is just out of the question. My top end budget is below 2k. My research and your opinion would be most helpful with the following choices.
I have compared several component packages of the bikes I am interested.
Kona Hei Hei 29, can get one for 1.5k plus tx
fork rock Shox XC 32tk reviews are mixed
rear Rock Shox Monarch RL. good reviews and seems to be on quite a bit of the lower priced models.
Crank x-5, so so
rear derailleur x-7, good
Avid Elixer 1, no nothing of these brakes other I think I would need to upgrade because of my Clyde status.
Airborne HG 29'er, best component package, 1,749, plus tax and shipping
front Rock Shox Reba RL 29 good reviews
rear Rock Shox Monarch RL
shifting front and back, x-7, good across the board
avid Elixer 3, better then 1? might still need to upgrade.
and giant anthem or trance used, x2 or better. 26", 2009, 2010
I have my eye on one in the 900.00 range with upgraded XT crank,
rear shock upgraded to fox RP2, Rear Derailleur x-9.
Honestly not quite sure which way to go...
oh and of course the 27.5 are hitting the market so there will be plenty of 26" FS and increase of 29'ers maybe..just confuses me more...SO...of the three choices...which way would you lean and why?..thanks.........
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