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  1. #1
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    I have narrowed it down to three bikes..your opinion?

    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.........

  2. #2
    In the rear with the beer
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    I'd say got with the best component/fork setup you can get for you $$. All 3 of those frames are fine. Any chance you can ride any of these beforehand? Each frame may have a different feel that you may or may not like. Are you buying these new or used??
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling View Post
    I'd say got with the best component/fork setup you can get for you $$. All 3 of those frames are fine. Any chance you can ride any of these beforehand? Each frame may have a different feel that you may or may not like. Are you buying these new or used??
    The Kona I can ride, the Airborne no, both would be new. The used market I would test ride before buying locally. If on Ebay I would focus on bikes I have already tested.

  4. #4
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    2k would get you a specialized camber, also seen Rocky Mountain elements around that for 13' year models. Great time of year to buy if you find your size.

  5. #5
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    I bought my Tallboy DXC at $2000 out the door with tax and everything after haggling. I'm 5'11/255 naked and it's held up good for me, bought last year and has about 60 rides on it. I upgraded the brakes from the Elixr 1 to the x9 trail 4 piston brakes, and it makes a huge difference on big boy stopping power.

  6. #6
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    I tabled the notion of the 29/er, re-evaluated how much I ride and where. Based on that the deals were on the 26 FS bikes. Took a bit of time but picked up a trance X1 with xt components and Fox 140mm front and RP 23 rear for much less than I would have paid for a 29.

  7. #7
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    Congrats. Sounds like a nice bike.

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