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  1. #1
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    Which AM FS bike for $4-6k?

    G'day. I have recently moved to Canmore in the Canadian Rockies and about to purchase my first Mountain Bike (up until now I have been a road bike guy). Anyway, I am 6'3" and about 220 lbs. I expect to do a lot of full day trail riding with pretty decent descents given the local terrain. I will also do a few resort trips each summer as well. I am looking to spend $4000-6000 and really want a solid AM FS bike with the best bang for th buck. In chatting to folks a number have recommended the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc or Blur or maybe even the Bronson...others have said that the Trek Remedy or Ibis Mojo would do the trick. Keen to get thoughts of those on this forum.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Do demo days and rent some of your finalists. Rocky mountain has some good bikes and the Ibis Ripley would be a good bike with good resale value if you outgrow it.

  3. #3
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    Yeti SB66 Carbon. Race build is $5600.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  4. #4
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    I would seriously consider a Knolly Chilcotin as well.

  5. #5
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    Which Rocky Mountain bikes would you suggest compare to the Santa Cruz TB LTc? What's good about the IBIS Ripley?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Do demo days and rent some of your finalists. Rocky mountain has some good bikes and the Ibis Ripley would be a good bike with good resale value if you outgrow it.
    Which Rocky Mountain bikes would you suggest compare to the Santa Cruz TB LTc? What's good about the IBIS Ripley?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Yeti SB66 Carbon. Race build is $5600.
    How does the Yeti SB66 C compare to the Santa Cruz TB LTc? Have you seen any comparisons? BTW I like your quote!

  8. #8
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    You should consider posting this in the All-mountain forum and having a look around there to see what everyone is riding and recommending in the existing threads.

    $4-6k to spend is a good problem to have.
    But if you close your eyes it becomes so easy to see

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't even bother posting this question at this point in your search, seriously. The responses you will get are almost 100% biased as most people will recommend the bikes that they currently own or the one they are lusting for.

    At your height, a 29er could be a great fit for you. I'm 5'8 so have not ridden one yet and cannot comment on how they handle hard AM riding. The "new thing" is 27.5/650B and companies are releasing them in spades. The nice thing about 650B is that they will have the newest trends in geometry and suspension design. More wheel and tire options are popping up for them on a daily basis. Then, you have the trusty 26er. There are no shortages of 5-6 inch AM bikes in 26 wheels. Lots to choose from.

    But, dropping that much money on a bike, especially for a new rider, demands some saddle time. If I were in your shoes I would make sure that I tried all 3 wheel sizes and a few different suspension designs. There is a noticeable difference between mini-link bikes (Santa Cruz, Giant, Banshee, DW Link bikes like the Ibis, Turner & Pivot), Horst Link (Specialized, Titus, Norco; Knolly has a "version" of this that people love) and the classic single pivot designs (Yeti 575, Trek, Ventana).

    The brands that are considered to be at the top of the pack might differ slightly from person to person but the same 10 brands would make most people's lists for their newest &/or iconic bikes and designs. That being said, read up on those brands' bikes, visit their forums and see what people have been saying and get a short list of bikes. Then go demo those bikes... best to find a few shops that carry multipe brands that you're looking at because they usually apply your demo costs $$ to the bike purchase. Fewer shops is cheaper for you.

    Look at the last 20 pages on the AM Bike Thread to see what is popular. Some brands and potential bikes to research/demo:

    Specialized: look at their 29er & 26er Stumpy & Enduro
    Niner, for 29 inch only
    Santa Cruz: Tall Boy LT, Blur LT, Bronson, Nomad
    Knolly: Chilli & Endo
    Ibis: Mojo, can be 26 or 27.5 on same bike
    Turner: get rides on a DW Link bike in all three wheel sizes
    Banshee bikes: Rune and Spitfire

    I'm sure I am missing a few brands and someone's feelings are going to get hurt... You could have a hard time finding a bad bike in this bunch. Just need to find out what's best FOR YOU.

  10. #10
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    I'm assuming alot, but with you being new to Mtn, and with a roadie background, I'd recommend a Knolly Endorphin - all day trail bike w/ enough capabilities to do dh. Wouldn't recommend it for big park riding (ie, whistler dh) - rent a DH rig, and see how you like that type of riding before sinking the coin or making concessions on the bike. Can build an Endo for around 28lbs - figure +4-5 for similar Chilcotin.

  11. #11
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    Mnigro is pretty much spot on. Right now you don't really know exactly what kind of bike you are looking for (beyond it being "AM") and have the money to get pretty much anything you want. So the possible suggestions are nearly limitless, and will mostly come down to who bothers to answer this thread.

    Do like mnigro suggets and look over the last many pages of the AM board to see what folks are riding and loving. That should narrow down your list to about 35.

    In the price range you are looking at there are too many great options to count, it really comes down to rider preference. Honestly, this being your first mtb, you can research this all you want, and it will still be somewhat of a crap-shoot if you get the right one for YOU, though being your first bike you will likely like any of them.

    A few things I would try to work out:

    First: Wheel size. At least figure out if you prefer 26 or 29, then maybe consider 650b as an alternative.

    Second, ride some bikes ranging from what is considered "trail" (bikes in the 120-140mm travel range) and more "AM" bikes with over 140mm, and see if you have a preference there. You mention resort trips, which really benefits from a slack stout bike with lots of travel, but that might be more than you want to rest of the time. I don't think the Tallboy and the Blur are really meant for Lift Served DH, but I guess it depends on the place. They would certainly not be what I would want at a place like Snowshoe, WV, but they would be great for all day epic rides in big mountains.

    But if you just want to know what I would buy with that kind of money for what you are describing, the objects of my lust are currently the SC Bronsen and the Turner Burner (both 650b). That is subject to change by this time next month.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #12
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    I just read thru my post again and realized that your head is probably spinning.

    To make is a bit more simple for this stage in the game, try and demo both a 26 and a 29 BY THE SAME BRAND and do this with 2 different companies. For example, the Blur LT and Tallboy LT, maybe Stumpy 26 and 29. That should give you the ability to isolate variables and get a good flavor for wheel size and maybe suspension design. Santa Cruz and Specialized should feel different in how the suspension reacts to both DH and climbing.

    If you can ID your ideal wheel size, step one is complete. You can then begin splitting hairs with regards to suspension and geometry differences.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    I just read thru my post again and realized that your head is probably spinning.

    To make is a bit more simple for this stage in the game, try and demo both a 26 and a 29 BY THE SAME BRAND and do this with 2 different companies. For example, the Blur LT and Tallboy LT, maybe Stumpy 26 and 29. That should give you the ability to isolate variables and get a good flavor for wheel size and maybe suspension design. Santa Cruz and Specialized should feel different in how the suspension reacts to both DH and climbing.

    If you can ID your ideal wheel size, step one is complete. You can then begin splitting hairs with regards to suspension and geometry differences.
    Yep my head is spinning! Thanks for the advise though...it makes sense. I will try as many bikes before I make a decision and see what I can come up with. Reality is that if I can get away with spending money then I will. After all I don't want to be the guy on the trails that has 'all of the gear but no idea'. I might start off with a lower spec bike and then work my way up to a better one later.

    Thanks for all of the advise guys!

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