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  1. #1
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    shopping for a new bike

    need some shopping advice for a new bike.

    i know this stuff changes year to year and i've been shopping on and off for a while now. it's damn near impossible to compare tho since hardly anyone publishes built weights. i don't necessarily want the lightest, but i've had bikes that felt like anchors and i really want to avoid that this time around.

    so what are some good starting point bikes i should look at? budget is <3500 and i'd prefer new, altho i'm fine with a used bike from the last year or two. open to 29 or 27.5

    location is southern cal, so lots of rutted fireroads, loose over hardpack, and some rocky/dusty singletrack. fwiw, i have to climb anything i want to descend around here, mostly straight up then straight down, not too much flowy xc stuff. i try to get in a couple lifted days each year. altho i like the occasional jumps and drops, i'm absolutely horrible at them and could just as easily hit a rock and tip over. i prefer speed to stunts, and i weigh 2bills. is that enduro, xc, trail? i dunno what the label is but i guess that's me.

    i've done the whole upgrade thing before and this time i'd rather just buy and ride. if anything, i may upgrade wheels down the road if i really like the bike, but i'm not interested in another ground-up build.

    tia

  2. #2
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    Not sure what kind of components you're willing to accept for that $3500 price tag and I'll just stick with new options to keep it simple but based on the reviews (both magazine and actual "regular Joe" owners here on MTBR), I'd look at the new Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 and whatever Trek Fuel is in that price range. In 2016, the aluminum Trek Fuel won "Bike of the Year" and was $3600 I believe. People still rate about that bike, albeit the higher end model. Another bike to consider though it's probably more bike that you need for the rides you're describing in the Santa Cruz Hightower. The lower end build, like the Tallboy 3, is $3599 at Competitive Cyclist. I'd guess they are going to be 30 lbs though for that priced model but they both supposedly climb very well. There's a guy that lives down by me in San Diego that says it's the best bike he's ever owned and the list of bikes he's owner is VERY impressive. He does 5K climbing days on it so that's saying something. Plus at least you would have a carbon frame to upgrade on as necessary.

    Of c course if I was in your shoes, the pst thing I'd do is go over to the Buy/Sell section on Pinkbike and see what kind of lightly used gems are out there in your price range. I've bought and sold 5-6 bikes on there with no issues, regrets or hassles.
    2017 Intense Primer
    2016 Santa Cruz 5010
    2014 Pivot Mach 6
    2011 Niner Air 9 (de facto road bike)

  3. #3
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    You might want to look at the Santa Cruz Highball 29 Carbon C, about 24lbs, well rounded components. Climbs well. If I were looking in your price range for a fast bike, this would be on my short list.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Not sure what kind of components you're willing to accept for that $3500 price tag and I'll just stick with new options to keep it simple but based on the reviews (both magazine and actual "regular Joe" owners here on MTBR), I'd look at the new Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 and whatever Trek Fuel is in that price range. In 2016, the aluminum Trek Fuel won "Bike of the Year" and was $3600 I believe. People still rate about that bike, albeit the higher end model. Another bike to consider though it's probably more bike that you need for the rides you're describing in the Santa Cruz Hightower. The lower end build, like the Tallboy 3, is $3599 at Competitive Cyclist. I'd guess they are going to be 30 lbs though for that priced model but they both supposedly climb very well. There's a guy that lives down by me in San Diego that says it's the best bike he's ever owned and the list of bikes he's owner is VERY impressive. He does 5K climbing days on it so that's saying something. Plus at least you would have a carbon frame to upgrade on as necessary.

    Of c course if I was in your shoes, the pst thing I'd do is go over to the Buy/Sell section on Pinkbike and see what kind of lightly used gems are out there in your price range. I've bought and sold 5-6 bikes on there with no issues, regrets or hassles.

    I liked the Hightower for strait up and down, it too "stable" for the trails I ride...but it sounds like the OP is in more open areas, would be a great bike.

    I'd look on pink bike and see if someone is selling a better spec bike in your the pice range. A 6000.00 bike could be had for 3500 -4000.

  5. #5
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    oops, should mention, i wanted fs.
    not interested in going back to hardtails

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