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  1. #1
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    Difference between 1k bikes and 1.5k bikes?

    First real mountain bike purchase, just trying to guage whether or not the extra 2-500 is worth it. I do not know much about components aside from SRAM and Shimano are considered bare min, and brakes etc I dont know much about either- tektro? I really want a 27.5+ bike and see theres quite a few for ~1k, and then the next step up is ~1400-1500. I am asking about the differences in these price points.

    I am 165 5"10 with a 30" inseam and ride mostly single trails with rocks and root systems throughout. No DH or racing events. I have bikepacked in the past with my oooold rockhopper that is currently setup with a rigid fork.

    Geometry - now this is where I see a lot of people suggesting to go test fit and ride a bike to see how it fits. That makes complete sense - but I just want to say: I am getting back into mountainbiking, and the ONLY bike I have ever used was this specialized rockhopper I bought 9 years ago. I do NOT have a preference either way, and being relatively new I think that I can get a bike and just adapt to it either way since I have no preference over on angle vs another etc.

    Some bikes I have been looking at are:
    ~1k
    Salsa Timberjack NX1
    Commencal Meta AM HT
    Mason Trail
    Marin Pine Mountain (odd sized QR axle?)

    Moving up a bit in price to the 1.3-1.5k range you get bike like this:
    Salsa Timberjack GX1
    Diamondback Mason 2
    Ghost Kato series

    From what I researched, air fork is the way to go. 1x drivetrain is nice. Hydraulic brake setup. Internal routed cables are a plus.

    Warranty I think is important, I noticed Salsa has a 3 year on aluminum frames, Commencal has 5, Diamondback has lifetime (though I heard they are going through a rough patch and might not be around much longer?).

    Anyways - does the term "you get what you pay for" imply more to bikes in that the extra 2-500 bucks is always better? I see big brands like Cannondale, Specialized, and Giant still offereing coil forks on the $1k hardtails which seems to bother me a bit. Let me know your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    A good fork is the most important part out of the upgrades you get for the extra dollars. Shimano and SRAM have lines of component starting at dirt-cheap/heavy to expensive and light. Ideally you'd want to get something middle of the road (Deore or SLX for Shimano) if you are trying to save money. Some people swear by 1x and other people swear at it. It really depends on the type of riding (how much climbing, how fast you want to go on flat trails, down hills, etc.). I have 1x on some bikes and 2x on others. Internally cables looks nice, but can be a pain to do maintenance on, depending on how they have done that. If you can afford it, spend a bit more now, but if you can't, buy the best bike you can afford and rid the crap out of it!

  3. #3
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    Welcome dude!

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the ones above but I'm a bit confused about the Diamondback Mason vs. Mason 2.

    I looked at the original Mason about a month ago because the small 15.5" frame version was on sale at Amazon for $659, now it's I think $742, still really, really good bike for the price. You probably want at least a 17" frame but at that price, hell, put the seat up, right? It's $550 less than the other sizes, most of which are sold out all over the net anyway.

    Like so many other things besides mountain biking, sometimes the 2nd offering is not quite as good as the first. This appears to be the case for the Mason 2. Besides the small frame one on sale for the Mason 1, I don't see much of a price difference in the two, they both look around $1300 each. The Mason 1 says both 1x10 and 1x11 on the same webpage, I assume it's 1x11. The main difference I see is that the Mason 1 has a real 27.5+ fork, which accepts 3.0 tires, and the Mason 2 doesn't, it has more of a standard fork that happens to have a higher fork arch that accepts up to a 2.8 tire. At least that's what I've seen from reading the descriptions. If someone here has the new Rock Shox Judy and they were able to fit a 3.0 in, please chime in, otherwise I'm going to say the Mason 1 would be the better pick, especially the small frame version.

    For the other bikes, I'm a beginner too, so others on here will be much better to advise on them. The Commencal Meta AM HT though has a 160mm fork that's going be a lot different than the Diamondback 120mm ones. Personally I think you would like 120mm better but I'd hate for you to buy that and then later became addicted to downhill and wish you had the 160mm fork. My opinion is have fun on a 120mm fork until you are good enough to go all-mountain. I'm years from even thinking of going all-mountain. I have way too much to learn about how to ride 120mm than to suddenly buy a 160mm fork and ride it correctly. So the Mason 1 looks great, if you can get it at a good price. Both versions are selling like hotcakes for good reason.
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  4. #4
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    My brother has been deciding between the Timberjack GX and NX builds so Iíll share what Iíve learned while talking him through it. I think they are fantastic looking and have an incredible value. Plus, of all the ones you mentioned, I think the Salsa has the best resale potential. It may not be something you need to consider but Iím just going to throw it out there.

    The drivetrain difference is in derailleur only as far as their website goes.

    Fork: GX has a Recon
    NX has Judy

    Wheels: GX has SunRingle Durocs, Iím guessing Salsas branded hubs which are convertible
    NX has WTB Scrapers on Formula hubs, not sure if they are convertible

    Brakes: GX has SRAM Levels
    NX has Tektros


    An interesting note, the GX version is a 12mm thru axle whereas the NX is a 141mm QR. I would pay $300 to NOT ride a QR ever again, imho.



    Good luck with your search.






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  5. #5
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    Imo..... Go with the cheaper bike if $1000-1500 is the budget. Buy a dropper seatpost if it doesn't come with one and get yourself some good MTB kit as opposed to spending on the slightly more expensive bike. shorts, shoes, hydration pack, maintenance supplies etc. That stuff will quickly add up.

    In a year or two sell the bike and move up to something in the $2000-3000 range that's when you'll notice a bigger improvement in parts.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfl86 View Post
    Some bikes I have been looking at are:
    ~1k
    Salsa Timberjack NX1
    Commencal Meta AM HT
    Mason Trail
    Marin Pine Mountain (odd sized QR axle?)

    Moving up a bit in price to the 1.3-1.5k range you get bike like this:
    Salsa Timberjack GX1
    Diamondback Mason 2
    Ghost Kato series

    From what I researched, air fork is the way to go. 1x drivetrain is nice. Hydraulic brake setup. Internal routed cables are a plus.

    Warranty I think is important, I noticed Salsa has a 3 year on aluminum frames, Commencal has 5, Diamondback has lifetime (though I heard they are going through a rough patch and might not be around much longer?).
    At 1500 you should consider the DB Catch 1 after 5% (SAVE5) discount and corporate discount. It is ready to ride and jam on with its 1x drivetrain, Yari/Monarch suspension, big plus Nobby Nic tires, etc etc. You've picked all hard tails, but really with the Catch 1 you get similar spec to the hard tails you've chosen. Also I haven't read anything on DB going under as they are huge.

    https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpo...3&postcount=51

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by castlefield View Post
    Imo..... Go with the cheaper bike if $1000-1500 is the budget. Buy a dropper seatpost if it doesn't come with one and get yourself some good MTB kit as opposed to spending on the slightly more expensive bike. shorts, shoes, hydration pack, maintenance supplies etc. That stuff will quickly add up.

    In a year or two sell the bike and move up to something in the $2000-3000 range that's when you'll notice a bigger improvement in parts.
    I concur. I've recently got back into the scene so to speak after about a 25 year hiatus! So I needed a bike. I set my budget and focused on finding one. Initially my bike budget was sub 1k. The more I learned about what had changed in mtbing in the past 25 years the more my budget increased. Before I knew it my budget increased to around $2300!

    I was of course comparing many things. Carbon vs. Alum vs. Steel, Full squish vs. HT, Plus vs. not plus(I guess, lol), 27.5 vs. 29er, entry level bike/componentry vs. upper end. Instead of narrowing my list it grew, quick!

    So after a lot more reading and researching I started to consider things outside of bike comparisons like maintenance costs, bike fit, warranty and bang for buck. Lifetime frame warranty was a must for me and the list dwindled fast! Carbon was completely out and Aluminum was going to be my frame material. Also, I decided to go with a HT not only because my local trails aren't that intense but also because they offer better bang for buck at what I consider the semi-entry level price point($1000-1500). To sum it up I also found myself eyeing a 27.5 plus bike.

    So a 27.5+ aluminum hardtail was what I was after. Enter the specialized fuse comp. At $1500 it certainly fell well within the budget, but when I sat on the bike I immediately knew it wasn't for me. I guess I prefer to be a tad upright and the fuse had me feeling like was I already on my way otb just sitting in the showroom! Due to fitment and spec the fuse was out. There were 2 bikes left on the list. The Kona Honzo and the Orbea Loki. On paper they matched up nicely with the Honzo having slightly shorter chain stays but a longer reach. Both offered lifetime frame warranties, boost spacing and internal cable routing. Honestly the Honzo was looking more and more like my next bike.

    The only problem was a pressfit BB. I really wanted threaded. Also, the Big Honzo was $1800 + tax and that was the lower speced model. To get a RS Revelation and sram brakes(which I really didn't want) add $500. In the end the Loki checked more of my boxes, and after sitting on a large at the dealer fitment was spot on.

    I pulled the trigger on a 2017 Loki. Being a last year's model I saved some serious coin and got a better speced bike. I ended up with the Loki H10 which is just one step down from Orbea's top speced Loki. Also, considering the msrp on this bike was $2400 and I got it for $1499 was HUGE!

    Everyone likes to save money of course, but the reason scoring a bike of that quality for that price was huge for me was because I still had money left over to buy things that not only I didn't have but really needed. Pedals, helmet, pack, multi-tool, tube, inflator kit, tools, some spare parts like a chain and chain pins. I never even thought of gear. Of course there's a lot more that I need and want, and with time I'll slowly add to my arsenal.

  8. #8
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    Great advice on here. Thanks a ton all.

    EDIT: Just realized that was the corp code, that changes things tremendously, Thank you! That Mason 2 seems like I might pull the trigger this week/weekend!

    I have looked at most of the bikes pretty seriously. The Timberjack is high on the list, and so is the Commencal.

    What I cant seem to understand is that a lot of the bigger brands use the 141 hub, but it seems Salsa, Trek Roscoe, Marin are all using it... Eventually it seems it will be available if so many companies start to use it.

    Commencal has 148x12 boost hub, Recon RL fork (150mm seems like a lot, but I dont have front suspension so I wouldnt know - cant you swap the screw to change length?) Tubeless ready (most are it seems), and the bike costs 1190 shipped, but I would have to build and wait until June to have it shipped out.

    Diamondback seems pretty simple to setup as it is mostly prebuilt.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    You probably want at least a 17" frame but at that price, hell, put the seat up, right? It's $550 less than the other sizes, most of which are sold out all over the net anyway.

    My opinion is have fun on a 120mm fork until you are good enough to go all-mountain. I'm years from even thinking of going all-mountain. I have way too much to learn about how to ride 120mm than to suddenly buy a 160mm fork and ride it correctly.
    Uh, no. Bikes are sized for a reason. An expensive, but poorly fit bike is going to ride worse than a cheaper properly fit bike (within reason, of course). Sure, you can try to switch bar/stem and that'll help some but it's never as good.

    Suspension travel doesn't dictate how "good" you have to be to ride a bike. Where you plan to ride should.

  10. #10
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    Demo bikes, ride friend's bikes, then when you have an idea of what you like, go on Pinkbike and buy a used bike.

    Buying new is for people who have more money than sense; or just gotta have the newest.

    For a new rider who doesn't know what they want or need, a little research and a used bike will always be your best bet.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Uh, no. Bikes are sized for a reason. An expensive, but poorly fit bike is going to ride worse than a cheaper properly fit bike (within reason, of course). Sure, you can try to switch bar/stem and that'll help some but it's never as good.
    Exactly. An ill fitting bike is no deal regardless of how good the price.

    The OP would not be well advised to buy a 15" frame at 5'-10" with a 30" inseam. The 30" inseam tells me he has a longish torso. Adding a long stem will make handling suck.

    Nurse Ben's advise on used is excellent. One can generally find an excellent used bike and save 60% off the new price.

  12. #12
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    I just went through the purchase choice between the 27.5+ Timberjack GX1 and NX. I chose the GX1 for the following reasons.

    -Recon is a bit burlier
    -GX rear derailleur
    -12MM TA alternator plates
    -Sun Ringle built Duroc wheelset. This Wheelset is equipped with Sun Ringle SRC hubs. An XD driver is available for the SRC hubs and I plan on an upgrade to GX Eagle in the near future. I was unable to verify if the NX/Formula hubs XD driver was available.
    -Color

  13. #13
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    I agree about buying a used bike. Any 1k to 1,5k new bike will not hold up to typical trail use. For the money get a two year old bike. You will end up with quality.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgebiker View Post
    I agree about buying a used bike. Any 1k to 1,5k new bike will not hold up to typical trail use. For the money get a two year old bike. You will end up with quality.
    What are your trails, Moab and Whistler???

    That much is enough for a decent trail hardtail pretty easily. FFS I got a cannondale with their SI crankset, AI offset and so on for that price. Entire bike was doing good even under my 275lbs on more than simple beginner trails.

    People need to quite thinking every trail is massive rocks and huge drops like they ride. Intense trails are actually a tint percentage of over trails.

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  15. #15
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    Buy used only if you know what to look for. Or take a buddy who has more experience. Be ready to replace some parts. Chain, cassette, pads rotors, and tires. You might be looking at $200 extra. More if suspension needs a service.

    There are deals to be had on the used market but you have to be cautious. Nothing worse than buying something and it has a ton of issues. It might put you off the sport. Look for bikes 2-3 years old max.

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