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  1. #1
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    Used 26" or newish 27.5?

    I have been looking for a new bike recently. I currently ride a 2008 Specialized Rockhopper that has a rigid Surly fork. Just got back into trails and the terrain here is rocky with tons of roots etc. and the rigid is hurting my hands a wrists just a bit more than I want.

    I was considering a few options - buying a bigger tire like 27.5, maybe even plus size if the fork can fit it and see how that helps. I know it might make climbing a little more difficult with wandering etc. but was hoping it might help absorb some of the bumps.

    Next I was considering buying a FS 26" used on pinkbike or craigslist. Seems that some of the higher end stuff from 2010-2013 are going well under $1000 nowadays since it seems 26" is being phased through.

    I was looking at purchasing a new Diamondback Mason Trail but they are currently out of stock - might end up just waiting.

    What would you do? Im 5'10 155lbs, with roughly 600-800 to spend. Not in a hurry so I can wait. I am more or less just gauging if going older 26" is a decent idea or not. I like the idea of a FS, I will have a chance to ride one this weekend with my buddy coming down and we are going to hit the trails.

  2. #2
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    It would totally depend on the bike.

    My FS is a Santa Cruz Blur LT2 which is probably worth about $1200 - $1500 with the components and dropper post and I would take it over most new 27.5 and 29ers at a bit more than double the price, maybe even higher.

    So, find some models of new or even used of both and see how far you can make your money go. As long as you have an idea of what you want and know your size and trust the condition of the bike and the seller, and realize it won't have any warranty, there no reason not to go used.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  3. #3
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    Sounds like you're asking several questions in one.

    26 or 27.5? They're about the same. All else being equal 26 will cost less since it's not en vogue. But the way it's worded, it almost sounds like you want to put 27.5 tires on a 26 rim. Just in case, I gotta say that's not possible. Also, putting fat tires on a narrow rim is going to be either impossible or a bad bad idea.

    If you're just talking about switching bikes/forks...

    Plus? That'll help take the edge off. Fat is almost like short travel suspension, but feels kinda like driving a truck (to me).

    FS bike? That'll help, too. My joints thank me for riding FS when I get home not feeling all beat up.

  4. #4
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    A suspension fork and good tires will go a long way. I have an '07 hopper that still handles trails nicely, just have to get out of the saddle more on rough descents.

  5. #5
    Make America Bike Again
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfl86 View Post
    I have been looking for a new bike recently. I currently ride a 2008 Specialized Rockhopper that has a rigid Surly fork. Just got back into trails and the terrain here is rocky with tons of roots etc. and the rigid is hurting my hands a wrists just a bit more than I want.

    I was considering a few options - buying a bigger tire like 27.5, maybe even plus size if the fork can fit it and see how that helps. I know it might make climbing a little more difficult with wandering etc. but was hoping it might help absorb some of the bumps.

    Next I was considering buying a FS 26" used on pinkbike or craigslist. Seems that some of the higher end stuff from 2010-2013 are going well under $1000 nowadays since it seems 26" is being phased through.

    I was looking at purchasing a new Diamondback Mason Trail but they are currently out of stock - might end up just waiting.

    What would you do? Im 5'10 155lbs, with roughly 600-800 to spend. Not in a hurry so I can wait. I am more or less just gauging if going older 26" is a decent idea or not. I like the idea of a FS, I will have a chance to ride one this weekend with my buddy coming down and we are going to hit the trails.

    That Diamondback Mason out of stock is a GREAT bike for the money, probably the best steal of all time at $659. I was seriously having my finger on the buy button for that bike but I know I need to 'ride out' my other two bikes first.

    First question is: do you like your current bike? As in do you like the frame? What happened to the Rock Shox 100mm fork? Sorry I'm biased but I don't like full suspension, wrong person to ask about that. Your current bike seems fine to do $600-800 in upgrades. You can add a lot of nice things for that money (at least nice to me lol).

    Personally I would not go down the rabbit hole of buying a + fork, + wheelset, etc. That can quickly get expensive. You can get a 27.5" air fork for $200 and do either standard 2.5 or 2.6 27.5" front tire with new wheel, or you can go 26+ tires on the same rims you have now!!! They may seem squishy but it can work. Then get some decent hydraulic brakes, like Shimano M8000 for $90 up front and Deore $60 rear, $150 total for brake upgrade.

    Air fork $200 plus $60 LBS labor
    27.5 standard tire (front only) and wheel $140, or 26+ tire front, stock back, current wheelset $70
    Hydraulic brake upgrade $150 (DIY)
    TOTAL $480-550

    I'm sure No Apathy is just thrilled at my recommendations...
    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: quod Belgiae, quod Celtae, et quod Aquitainae.

  6. #6
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    There's never been a better time to buy used 26'ers. it's a no brainer for anyone with a budget under 1k.

  7. #7
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    So, the bike has a new fork - surly rigid (forgot model it was swapped so long ago). I wasnt trying to put 27.5 tires on a 26 wheel, rather swap the 26 for a 27.5. At least that was my thinking. I guess the idea of plus sized tire wouldnt make sense as the rigid fork is not plus sized.

    As the whether or not I like the bike, I honestly dont have a preference. I ride it because it is what I currently have, and the wheels and frame seem to be holding up to my riding and trails in the area. I am certainly not opposed to doing the upgrades you mentioned, new 27.5 fork up front with new tire, in fact - that was what I was thinking in my initial post, I must have worded it incorrectly. I guess I might start pricing out a new front suspension and wheelset first as it seems much cheaper then going new.

    I bought the bike from Oleta River: it was used as a rental so it was beat up. Everything worked for over 2 years fine after LBS tune up. Then the RockShox seized up due to lack of care on my end. I ended up moving to the city and just replaced it with the rigid since I was using it to commute only. Kind of wish I kept it and rebuilt but it is what it is now...

    EDIT: Just found email receipt. Surly 1X1 cantilever only. Looks like its a 1 1/8th straight tube. Time to start looking.

    Only fork Im seeing currently is Rockshox 30 Silver TK coil. Guess the 1-1/8 straight tube is not common. Any idea how long it needs to be? I am new to the whole sizing, and had help from a buddy who moved when I got the rigid.

  8. #8
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    That Diamondback Mason out of stock is a GREAT bike for the money, probably the best steal of all time at $659. I was seriously having my finger on the buy button for that bike but I know I need to 'ride out' my other two bikes first.

    First question is: do you like your current bike? As in do you like the frame? What happened to the Rock Shox 100mm fork? Sorry I'm biased but I don't like full suspension, wrong person to ask about that. Your current bike seems fine to do $600-800 in upgrades. You can add a lot of nice things for that money (at least nice to me lol).

    Personally I would not go down the rabbit hole of buying a + fork, + wheelset, etc. That can quickly get expensive. You can get a 27.5" air fork for $200 and do either standard 2.5 or 2.6 27.5" front tire with new wheel, or you can go 26+ tires on the same rims you have now!!! They may seem squishy but it can work. Then get some decent hydraulic brakes, like Shimano M8000 for $90 up front and Deore $60 rear, $150 total for brake upgrade.

    Air fork $200 plus $60 LBS labor
    27.5 standard tire (front only) and wheel $140, or 26+ tire front, stock back, current wheelset $70
    Hydraulic brake upgrade $150 (DIY)
    TOTAL $480-550

    I'm sure No Apathy is just thrilled at my recommendations...
    As usual, smh at your..."advice". Sometimes I wonder if you think about what you write or just do stream of consciousness and hope something sticks?

    OP never even asked about brakes. And mix n match the front/rear? Why? It'll look janky as he11 for no real reason.

    No, don't spend $$$ to make a frankenbike that likely will ride like garbage. Waste of time and $$$. Plenty of already upgraded used bikes that OP already mentioned he was looking at.

    I also do actually think the discounted Mason is a good deal for what you get. If I were looking into plus hardtails that'd be at the top of my list.

    Not all bad this time.

  9. #9
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    Looks like I wandered off for lunch while OP was typing. I'd probably find a gently used 100mm fork or adapt a 27.5. I think the Manitou Markhor gets suggested for this or Suntour Raidon for new. Used - Fox 32, Reba, and lots of others.

  10. #10
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    Haha. Well its nice getting advice in every direction I guess to I am make my own decision? The thing about used 26" bikes, especially on pinkbike etc. is that I wont know anything about the bike, and cant see it first hand. Worries me a little. I am thinking of getting just a new fork for the mean time.

    I dont have disc brakes currently, but the bike seems to stop fine since I am relatively slow out there right now. Or just get a new 26 fork and use that in the mean time until the diamondback comes in stock again

    EDIT: not a new tire, a new fork.

  11. #11
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    Ohhh...if you're running rim brakes you'll most likely be looking at a used fork or a lot of money to switch brakes & wheel. I don't know of any new options.

  12. #12
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    Rim brakes i would keep that bike for street duty and find something else

  13. #13
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    Yea kind of figured that. Alrighty, Ill just putt a long in this, maybe practice on some pump trails a bit while saving up and keeping an eye out for a decent used or until/if the diamondback comes back in stock.

  14. #14
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    If you're gonna buy a 26, get a high end one. For example I bought a trek Fuel 98 which has all original parts and works perfectly

  15. #15
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    I just found a 2009 Giant Anthem x2 at a bike swap for $300. It was a $2500 bike new. Its still 26" but it has really great components and its still a huge upgrade from my hardtail. If you're going to get a newer bike Id try and find a used one and get a deal. A new bike for your price range won't be very good.

  16. #16
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    Don't buy anything until you have borrowed or rented a good full suspension bike. For bumpy trails, you will never go back to your old bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfl86 View Post

    What would you do?
    Cheap option;
    I'd throw some Surly Extraterrestrials 26x2.5 on there.
    IME on my Surly Troll, they work like a suspension.
    I use my bike for RTW type touring on all types of surfaces, so I like the multi-purpose strength/reliability aspect of the Surly steel frame.

    Test out some FS and see if you like that.

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