Best bang for buck bike under $1500- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best bang for buck bike under $1500

    Hey guys,

    I'm a newbie to mountain biking looking for a decent 29'er to tackle the trails with. I'm looking for a hardtail under $1500 (or a FS if one can be found under $1500) with well enough specs that i won't get the instant itch to upgrade everything off the bat. So far i've seen nice looking offerings like the Sette Razzo and the 2009 Motobecane Fantom 29PRO SL that fits the bill nicely. Are there any other bang-for-buck bikes out there that you guys feel I should be looking at?

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Performance Access. I'm building one from the frame up, but they have the complete bike in a couple different price/component ranges.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  3. #3
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    Salsa el mariachi complete

    1x9 etc. MSRP around 1500 semoleans.
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  4. #4
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    When I was casually browsing last year, I was really impressed with the Gary Fisher Paragon. Great value for the money. I found an 08 (previous model year, but new) for $1,499. The X-Cal is good, too.

  5. #5
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    You probably could do FS for under $1500 if you bought Voodoo Canzo 29er and took the parts from a BikesDirect 29er. Otherwise, it's a hardtail at that price.

  6. #6
    Noli Me Tangere
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    With carefully selected parts (mix of new and used if you dont mind it) you could put together a Niner EMD or Vassago Bandersnatch with decent/mid-level parts.

    If single speed is something you'd want to try, that could be done under $1000
    Annie are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fangtastic
    Motobecane Fantom 29PRO SL
    That pretty much nails it
    Still well under budget, tuck that money away and do a frame upgrade down the road when you feel an itch. The parts spec is as good or better than most other hardtail bikes in the $1500-2000 range.

    Wheel World's Kona Hei Hei 2-9 is tempting as well and has been on sale as low as about $1700. Just a hair over budget, but just as good of a parts spec and full suspension.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  8. #8
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    thanks for the suggestions, i'll look into these other bikes. That Kona hei hei is pretty tempting though...

  9. #9
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    Check your local Craigs list. With this economy, some people are dumping $3000 bikes for half of that. Hit or miss, but you might get a steal.
    Me to my riding buddy, "Want to ride this afternoon?"
    Him, "I can't. I have to chop this guys foot off at 2".

  10. #10
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    I highly reccomend the razzo, had one for about a month and rode it allmost every day...

    but the most bang for your buck is to spend $320 on this bike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm
    and the left over 1180 on handguns and whiskey!!!!!
    What mountain bike forum do pirates use? .....



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  11. #11
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    Do yourself a huge favor... check out the Redline D660.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DriveByBikeShooting
    I highly reccomend the razzo, had one for about a month and rode it allmost every day...

    but the most bang for your buck is to spend $320 on this bike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm
    and the left over 1180 on handguns and whiskey!!!!!
    I would totally get the orange...I am sucker for orange. If it came in Burnt Orange I would probably buy one right now.
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  13. #13
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    If your not opposed to Performace then check out some of their GT offerings.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  14. #14
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    Used or X-Cal

    I really love my GF X-Cal - purchased for less than $1,500.

    I have been riding since 1985 - road, track, cyclocross and mtb - going from a 26 inch XL GF Tassajara to a XL GF 29er was one of the best purchase/upgrades I ever made - right up there with moving from a Schwinn LeTour to a true 10 speed racing bike with tubular tires in 1985!

    Still, the absolute best bang for the buck sort of deal is probably going to be found on Ebay, Craiglsit or MTBR.

    David K In Indy

  15. #15
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    You need to take a close look at the new Felt Nine Comp

    Saw one at a local shop the other day - 1199 w/ hayes hydro discs, SRAM X7 shifting and the new 100mm Drake fork which felt pretty dang good...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    That pretty much nails it
    Still well under budget, tuck that money away and do a frame upgrade down the road when you feel an itch. The parts spec is as good or better than most other hardtail bikes in the $1500-2000 range.
    I actually got my Fantom 29PRO SL closer to $1000, and transferred about $500 of Ritchey carbon fiber parts to it from my old 400HT. I haven't looked back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by David K in Indy
    Still, the absolute best bang for the buck sort of deal is probably going to be found on Ebay, Craiglsit or MTBR.
    Just for the OP's reference. Bikes bought on Ebay, Craigslist, and even MTBR would have no warranty coverage from the manufacturer. Warranty's do not transfer if ownership changes, and most manufacturers warranty's specify the bikes and frame need to be bought from a authorized dealer to have a valid warranty.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  18. #18
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    My local friend has convinced me to go to my LBS and get the GF X-cal after looking at all your recommendations. Most likely i'll go with that decision. Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by DriveByBikeShooting
    I highly reccomend the razzo, had one for about a month and rode it allmost every day...

    but the most bang for your buck is to spend $320 on this bike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm
    and the left over 1180 on handguns and whiskey!!!!!
    I'm actually trying to sell some handguns to pay for this bike! I'll keep my whiskey though.

  19. #19
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    Gf Rig
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fangtastic
    I'm actually trying to sell some handguns to pay for this bike! I'll keep my whiskey though.
    thats awesome... what are you trying to sell? (purely out of interest, I have no intention of buying any handguns)
    What mountain bike forum do pirates use? .....



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  21. #21
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    right now looking to sell a springfield 1911 loaded and a ruger mark II target, my old bullseye guns. Gotta make room for new hobbies!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    I would totally get the orange...I am sucker for orange. If it came in Burnt Orange I would probably buy one right now.
    it does look pretty sweet... i like the no name on the downtube...



    Quote Originally Posted by fangtastic
    right now looking to sell a springfield 1911 loaded and a ruger mark II target, my old bullseye guns. Gotta make room for new hobbies!
    nice
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best bang for buck bike under 00-img_4317.jpeg  

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  23. #23
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    Marin Alpine 29er is a ton of bike for the money... and you'll have enough left over to buy lots of tires and stuff.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fangtastic
    2009 Motobecane Fantom 29PRO SL
    Should work well, but you would not regret busting you budget and getting their titanium frame. You will keep it for a while.

  25. #25
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    Moose had it right look at the Redline d660!

    Look on Craigslist and see how many Redline bikes you find for sale! Virtually none! Lots of the others however, especially Specialized! That has to say something for out of the box quality!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazerwolf
    Moose had it right look at the Redline d660!

    Look on Craigslist and see how many Redline bikes you find for sale! Virtually none! Lots of the others however, especially Specialized! That has to say something for out of the box quality!
    That just says more middle aged schmucks buy specialized and end up selling them in 4 months because they rode it once and their legs hurt!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazerwolf
    Moose had it right look at the Redline d660!

    Look on Craigslist and see how many Redline bikes you find for sale! Virtually none! Lots of the others however, especially Specialized! That has to say something for out of the box quality!
    Could be because no one actually buys Redline J/K
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  28. #28
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    Well Dankie you are probably right about that! But I'm an old man at 63 who bought a Monocg 29er last May and I ride 10 miles everyday! Went from 280lbs in May to 220lbs by Christmas and I have to say that getting into biking just may have saved my life!

    As for Dremer he is full of crap since Redline is one of the best bikes on the market! You can put them down if you like but I did a lot of research on all these 29er bikes and for the money they can't be beat! Your snobbish attitude just goes to show what you really know!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazerwolf
    Well Dankie you are probably right about that! But I'm an old man at 63 who bought a Monocg 29er last May and I ride 10 miles everyday! Went from 280lbs in May to 220lbs by Christmas and I have to say that getting into biking just may have saved my life!
    I'm one of the middle aged schmucks that bought a 4 month old "used" Specialized off the other middle aged schmuck! I havent lost all the weight yet, but it sure is fun!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dankie
    I'm one of the middle aged schmucks that bought a 4 month old "used" Specialized off the other middle aged schmuck! I havent lost all the weight yet, but it sure is fun!
    Right on Dankie! Stay with it you will! It's tough at first but with some will power you will surprise yourself! I started riding 1 mile the first week, then 2 miles for a week and then 3 and so on until I could ride 10 miles a day. Just street riding. At my age I didn't think that going off the side of a mountain was a good idea!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DriveByBikeShooting
    it does look pretty sweet... i like the no name on the downtube...




    nice
    Did you notice it also has disc mounts and disc hubs? Now that is a good deal.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  32. #32
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    I would look at the Fuji 29er SL reba fork, sram x-9 components. There frames come from the same factory that trek buys there frames from over seas. It is a great bang for the buck!!

  33. #33
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    Just a quick review of that bike Dremer just so you know that it stacks up just as good with any bike that you might be riding!

    Tester: Andrew Crumpler
    Age: 33
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 160lbs.
    Inseam: 33"

    Vital Stats
    Country of Origin: Taiwan
    Price: $1350
    Weight:26.6lbs. (w/out pedals)
    Sizes Available: 15", 17", 19" (tested), 21"
    Contact: www.redlinebicycles.com

    Redline, a company that originally made replacement swingarms for dirt bikes in the seventies, joined the bicycle world in 1974 with the first BMX tubular chromoly fork. There is a lot of nostalgia with the Redline name. As I tested this bike, I met a handful of people who reminisced about their childhood racing at the local BMX track, wishing their parents would buy them a Redline of their own. Over the years, Redline has introduced an eclectic mix of mountain bikes. The company puts a lot of thought and energy into making unique and well-designed bikes that won't break the budget. This year they are offering five 29ers and the D660, the crown jewel of the lineup. The D660 strays from the norm, as its designers incorporated a 1x9 set-up, a rarity in the cross country world. Having a 2x8 on my personal bike for a few years, I was more than happy to try a 1x9.

    As I tested this bike, I found the 1x9 design to have many advantages over a traditional 3x9 drivetrain. The obvious lack of a few parts, including two chainrings, front derailleur, shifter, and cables, shaves some weight off the bike (but you do gain back the weight of a bash-guard). With only one derailleur to adjust, the bike was easier to maintain and it felt more intuitive to ride, since I didn't have to worry about all the issues you can get from a triple-crank set up. The D660 provides simplicity and nine gears.

    Typically, it takes me a few weeks to get used to the handling of a new bike. I was surprised by how quickly I adapted to this one. To top it off, it was also my first real ride on a 29er. By the end of the first ride, I felt perfectly at home on the bike. The D660 climbs like a champ. There is no noticeable flex in the alloy frame as it helped to propel me upwards. The only time I had trouble on climbs was due to my over-confidence in the climbing ability of the bike—I would often sit down and relax too much on hills, leaving me to hustle, occasionally losing traction.

    In addition to climbing like a mountain goat, the D660 also revealed star qualities when it came to descents, aggressive riding, and traversing obstacles. The extra clearance the bash-guard provided gave room to make it over logs without getting hung up. Another positive feature of this bike is its stability. With a 43.2" wheelbase, the bike felt extremely stable yet it wasn't too long, which can make a bike sluggish and hard to handle on the corners. It was hard to put this bike into a sketchy situation and not be able to come out on top. On each ride, I found myself looking for more drops and stunts to explore. Oddly enough, even with the welcomed rigidity of the frame on the climbs, the frame didn't jar me too much on the descent. With the head-tube angle of 71° and the seat-tube angle of 73.5°, it didn't take much effort to keep my lines.

    When I heard Redline was making a 1x9, the first thought I had was, "How do they prevent the chain from falling off the chainring?" The device they used was a plastic chain-catcher mounted to the seat tube, one designed for a granny gear, not a middle ring. Because the catcher was about 10mm away from the chain (too far to be effective), there was no point in leaving it on, so I removed it. On my first ride, I dropped the chain on a rocky downhill. I needed a fix, as this was the start of a recurring problem, so I contacted Redline. They sent me an N-Gear Jump Stop. I bolted it on and it worked great—the chain only came off one more time during the test. (FYI: Redline is fixing this problem in future production.)

    In the end, I liked the Redline's simplicity—just jump on and slap the right, and only, shifter to shift. No more deep contemplation about what gear you are in, just a simple feeling that reminded me of a singlespeed. I managed to ride most of the hills without having to jump off and walk. The D660's SRAM 950 12-32t cassette made me man-up on those climbs. However, I think an 11-34t would have made me never want to run a front derailleur again on my bikes.

    Nonetheless, as I researched forums, I found other folks who had the same question I had floating around in my head: "Can this 1x9 be easily converted back to a 3x9 set-up?" Here are the results I have come up with. The frame has the cable stops for a front derailleur, so bolting one on is no problemo. The big issue, or cost, is replacing the crankset since it is a singlespeed-only crank without the ability to bolt on the beloved granny gear. So as far as a shopping list goes to change your 1x9 to a 3x9, you need a crankset, shifter, front derailleur, new/longer chain, and a long cage rear derailleur. Hopefully this information brings peace-of-mind to those with a fear of commitment to a 1x9 drivetrain.

    The parts selection is great. Nice quality items, such as the 100mm Reba fork, are a welcomed feature, and Redline's cartridge hubs add to the low-maintenance aspect. Durable WTB Laser Disc rims combined with double-butted stainless-steel spokes make for a strong wheelset. Avid BB-7 brakes with FR-5 levers and 160mm rotors did a great job stopping the big wheels. (Pedals are not included so sport your favorite pair.)

    I felt really good about this bike, despite the initial yet quickly resolved chain issues (thanks to Redline's famous customer service). It boasts advantages when it comes to cost and simplicity. Overall, I found the D660 to be a great do-it-all bike from riding on trails, to more daring stunts and racing. Kudos to Redline for keeping with tradition and creating a unique, innovative, and appealing 29er.

  34. #34
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    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...r+Bike+08.aspx

    Jamis Dakota for $959. You could upgrade a lot of components for $550 if you felt the need.

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