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  1. #1
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    First trail bike

    I am in the market for my first trail/all mountain FS bike. I am currently riding an Airborne Goblin HT. I am looking in the 2k price range. What are some suggestions for a bike? I know very little on FS bikes, but keep reading and learning more. Thanks for the advice.


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  2. #2
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    How much travel do you want/need? 29, 27.5?

  3. #3
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    Have a look at the Marin Hawk Hill and Rift Zone 2. Also, slightly above budget, the Canyon Spectral and YT Jeffsy.

    Things you might look for, Boost spacing front and rear (may yield freedom to upgrade wheels), 1x drivetrain (DeOre 1x10, NX1x11 and up). Also, 67ish degree headtube angle is somewhat indicative of "modern" trail geometry.

    You'll see some closeouts/last-years/prior years models without those features, and some may be a great deal based on other features, but those are kind of the latest and greatest.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    How much travel do you want/need? 29, 27.5?
    I ride 29er now. I am 64 210lbs. I need to find a lbs the has a 27.5 to demo


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    I'm in the same boat as you are. I'm currently riding a HT, and considering the move to FS, but I'm decidedly a bit of a cheapskate, so I'm not willing to drop big money on something I'm not sure I'll really want longterm yet.

    In that price range, I think you're looking at a fair number of direct sales models (companies that don't have a physical store/you can't really find at your local bike shop). This lets them sell things for cheaper, so they represent good value.

    Here are some of the models I've been looking into.

    YT Jeffsey
    Diamondback Release
    Canyon Spectral
    Specialized Stumpjumper ST

    Most are at or just over the price bracket you have listed, and include most of the things called out by others as desirable (1x drivetrain, boost spacing, trail geometry, etc).

    Good luck on the hunt .

  6. #6
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    The Giant Trance usually has a pretty good option just a little over $2K. You might include that in your search. Lots of shops are blowing out 2018 models right now, so a little haste might find you a little nicer bike that you initially set out to find.

  7. #7
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    Again, Marin.

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    If you want your new bike right now, the Marin seems a great option. We're moving into the deals section of the year though so if you can wait a bit, you can potentially get a good deal on leftover models from this year and a GREAT deal on leftover 2017s.

    Two years ago, I bought a 2015 a Santa Cruz Bronson C S build (retail 4799 I think) for under your budget. I got lucky, but the point is that if you're flexible and decisive (and given how good almost all bikes are now, it's not as risky), you can find some more expensive bikes creeping into your range.

  9. #9
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    Tsali is in your area. Flowy with speed not tech.
    I'd look at a 2019 Scott Spark. Compatible with 29x2.6 tires.

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  11. #11
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    This is what I picked up back in July. added a dropper post to it. It is a great bike.

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    There are a lot of items I'd prioritize over having a 1x drivetrain, there is absolutely no huge advantage to having a 1x and it will make absolutely zero difference in your riding out on the trails. If a 2x comes with a better fork/shock, components, brakes, etc. I'd take it in a heartbeat.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burkeman View Post
    There are a lot of items I'd prioritize over having a 1x drivetrain, there is absolutely no huge advantage to having a 1x and it will make absolutely zero difference in your riding out on the trails. If a 2x comes with a better fork/shock, components, brakes, etc. I'd take it in a heartbeat.
    While I definitely agree with your conclusion (other things, like fork and brakes, make a much bigger difference), I disagree that there is NO ADVANTAGE to 1x. They work better, period. You also lose a bit of range vs a 2x and certainly a 3x. But they work a lot better than anything with a front derailleur.

    Edit, I guess I don't disagree really at all. 1x is not a huge advantage. It does tend to work better than 2x and especially 3x setups, but sometimes those big cogs create their own difficulties, depending on your setup.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    While I definitely agree with your conclusion (other things, like fork and brakes, make a much bigger difference), I disagree that there is NO ADVANTAGE to 1x. They work better, period. You also lose a bit of range vs a 2x and certainly a 3x. But they work a lot better than anything with a front derailleur.

    Edit, I guess I don't disagree really at all. 1x is not a huge advantage. It does tend to work better than 2x and especially 3x setups, but sometimes those big cogs create their own difficulties, depending on your setup.
    I'm still a new rider, so everyone take that for what its worth.

    I currently ride a 3x10 setup (older bike), and the only issue I have is occasionally dropping a chain. So, if the 1x "narrow wide" chainrings help prevent that, that would be an improvement to me. As mentioned, you'd lose some range though (potentially, but that may or may not be a big deal, depending on your area/riding style/fitness).

    However, newer bikes more frequently also have clutch deraileurs, which would help with dropping chains as well.

    But I agree, other things are more important to me than the number of front chainrings .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    I'm still a new rider, so everyone take that for what its worth.

    I currently ride a 3x10 setup (older bike), and the only issue I have is occasionally dropping a chain. So, if the 1x "narrow wide" chainrings help prevent that, that would be an improvement to me. As mentioned, you'd lose some range though (potentially, but that may or may not be a big deal, depending on your area/riding style/fitness).

    However, newer bikes more frequently also have clutch deraileurs, which would help with dropping chains as well.

    But I agree, other things are more important to me than the number of front chainrings .
    Just for edification, it isn't the narrow-wide that helps so much as the fact that a 1x setup only has to tension the chain over the range of the cassette, not the cassette plus the three front rings. As a practical matter, that means there is more length of chain (or loop if you prefer) under tension in a 3x (or 2x) than 1x. And a clutched RD reduces that further. And that means that there is less chain to flap around and do weird stuff when you are bouncing around on the trail, like come off, or get sucked into your spokes or front derailleur or take the paint off your chainstays.

    You need the narrow-wide chain ring because there isn't anything up front (like the derailleur or a chain guide) to keep the chain on the front chainring when things get hairy (there's still enough slop for it to come off the front ring, but not near as much as a front/rear set up, they just happen to have a built in chainguide with the FD).

    Also, front derailleurs are the devil's own infernal contraption.

    All that said, no, it's not that big a deal.

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