Got bit by the full-suspension bug, what do you think about this BikesDirect bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Got bit by the full-suspension bug, what do you think about this BikesDirect bike?

    For years I've mostly done paved/gravel surface riding, but as my kids get older I find myself going to the local mountain bike park. My current bike is a specialized cross-trail which works okay for green flow trails but obviously sucks for drops/jumps or more serious terrain. I'm not ready to spend $1500-$2500 on an amazing FS bike. At the same time, I've been keeping my eye on BikesDirect and most people seem to think it's a great option. I'm reasonably mechanically inclined, can follow instructions and need a good "project" these days. However, I know jack all about components so hoping this group can help.

    Here are two options in the price range I was hoping to spend. What are your thoughts? What should I be looking for? Are there upgrades I should make right away?

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...sion-bikes.htm

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...suspension.htm

  2. #2
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    Semi-active suspension design (lots of pedal feedback) with flexy rear end and poor components. Would not spend money on it. This is the case where you are better off spending that $$ on a nicer hardtail bike, to get the inherently better parts that comes on it. Looking at the fork on suntour's site, it doesn't appear to have a real damper, meaning the fork will get very harsh/uncontrolled as you pick up speed.

    $1500-2500 is not what you pay for an "amazing FS bike", it's a bottom-of-the-line acceptable FS bike with parts and components that generally work.

    To be quite blunt, that bike is a pile of crap. That's not my elitist attitude, that's a general assessment of the parts and frame. You'd be better off with a name-brand hardtail.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    I appreciate the honesty My assumption is that hardtails are going to limit the drops/jumps I can take. What will $1500 get me in the FS department? Does BD offer any FS package with solid components that is worth considering?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterminute View Post
    I appreciate the honesty My assumption is that hardtails are going to limit the drops/jumps I can take. What will $1500 get me in the FS department? Does BD offer any FS package with solid components that is worth considering?
    Most likely a big heavy bike with crappy suspension. Unfortunately that's the reality.

    If you're set on a full suspension bike that $1,500 can grab you a way way better bike on the used market. Scour pinkbike and see what you can find. Unfortunately the demand for bikes is quite high right now and the supply is limited. It's about the worst time ever to be looking to buy. Still, $1,500 on pinkbike? You should be able to find a real mountain bike no problem vs. a BD bike. Yes it will be used, it will also be 10 times better. If you're just tooling around the neighborhood then go with a BD bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Most likely a big heavy bike with crappy suspension. Unfortunately that's the reality.

    If you're set on a full suspension bike that $1,500 can grab you a way way better bike on the used market. Scour pinkbike and see what you can find. Unfortunately the demand for bikes is quite high right now and the supply is limited. It's about the worst time ever to be looking to buy. Still, $1,500 on pinkbike? You should be able to find a real mountain bike no problem vs. a BD bike. Yes it will be used, it will also be 10 times better. If you're just tooling around the neighborhood then go with a BD bike.
    Those bike-direct bikes were more like 700-800, and he said he wasn't interested in spending the $1500-2500 it takes for an entry-level FS bike. He might benefit from looking at the used bikes, but again, this can be a minefield of bikes and mechanical issues, money that's better spent on a decent hardtail.

    They don't really make dirt-jumper mountain bike hardtails anymore...for a few years they did and it was something you could pick up that would be ultra-sturdy for that kind of riding.

    The best bet is one of two things, save your money, and get a good bike for the park, a used bike is something I'd say to avoid, unless you are extremely knowledgeable about bikes and working on them OR you find a unicorn deal, like a relatively new (2 years old) bike that was ridden 5 times before the owner realized they didn't want it. OR, buy a decent name-brand hardtail and start riding local trails...not the bike park. Again, save money. I don't even ride my own bike at the bike parks when I go on vacation because of the wear and tear it causes on a bike. The further removed your bike is from an actual downhill bike, the more extreme this is. I feel that 6" of quality suspension, 8" front brake, 2.5-ish front tire, decent components (not top of the line, just strong enough stuff like SLX brakes, etc.) are minimum requirements for riding in the park and enjoying it, rather than getting beat down by the mountain on every run. Now, if by "park" you mean something other than a "downhill mountain bike park", then ignore this part, but the slang "park" as far as mtb refers to a downhill resort/park these days.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    https://www.fezzari.com/cross-country/wiki-peak-sx
    Would be a viable FS bike.
    Fezzari.
    Last edited by Bscat; 07-19-2020 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Info

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bscat View Post
    https://www.fezzari.com/cross-country/wiki-peak-sx
    Would be a viable FS bike.
    Fezzari.
    I was going to suggest the consumer direct route. It's really the only alternative to getting a better build at a lower price... with caveats of course.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I was going to suggest the consumer direct route. It's really the only alternative to getting a better build at a lower price... with caveats of course.
    Well, the bikes-direct bike IS a consumer-direct route. The problem is they are pretty much junk and they are betting on unsuspecting consumers that think they are getting a great deal.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    I would seriously look at fezzari they have a 30 day like it or send it back guarantee.

  10. #10
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    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod182805

    You're probably not going to find a better deal than that. You might find cheaper, but the quality will be substantially lower. Vitus is legit, CRC is legit.

  11. #11
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    I would second the Fezzari and add Marin and polygon. I own a Bikes Direct bike, and have enjoyed it for years, but it’s a hard tail and cost more 5 years ago than the Squish bikes your looking at today. Top shelf components on an open design frame, worked wonders for me and got me back into Mountian biking, but when I decided to go Squishy I didn’t even look at bikes direct (much.. those prices ARE tempting). I’d go hard tail or save up a few more bucks, you’ve got the time... nothing is in stock anyway! Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, the bikes-direct bike IS a consumer-direct route. The problem is they are pretty much junk and they are betting on unsuspecting consumers that think they are getting a great deal.
    Yeah, agree. I don't put bikes-direct in the same category as the likes of YT, Canyon, Fezzari, Commencal, etc., who actually design and produce their bikes.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterminute View Post
    I appreciate the honesty My assumption is that hardtails are going to limit the drops/jumps I can take.
    No they won't. Look at what dirt jumpers and BMX riders hit.

    Full suspension is going to make it more comfortable but I would say at that price point a hardtail is going to be less limiting then a full suspension because the hardtail is going to have better (ie less likely to break) components.
    Ragley Big Wig, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 91 Schwinn High Plain (about town bike), Nashbar CXSS (on trainer)

  14. #14
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    if you can find one, a Trance 3 $2100 is an excellent entry capable full suspension trail bike.. there is both a 27.5 and a 29er version..


    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Got bit by the full-suspension bug, what do you think about this BikesDirect bike?-trance3.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Let me test my assumptions: If I ultimately want to be able to ride something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSf40RZDASY should I be looking at FS?

    Thanks for the all the suggestions. More brands I know nothing about so off to the internet i go. Is there a "ranking" Between Fezzari, Marlon, Vitus, Polygon?

    What things should I worry about buying Direct2Consumer? The two things I can think of are having to build the bike & not having a relationship with a local bike shop. Although sounds like most LBS will happily service internet bikes.

  16. #16
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    ^^^
    That looks like one buffed out trail to me. Yeah there's jumping involved but a skilled rider could slay that trail on a hardtail no problem. That being said I'd still want to ride it on a full suspension bike.

    Full suspension really helps on rocky, rooty and chattery trails.

    As far as the lbs goes, I've been heavily involved in the sport since 2003 and I have never had a "relationship" with a bike shop, nor have I ever felt I needed one. if I need something that the bike shop has I go down there and I buy it like a normal customer. I don't need to feel like one of their Bros and I certainly don't need their advice. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. If you need advice on components or whatnot they'll help you out. and they'll be happy to service your bike even if you didn't buy it from them.

    In regards to putting the bike together yourself. it's easy. It comes 90% assembled. Probably take you 60 minutes if you don't know what you're doing. 20 if you do.

  17. #17
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    I’d put polygon toward the lower end, Marin has been crushing the “best bang for the buck” segment for a few years with the hawk hill and Rift Zone, and I don’t know anything about vitius, but when I was looking at that price range (before the wife said shut up and buy the bike you really want) I had an order placed for the Fezari Abajo Peak. Color, and the 21 point fit won me over from the Rift Zone. I just got my son the polygon siskiu D5 and I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who won’t outgrow it. The next level up (D6/7?) is a great bike for the money but the d5 has very bargain components on it. Good for my son, especially because it was in stock and I have a garage full of upgrade parts! Good luck man!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterminute View Post
    My assumption is that hardtails are going to limit the drops/jumps I can take.
    nope, that limit is set almost entirely by the rider. if you're going to take jumps and drops that "require" a FS bike, that would be on bike parks with significantly huge jumps. in the hands of most mortals, a hardtail has its limits where it's practical and safe, but just because a frame has a rear shock does not mean it's going to give you instant confidence and skill on obstacles like jumps.

    if you're just starting out on trail riding, it's unlikely that you will be taking jumps like that, and even if that's the case, the capabilities of a low-end FS bike are not going to meet that standard. the level of suspension will smooth out the trail a bit and mitigate how hard the trail beats you up, but it's not going to soak up getting air in any significant way.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    They don't really make dirt-jumper mountain bike hardtails anymore...for a few years they did and it was something you could pick up that would be ultra-sturdy for that kind of riding.
    are you sure about that? I don't see a lot of rear suspension in this thread. if you're talking about jump / park end of the spectrum that are in that BMX style, they're almost all hardtails. mountain bikes vary quite a bit though, and there are FS bikes that are made with jumping in mind too. maybe that's the difference between a dirt jumper and a slopestyle bike? I dunno, it's outside of my wheelhouse.

    on that note, go look up "fingers crossed bmx"!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterminute View Post
    Let me test my assumptions: If I ultimately want to be able to ride something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSf40RZDASY should I be looking at FS?

    Thanks for the all the suggestions. More brands I know nothing about so off to the internet i go. Is there a "ranking" Between Fezzari, Marlon, Vitus, Polygon?

    What things should I worry about buying Direct2Consumer? The two things I can think of are having to build the bike & not having a relationship with a local bike shop. Although sounds like most LBS will happily service internet bikes.
    I narrowed my search down to two bikes, the YT Jeffsy Base and the Fezzari Abajo Peak. In the end I went with the Fezzari because I could customize it, their 23 point fit, and the 30 day love it or return it.

    I got my Abajo Wednesday after a 8 week wait. Rode it on the streets Wed night and took it out this morning for its first trail ride. At this point unless something really goes wrong I won't be sending it back, lol.

    On the Fezzari you have to put on the handle bar, pedals, and front wheel. The suspension comes pressured to your weight, tires are inflated, its 95% ready to ride out of the box.

    I too don't need a LBS. I do all my own maintenance anyways. But I do shop the two local stores and buy stuff from them when I need them. I'm sure they'll take my money for a repair if I needed it.

  21. #21
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    https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topic...-mountain-bike
    https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...e-29-2-review/

    The Giant Stance is a good example of a good entry level FS bike. Can be had for $1,500, but hard to find these days of course.

  22. #22
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    That can be done on my FAT BIKE!

    I have rode my Ridged Fat bike for 6 years now, that is the only thing I have for the woods right now! I do some Technical stuff with it too, and its not easy but it can be done!
    Fat Boy SE now with new Hope Hub new Threaded Bottom Bracket

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/jpactivity/n9H2Q9

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod182805

    You're probably not going to find a better deal than that. You might find cheaper, but the quality will be substantially lower. Vitus is legit, CRC is legit.
    I completely agree with this suggestion. It might be a while until they get some stock in though. Just like everyone else.

    You posted a video of Galbraith. Is that where you ride?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  24. #24
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    A hardtail will severely limit how fast you can bomb down a rocky trail. You might get kidney pain on a hardtail, or you might rattle your teeth out of your head. Take this advice about tractors, buy your fifth tractor first. That is, buy what you need first, if you don't, you'll get what you need eventually, but you'll buy a whole lot of crap in the interim that you don't need trying to save money by buying something cheaper. Just buy the right thing right now, spend the money, do it right.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by @[email protected] View Post
    A hardtail will severely limit how fast you can bomb down a rocky trail. You might get kidney pain on a hardtail, or you might rattle your teeth out of your head. Take this advice about tractors, buy your fifth tractor first. That is, buy what you need first, if you don't, you'll get what you need eventually, but you'll buy a whole lot of crap in the interim that you don't need trying to save money by buying something cheaper. Just buy the right thing right now, spend the money, do it right.
    This.
    Buy nice... Cry once.
    I've never regretted buying nice.
    My first squish was a Fisher, I'd said this will be plenty of bike for me. I didn't start mtb'ing until I was in my 40s. I raced road bikes in my early years in the 80s-90s, I never thought I'd get hooked on mtb's so why spend the money. After a few years I was hooked and went top of the line, full carbon frame, etc. I'd always said I'd NEVER buy a ca rbon mtb.

    No regrets.
    I do keep my stuff for a long time though so it's easy for me to justify good stuff.

    If you're really ready to move up, top of the line is rarely required but never regretted. Bottom of the line, or the bottom 20%, is not going to be enough eventually.

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