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  1. #1
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    Help narrowing down bike choices

    I currently have a 45lb 2001 Santa Cruz Bullit that I really don't like. It's way too heavy the suspension bobs too much and is too long for my needs. I also feel high up and unstable on it when jumping. I rode a Kona garbanzo rental at whistler and it felt better and more stable to me but still a little too heavy and too much suspension travel.

    I don't like riding steep technical rocky terrain. I prefer smooth flowy trails like dirt merchant, Aline, and crabapple hits at whistler. I will be riding at highland bike park and mountain creek bike park though.

    I'm looking for a light full suspension bike that can be used for dual slalom, 4x, slopestyle, dirt jumps, pump tracks, and bike park jump trails and north shores.

    I would also like to do some street trials riding when I'm not at the mountain. 4-5ft drops off walls, hop around on the back tire, 180s off picnic tables and things of that sort. I know full suspension isn't ideal for this type of riding. I learned on a trek 4300 XC hardtail bike but the larger drops to blacktop/concrete are a bit too hard on me now.

    I would like to demo some bikes but i'm not sure where to even start I will probably need to drive quite a ways to try out different brands so i'm trying to at least narrow it down a bit now.

    Can I demo a bike on a mountain? Is there a schedule of demo days at highland or mountain creek or does anyone know a good place to go in the northeast to test bikes?

    Does anyone else do this type of riding that can suggest a good amount of suspension travel? Can I get away with 100mm slopestyle type bike with a full cassette and front brake? or should I be looking at 130-150mm bikes?

    I was thinking of a banshee wildcard but i'm wondering if i'm missing out on much going with an older bike verse a newer one like a SC 5010, transition scout, evil calling, etc. Its really difficult to find comparisons of older bikes like the wildcard to newer bikes.

    I plan on selling or parting out my Bullit and buying a used bike. I'm not interested in 29" bikes.

  2. #2
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    The Santa Cruz Bullit is a Freeride ledgend. Seemed like everybody had one in the heyday of freeride. That being said, any 2019 modern 130-150 bike will run circles around an old school Bullit. I'd go 5010 based on your description of how and what you want to ride.
    Can't keep track anymore - Giant, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Yeti, Norco, Salsa, Intense - if it rolls on dirt I like it

  3. #3
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    2019 bikes are way way outside my price range.

  4. #4
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    Well, help us out a bit. What is your price range?

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    I'd think any shortish-mid travel trail bike would work out for you, even though, honestly, thats a pretty huge range to ask for a single bike to excel at.

    Danny Macaskill rides a SC 5010 in many videos... and its hard to argue with his ability to do "trials like" stuff on it, or, most things for that matter.

    So I'd be looking for a used 5010, Transition Scout, Intense Spider, or something else like that.

    Alternatively, have you thought about a more aggressive hardtail with plus tires? The plus tires give it a bit more give than a normal hardtail, the geo is plenty aggressive, and you've got the hardtail "pop" for pumptracks. Since you say you like flowy stuff but don't like steep/gnar/chunky, it sounds like they may be a pretty good option.

    Things like the NukeProof Scout, or Whyte 901/905 are plenty of bike to do what you're talking about. Blake from GMBN took his Nukeproof to Whistler, and rode pretty much everything you're talking about iirc.

    Good luck on the search.

  6. #6
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    Used under $2000 would be my limit at the moment though more like $1500 would be better but maybe I could get a few hundred for my bullit or parts. I realize it a lot to ask for in a bike I don't expect it to be perfect or even good at everything.

    I can just barely do a pedal kick on my bullit but I definitely can't balance on the rear for long or hop up onto a picnic table. I've seen some youtube videos of people doing playful street trials-ish type stuff on an FS so I see its doable.

    I've watched GMBN - Blake which made me think I could get by with a 100-130mm bike. I'm definitely not smooth enough for just a hardtail and I'm not comfortable doing bigger drops, gaps, jumps on one. I also damaged my ankles from bigger drops on the xc trek bike years ago so I definitely want some cushion now and I'm willing to give up performance for that.

    I'm really just looking for a light-ish FS I can mess around within town/city hop around and such. Then take it up to the mountain and hit some bigger jumps and drops (with landings).

    It seems like an evil calling or SC 5010 would fit perfectly from my research but I can't believe how expensive bikes have gotten. Is there some older bikes that would fit into a similar category as them?

  7. #7
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    A Rockymountain Thunderbolt might fit your budget and needs as well.

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    Isn't the thunderbolt more designed for XC?

    I think I might look for a banshee rampant.

  9. #9
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    The Whyte t130 is nearly identical in geo to the 5010. It may be hard to find one used in the united states though. They exist, but not in large numbers.

    The 2019 t130 SR is $2300 though, which is out of your price range,but not by tons.

    The Marin Hawk Hill 1 and 2 are usually under $2k. As are the norco fluid FS models (the low end ones are $1600-$2k). You could also find a diamondback release 1 for $1500-1800ish, depending on what deal you find.

    Otherwise, you're likely looking used. Probably 2015 or newer transition scout, 5010, etc.

    Good luck on the search .

  10. #10
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    For new bikes, it's going to be hard to find a good full suspension for under 2k. If you're ok with buying used, there are tons of great options for around 1.5-2k on PinkBike Buy/Sell. If you fit a large, here are a couple of options I found with a relatively quick search (these are in the US, there's also some good stuff in Canada if you're across the border).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2531424/ - 2016 Kona Process 111, short travel/29er trail bike ($1800)

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2528894/ - 2017 Intense Recluse, mid travel/27.5 AM bike ($1950)

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2520754/ - 2017 Banshee Rune, long travel/27.5 enduro bike ($1600)

    If you want new, Norco has the Fluid FS4 for $1800: https://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain...um/fluid-fs-4/.

    Marin has the Hawk Hill 2 for just under 2k: https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/201....5-hawk-hill-2. The Hawk Hill 1 is cheaper but the spec is considerably worse.

    Diamondback has the Release 1 for 2k: https://www.diamondback.com/release-1-d41.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post
    Isn't the thunderbolt more designed for XC?

    I think I might look for a banshee rampant.
    No not really, throw a 140mm fork on it and it's a pretty killer bike, no more xc than a 5010. Look up some of the Bible of Bikes reviews on it.

  12. #12
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    As posted above, pink bike classifieds

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    No not really, throw a 140mm fork on it and it's a pretty killer bike, no more xc than a 5010. Look up some of the Bible of Bikes reviews on it.
    Even bibke of bikes describes it as an XC bike saying:
    "testers lauding it for pushing the boundaries of XC. Since then, Rocky Mountain has tweaked the travel and geometry, but it hasn't been radically overhauled, and unlike some bikes in the same category, it's not attempting to moonlight as a more aggressive bike. With its 67-degree headtube angle"

    Then talking about the 5010:
    "These are the thrashers, the playthings, the big BMX bikes. Bikes so good at goofing off, it's easy to forget that their ancestors used to dominate the trail category."

    and

    "throwing whips and tables off natural hits far too small to leave enough air time to properly Semenuk the bike around. It still does that stuff better than nearly any other comparably priced bike"

    Theres is more to an XC or All mountain bikes besides throwing a 140mm on and calling it good. It dosent seem like a thunderbolt was designed to be hitting jumps. Where the 5010 is often described as being happy flying through the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    The Whyte t130 is nearly identical in geo to the 5010. It may be hard to find one used in the united states though. They exist, but not in large numbers.

    The 2019 t130 SR is $2300 though, which is out of your price range,but not by tons.

    The Marin Hawk Hill 1 and 2 are usually under $2k. As are the norco fluid FS models (the low end ones are $1600-$2k). You could also find a diamondback release 1 for $1500-1800ish, depending on what deal you find.

    Otherwise, you're likely looking used. Probably 2015 or newer transition scout, 5010, etc.

    Good luck on the search .
    I had no intentions of buying new. I was never asking about new.

    That's one of the reasons I was asking here besides there not being local places to demo bikes there are only a few current models that were sold years ago unchanged.

    Sorting through the past 10 years of used bikes is confusing and you can only find reviews and comparisons to similar years.

    I can find used banshee wildcard, rampant, transition bottlerocket, or giant reign for about $1000. I wonder how they compare to newer bikes like a used SC 5010 or evil calling and if it would br worth the extra $1000 or so. Was there a big advancement between 2010ish bikes compared to 2015 bikes?

    Its really had to find comparisons of older bikes to the newer ones. So I was looking for some experience.
    Last edited by biker838; 03-23-2019 at 06:31 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post
    Even bibke of bikes describes it as an XC bike saying:
    "testers lauding it for pushing the boundaries of XC. Since then, Rocky Mountain has tweaked the travel and geometry, but it hasn't been radically overhauled, and unlike some bikes in the same category, it's not attempting to moonlight as a more aggressive bike. With its 67-degree headtube angle"

    Then talking about the 5010:
    "These are the thrashers, the playthings, the big BMX bikes. Bikes so good at goofing off, it's easy to forget that their ancestors used to dominate the trail category."

    and

    "throwing whips and tables off natural hits far too small to leave enough air time to properly Semenuk the bike around. It still does that stuff better than nearly any other comparably priced bike"

    Theres is more to an XC or All mountain bikes besides throwing a 140mm on and calling it good. It dosent seem like a thunderbolt was designed to be hitting jumps. Where the 5010 is often described as being happy flying through the air.



    I had no intentions of buying new. I was never asking about new.

    That's one of the reasons I was asking here besides there not being local places to demo bikes there are only a few current models that were sold years ago unchanged.

    Sorting through the past 10 years of used bikes is confusing and you can only find reviews and comparisons to similar years.

    I can find used banshee wildcard, rampant, transition bottlerocket, or giant reign for about $1000. I wonder how they compare to newer bikes like a used SC 5010 or evil calling and if it would br worth the extra $1000 or so. Was there a big advancement between 2010ish bikes compared to 2015 bikes?

    Its really had to find comparisons of older bikes to the newer ones. So I was looking for some experience.
    I would recommend against buying another old bike. A bike from 2010 is nearly a decade old - a lot of progress has been made in that time. The listings I posted earlier sound like a great fit for you. They're all under 2k, and are all recent or current model years. All of them would be a large upgrade over a 2010 bike, much less one from 2001. If you prefer a different size, are located in Canada, or want something a bit cheaper just let me know, I'd be happy to pull up a few other listings for you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post
    Even bibke of bikes describes it as an XC bike saying:
    "testers lauding it for pushing the boundaries of XC. Since then, Rocky Mountain has tweaked the travel and geometry, but it hasn't been radically overhauled, and unlike some bikes in the same category, it's not attempting to moonlight as a more aggressive bike. With its 67-degree headtube angle"

    Then talking about the 5010:
    "These are the thrashers, the playthings, the big BMX bikes. Bikes so good at goofing off, it's easy to forget that their ancestors used to dominate the trail category."

    and

    "throwing whips and tables off natural hits far too small to leave enough air time to properly Semenuk the bike around. It still does that stuff better than nearly any other comparably priced bike"

    Theres is more to an XC or All mountain bikes besides throwing a 140mm on and calling it good. It dosent seem like a thunderbolt was designed to be hitting jumps. Where the 5010 is often described as being happy flying through the air.

    Easy there bud I wasn't saying it's the ultimate all mountain weapon just one to look at. We have a few that hit the big stuff at my local park with no problems. I ran a BC edition for a year with a 140mm mrp and killed it on the jumps. Like I said it might not be the ultimate all mountain rig but it can handle some pretty big stuff for a 130mm travel bike/140mm bc edition it does a great job. I have no skin in the game just making a suggestion for something to look into that might fit into your budget.

    p.s. they come come stock with a 130 or 140mm fork so it's not like your just throwing a long fork on it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    I would recommend against buying another old bike. A bike from 2010 is nearly a decade old - a lot of progress has been made in that time. The listings I posted earlier sound like a great fit for you. They're all under 2k, and are all recent or current model years. All of them would be a large upgrade over a 2010 bike, much less one from 2001. If you prefer a different size, are located in Canada, or want something a bit cheaper just let me know, I'd be happy to pull up a few other listings for you.
    I'm in the northeast USA. I'm 5'7 so I should be a medium. Do you think the bikes will hold up to 10ft drops and bigger jumps 20-25ft? I dont think a 29" bike will work well for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Easy there bud I wasn't saying it's the ultimate all mountain weapon just one to look at. We have a few that hit the big stuff at my local park with no problems. I ran a BC edition for a year with a 140mm mrp and killed it on the jumps. Like I said it might not be the ultimate all mountain rig but it can handle some pretty big stuff for a 130mm travel bike/140mm bc edition it does a great job. I have no skin in the game just making a suggestion for something to look into that might fit into your budget.

    p.s. they come come stock with a 130 or 140mm fork so it's not like your just throwing a long fork on it.
    Sorry I appreciate the suggestions I wasn't trying to be argumentative. It just doesn't seem like the Thunderbolt was designed for bigger bike park jumps and drops.

  17. #17
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    I just saw a link to this bike in a JensonUSA email. 43% off a 160mm travel Banshee Rune.

    Itís getting closer to your price range although still a bit above.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Banshee-Ru...12087129429254


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    That's a pretty good price on the rune and it comes in medium. I'm not sure if 160mm might be too much travel. I wish I could test ride bikes easier.

    Back around 2010-2011 there was a ton of DJ/slopestyle/4X full suspension 100mm bikes. I guess I'm looking for a more modern version of that with 120mm - 140mm of travel.

    If you had to choose a AM bike made in the past 5 or so years for that type of riding what would it be?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post
    That's a pretty good price on the rune and it comes in medium. I'm not sure if 160mm might be too much travel. I wish I could test ride bikes easier.

    Back around 2010-2011 there was a ton of DJ/slopestyle/4X full suspension 100mm bikes. I guess I'm looking for a more modern version of that with 120mm - 140mm of travel.

    If you had to choose a AM bike made in the past 5 or so years for that type of riding what would it be?
    You should look for a shorter travel Transition, used. Although frame I am thinking of may be 29" wheels.

    Suspension is so much better now that 150-160 mm bikes don't come with nearly the penalty as 4-5" travel bikes from bygone era.



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  20. #20
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    https://m.pinkbike.com/buysell/2518234/

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    For new bikes, it's going to be hard to find a good full suspension for under 2k. If you're ok with buying used, there are tons of great options for around 1.5-2k on PinkBike Buy/Sell. If you fit a large, here are a couple of options I found with a relatively quick search (these are in the US, there's also some good stuff in Canada if you're across the border).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2531424/ - 2016 Kona Process 111, short travel/29er trail bike ($1800)

    2017 process 111
    https://mtbbikesforsale.com/products...tain-Bike.html

    Why buy used, when you can get new for $1575+85 for shipping.
    Ride, Enjoy...Repeat.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post
    I'm in the northeast USA. I'm 5'7 so I should be a medium. Do you think the bikes will hold up to 10ft drops and bigger jumps 20-25ft? I dont think a 29" bike will work well for me.



    Sorry I appreciate the suggestions I wasn't trying to be argumentative. It just doesn't seem like the Thunderbolt was designed for bigger bike park jumps and drops.
    For 10ft drops and 20ft+ jumps a 160mm bike would do you well. A Banshee Rune, Transition Patrol, Canfield Balance, Intense Spider, Process 153, or Specialized Enduro would be a good choice. Jumps and drops that size are well out of the intended use for something like a Process 111 or another short travel bike.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2536119/ - 2017 Specialized Enduro, looks to be carbon (2k).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2491505/ - Same bike and same price, but slightly newer and in alloy.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2499200/ - 2016 Banshee Spitfire, on the shorter travel side but has a great spec ($1550).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2509152/ - 2018 Kona Process 153, looks to be in great shape (2k).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2524304/ - 2015 Intense 275a, the bike is on the rougher side but comes at an attractive price ($1450).

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2480292/ - 2016 Intense Tracer Carbon, another good option for 2k.
    Last edited by Phoenix864; 03-24-2019 at 08:34 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker838 View Post

    I had no intentions of buying new. I was never asking about new.

    That's one of the reasons I was asking here besides there not being local places to demo bikes there are only a few current models that were sold years ago unchanged.

    Sorting through the past 10 years of used bikes is confusing and you can only find reviews and comparisons to similar years.

    I can find used banshee wildcard, rampant, transition bottlerocket, or giant reign for about $1000. I wonder how they compare to newer bikes like a used SC 5010 or evil calling and if it would br worth the extra $1000 or so. Was there a big advancement between 2010ish bikes compared to 2015 bikes?

    Its really had to find comparisons of older bikes to the newer ones. So I was looking for some experience.
    I guess I didn't see, or remember the one bit about only buying used. My bad.

    That said, based on everything I've seen/read/experienced, yes, there was a lot of change in bikes between the late 2000's, and about 2015 or so.

    The "long, low, slack" revolution started at roughly the same time that dropper posts became a thing, and 1x11/1x12 drivetrains with clutched derailleurs became popular. Additionally, it seems to be a common consensus that somewhere in that time period (depends on bike obviously), suspension designs got more sorted out, and things didn't pedal horribly.

    Since about 2015, we've added boost hub spacing (stiffer wheels), and more recently, steeper seat tube angles, in addition to usually (even) longer and (even) slacker measurements.

    I have a hardtail from 2012. It is a size XL. It has a 3x10 drivetrain, a high standover height, 26er wheels, and quick release axles.

    My 2018 Kona Process 153 is a size L. It has a reach that ~100mm longer (and again, its a size down compared to the XL from 2012), and a wheelbase that is almost 150mm longer. It has internal routing for dropper posts, 1x11 drivetrain, and thru axles front and rear.

    I realize that these bikes are in different categories, and its hard to compare exactly. But in just 6 years, bikes have changed a lot.

    When I was getting into the sport about a year ago, I reached out to a buddy of mine who is a very proficient rider, and has been into the sport about 20 years longer I have, about how old of a used bike I should be looking for. He recommended newer than ~2015, because of the above reasons. So I'm just passing it forward.

    Personally, I ended up with a great deal on a new old stock Kona Process 153 (nearly the price of most ~2015-2018 used bikes I saw on the market), and have been loving it.

    Sadly, I don't know much about slopestyle/dual slalom bikes. From what I can tell, it may be hard to find a good deal on a used one, as they seem a bit of a niche market. I think the ~130mm trail bike category is probably a good one for you, as you've guessed.

    Good luck on your quest to find a good bike .

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