Son is ready for full suspension bike. What to buy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Son is ready for full suspension bike. What to buy?

    I'm looking to get my 11 year old son his first full suspension bike. He's been riding a specialized pitch hard tail, but after hitting Northstar on that as well as some trails in Santa Cruz, he's progressed enough that I think he's ready to move on.

    Looking at some used options from Pro's Closet, Pink Bike, etc. But wanted to see if I could get some opinions on the following new bikes?

    Scott Spark 960
    Giant Trance 3
    Marin Hawk Hill 2
    Marin Rift Zone 2


    I would also consider the YT Jeffsy, but they are sold out. Anything else in this price range I should consider?

  2. #2
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    best advice i got from everyone ? get your son test ride every bike in the list (if it's possible), then decide. all 4 are great bikes.

  3. #3
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    Jeffsy is sold out. .. but YT didn't upgrade the geo of the AL frame in 2019 when they did the new carbon version. So the 2020 will likely be a new geo AL version of the carbon bike. You can get on their email list for first shot or wait for used bikes to hit when the 2020 is released. Of the listed bikes I like the Spark for 2.6 tire space and potential for a fork upgrade down the line.

  4. #4
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    This might not be the answer you expect - but buy him the one he likes the best - even if that is only because of the colour of the bike.
    We often forget what its like to be 11yo. If your 11yo son does not like the bike for any reason (no matter how it silly seems to us) he is not going to ride it much.

  5. #5
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    Haha, yea, I'm already making sure I target the colors he likes, so blue, red, black and grey are what I'm targeting. He's ridden a friends 5010, and really liked that. As soon as he switched back to riding his bike from the 5010, I knew I was in trouble. Spring vs Air shocks, full vs hard tail, he immediatly was wondering how he was surviving Northstar, and some SC Mtn downhill on a hardtail!

    Marin and Scott might be hard to test ride, only available over the hill. SC, Specialized and Giant all available easily.

  6. #6
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    Get him whatever works for your budget and tell him if he keeps riding a lot you'll buy him a better one. I rode a lot ages 12-15 on cheap hardtails and when I was 16 my dad bought me a pro level mountain bike brand new. I rode that thing into the ground and been riding ever since.

  7. #7
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    Maybe check out some of NS Bikes offerings also.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  8. #8
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    For another used option Kona process 134 they had an extra small that should be great for a 5' ish rider

  9. #9
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    I was in a similar situation with my son for the past few months. After scouring Pinkbike, craigslist, MTBR, and facebook I found a small 2015 Specialized Enduro 27.5 for 1300 on facebook marketplace. I've bought and sold several bikes over the past few years, but finding a small frame bike for a reasonable price was a challenge.

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