buying dilemma, advice needed.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    buying dilemma, advice needed.

    Well I currently use a Specialized 26" I think is a S-Works M2 team, don't know the year, I like this bike it shifts pretty smooth and overall I like it, but the fork doesn't work, it's stuck. So I said well just get a new fork and be happy, but to my surprise this is not as easy as I thought.

    So now i'm on the market for a "new" bike to me, i would love to get a FS bike, but don't know if its worth to drop the money on a 2004~2006 year bike for example I found this two bikes local.

    The first one is a 2004 Specialized FSR Stumpjumper and the second one is 2006 Trek Fuel 8 EX both are in pretty good shape, and the price is around $550 ~ $600 USD.

    So which route would be the best bet. Get something like those FS bikes or ditch that idea and get a most recent hard tail bike maybe a 2011~2013 year.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    I'd go with a hardtail. Odds are that a FS bike that old will need maintenance in the fork, shock, bearings, etc. Plus with how rapidly FS bikes are evolving, you'll be way behind the curve in terms of geometry and handling compared to current bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    I'd go with a hardtail. Odds are that a FS bike that old will need maintenance in the fork, shock, bearings, etc. Plus with how rapidly FS bikes are evolving, you'll be way behind the curve in terms of geometry and handling compared to current bikes.
    Thanks, well they are both in great shape (attached both pics) and recently have been serviced.

    That's one of my concerns because I have read a lot here exactly that statement, that bikes are evolving and to get the "latest" of course within budgets. But I don't understand exactly how a newer bikes does affect the handling or why they are better than an older bike. This an honest question. I'm a newbie and maybe that's why I don't understand the differences. geez I can't even spot/tell the difference between and old geometry and a newer

    But at the end of the day I just want to avoid the problem that I'm facing right now, which is, can't upgrade the fork because somebody told me that my current bike uses a 1" threaded fork and newer are 1 1/8" threadless, so that's the problem.

    If I can find upgradable parts for lets say at least 2 years, that will be good enough for me.

    Again, as a newbie I want to skip the idea of another hardtail because the places were we go to have fun a FS make the place a lot more fun/enjoyable. But of course if getting a FS bike that old is a very dumb decision and could be considered trowing my money, then I should trash that idea and stick to a hardtail.
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  4. #4
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    those bikes look like different sizes, the Trek seems pretty small

    It is becoming harder to find 26" forks with non-tapered steerer tubes. Cheap newer bikes arent guaranteed to use the newest most common tech either, there are still bikes being sold with 7speed cassettes and V brakes.

    If you want to future proof yourself then try to find a 10speed 29er, upgrades will be cheaper and easier to find

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    those bikes look like different sizes, the Trek seems pretty small

    It is becoming harder to find 26" forks with non-tapered steerer tubes. Cheap newer bikes arent guaranteed to use the newest most common tech either, there are still bikes being sold with 7speed cassettes and V brakes.

    If you want to future proof yourself then try to find a 10speed 29er, upgrades will be cheaper and easier to find
    Yeah that Trek is a 16, but it's WDS maybe that's why it looks smaller. Where we go here, 29's are very big and also I'm not a very big person 5'5" lol, so that is not an option for me. I have ridden a few 29 from friends and they feel akward. I feel more comfortable with 27.5 but those are expensive right now, and with a baby on the way money is tight.

    Something I really want is something with hydraulic brakes, so as soon I see that has v-brakes is ruled out.

    any other input?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    I wouldnt buy a hardtail, at all. If you like FS bikes, get one! They're tons of fun. The maintenance is massively overstated. Buy a reliable one and it'll be reliable. My 08 kona has always been rock solid and the frame itself has no problems. Besides the scrapes and scuffs, it rides like new. If you find a model you're interested, google for reviews about long term durability. Avoid weird stuff with weird shocks. The most rock solid tank bikes use a 4 bar linkage.

    It took me a couple months, but I wasnt trying hard, but I found a good non tapered high end fork in perfect condition for 300 bucks. They're out there! Non tapered was the standard for a very long time, until not too long ago. Theres so many forks out there that there will be a supply for a long time. Tons of guys like me are still riding them, so they're not yet for sale Guys are ditching them daily for new stuff, so they pop up frequently.

    Try to find something getting close to 2010.

  7. #7
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    I think One Pivot has it right.

    I'm not a 26" guy, and this goes against 95% of the advice i seem to give around here, but i think based on your description you would be happiest with either of the two bikes your mentioned over a newer hardtail. (many people seem to be looking for the latest and greatest with the same budget, which usually results in advising a HT 29er.) test ride both and buy the one that fits and feels best.

    don't sweat the new vs old geometry too much. people rode those 26" FS bikes for many years and had lots of fun. it's not like the old geometry is broken because of a few millimeters here or there. really all your talking about is 1-2 degrees in a couple spots. it can be a bigger difference if your comparing to modern 27.5 or 29 FS bikes, but with 26" it's not as big a difference as you might think. in reality if you've got disc brakes your not giving up much over a newer bike. i have friends that still ride 26" FS and they are FAST. i can only dream of going around corners or descending like they do. (though there are other variables at work)

    buy the best bike you can afford, and buy what makes you happy.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    Awesome thank you very much. And of those to bikes which one you guys think is the smartest buy? Lets assume both have the exact same componentes, both are in pristine condition, both fits fine,etc.. So based on aftermarket support,geometry, brand, reliable,etc... Which one you think is better/smarter buy?

    BTW: now I just found this giant, don't know which year/model is. But it's cheaper around $470 bucks.

    Does all of this options are 4-bar suspensions ?


    Thanks a lot for the help, everybody.
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  9. #9
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    Sorry if this will confuse you, but I'll take an alternate stance from some of the folks here.

    For some reason, there's a misconception out there that a FS bike is "better' than a hardtail. It is simply a different type of bike. An FS bike is definitely better (easier) on heavy trails, but it is not better on XC trails.

    So, I've owned both FS and HT bikes, and love them both, but they amount to different tools in your toolbox. You need to pick the appropriate one for a given riding scenario. As such, don't necessarily assume you need an FS.

    I do agree with One Pivot in that there are tons of forks out there that should be compatible with your existing bike. That is probably the most cost-effective way of solving your issue. Also know that getting a decent fork on your old bike will probably make it feel miles better, almost like new.

    I also agree with One Pivot that FS "extra maintenance" is probably overblown, but the fact remains that there are 2 shocks (and rear linkages) to be aware of. You just need to take the extra step to confirm all is working well.

    There are some additional drawbacks to FS bikes, in general terms:
    -All else being equal, the FS bike will be heavier
    -FS bikes, all else being equal will be more expensive. This is simply due to the extra components required over an otherwise identical hardtail.
    -FS bikes back in 2004-2006 could still suffer from "pedal bob". My wife had a 2004 Giant FS, and that thing would bob up and down with each pedal stroke. She had to lock out the rear suspension almost all the time, which almost negates the point. FS bikes have come a loooong way, but I believe from 2002-2006 you could still suffer from that. Be sure to ride and test the bike.

    Aside from all this, you made a reference to future-proofing, and I agree it is a real pain as "standards" change from year to year. While you would be moving to something newer with all of the used examples shown, inevitably you are 1 or 2 generations behind on some components/specs. In that respect, I suppose I agree again with One Pivot that you'd want at least 2010.

    Again, not against FS by any means - love 'em - but I am against the general notion that they are "better', which simply isn't true, subject to what you ride.

  10. #10
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    I agree on the hardtail being a good option for another reason. You haven't used one with a good fork yet.
    They can also be a lot lighter than a fs bike. Weigh your bike and any fs bike you are considering. My ht is 22 lbs. and I notice, for me, 25-6 lbs. is the range limit I notice weight impacting my fun.

  11. #11
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    One of the biggest problems with buying a FS bike that is 10ish years old is the difficulty of finding crucial replacement parts when you need them. For example, if the suspension bits on that bike haven't been adequately maintained and you need them to be serviced...if that particular item is discontinued then you'll have a pretty tough time finding parts for it. The same can be said for linkage parts for those old frames.

    With that said, if you want a FS bike then go for one...I'm sure you'll have a blast on it. Personally, I would suggest finding a fork for your current bike and save for a more modern FS bike when funds allow it.

  12. #12
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    You already have a hardtail that's nicer than anything you're going to get in your price range. Hang on to it and definitely add an FS bike to the stable. Lots of fun to be had.

    I've ridden mainly FS since 1999 and also find that they 'issues' are overblown, usually by foks who haven't had a lot of experience with them (with exceptions of course).
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  13. #13
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    Well the idea of finding a "new" fork for my current hardtail sound awesome, because in fact that is my major complain right now so that will give me more time to save more and get a newer FS bike. But I really don't know exactly which fork would work, anybody know which searching terms should I use, to find something that is compatible with my current bike ?

    On a side note yesterday we went to have fun, a friend borrow me his Santa cruz 2013 (the green one) with high end components. And I don't know why but on the same trail I was slower than on my hardtail, and this was going down hill, maybe because it was my first time using that bike lol, however my knees and all my body doesn't have the same pain that I had last week that I did it with my hardtail.

    I really appreciate all the opinions you guys are giving me.
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  14. #14
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    Those two Used full suspension bikes seem over-priced to me. Don't care if they are in great shape, they are not top of the line and they are very old. I wouldn't go more than $300 personally, don't care if the seller gets pissed. You may be the only person in the galaxy who has expressed serious interest on those bikes.

    Since you have ridden a modern Santa Cruz can we assume now that the game plan has changed? Has your credit card gotten ready? If you are still going used and you are on a budget, it may make sense to go with a ahrd tail. I usually say, go with full suspension, but for budget constrained it is not realistic if all you have to chose from is over priced really old bikes. In your case, maybe consider a rigid fork and a big front tire on your current bike, or better yet, just ride the fork as is until you have a better budget.

    My qdvice on the used full suspension bikes is biased, but I just don't see the value at that price. If you are convinced they are in great shape and you talk them down some to a better deal, then don't be steered by some stranger on the internet. I just tell you that I have tried to sell a bike better than both of those--way better--, 2005 vintage and could not get any takers at even $500. So don't be the sucker. Funny enough, my frame was worth more in parts after I broke it.

  15. #15
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    To find a fork ,you need to know the the diameter of the head tube ,likely either 1" or 1 1/8" ,the length of the head tube ,somewhere between 6" and 7 1/2" . You have cantilever brakes ,so you need a fork with the bosses to mount the brakes . You also have a quick release axle mounts on the fork ,so you need a fork that will accept the axle.

  16. #16
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    I just saw your question on the fork. Look at your headset cups and see if there are any numbers stamped on them. Ideally, for that old of a bike you pray that you have a 1 1/8" headset (and head tube), and that the headset is threadless (threadless headset is pressed into the head tube, lower and upper cups at each end of the head tube). Google the latter and watch soemone do it, ten minutes later this will all make sense.

    I agree with others above, you have a nice frame already, it is much better than the used bikes you are looking at, so don't throw good money after lesser solutions.

    There may still be fork makers who have a staight 1 1/8" steerer tube fork that could fit your bike, but you also need v brake bosses, and the 9mm quick release. What kind of fork do you have and how much travel? Your best option may be a used fork. This is not a simple problem, nor is it complex, but it sounds like you may be inexperienced on this stuff, which makes getting the right thing a lot harder or at least a lot more work on your end.

  17. #17
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    You may take a look at a fork like the one below, but still not sure if it fits your head tube.

    Manitou Match Comp Fork 26" 100mm Coil 9mm QR w/ B

  18. #18
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    Ok guys well After doing mor researh it appears that the fork that my bike need is threaded in 1" size.

    Anyone care to share some models or something to make it easier to find something on ebay?

    Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Apparently someone else on MTBR felt the same pain a couple years ago. You may want o read through th entire thread below, there are a couple of suggestions, includng an RST fork sold by Naigara. It may be helpful to call Niagara

    http://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro...rk-775986.html

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