Help me get up to speed. Old dog, new tricks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help me get up to speed. Old dog, new tricks

    Hi all! First post. Stumbled across this site, and WOW, what a huge forum.

    Anyways, i've been out of the cycling scene for about 7+ years now. A back injury forced me off my (new at the time) ride and now i'm itching to get back into the saddle (pun not intended). I've made great headway with my health and have "learned" what I can and can't do, now I just gotta quit smoking. (I know, I know, i'm working on it!)

    So, here I am, looking at how the industry has changed. Holy crap, a lot has changed, yet quite a bit has stayed the same. It seems manufacturers still can't make up their minds on rear suspension designs. One design this year, another design the next, then introduce two new lines the year later. Nothing new, from what I remember.

    The ONE thing that i'm finding quite interesting is the popularity of disc brakes. It's really quite astonishing! Back in the '90's this was reserved for those with $$$, time to fuss with them and a bike that they could actually bolt them on to. (scratches head) Now they're standard equipment on practically everything (yes, i'm exageratting..... I think). And to think, when they first came out so many said they sucked.

    Well, enough blabbing. Question about my "situation";

    Right now i've got "ol' faithful" sitting here. A '98 K2/ProFlex 3000, my first FS ride. Yup, '98, I typed it correctly and you read it properly. I've put probably 100 km on this thing, so it's very pristine, with little abuse. From what I remember of riding it it was fun, although I believe I still needed to get used to the fork (CrossLink ELT). Should I even bother with this? I've been snooping here for a little bit now and i've come to the conclusion that it's outdated, nevermind the limited shock replacement options (Noleen NR-2 front and rear.... I think). I know I can get the Noleen re-valved, or upgrade to a Risse, but by the time I spend that money and buy a fork..... i'm honestly thinking that my best bet would be to buy a used, more modern frame and swap parts over, then improve the parts as my skills (and money) allow. I've been spying an '01 Spec SJ FSR XC Pro and an '03 RM Element that I think would be nice upgrades, that wouldn't leave me wishing for more too soon (yeah, MUST be used, for now, and must be FS, i'm not going HT ever again).

    As it's important - i'm 6'4", 160 (yeah, i'm a toothpick ), prefer a bike that's "quick handling", favour XC, single track minor DH and anything fast that doesn't involve flying through the air like you're supposed to have wings. It's gotta be FS, pretty much an all-around, do anything within reason bike.

    I'd really appreciate some opinions and advice from those who've been through this before. While I don't mind what i've got now, i'm sure before the end of the year is up i'd be cursing the thing - at least the shocks anyways.

    Sorry for the long post. I'll shut up, for now.

    Damn, 3/4 of a million posts - there's gonna be some SERIOUS Search time for me in here!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    inner peace to make peace
    Reputation: TrailNut's Avatar
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    welcome

    AndrewTO,
    welcome back to mountain cycling and to this forum.

    when my ride, customized Peugeot rigid by frame builder Steve in Davis, CA, that had Phil Wood hubs, got stolen (was locked in my Subuaru awd wagon) in the early 90s i took a while in getting back on to dirt.

    with no budet limit in mind try a Ventana El Saltamontes (coil or air shock) $1900+ for frame, $3500 for bike, nicely equipped with hydro disk brakes. Turner people will sing praises for a Flux or a 5-Spot.

    if you're budet is more value conscious then look for a Kona, Giant, or Specialized xc full suspension (fs) bike:

    for all around MTB fs pleasure hard to beat a '05 Kona Coiler $1600 bike or a '05 Kona Kikapu $1100, $1700 for a Kikapu Delux, for more climbing emphasis.

    http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...categoryid=182
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  3. #3
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    hardwood?

    I won't bore you with a ton of stats but in Canada, you can get some sweet true 4 bar bikes the US folks can't (Specialized holds the US patent) Check out XC FS rigs from the likes of Brodie, DeVinci, and Norco (who does have a license from Specialized). For reasons I don't know, Spec. suddenly got costly this year.

    There are "faux bar" bikes out there like Kona and more, and there's nothing wrong with them; it is a single pivot rear link (BB to axle is fixed) with a separate pivot above the axle to beat the patent. They ride just fine; I prefer the Horst 4 bar, having had both, it seems to just ride better.

    Take your time, there are a ton of great bikes out there, and unlike '98, it's no longer a crap shoot on what works and what doesn't...just varying degrees of how well they all work.

    All of that said, I might have put you over your budget. Most are around the $2K mark CAD to start. However, all the stuff is better: tires roll better and are lighter, most have disc brakes; shocks work and work well, forks are for the most part very good, and the frames are further refined.

    I'm agreeing with TrailNut, a good place to start is teh Kona Kikapu, listed at $1399 CAD. the bike will boing on climbs, but you can get the shock made into SPV (stable platform, no boing) from Push Industries in California for $138 US.

    Good luck, Jim
    Last edited by JimC.; 03-30-2005 at 05:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    TrailNut, Jim, thanks for the replies!

    I'm finding out more and more by the minute! Shimano is making disc brakes?!?!?!?! HAHAH! It's nice to see that the aftermarket FINALLY bent them over with SOMETHING!

    Yeah, the two frames i'm looking at now are both in the $500 area, again, used. Way back when I found that I had a hard time with the 4-link stuff (hence my purchase at that time), but I suspect it was more (poor) design-oriented problems.

    Funny that Norco is mentioned, and with regards to the Specialized liscense. I saw a frame on E-Bay last night for the first time. Nice piece.

    Time, money and options - they're always a killer, aren't they?!?!

    Thanks again guys! More is welcome.

  5. #5
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    Some perspective....

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    TrailNut, Jim, thanks for the replies!

    I'm finding out more and more by the minute! Shimano is making disc brakes?!?!?!?! HAHAH! It's nice to see that the aftermarket FINALLY bent them over with SOMETHING!

    Yeah, the two frames i'm looking at now are both in the $500 area, again, used. Way back when I found that I had a hard time with the 4-link stuff (hence my purchase at that time), but I suspect it was more (poor) design-oriented problems.

    Funny that Norco is mentioned, and with regards to the Specialized liscense. I saw a frame on E-Bay last night for the first time. Nice piece.

    Time, money and options - they're always a killer, aren't they?!?!

    Thanks again guys! More is welcome.
    Look at a new bike, vs. trying to part out your old faithful. For some perspective, a high end fork from 98 most likely wouldn't compare to a low end 2005 model. While your observations on suspension are right on regarding marketing hype, what has changed dramatically is the shock technology. The newer shocks are able to overcome most mechanical suspension flaws.

    My suggestion is to try and find a complete bike that's spec'd out reasonably well but has a good frame. Ride it until you wear out parts and upgrade as you go. You won't go wrong with any major OEM. I suggest heading to a local bike shop and trying a couple of different brands before making your decision. The bike industry has changed a lot over the last several years but frame sizing and geometry still varies a lot between companies. A 17" from one mfg. may ride more like a 19" from another, etc. The more bikes you ride, the more likely you are to find a brand that feels right to you and will allow you to refine your search a little more.

    Good luck and welcome back.

    Ken

  6. #6
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    You are in luck

    Turner bikes has a few XL (extra large) Burner frames they are selling direct for 650 brand new! This is a great 3.6 inch four bar bike. I have one and you can read the reviews in the full suspension XC section. Here is the link to the thread in the Turner forum
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=89374
    go to www.turnerbikes.com to get a phone number for them. You will have to act fast though as they are down to the last ones

  7. #7
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    $650 is

    $792 in Canada, plus shipping & brokerage, and another 15% in sales taxes (GST&PST) for the original poster. Because it's American made, there's no duty (NAFTA) *whew* None the less, it's still a great price for a great bike.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Nice work, Jim! Your calculations are right on.

    Well, as it turns out, i'm sticking with my K2. There isn't enough room in the finances this year for a new blown engine AND a bike. (shrug) My drag racing addiction beats out the biking addiction.

    Regardless, thanks for the replies guys!!!!!! Greatly appreciated!

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