Need Help Choosing Between 2 Bikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need Help Choosing Between 2 Bikes

    I'm looking to start mountain biking again, nothing to ruff to start, but if the occasion arise I wouldn't want to be stuck walking down the trail. I'm in a dilemma between these 2 bikes.

    rocky Mountain Soul 20 https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/soul/2020?tid=403

    or

    GT Avalanche Elite https://www.gtbicycles.com/cze_en/2020-avalanche-elite

    I'm just unsure which one would be the best to get back into Mountain Biking and I'm not too familiar with the component hierarchy so I don't know where they stand.

    Little Help would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    jcd's best friend
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    I'd consider the GT Avalanche. 1x11 SLX components and an air fork.
    Salsa Timberjack | Salsa Cutthroat

  3. #3
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    As always, no one should chose a bike on a list of parts. Parts wear out/break, the first thing anyone should look for is fit. Fit starts at reach ,reach is the distance from the saddle to the bars. Another thing is, in a price range bike are very much alike. One might have "better "derailleur while the other might have "better" brakes. You can go to Shimano's or Scam sites to see how they rank them. The one to chose is the one that makes you want to ride and puts a smile on your face.

  4. #4
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    The GT has components and a fork that'll survive trail riding. The Soul is a bike path and smooth trail only bike. RM doesn't spec a bike that's as good on components as the GT. But they have better geo and better looking designs, imo.
    A Nukeproof Scout Race is closer to the GT with better geo. It also has 30mm inner width rim wheels for 2.5 tires. The GT has 19mm rims. The difference is major. Skinny rims means more crashing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Skinny rims means more crashing.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  6. #6
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    I'd go with the GT if those two bikes are your only options.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the help guys.

  8. #8
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    They are not my only 2 options, they just fit in my budget. I"m open to suggestions.

  9. #9
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    I would love a Nukeproof but they are out of my budget for a bike at the moment.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Skinny rims means more crashing.
    I must live dangerously to pedal my gravel bike through singletrack then. Those 700x38c tires might get me injured on the trail while riding a rigid bike!
    Salsa Timberjack | Salsa Cutthroat

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    I must live dangerously to pedal my gravel bike through singletrack then. Those 700x38c tires might get me injured on the trail while riding a rigid bike!
    It'll kinda depend on how skilled you are and how fast your trails will let you good.

    Not many are as good as Nino on 30mm rims using his Spark XC bike to run his home trail.



    Even Nino wouldn't choose 19mm rims anymore. Of course everyone gets to run what you brung.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popcorntea View Post
    I would love a Nukeproof but they are out of my budget for a bike at the moment.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    This is less. Still has a Boost air fork and 30mm rims. Good geo.

  13. #13
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    I just accidentally set a PR on a test ride of a newly built 2011 26er with 23mm ID rims and 2.35" tires. eb1888 would have you think we'd all be dead if we're not on the latest tech - it's so not true.

    Just find a decent quality bike and work on fitness and practice skills. Tons of vids out these days to teach you just about anything you'd wanna know. Really, the best info is going to be from locals so if you have a shop nearby they'll know what works best for your trails better than some schmo on the interwebs. That said, if it's between those two I'd go for the GT (though I wish it was black/gold like the RM - so purdy!).
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  14. #14
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    Everyone has their experiences to contribute. You have to take the info and use it how you want.

    I switched to 30mm in 2014 and am relating the difference in crashing on technical trails that I'd ridden thousands of times. I just stopped crashing. I had more time when the tire lost grip. It took longer to slide out. The wide rim difference(21 to 30) let me drop tire pressure by 4 lbs. front and rear. This causes the tire footprint to spread out. More contact patch and traction. More control. More sidewall support. The sidewall doesn't foldover. Instead it wrinkles. That contributes a lot to less crashing. When the sidewall folds over no tread is on the trail surface. Your front instantly slides and you're on the ground. To avoid that you keep tire pressure up and don't get much traction. So you go to slower rolling bigger knob tires.

    If the OP goes for the GT you could upgrade the rim and spokes to a Spank Oozy 350 and Sapim Laser spokes with Sapim Polax brass nipples.
    https://spank-ind.com/products/spank-350-rim
    https://gravitasracing.com/product-r...0-rims-review/

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the links. I was gonna upgrade the wheels for the GT anyway as they are not tubeless, but I wasn't sure what to look for, so thank you again for the link eb1888.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Everyone has their experiences to contribute. You have to take the info and use it how you want.

    I switched to 30mm in 2014 and am relating the difference in crashing on technical trails that I'd ridden thousands of times. I just stopped crashing. I had more time when the tire lost grip. It took longer to slide out. The wide rim difference(21 to 30) let me drop tire pressure by 4 lbs. front and rear. This causes the tire footprint to spread out. More contact patch and traction. More control. More sidewall support. The sidewall doesn't foldover. Instead it wrinkles. That contributes a lot to less crashing. When the sidewall folds over no tread is on the trail surface. Your front instantly slides and you're on the ground.

    If the OP goes for the GT you could upgrade the rim and spokes to a Spank Oozy 350 and Sapim Laser spokes with Sapim Polax brass nipples.
    https://spank-ind.com/products/spank-350-rim
    https://gravitasracing.com/product-r...0-rims-review/
    I'm glad you got so much out of it, but the subtle differences riding at a high level in handling between the two after "thousands of times" and a beginner's need for a bike within a budget are two different worlds. Constantly pushing people toward this one mantra of wide rims/tires gets really old and I wish you'd use your experience to give more objective/varied/situational advice. Not everyone needs/wants/can afford an extra $300-500+ for slightly better wheels. OP could likely get by with stock setup for a year or more and decide at that time if an upgrade is appropriate.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  17. #17
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    Thank you Noapathy, I never thought about that, it makes sense, I definitely gonna use the stock tires until it's time to change them, then upgrade. You are right it does get expensive really fast. At least now I know what to look for.

  18. #18
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    Tires are one of things that are mostly not that great on stock bikes. You could ask the dealer to swap them before you buy the bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Tires are one of things that are mostly not that great on stock bikes. You could ask the dealer to swap them before you buy the bike.
    This is something I often forget having built up my own bikes for so long - if they'll do it that's a great benefit for new riders, especially the experience of a good shop to suggest the right tire for each person.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  20. #20
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    There used to be guys years ago when I pushed air forks.
    They always wanted to let new riders be happy with a bike with a Suntour spring fork.
    They could ride any trail no problem with a fork with no rebound damping and plastic bushings inside.
    Let guys go into their bike shop and buy whatever the sales guy showed them in 'their price range'.
    Just get out and ride.

    But we didn't let that fly. And Nick at Suntour started the Upgrade Program to give people a fair upgrade path when they realized they'd been had.

    Looks the same for 19mm skinny rim wheels.
    Another guy who can ride anything no problem on any rim wheel. Hooray for you.
    You can but you don't do it.
    But just like the Suntour forks. No one rides those forks themselves.
    Not one of you trail rides 19mm rims. If you were buying a bike no chance you'd choose 19mm wheels.

    The market is coming around.

    I don't know where the OP is buying the Avalanche Elite with an air fork and SLX. It's not $500.
    Unless used or a past model.

    The Vitus Sentier VR 29 is $650 shipped. Wide rims and air fork.
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    Another model with 1x is $750. Same wide rims.

    We gotta keep pushing.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    There used to be guys years ago when I pushed air forks.
    They always wanted to let new riders be happy with a bike with a Suntour spring fork.
    They could ride any trail no problem with a fork with no rebound damping and plastic bushings inside.
    Let guys go into their bike shop and buy whatever the sales guy showed them in 'their price range'.
    Just get out and ride.

    But we didn't let that fly. And Nick at Suntour started the Upgrade Program to give people a fair upgrade path when they realized they'd been had.

    Looks the same for 19mm skinny rim wheels.
    Another guy who can ride anything no problem on any rim wheel. Hooray for you.
    You can but you don't do it.
    But just like the Suntour forks. No one rides those forks themselves.
    Not one of you trail rides 19mm rims. If you were buying a bike no chance you'd choose 19mm wheels.

    The market is coming around.

    I don't know where the OP is buying the Avalanche Elite with an air fork and SLX. It's not $500.
    Unless used or a past model.

    The Vitus Sentier VR 29 is $650 shipped. Wide rims and air fork.
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    Another model with 1x is $750. Same wide rims.

    We gotta keep pushing.
    I really like that website but any bike that I like cost an extra 300$ in duty fees.

    What about this one? https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timber...ack_deore_27.5

    What you guys think?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    There used to be guys years ago when I pushed air forks.
    They always wanted to let new riders be happy with a bike with a Suntour spring fork.
    They could ride any trail no problem with a fork with no rebound damping and plastic bushings inside.
    Let guys go into their bike shop and buy whatever the sales guy showed them in 'their price range'.
    Just get out and ride.

    But we didn't let that fly. And Nick at Suntour started the Upgrade Program to give people a fair upgrade path when they realized they'd been had.

    Looks the same for 19mm skinny rim wheels.
    Another guy who can ride anything no problem on any rim wheel. Hooray for you.
    You can but you don't do it.
    But just like the Suntour forks. No one rides those forks themselves.
    Not one of you trail rides 19mm rims. If you were buying a bike no chance you'd choose 19mm wheels.

    The market is coming around.

    I don't know where the OP is buying the Avalanche Elite with an air fork and SLX. It's not $500.
    Unless used or a past model.

    The Vitus Sentier VR 29 is $650 shipped. Wide rims and air fork.
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    Another model with 1x is $750. Same wide rims.

    We gotta keep pushing.
    Also they are not in stock.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popcorntea View Post
    I really like that website but any bike that I like cost an extra 300$ in duty fees.

    What about this one? https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timber...ack_deore_27.5

    What you guys think?
    TJ is always awesome to ride!
    Salsa Timberjack | Salsa Cutthroat

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