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  1. #1
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    New FS search is on!

    A little over a year ago this forum helped me land my first real mountain bike in over 20 years-'18 Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+. I love it and rode much more than I expected. So now that I'm getting much better with it I of course want a new FS trail bike. I'm 47yo just getting back into trail riding after 20 year lay off and in good shape. I ride in NE Ohio where most trails are rooty and rocky with some short punchy climbs and downhill. I like the way my HT handles and climbs but I want a little more rear suspension for riding the bumpy trails so I can ride longer and not get tired. If my Timberjack had a rear suspension I would be all set. I want to go faster and feel the HT kills some of my momentum. With all that said I have been looking at several bikes and have found a few new/used to consider. I guess I need some opinions on how much travel do I need and would 27.5 or 29 be best for my trails? A few bikes I'm considering:<br>New Giant Trance 3 $2100, New Kona Hei Hei Trail $2600, Used Trek Fuel EX 7 $1600, Used Diamondback Release 29 2 $1600. Dream bike would be the Kona Hei Hei Supreme on Jenson for $3K but probably not going to spend that much.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>Is there a better rear suspension design better than another or are they all the same function with different design? Also is carbon worth it over Aluminum if I'm gonna be kicking up rocks that hit the frame. I seem to get that alot when I ride.&nbsp;<br>Has anyone had experience buying from BicycleBlueBook? I appreciate any and all feedback and feel free to throw out any other suggestions you fell would fit my needs. Thanks.&nbsp;
    Last edited by GSR007; 1 Week Ago at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: phlegm's Avatar
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    A lot to digest here.

    I'll say first off that an FS is not necessarily better than an HT - they are different tools that will excel in different conditions. You will gain some comfort and confidence with the FS, but you'll likely gain weight - a hit on climbing and acceleration. That said, your existing + tires have helped absorb some hits at the expense of weight and speed, so moving to an FS with "normal" tires may feel even better in that respect.

    Next though, consider that you have to spend more on an FS to get the same level of components of a HT. The Timberjack SLX is ~$1400, so without me checking, I suspect a $1600 FS is giving up something - maybe even the $2100 one. So be aware of the extra spend here.

    Carbon - not mandatory, but will shed a good amount of weight. I would not be concerned about rocks, or other damage - these are largely concerns from people who had early experience with it in the 90s. (Invalidated concerns range from "instant, total shattering" of the frame, to UV degradation, to delamination, etc.)

    You generally cannot go wrong in a given pricepoint from any of the big manufacturers. You'll probably get a lot of random bike suggestions later in this thread, which is fine, but I wouldn't agonize over it. Consider your budget, ensure you're getting components at least as good as your current HT, and consider the location and friendliness of your local bike shop.

  3. #3
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    First, don't get the the "Dream" Kona...b/c of the RS1 fork. It's not that great and locks you into a specific wheel...actually hub, but whatever.

    I like carbon. Some people don't. Generally, carbon will weigh about 1-1.5lb less. Given that Salsa generally builds a stout bike and yours has "+" tires, I'd think a carbon FS will weigh about the same...but this is just me guessing.

    Between the ones you list, I'd be torn between the Giant and the Kona. I assume the Kona is from Jensen? It's a pretty good deal, Kona builds a stout bike, it's carbon, and it's blue! The SLX is a bit nicer than Deore.

    The Giant is from an LBS? Giant builds a nice bike and I like the Maestro. If so, that is list...you should be able to get a few buck off that..or, at least, some pedals and other swag.

    Personally, I'd want something with a bit less travel, but if I was choosing between those I'd take the Kona. LBS support is nice...but it would take quite a bit of servicing to make up that price difference...and: carbon

  4. #4
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    You need to demo bikes on trail. And probably save more to really make a difference you'll be satisfied with.

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