Older top of the line bike or new lower end bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Older top of the line bike or new lower end bike

    I’ve been out of mountain biking for about 25 years and am going to get back into it. I want a full suspension bike and looking to spend about $2000. Is it better to buy an older bike 10-15 years old that was top of the line (5k) and has been completely rebuilt for $1200 -1300 or get a new one for 2k

  2. #2
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    Depends on what you find out there. Have you looked around Pink Bike? There are deals to be made and found!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skebo63 View Post
    I’ve been out of mountain biking for about 25 years and am going to get back into it. I want a full suspension bike and looking to spend about $2000. Is it better to buy an older bike 10-15 years old that was top of the line (5k) and has been completely rebuilt for $1200 -1300 or get a new one for 2k
    It depends.

    a mtb that's 10-15yrs old has a lot of aspects about it that cannot match what's available new, and will limit you moving forward. You'll get those things with the new bike. However, the newer bike will have some lower end components. Some trickle down will mean they're actually better than the old stuff. But some won't. It's kinda impossible to go into specifics without knowing the two specific bikes being considered.

    Generally, when looking at used bikes, it's better to look at bikes that are a lot newer than 10-15yrs old.

    I also like to stay far, far away from full suspension bikes that are at the bottom of a given manufacturer's lineup. You are almost always short-changed on components, and especially when suspension bits are an essential part of things, bottom of the barrel suspension components typically mean limited means to adjust the bike for you. This is an essential part of suspension. A lot of people don't grasp the importance of suspension setup, and they don't bother to do anything more than the shop did during their test ride.

  4. #4
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    What bikes are you considering if you've worked that out yet.
    Where are you riding?

    This is near you.
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/cartertaylor-trail/

    https://www.singletracks.com/bike-tr...ity=Appomattox

    This with a little discount would be a good choice.
    https://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles.../cat/occam-h30

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input

  6. #6
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    2005 Specialized S-works FSR Epic:
    New drive train. Upgraded wheels, tires and carbon-fiber handlebar. XTR shifters and brake set. Brand new Fox “Brain” Float shocks front and rear

    2005 Giant NRS Carbon:
    Literally EVERYTHING is Brand new except for the frame and crank.
    Professionally set up by Mole Hill Bikes.
    Large 20.5" Frame
    Sram 3x9 driveline with new chainrings, cassette and chain
    New 26" Disk wheels with 200mm Avid Elixir disks and WTB tires
    Easton Carbon fiber handlebars
    Raceface Dropper Seatpost
    New Cane Creek Headset
    New 100mm Rockshox fork
    New Rockshox Monarch Debonaire Rear Shock
    All New Cables

  7. #7
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    As others have said it depends but I'd gravitate towards newer as a LOT has changed. If you can save or budget up to 3k it really opens up to some very nice "entry" level bikes.

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  8. #8
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    You can get an older top of the line bike thats less than 5 years old for $2000 on Ebay or Pinkbike. High end 15 year old bikes are probably worth around $400-500 if still in very good condition, absolutely do not spend $1200 on a 15 year old bike.

    But yes I would much rather have a top of the line bike from around 2015 over a $2000 new bike. A bike from 2015 will have better suspension and it will come with a high end 11 speed drivetrain, which I'd rather have over a low end 12 speed.

    I would go on Pinkbike and input a price range of what you want to spend and look at the options (like $1800-2200), should be plenty to choose from at that price. (If you buy something on Pinkbike make sure you pay them by having them send you a Paypal invoice, dont just send them money, that way you get all the same protections as if buying from Ebay)

  9. #9
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    I appreciate all the input and will be looking newer. Thanks

  10. #10
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    Used is probably best option for FS @ price you're talking ($2K). But as many mentioned, look for something less than 5 years old. When you get 10-15 years out, it can get difficult to find parts, components, etc. The most I would pay for something that old would be $500 and it would need to be cherry.
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  11. #11
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    a really solid new bike option is the Giant Trance 3 (27.5 or 29er versions depending on your preferences) for $2100

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-29-3

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by skebo63 View Post
    2005 Specialized S-works FSR Epic:
    New drive train. Upgraded wheels, tires and carbon-fiber handlebar. XTR shifters and brake set. Brand new Fox “Brain” Float shocks front and rear
    Stay the f*ck away from anything with the "Brain" shocks. Those things are a nightmare to service. Doubtful that it's "brand new" either. They're proprietary and not nice to deal with. And tbh, I hate the way that bike rides. The brain valve prevents the rear suspension from working until AFTER it hits a bump that's big enough to open the valve. Might as well ride a hardtail.

    Quote Originally Posted by skebo63 View Post
    2005 Giant NRS Carbon:
    Literally EVERYTHING is Brand new except for the frame and crank.
    Professionally set up by Mole Hill Bikes.
    Large 20.5" Frame
    Sram 3x9 driveline with new chainrings, cassette and chain
    New 26" Disk wheels with 200mm Avid Elixir disks and WTB tires
    Easton Carbon fiber handlebars
    Raceface Dropper Seatpost
    New Cane Creek Headset
    New 100mm Rockshox fork
    New Rockshox Monarch Debonaire Rear Shock
    All New Cables
    Also a hard no from me. The NRS rear suspension design locks itself out from chain tension. What this means is that when you're pedaling, you have a hardtail. You only have rear suspension to use when you're coasting. That might be fine if you ride pavement uphill and trails downhill, but who does this? There's a reason this suspension design is dead. IMO, also might as well ride a hardtail.

    You need to first choose a bike that's your size, whatever that might be. After that, NOTHING is a good deal if it's the wrong size.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skebo63 View Post
    2005 Specialized S-works FSR Epic:
    New drive train. Upgraded wheels, tires and carbon-fiber handlebar. XTR shifters and brake set. Brand new Fox “Brain” Float shocks front and rear

    2005 Giant NRS Carbon:
    Literally EVERYTHING is Brand new except for the frame and crank.
    Professionally set up by Mole Hill Bikes.
    Large 20.5" Frame
    Sram 3x9 driveline with new chainrings, cassette and chain
    New 26" Disk wheels with 200mm Avid Elixir disks and WTB tires
    Easton Carbon fiber handlebars
    Raceface Dropper Seatpost
    New Cane Creek Headset
    New 100mm Rockshox fork
    New Rockshox Monarch Debonaire Rear Shock
    All New Cables
    No way would I consider a 26" wheel bike.
    Talk about an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

    If you are looking at 29ers, I'd concentrate on the last 3 years, as designs did go through a real jump in capability about then.

    Lot's of good 27.5's out there.

  14. #14
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    Good advice

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    a really solid new bike option is the Giant Trance 3 (27.5 or 29er versions depending on your preferences) for $2100

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-29-3
    Yeah. The Maestro suspension is mighty fine!

  16. #16
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    99spokes.com is a database of ~5700 bikes that you can search.

    I ran $2k through for aggressive FS mountain bikes and got the following (link):

    https://99spokes.com/quiz/results?ca...ex&budget=2000

    Some nice recommendations there! Canyon, Scott, YT, Specialized...

    The covid19 situation could cause limited availability of these lower-end bikes. I saw the YT bikes are sold-out for now.

    10-15 year old bikes will likely have old-school geometry and probably no seat dropper. Those are deal breakers. Once you ride with a dropper on modern geometry - you just won't want to go back. It's like a cell phone. You lived fine without it. But once you had it, you can't imagine living without it.

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  17. #17
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    Haven't read all the posts but NO!!! on a 10-15 year old bike. You should be able to get a $5K bike for <$2500 when it ~3+ years old. Of course there's a reason for that beyond just the shine having worn off. All warranties are gone and there could be significant service issues that should be addressed, not limited to drivetrain, brakes, BB, headset, sus pivots, fork, shock.... It's very helpful if you have the knowledge to evaluate this stuff, or know a good trustworthy shop that can do that for you, because it can add up pretty quickly, especially if you pay to have it done.
    What, me worry?

  18. #18
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    Thank you very much

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