Upgrade old bike or buy new? Need some advice...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade old bike or buy new? Need some advice...

    Hey All -
    I have been doing some research over the past few days and no matter what I google I seem to wind up in a thread on this site so thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom with those of us who are in need of it.

    Quick background, I am 39 years old, have 2 kids, boy 6 and girl 8. If there is anything positive I can take from what is happening in the world right now its that I have been able to spend more time with both of them. Part of what we have done while stuck at home is teach them to ride their bikes without training wheels. They picked it up quick and are advancing nicely. It resulted in me pulling my bike out of the basement and giving it a tuneup as best I could so we could ride together. Now, I think its important to note, my riding is/will be very casual in nature, mostly family bike rides with very occasional and very easy trail riding. That said, a lot of those family bike rides are on dirt/sand roads, and regardless, a mountain bike is simply my preference.

    My old bike is GT Avalanche 2.0 circa 2001-2002. Hardtail, 21" frame, 26" wheel. It's all stock with Shimano Deore SL-m510 shifters, 3x9, corresponding stock derailers, etc... The shifters are not great, I cleaned them out and lubricated them to get them shifting again but they are lacking so I was thinking about just upgrading them and leaving the rest alone.

    Also important to note is that I am 6'5", 240lbs, 36" inseam and while I fit the bike, I think I may benefit from something slightly larger. That said, if I can spend a little money on upgraded shifters and be happy and not spend a bunch of money on a new bike, I'm all for that!

    I would really appreciate the thoughts of those in this community. Stick with what I've got or go to a larger frame, larger tire bike?

    If I stick with what I've got the research I've done on here has pointed me to XT m770 or XTR m970 as compatible upgrades for the shifters. Are there others you recommend that are compatible with the rest of my existing setup?

    If you think its new bike time, knowing I am a casual rider and my intended uses, what would you recommend? While I would rather not spend $3,000, when I buy something new I tend to lean towards the higher end and like to have nice things so, I wouldn't want a basic entry level bike even though I know I may be spending money I dont necessarily have to.

    Pic of current bike:


    Thank you all in advance and I apologize for the long post!
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  2. #2
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    A. that bike is too small for you. upgrading it would not be worthwhile for that reason alone.
    B. there is nothing you can really do to that bike to make it trailworthy by modern standards.

  3. #3
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    if your trail riding ambitions are minimal and slow, you could keep riding it with a tuneup. I am 99% certain everything on that bike can be made to function correctly without replacing any parts except a cable here and there.

    still, riding that bike is like running in size 10 sneakers when you need a size 13. you could cut holes in the toebox to let your piggies hang out and leave the laces loose, but it's just too small. OK for very short, mellow rides, but longer rides are going to be painful with you bunched up on top of a bike like that.

    if you want to put in some real miles or fun trails and not just putz around a greenbelt for 30 minutes at a time, a modern bike is going to go MUCH farther in getting you there. what's a realistic budget for you? you could probably sell that current bike for 200-300 bucks depending on your local market and put it toward something new.

    look for a XXL frame. an XL is not going to cut it. not many companies actually make bikes that fit you, unfortunately. i know someone who is about your height and he is enjoying a XXL Cannondale Trail 5 (I think that's the model) that he got at REI for about $1,000.

  4. #4
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    I figured this was the best course of action. I found my bike on bicyclebluebook.com and it shows trade in value of $70 and private party value of $125. I'd spend more than that to upgrade the shifters so probably not worth it.

    Would an XXL frame equate to 23" +/-?

    Any recomendations on bikes?

    What about some of the direct to consumer or 'non-mainstream' brands?

    Thank you!

  5. #5
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    I would start here: https://forums.mtbr.com/clydesdales-tall-riders/

    Oh man, bike options are all over the place! Where do you live? what kind of trails do you plan to ride? because the audience on this forum is global, the right answer for one rider might be totally inappropriate for you.

    If you have a healthy budget, Guerrilla Gravity is one of the few companies that makes their stuff in the US and they have bikes for tall people. they are not "cheap" but they are a great value for a US-made product. https://ridegg.com/products/trailpistol

    budget is relative. I don't have 2-3K to spend on a bicycle, but I know a lot of people who casually spend that money on a hobby right off the bat. something decent that is not going to crumble on trails when ridden hard is going to start close to $1,000.

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    Man, those Guerrilla Gravity bikes look sweet! I'd really rather not spend that kind of money. Does a $1,500 budget even get me close to something nice?

    Diving into the clydesdales threads! Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Man, those Guerrilla Gravity bikes look sweet! I'd really rather not spend that kind of money. Does a $1,500 budget even get me close to something nice?

    Diving into the clydesdales threads! Thanks!
    It actually does! To me, $1500 is the sweet spot for many hardtails! You should check out the Salsa Timberjack! It's a versatile hardtail that can take on multiple roles! I believe they make it in your size too.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Man, those Guerrilla Gravity bikes look sweet! I'd really rather not spend that kind of money. Does a $1,500 budget even get me close to something nice?

    Diving into the clydesdales threads! Thanks!
    yeah, 1500 is a perfectly fine budget. I was pointing out GG because it's a killer deal for what it is. no one else has a US-made bike (if that matters to you) that rad for anywhere close to that price.

    I second the Timberjack.

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    Oh boy, I just know I am going to head down too many rabbit holes here! lol.

    I looked at the Timberjack, the XL frame (biggest they show) measures 21", same as my current bike. Thoughts?

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    Check out Bikesonline.com.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    I would throw out the sizes measured by seat tube length, which is what is meant by 21 inches. sizing theory for bikes has changed a lot since those bikes were made. inseam has really nothing to do with how a bike fits when you're riding it and would only be an issue to consider if you have very short legs for your height.

    I would go by the manufacturer's sizing chart. you're what, 77 inches or 195cm tall? The TJ could work, but I don't know if their XL is really intended for people who are very tall. it could be a bit cramped, but I'll bet it would feel a lot better than your GT. look for other bikes that come in one more size above an XL.

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    Alright, so I'm currently knee deep in a thread titled "XXL Bike for Tall Riders" which is helping but bike recomendations are from 2017. Still digging...

    Also diving into Clydesdales subforum, and bikesonline.com.

    One question which I know is beating a dead horse in a way, 27.5" or 29"? I ask specifically as it relates to my height and in turn what it means to ride-ability.

    Thanks again!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Oh boy, I just know I am going to head down too many rabbit holes here! lol.

    I looked at the Timberjack, the XL frame (biggest they show) measures 21", same as my current bike. Thoughts?
    If you have a local Salsa dealer, I recommend stopping by and checking it out. They might let you stop by as an appointment depending on how they operate. If you don't have a local Salsa dealer, I also believe they are shipping to doorstep if you want to buy a bike without checking it out first. Some people do that. I've done it several times
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  14. #14
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    most bikes on the market these days have room for a 29" tire in the 2.4" range, or 27.5" tire with a 3" width. those two tires are actually about the same size. 27.5 "plus" tires give you more cushion and traction (usually) at the expense of more weight. it's really a personal choice.

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    So based on my height, riding plans, etc... I am looking for an XXL 29er. Let the search begin!

    Battery - I am going to call Salsa and talk to someone there to get a sense fro what might work. Im a little hesitant to go into a store right now.

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    I literally just came across this: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2762716/

    Any thoughts? I feel like I would be better off with a new $1500 bike than this used bike but the upgrades are foreign to me. I thought i would run it past you guys since you are probably much more familiar with the upgrades.

    The search continues but I feel like I've narrowed things down a bit with your help.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    I literally just came across this: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2762716/

    Any thoughts? I feel like I would be better off with a new $1500 bike than this used bike but the upgrades are foreign to me. I thought i would run it past you guys since you are probably much more familiar with the upgrades.

    The search continues but I feel like I've narrowed things down a bit with your help.
    That one could possibly work. An XXL Stumpjumper might have been a custom order size. You typically don't see a SJ in that size. You might be able to talk the seller down a few bucks too.
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    The question is, are you anyway near Vermont? That bike looks to be a okay deal, Iwould think that there isn't a big market for xxl's . Another thing as you brought up most people don't want to spend $1500 on a used bike. If you could test ride it ,that would tell you something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    The question is, are you anyway near Vermont? That bike looks to be a okay deal, Iwould think that there isn't a big market for xxl's . Another thing as you brought up most people don't want to spend $1500 on a used bike. If you could test ride it ,that would tell you something.
    Its about 3 hours away. If you all thought it was a GREAT DEAL then it would be worth it but that would have to be the case in order for me to make the trip.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    That one could possibly work. An XXL Stumpjumper might have been a custom order size. You typically don't see a SJ in that size. You might be able to talk the seller down a few bucks too.
    Based on this thread, it looks like Specialized make the SJ in XXL along with several other XXL models but discontinued a lot of them in 2019. And people think its so nice to be tall!!!

  21. #21
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    Shop for a new bike, Surly Karate Monkey XL.(very cool colors too!) Well within budget, super sweet steel frame and tip-top components.
    If for some reason you dont like it, easy to resell and holds its value.

    Save the old GT bike. It is a perfect candidate for a Bafang BBSHD e-motor conversion.
    Cheers JJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake January View Post
    Save the old GT bike. It is a perfect candidate for a Bafang BBSHD e-motor conversion.
    Cheers JJ
    Now this idea I like! Thanks, will check out the Surly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake January View Post
    Shop for a new bike, Surly Karate Monkey XL.(very cool colors too!) Well within budget, super sweet steel frame and tip-top components.
    If for some reason you dont like it, easy to resell and holds its value.
    Thoughts on the Krampus vs the Karate Monkey?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Thoughts on the Krampus vs the Karate Monkey?
    Can't go wrong with either one. JCD rides a Krampus and loves it.
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  25. #25
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    Im the same size as the OP but 25 pounds heavier. I ride an XL Surly Krampus. Love it.
    29+ was made for guys like us.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Im the same size as the OP but 25 pounds heavier. I ride an XL Surly Krampus. Love it.
    29+ was made for guys like us.
    Your response is well timed and much appreciated! I was really digging into the Krampus, I feel like it may be the most well rounded for what I am looking for. Just a question NYrr496, and this may be against code in this forum, but how does she do on pavement? I feel like that is where most of my riding will be for the next 1-2 years until the kids take the next step.

  27. #27
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    Bikes fine on pavement. The only reason I dont ride mine on pavement much is because the tires I have on mine are a little pricey and I dont want to wear em out.
    You could get the 29x 2 1/2 Surly Extraterrestrial tires and ride all the pavement you want.

    My stepson and his girlfriend keep inviting me to go on some fifty mile ride and I dont currently have a bike suitable for pavement. If I dont get time to build a Surly Bridge Club in time for the ride, Ill probably just throw a pair of Extraterrestrials on my Krampus and go for it.

    Now that Ive answered the pavement question, we both have to be careful of the MTBR black Suburbans pulling up in front of our houses to bust us up. Were both big guys. We can handle em.

    Edit: I rode a Cannondale that looked almost identical the bike in the original post for way too long. In 2008, my buddy guilted me into getting a new bike. I got an XL 29er with full suspension. It was an awakening. Same thing will happen to you the first time you throw a leg over a bike with big wheels that fits you.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Now that Ive answered the pavement question, we both have to be careful of the MTBR black Suburbans pulling up in front of our houses to bust us up. Were both big guys. We can handle em.
    This is what I was afraid of when I asked! LOL.

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    So I think we are close. I have put together a short list of bikes that I think make sense but before I post that list for your feedback, one question that occurred to me during my search. Given my planned use of the bike, should I be considering a XC bike? I came across the Trek X-Caliber 8 which made me want to ask.

    Thanks!

  30. #30
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    Thats fine too.
    I like turtles

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    So I think we are close. I have put together a short list of bikes that I think make sense but before I post that list for your feedback, one question that occurred to me during my search. Given my planned use of the bike, should I be considering a XC bike? I came across the Trek X-Caliber 8 which made me want to ask.

    Thanks!
    Hard decision! The X-Cal is definitely a XC bike and could be all purpose.

    According to the Surly website, the Krampus and Karate Monkey do come with 3" tires. That means the rims are wide. Depending on rim width, you may want to check which narrow tires are a good fit for them. You can buy a narrow set of tires for street use and toss on the 3" tires for a good time on the trail when you feel like changing it up. Surly might even be willing to swap the tires out for you too!

    I actually ride 27.5 x 3" tires on the street and it's a lot of drag. I pedal half a mile to my gravel route or my bike park so my time is minimal on the streets. The 3" tires are very loud on the streets! I do get a great workout with these tires though!

    Another plus is that Surly frames are steel. I've never ridden on steel before but I've read multiple times here on the forum that steel frames are great at dampening vibrations. Not to mention that steel is great for a clyde too!
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    Alright, I was so far down a rabbit hole here I am lucky I made it out!

    Thanks to a valuable reply from NYrr496 yesterday I was 90% sure the Surly Krampus was my new bike but then today happened...........

    I started looking into tire sizes, other models, considering how I plan to use this bike and I wasn't so sure the Krampus was the right choice (also not sure it isn't). Then I spent way to many hours today trying to understand geometry and how it should impact the bike I choose and I wound up with the attached list of potential candidates and some of the geometry specs that seem to be important based on what I read.

    I did find a thread in the Clydes forums here where someone my height laid out how the Pole Taival geometry was ideal. Then I found another thread in the Clydes here that took me down the geometry rabbit hole.

    Basically my brain hurts, however I do think I have a pretty good list of the bikes that may work well for me and I would love some input. Just to reiterate, my riding for at least a couple years is/will be very casual in nature, mostly family bike rides, dirt/gravel roads, and occasional very easy trail riding.

    Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks again for all the guidance.

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Alright, I was so far down a rabbit hole here I am lucky I made it out!

    Thanks to a valuable reply from NYrr496 yesterday I was 90% sure the Surly Krampus was my new bike but then today happened...........

    I started looking into tire sizes, other models, considering how I plan to use this bike and I wasn't so sure the Krampus was the right choice (also not sure it isn't). Then I spent way to many hours today trying to understand geometry and how it should impact the bike I choose and I wound up with the attached list of potential candidates and some of the geometry specs that seem to be important based on what I read.

    I did find a thread in the Clydes forums here where someone my height laid out how the Pole Taival geometry was ideal. Then I found another thread in the Clydes here that took me down the geometry rabbit hole.

    Basically my brain hurts, however I do think I have a pretty good list of the bikes that may work well for me and I would love some input. Just to reiterate, my riding for at least a couple years is/will be very casual in nature, mostly family bike rides, dirt/gravel roads, and occasional very easy trail riding.

    Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks again for all the guidance.

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    Don't over think things! It will make the buying process harder. I would not stress to death the geometry numbers if you aren't 100 percent familiar with reading them. It will turn into long days. You will learn over time!

    I would remove the Pole Taival from your list. That bike is an aggressive geometry bike. The head tube on that one is very slack. You have to test ride a very slack bike to get a feel for it. If you don't plan on railing the side of a mountain at full speed, then you are better off with one of the other models (like the Surly!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Don't over think things!
    What gives you the impression I am over thinking things!? LOL

    Ok, well let's forget about the geometry then. Knowing these bikes are all priced relatively similarly and within my budget, are there any of these I should cross off the list simply because the components available on other options are superior or some I should focus on because its the best bang for the buck (like the Surly)?

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    You started on the right track with sizing, then you went to geometry ,now you are on to components . Go back to fit , parts break/wear out ,frame fit is until your next bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    You started on the right track with sizing, then you went to geometry ,now you are on to components . Go back to fit , parts break/wear out ,frame fit is until your next bike.
    Ok, point taken. Need to focus on what brought me here. That said, of the bikes on my list, should any come off based on fit? Id like to narrow it down some so I can make a decision.

    Thanks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Ok, point taken. Need to focus on what brought me here. That said, of the bikes on my list, should any come off based on fit? Id like to narrow it down some so I can make a decision.

    Thanks.
    Honestly, it's hard to judge fit by looking at numbers especially when you are new.

    Most of the time, you just need to hit up a shop and sit on some bikes (and ride a few). For me, I'm 5'11" with a 29" inseam and for most bike brands, I ride on a large. There are some brands like Giant and Salsa where I fit on a medium instead. Personally, I would start with Specialized, Trek, Surly, and Salsa. They are fairly common in most cities. If you find a Specialized dealer, they may even carry Cannondale which will give you a few extra options to scope out. Some Salsa dealers also carry Surly. To me, both of those companies go hand in hand!

    You should be able find one of those dealers in your area. You might even find all of them. I'm lucky enough to have all of those dealers within a 5 mile radius lol!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Honestly, it's hard to judge fit by looking at numbers especially when you are new.

    Most of the time, you just need to hit up a shop and sit on some bikes (and ride a few). For me, I'm 5'11" with a 29" inseam and for most bike brands, I ride on a large. There are some brands like Giant and Salsa where I fit on a medium instead. Personally, I would start with Specialized, Trek, Surly, and Salsa. They are fairly common in most cities. If you find a Specialized dealer, they may even carry Cannondale which will give you a few extra options to scope out. Some Salsa dealers also carry Surly. To me, both of those companies go hand in hand!

    You should be able find one of those dealers in your area. You might even find all of them. I'm lucky enough to have all of those dealers within a 5 mile radius lol!
    I hear ya! My hope was to cross some off the list based on the experience of someone similar in size who just says, yeah that Giant will be too small or something along those lines. I put up a post in the Clydes forum focused specifically on the bike choices. I feel like where this post started and where it is now are very different.

    I am going to keep digging and hopefully narrow it down to a shorter list then do as you said. I'm just outside Boston so I should be able to find a dealer for most of these.

    Thank you all again for your help. It's been a blast and I've learned a ton. Not sure if you noticed from my Excel sheet but I'm a little analytical! Sometimes its a curse.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    I hear ya! My hope was to cross some off the list based on the experience of someone similar in size who just says, yeah that Giant will be too small or something along those lines. I put up a post in the Clydes forum focused specifically on the bike choices. I feel like where this post started and where it is now are very different.

    I am going to keep digging and hopefully narrow it down to a shorter list then do as you said. I'm just outside Boston so I should be able to find a dealer for most of these.

    Thank you all again for your help. It's been a blast and I've learned a ton. Not sure if you noticed from my Excel sheet but I'm a little analytical! Sometimes its a curse.
    Personally, I would scratch off the Rockhopper Pro 1X model. To me, it's overpriced for what they want. In my area, my local shops couldn't sell them. They just sat around all summer. Who knows what they did with them afterwards. I also owned a Giant Fathom 29er and wasn't too happy with it. I noticed that the Fathom has been upgraded since I owned it so it could be better. See if you can get sized on a Specialized Fuse! Specialized has the 2019 models on blowout right now so you could get yourself a good deal if you can get the right size!

    Also the Nukeproof Scout is another aggressive hardtail like the Pole Taival. I would steer you clear of that one as well. I would wait until you have more ride time and know what you want out of a bike before you unleash yourself on a Pole Taival, Nukeproof Scout, or a Whyte 905 (snuck that one in for you hahaha).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    I would steer you clear of that one as well. I would wait until you have more ride time and know what you want out of a bike before you unleash yourself on a Pole Taival, Nukeproof Scout, or a Whyte 905 (snuck that one in for you hahaha).
    You know I had to dig into the Whyte 905 last night right?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    You know I had to dig into the Whyte 905 last night right?
    I know. I just had to do it

    The Whyte 905 was on my radar for a while. I had to decide between the 905 and my Timberjack. I went with the TJ because my days of aggressive riding are over. I've tried to aggressively ride my TJ but my health ain't having it! Instead, my TJ is my bike for gravel roads and mountain bike trails at a much slower pace. The Salsa handlebar is pretty nice too. It gives me a bit more of an upright posture.

    The TJ is more versatile in what it can do. You can completely kit that bike out for adventure cycling or just have fun riding it as a regular hardtail. You can run 27.5 x 3" tires or toss on a set of 29ers. Salsa has a ton of accessories just for the Timberjack too.

    The TJ chainstay is adjustable meaning you can run the wheels a little more forward and get that "BMX" like feel which is something I love. You can also pull the rear wheel back just a touch and get a little more stability. I'm very used to riding on 420mm chain stays so I just leave it in that position because it makes trail rides more fun.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  42. #42
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    A lot of movement today, we are down to 3 options!

    Least expensive ($1599): Salsa Timberjack SLX 29
    More Expensive ($2299): Kona Honzo ST
    Most Expensive ($2200+): Surly Karate Monkey 27.5+

    Here is my line of thinking on these 3 options:
    • I think fit should be good with all 3.
    • While I dont think I can go wrong with the Timberjack, the idea of a steel frame intrigues me, the other 2 options are obviously steel frame.
    • If I went with the Karate Monkey I would likely want to set it up as a 29er which has a pro and con. Con, obviously it costs more to do that. Pro, I'd have a set of 27.5+ wheels/tires and a set of 29er wheels/tires.


    Thoughts on my line of thinking and options?

    Also, how much would it cost me to get a set of 29er wheels/tires for the Karate Monkey that are similar in quality to the 27.5 it comes with?

    Thanks again!

  43. #43
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    Hi brtt485,

    I got back into riding a year ago, and went from a 2001 bike (Kona Mano Mano) to a modern bike (Santa Cruz 5010). The changes in the last ~20 years are amazing. You will love having a new bike with modern geometry and components (dropper posts, disc brakes, no more front derailleur, 27.5" or 29" tires...) Have fun!!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    A lot of movement today, we are down to 3 options!

    Least expensive ($1599): Salsa Timberjack SLX 29
    More Expensive ($2299): Kona Honzo ST
    Most Expensive ($2200+): Surly Karate Monkey 27.5+

    Here is my line of thinking on these 3 options:
    • I think fit should be good with all 3.
    • While I dont think I can go wrong with the Timberjack, the idea of a steel frame intrigues me, the other 2 options are obviously steel frame.
    • If I went with the Karate Monkey I would likely want to set it up as a 29er which has a pro and con. Con, obviously it costs more to do that. Pro, I'd have a set of 27.5+ wheels/tires and a set of 29er wheels/tires.


    Thoughts on my line of thinking and options?

    Also, how much would it cost me to get a set of 29er wheels/tires for the Karate Monkey that are similar in quality to the 27.5 it comes with?

    Thanks again!
    Looks like your thinking is very simplified now. Great work! So here are some other things I want to add. Right now, you can find some Timberjack models for $1299 (or lower). You just need to see what's on sale at the Salsa shop.

    When it comes to steel, you can't go wrong with it! There are a lot of riders here on the forum who live and die by steel frames. I honestly want to try it now!

    It doesn't hurt to have both wheel sets. I actually run both wheel sets for my Timberjack. The biggest pro to having a bike that can handle 2 wheel sets is that you can change up your riding just by slipping on a different wheel set. The only con is that you will need to swap over rotors and a cassette unless you just buy a second set of rotors and a cassette.

    Buying a second wheel set will vary in price. Buying them custom built could run from $350 all the way up to $2k depending on what you want.

    I actually bought my used 29er wheel set on Pink Bike Buy/Sell market for $400 shipped. It was a lightly used set from a Santa Cruz Hightower LT with Race Face Arc 30 rims and DT Swiss 350 hubs. I also received the stock tires with it too!

    If you do want a 29er set built for a good price, check out Speed Gear Bike Shop ran by Wayne. Here's the website: https://www.speedgearbike.com/

    Just let him know what you want and what size tires you want to run. He can give you advice on a build.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    I love the idea of having both sets of wheels but realistically speaking, the chances of me swapping them out is slim given the riding I will do. Plus, going that route will put me $1000+ over budget!

    The Salsa LBS guys I spoke to today are sticking to the MSRP and all recommended the SLX version, even over the NX Eagle version I was focused on.

    If I just went Karate Monkey and didn't get the other set of wheels do you think I would be disappointed with a 27.5+ as opposed to a 29er?

    Am I overthinking the steel vs aluminum aspect and the Timberjack is the way to go?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    I love the idea of having both sets of wheels but realistically speaking, the chances of me swapping them out is slim given the riding I will do. Plus, going that route will put me $1000+ over budget!

    The Salsa LBS guys I spoke to today are sticking to the MSRP and all recommended the SLX version, even over the NX Eagle version I was focused on.

    If I just went Karate Monkey and didn't get the other set of wheels do you think I would be disappointed with a 27.5+ as opposed to a 29er?

    Am I overthinking the steel vs aluminum aspect and the Timberjack is the way to go?
    Yeah I think the discount pricing is on last year models. I picked up my 27.5+ SLX model for $1299. You never know if they had anything else for $1299 at your shop. You should be fine to ride a 27.5+ bike on dirt/sand roads (per your original post). I do ride my 3" tires on the street, road, gravel, and dirt quite regularly. The tires do drag a little bit on the street along with some road noise but I can pedal it no problem. If you plan on buying 29er wheels for it in the distant future, then you have a good frame to stick them on.

    One thing I'll admit now is that I should have tried plus tires sooner! They are very fun on the trail!

    You should schedule an appointment with the Surly shop and see if they can hook you up with a test ride! Do they have any in stock there?
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    You should schedule an appointment with the Surly shop and see if they can hook you up with a test ride! Do they have any in stock there?
    Apparently this pandemic has given everyone else a similar idea. I called a few and none of them had the Timberjack SLX (only one had an XL Deore), and none had a Karate Monkey in stock. Only one Kona dealer I found closeby and they didnt have a Honzo ST in stock but unless someone can make a very strong case for the Kona, I think its between the Timberjack and Karate Monkey.

    I will make some calls tomorrow.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by brtt485 View Post
    Apparently this pandemic has given everyone else a similar idea. I called a few and none of them had the Timberjack SLX (only one had an XL Deore), and none had a Karate Monkey in stock. Only one Kona dealer I found closeby and they didnt have a Honzo ST in stock but unless someone can make a very strong case for the Kona, I think its between the Timberjack and Karate Monkey.

    I will make some calls tomorrow.
    Can't go wrong with a TJ or Karate Monkey! Have fun and make sure you share which choice you made!
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    ^^^^^^^^One step up from department store BSO's.

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    Well, I did it. I ordered a bike and one that wasn't even on the list!

    Out of curiosity, I called Guerrilla Gravity based on one of the first responses from mack_turtle. A human actually answered the phone, no press 1 for this or press 2 for that. I walked through what I was looking for, my body type, riding plans, and even the other bikes I was considering. Couldnt have been more honest or helpful so we went ahead and built a Pedalhead right there over the phone. I am super excited but.....

    Now the waiting begins.

    Thank you all again. Your advice was huge and has me feeling good about my purchase.

  52. #52
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    So thanks to all of the input I got from you guys, this showed up today.....

    Upgrade old bike or buy new?  Need some advice...-1.jpg
    Upgrade old bike or buy new?  Need some advice...-2.jpg

    Thank you all again!

  53. #53
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    Looks great! Can't wait to see it built up. Some assembly required
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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