Bike help needed. Been out of the market for 5 years!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike help needed. Been out of the market for 5 years!

    I've been road racing too much the past 3-4 years and looking for "more fun" off-road.

    My current MTB is a pig, but I LOVE riding it.....a 1999ish Fisher X-Caliber (The yellow banana - 100mm/Hayes/etc). Rides like my old bmx bike, but it's time to retire it.....

    I need your help! I will be riding technical singletrack (The Farm, Lebannon Hills, for the folks in Mpls area) and will be racing at Buck, Afton and end the year with Chemie Fat Tire 40. Couple that with track, road and triathlon and it's a busy summer.....

    First things first, I do enjoy the ride of my Fisher hardtail, no complaints. Then again, I haven't ridden anything different. I'm VERY relunctant to buy a FS b/c it seems there is no one good system (am I wrong?) and all the fast guys using FS either lock it out or stiffen it up.

    My budget preferrably is around (or less) $2000, but I could squeeze another $500-600 if I there was solid arguement.

    A few questions.
    1) Build or buy?
    2) If build....ebay, online retailer (name them) or LBS?
    3) Any parts worth keeping on my X-Caliber (Bontrager Race Disc, 1st Gen Hayes, XT front/rear)

    I know "what should I buy" threads are a dime a dozen...but perhaps I've given enough information about what I'm looking for. At this point, I'm leaning towards just building my same bike, but "new" components (26" hardtail with 100mm fork and hyd discs).

    Another idea is to go with a 29" (Salsa Dos Niner or Fisher Paragon). Thoughts?

    thanks mucho.

  2. #2
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    29er's are fun but you are also limited on the parts that are available(tires, forks, wheels).
    If you want to build a sweet 26" hardtail the Ellsworth Enlightenment is a kick ass frame. You will get more bang for your buck though if you buy a pre built bike. The Cannondale F2000 is pretty sweet. If you are looking for a really sweet deal look at the Jamis Dakota XC at about $1500 for full XT. It does have mechanical brakes but for the price you could upgrade and still have money left over.
    www.treefortbikes.com Just lauched V2.0 with free shipping and low prices!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by applegreenheckler
    29er's are fun but you are also limited on the parts that are available(tires, forks, wheels).
    If you want to build a sweet 26" hardtail the Ellsworth Enlightenment is a kick ass frame. You will get more bang for your buck though if you buy a pre built bike. The Cannondale F2000 is pretty sweet. If you are looking for a really sweet deal look at the Jamis Dakota XC at about $1500 for full XT. It does have mechanical brakes but for the price you could upgrade and still have money left over.
    Appreciate the response. Oddly enough, the Ellsworth and Cannondale are a few bikes on the list. I'll check into the Jamis as well....

    I hate the pose the question, but for a technical singletrack/XC racer....is there a solid argument for FS? I just want to get that idea off (or on) the plate ASAP so I can start building my bike.....

    thanks!

  4. #4
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    Would you drive a car with only front suspension? Of course not...

    Short travel FS bikes are extremely efficient and traction is second to no hardtail. Bike companies have gone through tremendous development in the last five years to come up with bikes that are effective bump absorbers and efficient pedalers. Over the course of a long ride or race, your body will suffer far less. Moreover, shock and fork companies have created components directly marketed at racers, like Pro Pedal, SPV, TerraLogic and Motion Control.

    Out here in Colorado, the HT is all but dead to only the purists, students and occasional rec. riders. For serious riders, FS is the only game in town. And the 3.5" FS rig has been replaced by the 4-6" travel trailbikes. And guys are riding them like they're 23 lb HT frames of old. But our terrain demands it. In the midwest, 3-4" may be all you'd ever use.

    For bikes, you might look at:

    Ellsworth Truth
    Intense Spider XVP
    Santa Cruz Blur/Superlight
    Turner Flux/Nitrous
    Specialized Epic
    Titus Racer-X

    All race oriented, all efficient designs.

  5. #5
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    FS all the way

    For that price range you should definitely go FS, unless you are only going to ride boring flat fire roads. If you intend to race, then look at 3-4" travel. If you are out for fun, look at 5-6" travel. Pedal efficiency on the longer travel bikes has improved massively over the past few years. Hardtails are for the budget conscious and nostalgists (kind word for people who like to live in the past).

  6. #6
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    FS should be an option

    If you are going to be riding technical singletrack with lots of roots and small rocks, then a FS rig should definitely be an option. Like the other post said, bike companies have spent lots of time and money developing systems that work. I really like my blur, but there are a lot of other bikes you should check out. With that said, I do still have a HT in my stable.

  7. #7
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    When you (2) guys are talking about inches of travel....is that rear/front or combined? That seems like A LOT of travel or just the rear end.....

    Also, with the bikes mentioned, is having lockout a "nice to" or "must have" option (for climbing)? Or does it really depend on the bike.

    On FS bikes in the $2000 range, are folks riding the stock shock or upgrading?

    thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SupaFli
    When you (2) guys are talking about inches of travel....is that rear/front or combined? That seems like A LOT of travel or just the rear end.....

    Also, with the bikes mentioned, is having lockout a "nice to" or "must have" option (for climbing)? Or does it really depend on the bike.

    On FS bikes in the $2000 range, are folks riding the stock shock or upgrading?

    thanks!
    They are talking about front and rear travel (front has 3 - 6 inches and rear has 3 - 6 inches of travel).

    Depending on the rear suspension design, a lock out is not necessary. On my blur a lockout is not needed because of the way the suspension system is designed.

    Most people probably ride the stock shocks in the $2k range. If you were going to upgrade, you might as well do it when you buy the bike and spend more money initially.

  9. #9
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    I never understood the need to lockout a FS bike. I mean, once you lock it down, you're back to square one. But then again, I don't often have to climb long fire roads.

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