my first full suspension??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    my first full suspension??

    i'm trying to decide what kind of full supsension bike to build up to best suit my needs. i live in Marin County in norcal and my riding consists of mostly singletracks (hardpack to roots & ruts) and the occasional fireroad. i want something tight and responsive in handling, stable on descent, and a good climber. i am pretty short at 5'4" so i think i want a 15" frame, something i can get real low on. i already have all my components (lightish xc stuff), i just need to choose a frame and fork. suspension wise, i will probably be using a manitou minute one or marzocchi marathon s 120. i have been looking at a wide range of frames...the ventana pantera really caught my eye with it's quality build and awesome reviews. but i can't help but consider the iron horse warrior pro frame deal for only 299 @ adrenaline bikes. much more affordable plus an extra inch of travel on the ventana. but do i need it for my riding style? i don't want to get the iron horse just because it's better bang for the buck and end up being held back by a heavier frame and uneccesary amount of travel, not that i wouldn't need the travel, i just don't know if it's worth the weight penalty for the kind of riding i do. basically, i am willing to pay up to 900 max for a frame w/shock, if it's the right frame for me, then it is worth it to me. i would like to pay alot less if possible, but i am willing to pay that much for a good platform to build upon. i've seen a few gary fisher sugar frames for sale on ebay and the reviews have also got me interested in this bike, but i don't know. perhaps i am thinking about this too much but this is going to be my first full suspension bike and i want to do it right the first time. i know this is kind of an open ended question with many different kinds of answers, but if you guys could point me in the right direction it would be very helpful. thanks

  2. #2
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    First off...

    Quote Originally Posted by gukachu
    i'm trying to decide what kind of full supsension bike to build up to best suit my needs. i live in Marin County in norcal and my riding consists of mostly singletracks (hardpack to roots & ruts) and the occasional fireroad. i want something tight and responsive in handling, stable on descent, and a good climber. i am pretty short at 5'4" so i think i want a 15" frame, something i can get real low on. i already have all my components (lightish xc stuff), i just need to choose a frame and fork. suspension wise, i will probably be using a manitou minute one or marzocchi marathon s 120. i have been looking at a wide range of frames...the ventana pantera really caught my eye with it's quality build and awesome reviews. but i can't help but consider the iron horse warrior pro frame deal for only 299 @ adrenaline bikes. much more affordable plus an extra inch of travel on the ventana. but do i need it for my riding style? i don't want to get the iron horse just because it's better bang for the buck and end up being held back by a heavier frame and uneccesary amount of travel, not that i wouldn't need the travel, i just don't know if it's worth the weight penalty for the kind of riding i do. basically, i am willing to pay up to 900 max for a frame w/shock, if it's the right frame for me, then it is worth it to me. i would like to pay alot less if possible, but i am willing to pay that much for a good platform to build upon. i've seen a few gary fisher sugar frames for sale on ebay and the reviews have also got me interested in this bike, but i don't know. perhaps i am thinking about this too much but this is going to be my first full suspension bike and i want to do it right the first time. i know this is kind of an open ended question with many different kinds of answers, but if you guys could point me in the right direction it would be very helpful. thanks
    you don't base the size of the frame by just your height. It's also based on leg length, torso length, arm length. So a 15 might or might not be right for you(I too am 5'4" and ride a 13" Titus Loco size xs. Now I'd ride a sm because of changes). Also some of your components may not switch over like you may think(eg: bb, rear derailleur, fork, seatpost). You also, unfortunately, limit yourself with your budget. You want a frame+shock at $900 and a good shock runs $300 so you're looking at a $600 frame, but you also want it to be tight, responsive, good climber, etc, etc, etc. Not at $600 will you find it. I vote for a Titus because of their ability to size you properly.

  3. #3
    richeyr
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    I think you can get a weyless XP and maybe the sp frame still for like $450.
    Live Life or Watch it go by. I'd rather be living it!

  4. #4
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    what about the giant trance frame? they are selling them for $850 at bob's bicycles w/ fox rp3 shock. from the reviews they sound awesome. i guess i'm basically trying to decide between a 4" or 5" fs frame.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gukachu
    i'm trying to decide what kind of full supsension bike to build up to best suit my needs. i live in Marin County in norcal and my riding consists of mostly singletracks (hardpack to roots & ruts) and the occasional fireroad. i want something tight and responsive in handling, stable on descent, and a good climber.
    I'm in SF and tend to ride ECDM, but make it out to China Camp, Camp Tamarancho sometimes. Only recently did I break did I break down and got a Burner (3.6" travel), but had a Trance (4.2" travel) on order. I personally think that 5" is going to be a bit much for the area, but I see people on Heckers (5.1" travel) a lot so what do I know. Based on what you're looking for I think 4" travel would work better then 5".


    Quote Originally Posted by fred3
    you don't base the size of the frame by just your height. It's also based on leg length, torso length, arm length. So a 15 might or might not be right for you(I too am 5'4" and ride a 13" Titus Loco size xs.
    Agreed, what's the effective top tube and stem lengths on your current bike? That should be the guide as for what size to get.


    Quote Originally Posted by fred3
    You also, unfortunately, limit yourself with your budget. You want a frame+shock at $900 and a good shock runs $300 so you're looking at a $600 frame, but you also want it to be tight, responsive, good climber, etc, etc, etc. Not at $600 will you find it. I vote for a Titus because of their ability to size you properly.
    Another good point, but people gotta eat so it's going to damn near impossible to get a Titus frame w/shock and a fork for $900. That said the warrior deal is smoking, the only thing you might have to replace part wise is the BB. The included parts are somewhat cheap, but you'll save with the pre-installed headset.


    Quote Originally Posted by gukachu
    what about the giant trance frame? they are selling them for $850 at bob's bicycles w/ fox rp3 shock. from the reviews they sound awesome. i guess i'm basically trying to decide between a 4" or 5" fs frame.
    That would recomendation if you've got the money, though you'd want a 100 mm fork on it (04 marathon 120 is out). Also note the factory is out of some sizes (like the 20" I tried to order).

  6. #6
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    Trail Riding FS

    Sounds like you are the perfect candidate for a Santa Cruz Blur. A trail capable bike with XC leanings. I would also throw a Fox F100X fork on the front. That would make for a sweet ride.

    But now we come to the question of price. If you are looking for a $900 and under frame (with shock), Titus is just out of your league. I would lean more toward a 2004 Giant NRS (which you can get used on MTBR) or maybe a Specialized Stumpjumper.

    I have ridden GF Sugars and have been unimpressed, especially with the all the new suspension technology out there, the Sugar series is just not up to it. Try the GF Cake, their new trail bike, it maybe what you are looking for.

    In terms of the Ironhorse Warrior, don't waste your money. Ironhorse makes a lot of nice bikes, but the Warrior is not one of them. Its a low end bike plain and simple, hence the price.

    If you are looking for cheaper frames, try the Giant Warp or a Kona Dawg. Both very nice bikes. Now that I think about it, the Dawg sounds right up your alley. If you want to trail ride, have fun and your focus is not racing, the Kona Dawg is my vote. 4" front and rear should be perfect for you...

  7. #7
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    thanks, i was pretty interested in the dawg. but the trance frame has just as much travel, a better shock (rp3), i believe is lighter, and pedals better. i think this is what i want now, just have to save. thanks for your input everyone!

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