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  1. #1
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    All Mountain (AM) or Cross Country (XC)

    Hey Front Rangers, newbie here and I am looking to replace my steel frame hardtail with dual suspension. Quick question though since I haven't bought a bike in a while. I am noticing more bikes labeled as AM (all mountain). Wanted to get opinions on what most of you think. From what I gather, the AM bikes are heavier with more travel, but I am concerned with their climbing ability since Colorado riding involves a lot of climbing. I am 6' and around 195 lbs, so a heavier bike doesn't scare me too bad, but I also want a bike I can ride comfortably for longer than 1.5 hours. I like to ride aggressive single track, but dabble in longer stuff and technical stuff as well - hardtail has run it's course.
    So, any thoughts on which way to go; AM or XC (budget around $2k)? Thanks in advance for everyone's comments and Happy New Year!!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Kaba Klaus's Avatar
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    Opinions on this topic will vary a lot. My ideal FR steed is probably more an AM:

    130 to 160 mm fork - adjustable if travel is more than 140 mm (U-Turn, ATA, ...)
    120 to 165 mm travel frame

    Personally I ride a Heckler. 160mm fork, 150mm in the rear. Climps sufficiently well and gets me down about everything. Yes, I ride it for longer than 1.5 hours.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  3. #3
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    575

  4. #4
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    Are you referring to the Yeti 575?

  5. #5
    beer is too easy to drink
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    Don't forget there is a type of bike in between AM and XC called TRAIL bikes. They are lighter then AM bikes, but more rider friendly and a bit more travel then XC bikes, maybe just what you are after. Ride as many as you can before you decide the most important thing with a bike is how YOU feel on it, brand and type matter SO little compared to that.
    six pack cooler coming soon!

  6. #6
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    Good point - didn't know about the "trail bike" category. Geesh - when did this get so complicated? So far, the Heckler and 575 look good to me, also ran into the Scott Spark 40 and 60 (both sold at REI). Still researching...

  7. #7
    beer is too easy to drink
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    I'd be more then happy to show you some of the differences between each category some time. Both the Yeti 575 and the Santa Cruz Heckler are nice bikes the 575 fits in the Trail category and the Heckler is a little more AM.
    six pack cooler coming soon!

  8. #8
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    My wife rides a 575. She loves it.

    For an additional alternative: You can pick up 2008 Trek bikes (Fuel and Remedy) at a bargain price right now. If you go for a Fuel make sure it is one with the new ABP/Full Floater design. The Trek store in Loveland (close to Centerra) and Lee's in FTC have the bikes on discount. But I am pretty sure this is a nation wide Trek promotion.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  9. #9
    hehe ...you said "member"
    Reputation: jake7's Avatar
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    I found myself in the same situation 4-5 years ago. Was new to mtb and went with the less expensive XC bike. Within two years my skills/riding style had outgrown it and two broken frames later, I was buying the AM bike that I wished I had bought earlier (hindsight).
    With you being a larger guy and with the riding we have here, I'd go with the longer travel rig. Kaba brings up a good point about an adjustable travel front end. I ride a Specialized Enduro (love it by the way! ) and being able to drop my travel to 4.5 inches on the climb is great. On the downhill, I extend it back out to the full 6 inches - it's like having two different bikes that suit our front range CO trails.

    Whatever you decide, TEST RIDE as many bikes as it takes. There's a big Yeti 575 following out there, but when I rode one, I didn't care for the feel of a single-pivot rear end at all. Worlds different from the feel of the 4 point pivot of the Enduro, Ellsworth .. etc. Also a different option - the virtual pivot design of the SC Nomad and the Pivot (saw one at Wheat Ridge Cyclery) is an option.
    Good Luck.
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  10. #10
    eci
    Reputation: snowskilz's Avatar
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    Trail! Thats where it's at. I suggest 140 travel with a stiff rear assembly. Take your time and test ride a few bikes. Cruiser can show you a few sweet bikes

  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    I may be completely wrong... but won't the 575 completely DESTROY a $2K budget?

  12. #12
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    Well, I was in your exact shoes when I left the front range. Had I stayed, I was going to buy a 575. The Titus racer-x XC I was riding wasn't enough fun if that answers your XC question.

    However, based on your budget, I would point you towards specialized. Their dealers have the same clearance deal as trek right now. You can get a stumpjumper 120mm travel fsr for 2000. There are some great deals on ebay on stumpies too. One of my coworkers got a fsr 120 expert test bike for under 1800. For some reason I feel that specialized is the best for big travel from the big bike makers.

    Although you can get a 2007 complete yeti 575 enduro from jensonusa.com for 2699. The 2008 is 3099.

    I would push for the 575. That bike was made for the front range and it won't punish you on the long climbs deep in the mountains either. I would guess that the enduro build is probably around 29-30 pounds. You can upgrade parts as they go. You can find 575 frames on ebay for 1100 if you have other parts, you would only need to buy a fork for around 400-500 on ebay. That would meet your 2000 budget.

  13. #13
    Oh, So Interesting!
    Reputation: davec113's Avatar
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    I just put a deposit down on an '08 Trek Remedy 7:



    There are a lot of reviews on this bike, all of them seem to be very positive. The med. weighs 30.6 lbs (I bought the large). They are $2k right now, '09s will be $3.3k and have a 1 lb heavier, coil sprung fork and some minor component upgrades. If you have good credit they have no interest financing too.

  14. #14
    Tossin the salad.
    Reputation: TX_Shifter's Avatar
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    Cannondale Rize or Moto (series) should do the trick

  15. #15
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    Budget Matters

    I ride an Ellsworth "Truth" and love it, but it's pricey. Be sure to give a look at the current crop of Giant bikes. They have gotten good reviews, are sturdy and less expensive than many other choices. If you can wait 'til spring, Wheat Ridge Cyclery usually has a factory demo day when you can test ride bikes from a half dozen manuracturers in a single afternoon. Also, since Yeti is headquartered in Golden, they'll let you take a bike into the mountains for a demo - much better than a quick run around a bike store's parking lot. Good luck!

  16. #16
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    My girlfriend bought a demo 575 2 months ago for 2400$ out the door smoken deal! I think it is the " race build ", XO rear derailer, fox float fork a kick ass bike. I've riden it a few times and love it but I'm not real comfy with the carbon rear ends, I don't think they would stand up to the hucks I enjoy! Gona try the new SX trail 2 come on Specialized get um out to the shop allready!!!

  17. #17
    skillz to pay billz
    Reputation: nOOby's Avatar
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    slack headtube is the key to the front range.

  18. #18
    Stayin' Puft
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomie
    hardtail has run it's course.
    If you are 6' tall and bike shopping you owe it to yourself to at least test-ride a 29er. You may decide that rear suspension you thought you needed is not really necessary. I went from a high-end full-sus 26" wheeled bike to a steel hardtail 29er, because...26" wheels and full-sus had run it's course. For me anyway...

    Even if you stick with the desire for full-sus, you could still consider a 29er with something like 3" of travel, which will feel like much more than a 3" travel 26er would. So you get your compromise between XC and AM.

    Find a Fisher dealer to demo a 29er, or Bike Source or Big Kahuha have a few 29er's around to test ride. Have fun shopping!

  19. #19
    Stiff yet compliant
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    I just put a deposit down on an '08 Trek Remedy 7:



    There are a lot of reviews on this bike, all of them seem to be very positive. The med. weighs 30.6 lbs (I bought the large). They are $2k right now, '09s will be $3.3k and have a 1 lb heavier, coil sprung fork and some minor component upgrades. If you have good credit they have no interest financing too.
    Finally pulled the trigger on the Remedy eh, I think you will like it.
    Putting the big bike out to resort day pasture?

  20. #20
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    Finally pulled the trigger on the Remedy eh, I think you will like it.
    Putting the big bike out to resort day pasture?

    Yup, Intense is making slacker drop outs for my Uzzi, it'll be at 65 deg. HA and 14" BB, and I will mostly not ride it up hills.

    I'm very excited to have a bike weighing 12 lbs less.

  21. #21
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
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    This is a classic case of being confused by the marketing gimmicks.

    Don't you know zoomie, you need to get one of each!

  22. #22
    Stand back
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    slack headtube is the key to the front range.
    Amen, brotha
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    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    This is a classic case of being confused by the marketing gimmicks.

    Don't you know zoomie, you need to get one of each!

    Yeah - guess I have some test riding to do! Thanks to everyone for your comments and help. Keep the advice coming.

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