Advice on Buying a Full-Suspension 26" Trail Bike @ ~ $2,000 Price Level?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Advice on Buying a Full-Suspension 26" Trail Bike @ ~ $2,000 Price Level?

    I'm (finally) buying a new mountain bike, and need some advice. I usually ride Michigan's rooty, rocky, up and down trails (until now, with an old junk hardtail) and can afford to pay around $2,000, so I've decided to buy a full-suspension 26" trail bike at that price point. I'm short, so no 29er for me. Any advice on these 2011 bikes?

    - Specialized Camber Elite -- http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=52770
    - Giant Trance X3 -- http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...x3/7321/44097/
    - Cannondale RZ One Twenty 3 -- http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/moun...twenty-3-16257
    - Trek Fuel EX 6 -- http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...el_ex/fuelex6/
    - Felt Virtue Sport -- http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2011...e%20Sport.aspx
    - Diamondback Sortie 2 -- http://www.diamondback.com/bikes/mtn...n/sortie-2-11/

    I'm leaning a little towards the Giant Trance X3 and the Diamondback Sortie 2 because they have full Fox suspensions, but other than that I'm not sure. Also, my LBSs don't stock the Felt, the Diamondback or the Trek, so I'm going to have to travel a little ways to test them, and I'd rather not if they should be ruled out for some reason. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I don't much about diamond back or their suspension design--so I won't comment, I do know that in the past they were not highly regarded in the mtb industry. Maybe that has changed.

    When buying any bike, fit is paramount. Inevitably some of the bikes will just feel better beneath you--unless is has some other glaring issues, this is the bike you should go with. Out of the full suspension designs you chosen, from my limited experience on all but the diamond back, I would say that I like the giant maestro best, followed by trek's ABP. The Cannondale suspension design is pretty rudimentary, that being said, I still ride one of their older jekyll frames and enjoy it. The specialized design hasn't really changed much some people love it, some are a little more indifferent given the newer designs.

    I'll take a Rock shox fork over a fox any day, I have 2 RS forks- 1 is 5 years old and they have both been very reliable. Can't say that about Fox... can't even get full travel out of those things...
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  3. #3
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    As iceaxe said the most impt thing is to ride them and get the one that feels the best, and you like the most. The specs are fairly equivalent.

    I wouldn't worry about Fox vs. Rock Shox... it's a personal preference. If you don't yet have a preference, don't worry about branding.

    The Fuel EX6 and the DB both have pro-pedal shocks, which reduce bobbing.

    The Felt has a coil TK fork, so it's arguably the least attractive. The Canondale doesn't even list the fork (it also has a x-fusion shock, which I know little about). The rest have solo air forks with rebound and lockout.

    Overall, the Trek and Giant look the best spec'd. But again ride them all and get the one you like best.

  4. #4
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    I would say narrow it down to the Giant, Specialized or Trek then pick the one of those that feels the best.

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    I will say, coming from experience (I got a Camber Elite), that I wish I had gone ahead and splurged for the Stumpjumper FSR Comp. Better components overall, Revelation a nice upgrade over a Recon, a shock with PP, and 10-speed. I figured 140mm was a bit too much for around here, and it is, but you can reduce it down to 130mm at least.

    I was already over budget, but it was only $350 difference. If I had it to do over again, the 10-speed especially, and PP shock, would steer me to the Stumpy. You might want to look at the Fuel EX7, too. Seems to be only a $100 more vs. the EX6 gets you 10-speed (as well as a Fox fork vs. RS... same features on both forks but since you wanted fox).

  6. #6
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    Santa Cruz Superlight?

    While the general consensus is the Giant Trance with many votes going to it. I say give Santa Cruz Superlight a chance. I was looking for a relatively inexpensive trail bike and ended up buying the RXC prepackaged bike (ie preassembled by Santa Cruz and sold as a complete bike). You would be hard pressed to find a similarly equipped bike with such reputation and at that price (1,899$). I say give it a shot and take one for a spin.

  7. #7
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    I just picked up a Trek Fuel EX8 for well under $2k new. Closeout from 2010. I had tried maybe 7 bikes to that point. The Trek just felt right.

    Cheers

    Rob

  8. #8
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    I would get the Giant, but that's just me. The Maestro rear suspension is top notch.
    We all like what we like though! For $2000 you will get from A to B.

  9. #9
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    Remember.......no one pays MSRP.

  10. #10
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    If they do then they are rich or crazy! Even my dealer knocks off $100 to a $150 off the price of a bike when I buy one there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotoDengo
    The Canondale doesn't even list the fork
    It is a RST fork

  12. #12
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    I would'nt buy anything with an RST fork. Giant again!

  13. #13
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    trek fuel ex is an awesome bike. i ride my buddies all the time.

    i own a superlight. the superlight has less bob than the trek (without pro ped on), but night and day difference on the rough stuff. and the abp is nice when braking too.

    i love my single pivot at service time tho!!

    maestro is the best suspension imo. dont even need the pro ped on it.

    trance vs fuel. ride em and pick which one feels better and what color you like best.

  14. #14
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    Here's a high end carbon bike for only 2,000.00. The model below it is only 1900.00

    http://www.giantnerd.com/2009-gt-for...30392d37313339

  15. #15
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    WOW! Usually the frame alone will cost that much or more. Carbon won't last for years like an Aluminiun or Ti frame will though.

  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone!!! Your replies are really helpful. I'll test the Giant, Trek (EX7) and Specialized this weekend and post back. Thanks again.

  17. #17
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    spend a couple more bucks and get the specialized camber expert. better componets all around and its like 100 more. plus you can probally find one online for 2 g's.

  18. #18
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    I had a Santa Cruz Superlight and now a Giant Trance... hands down the Trance blows the wheels off my Superlight.

  19. #19
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    I'll take the Giant over any Trek or Specialized any day. Your paying for a more popular name IMO.

  20. #20
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    Giant

    I can't say who actually manufacturers any of the other bike listed but Giant makes their own frames and I like dealing directly with the manufacturer when possible.

    I own a Trance.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarmstrong24
    spend a couple more bucks and get the specialized camber expert. better componets all around and its like 100 more. plus you can probally find one online for 2 g's.
    Not sure I could consider Reba TK and Triad better than Float RL and RP2. Rest of spesh kit marginally better but not to a huge extent. Mostly SRAM vs. Shimano.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bataivah
    I'll take the Giant over any Trek or Specialized any day. Your paying for a more popular name IMO.
    We get it that you love your Trance. How many more times in this thread do you plan to tell us how awesome the obscure, unpopular Giant brand is vs. other options?

  22. #22
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    I agree the stumpjumper fsr comp is a better, lighter, and stronger bike than the specialized camber elite. Camber has M4 aluminum frame, non machined, Stumpjumper has M5 machined frame= lighter+stronger

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotoDengo
    Not sure I could consider Reba TK and Triad better than Float RL and RP2. Rest of spesh kit marginally better but not to a huge extent. Mostly SRAM vs. Shimano.



    We get it that you love your Trance. How many more times in this thread do you plan to tell us how awesome the obscure, unpopular Giant brand is vs. other options?
    Naa, I just like to plug my brand and it is a great bike... but most all brands are good bikes. It's usually junkass componants that make a bike nasty (as we all know). Finding a $2000 bike for $1000 can make one brand WAY better because of the price alone. This must be the worst time of year to be making a buy though. I try to wait till late fall to early winter to get one if I can.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    I can't say who actually manufacturers any of the other bike listed but Giant makes their own frames and I like dealing directly with the manufacturer when possible.

    I own a Trance.
    I don't know one way or the other but, I would think that all bikes made in Taiwan are made buy a handful of company's that make them for all the major bike companies. The only brands I would trust to be made IN HOUSE by the actual company would be American made bikes like Intense and similar brands and maybe the Canadian Norco bikes. I'm sure someone else will have more info on the subject.

  25. #25
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    Road the 2011 Trek Fuel 7 and 2011 Specialized Camber Elite, and liked the Trek. I couldn't find a 2011 Giant X3 in my size in the area, but I did find a 2010 X3 and a 2009 X2. I liked them both more than the Trek, and fell in love with the 09 X2, so I brought her home and still saved some dough compared to all of the other bikes. Not bad. Thanks again, everyone!

  26. #26
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    A wise choice IMO! I like the top tube better on the 09' and would take that over an 2011' and day.
    They look nicer but looks are'nt everything when your riding. The way that it narrow's scrares me.

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