Best Online Hardtail Deals, $1.3k-2.3K? (No LBS for nicer Mtn Bikes)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best Online Hardtail Deals, $1.3k-2.3K? (No LBS for nicer Mtn Bikes)

    Hi,

    Our local bike shop doesn't carry mtn bikes above Alivio quality so I am kind of on my own for anything better. I'm not quite up to a full build. Maybe with the Zinn book? Anyway...

    I really enjoyed my Bikesdirect Flypro hard tail. I had it up and running in no time right out of the box and I've never owned a smoother shifting bike, even without a pro tuneup.

    Now it is time to buy another light hard tail. So far, I know about BD and I've been turned onto the On-One. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I think this bike is spec'd very well for the price point. I like the geo too.

    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin EVO

  3. #3
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    BikeFactory has a Superfly 5 18.5 in stock. Test ride it for geo and check for size. Have them order you a 9.6 in your size. You won't find anything better for the money.
    Trek Superfly 5 - BIKEFACTORY Hawaii

    This Ti frame for more all mountain 120-140mm fork is on sale for Boxing Day at $750, but wait for restock. Get the drive and brakes from Ribble and do a 35/30mm carbon wide wheelset build.
    You will be under $2.3k.
    Titus Ti Fireline Evo 29er Frame | On - One
    I'd go 9.6.

  4. #4
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    IMO the Airborne is spec'd much better for nearly $300 less. The Recon Silver, xt shadow, Bonti bits... vs Revelation, x9 type II, Truvativ bits...

  5. #5
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    Good deals on a Diamondback Mason can be had right now.

    A full bike build really ain't that big of a deal. Scary the first time, but not difficult.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    IMO the Airborne is spec'd much better for nearly $300 less. The Recon Silver, xt shadow, Bonti bits... vs Revelation, x9 type II, Truvativ bits...
    I'm not suggesting he buy a SF 5.

    I'm pushing the carbon 9.6 for $2k.
    It's all new in 2014 and has vertical rear compliance developed from the Apollo Project 9.9SL bike from 2013. Road bike carbon frame R&D brought over to the mb division.
    The 9.6 has shorter chainstays and is a better handling carbon frame for less money because it is one generation newer.
    The ride is way beyond those aluminum bikes. I think it's better than other carbon bikes.

  7. #7
    The Original Suspect
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    OP leaves a big gap between 1.3K-2.3K. If he truly has 2k+ to spend I would agree...find the best carbon framed bike he could find. At his top end price point he could buy the Airborne and a carbon frame.

  8. #8
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    He saves money not buying an aluminum bike at his price range.
    Ride a lot and start hitting more fun/bumpy terrain and you get beat up on aluminum and think you need an expensive fs bike. Get the 9.6 and you won't need a fs for comfort. You save thousands.

  9. #9
    The Original Suspect
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    I have a ht 29 and on rides longer than 15 miles I do feel beat up. I also have an aluminum FS which I love...but you are right, my next upgrade will be a carbon HT frame.

  10. #10
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    Not sure on delivery cost, and the size availability is rubbish, but:
    the Performance Bike edition Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Sport would be worth a mention.

    They run a bit small (despite a giant 80mm stem), they aren't actually a DB Overdrive frame (9mm QR in the rear instead, different seatpost shape and less tire clearance), and the overall weight is a bit embarrassing for having such a light frame (2160g wheelset, 2200g + 100mm fork), and I really don't like Avid Elixir 1 brakes...
    but the SLX drivetrain with XT RD is phenomenal, that heavy wheelset and fork is really stiff, combined with a great carbon frame without losing enough compliance to make it uncomfortable anywhere. It's at the cheap end of the spectrum, but that's enough budget to seriously look at getting a lightweight wheelset and some spare tires or getting a 1x10 conversion sorted out.

    If I'm honest, the PB spec of this bike is the best one for bigger riders short of the ludicrous $5k build that seems more like an Interbike show model than a real production machine; it's at least worth a thought.

  11. #11
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    You are suggesting buying a full-bike, a carbon frame, and switching out the frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    OP leaves a big gap between 1.3K-2.3K. If he truly has 2k+ to spend I would agree...find the best carbon framed bike he could find. At his top end price point he could buy the Airborne and a carbon frame.

  12. #12
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    You seem to be really into frames. If you were going to do a build in my price range, is there a carbon frame you would choose? Or is the titanium about as good? Can material really mitigate the need for FS? There seem to be a lot of opinions and I'm really a novice!

    I have a lot of time on my hands. I could just geek out for a few weeks on bikes and go for a build.

    I don't know if I would qualify as a weight weenie but my last bike weighed in the mid-twenties. It felt very easy to pedal and move around. That would be my goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    BikeFactory has a Superfly 5 18.5 in stock. Test ride it for geo and check for size. Have them order you a 9.6 in your size. You won't find anything better for the money.
    Trek Superfly 5 - BIKEFACTORY Hawaii

    This Ti frame for more all mountain 120-140mm fork is on sale for Boxing Day at $750, but wait for restock. Get the drive and brakes from Ribble and do a 35/30mm carbon wide wheelset build.
    You will be under $2.3k.
    Titus Ti Fireline Evo 29er Frame | On - One
    I'd go 9.6.

  13. #13
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    You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there? Shipping from the mainland will be pretty high from any dealer so you might as well first check out what the local stores have in stock. Service and warranty will also be better when you buy from an LBS. You might even give dealers on Maui and the Big Island a call since shipping a bike via barge would still be pretty reasonable.

  14. #14
    The Original Suspect
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    Quote Originally Posted by downplay View Post
    You are suggesting buying a full-bike, a carbon frame, and switching out the frames?
    Not really suggesting, just making a point. Not very cost effective at all. I built up an On*One Scandal for less than 2k. If you are not in a hurry and you are on a budget, building frame up is fun but you need to be patient to find the right deals.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there? Shipping from the mainland will be pretty high from any dealer so you might as well first check out what the local stores have in stock. Service and warranty will also be better when you buy from an LBS. You might even give dealers on Maui and the Big Island a call since shipping a bike via barge would still be pretty reasonable.
    I straight up wrote off getting a mountain bike while I was still there - I realize being on the white side of mexican and rocking a high and tight isn't going to get my hooked up with da kine bruddah pricing, but even the bikes I knew to be on the crappy side were really overpriced on the leeward side... if that's still the case it's probably a lot better on Maui, or even Hawaii if you find yourself with an excuse to be there anyway.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by downplay View Post
    You seem to be really into frames. If you were going to do a build in my price range, is there a carbon frame you would choose? Or is the titanium about as good? Can material really mitigate the need for FS? There seem to be a lot of opinions and I'm really a novice!

    I have a lot of time on my hands. I could just geek out for a few weeks on bikes and go for a build.

    I don't know if I would qualify as a weight weenie but my last bike weighed in the mid-twenties. It felt very easy to pedal and move around. That would be my goal.
    Carbon frames can be anywhere from super stiff to noodly. It depends on the effort in R&D and the performance goal of the manufacturer.
    I ride the 9.6 frame with wide rim wheels(30mm inside). That combo obliterates the need for a fs for comfort. Trek used the engineers who developed their compliant carbon road bike frames to help design it. Even with the stock wheels the rear damps rocks in a unique way. You feel them but they don't beat you up. There is a speed limit on this though because of the rebound damping limitation of no shock. But by that time you are in 140mm All Mountain bike territory imo. One of those isn't much fun, more boring on regular trails.
    There are things to work on with a 9.6 to take up some time.
    You can lace up wheels with 35/30mm carbon rims from Carbonbicycle to dt 350 hubs off ebay with Sapim Laser spokes and the included free brass nipples from Dans Comp.
    You can spend 30 minutes dropping a RCT3 SID damper in the Reba fork. The part # ends in 270 and is 116+ship on ebay. That is a major improvement.
    https://sram-cdn-pull-zone-gsdesign....to_reba_sm.pdf
    You don't even have to change the oil. Just do the section where they pull the damper. As long as your fork has the rapid recovery sticker on the bottom left leg. Otherwise you will need the DIG valve rebound part also.
    You can add two bottomless tokens to the fork air chamber, if not in there. Another easy 20 minute job.
    You can change to an SLX crank from Ribble.
    You can work on lights.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...ng-943154.html(that's neutral)

    And you can use your time to ride a lot.

  17. #17
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    I rode a rigid mountain bike (steel, tubeless, carbon fork) for 2 years on every type of terrain. So you could say I am not obsessed with having too much suspension. But, while I haven't ridden on Oahu at all, from what I hear the big deal is roots. If that's correct, then I'd go FS all the way (if you have the $$$). I'd rather do 1'-2' drops all day on a rigid or a hard tail than ride roots on the same type of bike -- especially roots of all sizes as one would expect in the tropics.

    Building your own bike is expensive when compared to buying a built bike. Trying to do so in a relatively short time is even more expensive because you can't wait for a bargain to show up. (My last build took about 18 months because I was bargain shopping and it still was more expensive than a pre-built bike). You are also probably in the worst spot in the US to build a bike as everyone who sends you parts will kill you on shipping costs.

    Keeping a bike very light-weight is nice but it's also a luxury. Your first aim should be to get a bike that suits your riding. Only then should weight become a factor. At that point most of us have shot their budget and losing another 4 lbs will run thousands!

    There are some great mail-order bikes available for significantly less than you'd get most of the time as a walk-in customer at an LBS. But there is a limited choice, there'll be no local support and shipping to Hawaii will wipe out part of the savings. You have nothing to lose checking out the Honolulu stores.

    A side story: A friend and I were staying on my friend's sailboat at Kawalo Bay and were installing a mast head light (nice view from 50' above the harbor). To do so we had to drop a wire down the inside of the mast but whatever weight we used got snagged. So my friend had the brilliant idea to use a segment of bicycle chain. We walked to the Bike Factory near by and explained our strange need for a chain or a segment of chain. The mechanic was super friendly and decided that 9 or 10 speed chain was too light weight and dug out a 10" segment of single-speed chain. Refused any payment. Buying a bike there may suck -- who knows. But my one experience there certainly was very aloha.

  18. #18
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    Hmmm, according to the closest Trek store, the 2015 9.6 is not available until April. I would prefer not to wait that long. It sounds amazing though!

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    It depends on the effort in R&D and the performance goal of the manufacturer.
    I ride the 9.6 frame with wide rim wheels(30mm inside). That combo obliterates the need for a fs for comfort. Trek used the engineers who developed their compliant carbon road bike frames to help design it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by downplay View Post
    Hmmm, according to the closest Trek store, the 2015 9.6 is not available until April. I would prefer not to wait that long. It sounds amazing though!
    There is a reason it's selling out.
    It is worth the wait and you have your existing bike.
    Plan and do a wheel build until then.

  20. #20
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    My profile shows that I'm still on Oahu? I didn't realize I had filled in all that info. For now I'm living in small, landlocked town in Oklahoma.

    I wish I could just jump on the bus and go back to The Bike Shop, Bikefactory Hawaii, or McCully. Even the little shop near (or in) Waipio is pretty good! We don't have buses here and I don't have a driver's license. I'll see about updating my profile

    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there?

  21. #21
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    Unfortunately, not so.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    It is worth the wait and you have your existing bike.

  22. #22
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    What size are you. Or height and inseam.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by downplay View Post
    My profile shows that I'm still on Oahu? I didn't realize I had filled in all that info. For now I'm living in small, landlocked town in Oklahoma.

    I wish I could just jump on the bus and go back to The Bike Shop, Bikefactory Hawaii, or McCully. Even the little shop near (or in) Waipio is pretty good! We don't have buses here and I don't have a driver's license. I'll see about updating my profile
    From Haleiwa to Oklahoma...?
    I am very sorry for your loss!!!

  24. #24
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    Oklahoma has some great trails. My brother lived there for a while and I was impressed with the riding. Not so much with everything else.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better."

  25. #25
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    Yes, Oklahoma does have a few nice wilderness areas--mostly off the beaten path. It's a long story but I don't have a driver's license so I'll have to settle for the local roads and just a few extremely short trails that are nearby.

    And, for sure, there is not much in Oklahoma unless you are into fishing, hunting, horses, motocross, and the like. We do have a lot of nice Native American history museums and attractions if you are into that sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Oklahoma has some great trails. My brother lived there for a while and I was impressed with the riding. Not so much with everything else.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    From Haleiwa to Oklahoma...?
    I am very sorry for your loss!!!
    Thanks! I hope to find a way back to Hawaii or other parts near the ocean. I do love surfing. There just aren't a lot of jobs on the North Shore. I don't know if I really want to live in Honolulu. I'm not much of a city boy--too much noise and crowding. But, it would be better than Oklahoma! I'm not sure what I'd do for a job there either though.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    What size are you. Or height and inseam.
    What do you think of the Whippet? I don't currently have a bike and I've been waiting for a long time as it is. April seems like forever away!

    I'm somewhere between 5' 7" and 5' 8". I'm not exactly sure on inseam. I usually buy 30 length jeans.

    For many bikes I'm right on the edge of in between sizes by the charts. On my last two I went for the taller bike and I have been very happy with my choice both times.

    In fact, I wish I could buy another Kinley. I don't know if you remember them. They tried a mail-order business but didn't make it. Maybe the "geometry" was good for me, but I don't know enough about different shapes to say. I loved how that bike felt!
    Last edited by downplay; 12-29-2014 at 01:14 PM.

  28. #28
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    Oh, and I'm about 174 lbs but I'll probably lose 5-10 pounds when I get my bike.

  29. #29
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    What about the Giant XTC Composite Carbon, or ICAN carbon, or others on aliexpress.com?

    The prices look good!

  30. #30
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    Looks like you should check out a 17.5 for a 9.6 option.
    The XTC 29 has a steep ht angle, the 27.5 has been updated to decent geo.

  31. #31
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    The Giant XTC frame is for a 18" 26er at $525!!!

    How is the ht angle on that size?

    GIANT XTC composite carbon Mountain bike frame carbon frame 26*16/18 inch 1310/1360g Black with blue/ Black and red color-inBicycle Frame from Sports & Entertainment on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

    I am really stoked on the idea of the great 9.6 frame but I must admit, I have my doubts about a 29er. I feel it might be overkill as I do not ride really rough trails at all. Looking around at prices, it seems I could do a great 26er, or 27.5er build if I'm willing to do all the work, and I might be happier with the more nimble qualities in my commonly mundane commuting rides.

    While they may not be superior in engineering, it looks like I could have carbon everything from Carbonal plus nice components. How bad could they be? Surely all together it wouldn't be stiffer than aluminum, and it would be much lighter! There are several good build reports

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Looks like you should check out a 17.5 for a 9.6 option.
    The XTC 29 has a steep ht angle, the 27.5 has been updated to decent geo.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by downplay View Post
    I am really stoked on the idea of the great 9.6 frame but I must admit, I have my doubts about a 29er. I feel it might be overkill as I do not ride really rough trails at all. Looking around at prices, it seems I could do a great 26er, or 27.5er build if I'm willing to do all the work, and I might be happier with the more nimble qualities in my commonly mundane commuting rides.

    While they may not be superior in engineering, it looks like I could have carbon everything from Carbonal plus nice components. How bad could they be? Surely all together it wouldn't be stiffer than aluminum, and it would be much lighter! There are several good build reports
    I really haven't heard anything on these forums about that bike. I'd ask for a serial # and check with Giant.
    Maybe post in the Giant forum for further feedback.
    For commuting 29 wheels are the same as road wheels for better roll than 26.
    The 9.6 has new dialed geo for very quick steering that stays stable on faster downhills when you hit bumps. It's nimble...it turns as fast as you think it.
    There is a thread on Chinese carbon frames to consult if you want to build one.
    Trek has a lifetime warranty they honor.

  33. #33
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    I'm very happy with the Breezer lightning team that I purchased. I think it is a steal at $1600
    Breezer Lightning Team Bike 2014 | Breezer

  34. #34
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    +1 for Airborne Cycles. Buy direct and save $$$.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

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