AMP Research 1999 B4 Full Suspension Bike

4.16/5 (25 Reviews)
MSRP : $2365.00


Product Description

1999 AMP Research B4, mountain bike, front & rear suspension, Shimano Deore XT components, AMP Research F3 XC, 2.25" travel fork


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Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Erik Callesen a Cross Country Rider from Seattle, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2003

Strengths:    Lightest full suspension I've ridden, very fast & loks cool

Weaknesses:    Flexy as hell, AMP front shocks not the best either but to the job, high maintence bike. Get ready to by custom tools, and spend a lot of time working on the thing if you actually ride it.. First thing you have to do is dump the stock shock which rides like crap.. I used a Risse astro 5...

Bottom Line:   
If you want an toy or race this is a great bike. If you are looking for a full suspension that you intend to beat on, steer away from this bike. I'm keeping this as my primary bike for doing heavy off roading but keep a back up handy..

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Favorite Trail:   not sure

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Bike Setup:   XTR, Race face forged crank, SRAM9, mavic 223s disc specific, control tech stem, risse lockout shock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Albert a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2003

Strengths:    The design, and the look.

Weaknesses:    Not sure yet, but the rear shock looks a too light.

Bottom Line:   
Now this ride looks and feels great. It wieghs 17 lbs. and handles very well. I'm acually suprised. Now let me say this, I don't trust the frames strength. As a 37 year old BMX semi pro rider, I can pound'm hard. So this joy machine is only ride'n as an urban fully suspension to get around from point A to B. Again, it feels good and it turns heads. A great talk peice.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Similar Products Used:   Norco VPS, Trek Desiel

Bike Setup:   Well, I found a B4 Amp frame (Bare No Hardware) and desided to build it up to use as an urbane comutor. I installed a carbon Rock-Shock front fork with titanium brake posts,Cane Creek carterage bearing head set, Easton carbon handle bar, easton magneisium stem, single speed drive train with Bontrager light race cranks and bottom bracket titanium shaft, hollow pin 9 speed SRAM chain, (42 X 18) gear ratio, easton carbon seat post, titanium seat by look, and to top it off, a great wheel set by Bontrager (Race Light) tubeless. Now I know I mentioned I pad $100.00 for this puppy, however, since I've built it up, Its now a $1200.00 ride.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brooke Williams a Cross Country Rider from Tampa, FL USA

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2001

Strengths:    Lightweight, easy to ship or check on airline, great ride. Disc brakes have proved durable and functional.

Weaknesses:    The only part changed or repaired is the stock rear shock (no charge by company) replaced with a Risse Racing (which I also destroyed over a longer period of time).

Bottom Line:   
I great piece of engineering, highly recommended for any NON-clydesdale looking for an all-around offroad ride. Looks a bit different, but it has performed beyond my expectations. Now, if I could get a better motor...

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Favorite Trail:   jacks - Darby, Montana

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   direct

Similar Products Used:   Klein, Bontrager, Moots

Bike Setup:   B4(medium) XTR carbon fork and rear triangle, aerobars and slicks for occasional road work

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Flailer a Cross Country Rider from Southern, Oregon

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2001

Strengths:    First realize that this is a 6+ year review of the B4/F3: Responsive, Quick handling, Light-weight, Super climbing ability. Reasonable pedaling response - predictable bobbing. Excellance braking response.
Overall a top-shelf performer.


Weaknesses:    Frame flex at headtube - a problem at very high speeds.

Bottom Line:   
I Loved this bike -
After all these years of totally thrashing on this bike, I have finally broken the main frame (what I call the D frame go ahead look at it without the seat tower) and will be looking for a total replacement - wish me luck cause I am going to be one really-hard-sell after owning a B4. Naturally the break occurred on a nice little bit of down-hill. (ever hear of Downieville Downhill?) Hey, this is a cross-country ride - that I used for everything.
Yes, over the years I have broken just about every part and bit on this bike, and as it is a bolt-together design, I simply replaced the sub-frame sections. This includes twice on the front fork, once on the rear triangle, three times for the seat tower, two wheel sets, two head-sets, two bottom brackets, numerous shock re-builts, un-countable drive-line components etc etc.
And yes, the bike did suffer from bottom-bracket flex and squeeks.
But, without a doubt, this bike was WAY ahead of its time.
The Jet-fighter handling, the lack of brake induced shock-lock, the fantastic climbing and cornering and light weight. All I can say is WOW.

Today I borrowed one of my friends' bikes, based upon the B5 design, and I must say that it handled much slower, and wasted far to much energy (though, perhaps tuning the bike for me would help a lot), and weighted to much, and costs to much (for the performance - $$ is not an issue)
For the last 6 months I have been looking and test riding bikes - and am currently at a loss, and and hoping the new Turners or Ellsworth are possibilities.
Don't talk to me about the common bike-shop brands, I'ave tried 'em

For those of you considering the B4, I would say go for it. But realize that components and frame members may be a problem. Also, it would be best if you weighed less than I.
No, I won't get a weight limit from me, the manuf does than, but lets just say, that on the final day I was WAY over the max weight limit (hey, I aged a lot in those 6+ years - medical issues)
Also, be aware that a simple water bath stops all the pivot and shock squeeks - for 20 to 60 miles (dust level dependant)
Also, if you are a downhill-thrasher mainly, look for a heavier framed bike.

If anyone out there has a B4 for a good price, I'm in the buying mode..........

Flailer,
laserman@cdsnet.net
filters are on, set a descriptive subject, or get banned as spam

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Similar Products Used:   Been riding MTB for 12 years. You name it, I'ave got at least a little experience on it

Bike Setup:   Original F3 fork and rear AMP shock.
Mavic 217 (remember thoses?)
Nuke-Proof ROAD hubs (no problem running light front hub on this fork design)
This is one light bike, right out of the box, WHERE the front-end is so light the bike retains the proper center of gravity (try than on any bike in production today!)
XT throughout
Canilever brakes (pre V-brakes) kept 'em tuned (like the whole bike) and never had a problem or saw a need to upgrade
SPD Rapid-fire+ Custom brake cable routing

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris Lisle a Cross Country Rider from North Wales, UK

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2000

Strengths:    Superb lightness coupled with amazing durability. Truly great handling and ideal x country geometry.(As long as you couple it with a Pace evolution pro fork.)


Weaknesses:    Naff rear shock, the Risse alternative is better and lighter although it's mega bucks.
Rear slightly more flexible than other x country bikes but it's not a big issue, you can live with it OK.


Bottom Line:   
Tha AMP B4 is simply the Dogs B*ll*cks !!
The best riding frame out there and I ride every day rain or sun, summer or winter, in hard mountainous terrain.Riding since the 70's (man).
Nothing else comes close to it for lightness and performance.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   AMP B3, Proflex 855 and several other full sus bikes.

Bike Setup:   Pace Evo Pro fork. Avid Supreme Arches. Royce titanium hubs and bottom bracket (the best). Middleburn DH7 chainset. Goldtec titanium nitrided cassette.TNT titanium seat post Flyte titanium saddle. Sachs Quartz changers. Oh and Shimano BMX single finger levers.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2000

Strengths:    Weight (or rather lack of it), design, strength, looks (it has a Frank Llyod Wright-ish beauty)

Weaknesses:    Stock shock

Bottom Line:   
I have owned 2 regular B-4's in the last year, they are simple, easy to work on (if you have to), reliable, light, and handle like a F/S should. This bike got me off my ass and made me feel like a kid again - I had been in a slump for 2 years - and this put a smile on my face! I am currently awaiting my new carbon B-4... I weigh 200 lbs, and ride semi aggressively. I'm no hammerhead anymore, but when i'm off the porch, I smoke... The price is unbelievably low for such a nice frame, but don't tell Horst! It's also ironic that everyone has tried to copy the B-4 and B-5, tells you something. There are 2 ways this frame could be made better - sealed ball bearing pivots, and a version made out of Scandium tubing! If you want a very high quality, lightweight, nimble, trick, raceable XC machine, at a bargian basement price, this is it! And, FYI, my first B-4 weighed 23.5 lbs, the second one weighed a hair less than 22.5, and the new carbon B-4 should weigh in the 21-22 lb ballpark - my last hardtail weighed more than this! One last note, the customer service has been a toss up, the tech support (Brion) has answered every stupid little question I have had in less than 12 hours, even "is there really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" one... When I tried to e-mail the sales dept, I got answers to every question but the ones I asked... I finally told them that I was sold on a new B-4, jusy give me the answers... UGH!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   do I have to pick just one...

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   You name it, I've been in mountain-biking since 1987...

Bike Setup:   Currently waiting for my 2000 AMP B-4 carbon, but my last B-4 had a Rock Shox SID Race w/85mm Englund's, Chris King headset, Profile Stiify stem, Easton CT-2 bar, Grafton lever, Avid SD Mag brakes ft & rr, Sram 9.0 shifters & rr der, XT ft der, Bullseye cranks, BeBop pedals, WTB Momentum hubs, Mavic 230 rims, Salsa skewers, Syncros Ti post, Selle Flite saddle, Avid Flak Jacket cables... A lot of TLC!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Squillaci a Cross Country Rider from Albuquerque, NM, USA

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2000

Strengths:    Very light and responsive. Handles great. Excellent welds.

Weaknesses:    OEM rear shock #$%^&! I replaced it with a Risse shock about a year ago and have had no problems as of yet

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding the B4 for about 4 years now and love it.
I had to rebuild the rear shock about once a month which
got old real quick. Risse is the way to go.. I've ridden
other full suspension bikes but they did not have the dame feel as the B4.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cedro Peak Trails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR,

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Atom Bomber, Risse (rear), XT/XTR components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jamie a Racer from northern wisconsin

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2000

Strengths:    superlight,

Weaknesses:    haven't found any yet

Bottom Line:   
22.63 lbs full on rippin fun.this bike so for has been a dream,handles great even climbs with my factory homegrown,i haven't found a reason not to make this my full time race bike.i opted for the bolt on canti mounts instead of the discs weight and money.this is the frame everyone else has been making attempts to copy.i can't comment on the factory rear shock i replaced it with a risse genesis right away.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   nine mile

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   k2 5000

Bike Setup:   sid xc race face cranks full esp 9.0 sl racelites ti riser bars and post.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Jans a Cross Country Rider from Plainsboro, NJ

Date Reviewed: February 9, 2000

Strengths:    Light frame, efficient design, awesome brakes and fork, super looks

Weaknesses:    Rear shock sucks air, some problems with broken parts, AMP can SOMETIMES be tough to deal with, but is usually very good

Bottom Line:   
I've had this bike since '96. It was rebuilt in the the winter of 98/99. A solid performer. Light, fast, neutral geometry. An excellent climber. Swap the rear shock to save some weight and cut down on the noise. The fork lasted 3 years before requiring new shock bushings/pivots. Brakes work very well, and are light. I've had to replace the rear shockstay (warranty), seatpost tower (warranty). AMP rebuilt the brake calipers when they leaked, and has generally been very good with regards to warranty issues or replacement/repairs. I see that some riders have had really bad experiences with AMP, but I've never had a serious problem.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Round Valley, NJ

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper M2FS (hardtail), Cannondale CAD2 w/Fatty HeadShock & USE SX suspension seatpost

Bike Setup:   F-4BLT (carbon leg) fork, AMP D-1 disc brakes, Risse Genesis air/oil rear shock, full XT (8sp), Kore Elite stem, Syncros ti post, Cont tires, Syncros h'bar, Race Face cranks (soon), about 24.5 lbs

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Unhappy guy a Weekend Warrior from ohio

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2000

Strengths:    light

Weaknesses:    it broke

Bottom Line:   
Carbon fiber rear end blew up on a small drop off( less than knee high) I only weigh about 140 and the fall crushed many expensive parts. AMP chose to bend back a few of the parts and send them back. They replaced my XTR der for an XT (after 4 months of phone calls). They chose to rivet the rear end together in stead of replacing it. They were lucky I didn't get to badly injured. The experience sucked. Their customer service sucked. They suck. Just so you know, they informed me that when their frame failed at the bonds and my bike and I hit the ground, that they were not actually responsible for any damage to parts other than the frame that were damaged. They fixed or replaced them out of the kindness of their own hearts. Thanks guys. After riding amp for 6+ years, and having to deal with a multitude of failed rear shocks, one cracked shock mount( on the weld), and one broken, unreplacable dropout, thanks a whole lot. I should also mention that I once actually spoke to Horst (a long time ago) and he told me that my leaky shock problem was rare. How about that.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   amp b3, mtn cycle cxs

Bike Setup:   nice stuff

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clinton Bylo a Racer from Livonia Michigan

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2000

Strengths:    Frame is built really well. Very good welds. Looks great. If set up right, Handles great.

Weaknesses:    Front and rear suspension

Bottom Line:   
AmpB4 is a great frame. The only thing bad is the suspension. But that is my opinion. Many people have not had any problems, I on the other hand have gone through 3 rear shocks. When you set it up right, it will be your best friend. You should be able to out climb and out ride all hard tails (opinion from experience). If you want a quality light frame that will take the abuse and keep performing with an 'A' standard, look into an AMPB4!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pottow

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Speacialized FSR
Ellsworth Truth


Bike Setup:   97 frame, 99 Manitou x-vert 100mm, risse rear, flite saddle,Xt crank, brakes, Sram 9.0sl shifters and derailler, Bontrager race rims, Scott thermoplastic handlebar (120 grams) wellgo pedals,control tech post.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by fabrizio a Racer from Alba, Italy

Date Reviewed: October 11, 1999

Strengths:    
lightness, simplicity, and of course, look.


Weaknesses:    
you guessed it...
shocks!


Bottom Line:   
THIS REVIEW IS AN UPDATE...
After my 2nd season of full-throttle racing (each season, 10-15 norba styleshort races, plus various,40 miles, extremely rocky and technical point to point races) and training.
My previous review was written 2 years ago, and since then, I was discouraged by the bad reviews the bike was receiving. To be honest I have never replace anything on the frame, but rebuilt the shocks several times. Maybe this winter will be the time for a pivot/bush rebuild (yes, i'm not selling it, ehm...her!!!).
My F4 blt is a dream, really... even with sometimes oilless shocks.
The rear shock seemed to stiff on compression, so I modified the internal valving, increasing the diameter of the compression bleed orifice, and what a big difference!
The actual bike weight is 22.3 lbs with bar ends and bottle cage. I can tell for sure you can notice the lack of weight on avery ascent, and you will notice the incredible traction as well.
Probably a 30 pound bike will be more liable in the long run, but I would miss that smile on the climbs...Bottom line: 5 stars for lightness and geometry, minus 2 stars for shock design, plus 2 stars because it is still the coolest.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Similar Products Used:   
FSR XC,Cannondale v-active,and demoed various others.


Bike Setup:   
B4-F4 BLT, racing wheelset, full XTR except for CookBros cranks, Kore stem, Control Tech Seatpost, Flite, Titanium BB, Ritchey pedals, Mythos tires.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by c a Cross-Country Rider from b

Date Reviewed: September 30, 1999

Strengths:    
disk brakes, price, weight


Bottom Line:   
good

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
tested or demo'ed only

Bike Setup:   
XTs

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by RICK SIMMS a Cross-Country Rider from WILLIAMSBURG, VA

Date Reviewed: September 27, 1999

Strengths:    
Functional design, simplicity, light light weight, adjustabale geometry, super handling and the best climber I've ridden.


Weaknesses:    
Haven't found any, yet.


Bottom Line:   
I coudn't be more pleased with my B-4 frame/F-3BLT fork. The 3 1/4 of travel of the F-3 fork is smooth and progressive...no stiction and floats over the same ripples my Rock Shox stuttered over. The fork is both super rigid (allowed ne to use a 650 gm. Nuke Proof/Mavic front wheel) and plush. With no independant leg movement, the fork is ultimately stable with no axle flex or wheel deflection. IN fact, my front hub is a Nuke Proof 80 gm. carbon/alluminum road hub.
Shortly after setting this bike up, I noticed that I had automatically adjusted to its ride demands, as I was sitting more and more for most climbs. My Schwinn/Paramount race bike was a great climber in its day, but the AMP is like a tractor. It has to be wet, steep and slippery before I ever spin the rear tire. About the only time I fail to clean an ascent, now, is when I run out of gas, throw a chain on the downhill approach, or make a bad gear choice. I hardly ever lose traction. The rear shock can be advanced up to 1/2 which raises the bottom bracket, slightly, and steepens the steering up to 1 degree. I raised it to the max because of a certain log crossing. I feared it might make the steering twitchy, but to my surprise, it made it quicker, which I actually loved. The handling was great to begin with, but is awesome now. Soon after I got the bike, I found that the front shocks had no oil in them. I suspect that they were never filled properly, when first made, as they apeared to lose none. I had them replaced under warrantee and have had no trouble since. In fact, AMP is astounding to deal with, if you have a problem.
The previous reviewer, who said letting people ride your AMP ruins their day, was quite correct. Everyone who rides my bike says something like Wow is that light...I could go really fast on that! After having this bike less than a week, I rode it to a sixth place finish in a race, having cut a tendon in my left index finger, while temporarily dislocating the same finger's middle knuckle the night before the race. I did all of my passing on the hills...traction city...weightless!
My rear shock slipped, slightly, in its mounting, while on a vigorous ride. I E-mailed AMP about it and three days later a pair of alloy spacers arrived in the mail. That's service! I haven't put them on, yet, as the shock hasn't slipped any since I tightened the mounting. I couldn't be happier with the bike. I can never go back to cross country riding on a hard tail. My AMP is the finest bike I have ever ridden. I, personally, have never had a problem with worn anything and I don't find it any more maintenance intensive than my Schwinn hartail. I don't know what bikes the whining reviewers really own, nor why they felt they had problems. My AMP is the finest handling, best climbing, most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. Anyone seeking advice on maintenance/setting up an AMP, E-mail me. I would be glad to offer whatever advice I can. Give it 5 thumbs up!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
local secret trail and the lost trail...say no more!

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
AMP-B3, Szasbo, Trek FS, Schwinn FS.


Bike Setup:   
B-4/F-4BLT fork, Flite, Mavic/Nuke-Proof wheels, control stem & bars, Continental tires, American Classic seat post, Synchros ti-B/B, Grip Shift 7 speed, plus custom made(by me)385 gm. cranks and 150gm. levers. According to the calibrated postal scale at work, it weighs under 23lb...honest!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Hamershock a Weekend Warrior from Ljubljana, Slovenia

Date Reviewed: July 9, 1999

Strengths:    
light, low stand-over height, simple to work on.


Weaknesses:    
none as of now...


Bottom Line:   
Weighs in at 23 lbs. The wife is very happy with the weight, ride, and handling. No problems with shock or pivots, but she doesn't hammer too hard so I expect no problems. Good bike for a good price...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
dirt...

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
B3, I ride a Wild Hare


Bike Setup:   
'99 B4, Mag 21 fork, Maggie HS-22 brakes, mostly XT parts

Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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