AMP Research 1999 B5 Full Suspension Bike

4.18/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $3410.00


Product Description

1999 AMP Research B5, mountain bike, front & rear suspension, Shimano XTR components, AMP Research F4BLT, 3.2" travel fork


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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kid4lyf a Racer from Crown Point, IN USA

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2001

Strengths:    Fast and LIGHT

Weaknesses:    lack of cable stops

Bottom Line:   
This bike has been better than I ever imagined. After 2 years of racing a 32 lb Super V freeride type bike I decided to get serious and build up a super lightweight FS XC racebike. I chose the AMP because it was the lightest real(softails don't count) FS frame made. Since I heard all the bad reviews about AMPs I decided to keep my C-Dale for everyday riding/training and use the AMP for raceday only. Bottom line is a bike that weighs 22.3 lbs, has 4" of usable travel front and back, and has proven so reliable that I just sold my Super V. I'm 6'tall and weigh 190lbs. I ride hard miles on very technical trails and don't baby my equipment. I recently did the 24hr of Boyne, Michigan and the bike performed flawlessly on a very tough course which included a killer downhill straight down under the ski lift. Yes I have rebuilt the shock. It took me all of 15 minutes and the seals are easily gotten. Which brings me to service. AMP is supposedly out of the bike business but their service is still better than 95% of the bike companies out there. You call them and REAL people answer the phone and actually return calls. People that talk about the small pivots and using bushings instead of cartridge bearings don't know what they are talking about. As a Mechanical Engineer with a machine shop at my disposal I went completely over this frame when I got it to see where I could improve it. Every pivot and linkage is so well engineered and thought out that I basically left it alone other than sealing the bottom pivot better. Hoorst made the lightest and best designed (for it's intended purpose) frameset available. Everyone else is still catching up.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   C-Dale Super V, Fisher Sugar, Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   AMP frame w/ Noleen Mega Air fork, carbon bars, seatpost, rkanks, full XTR/Sram drivetrain, & Bonty/CK Racelite wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by matt lefebvre a Downhiller from northbay ontario

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2001

Strengths:    fram is super stiff the size of the swingarm is awsome
it is really beefy


Weaknesses:    never found one

Bottom Line:   
this is the best bike i have seen in its class
brodie did a good job

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Favorite Trail:   DH RACING

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3100.00

Purchased At:   cheapskates sporting goods

Similar Products Used:   rodie thumper diablo and fsr

Bike Setup:   jr. t with xt parts truvativ cranks fox vinnala rc coil

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob a Cross Country Rider from Longview,WA

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2001

Strengths:    see below

Weaknesses:    see below

Bottom Line:   
update to my review below, just got a new frame from AMP. sent the old one in via the LBS and Amp sent a good used frame back. all I had to pay was shipping, one way. $17 for slightly used frame, bushings all tight again... I gotta say they treated me all right.
now what am i gonna do with 2 great bikes...can only ride one at a time...

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Bymans Bikes


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bob a Cross Country Rider from Longview, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2001

Strengths:    Fast, Great Climber, Front Fork doesn't dive, Nimble in Tight Single Track

Weaknesses:    Rear Shock, Bushing Seals, Frame Cracking, brake pads are too expensive ~$35/set

Bottom Line:   
Best riding bike I've had (~4000miles). Required lots of maintenance though. Had the rear shock rebuilt 3 times by Amp and then got the Risse Air shock, no problems with that since (I'm a 170# rider, mostly cross country). Most of the rear bushings are easily replaceable, and have gone through 2 bushing replacemnts. I found that if I covered the rear shock and pivots with Lizard Skins, the bushings lasted much longer.
The Front fork bushings wore out in about a year, had the LBS send it back to the factory and it was warranteed rebuilt.
Lately the bike had been creaking, finally found the seat tower cracked near the quick release, AMP warranty replaced it. Then found a hairline crack in the rear seatstay to chainstay aluminum casting, AMP will probably warranty that too. Then found a big crack in the headtube to downtube joint, probably won't warranty that one as the weld had been ground out by a brake cable housing that I routed thru there when I first got the bike.
The front fork(F4) is the only one that doesn't dive in corners and heavy braking. All the rock shock's, manitou's, Jeykll Lefty forks all dive under the same conditions. The fork is also spot on for steering, very precise, like my Jekyll Lefty.
Disc brakes worked great, not the strongest disc's out there, but the modulation was great, compared to hydraulic discs I have ridden.
It was pricey 2 years ago, but had disc brakes, which seem to be a must in the NorthWET here. Needed quite a bit of maintenance, but then AMP fixed a lot of stuff for free. AMP isn't selling very many bikes anymore, they never really did, but the design lives on in Specialized, Intense, and several other companies, even Klein and Gary Fisher seem to have copied the design but left out the rear stay pivots to get out of licensing issues.
If you can get one cheap, its worth it, but I wouldn't pay full price again. So I got a C-dale Jekyll F2000, see if it lasts longer...

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Favorite Trail:   Falls Creek in the GPNF

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Bymans Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Jekyll, Klein Mantra, Amp B4, Schwinn

Bike Setup:   F4 Front Fork, Risse Rear shock, WTB Velociraptor Tires, Time Pedals, XT 5 arm crank 20t little ring, XT cassette 12-34t all for the steep climbs and super tight halftrack trails around here.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Big Daddy a Weekend Warrior from Winnipeg, Canada

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2000

Strengths:    Light, light, LIGHT!! Very responsive, very quick handling (steep head tube), easily maintained, plush XC geared performance that doesn't slow you down.

Weaknesses:    I hesitate to say rear shock as it is easily serviced, but does require frequent maintenance.

Bottom Line:   
This bike has received unwarranted flack for the rear shock. Okay, you have to rebuild it. That is the price of having a coil/oil shock under 2/3 of a pound. The rebuild kit is around $10, cheap maintenance even if it is done a couple times per year. Mine came with a Risse, I couldn't stand the shock as it was stiff with stiction - had to pump it up to over 330 PSI, and I weigh 170 lbs. No, I went back to the old shock (built it up myself, if you take care, it will work well and the seals will last a while). I can now build and rebuild all AMP shocks/oil cartridges, and they are all based on the same design - simplicity. Horst was way ahead of his time, as Intense, Specialized, and everyone else using the 4 bar linkage are now discovering. Too bad people didn't embrace the light full suspension idea when it was trully created - not in the last couple years like most think, but over 5 years ago by HOrst Leitner. My bike, with dual discs, weighs in at about 22.7 lbs - phenominal. Show me another bike that has over 4" rear fully active travel that can say that-not many out there. The industry missed the boat on this one, and now unfortunately AMP is no longer in the bicycle business. Another good one forgottone because of industry hype. Sorry to see you guys go, AMP! 5 flaming dead horses for this baby.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pan Am race course '99

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Heckler, Spec'd FSR.

Bike Setup:   B5 w/ carbon F4, AMP discs f/r, XTR/AMP hubs, XTR drivetrain, Syncros post/stem, RF Air Carbon bar, Selle Italia saddle, Conti Double fighter tires, Frogs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by rex mccoppin a Cross Country Rider from st. louis mo usa

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2000

Strengths:    light weight, mine's 24 lbs dead with light but not superlight components
climbing ability
looks cool


Weaknesses:    shocks

Bottom Line:   
bought bare frame at great local bike shop for $10 less than mail order price. went thru 3 front shock rebuilds (F-4)before putting my old fork on it and when thr rear shock blew i put a risse on it( glad i had another bike to ride or i would have given up on this one)it's now a real 24 lb. full susp. it's taken over a year to get it to work but now it's terriffic. the risse and normal fork made it a great bike but had to re-engineer the rear susp to get it to ride great. the risse jacks the rear of the bike up more than an inch and makes the steering angle way too steep. the best mod was to make a new bolt hole in the swing link 17mm out (away from the frame)for the shock mount and the rear end of the bike will come down to where it should be (BB height now is 13" high, not 14) the rear travel was reduced from 3.5" down to 3" but is smoother and has not bottomed out since with 160 lbs in shock (my weight) i bought a new swing link from amp for $30 and had a machine shop duplicate the shock bolt hole further out on it, i also bought a bushing kit which made it easier to install.
(not the 5" claimed rear travel)

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Favorite Trail:   chub

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   big shark

Similar Products Used:   s/c heckler, bianchi super g, scott vertigo,
mongoose amplifer, proflex 4000, fsr


Bike Setup:   sx-ti, risse, 9.0 trans and brakes, carbon rear stays,
ti BB, xt crank, ti cass, spox

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Hilo from Baldwin Park Ca. U.S.A.

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2000

Strengths:    Lightweight great handling bike.

Weaknesses:    Rear shock

Bottom Line:   
When I first got It, the carbon fiber pulled out, it was replaced with no hassel.Went thru 2 shocks.They than got me a good deal on a risse.No complaints now.This bike is great.I ride it every other day, sometimes more.I weigh almost 190 lbs and I don"t baby it.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Proflex Beast,Mongosse

Bike Setup:   Mavic Crosslinks,Raceface cranks,monkeylite riser,xtr,risse shock,Judy 100

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by dan a Cross Country Rider from new york, new york

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2000

Strengths:    beautiful design and engineering

Weaknesses:    rear shock

Bottom Line:   
great bike but I blew out the rear shock the second week i owned the bike. FYI: i am 160 lbs. and i was riding it in central park, new york city. which is not exactly a hardcore terrain. great bike. but as said in other reviews needs maintenance and I would replace the rear shock immediately.

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Favorite Trail:   central park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   XT group. risse astro 5. F4 fork. shimano pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jay Johnstone a Cross Country Rider from N.B'Ford, Sk., Canada

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2000

Strengths:    Weight, geometry

Weaknesses:    maintenance, shock

Bottom Line:   
This is a good bike, and like everyone else is saying, it would be way better if the shock worked 100% and you didn't constantly have to fiddle to keep it on the trail! I am 6', 200 lbs, and when you add a big camelbak and 5 pounds of mud, I don't trust it a lot on long epics. If you like working on your bike, and you weigh sub 150lbs, I'd say this bike rules. If you're heavier, don't rule it out, but check out some other options. I ride an Intense as well, which is a heavier (a LOT heavier), but could survive thermonuclear war.

I've been checking out other shock options, mainly Stratos, if anyone has any experience altering the frame to fit a tougher (ie wider than current frame will take) shock in, WRITE ME!!! I am currently looking at altering the seat post triangle to make it a bit wider, and any advice or success/failure stories would be appreciated.

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Favorite Trail:   Gerald's, Saskatoon

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Intense UZZI-SL (kinda similar :)

Bike Setup:   Risse shock, Marzocchi atombomb, changing to Z1 x.fly, XTR

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by spencer taylor a Cross-Country Rider from kelowna canada

Date Reviewed: October 15, 1999

Strengths:    
light wieght


Weaknesses:    
Frame out of alignment, seatmast off center, carbonfiber rear-end rattles, makes constant noise!


Bottom Line:   
All I have to say is I feel riped-off. I sent my frame back, they put it in a jig AND BENT IT BACK! dose that inspire confidence in you , it did not in me. with the rear end noise they flat out told me that they would do nothing about it because there are no visible signs of damage. Now I have a realy expensive toy that dose not work properly! also
get this! I was told my waranty was void because I GREASED MY REAR PIVOTS!!! apperently if your AMP rear end sqeeks you can't lube it. Save your money, and buy a bike from a company that backs up thier products.

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Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
I replaced my FSR-XC with the B-5


Bike Setup:   
XTR. syncros, hanebrink XCL fork

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Hunter a Cross-Country Rider from los gatos ca

Date Reviewed: September 19, 1999

Strengths:    
handling light weight appeal


Weaknesses:    
cost


Bottom Line:   
ive ridden and raced motor cycles and mountain bikes for over 30 years. the fully active susphension, the powerful yet senstive disc brakes,the swing link hooked up to the coil spring,the f4, forks the frame geometry make this the finest handling bike on the market. all fully susphenion bike designs are not created equal.actually its beauty make it a work of art.admitelly you have to tweak on it a bit,but my riding partner gibson anderson and i enjoy that,motor cycle riders call it bench racing amp gives us great tech.support when we need it.i loved my b4 but the b5 is in a whole league above. weight is 24 lbs and change.

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Favorite Trail:   
wilder ranch

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
amp b4 santa cruz giant 990 klien pinnacle richey team comp cz hodacka honda 90


Bike Setup:   
xtr carbon fiber forks seat stays f4 fork lite package

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Kevin C a Weekend Warrior from Portland, OR

Date Reviewed: September 16, 1999

Strengths:    
light, fast and comfortable


Weaknesses:    
crappy stock shock


Bottom Line:   
Well, I'm 140 lbs and went through 4 AMP shocks. To their credit, they sent them out quick. After countless stories of the shock being re-engineered I went for the Risse and couldn't be happier. The 100mm travel Xvert has also helped (I never went with the stock fork). Again, to their credit, look where one of the most popular FS frame design these days originated - the B5. Ride it first and expect to repacle the rear shock soon.

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Favorite Trail:   
Windigo

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Bike Setup:   
B5 with Risse Astro5, '99 Manitou Xvert

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by TRAVIS a Weekend Warrior from TRUCKEE, CA

Date Reviewed: September 4, 1999

Strengths:    
LIGHT


Weaknesses:    
CROOKED FRAME, FLEXY GHOST SHIFTS, NO WAY DOES IT HAVE 5


Bottom Line:   
BIKE SUCKS. THIS IS THE 2ND AMP I'VE HAD W/ A CROOKED FRAME. CONSTANT GHOST SHIFTING. GAINED 2 LBS SWITCHING TO A K2 4000 AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. WANNA BUY A FRAME CHEAP?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
LIGHTSPEED OBED FS (B3), MOUNTAINCYCLE CXS, K2 4000


Bike Setup:   
XT, JUDY

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Douglas Burnside a Racer from Fairbanks, Alaska

Date Reviewed: August 23, 1999

Strengths:    
A fast, capable bike when it is working right.


Weaknesses:    
This is a very high maintenance machine.


Bottom Line:   
This is a bike to impress your friends and neighbors, with its unusual frame design and fancy techno-stuff (the articulated front fork geometry, the hydraulic disk brakes, the 27 speeds and rapid fire shifters, etc.) I have ruined peoples lives by having them test ride my bike - then they want one of their own. However...It is by far the most expensive bike to keep going I have ever owned. I am averaging about 250 miles out of a set of front brake pads, 450 out of the rears, and those pads are not cheap. The rear shock has failed, been rebuilt, and is in the process of failing again. Both front shocks are failed - there is zero damping in compression or rebound. Some of the rear pivot bushings and pins have been replaced; and now all of the front pivots are worn to the point the the bike clatters noisily on bumpy trails. This bike costs me more per mile to operate than my car.In fairness, I must say that the bike is ridden in the worst possible conditions for this type of bike - lots of mud riding in very fine-grained alluvial silt. The stuff makes a great grinding compound for all the suspension pivots. However, AMP Research could have made the pivots bigger and better sealed - I'd be willing to pay a half-pound penalty for that. Speaking of pounds (or halves, thereof) I would like to meet the optimist who thinks a B-5 AMP weighsonly 24.5 pounds. However, when it is in peak condition, it rides very well indeed. If I can just afford to keep it running, life will be good.Will I keep riding this bike, and enjoying it? Probably yes.
Would I buy another one just like it? Probably not.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
4-Mile Ridge Trail off CHS Rd.

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
Amp B3


Bike Setup:   
Absolutely out-of-the-box stock, with Amp disc brakes and the carbon fiber lightweight options.

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Al Neese a Cross-Country Rider from San Mateo, Calif

Date Reviewed: July 10, 1999

Strengths:    
design,weight, disk brakes & looks


Weaknesses:    
shocks need regular maintenance


Bottom Line:   
Super bike good downhill and climbing but you must rebuild the shocks regularly about every 3 months. I've had my bike 7 months and I saw the rear shock lose it's oil so I replaced it with a Risse Astro-5 which is lighter and works nicely but without the external spring so if it fails you need to walk your bike out of whereever you are. With the Amp shock with spring I could still ride. When I rebuilt the Amp shock for a spare I also did the front shocks too and found them empty of oil and I was still riding the bike and didn't even know there was a problem. I bought Amp's kit for rebuilding the shocks and will keep ahead of this problem. I love the bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Manzanita

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
connondale, DBX, Specialized


Bike Setup:   
B5, F4 fork, XTR & Amp disks

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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