a Cross Country Rider
from Milton Keynes
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2002
Strengths: Quality brakes and an extra light extra smooth ride.
Weaknesses: Had to change the rear gear cable 3 times in the first month/.
An excellant ride when it works and i strongly recommend it to all professional riders. Sall the XTR gear just improves the quality its a wickid ride when its goin. Dont buy it unless you have the know how to repair it when it goes wrong
a Weekend Warrior
from Edmonton, alberta Canada
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2001
Strengths: Light, When working, its pretty good
Weaknesses: It doesn't work too often
When I first bought this bike, I was beside myself with glee. Even when the rear shock spat out all its oil and the pivots wore out, I happily paid the bucks at the local shop for new seals and pivot bearings every three months. After about a year, the rear triangle snapped at the shock mount pinch bolt. I was pissed, but I went ahead and got a warranty replacement rear triangle. This process went on for another year and a half, only as I started riding more agressively, I broke two more rear traingles and went through a set of bearings every month. Dont even ask about the shock. I bought a Genisis Air shock, which was a waste, since I rode it like that for about five months before I snapped another rear triangle and decided to just ride my hardtail and forget about full suspension
Bike Setup: this bike is in pieces in my basement, slowly being cannibalized by my other bikes
a Cross Country Rider
from Solana Beach, CA
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2001
Strengths: This is where it all started. The way the shock mounts and the seat tower allows for a more rigid ride. This bike is from 1996, I weigh 200 pounds, I know how to ride and NEVER had a shock blow, cracked the frame or had any complaints. Yes, it is a bit whippy but for a fully suspended bike under 24 pounds, what do you really expect. Horst is a genius when it comes to minimalism - the goal isn't to get down the hill, it is to ride... up, down, over, and through. This bike is nimble and quick and holds up well. For those of you with problems, call Brion LaBelle, he gets stuff out fast. By the way, I just built an Intense Tracer - it is the exact frame, but just built up a bit stronger. Both do well, the AMP is lighter and quicker, the Intense is more solid and screams downhills, YES, I will be riding BOTH for the next few years. To those who cry about the AMP being weak, go get an Intense M1 and some MX gear and go for it..... the AMP requires some finesse.
Weaknesses: Rear end gets whippy on really hard descents, but the overall ride quality and light weight makes up for it.
This bike is great if you know what it is. Sounds dumb but think about it. Super light, super nimble, lo tech, easy to maintain. This is not for gorilla riders, downhillers, or people who can't pick their lines. If you know how to ride and care for your stuff, then it will last years and keep you happy. Not to mention they are going to be collectable, since Horst doesn't make them any more, he is making big cash on the bed Xtenders for toyota, nissan and ford trucks.
Bike Setup: XTR drivetrain, Race Face, KORE, Control Tech, and I switch between the AMP F3XC and a Marzocchi BAM... AMP Discs....
from Waterloo, Ontario
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2000
Strengths: Light, fast, cheap
Weaknesses: Flexy... frame might be weak...
Hmmmm, this bike is ultra-fast! It climbs well, and it descends decently... now I read some people blowing up the legs on this somewhere, and I read about some dude here cracking the frame... well I guess if rode improperly you could break it, sure, it's lightweight as hell! BUT!, I weigh 190lbs, and I have been dropping this thing off of 5 and 6 foot drops (don't ask why) and I have pics to prove it... I have not broken ANYTHING, and it works just fine... I guess if you buy something so lightweight you really have to respect that fact and be ready to COMPENSATE by riding lightly and landing properly... Look in the photogallery for my pics of me dropping this thing of stairs...
Bike Setup: XTR, Race Face Next LPs, SyStem, BB, King DiscGoTech(r), White Ind Disc(fr), CT2 bar, LP post, .... 25lbs w/ El Gato and Missle tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Minneapolis, MN
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2000
Strengths: The lightest (when properly set up) full-suspension rig that doesn't suffer from pedaling feedback.
Weaknesses: First, you will need a backup bike, because when the shocks or disk breaks blow, or the pivots need rebuilding, you have to send pieces of your bike to California. Second, your "friends" will claim that they could climb and decend as well as you, if only they had a full-suspension bike.
I have ridden around 2000 miles on this bike, and have had the front shocks rebuilt three times, including once when I upgraded from aluminum to carbon fork legs (worth it). The rear shock was rebuilt four times before I got smart and purchased the Risse Genesis shock. The rear disk brake blew once, which required 2 returns to AMP to fix. Each return to AMP will put you out of commission for at least a month, so get a backup bike you really like. This is not a cheap bike, no matter how much you pay for the original parts. I've kept mine running like new, and I'm going to ride until it breaks again. I have the AMP travel case that's escaped airline oversize bag charges three times (but I also was charged, once). Try to put your Specialized FSR S-Works into a suitcase, and see what happens! I'm giving this bike five smokin' spleefs for being the best FS frame money can buy that doesn't have a Specialized logo on it.
Similar Products Used: Specialized A-1 Comp (MacPherson strut), Schwinn 9.0 (sweet spot), Rocky Mountain (swing link). My personal bikes are the AMP B-4, GT Avalanche Team, GT Xizang, and Nishiki Ole (road).
Bike Setup: XT compact drive 8-speed, disk brakes, Risse Genesis rear shock, AMP F-4 carbon front shock, flat bars, Specialized team master/team control tires. Medium-size 1997 frame, 24.5 lbs.
from Fredericksburg, Va
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2000
Strengths: Super light, well engineered...
Weaknesses: Rear flexes slightly, but not bad at all....
This frame (As wasthe wheelset and brakes)was purchase on Marketplace used. It already had the Risse astro5 upgrade on the rear. I built this bike as a race bike 1st, fun bike 2nd. I have a Jamis Team Dakar as a backup, but I find myself wanting to ride the B4 much more now that it is dialed in and the XMO has been rebuilt after breakin. The B4 does have minimal flex, but I know that any sub 5# FS frame is gonna suffer minimal flex. This bike hammers as it sits and will make a great race rig this summer. I am 180# and I am not easy on bikes (Read my reviews on both mongooses I list above) and because of this, I was a bit skeptical when I bought the frame. Thought I was gonna have to take it easy on it and only race the bike. Not TRUE! I am hitting everything as hard on the B4 as I would be on my Jamis, and the bike takes it all on the chin and keeps going. I have less than $1600 invested in this bike and it was the best $1600 I have spent. The bike is 8 speed and has hydraulics and it works great. Frame flex is minimal and the bike handles well. Don't buy it if you plan to free ride, but buy it you are an agressive XC rider or racer. It jumps, climbs and hopps with the best of them. As for a previous posters comment on the FSR XC, well a rider in my group has a 99 modelthat he has replaced the swingarms and bushings on 3 times in the last year. I'd look elsewhere if you are affraid of a loose rear link!
Similar Products Used: Jamis Team Dakar, Mongoose NX8.5 & VRS 3.0, Klein Mantra Comp
Bike Setup: CK HS and hubs, 517 ceramic rims tied together with DT revolution spokes, Kore Ti Skewers, Kooka Cranks, XTR BB, TITEC seatpost, XT cassette, shifters and derailleurs, Performance Titanio saddle, CT2 Monkeylite bar, Magura HS33 Tomac brakes, Risse AStro5 rear shock, XMO O2SL fork, total weight 23#
a Cross-Country Rider
from Charlotte, NC
Date Reviewed: August 4, 1999
Strengths: light fast cheap
Weaknesses: flexy(you get used to it), you WILL have to upgrade the shock
I owned a B-3 for over 3 years. Once I got over the flexy rear end and bought a Risse, life was good. the bike was light and fast. I had problems with AMP customer service in the past, but Brian is a good guy. When I felt the need for a new bike, I purchased a Mtn. Cycle, based on its lateral stiffness. While being only @ a pound heavier, it didn't feel as fast. I sold it and took a decent loss. I then traded my old B-3 in on a new B-4 w/carbon stays. Before I rode it I swapped out the shock w/ my Risse. It flexes less than my B-3 did and feels betteron all terrain. I'll still give the frame a good rating because it seems to be common knowledge that you will have to replace the shock. Just save the old shock so when the Risse needs rebuilt, you can still ride.
Bike Setup: XTR Cook Bros. Rock Shox Syncros Nuke Proof
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 29, 1999
Strengths: light, rides good, standover height, affordable if non breaks
Weaknesses: seatstays flexes , decals/stickers peeling off and as usual -rear shock
I have some regrets on buying this frame set i should`ve save some more $$$ and bought an fsr xc s-works frame set. anyway, the first time i rode my b4 in the trail i noticed right away that it is light but i also noticed a knocking sound from the rear shock so, i send it back and thinking they`re gonna send me a brand new one instead they just repaired my shock that i send to them , good i have my reliable santa cruz heckler to ride on i didn`t miss any of my scheduled rides (waited almost 3 weeks for my crappy AMP shock) anyway , when i got the rear shock i installed it and went to my local trail right away and guess what...... you`re right the problem is still there, so, what i`m planning right now is just wait till this shock breaks down for good and replace it with a genesis. and as for the frame i have to wait and see- i hope the frame won`t be a problem soon.
Similar Products Used: santa cruz heckler(my other bike) cannondale sv , specialized fsr xc pro , specialized fsr comp
Bike Setup: my `99 b4 has a marzocchi bomber z.2 and full xt parts, ( rear shock will be replaced soon)
a Weekend Warrior
from Victoria, B.C.
Date Reviewed: May 5, 1999
Strengths: Light Rides well when not broken.
Weaknesses: Frame is too weak. Rear shock is a joke
This Bike comes close to hitting the mark but just doesn't reach it. The frame has cracked twice in the same place (at the head tube/down tube junction). The stock AMP shock is the most poorly designed component I have ever seen. To top things off Horst Leitner, the owner of the company and designer of the bike, has decided that the replaced components will not be warranteed the year after purchasing the frame. Even though the front triangle is only about 3 months old at this point. I will only have been able to ride the bike for about 10 months. The other 2 lost due to warranty concerns. This should be right about when the newest one is due to break. I will be consulting a lawyer however and will post another review when this latest issue is resolved. I have dealt with only one competent employee at AMP and this is Brian LaBelle. It is my advice to him that he jump ship because with such poor designs and lousy policies I don't imagine they will be profitable for long. I have and will be telling every rider I meet about my dealings with AMP in hopes that they do not suffer the frustrating experience. Wake up Horst your product isn't the only out there! This frame gets one chile (because I have to) even though I figure they owe me about twenty.
I'm listing here because this is going to be the only place that I can sell this "altered" headset. Normally, I'd use the classifieds place to hock my goods.
I have the On-One / Workscomponents Slackset for sale. This is the Med headset for 105mm head tubes. [B]Per Brant's recommendation[/B], the ... Read More »
Okay, I'm only posting this for the Lumen junkies. [URL="http://www.intl-outdoor.com/lxp-b4-4xml-u2-618650-3500lumens-bike-light-p-506.html"] LXP B4 4*XM-L U2, 6*18650, 3500lumens Bike light[/URL]
I have no idea how well it works or what kind of beam pattern it throws. At $148 who really cares. : ... Read More »
Best place to order Cane Creek seperate upper and lower headset cups and get before X-mas? Looking for a headset 49 ZS upper/EC49 lower and would like to get it before X-mas, any suggestions on who's shipping promptly and has them in stock?Read More »
Ping me with any questions. Located in Newport Beach CA area.
AMP B4 Mountain Bike - $350
Amp B4 Mountain Bike. Many updates, but ALWAYS a classic!
Includes new Risse rear shock, perfectly-true Mavic Crosslink wheels / hubs, White cranks, lightweight chain, XT rear derail, Kore stem, new tir ... Read More »
Heres my plan: Chris King hubs laced to Mavic 819 with dt swiss spokes. (red hubs and nips)
Strength is very important to me as I am 255lbs but I didnt want to get downhill spec stuff for a xc/am rig. Am I on the right track?
Also straight or butted spokes?Read More »