AMP Research B5 Bike 1998 or Older

3.58/5 (19 Reviews)


Product Description

Amp Research B5


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Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Tucson, Arizona

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2008

Strengths:    Xtreme lightweight, plush XC bike with good product support, 10 years ahead of its time

Weaknesses:    Factory linkage fork (not used)


Bottom Line:   
The AMP B5 is a bike years ahead of its time, lightweight, plush, and perfectly suited to XC riding, particularly out here in the loose rock and sand of the Sonoran desert. As an ultralite bike with thin straight-gauge 6061 tubing, it isn't a bike for big jumps or DH use, and most problems I've seen attributed to it have inevitably resulted as a consequence of using (abusing) the B5 far outside its design parameters.

I ordered my bike as a frameset direct from AMP and built it over a year's time with parts obtained in sales and clearance prices. I intentionally avoided the complex F3 linkage fork, opting instead for a strong, conventional XC Marzocchi. As a big guy I went with a large frame, heavy rear spring and solid aluminum rear triangle.

In terms of reliability, I have had zero problems with this bike over the last 10 years with the exception of two broken spokes. I recently bought replacement pivot bushings and a rear shock rebuild kit from AMP, in order to keep the bike on the road a few more years.

AMP still offers pivot bushing kits and rear shock kits for this bike, even though they stopped selling bikes years ago. That is a lot better product support than I've gotten from large bike manufacturers. Even today, just to equal AMP's technology, weight, and specs, you're looking at something like a Scott Spark Ltd. - and a huge price tag.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   AMP Research

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR
Specialized AIM Comp FSR
Specialized Ground Control AIM Comp
Marin F/S


Bike Setup:   Marzocchi XC fork, factory rear shock w/heavy spring, LX crankset, XTR rear derailleur, custom 8+1 XTR ti 10-32 cassette, Sachs 9sp. shifters, Dave's Wheels custom wheelset, overall weight 24.8 lbs in Large frame

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Rodney Hickey a Cross-Country Rider from Lower Sackville, NS, Canada

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2000

Strengths:    
Light!!
Climbing!!
Wow Factor!!
Horst Linkage !!


Weaknesses:    
Small tubing in rear!!
Pivots!!
Shock mount design!!
Cost of parts!!


Bottom Line:   
This is one sweet ride!! I've been riding this bike in all conditions (night and day) for the past 6 or so months and have nothing to really complain about. I'm 180-190 lbs, and ride frequently. This bike climbs like a mountain goat and rides oh so smooth. The rear triangle is a little on the small side and it does flex somewhat (what can you expect from a 24 lb FS rig??). I've ridden IRC mythos XC, Michelin wildgrippers and a set of home-studded Norco tires all with great success.
I'd recommend this ride to a XC rider/racer but not someone who rides on extreme (eg. Canadian north Shore) and is into 10' drops etc.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Wrandees

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
GT XCR
GT LTS
Specialized FSR


Bike Setup:   
B5 Frame
SID Fork
XT & better
SRAM brake levers
Avocet saddle (light!!)
Mavic 517 citron wheels

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Karl a Cross-Country Rider from Maryland

Date Reviewed: October 17, 1999

Strengths:    
It's super light!
Awesome brakes, plush!


Weaknesses:    
To make it light, AMP skimped on pivot size, which causes them to wear out prematurely!


Bottom Line:   
This is my second review of this bike. I have now replaced ALL of the bushings, and rebuilt the front shocks once, the rear FOUR times. Yes, the rear shock sucks! I have just ordered a Risse Astro-5, hope that fares better. AMP seems to believe that one way or another they will get their old shock to work better, they should save their time and $$ and just install the Risse! They have been pretty good about sending bits to keep the bike together, their shipping dept. is a tad slow, it usually takes 2 weeks to get anything! the brakes continue to be fantastic (and howl like crazy!), the metallic pads still show no wear after 2 years of hard use! The calipers, however, are becoming very rattley on their mounts, at first AMP said there was no fix, then the last time I complained, they sent me new bushings for the sliders. So, I still love the bike, warts and all. If it weren't for slow parts shipping and the shock and bushing problems, it would easily be a 5-chile bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Similar Products Used:   
AMP B-2


Bike Setup:   
Full XT with dual discs

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by John a Cross-Country Rider from San Francisco, CA

Date Reviewed: May 17, 1999

Strengths:    
Disc Brakes
Sloping top tube


Weaknesses:    
Rear shock
Fingerprints in decals


Bottom Line:   
A beautiful bike to have in your collection. Also, a lesson about not paying attention to reviews written by professional magazine writers. I love the fork, I love the brakes. But, if you want to tear it up, bunnyhop railroad tracks and small trees, and you weigh more than about 170, take something stiffer. I never got the bike set up correctly, and got speed wobbles because of that. I could only get 3 usable suspension out of the rear, after dialing in sag per Horst's recommendations. The Leitners are wonderful people, but this bike should not be abused by someone like me, expecting to use a full suspension bike to its fullest. I used this bike in Illinois / Wisconsin, and will be using it in California when it gets shipped here. If you're interested in one of these bikes, get in touch with me. Who knows, this mechanic-owned beauty might be available to hang in your stall?! (Sorry, the 'Dale is gone, Ruby & PF aren't for sale)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
All of them

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
Pro Flex 3000
Kestrel Rubicon
Cannondale Super V
GT LTS


Bike Setup:   
XT/LX/AMP

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Pedalface a cross-country rider from CA

Date Reviewed: February 8, 1999

Bottom Line:   


I changed the rear shock to A Risse Astro-5.
Now I am happy. The bike works fantastically with this shock.
Very, very plush, with on the fly lockout.
Improves lateral support significantly.Now I will be replacing the Amp disc brakes, which were great, but don't last,
and the front F4 forks, I want atleast 4 of travel.But I am very happy with this bike, it is a leopard at 26Lbs.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Tommy a cross-country rider from CA

Date Reviewed: January 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   


i have never owned such an expensive piece of junk... the worst investment i
have ever made. the rear shock blows up every ride (just about). not only does
it blow seals and leak oil, i have had the shock eyes (where the bolts go through) actually break. the frame now this is another story. i dont know who they designed the frame for (girls maybe) because the frame handles like junk.
it constantly twists, steering is so imprecise its scary. pedal and it shifts ,chain rubs,sometimes wont shift . i have full xtr just for the record and had many shops adjust it for me , and all they could tell me was to go get a new bike. the fork... i have the carbon f4blt fork which on the disc side the leg broke it just broke very scary also (junk). last... everytime i call amp reasearch for warranty they act like its all my fault, give me funny feelings
like im too abusive. but in the end it gets warrantied. too bad you cant get money for down time ... it could of helped pay for the 4800.00 bad investment.
if not paid for its self (just in down time). i give this bike 5 NEGATVE chillies.

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

Date Reviewed: October 2, 1998

Bottom Line:   


My review is not on the B5 but on the B4. I have owned my amp B4 for about 6 months and have raced it just as long. I think that the amp bike is an outstanding bike. I have heard lots of people talk about problems with their rear shock, but I have not had one problem. But if you do, I have tested the rear shocks from risse and they rock!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Ben Barthell a cross-country rider from minnesota

Date Reviewed: August 13, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I give this bike a 5 star so far because this is truly the first dual suspention with dual discs that is light enough to go trailing and roading. This bike is very tossable and tracks effortlessly. I have owned this bike for a month and have put a couple hundred miles on it so far and it is fab...I am noticing oil leakage around the front and rear shocks, if this becomes an issue I will re-rate this bike a bit lower on a quality basis...I can't believe that considering this type of shock, the design has been around for years, that it is not a bullit proof item..The sport shocks I just put on my car have a life time warranty....I spent real money on this machine I expect real performance...

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Karl a weekend warrior from Maryland

Date Reviewed: June 23, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I bought my B-5 for it's awesome brakes,light weight,and plush suspension.Weighing in at only 145,this bike works very well for my riding style.It is super stable at insane speed on terrible terrain,as well as being great in not caring what line you pick uphill.I've changed to the metal brake pads,they last forever when compared to the std. organic ones.But OH how the howl sometimes! The shocks-in a year of thrashing this bike,I have only rebuilt the rear shock once-so I don't understand what others have done to trash the shock so quickly!!! I do need to replace ALL the pivot pins and bushings in both the fork and the rear,which I see as a bit early-AMP should really consider larger pivots,it couldn't add THAT much weight !Also it's now time to rebuild the front dampeners-no biggie except the seals are tiny! All said,it's a wonderful bike,just a bit overpriced at retail.A bit flexy for you larger riders,great if you're light.Helluva advantage on a rough,rocky race course!

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Peter k. a cross-country rider from Canada

Date Reviewed: June 16, 1998

Bottom Line:   


After riding the bike 2-3 times per week during last summer and fall I have experienced no problems other than with the rear shock. During that time the shock was rebuilt or exchanged under warranty at least 5 times (I lost count) Fortunately our Canadian distributer came through by shipping an exchange unit immediately upon receiving a phone call reporting another failure. (turnaround 1-2 days).
This spring I purchased a Risse Astro-5 as a replacement for the AMP. After about6 week of riding, I have experienced no problems with the shock. The ride is dramatically improved over the AMP.
Has anyone else tried this shock?

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Ole Blokhus a cross-country rider from Oslo, Norway

Date Reviewed: May 16, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I've had quite a few problems with Amp's rear shocks in the past, and as a result, I
started a primitive mailing list a while back. Chances are, if you have a problem
with your Amp, I might have some useful information that might help you. Feel free
to email me with any questions, and also
to receive the postings to the mailing list so far.Ole.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Danny B. a weekend warrior from Raleigh, NC

Date Reviewed: May 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I have owned my B5 for about nine months and have replaced the rear shock twice. My riding buddy owns a B4 and he has replaced his rear shock a couple of times. This is disappointing considering the cost of the frame and the reputation of the company. This seems to be a common problem among other B5 and B4 owners. However, there may be hope for B5 owners. Risse Racing offers an after-market shock to replace the unreliable AMP shock. Has anyone tried this replacement shock? I have heard great things about it and I am thinking of ordering one considering my B5 is 'mothballed' currently due to a blown-out rear shock.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Salazar a cross-country rider from Salt Lake City, Utah

Date Reviewed: May 11, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I ordered a amp research b5 custom out of Bicycle Center USA the service was great and the bike is even better.the on thing on the bike that are amp are the brakes the frame and the forks. I've never had a problem with any of the parts.I would definetly buy another one. in the future but only from BCUSA

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by haze a weekend warrior from chi-town

Date Reviewed: May 4, 1998

Bottom Line:   


Other than the decals rubbing off to easily, I LOVE THIS BIKE. I don't care what anyone else says. Mine's a '98 with the new shock, I weigh 165 pounds, and its taken my abuse so far. IT'S LIGHT and IT'S BEAUTIFUL and if you want to see it, go to MTBR's dream bike section. See direct address below.WWW.MTBR.COM/DREAM/BIKES/4592.HTML

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by chad f. a racer from stillwater, ok

Date Reviewed: May 2, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I am a current owner who has sent my frame back twice because the rear wheel is not centered with the chain stays. The frame that I got back was a 97 model instead of a 98. The wheel is not off by much, but it is enough to be annoying looking. I would figure for $975 that a frame should come straight as an arrow. Another thing with these Amp Research people is that they do not have a 1-800 number so you have to call them 10 times before you even get through to someone, and being from mid-America, that racks up quite a phone bill. The bike is a great handling bike, but between Amp's customer service and my mailorder problems with these people, I will not ever buy another bike from them.

Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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