Balanced Audio Technology AL550 Bike Bike 1998 or Older

Balanced Audio Technology AL550 Bike Bike 1998 or Older 

DESCRIPTION

Balance AL550 Bike

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 23  
[Jun 01, 2009]
ceraboy
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Very solid, lightweight, stiff frame. This bike has been great on single track. I have been using the bike for over 10 years and it has never let me down. I still prefer it over many of the newer bikes I have had the opportunity to test ride. I wish the company was still in business.

Weakness:

The Manitou fork and cantilever brakes are a bit antiquated, but work still work ok.

It looks like I will have to upgrade this baby since I dont think I will ever find a true replacement.

Similar Products Used:

Cannondale and Specialized

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 20, 2008]
Steve
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

TO be honest my bike is the old CR 550 model from '94, but its bloody solid, 14yrs old & still going strong!!! I've crashed into trees been, squashed by cars & taxi's & changed countries!!!!!!! I ride out evey Sunday between 40 & 50 Km so I work it hard!!

Weakness:

A little on the heavy side!

OK, OK I've changed all the equipment, over the years I had to!!
A super ride just a shame that I can't put on disc brakes

Similar Products Used:

Decathlon,Cannodale, Giant & Lapierre

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 31, 1998]
Ron Acuna
cross-country rider

I own a '95 Balance AL550 and am very pleased with the overall frame geometry. It's aggressive in the tight twisty stuff and a confidence inspiring downhiller! The welds on the main triangle are very nice, but the one's on the rear triangle aren't quite as refined. The rear dropouts and cable hanger also leave something to be desired. CNC'ing would have been nice. Oh Well! I still love it!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 02, 1997]
Robert
cross-country rider

I bought the AL-450 which comes with the STX-RC components, Grip Shift 600, and Manitou Comp Suspension Forks. As Dan stated, the bike does have a fairly long top tube and does put you in an aggressive climbing position. I wouldn't have it any other way. The frame is so thick and solid, it feels like I could drop it off of the grand canyon without worry. I particularly like it's agility in single track situations. Additionally, the purple to aluminum polish makes the bike just a pure beauty to look at.On the other hand, Balance needs to ditch the Manitou Comp forks. They have very limited travel and can not handle big drops or severe washboard at high speeds. Also, the stout frame is not particularly forgiving in the bumps. I put the Nashbar Clipless Pedals and XTR V-Brakes on the bike and it seems to make the bike a little more pleasurable to ride. I would give it five raceable stars if it was not for the crappy forks.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 10, 2000]
Ted Teten
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

I love the longer than usual frame. I am 6'5" and the extra length in the frame is great. Also the long frame makes the bike a piece of cake to churn up the steepest hills.

Weakness:

The Manitou 3 fork that came with the bike sucks badly. I have had to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild the fork. The Elastomers break too easy and you deserve to have the elastomers for free if you can find them. I am finally fed up with the fork and am going to sell my road bike and get a new fork that requires less maintenance.

This bike is a hill-conquering machine. My friends will try to make it up a hill and not be able to; I just stand up, put the weight on the back tire and up I go. The long frame makes it very easy to balance your weight going up steep hills. I actually churn up the steep hills with the front wheel off the ground half the time. It is so easy to just go up. I recommend the bike to anybody who has money to put into the bike after he or she buys it. It will be a used bike and more than likely, need some work done on it. I love the bike that I have and wish that balance made more bikes. My only gripe is the cheap old manitou 3 suspension fork that I need to get replaced. Thats all for me, I have to go rebuild my suspension fork now.

Similar Products Used:

I had a Trek 820 and then upgraded to a balance. There is no compareson between the two, so I won't even try.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 28, 2000]
Dale Bowerman
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

I hate to say it but it is very well balanced. The geometry is its strogest point

Weakness:

No support. I don't believe the company is in existance any longer

I have had almost every mountain bike I have ever desired and none of them lived up to a Balance AL that I had 5 years ago which I sold because I thought it was too small because of low standover height (big mistake). The bike was the most (no pun intended) balanced bike I have owned, full susp or HT. I finally found another (a AL550) in the paper for 375 used. It was in my size (roughly 18.5) and I feared it would not ride like the smaller bike I had originally. Fortunatley it rides as well as the previous bike. It can float the front tire easily over fast burms(if I want it to) and I can hold the front down easily on steep technical. climbs. The cg of the bike can easily be adjusted by moving the seat foward or back by as little as a 0.5 inch depending on the type of ride I need. If someone finds one of these bikes in the used bike market it would definatley be worth the time to give it a trial ride.

Similar Products Used:

Trek Y11, Multiple cannondales full susp and hard tail

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 11, 1999]
Mike Caunedo
weekend warrior

Have had a Balance AL 750 for about three years and really enjoyed it. Light, stiff and not everyone had one. This summer found a growing crack at the bottom of the headtube. Have not been able to contact the company since. Anyone have any ideas or can help me????

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 08, 1999]
T-MAN
cross-country rider

I've had my BALANCE AL550 for about three years now and I love it. I've tried more expensive frames, but haven't found a stronger, lighter frame for the money. I am in the process of rebuilding my bike from the ground up with Shimano XT components, grip shift, a Manitu shock and the works, so I can destroy these awsome trails in Colorado!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 24, 1998]
D-Day
cross-country rider

I've owned a 19 Balance AL550 for three years now. It's still my main frame; I can't say much about the parts a Balance AL550 came with, because I bought the frame by itself. However, I've built it up with Ringle stem, Kooka cranks, Precision Billet rear derailleur, a USE shockpost, White Industries/Bontrager wheels, and other stuff, and it only weighs slightly more than 23 pounds. I love it, and I will never buy another frame until this one breaks. It's too bad Balance is no longer in production (at least I don't think it is, I haven't seen any ads in magazines), because my next bike would be a Balance as well. I also own a KHS and I used to own a Diamondback; neither of these bikes fit me as well as the Balance.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 22, 1998]
Tigger
cross-country rider

I lost my Balance 450 yesterday. I'm peeved off! I loved it. Lovely bike to ride and now it's gone. Hope the morons that nicked it bought the drugs they needed. They don't import them into the UK anymore..
Still, on the plus side I am insured. I rate my bike for the two years that it was in my possession the highest mark - cos nothing ever went wrong with it - it still looked fantastic even when it got progressively more and more scratched - and every one commented on how groovy it was... (AAAAaaaaaaaagh! I want my bike back!)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 23  

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