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I'm down to one bike (130mm trail bike) but in the past I've enjoyed having an XC Single Speed. The trails by me are pretty rooty / rocky and I enjoy more aggressive riding on the trail bike. But having a backup bike is nice and it's fun to occasionally mix it up (maybe 15% of the time).

Anyway, with a $5-6k budget what would you? Buy a $4k trail bike and $2k SS hardtail...or would it better to put the extra money into the trail bike and just have 1 mountain bike (I also have a road bike that collects dust but ok for when the trails are closed). I'm wondering if the step up from a $4k bike to $6k is that significant. I've been riding for a while and am pretty decent but just do casual rides (no races) and enjoy some tech, jumps, etc
 

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A 4k bike with last year's prices maybe. But 4k anymore doesn't get you very much unfortunately. I'm going to pick up an Enduro bike for the park days to pair with my everyday trail bike but having a hard time finding anything I'm liking in the 4k range.
 

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A 4k bike with last year's prices maybe. But 4k anymore doesn't get you very much unfortunately. I'm going to pick up an Enduro bike for the park days to pair with my everyday trail bike but having a hard time finding anything I'm liking in the 4k range.
He's on a 5K. to 6K. budget.
6K. Gets you a top tier trail bike build package.
 

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For sure, that's basically the point I was trying to make. Last year it may have been possible to get two quality bikes for 6k. Those days are long gone.
Last year I bought an Intense Primer 29 Pro build package trail bike. It was $6,300 and I'm not wanting to upgrade anything.

That same bike build this year is at $6,100 plus tax. My price above was with tax. Problem is getting them when in stock now.

Or $4,300 for the level down Expert build.

 

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Depends where you ride. If all you ride is tons of trail go all in on the FS. If you like to ride dirt jumps, pumptracks, flowy smooth single track, or even want something to ride around the block and not be lugging around a kashimad out bling machine, go 3500 FS 2500 Hardtail imo :). You can get a Ripley/Ripmo AF/Commencal TR for 3300-3800 (or something... eventually lol), and a commencal Meta HT AM for 2k(or whatever). With tax should be right around 6k. and you should be able to do anything, and have pretty much the right tool for the job. I'd definitely do the second route (I do love loveeee my 6k TB4 though lol).
 

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I'd go with 2 bikes.

Somewhat analogous to your situation, a couple months ago I was shopping for a FS trail bike with a ~$4500 budget. I could have sold my hardtail to bump that number up to $6500, but I prefer to have a second bike, for variation, as a backup, or as a loaner.
 

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For sure, that's basically the point I was trying to make. Last year it may have been possible to get two quality bikes for 6k. Those days are long gone.
Mmmm idk about that, it may take a long time. You certainly can't get 2 "high quality" FS bikes, but if one is a hardtail its perfectly possible. I'd personally define high quality/nice as lower teir Pikes/Fox34/36 or equivalent suspension and just normal parts, appropriate droppers, maxxis/schwabe tires, deore/nx drivetrains, modern geo, modern bike overall.

I think that cutoff including taxes for 2 fs bikes is around 7k now.
 

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He's on a 5K. to 6K. budget.
6K. Gets you a top tier trail bike build package.
It does? I will say one bike...but everything I look at is around $5k for a GX (or SLX build) and then figure $1200-1500 for wheels (I9 or 240/350 with WAO or Reserves or something). So that's, say, $6500 once you buy pedals, cages, etc. for a SLX build. A Ripmo SLX build is $6099; Revel Rascal GX is $5500; SB130 C2/GX is $5900; Pivot Switchblade Race XT...which is really an SLX build is $6k.

That's what I'm looking at. For sure, a Top tier frame and fantastic bikes that will serve you well...but not "top tier" builds.
 

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Look at used too. Really extends your budget. My FS, one year old was half the retail price. Got an $8k bike for $4k. Had a few minor worn items, but Ive been on it for two years with no issues.

Just gotta be a little patient.
 

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It does? I will say one bike...but everything I look at is around $5k for a GX (or SLX build) and then figure $1200-1500 for wheels (I9 or 240/350 with WAO or Reserves or something). So that's, say, $6500 once you buy pedals, cages, etc. for a SLX build. A Ripmo SLX build is $6099; Revel Rascal GX is $5500; SB130 C2/GX is $5900; Pivot Switchblade Race XT...which is really an SLX build is $6k.

That's what I'm looking at. For sure, a Top tier frame and fantastic bikes that will serve you well...but not "top tier" builds.
Stumpjumper carbon SLX build is $4700. $1200-1500 for wheels is ridiculous when talking about staying on a budget.
 

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There's always been talk of N+1 in mountain bike dork circles but it probably does make more sense than ever right now if you are the type that doesn't want the possibility of down time.

So count me in that circle. Not only do I like the peace of mind, I like having different bikes for different days and different moods.
 

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Anyway, with a $5-6k budget what would you? Buy a $4k trail bike and $2k SS hardtail...or would it better to put the extra money into the trail bike and just have 1 mountain bike (I also have a road bike that collects dust but ok for when the trails are closed).
I think the types of trails and riding you do will play a big part on if 1 or 2 bikes is the better answer for you. Each person's local trails and riding styles are different. I tend to favor 2 bikes in the garage. A short to mid travel do it all trail bike and hard tail. When I ride by myself it's normally more for fitness and I tend to take the hardtail. On those rides I'll ride easier trails or ride more difficult trails at a slower pace and the hard tail keeps me more engaged to the riding in these situations. If I need big travel I'm probably going to a place I can rent a bike. 4k to 6k will get you Fox Factory forks instead of Performance/Rhythm or Pike and High end drivetrains instead of NX/GX/SLX drivetrains. Again I'm fine with that compromise I don't need the lightest bike possible and I'm happy with the mid-level drivetrains on most bikes.
 

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It does? I will say one bike...but everything I look at is around $5k for a GX (or SLX build) and then figure $1200-1500 for wheels (I9 or 240/350 with WAO or Reserves or something). So that's, say, $6500 once you buy pedals, cages, etc. for a SLX build. A Ripmo SLX build is $6099; Revel Rascal GX is $5500; SB130 C2/GX is $5900; Pivot Switchblade Race XT...which is really an SLX build is $6k.

That's what I'm looking at. For sure, a Top tier frame and fantastic bikes that will serve you well...but not "top tier" builds.
No one "needs" I9 hubs and carbon wheels. That's a luxery. Top tier MTB is SLX and GX I do agree with that. However you don't need Kashima or Ultimate suspension. Most people are a set it and forget it type anyways. So just using a shock or fork with same dampening, but less adjustments is fine. Obviously if you choose a brand that sells it's frames for $4500 you're not going to get a decent build for the money.

I do like you're prospects though, except I think it'd chose the AF versions over the Carbon Ibis bikes. I just sold my 2020 Firebird Pro X01 and looking for what to replace it with.

Look at used too. Really extends your budget. My FS, one year old was half the retail price. Got an $8k bike for $4k. Had a few minor worn items, but Ive been on it for two years with no issues.

Just gotta be a little patient.
This is of yesteryears and may be 2025 before we see deals this good again.
 
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