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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

After months of researching and test riding, I've narrowed down my bike choices to the following two bikes:

KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | TRAIL DS | PRECEPT DL

Trance X 29er 2 (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

I’ve looked at the Trek Fuel EX5, Specialized Camber and a number of other similar bikes but from my research I think the Kona and Giant are the best bang-for-buck scenario. I actually bought a 2014 Specialized Camber last weekend and ended up returning it b/c a friend told me the components were sh*t for what I paid. Looking at the specs, it seems he was right on - I’m a little pissed at my LBS for talking me into it (my ignorance as well I guess). The Precept DL and Trance x2 are both around the same as (~$1800-1900) which is right about where I want to be with my budget, sub $2k.

This would be my first FS bike. I don’t plan on racing, mostly trail riding. New England region.

Between the Trance and Precept, it looks like the components are fairly similar, with small sacrifices on each? In a nutshell all I can tell is that the Kona would be better for more aggressive trail riding and maybe even some DH, while the Trance would be a more efficient pedaler (i.e. going uphill). I’ve test ridden both, they both felt fairly similar with the exception of the wheel size (Kona was a bit nimbler), I’m also trying to be open minded to 29ers, as I’m coming from a very entry-level Trek hardtail 26er. Weight is not a priority for me.

I also like the Kona b/c of the air fork.

Any insight or opinions on either? I am not looking at models above these two. I simply can’t afford it. Thanks for the help!
 

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I ride bikes
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I think a lot of it comes down to what type of riding will be your main focus. Both of those would be good bikes, but have slightly different focuses.
I suggest you find out what you really want to be doing with your bike and then compare similar bikes.
Maybe see if you can find a 2013 model and save some cash. You can get quite a bit more for your money that way. For instance:
2013 Marin Rift Zone XC7 29er 19" Full Suspension MTB Bike Shimano SLX 10S New | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks moe - it sounds like my interpretation of the riding styles for the Kona and Giant are correct then? Like you said, I just need to decide which one is better for me. Thanks for the Marin link. You've made my life a little more complicated ;)

Idea was to see if anyone had any specific experience w/ either one (I know the Precept DL is pretty new to Kona's lineup...).
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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I agree that you would do best to figure out your type of bike, and then compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges.

That Kona is a different type of ride IMHO. If I am being honest, the forks on all three of those bikes is likely to be on the 'want to replace' list at some point if you keep the bike for the long term and ride regularly. BUT, I do see merit in the air spring over lower end coil forks. That's not to say you shouldn't get one of those bikes as that is what you're looking at with otherwise decent FS bikes in that price range. Forks, wheels, cranks, and brakes are where money adds up, and that's where hard decisions have to be made.
 

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