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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
sorry for a "what bike?" thread, but this is my first foray into looking at 29er. I currently ride a Spesh Enduro Comp ('09), and it's great, but my reality is such that i ride mostly local trails and thus been thinking about a lighter/more responsive ride - ie more XC/trail, than all mountain. I'm in new england - rooty, rocky, though some places are fast and flowy.

I'd love to keep my budget to $1500 or less. What would anyone recommend in terms of set up - hardtail or FS? what brands?

thanks a lot
 

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You are going to get the usual "demo a bunch to find what fits best answers"....and they would be correct.

Not much in the 29er FS selection bin @ $1500 if you are going new, but you can probably get a leftover 2011 Specialized Camber Elite for a little more if you can stretch your budget by $150-$200.

Of course, there are always the 2011 Fuji FS 29ers Performance bikes is closing out for significantly under that price (I think the lowest price was $1199). And finally, there is always Bike Direct.....who I believe are out of FS 29ers until November but if you can wait a little over a month you can get a pretty nicely spec'd Motobecane FS bike for your price (including the $100 buck or so your LBS would charge to assemble it).

HT obviously you can find something with really strong components for your price. Good luck in your search!
 

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With yor budget, you better off with a hardtail. some that come to mind are Cannondale Flash, Scott Scale, Giant Anthem, Spec Rockhopper, etc... Check some LBS to see if they have any upcoming demo days.
 

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two bikes in similar price range...hardtail 29ers - any glaring thoughts in terms of what's more bike for the buck? Seems like the Jamis has the better kit? i'm not all that good at this though

2012 JAMIS BICYCLES - SPECIFICATIONS

XtC 29er 2 (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
Instead of the Exile, check out the steel version, the Dragon 29 Sport. I just picked one up and love it. It's spec'ed out with better components and I did a lot of research trying to find the best bike for the money. I picked up a 2011 brand new for $900 out the door, when the msrp was $1150. So, I think I got a really good deal. Anyway, I love mine. It's worth checking out to see if you like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Instead of the Exile, check out the steel version, the Dragon 29 Sport. I just picked one up and love it. It's spec'ed out with better components and I did a lot of research trying to find the best bike for the money. I picked up a 2011 brand new for $900 out the door, when the msrp was $1150. So, I think I got a really good deal. Anyway, I love mine. It's worth checking out to see if you like it.
wild...i was looking at that too...So really what does steel give you by the way - more control? more flex? strength, right?
 

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wild...i was looking at that too...So really what does steel give you by the way - more control? more flex? strength, right?
Supposedly, the steel bike is supposed to give you more feel, and I keep hearing that they're slightly stiffer on trails. Honestly, I'm new and couldn't tell much difference. The aluminum bikes were fine, too. I basically looked this one because the other bikes in the price I was looking at were in the same weight range, and this bike had better components. It was a 2011 closeout, so I was getting more bike for my money. Arriving at the store, I was still prepared to walk away and think about it. But, two minutes on the bike and it just felt better than the others. Not sure if you'll have the same feeling, but it fit me perfectly. I'm 6'1", 220 lbs, and bought a size 19. I'm very happy with my purchase. As a matter of fact, I left work a little early this afternoon to come home and ride a little bit. Just got back in. :D
 
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