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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the forum so please be gentle! I have a $2500 wife approved budget. I already have a large 2013 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er which I have been riding for just over 1 year. It was a great entry level bike and I have beat the heck out of it. I ride at least once or twice a week in the So Cal coastal mountains. I have enjoyed the bike and it has served a great purpose - got me more involved and interested in the sport. I am an all mountain rider, I enjoy the climbs as much as the descents. I do enjoy small jumps and drops but I'm not hitting anything bigger than a couple of feet. I have an opportunity to pick up a medium 2012 Felt Virtue Team Edition (carbon, FS, 26) within my price range. It is new and has not been ridden, all SRAM X-0 parts. I have not ridden a FS bike other than my buddie's gary fischer, unsure of the model, but the ride was nice and smooth. I think it would be nice to have something on the other end of the spectrum. I would appreciate some advice and I realize the bikes are totally different but I am looking to add to my collection. I'm 5.10, 185. Thank you
 

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With the trails you are riding, you are looking for a trail/AM mountain bike, I don't know what brands are available to you, but here's some that you might want to consider:

-Giant Trance X 2014, I have one and you can't go wrong with a Trance, it is the bike to do it all, it has 140mm of travel, front and back, and 27.5 wheels. It goes up and down like a boss! ;)
-Santa Cruz has a wide range of AM bikes, there's the Heckler, Bronson, 5010, you might want to give them a look.
-Specialized Stumpjumper would be a pretty good bike for the terrain you are riding, it has 140mm front and back (130mm on some and even 150mm on the EVO's) It climbs just as well as it descends.
-Trek Remedy, pretty similar to a Stumpy.

The best is to go to your LBS and demo them. Now I'll let the others on the forum help you a bit more! :p Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the quick reply. I have access to all the brands you mentioned. I have been eyeballing the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Evo 29 but its a bit more than my current budget. Also, I have a bike available to me that is a carbon frame for $700 less. That is my real dilemma.
 

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That's a really nice build for the price. It's more on the "trail" bike category with 130mm travel and a 69 degree head tube angle. the only way to know if you want a slacker bike with more travel is to demo some bikes.

Everyone has their own opinion so take mine with a grain of salt. I think that a 5 inch bike with a 67/68 degree head tube angle is perfect for most mountin biking. If we are talking bike parks or frequent drops and massive rock riding like in Zona then maybe more bike is warranted.

Bottom line, geometry is just as important as components. I'd recommend not jumping head first into a decision and testing lots of bikes to see what you like as far as travel and geo. There are good deals to be had - now that 27.5 is the craze you can get a 26 bike for a song and a buck.
 

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That's a really nice build for the price. It's more on the "trail" bike category with 130mm travel and a 69 degree head tube angle. the only way to know if you want a slacker bike with more travel is to demo some bikes.

Everyone has their own opinion so take mine with a grain of salt. I think that a 5 inch bike with a 67/68 degree head tube angle is perfect for most mountin biking. If we are talking bike parks or frequent drops and massive rock riding like in Zona then maybe more bike is warranted.

Bottom line, geometry is just as important as components. I'd recommend not jumping head first into a decision and testing lots of bikes to see what you like as far as travel and geo. There are good deals to be had - now that 27.5 is the craze you can get a 26 bike for a song and a buck.
yup, +1 on that!
 

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Test riding will be key. Definitely do it, and I'd recommend not looking online and tainting your opinion before riding them.

And now to taint the waters and contradict myself, I would personally not go for the Stumpy. I have a few reasons, and many are based on Speshy's business ethics. Not that the other companies are perfect, but Speshy and their legal team are pretty disgusting. But that is just my own personal feeling. Proprietary parts are a more tangible risk. Speshy likes proprietary parts. For example, on most Speshys, the rear shock is an odd size. If a seal fails (which they all do eventually), you have to get the parts from a Speshy dealer. If you break the shock (like the pump mount stripping out, for example), you're REALLY in trouble, as no other shock will fit the frame. With practically any other bike, the shocks are of standard sizes and you can get replacement parts at any shop. Not a deal breaker, but something to consider. I would second the vote to have a look at Giant. They are phenomenal bikes. Giant's factory often makes other brands' bikes, but there is no additional price mark-up of Trek, Speshy, etc. I beat the crap out of my Reign for 3 years and it held up to everything. Climbed great, descended great. And it was within your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am going to go to my LBS on Saturday to check out the Giant Trance 2014 27.5 3. I guess my next question is what way would you guys lean if I like both bikes? 2014 Giant Trance 27.5 vs 2012 Felt Virtue Carbon 26 both brand new.
 

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the trick to MTB is agree on a budget with your wife then secretly spend 30-50% more when its all said and done

when i was looking at getting a frame more on the trail/fast/xc side of AM, i really liked the looks of those Felt virtues and came close to putting an offer on a used frame before a deal on devinci's '11 XC frame came up that i couldnt pass. I came across some positive info/reviews on them but there were a few down notes too, so try and read up on the specific model in question and consider the build. can you tell us the full spec? A new cabron frame complete bike including factory warranty sounds pretty good.
 

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I might be mistaken, but I think the felt is geared more toward xc than the giant. Not so much in geometry, but the overall strength of the frame. The trance is almost a dead center balance between climbing and descending. That may help your decision, depending on where you envision yourself riding. I personally made the mistake of getting a bike that was a bit too light duty. At first, it was perfect, but when I started pushing into new territory, I realized I should have gotten a bike that was a bit more burly and descent ready. Just a thought. It sounds like you are on the right track.
 

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Felt Virtue Sport Review - Pinkbike

I have a Trance and love it, although the bushings in the rear shock mount needed replacing which was a bit involved, I like the bike uses bearings on most joints.

Depends on terrain you have available, in TX where I am that bike would work prety well, you don't need a downhill bike, but the 29r do roll a lot faster. That's a decent price on a carbon too.

Problem is, you don't want to be saying all the time about your bike "well, it was affordable" when asked about not riding the latest / greatest and modern wheel size if that is a sticky point. Get what you want, fib to the wife. Tell her you could be a strip clubs and gambling, this is a healthy hobby...at least that's what I do!
 

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If a seal fails (which they all do eventually), you have to get the parts from a Speshy dealer.
Not necessarily. I replaced seals on my 2013 Stumpy rear shock and purchased the seals through Fox. It uses the same seal kit as a normal Fox Float CTD shock. You have a point with the rest of your post, though. The rear shock mount makes it tough to fit other shocks. There's some buzz about a Rock Shox Monarch potentially being available soon, though.
 

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OP, like I said earlier, you will need to demo a few bikes with different geometries. The more different the better. That should help you make a decision about what side of the spectrum you fall.

no one can tell you which bike out of the two you should choose. There are very few "bad" bikes out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
the trick to MTB is agree on a budget with your wife then secretly spend 30-50% more when its all said and done
I like that idea!!

Thank you to everyone who has provided input. I wanted to post the requested specs on both bikes. Could anyone chime in on Felt in general? Anyone riding a Felt Virtue? It seems like the Giant Trance is pretty popular and well reviewed.

Virtue Team - Felt Bicycles

Trance 27.5 3 (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
 

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I almost forgot to mention...Its more Xc than AM but I got my wife a Marin Rift Zone 29r FS XC6 off ebay where they are blowing them out pretty cheap. New in box. The SRAM shifting is 3x10 and it has beefy 15mm axles on both ends, a Monarch shock back and Recon in front. Yea, its not a high end spec on the XC6 but it was $1250 delivered and you could get get a set of Stan's wheels for $500 and still be underbudget. The XC7 is also obviously better equipped. I have ridden it and while I have limited experience on 29rs I was impressed as it has a precise and agile feel to the steering despite big hoops.

2013 Marin Rift Zone XC7 29er 19" Full Suspension MTB Bike Shimano SLX 10S New | eBay

The Marin also has Enduro roller bearings at all points and a lifetime guarantee on bearings.

I like my AM 26r but this thing is more efficient pedaling/rolling. Just the 100mm suspension may not be what you are looking for.
 

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I own a 26 trancex and feel if you test ride you will go home w it. Personally I'd go 650b if I had that narrow of spread. Mine was 2 yrs ago and 29 27.5 were both pretty high.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2
 
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