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Hi, this is my first post here, so please bear with me. I was a pretty hardcore rider in my day, but have been out of mountain biking for about 10 years due to knee injuries, which have somewhat been resolved now. My current bike is a vintage '90 Merlin with a polymer based Manitou suspension fork. Great frame, but yes, the bike is dated. Anyway, the whole mtn bike world has changed while I have been gone, and I am trying to learn and catch up. Please advise me about rear suspension, i.e. what to look for in a bike for heavy-duty singletrack riding. I guess the term now would be all-mountain or backcountry. I was looking at the Kona Dawg Primo, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR and Enduro, and might check out some Cannondales too. Any other helpful input is welcomed also.
Thanks for your help,
Dave
:cool:
 

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If you're into singletrack, you probably are most interested in an XC type bike. Most of the other bikes are more focused on the size of jumps you intend to take them over and inversely are not as good at climbing to the top of that singletrack.

The suspension design does not matter as much these days because of stable platform; valving in the shock that filters pedaling induce bobbing. However some suspension designs lock out the suspension when pedaling which can be nice for having less bob but reduces the benefits of suspension when climbing.
 

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Is your mind set on a full suspension bike? There are some tough hardtails out there too. Mine is a Banshee Scirocco (sold as frame only so you or a shop can build it the way you like it)
 

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I would test bikes in the 5 to 6" travel range. There are some great bikes out there in his range but seriously check out the Turner forum for info on the 5 Spot.
 

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A Five spot is a great bike but the bikes he had listed cost about 2k less than that bike, so a five spot might cost a bit more than he was planning to spend. I ride a Kona Bear, I built it myself and all told i spent about 1700 on it. Its great for the back country/ all mountain riding that your describing even tho its only a 4'' bike. The new Kona Dawgs are the newer model of the bear so those should be just what your looking for. They even come w/ 5'' of travel now.
 

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go test ride. Find a shop that will let you.
 
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