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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in about 1991 I bought a Specialized Stumpjumper, a brilliant bike. It's still going strong despite being hammered for years, although it's mostly (with slicks on) used for commuting now. No suspension back then!

At the time, the Stumpjumper was the benchmark cross country mountainbike, and it was pretty much the case that if you bought Specialized, you couldn't go wrong (for example, my Stumpy had thumbshifters when below-handlebar shifters were the norm but not refined enough to work well). The same was pretty true of Marin.

Are there similar benchmark bikes now. What's the benchmark about-$1,500 cross country bike now, both hard tail and (if it's possible at this price) full suspension?

Or is this notion just outdated now?
 

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never was a valid concept... you are talking about a marketing tool, an advertiser's notion, a salesman's fantasy put into words.

please don't start referring to "various price points" or other mumbojumbo. this isn't Retailer Lingo Forum.

(exit: tongue in cheek)

it depends on what you want to ride, really. for an all-round good XC and trail riding hardtail, I'd look for a bike that has 4" travel up front, disc brakes, decent components, and a good CrMo frame, and you should be able to get this for $1500 if you shop wisely.

as has always been the case, Specialized and Giant will offer the most bike for the money if that's your main goal. the tradeoff is that the bike is much less personal, your selection is limited to what size and what model, and then what "aftermarket" or "upgrade" parts you swap in/out thereafter.

what kind of stuff do you like to ride, or intend to ride?

how much money do you want to spend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looking to spend about $1,500 - when actually, the equivalent in british pounds. And do as wide a range of cross-country riding as possible. Although generaly less rocky riding than you'd find in countries outside of UK, and with more wet weather and mud.

But I think the Specialized Stumpjumper back then was a benchmark bike.

- it had the 71/73 degree geometry that became standard
- it stuck with thumbshifters for a year or two when STI wasn't good enough
- it was designed with racing in mind, and was Specialized's clear entry level racer
- it had no gimics at all
- there were no cheapo compoenents on it; everything was too the same standard
- in keeping with the point above, and its role, it had a Turbo saddle instead of a cheap one
- every component on it was aimed at racing, its specific role. eg, it had thin grips not fat ones

It was great value for money, too.

Sure, it wasn't innovative, but was the benchmark against which you could judge other bikes.
 
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