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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Our local bike shop doesn't carry mtn bikes above Alivio quality so I am kind of on my own for anything better. I'm not quite up to a full build. Maybe with the Zinn book? Anyway...

I really enjoyed my Bikesdirect Flypro hard tail. I had it up and running in no time right out of the box and I've never owned a smoother shifting bike, even without a pro tuneup.

Now it is time to buy another light hard tail. So far, I know about BD and I've been turned onto the On-One. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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BikeFactory has a Superfly 5 18.5 in stock. Test ride it for geo and check for size. Have them order you a 9.6 in your size. You won't find anything better for the money.
Trek Superfly 5 - BIKEFACTORY Hawaii

This Ti frame for more all mountain 120-140mm fork is on sale for Boxing Day at $750, but wait for restock. Get the drive and brakes from Ribble and do a 35/30mm carbon wide wheelset build.
You will be under $2.3k.
Titus Ti Fireline Evo 29er Frame | On - One
I'd go 9.6.
 

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The Original Suspect
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IMO the Airborne is spec'd much better for nearly $300 less. The Recon Silver, xt shadow, Bonti bits... vs Revelation, x9 type II, Truvativ bits...
 

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Rocks belong
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Good deals on a Diamondback Mason can be had right now.

A full bike build really ain't that big of a deal. Scary the first time, but not difficult.
 

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IMO the Airborne is spec'd much better for nearly $300 less. The Recon Silver, xt shadow, Bonti bits... vs Revelation, x9 type II, Truvativ bits...
I'm not suggesting he buy a SF 5.

I'm pushing the carbon 9.6 for $2k.
It's all new in 2014 and has vertical rear compliance developed from the Apollo Project 9.9SL bike from 2013. Road bike carbon frame R&D brought over to the mb division.
The 9.6 has shorter chainstays and is a better handling carbon frame for less money because it is one generation newer.
The ride is way beyond those aluminum bikes. I think it's better than other carbon bikes.
 

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The Original Suspect
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OP leaves a big gap between 1.3K-2.3K. If he truly has 2k+ to spend I would agree...find the best carbon framed bike he could find. At his top end price point he could buy the Airborne and a carbon frame.
 

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He saves money not buying an aluminum bike at his price range.
Ride a lot and start hitting more fun/bumpy terrain and you get beat up on aluminum and think you need an expensive fs bike. Get the 9.6 and you won't need a fs for comfort. You save thousands.
 

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The Original Suspect
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I have a ht 29 and on rides longer than 15 miles I do feel beat up. I also have an aluminum FS which I love...but you are right, my next upgrade will be a carbon HT frame.
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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Not sure on delivery cost, and the size availability is rubbish, but:
the Performance Bike edition Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Sport would be worth a mention.

They run a bit small (despite a giant 80mm stem), they aren't actually a DB Overdrive frame (9mm QR in the rear instead, different seatpost shape and less tire clearance), and the overall weight is a bit embarrassing for having such a light frame (2160g wheelset, 2200g + 100mm fork), and I really don't like Avid Elixir 1 brakes...
but the SLX drivetrain with XT RD is phenomenal, that heavy wheelset and fork is really stiff, combined with a great carbon frame without losing enough compliance to make it uncomfortable anywhere. It's at the cheap end of the spectrum, but that's enough budget to seriously look at getting a lightweight wheelset and some spare tires or getting a 1x10 conversion sorted out.

If I'm honest, the PB spec of this bike is the best one for bigger riders short of the ludicrous $5k build that seems more like an Interbike show model than a real production machine; it's at least worth a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You are suggesting buying a full-bike, a carbon frame, and switching out the frames?

OP leaves a big gap between 1.3K-2.3K. If he truly has 2k+ to spend I would agree...find the best carbon framed bike he could find. At his top end price point he could buy the Airborne and a carbon frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You seem to be really into frames. If you were going to do a build in my price range, is there a carbon frame you would choose? Or is the titanium about as good? Can material really mitigate the need for FS? There seem to be a lot of opinions and I'm really a novice!

I have a lot of time on my hands. I could just geek out for a few weeks on bikes and go for a build.

I don't know if I would qualify as a weight weenie but my last bike weighed in the mid-twenties. It felt very easy to pedal and move around. That would be my goal.

BikeFactory has a Superfly 5 18.5 in stock. Test ride it for geo and check for size. Have them order you a 9.6 in your size. You won't find anything better for the money.
Trek Superfly 5 - BIKEFACTORY Hawaii

This Ti frame for more all mountain 120-140mm fork is on sale for Boxing Day at $750, but wait for restock. Get the drive and brakes from Ribble and do a 35/30mm carbon wide wheelset build.
You will be under $2.3k.
Titus Ti Fireline Evo 29er Frame | On - One
I'd go 9.6.
 

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You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there? Shipping from the mainland will be pretty high from any dealer so you might as well first check out what the local stores have in stock. Service and warranty will also be better when you buy from an LBS. You might even give dealers on Maui and the Big Island a call since shipping a bike via barge would still be pretty reasonable.
 

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The Original Suspect
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You are suggesting buying a full-bike, a carbon frame, and switching out the frames?
Not really suggesting, just making a point. Not very cost effective at all. I built up an On*One Scandal for less than 2k. If you are not in a hurry and you are on a budget, building frame up is fun but you need to be patient to find the right deals.
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there? Shipping from the mainland will be pretty high from any dealer so you might as well first check out what the local stores have in stock. Service and warranty will also be better when you buy from an LBS. You might even give dealers on Maui and the Big Island a call since shipping a bike via barge would still be pretty reasonable.
I straight up wrote off getting a mountain bike while I was still there - I realize being on the white side of mexican and rocking a high and tight isn't going to get my hooked up with da kine bruddah pricing, but even the bikes I knew to be on the crappy side were really overpriced on the leeward side... if that's still the case it's probably a lot better on Maui, or even Hawaii if you find yourself with an excuse to be there anyway.
 

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You seem to be really into frames. If you were going to do a build in my price range, is there a carbon frame you would choose? Or is the titanium about as good? Can material really mitigate the need for FS? There seem to be a lot of opinions and I'm really a novice!

I have a lot of time on my hands. I could just geek out for a few weeks on bikes and go for a build.

I don't know if I would qualify as a weight weenie but my last bike weighed in the mid-twenties. It felt very easy to pedal and move around. That would be my goal.
Carbon frames can be anywhere from super stiff to noodly. It depends on the effort in R&D and the performance goal of the manufacturer.
I ride the 9.6 frame with wide rim wheels(30mm inside). That combo obliterates the need for a fs for comfort. Trek used the engineers who developed their compliant carbon road bike frames to help design it. Even with the stock wheels the rear damps rocks in a unique way. You feel them but they don't beat you up. There is a speed limit on this though because of the rebound damping limitation of no shock. But by that time you are in 140mm All Mountain bike territory imo. One of those isn't much fun, more boring on regular trails.
There are things to work on with a 9.6 to take up some time.
You can lace up wheels with 35/30mm carbon rims from Carbonbicycle to dt 350 hubs off ebay with Sapim Laser spokes and the included free brass nipples from Dans Comp.
You can spend 30 minutes dropping a RCT3 SID damper in the Reba fork. The part # ends in 270 and is 116+ship on ebay. That is a major improvement.
https://sram-cdn-pull-zone-gsdesign...en.0000000004694_rev_a_2015_bluto_reba_sm.pdf
You don't even have to change the oil. Just do the section where they pull the damper. As long as your fork has the rapid recovery sticker on the bottom left leg. Otherwise you will need the DIG valve rebound part also.
You can add two bottomless tokens to the fork air chamber, if not in there. Another easy 20 minute job.
You can change to an SLX crank from Ribble.
You can work on lights.
http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/best-nuetral-led-mountain-biking-943154.html(that's neutral)

And you can use your time to ride a lot.
 

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I rode a rigid mountain bike (steel, tubeless, carbon fork) for 2 years on every type of terrain. So you could say I am not obsessed with having too much suspension. But, while I haven't ridden on Oahu at all, from what I hear the big deal is roots. If that's correct, then I'd go FS all the way (if you have the $$$). I'd rather do 1'-2' drops all day on a rigid or a hard tail than ride roots on the same type of bike -- especially roots of all sizes as one would expect in the tropics.

Building your own bike is expensive when compared to buying a built bike. Trying to do so in a relatively short time is even more expensive because you can't wait for a bargain to show up. (My last build took about 18 months because I was bargain shopping and it still was more expensive than a pre-built bike). You are also probably in the worst spot in the US to build a bike as everyone who sends you parts will kill you on shipping costs.

Keeping a bike very light-weight is nice but it's also a luxury. Your first aim should be to get a bike that suits your riding. Only then should weight become a factor. At that point most of us have shot their budget and losing another 4 lbs will run thousands!

There are some great mail-order bikes available for significantly less than you'd get most of the time as a walk-in customer at an LBS. But there is a limited choice, there'll be no local support and shipping to Hawaii will wipe out part of the savings. You have nothing to lose checking out the Honolulu stores.

A side story: A friend and I were staying on my friend's sailboat at Kawalo Bay and were installing a mast head light (nice view from 50' above the harbor). To do so we had to drop a wire down the inside of the mast but whatever weight we used got snagged. So my friend had the brilliant idea to use a segment of bicycle chain. We walked to the Bike Factory near by and explained our strange need for a chain or a segment of chain. The mechanic was super friendly and decided that 9 or 10 speed chain was too light weight and dug out a 10" segment of single-speed chain. Refused any payment. Buying a bike there may suck -- who knows. But my one experience there certainly was very aloha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmmm, according to the closest Trek store, the 2015 9.6 is not available until April. I would prefer not to wait that long. It sounds amazing though!

It depends on the effort in R&D and the performance goal of the manufacturer.
I ride the 9.6 frame with wide rim wheels(30mm inside). That combo obliterates the need for a fs for comfort. Trek used the engineers who developed their compliant carbon road bike frames to help design it.
 

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Hmmm, according to the closest Trek store, the 2015 9.6 is not available until April. I would prefer not to wait that long. It sounds amazing though!
There is a reason it's selling out.
It is worth the wait and you have your existing bike.
Plan and do a wheel build until then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My profile shows that I'm still on Oahu? I didn't realize I had filled in all that info. For now I'm living in small, landlocked town in Oklahoma.

I wish I could just jump on the bus and go back to The Bike Shop, Bikefactory Hawaii, or McCully. Even the little shop near (or in) Waipio is pretty good! We don't have buses here and I don't have a driver's license. I'll see about updating my profile :)

You are on Oahu, right? Why not take a trip to Honolulu and check out bikes there?
 
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