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Rat Bastard!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a friend at work who is upgrading from an old hardtail to a full suspension ride and he's been asking for recommendations from me. I have a Prophet and I steered him to that or a Rush and I also told him to take a look at Stumpjumpers. What would you recommend for someone who is looking for a bike to handle climbs, trails, and moderate downhill. Apparently he went out the other day and tried a Kona and a Cannondale (w/o Lefty??). He lives in Renton so where would you send him and what would you recommend he look at? Also, it sounds like he's looking at spending than $2500 or less.

Edit: just thought of a few more bits of info. He apparently tried a bike that had the Shimano dual control setup on it and wasn't too impressed by it. Also, I've tried to push him towards getting a bike model that has components on it that feel good to him rather than buying a base model and having to upgrade bits here and there.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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With up to $2500 to spend you are going to want to find a shop that carries a pretty good selection of decent mountain bikes. I would plan on going to several shops. I really like Singletrack Cycles in North Bend. He has three bikes that I think should be on the list of possible bikes, the Stumpjumper, Specialized Epic, and the Giant Anthem. Pacific Bikes in Sammamish also has a nice selection of bikes and is worth a trip to. Specialized has a demo program so you might be able to check out a bike and test it somewhere other than the parking lot. I have never been there but I am guessing the Black Diamond Bike shop probably has a nice selection of Mtn bikes.
 

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I agree with Borrego. 2500 bills will open up a lot of opportunities.
The biggest thing is fit. A Cracknfail may not even fit your friend. Though those bikes are good places to start.

Renton? Most people say great stuff about Center Cycles.

He should just go into the shops and try as many bikes as he can and then find the same one for half price on-line. (Ooops, did I say that?)

Fit is such a personal thing that it's number one in my book when looking for a new rig. Me, I bought the cheapest one I could afford and deal with it. Feels good enough to me.
 

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borregokid said:
Specialized Epic, and the Giant Anthem.
No offense, but in the grand scheme of things these are basically short travel race bikes. Considering that our local trails are fairly technical, I think something with more travel and durability would be a better choice, especially at his price point.

Seems like these days, 4-5" of travel at both ends is considered the makings of a "trail bike"- that is to say, not meant for free-ride or XC racing, just maximum fun on singletrack at any pace you find enjoyable. Bikes in this category can do XC epics or light free-ride. Some that he might consider (trying to stay in his price range here):

Kona Dawg
Specialized stumpjumper
Giant Trance or Reign
Trek Liquid
Santa Cruz Heckler

The older Specialized Enduro would be a great option (the new ones are also awesome but more FR-oriented);

Also, consider these bikes that are more money- there's always used models that woudl fit he price range:
turner 5-spot
Yeti 575
Titus switchblade or motolite
 

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Check Out a Norco

I just moved from a hardtail to a F/S bike and picked up a Norco Six One (2700), though the Six Two is $1750, leaving room for upgrades.

The bike is a 6" F/R trail or All mountain bike that climbs very well and handles XC/FR/DH really well. I have been impressed with how well I can get to the top of the trails on this bike and it is a great ride down. I have seen folks pick up the Six Three and throw on a really nice shock upgrade and still get a good deal.

Super fun bike.
http://www.norco.com/ts/pass/norco06usa/templates/bike_model.php?lang=en&loc=fs&sloc=am&tabloc=1&id=sixtwo&col=mattesilver
 

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Rat Bastard!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input so far. Please keep it coming. I sent the link for this thread to my co-worker so that he can read your suggestions and suggested that he create an account here so that he can post his own questions. Don't worry though...I didn't let him know that the first time he goes riding with anyone from the forum he has to carry their camelbak for them. We can still spring that on him at the trailhead!!
 

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If you get near Black Diamond stop in and talk to Peter, the owner of Black Diamond Bikes.
http://www.bdbikes.com/index.htm.

You can demo Giant, Specialized, and Cannondale out at Lake Sawyer. Make sure to call to see what models and sizes they currently have.

Peter runs an excellent store and his team provides top notch customer service.

Personally I'd look at a used Turner 5 Spot but I'm a little biased. :thumbsup:
 

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CHOCOLATE NASTIES Baker
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I have a used Santa Cruz Blur for $1500. PM me if you want pictures. I live in San Jose, CA but my family lives up there. I could send the bike with them if you want to see it let me know.
 

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I got a stunp jumper expert in feb, nice bike but..... The fox rear shock went out in may was fixed under warenty then the front shock went out. fixed under warenty, got it back froem the shop today and rode it, returned it cause it still has the same problem.
 

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Wierdo
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An alternative, if your friend is mechanically inclined and has the interest is to build one up himself. Buy the frame he wants, then add on the components that he thinks works for him. Once everything is in hand, have a build session. If you have some mechanical aptitude, it's not very hard.

I did this last November, and I found it fun and rewarding. Plus, I learned a lot in the building process, and as a result I am able to do the majority of the maintenance myself.

I bought a Jamis XLT 3.0 frame, and added good quality components (Juciy 7 brakes, Crossmax XL wheels, etc.). I'm already looking at moving up to a new frame, and 90% of the components will move over and I'll end up with a better bike.

Just a thought. It's not for everyone.
 

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Specialized Enduro 130mm

I live in Renton and ride the Tapeworm and Tiger a few times per week. I have a 2006 Specialized Enduro Pro. I had the '03 Enduro Pro (130mm), but cracked the seat tube and Specialized sent me the '06 Enduro Pro frame. The 130mm Enduro is a great all around trail bike. It is light enough for climbing, technical riding and with 5" of travel it's great bike for descending as well.

I highly recommend your friend check out Center Cycle in Renton. They still have 1 or 2 of the 130mm Enduro's in stock and I think they are around $2500.

As for the '06 Enduro, it's a great bike for "All Mountain" riding. I actually raced it in the Test of Metal in Squamish this summer. It climbs very well and descends even better.

As the others have said, your friend just needs to demo some different bikes and find the one that fits/feels the best and has the component level he is looking for. He knows his price range and the kind of riding he plans to do, so now he just needs to jump on the bikes and go for a few rides.

Good luck and I'll see you on the Tape!

-Enduro
 
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