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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at a budget of $1500-2000, would prefer a full suspension 27.5 if possible. No problem going used, just not used up. :thumbsup:

I'm a road cat 4 midway to 3, although I'm old (47) so it's hard to come by upgrade points. Used to race mountain in Colorado, but that was in Gunnison in the mid 1980's.

Right now I have a 2006 Fuji Tahoe Comp that I used racing a leg of the Barnburner 104 (Flagstaff) last year, and it convinced me that I needed bigger wheels and a better suspension.

Most of the time it's going to be recreational riding, but I do want to do the Barnburner again, and possibly some races in the Az MTB series for 2015 (It's a bit late for this year).

I'm still researching travel, shocks, FS vs HT, etc., but I though I'd ask for recommendations from other Az guys.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Height?

Why a 27.5, over a 29'er?
Ah, yeah, that might help. I'm 5'10.5", currently weigh 182 (Which is another reason, I've gained 12 lbs in the last 6 months since I went back to martial arts training), and the wheel size is a combination of the weight over a 29, with nearly the same angle of attack for the tire.

Also, from what I've seen, the 27.5 run cheaper than the 29s, although if the right bike came up on craigslist, I wouldn't turn down a 29. Definitely don't want another 26, though.

John
 

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I am Walt
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I'm exactly the same H and W, I mean, exactly. I have two 29'er HT's: Vassago Optimus Ti SS, and a Specialized Stumpjumper geared 2x10. I mostly ride the SS, and I'm an endurance XC guy. Oh, and I'm 49, so some age group!

Personally, I'd get a HT. I got rid of my last FS bike, and a good one, a couple years ago, and don't miss it at all. I hate the loss of pedaling efficiency, as I'm a "stand up and mash" SS'er...regardless of bike. Other than riding the uber chunk, one can ride anything on a HT (and many ride the uber chunk too!). HT's are faster, lighter and more efficient...for your dollar.

I prefer 29'ers, though I've never tried a 27.5, and have nothing against them. Try them both...lots of demos coming through here on a regular basis. Take your time. EDIT: Tons of options in your price range.

Lots of good shops and bike brands, but check out Sunday Cycles on 32nd St. and Bell. Broad selection of brands and bikes, and cool cats. Joe Berman is the owner...good guy, but don't tell him I said so. He'll let you demo whatever he can, and hook you up.

Anyway, good luck, and see you out on the trails!

Walt
 

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Ahhh the pain....
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John, If you're a barn burner kind of guy and like XC type riding, 29" is the only way to go. FS is nice but it does come at a higher price and more maintenance (pivots, shock). Lot's of the superfast xc guys around here are riding FS, but those are full carbon machines that will set you back some cash...don't think you'd find a used one in your price range. An aluminum frame FS29 is probably doable and would be a fun bike albeit between 25 and 30 lbs depending on components. If you're not a brand snob, bikes direct has some incredible deals on bikes. I know a guy riding one of these (SRAM XO, 2x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fly Titanium 29er | SRAM XO hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles) that is easily one of the fastest dudes in the valley. Ti frames have a great ride (usually).
 

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I'll echo the same.

I'm maybe an inch shorter than you and nearly 20 pounds lighter. I owned a 29er FS, 2008 Kona Hei Hei, and it certainly assist in getting through crud well, but I didn't like it once I tried a hard tail 29er (rigid actually).

Some people just prefer full squish, period. But I'd suggest you go test a 29er hard tail, and my guess is that you'll like it a lot. Plus the far less maintenance and upfront costs are great too. Maybe find a used Vassago, Salsa, or any of the big named brands. if you like them funny geared setups, maybe a 1x10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, what's with the SS and the double chainrings? I'm used to 3 up front for a mtn ride, and that's what the Fuji I have has. I'm used to a double up front with the road bike, but what's the deal with a double on the front for a mtn ride?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
John, If you're a barn burner kind of guy and like XC type riding, 29" is the only way to go. FS is nice but it does come at a higher price and more maintenance (pivots, shock). Lot's of the superfast xc guys around here are riding FS, but those are full carbon machines that will set you back some cash...don't think you'd find a used one in your price range. An aluminum frame FS29 is probably doable and would be a fun bike albeit between 25 and 30 lbs depending on components.
I'm not all that sussed about having carbon for a mountain bike. I'm not that good (yet) that I'm going to be able to keep it upright all the time, and if you crash a carbon frame, that's usually just about it.

Same for weight. I need to lose 15 lbs off the body frame before I start worrying about 5 or 6 off of the bike frame.

John
 

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John, If you're a barn burner kind of guy and like XC type riding, 29" is the only way to go. FS is nice but it does come at a higher price and more maintenance (pivots, shock). Lot's of the superfast xc guys around here are riding FS, but those are full carbon machines that will set you back some cash...don't think you'd find a used one in your price range. An aluminum frame FS29 is probably doable and would be a fun bike albeit between 25 and 30 lbs depending on components. If you're not a brand snob, bikes direct has some incredible deals on bikes. I know a guy riding one of these (SRAM XO, 2x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fly Titanium 29er | SRAM XO hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles) that is easily one of the fastest dudes in the valley. Ti frames have a great ride (usually).
That dude sounds like one of those Strava racing douchebags. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A triple on a mt bike is overkill IMO
Care to explain why? I can explain why a 53/39 on a road bike is better than a compact with the right selection of cassette gearing, is it the same rationale on a mountain bike? Or since the cassette has gone from 7 to 10, it's no longer necessary for a triple in the front?

John
 

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Vincit qui patitur
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Care to explain why? I can explain why a 53/39 on a road bike is better than a compact with the right selection of cassette gearing, is it the same rationale on a mountain bike? Or since the cassette has gone from 7 to 10, it's no longer necessary for a triple in the front?

John
My main ride is a SS so I'd say more than one ring on the front and back is overkill. But since I know some feel the need to have an easier or harder stroke, I'll say SS is not for everybody. That said, my second bike has a double up front, and if I can't ride it on a double, I ain't riding it on a triple either. It has nothing to do with gear ratio and cassette size. It has to do with the less I have to worry about what gear I'm in, the better off I am.
 

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I'm looking at a budget of $1500-2000, would prefer a full suspension 27.5 if possible. No problem going used, just not used up. :thumbsup:

I'm a road cat 4 midway to 3, although I'm old (47) so it's hard to come by upgrade points. Used to race mountain in Colorado, but that was in Gunnison in the mid 1980's.

Right now I have a 2006 Fuji Tahoe Comp that I used racing a leg of the Barnburner 104 (Flagstaff) last year, and it convinced me that I needed bigger wheels and a better suspension.

Most of the time it's going to be recreational riding, but I do want to do the Barnburner again, and possibly some races in the Az MTB series for 2015 (It's a bit late for this year).

I'm still researching travel, shocks, FS vs HT, etc., but I though I'd ask for recommendations from other Az guys.

John
So it sounds like you are looking for XC racing bike.
1. 27.5 are all the rage for all mountain FSers now.
2. For your budget stay away from FSers. For under $2000 you will get super heavy and inefficient FSer which will make you feel like riding thru molasses. Last thing you need on a race like Barn Burner. Now if you got at least 3-4 K - then Pivot Mach 429 or Epic may be your ride.
3. Hardtails are your ticket. If you lucky enough to purchase the bike that Ray linked you too - you can have a 23 lbs, supple ti frame bike for around 2K. Fast as hell FOR THE MONEY.
4. 29er wheels make it easier to ride, especially without full suspension.
 

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Care to explain why? I can explain why a 53/39 on a road bike is better than a compact with the right selection of cassette gearing, is it the same rationale on a mountain bike? Or since the cassette has gone from 7 to 10, it's no longer necessary for a triple in the front?

John
For your type of riding you seek to do and triple is fine. Double would do to, unless you are planning to pedal straight downgrade and reach speeds exceeding 30 mph.
 

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Salsa spearfish(2013):

Salsa 2013 Spearfish 2 Complete Bike in Tree Fort Bikes Cross Country (cat35)

Salsa re designed the spearfish for 2014 from the ground up. This means you can find new 2013 stock for silly deals.

The spearfish is a good option to at least explore for your described riding style.

It is a simple, fairly lightweight single pivot design. 80mm's out back, 100 up front. The design favors efficiency over plushness. Very easy and inexpensive to maintain and LOTS of people race them with good results. Just a thought.

Ride as many different bikes as possible, especially outside of your comfort zone, just to get a feel for as many designs and geometry as possible. You might be surprised at what feels best.

Good luck and enjoy the process. Being a bike geek/gear nerd is half the fun for me.
 

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Salsa spearfish(2013):

Salsa 2013 Spearfish 2 Complete Bike in Tree Fort Bikes Cross Country (cat35)

Salsa re designed the spearfish for 2014 from the ground up. This means you can find new 2013 stock for silly deals.

The spearfish is a good option to at least explore for your described riding style.

It is a simple, fairly lightweight single pivot design. 80mm's out back, 100 up front. The design favors efficiency over plushness. Very easy and inexpensive to maintain and LOTS of people race them with good results. Just a thought.

Ride as many different bikes as possible, especially outside of your comfort zone, just to get a feel for as many designs and geometry as possible. You might be surprised at what feels best.

Good luck and enjoy the process. Being a bike geek/gear nerd is half the fun for me.
That's actually a good find. What is that about 28lbs? The rear suspension looks like it would not get in a way of pedaling and take the edge of the bumps.
 
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