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I'm the new guy here and am curious being new to the sport, what the differences are between freeride bikes, and others....Is it a suspension thing, frame geometry, the whole set-up? I see some bikes I think are more of a freeride type, but then again I think they may be an all mountain. I'm looking for the best of both of these and as stated in another post, came across a Gary Fisher "King Fisher 2" bike for about $800 less than retail. I can pick this up for $1300.00 new with a few scrathes. Is this bike gonna suit me for a little of both types of riding , or do I need to go with one or the other? Thanks again for any input. Tha bike in question:

 

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I don't know anything about the bike in question. I just wanted to reply because your user name is my last name. :)

I ride a Santa Cruz Heckler. I use it for EVERYTHING. (Not so much DH as we have a severe lack of "hills" here in NW Ohio.)

It all depends on what you are going to use the bike for. Be honest with yourself. Do you see yourself riding trails with it more that doing any FR? Where are you from and what kinda enviroment are you going to be riding in?

Just take a look at what you are going to be doing with the bike and see if said bike is going to fill those needs.

As for size, ride the bike before you buy it. I would reccomend this over anything else. See how it fits you and make sure you are comfortable on it.
 

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DIfferent people will have different answers for the question of what defines "Freeride" bikes. There used to be just DH and then DH and FR. Now add in 4x, All Mountain, slopestyle and others and you have a lot of overlap.

My opinion (and this is just me) on the differences.

DH - Bike that is low c-o-g, corners well and can take rock gardens at high speeds. Balanced front and rear suspension. On the lighter side but able to take a beating. Single ring up and rear 8 or 9 speed. Most likely 7-8" front and 6-7" rear.

FR - Bike that has enough travel for the rider. Suspension tuned to be able to hit bigger drops and not suffer breakage. Probably a bit heavier built than DH but very similar. 2 rings up front. This can also be utilized with a hardtail.

As far as the rest, too long to describe. Again rider specific style can dictate which bike to go with and the set-up. I have a Demo-9 set-up for a little of both. I run a 26" wheelset for DH and have a 24" x 3.0 wheelset for FR times. I also have a BottleRocket, which by definition is a slopestyle/all-mountain, that I use for everything including XC.
 

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As far as the King Fisher goes, I've ridden my friend's, and it feels pretty light to me, and pedals well. I wouldn't have a problem with taking it on some longer all-mountain rides, but it is perfectly capable of handleing serious freeride. This is just personal preferance, but neither of us likes the Manitou fork, and yes, it is set for his weight, which is similar to mine.
 

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gravity addict said:
As far as the King Fisher goes, I've ridden my friend's, and it feels pretty light to me, and pedals well. I wouldn't have a problem with taking it on some longer all-mountain rides, but it is perfectly capable of handleing serious freeride. This is just personal preferance, but neither of us likes the Manitou fork, and yes, it is set for his weight, which is similar to mine.
I actualy thought the oppiste, i rode one for about 2 months, i also rode it at downieville. i would sugesting look for somthing different for more all moutian stuff. it's heacy and not the best climber. and it feels more like a DH bike(just rideing over the things and flying downhills) just my opion
 

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I say go for it, the king fisher is a pretty nice bike. deciently light for what it is. just for the fork issue. its not a bad fork or anything, some people just dont like it as much. its a TPC+ dampened 170mm 1.5steerer tube fork ...that sounds pretty good to me though.

as for it being a AM bike. it'll work. but it'll be a tiny bit of a pig when it comes to climbs. if its the right size for you, trailrides shouldent be a problem, flat flowy singletrack wont be a problem. just really long uphill climbs is all that will burden you.
 
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