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2021 Giant Trance X 29 2
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My quest to upgrade to my old '91 Schwinn Sierra, which I still ride, has been slow. I had my eye on a hardtail (Ragley Big Al 1.0) but it's been impossible to get one. This has given me some time to think about other options past the hardtail category: Full suspension has me intrigued. I'm wondering... if I decided to drop around $3,000 on a full sus bike, what's a short list of some good bike options? I've been reading some today (reviews for the REI DRT 3.3, Scott Spark 960, and Cannondale Habit 4) but there are a TON of bikes in this range. Also been reading a lot on this site, but it's confusing since there are so many various approaches to rear sus. I'll be mostly riding the eastern coast (PA, NJ, NY, etc...) so trails and short track. Oh, and my reach is 455cm and this seems to fit into a medium frame on full suspension bikes, though this put me in a large on a hardtail. Do the full suspension frames run larger than hardtails? Thanks!
(Oh, and it's perfectly OK to say 'what are you thinking, mate? You're riding eastern forests, not western rock trails. Stay with a hardtail". :) )
 

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2022 Ibis Ripmo AF 2020 Intense Tazer MX Expert
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Ibis Ripmo and Ripley AF, Giant Trance 29 1-2, Giant Trance X 29 1-2,or Specialized Status..... Status is only at certain shops but is the best bang for the buck bike at $2600.
 

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For $3000 you can have a $6000 carbon bike from a few years ago, and it will have a Pike and XX1, not a Recon and SX...if you don't mind having no warranty. Just keep it in the 1x & dropper post era

It helps if you shop in a mountain bike area
 

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For $3000 you can have a $6000 carbon bike from a few years ago, and it will have a Pike and XX1, not a Recon and SX...if you don't mind having no warranty. Just keep it in the 1x & dropper post era

It helps if you shop in a mountain bike area
This is a solid option if you're not worried about the factory warranty. As long as you can see the bike in person before committing, used is a great way to go.
 

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At 3k for FS, another vote for used.

If you're careful, you'll get SO much more bang for your buck.

I'll throw the Fuel EX 9 (aluminum with great components) out there.

A model whose disappearance nobody really understands.
 

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2021 Giant Trance X 29 2
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looking at all these options is great!! I love the idea of going a couple years old to get more bang-for-the-buck. Another question on these full sus bikes: Is there an appreciable difference in ride between frames with the rear shock mounted horizontally vs. vertically? Does the force transfer differ and hence translate to ride differences? Thanks.
 

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There is a lot to rear suspension design but the shock orientation is probably the least of it. The suspension has to resist all the forces without flexing sideways, creaking, or rattling, and then it can be designed to prioritize several different things (pedal bob, pedal kickback on bumps, brake jack, wheel path, and the leverage it puts on the shock through the stroke) and then you can tune the feeling through the adjustments on the shock absorber. This was all kind-of worked out ad hoc in the 90's, turned into math in the 2000's, and now companies can basically select how they want their suspension to feel
 
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I've been researching trail bikes for a very long time now, and if you don't buy used, the Devinci Marshall is one of the best value "cheap" FS bikes I've seen. $2,899 CAD so I imagine about ~20% cheaper in the USA. You could ride it for a bit and have money left over to upgrade whatever you felt needed it.

The fork is a bit cheap but it has a Shimano Deore drivetrain, Shimano 4-piston brakes, and even Maxxis DHR/DHF tires. Not much to complain about at the price point:
Marshall 29 Deore 12S - Black Edition
 

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I have a Ripley AF and like it a lot.

the Polygon and Fezzari seem like solid options.

if you can find a few year old $6K bike for $3K, then that might be a sold option. In my area you have to go pretty old for a $6K bike to be $3K with COVID pricing that it doesn't seem worth it.
 

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Great options so far.

I’ll second the Polygon, Ibis Ripley and the Davinci Marshall.

And also, look at the Marin Rift Zone.

They are all super high value bikes that I’m sure you’d be happy with.

if it helps, I was going to do a hardtail for a while. And I researched about every hardtail that existed around my price point. But I ended up doing a full suspension bike, and have been happy as a clam for about 3 years now :).
 
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