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Looking to upgrade to new bike, need input

1103 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mlepito
I have been riding a 06' Giant Yukon( stock except for seat, pedals, grips) pretty hard for the past two years and I feel that the time has come to invest in a new bike. I have done some research about bike brands but I still dont know that much about manufacturers quality and warranty's except for what the LBS guys tell me.

I am looking to spend somewhere between 800-1200 bucks maybe a little less or a little more. Ideally the bike would be a couple steps up from what I ride now. I want a All Mountain/XC bike, but am looking at getting eventually getting into racing events(amateur XC) sometime in the future as my fitness/skill level increase.

Can anyone recommend a good bike for me that while last just as long as my giant has.

Thanks in advance!:thumbsup:
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Check out the Giant Anthem X. New for 2009, it has 4" of suspension and slightly slacker angles than the bike it replaces. This would be a good fit if you're looking for a fast/light bike for both racing and everyday XC riding.

If you're looking for more Freeride, check out the Trance X w/ 5" of suspension.

....also forgot to mention, to look for (lightly) used at your pricepoint.
Thanks! I will check those out.

EDIT: Giant website say average retail price of those bikes is $5600. That is a little over my price range.
At your pricepoint, I think that full-suspension bikes are out. Even used, you may not be able to get a FS rig that will compete with a hardtail on race day - it takes some really fancy shocks to do that.

If you're generally happy with the Yukon and it generally fits you, you might consider just putting a nicer fork and wheels on it and going racing. All I want from my racing bike is that it transmits power efficiently and lets me carry speed. For me, that means shifters and drivetrain that work and a nice fork. I want some nicer wheels, but I can't do that yet.

If you're not happy with the Yukon, there's probably nothing on that bike worth transferring to a different frame, at least unless you find the frame used or on EBay or something and do the work yourself.

I've been pretty happy with my Hardrock. Your price brings you up a model, to a nicely equipped Rockhopper. People ride those frames forever. The build of the Expert Disc is definitely more trail-oriented than race-oriented, but you may not want too racy a bike to begin with and it could certainly rise to the challenge. The pilot and the engine are more important than the bike, as long as it works.

Trek and Fisher probably have nice bikes at your pricepoint too. Ride a bunch, and then decide if they're actually better than your Yukon, and which one you like the best.
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swmarc said:
I want a Freeride/XC bike, but am looking at getting eventually getting into racing events(amateur XC) sometime in the future as my fitness/skill level increase.
Freeride is riding a skinny bridge 15 feet off the ground, then hucking off the end and landing in a rock garden. The term is thrown around far too loosely, and makes it really hard to recommend an appropriate bike.

For 1200, there's no way you'll get a new full suspension bike that will be light enough for even amateur XC, but burly enough for real freeride. Hardtail...maybe, but you'll have to build it up yourself, and you'll need lighter spare parts to swap for XC. The On One Inbred could be built up for 1200. This is a really good example of one:

A Transition Vagrant is also a very good choice, as is the Banshee Scirocco. A little lighter and less burly (but also more expensive) is the Santa Cruz Chameleon. But that's if you really are looking for a bike that can do freeride.

Are you really sure that's what you want?

Personally, I'd comb the classifieds and ebay for a well-built, used Santa Cruz Heckler. Put a coil shock on the rear and you're okay to hit 90% of stuff at bike parks, while still keeping the bike under 35 lbs. It won't do you any favors in an XC race, but if you get a set of XC wheels and tires, a spare air shock for the rear, and maybe a lighter weight handlebar you can drop the weight below 30 lbs. You should have no problem finding a good, used Heckler for under 1500.
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swmarc said:
I want a Freeride/XC bike, but am looking at getting eventually getting into racing events(amateur XC)
Mentioning FR and XC in the same sentence makes your needs a bit hard to understand.

Do you mean that you want to ride trails that get a bit rough, or are you planning to do drops and jumps? If so, how high? (distance does not matter but height might)
I guess I miss understood the definition of freeride.

I am looking for a hardtail XC bike. So far the largest drop i have taken on my Yukon would be about 3feet, not sure I will be doing anything higher. I really enjoy technical trails that might have a few smaller jumps/drops thrown in as well as the opportunity to go fast!
Do you have any local shops where you could try some bikes?

Spezialized RockHopper has already been mentioned and other brands have equally good bikes on offer too.

Banshee Scirocco may be hard to find now and it is a bit overkill, unless you are heavy. Santa Cruz Chameleon is a versatile frame too but I am not sure what kind of a build you could get on your budget. Complete bikes tend to be a better value for money, than building up from separately purchased parts.
When I started mountain biking, there was "mountain biking" and "those crazy downhillers." When I came back to it a couple years ago, there was cross-country, trail, freeride, downhill, dirt jumping, all-mountain and I'm sure I've forgotten a couple of categories. And some specialized kinds of bikes, too, like singlespeeds, 29ers, etc. 29ers are totally cool, btw.

It's totally confusing and I think it makes it a lot harder to figure out wtf I'm trying to buy. But to a certain extent, it's marketing. I'm a little guy - 130lbs last I checked - so I can jump my Hardrock with its lightweight air fork off a stairset and it's fine. Bigger guys demolish much heavier gear without ever leaving the ground.

If you haven't been breaking your Yukon constantly, you're probably in the market for something sold as a trail bike. As I understand it, "trail" means what my friends and I used to mean by "mountain biking" - everything on the trail system, including climbs and the occasional drop or jump, with no shuttling or man-made stunts. To me, that's pretty much the same as cross-country, but a racing setup might sacrifice descending ability, ride feel and comfort for climbing ability. That's not to say that a cross-country bike is inherently a poor descender, but they're typically less forgiving and they're not intended to be pointed at the bottom of some incredibly steep thing, taken over a kicker, and aired twenty feet.
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I think by freeride he meant All Mountain, but his riding is best described as heavy XC. If you want a hardtail, and you like the way your Giant feels, look at the XTC, Its a solid bike. If you want to go a little over your budget the Trance X4 can probably had for $1400 and is a solid 5 inch bike. You might want to see if you could find a used Trance, which is a 4" bike and also good (and not too heavy).
Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, Kona, Cannondale, and Santa Cruz all make solid bikes (those are what I thought off the top of my head, I'm sure there are others I forgot). Go to a LBS or two and see what you like.
Look for sales combined with '08 models, and you can still consider a new full suspension bike. I got a GT Force 3.0 last weekend for $1100. Go to more than one shop and ride what they have to see what fits and feels right.
Drove to protland today and checked out a ton of bikes. My price range has increased from 1500 to 2500+/- a few hundred...after trying out the full suspension bikes I cant resist. I was looking at

Stumpjumper FSR Elite $2900( but negotiable)
FSRxc Pro $2000

I really wanted to look at a few kona bikes but everywhere i went that sold em was out of stock.
Look around for a outlet store. I bought a brand new 2007 Giant Anthem with all the warranties for half the price of what it was new from Hudson Trail Outfitters. I can take it to any HTO for lifetime maintenance and warranty claim.
swmarc said:
Drove to protland today and checked out a ton of bikes. My price range has increased from 1500 to 2500+/- a few hundred.
That gets you plenty of good bike. You can get stock bikes from Spesh, Giant, etc. Or you can buy a used boutiquey-frame off Ebay or MTBR classifieds, drivetrain from Pricepoint or whereever and pay someone to put it together for you.

Either way, $1500-2500 gets you a balls-to-the-wall hardtail or a very respectable full-sus.

If you are looking warranties trek/gary fisher is a good place to look. They are guaranteed for life. Most bike companies have crash replacement. I know gt, and specialized do. Since the hardtails don't have moving parts, you really have to rock one for it to fail. Building your own bike is nice, but it costs a lot more.

Check these out.

The posted price is a little out of your range, but most bike shops are below that. If you wait until the end of July you can get one on sale. The 2010 models come out at the end of the summer for some brands. I think trek/gf still wait until January. I remember when they didn't come out until march. That made christmas a great time to buy. Not anymore.
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