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I am doing a lot of reading and am finding there are LOTS of makes and models out there to choose from, once one has narrowed down the field to a general type of bike one wants. This said, is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference? I am so intrigued by this sport, but the market for it is absolutely complex and intimidating. This forum is great though.
 

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v8shadow said:
I am doing a lot of reading and am finding there are LOTS of makes and models out there to choose from, once one has narrowed down the field to a general type of bike one wants. This said, is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference? I am so intrigued by this sport, but the market for it is absolutely complex and intimidating. This forum is great though.
Ok, for Dogonfr, it's Ibex, and he thinks he heard a rumor there were other brands out there, he hasn't been able to confirm that rumour ;)

There are like some big companies that offer lots of different level bikes, and have from entry bikes to some really nice ones (Specialized, Cannondale, Scott, Kona, Trek, Giant), then there are some 'boutique' brands, which are smaller, sell higher quality bikes, but more expensive (Titus, Turner, Santa Cruz, Intense, and some others), and some smaller builders (probably, still nicer bikes, more specialized.

I really don't know where to put Ibex, but theyr'e pretty nice, well build and very affordable. Probably they're one of the best values out there. I wouldn't put them at the level of Titus, Turner or Intense, but they hold their own for medium level.

Well, that's my humble point of view...
 

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"...is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference?"

IMHO, as for production bicycles,...these are the big 3 - Trek, Specialized & Giant. Then there are the small 3 - Ibex, BikesDirect & RS Cycles :D . The others are in between.
Of course if you go by how big or how much money is spent on Research and Development, the Big 3 has the advantage. Does that mean they are superior in any way than those you can buy from the small 3? Ironically, most of the frames are made in 2 or 3 factories in the Far East and the Big 3 designs and specs *may* have trickled down to other frames manufacturered from that factory for other bicycle makers who source their frames in that frame factory.. There is a suspicion that entry level frames up to middle level made by the same factory are identical in quality and materials. The difference if any, would just be the actual measurements each bicycle maker specs their orders from that factory. As an example, if you get a bicycle from the big 3 in the $500 to $1000 range they would almost be identical in frame materials & components. In comparison, the small 3 however, may have the same frame materials but better components. My guess is that the R & D expenses factored in by the Big 3 in their frame production cost is absent from the small 3.

However, the top models or aptly termed expensive models of the big 3 may require the frame factories to have Top Secret Clearance to manufacture.;)
 

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v8shadow said:
I am doing a lot of reading and am finding there are LOTS of makes and models out there to choose from, once one has narrowed down the field to a general type of bike one wants. This said, is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference? I am so intrigued by this sport, but the market for it is absolutely complex and intimidating. This forum is great though.
Yes pretty much based on price. Higher the price, the rarer the bikes are on the trail, the farther up the food chain you are.
v8shadow said:
I am doing a lot of reading and am finding there are LOTS of makes and models out there to choose from, once one has narrowed down the field to a general type of bike one wants. This said, is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference? I am so intrigued by this sport, but the market for it is absolutely complex and intimidating. This forum is great though.
Oh you got to bring that into the picture. Most bikes are built overseas in just a few factories using the same parts from either Shimano and/or Sram and/or Fox. If they are built in the USA Anodizing Inc or Kinesis handles most the frame building. So there is a chance that frames you are comparing came from the same factory.

The truly custom frames built in-house are the top of the Hierarchy right now.
v8shadow said:
I am doing a lot of reading and am finding there are LOTS of makes and models out there to choose from, once one has narrowed down the field to a general type of bike one wants. This said, is there some type of MTB frame or complete assembly manufacturer hierarchy to go by as far as quality/durability or is it all just up to personal preference? I am so intrigued by this sport, but the market for it is absolutely complex and intimidating. This forum is great though.
In the end, yes. There is a brand loyality that goes on here that surpasses Ford vs Chevy.
 
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