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looking to buy a new bike and would like to spend around $2000-$2500 on something I would not need to upgrade too much in the next few years, other than rutine check-ups. A bike shop mentioned the Klein Palomino? not sure about Klein.
I have been looking at the SC Ultralight and the Gary Fisher Cake2 DLX. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I am riding cross-country and downhill with an empasis on woods and trail riding, maybe a few four foot drops.
 

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What are "rutine" and "empasis"? Tried to find a definition, but alas...no luck. Either the SC or Fisher is fine. No info on Klein, but it's a good company. A bike in that price range shouldn't require any upgrades(except maybe the saddle) till you break something as long as it's the right size, right fork, right shock.
 

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Brown Dog said:
looking to buy a new bike and would like to spend around $2000-$2500 on something I would not need to upgrade too much in the next few years, other than rutine check-ups. A bike shop mentioned the Klein Palomino? not sure about Klein.
I have been looking at the SC Ultralight and the Gary Fisher Cake2 DLX. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I am riding cross-country and downhill with an empasis on woods and trail riding, maybe a few four foot drops.
You can get a lot of bike for $2500. I would recommend a Specialized Enduro before the other two. The SC will be racy and the Fisher isn't getting to many good reviews (BB too high, feels "tippy" or something like that). The Palomino is nice, but not so oriented for downhill stuff. Klein is a good company, though. The Enduro has adjustable geometry. You might think about the Cannondale Jekyll too. You can also get a Blur in that price range. So there you have four-bar, single pivot and VPP. What's best? Hard to say. The Enduro gets nothing but rave reviews as well as the Blur. For the Jekyll, I'd say it matters what model you get. If you're all about "Buy USA", Cannondale is for you.

All that being said, you could find a good used bike in the classifieds, like an Ellsworth (Isis, Joker), Intense (Tracer), or Titus (Loco-Moto). Those bikes give you 4+ inches of travel, while the Joker and Loco are adjustable, single pivot designs that pedal well. They also won't break the bank, if you get them used.

It's always a tough decision! Good Luck!
 

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It sounds to me like you are lookin for an all mountain type bike that is a jack of all trades. The trade off for a bike capable of decent trail performance as well as standing up to 4 foot drops is that your bike may not be the master of any particular discipline...which is totally fine. I just wouldn't expect the same bike made to take trail/downhill/small drop duty to be a great racer either in the cross country or downhill venue. The upshot is that a downhill bike would suck for XC and a XC race bike like the superlight would not survive long doing 4 foot drops. I personally do not race and really like the idea of an all around bike that is fun for everything. If this is what you're looking for, I think the enduro is a pretty good option, as is the santa cruz heckler. Those are fairly different bikes in terms of suspension design so you should ride each to see what you like. There are a ton of other bikes out there in this category eg: giant VT or even the AC, Kona dawg or coiler, etc. I would recommend riding as many of these as you can to see what you like and what fits best.
 

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Brown Dog said:
looking to buy a new bike and would like to spend around $2000-$2500 on something I would not need to upgrade too much in the next few years, other than rutine check-ups. A bike shop mentioned the Klein Palomino? not sure about Klein.
I have been looking at the SC Ultralight and the Gary Fisher Cake2 DLX. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I am riding cross-country and downhill with an empasis on woods and trail riding, maybe a few four foot drops.
A Turner Burner would make a great trail bike and you can get the frames now for under $1000. You can easily have a complete Burner for under $2500. You'd end up with a great bike that should have better than average reliability from a company that has outstanding customer service.

The Specialized Enduro would be another good choice, as mentioned by another poster.

I'd skip the Santa Cruz Superlight if you're going to do any drops or jumping.

You didn't mention your weight. If you weigh more than 220lbs, I would probably recommend different bikes.
 
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