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Hi all,

looking to get back into the hobby, have easy trails in neighborhood. Some roots, logs, few rocks…

Is it possible to get a trail bike beyond a gravel path rider new for this price area?

I’m a hair under 6’ - 175 lbs
 

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New? Probably not. There are some very entry level bikes that edit <may> weigh 35+ lbs that edit <may> require many upgrades almost immediately, that could be around $700 and won't break on the very first drop.
Used, sure, but they won't have the very most modernist geometries. This 1998 FSR I built for my daughter this summer is a completely competent single black fs trail bike and it was around $850. Weight is 30 lb.
Bicycle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel Tire Bicycle wheel rim
Bicycle Bicycle helmet Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel


it also has 26" tires and completely old school 80mm/130mm travel numbers (custom rear link) That $850 includes a 130mm front Marzocchi fork, but I haven't made time to rebuild it yet. Also includes a front four piston disc to go with the new fork. As pictured isnore like $600.
Many on here will find it hard to believe such an old bike can even be ridden, but believe me we have no trouble keeping up with all the modern $3 to $8k fs bikes we see on the trails. I think that eventually this older frames will be limiting, but it isn't for a new rider at all.
 

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I don’t exactly agree with the above - particularly that upgrades are needed for everyone, but it depends on your goals. At $700 new, you’re looking at a spring fork and low end parts, potentially 8sp rear. And yes, it’ll be 30lb or higher. However, from your brief description- that sounds potentially right on the money! My wife and son ride or have ridden similar spec bikes on trails and have done very well.

Dan
 

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New? Probably not. ...
I like the bike you've built, and I agree about the $700 pricepoint being limiting for new, and @OP, it would be a hardtail.

That said, used isn't for everyone, especially if we look at your example. To begin, you've shown some skill around building, and mention a fork rebuild. I agree the fork is a likely candidate for service, and in most cases that would be a shop expense. Also with used, tires and drivetrain wear components would be a common added expense. Maybe even grips and saddle, depending on condition.

I think the sweet spot is probably a newer used bike - or at least it used to be. The prices there are brutal these days, but you could get some modern features at a reduced price. Top of mind for me is disc brakes - could never go back to rim brakes for cold/wet conditions.
 

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I like the bike you've built, and I agree about the $700 pricepoint being limiting for new, and @OP, it would be a hardtail.

That said, used isn't for everyone, especially if we look at your example. To begin, you've shown some skill around building, and mention a fork rebuild. I agree the fork is a likely candidate for service, and in most cases that would be a shop expense. Also with used, tires and drivetrain wear components would be a common added expense. Maybe even grips and saddle, depending on condition.

I think the sweet spot is probably a newer used bike - or at least it used to be. The prices there are brutal these days, but you could get some modern features at a reduced price. Top of mind for me is disc brakes - could never go back to rim brakes for cold/wet conditions.
you're right. I agree that a $600 2008 Stumpjumper FS would be a great entry point. Also agree used is only viable if ready to take on the bike shop mechanic role. on the pictured bike the headset, fork, bottom bracket, and vbrakes are the only parts not replaced. Fork and front brake disc conversion are waiting for me to have some weekend time (I've built four used bikes this summer, now we're out riding every weekend), I chose to keep the bottom bracket as it was slightly less $ than buying a new crank/bb set for $50. Tool and fluids investment so far around $100 (tubeless is expensive to ramp into, fork oil etc).
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a REI Co-op bike for the riding you are describing. It will hold up just fine. $700 is really the entry level basic these days. Check mtbr’s best $500 bikes and best bike under $1000. This was posted earlier this year.

You just need to know what you are getting, and set your expectations that it wont look or ride like anything you see in the media.
 

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Get the best you can afford and ride it a lot. Don't upgrade components unless something breaks (and even then keep it at workhorse level). Sell it when you've outgrown it and buy another bike that will allow you to progress further.

Fancy bikes are nice to have, but where your bike takes you and what you do with it is the real objective.

I second the vote for the Vitus from CRC. Trail worthy geometry and good value.
 

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Trek Marlin 6 2022 edition looks like a decent bike.

IMHO items to get in this order
1) Modern geometry
2) Hydraulic disc brakes
3) 1x drivetrain (1-9, 1x10, 1x11, 1x12). They're easier to deal with
4) Air fork

I'd at least try and get a modernish bike built in the last few years with hydraulic disc brakes. The rest of the items are really nice to have, but I could see skipping those if you're tight on budget and bike availability.
In Trek's line up, the cheapest way to get that would be a Marlin 8, but at that price (its high at 1299), I'd rather upgrade to a Roscoe 7 2022.
 

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$700 is only going to get you a HT... if FS its going to be OLD... and something like what Grinchy8 did.

My advice, keep saving.
OP seems to be looking for an entry level bike that can do some offroad beyond fire-roads.
I don't see that the OP is looking for a FS bike.

a $7-800 bike can get you started, the midrange versions of the Trek Marlin, Giant Talon, Specialized Rockhopper are bike shop bikes that meet that criteria,
If you spent more money, teh Trek Roscoe, Giant Fathom and Specialized fuse fit the bill.

the consumer direct bikes offer a lot fo spec for the money too
 

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Right. Which is why I said "if"..

With the volatity of the market and not knowing where the OP lives, its possible he can sock away a little more cash while he shops and considers his options. "Is it possible to get a trail bike beyond a gravel path rider new for this price area? "

If he wants to stay at $700-800 its going to be a hard tail, bargain basement junk or something much older as I said.
 

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I'd second that Xtrada 5 if you can stretch your budget $100. No tax and not shipping so not really a big stretch from a $700 bike from an LBS. The Geometry is great and makes it a very capable bike and would give you a good platform to upgrade.
 
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