i haven't ridden one but ive heared and read reviews that the frame is stong as but some people think its tooo heavy and hate the geometry. but i do think it is a long lasting decent bike and that it flys through the air nicely.
I have an 08 P1 and have been on it for the last 5 1/2 months. Originally, I was going to buy the P2 but I wasn't digging the orange... plus the P1 came with a der. hanger anyway. The only weakness I found were the wheels. But at under $800 retail for a complete it was well worth the money. Everyone on the message boards all hate the geometry, especially the low bottom bracket height. I've have NEVER ran into any issues because of it yet. I guess I'm old fashioned or something, but I think you should buy the bike that you like and learn to ride it, not spend more money than you have so you can have the coolest bike at the time. The bike may wiegh a bit more than a custom Black Market or NS, but the Specialized is a complete that is well under $1000. It's not in the the same class. Depending on what kind of shape the bike is in, $450 seems fair. If the paint is all chipped up and it is full of weird parts you may not spend so much on it. If it is still mostly stock without a lot of damage, I'd spend $450 on it. It is a great platform to get started on. Like everything else, you can always upgrade parts as they wear out or brake. I ride my bike pretty hard and have crashed pretty hard a few times and it is still rides great.... Again, for a complete that is under $1000 new, it is a solid bike, but you can't compare it to a custom ride with top of the line parts that would cost you $2k + to build. If it looks good and clean with no large dents and scratches go for it.
I'd feel comfortable paying $450 on it if it is in as good of shape as you say. First thing before you start riding it hard though I'd have the wheels trued and tensioned if they are still the Alex/Specialized...
When you messed up the wheels, how high were you jumping/what were you doing? The highest I'll ever be in the air is around five feet. And if I'm doing anything bigger than three feet it has a smooth transition.
I bent the rims simply throwing 1 - 1.5 ft high 180's into grass...front and rear. Once you progress in your riding they become hopeless. The der. hanger is pretty beefy (much tougher than all the ones on my xc bikes over the years) but I have yet to run it so I can't really say how strong it is, but maybe jawdrop can
The front wheel was destroyed in a freak accident involving a chain skip. The rear wheel was worst put out of true when I hit a 15 foot gap/not sure how high double thinking I was on my big bike, leading to a pretty big case.
i would say go for the p2 as i just looked at the specs and the p bike beats the mongoose, but then again the goose is cheaper. If you can ride both of them and see which one you like better, also if one is abused/busted up go for the other one...
Thank you all for the advice. I just bought the p2 and rode it a little but it's really too cold out to ride. It's looking like me and all my buddies are going to rays mtb in a few weeks. I can't wait!
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