Stefan over at nsmb.com wrote this review on his used Pipeline.
You can read it over there at this link or just read it below as pasted text. I have all this Pipeline info because I once was going to buy one, then got a deal on a Giant AC instead.
The Used Pipeline Experience
As the proud owner of a 1993 Norco Nitro hardtail I never saw any need to upgrade my bike, even for the shore riding I was doing. When I was riding trails like Ladies, Pink Starfish and Sex Boy, the Norco was great and never held me back in any way. That all changed on my first ride on GMG. All of a sudden I could tell that if I wanted to progress I needed some long travel front forks and a better bike. I looked at several new bikes including a Rocky Mountain Pipeline, Specialized FSR's and Norco VPS's. Ultimately my cheap nature led me to buy a friend's used Rocky Mountain Pipeline.
At this point let me make a little sidebar into the hazards of buying used bikes. The bike I bought was from a friend who was still in close contact with the dealer from whom he bought it. As a result I could be assured that the bike was not stolen and that I was not furthering the activities of loathsome bike thieves. The dealer was able to corroborate the maintenance history given to me by the seller and was very frank with me. In fact he told me he wouldn't touch that bike with a ten foot pole. (the previous owner has a reputation as being very hard on bikes) I ignored the dealer's advice and plunked down my hard earned cash (no tax!). Walk into any used bike deal with a great deal of skepticism and demand to see the original bill. Most of us have been the victim of a bike theft at one point or another and we want to stop this nefarious activity. The best way to do this is to eliminate the market for stolen property.
I am happy to report that I am very happy with my new (to me) bike. The Pipeline has everything I was looking for except disc brakes. The rear suspension is adjustable from 4 to 6 inches of travel and sports a Fox coil over shock. The front suspension is handled by the standard North Shore issue Marzocchi Z-1 fork with stiff springs. The drivetrain is no longer original, it is all Shimano XT and the brakes are XTR. (The new Pipeline I tried had mechanical disc brakes which SUCKED!! Rocky no longer specs mechanical discs) The pedals are Shimano DX clipless.
Riding the bike around town for the first time it felt squishy, but this feeling disappeared on my first trail ride. I was warned that it would take a month or so to get used to the full suspension but I found it took no time at all. The bike didn't make me a better rider but it made the ride easier and more comfortable. The XTR brakes are powerful and modulate incredibly well. The drivetrain presented no problems whatsoever and the chain derailed far less often than on my old hardtail. I have had the bike for about six months now and it has given me absolutely no mechanical problems. The suspension is the old unified rear triangle design. This is a design known for being less active than other designs but it works well on the shore. There is only one pivot which makes the suspension durable. I have yet to hear any weird clunks or creaks. The rear suspension is especially good at absorbing the big hits. On wheelie drops approaching six even imperfect landings are absorbed smoothly by the suspension. As I have become more familiar with the bike I have had the confidence to try more difficult stunts, steeper rolls and bigger drops. This is in large part due to the confidence inspiring nature of the Pipeline. The slack angles, long travel suspension and strong frame all help to remove some of the fear. I know that whatever limits I am willing to explore are within the capabilities of this bicycle.
The only downsides I can think of are image and plushness. The suspension is medium plush but nothing compared to the super long travel bikes which are out there. While some shore riders have up to eight inches of travel in the back and six up front I am riding with five and four. This is noticeable in fast downhills or big wheelie drops. In exchange the Pipeline is considerably lighter than many freeride bikes making it more maneuverable and easier to flick around on logs and stunts. The second downside is simply my shallow vanity. The Pipeline has been around for awhile and looks dated compared to some of the newer cool bikes out there. The colours are awful (mine is magenta and orange) and the bike as a whole looks kind of spiderlike. Thankfully Rocky has updated colour schemes since my bike was sprayed. None of this matters on the trail of course.
The Pipeline has been a reasonably priced entry to the full suspension market. Every time I ride it inspires me with the confidence to stretch my limits and get silghtly more extreme.
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