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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm beginning my search for a great XC bike, mostly for front range Colorado terrain. Here's my story. I'm 48 years old. I used to be a road bike racer for 20+ years. I rode a mountain bike too, Proflex 855, for several years in the late 1980s to early 1990s. In 1992 I was hit by a car on my road bike and broke my hip. I gave up riding for 7 years and gained 120 lbs. I'm now in the process of getting back into shape. I've lost 80 lbs, and plan to lose at least another 20 lbs. At 6' tall, I want to weigh less than 160 lbs.

Right now I continue to ride my road bike, a Vail Cycle Works Ti bike, and run (road and trail), but I yearn for another mountain bike. I'm truly in no hurry to buy a mountain bike. Having begun riding again last summer, I'll likely try to get my legs back on my road bike through the summer. By then the itch for a mountain bike will be high. However, I'm also not opposed to get a mountain bike sooner than next fall or winter.

Right now I'm shopping for bikes, but really don't know where to begin. It's been 7-8 years since I've ridden mountain bikes, and the technology has changed a lot. I believe I'd classify myself as a XC rider. I don't think I'll race again, but I like (or liked) fast trail riding, both uphill and down. I like technical, but I'm not a downhill fanatic. My preference, I believe, is for a light and nimble ride.

I've ridden two bikes in the parking lot - a Turner Nitrous and a Giant Anthem X2. I liked them both. Both bikes are a huge departure from my old Proflex. I know I need to demo bikes, and this is something I plan to do this spring and summer. So, which bikes should I consider? As a teacher, I don't have tons of money, and will likely buy used; I want to stay under 2K. However, I like quality and want a solid bike that will last me for several years. My preference (though subject to change) is for a sub 25 lb. bike, full suspension, with at least XT components. I don't need fancy lightweight components.

Any help you can provide in my search for "the perfect bike" is appreciated.

Michael
 

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Yeti Cycles are born and bred in Colorado. The ASR (4'' xc bike) has been a solid pro race level bike for a long time now and previous year models can be found now for an insanely low price. It's got slacker angles than most race type xc bikes so it's not quite so twitchy and descends quite nicely compared to a very steep bike. Check out Jensonusa.com for starters. The ASR5 is coming out soon and looks really nice for what you want to do but will come at a premium cost for a while.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/FR289B00-Yeti+Asr+Alloy+Frame+2009.aspx?sc=MTBRYF&x=y

The ASR can be built sub 25lbs easily.....but not easily for under 2K.
 

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wacomme said:
My preference, I believe, is for a light and nimble ride.

As a teacher, I don't have tons of money,

My preference (though subject to change) is for a sub 25 lb. bike, full suspension, with at least XT components.

I don't need fancy lightweight components.
I think you need to spend a lot of time researching the variety of bikes available today because a lot has changed and the diversity of bikes available today is far beyond what it used to be.
You also have some conflicting preferences. "light and nimble" to me means hardtail. Saying you don't have tons of money, but wanting a sub 25 lb FS is going to be tough to reconcile (and ain't gonna happen without "fancy lightweight components").

So I think you probably need to start by either accepting that a full suspension in your price range is going to weigh more than 25 pounds, or go to a hardtail. Though there are some very lightweight bikes available today, in general, suspension today weighs more than it did in the old days. That's because the consumers finally came around to accepting a weight penalty for suspension that actually works. A sub 30 pound full suspension with a good suspension design and good fork and shock will feel light enough on the trail.

Suspension (fork, shock, and frame design) are by far the most important factors in purchasing a full suspension bike, so don't even worry about drivetrain specs until you find the right suspension for you, plus the old "xt-level" comparisons are far more difficult these days anyway since bikes tend to be spec'd with a wider mix of components.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AZ.MTNS said:
Have you tried posting this in the Front Range forum , get some homegrown help ?
Thanks. Good idea. I hope double-posting doesn't cause problems.

I know I'm asking for the moon with my currently perceived requirements. However, the first two bikes I've looked at, a used Turner Nitrous and a new Giant Anthem X2, were $1200 and $1700 respectively, and both were under 26 lbs.
 

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Anthem X2 - light and nimble to a T.

As a disclaimer, I don't live in CO, and don't know what your trails are like.

I've put about 100 miles on my Ax2, since buying it 2 weeks ago. Light and nimble describes this bike best. The whole bike is frickin genius, really. It's geometry is aggressive, yet comfortable. The frame is impressively stiff, to be so light. It rails turns, and accelerates with ease. The maestro suspension is almost flawless. It's plush over roots and square edges, but at the same time, feels firm and efficient when pedaling. You really have to try and make it bob, so much so, that I only use the propedal on the steepest of climbs.... so, it climbs absolutely great. The front wheel tracks very well when climbing steep stuff. The steering is quick and precise feeling. Going down - the shock feels bottomless, and combined with the frame stiffness, it's very stable and confident feeling, when it gets rough. You do have to be on your toes a bit, when coming down steep stuff, because of the steep-ish head angle, but it is no way sketchy feeling.

This bike rides the line, between all-out race bike and all-around trail bike, and does it to almost perfection. The only bad things I can say are, the stock grips and tires suck. I like the seat, but some people don't. I know I sound like a salesman, but I love this bike so much... I don't think I'll ever ride my 5" Stumpjumper again. I highly recommend you demo one, to see for yourself. It sounds like the perfect fit, for what you're looking for.

My (L) is 26 lbs even, with Time pedals and Nevegal tires. Can easily get lighter, with new bar, stem, and post.

$1700 is a fantastic deal for an '09 Ax2...considering MSRP was $2900. I bet it'll be hard to find another 26 lb bike, with a full XT package (the XT brakes are awesome too btw), with fox shocks front and rear, for anywhere close to $1700 new.

Good luck.

edit: I should also add that the F100 fork is a little flexy, when compared to my Talas on the SJ, but it is a light xc fork, and I'm 6', 215 lbs. :)
 
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