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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so its been 10 years since I've ridden. (bad crash, set me out a while, never got back into it till this april (04). Moved to Colorado Springs from Cincinnati, broke out the old rigid, 27lb steel EVERYTHING Univega (uni-WHO??--tells you how old I am!), and started riding my local trails. WOW! Either I've changed, the terrain has changed or the bike is an ancient POS. (all three I'm sure...)
Anyway...so I'm looking for my first FS rig. Been shopping seriously for about 3 weeks, reading all the mtbr reviews, test riding bikes, determining my new riding style, tearing MTB Action apart for info, and here's where I'm at:
38 yrs old, still strong, still love to ride hard (was pretty agressive back then, have been pretty aggressive lately, albeit my hands and wrists are killing me) and I am an experienced dirt biker (started age 12, raced hare scrambles and enduros, still crazy on my current bike, an '01 XR650. Check in at about 185 lbs. Stand 6' tall. Current terrain: anyone from colorado will know, for those who aren't: rocky, sandy, loamy, dropoffs, steep climbs, long descents, and perfect weather! (have yet to encounter mud, unlike Cincinnati and Northern Ky). Price point, $2k give or take.

Sorry, I'm rambling...

First, after talking with several LBS's, I thought I'd like a beefed up XC bike with more travel, a tougher bike, etc. Test rode the Enduro Expert, the Jackal 800, the Dakar 2.0 XLT, etc., etc., etc. Nice bikes, seemed to do OK. (wish there were a way to test ride on the actual trails). Then a shop guy said, here try this: a Giant AC1. took it out, launched it off a few ledges and drops in the shop's neighborhood and WOW, what a difference!! Went home and thought about this beefier setup. Hmmmm...
So, got back on mtbr and searched out the "freeride" category, perused my March issue of MTB action (buyers guide) and then back to the shops to ride some more: a Gemini 900, a Yeti ASX, an RM switch, etc.

OH!

MY!

GOSH!

I've never ridden bikes like these before, they feel like my Honda XR but at 300 lbs less!!!!
Now the frist set of bikes I rode feel like tin cans and I'm afraid I'll crumple them if I get one. But here's the delimma: I love to go crazy, I love to jump (dirt biker, remember), I love to go fast. but.... I also want to be able to cruise the trails, climb the hills (long ones if you'll recall) and be able to move my legs after getting to the top! I'm not looking to win any XC races, but don't wanna kill my self just riding along either. I guess I'm afraid of the weight issue.
So, (sorry this is so long) here's where I stand: The Yeti and Switch (both ~41lb) felt great on the hits/jumps/landings, and seemed OK to pedal (Yeti seems really laid back geometry wise, pedals with 99% quads, 1% glutes--remember my existing XC is all that I'm used to right now). The Gemini 900 (~36lbs), felt nice to pedal and seemed like a good hitter/lander. Etc, etc, etc...
What I need from you all is any and all information you can give me. This is a major purchase as you all know, and I'm not planning on upgrading any components right away, so would like something that is ready to go out of the box. My big fear is I'll crumple the trail bikes, or kill myself (pedaling) on the freeriders (or kill myself just riding the FR's!!). I really see myself on a freeride bike, but need the input to selece the right one for my riding style.
Lastly, do any of you know any other good places to post a message of this type, and also, where I might find good local connections for riding buddies/clubs (probably on mtbr, but haven't been all around this site yet)?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this; if you live in the Springs, it would be great if I could test ride some of your bikes. Shoot me an email, I'd be glad to change your oil or something for taking the time to read and reply to this.

Thanks,

mike

www.automotivesurgeon.com
 

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DOH!
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XPost to the DH/Freeride forum, you'll probably get more response there.

A buddie of mine has a Gemini; he rides it up, down, and sideways and loves it. Personally, I'd stay sub-40lbs if you plan on doing significant pedaling with the bike. 40+lb bikes take their toll on long trail rides, regardless of how stable-platformed (or not) they are. My DH bike is about 43lbs and, though I can manage taking it on some flatter XC rides, it still works me pretty good, especially on stunts.

Look perhaps at the Yeti 575 as well. A little less burly than the ASX, but still worthy for lighter freeride-ish stuff. Drop bigger (6+ft) on a regular basis, though, and I'd get the ASX, or (lesser choice) Gemini. Others solid choices might include the Foes FXR, Ventana El Chamuco, Banshee Chaparral, Mountain Cycle Sin (I ride an MC 9.5 for DH), Kona Stinky DeLux, etc, etc...

That probably makes things as clear as mud for ya. ;) :D Good luck!
 

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I think the line between trailbike and freeride really has been blurred in this last year or two. RM Switch and Switch Pro are not too trail friendly. But Switch SL looks like it would make a good trail bike. The same goes for Santa Cruz Heckler, which looks like another bike that has one foot in the trailbike category and other foot in the freeride category.

I've been thinking about getting a Kona Coiler Deelux. They're around 35lbs and have 3 changrings. The frame is friendly for trailriding, but tough enough to take plenty of abuse. The components are all freeride oriented but I think if you put in lighter XC wheels they should climb pretty well. My plan (assuming I have the $$) is to have a set of XC wheels and a set of DH wheels.

I wonder if Jamis XLT 2.0 would make a good freeride bike. It's components are pretty burly. It seems like it'll work as a semi-freeride bike If you put in DH wheels, a bashguard, and replace the Manitou Minute with Manitou Sherman.
 

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fly like a beagle
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wildman said:
OK, so its been 10 years since I've ridden. (bad crash, set me out a while, never got back into it till this april (04). Moved to Colorado Springs from Cincinnati, broke out the old rigid, 27lb steel EVERYTHING Univega (uni-WHO??--tells you how old I am!), and started riding my local trails. WOW! Either I've changed, the terrain has changed or the bike is an ancient POS. (all three I'm sure...)
Anyway...so I'm looking for my first FS rig. Been shopping seriously for about 3 weeks, reading all the mtbr reviews, test riding bikes, determining my new riding style, tearing MTB Action apart for info, and here's where I'm at:
38 yrs old, still strong, still love to ride hard (was pretty agressive back then, have been pretty aggressive lately, albeit my hands and wrists are killing me) and I am an experienced dirt biker (started age 12, raced hare scrambles and enduros, still crazy on my current bike, an '01 XR650. Check in at about 185 lbs. Stand 6' tall. Current terrain: anyone from colorado will know, for those who aren't: rocky, sandy, loamy, dropoffs, steep climbs, long descents, and perfect weather! (have yet to encounter mud, unlike Cincinnati and Northern Ky). Price point, $2k give or take.

Sorry, I'm rambling...

First, after talking with several LBS's, I thought I'd like a beefed up XC bike with more travel, a tougher bike, etc. Test rode the Enduro Expert, the Jackal 800, the Dakar 2.0 XLT, etc., etc., etc. Nice bikes, seemed to do OK. (wish there were a way to test ride on the actual trails). Then a shop guy said, here try this: a Giant AC1. took it out, launched it off a few ledges and drops in the shop's neighborhood and WOW, what a difference!! Went home and thought about this beefier setup. Hmmmm...
So, got back on mtbr and searched out the "freeride" category, perused my March issue of MTB action (buyers guide) and then back to the shops to ride some more: a Gemini 900, a Yeti ASX, an RM switch, etc.

OH!

MY!

GOSH!

I've never ridden bikes like these before, they feel like my Honda XR but at 300 lbs less!!!!
Now the frist set of bikes I rode feel like tin cans and I'm afraid I'll crumple them if I get one. But here's the delimma: I love to go crazy, I love to jump (dirt biker, remember), I love to go fast. but.... I also want to be able to cruise the trails, climb the hills (long ones if you'll recall) and be able to move my legs after getting to the top! I'm not looking to win any XC races, but don't wanna kill my self just riding along either. I guess I'm afraid of the weight issue.
So, (sorry this is so long) here's where I stand: The Yeti and Switch (both ~41lb) felt great on the hits/jumps/landings, and seemed OK to pedal (Yeti seems really laid back geometry wise, pedals with 99% quads, 1% glutes--remember my existing XC is all that I'm used to right now). The Gemini 900 (~36lbs), felt nice to pedal and seemed like a good hitter/lander. Etc, etc, etc...
What I need from you all is any and all information you can give me. This is a major purchase as you all know, and I'm not planning on upgrading any components right away, so would like something that is ready to go out of the box. My big fear is I'll crumple the trail bikes, or kill myself (pedaling) on the freeriders (or kill myself just riding the FR's!!). I really see myself on a freeride bike, but need the input to selece the right one for my riding style.
Lastly, do any of you know any other good places to post a message of this type, and also, where I might find good local connections for riding buddies/clubs (probably on mtbr, but haven't been all around this site yet)?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this; if you live in the Springs, it would be great if I could test ride some of your bikes. Shoot me an email, I'd be glad to change your oil or something for taking the time to read and reply to this.

Thanks,

mike

www.automotivesurgeon.com
Im biased but a Santa Cruz Heckler is great frame that you can build to your liking. I use a 125 mm fox fork and fox air in rear, it climbs awsome and it laughs at rocks and roots on the way down.It will handle drops to about 5 foot or so. Its also good for bigger riders(im 190)Single pivot is also a breeze to maintain.
Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
all very helpful and much appreciated

thank you all for your input. it is all helpful. keep em coming! im leaning toward a FR bike that is as light as possible. hard to test ride more and more since the 04's are almost gone, and the 05's are not out yet. but i do appreciate the comments.

thanks
mike
 

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I know that some of the manufacturers have excelent warranties. What about buying something like the Enduro and riding it? If it breaks you could send it back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all your help

OK, so as many of you have seen on this site, I've posted to several categories (DH-FR, what bike to buy, etc.etc). Being new to the site and all, I thought I'd get a better variety of responses that way. Well, I think it just made my life harder, as now I have to monitor all the different cats that I posted to. I have now decided that since I live in Colorado Springs, I will restrict my posts on this overwhelming request of mine to the Front Range category. Please follow my link below for my most recent addition to this quest of mine.

thanks,

mike

www.otherpost.com
 
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