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Looking for 27.5 trail hardtail with 1x drive for occasional trail riding.
Wonder if anyone makes one that is priced under $1000.
Of course no spring shock :)
If your occasional riding would consider full rigid, Jenson has the Kona Unit X and Marin Pine Mountain...
 

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Of course, I stopped into my local REI (Pleasant Hill, CA) last weekend and couldn't get a single person to help me or even look at me. Wasn't very motivating for considering a purchase there. Been visiting my LBSs since.
 

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We had somewhat similar experience at our REI.

The most local LBS isn't a lot better. I bought my used Trek Remedy 5 from them - nice bike, but the prep & support was kinda "meh". When I told hime the back brake felt weak, he showed me he could lock up the wheel... on the tile floor. I pointed out that tiles are slick, so he lifted the back wheel & showed me he couldn't rotate the wheel with the brake lever pulled. I said I probably could... so he pulled the lever, and I rotated the back wheel (I'm stronger than I look). I really liked the bike a lot, otherwise I'd have walked. But he only did a very basic suspension setup - put the air pressures somewhere in the mfrs range (didn't ask my weight or riding style). I do get warranty & tune-ups for 60 days, which is better than private party sale. But it won't be the first place I go when I shop for a new bike.

We found a LBS in a nearby town that the owner seems really great.
We actually ran into the owner while flying kites on the beach. He wasn't pushy at all - quite the opposite. We went in... and we'll probably be buying my wife a bike from him on Saturday. He doesn't have much inventory, unfortunately - and only sells a few brands, I think... but I liked him enough that I'll shop there when I'm ready to buy a new bike (though I usually buy used because of budget).

I wish more dealers sold used bikes. Some of them take them in as trades, but either donate to worthy charity organizations, or bulk sell them to others who resell them.
It's an under served market, IMNSHO.

CraigsList, Offerup & Pinkbike are good sources, but it eats up a lot of time having to drive to people's areas to see used bikes instead of being able to see a selection of used bikes in one location.

I guess stores like Play It Again sports might be a source.

But now I'm rambling.
 

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The good thing about REI in Seattle is that they do let you test ride, and they even have some gravel and dirt trails on their propeerty (you can take them out on the town as well though)

The Trek dealer was also very helpful, patient and friendly, and let us test ride. We did have to ride bikes that were a tier or two above what we would buy on our budget because they don't have everyt bike in every size (nobody really could, I suppose) I really liked the Trek DS4 that I rode, but the DS2 would have had to suffice. But then I fell in love with the used Remedy 5 at the LBS, and that was that.

But I do wish my Remedy 5 was a 1x. I tend to mostly ride it that way.
 
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