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Since the new year I had been looking at entry level 27.5 hardtails for less than $600. I had narrowed my choices down to 3, Giant Talon 27.5 5/Fezzari Lone Peak/Kona Blast. Plan on upgrading as needed. I finally decided on the Kona Blast but the price went up to $999, "WTF"!!!:madman:. in a two months period the price spiked $400. What did I miss? Were new components added or is Kona just trying to get what we'll pay for? Seriously pissed:madmax:. Guess I'm going with Fezzari before they spike their prices...
 

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I'd have a hard time even paying $600 for that bike, let alone $1k. 30mm stanchions and bottom bin wheelset and drivetrain. If you're budget minded, used is the way to go. For $600 you can find a bike that was $1,500 2-3 years ago and has great parts on it.
 

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I have a 26" with 2.35 on the front and it's not the same as a 650b. Rolling resistance is noticeably higher. Don't think that a wider tire will be close to the increased wheel size. I would worry less about wheel size and worry more about getting more bang for the buck considering your budget. If you are looking at new, I would take a long look at Fezzari and look around on local message boards to see if anyone local has one you can sit on or take for a short ride to see if the sizing is right for you. I would also look into Motobecane if you are looking into ordering one over the internet. Personally, I would look more towards a used bike if I were you. Craigslist, Ebay and Pinkbike are your best bets there.
 
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