Join Date: 08-30-2005
Location: Orange County, CA
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Re: What's the most bicycle you can buy for about a grand?
Something to be aware of on full suspension bikes is that a lot of designs are prone to wearing out- fatigue, bearings, bushings, etc. Even if the aging is just the system becoming squeaky it'll drive you nuts. Many of them are considered disposable and the manufacturers expect a fairly short time to replacement. Lots of them are ridden real hard (mostly down and rarely up), crashed, and worn out (same goes for forks). Be very cautious about buying a used full suspension bike. A lot of the forks and shocks aren't very servicable after a few years; due to model changes they drop support and you end up buying new stuff. If you can't do the service yourself you're looking into another $400+ everytime you have to replace one of these things.
A hardtail, CX, or road bike that doesn't have all the mechanical crap on it is much easier to eyeball in person. I've mostly bought parts off ebay but never went for a complete frame/fork of anything.
I'm able to ride a CX bike with skinny tires and no suspension at all through terrain that the 'locals' insist a dualie is imperitive for. The amount of suspension is completely dependant on the terrain you wish to cover, the velocity you want to cover it at, and your skill as a rider. Suspension is tunable; no revelation there. Tire pressure is tunable; do it. I find a lot of people that just have dualies really never learn to ride a bike well even if they can do lots of stupid human tricks on them. It turns into a crutch for the future (like with my locals) where "I've only been able to ride this terrain with a dualie (all I've ever owned) therefor a dualie is necessary." I've been through it with a number of riding partners that want to "improve". I keep forcing them backwards- Dualie to hardtail to CX. TT bike to road bike to track bike.
Sperm donor. Maybe.