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I just started looking at bikes over the weekend and discovered that owning a bicycle ranks up there with owning a Ducati.
I'm looking for a full suspension Mountain Bike. I saw a Kona Kikapu for $950.00 (last years model) but then they jump to almost 2K for anything with a name brand on it. And the sky is the limit after that.
When I talk to the bike shops, they're all looking to sell me something in the $2500.00 range. They say with the steep trails where I live, The Kikapu is a bit soft. In a Kona, I'd be looking at a Dawg or better for steep downhills.
Are they being straight with me?
Are they really that out of control on the prices?
Need some advise. Thanks!
 

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You can pick up barely used bikes on e-bay all the time for half price of new.

It's by far the best place for it.
 

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Well it depends...

What kind of trails? Riding style?

I made the mistake of not spending enough on my first two bikes and both needed to be replaced during the first season of riding. I've never owned a Kona but I have heard they make a decent frame. Two other areas that are really important are suspension and components, nothing worse then riding a bike that doesn't shift properly or a fork that sticks or bottoms out.

My personal choice if had $1k to spend would be to look for a good used bike, lots of people buy a highend bike and then just ride it on the street for awhile and sell it. Post more details about the components on the bikes you are looking at and we can give you some better feedback.

I have been shopping for a new bike and for what I want I can't foresee spending less then $4-5K. :evilaugh:
 

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BladeRider said:
I have been shopping for a new bike and for what I want I can't foresee spending less then $4-5K. :evilaugh:
Most of my riding buddies in the Bay area had more money in their bikes than I had in my brand new CR250.


Ned, the best value in new are the Taiwanese bikes. Specialized, Trek, Giant...DO NOT get a full suspension bike if your budget is $1000 for new. The rest of the bike will suck.
 

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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.
 

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BladeRider said:
I have been shopping for a new bike and for what I want I can't foresee spending less then $4-5K. :evilaugh:
Only $4-5K? You're just not trying hard enough. :evilaugh:

Saw a nice pair of wheels the other day German jobs, brand name "Lightweight". Carbon rim, carbon hub, carbon spokes.

Cost? Approx $2000.

Each. :eek:

BTW LTL is right on the money. If you know what you want, are prepared to wait for it, then Ebay is the place. Some genuine barhgains.
 

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Personally not really convinced of the benefits of a full suspension bike unless you are doing serious downhilling and/or racing. Big weight penalies, much more complicated and for mere mortals probably only marginal gains, and even then only on certain terrain. Just get a decent bike with good front forks and you'll be fine.
 

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Proto said:
Only $4-5K? You're just not trying hard enough. :evilaugh:

Saw a nice pair of wheels the other day German jobs, brand name "Lightweight". Carbon rim, carbon hub, carbon spokes.
Believe me I could try harder :D but this is cross country MTB and $4-5 should give me everything I need in a fairly light strong bike. Right now I ride a hardtail but I might make this one full. So far out of all the bikes I've tested I'm leaning towards the Santa Cruz Blur.

My hardtail has seen some pretty rough trails in it's day, 5 foot drops were the norm on the trails near where I grew up. But I think the biggest factor in the broken frames I've had are the large rocks in the middle of the trail I can't bring myself to ride around, have to go over. :evilaugh:

Oh and I'm not sure I want lightweight carbon anywhere near my MTB, I have a friend that bought a seat with carbon seat rails and we were in the middle of a ride one day when he launched off a small rock and both rails completely shattered. He had to ride a few miles out over some rough trails with a pointy seat post under his ass.
 

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Two things about the Blur.

Now Taiwanese.

The VPP pivots wear out very quickly. (at least on the 03 models they did)

I had two friend with them, and they were great bikes when they worked. But the pivots were always screwy...
 

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luvtolean said:
Two things about the Blur.

Now Taiwanese.

The VPP pivots wear out very quickly. (at least on the 03 models they did)

I had two friend with them, and they were great bikes when they worked. But the pivots were always screwy...
:eek: Wow, I had always heard they were rock solid, good to know.

Any recommendations on a cross country machine? My biggest concerns are that its not a tank and isn't too soft in the rear, I like to ride nimble and love to climb steep hills. I have been looking at Maverick also but I've yet to find one built at a dealer, I need to test ride at least in a parking lot before I lay out that kind of cash. If I really wanted to break the bank these guys are one of my favorite builders, simply amazing quality.
 

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Rode with a guy that had a Maverick, sweet looking ride. Another guy had a Seven too. Lotsa bike snobs in the Bay Area.

The Ellsworth Truth is sweet

The Intense 5.5 (stupid flash you'll have to go find it) (they license the VPP, but it's supposed to be far more durable than the SC)

And Ventana Rode a friend's and loved it...so did he.

For some reason the Intense is the one I've always liked the most, but these frames are all priced to get you in there for $4-5k and are sweet.
 

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luvtolean said:
Ned, the best value in new are the Taiwanese bikes. Specialized, Trek, Giant...DO NOT get a full suspension bike if your budget is $1000 for new. The rest of the bike will suck.
:thumbd: I strongly disagree

I have a full suspension Giant Warp DS3, very entry level bike but I absolutely love it. I have made several trips to Killington in VT and have never put $1.00 into the bike besides tune-ups. I also have several thousand miles XC on the bike and not flat riding.

[edit] Sorry I lied I have bought tubes [/edit]
 

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I'm a rodie so my experience in mountain bikes is very dated. I used to agree with Proto's statement about full suspension not being for the casual rider but that is no longer my opinion. I rode a cannondale rush (yes it was full xtr so a bit outside the 1K bracket) last weekend at the demo day and I thought it was brilliant.

Generic advice. Test ride test ride test ride. Ride everything you have access to in your price range and then go ride them all again. the more you test ride the more you'll get a feeling for the differences and then be able to make a personal, educated decision.

I'm sure there are good deals to be had on ebay mtn bikes, but I'd buy a used road bike way before I'd consider a used mtn bike. The normal working environment is so destructive on mtn bikes and people simply don't do maintenance the way I would.
Good luck and let us know what you choose,
push
 

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Nedro, any updates on your search?

I bought a Trek EX 9 last night, my first real full suspension mountain bike. I'm not out to win any races or prove my worth, so full suspension fit the bill just right for me.
 

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Pete said:
Nedro, any updates on your search?

I bought a Trek EX 9 last night, my first real full suspension mountain bike. I'm not out to win any races or prove my worth, so full suspension fit the bill just right for me.
What, is April "Bike Month" in the "Pete" houshold?
 
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