NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For $2000 there are soooo many good / great hardtails. The price point for what I consider "Race Level" stuff is around $1,500, so for another $500 you'll be set.
Gary Fisher, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Kona, .......the list goes on and on.
It really depends on what type of riding you're considering. If just for fun, take Maelstrom's advice and get a freeride hardtail. Something with at least 4" of front suspension travel.
If you're planning on racing, stick with about 3-4" of travel and concentrate on lighterweight. Frames could be any material of choice nowadays, aluminum, carbon, titanium and steel.
For your budget, look for a bike with a high quality frame, a good fork with a lot of external adjustments, and components that are mostly LX/ some XT mix for $1,500 range and more XT/ a little XTR for $2,000. The more XTR, the more $$$$
The biggest question you'll face is to disc or not to disc? If you ride in wet muddy conditions or have a lot of steep descents, you probably want discs. If you don't need them, stick with V-brakes. I will add however, that the technology in the discs is starting to get to the point where it makes sense for many/most riders. They still cost considerable more, but if you plan to upgrade later, bite the bullet and spend a little more money on a complete bike with discs now. It's a costly upgrade later.
If you decide you want discs, stick with Avid Mechanicals, or go to hydraulic discs. Names to look for in hydros: Hayes, Hope, Shimano XT, Magura, .....etc. Most are all good!
Another hot topic is to tube or not to tube. My verdict is still out on tubeless tires, but a lot of people swear by them. I'm going to keep my tubes and let the "bugs" be worked out a little bit more before I invest in this.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger