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Old 01-21-09, 02:28 AM   #1
Tdi
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About to jump into the FS world, need some suggestions...

Hey Guys,

Been riding on and off road for several years now and am looking to dive into the world of full suspension. I've been riding my Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc for about 2 years now and rode a Giant rincon before that for about 5 years. I think I'm ready to take the plunge into the FS world. The FS thing is very new to me, I ride predominantly single track/XC, no downhill for me here in Florida. I am looking for some suggestions on bikes to look at in the sub $1500 range. I have checked out my LBS for what they have to offer and have seen the Giant Trance X4 at $1399 and they also have stock on '08 Spec. FSRxc Comps for $1250. Other than that, I havnt really seen too much in my price range. As of right now, I'm really leaning towards the Giant only because I had great luck with my last giant, my current Spec. is nice but it just doesnt impress me as much as my old giant did. Looking for suggestions on what other bikes I should look at for my application and price range. I'm lookin for a larger frame as I'm 6'3" with a 33.5" inseam. I'd really prefer a bike with disc brakes as that is what I have become acustomed to. I dont mind building the bike from the ground up, maybe some suggestions for framesets would be good too, although a complete bike would be better. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-21-09, 07:37 AM   #2
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I would go with the Giant. Their Maestro suspension is awesome. I've been demo'ing an anthem X2 for a couple of months now and I've gotta say that it's the best full suspension bike I've ever ridden. Just for comparison I am also riding an 09' Epic expert and Stumpjumper 29'r. It beats them both hands down. All of Giant's bikes share the same suspension properties so that while I haven't ridden the Trance much I can be certain that if the travel is what you want it to be than you won't be disappointed.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:34 AM   #3
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Please allow me to present the dissenting opinion here. If you live in FL, and don’t foresee doing much down hill or all mountain, why go to a FS? Now, please do not take this the wrong way, but for the price range that you specified, you are at the bottom end of decent FS bikes. You will most likely end up with a heavy tankass of a bike with low end components and poor power transfer.

For $1500 you could probably get a nice HT with good components that will be lighter and higher quality. Now, I don’t know your situation and terrain, so take all that with the proverbial grain of salt, but to me, if the trails don’t dictate a FS bike, why deal with the loss of power, weight, and added maintenance costs?



-just me $0.02
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Old 01-21-09, 11:47 AM   #4
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Full Suspension in Florida

In 2009 almost every bike manufacturer is doing some great things. I am currently sponsored by Giant and love my Anthem but in checking out the new 09 bikes I am finding it hard to go wrong. Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, Trek, Fisher, Intense etc.. Are all doing great things. I would not recommend going carbon. The aluminum bikes are only about 1/2 pound more in weight and almost 1/2 the cost.
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Old 01-21-09, 04:09 PM   #5
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Please allow me to present the dissenting opinion here. If you live in FL, and donít foresee doing much down hill or all mountain, why go to a FS?

-just me $0.02
Why would DH or "all mountain" type riding dictate if you're in need of FS or a HT?
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Old 01-21-09, 04:27 PM   #6
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bike with poor power transfer.
Elaborate please.
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Old 01-21-09, 04:27 PM   #7
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Why would DH or "all mountain" type riding dictate if you're in need of FS or a HT?
I don't think that it does. I ride pretty much anything and everything and ride a HT.

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I ride predominantly single track/XC, no downhill for me here in Florida.
I just brought it up because the OP said... wait a minute... I made no sense with that comment. Sorry, that was pre-coffee. Never mind. But I still feel that in his price range that a HT will give more bang for the buck now and later, but like I said, I don't know his specific circumstances, so your, or rather his, milage may vary.
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Old 01-21-09, 04:38 PM   #8
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Elaborate please.
What I was getting to was that on the lower-end FS bikes, the rear suspension usually compresses form the pedal stroke, wasting some of the rider's effort. Instead of that effort going to the ground to propel the bike forward, it is absorbed by the suspension and is wasted. I am probably not explaining well, but I'm sure that some one with some engineering knowledge will come along and do a better job.

I am being general here, I am not up on all of the new tech. I know that Specialized spent a boat load of cash developing their electronic "brain" to lock out the rear suspension on their highend FS bikes.

I went from a HT to a FS and now am back to a HT because I feel that a lighter bike with better power transfer outweighted the benefits of the FS where I ride most of the time, in the tight, twisty, tempermental trails in the north east and New England. But... like I said... your terrain and comfort levels may dictate other wise.
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Old 01-21-09, 05:15 PM   #9
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I am currently sponsored by Giant and love my Anthem but in checking out the new 09 bikes I am finding it hard to go wrong. Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, Trek, Fisher, Intense etc.. Are all doing great things.
Really? Well . . .

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Old 01-21-09, 06:11 PM   #10
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What I was getting to was that on the lower-end FS bikes, the rear suspension usually compresses form the pedal stroke, wasting some of the rider's effort. Instead of that effort going to the ground to propel the bike forward, it is absorbed by the suspension and is wasted. I am probably not explaining well, but I'm sure that some one with some engineering knowledge will come along and do a better job.
When I said elaborate, I meant "elaborate on that ridiculous statement that heavier bikes have less efficient power transfer". Anyone worth half a crap pedals smoothly enough that their suspension doesn't compress noticeably while pedaling unless they're mashing. Even ignoring that fact, most frame builders use the same suspension technology from their low FS frames to high end frames, i.e., spending more doesn't earn efficiency. Yes, cheaper FS bikes aren't worth it, but NOT because of "efficiency".

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I am being general here, I am not up on all of the new tech. I know that Specialized spent a boat load of cash developing their electronic "brain" to lock out the rear suspension on their highend FS bikes.
Oh God.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:04 PM   #11
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+1 on ProFail's comments. Pedal bob isn't really an issue unless your form is bad. Many rear shocks, even at the mid-level range, compensate for pedal-bob pretty well.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:47 PM   #12
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Electronic controlled damping is soooo stone-age. (thmart thock)
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Old 01-22-09, 06:31 PM   #13
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If you were impressed by the Giant rincon, either of the two will blow your socks off.
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Old 01-25-09, 02:57 PM   #14
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I kind of agree with some of what DogBonz is saying. There is reason why there are not many options for full suspension in the <$1500 range. Most of these FS bikes will be heavy with low end components and most serious mountain bikers will not buy them. You are probably better off getting a mid-high end hardtail than a low end FS especially since it sounds ilke you do not need FS in the trails you ride. However, if you really want to go FS that much, you should look into getting a better FS bike at that price range by looking for a used one. Local classifieds, Craigslist or even ebay are a good places to look.
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Old 01-25-09, 03:28 PM   #15
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I kind of agree with some of what DogBonz is saying. There is reason why there are not many options for full suspension in the <$1500 range. Most of these FS bikes will be heavy with low end components and most serious mountain bikers will not buy them. You are probably better off getting a mid-high end hardtail than a low end FS especially since it sounds ilke you do not need FS in the trails you ride. However, if you really want to go FS that much, you should look into getting a better FS bike at that price range by looking for a used one. Local classifieds, Craigslist or even ebay are a good places to look.
I don't ride with serious MTB'ers. They're no fun. I prefer the laid back sort.
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Old 01-25-09, 03:44 PM   #16
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Iron Horse MKIII is spec'd out well for around 1500. Suspension is different (DW link?) but I have heard some good things about it.

(shameless plug from my MKIII thread)
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