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entry level full suspension

Old 01-02-17, 05:10 PM
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bonsai171
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entry level full suspension

Hi,

Is the bike in the link below a decent entry level full suspension bike? I want to get something decent, but don't want to spend $1000 +. Thanks,

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tain-bikes.htm

Dave
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Old 01-02-17, 07:57 PM
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No, not really, a decent FS bike would have minimum of air fork and shock, and should have hydraulic brakes. other wise you would be better off with a HT. The bikes direct 529HT for $399 has the same fork and better brakes. The least expensive decent full suspension I know of is the Giant Stance.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:40 PM
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No, that bike sucks. The frame is a ****ty single-pivot design that will perform poorly. Edit: on second look, it may even be a URT (unified rear triangle) frame.
It isn't about the coil shock -there are really nice cool shocks, aimed at long travel bikes these days though. You could put a nice air shock and that frame would still be crap.

At $1000 you are going to have a hard time finding a decent full suspension if you are buying new. I don't know that there are any, to be honest. Depending on where you live you may find a decent used one.

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Old 01-02-17, 10:44 PM
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The cheapest full suspension is a hardtail with an air-sprung fork like a Giant Fathom for around/under $1000 and your own legs keeping your butt off the saddle. Your bent legs along with an air fork will absorb all the bumps you'll encounter unless your boosting air off big jumps. Another benefit of a HT is you'll learn essential bike handling skills that a full-sus will mask.
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Old 01-02-17, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
The cheapest full suspension is a hardtail with an air-sprung fork like a Giant Fathom for around/under $1000 and your own legs keeping your butt off the saddle. Your bent legs along with an air fork will absorb all the bumps you'll encounter unless your boosting air off big jumps. Another benefit of a HT is you'll learn essential bike handling skills that a full-sus will mask.
Yeah, no. All the bent legs in the world will not improve traction in a corner or a climb like suspension does. And it won't allow you to pedal over roots. The idea that you can replicate the effect of suspension with your legs is nonsense.
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Old 01-02-17, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
Yeah, no. All the bent legs in the world will not improve traction in a corner or a climb like suspension does. And it won't allow you to pedal over roots. The idea that you can replicate the effect of suspension with your legs is nonsense.
For the lousy f/s he'd get for $1000, yes--it would. I should've made that clearer.
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Old 01-03-17, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Hi,

Is the bike in the link below a decent entry level full suspension bike? I want to get something decent, but don't want to spend $1000 +. Thanks,

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tain-bikes.htm

Dave
Lotta snot in the comments to this. ENTRY-LEVEL, HELLO!

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...729-x4-xvi.htm

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s-fsx-2750.htm

Both of these are monoshock rear suspension, simple and reliable. I can personally attest to the 'decent' quality of the Gravity FSX.

Either would be a good way to get acquainted with off-road riding; LATER, if you decide you want to immerse yourself, a Giant, Jamis, even a Specialized will set you up well.
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Old 01-03-17, 12:39 AM
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I always thought entry level full suspension was when you are a newbie and screw up so badly you're banned with a few posts...not so funny it's happened a lot lately...


The member knows what they want and probably can find it, I suggest studying well and searching for a good quality used wet noodle locally. Used wet noodles in good condition are hard to find I would think.


I think that if they were to look to Bike Forums the chicken and stock would be included at no extra charge.
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Old 01-03-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Currmudge View Post
Lotta snot in the comments to this. ENTRY-LEVEL, HELLO!

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...729-x4-xvi.htm

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s-fsx-2750.htm

Both of these are monoshock rear suspension, simple and reliable. I can personally attest to the 'decent' quality of the Gravity FSX.

Either would be a good way to get acquainted with off-road riding; LATER, if you decide you want to immerse yourself, a Giant, Jamis, even a Specialized will set you up well.

Again NO,, one would be better off with an HT than either of those. The suspension linkage and shocks are not very good and will do little to improve traction and ride quality, and add a lot of weight over an HT. If you are going to add weight, it needs to have quality functionality.

Still, the cheapest FS bike I know of is the Giant Stance. If you look around you may find a new left over 2016 Stance for under $1000. Other wise get a good HT.
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Old 01-03-17, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Currmudge View Post
Lotta snot in the comments to this. ENTRY-LEVEL, HELLO!

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...729-x4-xvi.htm

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s-fsx-2750.htm

Both of these are monoshock rear suspension, simple and reliable. I can personally attest to the 'decent' quality of the Gravity FSX.

Either would be a good way to get acquainted with off-road riding; LATER, if you decide you want to immerse yourself, a Giant, Jamis, even a Specialized will set you up well.
Those two are still crap. I don't know what you are trying to say by "monoshock" since all bikes are monoshock (OK, there were a few Karpiels and someone else that did dual shock frames in the 90s. We don't talk about that) If you mean "single pivot" then yes, they are. With single pivot frames; pivot placement is key.

And on those you linked, with the pivot placed well above the big ring you are in for pedal kickback.
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Old 01-03-17, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
And on those you linked, with the pivot placed well above the big ring you are in for pedal kickback.
Interesting info. Is that a universal rule of thumb?


OP, if you haven't figured it out, no one is really a fan of your choice.

If $1000 is your limit, I would look at used. And open up to hardtail unless you have some sort of back injury or something that would really be best served with a full suspension. HTs are a lot of fun, too.
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Old 01-03-17, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikernator View Post
Interesting info. Is that a universal rule of thumb?


OP, if you haven't figured it out, no one is really a fan of your choice.

If $1000 is your limit, I would look at used. And open up to hardtail unless you have some sort of back injury or something that would really be best served with a full suspension. HTs are a lot of fun, too.
Yes, the higher the pivot the more anti-squat. But also the more the suspension will stiffen and the more pedal kickback. There is a reason the decent single pivot bikes (Superlight, Orange 5) settled with the pivot where they did- between the big and middle ring mostly.
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Old 01-03-17, 03:59 PM
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dual suspension

Originally Posted by Bikernator View Post
Interesting info. Is that a universal rule of thumb?


OP, if you haven't figured it out, no one is really a fan of your choice.

If $1000 is your limit, I would look at used. And open up to hardtail unless you have some sort of back injury or something that would really be best served with a full suspension. HTs are a lot of fun, too.
Lol yes, i kinda figured that one would get trashed, just wanted to get a second opinion. To give an idea of where i'm at-used to have a Trek 4500 disc bike that got stolen (mechanical disc, with Rockshox judy and deore rear derailleur). That one never got found by the cops, and since then, I found a specialized on the curb that needed a lot of work. It's all fixed up now, but no suspension at all.. I like to ride fast, and having the fixed fork beats me up sometimes. (Don't remember that ever happening with the Trek).

A bunch of people have suggested hardtail (I would love to have that Trek back!) just don't know how it would do with my current situation.. Been having some pain in my back/hips sporadically (went to pt for that a few years ago) and thought maybe full suspension would be good (though I would actually prefer the hardtail for less weight!).

On a side note, the Rockshox judy fork was spring-loaded, but didn't have a lockout or rebound, which made the fork kinda bouncy at times (fyi that model was around 2005). The Trek was around $600, what happened to Rockshox in that price range? I don't see them on any bikes less than $800 or so. Would it be better to wait and get a bike with Rockshox? I've read a lot about how crappy suntour can be :-p

Dave
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Old 01-03-17, 04:44 PM
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@bonsai171 - Locate a decent 26" full suspension bike used

$400 should get a good rig - then figure $300 to service the suspension and replace consumables and you should be GTG

This is one place the miserable re-sell value of 26'ers would serve you well, as its a buyers market
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Old 01-03-17, 09:08 PM
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26ers

Hi,

I hadn't thought of 26ers.. Got one now, though i'm trying to stay away from them since the industry is going with 29ers and 27.5. Is the ride quality different on a 26 vs 27.5 vs. 29er? As a side note, i've worked on bikes a lot (built up 2 or 3 from scratch except cutting the fork) so wrenching is not a problem. Thanks,

Dave
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Old 01-04-17, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Hi,

I hadn't thought of 26ers.. Got one now, though i'm trying to stay away from them since the industry is going with 29ers and 27.5. Is the ride quality different on a 26 vs 27.5 vs. 29er?

Dave
I'm interested in the answer to this as well. Just went on my first mtn bike ride.....and wouldn't you know I'm looking at mtn bikes on the web..
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Old 01-09-17, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Hi,

I hadn't thought of 26ers.. Got one now, though i'm trying to stay away from them since the industry is going with 29ers and 27.5. Is the ride quality different on a 26 vs 27.5 vs. 29er? As a side note, i've worked on bikes a lot (built up 2 or 3 from scratch except cutting the fork) so wrenching is not a problem. Thanks,

Dave
26" was the wheel standard from the dawn of mountain biking to 2013 , - so lets say thats 1980 -2013, or 33 years

The industry is moving away from 26" on NEW bikes, but everything else will still be widely available and serviceable for another generation or 3

Regarding re-sale though, - and just using a buddy as an example - he just sold a Titus Racer X Hammerhead edition for $550. Chris King hubs and headset, thomson cockpit bits, Magura brakes, Sram X-o . I didnt think the price would ever, ever - drop that low. Bike had Fox suspension (Fox stands behind their older equipment a bit better than RockShox )

You will not find a new bike to mimic this machine's quality for less than $4000 - regarding performance? Yes, 29" wheels are faster (27.5" wheels in the price points you are looking at are not)

"Old geometry" vs "new geometry" -- the same trails were being ridden a decade ago on 26" bikes with 71 and 72 degree head angles that are being ridden by 29'ers with 66 degree head angles today

My buddy's bike is an out-lier and its a worse case scenario. He was trying to sell an exotic bike in Kansas- but there are a lot of great bikes out there that would be ready for more fun with a little work that would give you more value than a new bike that has 29" wheels, but other than that - is a piece o' crap.

That bike was ready to go with a change of tires, - but i recommend new tires on almost any used bike. Worst case scenario, if you hypothetically scored a bike like that for $600 but was a total roach--- you could still install new tires, have the wheels trued, replace shifter cables and grips plus service the brakes and pads, and re-build the suspension and still slide in under $1100
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Old 01-09-17, 10:35 AM
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I'm hesitant to recommend a used full suspension, unless you're a really confident mechanic. A lightly used 6-7 year old full suspension bike is going to need a fork & shock rebuild, pivot service/replacement.

I recently did a full over-haul on my bike. Doing most of the labor myself, I still spent ~$300 in parts. Paying a shop for an overhaul you could easily run $500+.
Here are the costs:
Fork service (Fox) $150+$30 (shipping 1 way)
Shock service (parts only) $25 (Fox Float)
Pivot service $50 (bearings only) + $50 bearing presses [The full rebuild kit was $150 if any pivots are damaged/siezed]. The LBS quoted $300+parts for the pivot service, and after doing it, I'm not surprised. Getting everything fully disassembled and put back together was a major pain.
New Bottom Bracket -- $30

When evaluating used full suspension bikes, if it squeaks or creaks, walk away immediately. When it creaks, it's because a pivot has seized somewhere. Don't waste your time trying to negotiate, the seller will never subtract off the $200 that it will likely cost you to fix. Any moderately intelligent seller will just wait for a less observant buyer.

Last edited by gsa103; 01-09-17 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-10-17, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
I want to get something decent, but don't want to spend $1000 +.
"Decent" and "$1,000" can't be used in the same sentence when referring to FS bikes.

This is the closest your going to get decent for a FS bike around $1000

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/stance-2
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Old 01-10-17, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
"Decent" and "$1,000" can't be used in the same sentence when referring to FS bikes.

This is the closest your going to get decent for a FS bike around $1000

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/stance-2

That's what I said!!! and I have one. Very happy with it, I want better, but hard to beat for the price.
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Old 01-10-17, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by hig4s View Post
That's what I said!!! and I have one. Very happy with it, I want better, but hard to beat for the price.

I just checked it out -- I agree ---

In my not so humble opinion , i'd rather save my lunch money for a few more weeks and buy that Giant, than mess around with a Bikes Direct machine

(still like my idea of re-habbing a decent boutique grade 26'er best, --- but that's not my call ---- having the suspension re-built on a Fox equipped bicycle is not really that big of a chore -- Rock Shox all bets are off though )
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Old 01-11-17, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
(still like my idea of re-habbing a decent boutique grade 26'er best, --- but that's not my call ---- having the suspension re-built on a Fox equipped bicycle is not really that big of a chore -- Rock Shox all bets are off though )
Fox rear shocks are very easy to rehab, the forks can be much worse. New-ish Rock Shox forks are very easy to rebuild, you can find documentation online.

As for BikesDirect, this is basically the cheapest legitimate FS bike you're going to find:
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tain-bikes.htm

Depending on your local sales tax, a discounted Stance may only be a little more and comes with LBS support.
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Old 01-12-17, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
I'm hesitant to recommend a used full suspension, unless you're a really confident mechanic. A lightly used 6-7 year old full suspension bike is going to need a fork & shock rebuild, pivot service/replacement.

I recently did a full over-haul on my bike. Doing most of the labor myself, I still spent ~$300 in parts. Paying a shop for an overhaul you could easily run $500+.
Here are the costs:
Fork service (Fox) $150+$30 (shipping 1 way)
Shock service (parts only) $25 (Fox Float)
Pivot service $50 (bearings only) + $50 bearing presses [The full rebuild kit was $150 if any pivots are damaged/siezed]. The LBS quoted $300+parts for the pivot service, and after doing it, I'm not surprised. Getting everything fully disassembled and put back together was a major pain.
New Bottom Bracket -- $30

When evaluating used full suspension bikes, if it squeaks or creaks, walk away immediately. When it creaks, it's because a pivot has seized somewhere. Don't waste your time trying to negotiate, the seller will never subtract off the $200 that it will likely cost you to fix. Any moderately intelligent seller will just wait for a less observant buyer.
Thanks for the detailed breakdown! Most likely I will be saving my pennies and go for something like the Giant Stance, or a really nice hardtail with an air fork. Got me looking at what's involved in servicing pivots- the bushing ones look pretty easy, pressed bearing is harder but do-able, though forks look a little scary to me lol. Are bearing pivots standard sizes? One thing i learned from building a road bike (with a frame from performance bike) is that headsets aren't..

Dave
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Old 01-12-17, 12:39 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Are bearing pivots standard sizes?
Most are some variety of standard size. The problem is that there are about 1000 different standard sizes.
On my Yeti there were 6x "398 2RS double row" and 2x 6903 (main pivot). The 6903 is common, the 398 is not, so it was cheaper to just buy the full kit from Yeti than source individual bearings.

Enduro bearings are ~$5 ea, which doesn't sound like a lot, but many FS bikes need ~8-10 bearings.

I could have probably saved ~10% by going a little cheaper on some of the rebuild parts (I used a Saint BB rather than Deore for example). But the Yeti was a high-end build, so I wanted to get top quality parts.

I was able to find service manuals for all the components on-line, so you can see what you getting into. I went with Fox service for the fork simply because it's a Float 36, and the service is a nightmare. Fox also replaced the worn bushing at no extra charge, which is definitely beyond a normal service/rebuild.

Last edited by gsa103; 01-12-17 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-12-17, 01:58 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Fox rear shocks are very easy to rehab, the forks can be much worse. New-ish Rock Shox forks are very easy to rebuild, you can find documentation online.

As for BikesDirect, this is basically the cheapest legitimate FS bike you're going to find:
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tain-bikes.htm

Depending on your local sales tax, a discounted Stance may only be a little more and comes with LBS support.
The Radian fork and shock are air, pretty decent. I personally may saved the few dollars and bought that Motobecane FS instead of my Stance if it had been available in 2015, because we have a bikesdirect LBS in Jacksonville FL so you can see them, test ride them and get local support on bikesdirect brands. I bought my son an entry level Hydraulic disc brake Motobecane HT529 ($399). But there is no way I will spend over a $1000 on any bike I cannot test ride.

That being said, as cheap as I am, I plan on buying a Giant Trance 2 next month.
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