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Advice on purchasing entry-mid level MTB bike!

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Advice on purchasing entry-mid level MTB bike!

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Old 02-11-19, 12:24 PM
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breeze14
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Advice on purchasing entry-mid level MTB bike!

I am relatively new to the sport of mountain biking. I have a hybrid Fuji that I started riding off road and was advised that I really need to purchase a mountain bike. I have a background riding motocross/cross country and I would say I am coming into the sport as a beginner-intermediate rider. I am wanting to purchase a bike that will grow with me as I become a better rider and do not want to buy a complete entry level bike to only have to upgrade to a better bike with better suspension, forks, etc. I plan to be riding mostly trails with a mix of downhill and climbs and some rocks/roots obstacles. Im 58 and ~160 lbs and Im thinking of getting a medium frame. I have visited several local bike shops and with that being said I am currently looking at 3 bikes:
1) Liv Tempt 2 (27.5)
2) Specialized Women's Rockhopper Expert (29er)
3) Diamondback Lux 3 (27.5)
Does anyone have experience with any of these bikes/brands and could give me specific feedback about the pros/cons of these? Being new to the sport this is a really tough decision and I appreciate any feedback! Thank you in advance!

Last edited by breeze14; 02-11-19 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 02-11-19, 06:21 PM
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Don't know how big or heavy you are (?), or how vertical your trails are ... The choice of 27.5 vs 29 has to do with what you have to roll over (mostly), and wheel speed vs handling. Just like in the Motocross world where we all rode 21" fronts for ever, then Husky started playing with 23", etc. By the time we got to Motard, we were looking at 19" and 17" wheels, and maybe smaller to turn quicker ... Larger wheels will feel more stable (a bit slower turning w/ a bit more gyro), but if your technical sections are rally tight, you may want smaller ...

Dropper seatposts are pretty much a must, and none of these seem to come with one ... And good ones are good and expensive, so add that to your budget. Same for forks. If you are doing much climbing, you want light forks so alloy and air is good. Since you come from MX, you know how to tune suspension. Oil viscosity, air volume and pressure, dial in compression and rebound so maybe Fox, Manitou Elite, etc. Fork should be 3.25 lbs or less.

Then it all comes down to frame geometry that feels right to you ... I can't answer that. That's all about test rides. All three brands build really nice bikes. But with all the unknowns here (from my perspective) I'd prolly take the Diamondback (and I'm sort of a Specialized fan) ...

The downside is the cost and then thinking about alloy uppers for the forks. You could ride that one with steel uppers for a quite a while before "needing" to loose the grams. By that time you will have settled on what replacement you really want

The Liv is the least expensive (so you have room to upgrade components), but that Suntour fork would not work for me ... So, I'd factor in $300 for a Manitou in about a month and that is not what you indicate you wanna do ...

The Specialized with the 3X drive train might be a turn off ... You can get caught out trying to shift across that front set. The diamondback 1X is more forgiving from where I stand.

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Old 02-11-19, 07:15 PM
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The current trend in trail hard tails is 27.5 Plus or 29er tires, 1x drive train, 68 degree head tube angle, dropper post cable routing available if you want to do that upgrade or included if you get a nicer build. And less trendy and more standard, an air spring / hydraulic damping fork and hydraulic brakes. Diamondback Rely is such a one, basically the same as the men's Mason but with some women's saddle, some shorter components, and available in XS frame size. My daily commuter and trail bike is a Salsa Timberjack, similar. Trek Roscoe and Surly Karate Monkey are also similar. Fuse/Ruze is the Specialized version. You have to wring a bike like this pretty well before you notice the compromises and go shopping for something in the $2000+ range.

Among the choices you present, I like the Lux best. But 27.5 regular-width tires were mostly shown out the door in 2018. None of these is designed to work with a dropper, which is something you will want if you are riding fast downhill or goofing around, rather than covering distance. Definitely not the Giant, it's the bottom of your pile.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:17 PM
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An air fork would be a must have.

Dropper posts are very affordable now and nice to have. Third would be spending money on good rubber, tubeless isn't a huge deal tubes work fine. Drivetrain would be on the bottom of my concerns.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
An air fork would be a must have..
I will second that.
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