MTB recommendations

Angelo1

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Jul 29, 2013
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To my avid riders out there, I could use some help. It’s been 20yrs since my XC racing days and have been road cycling the last 10yrs. Now I’d like to get back into it(not racing ) and a lot has changed.

I want a bike that is great at climbing and rip thorough a bike park as well. Nothing extreme but can hold a good line without much fuss and bobbing. My goals are to have fun without trying to kill myself. Not going for KOM’s. I am pretty clueless on what is a great bike these days as so much has changed. I don’t plan on riding super long distances. My goals are 10-25mi. with my limited time. I have a couple nice dh parks within 8-15mins from my home and will frequent those often. Again, not going to do anything Youtube worthy. Some days I’ll just ride a nice long single track mountain trail with my dog. Thanks for help.

What I am considering so far:
-StumperJumper expert
-StumpjumperEVO pro
-Trek Top fuel or fuel ex of some sort
-Ibis Ripmo V2 XT
-Ibis Ripley GX Eagle
-Yeti SB130c2 gx
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
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907
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NomadUSA
yup, you're looking for a modern day Enduro platform. pinkbike.com is a good source for info. and depending on your budget , plenty of less expensive .. "less expensive" older High End bikes available
 

Angelo1

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Jul 29, 2013
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yup, you're looking for a modern day Enduro platform. pinkbike.com is a good source for info. and depending on your budget , plenty of less expensive .. "less expensive" older High End bikes available
I just found that website. The used bike sites are on fire. Nothing in my area that fits the bill unfortunately. Just ordered a Ibis Ripmo V2. I’ll get it in February 🙄 or January if I’m lucky. The lessor priced bikes have even longer waits.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
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Alaska
For what you want and where you live stay out of the enduro category and in Trail bike category. 120-150 travel. More then that will be overkill, over heavy, and over slow. There are so many good bikes in this category right now it will come down to geometry and what fits you and feels best. Also favor whatever local shop will give you the best support. Also as I’m sure you are aware bikes are on ultra shortage. I ordered Brakes, a fork, cassette, chain through my Pro rep in Feb and I’m still waiting…. If you find a bike you like buy it on spot.

to your list I’d add: giant trance, salsa rustler/horse thief, Kona process, intense primer, Santa cruise 5010/tallboy.

here in AK we each own one bike and ride everything from hard core park/DH at Alyeska and Whistler, long back country multi day single track, local flow and tech trails, enduro races, with bob trailers for hunting/fishing. I ride a Kona process 134, before that I had a s works demo and s works stumpy. The Kona is a do it all, I’ve upgraded the suspension and brakes to handle true DH. My son rides a giant trance x, before that he had a transition scout, before that a trek fuel. He says the trek pedaled a little better, the transition descended a little better but in races he is much faster on the giant and it’s suspension is smooth and efficient. I’d ride a trance X but to me it’s geometry just dosn't feel right. Last summer my daughter was due a bike. She was on a Furtado (Santa cruise 5010) and demoed a bunch of bikes in Whistler summer 2019 and had it down to an Evil calling or yeti sb130. Last summer couldn’t get anything and out local shop got in a small salsa rustler. She loves it and absolutely rips on it. I’m strongly considering a new split pivot salsa as my next bike. My wife rides a trance and road a stumpy before that.

I’m a former pro rider (long time ago) and have been riding MTB for going on 40 years. I do all my own work, I buy from my LBS and These days I tend to keep bikes 7-10 years and upgrade as parts wear/fail or as I see need.
 
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Here is a good quick read on enduro vs trial.
 
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You’ll love the Ibis. I was going to go with Yeti but got lucky and found a Spur on Pinkbike for sale. Tried one message of negotiations and then caved and paid full price
 
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I think it’s awesome ibis is doing Aluminum versions (AF). I greatly prefer Al to carbon for my full suspension bikes. If they make a Mojo HD5 in an AF version id have a hard time not buying a frame to build up
 
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I think it’s awesome ibis is doing Aluminum versions (AF). I greatly prefer Al to carbon for my full suspension bikes. If they make a Mojo HD5 in an AF version id have a hard time not buying a frame to build up
as a guy who’s also fairly new into the mtb scene again i’m wondering why you prefer the aluminum frame over carbon? im looking for a nice mid range full suspension trail bike. i don’t need to go enduro for the type of riding i do but a full suspension is definitely in the cards. i rode my brother in laws norco fluid which was ok but not quite what i’m looking for. i really need to go ride a few bikes to get a feel as i’ve never ridden full suspension. i’m curious after a bunch of reading about the canyon spectral 7 but can’t ride it before purchase which worries me a bit. anyway. just more curious as to opinions from seasoned riders
 
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as a guy who’s also fairly new into the mtb scene again i’m wondering why you prefer the aluminum frame over carbon? im looking for a nice mid range full suspension trail bike. i don’t need to go enduro for the type of riding i do but a full suspension is definitely in the cards. i rode my brother in laws norco fluid which was ok but not quite what i’m looking for. i really need to go ride a few bikes to get a feel as i’ve never ridden full suspension. i’m curious after a bunch of reading about the canyon spectral 7 but can’t ride it before purchase which worries me a bit. anyway. just more curious as to opinions from seasoned riders
The two main things carbon fames have going for them is vibration dampening and weight. Neither are important in a FS mountain bike (outside of elite XC racing). Weight: 1/2 a pound makes a difference when you are talking a 17 lb road bike but not a 30+ lb mountain bike. Vibration dampening: with FS get dampening from the suspension so don’t need it from the frame meterial.

Now for the advantages of AL. Cheaper, $1000-$1500 can be better spent on better components that will make a difference. When I got my daughters salsa Rustler SLX it was $1600 more for the carbon SLX build. First thing took off and sold the crank, BB, brakes, stem, bars, and fork. Upgraded to a pike ultimate fork, RF atlas crank/BB, XT 4 piston front and 2 piston rear brakes, and renthal bars and stem. Way better bike and even with the upgrades we’re still in for $400 less then the carbon frame.

Durability. Carbon has gotten better but the fact still is that carbon slices/ breaks easier then aluminum dents/cracks.

Just my 0.02.
 
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thanks. but now most bikes that have the component set i want only come with carbon frame. the aluminum versions come with lesser parts. i may have to look at just building the bike i want instead of off the shelf purchase. i like your logic on the above post!
 
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Dec 2, 2004
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I have Ibis Ripley AF shimano Deore. I went for the alum frame for the lower price and damage resilience. And I like shimano. I am in my 50's and wanted a bike that could climb (even at 32 pounds) and soak up some bumps. A trail bike in other words. I like it. It is probably over matched for a downhill park
 
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I'll probably get flamed for this but people are constantly "upgrading" the wrong parts that don't actually end up being upgrades.
Frame, wheels, and suspension is where the money should go. Use whatever is left of your budget on everything else. A poorly setup bike, whether it be suspension or fit, will make even the finest of bikes ride like crap.
 
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Pretty hard to beat the Ibis AF bikes in bang for buck.

If you plan on pedaling mostly, the Ripley is probably the better choice, although they descend really well too.
Gonna ride lifts and do shuttles more? The Ripmo has a bit more tire and squish for that, yet climbs like a goat.
I went Ripmo, and have not regretted it once.
 
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I'll probably get flamed for this but people are constantly "upgrading" the wrong parts that don't actually end up being upgrades.
Frame, wheels, and suspension is where the money should go. Use whatever is left of your budget on everything else. A poorly setup bike, whether it be suspension or fit, will make even the finest of bikes ride like crap.
I’d disagree with a frame upgrade. If the frame geometry fits and the specs (travel, angles,…) fit your needs not anything you can really upgrade on a frame.

I agree fit is crucial. Which is why it is hard to say whatever bike is the best and at least riding one in a parking lot is key. This is why I changed the crank (to go to a 165 from 170), bars and stem (shorter stem, +20 rise bar) first thing with the Salsa build I mentioned above.

I’ll add brakes if you do any significant downhill. Most off the rack bikes come with sub standard brakes.

Wheel upgrades are hit or miss with MTB. See my argument above that weight dosn’t matter on a MTB. I usually wait until I trash a rim or hub.

For wheels when you need them I’ve done 3 sets of Lightbike. First set I purchased their rims and built my own. Last 2 sets I ordered from them built. They are top notch, I highly recommend them.

 
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I’d disagree with a frame upgrade. If the frame geometry fits and the specs (travel, angles,…) fit your needs not anything you can really upgrade on a frame.

I agree fit is crucial. Which is why it is hard to say whatever bike is the best and at least riding one in a parking lot is key. This is why I changed the crank (to go to a 165 from 170), bars and stem (shorter stem, +20 rise bar) first thing with the Salsa build I mentioned above.

I’ll add brakes if you do any significant downhill. Most off the rack bikes come with sub standard brakes.

Wheel upgrades are hit or miss with MTB. See my argument above that weight dosn’t matter on a MTB. I usually wait until I trash a rim or hub.

For wheels when you need them I’ve done 3 sets of Lightbike. First set I purchased their rims and built my own. Last 2 sets I ordered from them built. They are top notch, I highly recommend them.


Frame: You're right that you can't really upgrade anything on the frame after you have one that works for you. But for me, there's a significant difference between carbon and aluminum. The last aluminum frame I've owned was a Santa Cruz Nickel. Great fit and geometry for the time but it definitely wasn't stiff enough for my 175lbs. By the time you get an aluminum frame to the same rigidity of a carbon equivalent, it's too heavy for my tastes. The issue with carbon is as @coleAK mentioned, it's not as durable to outside damage. It's definitely stronger than aluminum, but it won't handle rock strikes like a metal frame. However, I've taken a metal bat to a scraped SC frame I have and it's quite impressive on what it will take. Sharp objects are its kryptonite.

Fit / stem / crank: Changing those parts for fit is crucial to the ride quality / enjoyment. Changing those parts as upgrades, as a lot of people do, is just for bling.

Brakes: These can be a worthy upgrade, but are mostly personal preference. Going from 2 pot to 4 pot may or may not be an upgrade depending on what, where, and how you ride. I prefer Shimano brakes and I love the 4 pot brakes on my squishy bike. But since I ride my single speed differently, the XTR Race brakes are a perfect fit. They don't have the on/off feel of the servo wave and work great for what I do. I do have to question the "upgrade" people do to go from Deore 4 pot to XT 4 pot brakes. I've ridden both, and it's not a performance upgrade.

Wheels: 100% agree with the Light Bicycle stuff. I started riding wide (30mm inner) carbon rims in 2013 with some Nextie's. Oh my, was that a game changer. Watch the PB Friday Fails videos and watch for the endo crashes. You can easily see the front rims flex and spring back, almost making it harder to recover. No scientific data to back that up but watching the research videos is entertaining.

Weight: This one I feel is worthy. It's right up there with "this 6 inch travel bike pedals like a 3 inch travel race bike". No, no it doesn't. It may feel a lot more efficient than 6 inch travel bikes of 5 years ago, but it's not the same. The efficiency that comes from a stiff lightweight bike can't be duplicated any other way. Dropping 2 pounds of wheel weight will drastically change the way a bike rides. And when going on a 4 plus hour ride, a 25 pound bike is less fatiguing than a 30 pound one. If I'm not riding big drops or super chunky trails, I can ride longer and feel better afterwards by taking my singlespeed. That's comparing a 28 pound SC 5010 with Push suspension to a 21.5 pound titanium singlespeed hardtail. I will say that my previous SS was carbon and weighed in at 19.5 pounds. I prefer my Ti one. So there is some flexibility there in when some added weight is acceptable.

This is just my opinion. Not meant to be argumentative or discount other peoples preferences. I just feel that most upgrades people do are personal upgrades that don't actually produce a better bike or ride, it's just something they want.
 

Eicca

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Apr 26, 2009
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Utah
Check out a Fezzari Delano Peak. I imagine their wait times are a bit long right now, but I absolutely love mine. It fits incredibly well, rides like a dream and the prices are unbeatable for the spec.
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
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Sounds like tou know the bike you want so while I build (and STILL stalled my Nomad 4 build :p ) - If you know the bikes that fit, grab the brand that the geometry stays generally the same with.

For example - Santa Cruz & real old GT frames fit me great. I can blind buy a frame or complete bike & bet it’s going to ride as I expect.

Pinkbike is GREAT & esp after FedEx gets done smashing Christmas boxes, it’s never been over $100 to ship & I sent one to New Hampshire. From Washington state.

$20 Fanatik broke it down & re-used a new bike box to ship it - well worth the $$.

GL!
 

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