I’m new to mountain biking (but with a competitive bmx background), and am looking to buy an all mountain bike, but unfortunately I’m stuck with a budget. Any recommendations for a bike up to $1500? Much appreciated
You could get a nice fully rigid fat bike for 1500. It is a divisive subject in these forums and it seems to be love it or hate it. I love mine and ride it year round in the Midwest. You should at least test ride one.
I bought a Hawk Hill last year and absolutely love riding on it. My last bike was a Giant hardtail and I am amazed at how much more the Hawk Hill lets me get away with on all kinds of trails. It’s stable but very playful and is very forgiving of my questionable line choices. Media reviews have all been very good as well.
Kinda like Miata is always the answer for the budget-conscious auto enthusiast, a Kona Honzo holds a similar spot in the trail/AM mountain bike world. The one linked is the lowest cost one of the bunch and with spare change you’ll have, score a dropper post then ride the thing like a lunatic. That said, the ultimate score IMHO, would be a used steel Honzo. I am biased as that is exactly what I scored this winter, but the thing shreds and I paid less than a grand for it. Here are a few decent ones that could work:
Look to the UK. Ragley, Whyte and Nukeproof all have bikes that are equippped nicely right around that budget. I wanted a Nukeproof but could not find my size when I bought and ended up on Whyte 905. No regret. Keep in mind that geometry that you love downhill means you need more technique to get uphill. Fair trade in my opinion, but it’s something to consider.