Just to give a tiny background, I raced BMX and rode my share of dirt jumps from the time I learned to ride until I was about 18. Now I’m 26 and looking to start biking again but this time mountain biking. I want to visit all the trails in SC GA and NC once I get my skills up. Anyways for my first bike I have roughly a 1500 dollar budget and was wondering if I should just buy a $1500 bike or should I start cheap around the 5or600$ range and upgrade as I get better? I was looking at a 2017 Trek Superfly 5 a 2017 Giant Fathom 1 or the one I’m leaning toward most so far is a 2017 Giant Stance 2. I’m definitly open to any and all suggestions and advice.
From experience I would go with the better, more expensive bike. You don’t have to spend the full $1500 but I wouldn’t get a $500 bike. With the cheap bike and upgrades you’ll have spent the same amount of money but may still have a sub-par bike. $1500 is more than enough for a solid bike. I’m not saying this is the only right answer but from my first bike experience, I wish I would have gone this route.
I’d say buy the nicest bike you can afford right now. The Fathom is a cool looking bike. It’s got a good components package and geometry. I’d steer you away from the Superfly unless you want to race XC. The Stance is a good option as well, as I’m sure Alvin Mullen will chime in shortly to tell you…
There’s always the used route too. Buying a bike that’s 1-2 seasons old can get you a lot more for your $$$.
OK, I will. I started with the base level Stance for $1300, over two years have done about $600 in mods, and really like the bike. I have demoed a bunch of bikes the last year, my favorites being the Trance, and Trance Advance. The Trance at $2300 ($2100 or less if you can fine a 2017) is definitely nicer than the Stance, but the with the mods my Stance is nice enough I can’t bring myself to spend the money to upgrade yet. And I could afford the Trance, money is not my issue. Maybe another year or two I will spring for a better bike.
Since it sounds like you’re going to fully jump into being a mountain biker and have a BMX background, definitely get as much bike as you can! The Marin Hawk Hill won tons of awards for being a $1500 bike and Giant also offers tons of value as well and you can get some 2017s of many brands on closeout now so there should be a lot of choices available if you search around.