July 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm #220610
I am maxing out my XC oriented $600 range bike every time I ride. It doesn’t like to jump, or turn quick, or ride aggressively, or do anything great except for efficient power delivery. Not my style of riding.
My budget is only around $1000 range…. I know… but I’m a college student so that is all I can swing.
My question is: should I buy a beefy used older bike off of pink bike that would be 2010-2013ish, or go with maybe the hardestcore hardtail I can find for the price range (I’m thinking the Raleigh Tokul 3).
Any feed back is appreciated!July 13, 2017 at 12:01 am #220617
Hi! Tough choice. With new trail-oriented hardtail you gonna feel a difference but, in my opinion, very soon will start looking into full suspension. I’d rather shop around and find good used full susser.
My 2011 stumpjumper besides scrapes from trail use is in good condition and ready for more fun. Sure it’s not shiny anymore, doesn’t have Boost hub, 1×11 drivetrain or other modern technologies but it gets the job done.July 13, 2017 at 5:07 am #220622
If I were you, I’d be careful buying used. It is always somewhat of a risk, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. I realize some people find killer deals, but at this price range I’m not sure the savings are worth it. But more than that, a 2010 full sus will, even in the best of cases, probably have some dated geometry and tech. Not that you can’t still have fun with it- I still ride my ’99 stumpjumper full sus once a year and have a blast on it, but it’s nothing like my modern all-mountain rig.
My Suggestion would be something like this: https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-ht-am-origin-650b-yellow-2017-c2x21027596. The slack geometry will really let you shred, and 140mm up front will do a lot. Components won’t be great, but they’ll be in perfectly fine working order, and you won’t have to waste money or time replacing parts right away.
Just my 2cents.July 13, 2017 at 6:38 am #220623
I agree with stumpyfsr. Hardtails are great but full squish is where it’s at. The Giant Stance 2 is a little over your budget at $1365, but this time of year you should be able to find one at a discount due to new model year bikes coming out. My local shop has them for right around $1200 right now. A few friends of mine have them and they’ve been great. If you can scrape together a couple extra hundo, I think you’d be really happy with it.July 13, 2017 at 7:55 am #220624
A decent hard tail (especially a steel one) will always blow away a inexpensive full suspension. I recommend you avoid new or used full-suspension bikes in your price range. Lower cost full suspension bikes will not handle the beating you intend to levy on them. This is particularly true of the Giant Stance.
On the contrary, steel hard tails ride exceptionally well and can last a lifetime. You can safely buy one of those used and upgrade as needed. Here’s a great example, Marin Pine Mountain. Get it for under a grand and then throw a suspension fork on it. There are many similar possibilities out there.July 13, 2017 at 9:29 am #220637
Can you expand on the lower cost full-sus bikes, particularly the stance, not handling the beating of everyday riding? I haven’t been riding for very long but even the lower cost bikes I’ve owned/ridden and that friends ride (including low end hardtails) hold up to regular abuse just fine.July 13, 2017 at 10:33 am #220658
@PaulJ110: “Can you expand on the lower cost full-sus bikes, particularly the stance, not handling the beating of everyday riding?”
Sure, “everyday riding” as a bike like the Stance is designed for meaning cross country and light trail riding are perfectly fine, but…
…per the OP,
@29’erTimer: “It doesn’t like to jump, or turn quick, or ride aggressively, or do anything great except for efficient power delivery. Not my style of riding.”
That isn’t what he wants to do. Year after year, I’ve seen countless riders pushing bikes way beyond what they were designed for. This happens most commonly with lower cost full suspension bikes and very expensive ultra light weight bikes. Both will often will impart a feeling of invincibility to the rider because they ride/handle so well. As such XC/light trail bikes and super light XC bikes will be taken through harsh rock gardens, off jumps, etc. that they weren’t meant to handle. I’ve seen plenty of broken Stances; sure Giant has a warranty, but I’d rather ride than futz around with RA numbers. Maybe it’s not a big deal to those at the upper end with deep pockets, but def a drag if you’ve spent a hunk of cash and now you aren’t riding due to maintenance issues (very common on low end full suspension) or something roached out.
Do not underestimate the value, practicality and versatility of a strong hard tail. Steel ones with modern trail geometry in particular are pretty much bulletproof and will allow you to tackle pretty much anything you’ve the strength for and make you a better rider in the process.July 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm #220709
There are ALOT in that range in hardtails. I like my GT Pantera Expert. Work the sales guys for a few hundred off. I like the 27.5 plus bikes.July 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm #220710
I agree 110% with Dr Sweets! Great adviseJuly 13, 2017 at 8:10 pm #220731
@ericshell: “I agree 110% with Dr Sweets! Great advise”
You obviously are deranged and should seek immediate psychiatric attention. There’s some advice for you whilst you clamp your junk in a (d)vise.July 14, 2017 at 7:00 am #220741
When I had maxed out my 600 dollar hardtails ability I decided it was time to upgrade as well. I looked at a lot of entry level full suspension bikes by GT, Giant, Specialized, etc. The price for what I was getting vs. what components it was outfitted with and the weight of the bike didn’t seem to be a huge upgrade. So I took my money and put into upgrading my hardtail. I took my 1000+ dollars and completely rebuilt it from the ground up. Not one thing besides the frame is original to the bike. I have made a few tweaks in the last few years to the original rebuild like going to a 1×10 drive train, which I have loved, but in the end I felt like I ended up with a really good bike.July 14, 2017 at 7:51 am #220745
There’s a difference between entry level full-suspension which you can buy new for around $1500 and more advanced full-susser that lost more then 50% of its price after 4-5 years of use but still is a good ride and up for sale for about the same amount. I’m talking about bikes that are in GOOD working condition and up for sale only because its owner decided to buy a newer bike. Not those beat up rigs that need overhaul right away. Sure, it’s a gamble to buy used. Still it’s an option worth trying.
No matter how good your hardtail is, your joints will be happier at the end of the day if you rode full suspension. I like riding my hardtail, I took it to trails like Bootleg Canyon but still prefer to have a rear shock for such aggressive rides.July 14, 2017 at 9:28 pm #220800
$1000 is pretty limiting for a use full suspension. Here’s a thought. If possible, ask mom and dad to go in with you as your Christmas present or birthday present. Each year I buy each of my sons a nice piece of gear (mtb, rock climbing or camping) and make it both Christmas and birthday. That way I can add on quite a bit. They love it. If your folks could add on some, maybe you could get a little better used full suspension. I have bought four now with zero regrets.July 16, 2017 at 9:57 am #220812
I’ve been stalking the $1,000 to $3,000 market over the last like 6 weeks or so, and I’ve learned a few things that might help you out:
1. 27.5+ and 27.5 and even 29 and fat full sus bikes are getting a premium right now, so you can probably snap up a classic 26″ with newer suspension tech & geometry for relatively cheap.
2. Check with your local bike stores for used demos in 26″. They’re probably having a bit of trouble moving some of the lower-end 26’s that are still rock solid and well-maintained. You minimize the uncertainty of buying a used bike a bit if you buy one that you *know* was maintained by a shop.
3. Check out the Marin Hawk Hill Full Suspension bike. It’s got solid components, updated geometry & suspension tech, but it doesn’t have super-expensive anything on it (which means it’ll be a bit heavier). Retails for $1499, so you can beg, borrow or steal $500, you can get a brand new, solid FS mountain bike that’ll let YOU be the limiting factor, not the bike.
4. We have 2 killer facebook groups here in Colorado that people use to sell used bikes. Colorado Velo Swap & Colorado Bike Swap (yeah, totally redundant, but there it is.). It’s not as bad as craigslist or pinkbike, because people have a facebook rep to maintain and, in general, people know what their bikes are worth and the details about them. I’ve seen a few wicked deals on $1,000 level bikes on there for people who need to sell quickly, bought the wrong size, etc.
Hope that helps. Let us know how it shakes out.July 17, 2017 at 9:21 am #220834
@TheProletariat: “1. 27.5+ and 27.5 and even 29 and fat full sus bikes are getting a premium right now, so you can probably snap up a classic 26? with newer suspension tech & geometry for relatively cheap.”
Uh…where? There are vitually zero new full suspension 26″ compatible bikes available. The only company that makes such a thing is Banshee and you will not find those within the price range mentioned. Banshee’s kick ass, but certainly no leftovers. Transition still did the Suppressor last year, but good luck finding one of those.
@TheProletariat: “2. Check with your local bike stores for used demos in 26?. They’re probably having a bit of trouble moving some of the lower-end 26’s that are still rock solid and well-maintained. You minimize the uncertainty of buying a used bike a bit if you buy one that you *know* was maintained by a shop.”
Again…where? They are none around the Atlanta area. The 26 stuff is long gone. Maybe out your way.
@TheProletariat: “3. Check out the Marin Hawk Hill Full Suspension bike. It’s got solid components, updated geometry & suspension tech, but it doesn’t have super-expensive anything on it (which means it’ll be a bit heavier). Retails for $1499, so you can beg, borrow or steal $500, you can get a brand new, solid FS mountain bike that’ll let YOU be the limiting factor, not the bike.”
Agreed here, but I stand by my assertion (ass insertion?) that you will do far better with a solid hard tail as previously mentioned. Whatever turns you on darling.July 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm #220849
I agree on the hard tail direction. $1000 is not a lot of money when it comes to new bikes these days(relatively speaking of course), but just like you I researched high and low for a max bike for that budget. I ended up getting a 2016 Rockhopper Comp on a sweet sale as it was September and the bike shop was trying To get rid of last years bikes. Was it my first choice for a bike, no, but am I happy with the bike, you bet. I go out with a bunch of guys all riding All Mountain and Enduro bikes and I keep up with them as well as one can on a hardtail. Sure I get dropped sometimes, but that’s probably because of my skill rather than the bike itself.
My point is, you can shop around, don’t rush it, and you will come across that one wicked deal that will just feel right, just like I did. And you can get a lot more bike when you get a hardtail as opposed a full squish.
For the record, I own both a hardtail and full suss, and I love riding them both for their unique riding experienceJuly 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm #221046
I’m not here to give you advice, because I probably have a lot of the same questions, but here are a couple more things to keep in mind when looking at used hardtails.
– was it designed as a 29er, or is it a 26er frame that was modified to fit 29″ wheels when those became popular for XC? (I did some research on a used Salsa and decided to pass, because it was not their best effort… It was one of the earlier 29ers, and while it was built well, and had good components, the geometry wasn’t designed well for 29″ wheels)
– speaking of geometry, trends have changed in the last few years. The angles on a 2010 bike are going to be different than those on a 2017.
When you’re spending this much money, it’s natural to agonize over the decision, but the rider is the primary performance part on any bicycle. Phil Kmetz rode the shit out of a Tokul 3 and took it on a downhill run at a bike park.July 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm #221099
I set my max budget for an XC bike at $2,000. Even though I could get a good full suspension bike for that amount, I still went with the hard tail 29er because the bike was lighter, had better components, and was a few hundred $ under budget. Now yes, I bought the bike for racing XC, but I use it for trail riding as well and I don’t feel outgunned – probably because of the quality of the fork. Look for a beefier + size hardtail like the pine mountain and you should be fine.July 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm #221316
fair points, @dr sweets.
I’ve been out of the game for a long time, so to me even a 2003 full sus felt pretty amazing. While I was looking around for a cheap upgrade, I ran across quite a few killer 26″ deals on used (or barely used) bikes. I was sort of assuming that some bike shops may have some old model, new 26″ laying around or demos, but after quite a bit of research, I’m totally wrong. I couldn’t find a new or demo 26″ to save my life.
So yeah… hardtail 🙂
I’m totally addicted to full sus now, so hardtail wasn’t an option for me. If it were, and I had about a grand to blow, I’d totally look at a brand spankin’ new Marin Pine Mountain 27.5+.
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