advise for a new bike/sizing

Forums Mountain Bike Forum advise for a new bike/sizing

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    • #91546

      Hello everyone, I am fairly new to the website as well as serious all mountain riding and was looking for some advise from people who are in the know much more than I am. This winter I will finally be getting into a new bike. I am counting down the days until I will finally have the money to spend on something worthwhile. However, I do not want to get caught up in the wrong bike and wanted some advise…
      I have been riding a mid 90’s Specialized FSR Ground Control. The bike has been great for me considering i bought it fairly used. I do 40-80 miles a week, mostly singletracks. The bike has been a great climber and free rider but many components are failing and the petal power really seems to be going with the Crank.
      So I am wondering what might be a good fit for me next. I am 5’9 180lbs and am interested in something I can do XC and 24 hour races with. I am expanding on my bike knowledge as quickly as I can but I do not want to make a mistake buying the "wrong bike" for me. I am looking to spend around $2,500 and have been interested in many new models, but would like an outside opinion to head in the right direction. Any advise at all would help. Thank you and good riding!

    • #91547

      There are a large number of bikes that fit in this category.

      i recommend going to a few of your local shops, chat with them about your needs/wants. Get fitted to a bike and demo a few frames to see what sort of fit/geometry works best for you/your/style/terrain.

      Personally, I’m a big fan of the 5"-6" travel trail/enduro type bike. They can climb well, be under 30 pounds, yet still be tough enough to handle some jumps/drops/rocky descents. They are robust enough to handle pretty much all types of riding, except shuttle serviced downhills and really big freeride. They are also a bit slower than a pure XC race bike, but I feel the trade off is more than worth it.

      $2500 will buy you a decent bike in this category.

      Bikes that come to mind:
      Transition Covert
      Banshee Rune or Spitfire
      Norco Fluids
      Kona Dawgs/Tanuki/Cadabras
      Trek Fuels or Remedys
      Commencal Meta 5 or Meta 6
      Turner 5 Spot
      Rocky Mtn Slayer
      Santa Cruz Heckler

    • #91548

      If you’re doing 24 hr rides you want a straight XC bike(unless you want it harder than it already is). For $2500 you can get a rad bike, especially if you decide hardtail (maybe even swing a GF Superfly if you Ebay). Your LBS will size you and basically drool on you if you are dropping that kind of dime.

      This may give you something to compare to: … s/paragon/

    • #91549

      24hrs in a hardtail sounds like a recipe for pain. Most enduro-type riders pick 5"-6" travel bikes that are comfortable and rugged.

      A pure XC race bike will NOT be comfortable, and frankly are built too lightly for serious abuse. They are designed for really buff trails and to be ridden for short periods of time. And they are very fast for that type of riding.

      The technology is available to have a sub-30 lb bike, that pedals well up or down, is comfortable for long rides, and is built to last through some serious abuse. And it can be found for under $2500.

    • #91550
      "8valvegrowl" wrote

      A pure XC race bike will NOT be comfortable, and frankly are built too lightly for serious abuse. They are designed for really buff trails and to be ridden for short periods of time. And they are very fast for that type of riding.

      When he says he wants a bike for XC racing, why would you steer him away from an XC bike?

      HoldFst18, in your price range have a look at some of the new 29’ers like the Specialized Epic Comp, Giant Anthem X 29’er or Gary Fisher Rumblefish.

      I ride my Giant Trance 1 on some pretty epic rides and I raced it in 24 Hours of Moab and it’s a very comfy ride. I just need to make it a little lighter.

      Your price range puts you in the middle of the price range, and if you shop leftover 2010 models you may score even more bike for your buck.

      Lastly, when you’re bike shopping, make sure you ride several different models. They’re all slightly different in size and geometry and the right will will ‘feel’ right.

    • #91551

      I only say that, because, at least around here, almost no one races 24hrs on 23lb, 3" travel pure XC race bikes, since they don’t hold up for Enduro riding. If he was planning on doing mostly buff XC riding, I’d say sure, go for a pure race bike. So, I guess it comes down to what he feels like the majority of his riding will be. I tend to not focus on bike weight and efficiency, and focus more on durability and geometry. At my level of riding a 24lb bike versus a 28lb bike isn’t that noticeable (although the extra travel afforded by the slightly heavier bike, IS noticeable, especially after 2+hours).

      +1 on the advice to try multiple bikes. Try multiple sizes within those, too (especially if they offer a finer selection of sizing, like Trek, Giant, or Kona). One of them will click.

    • #91552

      My brother rides an ’09 Trek Fuel EX 9 and he absolutely loves it. I think it’s technically considered a trail bike (rather than XC) but he races XC with it. It’s pretty light for a full suspension, has great components, and retails right in your price range. As others have said, I would definitely try out different bikes to see what fits you best. As far as sizing goes, I’m 5’10" and ride a 19"/L frame, but I guess it all depends on the geometry, so trying different bikes/sizes and picking what feels good is your best bet. Good luck and have fun!

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