I have been away from the bike scene for far too long…and my old Scott Gambler from 2009 is not worth putting any more money into.
I am instead looking for a good value Enduro-ish bike that I can have some fun with both on my local trails (a lot of mountains/hills), but should be possible to use in a bike park as well. Being just under 6’3 and 250 I need something that can take a bit of punishment but should still climb really well.
The most interesting bikes so far are:
White AM 275 INTERCEPTOR
Canyon Strive CF 5.0 or Spectral AL 6.0
Merida One-Forty 400
Trek Fuel EX 5
Any takes on these bike or any other recommendations would be more than welcome.
Never have budget full-sus bikes been so good for only ~$2500. I picked these bikes because they all come with solid spec that you won’t need to change or update for many years. Here are some I really like.
YT Jeffsy Base 29 $2300 I like the Jeffsy because you get so much bike for the price. This bike is an incredible value. This bike is the most Enduro-ish.
Commencal Meta TR 29 $2600 I think the Meta TR is a little bit better bike than the other two in quality and spec.
Trek Fuel EX 7 $2900 (The EX 5 is a bit lacking in the spec department- poor fork and drivetrain.) I like the Fuel EX because it comes with 2.6 tires on i30mm rims and has clearance for 2.8 tires. 2.6 or 2.8 tires on i30 rims are my favorite wheels. You could use any tire size, 2.2-2.8, on this bike. Use XC tires, Enduro tires, Trail tires, or Plus tires. This bike is the most Trail-ish and versatile.
The Alpine trail looks like a very decent bike. However, it has pretty long travel and is the type of bike that you winch to the top of the mountain and then bomb down. It is a descenders bike and likely won’t be much fun on anything that isn’t steep. Are you sure you want that much travel and does the place where you ride have a lot of steep techie descents? Don’t get overbiked.
I’m a massive fan of 29×2.6 tires on inner width i30mm rims which is how the 2020 Fuel EX’s come. I am much less of a fan of 27×2.8 tires on i40mm rims which is how the 2019 Fuel EX Plus’s come. I’m going to be very biased here but I think anyone taller than about 5’6″ should ride a 29er. Note that the 2020 Fuel EX’s only come with 27.5 wheels in the small and extra-small sizes. So I think Trek agrees with me. Also the 2019 Fuel EX’s do not have progressive geometry. When the updated 2020 Fuel EX’s came out, Trek got the wheel right (29×2.6 tires on i30 rims) and made the geo more progressive. The frame on the 2019 bike is the same frame that the bike came with in 2015. The 2019 Fuel EX Plus is a great bike but it is dated.