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    • #269672

      I’m new to riding and have a used hand down not so taken care of Giant Talon. It is working for now but want to upgrade to something newer and fit to me. With there being so many bikes on the market I am needing every ones thoughts on what direction to go. Also any other gear you would suggest.  I’m thinking a $1,500 budget all in. My thoughts on that was $1,000 range for bike and $500 for whatever else Helmet, up graded peddles, or whatever.

      Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

      Thanks in advance.

    • #269673

      I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on the subject but I have a few thoughts. First, determine what type of riding you want to do. If you want to gravitate towards enduro events or technical downhills on singletrack your needs will be different than if you plan on bikepacking or riding old dirt or gravel roads. They will be different yet if you want to race.

      Once you’ve done that there will remain numerous choices of bikes which are suitable from bunches of manufacturers, for a variety of different budgets, and they’ll all work ok – which is why we see articles like “The 10 best bikes for Enduro”. You can get hung up on choosing among a variety of essentially similar models if you aren’t careful. Just be sure to get one that’s sized right for you.

      About a year ago I switched from a 1990’s stumpjumper, a hardtail which in my hands should have been renamed the “stumpbumper” to a Salsa Timberjack. The main reason for this was that the Stumpjumper (which I loved) was bought secondhand and didn’t fit me exactly, so that after a few hours riding my neck felt like I had been belaying for 8 straight hours on some cliff wall staring straight up. The Timberjack allowed a more upright posture and was much kinder to my aging neck. Second, the local bike shop had them in stock and they got good reviews. Third, they could be fitted with racks for bikepacking. Fourth, I don’t do much technical downhill singletrack and don’t race so I didn’t feel the need for dual suspension or a superlight bike. And the price, about $1,000, was right. It’s not what I would choose for Enduro riding or any other racing for that matter but it works great for what I do. So would any number of similar well-fitted bikes out there.

      Good luck with your search.

    • #269680

      You’re not spending enough to buy a descent full-sus bike.  For that you need a about $2500 dollars.  In the $1000-$1500 range, the best Trailbike would be a Hardtail with 29×2.6-2.8 tires. Here are my favorites.

      Specialized Fuze 29×2.6

      Salsa Timberjack 29×2.6

      Marin Pine Mountain 29×2.6

      You really can’t go wrong with any of these hardtails.

    • #269695

      I second Plusbike. For that budget, I would suggest one of the plus sized tire hardtails that he recommends. A full suspension for less than $1500 will be hard to find, and the suspension won’t be very nimble anyway. Get a quality hardtail with a dropper post (for lowering the seat on command), and that is a great setup to get started. In fact, I’ll predict that if you go that route and really get into it to buy yourself a higher end full suspension later on down the road, I bet you’ll still find yourself riding the hardtail too. Good luck!

    • #269736

      Unless you plan to keep the Talon as a second bike, you should get half or so of what you paid for it on trade. If you are not in a hurry, plan a trip to Alafia River State Park Nov 8th, 9th and 10th to the Swamp Fat Tire Fest, and test a bunch of bikes to see what really fits you on real trails.   It costs if you want to use the campground and be part of the guided rides and evening festivities, but the park, trails, and vendor area is open to the public for the $5 park entrance fee. It is about 6 hours from you. I usually go, it is a 3 and 1/2 hour drive for me, and I usually stay at a friends house. But I think he will be in Washington in November this year, so I will probably get a cheap hotel.

    • #269740

      Just my two cents. I strongly agree with Plusbike. However, I would recommend the Trek Roscoe 8. 1×12 NX with the 2.8 wheels. It is a monster of a bike. I have taken it to some pretty sweet bike parks here in Germany and Austria. I have done blacks and double black trails with no issue. The plus size tires almost act like a rear suspension. I had knee surgery (2nd and 3rd ACL repair) in August of last year and then again March of this year, it’s been 6 months since my last surgery and I started riding again about 3 months ago, THAT’S how smooth that bike rides. Last year I had the Giant Stance 2 and even though it was a full squish, I wish I could do back and never gotten that bike (not that there is anything wrong with it). I have just been having way more fun with the Roscoe.


      Lastly, no I do not work with or for Trek. lol


      Happy riding!

    • #269742

      Just a note on what Rob said, I also started full squish on a Giant Stance, good first FS, but only really suitable for green and blue trails. I took it on a couple of just barely black trails, but it was sketchy. It does climb pretty well and works pretty well in slow tight stuff. But knowing what I do now I would have spent the extra $1000 and got a Trance. I kept the Stance as a back up bike and for easy trail riding and pavement riding with my wife, but I now have an Evil Insurgent, the difference is night and day. Matter of fact I flipped the suspension link to X-low and took it to Snowshoe WV and did some down hill last week before the UCI World Cup teams showed up. Still didn’t do any black trails, downhill black is not the same as flatland black.

      As far as plus or fat tire, they are less precise in handling, but because they roll over things so well, it often doesn’t matter. Not my style of riding, but works great for most people. I think next time I take the Evil downhill, I will switch my front tire from 2.4in to 2.6in for a little better corning traction. I think for my riding 2.6 is about as wide as I want to go.

    • #269801

      Nate K as some here have said there are a lot of details we don’t know about your situation. Not even sure what part of the country you are in. But based on your budget I am in total agreement a good hardtail is what you should look at. Assuming you don’t want to race I think you want a good trail bike for now and as you ride more and learn more about the sport you will know more about your next bike. I would totally agree with getting a Salsa Timberjack. You can get it with 29ers or 27.5 wheels. I ride 29ers with 2.4 tubeless tires and love it. I feel I can ride over about anything and the bike wants to go and climbs like a goat. I will say 27.5 with 2.8 tires would make it more maneuverable and add suspension but won’t climb as well or be quite as fast but should get you over anything. Other bikes similar would be Specialized Fuse, Santa Cruz Chameleon (I also have this bike with 27.5 wheels), Trek Roscoe (heard good reviews) and many other bikes. If Salsa is not in your area and you don’t want to order online then ask your local bike shop what bike in the brand they sell compares to the Timberjack.

      As far as other gear, you need a helmet. That is it. Other beginner stuff tire pump, shock pump, gloves (these could be mechanix from Walmart, no need to spend a lot), maybe bike shorts with liner (makes it so much more comfortable), and a multi-tool and some glasses to protect eyes (even safety clear lenses or sunglasses work). After that you could spend all kinds of money on other stuff from tools, to backpacks, to clothes and so on. Depending on what you are driving you need to be able to haul your bike if you can’t ride to trails.

      I think your budget is good for a solid hartail bike, helmet, shock and tire pump, glasses, gloves and a pair of shorts (the shorts will be more expensive than you expect).

      Welcome to the sport. Don’t overthink it too much. The amount of information out there can be overwhelming. Keep it simple at the beginning. Get a solid bike and ride it, enjoy it and you will grow into it.

    • #269861

      I have a 2017 Giant Talon 3. I upgraded the fork to a 2019 Rockshox Recon. I also got carbon fiber handlebars. This winter I plan to order and install a complete Deore drivetrain ($250 on ebay). Some will say get a new bike, but I really like my Talon and don’t have $2500 to plunk down on a full suspension bike right now. So I’ve made the Talon into my do-it-all rig. I suggest logging more miles on the trail and less on the internet. Then you will know what you want out of your bike. BTW, the Suntour XCT forks it came with are a bad joke I wouldn’t give to anyone. I threw them in the trash when I put the Recon on.

    • #269905

      Hey there! Welcome to the forums!


      Rather than cover some bike models (totally agree with adding the Roscoe on the list to look at) let me instead pick up m.krupp was writing on: Gear.

      Here’s a good starter list of what you’ll want to have:

      * Helmet – $30-200 dollars. Big spread, but there are tons out there. The lower end are single impact helmets and normally don’t have the MIPS system. Try on several if you can.

      * Spare Inner tube – $10-15

      * Small travel pump – $15-30. I have a version that can be both a tire pump and a shock pump, and can be mounted on a frame.

      * Patch kit – $5

      * First aid kit – you can bring some things from home and carry it with you as you ride

      * Multi-tool – $12-$35. These are small things for on-the-trail repairs and adjustments. Higher end ones will often include a chain tool.

      * Quick Link/Master Link – $10-$30. It a pinch, this can help repair a snapped chain.

      * Bike Shorts – $25-$45. Slightly more for those that include a bike pad inside the shorts.

      * Eye protection – $5-$145 bucks. Let me say this – you can get a 3 pack of orange safety glasses (Amazon Basics) for about $15 bucks. Best eyewear I’ve had out on the trail by far.

      * Some way of carrying all this stuff – $15-$50. Frame straps and saddle bags can carry a lot of very small things, but a hydration pack normally has more room. Some items can attach to your frame, while others can go in your short pocket.


      Hopefully I’ve given you some basic prices to help estimate what your ancillary costs will be so you can lock in on your bike price point.


      Have fun!

    • #270562

      I got into mtn biking almost a year ago and had the same question then. Here’s what I did:

      1. 2018 Marin Hawk Hill 2. Got it new in Nov 2018 for $1850. But soon I realized my climbing sucked. Even though I kept riding to increase my stamina and improve my climbing, it felt like nothing was helping. I sold it a couple months ago.

      2. 2019 Santa Cruz 5010 CR+: I bought new it in March 2019 for $3999. I love it. Took it to trails with longer singletrack decents. Helped a bit with climbing. So I replaced the chainring from 32T to 30T. This helped me with climbing.

      3. 2019 Trek Stache 5: bought it new in Aug 2019 for $1499. I was looking for a bike that can help with longer, non techy climbs on fire trails. There are several places near by that offer that. Also, I was looking for one that helps eat up rocks. The 5010 certainly did that, but I thought a 29er would also help more with climbing. This Trek has been my go-to bike. But it’s not ideal for techy climbs/decents like tight switchbacks. I’d use my 5010 on these types of trails.

      Hope this helps.

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