What are the best bike for XC-freeride for 1500$ ?

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    • #68810


      I’ve been riding in the last ten years on few models like: Trek fuel, gary fisher suger, Iron hourse XC and Rocky mountain slayer.
      Now 😀 I would like to buy my next bike. It should be a pair that will be in the class of freeride but in the same time – something I could race with (from time to time 😀
      I’ve looked at: Cannondale Rush 1000 -> but it’s cost…
      What about Trek new models?
      Any tips/comments are welcome.

    • #68811

      How about the Kona [color=red:gx1iv2bi]Dawg[/color:gx1iv2bi]? It is about $1400, has 5″ of travel, and is a pretty decent all around bike.

    • #68812

      Specialized Stumpjumper and Stumpjumper FSR are pretty nice bikes. The new Fuel ex line is pretty good. I built an FSR pro at work the other day and it turned out to be nice bike.

    • #68813

      Freeride frames are generally pretty heavy (28-40lbs) and the amount of travel inherent in their designs means that you have to rely on platform shocks if you use it for XC, and those get pricey.

      You’ll quickly get out of your $1500 range if you try to spec a freeride frame (used!) with lightweight XC/race components, as well as compromise the strength of the component group when you decide to drop-in or launch.

      Really the only way I see you being able to get a new $1500 +/- rig that can do both is a strong hardtail with a adjustable long-travel fork. Since your frame would be fairly cheap, you could drop a dime on a high-end freeride/all-mountain fork, and a strong drivetrain.

      It sounds as if you’re looking for a good all-mountain machine that can handle small drops and jumps, but still be light enough to flick about and accelerate strongly.

      The Kona Dawg is a pretty strong bike, and I wouldn’t hesitate to drop in with it, provided the fall isn’t over 4′, good transition or no.

      A Santa Cruz Heckler would also be a strong choice for your desires, and I’ve seen those set up every which way from raceXC to insano-cliff bombers.

      The Gary Fisher Cake would be a good bike as well, the travel on them keeps getting longer, and they did away with the carbon seatstays, which would make me feel better about launchng it. Plus, the Cake is a very fast bike.

      And Marin has a good all-mountain line as well.

    • #68814

      I beat a SuperLight for a few years and it’s still going. Straight drops of about four feet same for tree build up’s ramps at speed. Tried some mountain cross with it.
      Heckler would be great you could build it light if ya are smooth or build it heavy if ya bust stuff. My dream right now is a Nomad 34 X 9 speed at 26 or 27 pounds for a squishie. 5 inch fork with an extra inch sag in the rear. Saw some Hecklers at C.C. we site some time back for a good price.

      Opinions are like assholes 😏

    • #68815

      Ah…. my Nomad frame is coming in this week…. hopefully monday/tuesday. 😃
      The rest of the parts should be here the end of week and next week, and my LBS is taking care of the rest.
      I’m going the 8-spd route…. I’m really curious to see how it works out.

    • #68816

      8 Speed is getting kinda hard to get in the states. I went SRAM 9speed and love only using my thumb. The XO derailer tracks the swingarm better that XTR did. What ring on the front 32 or 34. Need to start putting my race bike back together for the Downieville Downhill late this year. Just going to ride Ss till the last month want to super strong this year.

      Off to Santa Cruz for a 12.5 mile climb in the mud.

    • #68817

      I’m setting up the dual front rings 22-32, to match the rear 8spd 11-32 SRAM cog. I’m going with a medium-cage XO derailleur so I can get as little chainslap as possible. Most of my riding is dirty and fast, so I’m hoping the 8spd will open up the drivetrain’s tolerance for grunge and abuse a little.

      Cambria has a pretty good selection of 8spd stuff, as long as you stick to SRAM. Shimano seems to have given up on the 7-8spd game…. But that’s okay, I’m throwing my Shimano crap away and never looking back.

      But going the SS way?

      Never!!! 😃

      Have fun in S.C.

    • #68818

      I used SRAM cogs and chain with a long cage have no problems but only four inchs on the S.L. The XO is so much better than the junk from the Shimafia has. Wish I could get the new SRAM XO triggers but $300.00 with tax is out there. We beat our stuff in what ever weather is going on 4 or 5 hours in 6 inchs of rain so this stuff has held up well. That and I ride like a flaming idiot 😛

      Only went 11.5 up in super deep mud. Out of the saddle most of the time so it was slipspinslip, foward slipspinslip, foward. lots of mudslides and blow downs (cool)

    • #68819

      I agree with everyone that is talking to light-weight components if you are going to make this your FR and XC bike. I went with a Trek Fuel EX 8 just recently and if I could marry an inatimate object, this would be my first choice! It’s a little higher than your $1500 racnge, but you can certainly get on a Fuel EX 7 and be equally as happy. If you are anything like me, you can always upgrade over time on teh components after you bash the existing ones on there. Since I just purchased the bike I did a lot of test rides recently and out of all of them, here would be my top picks to go after (these are all within the $1500 range):

      1. Trek Fuel EX 7
      2. Giant Trance 3
      3. Gary Fisher Cake 2

      Each one of these has nice, plush travel that will allow you to spend all day out on your favorite trail. I like my Fuel EX 8 because the Reba Race fork up front and the MC3 in the rear are both extremely adjustable. I know it may be used as a sales pitch in the bike shop, but it’s nice to hear when bike companies and shock companies actually work together to build a nice stable platform. One more thing…if you get the chance to test ride, make sure the shop adjusts the rear shock for you before you ride it. The first time I rode the Trance, it didn’t have anough pressure for me and I felt as though it were sluggish and just didn’t like it. Once they dialed it in more for my weight and all, it rocked! But like I said before, the Trek Ex 8 is a piece of art! Here are a few shots of the bike out in the element. Good luck in your venture for that perfect ride!



    • #68820

      Of those three bikes mtbkramer mentioned…..

      When it comes down to sheer faith in a bike’s ability to ride away from the occasional jump/drop, I’d put my carcass on a GF Cake. That frame & swingarm combo is one of the stiffest and had the highest weld quality that I’ve encountered so far, and is hella light to boot.

    • #68821

      the only thing that I have seen wrong with the Cakes are the swingarm bearing frame interface….Slop developes in-between the frame and the bearing. I have seen two Cakes with this issue..

      That being said I just purchased a Fuel EX9 .built my own 717/wtb wheel and it a sweet ride!!

    • #68822

      True, there have been Cakes with that issue, my wife’s bike included. However, it is a very easy fix (locktite & retorque), and according to GF, that problem has been fixed for the ’05-’06 Cakes.

      Even so, I’d still take the burly traditional singlepivot Cake over the wispy rockerlink singlepivot that Trek uses. 😎

    • #68823
      "Bombardier" wrote

      True, there have been Cakes with issues

      Including last years birthday cake 😀 😢 😉 😏

    • #68824
      "=ChrisB=" wrote

      [quote="Bombardier":13dhdhyx]True, there have been Cakes with issues

      Including last years birthday cake 😀 😢 😉 😏[/quote:13dhdhyx]

      Umm, was it a “special” cake…. sorta like the “special” brownies? 😕

    • #68825
      Specialized Stumpjumper and Stumpjumper FSR are pretty nice bikes. The new Fuel ex line is pretty good. I built an FSR pro at work the other day and it turned out to be nice bike.

      I got my Stump Jumper FSR last month…It was a few $$$ over $1500, but I have to tell ya, It’s been a great bike so far! I haven’t “hucked” off any big drops, but I’m a clydesdale rider and I do ride pretty aggressive. I’ve dropped off a few small (1ft. – 2.1/2ft.) drops and the Fox suspensions soaks it up pretty good.

      I can’t say I have anything to compare it to in the line of full suspension, but I like it a lot more than my last couple of rides…

    • #68826

      It was a *cough cough* special, uh, yea, special, one.

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