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"Do-it-all" bike for 3K?

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  • "Do-it-all" bike for 3K?

    So I've been looking for a new full-squish bike for some time now. I've been doing the research, etc. and talking about it non-stop to my wife. Finally, this past weekend, she got sick of me talking about it and said to "go get a damn bike." She and I agreed on a limit of $3K

    I rode the Yeti SB-66 and thought it was awesome. Lots of fun on the descents but also a pretty solid climber. It was listed for 3300 and I figured that I could stretch my budget a tad. Of course, this weekend also marks the point when Yeti decided to update their bike kits and prices. Now, it is listed at 3700 and too much of a stretch past my limit. If I placed my order only two weeks ago...

    So, what should I look at instead in the $3K neighborhood? I'm looking for a "do-it-all" bike. Great climber, great descender. I'm definitely someone who does the climbing so I can enjoy the descents. I also want to be able to keep up with my XC buddies well enough so that they'll keep riding with me. I haven't been overly excited about 29ers but I also haven't ridden enough of them to rule them out completely. I can be convinced by a solid test ride.

    Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by ecwashere7; September 5th, 2012, 07:24 PM.

  • #2
    I just picked up a stumpjumper fsr 29er and absolutly love it. I've a owned number of trail bikes in the 4-6" range and this is by far the best bike I have ridden. List is 3k but can be had for a bit less. I don't know where you are out, of but Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth will let you demo one (29 and 26) for short money. Best of all they include lifetime service and adjustments on all their bikes. As a bonus they even swapped parts out for ones I preferred foc.


    • #3
      I would also consider buying a lightly used "$5000" bike, which would likely come in around your price point.
      You can get a LOT of bike that way for $3k.
      Slapheadmofo Leisure Team
      Sinister Bikes
      Wachusett Brewing
      Sunday River Bike Park


      • #4
        Funny I went through the same thing with my wife! I wore her down to the point where she said go get. The only difference was I knew exactly what I wanted. I got the Kona Satori. 29er. I love this bike! Not a great climber but it will get you to the top. Descending is where it's at with this baby. My neighbor just got a stumpjumper 29er and rocks with that and he can keep with the XC crowd no problem. My Satori was 3K however I think the 2013 model is 3300 since it has full Shimano components with Shadow plus and a crankbrothers konolog dropper post. You may be able to find a 2012 model for much cheaper now that the 2013 are out. Good luck and happy hunting! If you're in the Medford area drop by JRA they have the demos to take out too!
        Kona Satori


        • #5
          Yeah, I was doing a lot of homework myself with some test rides to confirm my research. I really had my heart settled on the Yeti SB-66. With that out of the picture, I feel like I've had to start all over in my search.

          I feel like there are too many good choices, which isn't a bad thing. I just want the best bike for me.


          • #6
            As I guess you can see from the above definitely try out a 29er - I got a one year old RIP9 demo bike for around $2K. I love that bike. 29er wheels do change the game to some degree - its not magic, but for aggressive AM riding, they are great. That said I know a few people who have tried them and didn't like them. I definitely see more and more of them on the trails though. I don't have data, but I think its getting close to 50% of the bikes I see on the trails are 29ers at this point.
            Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog


            • #7
              Where do you live?

              I'm gonna guess that JRA in Medford has about the best demo fleet selection around if you live close to try some out.

              Pedal Power in Acton has a 2012 Specialized 29'r Stumpjumper FSR Comp test bike (I think quite a few Spec. shops do so check) which I had for 3 days. 130mm travel F/B and I could immediately do things on that bike I can't on my converted 650B Prophet. Shocking really, so at least test out a 29'r to see how you like it. Personally I wouldn't purchase a 26" bike again for "all around use". 650B or 29'r. Like it or not the 650B size is now moving full steam ahead with 10+ manufacturers (I'm losing count) producing bikes along with plenty of new tire and rim choices.

              3K will get you a very nice bike. 2103 bikes are rolling in now so look for 2012 or even 2011 leftovers. I found and purchased 2 leftover 2010 bikes for my son and daughter (Gary Fisher Roscoe 1 and Specialized Safire Comp) for 1/2 their original MSRP. Deals are out there.


              • #8
                I live in Nashua, NH. Many of the shops in my immediate area don't have a ton of stock for test rides or demos, so I'll probably head down to Belmont and Medford for a few test rides.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ecwashere7 View Post
                  I really had my heart settled on the Yeti SB-66. With that out of the picture, I feel like I've had to start all over in my search.
                  After your SB-66 dream was shattered, I think you should throw a leg over a Pivot 5.7 and also an Ibis Mojo. IMO, two of the nicer truely All Mountain 26ers out there. JRA in Medford could hook you up with both.

                  I know it's just me, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around a 29er being labeled 'All Mountain'. Yes, there is some pretty sweet 5 inch travel 29ers out there. Yea, you can press a 29er into AM duty, but it doesn't appear to be the best tool for the job. You could easily take a 5.7, SB 66, Mojo, Intense 6.6, etc......and ride the entire mountain at Highland (I've done it!), but I've yet to see a Stumpy 29er being hauled up on a chairlift. Sorry for hijacking the thread.
                  Slaphead Mofo Leisure Team
                  Sunday River Bike Park


                  • #10
                    I hear ya. I'm still probably leaning towards a 26er (650b?) because of the maneuverability on the down. I don't think I'll be taking any chairlifts though.


                    • #11
                      If your looking for a 650b Check out the new Norco Range Killer B it looks sweet. For a 26er The new Kona Process nice all mountain 6" travel bike. Think that will be my next bike. and if you can stretch the budget abit Transition Covert 2


                      • #12
                        There are a TON of great bikes to choose from at this price point. It's been really tough narrowing down my choices. It seems that each time I speak to someone new, I have another bike added to my list of contenders. Right now, here's my list:

                        Spec. Stumpy Comp EVO
                        SC Blur LT
                        SC Tallboy and Tallboy LT
                        Transition Bandit
                        Yeti AS-R 5
                        Giant Trance X1

                        I'm still on the fence even about 29er vs. 26er vs. 650b. I was underwhelmed by the 29ers I've ridden in the past, but they were on the older side and not the most current tech. The Norco 650b that I was scoping out was the Sight at 140mm of travel.

                        Thanks again for the help.


                        • #13
                          Kinda thinking along the same line for my next bike.. really don't want another steep head angled XC bike,(70 or steeper ) but haven't liked the bikes with the over slack head angle either... kinda been eyeballing the KHS full squish 650B unit.. head angle is right in the middle (69) under your price range by 500 bucks.. KHS gives a lot of bang for the buck.... I'll never go back to a 26 tire bike, been riding 29ers for many yrs now and love it, but after riding a few diff 650B bikes I'm hooked

                          Always wear a Helmet and Glasses when riding!!

                          Southeastern CT NEMBA with trial locations, trail reports, and list of local events...
                          SECT NEMBA on Facebook..


                          • #14
                            If the SB-66 is your dream bike, maybe go to your shop and offer them the old price. They might be willing to to do the deal.

                            Slappy listed some amazing rigs to try, although after the original slap and tickle at the shop, saying "I do," throwing her on your rack, and driving home will almost certainly be over your budget. One option would to get a zero% credit card (some shops offer this form of financing for the 1st year) and put the amount over your budget on the card. I did this when I bought my Enduro. Put down 1/2 up front and paid off the remainder in 10 months. The important part is to pay it off before the zero% period ends. If you don't, you'll find a 25-ish% interest charge on the original amount you charged added to the bill. Ouch.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ecwashere7 View Post
                              I hear ya. I'm still probably leaning towards a 26er (650b?) because of the maneuverability on the down. I don't think I'll be taking any chairlifts though.
                              I agree with Antmav - 29ers aren't true AM bikes - those are two great bikes - my friend had the Pivot - now the Mojo. I personally love my RM Slayer. Remember - All mountain is ALL mountain. DHing an ALL Mountain is fun - especially at Highland! XC guys in lycra do it on there HTs - when you DH - your XC skills change immeasurably! Don't short change yourself.