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Full suss xc bike recommendations

NikBNikB Posts: 243
edited March 2008 in XC and Enduro
I am trying to return to xc biking after years of absence. I currently have a 1995 GT Karakoram and in the short term I'm probably going to buy a Reba SL fork for it. My reason for quitting was that I had a fractured spine and had to have surgery to arthrodese the base of my spine. When I ride for more than about 30mins I get a lot of lower back pain even though the surgery was 10 years ago.

I went to Dalby forest today and did the black run. I'm not fit so it was hard work and it's definitely not designed for a fully rigid bike. If I can get back into the sport I think getting a decent full sussed bike would be a good idea to help my back. What recommendations are there in the £1k - £2k mark? I probably won't buy until much later in the year when the '08 bikes get discounted so I'm hoping more for under £1500 if possible. I would ideally like shocks that can be locked out for when I go road riding (fitness training :( )

I was looking at some Marin and some Kona bikes today but the choices are bewildering really. I currently ride an old XT groupset (1997) so I would like to get something that shifts at least as well as that.

Thanks.
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  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR?
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    edited February 2008
    Didnt get on with the Stumpjumper expert had to get of the bike each time
    to adjust the shock every time the terrain changed.

    Set to firm and when the shock becomes active it rams you
    back up the arss has it wants to become a hardtail.
    And open to soft push down hard on the pedals and then to
    wollowy.
    The handle bars to narrow and didnt push my limits, was just a safe bike.

    Should look at the Scott MC 20 or MC10 you find them heavily reduced
    has they sell off last years models.
    These are all carbon and you can change the shock by pulling
    the lever on the handle bars for the three setting shock.

    Test as many bikes on your type of ride has no bike rides the
    same.
    You can always try the Orange 5 pro with pike 454 forks upfront
    and the bike weighs 28lbs.
    I went for an Orange 5AM but this is a trail bike but only 29lb in weight
    Goes down like a rocket and climbs better than the stumpjumper.
    But these are trail bikes.
    People do race on these though.
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Orange 5 or Commencal Meta 5.5 would be on my list of bikes to test.

    I have an Orange 5 and one of my riding buddies has a Meta 5.5.3, both very good all mountain bikes.
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  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    Not bothered about being able to race, won't be doing that again. Just want something that's not too heavy and will help my back. Will check out the suggestions so far. Thanks.
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Mongoose Canaan one of the better specced and lightest in its price bracket, with great reviews.
  • Mr bumpMr bump Posts: 369
    Trek Fuel EX9. i love mine.
    Eagles may fly high but Weasels dont get sucked into jet engines.

    http://is.pinkbike.com/photo/4466/pbpic4466217.jpg
  • robhowsonrobhowson Posts: 28
    i'd recommend the Trek Top Fuel 8,decent kit with both lock out's,ive been riding with Specialized fatboy tyres on over the winter and it's been a dream. I got it mine in augest from evans with 500 of the retail price. Top Bike!!
    Moorlands Rider
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    I've been looking through the bikes thread and notice that the majority are still riding HT's. I am assuming that a full suss will be better for my comfort would people generally agree with that assumption?

    Notice that no-one seems to ride Kona, any particular reason for that?
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  • Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
    Re. Konas - I can't speak for others, but I don't like the graphics and colour schemes on Kona bikes - and they are often perceived as not being great value for money.

    Sounds like you want an all-round trail bike - and there are loads of options that could do the trick priced between £1k and 2k.

    As you say, you're in no hurry to buy - so I'd suggest reading-up more on magazines and websites, talking to other riders and generally boning-up on the subject so you can make an informed choice yourself.

    I would agree with a couple of the options mentioned though: The Trek Fuel EX seems a good bike and that Mongoose is great value - and often nicely discounted. I'd also suggest having a look at the Giant Trance or Trance X.

    I know Giant's Masetro suspension system is brilliant on my Anthem, my back pain just disappears when I ride it.
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    You're right, I think I just want something that rides well. I'm never going to be big on things like jumping but I love technical singletrack and want to gain more confidence on downhills by having something to take the shock out of the hits - my arms were almost numb yesterday after the descents on the Dalby black run. Those Trek bikes look good, must see if I can get some test rides sorted.
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  • strodeystrodey Posts: 481
    Giant Anthem, thats what i'm saving for!
    Carbon is a mans best freind
  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    If thats your type of ride like mine
    Then take a very good look at the Orange 5 Pro
    This weighs in at 28 lbs
    There is extensive uprgrade options and Leisure Lakes will put
    Pike 454's on which is a great fork for the same price.

    I have the Orange 5 AM which has loads of upgrades
    but the fork is an Fox 36'R adjustable 160mm-130mm-100mm
    This fork you just point into the rough stuff and fly over roots etc
    And only weighs in at 29lbs
    Even thogh it as a two part crank is more than what you want on the trail

    Fantastic on the single track easy to monouver just a great frame
    With the new Fox RP23 rear shock put on pro-pedal No 3 setting
    and rides close to an hard tail

    Just cant beat this bike on the ups it beats the Stumpy and on the
    downs fantastic keeps a smile on your face

    A bike you can ride all day and know when it comes to the next ride
    you just oil your chain and go

    Take a look at tthere web site all magazine reviews on there

    Get a test bike on your fav ride and you wont be dissapointed

    Good Luck
  • Mark_KMark_K Posts: 666
    Must say Have a look and ride the Trek fuel EX range, I shoped about for ages but kept coming back to the trek's and ended up buying one :)
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    grantway wrote:
    If thats your type of ride like mine
    Then take a very good look at the Orange 5 Pro
    This weighs in at 28 lbs
    There is extensive uprgrade options and Leisure Lakes will put
    Pike 454's on which is a great fork for the same price.

    I have the Orange 5 AM which has loads of upgrades
    but the fork is an Fox 36'R adjustable 160mm-130mm-100mm
    This fork you just point into the rough stuff and fly over roots etc
    And only weighs in at 29lbs
    Even thogh it as a two part crank is more than what you want on the trail

    Fantastic on the single track easy to monouver just a great frame
    With the new Fox RP23 rear shock put on pro-pedal No 3 setting
    and rides close to an hard tail

    Just cant beat this bike on the ups it beats the Stumpy and on the
    downs fantastic keeps a smile on your face

    A bike you can ride all day and know when it comes to the next ride
    you just oil your chain and go

    Take a look at tthere web site all magazine reviews on there

    Get a test bike on your fav ride and you wont be dissapointed

    Good Luck

    Cheers will have to see if I can find somewhere near here that I can test one at. The only thing is that the Pro is a little above what I was aiming to pay. Do the Orange bikes get discounted towards the end of the year?
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  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    NIKB You can find some but they are little reduced not like the
    manufactured Specalized bikes etc these are all hand crafted.

    What size are you? as Leisure Lakes in Bury
    had an 06 Orange 5 S model in a small frame IE 16 inch

    This was £ 1,749.00p with up grades now going for
    £ 1,349.00p

    I understand its more than what you was looking to pay.
    But my advise would be to put has much as you can down
    and then do intrest free!!

    Just a Great Bike
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    I'm 5' 8" so a 16" bike would be fine. There's no way I can do it just yet as swmbo would kill me as we're saving for our wedding!
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  • paulf2007paulf2007 Posts: 341
    giant trance, best model you can afford. superb ride all day bike. I have had s works stumpjumpers and the ones with the " so called " brain was hopeless. Don't go there.
  • RussAlfRussAlf Posts: 706
    Another vote for Trance here, not biast at all :lol:
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    Which version of the Trance are you both riding? There seems to be quite a few versions.
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  • paulf2007paulf2007 Posts: 341
    trance advanced, the all carbon one, stupidly expensive but without doubt the best xc bike I have owned. Won't be replacing it ever, unless it breaks.
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    Don't think I'd be able to stretch to that. I think the Trance X1 would be my limit, and also I have to consider the amount I will actually ride it.
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  • AndyAndy Posts: 8,207
    The Trance X is 5inch travel instead of the Trance which is 4.2 inch.
  • teachermanteacherman Posts: 454
    You rode Dalby's black route on a FULLY rigid bike :shock:

    You're a legend - it's nails 8)
    I hate it when people say David Beckham's stupid...its not like anyone ever says: 'Stephen Hawking - he's s**t at football.' Paul Calf
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    Thanks :oops: never known anything different tbh. I did the downhill mania (or whatever it was called) on it back in '96 or '97 - fell off on every run!!
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  • grantwaygrantway Posts: 1,430
    edited March 2008
    Shame NikB get it on intrest free it wont be around for long :cry:

    This is the bikes
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    grantway wrote:
    Shame NikB get it on intrest free i wont be around for long :cry:

    Please expand on this?
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  • motdocmotdoc Posts: 97
    If you've got 1500 to spend dont get a hardtail mate! Full sus better for your back and so much, more comfortable, more fun!

    Just try a lot, and good luck shopping!
    Arrrrr I be in Devon.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Take a look at discounted Gt Idrive XC bikes - they pedal so well, great XC bikes.
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    Thanks for that, I didn't know if I was perhaps just being a bit of a wuss but I really do suffer with my back and riding a rigid back is getting too punishing.
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  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    If my boss was willing would it be possible to get something this expensive through the cycle to work scheme?
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