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What Type/Make of Full Suspension to buy 2011/2012 models

mkoneuk2002mkoneuk2002 Posts: 4
edited March 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hello First of all my name is Michael and hello. I currently ride a hard-tail specialized rock-hopper comp (£750 bought around 2008 from new) and I love this bike, it has never let me down. But I have recently done some trails with my uncle and I am thinking about the jump to a full suspension bike, because I think my hard-tail is going to snap :shock: .
All my looking around has lend to lots of confusion about which "type/model" of full suspension I need.
What I want to do is be able to climb hills (Big Weakness of mine) , go down hills and about everything in-between(paths,gravel single tracks etc.) so an all round full suspension bike. The main manufacturer I have been looking at is Specialized but is it an Epic? Camber? or Enduro? I need. What are the main differences, why one and not the other. No where seems to tell you in plain English what its best used for etc quoting : total travel, rebound, head angles is all confusing to people starting out. Of course I am picking some things up but so slowly its frustrating. I think from reading around a 29er will suit me best but I am 15stone and don`t want to be going up and down as I pedal like a jack in a box. The two Main bikes i`ve seen I think are the right choice are...

Specialized Camber Comp 29er ... e=Mountain ... e-ec030721
Giant Anthem X 29er 1 ... _48695.htm

Pritty much all I have liked the look of and read good things about, but are these right for my type of riding etc?
also some guy in local bike store who sells Kona only told me Specialized use parts on their bike that are different to normal sized parts you find on other bikes therefore you need to send them to get fixed by specialized and it costs like 30% more? is this true or is he talking rubbish? he was mainly on about shocks I think.

Thanks if you have read my wall of text! and i would really appreciate any help or advice people could give me, my main problem is I always like to ask Why? so please give reasons for your answers if possible, Thanks again.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Broadly speaking there are 3 types of bikes here: Cross country (XC) which are shorter travel and racier, such as the epic; Trail, like the Camber, that have a bit more travel and more relaxed, stable geometry; and All Mountain (AM). Just to further confuse matters, Specialized have three such bikes, the Stumpjumper, Stumpjumper Evo, and Enduro, all of which get longer in travel and slacker in geometry, and often stouter parts.

    However price plays a part: more expensive usually equals lighter weight. What is your budget?
  • I tried both of these a few weeks ago and bought the Anthem X 29er 1. It just felt a lot better - lighter and more responsive - although it is marketed as an XC bike, it also makes a great trail bike.
  • Thanks for the quick replies. My budget is around £2500 supersonic. Cool mudmuncher, did you get to ride both the models? thats the problem here your lucky to find a store with the bike in stock to see, always have to order you one in, not good if you end up not liking it and paid deposit.
  • Hi Michael,

    Yes I did - Specialized have a fleet of test bikes they loan out to the bike shops- just ask your LBS to get hold of one, they'll let you take it away for a few days. Not sure if Giant do the same, but found a shop that had the X2 29er version that they let me try.
  • jehosophatjehosophat Posts: 108
    Giant Anthems in 26 and 29" form are incredibly well reviewed and good value, and very much the sort of short travel bike that is good uphill and also surprisingly capable down. I'd try an Anthem 29er if I were you...
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    A full sus bike won't nesecarily be any stronger than a hardtail.
    Try a few bikes before deciding what to buy. 29ers aren't for everyone, the ones I have tried I found to be sluggish to accelerate, slow steering but at the same time unstable compared to a good 26" wheeled trail bike.
    The Giant Trance is by far the best all round trail bike I have ridden, pedals like a hardtail, it's light, very strong and takes hard riding very well for a short travel bike. I'm about the same weight as you & used to give my Trance a lot of abuse. I took it on downhill & freeride trails including reasonably large jumps & drops but also used it for all day cross country rides with lots of big climbs and for trail centre stuff it's perfect. I only sold mine to buy a Reign X because I spent so much time on downhill trails & wanted to hit bigger drops (8 foot plus) & jumps as well as hit the downhill trails faster.
    Anthem's are a bit more racey & less stable than the Trance so won't give you as much confidence.
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,171
    I'm quite liking the scott spark this year, £2.5k would get you this 29er with a bit change: ... e-ec030799

    Or this 26" carbon thing-a-ma-bob: ... e-ec030789

    They seem to be getting some good reviews and if I was spending £2.5 now these would be on my shortlist.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Surely if the op wants a bike to take harder riding than his Rockhopper is suitable for then these full sus xc race bikes such as the Anthem & Scott Spark won't be what he is looking for. A slacker, more stable trail bike possibly with a bit more travel will be more suitable.
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,171
    The spark seems a bit more trail friendly than the previous years xc thouroughbreds. It's slacker and has more travel than the rockhopper. I got a big shock moving from a 100mm xc hardtail to my enduro and is much as I like it I think I might have been better off with something like the spark for the riding I do.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    The Spark isn't going to be much more capable than the Rockhopper. The Trance is very capable for a 120mm travel trail bike, takes hits well, flies down tech descents but still climbs as well as any XC bike.
  • RoostoidsRoostoids Posts: 128
    Hi Michael.

    I got into mtb'ing a few years ago and upgraded in a similar way to yourself, and faced the same problems.

    I ended up going for a Specialised Camber Comp which at the time cost me 1200 quid

    I am 6'4" and 17 stone so had my concerns about the strength of the frame, wheels, forks and brakes but in 18months of weekly use and abuse it hasn't failed me once. I had one initial issue with the bottom bracket which turned out to be water/fluid sloshing about which was easily sorted. Nothing else has gone wrong at all.

    Through the summer I ride 3 times a week and once a week in the winter, approx. 10 miles a time at the local trail centre so you have an idea how much use mine gets.

    I use it for XC and Trails, and my local trail centre has rooted sections, 2 to 3 foot drop-offs, and small jumps (1 foot angled jobbies which are fun if you attack them). The Camber copes excellently and easily with all of it, and I cannot fault it as an entry level full suspension trail bike.

    However a friend has a Stumpjumper and the difference is noticable. His bike is significantly lighter which will help you up hills a great deal. The forks are FOX ones rather than the Rock Shox I have front and back and they make a sizable difference to his ability to attack the trail out of corners and to smooth out the rooted bumpy sections.

    It doesn't make him ride a lot quicker, but its alot easier for him to ride that bit quicker, and he has more confidence in the bike, which feels more stable, planted, and attached to the track.

    With the money you're spending, based on my experience and what you state you want to ride on, I reccomend the Stumpjumper series, the actual model depending how much you wanna spend.

    Hope this helps, let us know what you decide on and how it rides. :wink:
    Specialised Camber Comp 2011
    Boardman Comp Road 2011
  • Hello, thanks for all the replies ppl really appreiate it nice to get one from a specialized point of view i was starting to side with the giant trance but still trying to make arangments to test the bikes, not so easy it seems.
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