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Full suspension AM Bike ~£1000 (or £1800 for NEW)

Milko_Milko_ Posts: 23
edited September 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi, I'm fairly new to the 'real' mountain biking, just making my first baby pedal strokes now -
my first and only 'good' bike was Kona Dawg Deluxe 2007.
So I'm aiming to get something that feels as a considerable upgrade over my old Dawg.
I like riding cross country, 1-2 day trips, but at the same time I really enjoy steep descends,
jumping off of things and the more Enduro/DH style (or the idea of that at least, considering my level of skills at this point).
Due to recent budget cuts and the state of global economy(haha)
I'll have to be able to do both with one bike - and therefore my conclusion is to get an All-mountain type of ride - Ideally 150mm travel. Feel free to correct me if I appear to be absolutely clueless in what I'm supposed to get in order to fulfil the requirements from above.

I'm leaning towards Scott Ransom, because it's the cheapest and I like the design, but I'm yet to find a good
review for it. That proprietary shock...and 5 years old? Fox 36 Van sounds good, but spring?

Also, what suspension should I be looking for or trying to avoid in general?
(I'm ~60kg if that matters) Air? Hydraulic? Spring?
What would be the best way to test it to see if it's not blown out or stuck apart from taking it to the trail?
A friend had an old Bomber and it felt as if a rigid fork would've had more travel.

Unfortunately, because second hand bikes are going quite quickly I won't be able to test ride all of them, so your input would be of amazing value!

TL;DR - I'm looking for an AM full susser around £1000 if possible.

And the contenders so far are:

Giant Trance x2 2010 @ £1500
Scott Ransom 30 2007 @ £800
Giant Reign X1 2008 @ £1000
Spacialized Enduro Expert FSR 2009 @ £1200
Trek Fuel EX9 2011 @ £1500

(1500 would be the absolute stretch, and only if it's really worth it)
Other suggestions are warmly welcome!

Once I get a better idea of what I'm looking for I'll fix a 'wanted' thread.
Looking for MTB buddy.

Best price quality ratio? Which one would you get? 16 votes

Giant Reign X1 2008 @1000
0% 0 votes
Spacialized Enduro Expert FSR 2009 @1200
0% 0 votes
Trek Fuel EX9 2011 @1500
18% 3 votes
Canyon Nerve AM 7 @1500 NEW
81% 13 votes


  • Look at the Boardman Team FS........ costs £999 ......... rave reviews everywhere. ... s-12-35829
    Stop ... Stop .... there's something wrong with the bike !!!
    reality: I'm shagged and I need a break
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    Trance, Fuel and Boardman aren't really what I'd call 'AM', though I'm sure they're excellent. Personally, from that list, I'd go with the Enduro. As long as the shock is good, it's pretty much the equivalent of the current Stumpjumper Evo. I don't know much about the Scott, but I've heard of them cracking and a completely proprietary shock would put me right off (at least the one on the Enduro can be changed for something normal).
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Trance & Reign X are both great bikes, I have owned both. The Trance is ideal for long all day rides & blasting around trail centres with a little bit of harder riding thrown in but it's no all mountain bike. The Reign X is a beast of a bike and awesome for hard riding but it weighs as much as a rhino and is more of a freeride/mini downhill bike.
    I would avoid the Scott because of it's shock. Trek Fuel & Boardman are both cross country bikes & not all mountain bikes by a long way. The Enduro is a great bike but the Stumpjumper is also capable of what you want to do, so is the Giant Reign.
    You should be able to get a nice 2010/2011 giant Reign 1 within your budget. I only got £1400 for my 9 month old 2011 Reign X and that was very nice with some serious upgrades.
  • sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
    if your looking at up to £1500 have a look at one of these ... tml?b=2564

    my mates bought last years model and i was quietly impressed by it. hell of a lot of bike for the money. IIRCthe entry level on is c £1300. i didn't get to ride it in anger, but he swears by it and judging by the ammount of threads i see on here, they seem pretty popular
  • Milko_Milko_ Posts: 23
    Thanks for the comments, it's really appreciated!

    Okay, so Ransom is off the list, Canyon...this is very tempting and NEW,
    apparently they've become quite popular and so far mostly good reviews.

    Looking at the specs of the's not that far from the Enduro (or I'm missing something?),
    they are at the same price, however the Enduro is 3 years old, probably heavily abused and comes with no warranty.
    Am I only paying for the 'brand' when choosing Specialized/Trek etc or they are really that better? I get that they hold a lot of patents because they can invest in R&D and smaller companies are licensing stuff and that begs the question why not get the cheaper Kona or even Ghost from ChainReaction but new? I'm confused and can't wait to get a bike.

    I'll keep an eye out for any 2010/2011 Giant Reign 1's.
    Looking for MTB buddy.
  • Second hand choices so far seem to be slightly limited, so I thought it might be smarter to wait a bit,
    maybe get a small loan of a friend and get a really nice machine.

    Budget for new is £1800!

    ...and I did something that might look rather silly but here it is:


    Direct link: ... ikeres.jpg

    Again, it would be really nice of you if you can point me in the right direction!
    I'd like to narrow then down to 2-3 possible options and maybe go and test ride them somewhere,
    if I'm gonna spend 2k on a bike at least I can do it properly.

    Looking for MTB buddy.
  • I'm not exactly looking for a bike within this budget yet, but I'd be interested in the comparison from the table.
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    Tbh, there are so many choices at that price-point I'd just test what I found 'interesting' (Foxy, Stumpy, Zesty, Altitude and Remedy). You'd probably be hard-pushed to pick an absolute dog, so don't necessarily let yourself get blinded by the 'blingiest' spec. Find whatever you think fits and rides best (in the case of the Canyon try and find a local rider who has one).
  • Don't know if you saw this, might be of some help
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    sofaboy73 wrote:
    if your looking at up to £1500 have a look at one of these ... tml?b=2564
    if your really considering one of these, i wouldn't leave it too long
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Norco AM on offer @ CRC?
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    I would advise to to try and demo one before you buy. Not only to get the correct sizing but also to see if the bike suits you. I demoed a few bikes earlier in the year as wanted to get something new. I found some bikes were more capable than I thought and some bikes just didn't suit me even though they got great reviews in the mags.

    If your not going to bother to demo any then just go for the Canyon for its cracking value for money.
  • Thank you all for the comments, it was quite helpful!

    Here's what I ended up with - viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12881670
    Looking for MTB buddy.
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