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Little bit of full sus advise please

HurseyHursey Posts: 4
edited September 2016 in MTB buying advice
Hi all
Looking at buying my first full sus bike. Just was hoping to get a bit more of an independent opinion before I go blow my kid's college fund.

So right now I've got entry level 29r hard tail, I've had it coming up three years now and its been great. Generally I tend to ride to my local bike park, about 20km each way. A mix of hard pack gravel, hard pack sand but mainly sealed road. My local bike park is mainly made up of fast flowy single trails without a lot climbs. For this my HT works great, although some what a tank on the tighter switchbacks, it's a lot of fun. However, as I get a little more adventurous, I want to try other stuff and fell that my current bike might hold me back a bit. I'm a pretty sizable side of beef, roughly 6'3" and 100kgs

Where I live, we're a little remote so I don't have a huge number of choices when it comes to a LBS, that said I would prefer to buy from them rather than via the web if possible. I have been keeping an eye on 2nd hand listing but there are really slim pickings in my area without pay more than my budget for a new bike.
My three LBS are 1) GT/Canondale 2)Specialized/Giant and 3) Scott. Stock at all of them is a bit tight right now, still waiting for 2017 models so not able to take demos out for a ride right now.

Storage space is going to be a bit tight, unfortunately I will most likely have to get rid of my current bike so what ever I get is will have to be a bit of a do it all, I also don't have a huge budget so can't be pulling the trigger on any carbon fiber rocket.
At the movement, my first pick is probably a GT Sensor, followed by a Stumpjumper

So now to the questions I actually have.
1) Does GT's AoS suspension have any downsides? So far all I've found is it involves a little awkward cable routing.
2) If AoS is as good as they say, why haven't more brands come up with their own variants?
3) With the rise of 1x drive trains, will I loss too much versatility or am I better to stick with a 2x or 3x?
4) One LBS said to go for a 650plus bike. How versatile are plus sized tires?
5) I'm not talking any hard core down hill. Am I perhaps being a bit over ambitious with the amount to travel on these bikes? Can/should I dial that back a bit

Anyway, appreciate your time and input
Thanks

Posts

  • Hursey wrote:
    I want to try other stuff and fell that my current bike might hold me back a bit. I'm a pretty sizable side of beef, roughly 6'3" and 100kgs

    What kind of stuff do you want to do?
    https://youtu.be/zQly80iRVag - that's all on a hardtail.
    Bird AM Zero (On Order :D )
    Canyon Nerve AM 7.0 (stolen :evil: )
    Cube Road SL
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,177
    Hursey wrote:
    I want to try other stuff and fell that my current bike might hold me back a bit. I'm a pretty sizable side of beef, roughly 6'3" and 100kgs

    What kind of stuff do you want to do?
    https://youtu.be/zQly80iRVag - that's all on a hardtail.
    That's all well and good but not everyone is Chris Akrigg though are they.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

    Strava
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,177
    A link to bikes you've been looking at and your budget might help.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

    Strava
  • Yeah course, i'm just pointing out what a hardtail is capable off and that it possible to go way beyond what most people will do on an average ride.

    I'm actually going the other way and replacing my full suss with one :mrgreen:
    Bird AM Zero (On Order :D )
    Canyon Nerve AM 7.0 (stolen :evil: )
    Cube Road SL
  • The limits of a particular bike are very different to a particular bike and rider combination. Pointing out what Chris Akrigg can do on a hardtail is completely meaningless.
    Nothing wrong with getting full suspension to make things a bit easier.
  • Ta for the interest guys.
    Going to be honest, not really 100% sure what adventures I might want to try. Just like I said I would like the option to comfortably and confidently skip down a rock outcrop or something if I came to one. I would still consider myself a bit of a novice so probably still a little way from being comparable to Chris Akrigg

    Bikes I'm considering are
    Specialized Stumpy https://www.specialized.com/nz/en-au/bikes/mountain/stumpjumper-fsr-comp-29/115303 (Not sure if 29 or 650 yet)
    GT Sensor https://www.evanscycles.com/gt-sensor-comp-2017-mountain-bike-EV281683. Sensors have been sold out for months, so have to wait for 2017 stock

    Also looking a the Specialized Camber in the last few days. A lot like the Stumpy but fits the budget a bit better
    https://www.specialized.com/nz/en-au/bikes/mountain/camber-comp-29/115520

    Budget wise, Stumpy is probably at the very extreme top end and would be a stretch, unless you talk to the wife of course he says it twice my budget but I can work on that
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,177
    Between them, my money would be on the stumpy. Not sure if I'd got for the 29er or 650 either, test ride would sway that decision.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

    Strava
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,348
    Get yourself a Giant Trance better than any of your suggestions so far, good climber and will take the abuse.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Ho guys, appreciate the input. Thing is I'm not really after buy this bike or that one.

    What I'm really trying to ask is more of "I want a versatile do it all full sus bike". I'm just after an unbiased opinion to make I not going to sacrifice too much of versatility I'm wanting for particular setup option.

    Currently riding a mix of sealed and unsealed road/hardpack gravel paths and single trial. Not too much in the way of long climbs or descents (But would like to start doing that)

    Like I said, I've got a few options in mind but all with their own pros and cons

    My concerns are..
    1) 1x drivetrain, Am i better to look for a 2x or 3x setup?
    2) Plus size tyres
    3) Is 140mm travel maybe going to be too much?
    4) Does GT AoS suspension have any significant downsides
  • I've got the 2015 Camber Evo, really pleased with it. Goes downwards pretty well (although obviously not a downhill bike), and very easy to ride uphill as well - it's taken everything from the red routes at Coed Y Brenin to the Queen Elizabeth Country park in Hampshire.

    I was originally set on a Mondraker Foxy, but when I actually looked in more detail I realised I just didn't need the longer travel for my riding (plus it was a lot more money!). Also the lower weight of the Camber was attractive as there is quite a high ratio of uphill to downhill in my local routes.

    I'm not into big jumps, drop offs or super fast downhills so couldn't say how well it would handle it, but the video reviews at the time had it doing a lot more than my ability allows! Certainly for general 'red' level style trail riding it is fabulous.

    Edit: The only modification I have done is to add a dropper post, which was well worth the hundred or so quid.
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