Which Bike Should I Buy?

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Posted: May 21, 2020 at 19:34 Quote
Hello all,

I am new to mountain biking and looking to get a solid bike that I can progress with. I am looking for mostly trail riding. I am down to 3 different bikes and was hoping I could get some advice on which bike would be the best for the money. I am 6' 5" and 230 lbs.

The 3 bikes I am looking at are all the XL version with 29ers:

1) Canyon Neuron CF 8.0
2) Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 3
3) Scott Genius 950

I am mechanically savvy and will not have any issues with assembling/tuning etc, I am just purely looking for what bike will be the best value for the money spent. I am open to any other suggestions for bikes as well.

Thank you all in advanced!

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 21:44 Quote
Is there a reason you have 115mm, 130mm and 150mm rear travel bikes on the list? The first and last also have 65.5 degree head angles while the middle one has 67.5. These are quite different bikes.

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 21:53 Quote
What sort of riding are you looking to do? Bike parks? This can affect any recommendations. As well as what is your budget?

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 8:34 Quote
So I am very new to the sport and pretty clueless when it comes to bike specs. I got these names by basically Googling / watching YouTube videos.

I am mostly looking for a trail bike that does well going downhill as well. I am not going to be hitting any big jumps/drops.

I would like to spend less than 4k for sure, kind of looking at the 3-3.5k range. Do you guys have any recommendations on bikes that fit that bill for someone my size (6'5" 230 lbs).

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 11:26 Quote
What country do you live in? That may affect what brands you have access to. You need to think about how much downhill bias you are looking for. The more travel you have the less well it will pedal. The slacker the head angle (lower number in degrees) the less "playful" the bike will be on easy terrain but will be more stable at high speeds and on steep descents.

So 130-140mm rear travel is kind of middle of the road for a trail bike. 150+mm travel and you have a descending bias with a slight loss in pedaling efficiency (although modern bikes all pedal reasonably well). I'd say not to go beyond 150mm rear travel as you start to get into race oriented bikes.

67-65.5 degree head angle is also middle of the road. Steeper (bigger number) than 67 and you get into cross country bikes with really quick handling. Below 65.5 the bikes are basically meant for racing and get less fun on easier trails.

So of your choices the Giant has a head angle that will make it stable at high speeds but limited rear travel which means it'll climb great but not as smooth on fast and rough terrain.

The canyon has a steep head angle and will have the quickest steering. FWIW people in North America have had issues with warranty in the past. I have no experience with the brand so I won't say anything beyond that.

The scott is a great all mountain category bike meaning it definitely has a descending bias.

I suggest doing some more research with that knowledge. There are so many bike tests and shootouts both in article and video form online. There is a huge range of options to choose from.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 20:13 Quote
@friendlyfoe, thank you very much for this information, I really appreciate your help. I will definitely do more research before I decide!

Posted: May 23, 2020 at 2:40 Quote
It’s a great question but also impossible to answer. Since you are new to biking there is so much to learn. Not just about biking but about yourself and the type of riding you enjoy. My suggestion is to pick a price range, select a bike and bike style within that range and start riding. Be modest in the price range you select. Assume that you will have the bike for a year or two as you determine your likes.

Getting high value from one bike to the next is challenging. The manufacturers assemble, choosing components to meet a price range and target market.

Try not to spend too much time agonizing, none of them are perfect. Once you start riding, best advise is to get out and ride, switch mikes with friends, go to demo days whenever possible. It will help you get a better sense of the feel of the different bikes and what you like.

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