XC/All Mountain/Light Freeride Bike Suggestions

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XC/All Mountain/Light Freeride Bike Suggestions
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Posted: May 25, 2008 at 17:47 Quote
Hey All,

I have been away from biking for a few years now, and for a long time before that all i did was race downhill and dirt jump (while i was living out west). Unfortunately, as things played out, I am now moved back to the east coast, and find myself back in a new situation.

Due to lack of time and suitable terrain, I am selling both my DH bikes, and instead am looking to purchase something of a light freeride/XC/All Mountain ride (as the title suggests), to keep me busy for the next couple of years. I will absolutely be buying used, and my budget is low-ish, but actually rather open (within limits).

My problem is just that I have no idea what is good/bad/anything, these days, OR in the allmountain/xc genre. Examples of the style I think I want to be focusing on possibly (as far as style of bike, not necesarily new models), are Kona Coilair series, Giant Reign series, Norco Fluid LT series, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR etc. Any suggestions anyone might have for bikes that might fit my critera would be much appreciated (also, if I have overlooked some major differences in my examples I gave, please help me out there). Thanks for all your time


Posted: May 26, 2008 at 10:11 Quote
I think the Kona Coilair series is at the more extreme end of the freeride spectrum, while the Specialized fsrxc bikes are at the cross country end. So there is a very broad range there. My personal opinion is that if you think you will be riding more agressively (and given your dh/dj background I would say that is a safe bet) you should look more towards the specialized enuro series, Norco fluid LT's or Six's of the coilair's.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 10:14 Quote
you might want to check out Rocky Mountain's newer Slayer and Slayer SXC series. There's usually a couple good ones in the buy-sell here. a good mix of uphill-downhill capabilities, and the SXC is tougher than people (even Rocky) gives it credit for; watch some vids of Geoff Gulevich railing his.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 10:26 Quote
Awesome guys. thanks for the input so far. i will look into those.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 10:34 Quote
I agree with the Enduro suggestion, 2005-2007 are very good models with modest prices.
as for the slayer, no doubt they are a great bike but you may find the price a bit steep depending on your budget, Though if i had the cash i would probably go for a Slayer, but since i don't i have an 05 Enduro and i can just do everything with it. Great bike.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 10:35 Quote
Take a look at the Devinci Hectik series as well. True horst link just over 6 inches of travel and mid to low 30's in terms of weight, quite a few of them are being raced in Ontario's O-Cup and have been able to take the punishment. As the person metioned above the Rocky is a solid bike as well.

Giant Reign and Trance are other options.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 17:55 Quote
I have been looking around somemore, and I am actually wondering if the Coilairs/Enduros/Fluid LT's may even be a little heavier than I want? I plan to be doing zero shuttling, and just want an aggressive trailbike that allows me great long distance riding and climbing abilities, and all I think I want as far as being able to "attack" on descents, is to avoid extreme xc-race geometry. From my looking, I think my top two right now are the Slayer SXC (if the price is right) or a Stumpjumper.

It seemed to me that the Enduro's (and SX bikes) that came up in my searches seemed more like light freeride bikes and not agressive xc/trail bikes (which is more what I am looking for, I think). The same with the Coilairs, they all seemed to have rather slack geometry, and seemed a little bit geared towards aggressive descents still.

Another possibility I am now looking at, which I think is in line with the Stumpjumpers and Slayers as agressive XC, is the Kona Dawg line.

Any thoughts? Thanks again for all your time. I appreciate this help.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:13 Quote
You are looking a great bikes if you do indeed want a more trail worthy steed. You should take a long look at the Giant trance and Reign series as was suggested above, as it will give you one more brand to compare price and spec. Kona Dawgs are fantastic and extremely reliable trail bikes. You couldn't go wrong with that one.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:20 Quote
awesome. thanks.

so, out of that list (stumpjumper, sxc, reign/trance, dawg, and I am also going to enter in the non LT fluid line), would any of them strike you as maybe "too XC" for what i'm thinking of? or are they all pretty much in the same general ballpark?

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:26 Quote
All of those bikes basically fall into the same category, except for the Giant Reign. Prior to '08 it was mainly a light freeride bike, and now it has split into two different models. One is an air suspended 6" bike that would probably still fit into your category, while the other is a stright up freeride bike.

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:34 Quote
Santa Cruz Nomad is THE do-it-all bike, but it comes at a price

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:38 Quote
I have heard good things about the nomad, but is it indeed as climb friendly as the others, and not just a freeride bike that can climb with decent respect?

Posted: May 26, 2008 at 18:41 Quote
Ibis is also worth a look. The Mojo line has some pretty sweet bikes.

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