Summer is just around the corner and a lot of trails are running as good as they'll ever be. It's a good time of year to be a mountain biker in the Northern Hemisphere.The Pinkbike Buy&Sell section
is full of everything from balance bikes to race-ready rigs, and this week I'll be taking a peek to find a mixture of both interesting or sensible bikes for your viewing, and potentially buying pleasure. I've also listened to you in that you
should decide whether something is Sensible
, or just not your cup of tea entirely. So, I've found some bikes and will make my case as to what I think they are and you can vote to see if you agree with me.
Disclaimer, this is a personal and subjective list, and also one that I don't really take price into account, but it would be great to hear your thoughts and ideas. Believe it or not, I don't actually consider myself to be infallible, however strong my opinions on cable routing
may be. Shocking, I know. Maybe that's a bad example, as it's something I'm very obviously 100% correct about, but you get the picture.
There are many great bikes on the Buy&Sell and I can only feature so many. If you go looking, I have no doubts that you'll find your own stable of drool-worthy bikes but all I can say is that this is mine.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you please, here are my 5 selections.
For Sale: 2018 Antidote Darkmatter
Price: $6,750 USD
Location: Bremerton, United States
View Buy&Sell Listing
The Antidote is a bike I have always had a soft spot for. I always considered them exotic and desirable. When I saw Reece Potter's in Queenstown in 2017 I thought that was my one brief sighting in the wild. A week later, at the Lourdes World Cup, I saw another and being the fanboy that I am I couldn't believe my luck. I flew back to the UK, went for a ride the day after landing and I saw another one in the Forest of Dean! It was this strange period where these incredibly rare bikes seemed to be springing out of nowhere.
The person riding the bike in the forest was Steve Jones, then of Dirt Mag. We chatted about the bike and how impressed he was with it. I thought he seemed particularly verbose because the bike and its designer were right there in front of him. It was only working with Steve later on down the line that I realized that it wasn't that - he genuinely considered the bike to be something exceptional. I've always really respected and admired Wildman Jones and since then my soft spot for the Darkmatter has got considerably softer. I'd love to ride one someday if ever I get the chance.
The Darkmatter's Kevlar and Vectran-reinforced carbon is hand laid in Poland, the bottom bracket junction is a work of art and the hull-like downtube is there to make sure rocks glance off, as opposed to hitting squarely. There are so many great fine details about these bikes. The closer you look, the better it gets. I think it's one of the few bikes that really does land in that "hyperbike" territory and it still looks amazing today.Verdict - Interesting
For Sale: 2019 Sant Cruz V10 29
Price: $6100 USD
Location: Mission Viejo, United States
View Buy&Sell Listing
It's hard for me to say in a blanket statement whether or not a brand is worth the money they charge, or if they're good value. What you cherish is going to be different from the next rider. Some people are very spec-driven and would take a full XT groupset thrown on to a farm gate at a reasonable price and be grateful. Bikes are a funny thing in that most bikes work and one bicycle is no more or less of a bicycle compared to a cheaper alternative. It will still roll down the hill and the suspension will still move up and down in a similar-ish fashion. It's often when living with a bike that you get a greater appreciation of quality rather than your first ride off the shop floor.
As a mechanic, some brands would come into the store and you wouldn't want to touch them with a barge pole... held by Inspector Gadget's retractable arms... through a nuclear grade protection shield... in another room. Santa Cruz was never on that list and I always found them to be well put together. If I were to buy a bike second hand, I'd probably go for a brand that was at least associated with quality to begin with and stay well away from the aforementioned farm gates.
The V-10 has travel-a-plenty at 215mm, adjustable chainstay, and the spec on this is reassuringly level headed; Hope hubs on DT rims, Shimano drivetrain and Fox suspension. The carbon cranks are a little racey for some but it wouldn't bother me one bit.Verdict - Sensible
For Sale: 2021 Trek Slash 9.9
Price: $7,500 USD
Location: Park City, United States
View Buy&Sell Listing
If Trek were a family member, they wouldn't be the cousin who got their stomach pumped at 15 from drinking a bottle of tequila or the aunt that is an advocate of medicinal cannabis, but rather the in-law who you wouldn't mind being sat next to at a table-planned wedding. They'd tell you about their steady job, their stable relationship with well-defined boundaries and give you some really rather excellent advice on your pension, all in a friendly and affable tone.
That's not to say their bikes aren't exciting, as I'm sure they are, especially with models like the new Slash, but I think the whole point of them and the place they occupy in my mind is that they're not meant to be wild and untamed but rather "we know what we're doing, and we do it well." Sensible bikes that look great and manage to bridge the gap to desirable. The Slash even comes with a storage compartment, for tequila minis or whatever else you have in mind.
The 2021 Slash might share some aesthetic similarities with its predecessor but it's a very different bike. The bike underwent the longer/slacker treatment and features a 64-degree head angle and a roomy 486mm of reach in a large. It's also got a well-rounded spec with a RockShox and SRAM mix. I'm a big fan of the XO1 Eagle drivetrain for an enduro bike. I remember, years ago, thinking "Will I ever use a 50T?" It turns out, yes, and rather a lot. Code RSCs and the Zeb only enhance its do-it-all credentials.Verdict - Sensible
For Sale: 2019 Guerrilla Gravity Smash
Price: $4,500 USD
Size: Size 3
Location: Atlanta, United States
View Buy&Sell Listing
Pragmatic bikes, to me, are like crème fraîche to a Masterchef hopeful. So what makes a bike pragmatic? Well, to begin with it should have helped itself with geometry that was already slightly ahead of the curve. This is the most valuable type of future-proofing. Gimmicks and standards will come and go but if the bike's geometry is bad then it's a non-starter. Secondly, having real adjustment a big bonus. I'm not a fan of flip chips, I'm talking real
adjustment. That could be chainstay adjustment, head angle or reach adjustment from stock, or a degree of adjustment to the feel of the suspension. The Smash ticks two of those boxes so far and I haven't even mentioned the modular design platform.
The modular design means that you can change certain parts of the frame, such as the linkage and shock, to achieve a very different bike. In Guerilla Gravity's case they sell "Seatstay Tuning Kits" to usher you bike through different intentions. I'm not saying it's particularly cheap but I do think it is a very sensible approach.
The size 3 frame, in its long orientation, has a 481mm reach combined with an effective seat tube angle of 77 degrees. The head angle, with a 160mm fork will be just a shade over 64 degrees. The spec, again, is simple yet effective although I might be tempted to put a 203mm rotor on the front and keep the one I take off as a spare. Apart from that, it looks absolutely read to rip.Verdict - Sensible
For Sale: 1992 Klein Attitude HLF
Price: $2,800 USD
Location: Nevada City, United States
View Buy&Sell Listing
Hold your hats, we've got a live one.
Klein's iconic two-tone paintwork is synonymous with the brand. Unlike similar stylings that you may see today, the execution on the Kleins meant that it really did look like two different bikes, depending on where you're standing. This bike goes from full blueberry, all the way through the spectrum of varying bouts of sunburn I suffered as a child in the fierce West Midlands heat, to a pink that really pops. As beautiful as this bike is, I have no shame in saying it's a little above my pay grade. So I spoke to PB's resident 90s expert, RC.
Can it be considered sensible? Well, that would be missing the point, surely. One thing is for sure, it's absolutely gorgeous.Verdict - Very Interesting
What'd I miss? Who's found a hidden gem? Can a vintage bike truly be sensible?