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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:00 am 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:24 am
Posts: 107
Location: Minnesota, USA
Since this forum seems like a bunch of good eggs, and a group I'm more likely to trust since you all "get" my affinity for my old mountain bike, I figured I'd ask here.

My bike that I still ride (I'm the original owner) is a 1994 Specialized Stumpjumper FS and although I still enjoy riding it tremendously (just went on a great ride today) I probably should open my eyes to what modern bikes could offer me. Then maybe I can save my steel Stumpy hardtail for the odd ride when I want the retro feel.

I stopped any off-road, single-track riding around 1998 when I graduated college and only recently in the last year or two have gotten back into riding technical mountain bike trails. The modern bikes I see on the trails are bewildering and I've tried even reading about the types (all mountain? downhill? 29er??) but it's hard to know where my preferences would fit in best.

Anyone have any advice on where to start and avoid shocking my stuck-in-the-90's mountain bike brain? I didn't think I would like a full suspension bike when they came out in the mid-90's (on climbs and the "soft sprung" feel) but I'm sure technology is light years ahead of where things were in 1994. And I already have a hard-tail bike.


edit:

For a basis of what I've been riding, here is the link to pics and description of my 1994 Stumpjumper which has been largely unchanged since 1998 except for the new seat and tires I put on it.

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... highlight=


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:32 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:01 pm
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Location: France
hi!

it'd be useful to know:

-how much you want to spend (knowing that you'll likely spend more)
-what kind of riding you do and on what kind of trails

if i was to consider a full-susser at this point (and had the $$$ for i) it'd be a http://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/mojo_sl/


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:17 pm 
Gold Trader
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Location: Scotland!!!!!! Yay, at last, only 4 years waiting!
I've just done exactly this, not even ridden the new bike yet (it's a 2004 model so not really new).

I think that probably you might be best off starting out with an XC Mountain Bike (cross country), which is what I have done, not too much travel, and probably the closest direct comparison in modern terms to what the majority of mtb's were made for back in the 90's.

I bought one a few years old, and considered my choice very carefully as I wanted to ease myself in slowly but also wanted to buy something I could afford (not all that much), and would easilly sell on if I did decide to try another style or go even more modern at a later date.

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:01 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:10 pm
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Location: Skipton
As xced mentioned:

Budget?
Type of trails you ride.

Try looking at Specialized with there Stumpjumper full sus or Camber or Trek Fuel EX range as these would be more suited to trail riding and xc duties.
I suspect you're not going to be dropping off of large drops etc so look at the 100-120mm travel mark. Look for a bike with decent spec more so the forks/shock (Fox or Rockshox), then there's the drive train which imo needs to be Shimano SLX, XT, XTR or Sram X7, X9, X0 depending on budget.
Check out www.bikeradar.com as they have a good listing of reviews.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:30 pm 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:24 am
Posts: 107
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thanks guys, I'll take that advice to heart. I'm thinking of demoing/renting some modern bikes to test out on the local trails. My riding is medium technical single-track mostly, not too many jumps or dropoffs. Just winding through the woods, moderate climbs and rocks/tree roots.

My budget is flexible, I'd say $2k max if I were buying new, but I want to stay smart about it so that's why I like the idea of getting a modern/used bike that I can ride for a while and determine if it fits my needs. The demo/renting idea is a good way for me to see what I like.

I see a lot of new bikes with Sram, but I don't know them, are they the main competitor to Shimano? When I was riding a lot it always seemed to be Shimano XT or XTR were the bee's knees if you wanted a top level mountain bike rig.

I think my main budget issue will be that I don't like riding aluminum frames, and to get decent components (I think, not totally sure on the pecking order of things now) and suspension technology, that a steel frame is a rarity only available from custom builders and a carbon or titanium frame would kill the budget for sure.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:31 pm 
Retro Guru
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Best to get over the aluminium thing, especially as whatever it is you don't like about it is almost certainly entirely irrelevant if you're looking at full sus bikes :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:58 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 50
Hi ya,

I've too just come out of the dark ages and picked up a full suspension. I bought a Kona Lava Dome in 93 which had served me very well, but...I was sick and tired of being rattled to pieces [being a steel frame and all] so I chose to go full suspension. I wish I'd made the jump sooner and saved being jarred for all those years :lol:

The only downside to buying the type of bike that you're looking at is cost the of ownership. There are far more moving parts than the bike you currently have so the costs are going to be way more owning a 'springer' - that is if you intend to keep it running well.

You can keep the costs down if you 'diy' as I'm doing although you have to keep in mind that somethings have to be sent in to be serviced like the DT Swiss rear shock that I've got on my bike.

Where you thinking of buying new or secondhand out of interest? I picked up a nice bike secondhand and saved a packet :D

.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:19 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11105
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
MikeD wrote:
Best to get over the aluminium thing, especially as whatever it is you don't like about it is almost certainly entirely irrelevant if you're looking at full sus bikes :)


Very true.

I go along with the suggestions for 5 inch travel full susser with full lock out.

2 grand shopping Alu gets you an inexpensive, light yet high quality frame with high end components. 2 grand shopping Carbon could buy you a medium quality frame low/medium spec bike.

2 grand buys you an AMAZING retro full susser. Worth thinking about.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:22 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 1:29 pm
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Location: Manchester, UK
Chugnuts wrote:
but...I was sick and tired of being rattled to pieces [being a steel frame and all] so I chose to go full suspension.


it wasn't the steel frame rattling you about! :D it was the lack of suspension!

otherwise, Chugnuts is right... if you find a very nearly new bike you can save 50% off new price and buy a bike that's only just bedded in. Or ex-demo / shop soiled / old stock etc.

You're definitely looking at an alu frame on budget of $2k I'm afraid


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:25 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
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Location: Dorset
I'm on my 2nd modern bike, after taking the plunge about 2 years ago.
I first bought a 3 year old Trek Fuel EX9.
I spent a few quid changing things I didn't like on it (new brakes was the main thing) and found it a cracking introduction to full sus riding.
The thing that had been putting my off going full sus was I was concerned it wouldn't climb as well as my hard tail....I was very wrong!
It had the Fox RP23 rear shock, and the pro-pedal allowed just enough give to track roots/rocks etc when climbing to give better traction.
I rode that for a year or so, then in Jan this year I bought my first new bike since 1989!
I found a last years Sant Cruz Superlight in a local shop. I paid £1900 for it (which was £1000 off it's 'new' price).
Really impressed with this too. What I like about this frame design is the single pivot. It's such a simple design, that works well and should keep servicing costs down :D
Hope this helps, and enjoy the demo rides!


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