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  1. #1
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    Vet This 1st MTB Decision or School Me Accordingly

    Grom is 5'7" on his way to 6'1" or 6'2" ish according to charts and sz11 shoes at age 12.

    He's outgrown his kids HotRock and it's time for the first real bike. I've had a few conversations with mags and done some research, but don't know what I don't know. You do, so let me know if this makes sense given the following factors:

    - Summer trail riding in PNW (maybe SOME DH, but not much).
    - He's not a big sender at the moment (not worried about max travel and fancy shock tuning)
    - resale-ability is a plus in case our tastes change
    - neutral "warm porridge" geometry and componentry is a plus
    - nothing in the dentist realm as it will be ridden to school (not worried about frame theft as much as damage, but still don't want super high value kit hanging on the thing).
    - big fan of bang for buck
    - fully > HT for versatility and because the kids at summer ski camp made fun of his HT (we'll show them! Billy Madison dodgeball style...)

    Because he's growing quickly and not pushing his limits this summer, and because this is possibly a bike I will inherit, and because it will see most of its miles as a commuter, I'm leaning toward a L frame even though a M would suit him better right this moment.

    Given all of the above, unless we're talking about finding a sweet deal on a used bike, all roads seem to point toward a fairly heavily discounted Trance 2 29er. I know Giant is what it is, but if something else does a better job of ticking all the boxes above, I'm not seeing it. Discount brings it down from 3.1k to 2.1k

    OR....

    Fuck all that. Get a much cheaper/lighter gravel bike now and worry about the MTB this summer.

  2. #2
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    "it will be ridden to school (not worried about frame theft as much as damage, but still don't want super high value kit hanging on the thing)"

    Bikes I'd suggest for riding to school and locking up are very different bikes than what I'd suggest for MTB generally. Any chance you would go for two bikes? (1) cheapish rigid hybrid commuter for locking up outside (e.g. $200 bike), and (2) real MTB.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  3. #3
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    Vet This 1st MTB Decision or School Me Accordingly

    Donít let him ride it to school.

    Go to a used bike store and pick up a beater. He can learn how to fix up and maintain a bike


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  4. #4
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    Nov 2014
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    2 replies. that's enough consensus for me!

    Budget lowered to sub-500 for the commuter.

    Next question becomes:

    is a 2100 price on the Trance 2 29 compelling enough to jump on it in order to put a competent, versatile bike in the family quiver?

  5. #5
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    My kids bikes for school is a pawn shop 75.00 bike. Even if your kid is careful, the other kids will trash it. I then get them a real used bike if they demonstrate they will use it.

  6. #6
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    I think a large is going to be pretty darn big for a kid who is 5'7"...

  7. #7
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    Jan 2019
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    Used $100 craigslist beater for riding to school.

    That Trance looks solid for the money, though I might encourage a 650b bike if you're going to upsize him with the assumption he'll grow into it. It'll be a little less bike for him to throw around, and the shorter front end will make getting the bars at a reasonable height a bit easier.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    Man, if youíre buying new youíre making a mistake.

    See the thread where I spent $1100 us fir a kick ass 26Ē wheeled carbon pivot w xt.

    Send the TGR hoy SS on it and results will come


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    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  9. #9
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    Aug 2013
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    Vet This 1st MTB Decision or School Me Accordingly

    This is from personal experience so take with a grain of salt - Do not get a larger frame that he will grow into at some point. This will do him no favors for developing bike skills. Crude example, but think of it this way, moto noobs donít start out on a 250cc bike thinking theyíll grow into it. They start on a small bike that theyíll be able to man handle at an early age to get the feel of things. Same thing for like every sport ever. Flex in hockey sticks, a 12 year isnít going to learn how to shoot properly with 100 flex stick etc

    Maybe donít blow your load on an expensive bike knowing heíll out grow it in a year or two (2-3k is seems crazy to me). Buy something heíll be able to get by with for the time being but not something so shitty it will hinder his development.

    FWIW I started riding on two bikes - a Haro F2 and a Giant Boulder, both kind of shit bikes

  10. #10
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    get a pos HT for riding to school
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #11
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    My votes:
    School commuter - $150 ~ $200 CL towny
    MTB - Used gen 1 Transition Patrol (if he is going to sometimes DH) or a Scout.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Mags.

    This is all making sense. Just like I don't put him on burly 190 skis. I guess I let me logic lapse because he skis a lot more seriously than he's gonna mtb this summer (2020), and by next summer (2021), he'll probably be close to 5'11".

    Craigslist HT beater already lined up! Worked out well. He'd been riding my wife's REI special to school and there happened to be a mens version on CL for cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by detrusor View Post
    Man, if you’re buying new you’re making a mistake.

    See the thread where I spent $1100 us fir a kick ass 26” wheeled carbon pivot w xt.

    Send the TGR hoy SS on it and results will come

    I just missed out on a carbon HD3 X01 for $1950 yesterday. Legit deal best I can tell (the address and the part of town were consistent with someone who didn't give a fuck about maximizing profit and didn't want to fuck around with selling on CL for more than 1 hour with more than 1 email). Even so, I feel like 2100 for a brand new 3100 bike is not bad, even if it's not a "shut up and take my money" kinda deal. I spend so much time researching and looking for deals that it might be worth it just to get my 2hrs a day back.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2006
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    Similar question, but not riding to school, but maybe around town with friends. Resale is not a biggie, but my budget is nowhere close to the OP, which makes me think used HT in M or M/L. Also a HT is easier to maintain than FS. Having trouble finding up-to-date-ish HTís that are not nearly new bikes that originally sold for $4+k.

    Also, whatís overunder on the suntour 29er forks?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    My votes:
    School commuter - $150 ~ $200 CL towny
    MTB - Used gen 1 Transition Patrol (if he is going to sometimes DH) or a Scout.
    Looked hard at Transition. Saw that clearance Smuggler frame on Evo. Kid's nickname is Turd Smugglins, so it worked on 2 levels. Plus had visions of father/son building out a bike together. Then I spent a week researching and pricing the kit and said fuck that. Big evil corp like Giant has much better economies of scale. I would have been left with a $1000 frame hanging heavy, outdated components in order to stay under budget.

    But I guess this all goes back to "used complete bike that someone else has already taken the depreciation hit on."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    But I guess this all goes back to "used complete bike that someone else has already taken the depreciation hit on."
    Which is why I suggested a used gen 1.

    Right now I am seeing them come up for about 2k with a decent groupo that hasn't been beaten to shit.
    Also, if he's not into it, score for you, or, just put it back up on CL, it'll sell.

    I consider Gen 1 alloy Patrols to be the Toyota Tacoma of FS/AM bikes, geo numbers are spot on, they are solid, reliable and generally speaking the part kits are right in the pocket.
    Last edited by ACH; 11-15-2019 at 04:02 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    But I guess this all goes back to "used complete bike that someone else has already taken the depreciation hit on."
    I'm going to 3rd or 4th or whatever number this.

    pinkbike classifieds is your friend.

  17. #17
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    To the OP - you said this MTB will be for your kid, who is currently 12. Do you know for sure that he will take good care of the bike, if you spring for a $2K-ish full suspension?

    From my experience, kids that age are very hard on bikes -- those bikes will get beat on, jumped off everything in sight, dumped on the ground, left on the front lawn of their friends' houses...
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  18. #18
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    and not locked up ergo a used HT beater for the townie
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  19. #19
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    Nov 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    To the OP - you said this MTB will be for your kid, who is currently 12. Do you know for sure that he will take good care of the bike, if you spring for a $2K-ish full suspension?

    From my experience, kids that age are very hard on bikes -- those bikes will get beat on, jumped off everything in sight, dumped on the ground, left on the front lawn of their friends' houses...
    He's not gonna get to take it all around town. 9 times out of 10, I'd be with him. Solid reminders though, and it was my main concern with getting him only 1 nicer bike. This 2 bike idea is much better.
    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    Which is why I suggested a used gen 1.

    Right now I am seeing them come up for about 2k with a decent groupo that hasn't been beaten to shit.
    Also, if he's not into it, score for you, or, just put it back up on CL, it'll sell.

    I consider Gen 1 alloy Patrols to be the Toyota Tacoma of FS/AM bikes, geo numbers are spot on, they are solid, reliable and generally speaking the part kits are right in the pocket.
    I'm pretty sure you told me to buy the new frame and drop 4k on a group set, but I tried to read between the lines.

    Seriously though, that's good info on the patrol. I have a buddy who swears by em. Seems to be a sort of benchmark bike as far as the internet is concerned. Same with Trance though.



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  20. #20
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    I think Outdoor Ge a r exchange in Burlington VT has a new gen 1 Patrol NX for around $2-2.1k. If itís still available, I bet they have decent shipping rates

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    I'm pretty sure you told me to buy the new frame and drop 4k on a group set, but I tried to read between the lines.
    I'm pretty sure if I would have gone that far, I wouldn't have stopped there...

    Seriously though, that's good info on the patrol. I have a buddy who swears by em. Seems to be a sort of benchmark bike as far as the internet is concerned. Same with Trance though.
    The main difference between the two comes down to what you want to do.
    I have zero issues with Giant bikes, rode a Reign X for years.
    Both are solid but they are also different. JMO, but the gen 1 Patrol probably overlaps with the Trance on the aggressive end of trail and offers more room to grow on the AM side of things.

  22. #22
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    You should buy my medium 2018 Trek Slash 9.8. It'll make your kid rad.

  23. #23
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    Oct 2015
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    Look at the 2020 Giant Stance 29 1 in size MD for $1800.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by One (+) Sentence View Post
    Look at the 2020 Giant Stance 29 1 in size MD for $1800.
    If the trance wasn't on sale for only 300 more, I would. I'm glad they ditched the 2 speed chainring though.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    My votes:
    School commuter - $150 ~ $200 CL towny
    MTB - Used gen 1 Transition Patrol (if he is going to sometimes DH) or a Scout.

    This is exactly what I was thinking. Size medium.


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