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  1. #1
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    Jan 2008
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    Recommend me a modern MTB (in Canada)

    This is kind of similar to Muggy's recent thread, but I'm special and want my own thread, and many of your are probably bored at home and itching to post up your advice anyway.

    The background:

    I've been out of mountain biking since the late 2000's, but the reasons that kept me away from it are growing up and I want to get back on the trails again. I do still bike a few times a week, but on gravel paths and roads on my cyclocross bike, and in my basement on a trainer.

    I probably could have been happy just getting back on my old mountain bike (full suspension xc bike from around 2005), but while "working" from home recently I've read up on all the new tech my old bike is lacking (27.5 or 29 wheels, wide rims and tires, tubeless, 1x drivetrain, dropper seatpost, better suspension, "modern" slack geometry, carbon fiber, probably more I don't know about yet).

    My local trails don't have much elevation change, but lots of small granite obstacles to ride up and down. BITD I would have called them more "technical" than "flowy". I also plan to occasionally ride some of the easier dh trails at a nearby bike park. I'm not too concerned about going fast, either up or down. I think I want something in the trail bike category, leaning more toward the enduro/all-mountain side than xc.

    The question:

    What specific bike model would you recommend for me? It has to be available in Canada, and preferably at one of my local bike shops (which carry Norco, Rocky Mountain, Trek, Specialized, Devinci, and probably some others). I'm leaning toward buying new, since I don't really know enough to evaluate a used mountain bike. Budget is around $2-3K, possibly a little more if I can convince my SO that funds raised by reducing my ski quiver should be applied to the bike. I always like to get a bargain, but not if it's the wrong bike for me.

    Ideally I would check out bikes in a local shop, and demo a few of them to get a better idea of what I want, but that's not really possible now, and I don't have local mountain biking friends whose bikes I can try.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    if you can get there, i’ve found roc n ride in val david to be quite helpful with a commuter and ski/climb stuff. they have kona and some other brands, trails in town to try them out. good luck
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    Pretty hard to beat the value on Giant if you’re in Canada.

  4. #4
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    1) see what your shop actually has in stock? bikes are selling quick in western CND
    2) see what your shop suggests? they know the local trails better then you do and have bought stuff to suit that?
    3) you can add a dropper later, $250ish
    4) the angles/feel matter more than wheel size. but if you can go 29
    5) for $3K you will get a nice bike.
    6) also add to budget paddded shorts, helmet, maybe shoes, repair kit, gloves
    7) VERY hard to beat this value https://www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/stance-2
    8) cheaper bikes might not be able to get set up tubeless, worth the upgrade to a nicer bike if you can.
    9) get 1* ?? its simple, easy, etc
    10) now go buy one.


  5. #5
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Pretty hard to beat the value on Giant if you’re in Canada.
    this is very true, I rode a reign for a lot of years because of this reason, and if you have any issues with your frame their warranty service is extremely good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    2 -3k is a decent budget. If you're coming from late 2000s you're probably got ok skills in bike handling.

    A 120mm travel dual suspension perhaps? Or if what you're into is shorter (40min - 2 hour rides) a hardtail?

    In order of priority

    - relatively modern geometry on a frame (anything even from 2017 would be ok)

    - dropper post (up and down with bits of technical therefore nice to have)

    - 1x drivetrain (SRAM vs Shimano is a religion battle but imo the lower end Shimano tends to hold up better wear-wise then lower end SRAM)

    - decent tires but they are a wear item and can be upgraded

    - decent suspension ( within reason the middle end suspension is just fine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Whistler
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    413
    The recent pinkbike field trip group test was looking at exactly the bikes you're after, budget(ish) all around trail bikes.

    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/field-tr...s-meta-tr.html

    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/field-tr...und-table.html


    Even if what you end up with isn't one of those it's a good way to wrap your head around what to look for.

    I would look at whatever giant trance model comes in your 3k budget, or specialized stump jumper, or trek fuel ex, can't remember what Norco, rocky, and devinci's equivalents are but they're probably good too.

    2-3k is very much the budget where used bikes can sometimes be a better deal, although things are weird these days and depends where you live if there's much out there. And like another poster said it's busy at shops/bike companies some stuff might be hard to find.
    Last edited by kevin267; 05-16-2020 at 11:41 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    626
    Vital also recently compared 5 short travel 29ers, which included the Norco Optic. Their budget for the builds was a bit higher (about $4-5k US), but their impressions are still valid for how the bike rides.

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Vi...-Reviewed,2835

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Vancouver BC
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    I’d go used in that price range if you are at all comfortable assessing a used bike for condition/damage. Otherwise Giant if you want new in store, or Commencal for direct sales, check their outlet store for deals.

    Wouldn’t bother looking at Norco, Trek, Specialzied etc. Good bikes but pricing is out of control bad in Canada.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Too far from the snow
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    There are some ok deals on the used market for what appear to be barely used bikes in the 2-3k range (Alberta). However bikes are HOTTT right now so if don’t want to sit around waiting to be the first to email a guy about a good used bike that might not be the route. It’s like piranhas right now.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    in the trench
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    Yup stuff is selling quick. Popular sizes stock is getting low. Giant are the biggest bike co so they are priced well. Good bikes also. Devinci price point is pretty good. Aluminium norco's are too bad on price.
    Not sure but was it mentioned youre in quebec(username)? I think yt and possibly commencal have a warehouse/store in quebec. Both with good options. Not many crappy bikes out there now. If youre in qc those trails outside Qcity look amazing (val morin?). Grab something u like and you have some great options to explore

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Buying used may or may not work out, bikes have changed alot in 10 yars so you don't want to get stuck with something that is out of date

    OTOH I'm not so up on how much new tech has trickled down to entry level so thats something else up for you to figure out,

    in the end I would ride Giant/ Kona/ Rocky/ Norco and pick one that speaks to you and your wallet and you may decide you need to spend mo money

    I have also heard that bikes are selling like crazy, the repair shops at the LBS are crazy busy so this is not the year to expect leftover inventory/ autumn sales ... if you snooze you lose
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Can/USA
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    I agree bikes are flying out of the shops. My LBS is total chaos.... 10-15 people waiting outside everyday, can’t answer the phone.

    i’d pushed used but as you said you may not know what you want/ are looking for. I’d pick the LBS with the most stock ( and brands) and plan to spend some decent time there.

    also, everyone keep in mind the Canadian $ is garbage right now compared to freedom currency so 3k Canadian is about $2100 US

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Vancouver BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    Yup stuff is selling quick. Popular sizes stock is getting low. Giant are the biggest bike co so they are priced well. Good bikes also. Devinci price point is pretty good. Aluminium norco's are too bad on price.
    Not sure but was it mentioned youre in quebec(username)? I think yt and possibly commencal have a warehouse/store in quebec. Both with good options. Not many crappy bikes out there now. If youre in qc those trails outside Qcity look amazing (val morin?). Grab something u like and you have some great options to explore

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app
    YT Canada is one dude in Kelowna. I love my Jeffsy but I would not recommend YT in Canada unless you are willing to accept slow service/communication. Commencal has a way better reputation and an actual storefront/service centre in Squamish with actual staff.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    YT Canada is one dude in Kelowna. I love my Jeffsy but I would not recommend YT in Canada unless you are willing to accept slow service/communication. Commencal has a way better reputation and an actual storefront/service centre in Squamish with actual staff.
    Oh i just put the opposite in another thread. I guess my email inquiry did get answered by Shaun in cali. I guess with just 1 guy in kelowna he's slammed(i think thats JM? Jean Mark? Idk). Shaun has been great getting back to me. Emailed a day later to answer the headset size on my bike and the fork offset. Told him i was happy with the mullet and the offset on the fork(51 works seemless on the up or down) and was considering a capra to mullet. He ended up giving me some good info on the capra unprompted. Nice guy. Im not sure but it looks like capra usa(Shaun in california) will answer any questions and deal with any issue. Maybe just cut out a step and by pass yt canada if theres only 1 guy? Only a couple experiences with them but both times they answered the call. Others may have a different experience.
    Seems like commencal is good though. Havent heard anything negative and people seem to use them. I like their site. Some old stock on bikes and parts and they sell frame sets. Decent deals on a few little tools and clothes and sometimes really good deals on suspension. Still kicking myself for not picking up a current rock shox coil shock for 500cad. Fkn looked at it 3 or 4 times. Shit!!

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app

  16. #16
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Colorado
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    For what it's worth I'm pretty happy so far with the Used 2017 Yeti I got. Didn't get to ride other bikes, but fit is great and so far I love it. Pretty confident I got more bike for the money, and I also think the bike will depreciate less than a new bike if I want to sell for something new next year after a season and figuring out what I do/don't like. Figuring out if a bike is in good condition isn't rocket science, just inspect for physical damage/dents/cracks/bent parts, and slop. I'm also a Mechanical engineer though which makes me more comfortable with used, I don't mind/already planning or rebuilding the brakes and some other things with this, it's fun to learn. Having a higher end build also means it's a lot lighter, which made me more willing to get a more DH oriented bike because it's easier to haul up climbs. Might not matter as much to you, but I like having more travel.

    My top contender for a new bike was a Ripmo AF, looked at Jeffsy but all their bikes are sold out til later summer for the most part. Devinci Troy was another one that has some good deals from last year around.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    10,220
    article in the times about bikes flying off shelves:

    http://archive.is/zf0NC
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Pretty hard to beat the value on Giant if you’re in Canada.
    That is what I was going to say. The Trance (140mm) or Stance (120mm) would probably suit your needs. Both available with 27.5" or 29" wheels. The Stance starts at $2000cad.

    I've been beating a 2015 Reign for 5 years and it has been a fine steed.
    You are what you eat.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    There's no such thing as bad snow, just shitty skiers.

  19. #19
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    Nov 2005
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    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
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    Just bought wifey a ‘20 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt (140/140), and I couldn’t be happier with the parts pick on the c50. We went for a short ride on our local go to, and she said she had never had more fun.
    Something to consider.
    The Instinct is the 29” equivalent.
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