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I have a Bianci Grizzly circa 1988. I bought it new and it has been an awesome bike for my needs. New it cost 750 and used Shimano Diore components and an oval chain ring which was supposed to be the new big deal at the time, 24 speeds. Most of my riding has been on very flat terrain, plenty of trail riding but everything around here is pretty flat. I know it is very heavy with a chrome moly frame but that never hindered me. I thought about buying a new bike and went to the dealer a few times over the years but never saw the need as my bike suited me perfectly.

Last week i went trail riding in central indiana. The terrain is much steeper than I am used to and on smooth sections I ran out of gears several times. These trails are shared with horses and seemingly every quarter mile there was a water crossing now dry that was 5 to 20 feet of craters from hundreds of horses hooves. I plan on riding that area many times in the future and think that it may be time to upgrade to a newer bike. I also may be riding with other people so a lighter bike should be an added benefit.

Full suspension? Front only? Frame material? What else should I be looking for when shopping? At what price point can I get something that won't break or fall apart? Brands or components to avoid?
 

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Indiana is "steeper"? :flipoff2:

I'd stick with a hardtail. No real reason for full suspension. If you are going to be riding through water crossings/mud all that gunk will be in the pivots/bearings of a full suspension ride (regardless the price point) and trash them out.

You are better off with a quality hardtail than a cheap full suspension by far, you didn't mention your actual budget, but bikes cost $$$$ for the better builds/components. Don't overlook steel framed hardtails as many of them have nice ride quality :smokin: Carbon if your budget is limitless. Most bikes will be different AL alloys.

As far as gearing realize alot of bikes these days are 1X front chainring/no front derailleur. The overall gear ratio spread is roughly the same as a triple/double front setup but not as many choices in between.
 

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OP you can spend 10x what you have spent on your bike, theses days. I'm an older guy. I had a full suspension AMP bike in the 90's, rode it for 8 years consistently until an injury. I quit but my buddies kept riding and have never stopped, 3 - 4 days a week.

6 months ago I purchased a used bike on pinkbike. Now I'm riding again with the same guys. It's been a steep relearning curve with many crashes. But fun!

Take a look at Pinkbike. At least you can get a feel for whats out there and how much. Just like everything else, everything keeps changing. It's difficult to keep up. 29" wheels, suspension, more slack......

pinkbike.com/buysell/

One thing I would recommend is a dropper post.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, it is a bit of a steep learning curve. I haven't ridden any bikes yet but from looking at some and a ton of reading I am leaning towards 27.5 wheels and front suspension. I need to figure out my gearing so I can better compare the new bikes. I really want to stay with 3 front chain rings and need lower gears to get up steeper hills.

No one rides with toe clips and straps anymore :confused: One salesman called them suicide straps and claimed that most guys neither use cleats or any kind of toe straps. I rode a bike without any kind of foot restraints a few weeks ago and HATED it.
I think some of this new stuff is just stupid, I never felt like cantilever brakes were an issue in stopping my bike. 6ft long handlebars, what a joke, i will have them cut down to my old width. I have dodged trees too many times with my current bars, those wide things literally wouldn't fit where I sometimes go.
 

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Thanks for the replies, it is a bit of a steep learning curve. I haven't ridden any bikes yet but from looking at some and a ton of reading I am leaning towards 27.5 wheels and front suspension. I need to figure out my gearing so I can better compare the new bikes. I really want to stay with 3 front chain rings and need lower gears to get up steeper hills.

No one rides with toe clips and straps anymore :confused: One salesman called them suicide straps and claimed that most guys neither use cleats or any kind of toe straps. I rode a bike without any kind of foot restraints a few weeks ago and HATED it.
I think some of this new stuff is just stupid, I never felt like cantilever brakes were an issue in stopping my bike. 6ft long handlebars, what a joke, i will have them cut down to my old width. I have dodged trees too many times with my current bars, those wide things literally wouldn't fit where I sometimes go.

If you have good flats, you can pull up just as well anyone running spds could. Toe clips haven't been used in over 20 years.
Long bars have also been normal for 20 years. Better control with wider bars.
Cantilever brakes sucked compared to v brakes, and vee's suck compared to discs.
 

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Thanks for the replies, it is a bit of a steep learning curve. I haven't ridden any bikes yet but from looking at some and a ton of reading I am leaning towards 27.5 wheels and front suspension. I need to figure out my gearing so I can better compare the new bikes. I really want to stay with 3 front chain rings and need lower gears to get up steeper hills.

No one rides with toe clips and straps anymore :confused: One salesman called them suicide straps and claimed that most guys neither use cleats or any kind of toe straps. I rode a bike without any kind of foot restraints a few weeks ago and HATED it.
I think some of this new stuff is just stupid, I never felt like cantilever brakes were an issue in stopping my bike. 6ft long handlebars, what a joke, i will have them cut down to my old width. I have dodged trees too many times with my current bars, those wide things literally wouldn't fit where I sometimes go.
I had the same ideas you have. I wanted SPD pedals because it's what I used 20 years prior. My buddies talked me into flat pedals and the 5 10 shoes, they flat out work. My bike came with a 1 x 12 drivetrain, shifts fast, smooth and never drops a chain. Simple design with only one derailleur to shift.

Tubeless tires with low pressure, dropper post, wide bars, 1 x 12 drive train, slack design... it all helps. I know there are people who can ride any bike anywhere but if you're like me, you need all the help you can get.

The bike I purchased is a 27.5 but my buddies 29er rolls over everything. Compare it to running 37's then going to 40's.

Keep an open mind, my 2 cents.
 

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If your going to be pedaling a lot and your used to SPD's just stick with them. I ride both flats and SPD's and for pedally stuff SPDs win hands down every time. If I'm riding bike park or riding up fire roads to descend I'll ride flats. 9 times out of 10 though I'm faster clipped in. Doesn't matter if I'm riding my hardtail or my Slash.


Sounds like your from my era, I remember riding strap pedals and narrow bars with canti's. It's really easy to get more bike than you need now a days. Lots of people out there with more bike than they need. Look into a short travel XC bike and you will be pretty happy. 27.5 is just a gimmick to open a new standard from 26 and 29. The reality of it is the tire in most case's is less then 1/2 taller than a 26.
 

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I think the oldest used bike I would get would be 2017 and that is already old with how fast tech and geometry is moving. I wouldn't by a hardtail where I live and ride but I can say most trails don't use all the suspension everyone thinks they need.
1x11 with a 11/46-50 1st will climb just about anything. Tubless tires are so good. You just ave to monitor pressures a lot more.
I ride flats pedals with tall pegs and 5Ten shoes. That is as close you can get to clipless. I have to lift my shoe off the pedal to reposition my foot. If I rode Indiana vs SoCal I would already be riding clipless. There is still about 5% of my riding where clipped in would be real painful.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was driving myself nuts over this. Every sales guy had a line of bullshit which contradicted all the bullshit lines that every other sales guy had. I finally concluded that none of them had any idea of what they were talking about lol. On Craigslist and FB marketplace around here everyone thinks their bikes are worth as much as a new one no matter how old they are.

Finally I drove some and loved the 29's. I just bought a 2019 Trek X Caliber 9 at closeout price. Still has 2 front chainrings the 2020's have only 1.
 

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That should be a great bike. That 2x should have great range. It will also be real easy to change to a 1x down the road with a simple rear derailleur and 11-46 or even a 11-50 cassette. I just went to the Sunrace 11-50 on mine. I will be putting my 11 spd setup on my sons 2016 Trance in the near future and be going to the new Shimano 12spd on mine.
 
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