spend my money on a mountain bike: pls help

my mountain bike (hardtail, racey geometry) is 8+ years old. the weirdo prototype SID fork is beyond repair. the brakes are contaminated. the original XX1 is slowly dying. i don’t enjoy riding it anymore and i would like a new one. ideally i would have a new bike for next summer.
i am almost certainly a medium.

here are some things i like to do:

  • narrow and twisty trails
  • rock gardens
  • dropping off stuff
  • there are a lot of roots here
  • sometimes casually racing
  • seeing if i can ride up really technical stuff

here are some things i don’t care about or like:

  • bike parks
  • jumps where you have to go up before you go down
  • berms, which i acknowledge exist but don’t really do much for me

beyond that i’m kind of at a loss for where to go. i like the idea of full suspension because comfy, but my uneducated impression is that they are more expensive and more maintenance. i could be wrong. i like the hardtail because it’s simple and easy, but am i missing out on longer mountain bike rides because my taint hurts and i’m shaken to death?

typically i would demo some bikes but i really don’t think anyone has demo bikes, do they?

my friend just bought a Banshee Paradox v3 Paradox V3 — Banshee Bikes
it’s beautiful. it’s light. it’s too big for me (it’s an XL) so i can’t even get a feel for if I would like riding it.

i am not trying to spend fergmoney here but i am prepared to spend multiple like 3+ bongs if necessary.

i obviously need help. please help me if you are willing!

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Paradox looks cool. I am still nursing this sprained meniscus so I haven’t pushed my banshee phantom v3 very hard yet, but I was pretty stoked on how light it felt for alu vs the carbon trance 29. Paradox gonna be way more slack than you are used to, but as we know with HTs, they get steeper so it won’t feel too slack most of the time.

You definitely seem more suited for hardtail, though an spec epic evo or santa cruz tallboy could still be fun (though likely too many bongs).

Two guys at the shop have the specialized fuse and like them quite a bit. I think they have frame only coming out in October, but some shops may be getting the builds rolling in still.

Whoa! 2021 Banshee Paradox - Custom Build For Sale In Rochester, 3k. May not need 150mm fork, but simple air spring change if you’d like. Nice engagement on the wheels, solid drooper post, too. shifter would feel meh and plastic-y, but small jump to GX wouldn’t be much.

some conversation here led me to think that hardtails were either entry level or niche racing (like xc?), and that fs had come into its own enough to be the default option for an experienced rider. is that not so?

thank you! i was thinking about just building up whatever it is new. i am not really much of a ditherer (please don’t excommunicate me from tarck). working on sram brakes is not something i feel like learning. should i buy the for sale paradox and then remove all the crap i don’t want and sell it? it is pretty appealing to acquire it locally for less money.

the fuse frame only might be a good way to go. i would like to put some crabon wheels on this thing. isn’t the fuse steeper than the paradox?

yeah this is what i thought i learned here too, which is one of the reasons i started this thread!

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fs bike is like if your car has a suspension in the front AND the rear. Makes a difference for all of the same reasons.

Just don’t get a 35 lb enduro bike and you’ll be good. Take advantage of modern advances.

Yes, Fuse is steeper hta than paradox. 66.5 for fuse vs 65 for paradox. The local paradox could be 64.5 with the additional 10mm (65* is based off 550mm axle to crown, which it is for 140mm, not the 150 on this bike).
So Fuse could still be fun on the trail but raceable.
Yeah, brakes are always a thing to just swap for most people. Like buying sup’s dh biek with new hayes dominion brakes, took them off for some XTs that she likes.

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this is not helping me make a decision

All rounder bike

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these both look awesome and i really want that emily batty paint

damn it now i want another canyon

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Yes.

Get in on those fancy new down country (aka your new trail biek) full boingers.
Like that Spur or the new Ripley AF from Ibis:

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Forgot the ripley af was that close to 3k.
I just figured his price point near 3k would mean probably no new carbon frames like the spur (good luck getting one in a year), though I did also suggest tallboy which is the same story.

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Or go with the incredibly sleek new Scott Spark 900-series, yes your eyes are lying to you. That is a full boinger in aluminium with a hidden shock, not a hard tail!

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What the heck does down country mean? Like cross country with also lots of down? By that logic don’t I need an up country bike?

Seriously thanks though. Seems like I should head that direction. I rode a Ripley once like 8 years ago and it was the best thing ever. I can spend more than 3k.

that scott with the hidden shock is extremely beautiful

We are very similar in style including things we like to do/ride. I came from a 29x2.4 tire hardtail with 120mm fork and something like a 71° head angle. (previously have owned some 26er full-sus XC machines though).

Currently I’m on a Trek Fuel EX5. (their very entry level full-squish, 29x2.6 tires).

  • narrow and twisty trails
    The slacker angles, wider bars, and longer wheelbase are definitely less nimble in tight twisties.
  • rock gardens
    Awesome at speed. At very slow super-techy speeds I’m still getting the hang of the long wheelbase/slack angles thing. Just before the Fuel I also owned a 26er full-rigid SS and the short wheelbase and sharp handline was great for very slow speed techa dn keeping the wheels under me, but obviously it was less optimal elsewhere.
  • dropping off stuff
    Full squish is fun, slack is good.
  • there are a lot of roots here
    I don’t have a ton of rooty areas, but when I lived in Seattle I did and full-squish is nice especially on longer rides.
  • sometimes casually racing
    Not really a thing I do.
  • seeing if i can ride up really technical stuff
    Rear suspension is awesome at maintaining rear tire traction, you’ll love it.

Something you didn’t mention is going fast downhill. I’m not racing or hucking or anything, but I have to put in a lot of effort to get uphill, so I like to capitalize on that by going fast on downhills. Full squish, dropper post, modern geometry is so, so awesome.

It usually refers a short travel shock with a long travel fork. Business in back, party in the front.

The number of terms for “mountain bike” is absurd in an effort for marketers to differentiate their product in a crowded market

I’d prioritize suspension over frame material personally, and for 3k a Ripley af would be pretty perfect if you can find it. I think polygon has some affordable bangers too.

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atmo fs ftw

people talk about hard tail making you choose your line, but that’s code for forcing you to choose the one line. fs lets you play with the trail in a way you didn’t know you could, keeps you fresher, and lets you pedal more

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