What is the best hardtail 29er for about $2,000.00 or less?
I recently found the bright side of not have the funds to go out and by a new bike. No buyers remorse! For example: if I have been able to buy what I thought I wanted a few months ago I would have purchased this:
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR C0mp:
MSRP: $2700.00 On Specialized website.
After reading and speaking with more people I’ve decided that what I really want is a hardtail 29er with tubeless tires. The hardtial 29er is a totally different beast in comparison to the hardtail 26er. The longer wheelbase, geometry and larger wheels lend much better to the absorption of shock, and if you run tubeless you can keep the pressure low to give added cushion and grip.
So my new question is what is the best hardtail 29er for about $2000.00 or less?
My first stop is the Specialized website: Stumpjumper Comp 29er $2050.00 I love how this bike looks. I have great respect for the designers of the Specialized line up. To me they are like the Apple of the bike world.
Reba front fork:
Specialized Sealed Hubs
X9 Rear Derailleur
10 speed cassette (all the other fully built bikes in the comparison come with a 9 spd)
X7 shifters and front derailleur, not necessarily bad but not really great
Avid Elixir R SL Brakes: Many complaints on mtbr.com
Next stop Fisher website: Paragon $2029.99
Fox F80 RL 29 Fork
X9 shifters and front and rear derailleurs
Bars and seat post have many complaints on mtbr.com
Typical from current Fisher/Trek it’s the ugliest bike in the lineup, I want to like it but for me it lacks sex appeal.
Next stop FELT: Nine Race $2199.00
Looks great in “Alpine white” with WTB white rims
XT Shadow rear derailleur
Cost – I’m not sure why it’s over $100 more than other bikes in its class. All materials and parts are compatible. Unless your paying for the FELT name? (not sure but I know it’s not worth it for me)
No reviews on mtbr.com
The only steel frame in the group. I love the Vassago line up. To me these bike take me back to the old school mtn bikes of my youth. They look cool, Vassago has the absolute best names, and look at this logo…how can you not love it?
You probably will not run into very many other Vassago’s on the trail = boutique exclusive coolness
Reviews on mtbr.com are off the hook. Everyone who own’s one of these frames loves them. Seriously.
HOW MUCH TO BUILD IT?
You could shop around for all your parts to build it up or go to: Goose Creek Cycles and get a build kit with a Reba and X9 components for $1500.00.
I dunno you tell me.
Next NINER E.M.D. 9 Frame $389.00 Goose Creek Cycles
It’s a NINER all they do are 29ers aside from little complaints I’ve never read or heard anything significantly bad about the NINER brand.
Love the all business look. Nothing flashy just straight forward functional design.
The only complaint on the many mtbr.com reviews are soft paint.
So those are my 5 pics for comparisons. If I’ve left out a good contender that you feel passionate about I would love to hear about it.
If I had to choose today it would be a toss-up between the NINER and the Vassago but I would go for the Vassago. I don’t have any real reason why except I just really respond to it.
So my ultimate plan would be to get the Vassago buy the Goose Creek build kit and go tubeless.
Why tubeless? I like to ride as low pressure as possible for the added grip and handling but I hate the resulting pinched tubes.
For more reading on the benefits of tublessness check this article Should I Go Tubeless? – Standard Vs. Tubeless Tires
Stan’s NOTUBES has options for conversions that are pretty reasonable.
I hope to writing soon about how bad-ass my new hardtail 29er is and how pleased I am that I was forced to wait to get what I really wanted.
Posted on August 29, 2011, in Cycling, Reviews and tagged 29er, 29er comparisions, 29er mountain bike, Felt Race, Fisher Paragon 29er, Gary Fisher, hartail vs full suspension 29er, Niner EMD 9, Specialized 29er comp, stans tubeless, Vassago bandersnatch, Vassogo, What is the best hardtail 29er, why go tubeless. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.