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Sinister WTF
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97 Posts
In my opinion, and what seems to be the opinions of many others:
When it comes to cheaper bikes, avoid the SRAM Sx drivetrains. Shimano deore works so much better than sram at the lower specs. Also, watch out for cheap/weird name brakes on some newer entry level bikes.

Nukeproof scouts are bomber and continue to be. My buddy used to ride Vitus and had no major issues that I’m aware of with it, and he sent it pretty hard. The Commencal Meta HT mentioned above is a great start and a frame worth upgrading later on.

You can also checkout the Pinkbike budget bike reviews they recently did and that may help, or at least get you more familiar with components to expect on new bikes at this price level.

I personally would check out Pinkbike for something used, you’ll probably be able to get a much better build spec, for a same or better price.

Oh and 27.5 still rips, all my 29’r friends ride my 27.5 Orbea and they all say “damn this thing is playful”, I can’t quite get myself to move on from it yet.
Sorry for a lot of text lol.
 
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