The Duckmeister wrote:Budget wise, don't look much below $2000 RRP.
There is something to suit every budget! Saying that you need to spend $2000+++ is a joke.
Of course you don't NEED to spend $2k+ on a bike. For that matter, it could be argued that you don't actually need a bike at all.
However... if the OP has decided that he wants a dual-suspension mountain bike, then it is good advice that he should expect to pay at least $2k.
Spending less than $2k on a dual-suspension mountain bike is false economy. The corners that need to be cut to bring a dually in under that price are just not worth it.
If I was speccing a hypothetical bike, starting from a $2k dually and trying to make sacrifices to hit a cheaper price point, the first thing I'd skimp on would be the rear suspension. Leave it out completely. Hey presto, I now have a reasonably specced hardtail for significantly under $2k. Maybe with enough budget left in the bank for a modest component upgrade somewhere else.
I can happily ride downhill black diamonds
on my $449 bike that I bought last year. Double black diamonds? Well I'll pass, the engine and the engine's undercarriage aren't big enough.
I just spent the weekend at Forrest and found everything easy. You don't need a $2000 bike to enjoy yourself safely on the trails! You Yangs downhill is harder but a cheap hard tail will still do fine.
A cheap hardtail will do fine, an expensive hardtail will do better. And, some would argue, an expensive dually would do better still. But, you're right, not absolutely necessary.