Few months ago was the first time I did singles with my friends and I really liked it.

I decided to buy my own bicycle.

Since I know that I won't ride that much but yet I want to have the option to go once in a while I look for kind of a budget bicycle.

There aren't many bicycles in my country and the shop owner suggested me to get the GT Avalanche Sport 29" medium:

SR Suntour XCT-DS, 100mm
Shimano Altus, 9-speed
Tektro M275 Hydro Disc, 160mm Rotors
WTB SX19, 32h
WTB Ranger Comp, 27.5/29 x 2.25"
(2021 specs)

I first thought about getting a full suspension bike but they were too expensive for me.

I wanted to ask if the 100mm fork or in general the specs of this bike can do the job of road riding + once in a while to do some singles in the mountains. I am not sure if that is the correct use of the word drop but I guess the tallest slope I will do is around 1 meter.

Thank you!

  • 2
    Well, you can ride single trail on almost anything, ssome certainly on a gravelbike without any suspension whatsoever. It is the question of speed and how you will enjoy it. 100 is normally for XC bikes. Hovewer, XC in the world cup is pretty technical these days and even there they generally use full suss and larger fork travel. But many people ride single trails on hard tails around here. To stay on-topic I would recommend asking for general characteristics and not concentrate to much on one particular model. Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 15:53
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    If you want to do 1m drops, I’d go for a better bike than that. Something in the “aggressive hardtail” category would be good, like even a GT Zaskar or something
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 22:42
  • 2
    Answers in answers, please.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 1:36

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately your in a territory that is very opinion based. The specs you list are not a bad starting point provided you understand the limits your budget brings.

Overall the bike will be strong enough and components will be reasonable. A more expensive bike will be lighter with components that last longer and perform better. Heavy off road use of an entry level bike will wear it out faster than a more expensive bike, but for occasional off road use the durability of the bike will be fine.

Brakes are not great - this means you need more arm strength to activate them and have less fine control (feathering). End result is you have to brake sooner and longer into corners, meaning you ride slower, and if your forearms can become worn out put and end to an enjoyable ride. Obviously this depends how technical the tracks are, and how much down hill is involved, and how skilled and brave you are.

The forks should be the focus for you. They will be fine for anything you can roll over but obviously not as good as better forks. Cornering will be impacted to the point you will be slower than guys with decent sticks up front as cheaper forks are less capable (though design and lack of adjustments) of keeping the wheel planted firmly on the ground. This means things get unpredictable sooner, requiring slower speeds. Slower cornering means more braking and more acceleration, meaning more work for you to keep up. Due the lack of adjustments, you will find the forks mean your arms are doing more work than those with better forks to compensate. This work is tiring on the upper body.

Jumps would not be recommended. A bit of air won't hurt the fork, but a bad landing with a meter of air on those forks and the bike will not forgive you. On better forks, the progression and damping adjustments and controls means that far more of a bad landing it taken up by the fork.

All the above said - the difference going up 10% or 20% in price won't be huge performance improvement (diminishing returns applies to bikes more than many things), so what you need to do is buy the bike you can afford, and get out and ride it. I and certain you will get advice around 'future upgrades'. I strongly suggest you avoid buying a bike with a view to upgrading it in the future, with a few exceptions, its a very expensive way to get a better bike.

  • I somewhat disagree that less expensive brakes would not be great. I have found that practically all rim brakes have approximately the same mechanical advantage. I also have found that less-expensive hydraulic disc brakes too brake equally well to all rim brakes. The only brake of which I don't have direct experience is mechanical disc brakes -- I understand that cheap mechanical discs might require careful and frequent adjustment.
    – juhist
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 7:26
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    @juhist Those cheap hydros aren’t really enough for trail riding. As a comparison to rim brakes for road riding, sure, they’re great.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 17:05

Since you say you will be riding infrequently, consider and ask about maintenance and adjustment requirements, especially on brakes and the suspension fork. Personally, I use mechanical disk brakes because I don't want to have to deal with hydraulic fluid issues, but ymmv.

You should also at least try a 29" (wheeled) and 27.5" bike to see which suits your body and riding style better.

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