New MTB Selection

Hello All,
I am in the process of choosing a new MTB. I am hoping the community can help me out. I am looking for an XC bike capable of handling marathon races. My budget is 2k all in, so something I will not need to upgrade for a long time. The major sticking point is that I must be compatible with my Saris/Hammer H3 direct drive trainer. I am looking at the Trek X-Cal 8, but I do not think it will work with my trainer. I have reached out to Saris for confirmation; I am waiting on their response.

What makes you think it’s not compatible?

Also, not sure if that bike comes with a dropper but I’ve found them pretty useful in some of my races

I’d be looking a second hand market at that price point. You can probably grab something around 4-5 years old that has all the modern standards (boost spacing/tapered headset)

A 5 year old Scott Spark/Giant Anthem/Specialized Epic/Trek Top fuel would be way better than a new X Caliber in my opinion. The X Caliber is a aluminium frame with a wierd hub spacing from memory, which will limit you with wheel upgrades.

If you’re set on a hardtail grab an older Procaliber SL l, Giant XTC or Scott Scale.

I bought a 2016 Procaliber 9.7 last year cause I wanted a hardtail and was able to upgrade it to be a top spec hardtail.


Hi Gene,
I think what makes it not compatible is the spacing in the rear, at least that is what one bike shop told me.

Thanks for the advice, I will check on the second market

Any chance you can share a link to the bike you are considering?

Hi Chad,
Here is the link


Are you in a rush? Have you looked at Canyon?

I’d definitly want boost thru axles on anything in that price range for future upgrades!

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I would not spend $2,000 on a new XC/XCM bike. Especially one that you’re looking to keep for long time. It’s just not enough money to get good bike with all the price increases the past 2 years.

The value is in a used hardtail and possibly a full suspension that’s 2-4 years old. This will allow you to get much better bike that you can upgrade/replace parts as needed.

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Great advice here. Honestly, for me, I bought a new bike once and wouldn’t do it again. Especially a mtb. You just get way more for your money used(most of the time)If you get one with half decent components eventually you can upgrade.

I can add a +1 vote for the Trek. I bought a new Procaliber 9.7 in spring this year and it’s an awesome machine. Have a look around for 2nd hand though as 3 weeks later a mate of mine found the same bike, but last year’s, for about £800 on eBay.

Thanks. Yes, that has the odd Trek version that is essentially Boost, but quick release instead of thru axle.

I need to do some research to know if it’s compatible. It may be, but I wont be surprised if it’s not.

Thanks Chad, I have sometime before I make the purchase.

For the price… Epic Evo is probably the best entry level full suspension XC bike at $4000. It will allow you to upgrade later down the line and will give you a pretty great bike.

I know it’s out of your price range but I would wait and save.

From my research this morning, I don’t think I have seen any trainer that handles the Boost 141 without some hack methods. Depending on how you look at it, B141 is like a wider version of the O.L.D. 135mm Quick Release standard that was used MTB and CX bikes… or it’s a narrow version of Boost 148 with QR.

The former makes more sense to me in a simple consideration, and means the real solution lies in a single new QR style endcap for the trainer. One that is 6mm longer than the 135mm QR cap used on the non-drive side. As such, I have not seen any official options for that standard for any of the main wheel-off trainers.

Thank you all for the replys. I will let you know how I make out

I’m selling a Large Salsa Timberjack, definitely less than 2K… complete

I just got a Chisel because I wanted a two bottle bike to pedal. Having hit some western MI and southern IN trails, while owning a gravel bike, I’d pony up for double squish. I’d get a cheaper bike and then pay to upgrade the seatpost / fork / tires.
All the highend AL hardtails are going to be about the same. The fork, groupset, and dropper will be the only differences. Most the “trail” bikes can’t run 2 bottles, take slightly larger tires, and need a dropper post. The XC ones can fit 2 bottles and run a std post.

The X-Cal will work on the trainer, but you need a freehub to work with the 12sp cassette. You can just run an 11sp cassette.

I’d have a look at BMC’s aluminum Two Stroke: it got very good reviews on Pinbike as an entry-level XC bike. The bike they tested cost $1,600, so you could either buy one model up or get some upgrades. E. g. you could upgrade the brakes or put a power meter on if you can stretch your budget a bit.