Best Used Bikes for Your Buck

$1,500 and under


Cannondale Prophet – 140mm
Shimano LX / XT build kits

Cannondale Prophet 2006, Blister Gear Review

There were several build kits available for these bikes. We’d recommend that you search out the Prophets that spec’d Fox suspension would be recommended. Probably best to avoid the Prophets with lefty forks and Manitou Radium rear shocks, which is a very low quality and problematic suspension.


Giant Reign X1 – 170mm
SRAM X9 build, Fox suspension

Giant Reign, Blister Gear Review

Specifically avoid the 2010 frames, which had a bad linkage design. Users likely will want to switch out the low-end coil for something newer with better pedaling characteristics. The X0 has a lighter air shock. This bike verges on being a legit bike park bike, and heavy-duty trail bike.


Rocky Mountain Slayer 70 – 160mm travel
Shimano LX / XT build kits

Rocky Mountain Slayer, Blister Gear Review

This is one of the more capable descending trail bikes in this mix, comparable with the Giant Reign X, but heavier and climbs less efficiently.


Specialized Pitch Pro – 150mm
Shimano LX build kit

Specialized Pitch Pro

The Pitch Pro is built around the top-end Enduro platform, but rather than using Specialized’s proprietary suspension components, the Pitch Pro uses proven Fox and RockShox specs. This is an exceptional bike for the price: smooth, stable and responsive.


Giant Trance X1 – 120mm travel
Shimano XT build kit, Fox suspension

Giant Trance, Blister Gear Review

The X2 is a much lower build kit, so I would suggest avoiding it. The X0 primarily comes with more expensive wheels, and only modestly upgraded components. XT is a good play here.


$1,500 to $2,000


Santa Cruz Blur LT – 140mm travel
Custom builds or Shimano LX / XT build kits

Santa Cruz Blur LT

It is recommended to specifically look for the “LT2” version, which equates to 2008 and later. The “LT1” is a little less plush and gives up a bit of pedaling performance in loose terrain.


Trek Remedy 8 – 150mm
SRAM X9 build kit, Fox rear suspension, Lyrik fork

Trek Remedy 8, Blister Gear Review

The Remedy saw a major overhaul in 2007, and the updated versions are very nice bikes: light, active suspension and nice pedaling, and very capable.


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