Newby needs help on selecting the right bike and eventually where the best deals are.


Oct 5, 2005
Near Olympia, WA
Hi all,
I used to ride everyday up to 2yrs ago when my bike got jacked. I'm finally in the position to spend some money on a good rig. My last bike was a hardtail XC. Towards the end I was breaking parts weekly doing freeride stuff on it. I want to buy a legit freeride bike but am not sure weather to go hardtail or FS. I will be doing most of my riding in Capitol Forest near Oly, WA for any locals that might read this. There will be a lot of climbing and logging road peddling and the massive amount of suspension on some of the FS rigs is driving me towards hardtail. I will however be going to Whistler/Northshore/Bellingham/SeaTac reasonably often. There are spots in the woods in my backyard that I can build board track, jumps, and reasonably big drops. Basically I'm worried that if I go hardtail I will be held back from going as big as I possibly can. I've been told that getting a cross genre bike, such as a Kona Coiler might be the way to go. Any and all information would be much appreciated. Feel free too contact me through email , personal messages, posts etc.. Thanks!


skin cooker for the hive
Dec 6, 2001
Witness relocation housing
I'd go FS. Konas make great bikes and are affordable.

I live in OLY also, and know your terrrain. While a hardtail might be OK, Whistler/Shore... ect. arent that much fun. Getting at least a good 5-6" FS bike would be ideal.


Oct 29, 2003
Walla Walla, WA>Boise, ID
I have a 17inch Ironhorse Hollowpoint Frame you could look at. It has a generous 4.5 inches of travel which is obviously not the 5 or 6 inches suggested in the last post, but it could still work really nice for that area.


Aug 6, 2003
Seattle, WA
I may be slightly biased... but it sounds like a Transition PrestonFR is just what you are looking for. Its a short travel Freeride bike that pedals great, and can take big hits. Plus Kyle and Kevin at Transition are local (Bellingham), and are really great guys to deal with.



Jul 31, 2003
Mount Vernon
thegoodword said:
I have a 17inch Ironhorse Hollowpoint Frame you could look at. It has a generous 4.5 inches of travel which is obviously not the 5 or 6 inches suggested in the last post, but it could still work really nice for that area.

That frame is not designed for jumping, it will break like any trail bike or xc bike if you jump it and do drops on it.

Oh yeah unless you have one of the very few Hollwopoint Mtn-X frames they made a year or two ago that is.


May 31, 2002
Olympia WA
I'm in a pretty similar situation, I live in Oly, but ride all over WA and BC. However, I sold all of my bikes recently and now need to find a new do-it-all bike on a budget. From Capital Forest to Whistler is a pretty broad spectrum as far as types of riding, but I've owned a couple of bikes in the past that have managed to work both on the logging roads and in the bike park. In my mind, there are only two options. One is a 5" ish burly full suspension FR/Trail bike and the other is a steel hardtail. I used to ride a 5" Kona Stinky Deeluxe, which is super similar to todays coiler. It is a great bike for hauling ass through Capital Forest single track and is blast on trails like A-Line. Also very manageable on stuff like S.Seatac. Transition's Preston FR looks like it would be a sick bike, but I've never gotten the chance to ride one. Plus they're local. Both Kona and Transition are pretty cheap too. You can find a lot of older Kona's on Ebay (Including mine :evil: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7188148272&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MESE:IT&rd=1). Otherwise the bike stand downtown sells Konas.

The other alternative is a steel hardtail with fat tires and a huge single crown fork. I used to ride a Balfa Minuteman, but there are plenty of other options like an Evil DOC, Transition Trail-or-Park, DMR TrailstarLT and so on. Added bonus is that hardtails are cheaper than FS frames. You can easily make a light-er, indestructable, FR machine that still pedals well for cheap. Just hold on tight when you hit the brake-bumps on A-line. Quite possibly the ultimate Capital Forest gravity XC machine though.

Just my 2 cents.


Dec 2, 2004
Edmonds, WA
I'll let others comment on the dual suspension possibilities, but I just picked up an Iron Horse Waka Gashira freeride hardtail a couple of weeks ago. I've hit Tapeworm, St Edwards and South Seatac on it so far, and I have to say it's a great all around bike. Built in the Shore hardtail style, it has a heavy, gusseted and braced hardtail frame and a great parts spec. The single crown fork gives you all the maneuverability you need, and at SST today it was super fun on the drops and jumps. Very stable in the air, and solid as a rock to land on. This bike can do a Jekyll and Hyde in about three flat minutes: drop the seat and open up the fork to 150mm and you're ready for action, raise the full length seat post and crank down the travel to 120 mm and you've got a heavy but sturdy and responsive bike for all around trail riding. Can you tell I'm into it? Supergo is selling the Waka's off for $1099 right now, and for the parts spec you get it's definately worth it if the bike fits your needs.