Durable bike for overseas military dude

Love your site a lot of great info. Quick question I want to buy a new bike and I need the toughest one you can think of. I am in the military and I travel a lot and not usually in the States. I don’t always get a chance to get to a bike shop. What is the most durable and work free bike for all mountain riding? gotta be tough…

Thanks Lee,

Hi Clint.

Good question. Let’s see here …

When you say “all mountain” I think of 5-6″ dual suspension bikes. Most of the proven designs are pretty durable. Specialized, Yeti, Santa Cruz, GT, Giant, etc. are all solid bikes. If you want to reduce the number of pivots, you could go with a single-pivot Orange or Morewood.

I’ve never had a pivot fail on a Specialized. Like I said, modern bikes are durable. But they do have a lot of parts. And you never know when a shock seal might go.

If you want the ultimate in durable yet ridable, go for a DJ hardtail with a coil sprung fork. Bikes like Specialized P.1s, Giant STPs and Norco hardtails are built like tanks. With a long seatpost you can ride ’em anywhere. No pivots, no air seals, no derailleurs. No funny business.

During the summer I ride all sorts of bikes, but in the winter I ride my P.bike almost exclusively. It’s super fun all over the place, and it’s indestructible (for me). I rode my old P.1 stock (except for a FOX fork) for four years, and now it’s stoking it’s second owner.

If you want minimal B.S., ride a DJ hardtail. Get one with a top tube length close to your XC bike.

No matter what you ride, learn to work on it. You can do most things on a modern bike with a small multi tool. Get one and learn how to use it. In the military you have to know how to strip your weapon, right? A bike is no more complicated — but it can still be a weapon.

This is my weapon, this is my gun
This one’s for riding, this one’s for fun

— Lee

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