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  1. #1
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    Best 29er hardtail for under $1,000

    Hey guys,

    So I think I have finally decided to go with the 29er over the 26er, seeing as there seem to be only advantages with the type of rider I am.

    I would consider myself a beginner, and I ride a mix of single track and pavement. I am 23 years old, 5'8", and weight around 150lbs. I'm looking at bikes around the MSRP of $1,000, and not much higher.

    I've only test rode one 29er so far, and definitely liked the feel of it, so I wanted to ask you guys what other bikes I should check out. I know I definitely want something with a lockout front fork, and disk brakes, preferable hydraulic. I want something with good base components that I won't have to upgrade for sometime. But I also want an good base, or frame I guess, that will warrant upgrades later on down the line. Also, I really want to buy something I can find local, even if they have to order it. I don't really feel like dealing with an online dealer unless its a truly amazing deal. Also, I know used is the way to go, but I haven't found much locally.

    Here are the bikes I'm currently considering (grated one is already over my price range, but what do you guys think of it anyways):

    2011 Rockhopper Comp 29er $990

    FRAME Specialized M4 fully manipulated alloy frame, fully butted, Trail 29" geometry, externally relieved HT, SS compatible forged adjustable slider dropouts, replaceable der. hanger, disc only
    FORK SR Suntour SF11-XCR-DS-29-LO-SP, 1-1/8" alloy steer, mag. lower, 30mm stanchions, hyd. damping w/ lock out and custom tuned spike valve
    HEADSET 1-1/8" threadless, loose ball
    STEM 3D forged alloy, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
    HANDLEBARS Butted alloy riserbar, 25mm rise, 8 degree back sweep, 6 degree up
    GRIPS Specialized Enduro, dual compound Kraton, no flange, 131mm
    FRONT BRAKE Tektro Draco Hydraulic disc brake, dual piston, 160mm rotor
    REAR BRAKE Tektro Draco Hydraulic disc brake, dual piston, 160mm rotor
    BRAKE LEVERS Tektro Draco hydraulic
    FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Alivo, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, dual pull
    REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Alivio, 9sp direct mount Long cage
    SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Alivo SL, rapid fire trigger
    CASSETTE Shimano HG30, 9-speed, 11-34t
    CHAIN KMC X9 w/ reusable Missing Link
    CRANKSET Shimano FC-M430-8, Octalink spline
    CHAINRINGS 44S x 32S x 22S replaceable
    BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 68mm x 118mm
    PEDALS Alloy 1pc. body and cage, reflector kit, 9/16"
    RIMS Alex RHD 29", alloy double wall, pinned w/eyelets
    FRONT HUB Forged alloy, hi/low flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flange, QR, 32h
    REAR HUB Forged alloy, mid flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flanges, cassette, QR, 36h
    SPOKES 2mm (14g) stainless
    FRONT TIRE The Captain Sport, 29x2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    REAR TIRE The Captain Sport, 29x2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    INNER TUBES Presta valve
    SADDLE Specialized Rockhopper XC, Body Geometry, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers
    SEATPOST Alloy two bolt, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust, 30.9mm
    SEAT BINDER Forged alloy QR, brass washer

    2011 Jamis Exile 2 $1,100


    SPECIFICATIONS
    Frame Kinesis 7005 double-butted aluminum main tubes, crown-clearing goose-necked down tube, low-standover curved top tube, replaceable derailleur hanger
    Fork Rock Shox Tora TK 29, coil spring with external preload & rebound, TurnKey lockout, 32mm stanchions, aluminum steerer, 100mm travel
    Headset FSA ZS-4D, internal cup threadless, 25mm shim stack, 1 1 /8
    Wheels WTB Speed Disc 29 eyeletted rims, 32H, Shimano M475 6-bolt disc hubs, WTB 14g stainess steel spokes
    Tires Geax AKA, 29 x 2.2
    Derailleurs Shimano Deore M592 Shadow rear, Alivio M431 34.9mm dual pull front
    Shiftlevers Shimano Alivio M430 Rapidfire Plus-SL, 9-speed
    Chain KMC Z99
    Cassette SRAM PG-950, 9-speed, 11-34
    Crankset Shimano M430 Octalink, 44/32/22, 170mm (15), 175mm (17-21)
    BB Set Shimano ES25, Octalink, 68 x 113mm
    Pedals Flats, alloy body/steel outer cage
    Brakeset Hayes Stroker Ryde Comp hydraulic disc brakes with 185mm front & 160mm rear rotors
    Handlebar
    Ritchey Comp OS flat bar, 31.8 x 10 x 660mm
    Stem Ritchey OS, 6 rise x 90mm (15), 100mm (17), 110mm (19) & 120mm (21)
    Grips Velo Kraton, medium diameter
    Seat Post Ritchey 2-bolt, 31.6 x 400mm, with alloy QR clamp
    Saddle Jamis XC with pressure relief channel, scuff-resistant corners, cromo rails
    Sizes 15, 17, 19, 21
    Color Copper
    Weight 31.25 lbs

  2. #2
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    Out of the two, I will take the Specialized Rockhopper, just b/c resell values on Specialized are much better.

    On the other hand, do some hunting and you will likely find a last year model Jamis/Giant/GT/Fuji/Any-non-major-brand bikes for sale with huge discount. Expect at least 30% off from MSRP. So, technically you can afford a bike around 1300 or so.

    Head to your local performance bikes and you will find one of them for sure. At the very least you end up with a Performance Access 9.7 or similar. This will give you a bike that has deore and better components for a future frame upgrade.

    Lastly, if you are willing to consider single speed (even though you are a beginner), you can prob. get a great single speed bike for 1K. Not to mention you will go up from beginner to intermediate level really quick. But may be thats not your thing though.

    Other bikes you can try looking into can be found at Trek bikes or Cannondale. I dont know the prices, but is listed under their webpage. For beginners is usually best to get a major brand bike that you can sell easily down the road as you will likely get a new bike when your skills get better and you see other people riding bikes that you might like.

  3. #3
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    I thought the Scott scale 29er comp had decent components for the money (899) . Also the geometry of the Scott fit me better. Good Luck

  4. #4
    Wino
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    The Haro Flightline 29 Comp looks really good for $960 retail. And it DOESN'T have a Suntour fork. The only reason I bought a Talon 1 instead was because the area distro didn't have any and I didn't want to wait. Dumb reason I know, but I missed riding ANYTHING.

  5. #5
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    you may want to check out Motobecane.

  6. #6
    FKA Malibu412
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    Cool username.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  7. #7
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    I am looking as well. I went from looking at cheap ($600 range) and saying to myself there is crap, and then there is a level above crap at $1,000.

    Now I am looking at the Trek GF Cobia. I have a spreadsheet of components and brands and it will drive you nuts. Go to a LBS that carries multiple brands you are looking at and ask them what they think.

  8. #8
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    I found myself a nice 09 Rockhopper Comp 29er used for $350. Look around for used if you can...if not I am a fan of my RH

  9. #9
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Might check out the Giant Talon 29er 1


    And Raleigh Talus 29


    Both use a SR Suntour fork with a QR15 axle, oil damping, and a lockout.

  10. #10
    FKA Malibu412
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    The red bits on that Raleigh look right. Decent component kit. Price? $959 at REI. Slightly better than the Speshy RH Comp in component level with a better rd and fork at a lower price.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  11. #11
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    I looked at & rode the RH Comp, the Talon 1 and the Cannondale Trail 4. Their prices and parts are fairly close - give & take in different areas. The Talon felt more nimble and quick. The other 2 were fine bikes but felt longer overall. The mistake I made was riding Giant's XTC-2 as now I want one. 2010's are gone so I'm on the hunt for a used one - large.

  12. #12
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    Another previously mentioned was the Trek/GF Cobia. It's another bike that has everything you want; Recon air fork with lockout and hydro brakes. It has different geometry than the other bikes namely head angle and fork offset. It retails for $1150 but according other buyers and my experience, it is very easy to get for a grand. Most buyers have also swapped out the big sweep bars. And its a deep orange not yellowish like the website depicts.

    Best plan to follow: Ride as many as you can until you find the one that fits you.
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    Last edited by beer_coffee_water; 04-29-2011 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Added a pic, not mine but I wanted to show the real color of the orange.

  13. #13
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    I bought Marin Bolinas Ridge, a month back. If you are starting new, like me, it gives a lot of bang for your buck and endless possibilities to upgrade. I have already started upgrading it and love the bike.

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...serialnum=1898

  14. #14
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    don't think anyone has posted it yet but how about the new GT Karakoram 1.0 msrp is 1,069, performance bike has sales allllll the time so see if you can scoop one up through them.



    http://www.gtbicycles.com/bikes/moun...oram-1-0-green

  15. #15
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    Wow, thanks for all the advice so far guys! I'm hopefully going out tonight to test ride a couple of bike, so I'll let everything know what I think!

    Thanks again, and keep the great advice coming

  16. #16
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    wha wha! 29er... sweet. That RH, Giant Talon 29er, and the Trek Cobia look cool. Updates needed.

  17. #17
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    I would say the best bike under $1000 is a Scott Scale carbon that you stole after blowing a grand on booze.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippas butt
    I would say the best bike under $1000 is a Scott Scale carbon that you stole after blowing a grand on booze.

    Sooo your saying you stole your bike?

  19. #19
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    Good job! Ritchey P-29er

    You can get on of these frames for $999...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOOY_eARxFI

  20. #20
    FKA Malibu412
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    Quote Originally Posted by H20_BOY
    You can get on of these frames for $999...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOOY_eARxFI
    Only the tig-welded, not-by-Tom-himself version will be available to the general public. The fillet brazed by Tom, not so much. I wonder what kind of portfolio one must have for Tom to build the frame?
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  21. #21
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    Fillet Brazed Clone P-29er?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Only the tig-welded, not-by-Tom-himself version will be available to the general public. The fillet brazed by Tom, not so much. I wonder what kind of portfolio one must have for Tom to build the frame?
    I used to work a Butt Creek Brewery, Chico CA where we made Tom Ritchey Ale for him. I've been talking to the RD guys about getting a Ritchey tubing kite for P-29er and having a frame builder I know fillet braze it together. I can't call it a Ritchey frame because they didn't build it though. Also, the cost? I haven't made it that far in the discussion yet. If it ends up being expensive or not possible at all, I'll have to settle for a tig welded Taiwan frame I had a 89-90 TimberComp frame of his that I built up, it was a real nice bike, till it got stolen. Tom Ritchey is know for his fillet brazed frames, and re-entering the mountain bike market after 20 years with a tig welded Taiwan frame priced at $1099 may show us, all good things come to an end?

  22. #22
    LCW
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    Quote Originally Posted by H20_BOY
    You can get on of these frames for $999...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOOY_eARxFI

    Looks like a sweet frame, whether brazed or TIG'ed... Glad to see Ritchey getting back into frames
    2011 Yeti 575 - Fox Float 36 RC2 160 - 31.5 lbs

  23. #23
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    2011 Access Prowler 3.0 29er SALE: $1,149.99
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400327
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  24. #24
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    I am looking as well between $1000-1500. I love the look of the Exile 2, and would even prefer to find the 2010 version in toad green, but I'm a little skittish about Jamis' right now. Not many have said anything about the GT Karakoram 1. I'm very interested in it as well, love the look, and the components seem to be very good for the price. Rockshox Recon, Shimano Alivio/SRAM X7, Alex rims, Shimano hydraulics. I didn't like the Suntour Fork on the RH.

  25. #25
    Phil
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokehouse4444 View Post
    I am looking as well between $1000-1500. I love the look of the Exile 2, and would even prefer to find the 2010 version in toad green, but I'm a little skittish about Jamis' right now. Not many have said anything about the GT Karakoram 1. I'm very interested in it as well, love the look, and the components seem to be very good for the price. Rockshox Recon, Shimano Alivio/SRAM X7, Alex rims, Shimano hydraulics. I didn't like the Suntour Fork on the RH.
    What doubt do you have about the Exile 2? I have one and I love it. Smooth ride and my short legs love the geometry.

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