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  1. #1
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    Expensive Vs. Cheap

    I will be a first time 29er buyer. The local shop recomends a bike that retails for $1500 and I'm not sure I want to drop that kind of money on my first Mtn bike. Is it worth the extra money or would the Motobecan Phantom Pro work just as well. I thought I could save the money and use it for upgrades to the Phantom over time or would the extra $700 be worth it to buy a bigger name.

    I ride a road bike so I'm not sure how much trail riding I will actually be doing.

  2. #2
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    For a 1st time 29er, I'd go with a Redline Monocog. A whole lot cheaper, and not alot invested in case you don't like the trail riding or "feel" of a 29er. If you like it, then you can upgrade the Monocog over time. They're solid and fun to ride, and should have no problem reselling it if you decide its not for you.
    Just my 2 centavos.

  3. #3
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    I was looking at the cheaper 29er's recently myself and have pretty much settled on a redline d440 (mad hills here in SWPA, i need gears!) the redline bikes seem pretty hard to beat as far as bang for the buck. plus they're steel ;o)

    edit: one of the other attractive things about the redline is that while it doesn't come with discs, not only does the frame have disc tabs - but they use disc-ready hubs as well (stupid trek.)
    Last edited by jcaino; 05-15-2008 at 03:40 PM.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  4. #4
    OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Jack
    For a 1st time 29er, I'd go with a Redline Monocog. A whole lot cheaper, and not alot invested in case you don't like the trail riding or "feel" of a 29er. If you like it, then you can upgrade the Monocog over time. They're solid and fun to ride, and should have no problem reselling it if you decide its not for you.
    Just my 2 centavos.
    QFT... The Mono is a pig but I bought one and seriously fell in love with it. Brought me over to the 29 side.

  5. #5
    my fun has a hurting
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    soooo untrue! pretty much everyone i know is rocking the single now (out of my 6 bikes one has gears and its been stripped for parts for a month) and we ride all over the area 4-5 times a week.


    also the monocog is a freakin awesome bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino
    I was looking at the cheaper 29er's recently myself and have pretty much settled on a redline d440 (mad hills here in SWPA, i need gears!) the redline bikes seem pretty hard to beat as far as bang for the buck. plus they're steel ;o)

  6. #6
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    My opinions: First time MTB-er- should seriously consider gears and suspension fork, especially coming from a road bike background. SS'ing and rigid forks are at least partly about the combination of challenge and pain they present- not a good thing, necessarily, for a first timer. Just my opinion- lots of time on a rigid fork (89-94, then again most of 2001, lots of playing around on days/ trips here and there) but ltd. SS experience. Still consider the suspension fork to be tied with working clipless pedals as the greatest innovations in MTBing, although rigid is fun. I will admit to being partial to gears.
    There's lots of options for less than 1500 out there with decent components and a sussy fork. The Motobecane is one good option.
    Mike

  7. #7
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    If you've really never mountain biked, I suggest borrowing a bike from a friend or renting once or twice to see if you want to ride trails at all. (Some shops will let you apply the money spent on rental towards the price of a bike.) Mountain biking isn't for all roadies.

    If you're into it, you have to be honest with yourself. If you're the type to want/need to have a sweet ride, you might as well buy a nicer one right off instead of buying a cheaper one, only to spend a bunch of money ugrading. It'll be cheaper in the long run.

    Another good option is a slightly used bike off of craigslist.

    Depending on the trails, you might consider a cross bike (gasp, I'm suggetsing this on mtbr). I know lots of raodies who only ever ride dirt roads or non-technical trails. For those purposes, a cross bike with good tire clearance would work just as well and be more familiar.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  8. #8
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    Suggestions

    So, is there a better choice for under a $1000 than the Motobecane? I want to have gears for light commuting and would prefer disc brakes but as far a suspension goes I think I could upgrade that in time.

  9. #9
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    My first 29 was a 07 GF Full Sus bought from ebay for $1,100. Last month I grabbed an 07 GF Rig for $700. Love em both!

    Good deals are out there if you keep your eyes open.

  10. #10
    sonoranbiker
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    Especially for a first bike, I would steer clear of any online dealers. It's good to have LBS support for fitting, adjustments, maintenance, etc. until you know what you're doing. You'll spend a little more, but it's well worth it.

    A few bikes to check out:
    Fuji Tahoe 29 Comp
    Marin Alpine Trail
    Marin Muirwoods
    Redline D440/460 (with the money you'll save, you can buy a suspension fork)

    I personally ride a Redline MC29, and love it. Singlespeed could be a tough way to get into MTBing, though. I'd start with gears, then convert it to single down the road if you want to try it.

  11. #11
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    Get a Redline D440/460... you won't regret it.

  12. #12
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    What is the $1500 bike they're recommending?

    Quote Originally Posted by DangerClose
    I will be a first time 29er buyer. The local shop recomends a bike that retails for $1500 and I'm not sure I want to drop that kind of money on my first Mtn bike. Is it worth the extra money or would the Motobecan Phantom Pro work just as well. I thought I could save the money and use it for upgrades to the Phantom over time or would the extra $700 be worth it to buy a bigger name.

    I ride a road bike so I'm not sure how much trail riding I will actually be doing.

  13. #13
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    Bikes

    The bikes I've been looking at are a Felt, Specialized RockHopper, and the Motobecane. I went to look at some Redlines today but the shops all close at 5.

  14. #14
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    I got a Monocog 29r and love the damn thing...it is longer so quick pull ups and wheely's is a little harder then my shorter GT Avalanche. But I did a MTB race and used the 29r cause had some headset probs with the GT and placed 11th outa 42. Love to ride it.

  15. #15
    i also unicycle
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    for a new mountain biker, i'd highly recommend a hardtail with gears. coming from a road background that's going to make riding off road easier and not entirely unfamiliar as a rigid single speed or a full sus would. the redline suggestions are good, but any hardtail bike that fits and you like is going to do pretty well.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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  16. #16
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    I recently purchased a 08 Gary Fisher Paragon. More $ than I was planning on spending but as I started looing at componets etc. I could not upgrade to the components on this bike for the price difference of the GF Cobia ($1,000) or the GF X-Caliber. All these are based upon the same frame just different level of components. The G-2 geometry is great.

    I also have a road bike I ride regularly and I like the hard tail mtn bike.

    Ride as many as you can and not just in the parking lot!

    Many companies have ride days that you can try many different styles.

    Then look at components and decide what you want to spend.

  17. #17
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    check out the windsor cliff29 from bikes direct if you are considreing mail order. I have a team version on order, should be here tommorow (praying). as far as i can tell its a rebranded fuji tahoe29 sl. I was going to get the fantom 29 pro, but they have no more in my size, and no word on when they are getting more.

  18. #18
    Just Gettin Started
    Reputation: moegocanes's Avatar
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    well I bought my 1st mountain bike in July 07. I decided to go on the more inexpensive side to make sure mountain biking was for me. I bought a Motobecane 700DS new off ebay (sprtymama if I remember correctly) for under $600. Ive enjoyed it for almost a year. I'm ready to upgrade to a nice DH bike, but I'll always have that Motobecane.

  19. #19
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    I would have to go with the 'borrow one' option. While the monocog is a good option, you may not enjoy a SS. Depnding on where you are there may be people from mtbr willing to let you try our their 29er.

  20. #20
    The Duuude, man...
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    This is the quintessential question of entering the cycling community, and is not at all unique to the 29er.

    To get an expensive bike or a cheap bike. There are RISK's associated with each:

    Get a cheap bike:
    *small up front cost
    *the risk is that you wind up liking cycling - in which case you WILL upgrade to a better bike, and your cheapo doesn't have resale value, so you could have bought a better bike to start with. Now that $2000 bike you want actually costs you $2750 due to the $750 you threw away on your cheapo bike
    *If you don't wind up liking cycling, this was the good choice

    Buy an expensive bike:
    *higher upfront cost
    *the RISK here is that you don't wind up liking cycling. In which case you just blew a crap-ton of money and you're going to take it like Ned Beaty in the North Carolina wilderness if you try to sell it.
    *If you wind up liking cycling, this was the good choice.

    That is the playing field in this decision making process. The only way to really get around it is to somehow come to a decision as to if you like cycling...before you buy. You can borrow buddy bikes, try demo's, etc. You can also mitigate the impact of being wrong (in either case) by buying used to begin with.

    Good luck.
    FS: Everything

  21. #21
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    So much to learn. Heading to the LBS now. I think my head is going to explode.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    This is the quintessential question of entering the cycling community, and is not at all unique to the 29er.

    To get an expensive bike or a cheap bike. There are RISK's associated with each:
    I don't see problems with having multiple bikes.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  23. #23
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    ...last bit of help

    So, with everyones help I have more or less narrowed things down to 3 bikes.

    More expensive choice: Felt Nine Comp
    I like the looks of this bike and I can purchase it from a LBS I really like but it cost alot more and may be more bike than I really need

    Middle Road Choice: Motobecane Phantom Pro
    alot of the same components as the Felt but no LBS support...it is alot more bang for the buck and I feel comfortable enough to do whatever I need to the bike to set it up and ride I just have no idea of the bikes quality other than the components

    Less expensive option: Redline D440
    No suspension or disc brakes but I save alot of money and I could upgrade or even buy another bike in the future with all the bells and whistles there is a shop in town that will overnight and service the bike if I choose this model

    I will mostly be riding with the girlfriend on local paths and trails. Nothing too technical planned right away. Thanks for everyones help and would love more suggestions. I could just buy a 26 inch bike I've just been there done that. I wish the selection was a little bigger with some more budget oriented choices but I guess I'll have to wait for that. Thanks again for anymore help.

  24. #24
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    IMO cheap vs Expensive is apples and oranges.

    Also, the definition of cheap vs Expensive & expectations.
    On 29r's a geared/rigid/Off Showroom floor Redline would be the "Cheap" and a geared/rigid/Off Showroom floor El Mariachi would be towards the "higher end", while everything else falls in between.

    I think where you run into problems is in the "middle-ground", a bike that costs more than cheap but only give marginal advantages if any.

    Redline is not only cheap, but it's actually pretty nice riding and the El Mariachi delivers on value via frame materials, design, and components for it's $$.
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  25. #25
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    DangerClose, have you looked at Gary Fishers? Fisher has the 29er Cobia hardtail that lists at $1039. It comes with a Rockshox Tora front suspension fork, and with 27 speeds. IMHO, the Cobia is a good entry point into the 29er world.

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