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  1. #1
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    Need Help Picking a 29er -bought one-

    So my daughter wants me to start bike riding with her (she is 5). So i go get a bike at Wal-Mart. What a POS i figured after a few miles of torture riding it they didnt make bikes for a 6'1" 240# dude. Well my friend let me borrow his GT karakoram 1.0 29" . Holy crap i love this bike! So I have decided to get one for myself or like it. I would get a road bike but i live on the lake and there is a bike trail literally 70 yards from my back door. and for some reason i try to research something about bikes I end up on this forum ( i know nothing ). Well from what i have read in my price range the only thing that matters is what parts are on it. So I have set a budget of 600 max. less is better ofc. I may spend more in the future but for now thats my hold. I could really use you guys help.

    Here is the ones I am seriously considering.

    Diamondback Adult Overdrive V - Diamondback Adult Overdrive V 29er Mountain Bike 2012 - Dick's Sporting Goods

    Diamondback Adult Overdrive Mountain Bike 2012 - Diamondback Adult Overdrive Mountain Bike 2012 - Dick's Sporting Goods

    Haro Flightline 29 Two Mountain Bike '12 - Haro Flightline 29 Two '12 Mountain Bike @ Sun and Ski Sports

    GT Karakoram 2.0 Disc 29er Bike (favoring this one) - BlueSkyCycling.com - GT Karakoram 2.0 Disc 29er Bike

    Bikes Direct? Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Trail

    Airborne Goblin 29er - Airborne Bicycles. Guardian

    Your help would be huge. The only thing i see is looks all the specs are jibberish. I favor the GT because that's the bike my buddy is letting me borrow.
    Last edited by JKoenig1980; 08-25-2012 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi welcome.

    First off I would correct you on the Airborne. The bike you have linked is correct (The Guardian) but the bike you have typed is the New Goblin (Which is a $1000 + bike).

    I would skim the forums before making these posts due to the amount of times this exact question gets asked.

    I have been lurking on this forum for over 2 weeks and was in the exact same situation as you are in currently.

    I would check your local bike shops for 2011 and 2012 models since the new models are hitting stores as we speak. I just picked up a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disk 29er for $500 because it was a '12 and the shop wasn't carrying specialized anymore. Remember, anything you buy online will need some assembly and if you do not have the know how that will cost you extra at a shop. From the selection you listed I like the guardian ( i have heard problems with the front derailleur and tire clearance though). The most important thing is you need to get on as many bikes as possible at your local shops. For anything on bikes direct and airborne that won't be possible. So it is a bit of a gamble. Check out the specialized i mentioned I own and trek wahoo as well. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Buying a bike without test-riding 2 or 3 is like buying a pair of shoes without trying them on. Good hunting and good for you and your daughter.

  4. #4
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    A fork with adjustable rebound dampening lets you ride trails with rocks and roots at speed. The Guardian and GT Karakoram 2.0 have one with the second using a fork out of production. The others have a Suntour fork good for dirt roads and bike paths, but which could be upgraded later. Airborne customer service will help you with sizing and any other questions.

  5. #5
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    Personally, Id get the Guardian. Good specs for the $.

    Sent from my mountain bike while crashing
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  6. #6
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    Looks to be Guardian > Karakoram2 > Fantom29 > Haro > Overdrive
    No coincidence that almost all of those fall in according to price as well. The two most expensive bikes are also the two best-equipped bikes in the group. Note that while the price of the GT is listed lower than the Motobecane, it also doesn't include shipping, so it will cost more in the end...

    I wouldn't mess with the Haro or the Overdrive unless your budget forces you there.
    Based on the stats, here's what it boils down to:
    #3)Fantom29 -fair components, less than ideal fork. It'll handle mild work fine, but not anything serious
    #2)Karakoram -fair components, decent fork.
    #1)Guardian -good components, decent fork, hydraulic brakes instead of mechanical. allows for more modulation, meaning easier to control slowing down, versus the hard bite of mechanical.

    If you feel you can spare the money, the Guardian would be great. If funds are thin, I'd get the Motobecane Fantom29. The GT would be a great compromise between the other two.

    Do be sure to check 29" hardtail mountain bikes at a local shop, to see what size frame best fits you. Have a look at what they have on clearance while you're there. Talk to the guys at each shop and find a place with a mechanic you can trust, he could be a great resource if you have trouble with assembly or adjustments later on. When I started mountain biking, I went to four different shops before I found one I liked, and they've been a great resource for about 20 years. They share knowledge of what components frequently come back for repair, where the good trails are, and don't care what brand of bike you bring in, they'll work with ya on it.

  7. #7
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    Is $600 your total budget for this hobby? What are your goals? What's the trail near your house like - is it classified as beginner/easy, expert advanced or is it a combination of both? How much time do you think you'll be able to ride each week? Do you have a good helmet and gloves? Does the bike come with pedals? Do you plan to ride for more than 30 minutes at a time? Do you want to wear shorts with a padded liner for comfort? Would you rather have a $600 bike and no gear to make the ride safer/more comfortable or a $400 bike and $200 of gear that will make riding a lot safer and more fun? Or would you rather have a $600 bike and slowly buy gear as you get better/ride more?

    Remember, this started with your daughter asking you to ride bikes with her. If that's the majority of riding you see yourself doing with the occasional stint on the easy sections to get the heart rate up, then any of those bikes will be fine - my guess is the least expensive will probably suit you just fine.

  8. #8
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    Good questions from wmac , I would add that if all you are doing is riding with her you don't need anything like the bikes you listed , a single speed cruiser would work fine. But if you want to explore other rides then you shoul look at those bikes and more,Find a local shop go there when they're not busy ,ask questionstest ride a lot of bikes., decide how you are going to use the bike ,buy the one that fits you and the type of riding you will be doing.

  9. #9
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    I have been to several local bike shops. The first one where my friend bought his bike. They wanted wanted much more for the same bike and didn't feel like they had time for someone asking questions. The Trek dealer was nice I looked at a Marlin. Nice people there, I showed him the Guardian and the GT and he told me those were very good deals, If i buy one online I am paying him to build it. Honestly the most help I got was from Sun and Ski Sports that sells the Haro but it looks no better than the Outdrive.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Is $600 your total budget for this hobby? What are your goals? What's the trail near your house like - is it classified as beginner/easy, expert advanced or is it a combination of both? How much time do you think you'll be able to ride each week? Do you have a good helmet and gloves? Does the bike come with pedals? Do you plan to ride for more than 30 minutes at a time? Do you want to wear shorts with a padded liner for comfort? Would you rather have a $600 bike and no gear to make the ride safer/more comfortable or a $400 bike and $200 of gear that will make riding a lot safer and more fun? Or would you rather have a $600 bike and slowly buy gear as you get better/ride more?

    Remember, this started with your daughter asking you to ride bikes with her. If that's the majority of riding you see yourself doing with the occasional stint on the easy sections to get the heart rate up, then any of those bikes will be fine - my guess is the least expensive will probably suit you just fine.
    600 just for bike. I don't know the name of the trail. Its heavy wooded alot of mud and creeks. If you ever have biked in Dallas area you know what I mean. Actually since I have gotten to borrow this bike I have rode it to the gym 2 miles away every other day and am enjoying that. Like I said I prob would get a road bike but there are a bunch of trails around me and i dont want to be limited what I can do. Also I herniated a disk in my lower back about 2 years ago, before then I was an avid backpacker so it is a sport I might get more into. In this case I will start throwing alot of money at it.

  11. #11
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    In that case, I'd go with the Haro from Sun & Ski - it'll be temporary or plenty. If you enjoy the trails a lot, I suspect you'll wind up with an expensive Full Suspension 29er for comfort, if it's a fad you'll have a great bike to ride to the gym and with your daughter

  12. #12
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    If you get the Guardian it is 90% built. Eric will spend the time you need over the phone. Actually more customer service than a shop can give you. You need to know how to adjust things on the trail anyway and with youtube and forums like this it's an hour of learning. Bike Radar calls that Suntour fork "punishing off road".. Proceed at your own risk if you have past injuries.

  13. #13
    local bike dr.
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    wmac has some valid points, and buying the Haro almost makes sense if you would just dump that bike and buy a full suspension later on (but I wouldn't plan on dumping it even then). You could use money saved on more accessories. We all hope that you will, at a minimum, have a helmet for riding.

    I wouldn't steer you towards the Haro as a long term bike for the following reasons:
    -slower acting Rear Derailleur. Fantom has a Deore RD, changes gears faster
    -integrated brake/shifter levers. Costs more to replace than having them two seperate pieces: if you break one, you have to replace both; costs more to replace if you upgrade to hydraulic brakes, you have to buy a new shifter, too. If you upgrade to a 9 or 10 speed drivetrain, you have to buy new brake levers and shifters. (never thought integrated brake/shift lever was good for MTB)
    -lack of fork lockout (great to have lockout on a dual duty road / trails bike)
    -8 speed rear cassette. Not a deal breaker, really, but more selection on the rear is good.

    For casual biking, saving $70+ and going with the Haro really is saving $70... I gathered from the reference to "a few miles of torture riding" that you will be doing more than casual riding. At that point, the initial savings becomes extra costly down the road.

    If you do get into more hardcore offroad and buy a Full Suspension later on, you could swap tires on this bike and just use it for rides to the gym or with your daughter. Something to keep in mind, since 29" mountain bikes can use the 700mm tires found on fitness, commuter, and hybrid bikes. I wouldn't plan on riding an expensive full suspension bike to the gym- runs a high risk of theft if you lock it up outside. Best to plan on keeping this bike for a few years, no matter what you might buy in the future.

  14. #14
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    Its a small gym, I bring it in the gym so it wont get jacked.

    The "a few miles of torture riding" was too small i think. It made my upper back hurt and the handlebar was small. I felt like a fat kid on a unicycle.

    The only other bike I have left to look at is this one from REI - Cannondale Trail SL 29'er 5 Bike - 2012 at REI.com Im gonna call them when they open.

    The owner of the bike I am using now has talked about getting a Glock pistol, Im gonna offer him one of mine for the bike and see how that goes down.

  15. #15
    local bike dr.
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    That trade would be ideal. Looks like your friend's bike has all the others discussed in this thread beat: fork, brakes, RD... good luck talkin him out of it

  16. #16
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    I agree with G0at on all accounts. Any option you have laid out will be a good starting point.

  17. #17
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    I have been looking at the Airborne. Seems like pretty good components for the price. Has anyone checked out the BAMF Grappler? Very similar components to the Airborne but with x-5 FD vs. the Airborne's x-3. Also, same price but with free shipping.

  18. #18
    local bike dr.
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    Had a look at the store page / components list and read a few reviews on the Grappler you asked about.

    It appears they saved some money (<$40) by stepping down from the Auriga brakes to the Draco model and put some of that money (~$20) into a slightly better FD. Most other items are equal. Obvious difference in the Frames, most notable - Top tube and Down tube, plus how they are attached to the Head tube. Tube diameters are smaller on the Grappler & less weld area to the head tube than what you see on the Guardian.

    I still favor the Airborne, but the BAMF doesn't appear to be a bad choice. Hope you can hear from some owners of the bike, see how they rate it after beating on it awhile.

  19. #19
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    G0at- Thanks for the info on the two bikes, I am new to the mountain biking world so I don't know all the little details to look for. Helped a bunch, thanks.

  20. #20
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    ok thanks fellas

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all your help guys I went to my LBS and picked this up today. 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0 On sale $539.00 due to new 2013's coming in and a scuff in the paint.
    So far Im loving it.

  22. #22
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    NICE IS IT FAST!!!?
    can you smoke the roadies?

  23. #23
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    nice! love the color!

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