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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: toughguy1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    New to mtbr. Need some help on a purchase.

    Hi. I am new to mtbr but not new to mountain biking. I started with motorcycle enduro racing as a younger guy, and then settled on man-powered bikes. I currently own my old KHS Alite 2000. I am looking to upgrade. I do have a budget of $400 to $500, so I will probably buy something 1-2 years old. In talking with others, I think I am convinced that a 29er is the way to go. Please advise over any comments I make. I like trail riding and racing. I live in a flat coastal area, so there are not many hills around. I like technical trails with obstacles. I understand the 29 allows you to ride down stairs for example, easier. But is the 29 as nimble at the 26? I am 5'8" 150 lbs. I think I generally need a Medium size, but I think Large would be acceptable as well. I have found several deals in my price range. My top choice for a new bike is a deal I found on a 2012 Cannondale 29er SL5 (discontinued model). The only negative is that it is a large frame (18.5"). Is that a negative? My second favorite is a 2012 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29 that has been upgraded with nice tires. This is a medium frame (17.5"). My only concern with the 29ers with disc brakes is the weight. The Cannondale for example is 30.5 lbs. The Specilized is a little less. My KHS is 28 lbs and it is old. Please advise on any of this.

  2. #2
    two wheel whore
    Reputation: Shmoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I think you are in the small/medium range, but you should test ride some bikes. I don't think 29ers are as nimble as 26, but they are designing them to be more nimble these days. I think most bikes in your price range will be in the 30 lb mark, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Shmoo pretty much covered it.
    I would look to test ride both 26ers and 29ers to help you decide which would work best. I am currently splitting my ride time on a 29er and a 26er and I enjoy my 26er just as well. I have found that I am able to get up and down the same obstacles on either bike.
    I am 5'6", my previous bike was a Med 17.5 but my 2 most recent builds (a 26er and a 29er) are both size Small 16's, all 3 have a similar Top Tube length (23"). So that Large may be a bit to long for you depending on its geometry.
    Even with shorter chainstays, my 29er still isn't quite as nimble as my 26er.

  4. #4
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Well first up, no way a LARGE is even close to the right size for you, not EVER. Second, as suggested, try to get a demo ride or two on some 29ers to decide if you like them or not. Always remember, that no matter what sort of deal you're getting, it's not worth it if it doesn't fit.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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