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  1. #1
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    We the people ... New Hardtail MTB recommendations

    Hi all,
    New user to the forum and new to MTB!
    Very excited to start riding but I am looking for recommendations on a new hardtail bike!
    Located in Toronto, Canada so selection won't be as great.

    My budget is >$1000 CDN but I am willing to spend a bit more on a bike that has better components and better valued.

    Bike will be used for all type of riding (city, single track, downhill, etc.)

    Currently looking at the following bikes:

    1) Trek X Caliber 7 ($1169.99 CDN)
    https://www.cycle-solutions.com/prod...7-307755-1.htm

    2) Specialized Rockhopper Expert ($1199.99 CDN)
    https://bikedepot.com/product/specia...r-expert-2018/

    3) Giant Talon 2 ($889.00 CDN)
    https://bikedepot.com/product/giant-talon-2-2018/

    Notes about LBS: Bike Depot provides 5 years of free service, compared to the 2 years offered by Cycle Solutions.
    This will also factor into the decision

    Currently I am leaning towards the Rockhopper Expert since it has an air fork (SR Suntor XCR-Air), compared to the rest of the coil forks.
    Does anyone have any input on it? Is Suntour a good brand?

    Components in the X Caliber 7 and Rockhopper are relatively the same, except the fork.

    I am open to any recommendations and suggestions!

    Thanks everyone

  2. #2
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    I'd suggest buying a one to two year old used bike. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck.

  3. #3
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    New Hardtail MTB recommendations

    Donít forget the Canadian brands like Rocky Mountain, Norco, etc. They should be readily available even in small places like Toronto....

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your input. Saw the Norco Charger 2 for same price as the Specialized.
    Better front derailleur and RS 30 Silver Air fork
    https://www.cyclelife.bike/product/n...2-313925-1.htm

    Anyone have any input on this bike?

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Not sure on conversion rates & they seem to have disappeared from the interwebs...

    But, the Nukeproof Scout would suit you down to a 'T'.

    'Born to ride!'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  7. #7
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    i wouldnt buy used, no warranty and you dont know how hard its been ridden

    of those 3, id get the Spesh

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i wouldnt buy used, no warranty and you dont know how hard its been ridden

    of those 3, id get the Spesh
    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbikenaked View Post
    I'd suggest buying a one to two year old used bike. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck.
    Yeah that was what i was afraid of purchasing used. No warranty and unaware how the previous owner rode.

    Would you recommend the Norco charger 2? Same price as Specialized

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i wouldnt buy used, no warranty and you dont know how hard its been ridden
    I agree with this especially since you are new to MTBs. 5 years of service would give peace of mind in as you will undoubtedly have issues crop up that would need the attention of a mechanic. Heck, even 2 years is good. Air forks will eventually need service and I bet that is not included in the service agreement.

    As far as the bikes, if your willing to spend X caliber money, I'd say just buy the one you like the look of the best. You want to enjoy hopping on it every time.
    My bikes are faster than me.

  10. #10
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    5 years of free service! I would certainly buy new from that shop.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
    2016 Chromag Surface 27.5+
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2017 Motobecane Lurch FS 26 fat

  11. #11
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    I have a '14 Rockhopper Pro Evo 29er and it seems like a well rounded hardtail with a modern frame. (full disclosure: im a newbie so take my advice lightly). I recently picked up a new full suspension and I am keeping the Rockhopper because its still a great bike for some trails and city.

    Considering they are all from a major manufacturer, I think you cant go wrong with any of them. Pick the color and looks that you like best.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael_6495 View Post
    Yeah that was what i was afraid of purchasing used. No warranty and unaware how the previous owner rode.

    Would you recommend the Norco charger 2? Same price as Specialized
    I mean, I get that, but would you ever buy a used car? I've bought a lot of used bikes, and never had an issue. I have looked at a ton of used bikes and walked away from many that were clearly abused or had issues.

    I'd rather buy a two year old bike with good components vs a new bike with so-so components. I've done both, and only regretted buying new.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbikenaked View Post
    I mean, I get that, but would you ever buy a used car? I've bought a lot of used bikes, and never had an issue. I have looked at a ton of used bikes and walked away from many that were clearly abused or had issues.

    I'd rather buy a two year old bike with good components vs a new bike with so-so components. I've done both, and only regretted buying new.
    Why did you regret purchasing a new bike?

    I totally see where everyone is going with purchasing used. Iíve scoured Kijiji and Pinkbikes but none that appealed to me and or prices were almost the same.

    But doesnt everyone love the new car smell and new tech?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael_6495 View Post
    Why did you regret purchasing a new bike?

    I totally see where everyone is going with purchasing used. Iíve scoured Kijiji and Pinkbikes but none that appealed to me and or prices were almost the same.

    But doesnt everyone love the new car smell and new tech?
    Because at the time, I could only afford a bike with so-so components. A new bike depreciates a ton. It never performed the way I wanted it to. Cheap fork, etc.

    When a one year old bike, in good condition is so much more affordable, it is a better option if you can't afford the bike you want, spec'd how you want it.

    My friend owns a shop and gives me killer deals, so I buy new now, but otherwise used is a great option (if you can find what you want).

  15. #15
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    The RockShox air fork is a better choice than the XCR air fork in some respects. The Suntour has one plastic and one metal bushing per side versus all metal. The Raidon next better from Suntour has all metal bushings and is lighter.
    If I were you I'd buy used.

  16. #16
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    I am going to take a look and demo the Norco Charger 2.
    Better components and lifetime tuneups at this one particular LBS.

  17. #17
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    Iíve been riding a Kona Honzo one the trails here in Toronto and I canít recommend it enough. The geometry on the bikes you mention is fine but as youíre skills progress you will outgrow them quickly. The Honzo can be had with a reasonable low end build and itís absolutely a frame worth keeping and upgrading as needed. The others mention are going to be bikes you sell instead of upgrading.
    Also thereís more to the service warrant than just the length. When it comes to quality and service Cycle Solutions is one of the highest rated shops in the city.
    Whatever you decide, have fun!

  18. #18
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    Also take advantade of the demo days happening in the area, great way to get a feel for different kinds of bikes.
    I know theres a Rocky Mountain day on May 24th and there are others throughout the spring.

  19. #19
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    Ended up getting the Norco Charger 2. Upgraded the stock pedals to flat Chromag Synth.
    Loving the bike! Considerably lighter than my Canadian tire bike.
    The Shimano Deore shifting is very smooth and very swift.

    Now time to upgrade the grips.
    Any suggestions?

  20. #20
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    FIT SG - Handlebar Grips, Bike Handlebar Grips, Ergonomic
    I use the Fit XC version. But the SG is new.

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