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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Some considerations on a new bike

    Hey everyone! This is my first post, and I know you probably get a million "help me with a new bike" posts but this one is going to be a little more specific.

    I've been seriously looking at Giant's bikes because of their suspension systems. Efficiency is very important to me. I need a new bike, bad. I rode all last year on a 99 Nishiki Bravo, a department store bike that I got in 5th grade! I'm currently 19 years old. It's way too small for me at 14.5 inches (I'm 6' and 185 lbs) and is completely rigid.

    I got into mountain biking last year and it kinda changed my life. I spent years in a sedentary life, rarely getting exercise. When I started a regimen I would end up stopping because I just wasn't that interested. I was starting to get overweight and I was very self conscious about it. Then one day I just randomly started biking at a nearby park with a friend and I got hooked on it big time. I biked as much as I could all summer, and put over 250 miles of trail riding on my bike, biking several times a week. I'd usually average about 12 miles per trip. It got to the point where if I couldn't bike for some reason I got really upset.

    So this year I want to mountain bike a lot more, preferably every day, but I really need a new bike. If I have to, I'll do it all again on the Nishiki, but I'd rather not. When I biked I'd be pretty sore afterwords and my wrists would hurt from tree root city on one of the trails we like. In buying a new bike I want to make sure that I'm not limited in what I can do. I'm not interested in tricks or jumps or anything at the moment, but I really want to get into some more technical riding, and want a bike that can deal with it.

    The trails I usually ride on are double track with more tree roots than you can shake a stick at. There's also several areas with some decent size rocks and other obstacles, as well as some major erosion, which can be pretty fun. Occasionally there's some smooth single track that my rigid bike eats up but that's unusual. This summer I plan on expanding my riding, there's a lot of other parks I want to bike at, hopefully they'll be more intermediate/advanced.

    The first thing I'm trying to decide is 4" of travel vs 5". In my case the Trance vs Trance X. I can get an 08 Trance 2 for under $1000, and the Trance X4 weighs in at $1400. At this point in my life I really don't want to spend anymore than $1500. I'm currently starting a business so money is a bit tight at times, although I do have full time employment. Is the extra inch of travel something I'm really going to enjoy? Are there any major advantages/disadvantages either way?

    Also, what else is comparable to Giant or Specialized as far as suspension? From what I know they seem to be the leaders as far as efficiency, at least at this price range. I also realize that these are bottom of the line models, which I don't mind at all. The main thing I want is a good frame to build on, even if upgrading later costs me more. Money won't be as much of an issue then. Besides, my Nishiki held up fantastically last summer, and I'm sure the new bike will blow it away in terms of quality, and I also take very good care of my bikes/cars.

    Thanks in advance for the help! Looking forward to the replies.

  2. #2
    There's no app for this.
    Reputation: JimC.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    the short answer is

    Giant's suspension is Maestro, a Virtual Pivot Point-like (4 bar) system. Specialized's is a Horst Link (4 bar) suspension. Don't get too hung up on the marketing cr@p of the "best" suspension; focus on a good frame first, and a good fork second, and a good shock lastly. They all work well.

    4 vs. 5 inches. Hmnn, that really depends on how and where you plan to ride. The steeper the descent, the more suspension you want, so if in Fla, 4" is fine, but in say CO, get more travel if you plans to ride any gnarlier trails. I stress this is very general, get your LBS to chime in on this one.
    It's almost impossible to buy a bad ride these days. Find the one that fits you best by using the top tube length as the decision making factor: you must feel totally comfortable with your butt on the saddle and hands on the bars (not too upright, not too far forward).

    Then chose your ride and go riding.

    good luck, Jim

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sikkfreerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    well if you have a limit of 1500 dollars and want the best deal on a bike then go to and look at the iron horses. the better models come with a dw link suspension, its similar to the giants design. you have 4 bikes to choose from all under 1500.

    4" travel cross country bike= azure comp
    5" travel trail/all mountain bike= mk3 comp
    6" travel aggressive all mountain bike= 6point4
    7" travel freeride/down hill bike= 7point3

    but if you coming from a full out rigid bike any of the bikes would feel awesome to you but for the kind of riding you do you would really like the mk3! thats what i have and you can set it up really light or beef it up for bigger stuff. a perfect all around bike. the 6point would be my next choice for you... more travel but also more weight.

    you will not find a better deal out there part wise. and if you look at all the other dwlink bikes they are double or triple the price of ih bikes.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sikkfreerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    and if you deside to go giant, has some pretty good deal on giants, konas and a few other brands! i like the trance x4 and x2.

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