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  1. #1
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    $1K first MTB- overkill?

    I'm not so sure now if its the brightest idea for me or not to spend the money on a brand new Trek Cobia tomorrow. I love the way the bike looks and rides, like the components on it as well- the whole package is great.

    My plan with the bike is rather simple- me and a few buddies are gonna get together a couple-several times per week and ride the local trails and have some fun. I don't wanna overkill it, and at the same time, I don't want a boat anchor of a bike for a few hundred bucks.

    What's everyone's thoughts- am I wasting my money and being stupid?

  2. #2
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    No way. Good choice. Stick with it and you'll squeeze every penny out of that bike.
    CRAMBA Chairman

  3. #3
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    Can you afford it?...that is the question. Because I think everyone will agree, you should buy as much bike as you can afford...within reason. No need for a beginner to have a $5k bike; but if you already know you enjoy this sport, you will find more enjoyment with a fine machine under you than a heavier, clunkier bike.

    I raced BMX as a kid and always had a quality bike; but when I went to college and bought my first mtn bike, I unwisely bought a department store bike...that lasted all of two weeks before I traded it in plus cash for a GIANT entry level mtn bike around $300 level...but even as drastically improved as that was over the dpt store bike, I quickly outgrew it and the next summer traded it in plus more cash for something in the $500 range...and on and on to where I now own some decent steeds in the same class roughly as the Cobia you are looking at. So if you can afford to get that bike now, you'll be money ahead rather than the slow process of continual upgrades many of us had to take...and you'll be riding smoother, faster and more efficiently with more fun.

  4. #4
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    Make sure to come back and post some shots of it before you start beating on it

  5. #5
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    the only one that can answer that is you, if you ride it then its an investment. if you dont its a waste of money.

  6. #6
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    All valid points. My buddies think I'm crazy as 90% of them ride department store bikes. Yeah, I'll post pics of it for sure. I just wish it didn't come in that red- seems like the scratches are less visible on the dark/black bikes

  7. #7
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    I was in the same boat as you. After spending hours here on the forums and talking to some buddies I ended up with a Cobia. I originally wanted a Mamba based on the suspension and components vs the Marlin. They didn't have any Mamba's assembled at my LBS so I ended up with the Cobia and I Love it. No Regrets whatsoever.

  8. #8
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    Once you have the $$ and it's not something you'd have to go into debt/credit card for, then for sure do it - The difference between a low end bike like what your buddies ride and the Cobia is night and day, honestly.

    My first bike was a Diamonback CoilEX, think it cost about $350-400 back then and I rode the snot out of it (1800 miles) for 10 months and in that time I basically toasted all the components, but beside that I banged my knee and ate it so many time because of the ****ty, cheap fork that was on it.
    Then I went all out and got a Giant Trance3 for $1500 and it was, as said night and day, like getting out of an old Gremilin and into a nice Jeep Grand Cherokee or such - truly unbelievable.

    Want to have some fun, once you get the bike and have ridden it for a bit and put then first ascratch on it (yes, you will get it scratched riding trails), then let your buddies give it a go and see if they still think you were crazy spending the extra cash for a much better bike
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  9. #9
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    If you can afford it then the only crazy ones are your friends riding dept. store bikes. In the end, they'll probably have to spend a pile of money keeping their bikes running and end up buying nicer bikes once they check yours out. You're cutting to the chase so to speak.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  10. #10
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    I rode my wal-mart special Mongoose XR-75 about 15 times between the months of September to June on the trails by my house and convinced myself that it was time to step up as it was something important to me. I was looking at bikesdirect motobecane models ranging from $600 to $1000 and thought that $1K was a rediculous amount of money to spend (as well as my friends and family), but I knew I wanted to do it right and had the money. It turns out that I have really got into mountain bikes and racing the last couple years since and that extra $400 has probably saved me over $1000 dollars in upgrades. The $1k model came with a Reba fork, XTR rear derailer, XT shifters and saddle (WTB rocket)/stem/bars (Ritchey) of decent quality and WTB Laserdisc rims. The rear hub is crap, but for $1000 you can't expect everything to be nice. The things that I am still running stock on that bike are frame, reba fork, derailers, cranks, and shifters.

    So spending more money up front is usually cheaper than going cheap and wanting to upgrade everything. If you are serious about it and have the money then I would say $1k is the perfect place to look. It was a good move for me.

    I am now looking at $3k to $5k bikes for my next bike and in hindsight it seems that $1k wasn't really all that much for what I got and the use/enjoyment I have got out of the bike.

  11. #11
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    It is your money do with it, as you please.....
    A person who never made a mistake,
    never tried anything new..... Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Recoup that money by commuting on the bike instead of driving better for the environment, your health, and your pocket win win investment.

  13. #13
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    If you can afford it I would do it. Most of the guys I ride with get the cheapest specialized or treks they can. Sure they work...for awhile. Then they are asking me what they should upgrade.

    I'd go ahead and get a decent bike and ride the guts out of it. They will all envy you in short order.

    My first bike was a $400 ironhorse i got from *****. I loved it, but I knew it was lacking from the get go. Now I ride a $2000 bike and I love it. Night and day difference.

  14. #14
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    $1000 is a piece of coin, yes, but is +/- the entry point for solid quality if you plan to ride regularly and will develop a few personal preferences along the way (i.e. want to tweak it here and there).

    In the big picture, you want
    - a good quality frame that fits you and type of riding (because are stuck with it)
    - a competent wheelset. Not the lightest or coolest, but strong and industry standard stuff.
    - and competent components. Again not the lightest or coolest, but reliable stuff. You'll replace stuff in time anyway if wear it out, at your later budgetary convenience, plus you'll learn where to put money and where to not bother. All part of the fun down the road.
    Gunnar Rockhound - Hardtails in Reynolds 853 and True Temper OX Platinum are still a great idea.

  15. #15
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    You will be much happier in the long run if you are even mildly serious about the sport. Buying a cheaper bike will only cost you more in the long run, as you'll be wanting upgrades after the first week. If you can afford it, will get your money's worth out of it, and take care of it, then get it.

  16. #16
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    Totally worth it if you can afford it and you keep riding it. The components are good enough that you won't feel obligated to upgrade right away. The color will probably grow on you after a while. I have a red 2008 GF Marlin, and the scratches on it aren't very noticeable at all.

  17. #17
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    $1000 in my opinion is a perfect staring point. You really don't have to worry about much. Just hop on and ride. Plus if you don't take to the sport you don't loose too much money if you decide to sell it.

    Keep in mind that $1000 is just for the bike. If you are new to the sport you will accessories.


    -Helmet 50-150$
    -Water bottle or hydoPak 15-200$
    -extra tubes 20$
    -MultiTool 10-30$
    -Levers 5-10$
    -etc
    Mountain Biking is not a hobby. It's a lifestyle.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOSZ View Post
    $1000 in my opinion is a perfect staring point. You really don't have to worry about much. Just hop on and ride. Plus if you don't take to the sport you don't loose too much money if you decide to sell it.

    Keep in mind that $1000 is just for the bike. If you are new to the sport you will accessories.


    -Helmet 50-150$
    -Water bottle or hydoPak 15-200$
    -extra tubes 20$
    -MultiTool 10-30$
    -Levers 5-10$
    -etc
    I agree with this guy. If you are going to ride and use it then I think 1k is a good starting point but don't forget about the accessories. Also ad in shoes and pedals if you ever plan to ride climpless which is an additional cost. You will also want some sort of tire pump if you don't have one.

    Also a good tip for beginners is buy the cheapest helmet that fits good. After one good crash on the helmet you have to buy another one. They are made of foam and all pass the same safety standards and are designed to be replaced after one crash. So no need to spend $150 on your first helmet to be replaced after your first crash. Makes crashing very expensive, haha. I usually find a Giro on sale for around $30 and they seem to fit my head the best.

  19. #19
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    I bought a $155 walmart bike and rode it for about 2 months. In that time I progressed to the point where I didn't feel safe doing the technical trails I was doing.

    I bought the Trek Fuel Ex 9 which is a $4,000 bike, but it was a demo model with superficial scratches so I got it for $2,000.

    They financed it 12 months 0% interest. I was planning on saving $1,000 a month and going in $3,000 on a bike anyways over 3 months, so I was pretty much sold.

    Biking is something that clicked with me. I knew I loved it, and it was going to be a part of my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I bought a bike that I'm going to be happy with for the next 5-10 years.

    No regrets.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slozomby View Post
    the only one that can answer that is you, if you ride it then its an investment. if you dont its a waste of money.

    For quality of experience, worth of your person, I don't think money can be better spent.

    Have no doubt. Per what you are enthused about and that which brings you bliss, the amount will never be too much.




    .

  21. #21
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    I would buy the best bike you can pay cash for. I would never finance anything except for a house.

  22. #22
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    Ahh, forget houses. Money sinks =p

  23. #23
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    i had the same question. Have 3 friends that are into biking. I am starting up. Looking for my first bike. They want me to buy a Trek Mamba as my first bike, 1k. I was hoping of only spending like $600 on my first bike :/ They say its cheaper to get the mamba first in the long run.

  24. #24
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    I picked up my first bike a few months ago, it is a $1,000.00 Specialized Rockhopper 29. I don't regret it a bit, and it is definitely not overkill.
    “You see us? We’re the people kicking your a*s. Fear us, because we will kill you, motherfu*ker,”*

    -Chris Kyle

  25. #25
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    Well, sad to have to inform you, but if riding is seriously a big part of your life I'm afraid that statement will not hold true, I can pretty much guarantee that I started out thinking similar when I got my Giant Trance3, seven years ago, but now on bike numero 4 since then - still own the Trance and 3 of the others as well, all 29ers, the only bike I've ever sold was my 1st 29er (flexy POS) - talking MTBs only, not other bikes I've also owned since then


    Quote Originally Posted by sujianhua View Post
    I bought a $155 walmart bike and rode it for about 2 months. In that time I progressed to the point where I didn't feel safe doing the technical trails I was doing................................

    Biking is something that clicked with me. I knew I loved it, and it was going to be a part of my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I bought a bike that I'm going to be happy with for the next 5-10 years.

    No regrets.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  26. #26
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    Thanks guys- I actually didn't end up with the Cobia. I got a brand new Cannondale SL2 in a 29er of course. Love it- The riding position, the weight and the black/matte black over the Cobia's red and white was something I clicked with.

    I can't wait to take it out this Sunday and try it out. Already looking at replacing the cheap feeling brake levers- any ideas where to start looking for some nice aluminum ones?

  27. #27
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    The sl2 should have hydraulic brakes of some sort. Swapping levers wouldn't be that easy.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    Thanks guys- I actually didn't end up with the Cobia. I got a brand new Cannondale SL2 in a 29er of course. Love it- The riding position, the weight and the black/matte black over the Cobia's red and white was something I clicked with.

    I can't wait to take it out this Sunday and try it out. Already looking at replacing the cheap feeling brake levers- any ideas where to start looking for some nice aluminum ones?
    Ok...now that you've drank the cook aid, I would like to hear your ride report and first impressions after you've hit the trail on a quality ride.

  29. #29
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    You only live once. Why not

  30. #30
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    I've been looking at some Cannondales. Please let us know how it works out.

  31. #31
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    Nice bike I like C'dale matte black look as well, you've definitely got yourself an excellent bike, shouldn't want to do too many upgrades too soon Only thing is as you already figured out, the cheap brakes, not worth $hit if you ask me, but somewhere all manufacturers use to save money and quite annoying.

    As Sickmak said, it already has hydraulic brakes, so you can't just switch out the lever. What I would do though, is nicely ask the store if they'd give you some credit for those POS brakes and replace them with some Shimano Deore - cheap, but work and feel very good. If you want really good and powerful, Deore XT M785

    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    Thanks guys- I actually didn't end up with the Cobia. I got a brand new Cannondale SL2 in a 29er of course. Love it- The riding position, the weight and the black/matte black over the Cobia's red and white was something I clicked with.

    I can't wait to take it out this Sunday and try it out. Already looking at replacing the cheap feeling brake levers- any ideas where to start looking for some nice aluminum ones?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  32. #32
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    Does it have Avid Elixier 1 brakes on it? I have heard all kinds of bad stuff about those, but who knows if it is warranted or not. Everyone claims Juicy 3s suck so bad you can't even stop a bike with them....mine have been fine. I want another set of hydros for another bike so I will probably move the Juicys to it and get some Shimano SLXs.

  33. #33
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    No idea on how the brakes really work as my experience with the bike only goes as far as removing some of the crappy stickers off the frame that don't need to be on there. Tomorrow is definitely going to be a testing bench.

    I don't think right now I'd upgrade anything serious- perhaps the pedals- I hear welgo is the place to go.

  34. #34
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    Wellgo MG-1s seems to be a popular flat pedal that won't break the bank. I plan on getting a set soon since I don't want to go Clipless.

  35. #35
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    My advice: Buy used. You can get way more bike for the money--and if you want to upgrade later, you'll get closer to what you paid for it than if you buy new.

  36. #36
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    Thanks for the info.

  37. #37
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    Hey you've gotta go with what you like. Congrats on the new 29er.

  38. #38
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    What's everyone's thoughts- am I wasting my money and being stupid?
    You'll never regret buying quality, so get the nice rig if finances permit.

    I've had several regrets when buying too cheap, but I can't recall a single time ever that I've been disappointed by buying quality right from the start.

  39. #39
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOSZ View Post
    Keep in mind that $1000 is just for the bike. If you are new to the sport you will accessories.

    -Helmet 50-150$
    -Water bottle or hydoPak 15-200$
    -extra tubes 20$
    -MultiTool 10-30$
    -Levers 5-10$
    -etc
    Hehe, that's the money I hate spending. I just bought my second bike, which was money well spent because a new bike is fun. Then I needed all the extra stuff, bottle cage, tubes, tire irons, minipump, multitool and a saddle bag for it all and ended up spending close to $100 - on stuff that doesn't really add to the fun, except it's nice to have when you're miles from home with a flat.

  40. #40
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    The accessories are just as fun as buying the bike in my opinion

  41. #41
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    I honestly wish I spent $1000 on my first bike. My $500 hardtail was replaced by a $1150 hardtail after just 1 year.
    He who dares....wins!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant209 View Post
    The accessories are just as fun as buying the bike in my opinion
    I don't mind buying a new handlebar, new grips and stuff that changes the bike and sometimes improves the ride, but a pump and multitool does nothing fun except just "be there, just in case..". Basically I hate paying for stuff I hope never to use..

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    I don't mind buying a new handlebar, new grips and stuff that changes the bike and sometimes improves the ride, but a pump and multitool does nothing fun except just "be there, just in case..". Basically I hate paying for stuff I hope never to use..
    doesnt take much time to swap the under saddle bag and pump between bikes. if you backpack it you dont even need to do that.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    I can't wait to take it out this Sunday and try it out. Already looking at replacing the cheap feeling brake levers- any ideas where to start looking for some nice aluminum ones?
    I put these aluminum ones on my avid brakes. They feel better but bought them mostly because of the looks to match the rest of my bike.

    Levers


  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    I'm not so sure now if its the brightest idea for me or not to spend the money on a brand new Trek Cobia tomorrow. I love the way the bike looks and rides, like the components on it as well- the whole package is great.

    My plan with the bike is rather simple- me and a few buddies are gonna get together a couple-several times per week and ride the local trails and have some fun. I don't wanna overkill it, and at the same time, I don't want a boat anchor of a bike for a few hundred bucks.

    What's everyone's thoughts- am I wasting my money and being stupid?
    It is only a waste of money if you ride it 3-4 times and never again. If you really ride the bike hard it will be just fine.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  46. #46
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    I would say good call. I spent about $900 for my first one. I was originally looking at like $400-600 range and glad I made the upgrade even a little. Like others have said, if you can afford it then no issue.

  47. #47
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    I rode my wal-mart special Mongoose XR-75 about 15 times between the months of September to June on the trails by my house and convinced myself that it was time to step up as it was something important to me. I was looking at bikesdirect motobecane models ranging from $600 to $1000 and thought that $1K was a rediculous amount of money to spend (as well as my friends and family), but I knew I wanted to do it right and had the money. It turns out that I have really got into mountain bikes and racing the last couple years since and that extra $400 has probably saved me over $1000 dollars in upgrades. The $1k model came with a Reba fork, XTR rear derailer, XT shifters and saddle (WTB rocket)/stem/bars (Ritchey) of decent quality and WTB Laserdisc rims. The rear hub is crap, but for $1000 you can't expect everything to be nice. The things that I am still running stock on that bike are frame, reba fork, derailers, cranks, and shifters.

    So spending more money up front is usually cheaper than going cheap and wanting to upgrade everything. If you are serious about it and have the money then I would say $1k is the perfect place to look. It was a good move for me.
    I'd get a moto or airborne over the trek. I suggest to the OP to look at the different levels of components they are getting.

  48. #48
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    I purchase a Scott Aspect for a first bike in Jan. After going to N. Ga mountains, I was extremely disappointed in the VBrakes. I looked into upgrading to disc brakes, but that is going to get pricey pretty quick. It seems that selling my bike and buying a "better" equipped bike is the way to go. I am trying to stay under $1500 (the less the better for me). This gets me into some FS bikes. My LBS(s) carry Scott, Cannondale, and Trek. So, those are the brands I am looking into. Trek is actually out of the price range for FS, but both Cannondale RZ120 3 or 2 and Scott Spark 70 are available and under that budget. They are 12 leftovers. Just trying to make a good decision on that kind of money.

  49. #49
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    Even if you just upgrade to mechanical disc you'll notice the difference, I definitely did. I barely need to use any pressure to stop the bike now, and I have to watch out to make sure I don't lock out the back tire. If I were you, for around $1000 I would just get a real sweet hard-tail. But coming from the south west, I definitely understand the desire for FS.

  50. #50
    RideDirt
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    Congrats on the new bike , just learn to ride it and enjoy the sport . Replace whatever breaks on it within time .. Really get to understand everything and polish up on what parts do what , how they work, etc .

    My first hardtail was $550 bucks , then i did a $3300 upgrade to a full suspension bike . Night and day

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