1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
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    26" hardtail ==> 29" FS

    It's been wet around here, and while I tried to ride my new bike a couple times since I got it a few weeks back, it's just been too muddy to get a good feel for it. But the ground is frozen now and yesterday I finally got a chance to ride my new Camber 29 on our local trails. My other bike is a Hardrock, so to be fair it is a entry level hardtail with pretty cheap forks.

    The ride: the difference between the two bikes out on the trail was amazing. There are flat areas with some washboard that the new bike just swallows up, where the old bike was rattling your teeth out. Any drops, jumps or dips were also just swallowed up by the suspension. Climbing seemed to be just as easy on the FS as it was on my HT. Overall, I could go much faster on the new bike, I was truely astounded at the difference. I'm looking forward to the next ride.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber
    '13 9:ZERO:7
    '11 Specialized Hardrock

  2. #2
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    26ers were just a passing fad anyway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSdirt29 View Post
    26ers were just a passing fad anyway.
    Like hardtails.

  4. #4
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    entry level vs enthusiast level or 26" fs vs 29" fs or backup bikes are good to have

    Because of an infant mortality failure of the shock on my Anthem 29 X I actual got to do a similar comparison over the weekend when I had to fall back to my backup Mongoose Otera. Weather was just too good not to ride even with my new bike in the shop. It was kind of fun to compare a 26" 5" travel bike that cost under $600 with a $1800 4" travel 9er. Both rides were on a nearby typical PNW tight, twisty and very rooty trail system that was frozen solid with minimal mud.

    The most noticeable feature about the Mongoose was that it heavy and hard to lift off the rack but after a mile or two it didn't seem that bad (unless I was climbing). The 26 inch Mongoose also felt really twitchy after a being on the big wheels but that feeling went away even faster.

    The really annoying conclusion I came to was that I had almost as much fun and was almost as fast on a bike that cost 1/3 the price of my Anthem. I guess I should not feel too bad when I make my kids ride the old mongoose.

  5. #5
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    Since I still have both bikes, I think I'll time myself riding the same trail on the two different bikes. I'll try to keep the conditions as similar as possible, and push it as hard as I can on each bike. It should be interesting, and fun.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber
    '13 9:ZERO:7
    '11 Specialized Hardrock

  6. #6
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    Dave, thanks for the post! I'm in a position I imagine you were in not too long ago. Looking for a new bike in the next few months and wanting to go 29er. Not sure about full squish or hardtail. Coming from a 26 hardtail.

    How'd you decide on the camber? Did you try any other bikes? Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    Dave, thanks for the post! I'm in a position I imagine you were in not too long ago. Looking for a new bike in the next few months and wanting to go 29er. Not sure about full squish or hardtail. Coming from a 26 hardtail.

    How'd you decide on the camber? Did you try any other bikes? Thanks!
    Hector, I wanted to get a FS bike that our LBS carries, we have two local shops, but the guys at the specialized LBS were more friendly/informative, so I decided to get a specialized brand based on that. I rode a couple different bikes, but finally decided that the trails I ride don't require a whole lot of suspension, so I chose the camber over my second choice (stumpjumper) based on that. So far I am extremely pleased with the bike.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber
    '13 9:ZERO:7
    '11 Specialized Hardrock

  8. #8
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    Had the same experience at the spesh dealer in Birmingham, too. Friendly staff and decent prices. I really liked the base model camber. They had it for $1800, which seemed fair to me. The base stumpy's were $2600, although better spec'd, component wise. Not sure which I'll prefer until I ride them. That've got a nice demo fleet so I'll likely try both, who knows? Might go 'budget' and get an airborne hobgoblin.

  9. #9
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    Hey everyone. I just joined the forum tonight and wanted to put 2 cents down on this subject. I just put a 2013 Scott genius 940 on layaway recently and will pay it off mid January. I have been riding my 26" mongoose iboc comp. Hartail since 96 ( bought from a kid who had been racing it). Always had a great time on it but was enjoying it less and less recently due to age mostly. Then I rode my friends Trek superfly 100 and could not believe how much fun I had. I actually had a hard time riding my bike after that. Tried a couple of full sus rides at a demo day and liked that even better. Almost feels like cheating compared to the skill level and effort it took to learn to ride back in the early 90's. Call em a fad if you must, but they are just the thing to reignite my passion for rides. Can't wait!

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