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.
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  1. #1
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    Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000

    Ok stole this from another thread. Was looking for opinions from riders that either have these bikes or have more knowledge than myself.

    Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000 - Updated For 2012 - BikeRadar
    '09 Cannondale F7
    '00 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  2. #2
    Bassmaster
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    I have the Cannondale Trail 29er SL3. The article is based on the MSRPs of which I doubt anyone here actually pays more than 90%. As such the SL3 in the article was the 26er version and didn't fare too well based strictly on wheel size. I love my bike, it performs well and does what I need it to do. My LBS recommended it or the GT Karakoram 1.0 because the Scott Scale Team is unavailable on backorder. I would check your LBS for the brands they carry and go from there.

  3. #3
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    That's a really useless list for anyone wanting to buy a 26er...

    (No fault to the OP, just commenting on the article itself)
    '10 Hardrock Sport Disc

  4. #4
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    The 2013 Scott Scales seem to be arriving at some shops now. The Scale 29 range has been expended and given 900 designations(mostly). You should see some stock pretty soon.
    The Airborne Goblin compares to an Elite and is 1150 with free shipping until 7/30.Airborne Bicycles. Goblin

  5. #5
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    Should be called best 29er under $1000.
    '09 Cannondale F7
    '00 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The Airborne Goblin compares to an Elite and is 1150 with free shipping until 7/30.Airborne Bicycles. Goblin
    I agree the Goblin is better spec'd than others on the list. It's also the most expensive of the ones tested, even taking in accout the $1100 Specialized. (Which was sent by "mistake")
    '09 Cannondale F7
    '00 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  7. #7
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    Think my LBS carries Scott, have to see if the have any Scale 29ers.
    '09 Cannondale F7
    '00 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlallak View Post
    I agree the Goblin is better spec'd than others on the list. It's also the most expensive of the ones tested, even taking in accout the $1100 Specialized. (Which was sent by "mistake")
    Yeah I loved the fact that Specialized tried to cheat the conditions for the test and then still managed to end up placing 6th!

    Makes you wonder how much worse the standard Rockhopper 29er would have fared if the upgraded model did so poorly.

    Trek on the other hand seems to have produced a winner.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The Airborne Goblin compares to an Elite and is 1150 with free shipping until 7/30.Airborne Bicycles. Goblin
    The Goblin is a nicely spec'd bike but it also runs with a roughly 30% higher price tag than any of the bikes that were tested in this review.

    (except of course the Rockhopper Comp that Specialized "Mistakenly" sent in to be reviewed)

    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by madaxc View Post
    That's a really useless list for anyone wanting to buy a 26er...

    (No fault to the OP, just commenting on the article itself)
    Definitely a little bias there...
    "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." -Back to the Future

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by madaxc View Post
    That's a really useless list for anyone wanting to buy a 26er...

    (No fault to the OP, just commenting on the article itself)
    Quote Originally Posted by mk.ultra View Post
    Definitely a little bias there...
    If so then the bias was straight from the manufacturers as they were the ones to submit what each felt was their best "under $1000" bike in for review.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Yeah I loved the fact that Specialized tried to cheat the conditions for the test and then still managed to end up placing 6th!

    Makes you wonder how much worse the standard Rockhopper 29er would have fared if the upgraded model did so poorly.

    Trek on the other hand seems to have produced a winner.
    My "standard" 2012 Rockhopper 29 kicks ass.
    “You see us? We’re the people kicking your a*s. Fear us, because we will kill you, motherfu*ker,”*

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  13. #13
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    I really like my Bikes Direct Gravity 29point3, which is very similar to the Trek Mamba (but costs less). You could actually go up a notch to the 29point4 to get the Recon fork and still be under $1000.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
    My Blog: Cycling For Beginners

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by desert guy View Post
    My "standard" 2012 Rockhopper 29 kicks ass.
    Then perhaps Specialized should have just sent them one of those rather than it's more expensive big brother because that one apparently had it's ass kicked.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
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    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnerCycling View Post
    I really like my Bikes Direct Gravity 29point3, which is very similar to the Trek Mamba (but costs less). You could actually go up a notch to the 29point4 to get the Recon fork and still be under $1000.
    I tried out the BD Gravity line locally a Cycle Spectrum and while the bikes do have a lot of nice components the bikes themselves (basically the frames) just felt chunky to me.

    For me, I just couldn't find a BD 29er that I felt really good on. However, that is more a matter of sizing and bike fit rather than quality or value.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnerCycling View Post
    I really like my Bikes Direct Gravity 29point3, which is very similar to the Trek Mamba (but costs less). You could actually go up a notch to the 29point4 to get the Recon fork and still be under $1000.
    Or save an extra hundred and spring for the 29point5 and get the reba. Although... the wheelset is kinda sad at that pricepoint, as is most of the cockpit, and the pedals for sure.

    If you're just getting into mountain biking I feel like it's a good value, but if you stick with it you're going to be replacing stuff. I'm at about $2k all in after replacing everything I listed. That reba was a clincher for me, and I'm glad I went above my original $600-800 budget, having a lighter fork is one of the main reasons I like my bike more than most of the others I try out. (none particularly fancy)

    I can't comment on the frame... I'm still learning.

  17. #17
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    a used bike that was $3000

  18. #18
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    An article about value that doesn't include the internet only value brands is worthless. Just an advertisement fluff piece

    BD had a 2012 reba x9 equipped bike $1100 that stomps the components of these. Internet bikes. Save u a lot on sales tax. 1150 airborne stomps these as well.

    Then again used can be even better. My bike is 22lbs and cost $600

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    An article about value that doesn't include the internet only value brands is worthless. Just an advertisement fluff piece

    BD had a 2012 reba x9 equipped bike $1100 that stomps the components of these. Internet bikes. Save u a lot on sales tax. 1150 airborne stomps these as well.
    The Airborn Goblin has an MSRP of $1300 while the BD 2012 Gravity 29Point5 you are talking about has an (albeit obviously inflated by Bikes Direct) "list price" of a whopping $2200 putting both well out of the category being discussed.

    And since both of those bikes are listed for more than the $999 MSRP cap on the bikes submitted for the article in question it's not really all that surprising that they should have better components than bikes that cost hundreds of dollars less.

    Hell, since the article was based upon MSRP the "best" bike with a suspension fork that Bikes Direct could possibly have submitted was this:

    Mountain Bikes - 29er Multi Speed - Dawes Haymaker 2900

    If they sent in anything better then they would have to publicly admit that their "List" prices on their bikes are total BS which I seriously doubt that they would be willing to do.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trees138 View Post
    Or save an extra hundred and spring for the 29point5 and get the reba. Although... the wheelset is kinda sad at that pricepoint, as is most of the cockpit, and the pedals for sure.
    Again... that is a bike which has a "list" value which is well over double the cut-off point for the article.

    The article is based upon the MSRP being below $999 NOT the street or potential sales price that the bike could possibly be had for.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  21. #21
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    It will be..... Ok.....

  22. #22
    Airborne Product Dude
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    We really don't use inflated MSRP's like other folks.

    The Goblin was $1299 when we first introduced it, and at that time we were entertaining the idea of selling them thru a brick and mortar retaill as well. When we decided that we wanted to stick with our online-only business model, we dropped some of the "extra fat" from the price of the Goblin and some other models. That's why it dropped from $1299 to $1149.

    Anyway, it is unfair to compare the Goblin to the other bikes in the $1000 test because it is more than $1000.

    We would have liked to have had our $599 Guardian included in that test, but we weren't contacted about it and didn't know about it until after it was published.

    I hope that clears things up a bit, thanks!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Again... that is a bike which has a "list" value which is well over double the cut-off point for the article.

    The article is based upon the MSRP being below $999 NOT the street or potential sales price that the bike could possibly be had for.
    I agree that BD's list prices are fluff, and also agree that since the 29point5 is sold for $1099 it should not be considered here (though a great deal). However, since the 29point3 and 29point4 are always sold at the "Sale Prices" currently listed (except for when they really put them on sale) I think it's fair to consider them here.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
    My Blog: Cycling For Beginners

  24. #24
    Ba ba ba bird bird bird
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    I love my Giant Talon 29er. However the stock fork is useless. That was replaced asap.

  25. #25
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    And since both of those bikes are listed for more than the $999 MSRP cap on the bikes submitted for the article in question it's not really all that surprising that they should have better components than bikes that cost hundreds of dollars less.

    Hell, since the article was based upon MSRP the "best" bike with a suspension fork that Bikes Direct could possibly have submitted was this:
    who cares what list prices are. MSRP price is a "marketing" decision. . I did some google shopping searches on the article's bikes cost, there is not much pricing info. How much of a discount is a user typically gonna receive on a the top bike choice:scott. It seems sold out online.

    BTW. actual shipped price of BD is reba x9 10-speed drivetrain equipped bike was $800 (currently sold out)
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Front Suspension Gravity BaseCamp 3.0

    The drive train and fork are two tiers higher than the top listed bike in that article. Brakes are the same
    Last edited by bob13bob; 07-27-2012 at 09:51 AM.

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