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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    We the people ... Buying a new mountain bike and looking for advice and help

    First thing is I would like to say hello to everyone here on the forum as I am new here. And yes my name really is Lyric, lol. So I am in the market for a new mountain bike and looking around for the right bike seems to be really tough. I currently own an older DiamondBack mountain bike that I bought years ago to start out with and I have been using it since. I paid only $200 back in the day and was just new. I would say this bike has gave me a lot of issues over time and pretty much has been beat to death. Things I hate about this bike is it's pretty heavy and components suck. lol. Again this was my first mountain bike and I did not want to soak in a load of money on something if I didn't stick with it. So here it's been 4 years with this load of crap bike and I would like something better. I want a smoother, faster, better quality, better components and more. So I need a little help here please. I have done a lot of looking around and reading and still lost as to what to go with. Btw my style of riding is typically cross country and sometimes a little more but not often. Now I know there are 29er's and 26er bikes on the market and this is nothing I need help with. This is something that will come down to personal taste and I am unsure at this point what I will buy but I have been riding a 26er. My budget will be $800 to $1200. I a looking at hardtails, hardtail 29ers and maybe a full suspension but with my budget I'm sure a decent full suspension is out of the picture. Now I know this is stupid probably but I do care about colors on bikes and I'm sorry but light colors attract me more. I don't like solid black, dark blue or solid red bikes. I like white, bright greens, bright light blues, gray and others similar in color. Now brands of bikes is where I have issues. The brand of bike I tend to lean toward the most is Cannondale. I love the build, make up and everything by Cannondale. Besides Cannondale I like some Specialized although they have tended to go up in prices it seems, 9niner, Yeti and others. If you have any bikes with these brands and other brands you could recommend please let me know, any advice let me know. I need help with some choices in my price range. Any bikes you might recommend? It does not have to be the brands I like the most, it can be any brand. Just share with me and maybe tell me why. Thank you everyone.

  2. #2
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    With your budget, I would steer away from full suspensions, unless you find a smokin' deal on a great condition used one. You should take a trip to a few different bike shops and test ride as many bikes as you can in your price range and in both 26" and 29" wheels. In terms of color...I know color can be a big deal in bike purchase, but concern yourself more with the fit of the bike and the overall build of the bike first. Then once you settle on a bike or a couple of bikes, you can worry about color. The good thing is, most companies offer certain models of bikes in multiple color options.

    Another thing to consider with your budget is do you need anything other than the bike itself? Things such as a helmet, pump/tube repair kit, bottle/bottle cages or camelback, multi tool, good biking shorts, decent pedals, etc... should be considered.

  3. #3
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    Take a look at the Airborne Goblin, You wont find a better spec'd bike for $1200

    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin

    Only disadvantages I see is that you cant sit on one (online only) and there is a $75 shipping charge in the Continental US$ ($300 to Canada).

    You would have to look up the geometry but I am sure its similar to other bikes out there, might allow to you size up a similar bike.

    If I was looking for a new bike in that range right now, its what I would be getting

    There is a forum subsection on here for their bikes, lots of positive reviews

    Airborne

  4. #4
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    As mentioned, go to various shops, get familiar with various bikes. It sounds as though a hard tail 29er might be a good solution because you won't need full suspension given the kind of riding you (vaguely) describe. Not knowing your age, weight, fitness level, what trails you ride, how much climbing you expect to do, how technical the trails are, whether you'll travel to ride harder stuff, or if you'll also ride roads with the bike severely limits how much advice you can expect.

  5. #5
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    Owensjs thanks for the first reply and yes I pretty figured full suspension bikes in that price range would not be idle or so decent. Yes I have all needed accessories from owning a mountain bike already but will probably make some upgrades soon to a new helmet and gloves as I have worn the ones out that I do have.

    Moronm the Airborne looks good and I will try and do some more study on them and yes that for sure is a downside is not being able to test them before buying. But I guess shipping charge beats the tax charge from a store. lol.

    MSU Alum to give you and others a little about myself in helping me out here.

    Age: 29
    Height: 5'7
    Weight 140
    Fitness: Average to small frame build and pretty much toned
    Trails: I ride trails anywhere from All Abilities to Semi Difficult and eventually would like to do more difficult trails
    Climbing: Small to Moderate climbing at times

    I live in the most hilly region of Kansas and surprising enough we have a lot of hills and climbing at times for mountain biking and off road driving. I would like to make trips every now and then to Colorado to try more trails as well.

    I don't plan to use the bike for roads like pavement but would use the bike on gravel and old country dirt roads. Maybe possibly paved roads out in the country side every once and a while but not that often.

    Does this help anyone? I hope it does

    And does anyone else recommend any bikes?

    Thanks everyone

  6. #6
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    Yes that helps. As mentioned by others, it seems a 29er hardtail would be best at your price point. At your size and weight, if you were in the Rocky Mountain area, I'd suggest holding out for a 26 full suspension, maybe used. You can go to wrenchscience or competitivecyclist and they have tools for calculating what your sizing should be, which could be helpful. Performancebike has some on sale...I can't testify to how good they are, though... 29er Mountain Bikes: Rugged, Responsive & Fun 29er MTN Bikes If you are a member, all purchases have a 10% refund applicable toward additional purchases. Again, it may not be for you, but I've used them before and they are a quality outfit. Also, REI has a 20% off sale, I believe (already spent my refund and took my discount). This is a $1350 bike on sale at $1080 that should be another 20% off. Again, I can't tell you how good it is (I don't ride hard tails or 29ers) Marin Palisades Trail 29er Bike - 2012 Overstock at REI-OUTLET.com One nice thing is that it's a 3x10, so it will handle any sort of ride including killer, hard climbs.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 04-05-2013 at 02:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=MSU Alum;10295729] Also, REI has a 20% off saleQUOTE]

    I would for sure check out REI but they will not ship bikes. I would have to drive to a store which is no where near me. The closest REI would be in Colorado Springs which is a 6 hour drive from me. lol. I mean if it's worth the trip to drive that far I guess, do you or does anyone think it would be? I'm just not sure if that would be the best idea to drive that far. Again, I know you were just suggesting but would you do a 6 hour trip? Just wondering if that is a stupid idea or not. lol. Honestly asking.

  8. #8
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    Does anyone know of online sites where you can buy bikes? Some places will not ship bikes.

    And does anyone know of online sites where I could find 2012 model bikes? I know these go a little cheaper kind of like 2012 model cars being sold for less to get them off the floor.

  9. #9
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    Any thoughts on the 2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 2?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyric View Post
    Does anyone know of online sites where you can buy bikes? Some places will not ship bikes.

    And does anyone know of online sites where I could find 2012 model bikes? I know these go a little cheaper kind of like 2012 model cars being sold for less to get them off the floor.
    well, there are bikes that are sold in LBS, brands that pay for sponsorship, marketing and floor space. And then there are value brands that have better components at the same price point, but dont' sponsor, advertise, or buy lbs floorspace.1. I'm a fan of the latter type.

    If you're looking for a deal, I would be looking at airborne or bikesdirect bikes. If you assume lbs bikes are somehow magically better with lesser parts, I suggest you look and compare spec lists.

    here is a simple hierarchy of components.
    Shifters Derailleurs + shifters:
    from least < best
    Sram: x3 < x5 < x7 < x9 < xo
    Shimano: altus < acera < alivio < deore < deore lx/slx (not sure which is better) < deore xt < deore xtr

    in terms of shimano vs sram, x9 < xt < xo

    XC (Cros country) suspension forks
    from least < best
    Suntour xct < rockshox dart 1=2 < rockshox dart 3 =rockshox xc28 < rockshox xc32 =rockshox tora < rockshox recon < rockshox reba = manitou tower pro (29er)/minute (26er) pro < fox forks

  11. #11
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    When I bought my Gary Fisher, 20 years ago, I called an LBS in Steamboat Springs and they shipped it to my house. I think REI will ship, just not for free. Their site has prices listed for shipping via UPS, etc.

    From their site: "Please note: When standard shipping is selected, REI determines the most efficient shipping carrier for your order. The carriers that may be used are: U.S. Postal Service (USPS), UPS or FedEx. Shipping charges may be subject to sales tax depending on the tax laws of the state the order is being shipped to.

    Note: Certain products can only be shipped to REI store locations and not to specified addresses. These exceptions will be noted on the product pages."

    (The bike I selected was not restricted from shipping.)

  12. #12
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    Here is the Cannondale I mentioned above.

    Cannondale Trail SL 2 29er Bike - 2013 at REI.com

    What do you guys think of this Cannondale? *I haven't been really looking at Full Suspension bikes but I found this one and it appears to get pretty good reviews and that the frame is pretty darn good and the components are not of course the best but of course can be upgraded down the road but in the mean time over all it's a pretty good bike. What do you guys think? Here it is: XC 104 | KHS Bicycles
    Last edited by Lyric; 04-05-2013 at 10:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    The KHS XC 104 is listed at 34.7 pounds at "Sport Chalet" where it's $949. That's pretty heavy. You could probably call REI and ask them to weigh the Canondale for you. I'd guess it's 7 pounds lighter, anyway.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    The KHS XC 104 is listed at 34.7 pounds at "Sport Chalet" where it's $949. That's pretty heavy. You could probably call REI and ask them to weigh the Canondale for you. I'd guess it's 7 pounds lighter, anyway.
    Yeah KHS is a little bit heavier, lol. But I really like the Cannondale pretty good. What are your thought's on the Cannondale I have posted?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyric View Post
    Yeah KHS is a little bit heavier, lol. But I really like the Cannondale pretty good. What are your thought's on the Cannondale I have posted?
    I've never ridden one, but these guys on MTBR have reviewed it: Cannondale Trail SL 29er 2 29er Hardtail Reviews These seem like pretty good reviews, to me. One complained of geometry that threw him forward and down, but I'm guessing that can be remedied by raising the handlebars and/or properly servicing the fork. From Bike Radar: Cannondale Trail SL3 29er Review - BikeRadar

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyric View Post
    Does anyone know of online sites where you can buy bikes? Some places will not ship bikes.

    And does anyone know of online sites where I could find 2012 model bikes? I know these go a little cheaper kind of like 2012 model cars being sold for less to get them off the floor.
    Huge sale on Sette bikes at price point Bikes & Frames | Discounted Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes and Cycling Gear at PricePoint.com The sette serum race slx carbon bike normally 2800 on sale for 1399. Great specs on that bike too. Check it out you might find something you like.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TikiGoddess View Post
    Huge sale on Sette bikes at price point Bikes & Frames | Discounted Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes and Cycling Gear at PricePoint.com The sette serum race slx carbon bike normally 2800 on sale for 1399. Great specs on that bike too. Check it out you might find something you like.
    That's a great sale they're having! Lots of good options. Good luck, but this may be your one stop shopping site.

  18. #18
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    So after looking at components and prices I don't see them to being to bad in price over time. Meaning that with over time slowly changing out components for better components wont be to bad in price. I was looking at some really good wheels for $150 - $200 a piece, Fox fors for $400 - $500. But if these are done over time and not all at once it wouldn't be that bad. Thing is making sure to get a really decent frame. Little things like wheels and other small components and upgrading them slowly starting only 6 months down the road wont be bad for me. And $500 for a better fork by Fox a year down the road is not bad to me, I can easily deal with that, no problem at all. Some people say to not upgrade like this but to instead save it all and put all the money into a full complete bike setup now. But it's kind of hard when you have no real good bike at the moment and your ready to ride. Plus upgrading little bits over time is easier for me than tossing a $1500 to $2000 down right away now.

    So are the Cannondale frames good to start with and upgrade on over time? And any thoughts on the brand Focus? Focus Black Forest 29r 5.0 27 G 2013 bike - Carbon Connection and this one FOCUS BLACK FOREST 3.0 29r 2012 - Carbon Connection
    Last edited by Lyric; 04-07-2013 at 03:41 PM.

  19. #19
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    I thought TikiGoddess hit the nail on the head. There are good prices on some well equiped 29ers, a carbon 26 hardtail and a couple of full suspension 26ers that wont break the bank. They're all Sette's, which is pricepoint's in house, but in the $1200 price range MSRP, you're not going to get the kind of frame that's a must have from any manufacturer. 29 hardtail: Sette Razzo XT 10 Speed 29er Alloy Mountain Bike | Sette | Brand | www.PricePoint.com 26 carbon hardtail: Sette Serum Race SLX Carbon Mountain Bike | Sette | Brand | www.PricePoint.com 26 full suspension 100mm: Sette Derro 2.0 SLX Dual Suspension 4-Inch Mountain Bike | Sette | Brand | www.PricePoint.com I hate to make your choices harder, but these all seem to have components you wont want to swap out. And you can get into a decent full suspension at a good price if you want. It seems like you should at least check them out before you pull the trigger on the Canondale (which is a good bike, don't get me wrong).
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 04-07-2013 at 04:30 PM.

  20. #20
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    Found this one I really like as well but cannot find a small anywhere online, probably because it's the 2012 year. Geez this sucks. lol

    BMC Team Elite TE29/Shimano SLX Complete Bike - 2012 | Backcountry.com

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    Anyone looked at the brand Ghost? I have been checking them out and the frames look really nice and components don't appear to be that bad at all.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyric View Post
    Anyone looked at the brand Ghost? I have been checking them out and the frames look really nice and components don't appear to be that bad at all.
    They are sold in Canada exclusively through Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) which is very similar to REI

    They are a german company and although I have not rode one I have sat on a few and looked at them. They look well made and a good componenet selection. I never looked into price or value that carefully

  23. #23
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    Here is the site I found them through:

    Hardtail | Buy Now at ChainReactionCycles.com

    I don't know about Chain Reaction Cycles but they look to be pretty good and they ship anywhere as well.

  24. #24
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    Paragraphs are your friend!

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    Do you live anywhere near the Canadian border? Would allow you to go over ans see them. Might be cheaper to buy in Canada and. Or get it muddy and bring it back across

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