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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    Buying w new hardtail MTB. Which of these should I get?

    I'm looking to upgrade to disc brakes and a better frame. I've had my current bike for about 5 years (Diamondback outlook) which a friend wants to buy. So to replace it I am looking at a few different models...

    1. Specialized Rockhopper disc
    2. Trek 3900 disc or 4300 disc
    3. Gary Fisher Advance disc

    Basically bikes around 500-600 that are reliable and good for a beginner. I am not doing anything extreme, I ride for exercise with friends but plan to do light terrain. Option 2 and 3 are in the price I listed and the Specialized is about 150 more. I see different model numbers and configurations on the Rockhopper compared to the others. Is it a better bike or just cost more for brand name? Any thoughts are welcome.

    Thanks,

    Derek

  2. #2
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    Concerning the Specialized, you're looking at the wrong line. The Hardrock Sport Disc (and line) is in your price range.

    Also, you can probably get all of these bikes for ~$600 or less at your LBS, although they retail for more:

    Sp Hardrock Sport Disc
    Raleigh Talus 8.0
    GT Avalanche 2.0 Disc
    Mongoose Tyax Elite
    Scott Aspect 55
    Felt Q620
    GF Wahoo Disc

    Out of these, my choice would be the Felt, the Scott, the Raleigh, the GF, or the Trek.

  3. #3
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    Ok I see the Hardrock sport now, thanks for pointing that out. When I searched the site originally, I didn't see that line.

  4. #4
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    I just got a 2010 GF Wahoo Disc for $582 out the door (tax and all) and I love it. The brakes (that I didn;t think I needed) are awesome.

    On the other hand I went back and forth on the 09 Marlin w/o Disc brakes for the same price... I finally decided on the 2010 Wahoo... the flat back looks SO sick

  5. #5
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    For that amount of money I would look at bikesdirect.com I bought a 29er from them and for the price local stores couldn't come close.
    For example...
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...700HT_2010.htm

  6. #6
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    The Wahoo is also a consideration, it does look clean. I'm leaning towards Trek or GF based on all around feature and looks. You got a good deal on it. I'm heading to my LBS's Saturday to look around.

  7. #7
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    I went to a differnt LBS and rode a Giant Yukon. It was about the same price, but the Wahoo just felt better to me. I'm not even sure why. The Giant was a nice bike too though. My girlfriend got the Giant.

    The seat is pain though... rode a couple miles on the day I got it and felt like somebody hit me in the a$$ with a sledgehammer. I have to get some padded shorts... and maybe a thudbuster if the shorts don;t help. I'm a big guy though... 6'1 245.

  8. #8
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    Crump, have you made any upgrades to it? I'm thinking the seat will be same day for me. Do you like the pedals, grips, etc.?

  9. #9
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    One thing I liked about the GF over the Giant was the pedals. The pedals are metal and have some bite, but are a little small. The Giant had plastic pedals that I didn't like. Everything on mine is stock. I've only had it since Saturday. I am taking it out for some actual trail riding this weekend.

    The grips seems fine to me, but I don't know why they made the ends white... the part that hits the ground when you lay the bike down. Seems silly.

  10. #10
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    Sweet, you made the thread before i did. Good info on these forums. Can't wait to go bike browsing on Saturday. I was leaning towards the GF. We'll see how they feel.

  11. #11
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    After browsing a few shops, I've learned some things and now have a different set of mtbs to choose from. If anyone could offer some more insight, outxider and I would be grateful.

    Raleigh Talus 8.0
    Trek 4300 disc
    Cannondale F7

    From what I can tell, I can't go wrong with any of them which is why I need advice from forum members. Thanks

  12. #12
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    The fork on the Talus is much better than the forks on the 4300 Disc and the F7.

    Have you gotten a chance to ride them? Which one fits best?

  13. #13
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    Going to ride them today. From what I've seen the parts on the Raleigh are overall better than the other 2. The guy I talked to about the Raleigh said they offer a better group of parts at a better price than brands like Specialized or Trek. I thought he was just being a salesman. Is there any credibility to his statement?

  14. #14
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    Yes. The entire bike specs-wise is a model line ahead of anything you'll get from Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc. Felt bikes are also a very good value from what I've seen (i.e. the Q620).

    If you like the Talus 8.0, consider buying a 2009 Mojave 8.0. Same bike, but it's last year's model, so you can get it (i.e. from REI) marked down hundreds of dollars.

  15. #15
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    I just bought my Trek 3900 disc last friday. Ive only rode it once, but love it so far. In all my research of it, the only shortfall is the low end disc breaks. Im too green to notice if they are that bad or not. Im just going to ride them till they bust, then upgrade. I managed to talk the LBS down to $459 for her too. $507 out the door, imho, thats more bike for your money than most others, craigslist, or BD.com. And i looked at all those options.

  16. #16
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    tsmosher,

    I was just in the middle of thanking you for recommending the Talus in an earlier post. I did look at all the bikes you recommended. Once I got to a shop who carried the Talus and had it in stock, I already had a feeling that was the one. I am going to ride it today which I don't think makes much of a difference to me because I am a noob and it's a huge upgrade from my current mtb.

  17. #17
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    Cool. Let me know how it goes! I'm getting my first mountain bike today (bought off eBay). I can't wait! (Scott Aspect 45)

  18. #18
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    double

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine3982
    I just bought my Trek 3900 disc last friday. Ive only rode it once, but love it so far. In all my research of it, the only shortfall is the low end disc breaks. Im too green to notice if they are that bad or not. Im just going to ride them till they bust, then upgrade. I managed to talk the LBS down to $459 for her too. $507 out the door, imho, thats more bike for your money than most others, craigslist, or BD.com. And i looked at all those options.

    Name brand bikes are nowhere close to BD.com bikes in terms of component value/$ .

    The Talus is again hands down better than your Trek in pretty much every respect. I hope you have a good time with your bike, but please don't go about with the impression that you got the best possible deal for your $ . Satisfactory yes, but best.. not by a long shot .


    [This coming from someone who was considering the mojave 8.0 for $425 from my LBS and ended up with a Cliff 4700 from BD]

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalker
    Name brand bikes are nowhere close to BD.com bikes in terms of component value/$ .

    The Talus is again hands down better than your Trek in pretty much every respect. I hope you have a good time with your bike, but please don't go about with the impression that you got the best possible deal for your $ . Satisfactory yes, but best.. not by a long shot .


    [This coming from someone who was considering the mojave 8.0 for $425 from my LBS and ended up with a Cliff 4700 from BD]
    The Talus may be "better" than my bike, but its not even in the same pricepoint, so your point is moot. And i will go about with the attitude that i got the best deal for my money, because i know that i did. You go along and have fun riding whatever you ride, cuz i know i will be enjoying mine. You sound like a pompus @$$ by the way.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine3982
    The Talus may be "better" than my bike, but its not even in the same pricepoint, so your point is moot. And i will go about with the attitude that i got the best deal for my money, because i know that i did. You go along and have fun riding whatever you ride, cuz i know i will be enjoying mine. You sound like a pompus @$$ by the way.
    The Talus 4.0 or 5.0 are priced the same and have better components.

    And at BD.com, you can get a number of better equipped bikes for the same price. It's just a fact due to their lower overhead from operating via an Internet storefront.

    The Trek 3900 Disc is a great bike, but I believe that the above is his point.

    And, yes, he did come off as a bit of a pompous a.s.s.

  22. #22
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    Was not my intention to sound pompous there
    Sorry about that. All I wanted to say was that there are better bikes for the money than the Trek.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalker
    Was not my intention to sound pompous there
    Sorry about that. All I wanted to say was that there are better bikes for the money than the Trek.
    I would agree, but it's more about the rider than the bike. And at the lower end of BD offerings, the differences in components just aren't that great. Dart1 vs. Dart2, Tektro Aquila vs. Tektro IO, Alivio vs. Deore, etc. That being said, when you get up into the $800 and over mark, BD just kills the competition. At $2k, the suspension, brake and drive train components are often worth the cost of the entire bike.

    To the OP: Ride what you like, and ride it until the bike is limiting your performance not the other way around. At that point, look for an upgraded ride around the $1,000 mark. The differences is components and weight is pretty big, and well worth the price IMHO.

  24. #24
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    So my friend bought his bike today. Trek 4300 disc. I am waiting for a coworker to buy my old bike before I buy the new one. The anticipation is killing me. Hopefully Saturday.

  25. #25
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    So wait. Which one are you getting?

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