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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    compare: gary/cannon/trek ~ $800

    gary fisher marlin disc
    cannondale trail sl3
    trek 4500 disc

    I am 5'9 150lbs fit, with a strong bmx background, I would love a double suspension bike but just can't afford it. Any preferences with those bikes? The only big difference I see is the gary fisher has rock shox, those look pretty neeto. anything else highly recommended at 800+ range? than kyou

  2. #2
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainiermadbeautiful
    gary fisher marlin disc
    cannondale trail sl3
    trek 4500 disc

    I am 5'9 150lbs fit, with a strong bmx background, I would love a double suspension bike but just can't afford it. Any preferences with those bikes? The only big difference I see is the gary fisher has rock shox, those look pretty neeto. anything else highly recommended at 800+ range? than kyou

    When you put the 4xxx series Treks into the mix, you need to pay close attention to the geometries of bikes you are comparing.

    The Medium (18") Trek 4500 has an ETT of 568mm and a 17.5" Gary Fisher Marlin has an ETT of 601mm. Then to confuse you further, Trek makes the 6xxx series bikes in both a 17.5" (588mm ETT) and an 18.5" (607mm ETT).

    The 4xxx Treks are more of an entry level frame made to put riders in a relatively upright riding position compared to their 6xxx frames (and other similarly sized frames, where sizes are given by the length of the seat tube, from other manufacturers).

    You can adjust the length of a seatpost, but the top tube length will be what it is forever. It would be a shame to have to use a longish stem length to compensate for a short top tube because you thought all medium frames were more or less the same. A 30mm+/- difference in top tube length is very noticeable.

  3. #3
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    Ride the bikes and pick the one you like riding best. There's little point discussing the merits of one bike over the others when they will ride very differently. All of them have different combinations of geometry and they all fit differently. There's no sufficient difference between them that will break the deal more than which rides best for you. Go test riding.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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