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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    The Dreaded UPGRADE-itis

    As a noob to the sport, I am wondering how soon this dreaded condition will manifest itself beyond grips and saddles? My reason for asking is in looking for my first real mt.bike purchase. Buy a frame that will upgrade easily or buy lesser quality and just start fresh when I REALLY have the experience to know what I want? Currently looking at GF Cobia and a Spec RH 29r both from LBS. Insights from those all knowing appreciated!!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoon
    As a noob to the sport, I am wondering how soon this dreaded condition will manifest itself beyond grips and saddles? My reason for asking is in looking for my first real mt.bike purchase. Buy a frame that will upgrade easily or buy lesser quality and just start fresh when I REALLY have the experience to know what I want? Currently looking at GF Cobia and a Spec RH 29r both from LBS. Insights from those all knowing appreciated!!
    If you are looking at buying and are already thinking about how/when to upgrade, it's too late...

    Experience does not mean you won't have bike lust or not want to upgrade anything else, or will necessarily know what you want because what you want today may be changed with next year's model. In regards to buying what you don't want just for a starter bike, buy the frame you want. Some things you may change once you buy it to make it more of a personal choice (grips, saddle, tires) but that will be cheaper in the long run and you will get what you like from the start.

  3. #3
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    The best upgrades are to the engine. Buy the best bike you can afford and spend lots of miles on the trails and working on riding techniques in your backyard. I see lots of people who want to upgrade so they can say they have the best equipment, but still don't know how to ride a rock garden or set up their fancy suspensions. Upgrade when it breaks or when you have a specific reason for swapping something out.

  4. #4
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    I agree with buying the best you can afford.

    You mention the Specialized RH 29r, I'm assuming you are referring to the Rockhopper Comp Disc 29, as it's price point is almost the same as the Cobia. The Cobia and RH Comp have the same fork, same crankset, same brakes, and equivalent components to each other in derailleurs and shifters and such. So those bikes are basically identical in spec, however the Cobia uses GF's G2 geometry (and the fork is tweaked with special offset to work with G2).

    Since both are from local to you LBS, I strongly suggest you ride each to get a feel for for them and how they handle. You might find the G2 geometry works for you, (meaning you'll prefer the Cobia) or you might find it doesn't (meaning you'll prefer the RH). Here's info from GF on the original Genesis geometry (they've further refined it, now calling the updated version G2):
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/series/genesis/tech

    As far as future upgrades, either bike would take the same upgrades, the small items (seat, grips, bars), more expensive items (hydraulic brakes, better shifters & rear derailleur), and even more expensive items (better fork, lighter crank and cassette, lighter/stronger wheels).

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, it will probably manifest right away. I just got back into mountain biking after about 14 years. I really wanted to upgrade all kinds of things right away, but realized that's not too smart since I bought an entry level bike (Cannondale F7). Don't want to sink too much money into it. The only things I've done is new saddle for comfort (WTB Speed V Comp heavier than stock but much more comfortable and only $15 new on eBay), new bars and stem for fit (switched to Titec flat bar-$13 clearance at PP and half as heavy as stock bars), and Egg Beater C pedals, new for $25 on eBay. So I think I got some good upgrades at great prices. BUT, I can't wait to put some 500 gram tires on it when the stock ones wear out! But that's it! Oh except for...

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