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  1. #1
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    New question here. First bike in 30 years. I need help choosing!!!

    Hello all! Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me. Looking to buy a bike and get riding again. I used to love it. I will be riding road/paved greenbelts/dirt trails. I'm 55 yrs, 6'4" 220 lbs. I will just post my questions.

    1. I am amazed at how many choices there are. Rigid or hardtail?
    2. Diamondback, GT, Fuji, Trek, Specialized. Are they all the same in the $400 range?
    3. $400 is my budget. Should I get better components rather than disc brakes?

    I have ridden a Diamondback and a Specialized today, both rigid. Want to try a hardtail.

    Many bike shops in town, lots of choice. Over whelmed with choice. I'm thinking an XL for sure, and welcome all advice!

  2. #2
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    Do you have any pains in your joints, back, etc? If so, you may want to consider a full suspension bike but a hardtail may work just fine. A full suspension is very expensive but you may be able to find a used one for a decent deal. I am 36 and (early) retired military with a million things wrong with me. I ride a full suspension bike because a hardtail was way too hard on my body.

    Ideally, if you want to go the hardtail route, will you go used or new? If you go new, I would suggest bumping your budget higher and get a bike with a bit more quality parts. If you go used, you may be able to locate a slightly older high end bike for $400-600 in your area on Craigslist.

    Also, check out the "less than $400 bike" post and see if that helps you with any ideas too. I am partial to Specialized because I had a Rockhopper 29er before I swapped it for my full suspension Uzzi.
    2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 650b Elite

  3. #3
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    Thanks Battery

    Last edited by Getmeinshape; 07-01-2016 at 11:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    At 6' 4", the most important thing by far is fit. Some XLs will fit you, some won't.

    Second, at 220lbs, choose better wheels over better drivetrain and brakes. Cheap wheels will be noodly and get out of true fast. You said your riding a mix of road/paved/dirt, so relatively mellow, but still . . . I say wheels.

    At this price range, don't try for full suspension, even if used. It will be a flexy mess.

  5. #5
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    Of the two you posted, the Backwoods has slightly better components and 29" wheels, which a lot of 6-plus footers feel work well for us bigger guys. If they have it in your size, it looks like an okay bike for the price. Wheels, brakes, fork and drivetrain are all entry-level and the wheels and fork may not hold up long term to a person at your weight.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  6. #6
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    Thanks!

    Thanks. Can I ask you opinion on this bike? Compared to the other two? the frame is different, not a pure triangle. Important?

    Diamondback Overdrive 27.5" Mountain Bike -- 2016 Performance Exclusive

  7. #7
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Link broken

  8. #8
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    If you're buying a new hardtail the most important aspect is the fit.

    Not just that the bike is the right size but how it feels to ride. They all looks similar in the pictures but there are differences. Seat-tube angle, stay length, rake angle, bottom bracket hight et, they will all vary a bit and it can make a huge difference to how a bike feels. Some bikes you feel secure and 'in' them, others you feel perched on top of. Some feel like an extension of your body, others you cannot find a comfortable peddling position on. You need to at least ride the bikes around the carpark to get a feel for them.

    At this level and the kind of riding you want to do the spec is not so critical. Disk brakes, rim brakes, either will do the job and the rest of the bits will work fin too. Try not to get a dog of a suspension fork if possible but really, how the bike feels to ride is the key to cycling happiness.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Proctor and Mr Pig. The link is broken because they have sold out. Just like that. I'll slow down a little and go ride some to get a feel of what I like.

  10. #10
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    I made a decision!

    I really appreciate the comments. I trust you guys more than the kid salesman at performance bike. So I decided to go with:

    GT Backwoods Sport Mountain Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive

    It seems this is a GT "Aggressor expert" Aggressor Expert (Hydraulic) - Rec HT - Mountain Hardtail - Bikes without the hydraulic discs. Every other spec is virtually the same, and the backwoods comes with 29" tires. GT lists their version at $550. Performance lists at $399. Comments are welcome!

    I have gloves. Need a helmut and shorts, and I'm good to go. Whoo hoo!!!

  11. #11
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    Enjoy your new bike :0)

    You also need to carry the kit to sort punctures and other common mishaps, unless you like walking?

  12. #12
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    seems like you did well with a limited budget. at your budget it is entirely fit. so if you like how it feels when you ride it, then just enjoy riding it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Sweet! Go enjoy your ride! 😁👍

  14. #14
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    Green or Silver? Don't forget Hydration... enjoy!!
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2012 CX Kona Jake
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Green or Silver? Don't forget Hydration... enjoy!!
    Green would have been me maybe 25 years ago. I went for the silver. Yep, adding a bottle to my list! Should have it by next weekend!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Getmeinshape View Post
    Green would have been me maybe 25 years ago. I went for the silver. Yep, adding a bottle to my list! Should have it by next weekend!
    Nice pick, let us know how it rides once you get it nice and dirty.
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2012 CX Kona Jake
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

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