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.
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
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    Gary Fisher Marlin Disc or a 29er for "returning" noob

    Hey gang! I broke my collar bone on some single track about 5 years ago and decided to quit ridding. UNTIL NOW! Time to get back in the saddle! So to speak. So in returning to the sport I have done lots of research on bikes and have the same dilemma over the 29er 26er issue as others, BUT this is not THAT question.

    A visit to bike gallery turned up a Gary Fisher Marlin Disc 26er as a 2009 close out for $579! Seeing as budget is super tight for me this time around I may just snatch it up and it is on hold with my name for the next couple of days.

    However, and this is where I need help, I was almost ready to purchase one of the Jamis Durango 29er's online for $650. I also looked into the bikes direct bikes, which seem good but their sizing, like the jamis, is a bit confusing.

    I am 5' 11" and 185lbs. 32 inseam. Ride a 19" normally on my old Trek, but Jamis only has 18" or 20" options, so I do not know which way to go!

    While I had budgeted only $600 max for my new bike, this Jamis sounds really good.

    So, in closing, i am simply looking for input, as a returning rider, who would like to know about sizing for the Jamis and Bikes Direct bikes as well as if you think I should just snatch up that sweet deal on the Gary Fisher instead of worrying about the 29er. HELP!

  2. #2
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    Not easy to decide... Some thoughts:

    1) Does bike direct charge for shipping? If they do... this might get you way over your budget.

    2) I'd recommend the 20" Jamis. Looking up the geometry data it turns out the 18' has an effective TT of 23.23". That would be too small for me (5'11" like you) - and I like my bikes on the small side. The 20" at a TT of 24.02" sounds about right.

    3) Check google if you can get the Jamis at even a lower price. Turns out JensonUSA advertises them, too. Go all the way through the ordering process, short of placing it, to get the real price for comparision.

    4) Nothing wrong with the Marlin. If you get that from the local shop they might throw in a service. This could be an advantage as cables stretch and bolts come lose within the first few hours of riding. Once double checked bikes are usually relieable for many miles.

    5) I hope you have also budgeted for: Helmet, gloves, multi tool, patches/glue, pump. You should never ride without those.

    6) Congratulations for returning to biking. A broken collarbone is a common injury among bikers. I hope yours healed well and you'll never break one again. The statistics are with you. Happens to many of us - but rarely twice.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  3. #3
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    Wow, some great tips here! Thanks for the help! I think I will continue to research and try to find the Jamis at a lower price as you advised. I am not one of those young rubbery hard core guys anymore who just bounce off the ground and get up and go again right after a wreck or long ride. The softer ride provided by a 29er is EXTREMELY appealing to me for this reason. I just hope I enjoy riding it too as far as control is concerned. I think if I can find it close enough to my price it will be the bike I go with. Thanks again and any other input from folks would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
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    make sure you test ride whatever bike you decide to purchase, things may look good on paper but feel like garbage...

    Marlin is a pretty decent brand and make some good bikes so i wouldn't count it out but if you are fixed on the 29 then ride as many as you can in your price range and see what deals you can get online
    Current Rides:
    2011 Trek Remedy 8

    To Get Me There:
    2012 Ford F150 Ecoboost

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goondockjeff
    Hey gang! I broke my collar bone on some single track about 5 years ago and decided to quit ridding. UNTIL NOW! Time to get back in the saddle! So to speak. So in returning to the sport I have done lots of research on bikes and have the same dilemma over the 29er 26er issue as others, BUT this is not THAT question.

    A visit to bike gallery turned up a Gary Fisher Marlin Disc 26er as a 2009 close out for $579! Seeing as budget is super tight for me this time around I may just snatch it up and it is on hold with my name for the next couple of days.

    However, and this is where I need help, I was almost ready to purchase one of the Jamis Durango 29er's online for $650. I also looked into the bikes direct bikes, which seem good but their sizing, like the jamis, is a bit confusing.

    I am 5' 11" and 185lbs. 32 inseam. Ride a 19" normally on my old Trek, but Jamis only has 18" or 20" options, so I do not know which way to go!

    While I had budgeted only $600 max for my new bike, this Jamis sounds really good.

    So, in closing, i am simply looking for input, as a returning rider, who would like to know about sizing for the Jamis and Bikes Direct bikes as well as if you think I should just snatch up that sweet deal on the Gary Fisher instead of worrying about the 29er. HELP!
    Funny...I ALMOST bought that '09 marlin disc from them 2 weeks ago. I had it shipped over to the Lake Oswego store. However, I ended up going in a few days before it arrived and my girlfriend fell in love with a bike so obviously I had to get a new one that day. Walked out with the19" '10 Wahoo disc and I love it.

    My measurements are about the same as you, but i'm running a bit over 200lbs these days. The 19" frame for Fisher fits me well. However, my previous bike was a 21" KHS and that also worked fine for me as I was able to ride it very comfortably. I would think that the 20" Jamis would be well within limits.

  6. #6
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    Hey J! Thanks for the input! I have decided outside of the scope of the post. I going for the Novara Ponderosa 29er as REI has it 20% off! Awesome deal for the level of parts. Picking it up tonight! Let me know if you head out on a ride, love to join ya for some local track! (i am out of shape however lol!)

  7. #7
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    Poderosa 29er feedback?

    GoondockJeff - what size Ponder 29er did you end up getting? How has it been?

    Thanks,

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