I just recently moved to the west coast from the east coast (Canada, Quebec to BC to be exact). Every since I got here my life has changed, the fast food is gone and the desire to hike, be exposed to nature has replaced itand so forth. Well I realised after meeting my girlfriend (Road Biker fiend) that I really missed riding. I also did not bring a bike from Quebec to BC. To make a long story short, I am looking to get a bike that I can get into Mountain biking with. The only experience I had on trails came from a few excursions to Jay Peak in the summer back east. I still have strong memories of the speed and natural high.
I have put aside 750 bucks CAD (Careful on the USD conversion jokes we are at 1.13CAD to 1 USD today!! hehe) anyhow I am confident I can find a good entry level bike and all the gear I need for that amount. I was wondering in terms of components what specific items should be avoided? I will be trying to get Disc brakes due to the performance in the wet weather and the current west coast climate for sure.
A question about tires, as my riding partner is a road rider and I have desire to go play in the dirt, is it feasible to have 2 sets of tires? 1 for offroad and 1 for road? Is this cost efficient and logical? I figure better tires will make possible riding vacations a lot more comfortable..
I understand that I will have to test drive a few bikes (by few I mean "As many as I can get my paws on") but am worried due to my size that it will be a problem...You know I don't see a section on Dwarf Ponies only Clydedales!
I am 5 6 - 155. Is there anything I have to take into consideration when shopping for a bike? Any brands that you guys would recommend? Oh and lastly, where can I find the ratings section? Are there any specific threads you could direct me to on understand the current technology available to me as a first time buyer?
Anyhow I appreciate any feedback you all have, and look forward to contributing to the community.
$750CDN is a fair budget for getting started in the sport, as long as you are realistic (which you appear to be)
Stay away from full suspension at that price point, and try to get disc brakes, but do not make them a necessity. If disc brakes are not there, at least get a ride that has the possibility of upgrading in the future (disc brake tabs, maybe wheelset with disc hubs as well?)
Some hardtails available from Kona, Giant and Specialized will all fit your budget, and all have similar specs. If you are in the Vancouver area pop into some of the bikeshops and try many different bikes in sizes/configurations.
It should not be a problem finding something in your size either.
The ratings section can be found at the top of this page "product reviews"
And feel free to ask more questions
There are plenty of good bikes in your price range. Have you checked any bike shops to see what brands they carry?
If you want disc brakes Avid mechanicals are really good. It would be wise to get a set of semi-slick tires if your gonna be doing a lot of road riding. You can get a set of slick tires for cheap.
You shouldnt have any problems finding a bike in your size, 5'6" isnt that short. Make sure you do some research before you buy anything, the product review section is pretty helpful.
ride hard take risks
Welcome back from your long sleep. As far as sizing you wont have a problem, i am 5'7" & ride a medium. Check out your LBS & let us know what brands they offer, can help to narrow it down some.
The fact that you intend to ride both road and off road with this bike is another reason that you want to go with a hardtail rather then a FS. Swapping tires, though possible is not really very feasible (it would be more of a PIA then its worth). You would really need to swap wheel sets, but that's impractical from a cost stand point. There are several good dual purpose tires you could use, but these obviously have trade offs. If your gf is riding a true road bike, drop bars, thin hp tires, your most likely not going to be able to keep up with her on anything other then a casual ride.
Thanks for all the great replies, I am going to check out some of the LBS and also my gf is a big fan of http://www.capswarehouse.com/ so I am going to check it out. She also rides the following
Which she bought at caps. The Carry Marin Norco when I go check it out I will have more information. I am hoping to pick up a 2005 on clearance to get more bang for my buck.
Just excited to get back riding.