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.
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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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    Going crazy reading specs and reviews for a 29er

    So over the best two weeks I'll ive been doing is thinking and reading about bikes. Comparing brand to brand component to component trying to learn as I go and not be a Newb. Tell you what its exhausting and quite confusing. My budget is getting blown as I realize, need to be in the $1000-1500 range toget something that isent a POS and want to replace a year or sooner.

    I do have access to some good local bike shops so I can check out brands such as great 29ers from Salsa and Kona. Then theres the Online value factor with brands such as Airborne and Charge bikes from england sold on performance bike. Then theres all your regular better known brands.

    All I know is I want to have a blast every time I hit the trails. So comments are always welcome on what everyone thinks.

    I'm 6'3" 195 if that helps, have some back and shoulder issues but still want to get out there and tear it up.

  2. #2
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    Take a deep breath...step back from the internet...don't overthink things. Components aren't going to be that wildly different in performance in a given price point, and if you find a few weak links, they can always be replaced down the road. Take a spin on a few bikes and just take the plunge with the one that catches your fancy the most, or at least use that experience to help you narrow down what you're comparing. There's not really a 'best bike' out there, but there's tons of good ones. Don't sweat the little details too much, snag a decent bike that fits and just start riding it. Reviews and all that will be much more useful when you gain the perspective of some saddle time.

  3. #3
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    There is a best bike out there ,it is the one that make you want to ride it all the time . Find one that fits and that you like for whatever reason and ride it into the ground ,repeat as needed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    There is a best bike out there ,it is the one that make you want to ride it all the time . Find one that fits and that you like for whatever reason and ride it into the ground ,repeat as needed.
    I stand corrected and agree completely.


  5. #5
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    People are building a bike database here
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...2LTlUdFE#gid=0

  6. #6
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    No matter what you get some other bike(s) will make you wish you had a bigger budget. Go out and find one that fits you nice and just enjoy riding. You may find that you want to upgrade at a later date, but the bike you get now should be fine for awhile if you can't afford it (1000+ isn't a bad starting price point as it gives you some better components and pretty decent HT's).
    You earn 1000 exp!
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  7. #7
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    You basically can't buy anything bad in a HT in that price range. Everything is going to come with SLX-level components and they're all good. I'd be on the hunt for a 2012 model in XL if you can find one. Just find one that fits well.

    My brother just got a 2012 Cannondale Flash 29er 3 for $950. Amazing bike for the money. Almost makes me feel stupid for spending quadruple that for my carbon version with all the bling ******** components. Mine shifts a little smoother and the fork is better, but you're talking about a smaaalllllll difference.

  8. #8
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    There is a best bike out there ,it is the one that make you want to ride it all the time . Find one that fits and that you like for whatever reason and ride it into the ground ,repeat as needed.
    Quoted for the wisdom it contains.

    Comparing the parts spec and bang for the buck is only a part of the equation. Fit is paramount no matter which bike you get. There are lots of 'good' or even 'great' bikes out there. And then, there are bikes you find that speak to your soul when you ride them. They, for whatever reason, fit the type of riding you love and/or do most often. There are so many variables among bikes out there that it can absolutely be a daunting task to find the right one, and even harder to find it quickly and without a lot of test riding. My favorite bike might be your worst nightmare, or not. It's always a crapshoot to get a bike without riding one first, but you could get lucky.

    If you already have a bike, I recommend being very patient. Easier said than done without question.

    I have been blessed to be able to ride a fair number of very nice bikes, and I am surprised that I find myself really liking hardtails instead of some of the fine FS bikes I have ridden. I am also surprised that the two most recent favorites of mine have somewhat different takes on geometry. One has a 71 head angle with a standard offset fork, and the other has a 68.6 with a 51 mm offset (G2). Love them both. Why? I can't necessarily put my finger on it, but these bikes just flat out work for me. They just have 'that certain something' about them that speaks to me.

    As human beings, we're all very similar, but we all have our own blend of qualities that make us relatively unique. We can recommend good or even great bikes, but we can truly never know exactly which bike will be the best bike for you. That one is for you to ultimately decide.

    There you go, clear as mud. I do think you're doing your best to do your due diligence, and that should give you your best shot at getting a good or great bike. Hopefully, that will also get you onto the bike you really love to ride. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Throw your leg over a couple of bikes and see what works for you. Obviously you have read A LOT... so now it's time to get some RL experience on these things.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  10. #10
    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    There is a best bike out there ,it is the one that make you want to ride it all the time . Find one that fits and that you like for whatever reason and ride it into the ground ,repeat as needed.
    Best advice ever. I've been looking for over a month and have been on so many different bikes. Some bikes were $300, some were up to $3000. I think I've found the one I want, but I'm waiting to see how soon the 2014 models start shipping to possibly get a steeper discount on the 2013 model. You'll find it. Be patient, don't drive yourself batty (like I did.)
    2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 2

    So many decisions, a million revisions caught between darkness and light.

  11. #11
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    I have had the same contemplation when i first started riding and was in the market for a bike. It has already been said, but just to reinforce some things from my experience learned from riding and this hobby becoming an obsession. 1) Fretting over things like X bike has an SLX rear derailure, but this other one has XT... not worth it. If you really want to spec a bike, I would only look at the fork and brakes. 2) The best bike in the world is the one you are riding. Not everyone can afford the $10K carbon full suspension cool bike. Not a big deal. I cant tell you how many people i have ridden circles around in my $600 Trek Marlin that have much better bikes than me. Not saying I am a fantastic rider, just trying to make the point of you dont need to spend a lot to be a good rider. 3) Just find the bikes in your price range at your LBS and buy the one that feels the best to you. Because at the end of the day, if you aren't comfortable on your bike... you probably wont ride it. Try your best to get the specing out a bike to a minimal. All the bikes in your price range will have good components. As always, buy as much bike as you can afford. Upgrade route is always much more expensive. Post pics when you get your bike. Happy Trails.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the advice fellas, Everything posted is spot on and makes complete sense. The plan is to go find and ride bikes Monday and see if I can find the right bike for my intended style and purpose not just the bike with the bests specs on paper. This is definitely the best advice I would give to any other new rider because, there's just to many brands and styles to pick from blindly.

  13. #13
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    The Kona Hei Hei is pretty sweet. The site's TOU require me to comment that the shop that sold it to me has its name on my jersey somewhere.

    If you don't already own a bike, it's a little harder. To some extent, I feel like one has to choose a bike, cross one's fingers, and take a plunge.

    Used bikes can be a great way to get into the sport and gain some familiarity without having to spend so much money on something that can become a white elephant.

    Or get a Kona Kahuna or Salsa El Mariachi for as much money as you can stomach and call it a day.

    IME, fit's really important. So getting to test-ride is big, and I wouldn't even consider brands that weren't available to me locally. That should get your number of bikes to consider down to something much more manageable. Try to ride a size too big and a size too small, although "too big" may not exist for you.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq View Post
    Throw your leg over a couple of bikes and see what works for you.
    You can compare rear derailers (way overrated) and color schemes all year, but you won't know if you really like the bike until you've ridden it a bit.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    So I Picked a BIKE!!!. Went into Milwaukee to Cory the Bike Fixer to check out there bikes. Worked with a very good Sales guy Derrick. They carry Surly, Kona, and Salsa. After test riding the Kona Taro and then the Surly Krampus I knew the style of bike I had been searching for. The 2013 Surly Krampus is my new bike. While the Kona felt great and worth all the great reviews the Surly just made me see like a kid again on my bmx bike. Very responsive and great handling and the 29x3 tires are just badass. So I have to wait a couple days as they had to order in a Large for me. I cant wait to ride and hope the smile I'm going have will lessen the hurt in my wallet.

  16. #16
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    Nice! Looks like a fun bike; interesting set-up. I'd like to throw a leg over one sometime.
    Have a good time with it.

  17. #17
    local trails rider
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    Should be good. Not a bike that everybody would pick, with all the fascination with suspension technology.

    Earlier this summer, I showed some trails to a guy who was riding a Krampus. He seemed to do fine, even though he wasn't quite used to so many rocks, roots, and hills. He offered me to try it but the bike was way too big for me and he used different kind of pedals.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  18. #18
    Picture Unrelated
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    Not the bike I would have expected to come from a first bike thread, but great choice. All that matters is that you like it and that you ride it. So go out and do those things!
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  19. #19
    IoC
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    IMHO you've already made the best decision you can make for your budget: hardtail 29r. What you choose now is just minor improvements. I just helped someone at work through the same decision, and it came down to "wait on Airborne" or "steel is real el Mariachi." Either is awesome if you ride it.

  20. #20
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    As long as your riding the wallet won't matter. I know because just bought my first 29er a month an half ago and can't wait for the weekend to get here so I can go trail riding. And I'm 58 and a total new bee. Got the bug!!!!!!!!

  21. #21
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    nice congrats on the bike!

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