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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    GT Avalanche 2.0 vs Giant Revel 1

    So I new to the sport... been riding road (pretty seriously) for years,but have just recently gotten into hitting some of the mtb trails around southern Michigan. Anyways, after getting pounded repeatedly while on my crappy old Trek 820 thats been in my parents garage for the past 15 years I've decided it's time for a new bike.

    I've been scanning CL / Ebay for the past few weeks but with no real luck, so I think I'm gonna go with a new bike from a LBS... anyways, I've come across 2 that are right at the edge of my price range and wanted to see if you guys had any opinions on them.

    First is a 2011 GT avalanche 2.0 Hydro ($600)
    BikePedia - 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0 Disc Complete Bicycle

    Second is a 2012 Giant Revel 1.0 ($490)
    Revel 1 (Black/Blue) (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    I think the GT is slightly better, but $600 is the outer edge of my pricerange so I was wondering if you guys think its worth the extra $100. Or if there are any other suggestions you might have for bikes around that range?

    Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
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    Pretty much all of the drive components on the Avalanche are a notch or two better than those on the Revel and the Avalanche also has hydraulic brakes over the Revel's mechanical ones.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  3. #3
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    Also found a 2011 GT Karakoram 2.0 Online for $560 with shipping... Will have to wait a few days to get it, but its a 29er which I'm really intrigued to try out.
    BikePedia - 2011 GT Karakoram 2.0 Complete Bicycle

    any thoughts on which of the 3 is best?

  4. #4
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    The Karakoram from Bluesky has similar component quality to the Avalanche and comes with a marginally better fork however it also has mechanical brakes (vs. hydraulic) and a lower quality rear derailleur.

    Ultimately the choice between the two comes down to a 26er or a 29er.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Ultimately the choice between the two comes down to a 26er or a 29er.
    Decided to go with the Karakoram... the 29er seemed right for me as a 6'3" rider, besides I really wanted to try one of em out!
    Now I've gotta play the waiting game...hopefully 3-5 business days is actually that, otherwise I'm gonna go crazy watching the UPS tracker!!

    Thanks for all the help Luclin!

  6. #6
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    No problem.

    Just remember the basic rules for purchasing a bike over the web...

    ~ Check the delivery for any signs of shipping damage and if you see any, document it (with photos) before signing for the bike.

    ~ Check over and tighten ~everything~ on the bike and not just the pieces that you will have to manually assemble.

    ~ Relubricate all moving parts (don't trust that the people at the factory did the job right - be sure).

    ~ Enjoy the ride.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  7. #7
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    The one thing I'm a little worried about is assembling the bike once it arrives... I'm no stranger to basic bike maintenance and small upgrades, but all my experience is on vintage road bikes... Never had to deal with suspension, disk breaks, or any of the newer technologies.

    I want to do the assembly myself in order to get more familiar with the bike and be prepared for simple repairs, but I also don't want to screw up my new bike too much. You think DIY is the best way to go, or hit the LBS?

  8. #8
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    Unless you want to spend $$$ every few months at the bike shop you are going to have to learn how to adjust the brakes, suspension, etc. yourself anyway.

    There are plenty of video guides on Youtube to help as well.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

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