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 Timberline 1.0 vs Merida Big Nine 20-D

    Need help deciding between these 2 bikes. Both cost the same. The Merida has a lot more discount than the GT.

    The Merida will apparently have entry level shimano hydraulic disc brakes and entry level shimano shifters (not in stock).

    The GT has entry level 8 speed Microshift shifters (http://goo.gl/lxEGsQ) (never heard of them before) and Promax Decipher hydraulics.

    Both have suntour forks.

    GT: 2013 GT Timberline 1.0 2013 GT Timberline 1.0 - The one bike that does it all. - Evolutioncycles.co.nz | Online Mountain Bike Shop NZ - Buy Mountain Bikes Online NZ
    Merida: 2014 MERIDA BIG NINE 20-D

    (Not exact components as listed)


    What would you pick?

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Re: GT Timberline 1.0 vs Merida Big Nine 20-D

    Neither. I buy local. I was buying used until recently, when I took a deep breath and plunked down a lot more for a shiny new bike.

    From what you say, the Merida sounds less bad. So that's something.

    What kind of riding do you do? What do you have now?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Can you increase your budget? There is a Kona on that Bike Barn site for $975 that has a Rockshox fork and Alivio /Deore front/rear deraileur. There is also a Merida for $1150 that has a R fork and a mix of Deore and Deore XT components. That's as good as it gets at this price point. I understand that that is about twice the price of the two bikes you mentioned but depending on what you intend to use it for you will be getting a much better bike in the long run.

    I have also been browsing the Bike Barn site as I am in the market for a full suspension bike. I'm often amazed at the specs offered on some of those Merida bikes. Almost seems too good to be true.

  4. #4
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    The bike will be used for mostly commuting and the occasional light trail ride.

    I will be buying directly from the shop, not online.

    I already have my own bike with rockshox which rides much nicer than crappy suntours .. This is for someone else who doesn't really ride often and I think suntours will be fine for commuting.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Does this person not have Internet?

    Seriously, for primarily commuting, suspension is overkill. And cheap forks ride worse than just slapping a rigid on the front.

    A few brands are doing pavement-going mountain bikes that come out of the box with a rigid fork. Kona and Surly spring to mind. That's where I'd start.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman1 View Post
    The bike will be used for mostly commuting and the occasional light trail ride.

    I will be buying directly from the shop, not online.

    I already have my own bike with rockshox which rides much nicer than crappy suntours .. This is for someone else who doesn't really ride often and I think suntours will be fine for commuting.
    In that case just get the one with the nicest colour! That's how my wife chose hers. LOL

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