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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    Hard Tail recommendation

    I use to bike ALOT a LONG time ago. I had a Cannondale DeltaV1000 (anyone remember those??) that I dumped a lot of money into customizing back before wife and kids. I am looking to get back into biking now that I have a bit more time with the kids getting a bit older. I have taken some of the new full suspension bikes for test rides, but I think I am leaning toward a hard tail and maybe a 29'. I want something decent that I can enjoy on roads as well as take on some technical single track. I would like to be in the $800 - $1200 range if possible. I welcome all comments and suggestions.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Look for a Cannondale '09 F3 in your size.

    80mm headshok is the best 100mm fork you'll ride. Super accurate, light, smooth. They've done a lot with the frame to let you rail the corners and not beat you to a pulp.

    The '10 model comes with a Lefty. Which, I think is a great "fork." and with 110mm travel, but it will go beyond your budget.

    Another choice is to buy a used F-series bike and ride. Then figure out what you like and don't like and what bike suits your local trails the best.

    I ended up building my own after going to an FS bike, then a full rigid 29-er. I settled on a 26" steel hardtail bike with long travel fork (95-140mm w/20mm through axle) and 1x9 drivetrain.
    Just get out and ride!

  3. #3
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    A 29-er HT is a great way to go. But for our local trails and my riding buddy, would have given me too much bike advantage. I settled on the 26" for its more flickability and me being able to dance with the bike more.
    Just get out and ride!

  4. #4
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    If you don't mind a 26'r full suspension, do give the BMC trailfox over at competitivecyclist.com a looksee. At 1299/- its a FAB deal on a great bike.

    Also, Sette has some widely appreciated 29'rs

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