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. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Derailers are overrated.
    (and I don't necessarily mean that you need to go singlespeed, like I did)

    Every not-quite-beginner bike out there has at least XT or X7 derailers because it is the one component that people will stare at, whatever the shifters, brakes, wheels, forks or cranks.

    ... I'm exaggerating a bit to make a point ...
    Yep, focusing on derailers is silly when there are much more important things to focus on. Geo, fit, rotational weight, fork. (not in any order).

  2. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Derailers are overrated.
    (and I don't necessarily mean that you need to go singlespeed, like I did)
    )
    Agreed

    The derailleurs are a dumb place to put a lot of money into. In fact, if I had an X7 / STX or higher groupset and had to downgrade one drivetrain component, it would likely be one of the derailleurs.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  3. #178
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    get a nice steel 26" HT with "trail" geo, last year's rockshox revelation and some XT parts

    the 2013 kona explosif 650b might be a great beginner bike. i think its gonna be $1500 for a complete. haven't seen the specs yet...

  4. #179
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    I'd imagine a HT would get you uphill easier than with a FS as you can transfer power better. Unless its more technical, then a FS would be slightly better.

    Downhill the FS will more likely win.

    In the end, I do less maintenance on my HT and still enjoy the sport.
    2011 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29er

  5. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudviking View Post
    Maybe I am old, but at 47 I still ride a hardtail. It all depends on if you want to plow or flow.
    I will always chose to flow. If bombing downhills is your thing then full suspension is great.
    If technical singletrack is on your mind and you are new to riding, cut your teeth on a HT.
    New to riding, bought a 29er hardtail about two weeks ago. Sounds like I made the right choice! I look for lines everywhere now. Literally.

  6. #181
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    I was riding a Schwinn FS all through the Spring and into Summer as friends and I started getting into the sport. I had no issues beating people up hill, but wasn't as crazy as my one friend who has no fear bombing hills on his HT.

    I was concerned about upgrading to a better bike and whether I should move to a HT or stay FS (much more expensive). In the end, I rode my friend's 29" HT and it was great. So that is what I went with and have been very happy with it.

    So my only point for anyone looking is to test ride a few bikes and see how they feel. At the LBS I tried out a few and was surprised how I would love one but hate another. Remember to try and give a few different styles a ride. Our LBS also lets you rent demo bikes for the day, so you can give it a good test on the mountain.

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