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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    Help- Beginning AM

    Hey all...I posted this in the AM frame, and earlier in the beginner's section, but I think I was asking the wrong question...I have just pasted my post from the AM section because I think it best gets out the questions to which I need the answers. Sorry for posting all over. And thank you in advance for the help.

    I am looking at getting a good deal on used 2007 Cannondale Chase 2. I want a bike that I can use as a aggressive XC/AM rig, but not sure if this will fit the bill being a DJ bike. I also use the bike for commuting 3 miles on the road. I understand it will not perform the best on the roads, but I want to sacrifice the lighter task for having a bike that will withstand the more rigorous activity. My concern is that it will be unsafe or uncomfortable for riding in this fashion as opposed to dropping the seat all the way down like a DJ rig should be. The bike currently has a 2 crank, 9 speed set up with a bash guard and is a M size. I am 5'8''-5'9'' and weigh about 180lbs. I think this frame is intended for larger riders, but would that be more appropriate or me given the use I have in mind? Any and all help and advice is appreciated.

    If this may not be the best option, what new bike can I get at ~$350 or less with respectable components that will? I am also open to going used...which models should I keep an eye out for that might fall in to the range as older models? Or is there a particular last year model I should look in to to see if I can get it cheap from a LBS? Thank you again everyone.


    Here are the specs for the bike

    Chase 2


    Frame Chase Hardtail
    Fork Marzocchi Marzocchi Dirt Jump 3 Alloy, 100 mm, Thru-20
    Rear Shock N/A
    Rims Sun Single Track, 32 hole
    Hubs Formula Thru-20 front, Cannondale Fire disc rear
    Spokes DT Swiss Champion
    Tires Maxxis Holy Roller, 26 x 2.4"
    Pedals Cannondale GRIND EX Platform
    Crank TruVatiV Hussefelt, 24/36/PC guard
    Chain Shimano 9-speed
    Rear Cogs SRAM PG-950, 11-34
    Bottom Bracket TruVatiV Howitzer
    Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X-7
    Shifters SRAM SX5 Trigger
    Handlebars FSA FR-330BOS, 40 mm rise
    Stem Cannondale Freeride 1 1/8", 31.8 mm
    Headset FSA Converter, 20 mm press
    Brakeset Avid BB5 w/7" rotor front, 6" rotor rear
    Brakelevers Cannondale Fire
    Saddle SDG I-FLY
    Seat Post SDG I-Beam
    Sizes S, M, L
    Extras Cannondale GRIND Grip

    Link to Geometry Specs: http://www.headshok.com/bikes/07/CUS...?geoName=chase

  2. #2
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    The Chase is a pure bred DJ. This bike is of no use as a commuter or XC/AM bike. In fact commuter, DJ, XC and AM is like going in 4 opposite directions.

    I'd take commuting out of the equation. Go craigslist or to garage sales and pick up a commuter bike for $20. You really only need something like and old cruiser. Maybe there is even a bike community in town that allows you to build one for free.

    DJ/AM is a tough compromise. You are essentially looking at either an oversized DJ or a (too) small AM bike. Jamis and Specialized try to bridge the gap. Take a look at the Jamis Komodo or a 2010 Specialized P.All Mountain as reference. Alternatively you could go for a M or S Specialized Hardrock (or similiar) and press it into DJ service.

    But let's be clear: A DJ and an AM bike are really quite different. A DJ is for pumping and jumping on smooth packed dirt. It is easy to flick. It pedals like a pig and does nothing to make riding a rough trail comfortable nor fast. It won't support riding typical trail stunts like drops, steep rollers and rock gardens (mix them to make it perform even worse). - An AM bike excells on the trail. It gets you up the hill by pedalling reasonable well. And it flies down the rough and steep ****. Some drops and jumps included. But it won't flick easily. Basic DJ stunts are possible. But it behaves like a whale on anything advanced. Both bike types are optimized for pretty different purposes.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  3. #3
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    Well I am not really looking at the bike for DJ...but I thought a large DJ bike might work for AM. I know that XC and commuting will obviously not be the best with it, but I was something that will hold up to the AM. I think this frame is to large for me as a DJ bike, so I was thinking with a longer seat post, I could use it for AM, as well as XC and commuting. The guy agreed to let me test it out on some trails this weekend for a couple hours, so I am going to do that, and ride it the way I am hoping to ride and see how it feels after a bit of riding. Thanks for the advice, and anything else would also be helpful.

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