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  1. #1
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    New question here. Help choosing entry level HT 29er from BD

    Hi,

    I'm looking at buying an entry level 29er, most likely from Bikes Direct, and need some help picking the best model. I'm 6'5"-6'6" (34-35" inseam pants) and 210lbs. I think I need something in a ~22-23"+ frame? I'm somewhat athletically inclined, so wheelies and jumps are not out of the question. I live in southern AZ where there are lots of mountains and downhill, but I will probably spend as much time on paved bike paths and roads as trails, at least to start, so looking for something of an all-rounder. I've been looking on Craigslist forever, but very few come up in such a large frame size. Those that do are 20yrs old, steel frame and v-brakes, or a scam.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the Motobecane 550HT for $350 because it has hydraulic disc brakes and comes in a 22.5" frame. I've considered the 300HT to save some coin to possibly put towards a road bike down the road (or 700x35 tires for the 29er??), but I really like the idea of hydraulic discs. On the other hand $350 is really not a lot and I would be willing to spend up to ~$500 or so on a MTB if it's better bang-for-the-buck. The negatives in reviews for 550HT seem to be the fork lacking rebound damping, the heavy tires, and the shift cable running along the top of the top tube?

    The 529HT is $400, but it maxes out at a 21" frame size, has XCT-V3 suntour forks instead of XCT-V4 (I'm assuming V4 is better/newer than V3?) and has mechanical discs. The only thing 529HT seems to have over the 550HT are better shift and drivetrain components? That and it is available in sizes under 22.5", where the 550HT is ONLY available in 22.5". Is the 550HT so cheap because it's ONLY available in such a large frame size, which suits me just fine? 500HT is $380 and comes in 22.5", but may come with either XCT V3 or V4 (no choice?) forks and still only has mechanical disc brakes. Are there any downsides to hydraulic brakes that I'm unaware of? I have a Mityvac and am fairly mechanically inclined.


    It seems odd that all the bikes I've been looking at are Motobecane. Are there any other makes or models I should be looking at? One with a fork that has rebound damping? The Motobecane Fantom29 is a stellar leap in price and not too-sure it's worth it (also maxes out at 21" frame)? I haven't ridden a pedal-powered bike in over 8 years and my last was a 20" BMX!

    Thanks,
    LemonDrops

  2. #2
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    The non titanium Motobecanes use a frame with geo that hasn't been updated in awhile. The chainstays are 460mm long. Probably from the buslike days. This slows down the turning quickness when compared with more current 435mm chainstay bikes like a Trek Superfly or the titanium Motobecanes. The Gravity Point bikes at 445mm with a slacker head tube angle are a little better.
    At 210lbs. you're at the weight were an air fork and adjustable rebound damping are needed for the riding you're talking about.
    You'd be better off buying used. It would be useful to wait for a bigger budget. Look for used bikes on Pinkbike Buy/Sell.

  3. #3
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    Forget the 26 models. I ride one but the bike industry has moved on. Most people are gonna prefer a 29 if doing much road riding, especially taller folks.

    You really can't go by the model's size when comparing two bikes. All else being equal, the effective top tube length will determine cockpit length. Notice that the smaller size 21 on the 29er has a longer ETT than the 22.5 on the 26er in the geo charts.

  4. #4
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    I don't know anything about Motobecane and if they are a standard-bearer or budget, but now I feel ripped off on my beginner hardtail because I never knew there were legit HTs at that price! I think I paid $600 for my Northrock XC-29. It got me into riding, even though it was a very bumpy and sometimes painful ride.

    I loved that bike, and I hated that bike, but it got the job done and I consider it a pretty decent bike for learning.

    The thing is, you can almost always upgrade the parts if you choose to stick with the bike you buy. Otherwise, since you're starting, I would go decent but budget. I don't think you need hydraulic disc brakes, but for only $150 it's totally up to you. I notice a difference with my HT that had mechanical disc brakes (Avid BB7s which are said to be pretty decent), but it isn't a earth shattering difference except that I get more stopping power for less effort. You can get a leak in the hose and this is not easily fixable on the trail, but this usually isn't due to riding and I have never heard of it happening. I've heard people say that a well-built mechanical cable system brake is always better than a crappy-built hydraulic brake. At that price point, I would be suspect of the quality of the hydraulic brakes but that's just my opinion.

    This is only your first bike, and I can almost guarantee you will outgrow it in a year (two at the most) if you ride a lot and you will end up wanting full suspension, especially if you want to do rocks, jumps etc.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong because I am not that component savvy yet, but it seems that you probably want to optimize for the fork, since that is usually the most expensive part of a hardtail (?). Everything else is cheaper to replace if need be (?).

  5. #5
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    If I had to pick one of those BD bikes...it's be the Fantom 29. If you were to physically ride all the bikes...the Fantom would ride better than the rest...mainly due to the better components. It's something you'll notice with the very first shift on the Fantom. The Guide R brakes will brake much better than the Tektro brakes on the cheaper models.

    The bike does come with some narrow bars (670mm) and a long stem (110mm) by today's standards. At your height, I'd probably look at some 740mm bars and a 70-80mm stem. The shorter stem and wider bar will help with the descents. If you have some long descents...the longer chainstays will actually help you out.

  6. #6
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    including in the price of the bike replacing the fork outright after a few months. bike in that price range come with flimsy forks that definitely don't hold up to the 200+ pound crowd.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    At 210lbs. you're at the weight were an air fork and adjustable rebound damping are needed for the riding you're talking about.
    Look for used bikes on Pinkbike Buy/Sell.
    What bike would you recommend that comes with an air fork? I will check out Pinkbike, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder View Post
    Forget the 26 models. Notice that the smaller size 21 on the 29er has a longer ETT than the 22.5 on the 26er in the geo charts.
    I actually didn't even realize the 550HT was a 26! I assumed they were all 29ers. That explains the price. Where are you seeing ETT/geo charts???

    Quote Originally Posted by OffTheTop View Post
    This is only your first bike, and I can almost guarantee you will outgrow it in a year (two at the most) if you ride a lot and you will end up wanting full suspension, especially if you want to do rocks, jumps etc.
    I want to "buy once, cry once" but not so sure I want to go FS. I'm now sure I want to get a 29er with a good fork for my weight, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    If you have some long descents...
    You mean like the Full Lemon Drop? hehehe... I don't think I'm in good enough physical shape for that... yet. Sections of it, surely. I'd like to think I could work my way up to being able to do the whole thing, but I'm just starting for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    including in the price of the bike replacing the fork outright after a few months. bike in that price range come with flimsy forks that definitely don't hold up to the 200+ pound crowd.
    Point taken. I will keep looking for used or consider the Fantom 29 as my new baseline for buying new. According to this chart I would just need to get some black coils for the fork? Or a bike with an air fork? I wish Bikes Direct website had a mechanism to narrow bikes down by features, like Newegg or eBay.

  8. #8
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    check JensonUSA or other online retailers for bikes on sale. you may find that one XL that no one wants, it is end of season and they want it gone. get a great deal.

    it is still going to be tough, because they dont make lots of XL size and used is very tough. you better have your money ready when you find that one used gem.

    other online retailers include Airborne.

    there was a post a month or more ago where a beginner was looking for an XL. A regular on MTBR posted a great looking used bike far better than anything you could get new. I forgot the user name maybe Jmor Jeff something? search for that thread and user as the bike may still be available.

    go on Pinkbike.com for used bikes far better selection.


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  9. #9
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    At the cheap end, hard to beat this one. It's basically low end components, but they are strong enough that they won't die on you and they work well enough that you'll have fun. In time, you can look for a rigid steel fork to throw on it, some lightweight hybrid tires, and it'll be a great commuter bike. And the 21" frame would work fine for you. I'm 6'5" with a 34" inseam and I ride a 21" gravity.
    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 429HT

    If you want a better bike that won't make you feel like you've wasted money, the above recommendations to look at other online sites are worth while. Right now is a great time to buy online because shops are selling last years stuff to get in the new years stuff. On the bikesdirect side, wait until Thanksgiving black Friday. Join their facebook page and you'll see what they're selling. I bought my gravity 29.2 with SLX 9-speed and a rockshox xc28 for $400 4 years ago. Ridden the hell out of it and swapped almost every part on it so far, but still have less than $1k in it.

    Highly recommend an air fork and a 10-speed drivetrain though. If you're going to buy a bike, get a good one and don't regret the cost. The upgrade route is OK, but it will cost more.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Elite

    It's an older model sitting on their shelf, but it's a good bike for $900. 21" matte black. Worth verifying if they still have it and maybe an e-mail to see if they'd drop the price just to move it out of their warehouse. Never hurts to ask.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point5 29er Mountain Bikes
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  10. #10
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    Just FYI as far as the hydro brakes - you can get a full set of SLX brakes for less than $150. Far better option to just upgrade to those when you have a chance than spending that much upfront on the Tektros IMO.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the input. It seems BikesDirect just put hydro brakes on the 529HT. I could have sworn just yesterday it had mechanical brakes?! Still has an XCT fork though, so I'm looking at the Fantom29 Trail with an XCM fork for $600 as a new minimum. The Fantom29 COMP and ELITE and Gravity 29.5 are just a little too spendy for a first MTB.

    Good point on waiting until Black Friday for deals on new bikes, and Christmas should free up a lot of used bikes.

    Found this XL used, but it's a 26. Is the fork decent?
    GT Avalanche 1.0 XL Mountain Bike

    Yesterday this one was $450... Today $350... scam or a steal? Choice of forks wth???? email only screams scam.
    2015 REDLINE D600 29er XL $350 Firm pics

  12. #12
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    And the 'X' forks are both bike path level according to Suntour. Don't think you'll be getting anything by paying more for one over the other. Plastic bushings inside.

  13. #13
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    ^ So I seeeee.... And the Rock Shox XC30 is only Cross Country rated too, even though it comes on the Fantom29 Trail I may have to settle for a heavy duty Cross Country fork though. Anything with a trail rated fork starts at $1k. I do think I would want a trail rated fork before rear suspension, though.

    Found this bit of wisdom in another thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    When I was afraid I'd killed my suspension fork, I did a little research and decided that if I couldn't afford at least a Recon Gold, I'd prefer to stick with a rigid fork.

    While a rigid fork may not compress, it does track better and weigh less than a crappy suspension fork; I don't want suspension at all unless I can tune the spring rate for my weight and trails, tune the rebound, and do something about pedal bob. Rigids don't bob or pogo.
    Further into the thread, I found this bit of comedy.
    Quote Originally Posted by liehuo View Post
    I need something with adjustable suspension as I have to go over some obstacles like curbs, small drains etc.
    I fired off an email to that D600 for $350 to see if he'd sell it with the carbon rigid AND the Suntour XCM, so I could experiment, but I suspect the XCM may already be killed lol. The carbon rigid may suit me just fine to start with.

  14. #14
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    That D600 looks nice


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  15. #15
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    Andrew's right. A ridged fork will be light instead of 6.3lbs. That lightness will help you in climbing and quicken turning. You may not need a fork right away. When you do an Epixon off ebay is $200.

  16. #16
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    He wants $380 to take the D600 with both forks.... Is the XCM worth the $30? He says it's not shot. Or should I take it with just the carbon rigid and put that $30 towards an Epixion XC? or some street/hybrid tires?

    Bicycle Bluebook
    says $350 is a fair price for good to excellent condition 2015 D600...

    Does it look like an XL frame? Maybe it's just a Large? The back of the top tube looks pretty low in comparison with the rear tire, and the head tube pretty short? Handlebars look ultra low. Will the carbon fork be easy to break???

    Apparently he has a 2016 Specialized Hardrock for $450 that I mistook for the same bike.
    2016 Specialized Hardrock 29er XL 450 Firm
    It has to be the same guy cause he spells "caponents" the same way lmao. Which is the better buy? M303 on the hardrock are still XC forks?

    Seems he has the 2015 Redline D600 down to $300 firm with the XCM back on it.
    2015 REDLINE D600 29er XL $300 Firm pics

    Is it worth paying $50-80 more for the carbon rigid fork?

  17. #17
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    This isn't a bikesdirect offering, and I imagine an oversized shipping or customs surcharge from England would apply, but this seems like an unusually good deal:

    Cube Acid 29" Hardtail Mountain Bike 2016 | Chain Reaction Cycles

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    He wants $380 to take the D600 with both forks.... Is the XCM worth the $30? He says it's not shot. Or should I take it with just the carbon rigid and put that $30 towards an Epixion XC? or some street/hybrid tires?

    Bicycle Bluebook
    says $350 is a fair price for good to excellent condition 2015 D600...

    Does it look like an XL frame? Maybe it's just a Large? The back of the top tube looks pretty low in comparison with the rear tire, and the head tube pretty short? Handlebars look ultra low. Will the carbon fork be easy to break???

    Apparently he has a 2016 Specialized Hardrock for $450 that I mistook for the same bike.
    2016 Specialized Hardrock 29er XL 450 Firm
    It has to be the same guy cause he spells "caponents" the same way lmao. Which is the better buy? M303 on the hardrock are still XC forks?

    Seems he has the 2015 Redline D600 down to $300 firm with the XCM back on it.
    2015 REDLINE D600 29er XL $300 Firm pics

    Is it worth paying $50-80 more for the carbon rigid fork?
    you are missing the bigger picture, it is very hard to find a good used frame in your size. who cares about the extra fork? i know nothing about them but why not? it just gives you more options and he is pricing them as such to his asking price that is all he cares about. how does this guy get all these bikes, is he stealing them or fences for thieves?


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    ^ I don't know... Given how hard XL bikes are to find, I think it more likely someone bought 2 XL bikes for themselves, than be able to steal 2 XL bikes in quick succession, wouldn't it? He has now offered the Hardrock to me for $350. He says the frame height and length is higher and longer on the Hardrock, and the headtube longer so the carbon rigid forks won't fit, but I think I'd rather get the Redline with both forks so I could learn/feel the difference?
    Bicycle Bluebook says $344 max for 2016 Hardrock disc in like-new condition, so I think the Redline with both forks is the better value, but I'll have to sit on them to see which actually fits me better? I may be going up Monday to look at them.

    Only 75mm travel on the Hardrock's M3030 fork

    Quote Originally Posted by hdparrish View Post
    This isn't a bikesdirect offering, and I imagine an oversized shipping or customs surcharge from England would apply, but this seems like an unusually good deal:


    Cube Acid 29" Hardtail Mountain Bike 2016 | Chain Reaction Cycles
    Not bad, still only XC-level forks though, and shipping to USA is $99.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    When you do an Epixon off ebay is $200.
    These are Epixon XC though... are they not trail forks like Epixon TR? Or just an older year model?

  20. #20
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    is the Redline frame Cromo? no matter, i am with you on a Redline over a Hardrock


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  21. #21
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    ^Frame Specialized A1 Premium butted-aluminum
    Fork SR SunTour XCT, 80mm-travel

    My mistake about the fork, it's the 27.5/650b Hardrock that comes with the M3030. Still don't want the XCT, though.

    Oh.. the Redline D600... Fully butted, hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    Not bad, still only XC-level forks though, and shipping to USA is $99.
    This one has a trail fork, but I don't think it's large enough for you (only 20.5-inch frame):

    Vitus Bikes Sentier 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike 2016 | Chain Reaction Cycles

    Have you exhausted local options, like used bikes on craigslist or maybe a nearby shop with last year's model on clearance? If both are no-go, I'd recommend giving sites like Chain Reaction Cycles, JensonUSA, and Competitive Cyclist/Backcountry a close look as they are usually looking to move inventory this time of year.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdparrish View Post
    This one has a trail fork
    140mm of travel! That's more like it Why can't they get a bike like that on BikesDirect.

    Any thoughts on this GT Avalanche 1.0?

    GT Avalanche 1.0 XL Mountain Bike

    It's a 26... but hydraulic brakes. I'm am guessing it's a 2007, by comparing google images paint schemes. If it is, he's asking too much. It's maybe worth $150? I may go look at it just because it's a lot closer to me. Or is it worth holding out/springing/traveling for a 29er?

    same paint scheme as this 2007 https://www.evanscycles.com/gt-avala...-bike-00123944
    Last edited by LemonDrops; 10-15-2016 at 04:27 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    140mm of travel! That's more like it Why can't they get a bike like that on BikesDirect.

    Any thoughts on this GT Avalanche 1.0? I'm am guessing it's a 2007, by comparing google images paint schemes. If it is, he's asking too much. It's maybe worth $150? I may go look at it just because it's a lot closer to me. Or is it worth holding out/springing/traveling for a 29er?
    If you can get an old bike for cheap, it'd be worth it. If nothing else, it'd make a good townie/beater and help you determine whether you wanna get serious about this lifesty--errr, pastime.

    But as the Romans said, caveat emptor. With an old bike like that, assume the worst: the drivetrain will be shot, requiring a new chain, new cables, and possibly new sprockets and rings. Brake pads will need replacing, rotors might be getting thin, the derailleur might be crooked, and on and on.

    It all depends on how much it was ridden and how well it was stored and maintained. In my experience, sellers always understate the wear and tear and overstate the care ... so just be mindful of that.

    If you lived a little closer this way, I could kick you lots of spare parts that will probably never get used otherwise. Hopefully, you can source some locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    It's a 26... but hydraulic brakes.
    Don't be too quick to dismiss mechs. I'd confidently run a set of Avid BB7s on any bike of mine over many low-end hydros. I still have them on my old trail hardtail, and my buddies are often amazed at how powerful they are (if set up properly) or how one finger is ample leverage.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    My mistake about the fork, it's the 27.5/650b Hardrock that comes with the M3030. Still don't want the XCT, though.
    The M3030 is actually worse than the XCT. I'd vote for the redline with both forks. That carbon fork is seriously nice, and even if you don't find mountain biking to be your thing, that bike with that carbon fork will be great for hybrid, commuting, road, and any other riding you'd want to do.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  26. #26
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    I think on a medium frame, I might consider 26" wheels, but on an XL frame, 29" are probably more necessary and look less clown-car. I think I will try for the Redline D600 with both forks tomorrow then. Hopefully I will be posting in the Thread: Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades) soon!

    I may get some carbon handlebars to help mitigate the harshness of the carbon rigid fork, as well as a weight reduction, once I figure what length I might like best.

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    I wouldn't recommend fully rigid if you're going to be doing genuine trail riding, but YMMV. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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    Bah! I think what I actually need is an XXL frame???

    Edit: NVM, I did this calculator https://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-to....0&b=Calculate

    and it tells me 20.5 frame and 180mm crank... and I guess not all manufacturers make XXL sizes? D600 is 21" frame with 175mm crank... should be perfect then?

    Anyone want to speculate what this might be worth? They're asking $90obo. Thinking about offering $50, but I don't want to insult.


    The weather is so nice in the desert this time of year I feel like I want to get on 2 wheels quick, but another part of me wants to wait till the right bike comes along The D600 is 5hrs drive round trip to pick it up.
    A bike like this might serve as a decent placeholder, and you wouldn't have to lock it up outside walgreens cause the lock would be worth more than the bike!
    Last edited by LemonDrops; 10-17-2016 at 07:16 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    Bah! I think what I actually need is an XXL frame???

    Edit: NVM, I did this calculator https://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-to....0&b=Calculate

    and it tells me 20.5 frame and 180mm crank... and I guess not all manufacturers make XXL sizes? D600 is 21" frame with 175mm crank... should be perfect then?

    Anyone want to speculate what this might be worth? They're asking $90obo. Thinking about offering $50, but I don't want to insult.


    The weather is so nice in the desert this time of year I feel like I want to get on 2 wheels quick, but another part of me wants to wait till the right bike comes along The D600 is 5hrs drive round trip to pick it up.
    A bike like this might serve as a decent placeholder, and you wouldn't have to lock it up outside walgreens cause the lock would be worth more than the bike!
    You do need a XXL frame at your height. An XL is going to be a bit of a compromise at best.

    And I might be the guy with the XXL bike for sale mentioned a ways above this in Post #8. The bike is in the process of being sold, but if it falls through, I'll post up again.

  30. #30
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    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT BUY THAT^^^^^^^

    Save Up to 60% Off 29Plus, 27Plus Fat Bikes, Mountain Save Up to 60% Off New Bikes

    Have a look at this. At your height, 29+ is a godsend.

    Even in a 22" frame, this bike would require mods. Like mentioned above, wider bars, shorter stem...
    I'm 6'5" and I ride an XL fat bike with 29+ wheels and I have a Thomson setback seatpost on it. Along with the 80mm stem and Jones handlebars, bike feels perfect to me.
    I like turtles

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    You do need a XXL frame at your height. An XL is going to be a bit of a compromise at best.

    And I might be the guy with the XXL bike for sale mentioned a ways above this in Post #8. The bike is in the process of being sold, but if it falls through, I'll post up again.
    I think you're probably right, because the guy selling the XL D600 and XL Hardrock said he bought the Hardrock because it was a little bigger than the D600. I suspect he's now selling both to get something bigger yet (XXL with good forks). I want to avoid the same trial-and-error purchase mistakes, so I'll hold out for an XXL. Thanks, and LMK if yours doesn't sell.

    There's a 2014 Trek Rig XXL for $640, but it's a single speed. Should I even consider a single speed?




    There's a 2014 Specialized Rockhopper XXL for $375, but it appears to be a base model, not Pro or Comp or Sport... which means it has the bottom-of-the-barrel SR XCT fork...

    Would it be worth it to do Suntours upgrade program and swap the XCT in for Raidon XC LO AIR for $200 or buy Epixon XC outright for $190 on Amazon.. or just buy a bike that already comes with good forks?

    I'll be riding trails like
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/299773/bug-springs
    and
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/306975/la-milagrosa
    but also just around town.

    EDIT: nvm, I think this wording rules out the upgrade program on a 2nd hand bike, unless I could pay the current owner to do it for me first?
    Applicants must be the original owner of the bike or fork that they are upgrading from. A valid proof of purchase must be submitted and we would require the serial number of any SR SUNTOUR fork.

  32. #32
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    Unless Trek changed the drop-outs, the Rig can be run geared. You should be able to order the hardware from the LBS for the rear derailleur. But you might want to try SS at something like 32/21 gearing before you decide to go geared. SS isn't impossible, you might enjoy it, but if you don't you can add gears.


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  33. #33
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    go 22.5" at a minimum for frame size.

    that BD is hard to beat for components/dollar at hat price tier. maye you can check the diamondback deals on slickdeals. however, if you are fairly certain you're going to get decent amount of trail riding done, you'll regret going so low end. It ALWAYS cost more to upgrade components later then buying a nicer bike up front. And that doens't even include your time youtubing and learning to swap parts out. if your'e paying bike shop labor to do work, forget it, buy a nicer bike up front.

    IMO do not buy a trek/specialized/santa cruz, it's not worth the premium, the frames are only part of the ride. the components make a bigger difference on a hardtail. I like Bikesdirect, generic frames with good components, and diamondbacks on sale.

    One of the nicest upgrades is an airfork and tires. that XCT gets the job done, but comparing to a $200 epicon, it's way inferior.

    I've been an ambasadoor for many newbies out on the trails. They all go with an XCT level bike and before you know it, we're spending money to get better tires, pedals, forks and brakes and all the headaches and hassles with chaning parts. They all regret not listening to me paying up a bit more for a nicer bike in the first place. I'm no advocate for 2k bikes and I think they are way over hte top and just about weight savings (I bought one and dont' think it's worth it). But air fork, good tires that match your trails, and hydraulic brakes are worthwhile upgrades that change your ride (not just about saving weight)

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Unless Trek changed the drop-outs, the Rig can be run geared. You should be able to order the hardware from the LBS for the rear derailleur. But you might want to try SS at something like 32/21 gearing before you decide to go geared. SS isn't impossible, you might enjoy it, but if you don't you can add gears.


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    I'm reading reviews on the Trek Rig here
    Trek Rig 29er Hardtail Reviews - Mtbr.com

    Everyone seems to complain about the rear wheel sliding in the dropouts.

    "First what everyone says about the dropouts is true. The stock scewers will not seat all the way into them because the come into contact with the frame. Trek is well aware of this issue. The trek rep told me to order the replacement dropout with the derailler hanger. It is threaded and bolts on more securely. I purchased the part and it worked."

    " rear dropouts - design flaw in the frame does not allow enough room for the rear wheel skewer, this prevents the wheel from fitting all the way into the dropouts. "

    " This is a defective frame design and Trek needs to do a recall for safety! The rear sliding dropouts are poorly designed and do not hold under pressure and can cause the rear wheel to fly out of the dropouts if not if not caught in time. Here are the details.

    There are 4 issues with the sliding dropouts on the 2011/2012 Trek Rig

    1. The tension bolts are bending under pressure.
    2. The slides are moving causing the chain to loosen.
    3. The axle is moving inside the dropout.
    4. Because of all the movement the skewer becomes loose during rides which results in the rear wheel falling off if not caught in time. "

    "Weaknesses: those stupid sliding dropouts. and built in wheel ejection system to keep you on your toes (or head)."


    These are 2011-2013 reviews though. How do I know if the problem was fixed for the 2014 model, and if it wasn't, is it something I can do while adding a rear derailleur and cassette?

    EDIT: Found this post on the subject
    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    Correct, as seen below. The rear wheel on the Rig has a single speed freehub body on it. You'd be hard pressed to fit more than 5 cogs on it, but any 29er rear wheel with a modern standard freehub body will work with 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes. 135 axle spacing for it as well.

    So if you're wanting to easily and quickly swap back and forth from SS to Multispeed, you'll want the shifter, cassette, rotor, wheel, tire/tube (or tubeless), chain and chain keeper in the front.


    When I use my Ferrous as a 1x9 I have all the controls and grips on their own bars. The brake levers, lines and calipers stay with the bars along with the grip shifter, cable and rear deraileur. I remove the single speed bars with their brake levers, lines, calipers and grips. The multispeed bars go on (two bolts), brake calipers get mounted (two bolts each), deraileur gets mounted (one bolt), the cables get mounted (8 tie wraps), rear wheels get swapped, Single Speed chain comes off, 9 speed chain goes on, double check the chain keeper and away I go. I've done the swap in less than 20 minutes without rushing. Because the deraileur cable is never undone from the deraileur or shifter it doesn't need tuning.
    Seems like too much work for a first MTB... but may be ok as a single speed if the sliding dropouts issue is fixed?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    I'm reading reviews on the Trek Rig here
    Trek Rig 29er Hardtail Reviews - Mtbr.com

    Everyone seems to complain about the rear wheel sliding in the dropouts.

    "First what everyone says about the dropouts is true. The stock scewers will not seat all the way into them because the come into contact with the frame. Trek is well aware of this issue. The trek rep told me to order the replacement dropout with the derailler hanger. It is threaded and bolts on more securely. I purchased the part and it worked."

    " rear dropouts - design flaw in the frame does not allow enough room for the rear wheel skewer, this prevents the wheel from fitting all the way into the dropouts. "

    " This is a defective frame design and Trek needs to do a recall for safety! The rear sliding dropouts are poorly designed and do not hold under pressure and can cause the rear wheel to fly out of the dropouts if not if not caught in time. Here are the details.

    There are 4 issues with the sliding dropouts on the 2011/2012 Trek Rig

    1. The tension bolts are bending under pressure.
    2. The slides are moving causing the chain to loosen.
    3. The axle is moving inside the dropout.
    4. Because of all the movement the skewer becomes loose during rides which results in the rear wheel falling off if not caught in time. "

    "Weaknesses: those stupid sliding dropouts. and built in wheel ejection system to keep you on your toes (or head)."


    These are 2011-2013 reviews though. How do I know if the problem was fixed for the 2014 model, and if it wasn't, is it something I can do while adding a rear derailleur and cassette?

    EDIT: Found this post on the subject

    Seems like too much work for a first MTB... but may be ok as a single speed if the sliding dropouts issue is fixed?
    it is a lot of work. even a SS is more work that some claim. I probably posted in those old Rig threads. I had either a 2011 or 2010 and it was PITA. others have been on MTBR that i have discussed with and not having issues with current rendition. the older models like mine could be fixed running it geared.

    i don't wan to bring back a bunch of negative thoughts, the bike rode fine but the wheel moving was an issue on mine and my Trek LBS was a total joke on it when it came to support, completely worthless. I still harbor very harsh feelings towards that shop more so than the bike.

    people made the bike work with no issues but on the old ones you had to be handy and committed to it.

    i am glad you did your homework, but i also think the newer models would be ok. one way to check the old models was to examine non-drive side drop-out. mine had zero markings, which was indication that wheel never sat all the way in.


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    i am glad you did your homework, but i also think the newer models would be ok.
    This ebay listing seems to lump '11-'14 as being the same
    Dropout Derailleur Hanger for Fisher Sawyer 29" Rig Marlin 11 12 13 14 | eBay

    Owner says he has never had a problem, but, idk, seems like too much work and risk.

  37. #37
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    You might one to look at Pinkbike.com classifeds, much better bikes than Craigslist, in my opinion.

    I know within the past 6-9 months I talked with a guy on MTBR who was buying used Rig. he was stoked and he did his homework, in his mind there was minimal risk,

    With a SS, at first you will be switching chains cuz you will be playing with cogs until you find the gear ratio you like. I wouldn't quite call it a problem because you get good at switching out chains and breaking chains. But it is by no means hassle free. It does become an issue when you have to do adjustments trail side. Hopefully you have all your wrenches, as I recall the Rig needed something 4-5 different hex wrenches to adjust the wheel and dropouts.

    If you are not in a mood to tinker then stay away from any SS right now, because you will need too tinker with it. I enjoyed my 18 months riding SS on the Rig and my Yelli, but the great times were on my Yelli. You get lucky with the Yelli, at least on the old frames you could run 32/21 "magic gear", i.e., it had standard vertical droputs and you didn't need chain tensioner. Get a geared bike.


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  38. #38
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    Probably more than you want to spend but at least an example

    http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2010686/


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  39. #39
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    I still say grab the redline from earlier. Ultimately, if it's a good price for a bike size that's hard to find, it's worth it. Even if you don't like the bike, you can sell it in 6 months with almost no loss in value. It'll also give you experience with what you do and don't like with that bike.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Probably more than you want to spend but at least an example

    2011 Stumpjumper FSR Expert 29er XXL For Sale


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    Yeah way more than I want to spend. The worry about it getting stolen becomes too great at a price like that. It would have to go in the backseat and not left on a trunk carrier etc.. Funny that the guy has street tires and rides it on bike paths... a FS Stumpjumper hehe
    Weird that the location is listed as Idaho, but phone number is 520, which is southern AZ.

    There's a 2008 Stumpjumper in Vancouver, BC
    2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er XXL For Sale
    for $800CAD, which is only $600USD! I wonder what it would cost to ship to AZ? IDK that I really need FS though. More weight, more stuff to break, pedal bob etc.

    The 2014 Trek Rig on CL is on Pinkbike, too.
    2015 Trek Rig For Sale
    It's listed as a 2015 on Pinkbike, but I'm sure it's the same bike. It's being sold by Actionrideshop. So it seems it's a dealer posting in the bicycles - by owner section then.
    It's also on ebay listed as a 2014
    2014 Trek Rig XXL Single Speed 29er SS Test Ride Miles Only New | eBay

    Trek archive only shows the Rig listed as late as 2013
    2013 Bike Archive - Trek Bicycle

    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I still say grab the redline from earlier. Ultimately, if it's a good price for a bike size that's hard to find, it's worth it. Even if you don't like the bike, you can sell it in 6 months with almost no loss in value. It'll also give you experience with what you do and don't like with that bike.
    I'm still considering it, but it has been listed for quite a while and the guy is down to $300 with the XCM forks back on it. Doesn't seem like it is that easy to sell. I also think I really need an XXL frame.

  41. #41
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    Have you had a chance to check out stevebay? It's an AZ Facebook marketplace group for cycling. You could possibly post an "in search of" post. Most of the stuff is going to be in Phoenix Metro area but you could go and check out offerings in person before buying.

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    ^Hadn't until you mentioned it. Looks like a good resource, though. Thanks.

    I actually have the guy selling the FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-GOD-DO-NOT-BUY-THAT 1989 GT Timberline talked down to $60, but I don't want to go over $50.

    Does this pic look like 4th and 5th gears are destroyed? The ad says it goes through the gears smoothly, but 4th and 5th do not look complete. Maybe it shifts from 3rd to 6th just fine?


    and would this be the part to replace it?
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Shimano-F...Speed/13012506

    and a new chain and chain tool, too?
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-Spor...CHAIN/10400600
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Repair-To...-Bike/46568086

    Looking like more work than it's worth, but is it worth $50 as a townie/beater if it shifts from 3rd to 6th smoothly?

  43. #43
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    I'm actually banging my head against the table. I guess MAYBE I'd pay 50 dollars for it for a townie.
    I like turtles

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    Hi,

    I'm looking at buying an entry level 29er, most likely from Bikes Direct, and need some help picking the best model. I'm 6'5"-6'6" (34-35" inseam pants) and 210lbs. I think I need something in a ~22-23"+ frame? I'm somewhat athletically inclined, so wheelies and jumps are not out of the question. I live in southern AZ where there are lots of mountains and downhill, but I will probably spend as much time on paved bike paths and roads as trails, at least to start, so looking for something of an all-rounder. I've been looking on Craigslist forever, but very few come up in such a large frame size. Those that do are 20yrs old, steel frame and v-brakes, or a scam.
    I have an Airborne Guardian, but they only have up to a 20" frame. I'm 6', 230, longer than usual legs, a 6'6" wingspan (apparently more related to an orangutan than chimpanzee), and I have an 18" model. Maybe a 20" will work for you.

    I've been riding it since 2013 and love it. It's been a good learning experience doing the basic upgrades, maintenance, and tuning. Solid bike for just a few percentage points more than Bikes Direct.

  45. #45
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    Well it took me 5 months, but I finally found one. It's a 2011 Trek Cobia.

    Help choosing entry level HT 29er from BD-00r0r_lpq9p0z0dh4_1200x900.jpgHelp choosing entry level HT 29er from BD-00q0q_ihpbh9k9gzy_1200x900.jpg

    It checked all the boxes

    - 29" wheels
    - XXL 23" frame
    - Air fork
    - Hydro brakes

    So I picked it up for $360. How'd I do?

  46. #46
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    If you ride it and like it, then you did well.

    First thing I'd do is clean that drivetrain, or take it to a shop and have them do it. Might be a good idea to have them look the fork, hubs, headset, and cranks over, anyway.

    Congrats on the buy. Let us know how it rides.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    Well it took me 5 months, but I finally found one. It's a 2011 Trek Cobia.
    So I picked it up for $360. How'd I do?
    That'll get you started. Check YT for maintenance vids. And Fabien Barel has two riding technique vids Straight Lines and Curves to watch.

  48. #48
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    Looks like a nice deal. Blue book lists it as worth a little more. So good job.

    https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/sear...spx?id=3037927
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  49. #49
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    I think you should go to your LBS and ask if they have or can get you a leftover. Some great deals out there.

  50. #50
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    The trek cobia is a solid bike. It'll last for years and years and handle just about anything you can throw at it. Just about. no crazy jumps and the obvious, don't ride headlong into a rock. Rock beats skull.

    Since it's a 2011, I'd go through a full gambit of assembling a new bike sorta stuff. Complete overhaul to make sure everything's in good condition. Don't need to take it all apart, but just go through the full checklist. Hub bearings roll smooth, chain isn't stretched, brake pads aren't worn, general nuts and bolts are tight. Unless the previous owner serviced the fork regularly, you will need to get that done. I was amazed how much the air cartridge O-rings in my recon silver had worn down over 3 years. If it's a 2011 and it's been used regularly, you will need new seals and oil.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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