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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    New question here. Help deciding on new HT

    Hey there, I am a 6'2" 31 year old guy looking to purchase a nice new Hard Tail MTB in the Chicagoland area. I took a long hiatus from biking and recently got back into it 3 years ago with a 21" Trek 3500. The Trek has served it's purpose to get me back on a bike, and I am ready to take my biking to the next level.

    I have a budget of around $1,500.

    So far my nice-to-haves are:
    - Hard Tail
    - FS with up to 100mm
    - Hydraulic Disk Brakes
    - 10 speed

    I am pretty hard on my bikes. I don't do much trail riding since I live in the burbs. I am more of an Urban mountain biker, hitting ledges, curbs, construction sites, whatever. I would like my next bike to carry me on my urban adventures, trails, single-track, or even inspire a trip out west to the real mountains

    My current bike a is a 7 speed, and I am finding that it just doesn't go fast enough when on the road.

    The following are the bikes that have stood out to me in my online research:




    I am currently leaning towards the Kona Kahuna. Naturally I know that going to test-ride these bikes is the best way to get a feel for them, but before I do, I wanted to gather some opinions.

    I would prefer to support a smaller company, as opposed to Trek or Specialized. However I will let the ride really determine who gets my money. Please let me know of any other brands that might be a good fit for me. I discovered Cube when looking up reviews last night, and was pretty disappointed to see they are not available in the States.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help!

  2. #2
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    The El has the best fork for real trail riding.The KM is a single speed and rigid ,do you really want that? The Kona and the Trek are more of a bike path ,easy trails bikes.Gears can help you go faster ,but legs and lungs help more.

  3. #3
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    The X-Cal has the same fork as the Salsa just a heavier solo air. It will go anyplace with good geo for steering.
    Instead, look at the Superfly line with even better geo an tapered head tube. If it were me I would save a little more and go for a discounted Superfly 9.6. The carbon frame has engineered compliance that puts it's ride in a different class. You will like that in an urban environment. Should be below 2k.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    The El has the best fork for real trail riding.The KM is a single speed and rigid ,do you really want that?
    No, I don't want single-speed and rigid, thank you for pointing that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The X-Cal has the same fork as the Salsa just a heavier solo air. It will go anyplace with good geo for steering.
    Instead, look at the Superfly line with even better geo an tapered head tube. If it were me I would save a little more and go for a discounted Superfly 9.6. The carbon frame has engineered compliance that puts it's ride in a different class. You will like that in an urban environment. Should be below 2k.
    The Superfly line looks pretty promising, thanks for suggesting that. I have a Trek store nearby my house. I'll have to cruise by there and see if they have any to test ride. It does seem as though having $2k+ is ideal for a quality bike. I may just have to bite the bullet and spend over what I was planning on.

  5. #5
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    Help deciding on new HT

    Quote Originally Posted by stat30fbliss View Post
    My current bike a is a 7 speed, and I am finding that it just doesn't go fast enough when on the road.
    The only way gears will help you go faster will be by their ratio, not the number of them available to you. A 7 speed will likely have an 11 tooth cog as the fastest gear just like a 10 speed will. You'll need a bigger chainring if you want to go faster on either bike. Or pedal faster.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    The only way gears will help you go faster will be by their ratio, not the number of them available to you. A 7 speed will likely have an 11 tooth cog as the fastest gear just like a 10 speed will. You'll need a bigger chainring if you want to go faster on either bike. Or pedal faster.
    Yeah I am at the point where pedaling faster is, challenging

    I definitely want moar speed, but I also definitely don't want a road bike. Not now at least. I would love to pick up a great all around XC or something similar that can keep me occupied for a while as a single solution. I may decide to shell out for a roadbike someday, but not likely.

    I have never replaced gears on a bike before, so I suppose I could look into doing that as a project with the Trek 3500 that I will be replacing. Thanks!

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