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.
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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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Thread: Help me choose

  1. #1
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    Help me choose

    I'm looking to get back into mountain biking, its been probably 7 years since ive owned a mountain bike. The technologies and brands have changed so much and im not sure where to start. Looking to get a few base questions answered before i go spend $1000+ on a new bike.
    Any information is probably good information, im starting at scratch other than what ive read on a few reviews of which most of the bikes were out of my price range.

    -Cheap ($1000-1500) full suspension bikes vs high end ($1000-1500) hardtails
    Flaws of each (ex. Full suspension bikes in that price range are of cheaper quality)
    Benefits of starting with a full suspension or a Hardtail (how will this affect riding performance)
    Upgradability (can i upgrade that bike later on or do i have to buy a whole new platform)
    Good Brands (Good parts for the price, lasts a decent amount of time without problems)
    -I plan on riding on single track trails, as well as some technical trails.
    -i want a bike that can climb like a champ but also handles bumps and speed fairly well.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    That price point seems like a really good place to start for a reasonable hardtail... but I wouldnt say you would get a new "high end" bike for that money although you could say high end is a subjective term.

    My advice would be to try and ride as many bikes as you can. Hard tail, full suspension, 29er, 26er. Most good bike shops will have bikes you can try. Getting a bike that fits properly is important and a reputable shop where you can be fitted is the best way to go about this.

    Brandwise your probably best to stick with the usual suspects for this money. Giant, Scott, Trek, GT etc are probably fairly similar component wise so it will come down to feel. Bikes are very upgradable so as parts wear or break they can be easily replaced and improved.

    If all else fails you could do what my wife did and just pick out the one that she most liked the colour of. Good Luck and keep us posted with what you do.

  3. #3
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    Reading through these forums, all I can say is you could ask those questions to 10 different people and get 10 different opinions.

    So all I can do is share mine.

    I feel for the $1000 mark you are better off getting a hard tail 29er.
    The 29er seems to climb a little better than the 26er.
    Also the larger tires roll over bumps and rocks better.

    Of course, there are some good arguments for 26" bikes so like I said, that merely my opinion.

    It seems bikes are more about individual style and preference.

  4. #4
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    As for the hardtail/full suspension decision, a good guide is what most people use on the trails in your area. Around here we have very few rocks, and your usual roots. About 80% of the bikes you see are hardtail.

    I rode both a Superfly AL Elite (HT) and Superfly AL Elite 100 (FS) at a Trek factory demo. The FS was nice for rocks and going down bumpy hills fast. On the other hand, the FS still had a harsh ride -- YOU still need to absorb a lot of the bumps with your knees. The HT was noticibly lighter and climbed a bit better, and seemed to me to be more maneuverable on sharp curves that weren't bumpy. Maybe that is because I was used to a hardtail. Anyway, I ended up getting the HT. A lot cheaper too.

    The Superfly AL 100 is more of an XC bike. I also rode a carbon Giant all-mountain-type FS. That had softer suspension and was definitely more comfortable. I didn't get to do any big climbs in it, but am quite sure the HT or AL100 would have beat it. You could feel the rear suspension compress a bit when you accelerate or climb.

    Anyway, take your time and ride as many as you can. You'll start gravitating towards something. Now is probably a good time to buy new seeing the 2013s are coming out soon.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all for the info, i take it all into consideration, it seems as though all of you agree on one thing, Try bikes out before you buy it and see if you like it. ill make sure to do this when choosing my bike. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Here's a site with good reviews including these two.
    Ride Impression: 2013 Specialized Epic Comp 29"er
    Ride impression: 2013 Specialized S Works Stumpjumper
    For a HT around the 1300 range a Scott Scale 29 Elite if you can find one is being replaced by the 950. A deal on the Expert would be better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Reading through these forums, all I can say is you could ask those questions to 10 different people and get 10 different opinions.

    So all I can do is share mine.

    I feel for the $1000 mark you are better off getting a hard tail 29er.
    The 29er seems to climb a little better than the 26er.
    Also the larger tires roll over bumps and rocks better.

    Of course, there are some good arguments for 26" bikes so like I said, that merely my opinion.

    It seems bikes are more about individual style and preference.
    Completely agree with getting a hardtail if spending 1000-1500... although there are some full suspensions that were quite nice i saw for about 1500-2000. I have been reading a searching for the right bike. I decided i need a full suspension (FS) because of a back problem i have... so after looking at hardtails and fs it was quite apparent that there are very few options less than $2K for a "good" full suspension complete bike. Hardtails no problem finding something good at less than 2K in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    You could get a 1700 bike out the door for 1500 if its a last years model and you haggle a bit, and that could be a fairly high end hard tail. If you are doing some serious single track trail riding 1000-1500 is about right I guess, although i'll be darned if $600 bikes don't have less probs than $1000-$1200 bikes most of the time.. I just got a lower end SCOTT I really like, its a rougher ride that the rockshox recons on the Specialized, but it's a tank and I actually like lower end Shimano components.

  9. #9
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    Consider the value of getting is a 2-3 year used bike.

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