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.
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 62
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    172

    I have a few questions about bike selection.

    26, 650B, 29?

    Why do they make this so hard?

    Anyways, I just want to say that I have test ridden some 29" wheeled bikes, and they feel slow to me, like slow in the handlebars / responsiveness of the steering ) I also haven't been on any 29" bikes that feel comfortable. the stand over height is too high, and I always fear smashing my "boys". I do like the idea of bigger wheels. I'm just curious about what you guys think about 650b in general. Is it a scam by manufacturers to sell more stuff? Or is there more to it than that?

    I like the bigger wheels but i haven't found a 29er that is comfortable to me. i'm about 5'9" or 5'10" I can stand over a medium, OR a large frame cannondale Trail 4 29er, but on both occasions i was "rubbing" lightly.

    Any recommendations for a bike that would require less stand over? Or do you think i would be more comfortable on a 650b?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post

    I like the bigger wheels but i haven't found a 29er that is comfortable to me. i'm about 5'9" or 5'10" I can stand over a medium, OR a large frame cannondale Trail 4 29er, but on both occasions i was "rubbing" lightly.
    Then why do you like 29ers?

    You should get what you feel comfortable on. IMO 26" wheels with some big tires, like Kenda Small Block Eights, will give you the illusion of bigger wheels and a comfortable ride.

    For stand over issues look for frames that have a more aggressive slope. I wouldn't recommend any frame labeled "large" for someone your height. Stick to medium sized frames, 19" or less.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    172
    I like the larger diameter wheels because of the lesser angle of attack, I'm just not 100% sure about 650b's yet though. I know they have been around awhile. And it seems manufacturers are hitting that market hard in the 2013 year. We'll have to see what happens, I guess keep on searching for a magic bike!

  4. #4
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    I like the larger diameter wheels because of the lesser angle of attack, I'm just not 100% sure about 650b's yet though. I know they have been around awhile. And it seems manufacturers are hitting that market hard in the 2013 year. We'll have to see what happens, I guess keep on searching for a magic bike!
    Yes, definitely keep looking. Find something that you're comfortable with and don't let marketing hype drive your decision.

    No matter what size, test ride the bikes for fit - this requires 15 minutes or so of riding instead of 3 minutes in the parking lot. If the bike doesn't fit, you won't feel completely comfortable and possibly generate aches, pains, numbness..... and your enjoyment will be somewhat diminished, which defeats the entire purpose of buying the bike in the first place.

    You may also want to consider 2012 or even 2011 models. With the new bikes coming out, the stores will be eager to get rid of older inventory.

    -S

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    172
    yeah, that is what kind of scares me right now about bike shops, I'm afraid they are trying to move the 2012's to make room for the 13's instead of selling me what I really need / want.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    922
    What is wrong with 2012 bikes?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    55
    They aren't going to force you to buy a bike you dont like.

    Seems to me that you are overthinking this and obsessing over wheel size.

    Like everyone else said, just go try out bikes until you find one you like.

    Sent from my cm_tenderloin using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,977
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    26, 650B, 29?

    Why do they make this so hard?

    Anyways, I just want to say that I have test ridden some 29" wheeled bikes, and they feel slow to me, like slow in the handlebars / responsiveness of the steering ) I also haven't been on any 29" bikes that feel comfortable. the stand over height is too high, and I always fear smashing my "boys". I do like the idea of bigger wheels. I'm just curious about what you guys think about 650b in general. Is it a scam by manufacturers to sell more stuff? Or is there more to it than that?

    I like the bigger wheels but i haven't found a 29er that is comfortable to me. i'm about 5'9" or 5'10" I can stand over a medium, OR a large frame cannondale Trail 4 29er, but on both occasions i was "rubbing" lightly.

    Any recommendations for a bike that would require less stand over? Or do you think i would be more comfortable on a 650b?
    I'm 5'10 3/4" with a 31.5 inseam, I've had a Large Specialized Stumpjumer FSR and currently ride a large Tallboy.

    When was the last time you crashed with both feet landing on the ground and slamming your crotch area? Stand over has almost nil to do with proper fit.

    What bikes have you ridden? The wheel size isn't the only factor, The two 29ers I just mentioned ride very differently.

    A lot of people are calling 650B a fad but I don't think so. When I first started looking for a new bike, the first one I demoed was a 650B Jamis. I liked the larger wheels. Everyone likes to throw the numbers around like only 4% bigger, but riding, it carried more momentum and climbed better on the roots and rocks here in MD.

    Since I liked it, the shop suggested I try a 29er. I was a big nay-sayer having ridden one in a parking lot, but gave it a shot anyway. Even more momentum and better climbing.
    Yes it wasn't as nimble, but to me, the trade off was worth it, so now I'm riding 29ers and don't see going back to 26er.

    Good luck in which ever one you choose.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    14,295
    I feel like most people are way too overwhelmed if they start their research on the 'net. Between the majors, the mid-sized companies and the boutique builders, there's a ton of selection. But most of it is expensive and a lot of it isn't even available in your area.

    So instead, start with your budget and what bikes are available to you relatively close to where you live and work. That should cut it down a lot. This is basically just another version of "Go to your shops, ride a lot of bikes, buy your favorite."

    Have you demoed a 29er off-road? If no, you don't know anything about a lesser angle of attack; you're just believing what some marketing people have written. I actually like them myself, but I can't say that they've made me bummed out about my little 26" bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
    Reputation: OscarW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,822
    Like others have stated already, you need to ride a variety of bikes on a trail and see what you like best. Each person is different and not all bikes are the same. IMHO what is more important than just looking at wheel size, is to find a bike that fits you and your riding stye. YMMV
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  11. #11
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    yeah, that is what kind of scares me right now about bike shops, I'm afraid they are trying to move the 2012's to make room for the 13's instead of selling me what I really need / want.
    That could be a sign of a crappy bike shop.

    The one I frequent gives me smaller bits for free (the odd tool that comes with parts, top caps, replacement bolts, valves etc) -- even when I offer to pay for it. Not once was I ever pressured into buying anything. Probably why they've been in business for 100 years.

    -S

  12. #12
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I'm 5'10 3/4" with a 31.5 inseam, I've had a Large Specialized Stumpjumer FSR and currently ride a large Tallboy.

    When was the last time you crashed with both feet landing on the ground and slamming your crotch area? Stand over has almost nil to do with proper fit.
    True - frame sizing isn't always cut and dry. I'm 5'5" with a 30" inseam and I ride a large 07 S-Works SJ FSR and love how it fits me.

    -S

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: beshannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    26, 650B, 29?

    Why do they make this so hard?

    Anyways, I just want to say that I have test ridden some 29" wheeled bikes, and they feel slow to me, like slow in the handlebars / responsiveness of the steering ) I also haven't been on any 29" bikes that feel comfortable. the stand over height is too high, and I always fear smashing my "boys". I do like the idea of bigger wheels. I'm just curious about what you guys think about 650b in general. Is it a scam by manufacturers to sell more stuff? Or is there more to it than that?

    I like the bigger wheels but i haven't found a 29er that is comfortable to me. i'm about 5'9" or 5'10" I can stand over a medium, OR a large frame cannondale Trail 4 29er, but on both occasions i was "rubbing" lightly.

    Any recommendations for a bike that would require less stand over? Or do you think i would be more comfortable on a 650b?
    Keep looking and test riding.

    I agree with you on the 29" size and made the mistake of buying one that was too big and could never feel comfortable on it.

    I exchanged it for a 26" and I am very happy with the size, speed and standover I now have.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    172
    Quote Originally Posted by beshannon View Post
    Keep looking and test riding.

    I agree with you on the 29" size and made the mistake of buying one that was too big and could never feel comfortable on it.

    I exchanged it for a 26" and I am very happy with the size, speed and standover I now have.
    This is what I don't want to do, end up buying Sveral different bikes to truly find one I like. Or is the sport just like that sometimes?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,779
    Ride some small frames to see if you're cramped, and ride some 29ers with lighter forks like a 3.5lb. RockShox Reba. The steering should quicken up. The low end Suntour fork on the Cannondale is 5+ pounds of dead weight. You are probably a medium in many bikes so also check out Scott 960.
    Once you decide your size consider the medium Airborne Goblin with a dual air Reba. No upgrade need for several years of skill improvement.

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    14,295
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    This is what I don't want to do, end up buying Sveral different bikes to truly find one I like. Or is the sport just like that sometimes?
    I've had my 'A' road bike since 2000 and my mountain bike since 2007. I do also have some more recent purchases, although the only one that was actually replacing a previous bike was replacing a bike I broke.

    It varies. People's desires often evolve, especially in the first season, and I feel like a lot of people new to the sport have much higher expectations of the gear than a lot of more experienced riders do. Although now and then I do meet people who've been riding a long time and are on a new-bike-every-year-or-two treadmill. The bike industry does its best to keep coming up with different enough things to keep those guys buying. I guess I'm on a new-discipline-every-year-or-two treadmill - I hit 'cross pretty hard in 2008 and 2009, and did a fair amount of track racing this season, so those are the other two recent bikes.

    My advice is to take a look at what attracts you to the sport, ride a bunch of those bikes, and then spend as much as you can stomach on one. After that (this is the hard part) don't second-guess yourself. Just ride a lot.

    When people don't spend their "real" number, IME they tend to either bolt a lot of expensive crap to their cheap frames or buy another bike that's in their real pricepoint. So don't low ball this purchase. I don't know what your budget is, but if it's under $1000, the retail offerings suck. So in that case, I think buying a used bike from a reputable shop that specializes in that is the best value going. I'm not a fan of catalogs for people who can't pull a lot of information out of a chart - you've already found that bikes don't all ride the same. I think there's value in test riding.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: beshannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    This is what I don't want to do, end up buying Sveral different bikes to truly find one I like. Or is the sport just like that sometimes?
    Well in my case I bought from a shop that has a 14 day return/exchange policy, yes even on ridden bikes if they are in like new condition.

    Not suggesting you go this route but it is nice to have an option if you choose incorrectly. I should not have bought the first one, that is on me although I was over anxious to start riding again after a long layoff.

    That is why everyone is telling you to ride as many as you can first and as far as 2012 bikes, the one I have now is a 2012 bike with a nice discount to a 2013. In one case the only difference I saw was the color and the 2012 was on sale and the 2013 was not, so don't overlook a 2012.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    25
    Costco has some cool bikes. They've got bike helmets, cruiser bikes, BMX bikes and this really cool mountain bike for $799. That's kind of high for Costco. Anyway, I went ahead and bought the $799 bike (I forgot the name of it). It was a convenient purchase because I was also there to pick up two loaves of bread, a 1/2 gallon of half-n-half and a case of toilet paper. The bike is all black and I got the matching helmet. Actually, I wanted to buy the snow boarding helmet because it looked way better than those stupid-looking biking helmets.

    My next stop is Sports Authority to pick up some spandex shorts and matching shirt. I guess I'll need to make a trip to an actual bike store to get those shoes with the heel in the middle of the foot. I can't walk in those things at all.

  19. #19
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
    Reputation: OscarW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,822
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hartman View Post
    This is what I don't want to do, end up buying Sveral different bikes to truly find one I like. Or is the sport just like that sometimes?
    Find a good LBS that will let you test ride or rent a few bikes. Usually the rent fee goes toward the purchase price anyway and you will find the right bike for you..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  20. #20
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by famousdavis View Post
    costco has some cool bikes. They've got bike helmets, cruiser bikes, bmx bikes and this really cool mountain bike for $799. That's kind of high for costco. Anyway, i went ahead and bought the $799 bike (i forgot the name of it). It was a convenient purchase because i was also there to pick up two loaves of bread, a 1/2 gallon of half-n-half and a case of toilet paper. The bike is all black and i got the matching helmet. Actually, i wanted to buy the snow boarding helmet because it looked way better than those stupid-looking biking helmets.

    My next stop is sports authority to pick up some spandex shorts and matching shirt. I guess i'll need to make a trip to an actual bike store to get those shoes with the heel in the middle of the foot. I can't walk in those things at all.
    [sarcasm]
    That's NICE!!!
    [/sarcasm]

    -s

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    14,295
    Actually one of the Costco bikes has been mentioned from time to time as a really killer deal. For someone for whom it's the right size and can do his own setup, why not?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    172
    Yea, I heard MOAB in Franklin TN, does test rides / demos. Because I think riding one in the parking lot outside won't tell you much.

  23. #23
    Ride Responsibly
    Reputation: LWright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,945
    Check the bike shops, within a reasonable to you radius, for an upcoming "Demo". They let you ride lots of different bikes.

  24. #24
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Actually one of the Costco bikes has been mentioned from time to time as a really killer deal. For someone for whom it's the right size and can do his own setup, why not?
    I guess it's hit or miss because of the lack of sizing.... then again you can take almost anything back to Costco for a refund/exchange at any time, so that's one indestructible bike for the rest of your life.

    Guess I was really wrong.

    Do check out the demos in your area. Lots of manufacturers are doing demos in my area right now probably due to the weather everywhere else.

    -S
    Last edited by shibiwan; 11-15-2012 at 06:54 PM.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,977
    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    I guess it's hit or miss because of the lack of sizing.... then again you can take almost anything back to Costco for a refund/exchange at any time, so that's one indestructible bike for the rest of your life.

    Guess I was really wrong.

    -S
    costco 29er.

    For $479 if it fits it would be a decent starter bike for the money.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •