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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  1. #1
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    Ignored LBS advice - did I get the right bike?

    Hi all,

    Just starting to get into MTB on a more dedicated basis and decided to upgrade from my old Giant Boulder to something more capable. I went in to the LBS with an idea of what I wanted. I explained to them I'd be riding on fire roads and beginner level singletrack, xc and dh, with an eye for more advanced things as my skills and interest in the sport progressed. They tried steering me toward some sort of Raleigh Hybrid but I opted for my original idea and went with a Marin Pioneer 29er. Do folks think I made a poor choice in ignoring them? The LBS is located in a very college student-heavy area (almost everyone rides a bike around campus) so I am thinking that the LBS is not very MTB-centric to begin with, but I'd be interested in y'all's take.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Redcoat
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    What Raleigh bike was it? we have nothing to compare the Marin too.

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately they didn't tell me that - they wanted me to go to a partner store to check it out; I heard hybrid and was pretty sure that it wouldn't fit the bill based on that alone. I was looking in the $500-$600 price range so I'm guessing something like a Misceo 2.0

  4. #4
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    Hybrids are good bikes for a pavement pounding commuting college student with the desire to maybe occasionally hitting a dirt road. Not a good bike for for a guy wanting to do gravel roads and beginner single track.

    The Pioneer trail is a much more capable bike for doing what you want. However, as you advance in to tougher stuff, you will either want to upgrade parts or bike depending on how much you want to advance.

    Suggestions to start upgrading the bike is to take advantage of the Suntour upgrade program and get rid of that XCT. It is a horrible fork and you will be a lot happier with a Suntour Raidon which can be bought for under $200 if you take advantage of the program.

    If you find yourself doing a lot of pavement commuting, you may want to get another set of tires more suitable to pavement then the Rapid Robs. Get a more road friendly tire and swap back to the Rapid Robs on dirt days. If you are doing both, the Rapid Robs will be fine, you will just wear them out fast riding pavement.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  5. #5
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    RE: Ignored LBS advice - did I get the right bike?

    Hybrids have nothing to do with MTB. Did they explain why they it would be a fit for singletrack? You mentioned dh and they still wanted to steer you to a hybrid?!?
    Sent from my Lumia 920 using Board Express

  6. #6
    AZ
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    For MTBing you made the right choice..

  7. #7
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    Ignored LBS advice - did I get the right bike?

    You did the right thing, you can ride any bike on the street but not any bike on the mountain
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  8. #8
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    Glad to hear I'm on the right track. I don't plan on riding it on pavement unless my car breaks down and I need to ride to the trail, so I'm feeling pretty good about my choice.

    @kjlued - thanks for that tip. I hadn't heard about the upgrade program.

    Speaking of upgrades - do folks think that it's worth upgrading the bike at some point? The LBS seemed to think I was better off just buying a higher end model, but it seems like if I have a good frame to start with I have some space to change out the components down the road.

  9. #9
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    Upgrades at time time of buying are almost always cheeper than later . Wear stuff out ,break stuff ,replace maybe with an upgrade depending.

  10. #10
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    Ride what you have now for a season or two and try all types of trails and different mtb styles. Then you will know what your preferences are and can hone in on an upgrade bike. This bike will then become a backup/be the bike you take on the road.

  11. #11
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    The best upgrades you can make right now, are in your skill and fitness.
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
    2001 Bianchi Volpe
    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  12. #12
    'Tis but a scratch
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    I think you made the right choice. I have a hybrid. It is basically my road bike. The only reason it hits the dirt is if I discover a trail while out road-riding. It suffices for a little minor exploration, but it is definitely not the right tool for the job.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrw2828 View Post
    Glad to hear I'm on the right track. I don't plan on riding it on pavement unless my car breaks down and I need to ride to the trail, so I'm feeling pretty good about my choice.

    @kjlued - thanks for that tip. I hadn't heard about the upgrade program.

    Speaking of upgrades - do folks think that it's worth upgrading the bike at some point? The LBS seemed to think I was better off just buying a higher end model, but it seems like if I have a good frame to start with I have some space to change out the components down the road.
    I think the fork is worth upgrading as soon as you can afford it.
    That XCT is really a horrible excuse for a fork (IMO).

    If you really get in to it, you may consider a new wheel set later on but they can get pricey.

    These items however can be moved to a new bike or frame later.

    As far as other parts like brakes and drive line components you could wait til they break.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
    One Gear
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    Ride it for a while and have fun. I'd look for a new shop while your enjoying the new ride.

  15. #15
    I eat cats
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    Echo everything said so far about making the right choice between the two. Go wear your bike out learning how to ride dirt better and eventually you will figure out upgrades etc. Best part is just getting out there and feeling good about pulling the 'ol ass out of a chair/couch/cockpit/whatever.

  16. #16
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    Sounds like there is a LBS out there that has a few hybrid bikes they are having trouble unloading. Good choice.

  17. #17
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    I think its a bad idea to take your hybrid off road, so if you got a mountain bike, you did the right thing. Plus, mountain bikes are kind of fun to ride on pavement sometimes, so no harm there either, but it will just take a little longer to get where you want to go.

  18. #18
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    you made the right choice for sure. As far as the upgrades, ride the bike until you are pretty damn good on it and then you'll find out what you need. For example, I realized my bars were too low and causing back pain so I upgraded to some carbon riser bars. Then the grips were uncomfortable so I upgraded to some ergons. Besides the fact that im 225lbs geared up, I have already "outclassed" my fork and im on the hunt for a good replacement.

    My point is, the more you ride, the more you'll find out what you need.. not want, NEED to make your riding easier and better. The whole "upgrade to a new bike" thing that people encourage is more like compulsive wants to a new bike. Theres nothing wrong with putting some money into a lower end bike if u like it
    Rockhopper 29er

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  19. #19
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    you made the right choice. definitely replace parts as they brake, but seriously take advantage of the suntour trade-in program. the xct fork you have now WILL limit your potential. i had one on my introductory mtb, giant talon. once i replaced the fork i was so much more confident in everything

  20. #20
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    You made the right choice - other than giving the LBS your money after they tried to steer you the wrong way, of course...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    the xct fork you have now WILL limit your potential. i had one on my introductory mtb, giant talon. once i replaced the fork i was so much more confident in everything
    This^

    Anyone who disagrees with this would leave me to assume they have never ridden the Suntour XTC (aka the pogo stick).
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    You did the right thing, you can ride any bike on the street but not any bike on the mountain
    I wish someone would tell this to the guy that passed me on a steep, nasty, rocky descent on his decades old Peugot road bike still set up with sew ups.

    Some riders seem to be able to ride anything anywhere. Like this guy: Martyn Ashton - Road Bike Party - YouTube

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    I wish someone would tell this to the guy that passed me on a steep, nasty, rocky descent on his decades old Peugot road bike still set up with sew ups.

    Some riders seem to be able to ride anything anywhere. Like this guy: Martyn Ashton - Road Bike Party - YouTube
    Great video, always fun to watch.

    However, it certainly goes without saying that the average rider can not ride a road bike anywhere and an above average ride who can could still do it more efficiently using the right tool for the job.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  25. #25
    I eat cats
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    ^ poor guy recently had a severe spinal injury.

    Martyn Ashton Suffers Significant Spinal Injury - Pinkbike
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    You see, I don't have a single brand name in my signature because I know most bike brands and component brands 99%.

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