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  1. #1
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    looking for some opinions

    My buddy and I have been looking into getting some mountain bikes since running is just not that fun anymore and what was once imperative for high school sports hasn't been a neccessity for a few years. I've listened to what the guys at various shops have said about various bikes and of the two around here, one was pushing Yeti's and the other Cannondales. Between the two shops they had giants, cannondales, yeti's, treks, specialized. My friend is leaning towards a hardtail but my thoughts are that I wouldn't want to get one then wish I had purchased a FS instead. My uses will be from everyday standpoint making the short trip to school and weekend riding.

    Also, I'll be taking it to colorado/utah to do some riding. As for price somewhere in the 1k range is what I'm considering. Thanks ahead of time.

  2. #2
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    $1k price limit...

    At the $1k price limit you can get a pretty nice HT bike, or an "adequate" FS. My recommendation is to get the HT, as you will have a quality bike that you can ride for years. HT forces you to learn technique, and to grasp the fundamental skills required to be a good MTB'er. FS allows you to bypass a lot of that, which may cause you to develop bad habits in the long run. (It is like learning addition and subtraction with a calculator by your side....)

    Worst case scenario is that you really fall in love with MTB, and eventually wish you had a FS, so you ride the HT for another year or so while you save, constantly improving your skills, and then when you get the FS you have a solid base to build upon. You keep the HT for a back up bike, for a lender when your outta town friends or newbies want to ride, and also just to ride on some familiar trails to offer a change once you get used to the FS.

    That is what I ended up doing, and I have to say, I've seen more improvement by waiting to get FS, and then also by riding my regular trails on the "old" HT. Even now I get a lot out of it.

    If you are dead set on a FS bike, you can get a decent one at that price, but (IMO) you'll be better off starting with HT.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmateo
    At the $1k price limit you can get a pretty nice HT bike, or an "adequate" FS. My recommendation is to get the HT, as you will have a quality bike that you can ride for years. HT forces you to learn technique, and to grasp the fundamental skills required to be a good MTB'er. FS allows you to bypass a lot of that, which may cause you to develop bad habits in the long run. (It is like learning addition and subtraction with a calculator by your side....)

    Worst case scenario is that you really fall in love with MTB, and eventually wish you had a FS, so you ride the HT for another year or so while you save, constantly improving your skills, and then when you get the FS you have a solid base to build upon. You keep the HT for a back up bike, for a lender when your outta town friends or newbies want to ride, and also just to ride on some familiar trails to offer a change once you get used to the FS.

    That is what I ended up doing, and I have to say, I've seen more improvement by waiting to get FS, and then also by riding my regular trails on the "old" HT. Even now I get a lot out of it.

    If you are dead set on a FS bike, you can get a decent one at that price, but (IMO) you'll be better off starting with HT.
    I agree with bmateo, start with a HT and build up your skill set.

  4. #4
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    Test ride, test ride, test ride!! Different companies use different frame geometry and the Yeti the LBS guy is pushing just may not be as comfortable for you as the Specialized. You can also try out the FS bikes and HTs for comparison, though I agree with previous posts, get a HT.

  5. #5
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    I disagree and say get what you want and like better. That can just be found out by test riding many different bikes. Find a LBS that let's you take the bike to a trail. I started out with a HT and felt it was actually hindering the development of my skills. Granted I already had some basic skills. Plus the HT was taking away the fun. And it's all about having fun.

  6. #6
    Riding free's the mind
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    Get to know everything possible

    There are a lot of mountain bikes available today at all price points. Though you might not have to budget or need for the high end, at least get to know what entails a "high-end" bike as well as cheap ones. Make sure you consider all brands- maybe one's beyond what your local shops carry. Local shops (LBS) unless they are a high end shop, will carry the factor mass produced bikes- which include Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc. Nothing wrong with these, just a bit limited in offerings. There are also custom frames, hand built to your specs, and higher end manufacturers like Intense, Santa Cruz, Ellsworth, etc.

    A friend of mine had a similar budget of $1k. He ended up with a Kona Kikapu. Really nice FS bike, ready to ride out of the shop. My previous bike was $1300 on sale for $1100- Specialized Stumpjumper comp with all XT components (hardtail). Great bike, lasted me over 7 years. I think it's important to make sure you get a quality frame and over the years you can upgrade components. Although with my XT components I never changed them out- didn't need to.

    My new bike is all high end, but after riding that Specialized Stumpjumper for 7 years, I finally knew what I wanted in an upgrade.

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