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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    Need help buying my first Bike

    Hello all,

    I am looking to get into the sport, and plan on purchasing a hardtail in the next week or two. As of right now I am just looking to ride local trails in the Philly and Delaware area. From all the reading I have been doing I think I need to spend over $1000 to get something I won't have to upgrade in the near future. I know the fork is important so the bikes I am looking at have a decent fork as far as I can tell after reading reviews. I have only looked at 29er's and the two I like are the Superfly 5, and the stache 6. I am in no way set on these. Just wanted to know if you think I should spend this much and what else I should look at in that price range? The only thing I have decided is to buy from a LBS in the West Chester PA area since it's my first bike. I appreciate any help given!

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Yes, retail bikes are expensive.

    Ride the bikes. Ride everything else you can get your hands on in that pricepoint. Try a couple sizes. Buy your favorite.

    For me, the big threshold in terms of bang-for-the-buck on retail bikes is getting a "real" fork. Since I don't memorize spec sheets, what are the forks on those bikes? Please don't list the other stuff, it's boring.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Both are rockshox the Reba and Recon if I remember correctly. Is the XC32 a big drop off?

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I haven't tried the XC32. I believe it's a sort-of replacement for the bottom end of the Tora line, which has been retired. Look for a good suspension fork to have adjustable preload or air pressure and adjustable damping.

    The Reba is a nice fork. The Recon, I haven't tried, but by spec, it ought to be pretty good.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Hi and welcome.
    I am in the same boat. Am about to pull the trigger on a 2013 superfly al. Guy said 1300 out the door.I really like this bike! It hauls Also there are some that trek has on closeout. Also am thinking about the cannondale trail 29 sl3. It has a sweet ride and feels peppy! Feels like It wants to go! I think after all the research and rides It is boiling down to which one feels better to me!Been afraid that whichever one I choose will be the wrong one but at $1300 the superfly is lookin good!
    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys I appreciate the help, I will look to see if there are any rebates at the LBS around here on the 13's.

  7. #7
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    Generally for a new model, you should expect to pay around 90% of MSRP the manufacturer lists on the web. You should be able to get a slightly larger discount on a 2013 bike. Don't be afraid to shop around though. Sometimes you can find great deals on closeouts and get quite a bit more bike than you expect. Look for opportunities to demo bikes. They do feel different and you will like some more than others. Not all shops carry much in the way of demo bikes so you should find the ones that do or those that are hosting events.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Need help buying my first Bike

    Trust me, you'll think of upgrading a $1000+ bike immediately, once you get to try the bikes in the $2000 or more range.

    By the way, I find the differences in the brakes and the shifting characteristics more significant than fork characteristics.

    A Fox fork is surely better than a coil Suntour fork. But it doesn't feel $600 better. That's just my personal experience/impression/opinion. But I will not hesitate to get Fox fork if it happens to be on a bike that I like.
    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Oh, I dunno. Once I had worked my Hardrock up to nice tires, a good cockpit fit, an LX/SLX/Deore drivetrain and an EBay Manitou R7 ('01 Marzocchi Bomber after I wore out that fork) I started getting the wrong message from demo days.

    I think you can get an equivalent package for under $2000. Certainly if the OP's looking at bikes with Rebas...

    Moving to a place with rougher trails and riding a FS I didn't hate changed that. :-P
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Not always. Did a demo-ride on a multi $k giant full suspension bike with a 1x11 drivetrain. It was lighter, but on the trails we were riding, overkill. For the money, I'll keep my 3x9 hardtail. In time, with increased skills, that'll change, but for now, 9-speed is good.

    I have a bike with an XC32 and another with a Recon silver, the recon definately feels better, but I think some of it has to do with the air-coil vs. the undersized spring for my weight. If you can an XC32 with air-coil, it'll probably be similar to the recon, but at that price, just get the recon (silver if your a clyd, gold if your lighter). For starting out, the listed rockshox forks are all good, especially if the XC32 comes stock on your bike and the spring weight matches your weight. Your LBS should change it out.

  12. #12
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    With all these deals on the internet, its making harder to go into an LBS and find a good deal these days. I'm all for supporting my local businesses but I'm also into saving hundreds of dollars as well. The only problem is that you can't test ride bikes from online and even though you can goto a local LBS and try some bikes then try to find a deal on them online, it just doesn't seem fair. Then you have companies like Airborne, which are exceptionally priced for the components you'd get, but its strictly an e-tailer. If money wasn't an object, I'd go into the bike shop down the street from my office to buy my bikes. Unfortunately, money is tight these days so saving $100 helps.

    Jenson has some solid deals on a 2012 Jamis Dakota D29 Race for $1259 decked out with X7, X9 and a Reba fork.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone really appreciate the info. The bikes on the web are definitely tempting because you get so much more for your money. I will spend the extra dough this time so I get properly fitted. The LBS here is running 10% off all bikes through February, so at least I will get something off.

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