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.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Need help choosing a first MTB for single track trails

    I'm new to this forum and new to Mountain Biking. My friend took me couple of days ago and I just fell in love with the Hobby. I was using a Trek Hardtail he let me borrow which was way to big for me and I felt I could of enjoyed it better if I had my own MTB to my dimensions. So after days of research My budget is around 500-700$. Which brought me down to two choices.

    Giant Talon 5 27.5 (16" frame) 570$ at LBS
    DiamondBack Axis Sport 16" Frame 599$ at LBS (This was on sale from 749$)

    I've been going back and forward looking at reviews. I test rode both of them in their parking lot but wish i could of took it on a trail. I'm mostly going to be doing trails as I live in FL and there is no big mountains, But there is amazing single trails.

    So i figured i go on a forum and get others people input for the prices. They both come with Suntour

    Axis Sport- SR Suntour XCR-LO 27.5 100mm Travel, 30mm stanchions, Speed Lock, Magnesium Lower, alloy Crown

    Giant Talon-
    SR Suntour XCT MLO, w/lockout

    Here is the specs side by side.
    http://mountain-bikes.findthebest.com/compare/5571-5725/2014-Diamondback-Axis-Sport-vs-2014-Giant-Talon-27-5-5

    I know you guys would have more experience at comparing and woudl be able to give me some input. Eventually I will go Full Suspension, but this is something i could get now. So i could enjoy the hobby now, then save up where I would trade my Hardtail for a Full-Suspension.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    For your money you should try and get a bike with a fork made for trail riding. The 'X' forks are designed only for bike paths. They don't have any features you need, like adjustable rebound to kill pogoing. Or 32mm stanchions to stop flexing. Or metal bushings inside for longevity. Or air for setting the sag over a broad range of weights. Or a damper system. What they have is grease and a coil spring.
    The 2013 Marin Bobcat Trail 29 on ebay for around $600 has a good trail ready fork and adequate Shimano Alivio/Deore drive components.
    2013 Marin Bobcat Trail 29er 19" MTB Hardtail Bike Shimano 9S Hydraulic Disc New | eBay
    Test ride one for size at REI. They have the more poorly spec'ed 2014.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Definitely get a bike to fit you.

    I think having a "real" fork makes a huge difference. Consider secondhand as well.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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