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
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    New Bike questions????

    im looking for a new bike for trails, and a lil bit of urban jumps.

    so far i have looked at:

    Cannondale F5
    Trek 6000
    GF pirranha
    and the haro shift R3

    right now im torn between the Cannondale and the Haro

    the haro is at a sun and ski dept store and the cannondale is at a small but very well respected shop near my house


    anyone with anything on either of these two bikes could help

  2. #2
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    anyone have experience with either of these bikes especially the Haro

  3. #3
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    Well, I don't have experience with either of those models, but they both look like solid bikes (I looked them over on the net). From what I can see the F5 is a hardtail and the R3 is a FS. Haro is a well respected brand and makes good frames, however their design on that particular bike seems to be unique in that lower member holding up the rear triangle to shock pivot. Also, the front shock is 120mm travel as compared to the F5 which is 80mm. Sounds to me like you are anxious to buy and have found two bikes that are appealing to you but that are fairly different. If I had to choose one of those two, I would go with the cannondale hardtail for the type of riding you described.

    If I was you, I would make sure you have exhausted every available model at every LBS in your area that are in your price range, sit on each of the bikes that you are interested in and make sure it is a good fit. Also, there could be some good discounting right now due to the '09's coming in, but don't be swayed by a discounted model that does not fit right. Fit meaning plenty of standover, and the top tube length (distance when you grab the bars) is good. If you sit on enough bikes, you can tell which ones fit and which ones don't, and if you find one that is a perfect fit and is a really good deal, but just a few bucks higher than your budget, hell put it on layaway to secure it and find a way to get the remaining cash to pay it off later, its always worth it in the end.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the help. i have looked at almost all the bikes anywhere near my house and the only reaon i ask about the haro is that ive found a really good deal that puts the price of the cannondale and the price of the haro right around each other. so becuase of this im sitting here wondering if i should take this oppertunity to go full suspensions or to stick with the hardtail design.

  5. #5
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    Okay, I looked at that Haro one more time. It seems like a solid equipped bike, I don't see any glaring design issue, but I do have two comments:

    1) My buddy has been shopping a budget FS for some time now, we went over to one of the LBS's this week and here is what we both concluded: Yes, you can get a FS for $800-$1100, but at $1400 the bikes were infinitely better (this came from actually sitting on them and testing them out)

    2) That Haro's geometry is a bit tight, the TT's are kinda short and the standovers are kinda tall. Sometimes discounted models are a great buy, and sometimes they are discounted because they don't have as much market appeal because their competitiors have a leg up (perhaps in this case geometry). However, I currently ride two bikes: an older bike that has a taller / tighter geometry, and a newer one with the lower center of gravity design. I ride them both well, and do favor the newer geometry - but, I can still ride the dickens out of the older bike. If you think the Haro fits good, and your wanting a FS, then it may be worth a shot, but I am still a little supsicious of heavily discounted FS bikes.

  6. #6
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    i tested out the Haro shift and i also tested out the Giant xtc 2.

    the haro, while being a great bike was a lil pricey and the ride was strange being that it was a real low slung bike (brings me back to my dyno GT bmx days) also it was a strange stretch and truthfully other than the fork the was really nothing on the bike that wowed me.

    on the other hand the Giant was absolutely hands down the best bike i have ridden in that price range since i started looking. the only store near me that had an 08 xtc is in Austin one town over so i think before to long i will be making the trip to pick it up
    the only real downside is being that the frame is so light i will have to use my old bike for jumps and the xtc for everything else, but, in my opinion well worth it as it is the only bike recently that has really wowed me

    thanks for all your help

  7. #7
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    by the way if anyone has anything on the XTC 2 it would be nice to know before i spend the money on it, but so far it does look and feel pretty solid to me

  8. #8
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    The Giant XTC would be a great bike, particularly if you ride more trails than you do jumping etc. If you are more into dirt jumps I'd check out the Giant STP range. (sorry just read your post properly - if you have a 2nd bike for jumping then go for it).

    I own an STP, the geometry is slacker than theire XC hardtails so better for doing a bit of downhill riding (with a Pike up front) or jumping and the like. The Alias I also have (geometry the same as the XTC) is still a very snappy bike, great for the singletrack and probably more than capable of some shenanigans like jumping etc, but it's not build as strong as the STP, however it does seem to bunny hop easier (I guess due to the steeper head angle), and likewise handles quite well on the trail.

    I'm kind of biased towards Giant, purely because they do tend to provide unbeatable bikes when it comes down to value for money. There are many other brands you could compare, but it is also important to buy from a store that you're happy with and can go back to for any maintenance issues or whatever.

  9. #9
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    i wish the store was in town but honestly i think i can justify the $200 savings right off the bat and sacrifice the ability to get to and from the shop with alot of ease

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