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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    New to Mtbr and to Mountain Bike

    Ok, I've been looking around a bit, and decided to register and start my MTB life.

    I used to cycle for roads, but then I had a Job offer and I couldn't take my road bike with me, now that I'm moving again I decided to start a new phase, using my bike to commute when possible and on weekends go to the woods.

    I want to stay below $700, so researching I found these models:

    Felt Q620
    Trek 4500
    Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc
    Cannodale F5

    From what I've read so far, I'm between the Wahoo and the F5.

    Can anybody comment on these babies, and/or suggest other brands/models?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I would check out specialized"s rockhopper bikes
    heres a link:

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32233
    Buy My 2010 Mint COndition Transition Covert LARGE 150mm Full suspension. 2000 firm see classified add

  3. #3
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums, Kwam. I don't think you'll go wrong with either a GF, Cannondale, or a Rockhopper. I have had two Specialized mt bikes (Hardrock Sport, FSR Ground Control I got used) and both bikes are rock solid.

  4. #4
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    Try checking out the Jamis line.My last bike was a rockhopper,and i never really liked the feel of it. 2yrs ago i picked up a Jamis Dakar and loved it! I bought it in 2006 and got an 2005 left over..i paid about $ 525 for it. When it was time to upgrade i picked up another Jamis. Great bikes,customer service,and you get alot of bike for the money.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips.

    Question in terms of quality, the SRAM X-5 is comparable to the Shimano Deore? I mean is there a direct comparison?

  6. #6
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    From past reading that I have done that is correct, they align something like this:

    Deore - X5
    LX - X7
    XT - X9
    XTR - X0

  7. #7
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    I made a table now comparing the F5, Rockhopper Disc, GF Marlin and the Jamis Durango 2.



    I think that, comparing the components the Rockhopper is more expensive. Is there any reason, besides perhaps the brand, why the Specialized is more expensive? I'm a 5'8'' 130lb guy, do I need a Disc Break? I'm asking this because the Marlin doesn't come with one, and I want for now to stay with the original spec and later upgrade.

    PS - prices were taking from online stores, except for the Jamis - which is MSRP, in Chicago (I'm going to buy next week on store, after riding them), if anybody knows the best place to buy there I'd REALLY appreciate it.

  8. #8
    bi-winning
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    Welcome to MTBR.

    Based on your table, I think I vote for the Cannondale. The Specialized seems to have weak components compared to the rest of the bikes.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  9. #9
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    I found the same thing when pricing Specialized, Trek and Gary Fisher. The GF and Trek were pretty close in price, the Specialized was always more expensive with a lower end of components. The frame is a tank, but I don't think it's worth the extra cost when compared to other bikes of lesser or the same price.

    If you think you will want disc brakes at some point then get them now, otherwise you'll have to upgrade your hubs to accepts rotors and that will be more then the $100 it will cost you to do it from the get go.

    The Canondale looks like a nice deal compared to the others, you probably should do a little research on the disc brakes it comes with.

  10. #10
    I post too much.
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    Specialized is overpriced and overhyped, I'd pass.

    Also, crappy low-end disc don't brake any better(and if anything they brake worst) than good quality v-brakes. Disc brakes don't really become necessary until you go downhill extremely fast, or ride in very muddy terrain where v-brakes don't shed mud.

  11. #11
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    I'm really leaning towards the F5 (Jet Black), and from what I read Cannondale has also very good frames, right?

    I just saw that some stores have the 09 model for the F5, I can get one for $750, the major difference I noticed is the brake, it comes with a Avid BB-5 rather than the 08's Shimano 415.

  12. #12
    I post too much.
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    BB5's are much better than shimano's offering, if the price is right and it rides well, I'd say you've found a winner.

    Avid is like the Ferrari of mechanical disc brakes.

  13. #13
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaky69
    BB5's are much better than shimano's offering, if the price is right and it rides well, I'd say you've found a winner.

    Avid is like the Ferrari of mechanical disc brakes.
    But BB5s are the cheapest Ferrari.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  14. #14
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    Just one correction I'm 160lb (still adapting, used to metric system)

    Thanks guys, next week I'll go to the stores and I tell you what I decided.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwam
    Just one correction I'm 160lb (still adapting, used to metric system)

    Thanks guys, next week I'll go to the stores and I tell you what I decided.
    Just a warning, when you buy a new bike, and come to tell us here, people will request that you:

    post pictures

    then

    post pictures again, once you have gotten it dirty.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  16. #16
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    And don't forget the Cannondale frame exchange progrem. Great if you ever get really serious and want to upgrade to a better frame. Not that there's anything wrong with the f5.

  17. #17
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    I've just bought it! at Kozy (www.kozy.com) for $700 + taxes, nice!

    Here some pics (still clean, hehehe):



    Front Derailleur:


    Brakes:


    Now what surprised me the Rear Derailleur:


    I was expecting an X-5 but I didn't complaint

    Anyway I think it was a great deal, and after seeing this and the others I was thinking about I didn't think twice. I know that if I want to go serious I will have to improve some things, but for a beginner/commuter, it's more than enough.

    Thanks for the help folks!

  18. #18
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    Congrats. Hope you enjoy the bike.

  19. #19
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    Just bought the F5 - same exact components as yours. It was down to the Rockhopper and the F5. Cleaner shifts and just a better feel to me made up my mind. The more I learn on MTBR the happier I am with my decision.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider
    Welcome to the forums, Kwam. I don't think you'll go wrong with either a GF, Cannondale, or a Rockhopper. I have had two Specialized mt bikes (Hardrock Sport, FSR Ground Control I got used) and both bikes are rock solid.
    I agree! I've got an 08 Hardrock Comp Disc and have no probs or gripes! For the change you want to spend, you could probably step up to a Rockhopper with a little better components package. Mine cost $500 and change. When I was looking, I found a Giant Yukon in the same price range but with higher end components.

    BTW, the flat black paint job is sweet!

    Last edited by HardRockCop; 08-21-2008 at 06:08 AM.

  21. #21
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    Congrats on the new bike. I think that you will be very happy with your choice...it's a solid platform to start on and very well spec'd at that price. Now get her dirty.

  22. #22
    Geaux ride!
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    No one ever pays attention to the specs on the reflectors or the clear plastic cassette/hub guard. These are important components people!

    /I keed
    -'08 Jamis Dragon Comp
    "Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary…that's what gets you" - Jeremy Clarkson

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