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
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Newbie -- Looking for some bike purchase advice

    Hello fellow MTBers,

    I'm new here, and pretty new to this awesome sport.

    I've ridden trails on/off since I was about 14, now I'm 23 and ready to really get into it and also use this as a tool to get back into shape. Ending my lacrosse career in high school and venturing into college doing little to no physical activity while visiting bars rather frequently was not the best idea.

    Any way, I'm left with an old dinky Huffy Superia 26", which is a bit too small for me, and I'm looking for a new bike.

    Copy and paste the below URL to see the trails I'll be riding.

    "nycmtb.com/cunningham/Cunningham-trail-map.pdf"

    I guess these trails would be considered XC if I'm not mistaken?

    I'm looking for a 29er Hardtail, and I want to say my budget is ~$600. I'd be willing to spend a bit more if I could find a great deal some where.

    My LBS sells only Giant, Trek, Scott, Yeti, Jamis and Kona. I'd like to purchase from them as they seem like very knowledgeable guys, and also offer free lifetime tune-ups.

    From what I see Kona and Yeti don't produce bikes in my price range even though I really like the look of some them.. haha.

    Any way, from the listed companies can anyone recommend a particular bike?

    Pros of a 29er? Cons?

    I've only gave a little test ride to some giant 29er, but never got a chance to really test one out.

    I'm 5' 10" and 250 if that'll help anyone make a recommendation for me.

    Is a 29er hardtail suitable for the trails I linked above? Should I shell out a bit more and aim for a full suspension?

    Thanks,

    Stan

  2. #2
    Ba ba ba bird bird bird
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    You will be fine on a hardtail 29er. I would ride all of the offerings in your price range, and purchase whichever bike you like best. Really all of those manufacturers make great bikes.

    I personally ride a Giant Talon 29er hardtail and love it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattC555 View Post
    ....

    I personally ride a Giant Talon 29er hardtail and love it.
    I second this!

    You will get the best bang for your buck with Giant but test ride as many as you can. Pick the one that feels right.
    Mountain Biking is not a hobby. It's a lifestyle.

  4. #4
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Thanks for the input guys!

  5. #5
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Going to drop in to my LBS today and check out the Giants they have for sale.

  6. #6
    BHE
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    How are the bike on Bikes direct I am also looking for a new bike, i am a Clysdale and 6'3 370 But I don't want to break the bank until I get into the sport, it has been about 6 years since I rode last and the bike was supplied to me by the Police Dept as wellas all maintenace

  7. #7
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    every brand at a specific price point (unless something is on sale, left over, etc) will have very similar, if not the exact same components. so ride them all and pick the most comfortable, whatever's in your price range. you will not find that one company sells a bike with better components than another at the same price. that just doesn't happen anymore. the only thing different is the frames, the parts are all the same junk now.

  8. #8
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    every brand at a specific price point (unless something is on sale, left over, etc) will have very similar, if not the exact same components. so ride them all and pick the most comfortable, whatever's in your price range. you will not find that one company sells a bike with better components than another at the same price. that just doesn't happen anymore. the only thing different is the frames, the parts are all the same junk now.
    Thanks for the insight.

  9. #9
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    At 600 the Airborne Guardian has the best fork- the Rockshox XC28, a coil fork that weigh close to 5lbs. Pretty smooth and an upgrade at 3.5lbs is the RS Reba a dual air fork that comes on the Airborne Goblin at 1150. Free shipping on those until 7/30. You should fit on a Medium. Both are 29s.
    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian

  10. #10
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    Also the 2011 Karakoram 2.0 at Bluesky...

    BlueSkyCycling.com - GT Karakoram 2.0 Disc 29er Bike
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  11. #11
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Thanks for the bike sale info guys...

    However I think I wanna stick to my LBS simply due to the fact that the bike will come assembled and even more importantly I am given free lifetime tune-ups & adjustments. Plus its an LBS that specializes in MTBs... so don't think I can go wrong. Have read nothing but great reviews and have friends who have referred me as well. Plus its <1 mile from my house.

    Hopefully I'll be able to snag a deal there, if not I know their lowest Giant 29er is ~$650.. I believe the Talon 2.. not entirely sure.

  12. #12
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Here is a proper link to the trail I'll be using my new bike on..

    NYCMTB Cunningham Park

  13. #13
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    If you have a good bike shop then it makes sense to support them. Without support, businesses go under.

    If you can get by the next few months on your current bike, you will be able to take advantage of your shop reducing the prices of 2012 models to make room for 2013 models. Plus you can save a little more in your bike account and may be able to purchase a bike one level up than you will get if you buy now.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  14. #14
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    If you have a good bike shop then it makes sense to support them. Without support, businesses go under.

    If you can get by the next few months on your current bike, you will be able to take advantage of your shop reducing the prices of 2012 models to make room for 2013 models. Plus you can save a little more in your bike account and may be able to purchase a bike one level up than you will get if you buy now.
    Sounds like a plan... just wish I didn't have such a bad itch to go right now! Haha

  15. #15
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I know all about that "itch".

    Here's something to consider:

    Most bike companies offer multiple "price point" options. Many times the frame is the same, only the component specs differ. The main differences in the various levels are the fork and wheelset, then drivetrain. Cockpit components (seat, stem, handlebars, grips, pedals) are personal preferences in order to dial in proper fitment/comfort.

    One will read many posts asking for suggestions to "upgrade" their brand new bikes. Let's say bike "A" costs $500 and bike "B" costs $750. Bike "A" has a $150 fork and $125 wheelset. Bike "B" has a $350 fork and $250 wheelset.

    It would cost $600 to "upgrade" bike "A" fork and wheelset to Bike "B" specs. But bike "A" doesn't have the upgraded drivetrain of bike "B". Owner "A" has spent $1100 and owner "B" spent $750 and has a better bike. Therefore, I do not consider this upgrading, I consider this a very poor purchasing decision.

    Patience and saving a little more money over the next few months will return dividends that you will appreciate for years to come.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  16. #16
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    I know all about that "itch".

    Here's something to consider:

    Most bike companies offer multiple "price point" options. Many times the frame is the same, only the component specs differ. The main differences in the various levels are the fork and wheelset, then drivetrain. Cockpit components (seat, stem, handlebars, grips, pedals) are personal preferences in order to dial in proper fitment/comfort.

    One will read many posts asking for suggestions to "upgrade" their brand new bikes. Let's say bike "A" costs $500 and bike "B" costs $750. Bike "A" has a $150 fork and $125 wheelset. Bike "B" has a $350 fork and $250 wheelset.

    It would cost $600 to "upgrade" bike "A" fork and wheelset to Bike "B" specs. But bike "A" doesn't have the upgraded drivetrain of bike "B". Owner "A" has spent $1100 and owner "B" spent $750 and has a better bike. Therefore, I do not consider this upgrading, I consider this a very poor purchasing decision.

    Patience and saving a little more money over the next few months will return dividends that you will appreciate for years to come.
    Thanks for the advice...

    I've been doing a buncha reading and it seems like many people recommend a hard tail as a first bike especially for XC because it is supposed to teach you to use your body to absorb the bumps, etc. However there is a good handful of people that have reached out to me stating that I should get the best bike I can get (a full suspension). Anyone care to give their 2 cents?

  17. #17
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    You should purchase the best bike you can afford. Which is why I suggested saving more money as you wait for bike shops to chop prices on 2012 models to make room for 2013 models.

    A low end full suspension bike will have low end suspension and low end components. For less cash, you can purchase a hard tail with a much better fork, much better wheelset, and much better drivetrain.


    In the future you could purchase a FS frame and swap the majority of your quality components from your HT to the new FS frame.

    Using my Bike "A" and Bike "B" example applied to a full suspension bike, "upgrading" low tier suspension front and rear can hit $1,000 very easily. You will still have low level wheelset ($500-$1,000 upgrade) and low level drivetrain ($600-$800 upgrade).

    I have a DH rig, 6"X6" rig, 5" HT & a DJ'er. I can shread 80% of my local SoCal trails on my HT and have a great time doing it.

    Contrary to what the media and maybe your peers may suggest, a quality HT with quality fork is not a "lesser" bike than a full suspension bike.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  18. #18
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    About the "learn on a hardtail" theory. In my opinion, the theory is incomplete. As I have mentioned previously, invest in the best bike you can afford.

    The premise behind the "learn on a HT" theory is based on the assumption that one will acquire better skills as far as line choice, body positioning, blah, blah, blah. In my opinion, one acquires these skills on whatever rig you ride (unless you simply have no skills at all).

    Granted, a full blown DH rig can plow through most rock gardens, and a HT rider would be foolish to follow the same line. I do not consider this "better line choice skills", I consider this "using your F'ing brain skills".

    HT's and FS bikes obviously ride differently. Good suspension bikes will definitely be more forgiving and can save your ass in situations but I do not equate this fact with "sloppy riding skills". I believe quality suspension allows a skilled rider to push their limits and opens up opportunities that would not be appropriate for "most" HT riders. I personally know 3 HT riders that can blow away most FS riders on any trail.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  19. #19
    n0Ob MTBer
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    Thanks! That was very informative. I understand what you're getting at. If its not too much trouble would you be link me some better quality HT bikes? I am assuming that pretty much every bike at the $600-$750 price point is just about the same with some varying degree of components. My LBS does have some 2011s in stock so I might be able I snag a deal. Off the top of my head I know they carry Kona, Giant, Trek, Yeti and Niner..

  20. #20
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    Pick the fork first. For your size you need a coil fork with an accessopry spring within your weight range. Or an air fork of good quality like a RockShox Reba or Manitou Tower Expert(with XXL spring) or Pro with revalving. Airborne Goblin has a Reba at 1150.
    Top Ten 29"er Products of 2011: Airborne Goblin 29
    Trek X-Cal or Superfly
    Scott Scale 29 Elite(2012) or 950(13)

    There's another bike I would consider . A titanium frame HT with a Reba fork. 1700 for the bike when most ti frame are double. Ti is great for smoothing out the bumps. 17.5

    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles
    Last edited by eb1888; 08-02-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  21. #21
    247
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    At your size (mine also) you should get AT LEAST a Reba (dual air) fork in my opinion. I would also post this question on the 29er forum (more people to tell you about options) on a bike.

    Because if you are spending $600---if you saved Twice that you could get a bike that is Four times better than what you are looking at now.

  22. #22
    MilitaryBrat
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    Wow and now I feel so in over my head!

  23. #23
    YYZ
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    Man, remember it all comes down to your choice.
    buy it now, or save a little more ($400) and get this - XtC 2 (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | Canada

  24. #24
    local bike dr.
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    I've recently gotten the itch to get back on the trails after 14 years hiatus. Last decent bike I had was a Trek 850 from '89, was a cromo (steel) frame, solid fork, and I beat the snot out of it. 3 ft. drops, rooty, rutty, didn't matter, i rode it without fear for ten years...
    I've looked at alot of "entry" level bikes lately... and for my sub $700 budget, 2012 Giant Revel 0 looks to be the most bike for the money. They tried to sell me on a 29er, but for the same price you take a drop in component quality, and a pogo stick for a front fork. I went in to the LBS hoping to get a Trek since the last one i had was a trooper, but you have to spend $200 more or you're stuck with the same pogo stick fork. (meaning it will bounce back up just as quickly as it went down, which is NOT good, you must have damping on the return)

  25. #25
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    if you havent looked on bikedirect.com , you should take a peek , they got pretty good deals
    08 Ironhorse Yakuza
    04 Santa Cruz V10
    15 Gravity Bullseye Monster
    04 Giant Simple

    My craigslist for sale

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