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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Thread: NOOB Dilemma

  1. #1
    dgd
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    New question here. NOOB Dilemma

    Howdy All,

    Last mtb was Trek 7000 zx. Mostly Marin County hills, Tahoe rim trail occasionally, Downieville downhill a few times. Sold that in my mid 30s after first kid was born. Now, son is 7 and I just bought him his first mtb.

    At 43, dad is looking to join him on the trails and re-enter the mtb culture.

    Dilemma: Don't want to spend a lot on a bike until I know 1) that I still have the mtb mojo and 2) my son will become a viable riding buddy.

    So, after some research, comes down to the following "deals" that I'm considering - looking to get the biggest "bang for the buck" on previous year closeouts:

    Diamondback Overdrive 29er - Was $679; Now $374

    Felt Six70 (26er) - Was $679; Now $399

    Fuji Nevada 3.0 (26") - Was $599; Now $349

    GT Timberline (29er) - Was $549; Now $399

    I'm mostly going to be doing "Cross Country" type riding, though, would love to have something that can handle "All Mountain" (hope I'm using the correct terminology). Leaning toward a 29er, but open to comments as to which is more suited for my situation: 29er for XC or 26er for AM? I'm 5' 9" at 160 lbs.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dan

  2. #2
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    Those are all XC bikes and the Felt looks like a 26er not a 29er.

    They would all be good starter bikes. There is not a whole lot to differentiate those bikes other than wheel size. All low end parts.

    My advice to friends who want to try out mountain biking on a small budget but are not sure if they will stick with it is to find a deal on a used bike on Craigslist or the like. If you buy it cheap, you wont lose any depreciation value if you dont like the sport.

  3. #3
    dgd
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    Moe: Thanks for the advice and the correction on the Felt size (yes, 26). Been looking on my area's Craigslist, but not much currently out there - which is why I'm looking toward the "bargain" deals at LBS.

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    Check out the sales section on pinkbike.com. Lots of used there. You should be able to find a decent hardtail for under $500.

  6. #6
    dgd
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    Moe: Thanks for the links. Given that these are all 26" should I assume your advice would be to "stick to what I was previously used to" and not venture into the 29er realm? Also, my prior Trek was a 17.5" and fit my 5-9 frame very well - would the 15" frames be too small for me? Also, notice none of these "older" mtbs had disc breaks. Would you sacrifice discs for better quality other componentry? Or would it be a given to add discs once bought? Sorry for all the questions, but when one has "Yoda's" attention, one seeks his wisdom!

  7. #7
    dgd
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    matw: Thans! Will dive into this large pool. Though many seem to be "local pick up only" - and a ton of Canadians with nice deals, but not sure how $$$ to ship.

  8. #8
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    Is there anyone that would be willing to let you borrow their bike for a few weeks to get your feet wet again?

    Personally, I would go with a 29-er if you are going hardtail. Better traction, more stable, and just makes the bumps feel smaller. I wouldn't worry about the flickability or acceleration differences. At your stage of the game, I don't think it would make much difference. Same goes for tire choices. Although, it seems like many of my favorite tires are becoming available in 29". Pretty soon, 26" might be the one that's not being supported. LOL.
    Just get out and ride!

  9. #9
    dgd
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    Thanks for the advice, Traffic. I think 29er is the way to go given "my stage" (ugh!) of the game.

    To make matters worse, found a new deal on a BAMF Ground n' Pound.

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    When you see a Suntour fork on a bike it is designed for use on bikepaths...or as Suntour says---
    RTR: Recreational trail
    Work out with your buddies: No rough terrain, no steep climbs or downhills! Just floating along the city river or through the forest behind your house.

    No adjustable rebound leads to pogoing and the internal bushings won't last. The 28mm stanchions are flexy. The fork is heavy at 5.5+ lbs.

    Nick at Suntour has worked an upgrade program to a Raidon air fork for about 200 with shipping.
    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

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