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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    Noob looking for 2 new bikes, well maybe just one.

    I am looking for a bike for my wife and myself. We are both trail and ultra runners and would love to rip around on some of the trails we run. BTW thank you mtn bikers for taking such great care of your trails they are the best to run on. Ok I think I want a Trek Stache 7, which is just over my price range but I got the green light from my wife. The LBS with the Stache 7 is ok not great they offer Trek, Giant, and Cannondale. They will give us a break on the price if we get two bikes from them.

    My wife and I will be riding together but if there is a easy and a hard way she will pick the easy way, I prefer the hard way. Anyway she is telling me she wants a women's bike, I don't know why. Would a Talon 29er 0 W work for her it does not have a tapered head tube (what ever that means) or Trek Cali SL or s (no lockout).

    The other LBS was pushing us to the Felt Nine 60, which looks ok. The thing about the other shop is they are super nice and say they only have so much wiggle room on the bikes but will give us a break on accessories and free tune ups. So I might be able to swing two Felt Nine 50s but I think the Stache is a better bike for the same money.

    One last thing how do I help my wife understand why bikes don't come with pedals?

  2. #2
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    Some bikes do come with pedals but many of your higher end ones do not because often pedals are a personal choice. Some people like clipless and others like flats.

    Tapered head tubes are a little stiffer up at the head tube. It sounds like the way your wife will be riding it isn't even a concern. Neither of my bikes are tapered and still ride plenty hard without concern.

    That being said, I am surprised many of them come with seats. lol

    Anyways, is sounds like you already picked yours out and assuming you have ridden it and are comfortable, pull the trigger. "Good not Great is a matter of opinion and for a first time rider, I think the Stache 7 is great but for a 10 year veteran it may just be good.

    As far as the wifey goes, the best answer is have he hop on the bikes and ride them and see what she likes.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  3. #3
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    None of the shops in my area have the bikes we want to look at in stock. They have us ride similar models to get a feel. Are all forks upgrade-able?


    lol, while typing this my wife just called to ask if I have ordered bikes yet "its been two weeks" I have been reading and reading for two weeks now. The LBS is probably sick of me calling.

  4. #4
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    Few more questions
    If I have not been on a bike (other then the trikes w/beer holders and baskets we keep at the in laws in Key West) in 15ish years how do I know what our personal choice of pedals would be?

    Whats the difference between 9 speed and 3x10?

  5. #5
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    Hmm. There's also the Trek X-Calliber, which only comes with 100mm of fork travel, instead of the 120mm on the Stache 7, BUT, the X-Calliber has a Reba fork, and the Stache has a Recon Silver fork. Reba is considered a much better fork, compared to the Recon Silver. I have the Recon Silver and think its great, but supposedly, the Reba is better.

    The rest of the bike specs are similar, same brakes and the drivetrain is the SRAM equivalent.

    The X-Calliber does not have a tapered head tube, but I'm not sure that matters too much.

    I'm just throwing this out there, but you can also look at the Trek Fuel EX 5. Its a 26er full suspension. Has the Recon Silver Coil (the Stache has the Recon Silver Air), but of course, you get the rear suspension as well. I was deciding between these bikes just a few weeks ago and ended up with the Fuel. Got it for $1750, so you might be able to find it for around that price. Note, you get a slightly lower end drivetrain on the Fuel. Depends on the terrain you will be riding though, you might not want a full suspension.


    You should also ride all these bikes, and make sure the one you get fits you properly.

    9 speed means there are 9 gears on the back tire. 3x10 means there are 3 gears in the front, 10 in the back. Looks like the Stache 7 is a 2x10, the X-Calliber is a 3x10, and the Fuel is a 3x10.

  6. #6
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    Noob looking for 2 new bikes, well maybe just one.

    Any of the bikes you're looking at will be good starter bikes. Ride a bunch of them. A couple thoughts:

    1. You and your wife don't need (and probably should have) the same model bike.

    2. Why bikes don't come with pedals: same reason running shoes don't come with socks or custom orthotics. Everyone has their own preference.




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  7. #7
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    Forks are upgrade-able, as in you can buy a new one. Manufacturers are going toward tapered head tubes, so you may want to look into whether or not they will significantly slow the production of non-tapered on their top end models in the near future. Also, I have no idea where you ride, but if there are long steep sections, and your wife is on a 29er she may need low gearing. A 3 x 10 or a 2 x 10 with a 24 tooth front chain ring might be important for that kind of riding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    Any of the bikes you're looking at will be good starter bikes. Ride a bunch of them. A couple thoughts:

    1. You and your wife don't need (and probably should have) the same model bike.

    2. Why bikes don't come with pedals: same reason running shoes don't come with socks or custom orthotics. Everyone has their own preference.




    Sent from my rotary phone and compiled with a telegraph machine.
    But I can run without socks.

  9. #9
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    Noob looking for 2 new bikes, well maybe just one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    But I can run without socks.
    And technically, I can ride without pedals.


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  10. #10
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    I'd go X-Cal for the better fork and a 2012 for the more tuneable dual air Reba which Sram changed to solo for 2013. A used 2012 would be my choice over a new 2013.
    For your wife a men's model XTC Composite 3 gets good reviews for smoothing out the bumps and could be light enough to win her over to a non W model. I would put a little extra into her bike to help give her the best impression of trail riding from the start.
    It may be worth it to put off the purchase for a little bit longer.
    This is the time of year for factory sponsored demo days at local trails. Ask your LBS what the schedule is and test the bikes on trail.

  11. #11
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    There is a ton of Trek X-Caliber vs Stache 7 threads here that I have read and they almost all say Stache 7, why?

  12. #12
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    Noob looking for 2 new bikes, well maybe just one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    There is a ton of Trek X-Caliber vs Stache 7 threads here that I have read and they almost all say Stache 7, why?
    My hypothesis: there are more Stache fan boys the x-cal fan boys.




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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    There is a ton of Trek X-Caliber vs Stache 7 threads here that I have read and they almost all say Stache 7, why?
    By the time your skill development gets to the point where 120mm is a necessary factor you couldl be looking at frame builds like a Titus Fireline titanium or anything else.

  14. #14
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    So, the Stache is not a good frame? My wife will kill me if I start this process over again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    So, the Stache is not a good frame? My wife will kill me if I start this process over again.
    The Stache frame is fine. It's just that as a relative noobie you'll hardly notice the difference and by the time your skill level reaches a point that you can tell the difference you may want a more advanced/different bike altogether.

    Your wife may be getting impatient but you are going about this the right way. Doing all your research BEFORE you purchase.

    I rushed out and bought the first bikes that took our fancy for myself and my wife back in October then jumped on this website and began researching/discovering all the things that were crap about my bike and all the things I wanted in a bike. LOL I have since upgraded my Suntour fork to a Rockshox Reba but with the benefit of hindsight the extra cash could have been spent on a better overall bike from the start. My wife is pretty happy with hers of course. She's not the obsessive equipment junkie us fellas tend to be. LOL

    Having said all that I viewed the Trek Cobia and X Caliber at another local bike shop recently and they are both very nice bikes with good specs. The X Caliber has the Reba fork and other higher end specs. Very good bike. My noob take on the Trek Stache is that it is just the latest and greatest and accordingly getting all the hype as new releases always do. That's not to say it's not a good bike, I'm sure it's a great bike but as others have pointed out the X Caliber has the higher end fork.

    Re the pedals. I think most lower end bikes come with pretty average/crap pedals because pedals are such a personal choice that there is no point putting on expensive kit that is going to be immediately replaced. That is why the higher end bikes sometimes don't have pedals at all. No point putting on top of the line clipless pedals if the purchaser is going to immediately switch them out for flats. The running shoes and socks thing was a bad analogy!

    Anyway not sure if any of that has helped much but good luck.

    Oh and one last thing that puts this all in perspective. I have a couple of buddies who ride pretty crap, low end entry level bikes that they bought secondhand and they just ride the crap out of them without a second thought about the specs of their bikes or the frame geometry or whether they have coil fork vs air fork. They don't know the difference between a Suntour and a sunset and could care less. They just ride their bikes and both outride me. It's not about the bike - at least for some.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    So, the Stache is not a good frame? My wife will kill me if I start this process over again.
    Compare the geo between them and it looks like an X-Cal , HT angle ,ST angle and chainstay are the same but with 120mm travel. The wheelbase of the Stache is longer so it may handle tight turner a bit slower.
    29s are being moved into areas where full suspension 26 bikes were the choice as the bikes are developed. Bikes like a YelliScreamy and a titanium frame build with geo like the Titus Fireline Evo have a slack ht angle of the Stache for stability at speed but a much shorter chainstay for quicker handling--434 vs 445. Yelli is 424. As a learner you won't be pushing things that far for a awhile until you know alot more about your local terrain and how you and your wife like to ride. That's why I would get her the XTC 3 to keep her on the more fun trails.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    That's why I would get her the XTC 3 to keep her on the more fun trails.
    This one?


  18. #18
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    your are paying a premium to buy in a lbs vs online brand.

    Since you are paying it, might as well test ride all the bikes, at least in the parking lot, and get which one which feels right for fit.

    now.. if I convince you to come to the darkside and buy an airborne or bikesdirect bike.

  19. #19
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    I hear you but, I like the idea of supporting a LBS. Plus I will get the fit right and free tunes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    Sorry-- I left out the Composite part. It is the least expensive carbon frame bike from a LBS. An X-Cal would be a good AL frame bike for her also. The carbon will be lighter and more compliant on the trail signifigant considerations for someone you want to get to ride the tough trails and is not available in a women's frame. Another option is a HongFu FM056 Chinese carbon frame and build it up. Maybe that would work after you have some time to look for deals.

  21. #21
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    Man, you're trying too hard. Buy whatever bike you like, all that matters is that you enjoy riding it and that it fits properly. If you have those two items down then everything else is just icing. There is nothing wrong with any of the bikes you've listed and certainly nothing that should make you ignore whichever bike you enjoy riding more. Ask the shops if they are willing to bring in something as a no-obligation thing so you can test ride before you buy it but only do that if you're certain you'll be purchasing something from their shop because it's tough on a small shop to have stock of a bike they might not sell.

    Per the pedals: expect to replace the pedals on any bike you purchase. Almost across the board the pedals bikes come equipped with are for test ride purposes only. While, as Ken pointed out, it is possible to ride a bike without pedals, it would be hard to sell one on a test ride without pedals so manufacturers throw on whatever pedal they got the best price on and let it sit on the floor. Budget a bit of money for good quality, metal bodied (some exceptions to this, but not going to mention it further), pinned pedals for both bikes. Ignore clipless until you develop some bike skills, they're overrated anyway.

    Both of you need to ride bikes; if not the exact model, then a representative model with the same geometry and sizing. Then you need to compare bikes. Then you each buy the one that you like best; it doesn't matter for what reasons so don't try to badger each other into giving reasons.

    Screw everyone who says you need to immediately throw away the fork (or whatever other part someone will bring up) and put a better one on. I don't know where the tide of MTBR members describing every stock fork as disposable came from, but I'd really like a filter which removes those posts. A "cheap" bike will come with a "cheap" fork: get over it. Yes the damping circuits aren't as sophisticated, so freaking what? People have had fun on every type of fork from rigid to Quadra 21s to Fox 40s and people will continue to do so. A cheap fork isn't the end of the world and there is absolutely no reason that people should recommend people buying bikes on a budget throw away a brand new and very expensive part of their bike right off the showroom floor. If someone starts a thread discussing why their Suntour entry level fork is bothering them, then that's a great time to bring up the merits of replacing a fork. Until then, let the people be.

    If someone told you that the tires your bike came with get a lot of flats, wouldn't you be hyper vigilant about flats and then attribute every flat you get to those "junk" tires of yours? Of course you would, and you would spend every ride analyzing how crap the tires are. So just by hearing someone talk about how puncturable the tires they have are have ruined the ride. Same thing with a fork. For most people, a first mountain bike is a lot to take in. Gears, terrain, brakes... there is a lot of things to learn and get comfortable with. Someone who rides a lot isn't going to be especially happy moving from a Fox fork to an elastomer sprung, hardly damped fork but for someone who doesn't know any better, it's just one more thing to learn. People adapt, it's one of the most amazing things about the human body and mind.

    Beginner bikes are for beginners and come with beginner suitable parts. If you tackle non-beginner terrain then it's time to start thinking about upgrades, until then shut your mouths about replacing perfectly functional parts!
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  22. #22
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    Seriously dude, you are WAY over thinking this whole process.

    Figure out your budget, go in to the bike shop, buy bike.

    It will be great
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  23. #23
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    Now you sound like my wife. She just said at dinner "I don't care what you get me, I'll get use to anything. I don't want to try out bikes."

    Think ill get her a Cobia but she better not want to take the stache when we go for a ride. LOL.

  24. #24
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    You need to ask her if she would let you buy her runninig shoes or her bra ,maybe then she will think about how she might want to try out bikes herself.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptex View Post
    Now you sound like my wife. She just said at dinner "I don't care what you get me, I'll get use to anything. I don't want to try out bikes."

    Think ill get her a Cobia but she better not want to take the stache when we go for a ride. LOL.
    Either she is overwhelmed by the over thinking of the purchase or she really doesn't want the bike to begin with.

    Assuming that she is just overwhelmed, she needs to make sure it fits her or she may never get used to it.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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