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 question here. Oldby/Newbie question-smart build for all-around

    I've been reading the forums here avidly for a while. I was hoping I might be able to draw on people's good advice here. I used to be an avid cross country mountain biker back in the 1990s, but I basically ran out of time and haven't ridden much for the last six or seven years. I have an old specialized stump jumper dual suspension from roughly 2003 that's in good shape. I'd be happy to canabalize it for any available parts.

    After doing a bunch of test rides, I've figured out this much. I'd like to stick with a steel frame. I don't want to build, or buy, a full time mountain bike. From what I've ridden so far, I've liked the Surly Troll and Cross Check, and also the All City Space Horse. My goal is to put something together, or buy something built, that would be useful for the following three things (in descending order of importance):

    1. Mixed terrain long day trips (maybe 60% paved road, 30% unpaved road/fire road/gravel, 10% trail).

    2. Commuting

    3. configurable for more off road/unpaved riding.

    I'm open to any general advice. I'm happy to get something out of the box, but I can do some of a build myself. There's a good local bike shop that would help with parts that are too tricky for me. I prefer drop bars, and I'm pretty indifferent between brifters and barcons, although I like the former a bit more. I'd like to keep my budget under $1500, and less is better. I'm not obsessed about weight, but I'd like to try to keep the bike at under 27lbs ideally. Don't care much about disk v. cantilever brakes. I'm about 5'9" with a long torso and shorter legs. I'd like to avoid sora shifters if I can-I don't like the configuration much.

    Thank you for an advice. I'd really like to invest in a good frame that I can build on as I figure out my main riding priorities over the next few years. I've been to the local bike shops, and I'll buy from there. Unfortunately, the staff are somewhat inexperienced, and I'd like to hear a few other perspectives.
    Last edited by Image52; 07-07-2013 at 06:39 PM. Reason: made an error in my description

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    There are about two stainless steel cyclocross frames.

    Buy one.

    You're welcome. :-D
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    I'm just about 100% sure the OP is actually just looking for a chromoly frame, rather than a stainless one.

    I don't have a lot of knowledge about cylco-X bikes, but in general, your money will go farther buying complete.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm just about 100% sure the OP is actually just looking for a chromoly frame, rather than a stainless one.

    I don't have a lot of knowledge about cylco-X bikes, but in general, your money will go farther buying complete.
    Yeah, I did. Sorry for the brain freeze! I just meant to write "steel".

    Thank you for the advice on buying complete. That's very helpful.

  5. #5
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    You can take the money saved on speccing and building from scratch and put it towards a second wheel/tire set and bar/stem combo, etc in keeping with your multi-configuration plan. Also want to take into consideration items like racks and bags, fenders, lighting, tools etc if you're gonna be commuting or doing long adventure-type rides. surly seems to have a pretty good reputation. You might want to check into the 2 subforums below this one and also the Commuting one for some ideas.

  6. #6
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    After reading the review of the Space Horse in Bicycle Times, I'd love to spend some time on one.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    After reading the review of the Space Horse in Bicycle Times, I'd love to spend some time on one.
    I've spent some time on one, and it rides really nicely. At this point, since it sounds like it makes sense to go with a full build, I'm leaning towards the Space Horse.

    slapheadmofo: Good idea. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    LOL, if it doesn't have to be stainless, you get a lot more selection.

    The Surly Cross-Check is popular for configurable and clearance for off-road tires.

    Salsa had some variations around the theme.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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