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: Overwhelmed!

  1. #1
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    Overwhelmed!

    Hey all. I just signed up today.

    I used to be pretty hardcore into MTB'ing about 10 years ago. Used to race a bit here and there.. Anyway, I just decided to get back into it, and I'm completely overwhelmed by the new technology and the new bike manufacturers on the market. I still have my 12 year old GIANT, and I'm really looking to get something new. It's a heavy beast, and after hitting a few bike shops this weekend, I realized the new bikes are just awesome.

    So who are the big players these days as far as manufacturers go?

  2. #2
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    All of the BIG manufacturers are still pretty much the same. Before dumping a bunch of money on a bike, I'd suggest checking out this forum in depth, for one...also check out the product review section for a seriously in depth analysis of pretty much every bike on the market.

    Also, test ride as many as possible. The one that feels the best to you should be the one you go with, regardless of brand.

    FWIW I ride a Gary Fisher, and I love the Gensis geometry...I haven't had a chance to really check out their G2 geometry though.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    The big ones are more or less the same, minus GT, Schwinn (bought by Pacific...ala Next bikes at wal-mart), probably Diamondback (they're more into big box stores like Dick's these days), too.

    So, you're left with:
    Specialized
    Giant
    Trek/Fisher
    as the current major players who were big back then.

    You've also got Santa Cruz who has become ever more present over the years. Browse the manufacturers forums down at the bottom of the page. A number of them are specialty manufacturers that produce pretty low volumes, but have something of a cult following.

    Suspension technology is where most of the differences you'll see will be found. I'm not talking about rear linkages and stuff like that...nothing terribly new there (FSR is still what everyone is chasing). The meat of it is in shock technology. Air shocks have really come of age, and even some pretty long travel bikes are coming with air shocks on them. They're also crazy light compared to years ago. 4 inches front (and rear) is considered pretty much xc. Up to 6" is considered 'all mountain' which is basically aggressive xc (riding up and down the mtn plus jumps, hucks, and really gnarly terrain), and more than 6" is the really aggressive DH or free ride (really big air, manmade obstacles, stuff like that). 5" travel bikes can be found in the 26lb range, and 6" travel bikes are in the 30lb range (though some can be less).

    Disc brakes are more or less standard equipment on all but the weight weeniest of bikes. Hydraulic disc brakes seem to offer more performance, while the mechanical disc brakes give folks a lower priced entry point (some still offer good performance).

    The fully rigid singlespeed has a cult following if you like the minimalist approach. Depending on the style of riding you do, you might find 1x9, 2x9, or 3x9 as viable options, too.

    Racing has been strongly de-emphasized in the mtb scene, though endurance events (6, 12, and 24 hour races) do have a following.

    Good luck getting back into riding. There's a lot to catch up on.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    The big ones are more or less the same, minus GT, Schwinn (bought by Pacific...ala Next bikes at wal-mart), probably Diamondback (they're more into big box stores like Dick's these days), too.

    So, you're left with:
    Specialized
    Giant
    Trek/Fisher
    as the current major players who were big back then.

    You've also got Santa Cruz who has become ever more present over the years. Browse the manufacturers forums down at the bottom of the page. A number of them are specialty manufacturers that produce pretty low volumes, but have something of a cult following.

    Suspension technology is where most of the differences you'll see will be found. I'm not talking about rear linkages and stuff like that...nothing terribly new there (FSR is still what everyone is chasing). The meat of it is in shock technology. Air shocks have really come of age, and even some pretty long travel bikes are coming with air shocks on them. They're also crazy light compared to years ago. 4 inches front (and rear) is considered pretty much xc. Up to 6" is considered 'all mountain' which is basically aggressive xc (riding up and down the mtn plus jumps, hucks, and really gnarly terrain), and more than 6" is the really aggressive DH or free ride (really big air, manmade obstacles, stuff like that). 5" travel bikes can be found in the 26lb range, and 6" travel bikes are in the 30lb range (though some can be less).

    Disc brakes are more or less standard equipment on all but the weight weeniest of bikes. Hydraulic disc brakes seem to offer more performance, while the mechanical disc brakes give folks a lower priced entry point (some still offer good performance).

    The fully rigid singlespeed has a cult following if you like the minimalist approach. Depending on the style of riding you do, you might find 1x9, 2x9, or 3x9 as viable options, too.

    Racing has been strongly de-emphasized in the mtb scene, though endurance events (6, 12, and 24 hour races) do have a following.

    Good luck getting back into riding. There's a lot to catch up on.
    Thanks for the run down.

    I've still got my Giant ATX 770, with a Rock Shock mag 21! I'm going to go test out a Rockhopper Comp, Giant, and possibly a couple Gary Fisher bikes today.

    What about Kona bikes? I've heard they are pretty nice as well.

  5. #5
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    Kona makes nice bikes, Jamis and GT too. And Cannondale of course. Plenty of choices I wouldn't say any particular brand is best, just look for a bike you like and a shop that treats you right.

  6. #6
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    A buddy of mine bought a Santa Cruz Superlight and loved it. Then he bought a Kona frame and built it into a single speed. He loved the geometry/feel of the kona so much he almost turned around and sold the santa cruz on the spot, as he never rode it. Just another opinion.

  7. #7
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    So many choices. I'm going to stick with my ATX 770 for a bit, just to make sure I stick with the riding. If i get back into it as much as I think I'm going to, I'll invest in a decent ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyzum
    So many choices. I'm going to stick with my ATX 770 for a bit, just to make sure I stick with the riding. If i get back into it as much as I think I'm going to, I'll invest in a decent ride.
    What a great idea!!! If you do catch the bug I bet you will be lusting after your dream bike in no time. I suggest you avoid the urge to heavily upgrade your old bike and just save for the new bike with all the new technology. But do ride what you have and you will figure out what you want and have a ton of fun in the process. Enjoy and welcome back!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    What a great idea!!! If you do catch the bug I bet you will be lusting after your dream bike in no time. I suggest you avoid the urge to heavily upgrade your old bike and just save for the new bike with all the new technology. But do ride what you have and you will figure out what you want and have a ton of fun in the process. Enjoy and welcome back!
    I'm going to do that I think. Just from going on the ride yesterday I know I'm going to need a new bike. I can tell my wheels need to be rebuilt, my shock definitely is toast, and my derailleurs are about at the end of their life. The bike still works, and I can probably get another month of life out of it before I need to upgrade.

    I feel oldschool as hell riding it. 1993 MTBs FTW!

  10. #10
    pronounced may-duh
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    You could probably get a lot of miles out of a decent tune up. Even an old bike can rock on the trails when it's in good working order. You may only need some fine tuning. Take it to your LBS and get an estimate. If it starts looking like the money pit save for the new one.

  11. #11
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    I tested out a Kona Hoss Deluxe today. I have to say I was pretty into it. It seems to fit me nicely, and what I've read, the bike was designed for big guys. Its a bit out of my price range though..

  12. #12
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    Check it out! Bought a bike this weekend. I'd been looking around craigslist for the past week or so and found this bad boy. It's barely be ridden, and is in near perfect condition. Seems the previous owner bought it, and rode it once.



    SPECS:
    - Size: Medium
    - Fork: Rock Shox Psylo XC, 4.0"-5.0" adjustable travel
    - Rear Shock: Fox Vanilla RC, 6.0" travel
    - Frame: 6061 T6 aluminum
    - Hubs: Front/ aluminum disc, 20mm axle Rear/ Formula aluminum, Q/R disc
    - Rims: Sun Rims Rhyno Lite
    - Tires: 26 x 2.35" Maxxis High Roller
    - Weight: 31lbs
    - Brakeset: Hayes hydraulic disc brakes
    - Bottom Bracket: TruVativ Sealex SL
    - Chain: SRAM PC-59, 1/2 x 3/32"
    - Crankset: TruVativ Hussefelt
    - Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
    - Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT SGS
    - Shift Levers: Shimano Deore RapidFire SL
    - Handlebar: Titec Ringleader


    Woot!

  13. #13
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    how much did that set you back off of craigslist?

  14. #14
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    $480

  15. #15
    meh... whatever
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    now its time to ss your old mtb
    "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    now its time to ss your old mtb
    SS ?

  17. #17
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyzum
    SS ?
    single speed......
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    single speed......
    Ah word.

  19. #19
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    I was in the same boat as you two years ago. I used to pund around on a trek 930 about ten or so years ago (kids are my excuse). I decided to start riding again with a couple of buddies so I stole their bikes to see what the full suspension "craze" was all about. Holy crap, what a difference! Things I used to have to walk across I can now bomb through, and it's not because I am better. I am probably worse, since I am forty overworked and out of shape.

    I think all of the major guys make great bikes theses days. Ten years ago, FS had its share of issues, but those days are long gone. I ended up with a Marin because I found a really good deal. Could not be happier. The bike can take a beating, well, except for that damn rear hanger. Easy fix though.

    Have fun.

  20. #20
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    Yeah man FS is definitely the joint. I have yet to really pummel my bike, but took a brief ride earlier this week that was alot of fun. Dying to hit the trails for a proper ride tomorrow.

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