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.
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10

    Returning after an 8 year layoff...

    Hello to all

    I used to frequent these forums back around 9 or 10 years ago and stopped riding, almost completely, for numerous reasons- too many to mention(and some, not very good )

    But, i'm back now and working on getting back into shape and having a lot of fun.

    Some questions.
    I am currently riding my '99 GF Paragon, this one.... (still deliciously ugly) http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/B...agon&Type=bike

    I'm wondering how far bikes have come in the last few years. I'm seriously considering buying a new one, but don't really know whether to stay HT or go for FS. I'll mostly be riding local single track, nothing too insane.

    I'm really interested in the Trek 8000 vs Trek Fuel EX8. Also, would the 8500 be worth $1000 more than the 8000? If I do decide to purchase a new bike, it's a big deal, as i'm far from a rich man...... but I do like nice bikes(and bass guitars ). In other words, i'd have to work hard at saving for it, so it will be a fairly large investment for me.

    I want a bike that will last me a while without too many upgrades. I'm more of the mindset that I will buy something and leave it "as is" until it needs replaced. I'll also be riding some paved/limestone paths, so would FS slow me down?

    I'm not getting any younger @39 y.o., and thought maybe FS would be the way to go for the comfort factor.

    What would you do in my place? Should I bother upgrading my '99 Paragon at all? Or stick to my "motto"?
    Any and all input is greatly appreciated. It's good to be back

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    569
    The new suspension and hydraulic brakes are massively superior to what was available 10 years ago. Shifting is better too, but not by the same margin.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    105
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...mcomp_ds08.htm

    This bike is sick for $1299
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...elite_ds09.htm

    But for what you're riding, I think your current bike would suit you just fine.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thanks guys.
    Noya, that Fantom IS sick. You're correct though. My bike does suit me just fine.... for now. My plan is to ride the dirt out of it through the summer/fall season and to go from there.
    I guess more than anything, i;m just wondering if I should go FS. The frame on my '99 Paragon is still in perfect condition, so I have a pretty cool HT.
    Have pedals changed much, or are my Bontrager RE-1 pedals still compatible with current SPD shoes? Also, has suspension gotten so much better that the Rock Shox Judy XC is considered terrible? Worth the $$$ for an upgrade?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    105
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzak
    I guess more than anything, i;m just wondering if I should go FS. The frame on my '99 Paragon is still in perfect condition, so I have a pretty cool HT.
    Have pedals changed much, or are my Bontrager RE-1 pedals still compatible with current SPD shoes? Also, has suspension gotten so much better that the Rock Shox Judy XC is considered terrible? Worth the $$$ for an upgrade?
    Riding it this year sounds like a good plan. And your bike was/is pretty decently spec'd.

    If you want to throw some money add it, I'd look for a used Tora fork on ebay or craigslist or something similar that you could find for $70-100 (because rebuilding yours would probably cost $50+ for new seals and spring). A Tora will be much torsionally stiffer but will definitely weigh a pound or so more than your old Judy (I think).

    Disc brakes would be nice if you ride in the wet/mud but that would require a new fork and wheels/hubs, so you'd be looking at $200+ for brakes and used wheels, then the disc compatible fork...so $300+. But at that price, I'd rather just the bike for $200(?) and buy a new entry-level hardtail that already has discs and a fresh (albeit low-end) fork and gears, like the Forge for $371 (w/10% Target Visa) sign-up.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    569
    "Also, has suspension gotten so much better that the Rock Shox Judy XC is considered terrible? Worth the $$$ for an upgrade?"

    Well, how about this: My 2005 Rock Shox Sid beats the crap out of a Judy, and my 2009 Fox Float beats the crap out of my Sid. Being a betting man, the Fox is are where I put my money.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2
    Hey Rayzak I am in the same boat, have not rode for 12 years and just getting back into it. I am 44 so taking it slow and easy even though I think I am in good shape. I usually run 20-30 miles a week and wanted to start biking again. I purchased a Kona Blast which for me is a nice bike. I am just getting my riding legs in shape on the road and plan on hitting the trails in a few weeks. I am stoked to be biking again and can not wait to spend some quiet time in the trees.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    88
    Welcome back!

    I'm kind of in the same boat as far as the layoff. With career, wife, kids, mortgage, and all of my riding buddies going in different directions with their lives I got out of the sport for almost 10 years. I still have my 98 S-Works HT (mostly a ride in the neighborhood with the bike trailer now) bike. I'm getting the swingarm repaired on a 99 DBR V8 that I'm going to fix back up (make a buddy bike, or give my wife a reason to get back into riding).

    I guess I kind of jumped off the deep end back into the sport though. My old riding buddies and I are getting back together more often and doing it bigger than ever. I went out and bought me a new Santa Cruz Superlight (yes technology has come a long way in 10 years but to be 100% honest you don't need a new bike). I also got a road bike (Trek TCT 5000). I'm deifnitely not a roadie I almost refuse to wear non-baggy riding shorts. It is good for training and miles when the trails can't be ridden. I also bought a couple of frames recently that I'm planning on doing....well I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them.

    So the moral to my story, just do what you want but the most important thing is get on the bike and have fun!
    Brandon
    09 Santa Cruz Superlight
    00 Diamondback XR-4
    99 Specialized S-Works

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thanks for all of the warm "welcome backs", fellas.

    Here's a couple of more specific questions...
    I'm taking my bike to the LBS this weekend to have her lubed up 'n' checked out. What should be done with the fork? Will replacing the oil, etc. take care of it? I want to know what to look out for(don't really want to be talked into buying something that I really don't need).
    Also, the rear hub is LOUD. Is there any type of maintenance that can be done to remedy this? The back tire doesn't really spin for a long time(like the front does), and it doesn't appear to be rubbing the brake pads. I know nothing about hubs, but it sounds/appears that maybe the rear hub is the culprit. Will it be expensive to have them check it out/fix the problem, or is it a simple fix(fingers crossed).

    Other than that, I should be good to go. I need some new shoes and a new helmet.... plus some apparel, but can't really afford to pick it all up at once. I'd definetly like to replace the saddle as well.... any good reasonably priced recommendations? And how about those Bontrager RE-1 pedals? Good enough not to worry about right now?

    I'm sure i'll think of something else.
    I really appreciate all of your input.

  10. #10
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,138
    Your Paragon is pretty sweet....ride it like you stole it...

    if it's been sitting a while...
    - fork rebuild (possible)
    - hub bearing repack
    - new chain (7spd?)
    - derailleur adjustments (possibly new cables)
    - headset bearing repack
    - new tubes
    - new tires
    - new brake pads
    - lube brake bosses
    - lube steerer tube
    - lube pedal spindles
    - check for wheel 'trueness'
    - check bottom bracket for 'play'
    - check crank arms for 'play'
    - new grips
    - check torque on seatpost, seatpost clamp, stem, handlebar clamp
    - check for 'play' in headset
    - check for side to side play in hubs

    you can do all of this yourself (minus fork overhaul....if it's even required)....go to http://parktool.com/repair/

    Supplies/tools will prolly cost your around $60-70 (not including bike stand.....you can figure out a makeshift one)...and most of the checking requires grabbing the part and wiggling it back and forth...if it wiggles it needs to be addressed....

    loud hub sounds like bearings need to be repacked.....easy peasy....messy...but easy...

    And dude....yo don't need a FS (unless you live in really, really rocky terrain)...i'm 40 and primarily rock a rigid SS......

    Quote Originally Posted by rayzak
    Thanks for all of the warm "welcome backs", fellas.

    Here's a couple of more specific questions...
    I'm taking my bike to the LBS this weekend to have her lubed up 'n' checked out. What should be done with the fork? Will replacing the oil, etc. take care of it? I want to know what to look out for(don't really want to be talked into buying something that I really don't need).
    Also, the rear hub is LOUD. Is there any type of maintenance that can be done to remedy this? The back tire doesn't really spin for a long time(like the front does), and it doesn't appear to be rubbing the brake pads. I know nothing about hubs, but it sounds/appears that maybe the rear hub is the culprit. Will it be expensive to have them check it out/fix the problem, or is it a simple fix(fingers crossed).

    Other than that, I should be good to go. I need some new shoes and a new helmet.... plus some apparel, but can't really afford to pick it all up at once. I'd definetly like to replace the saddle as well.... any good reasonably priced recommendations? And how about those Bontrager RE-1 pedals? Good enough not to worry about right now?

    I'm sure i'll think of something else.
    I really appreciate all of your input.
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thanks CHUM!!!
    Just one question. Do tires really go bad? They look great. What would be some solid replacements? Here's what is on there now..... Front: 26 x 2.10" WTB VelociRaptor kevlar, Rear: 26 x 1.95" WTB VelociRaptor kevlar

  12. #12
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,138
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzak
    Thanks CHUM!!!
    Just one question. Do tires really go bad? They look great. What would be some solid replacements? Here's what is on there now..... Front: 26 x 2.10" WTB VelociRaptor kevlar, Rear: 26 x 1.95" WTB VelociRaptor kevlar
    if they're still pliable...and not cracking i don't see why they wouldn't be OK....

    it's just that fresh rubber feels soooooooo goooooooood and stiiiiicky.....
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    887
    life's too short. upgrade

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •