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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Searching Craigslist

    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to mountain biking. I actually have only gone to the trails once with a rental but I had a great time. Seeing as the trail was literally a 5 minute (or less) commute by car from my house, I figure I would go pretty often.

    Of course I'm still testing out the waters of the sport and don't want to break the bank just yet.

    I've found a few craigslist postings with decent prices (I assume) and wanted to get some feedback. Feel free to recommend me other options but I am honestly not trying to spend more than $250 on a bike. I have no knowledge about biking brands and parts so I really need your help.

    Listings:
    Iron Horse
    Mongoose
    Specialized
    Cannondale

    P.S. I am 5'8-5'9ish and my pants length is 31-32, hope that kind of helps.

  2. #2
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    The Iron horse looks too big for someone your size,the Goose is a cheap department store bike that wouldn't last riding off road ,the Specialized is older and would need at least the tires changed to trail ride ,the Cdale is old and fixing the of repairing the headshock could be a problem,plus it might be too big. You will most likely be on a medium or small frame ,some where around 15 ,17 inches.

  3. #3
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    Thanks man appreciate the response, I'll cancel out all of them except the Specialized. Any other issues you can see from the Specialized?
    I'll also try looking into other listings :-)

  4. #4
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    FWIW, if that Iron Horse fits you, that would be my choice over the rest for exactly the reasons rangeriderdave mentioned. I've got an iron horse warrior full suspension and while the company is out of business, i.e. no factory support, its a great bike. Built like a tank. I would go setup a meeting and go ride that around, to see if it fits you. The only thing you will need to do on it is ditch the road tires.
    ...Dying is the easy part, its living that's the challenge...

  5. #5
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    I had my eyes mostly on the Iron Horse out of all of them, but like he said it may be too large. I'll contact both owners and see if I can meet up and give them both a spin.

    Lets say both the Specialized AND the Iron Horse are proper for me, which should I go for?

  6. #6
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    I've had a specialized hardrock, it was my first bike. Sadly it was stolen. Nothing wrong with it, at all. I've just found a love for IH now that I've put a couple thousand miles on one. Like I said, they are built like tanks.

    Regarding which one you should go for, would be the one that's most comfortable. Fits you the best, and you immediately feel like "this one" if you know what I mean. You may get on the IH or Spec and decide it's to big, to small, etc


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  7. #7
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    That Iron Horse looks like a 21.5" frame. That would be an Extra Large frame. Sorry, too big.

    My IH Warrior is a very good bike. Try to find something like the IH with a 17" frame. Disc brakes would be a plus.

  8. #8
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    I just did a quick CL search in your area (I'm a sucker for looking through CL, lol) and this one looked good to me. If you could swing an extra $100 and get it for $350 (seller seems motivated) you'd have a newer bike that probably wouldn't need much work. And since it's newer, it'll give you a better feel for what modern mtbs are like.

    https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/5572113895.html

    I think you could do better than the four you listed. I'll let others chime in and give their input.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  9. #9
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    Yeah I was just talking to some of my friends and they also insisted on spending just a bit more. Seems like that is probably what I will have to do. I'll take a look around CL too see what else I may find but I doubt I'll be able to find something better for my budget than what you have picked out (judging by your rep).

    Really appreciate you looking through CL for me too!

    The tires seem a bit big but again I don't know bikes, what do you think?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Torroija View Post
    Yeah I was just talking to some of my friends and they also insisted on spending just a bit more. Seems like that is probably what I will have to do. I'll take a look around CL too see what else I may find but I doubt I'll be able to find something better for my budget than what you have picked out (judging by your rep).

    Really appreciate you looking through CL for me too!

    The tires seem a bit big but again I don't know bikes, what do you think?
    Lol, don't pay attention to rep around here, it doesn't mean much.

    Yeah, I'd keep looking. I've gotten a few nice bikes in the $200 range, an older Kona Lava Dome that I converted to rigid single speed, a Redline Monocog single speed, and a Bianchi SASS single speed. If you don't mind not having gears I'd look for a Monocog, I usually see them pop up on CL every couple months it seems. I'm in the midwest where there aren't many hills to climb, so one speed is fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  11. #11
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    The GT looks like a nice trail capable entry-level mountain bike. And bonus points for being a 29er (29" diameter wheels). It's a good starting point. With this bike, any deficiency experienced on the trail would be the fault of the user, not the bike.

    Here are some specs from Google:

    If you're lucky enough to live close to trails, but also use your bike to tackle your daily travels, the GT's Recreational Hardtail line is exactly what you're looking for. Lightweight and manoeuvrable, they're perfect for weekend warrior action, and agile enough to get around the city when the week rolls back around. Looking for a quiver of one? Then look no further than the GT Avalanche Comp 2015 Mountain Bike.

    We know you have options when it comes to choosing a bike, and that's why we wanted to make your decision an easy one. When GT designed their bikes around a mid-size wheel, it was with the rider in mind. The 27.5 inch wheel provides greater rollover versus a 26 Inch wheel without the added weight that comes with a 29 inch wheel. It is like a match made in heaven! The 27.5 inch wheel also means a better fit for riders of all sizes: the wheels fit the rider so you never have to compromise on ride feel. In the end, the way GT design their bikes is not just based on how fast they roll, because they know there's a lot more to your ride than just going downhill. It's also about how your bike performs when you're accelerating, braking, and climbing.

    To view our Mountain Bike buying guide click here

    Frame
    Hydroformed 6061 T6 Aluminium Frame Triple TriangleÎ Replaceable Derailleur Hanger Disc Brake Mounts Zerostack 1 1/8" Head Tube 650B Design
    Fork
    SR Suntour XCM-HLO 100mm Travel Hydraulic Lockout QR 650B Fork
    Front Derailleur
    Shimano Acera
    Rear Derailleur
    Shimano Deore
    Number of Gears
    27
    Shifters
    Shimano Alivio
    Chain set
    SR Suntour XCM-T414
    Chain rings
    44/32/22T
    Bottom Bracket
    Tange Sealed
    Cassette
    Sunrace 11-36T 9-Spd
    Chain
    KMC Z99
    Pedals
    GT Slim Line Flat Pedal
    Brakeset
    Promax Decipher Hydraulic Disc 160mm Rotor
    Brake Levers
    Promax Decipher Hydraulic
    Handlebars
    All Terra Aluminium 685mm Width 30mm Rise 31.8mm
    Stem
    All Terra 1 1/8" 10�?? Rise 31.8mm Clamp
    Headset
    Kore 1B-1 1 1/8" Threadless Zerostack
    Grips
    GT Statement
    Rims
    Alex MD17 Double Wall 32H
    Front Hub
    All Terra Alloy Disc
    Rear Hub
    All Terra Alloy Cassette Disc
    Spokes
    14G Stainless
    Front Tyre
    WTB Nano 27.5 X 2.1"
    Rear Tyre
    WTB Nano 27.5 X 2.1"
    Saddle
    All Terra Colorado
    Seat Binder
    All Terra Alloy QR
    Weight
    Not Specified

  12. #12
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    @Cornfield I was actually looking more at your post count rather than rep haha. That takes a commitment to hang around a mountain bike forum for this long. Clearly, you like this kind of stuff so I can trust the opinion from people like you!

    @tk1971 Thanks for the information man and the extra nudge to convince that much more to get the bike, I'll keep searching around.

    This forum is amazing and seems to be full of people who are willing to help of the scrubs. Really appreciate all the help so far guys, but of course more input wouldn't hurt :-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Torroija View Post
    The tires seem a bit big but again I don't know bikes, what do you think?
    Bike fit is more important than wheel size. A lot of people like 29'ers, a lot of people like 26" wheeled bikes, and a lot of people like all wheel sizes. You'll figure all that out if you stick with it, reading the forums can help you learn which might be best for you. I see no problems with a 29'er as a first bike.

    What kind of bike did you rent, and what kind of trails will you be riding? I'm guessing just basic trails with not much climbing or rough terrain, if that's the case, that GT (or something similar) should work well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  14. #14
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    I don't remember the model bike, let alone the dimensions. The trails I rode were intermediate trails (I was pretty stubborn and skipped the novice trails). It had some steep hills here and there as well as some climbs that stumped me at times.

  15. #15
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    That bike should climb ok. The weakest link on it, and most any bike in your price range will be the fork. They're heavy and don't perform very well. If your trails are pretty smooth, it'll be fine till you decide if want to spend the money on a nicer bike with a decent fork. You could also ditch the suspension fork and get a cheap rigid fork which would shed a lot of weight.

    One of the good things about the GT is that you'll probably be able to get out what you paid for it fairly easily if you decide to sell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  16. #16
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    I would go after the Cannondale for $100-125. It's an old biuke but looks in solid shape. if it checks out could be a nice bargain. The forks suck on all the bikes you are looking at except for the Cannondale. The Headshock is a decent option for a beginner, it will track well and be very stiff laterally since it is basically a rigid fork with a little give. I would not worry at all about servicing it. if for some strange reason it develops issues then just ride it rigid.

  17. #17
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    Trek wahoo below looks nice. Maybe it is the way the picture is taken but I think the bike is smaller than the seller says, worth taking a look to see if it fits

    https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/5564314232.html

  18. #18
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    this guy has to have something for you. the scout origin looks like your answer:

    https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/5510374850.html

  19. #19
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    Nice finds! I like that Origin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  20. #20
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    You guys are awesome, seriously I appreciate all the advice I've been getting.

    That origin looks awesome but isn't it a single speed? I would honestly prefer to have some gears but as usual I want to here the reasoning behind your guys' suggestion.
    Also how would the Origin compare to the GT Avalanche, should I just wait patiently and save up a bit more?

    Also a bit concerned about the rust on the suspension on the blue Trek.

  21. #21
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    The GT Avalanche is a better bike IMO. I would try to get it for $250.

    Edit: Forgot to add, this is comparable to the GT:

    Schwinn Rocket 2 Hardtail 27.5 Bike

    But it's new. No size small left. The Slate color has newer components, but the white color is still a good deal and available in medium.

  22. #22
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    @oneupme That bike looks very solid and since you've linked me the bike I have been doing research on wheel sizes. It seems that 29ers will be the better fit for me seeing as I am a novice. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Torroija View Post
    You guys are awesome, seriously I appreciate all the advice I've been getting.

    That origin looks awesome but isn't it a single speed? I would honestly prefer to have some gears but as usual I want to here the reasoning behind your guys' suggestion.
    Also how would the Origin compare to the GT Avalanche, should I just wait patiently and save up a bit more?

    Also a bit concerned about the rust on the suspension on the blue Trek.
    You're welcome!

    The Origin and Trek could be good deals if you know your way around a bike. If you're just getting in to it, a newer bike has a better chance of needing minimal work.

    Single speed isn't for everyone, I love it and still have two geared bikes.

    Back to the GT: I think this would be a better option than the Schwinn. The Schwinn may be a decent bike for you, but with all the hassles of shipping, assembly, and not knowing if it even fits you, I'd pass.

    The good thing about CL is that you can see if a bike fits before buying it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  24. #24
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    Wheel size doesn't have much to do with how the frame fits you ,you need to start there.

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    Hi! New here too... I got a mountain bike to commute on cause my road bike scares me (I'm not very good), then decided some flat-ish trails with the dog could be fun. Good for you testing out a rental first, I think I would have picked a different bike for sure if I had started with this plan, but hey I'm having fun!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Wheel size doesn't have much to do with how the frame fits you ,you need to start there.
    Yes it does. I have been searching for small bikes for the wife. Looked into numerous small 29ERS, they still have too high of stand over height. Even if the frame is small enough, the handlebar is just too high.

    Same size frame on 27.5 wheels was a easy fit. 26 was also good. I would therefore recommend 29 only for people who want a medium or large.

  27. #27
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    Google Emily Batty ,she's like 5'1" rides/races a 29" or at least use to. My ex girl friend was 5'3",she test rode a Santa Cruz Tall boy in a med ,it fit her fine and she like it a lot.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Google Emily Batty
    Best advice so far.

    It all depends on the bike. The stand over on my 26" bike is 3" higher than my 29" bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  29. #29
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    @rangerriderdav I wasn't referring to the fitting of the bike, I was trying to refer to the performance of the bike and which type would be better for someone of my skill level

  30. #30
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    As of now, my number one choice is that GT Avalanche that was found for me on craigslist. What do you guys think about what bikedirect.com offers between the $269 to $399 range? I see a full suspension bike but I'm taking a guess and assuming that a low budget full suspension bike is no good? I want to hear the thoughts from the pros

  31. #31
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    You should do some searching on the forum, get a feel for what's out there. Start by Googling: "GT Avalanche mtbr". The search feature here doesn't work that well, so it's easier to type whatever you're looking for, add mtbr at the end, and Google it. This is how I started when I decided to get into the sport.

    The bikedirect bikes may be decent, but I'm not sure. There are a few budget bike sources that could be better for you, you just need to search around. I've heard good things about Airborne, it's worth a look anyway.

    Guardian - Airborne Bicycle Co

    If that bike interests you, then you can look through the Airborne forum: Airborne - Mtbr.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    Best advice so far.

    It all depends on the bike. The stand over on my 26" bike is 3" higher than my 29" bike.
    I don't know what it is with mtbr.com that runs so counter to logic and reason.

    Logic says, all other things being equal, 27.5 wheels is going to give you a shorter stand over height and a more compact overall bike versus 29 wheels.

    Logic says, with 27.5 wheels, the additional front wheel clearance is going to make it easier to get the handle bar at the right height for a smaller rider.

    Lets compare logic vs reality and you guys are nice enough to bring up Emily Batty, who at 5'3 is an inch taller than my wife. Looking at Emily's 29er hard tail, it exactly exemplifies the type of tricks and compromises you have to do to get some one this short onto a 29er:

    Pro bike: Emily Batty's Trek Superfly | Cyclingnews.com

    Standing at 1.61m (5ft 3in) tall, Batty does have to make some adjustments to get the faster-rolling big wheels to fit underneath her. Out back, the saddle is pushed way forward on the rails and the seatpost is also flipped around to produce a +5mm setback. Up front, Bontrager has actually gone so far as to custom machine a 100mm-long stem with a -25° angle.

    So do a reverse off-set seat post, slide the seat all the way forward, plus find someone to do a custom machined 100mm -25 degree stem. After that it's perfect! Right...

    Ironically, my wife ended up with a 2015 Trek Cali SLX with a 15.5" frame, which is nearly exactly the same frame size/geometry on Emily's Superfly except it's made for 650b wheels. She fits just fine with stock standard hardware. Again, like I said, it was far easier to find a small bike that fits when hunting for 27.5 wheels vs 29er wheels. I am not saying that there is no 29er bike out there that fits my wife, but Emily's bike illustrates the difficulty in accomplishing this task.

    Logic and reason guys. Be rational.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneupme View Post
    logic and reason.
    Those two words don't exist in my vocabulary.

    Since the OP stated he's looking in the used market, 27.5 is probably not going to be an option (unless he goes for the $3500 Bronson). And yes, a 27.5" might fit better, and I might suggest one if he was looking at new bikes with a bigger budget.

    OP's not going to know what fits and feels comfortable till he gets out tries out a few. At 5'9" with a 32" inseam he should fit a small-medium 29'er just fine. I'm 6'/32" inseam and can ride medium and large comfortably in any wheel size. The two 29'ers I've had were both medium and fit nicely, my 26" is a large and I feel a bit stretched out, I think a shorter stem is in order.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  34. #34
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    Here's some real world numbers,the first ground to seat coller/top tube, the second is ground to handle bar top, the third is ground saddle top . BIKE A 30 3/4" /42" / 41 1/2" Bike B 29 1/2" ,40 1/2 " ,41 ,Bike C 29 3/4" ,37 1/4,40 ,38 Bike D 30 1/2" / 40 "/ 40 1/2" Bike E 33" , 39 1/2" , 40" ,what are the wheel sizes?

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    Who the heck knows. You can cherry pick the data to prove a point. Go look at geometry of bikes that are available in both 27.5 and 29. Compare same size frames.

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    I'll make easier on you they are all either large's or medium's 3 of them are 26" one is a 29" one is a road bike.From 5 different manufactures, My point is you can't make blanket statements about wheels sizes verses stand over or handlebar height .

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    I'll make easier on you they are all either large's or medium's 3 of them are 26" one is a 29" one is a road bike.From 5 different manufactures, My point is you can't make blanket statements about wheels sizes verses stand over or handlebar height .
    Again, this only goes to show that you are cherry picking data to prove a point. No one is going to consider vastly different configurations. They are going to look for bikes based on similar geometries and try to find the best fit. If you are a short rider like my wife, its easier to find a 27.5.

    I can't believe you are refusing to acknowledge this obvious fact.

  38. #38
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    Last try at reasoning, if this doesn't get through, it's hopeless. Many bike models are starting to use different wheel sizes for different overall bike sizes. Usually 27.5 for xs or s, 29 for L or XL, and a mix fir medium. Obviously, wheel size has a very real and tangible effect on how well a bike fits the rider.

  39. #39
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    Back to the OP. I started on a Motobecane from BD 450HT I think it was $329.00 - I'm in SoCal so hills are part of the ride whether you like it or not. The bike held up fine, as said before (by guys that know way more than me btw) the fork is the main issue but it works, I rode it for about 8 months but by then I sort of started to learn what I liked/needed and sold it for 250.00 to finance my next bike. To me that's an option to consider, however, you will have to get it assembled and checked! Here is where CL is better you buy, and you ride.

    Also, down the road you can upgrade the fork for like $200.00 through the Suntour program.

    Note: if someone went over this I apologize, but I skimmed when the wheel/frame size arguments started
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2012 CX Kona Jake

    Giggity!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneupme View Post
    Yes it does. I have been searching for small bikes for the wife. Looked into numerous small 29ERS, they still have too high of stand over height. Even if the frame is small enough, the handlebar is just too high.

    Same size frame on 27.5 wheels was a easy fit. 26 was also good. I would therefore recommend 29 only for people who want a medium or large.
    True, but for someone 5'8-5'9, it's not that big of a deal. Maybe 29 or 27.5 would be a bit more in proportion, but if I were looking for a used mb that fit, it wouldn't be a big concern unless I were very short or very tall. (I'm 5'7").

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottlucas View Post
    Yeah I was just talking to some of my friends and they also insisted on spending just a bit more. Seems like that is probably what I will have to do. I'll take a look around CL too see what else I may find but I doubt I'll be able to find something better for my budget than what you have picked out (judging by your rep).

    Really appreciate you looking through CL for me too!

    The tires seem a bit big but again I don't know bikes, what do you think?
    Since you live in Miami, maybe you should check out Performance bike. They have a lot of mountain bikes for good prices, you can preview online, but go to the store. They often have good sales, you just wait for a deal. (I love craigslist, but you can get a bike in your price-range there).

    Just a thought. You could get the right bike in the right size more easily. Personally, I think it's easier to get a good deal on CL if you have more experience.

    Mountain Bikes: Full Suspension, Hardtails & 29er MTN Bikes

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    Haha, lets just agree that wheel size is extremely debatable and in the end, dependent on the rider.

    The reason I'm gonna stick to a 29er is because after watching a few videos and doing a bit of research, it will be more suitable for a novice rider such as myself. Once I get into the sport I'll start branching out to a 27.5.
    Appreciate all the info!

    Anyone have any bikes they see on the Performance website under $400 that may trump this GT Avalanche on craigslist?

  43. #43
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    It sounds like you are trying to buy based on specs and online viewing. You need to go and test a bunch of bikes, and see what fits and feels the best. You can't tell how that bike looks and feels by viewing it on the Internet. Most likely, everything will fit and feel the opposite of what you assumed by looking at a picture of it. Test ride, if it is used, look up the bicycle bluebook value to make sure you are not getting ripped off, then go test ride some more bikes.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottlucas View Post
    Haha, lets just agree that wheel size is extremely debatable and in the end, dependent on the rider.

    The reason I'm gonna stick to a 29er is because after watching a few videos and doing a bit of research, it will be more suitable for a novice rider such as myself. Once I get into the sport I'll start branching out to a 27.5.
    Appreciate all the info!

    Anyone have any bikes they see on the Performance website under $400 that may trump this GT Avalanche on craigslist?
    They have the GT Avalanche in 27.5" flavor for 5, 6, and 7 hundred bucks. They also have a bunch of other bikes. Maybe they have some 2015 bikes on discount.

    Next move: Go look at bikes!
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Mountain bikers often have single track minds, get it?

  45. #45
    mtbr member
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    Could be mistaken, but a 29er wheel shouldn't be specifically better for a beginner. You need to ride and see which is best for you, not the guy on the video.

    This one is 400, and available in either 29 or 27.5 wheels, so you could test both and see the difference without the bike design itself skewing the difference.

    GT Backwoods Sport Mountain Bike - Performance Exclusive

    Another thing about Performance, is if there is a problem with the bike, they will exchange, refund, or credit (if it has been more than a year).

  46. #46
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    i am guessing a medium in 29" is likely your size. since you can go to some local shops it might be a good idea to try some M and L sizes just for fit.

    if you prefer the GT on craigslist, be sure to ride it around a little before buying to see if it fits.

    If the GT on clist is still available after X many days, it may indicate that you are the only serious interest, which could be to your benefit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  47. #47
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    That Cannondale is bang-on a perfect fit for you. Appears the Specialized is no longer available. The rest I would not bother with...that Cannondale is freaking LIGHT!
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

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