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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    Hope Thoughts on SL3, Rockhopper Disc Pro, Sensor 4.0?

    Hey all, new rider here looking for some advice or input on my first mountain bike. I am a casual rider (ride once or twice a month), and usually ride anything from pavement to rough trails. I have a few options that I am looking at right now. A couple are slightly used, but basically new. I have done my research, but would like input and opinions on my options. Here they are:

    2007 Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc
    BikePedia - 2007 specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc Complete Bicycle
    Used a handful of times, seller is asking $500. Size large.
    Friends dad is selling this one. Cheapest. Good components.

    2011 GT Sensor 4.0
    BikePedia - 2011 GT Sensor 4.0 Complete Bicycle
    Again used a hanful of times, seller asking $800. Size medium.
    Full suspension is nice, but still a lower end full suspension bike.

    2012 Cannondale SL 29er 3
    Cannondale Trail SL 29er 3 Bike - 2012 at REI.com
    New, $999
    Brand new. 29er would be nice but not necessary.


    I know these are 3 very different bikes, and it will mostly come down to personal opinion... but factoring in the price of each.. I'm finding this decision to be rather difficult.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You could get either of those used bikes for free but if it doesn't fit you it's not worth a damn. Have you ridden any of them to see which one fits/what size you need?
    :wq

  3. #3
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    Checking them out very soon. I would just like to cover as much as possible prior to riding, to hopefully make the decision easier.

  4. #4
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    How tall are you?

  5. #5
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    6', 34" inseam

  6. #6
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    I'd throw the GT out of the mix right now. It's almost definitely too small and low-end full suspension bikes = no bueno.

    Ride the Rockhopper and the Cannondale, see which you like better. If you like the Cannondale better, see if you like it "better-enough" to spend the extra money. Question though - since it's at REI have you used your 20% coupon yet?
    :wq

  7. #7
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    I have not. $200 is a good chunk of change, too!

    How do the components stack up against each other on the 2 hardtails? I've done some research, but haven't had time to dive that deep into it yet..

  8. #8
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    When you said rough trails, is that like fire roads, or rocky single track?

    As someone said before, ride them both, and check with a couple local bike shops to see what they carry in within your budget. $800 for the Cannondale would also get you a low-mid Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. Plus, one is a 26" and the other is a 29", so they'll ride pretty different.

    If you're going to spend that much money, you might as well really like what you get.

  9. #9
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    More-so rooted, rocky single track, but not limited to.

  10. #10
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    The lightest bike that fits you is always the bike that will make you smile.. So....$1000 would be OK for a light used bike that you enjoy riding.

    For new....look for last year models. Dealer will often sell them to you for a few dollars above cost. You'd be surprised......just ask. You may find a great $2200 msrp name brand for $1600 or less....I have.

  11. #11
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    I'm a noob as well but I was able to get my hands on an sl3 and that bike is sweet I'm 6'2" and 240 and my only concern is the fork all the shimano components were awesome and the brakes were sweet just take a good look at it you might love it

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