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  1. #1
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    Buying first bike, what are my options? Please help.

    Hey guys.

    I'm in the market for a new bike and I was wondering what you all recommend. I will be using the bike to ride to work and for fun and venture onto some tracks and stuff on the weekend. I have been told to go for a hardtail XC bike. My budget is $2000 AUD MAX!!! The bikes I have looked at are the Giant XTC-2, Apollo TAOS C and Cannondale F4. So, having said that what other bikes should I look at in this category and in this price range? I realise that bikes are very personal but i'm mainly asking for the bike with the best features and specs in this price range so I can try it out. I was sold on the Giant XTC-2 until I read some horror stories on the internet about things such as brakes and shocks failing after only a couple of months of use. I want this bike to be well built, well specced and comfortable. Thanks a lot

    EDIT I don't know if this makes a difference or not but i'm 6'1" and around 169lbs. I'm somewhat into bodybuilding though so my weight will increase and decrease occasionally by 20lbs or so.
    Last edited by deniall; 09-01-2009 at 08:33 AM.

  2. #2
    total mtb noob
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    I should mention that i'm also prepared to build a bike if it means geting better parts for my money. If you think this is a better option please suggest some parts I should look into. Cheers.

  3. #3
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    No one wants to help me out?

  4. #4
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    here goes...

    find a good LBS you like and trust and have them fit you to a bike properly..the MOST important part of bike purchase.

    Ignore what you "hear" on the Internet about failing parts. If in fact they did, they would be under warranty anyhow.

    Stick to brand names like the bikes you have named.

    Because you mention nothing of how and where you plan to ride, it's nearly impossible to go further with advice, and likely why 0 response. And you missed the sticky at the top about "before you ask for what bike to buy advice": READ THIS! Hints for asking for advice

    Jim

  5. #5
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    I Checked out the Giant Xtc 2's components. RS forks and shimano SLX components are all very good. Ive seen this bike at Wheelworld for under $1000. If you want ot spend the full $2000 check out the GT Zazkar full carbon frame for $2000 at Performance bike.

    If you have a Felt dealer in your area, check out the The Felt line of bikes. I have tested the 720 hard tail and it was really nicely built, and fast. for under $1000. any hardtail around a $1000 on up should be fine. The most import item while purchasing a new bike, it to get the proper fit, most lbs can do this for you. test ride a couple, you will know what you like after riding them even if its just around the block

    for $2000 you should be able to find a good entry fulls suspension bike for that price. Like I said test ride them all.

  6. #6
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    He's In Austrailia

    Jim

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    Jim
    put a shrimp on the barbie mate!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    find a good LBS you like and trust and have them fit you to a bike properly..the MOST important part of bike purchase.

    Ignore what you "hear" on the Internet about failing parts. If in fact they did, they would be under warranty anyhow.

    Stick to brand names like the bikes you have named.

    Because you mention nothing of how and where you plan to ride, it's nearly impossible to go further with advice, and likely why 0 response. And you missed the sticky at the top about "before you ask for what bike to buy advice": READ THIS! Hints for asking for advice

    Jim
    I thought I made it pretty clear that when I said "I will be using the bike to ride to work and for fun and venture onto some tracks and stuff on the weekend" that I was talking about road and path use during the week to commute work and tracks on the weekend. I didn't elaborate on the type of riding I will be doing because at this stage I just don't know. I haven't owned or ridden a bike for 14 years. As far as tracks go I honestly don't know what's around here but would be keen to try anything. Basically I need an allrounder.

    Thanks for the reply.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagatahawk
    put a shrimp on the barbie mate!
    Not once have I ever heard an Aussie use the term "shrimp". We call them prawns and they're half the size of your hand. Thanks for trying to be funny though.

  10. #10
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    not his fault...

    another victim of the Paul Hogan "visit Aus" travel ads run by AUS. in North America a few years back; he used shrimp, and not prawns. Hmnnnn, I'm hungry.
    Jim

  11. #11
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    Giant and Cdale

    are virtually identical, but the fork on the Giant is 100mm vs. 80mm on the Cdale. Both are XC oriented, so that means a steeper head tube angle and slightly 'nervous' handling. I've never heard of the Apollo Taos, could it be a Dept store type bike? It's not mainstream, maybe it's n AUS-only bike?

    Anyhow, any major brand will do, if it fits. Both of these bikes are fine. I like the CDale better for it's brakeset, and the fork on the Giant isn't a true performer.
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/S...=16913b+17414b
    Hope that helps...the dilemma is that there are so many different models with a myriad of parts specs it's hard to find the right bike sometimes. The good news is most of the bad ones have been weeded out.

    The key is a good frame, then pick the best fork you can find on your choices, then the parts spec last. Did I mention FIT?

    jc

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    are virtually identical, but the fork on the Giant is 100mm vs. 80mm on the Cdale. Both are XC oriented, so that means a steeper head tube angle and slightly 'nervous' handling. I've never heard of the Apollo Taos, could it be a Dept store type bike? It's not mainstream, maybe it's n AUS-only bike?

    Anyhow, any major brand will do, if it fits. Both of these bikes are fine. I like the CDale better for it's brakeset, and the fork on the Giant isn't a true performer.
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/S...=16913b+17414b
    Hope that helps...the dilemma is that there are so many different models with a myriad of parts specs it's hard to find the right bike sometimes. The good news is most of the bad ones have been weeded out.

    The key is a good frame, then pick the best fork you can find on your choices, then the parts spec last. Did I mention FIT?

    jc
    Thanks a lot for the reply JimC.

    I only have one more question before I shoot off to try some more bikes. With the headshok on the CDale, is it upgradable? Can I switch it to a conventional fork if I want to? It's not that I don't like it but you never know what I might want to do in the future and it would be good to be able to swap and change. I noticed that the 2010 CDale F4 has a conventional fork setup at the front. Any idea why they might change given the headshok's great reputation?

  13. #13
    rebmem rbtm
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    Where were you reading the horror stories on the XTC-2?

    The specifications of the Australian model XTC-2 are much better than the US model XTC-2.

    Australian XTC-2: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-AU/bikes/mountain/2335/32061/

    US XTC-2: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/2342/32140/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba
    Where were you reading the horror stories on the XTC-2?

    The specifications of the Australian model XTC-2 are much better than the US model XTC-2.

    Australian XTC-2: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-AU/bikes/mountain/2335/32061/

    US XTC-2: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/2342/32140/
    I honestly can't remember where, I think there were a few different sites. Basically there were more people unhappy than happy. I know it's usually the case that people report on the negatives and hush up when the bike is good but it's still a worry.

    The Aus XTC-2 is better, I should have mentioned that. So based on the fact the XTC-2 is better in Aus would you recommend it over the CDale F4?

  15. #15
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    Specialized Rockhopper Expert looks to be a good ride.

    Aus version seems better spec'd then US version too.

    Description / Specification:
    FRAME
    Specialized M4 Manipulated Alloy frame, fully butted, ORE DT, forged dropouts w/ replaceable 98954020 hanger, disc only
    FORK
    RockShox Recon SLite, 100mm, alloy steerer, 32mm alloy stanchions, TurnKey damper, preload and rebound adj. w/ LO, 13-15": standard spring, all others: "stiff" spring, disc only
    HEADSET
    Specialized 1-1/8" threadless, loose ball
    STEM
    Specialized 3D forged, 4-bolt, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
    HANDLEBARS
    Specialized butted alloy, 31.8mm, XC rise, 640mm wide, 8 degree back sweep, 8 degree up, 2.6mm thick
    GRIPS
    Specialized Enduro, dual compound Kraton, no flange, 131mm
    FRONT BRAKE
    Avid Juicy 4 RSL, hydraulic disc, alloy backed brake pads, organic compound, tool-less reach adj., 160mm G2 Clean Sweep rotor
    REAR BRAKE
    Avid Juicy 4 RSL, hydraulic disc, alloy backed brake pads, organic compound, tool-less reach adj., 160mm G2 Clean Sweep rotor
    BRAKE LEVERS
    Avid Juicy 4 RSL
    FRONT DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Deore, 34.9mm clamp, bottom swing, dual pull
    REAR DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Deore XT Shadow
    SHIFT LEVERS
    Shimano Deore SL- M530, 9-speed
    CASSETTE
    Shimano HG-50, 9-speed, 11-34t
    CHAIN
    KMC X9 w/ reuseable Missing Link
    CRANKSET
    Shimano FC-M521, Hollowtech arms, Octalink spline w/ replaceable outer rings
    CHAINRINGS
    44A x 32S x 22S
    BOTTOM BRACKET
    Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearings, 68mm x 118mm
    PEDALS
    Shimano 505 SPD clipless, 9/16"
    RIMS
    DT-Swiss 445D, 26", double wall disc, pin joint, eyelets, 28/32h
    FRONT HUB
    Specialized Hi Lo, forged alloy, double sealed, ground race, 28h
    REAR HUB
    Specialized, forged alloy, double sealed, ground race, cassette, QR, 32h
    SPOKES
    1.8mm (15g) stainless
    FRONT TIRE
    Specialized Fast Trak LK Control, 26x2.0", 60TPI, aramid bead, 2Bliss ready
    REAR TIRE
    Specialized Fast Trak LK Control, 26x2.0", 60TPI, aramid bead, 2Bliss ready
    INNER TUBES
    Specialized schraeder valve
    SADDLE
    Specialized Indie XC, Body Geometry, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers
    SEATPOST
    Specialized butted alloy, two bolt micro adjust head, 30.9mm
    SEAT BINDER
    Specialized alloy w/ QR, brass washer

  16. #16
    rebmem rbtm
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    09 F4 is available in 2 models for 2 different prices in Australia:

    AUD$2300: http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/09/ce/model-9FS4.html

    AUD$1800: http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/09/ce/model-9FS4Z.html

  17. #17
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    I bought my bike today. I got a 2010 Giant XTC-2. Extremely happy with it.

    Here are the specs and a pic.

    Frame Fluidformed™ ALUXX SL butted alloy, integrated gusset
    Fork Rockshox Recon SL Air w/PopLoc, 4”/100mm
    Shock NA
    Handlebar Giant Connect oversize alloy 670mm x 25mm rise
    Grips Giant lock-on
    Stem Giant Connect oversize alloy, 4 bolt, 8 degree
    Seat Post Giant Connect oversize alloy micro-adjust 30.9
    Saddle Fi’zi:k Tundra w/Manganese rail
    Pedals Shimano M505 SPD clipless
    Shifters Shimano SLX rapid fire 27 speed
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore 34.9
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT Shadow high normal 9 speed
    Brakes Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic w/6” rotors
    Brake Levers Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic
    Cassette Shimano HG50 9 speed 11-34T
    Chain Shimano HG73 9 speed
    Crankset Shimano Deore 22x32x44T
    Bottom Bracket Shimano Deore integrated, outboard
    Shift/Chain Guide NA
    Rims Mavic XM117 disc 26” x 32H
    Hubs Shimano Deore disc 32H
    Spokes 14G stainless
    Tyres Kenda Small Block Eight DTC 26 x 2.1”
    Other 0.6mm lightweight tubes


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by deniall
    I should mention that i'm also prepared to build a bike if it means geting better parts for my money. If you think this is a better option please suggest some parts I should look into. Cheers.
    If I have 2k to spend I would build my own. I would only use the LBS as a reference.With that being said if you spend all 2k on a good bike you will get value from the LBS. If you start back peddling and spent only 1k your going to buy a bike for the name on the frame and not the components could get for that money, and in that case build your own,

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr
    If I have 2k to spend I would build my own. I would only use the LBS as a reference.With that being said if you spend all 2k on a good bike you will get value from the LBS. If you start back peddling and spent only 1k your going to buy a bike for the name on the frame and not the components could get for that money, and in that case build your own,
    2k Australian doesn't get you much unfortunately. Anyway, I have just bought a bike so read the rest of the thread

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