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  1. #1
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    Help me End this suffering ...

    For the past 6 months I have been looking for a new mountain bike, originally started with interest in Spec stumpy FSR. Then, recently found out that refund check was not as big as I'd thought, also am having 2nd kid on the way this summer.

    I'd like to ride alot, but can only do so on the weekends in the A.M. (before the wife and kid wake up), and occasional during days off of work.

    My questions are these:

    Does it make more economical cents to buy a cheaper hardtail now, knowing that I will buy a full suspension later? Or "go for the gusto" full suspension now and "grow" into it?

    Thoughts:

    (1) Mtn biking may be a whim (I have lots of hobbies), or I may not really have the riding time enough to justify an expensive > $2,000 full suspension.

    (2) I am out of shape and inexperienced even with bicycle maintanence- should I use a HT to train for skill and endurance to actually ride decently, and to learn what type of riding I like for the expensive full-suspension?

    Also, what is considered a "decent" price amount on a new hardtail? I'm thinking $600 to $1500?

    I want service at LBS, so no mail-ordered bike suggestions, please!

    For HT I have 2 sets of bikes in mind:

    Hardtails:

    1. Specialized Rockhopper Pro disc or Disc- just like the flo red.

    2. Trek 6000 all the way up to 8000

    Full-suspensions:

    Stumpy FSR vs Epic vs Trek Fuels- will need to test ride this group

    I have test ridden the Cannondale Rush (didn't like), Specialized Epic (loved), Rockhopper (liked), and Trek 6000 (liked). I have been researching online obessively and haunting the threads...

    Not to beat a dead mouse, but please, someone help put me out of my misery! Must buy this next week or I will go crazy..

  2. #2
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    Get a nice hardtail

    Based on everything you've laid out, I'd recommend getting a nice hardtail. I happen to think the Hardrock Pro Disc is a very nice choice. To cut to the chase, that's my recommendation.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    Hardrock over any Rockhopper? --gasp!--

    Why?

    Sean
    Last edited by mountain_bike; 04-21-2007 at 08:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Novice here, but I won't let that stop me from commenting. Your list of HTs consists of excellent bikes. As you move up in model in either line the components get better. I think you should spend more time testing them and decide which line fits you best then make a decision on the model you actually buy based on how much money you want to spend. To be honest I don't think you could go wrong by buying anyone from that list of HTs.

  5. #5
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    Suppose I can't tell a difference in fit, or the ride feels the same during "parking lot test ride?"

    I didn't see any rockhopper test riders (i.e. for weekend rental like those of Epic, Stumpy FSR, etc.), and one other particular LBS said that he does not rent out HT just FS!

    Also, I have Gallardo taste with a Sentra budget. Chomping at the bit here!

    Re: components/models-
    High end and be spoiled? Mid-range and appreciate what I have? Or low-end and switch components to high end (eventually) and start off frugally?

  6. #6
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    Suffice it to say I am in a very similar situation as you. I have tested several bikes and for the most part they were all fine on fit and functionality. On my first round of test rides I thought I wanted to buy the Kona Hoss or the Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc. I thought about it and was committed to the Rockhopper, but decided i would test them all agian before handing over the credit card. After the second round of rides, I remember having an uncontrollable, but huge smile after I rode the Trek 6000 the second time. I had one glaring issue with it I will split duty between street and trail, and needed the benefit of lockout suspension. I could either add the fork (~$200) or move up to the 6500. I opted to move up. The bikes carry an excellent frame warranty and it is likely the last HT you will HAVE to buy.

    1. Set a limit on what you will spend.
    2. Do a spec for spec comparison.
    3. Choose the bike that gets you the most for your budget.

    If you can afford to go 1500 then negotiate a good deal on the Trek 8000. If you want to buy something from the middle of your budget range above grab a 6700. On the low end, grab a 6000/6500...

    The basic premise is this the more bike you buy now the more you get for your money. When you upgrade after the fact labor and parts get pretty expensive, especially when compared to what it would have cost to move up the model ladder a bit.

  7. #7
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    Aadadams-

    thanks for the responses.

    Did you forgo the Specialized RH because you liked the 6000 alot? Or what (other) reason did you exclude the RH?

    As for myself will need to test ride them back-to-back to see which to plunk down the card for. Will also look into the Hardrock as suggested...

    I know myself and I will probably go for the higher ground, as inflation will also make the bikes/components more expensive later when I will want to switch out. Plus I agree with the thread in the Trek (SLR vs ZR9000) that if I spend a little more I will ride it more...(why is this human nature?)

    Saw your dilemma in the Trek posting. Let me know what your final purchase is!

  8. #8
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    Believe me, as soon as I get a bike in hand I will post pictures. BTW at this point I am planning to ride the Gary Fisher Cobia before pulling the trigger on the Trek, but if my dealer gets the 6500 or 6700 before the Cobia arrives I am going to buy it before they run out again. As far as the Rockhopper vs. 6000 series goes I felt like the Trek had marginally better components for the price range. I think Bob might have been referring to the Rockhopper since you did not mention the Hardrock in your list. Besides, Hardrocks are not as nice as the Rockhoppers in general, but I could be wrong.

  9. #9
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    AAACCCK! My Bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_bike
    Hardrock over any Rockhopper? --gasp!--

    Why?

    Sean
    Rockhopper, Rockhopper, I meant Rockhopper!!!

    This happens any time I post whilst half asleep.

    My apologies for the confusion.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  10. #10
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    Hardrocks have different applications than Rockhoppers. Built more robust for harder riding.
    If you have to send $1500> for a hardtail, check the Stumpjumpers. The Fox Float is highly regarded and very expensive to buy retail.

    2 school of thoughts here. Buy the least (expensive-$600) bike just to test the water and see if you like cycling. Sell it (if not into cycling) and take a 50% loss or to upgrade. Or, buy an expensive (relative speaking) $2000> bike. If you find you are not really into cycling it will even be a bigger depreciation to absorb.

    If it were me, I will buy a $1000.- $1200 hardtail (Stumpy)

  11. #11
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    Older guy-

    You don't think 1G for a hardtail is too much? Neither do I!

    the only thing about considering buying a stumpy HT is test riding.

    No LBS carry stumpy HT- they would have to be special ordered (not in high demand in Columbia, S.C. I guess).

    The head angle is 71 deg, much like the Trek 6000-8500 models. Do you happen to know what bike has a similar feel (Epic has even more head angle-73 I think), so that I can extrapolate the ride of a stumpy HT?

    Thanks,
    Sean

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_bike
    Older guy-

    You don't think 1G for a hardtail is too much? Neither do I!

    the only thing about considering buying a stumpy HT is test riding.

    No LBS carry stumpy HT- they would have to be special ordered (not in high demand in Columbia, S.C. I guess).

    The head angle is 71 deg, much like the Trek 6000-8500 models. Do you happen to know what bike has a similar feel (Epic has even more head angle-73 I think), so that I can extrapolate the ride of a stumpy HT?

    Thanks,
    Sean
    Epic has 73 head angle? That is in the realm of Italian roadbikes! I don't think that is the case.
    Anyway, numbers on papers tell just 1/2 of how it will actually ride. A lot of things can contribute to the handling, like fork rake, trail, front center, bottom bracket height, wheelbase etc... There is really no substitute for actual riding. Unfortunately as the bike gets expensive the harder it is to find one to demo. I don't believe bikes' geometries as long as they are in the same group, i.e,..xc bikes - will deviate that much. They however will differ in how they fit you, e.g., longer top tubes, higher headtubes, stem lengths, saddle setbacks which all affects weight distribution hence efficiency and comfort.

    If you would like to read about specs, go to your LBS and get the current catalogues of each bike companies. Specialized has a voluminous and weighty catalogue. Oh, I just check, the Epic has 70.5 head angle. The Rockhopper has 70 and Stumpjumper at 71.

  13. #13
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    Well I have a base model 07 Rockhopper and I will tell you that I love it. I like how it feels ad handles. It was the first mtn bike I got after being of a bike for almost 4 years (about how long I been in college) so I did the parking lot rides and just got one that felt good there.
    It was how I choose the Rockhopper over the Trek 4500. I went into the shop thinking I was going to get a 4500 and I test road it and it felt ok. Then I test road the Rockhopper and it felt so much better. I just like it more.

    That being said since then I have taken it on the trails several times and it worked great. This weekend I did a ride though my college and the bike was great. It felt good all the way around and nothing really hurts afterwards minus sore legs and a the sun burn. Felt good going off minor drop <1ft and even over rough down hill the bike felt great.


    As for getting in the sport I think HT are the way to go if you are not 100% sure if you will like it and look for at least a good entry leval bike. I think the Rockhopper is a great entry level because it start out with descent components and it would out look out of place with high end parts on it either

  14. #14
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    congratulations on the new baby. I am expecting my second son in September......very excited......two riding buddies when I grow old (or older)....its awesome...

    keep in mind that your riding time may shorten with the arrival of the new one....and you would want to spend more time riding than doing the maintainance...

    so, I would suggest a hardtail...

    out of the bikes you have mentioned I like the Stumy and Cobia........I am a Rockhopper fan, but, only if the budget is less than $1000....there are much nicer bikes for $1000+ than rockhopper.

    now, there are many variations in Hardtails.......XC, AM/XC, XC/Trail etc....to make you more confused...

    I will mention some of my favorits in each category:

    XC hardtails (light and fast)
    - Kona Kula Series (I think there are two models under $1500)
    - Scott Scale series (Scale 50 or 40)
    - Specialized Stumpjumper
    - Yeti ARC (if budget permits)

    AM/XC Hardtails
    - Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Marin Rockey Ridge (http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...cky_ridge.html)

    XC/Trail
    - Klein Attitude V (http://archive.kleinbikes.com/us/mou...e_v/index.html)
    - Rockey mountain Vertex Series
    - Marin Nail Trail (http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...ail_trail.html)

    Along with these there are some good options in Jamis and Giant hardtail lines...

    My point is, with you budget...you can buy a great hardtail.....but, your riding style and preference will guide you which bike is the right one....

    If I were you I would seriously consider all these options and get a hardtail that fits me, bit different than the other cookie-cutter hardtails (like the marin Nail Trail), nicely speced, and performs well...

    if you want to attack this approach we can talk and I am sure that other members would come up with some other good options/choices......

    good luck
    Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. - Bill Gates

  15. #15
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    er? hiya.

    new to this site...
    hi..
    choosing the right bike is nerve wracking... can't decide between a few bikes of similiar spec/price. All between 700-800 quid, good all round spec. Kona Caldera, Orange G3 with upgraded forks, GT Avalanche expert, or Specialized Rockhopper Comp or Comp disc. Any ideas? Help!!!!

  16. #16
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    I'm with the Rockhopper camp here as well, during my research my purchase came down between the Rockhopper and Trek, I ended up with a Rockhopper Disk, an excellent entry level bike and I love it, yea I know it has Acera/Alivio derailluers and such but I figured I want to upgrade the bike to my spec, buyer beware tho, the parking lot test can be misleading and does not represent how the bike will perform or feel after 10 miles or a full day on the trails

  17. #17
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    Sounds like you need a hardtail in the $600 range. I was in the same boat as you and also have a million hobbies and daily duties. Anything less and the bike is garbage if you really want to ride alot, to get better ...worth the $ you have to spend alot more it seems. And if you shelf it after 1 year of riding then you will have wasted your money.
    Like I said, seems like the $600 is the way to go for many wanting a good entry level mountain bike that can be upgrade, bashed, beaten and enjoyed for a long time.

  18. #18
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    Will soon just pull the trigger...

    Thanks for the info and feedback guys!

    Older Guy- Sorry, I must've been thinking of the seat tube angle...Also, since no LBS have stumpy HTs in their stores, I will exclude them from my options.

    Orca- thanks for the breakdown of styles.

    sincraft- thanks for keeping me down to earth.

    Clyde, Timeless, and Dies-weas- I'll probably go in that direction!

    Am keeping HT in forefront of choices (though when I do final test riding, will also test ride Epic Expert again as my "ideal" ).

    Will do final post when I bring my bad boy home...

  19. #19
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    same dilemma

    hey. Good luck with new arrival. I have 2 little girls and found that getting out often with one was easy enough. my wife didn't mind minding one. minding two however is a bigger issue when your on your own. Point is drop 5-600 on a trek/spec and get fit, establish your spin times, build endurance and learn. then when its a 4-5 hour ride that you want on a sunday am its probably FS time. I have a 600 euro Trek HT and am now in a position fitness wise and time wise ( just about ) to warrant a 1500-2000 FS/HT. Granted I cannot decide between the two. However from trawling the net a lot over past few months and reading reviews, blogs , race summaries it seems that most serious MTB ers have two bikes. The HT for XC racing and 2 hour intense trips. But most then swear by the FS for any spins longer than 3 hours or for endurance races and marathons where 4-6 hours in saddle would wipe you physically on a HT. I personally need to enter a race every few weeks/months to keep the training and spins focussed on a goal or benchmark. That helps when you're heading out on your own for a 3 hour spin in the rain. BE Warned though that if you are the type of person who gets mad into a hobby and trys to progress it as fast as possible to a high level then get a HT that shares a frame with a higher end in series ( eg. scott scale 50/40/30 all have same frame but vary in 1000 in cost ) so your not in 6 months going "why didn't I spend the extra 300 or whatever ".
    Upgrading components is a money pit and bad businness in my eyes. buy the high end bike now. you drop 1200 on a HT it will be good and you will prob buy a FS to compliment it in a few years anyway.

    Sorry for long post.

    Paul

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the advice podracer. Am still considering which bike to buy- thinking about Specialized rockhopper comp disc or pro disc. Will go out this weekend to finally buy one, as I have time off.

    did you choose a FS for yourself? How did you like the trek that you had?

    the reason I am leaning towards the RH is because it had more of an upright position than Trek HTs, which seemed more racer-oriented in posture. Can you confirm this?

    Thanks,

    Sean

  21. #21
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    I decided to get a FS. Havent spent the money yet but its definately the way to go for what I am after. solid 3-5 hours spins often quite rocky and mussy in winter.
    I am delighted with trek 4500. no complaints about it really. even though the fork was a judy tt ( basic bottom of line rock shox ) i have been happy with. didn't know any other bikes or forks but I have found it fine with 80mm travel.
    The treks from 6000-8000 are more upright and race oriented though.
    my trek 4500's deore rear derailleur has been very solid for 2 years. cable stretch will happen with any of them. I have spent the last 3 weeks researching extensively and posting to several forums and i'll give you my conclusion and ideal component setup for value and durability. ( getting a bike to suit then is easier )
    1. Light alum frame. 25-28lbs for bike.
    2. Marzocci front fork. by far most reliable and maintenance free. Otherwise RShox recon or reba.
    3. LX rear derailleur. very durable / reliable and weight efficient. XT is nice but sacrafices durability for race performance. Deore/LX front derailleur. LX shifters ( deore at push ). SRAM equivelants are fine too.
    4. Bottom bracket will take abuse so at least an LX ( chances are none of the bikes will have a great one and their cheap to upgrade when the stock one breaks. 30 bucks will get an XT.
    5. Take the spec of 2-3 bikes you like and open up a good bike parts online shop and check prices of each component with theiir codes. You'll soon see where the bike makers have skimped to keep price down. I have shortlisted several 1500-2000 FS bikes that whilst having 4-500 buck forks have a 15buck bottom cheap bottom bracket.
    Its crazy.
    6. The cranks at least a deore. They will wear anyway and be replaced.
    7. Min Hydraulic brakes. Deore are fine and reliable / LX same with slight improvement. XT and above are not worth it for improvement. Juicy 3's are also solid and good.

    Good luck with your search. I am nearly gone demented :-)) but have learned a lot in my search too.

    MOST IMPORTANT THING IS GET IT AND GET OUT RIDING. UNFORTUNATELY LEGS CANNOT BE PURCHASED AT ANY COST. Unless you're Steve Austin.

    p

  22. #22
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    This afternoon or tomorrow I will call the bike shop to order one of two bikes>>>

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro disc vs Specialized Rockhopper Comp disc.

    Average Joe, I know- but I don't apologize since these two have been carefully calculated due to cost, LBS friendliess/service, quality, fit, etc.

    Here is my last (hopefully) consideration:

    As a newbie, I want to learn about riding style, techniques, and bike maintenance, etc.

    Do I want hydraulic discs to start with, or graduate to them? Mechanical discs are easier, and apparently inferior etc. But as a beginner who wants to learn how to maintain his bike, are hydros going to be a PIA? I was thinking of getting the comp disc, then over time get the best hydros if my riding style warrents and if I "outgrow" mechanicals.

    Or, does it make sense to plunk down extra $200.00 for lighter M4 frame, mango orange paint, and Juicy 3/7's hydaulic brakes to learn on and change oil myself, etc.?

    cost and color aside: Comp disc or Pro disc, in terms of maintenance and learning curve? (I suppose I could buy one of each and sell the other one...)

    Must...decide...now...!

    Any help?
    Last edited by mountain_bike; 05-08-2007 at 06:17 PM.

  23. #23
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    My vote is for The Rockhopper Pro

    in general Hydros need less adjustment.....cause they self adjust....I have been using a set of pretty basic hydors (Hayes HFX-9) for two years now...I have not had any problem with them.....Compared to a new Avid BB-7 that I have got a few months ago...I had to keep an eye on the BB-7s to make sure the adjustment is correct.

    and the BB-5s on the Comp Disk does not have any adjustment options either....and I would take the Juicy 3s over the BB5s any day...there is not necessarily a learning curve or progression from V-brake to Mechanical to hydro......You can just start with the hydro if its a decent quality....and I personally thin that the Avid Juicies are decent quality...

    Also, the Rockhopper Pro has a different frame (material M4) and a much better and lighter fork


    good luck.
    Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. - Bill Gates

  24. #24
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    I'd say to buy the FS bike now so you don't have any regrets... (My hardtail is a pretty bumpy ride) I'm going to pick up a FS bike within a month.

    I also have a lot of hobbies, but I figure that I'll stay in better shape biking. (So it's justified getting a $1400 bike). Got to stay in shape and stay healthy...

  25. #25
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    I like hydraulics because generally they are:
    -lighter in physical weight and pull is lighter.
    -better modulation
    -less maintenance/adjustments
    however I don't have any experience with Juicy 3s

    I noticed a difference in front suspension, Recon vs Tora. From the specs Recon is lighter with alloy stanchions and steerer but that is all I can comment as I don't have experiences with these also.

    Frame - M4 vs A1 Premium. There might be real difference or just marketing hype.


    If it were me, because I don't like to second guess afterwards, I 'll go with the Pro.

    Not much help sorry.

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