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  1. #1
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    Help selecting new bike

    Hi Folks, newbie here, and just recently started getting (back) into cycling again. I've been riding the heck out of my wall hanger, a 15 year old Trek 950, and it's starting to fall apart now. Pedals starting to go, crank goes clickety-click, gear front and rear are a little chewed up. The wheels (Mavic 217 - the stock ones kept tacoing on me) have seen better days. Love the bike, but don't really want to invest hundreds of dollars into a 15 year old bike.


    So, here we go:
    6'7", 325 lbs (down from 366 1/1/2013)
    34" inseam
    Riding mostly paved roads, packed trails, some gravel here and there.
    Current bike has a 22" frame and 24" top tube. I already have the seat all the way back, and the handlebar is set pretty far forward (see pic). I definitely feel a longer ETT would fit me better.

    Looking for a 26"/66 cm ETT hardtail MTB / cross country / whatever, budget is $1000. If I have to go to stronger wheels than stock, I'd still like to stay under a grand.
    Second problem is, that at least on my current bike, I feel really unstable when my cadence goes up (above 70 or so). Maybe it's due to my seating position (I'm still way forward even with the seat all the way back), or because it's just an old bike, but it has me worried about the gearing of the new bike. Tallest gear for me is currently 44 front / 11 back.

    Looked at Trek Wahoo / Marlin / Mamba, although the Mamba would break the budget if I have to get stronger wheels.
    Looks like a Specialized Rockhopper 29 would fit the bill, but I recall my friend had Rockhopper in 26" and would fold the wheels quite a bit. Would the 29 be strong enough for me (no actual rockhopping) ?
    Raleigh Talus XL felt too small.

    Can you guys recommend any other bikes the would fit my criteria ?

  2. #2
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    Weight-wise the RockHopper will be fine. I beat the crap out of mine at 320 pounds and other than going out of true, I never had a problem. Fit-wise, I can't say. I'm only 6'1 with a 32" inseam and I road a 21" frame which really was slightly big for me, but I didn't have any problems.

  3. #3
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAP_Pete View Post
    Hi Folks, newbie here, and just recently started getting (back) into cycling again. I've been riding the heck out of my wall hanger, a 15 year old Trek 950, and it's starting to fall apart now.

    So, here we go:
    6'7", 325 lbs (down from 366 1/1/2013)
    34" inseam
    Riding mostly paved roads, packed trails, some gravel here and there.
    Current bike has a 22" frame and 24" top tube. I already have the seat all the way back, and the handlebar is set pretty far forward (see pic). I definitely feel a longer ETT would fit me better.

    Looking for a 26"/66 cm ETT hardtail MTB / cross country / whatever, budget is $1000. If I have to go to stronger wheels than stock, I'd still like to stay under a grand.
    Second problem is, that at least on my current bike, I feel really unstable when my cadence goes up (above 70 or so). Maybe it's due to my seating position (I'm still way forward even with the seat all the way back), or because it's just an old bike, but it has me worried about the gearing of the new bike. Tallest gear for me is currently 44 front / 11 back.

    Looked at Trek Wahoo / Marlin / Mamba, although the Mamba would break the budget if I have to get stronger wheels.
    Looks like a Specialized Rockhopper 29 would fit the bill, but I recall my friend had Rockhopper in 26" and would fold the wheels quite a bit. Would the 29 be strong enough for me (no actual rockhopping) ?
    Raleigh Talus XL felt too small.

    Can you guys recommend any other bikes the would fit my criteria ?
    The Rockhopper Pro, Rockhopper Comp and entry level Rockhopper come in size XXL (the 23" frame) which is what I would suggest for your budget and height. MSRP for the Pro is $1300, Comp is $1100, so you should be able to get it out the door with either near your budget. The trick will be finding one in the 23" size. Check with the Specialized dealer to see if there is one in a warehouse that is available. They only make a select few in that size every year, and at this point in the year - they may be slim to none. The choice of which of the 3 may be dictated by what is or isn't available in the 23" size.

  4. #4
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    The 23" is your size as said up there. As for wheel sie - I'd look at 29er if I were you - getting the right size frame and the bigger wheels should give you a geometry that will help with the feeling of instability you currently experience as well.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, guys, appreciate the advice. I'll make the trip to the local Specialized dealer and see what he has / can get.

  6. #6
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    Dealer gets me a 23" frame 2013 Rockhopper to test this weekend, but it's the base model with the questionable fork, and I doubt I can tax it in the parking lot to see a difference first hand. I did find a old stock 2011 Rockhopper at another dealer that I almost picked up, but I really hated the SRAM shifters.
    Is that something people get easily used to ? All bikes I ever rode before had the Shimano style shifters.

  7. #7
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    Not sure. I prefer SRAM triggers (X.9) personally. You can skip the whole mess of trying to figure out which is better, SRAM or Shimano by doing what I did...going single speed

    Makes life on a bike so much simpler. Notice I didn't say easier?
    Last edited by Nubster; 06-10-2013 at 05:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    sram has two types of shifters, triggers (thumb-thumb) and grip shifters and both can be had in models compatible with shimano derailleurs or sram... shimano has triggers also but thumb pushes one way and index the other.

    given the option I'll take a Sram grip shift setup over shimano... but i'd still take sram triggers over shimano... although right now i'm using shimano dual control (shifter is integrated into the brake leaver)

    most people will get used to either setup but some people never warm up to grip shifters
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  9. #9
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    I wonder if the 22" Kona hardtails would work? Fire Mountain is $700. I just feel that they make strong bikes, and are usually a bit heavier for the right reasons (stronger wheels, etc).
    Also, all my bikes were shimano until my current bike, SRAM X0 with thumb thumb. I will only ride SRAM now. Much easier once you've used it, and adjusting a SRAM rear derailleur is much easier, due to cable tension requirements.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAP_Pete View Post
    Dealer gets me a 23" frame 2013 Rockhopper to test this weekend, but it's the base model with the questionable fork, and I doubt I can tax it in the parking lot to see a difference first hand. I did find a old stock 2011 Rockhopper at another dealer that I almost picked up, but I really hated the SRAM shifters.
    Is that something people get easily used to ? All bikes I ever rode before had the Shimano style shifters.
    I prefer the SRAM grip shifters to their triggers. It's not an expensive upgrade for the older style.
    He who dares....wins!

  11. #11
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    also less likely to get busted... gripshift has fewer parts... also weight weenies like em because they weigh less... I do prefer to have gloves with full thumb and index coverage with them though... the front der also has trim adjustment levels which I like up front
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the input and suggestions. I decided to stretch my budget a little and bought a 2012 X-Caliber 23" that was on sale for $ 1099. SRAM X7 thumbs, so I guess I'll try to get used to it. I suppose converting it to grip shift wouldn't be much of an issue. Picking up the bike from Trek Superstore next weekend.

  13. #13
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    Nice... trek stands behind their frames... as long as it fits right you can't go wrong with that
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  14. #14
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    And here we go, first ride out. Pretty much stock, Bonnie bar ends, and cheapo WTB pedals. I'm not liking the seat too much, so I'll swap it for my WTB Rocket V before the next ride.

  15. #15
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAP_Pete View Post
    And here we go, first ride out. Pretty much stock, Bonnie bar ends, and cheapo WTB pedals. I'm not liking the seat too much, so I'll swap it for my WTB Rocket V before the next ride.

    Congratulations!!!!

  16. #16
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    Thanks ! Just ordered some Oury Lock-on grips, the stock ones are way to thin for me.

  17. #17
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    Dude congrats. I bought the same exact bike 21 size (I am 6'2) for same exact price. I love it so far, have been on the rocky/rooty trail twice and it is such an adrenaline rush!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pg123 View Post
    Dude congrats. I bought the same exact bike 21 size (I am 6'2) for same exact price. I love it so far, have been on the rocky/rooty trail twice and it is such an adrenaline rush!!
    Grats, it's a really good deal ! Very happy with it so far, and the wheels have held up to my 320 lbs.

  19. #19
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    It's awesome to get the first ding out of the way on a new bike / car / whatever.
    Grand total of 20 miles on the bike, I swapped the seat post and saddle in from my old bike. The new bike didn't seem to approve, since the bolt holding the seat snapped, and I got some fierce road rash on my left leg, knee and elbow. Bar end and brake lever bent and scuffed. ;(

    On the bright side, put the old saddle on the new seat post and got the Oury grips mounted.

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