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  1. #1
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    Noob needs help buying bike

    Hello. I am hoping y'all can help me out I am trying to pick out a bike for myself. I am 6'6" 230lbs with a 36" inseam. I am looking for a nice bike to mainly be used for exercise. I do crossfit and want to mix up things in my workouts a few 3 mile rides mixed with weight lifting sounds fun. I currently run and kayak during them just want more variety. I will mainly ride roads, gravel roads, dirt, grass and small hills (it's pretty flat down here). I will also use the bike to ride some nearby trails at the state park, and ride with my family. We got my wife a gt avalanche 1.0 a couple weeks ago because she loved it and it was on clearance at rei. Actually picked up a trail-a-bike last night off Craigslist for my son. I have narrowed my list down to 3 bikes
    Specialized hardrock sport disc 29
    Specialized rockhopper 29
    GT Karakoram 2.0

    Less than $1000 for sure cheaper the better. But I still want a nice quality bike with a lockout. Is the rockhopper worth $250 more than the hardrock? I really like the hyd brakes on my wife's. What are yalls opinions?

  2. #2
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    rockhopper, 9 speed is better than 8 speed. Better shock on the rockhopper. If you dont plan on upgrading parts spend a little more in the begining.

  3. #3
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    Thanks I'm leaning towards the rockhopper anyway. What does everyone think of the gt Karakoram 2.0? Seems better components for less $ guess not paying for the specialized on the frame tube.

  4. #4
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    You're a big guy and I actually think a cheap 29er is not a good decision. Larger rims and longer spokes mean the wheels are weaker then a cheap 26inch wheel. I bought the 2011 rockhopper 29er and I had many problems with the rims denting and getting all wobbly. They did not last as long as the old single walled, 36 spoke that came on my old ridged 26".

    Also the tektro brakes just didn't have enough stopping power. They are definitely not suited for a 230lbs rider. They wouldn't work very well for a 130lbs rider...

    The Karakoram 2.0 has the rockshoxs fork which are well made, are nice and smooth and have 100mm travel but the stanchions are only 28mm diameter. Those are the skinniest little forks on the market and they are being stretched to fit around the big wheels. If they don't snap they will certainly flex like crazy and move out sideways around corners.

    If you get an XL 26inch bike it will be inherently stronger at the same price point. Because everything is closer together there is less leverage for the forces to act upon.

    If you want/need a 29er I would suggest you spend some more money and get a bike that comes with a better frame, better wheels and better fork.

    The Ranges that maintain the local tracks near me bought themselves some new bikes last year. They were looking at the Rockhoppers at the LBS but work place health and safety got involved and were specifically asking about bike strength. All the Rangers now get around here on 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper comp 29ers.

  5. #5
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    Not sure I would go with the Rockhopper either. My son has one and has really beat his up within the year of having it. He's under 200 lbs but has already needed a much better fork (Rockshox Recon) and has ruined the two smallest cogs on the cassette. LBS ordered a new cassette for him yesterday. He just rides around the neighborhood and through some of the rural roads, nothing fancy or hard but he's wearing out the parts.

    Only reason I figured out what was wrong is we were riding through the mud on the local trail and I heard the metallic grind he complains about and realized it wasn't his crankset but the cassette. He's usually a 1/2 mile ahead of me but for the first time I was able to keep up on the trail. It appears my Fargo handles mud better than his Rockhopper. LOL.

    The frame seems fine, but you may go through parts faster than the average person or have to upgrade parts like the fork.

    I agree on the brakes. Crappy brakes.

    I'm no expert on bikes, but would something the Trek Mamba work for him if he's looking for around a thousand dollars? I've never had a problem and I'm 220 and just ride around. It handled a MTB single track trail just fine despite my inexperience.

    Your other problem may be is that the bigger the bike (since you are tall) the harder it is on the 29 inch wheels and the frame. However; would the 26 inch tires be too small and you would look out of proportion with the bike?

  6. #6
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    I would buy this for the components and who cares about the frame. It should last you a while and if you break it take all the parts off and put them on a new niner frame or something.

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29PRO 1300.00

    Pretty good components that should last a while for you. I started out riding a crappy 500 dollar 26er and I can tell you it was no fun at all. It was a 24 speed and I felt like I couldnt pedal up a 20 foot hill. So I can go ahead and say that bad components make for a sucky ride, more than you would think. You dont necessarily have to spend 4000 to have fun, but having a nice bike with good components will make your day a lot better.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input my lbs is telling me the 26" just doesn't fit me well. They carry giant and specialized. They are telling me the hardrock sport will be fine but I really would rather the rockhopper as a base. I don't mind upgrading parts later as they wear out just I can't spend more than $1000 on a bike. That already is pushing it.
    What are common failure points on bikes like this I love to tinker and make my own parts (I am a machinist with my own machines at home to play on). Anything that no one makes but would help out a lot?

  8. #8
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    Just looked at Giant's 29er, the Talon and then the Rockhopper. Both are comparably priced. Rockhopper is much cooler looking for sure. I'm still no expert on components but they seem to be okay and are entry level for mountain bikes.

    Ride both if they have the Talon and see what you like. It really comes down to which fits you better and as you said, upgrade as you go. You can upgrade all you want but if the bike doesn't fit, you'll never like it.

  9. #9
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    I didn't care for the giant at all. Just didn't feel right. I'm going out of town tomorrow going to check out a few shops in a bigger town to see what they have. Thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany1 View Post
    I'm no expert on bikes, but would something the Trek Mamba work for him if he's looking for around a thousand dollars? I've never had a problem and I'm 220 and just ride around. It handled a MTB single track trail just fine despite my inexperience.
    Yeah cheak it out Mamba - Trek Bicycle I want one!

  11. #11
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    Honestly almost every hard tail frame is going to be very similar, what it comes down to is parts, fit, and cost. Specialized is very competitive with their pricing and their components i have found. If you are looking for a hard tail specifically and dont care about a tapered head tube or 12x142 go with a bike 1-2 years old. You will save a ton of money and get a better bike.

    You will trash the wheels on any cheap 29'r. You get what you pay for as far as components.

    Here are some other comps....

    Cannondale SL2
    TRAIL SL 29'ER 2

    Fezzari Wasatch Peak
    Wasatch Peak 29er Twenty Niner MTB | Fezzari Bikes

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input I just ordered a 2011 spec rockhopper comp 29 from my lbs in a 23inch frame. Got a good deal on it. Can't wait to put some miles on it this weekend.

  13. #13
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    Yeah you can deffinately get a good deal on past year models in the new year.

  14. #14
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    I am 6'8" 280lbs with 36" inseam and rode a 26" rockhopper (21" frame) for 3 years with no issues. I rode it hard, including some lift served downhill and stair jumping in bahstan. Of course I didnt bomb it but i was moving. I couldn't recommend the bike enough-it has a rockshock Tora with lockout and mech. disc brakes. I still have it- it's a 2008 and I bought it 2009 for $820 iirc. I think it would be a great choice for you.

  15. #15
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    Where were you a week ago sugarbushrider? Mrmachinist needed some advice like this before he bought that bike. I think Mrmachinist should have got a 21" with a rockshox fork. The fork the wheels and the brakes are just too cheap on the 2011 rockhopper comp and I think he is going to have problems.

  16. #16
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    I tried the 21 and it was just too cramped feeling. I hope y'all are wrong about having problems with it. I'm sure I got way too much bike for what I need. I will be mostly on flat roads and the only trail local has a 8 foot elevation change.

  17. #17
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    I'm in a similar situation, 6'2" 300 pounds looking to do nothing too crazy mountain biking (no big jumps just yet) - mostly just fire roads and trails in LA. I really want to buy my bike through REI - any suggestions?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockandroll322 View Post
    I'm in a similar situation, 6'2" 300 pounds looking to do nothing too crazy mountain biking (no big jumps just yet) - mostly just fire roads and trails in LA. I really want to buy my bike through REI - any suggestions?
    Go to a few LBS, see what they have in your size and price range, then do some more research on whats good and what isnt.

  19. #19
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    Thanks, Rome - do you recommend any other places than here for research?

  20. #20
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    The MTBR reviews are pretty good usually, but when reading them you need to understand that a lot of people have the excitement from the purchase. What is your budget looking like and do you want a 26 or 29'r?

  21. #21
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    Under $1000 and I liked the 29er that I rode. What would be the major difference if I went with a 26?

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