which one for a beginner clyde?
So I've thoroughly immersed myself in all the mtb blogs and forums, and have a good idea of what to look for, and test rode some models but have a hard time picking one...I like the feel of all these bikes, so technically speaking which one is most worth my money? in other words, which will give me the most bang for my buck?
1. Specialized Hardrock Sport
2. Cannondale CO2 F7 (08)
3. Gary Fisher Wahoo
others in the fold include and 08 F5 and a base RockHopper, but they are still a little over my budget...not by much, so I'm willing to step it up if either one is considerably a better bike than the others...
I'll be riding a good mix of paved road and light to moderate trails...no hardcore stuff. i'm 6'1'' and on the heavier side of 240 if those are relevant to making a decision....
on a side question...what is the difference between a mechanical and a hydraulic lockout? the wahoo has the latter while the other two have the former. and advantages or disadvantages to either?
i love my hardrock but i purchased the comp disk and i'm upgreding the front forks. find a few shops localy that you can test ride one of each and see what feels right.
long standing member
Get a bike with disc brakes, which means you'll have to spend a bit more on the Specialized or Fisher to get the next model in their lineup. The Specialized HT frames have a reputation for being pretty bombproof and would be my first choice for a clyde in this price range. If you've got wide shoulders I'd bet you'll be more comfortable on wider handlebars than any of these bikes offer (I prefer 28"). Maybe your local shop will do a swap for some wider bars.
The Fisher has "G2 Geometry", which creates a different cockpit fit/feel compared to most other brands. When my wife was shopping for a bike she tried models in this price range from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized and ended up liking the Gary Fisher. Get some test rides on these bikes to help determine what you prefer.
The forks on these bikes are pretty bare bones and probably won't perform all that great when the trail gets rough. Lockout is a handy feature when riding on smooth surfaces on when pedaling while standing, but I'm not sure what the exact differences are between the hydraulic (I assume uses contained oil or air pressure to prevent fork compression) and mechanical lockout (which I guess uses some kind of metal fixture to prevent movement). I've got two forks in my garage with lockout (one mechanical and one hydraulic) and both lockouts seem to work fine.
The rest components on each of the models you listed are pretty similar, and standard for this price point. It's possible (likely?) that if you do a decent amount of off-road riding that you mind find some of these parts inadequate. I'd suggest riding them as is, making sure that you keep up on maintenance (check bolt torques regularly, keep wheels in true, regular drivetrain cleaning/replacement, etc.) and upgrade as needed in the future.
Originally Posted by dmbartender