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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Looking at getting my first mountain bike

    So I am in the market for my first mountain bike. I have a tarmac rode bike but want to get into the mountain bike seen. I am 5'8 175. I will be riding mostly at anadel and china camp with some other local spots. north star tahoe trips in the summer. Ive been looking at the stump jumpers and the ibis. I am stuck between the 26 and 29 I don't no the difference personally just what I have read on the forum. I like to get all into a hobby So I don't want to get anything cheap.

    I'm looking at spending 5,000 or under.

    any info is appreciated, id love to here some of the riders 2 cents.

    thanks

  2. #2
    crazymanaridin
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    go to some lbs's and ride some

    I have heard everyone say this, title, i rode a beginer bike, 26 ironhorse for 4 years before buying a Scott, I like the 29er a lot but i'm 6'3" with 36 inseam on a xl hardtail. When i was shopping i road a few bikes, still like the Scott Scale better than bikes twice its price for the feel and fit.
    Its all about fit and what your going to be riding, trails, down hill, ??
    Just get one that fits and the best bike in your budget

  3. #3
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    A bike that is fun at China Camp or Annadel will not be very much fun at Northstar and vice-versa. For Bay Area trails you want a more cross country oriented bike (XC) and for Northstar you want a freeride or downhill bike. A bike for Northstar will be too heavy and no fun at all at China Camp and the perfect China Camp bike will get trashed and take more skill to ride at Northstar safely than you will have for many years. Wheel size is more personal preference, but for XC I think 29er is where it's at.

    If you have the funds for an Ibis, then go ahead - they are sweet bikes. But I wouldn't take it to Northstar if I were you but Downieville would be fine.

  4. #4
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
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    If you want 26" go Stumpjumper FSR or Claymore 2
    If you want 29" go Rumblefish or Genius 900
    If you have NO idea what you want for wheel size, go 27.5", Genius 700 is under $5000

    It all depends on what trails you would be riding.
    Technical/ Downhill: 26"
    "All-Mountain": 26 or 27.5
    Normal Singletrack: 29" or 27.5"
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  5. #5
    All this harmonica stuff
    Reputation: Haint's Avatar
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    Staying on the steam? Go 29'r for all-out motivation. Like to cut corners a bit? 650b. Ride like a Sushi Knife? 26".

    As far as brands, figure your extremes for cadence days and terrain days, then pick a travel range. Alot of good pedalling bikes arein the 6-7" range for 26". The far-end at 29" has 5.5" front and back - matches. 650B there in the middle has alot of spirit, so figure on a 5" bike there.

    FSR-type will provide a very complient ride all around, linkage driven single-pivots will have a lively feel in the saddle, and dual-link bikes have a adaption period where the back-end becomes a seperate extension of yourself; it is always at-task beneath the whole bike. It's fun, that's what I ride.

  6. #6
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    My suggestion would be to visit a bike dealer (LBS) in your area that has some demo./test bikes that you can try out. Take a 26 to the trails you'll be riding most often and then on a different day take a 29 and see which one you like better. It looks like Mike's Bikes is a huge dealer in your area and has several top brands like Santa Cruz, Cannondale and Specialized.

    I've owned the Stumpjumper 26 and like it a lot until I tried a bike with 29 wheels and I immediately decided to sell the 26. Where I ride, there is a good bit of climbing required and it was amazing how much better the 29 rolled over roots, rocks and ledges that I normally got hung up on. It made my ride much more enjoyable and on the downhills it turns in slightly slower and isn't quite as agile but it is more stable and feels planted.

    Try both. The brand isn't as important as having a good relationship with your LBS. With the kind of money you're willing to spend, you should end up with quite a nice ride. Good luck.

  7. #7
    EMBA Member
    Reputation: Ladmo's Avatar
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    When I first got back into riding, I bought a decent but not too expensive bike, used it for 2 years, then bought my current bike which is much more expensive. My old bike makes for a decent backup and I can let others use it when they come to town, etc... Unless you are in position to be able to afford another $5k (or more) bike in a year or two after you sort out what style of riding you enjoy best, there are lots of perfectly good bikes available for a lot less than $5k. I suggest finding a lbs that you are comfortable at, and going from there. A high quality bike with high end components is a pleasure to ride, but I don't remember ever having a bad time on the trails no matter what bike I was on.

  8. #8
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    Reputation: bigfruits's Avatar
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    take your time and do plenty of research. buying a great bike the first time is a very good idea.

    i have never ridden the trails you mentioned.

    i would buy a frame with "all mountain" or "trail" geometry. this puts you a bit more upright than XC geometry and is just simply more fun and capable.130-160mm travel, short stem, wide handle bars, slack head tube.

    i agree with CannondaleF9 on the wheel sizing. i wouldnt get a 29r unless you are just doing XC trails (or if you were taller). test ride as much as you can!

    if i was in the market for a new trail bike i would want to test ride a santa cruz blur trc 275 and a norco sight killer b 275.

  9. #9
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    Good luck on picking the new bike! I found picking my first bike to be super stressful. I finally just went with a low cost entry level bike to get familiar with what I would want and decided to go from there. I sill own it, a Santa Cruz Heckler and I am actually pretty happy with it but I am not an aggressive rider either.. Also, find a good shop that will allow you to demo and pick up a copy of The Bible by Bike Magazine - they just released their issue with all the new reviews.

    I also have a Tarmac... high five on that one!

  10. #10
    1/2 fast or 1/2 assed?
    Reputation: Koppuh Klyde's Avatar
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    A lot of good answers here. One thing I'll add is to find a LBS (local bike shop) that you want to give your money to. Remember, you;ll have to go back for services and repairs if youre just getting into it (not wrenching your own bike.) You dont want to have to deal w/ a bunch of asshats who just want to suck your wallet dry.

    I say dress down (so you dont look like youre gonna blow $5K right now) and just browse ALL of your LBSs to find the one you like best. Also, look into the Beginner Forum Beginner's Corner - Mtbr Forums Theres a lot of good stuff to read there, especially on safety equipment and supplies youll want to take with you. Good luck!
    I'm a ******bag in real life so I dont have to be one on the interwebz.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Intense Carbine or Tracer. Both available in 27.5.

    Turner Spot or Burner.

    Banshee Rune II or Prime.

    Well, that's what I'd get anyway LOL. Lots of great bikes out there.
    Check out my You Tube Channel

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    If you are willing to give me $200, I'll give you 10 hours of my time as a personal mtb shopping assistant. It will be well worth it.

  13. #13
    Ariolimax columbianus
    Reputation: nativeson's Avatar
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    29er forked geared hardtail. Used giant glory, used nomad two forks? I've ridden annadel and china camp on my hardtails and had great times. Don't do N* but It seems like you'd have better Craigslist luck gettin a used dh bike.

    Really depends what you like better on the more xc rides around the bay area. Some crazy online deals for new 29ers though.

  14. #14
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    They should delete threads such as this when the OP doesn't return for his free solicited advice...

  15. #15
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    If you are willing to give me $200, I'll give you 10 hours of my time as a personal mtb shopping assistant. It will be well worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    They should delete threads such as this when the OP doesn't return for his free solicited advice...
    Totally. I found your advice the most helpful.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    They should delete threads such as this when the OP doesn't return for his free solicited advice...
    Or maybe stick it in the beginners forum where it belongs?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  17. #17
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    Just got a 2013 stumpjumper evo 29er and couldn't be happier. Highly recommended While it is a hardtail, it's comes with great components and slight ridged ride makes carving more fun.
    Specialized Stumpjumper Evo 29er - "Bike 'Til You Barf!"

  18. #18
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    If you are currently a roadie then a 29er hard tail might be a good way to transition to the trails. Someone mentioned Specialized EVOs -- those are really nice bikes and the SJ HT in aluminum is a bargain for what you get while the carbon version looks like a bike that could make any racer happy (it's rigid though).
    If you don't mind spending the money then select a frame and build or have built for you a custom bike. You pay more than for off-the-rack but get exactly what you want. Niner frame, Shimano brakes, SRAM drivetrain, Stan's wheels, Fox fork etc. YUM! Of course that presumes that you do the research to find out what you want.

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