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  1. #1
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    Very green, a lot of questions

    I apologize up front but I am sure this will be long winded. Basically my wife and I are looking for new bikes and I am totally lost and overwhelmed with how everything has changed. It has been roughly 20 years ago since I rode seriously, while I had mountain bikes of old (Huffy's), at that time it was a Dyno VFR trail riding and small jumps in our woods behind our house.

    I have been researching and researching until my eyes have crossed and I keep coming back to a Diamondback Overdrive, Diamondback Overdrive Sport/Comp, leaning towards the latter due to the hydraulic brakes. I think I will be ok with assembly with a little instruction/videos, I can teardown and reassemble an engine no problem. My budget isn't much, $1000 AT MOST, and less would be nice but I understand price alot of times dictates quality. The budget is firm at $1k. I am looking at hardtails only with my budget. My wife and I do a lot of travel trailer camping and most of our riding would be paved with ocassional dirt trails down to the lakes/water. Also I want a bike I can pull a child in a trailer with. What else should I be looking at with a 1k max budget?

    My old bikes were 26", would I be better off looking at 26, 27.5, 29? I am 6'1 255 if that matters. Some rides will probably be 15+ miles, I am sure I will want a different seat built more for comfort, any recommendations?

    I am having a hard time looking at anything for my wife. She is only 4'11 and it seems the smallest adult bikes are for around 5'2 on the smaller side. Is she going to need to go with a kids bike?

    Tomorrow I am going to go to Granada Bicycles which is local to me to look around. I am sure I will be overwhelmed again especially with the prices on most of the bikes but I want to see what else is out there in person and maybe sit on and get a feel for some bikes.

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    It doesn't sound like a lot of what you're asking is - to be honest - horribly important. You need some functional, utilitarian bikes, which at that price point, is going to be the best you can hope for. The visit to the local shop is going to be important, because you're going to figure something out. Almost all of the bikes you're looking at are going to have cheaper coil suspension forks on them, and none of those springs are going to be up to your weight. So I'm going to make a recommendation here, and bear with me. Look at bikes that don't have a suspension fork. It doesn't sound like you're going to be out sending it, so at $1K for a bike, you could consider something like (just an example for you to look up) a Giant Anyroad, which if memory serves, is just under 1K. It looks sort of like a road bike, but has larger tires, disc brakes, and is basically designed for riding what you're talking about. Don't get hung up on MTB's and buy something that won't perform at your size - which I know is tricky because I'm not a small guy either.

    The other thing is the seat. You're talking about a more comfortable seat, and if you're picturing one of those big cushy things like came on your grandmother's bike, stop. Over time those seats are worse than the "butt hatchet" seats that come on bikes. Those big seats put pressure on nerves and blood vessels they shouldn't, while a properly fitted "butt hatchet" seat will put the weight on your sit bones, where it belongs. Also, ANY seat is going to be uncomfortable when you first start riding. You will get used to it. This is why cowboys could ride a horse all day, and get right back on the next day and do it again, while people who didn't do such things spend an hour in the saddle and walk funny for 3 days. There was nothing special about the cowboys except that they were used to it, had adapted to it. You will too.

    Honestly hope this helps. Keep an open mind when you visit the bike shop, ask about stuff without suspension, see what they say.

  3. #3
    High Desert MTBer
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    While I agree largely with what is posted above, I would say maybe look at used bikes at a reputable site. This would give you the option of finding something at a more sensible price point that does have suspension that would work for you. 255 lbs does not necessarily mean you cannot run with some suspension up front of even in the rear. Yes, the trails you mention may not necessarily require suspension, but in my experience it does make the experience more pleasant if you can get it working well.
    I do not like spending a ton of money on new bikes, and my last couple have been from Pinkbike's For sale pages. I have had good experiences there, and there are certain protections you may not find at Craigslist for instance. If you are mechanically minded as you seem to be, you should be fine with putting right anything that does not suit you 'out of the box'. My last purchase I had to do quite a lot to make it suit my needs, but it was very much worth the effort for a killer bike now. Sure, my budget was somewhat more than yours, but the process translates down the money scale.
    I would say go with at least a 27.5" since that is less of a jump from the 26" you were used to, and does all you could want without going to the 29er. If you get something a little more capable, it will open up more possibilities for you when you are able to go ride something more challenging, because the bug will take hold once again, and if you are bringing up a small child, I fully understand the constraints of budgeting! A more capable bike may well remain out of reach for a while.

    Edit: I actually sold a very lightly used Stumpy a few years back for 600 bucks, that would have been perfect for you! Hardtail but very capable and fun... Only thing was it was a 26", but that kind of thing would be great. At that price you could even have upgraded the fork if the original had not worked...
    It's all Here. Now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    So I'm going to make a recommendation here, and bear with me. Look at bikes that don't have a suspension fork. It doesn't sound like you're going to be out sending it, so at $1K for a bike...

    The other thing is the seat. You're talking about a more comfortable seat... Those big seats put pressure on nerves and blood vessels they shouldn't...
    Good advice here I think.

    I'm a fan of Kona for value and they have a full rigid in the line up as well as XS sizes for your wife.

    Look at the:

    Unit X in a probably a L for you, and the
    Mohala in an XS for your bride

    Have fun shopping!
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I ended up putting a deposit down today on a 2017 specialized rockhopper expert. I would have waited until next month and just paid in full but being a 2017 model I could not order one at that price and there were only 2 left and one was a small. I did address the concerns for a rigid front and I was assured with the air shock on this bike the shop could tune it to work for me...I hope they are right. If not I can put my deposit towards a different bike so nothings really lost. It is suppose to be highs in the low 20's tomorrow....but trust me I am excited enough I am pretty sure I would ride! Now the search for accessories begins.

  6. #6
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCharger View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I ended up putting a deposit down today on a 2017 specialized rockhopper expert. I would have waited until next month and just paid in full but being a 2017 model I could not order one at that price and there were only 2 left and one was a small. I did address the concerns for a rigid front and I was assured with the air shock on this bike the shop could tune it to work for me...I hope they are right. If not I can put my deposit towards a different bike so nothings really lost. It is suppose to be highs in the low 20's tomorrow....but trust me I am excited enough I am pretty sure I would ride! Now the search for accessories begins.
    With an air fork you should be fine. It's the cheap coil forks that would cause problems. Enjoy!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCharger View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I ended up putting a deposit down today on a 2017 specialized rockhopper expert. I would have waited until next month and just paid in full but being a 2017 model I could not order one at that price and there were only 2 left and one was a small. I did address the concerns for a rigid front and I was assured with the air shock on this bike the shop could tune it to work for me...I hope they are right. If not I can put my deposit towards a different bike so nothings really lost. It is suppose to be highs in the low 20's tomorrow....but trust me I am excited enough I am pretty sure I would ride! Now the search for accessories begins.
    Little confused about a deposit down and also riding the next day, but I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Hopefully you got a nice discount being last year's model since you'd otherwise pay a bit more for the "Specialized" name.

    3x9 is a bit old-fashioned, but plenty adequate... I still have that on 4 bikes in the household. It'll keep the maintenance costs low.

    BTW, Suntour has a nice fork upgrade program: If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

    [Edit] Or does the 2017 have 2x10 and an Manitou fork?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCharger View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I ended up putting a deposit down today on a 2017 specialized rockhopper expert. I would have waited until next month and just paid in full but being a 2017 model I could not order one at that price and there were only 2 left and one was a small. I did address the concerns for a rigid front and I was assured with the air shock on this bike the shop could tune it to work for me...I hope they are right. If not I can put my deposit towards a different bike so nothings really lost. It is suppose to be highs in the low 20's tomorrow....but trust me I am excited enough I am pretty sure I would ride! Now the search for accessories begins.
    Congrats! Go on and enjoy and don't over think things too much now that you made a purchase decision.

    I glanced at your post/s and see that nothing in your intended use or expectations really calls out for any special features , 'modern' bike iterations of the latest or anything real pricey.

    Unless really getting picky and overly technical, bikes have not changed much at all in many, many years. Slight improvements here and there and as anything else, big jumps in prices for small gains in performance or some lighter components.
    Camp ground use for trails and paths and even some rough and tumble trails/adventure riding won't benefit in large increment by costly alternatives. Sounds like you did fine.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    Little confused about a deposit down and also riding the next day, but I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Hopefully you got a nice discount being last year's model since you'd otherwise pay a bit more for the "Specialized" name.

    3x9 is a bit old-fashioned, but plenty adequate... I still have that on 4 bikes in the household. It'll keep the maintenance costs low.

    BTW, Suntour has a nice fork upgrade program: If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

    [Edit] Or does the 2017 have 2x10 and an Manitou fork?
    Sorry for the confusion. I needed the deposit to hold it since it was the last 2017 that would fit me. We are going to use tax money to fund the purchase, only reason it did not go home with me. The riding the next day comment was only if it had gone home with me, just dreaming.

    You are correct, it is the manitou fork and 2x10 driveline. The 1x's sadly were all well beyond my budget but I did ask.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Congrats! Go on and enjoy and don't over think things too much now that you made a purchase decision.

    I glanced at your post/s and see that nothing in your intended use or expectations really calls out for any special features , 'modern' bike iterations of the latest or anything real pricey.

    Unless really getting picky and overly technical, bikes have not changed much at all in many, many years. Slight improvements here and there and as anything else, big jumps in prices for small gains in performance or some lighter components.
    Camp ground use for trails and paths and even some rough and tumble trails/adventure riding won't benefit in large increment by costly alternatives. Sounds like you did fine.
    Thanks for the reply. I think you are correct, I don't need anything latest and greatest. My intentions were to get enough quality out of the gate where I really don't need to upgrade anything down the road. I know that is a little different approach than most here but I think in the long run I should be just fine. Who knows....maybe this will be my next gun collection (hope not, wife will kill me)....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCharger View Post
    You are correct, it is the manitou fork and 2x10 driveline.
    Cool. The 2017 looks better spec'ed than the 2018.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ro...=208568-115148

    BTW... Absolutely nothing wrong with a 2X drivetrain as long as you can comprehend shifting. I prefer it myself for where I ride.
    --------------

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  12. #12
    Co Springs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCharger View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I think you are correct, I don't need anything latest and greatest. My intentions were to get enough quality out of the gate where I really don't need to upgrade anything down the road. I know that is a little different approach than most here but I think in the long run I should be just fine. Who knows....maybe this will be my next gun collection (hope not, wife will kill me)....
    Lol , we guys are a 'collective group'.
    Your post reminded me that my first real idea/purpose for getting my 91 Spec HardRock was for toting on our pop-up camper, also a 1991 purchase although a bit more than $330.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

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