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  1. #1
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    300HT vs 450HT vs Dawes Haymaker 1k

    I'm a total noob just starting to look at bikes. I want something inexpensive I can tool around town and on dirt trails with. I am handy and technically inclined so assembling and tuning are no problem.

    I'm looking at the Bikes Direct bikes. The 300HT seems like a great value. The 450HT is about $50 more but includes disc brakes. It's really tough for me to tell what the difference is in the other components. Are the disc brakes, and other possible upgrades, worth the extra $50? What about the 400HT, which is for some reason $10 more than the 450HT? I do see the 400 and 300 use Shimano derailleurs while the 4350 uses SRAM.

    And how does the Dawes Haymaker 1000 compare to those 3 bikes?

    Here are links to all of them:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 400HT
    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 400HT
    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 450HT
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Dawes Haymaker 1000

  2. #2
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Also, a question on sizing. I'm about 5'8.5 and my inseam is 31". The Motobecane specs say that the standover height on the 18" frame is 30.6", which seems awfully high for an 18" frame and would be too high for me. Does that mean I should get the 16" frame with a standover of 29.2, or might that be too small?

    16" sounds awfully small to me. The SO on the 16" Motobecane is 0.2" higher than on the 17" Dawes.

  3. #3
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    I think you would be ok with an 18" frame. I used to have 17" Motobecane 600HT, and I'm an inch shorter than you, and the fit was excellent. Don't worry about standover too much - it really doesn't matter when you are riding in most trail situations. The 16" would be too small for you.

    The brakes pretty much suck on the 400HT and 450HT models. The V-brakes found on the 300HT are actually better, but you will have better shifting on the 400HT and 450HT.

    My friend just purchased a 500HT and its a pretty good entry level bike, except the brakes pretty much suck! LOL

    You can get a set of Avid BB5 disc brakes on eBay for $60, and sell the Tektros on the 400/450/500HT for about $25, so your net cost would be about $35 for a much better set of brakes. Just something to think about...

  4. #4
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    What's wrong with the brakes? Do they just not have a lot of stopping power?

    Thanks for the sizing info.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post
    What's wrong with the brakes? Do they just not have a lot of stopping power?
    They are very low end Tektros...not a lot of stopping power at all would be a good way to describe them. Simply put, they don't work very well.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    They are very low end Tektros...not a lot of stopping power at all would be a good way to describe them. Simply put, they don't work very well.

    Thanks again.

    Dick's has a Nishiki on sale for about the same price as the 300HT at the moment. Specs seem largely the same - Al frame, double wall Al wheels, Shimano Altus rear derailleur, etc.

    Is there a good reason to choose one over the other?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post
    Thanks again.

    Dick's has a Nishiki on sale for about the same price as the 300HT at the moment. Specs seem largely the same - Al frame, double wall Al wheels, Shimano Altus rear derailleur, etc.

    Is there a good reason to choose one over the other?
    Is it the Nishiki Alamosa or does it look similar to the Alamosa?

    If so, the geometry is similar to early to late 1990's models, in which case the Motobecane would be better. Basically just a more updated design, and some other components are probably better on the Motobecanes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Is it the Nishiki Alamosa or does it look similar to the Alamosa?

    If so, the geometry is similar to early to late 1990's models, in which case the Motobecane would be better. Basically just a more updated design, and some other components are probably better on the Motobecanes.
    It was the actual Alamosa.

    I spent some time at the local Dick's, which is a huge 2-story store with a large bike section, checking out frame sizes and frames, cross referencing the standover height specs on web sites. Nishiki had no geometry info, but Diamondback did. The Alamosa also looked a bit less modern.

    Long story short, I ended up leaving with a Diamondback Sorrento. Component-wise, it seems almost identical to the 300HT. The 18" (medium) standover height is 30" which ends up being just about perfect. The 300HT height is either 29.2 (16") or 30.6 (18"). If I could have tried out the 300HT for fit I would have gotten that. Instead I ended up with the Sorrento for a price-matched $299.

    I just spent the past few hours tinkering with the derailleurs and brakes getting everything just right and figuring out all the adjustments. I'm pretty happy with the purchase and I'm anxious to get it out.

    Thanks again for the help.

  9. #9
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    If it the one on the Dick's Sporting Goods website, its pretty close the the 300HT, but not as good as the 400HT. The V-brakes should be better than the cheap disc brakes that come on the Motos. Bottom line is if you like it and it fits, more power to you. Have fun with it and RIDE! By the end of the summer, you will probably want to upgrade to something better, but for now, it should do. Congrats on your purchase!

  10. #10
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    Yeah, that's the one. I played with the cheap Novela brakes on the Response and it looks like one pad is stationary and no matter what I did the rotor bent a little when braking. Looked like it would be more trouble than it was worth, especially if they don't stop much better than the V-brakes.

    I have so many sports I don't know if I'll be needing or wanting to upgrade any time soon. I'll definitely enjoy this one as much as I can.

  11. #11
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    I had personal experience with Windsor Cliff bike.. the suntour XCT fork is pure garbage.. it tops out so easily.. clunk clunk clunk... I see some of the bikes in your selection do not have the XCT fork.. I'm sure they all the similar low ceiling of performance.. but if those forks are not known to top-out with a clunk, I would go with those bikes.. a simple google research will reveal their differences

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boogman View Post
    I had personal experience with Windsor Cliff bike.. the suntour XCT fork is pure garbage.. it tops out so easily.. clunk clunk clunk... I see some of the bikes in your selection do not have the XCT fork.. I'm sure they all the similar low ceiling of performance.. but if those forks are not known to top-out with a clunk, I would go with those bikes.. a simple google research will reveal their differences
    Yep. You get what you paid for, and unfortunately, most bikes under $600, whether from a bike store or from Bikes Direct or wherever are equipped with the Suntour XCT fork or similar low end model. In the case with the Motobecane 300HT and the Diamondback mentioned above, the fork is even worse than the Suntour XCT. Suntour does have an upgrade program where you can upgrade your fork to a Suntour Raidon Air Fork or better starting at $150, which is superior to the XCT. For more information, check out the link below:

    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

  13. #13
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    Just to follow up, got the bike on the trail yesterday. Did about 4.3 miles with 865 feet of total ascent. First time ever on a mountain bike on dirt. Holy cow did I have fun. The bike performed beautifully, too.

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