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  1. #1
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    Help me decide on a bike!

    Hello All!

    I'm new to this wonderful forum and have a few questions about deciding on a bike. I have never owned a higher end bike before and have been introduced to several models at the bike shops I've visited in the Mississauga area (near Toronto, Canada). I have tried out the Giant Iguana which is pretty comfortable, Specialized Hard Rock Sport disc (not too impressed), the Gary Fisher Kaitai and Utopia (both strongly recommended to me by the bike shop b/c I told them I primarily bike on roads and light trails).

    Can anybody give me some insight on which of these bikes are worth investing in?

    I've been trying to read up on components and I know the Utopia has nicer components and I was told by the sales rep it is cheaper to upgrade to a better bike now that switch components down the road (kaitai to Utopia)

  2. #2
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    any opinions on the fisher marlin and piranha as well?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven.wonder
    Hello All!

    I'm new to this wonderful forum and have a few questions about deciding on a bike. I have never owned a higher end bike before and have been introduced to several models at the bike shops I've visited in the Mississauga area (near Toronto, Canada). I have tried out the Giant Iguana which is pretty comfortable, Specialized Hard Rock Sport disc (not too impressed), the Gary Fisher Kaitai and Utopia (both strongly recommended to me by the bike shop b/c I told them I primarily bike on roads and light trails).

    Can anybody give me some insight on which of these bikes are worth investing in?

    I've been trying to read up on components and I know the Utopia has nicer components and I was told by the sales rep it is cheaper to upgrade to a better bike now that switch components down the road (kaitai to Utopia)
    They are all good bikes that you are checking out. If you are going to be riding roads most of the time, I'd go for the utopia. It can probably handle light trails pretty decent, but It won't be good for any of the really rough stuff. It all depends on how much you wanna spend. The best advice I can give is to try as many bikes as you can and see which one feels the best. Then buy the best bike that you can afford.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  4. #4
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    What does rough mean?

    I am a bit confused on the type of riding the Utopia is capable of because yes I will be riding primarily on the road but I would like a bike where I know it can withstand going through a bit of mud once in a while and can go over some rocks and stuff. I do not plan to do any 2 foot jumps but as long as the Utopia is decently strong I may end up getting it. As for the UTOPIA what do you think about the components versus the Kaitai? I know the Kaitai has lockout but is the fork (SR NRX6500 w/Lock-Out | 63mm travel) as good as the one on the Utopia (Manitou Empire Elite | 75mm travel) which does not have lockout? I know the other components like the derailleurs are better on the Utopia.

  5. #5
    TXAG
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    For the price of the utopia, I would also look at the Tassajara and the Trek 6500. The Marlin and Piranha are both good bikes. I would reccomend the Piranha out of the 2. If I were in your position, I would probably get a more capable bike, like the Tass, that would be fine for riding on the road but would also take anything that you throw at it on the trail. You need to know though, the Tass, Marlin, and Piranha all use "genesis geometry." This is great for some but not a comfortable for others. It uses a longer top tube and shorted chainstays to put you a little more over the rear axel of the bike. It is great for climbing, but if you are like me with a short torso, it might not be comfortable. Like was said, ride as many bikes as you can, and get the best bike that you can afford. This will help you in the long run.

    The reason I say to get a more capable bike such as the Tass or Piranha is you never know what you will want to ride after you start. You might get bored on the bike path and want to cross over and ride some real singletrack trails with rocks and roots and such and you want to have a bike that can handle it. Good luck and happy trails.

  6. #6
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    Yeah that's a great point because I know hybrids are a good all around bike but I do want something a bit more rugged.

    I have narrowed it down to the Giant Iguana and Gary Fisher Piranha.

    Can someone tell me if both specs are similar?


    Giant Iguana $799.99 (Canadian Dollars)

    frame ALUXX SL butted aluminum
    fork Marzocchi EXR 100mm Travel
    shifters Shimano Deore
    front derailleur Shimano Alivio
    rear derailleur Shimano Deore
    brakes Hayes MX2 Disc 6" Rotor
    brake levers Avid FR5
    cassette SRAM PG950 11-34, 9-speedT
    chain Shimano HG53
    cranks TruVative ISO Flow 22/32/42T for Powerspline
    bb Powerspline
    rims Alex CR18 32H Double Wall
    hubs Formula 32H Disc
    spokes Stainless steel 14G
    tires Kenda Blu8e Groove/Nevegal 26 x 2.1"
    handlebar Alloy31.8mm High Rise
    stem Alloy 15 Degree Rise
    headset Integrated, 1 1/8"
    seatpost Alloy 30.9x350
    saddle WTB Speed V
    pedals Steel w/resin body
    extras chainguard



    Gary Fisher Piranha

    Main frame Gold Series 6061 T6 internally and externally butted aluminum | Genesis Geometry

    Fork Manitou Axel Elite w/TPC Lock-Out | 100mm travel | Magnesium lowers

    Headset Aheadset | Semi-cartridge | Sealed

    Bottom bracket Cartridge

    Crank Shimano M410 42/32/22

    Pedals Alloy platform

    Front derailleur Shimano M-410 Alivio

    Rear derailleur Shimano M-511 Deore

    Shifters Shimano M-511 Deore

    Cassette SRAM PG950 | 11-34 | 9spd

    Chain Shimano HG73

    Front hub Shimano M475 disc
    Front rim Bontrager Ranger Disc
    Front spokes 14G Stainless Steel

    Rear hub Shimano M475 Disc
    Rear rim Bontrager Ranger Disc
    Rear spokes 14G Stainless Steel

    Front Tire Bontrager Jones XR 26x2.25

    Rear tire Bontrager Jones XR 26x2.2

    Front brake Hayes HMX-2 mechanical disc | 6" rotor

    Rear brake Hayes HMX-2 mechanical disc | 6" rotor

    Brake levers Tektro RS360A

    Handlebar Bontrager Crowbar Sport

    Stem Bontrager Sport | 10d rise

    Grips Bontrager Dual Density

    Saddle Bontrager Select ATB

    Seatpost Bontrager Sport

  7. #7
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    BTW,

    Luke what do you ride???

    I got your point on the genesis geometry as well. I tried out the Kaitai and I'm about 5'8 and my friends are close to my height and when they were riding I noticed they seemed a bit stretched out more than usual. I'm gonna give it another shot and see that the cycle shop fits me properly on the Fisher.

  8. #8
    TXAG
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    The specs on both bikes are very similar and comprable. I would go with which ever one fits you the best. Ride them both as much as the shop will let you. The genesis geo is great for a lot of folks, just didn't work for me. I ride an 06 Trek 6500 and I am very happy with it. I have upgraded some stuff and overall it is a great ride. A little on the heavy side though. Good luck and keep us posted on what you buy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven.wonder
    I am a bit confused on the type of riding the Utopia is capable of because yes I will be riding primarily on the road but I would like a bike where I know it can withstand going through a bit of mud once in a while and can go over some rocks and stuff. I do not plan to do any 2 foot jumps but as long as the Utopia is decently strong I may end up getting it. As for the UTOPIA what do you think about the components versus the Kaitai? I know the Kaitai has lockout but is the fork (SR NRX6500 w/Lock-Out | 63mm travel) as good as the one on the Utopia (Manitou Empire Elite | 75mm travel) which does not have lockout? I know the other components like the derailleurs are better on the Utopia.
    At one point I was considering getting the Utopia as well. I thought it'd be cool to have a hybrid. I figured I could ride the roads during the week and slam it around on the trails on the weekends. I talked to some bike mechanics and shop personnel and they explained that this bike wasn't really meant for off roading in the sense that I had planned on using it for. It was more a bike for some smoother flat dirt trails and maybe some slightly rocky trails and things like that. I was looking for something to ride singletrack and rougher trails. I still may get the Utopia and use it as a road bike, which I'm in the market for. I defintitely think it's a nice ride. I eneded up going with an 06 trek 6700 though instead. It cost me 999.00 and I think it was one of the best purchases I have ever made. You might want to check one out. I added some upgrades to mine and this thing is a beast on the trails. If it's outta your price range, check out the 6500. It has the same frame, but with lower level components. Good luck
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

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