Advice for a quasi-noob- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Advice for a quasi-noob

    Hi All

    Way back when I had a 26" hardtail that I mostly road around college campuses goofing off on stairs, etc with occasional mt biking. I also worked in a ski/bike shop at the time, so i have some decent cursory knowledge of componentry, but bear in mind I worked on the ski side of the shop. Now that I am done with grad school I have some time and funds to get back into mt biking. I will be living in State College, PA riding the bike to work and on the many trails in the afternoons and weekends when the wife allows. Talked with guys at Freeze thaw cycles in SC and they recoomended a 29er for my dual purposes and specifically the Redline D660. Looks like an awesome ride with all the components I was looking for, but am a bit worried about the single crank ring for hills, given my current state of fitness. Will changing to a 11-34 rear cog help in this department, or should I move to a crank with two rings? I really like the idea of a single chain ring for shifting simplicity.

    Whew, sorry for the long winded post. I am looking for any opinions on the redline as well as any other frames, build ups with a budget around $1500, could go a bit more.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    You could also get a lower geared Shimano HG61 29" specific 12/36T cassette. They are relatively cheap too. Probably about $40. Cost me $33 for Chain reaction Cycles in Ireland.

    Ronnie.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  3. #3
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    In my opinion, and considering your price range, this is a great buy. Check it out. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000_1502002
    I own one and love it. Very respectable frame and componenets (SRAM x.9, Avid Juicy 7 brakes, Reba SL fork) for the price.

  4. #4
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    1x9 is a viable option in areas where you have flatter terrain. I live in Illinois and because any hill here is short and steep having a granny gear is quite useless the 44 tooth on the triple sees limited use at best. Based on what i saw from the website, I would say the redline sounds like an awesome choice. You may find the bike does not have enough of a gear range for PA at first but once you get used to the bike and become a stronger rider you should be fine.
    God of all things previously unassigned.
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  5. #5
    M_S
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    I ride the very same bike albeit with some mods to stock. But I did keep the 1x9 setup. I pretty much only ride in mountainous areas, and do fine. A bailout gear would be nice on some of the steepest climbs, but I enjoy the simplicity of 1x9 and it meets my needs. However, for a beginner in a mountainous area I don't think I could recommend it if there are other options. It's certainly doable, but might decrease your enjoyment on the steeper, longer rides. A shame, because it's a nice bike with good geo and components for the price.

    The Access 9.9 is a good deal for sure. There are really plenty of 29ers hardtails in the 1500 dollar range. Most manufacturers are making one at this point, so if you want to stick with your local shops, what brands do you have access to?

  6. #6
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    That D660 is an awesome bike. I went with a Monogog 29er because I was new and didn't want to spend the money until I knew I could handle getting into cycling. That would be my choice for my next bike!

  7. #7
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    Hey, thanks everyone for your sage advice so far. I ended up calculating gear inches for 1x9, 2x9, and 3x9; it is amazing how much overlap there is with the multiple chainring setups. That is making me want to go 1x9 even more. I am now thinking about a custom buildup, but realizing it will cost me more. In the end, once I can ride the D660, I will likely purchase stock and ride around town to get my legs back then try in the hills as a 1x9. If it is too much, I can always add a front derailer and change the cranks and still have a sweet setup.

  8. #8
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    Here are a couple of additional bikes to consider:

    http://bikesdirect.com/products/mountain_bikes.htm

    (many choices here in the 29er camp)

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/198...-29er-Bike.htm

    (Sette Razzo complete bike, or just a frame)

    You can find reviews of these various bikes here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=133

    http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=166

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