Looking For First 29er and Intro Race Bike For XC--First Step With Great Aspirations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking For First 29er and Intro Race Bike For XC--First Step With Great Aspirations

    Okay, so call me crazy but I'm 17 years old, I have the time resources and support, and most of all, the drive. I want to go to the Olympics as a competitor. As an XC mountain bike or a downhill skier (I know, wrong forum, but just mentioning it). I have a long hard road ahead o of me, but I gotta get it rolling.

    So I'm going to pose the question, what would be my best choice for my first 29er and intro race bike. I have a tentative budget of +- $1200.

  2. #2
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    $1200 will keep you away from the Olympics. lol Kidding....you can get a decent HT for that then start saving for a Carbon Scalpel.

  3. #3
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    Try to go with the smaller brands that try to offer more for less. Fuji, novara, dare i say...performance in house brand... Or even diamond back

    U get much further with them then a specialized or cannondale

  4. #4
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    Don't worry, I'm realistic. I know I won't be getting anywhere serious with a $1200 bike, but hey, gotta start somewhere.

    And why do with some of those brands over specialized and cannondale? Do they really offer that much more? And what do you mean, "you'll get further with them"?

  5. #5
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    Every manufacturer uses the same drive components and fork. Smaller guys may put a better level on their frame. But you can get deals on major brands to offset some of the price difference. 15-20% off list at this time of year on 14s or 35%+ on 13s.
    Luckily your budget get you beyond the bikes with Suntour forks...so far.

  6. #6
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    The in house REI and performance brand cut corners at less important areas while giving at least a group level higher than their competition at derailleurs or brakes. At a lower end budget, these slight upgrade are worth it. Also, the in house brand often use knock off look alike of the famous components.

    1200 is more than enough to get started. For the right person, of course.

    I had a dream much like yours when I was racing junior level. You picked a very hard route in life. Train hard, train when it is pouring outside, and train when it is baking also. Basically try to find out what others at your level are doing, and try to do it more than them. It is only glory when you beat every single one of them on the podium with your 1200 bucks ride.

    Keep at it man.

  7. #7
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    Bikes Direct will likely provide the most bang for the buck. At this time I would focus on getting a reliable bike with the best componentry available at your price point. The only thing that will get you to a high level of competition is the engine (you) so don't worry about the bike so much. A decent CrMo or Al hardtail frame with mid level componentry will suffice.

  8. #8
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    I'm not saying I want to get to the end goal with a 1200$ bike. I will save and buy something better down the road (pun intended). But for now I need something I can learn and get started in beginning competitions with.

  9. #9
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    I like what you get for your money on the Airborne products like this Goblin.
    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin
    Comes with a Rockshox Reba IMO a very good fork.
    SRAM x-7 Drive train.
    All for $1,199.
    Its very close in Spec to a 2013 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp 29er HT that cost $2,000.
    The one thing different is the Rear Derailleur The SJ has the X-9 which isn't that much better IMO.
    Good luck with your venture and as said above Train Train Train anything is possible if you put the efforts in.
    ​​
    2015 Flyxii / ENVE /Chris King Carbon 29'er H.T.
    SRAM XX1
    2012 Stump Jumper Comp 29'er H.T. SRAM XX1
    1997 Rock Hopper / Rock Shox Recon Silver / 1 x 10 SRAM X9 XO Mix XT V Brake system

  10. #10
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    I'd second the look at the Airborne Goblin. Good luck with your pursuits.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  11. #11
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    Novara Ponderosa is one hell of a value. You could even test it against the 27.5 Ponderosa. I know few people that have the 29er and rode the stock wheels for a bit, then replaced them with a tubeless, lighter wheel set. The '99 Ponderosa SL was my first mountain bike. I wish I still had it.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    Get a rigid singlespeed as your first bike. You'll progress much more rapidly as a rider and you'll learn skills like picking clean lines and conserving momentum plus you'll build fitness very quickly on a single speed. I'd recommend a Carve SL or a kona unit.

  13. #13
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    I bought a left over 2013 Scott Scale for $1600 and I've heard of people picking them up for around $1400. It has all Shimano XT and SLX components and Fox air fork. You could go a long way without upgrading on something like it for just a little more than $1200. My LBS still has a small one in stock so they are around but you'll have to search.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the help and support everyone. I'm going to look into these things, and i'm also going to see just what my 2 LBS's have in stock as well.

    Out of curiosity, what are all your thoughts on the 2014 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er? There's one brand new on my local Craigslist for $850.

    Also, I hate to say but I'm not going to be riding any time soon, I broke my collar bone in a downhill ski accident. That's why I'm planning for a summer of hard riding ahead.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Looked at the Goblin, researched it and it's parts... My conclusion is that it's a sweet bike for the price, and once I have enough money i'm going to buy one. It seems like the best bang for the buck, and well worth upgrading as things break and wear out. Might even be worth keeping for next year when I plan to start racing.

  16. #16
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    Right now Jensonusa has a good deal on a few bikes as well.

  17. #17
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    Jenson has the jamis Dakota D29 race and it has a Reba fork for $1200... I have heard bad things about the D29 though, maybe others will shed light on that bike. Otherwise heck I am considering one.
    Last edited by SpeshMike; 02-10-2014 at 10:23 AM. Reason: name mistake

  18. #18
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    As a bias source that works a a bike shop take my advice with context.

    This last year was slow for shops over much of the country and many shops have last year models that can be had at a discount. Leaving pricing not to different from the online sources. If you have a local reputable shop they can give you advice and experience of what works well in your locality, a place to go for warranty and advice as you grow as rider. Additionally having a chance to ride the bike and make sure it fits has value.

    On the other hand if you have most of your own knowledge and have an idea of what will fit and how to work on it then I would pick

    Fuji Tahoe 29 1.0 Bike 2012 > Complete Bikes > Mountain Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  19. #19
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    Then you will need:
    Helmet - $80
    Peddles - $50
    Shoes - $100
    Tool, saddle bag, tubes - $50

    Also, if you really want to find a good bike for that money, why not check the MTBR classifieds and buy a real race-worthy rig for the same $$ (though you may have to make an offer)

    Don't know your size, one these may suit you:
    2011 Trek Superfly Elite 21" - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories

    Giant XTC 1 29er 2012 (medium) - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories

    Jamis D29 Custom - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories

    Carl Strong Custom Made 29er Hardtail - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories

  20. #20
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    Well, I announced my plan to goal to all my friends and I have an overwhelming amount of support from most. Although undoubtedly there were a few who are very skeptical of it (and I can't say I blame them). Anyways, working on getting a job, hopefully at a new branch of a LBS that just opened up. I might buy new, maybe off of MTBR Classifieds, but I'm also thinking about buying an Airborne Goblin at this point; which is what i'll buy if I go New regardless. Anyways, that's about all for now.

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