First mountain bike ever! Need help choosing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First mountain bike ever! Need help choosing

    Hi guys,
    I'm new to mountain biking, tried it a few times and love it. I've been looking into some hardtails and full suspension bikes. I've read the pros and cons of both and am torn on what to get.
    Bike purpose: I'm a female (not sure if certain brands are better suited for females), live in the bay area, I plan to use this bike on trails in santa cruz and marin county area. I'm not into doing hardcore jumps but would love a smooth and reliable bike that can handle any trails. Price isn't an issue though I would want something under 3k since I'm new to this but willing to splurge if its the right bike.
    I do get discounts on Santa cruz bikes, so that's a plus. I've looked into the SC chameleon, 5010 and bronson.. there's just so many options !
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Check out the Juliana itís specifically for female riders

  3. #3
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    OP said smooth... Which means FS... But which also means more maintenance.
    Can't go wrong with Santa Cruz. If not doing anything hardcore... Demo a Blur and start there. Bikes are not cheap... So demo demo demo... And get a feel for each bike and pick which you like and are best for the terrain you ride the most. Your LBS should be your resource of info.

  4. #4
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    You don't need a bike that's built for females. You just need a bike that will fit you well. Get a FS if you can afford it. Look at Giant Stance 1 or Trance.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo48 View Post
    I do get discounts on Santa cruz bikes, so that's a plus.
    I would go with a Santa Cruz or Juliana (their womens brand). You could analyze this until the cows come home. SC and Juliana do not make anything that is junk and they have an excellent warranty and customer support.

    Womens bike brands in general have kind of fallen out of fashion. Some of them were literally just a different paint color. From what I understand thoguh, the Juliana bikes have lighter suspension tunes, different saddles, and different grips from the Santa Cruz line.

    In normal times, SC has a cool factory demo program. It's been suspended at the moment due to the current situation. This might not help you now, but if you are not buying immediately , they might open it back up https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/factory-demo
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  6. #6
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    I agree that Santa Cruz with a discount is a good place to start.
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  7. #7
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    Money not really a consideration means you can do a build, imo.
    That would mean a better fork, wheelset, drivetrain and brakes than is offered.
    Plus your fit specific components like pedals, seat, grips and bars.
    If you decide on a frame you can check out the threads for that bike under the manufacturers forum.
    For example on a Chameleon. A hardtail helps you keep weight under 25 lbs. for example of a benefit I notice.
    https://forums.mtbr.com/santa-cruz/s...l#post14743555

    Here's what it can do-

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't suggest building up a bike as a first ride, too many things you don't know. Agree that you can't go too wrong with SC. I would say finding a shop that you like and would support you is almost important as the bike. If you ever want to ride with a female only group ,there are those around ,one is ride like a girl ,once a month in different locations. You can find when and where on Meetup.com, Bicycle Trails Council of the Est Bay (BTCEB.org.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    I wouldn't suggest building up a bike as a first ride, too many things you don't know. Agree that you can't go too wrong with SC.
    Understated solid advice here.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Understated solid advice here.
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    Yup!

    And you said you tried mountain biking a few times... If you tried it out with some friends, they be able to help narrow it down as to which bike might be most appropriate for your trails.

    You can't really go wrong with a Santa Cruz 5010 or Chameleon
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  11. #11
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    thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions. definitely leaning more towards a fs bike now and eyeing between the bronson and 5010. do you guys have a preference between the two? I'll definitely head up to sc demo shop to try out the bikes when things open up again.

  12. #12
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    Either would be a great bike for almost anyone , the Bronson is aim more downhill ,more stable at speed a little less agile for sharp turns . the 5010 is a little more cross country ,it gives up a little downhill for easier turning. That being said you would have hard time telling the difference ,as a beginner the bike is going be capable of more than you are. That's better than the other way around. You have the right idea , learn as much as you can ,test ride as many bikes as you can ,choose one ,go have fun.

  13. #13
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    Yeah both are pretty versatile. The Bronson is made more for people who prefer riding fast downhill and over rough stuff. It's not ideal if you're trying to do keep up with super athletic people on a 30 mile ride.

    5010 is a little bit more for the longer rides/fitness oriented crowd, but it's still plenty capable of going downhill and over rough stuff fast. it's just not as good at the rough stuff as the Bronson would be.

    The MTB industry has become very subdivided into categores like XC, Trail, Downcountry, All Mountain, Enduro, Downhill, Freeride, blah blah blah. They are vague terms, but they just describe different points on a spectrum.
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