Looking into a new bike, please, please, help!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Looking into a new bike, please, please, help!

    Hey, I'm 14, 5'9ish 144 pounds. I'm not an expert rider, but I'm not just some punk riding a cheap BMX to look cool. My current bike is a next mountain bike I got for $130 at walmart, I drove around Bob Woodruff park nearly daily for a year, including occasional rides around the suburbs, and my average ride was probably around 10 miles. I'm not a pansy, I can take a long bike ride, and now that my old bike is broken down, which happened right after I started riding on a trail, I need a new one!

    Ok, my dad is offering to get me a good one this time, like 500 bucks. Biking is by far my favorite thing to do, and not having a working bike has been downright depressing. I hate sitting around on my ass, waiting for a new one. Now, I'm researching into what kind to get, and the one I'm intrigued by is the Specialized Rockhopper Comp.

    Ok, maybe this bike is a bit more advanced than me, but I will be getting better as a rider as soon as I have a nice bike, I'll be dedicated to getting better. I'm used to backpacking in washington state before I moved, and biking isn't quite as physically demanding, and not as dangerous, but Texas camping sucks and this is the alternative. From what I have read, this bike is sick. The reviews I have read are all completely in awe of this bike, and if it last me 5 years, it will be the best investment I ever made (if it really is that good). I won't be riding up literal mountains like the ones in WA anytime soon, but I will be riding off-road, and entering races and such. Since I know nothing about "body geometry" or anything like that, I have no idea what size of bike I need. I am getting tall as *#%& though and I'm adding 2 inches a month for a year or so, so I need something I can grow into.

    I need something that I can grow into, something that will last a while since$700 for a bike is way more than I thought I would ever spend. But I'm serious on getting a good one, as my last bike was pathetic in it's last days, I had to carry tools with me so that some parts didn't come loose as I rode! Basically, I need any type of technical advice or explanations on all the techy parts of this or any similar bike. I will take any tips on maintenance, also.

    Finally, I would like to know about buying the actual bike. I'm most likely getting it at plano cycling, but I know of many more stores in my area which I will probably visit. My old bike has taken alot of hell, and it's time it is put to sleep. I need a successor that will last a damn long time, taking hell on paved rode, and offroad in a suburban environment. Please help, thanks for reading.

    BTW, my last bike had shocks in back and front, what are the prose and cons of full suspension and hardtails? Thanks in advance, I'm staying up all night reading on this stuff.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    Hey, I'm 14, 5'9ish 144 pounds. I'm not an expert rider, but I'm not just some punk riding a cheap BMX to look cool. My current bike is a next mountain bike I got for $130 at walmart, I drove around Bob Woodruff park nearly daily for a year, including occasional rides around the suburbs, and my average ride was probably around 10 miles. I'm not a pansy, I can take a long bike ride, and now that my old bike is broken down, which happened right after I started riding on a trail, I need a new one!

    Ok, my dad is offering to get me a good one this time, like 500 bucks. Biking is by far my favorite thing to do, and not having a working bike has been downright depressing. I hate sitting around on my ass, waiting for a new one. Now, I'm researching into what kind to get, and the one I'm intrigued by is the Specialized Rockhopper Comp.

    Ok, maybe this bike is a bit more advanced than me, but I will be getting better as a rider as soon as I have a nice bike, I'll be dedicated to getting better. I'm used to backpacking in washington state before I moved, and biking isn't quite as physically demanding, and not as dangerous, but Texas camping sucks and this is the alternative. From what I have read, this bike is sick. The reviews I have read are all completely in awe of this bike, and if it last me 5 years, it will be the best investment I ever made (if it really is that good). I won't be riding up literal mountains like the ones in WA anytime soon, but I will be riding off-road, and entering races and such. Since I know nothing about "body geometry" or anything like that, I have no idea what size of bike I need. I am getting tall as *#%& though and I'm adding 2 inches a month for a year or so, so I need something I can grow into.

    I need something that I can grow into, something that will last a while since$700 for a bike is way more than I thought I would ever spend. But I'm serious on getting a good one, as my last bike was pathetic in it's last days, I had to carry tools with me so that some parts didn't come loose as I rode! Basically, I need any type of technical advice or explanations on all the techy parts of this or any similar bike. I will take any tips on maintenance, also.

    Finally, I would like to know about buying the actual bike. I'm most likely getting it at plano cycling, but I know of many more stores in my area which I will probably visit. My old bike has taken alot of hell, and it's time it is put to sleep. I need a successor that will last a damn long time, taking hell on paved rode, and offroad in a suburban environment. Please help, thanks for reading.

    BTW, my last bike had shocks in back and front, what are the prose and cons of full suspension and hardtails? Thanks in advance, I'm staying up all night reading on this stuff.
    The most important thing about getting a bike is fit. Now, I personally donít have any experience fitting a growing teenager and I canít really give any advice on that topic.

    Assuming you get around the fit issue, any of the frames for a major manufacturer like Giant, Specialized, Cannondale and Trek/GaryFisher will last you a good 5 years (if not more). Now, youíll have to replace components as the wear or break and thatís going to happen no matter how much you spend on bike.

    If you going to spend $700 on bike let me suggest the Giant Rainer. It's like the perfect beginner bike. It just has the right mix components, so there no need for initial upgrades. It has a nice racing geometry. I think it will fit your needs perfectly.

    When youíre ready to buy, hit as many stores as possible. Most stores will carry one or two of the major brands of bikes, so youíll need to go couple just to check out the all the different brands. Make sure you test ride as may bikes as you can when you hit these shops.

    Also ask about their post sale service. Lot of LBSs will give free tune and things like. How many or how long will depend on the LBS.

    As a novice I strong suggest you do NOT order a bike via mail order or the internet. Too many things can go wrong if you don't know what you are doing.

    As for maintenance and repair, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Buy it, read it. Here a like to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...848861-2040029

    Finally Full suspension vs hardtail, in your price range go with a hardtail, especially if you're planning to race. Sub 1K FS bikes, tend to have very low end components. Their rear shocks are usually inadequate and will produce pedal bob. For the money, a hardtail is your best bet.

  3. #3
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    ok, fit: if you stopped growing , I think you should get a bike thats only slightly larger than what would be your perfect size, or if you think you will never grow again-the perfect size. (i dont know what that perfect size is for you) if if you havent grown yet, or are still growing, get a size that seems large for you , but not too large, just a little larger than slightly larger than your perfect size. Now, if you only want to keep the bike for 1 year, ignore everything i just said except "perfect size".
    I got a trek 4900 today, but didnt get a chance to ride it seriously-i just sort of cruised around for half an hour. 1 of my friends who races has a Giant something (sorrry i cant remember which bike it is) and he seems to be happy with it.
    Hardtail vs full suspension- full suspension absorbs more impact, so the ride will be softer (duh.) but, they are usually heavier than hardtails.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking
    ok, fit: if you stopped growing , I think you should get a bike thats only slightly larger than what would be your perfect size, or if you think you will never grow again-the perfect size. (i dont know what that perfect size is for you) if if you havent grown yet, or are still growing, get a size that seems large for you , but not too large, just a little larger than slightly larger than your perfect size. Now, if you only want to keep the bike for 1 year, ignore everything i just said except "perfect size".
    I got a trek 4900 today, but didnt get a chance to ride it seriously-i just sort of cruised around for half an hour. 1 of my friends who races has a Giant something (sorrry i cant remember which bike it is) and he seems to be happy with it.
    Hardtail vs full suspension- full suspension absorbs more impact, so the ride will be softer (duh.) but, they are usually heavier than hardtails.
    At 14 I'm not done growing. I grow about 2 inches a month. Thanks for the help.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wraith
    The most important thing about getting a bike is fit. Now, I personally donít have any experience fitting a growing teenager and I canít really give any advice on that topic.

    Assuming you get around the fit issue, any of the frames for a major manufacturer like Giant, Specialized, Cannondale and Trek/GaryFisher will last you a good 5 years (if not more). Now, youíll have to replace components as the wear or break and thatís going to happen no matter how much you spend on bike.

    If you going to spend $700 on bike let me suggest the Giant Rainer. It's like the perfect beginner bike. It just has the right mix components, so there no need for initial upgrades. It has a nice racing geometry. I think it will fit your needs perfectly.

    When youíre ready to buy, hit as many stores as possible. Most stores will carry one or two of the major brands of bikes, so youíll need to go couple just to check out the all the different brands. Make sure you test ride as may bikes as you can when you hit these shops.

    Also ask about their post sale service. Lot of LBSs will give free tune and things like. How many or how long will depend on the LBS.

    As a novice I strong suggest you do NOT order a bike via mail order or the internet. Too many things can go wrong if you don't know what you are doing.

    As for maintenance and repair, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Buy it, read it. Here a like to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...848861-2040029

    Finally Full suspension vs hardtail, in your price range go with a hardtail, especially if you're planning to race. Sub 1K FS bikes, tend to have very low end components. Their rear shocks are usually inadequate and will produce pedal bob. For the money, a hardtail is your best bet.
    Damn, that was in depth, to say the least! Thanks.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
    Since I don't know crap about bikes, I probably won't get that one. They changed a bunch of parts and I don't know exactly what they did. Thanks for the help.

  6. #6

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    So far, you ahve been given some great advice. One other suggestion. Look around at the bike shops and see if any of them have a trade-in policy. There is a shop here that will guarantee they will buy back your bike up to 1-2 years later for at least 1/2 what you paid for it. At least that way, if you need to move up in sizes, you can cover a portion of the cost of upsizing as you grow....just a thought.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    Damn, that was in depth, to say the least! Thanks.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
    Since I don't know crap about bikes, I probably won't get that one. They changed a bunch of parts and I don't know exactly what they did. Thanks for the help.
    IMO, this looks like a scam. There way too many upgrades on that bike for it to be

    a) brand new
    b) something someone actually have or selling

    You have to be careful with ebay, when buying a bike. If the deal is too good to be true then it isn't. Couple week ago, I saw someone offering a Trek 5900 Superlight (a road bike). The pictures were of TDF's Lance's Armstrong's 5900 that where taken by his mechanic and was up on a cycling site last year.
    Last edited by wraith; 05-30-2004 at 10:25 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wraith
    IMO, this looks like a scam. There way too many upgrades on that bike for it to be

    a) brand new
    b) something someone actually have or selling

    You have to be careful with ebay, when buying a bike. If the deal is too good to be true then it is. Couple week ago I saw someone offering a Trek 5900 Supperlight (a road bike). The picture were of TDF's Lance's Armstrong's 5900 that where taken by his mechinc and was up on a cycling site last year.
    Thanks, you may have saved me 400 bucks!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by wraith
    The most important thing about getting a bike is fit. Now, I personally donít have any experience fitting a growing teenager and I canít really give any advice on that topic.

    Assuming you get around the fit issue, any of the frames for a major manufacturer like Giant, Specialized, Cannondale and Trek/GaryFisher will last you a good 5 years (if not more). Now, youíll have to replace components as the wear or break and thatís going to happen no matter how much you spend on bike.

    If you going to spend $700 on bike let me suggest the Giant Rainer. It's like the perfect beginner bike. It just has the right mix components, so there no need for initial upgrades. It has a nice racing geometry. I think it will fit your needs perfectly.

    When youíre ready to buy, hit as many stores as possible. Most stores will carry one or two of the major brands of bikes, so youíll need to go couple just to check out the all the different brands. Make sure you test ride as may bikes as you can when you hit these shops.

    Also ask about their post sale service. Lot of LBSs will give free tune and things like. How many or how long will depend on the LBS.

    As a novice I strong suggest you do NOT order a bike via mail order or the internet. Too many things can go wrong if you don't know what you are doing.

    As for maintenance and repair, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Buy it, read it. Here a like to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...848861-2040029

    Finally Full suspension vs hardtail, in your price range go with a hardtail, especially if you're planning to race. Sub 1K FS bikes, tend to have very low end components. Their rear shocks are usually inadequate and will produce pedal bob. For the money, a hardtail is your best bet.
    Hey, now I'm also looking at a Marin Nail Trail 2003 as a possibilty. Is it good? I'll probably just get the Rockhopper, although I'm thinking about the Rainier.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    Hey, now I'm also looking at a Marin Nail Trail 2003 as a possibilty. Is it good? I'll probably just get the Rockhopper, although I'm thinking about the Rainier.
    Marin makes excellent bikes. All three of these bikes would work very well for a you. I would say get the one that fits you best.

    If the all fit OK, and you had to make a choice, personally, I tend lend toward the Rainer, simply because I have one. I can tell you from personal experience it really sweet ride. It's a personal opinon take it for what it's worth.

    One more, thing have you gone to an LBSs yet? Or are you just checking out bikes on the web? I just asking because the Marin is relatively a small company (compare to Giant and Specialized) and you might not find it locally. A buddy of mine got his heart set on a Kona once (when there were really small), and couldn't find anywhere. Before you put too much work into research, check out your LBS and see what bikes are available locally. The Specialized and Giant shouldn't be a problem they big nuff to be worldwide.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking
    Hardtail vs full suspension- full suspension absorbs more impact, so the ride will be softer (duh.) but, they are usually heavier than hardtails.
    Not aways, lot of the high end FS XC bikes have inertia values (Specialized Epic) or no resonance system (Giant NRS) that will absorbs impact but sill ride like a hardtail. I've been on a buddy's NRS and the thing pedals like a hardtail, no lost of power to pedal bob.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    Hey, now I'm also looking at a Marin Nail Trail 2003 as a possibilty. Is it good? I'll probably just get the Rockhopper, although I'm thinking about the Rainier.
    I really, really like my Nail Trail! It's a nice frame that'll be worth almost any upgrades you decide to install, and a damn fine climber to boot!

    I had a Rockhopper before that, and it was a very nice ride, but I like the NT a LOT better. I really think it's about the best hardtail you can get at that price point.

    OTOH, I've heard enough good things about the Rainier that I'm thinking about getting one for my wife.

    Bottom line, it's hard to go wrong with any of these three bikes. They're all excellent choices.
    Last edited by Drewdane; 05-30-2004 at 03:53 PM.

  13. #13

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    YO! I got one! FINALLY! The specialized rockhopper comp. Sweet, sweet bike. I took it off road and oh my god, the ride was so sweet. It wasnt 700 bucks, it was 669 or something like that, and the final cost was $807 because of the extras like the MITY cat eye thingy, and other stuff. All I can say is what a way to remind myself I'm out of shape, dang, this bike is killing me. Hopefully I'll be ready for some real off roading soon enough, I'm getting in shape for the 27 mile loop at White Rock lake. Ohh the joy.

    One last thing, I'm on the highest gear of my bike, but it seems to top out at 23 kilometers an hour, which is slow. Once I'm that fast, I can't get more speed because I have to pedal super fast to make it go any faster. With my last crappy wal mart bike, I must have been pushing 30 MPH. I mean, 24 KMH is like 18 MPH. This bike seems slow to me, I must have screwed it up somehow. Anyways, I'll find out soon, they said they are gonna call me to show me how the bike works and do a check up on it after 30 days. It's been like a week. Thanks guys, you helped me get a bike which I really like. Damn this thing is light weight. Fo shizzle!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    One last thing, I'm on the highest gear of my bike, but it seems to top out at 23 kilometers an hour, which is slow. Once I'm that fast, I can't get more speed because I have to pedal super fast to make it go any faster. With my last crappy wal mart bike, I must have been pushing 30 MPH. I mean, 24 KMH is like 18 MPH. This bike seems slow to me, I must have screwed it up somehow. Anyways, I'll find out soon, they said they are gonna call me to show me how the bike works and do a check up on it after 30 days. It's been like a week. Thanks guys, you helped me get a bike which I really like. Damn this thing is light weight. Fo shizzle!
    maybe your seat isn't high enough. were you using a speedometer on your bike? if so, check if you programmed it right. oh yeah, do you have a picture of the bike?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking
    maybe your seat isn't high enough. were you using a speedometer on your bike? if so, check if you programmed it right. oh yeah, do you have a picture of the bike?
    I think it's high enough, when I got it Barry the guy at the shop lifted it up a bit, and it went fast on the track, atleast it seemed to. On the track by their store, it's acceleration was sick. I was going pretty fast easily, and the turning was sweet. But now it seems weird, I'll find all this stuff out when I go in for the 30 day checkup, but until then, I'm going to be cautious on how I treat it. The clunks it makes on a jump kind of worry me, but if it's messed up or has some internal problem I don't know of it's under warranty.

    I'm sure it's fine, but I'm just being cautious cause when I jump it seems to rattle which may be completely normal, but it still freaks me out.

    Yeah, I've got a Cat Eye Mity 8 whatever that is, I love it. It's using the metric system, I'll go through the manual today when it starts getting light outside, today I'm planning on riding until I drop.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by planonovicerider
    I think it's high enough, when I got it Barry the guy at the shop lifted it up a bit, and it went fast on the track, atleast it seemed to. On the track by their store, it's acceleration was sick. I was going pretty fast easily, and the turning was sweet. But now it seems weird, I'll find all this stuff out when I go in for the 30 day checkup, but until then, I'm going to be cautious on how I treat it. The clunks it makes on a jump kind of worry me, but if it's messed up or has some internal problem I don't know of it's under warranty.

    I'm sure it's fine, but I'm just being cautious cause when I jump it seems to rattle which may be completely normal, but it still freaks me out.

    Yeah, I've got a Cat Eye Mity 8 whatever that is, I love it. It's using the metric system, I'll go through the manual today when it starts getting light outside, today I'm planning on riding until I drop.
    First off, congrats on your new ride. You made a good choice. As far as the speed goes, I guess it depends on what you are riding. You may be topping out, but I doubt it. Are you getting into the big chainring and the smallest cog on the back? If you really feel like something needs adjusting, you can always go back before the 30 days is over. Any good bike shop will be happy to take a look at the bike anytime. Rattling when you jump just might be your chain slapping the chainstay. Depending on what gear you are in and how tight your rear derallieur is, a certain amount of slap might occur. If it really bothers you, drop in to your LBS and have them take a look.

    As far as the computer goes, there is a setting to change if from kph to mph.

    Enjoy your new ride!!

  17. #17

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Max99
    First off, congrats on your new ride. You made a good choice. As far as the speed goes, I guess it depends on what you are riding. You may be topping out, but I doubt it. Are you getting into the big chainring and the smallest cog on the back? If you really feel like something needs adjusting, you can always go back before the 30 days is over. Any good bike shop will be happy to take a look at the bike anytime. Rattling when you jump just might be your chain slapping the chainstay. Depending on what gear you are in and how tight your rear derallieur is, a certain amount of slap might occur. If it really bothers you, drop in to your LBS and have them take a look.

    As far as the computer goes, there is a setting to change if from kph to mph.

    Enjoy your new ride!!
    Thanks. I think the speed thing can be figured out, firstly when I rode the other day I knew something was wrong because the wheels were giving me alot of resistance. I wasn't sure what it was, and my trip was cut short as a result of the drag. I noticed the other day though when I was reading the manual and trying to understand how everything works that as I thought the break pads were touching the wheel. The little metal peice that pulls the pads away from the wheel had popped out, so I put it back in and now it's fine.

    I now realise I was using the gears incorrectly. With my old walmart bike, I was always in a top gear, either the 18th or 16th. Usually, when I got speed going, the 18th, and the 16th when I was starting off or tired. I read up on how your supposed to shift to get cadence and everything, and I'll see how it rides in a few hours.

    Lol, I had been in the 27th gear half the time I rode this bike, I am glad I know what I was doing wrong because I assume that would have screwed up the bike after a while. Finally, I was wondering on maintanence. The manual says that I'm fine as of now and I just need to do the 30 day checkups. The bike seems fine and the rattle thing I believe was nothing. I'm just wondering if I should oil it in places or grease the chain as it has been raining alot lately and I had to ride through what is basically now flood plains to get to where I was going, along with the trail thingy where I went through alot of mud and muddy puddles. The bike looks awesome, it's practically encrusted in mud, and I've been trying to wipe off the mud that gets on the parts like the derrailleur (spelling?) and the chain and stuff.

    Also, I figured out the cyclo computer thingy, and it was in MPH not KMH which is good to know. I really am an idiot when it comes to this bike, but the manual helps. So 24 MPH isn't too bad, but I can do better. I also didn't know you weren't supposed to reset the odometer after every ride, I did this so I knew what I was getting on each ride rather than my total distance on the bike, which was dumb because I could have just written down or memorized what I started with easily, but I didn't. Sucks because I would have like 40 on the odometer instead of 8. I did 18 miles the first day, and I've done about 5 on every other trip.

    Once again, thanks for all of your help, I wouldn't have gotten this bike if I hadn't gotten advice. Too expensive and I didn't know anything about bikes. Thanks everyone.

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