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  1. #1
    Topanga Rider
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    New Guy, New Bike, Long Intro.

    Hey my name is Tim, im a fire fighter for the US Forest Service in Northern California (Redding) and i love bikes!

    Well to start off with im not new to biking but i am new to mountain biking, i raced BMX for many years growing up and loved every min of it.

    To keep my self in shape during the winter me and a few buddys have taken up mountain/trail riding. Ive been borrowing/riding a Specialized Hardrock (my moms) but am getting a Diamondback Topanga for xmas.

    The msrp on the bike was close to $700 (parents got it for $400 on xmas sale) so im going to assume that is is pretty good quality. From what ive seen it seems to be a good beginer bike, hard tail, disc brakes, decient front fork/shock. Any one know forsure of have any first had experience?

    So, i plan on getting more and more into this sport and plan on upgrading the hell out of this bike, where should i start? I was thinking of pedals to start off with, i ran clipless on my BMX bike but i dont think thats where i want to go with this so if any one has a suggestion for a really good peddal ("shin killers") that woudl be great. Also i might upgrade the mechanical disc brakes to hydrulic or a better mechanical but i will have to have some saddel time before i decide that. Fork will have to be replaced, ide like some good quality and some good travel but at a decient price (not made of gold).

    Im on pleanty of other forums so i know the search tool will be my right had man but if any one has any particular advice for this bike that could help me that would be great, thanks!

    Oh and i cant seem to find this bike on the Diamondback site, could it be sold under a different name, it looks kinda like the Diamondback "Comp" but im not totally sure. I still dont have the bike (not till xmas...) so i cant compare.

  2. #2
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    My 2 cents...

    Quote Originally Posted by PieRow
    Hey my name is Tim, im a fire fighter for the US Forest Service in Northern California (Redding) and i love bikes!

    Well to start off with im not new to biking but i am new to mountain biking, i raced BMX for many years growing up and loved every min of it.

    To keep my self in shape during the winter me and a few buddys have taken up mountain/trail riding. Ive been borrowing/riding a Specialized Hardrock (my moms) but am getting a Diamondback Topanga for xmas.

    The msrp on the bike was close to $700 (parents got it for $400 on xmas sale) so im going to assume that is is pretty good quality. From what ive seen it seems to be a good beginer bike, hard tail, disc brakes, decient front fork/shock. Any one know forsure of have any first had experience?

    So, i plan on getting more and more into this sport and plan on upgrading the hell out of this bike, where should i start? I was thinking of pedals to start off with, i ran clipless on my BMX bike but i dont think thats where i want to go with this so if any one has a suggestion for a really good peddal ("shin killers") that woudl be great. Also i might upgrade the mechanical disc brakes to hydrulic or a better mechanical but i will have to have some saddel time before i decide that. Fork will have to be replaced, ide like some good quality and some good travel but at a decient price (not made of gold).

    Im on pleanty of other forums so i know the search tool will be my right had man but if any one has any particular advice for this bike that could help me that would be great, thanks!

    Oh and i cant seem to find this bike on the Diamondback site, could it be sold under a different name, it looks kinda like the Diamondback "Comp" but im not totally sure. I still dont have the bike (not till xmas...) so i cant compare.
    First welcome. Second, be sure to have fun....

    Third... Mountain bikes that are considered entry level seldomly are candidates for upgrades because the upgrades cost more than the bike is worth.

    If you really get in to mountain biking (you'll know) then you'd be better off riding the Diamondback long and hard and when you've drained all the mountain biking juice out of it, upgrade to a different bike.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure if it is considered a beginer bike, I mean it is a $650 bike. That's not cheap but it's not top of the line either. I'm also hoping to be able to transfer most of the parts to another bike if I do upgrade.

  4. #4
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    to help you put it in perspective, most good forks cost about 500 bucks.. just for the fork. when an entire bike costs 650, somethings gotta give! its a lower end bike, nothing wrong with that, but it is what it is.

    bicycle parts are fairly standardized, so pretty much everything will swap back and forth between bikes.

  5. #5
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    Perspective....

    Quote Originally Posted by PieRow
    I'm not sure if it is considered a beginer bike, I mean it is a $650 bike. That's not cheap but it's not top of the line either. I'm also hoping to be able to transfer most of the parts to another bike if I do upgrade.

    Tomsmoto provided some great perspective. Another example would be wheelsets: A great wheelset can run up to $800.


    Please understand, I'm not trying to be an ass or knock your bike. I think it's a great bike for you and want you to be excited about it. I just think that you'd be better served riding your new bike a lot vs. looking to upgrade.


    Except for pedals. And I don't ride flats, so I don't have any advice on which flats will hamburger your shins the best.

  6. #6
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    Yup, good advice here. One thing though...

    You might want to throw on some folding bead tires, if the bike doesn't already have them. It's a cost-effective performance upgrade that I think will be worth it to you. You could even do this when your stock set wears out, of course.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    to help you put it in perspective, most good forks cost about 500 bucks.. just for the fork. when an entire bike costs 650, somethings gotta give! its a lower end bike, nothing wrong with that, but it is what it is.

    bicycle parts are fairly standardized, so pretty much everything will swap back and forth between bikes.
    You can get a more than adequate new fork for $300ish. When you go higher in price, you're either mainly getting more travel, or slightly less weight. You already have all your RLC adjustments at 300. There's no reason to imply the only good forks out there are $500+.

    IMO, the only thing entry level about an entry level bike is the price. What do you get with a higher end model bike? Less weight in most cases. But less weight also means less durability. You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. It's all marketing. Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.

    Put more emphasis on rider skill/endurance and you'll smoke any old joe with a $3000 "high-end" bike.

    That being said, I would upgrade that bike only as things break. Nobody buys a whole new bike when something breaks. Yeah it might be cheaper to buy a more expensive complete bike in terms of cost for parts. But it's always cheaper to replace a part than it is to buy a whole new bike.

  8. #8
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    We'll agree to disagree...

    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    You can get a more than adequate new fork for $300ish. When you go higher in price, you're either mainly getting more travel, or slightly less weight. You already have all your RLC adjustments at 300. There's no reason to imply the only good forks out there are $500+.

    IMO, the only thing entry level about an entry level bike is the price. What do you get with a higher end model bike? Less weight in most cases. But less weight also means less durability. You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. It's all marketing. Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.

    Put more emphasis on rider skill/endurance and you'll smoke any old joe with a $3000 "high-end" bike.

    That being said, I would upgrade that bike only as things break. Nobody buys a whole new bike when something breaks. Yeah it might be cheaper to buy a more expensive complete bike in terms of cost for parts. But it's always cheaper to replace a part than it is to buy a whole new bike.
    You're picking nits. Two powerfult upgrades are fork and wheels. A "more than adequate new fork for $300ish" is half of what he paid for the entire bike. A "more than adequate" wheelset can be had for around $300. Your "more than adequate" upgrades now cost you more than the cost of the bike.


    We'll also disagree on this: "But less weight also means less durability." I think that is an absolutely false statement. Durable, light, cheap. Pick any two.

  9. #9
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    I agree, forks make a big difference. Wheelsets, I don't believe a 'higher end' one will make you a better rider unless you have durability issues. But you don't have to pay that much for a wheelset that will last.

    Taking a look at a RS SID. It's light, but you won't find people abusing the heck out of them. They're not cheap either. A case where more expensive (i.e. high end) isn't necessarily better for what you use them for.

    $300 may be half the cost of the bike, but it's still a fraction of the possible $2000 you'd pay for a "high end" bike. You can buy used as well.

    I liken it to people selling perfectly fine cars for a loss to pick up a hybrid for fuel savings. Yes, over the long long run you save money on gas with the hybrid, but hands down, it was cheaper to just keep the car you had even if it wasn't as fuel efficient.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    . . . But less weight also means less durability.
    Not always. My 1900 gram wheels are a lot more durable than my last set at 2100 grams.

    You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. It's all marketing.
    Nope. I use the adjustments on my Pike to dial it in perfectly for me. If you know what you're doing, the fine-tuning can be pretty useful.


    Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.
    Can't argue with that.

    And regarding the SID, that is an unfair example, as it's intended application is as a light-weight XC race fork. People that buy them don't do so with the intention of abusing them.
    Last edited by antonio; 12-19-2008 at 09:44 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PieRow
    I'm not sure if it is considered a beginer bike, I mean it is a $650 bike. That's not cheap but it's not top of the line either. I'm also hoping to be able to transfer most of the parts to another bike if I do upgrade.
    I have a budget high quality wheelset with DT 5.1 rims and ProII hubs. They cost about $500.

    A good rear shock will be about $350 and up, for instance.

    A quality headset will be 1/10 of the purchase price of your entire bike.

    A 990 cassette can be between 1/10 or a greater percentage of the cost of the bike.

    A pair of tires is 1/10 or more the cost of the entire bike.

    Don't get started on one of the more popular forks for the past year.

    A quality hydraulic brakeset (unless you go cheapie Juicies and welcome problems) can cost 50% or more of the purchase price of the bike.

    This is a perspective you might need to see. You're mentioning how good your bike is, which I don't doubt, but it's good for a pricepoint, just like cars, watches, or anything else. Then on the other side of the issue, you mention wanting to upgrade all this stuff. Why not buy a bit higher with better componentry? This way you'll invariably get a better frame that could be worth hanging better parts off of when you ride them into the ground.

  12. #12
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    To the OP, what you have is a solid entry-level bike that you can punish and have fun with on the trails (unlike a WalMart or Toys R US bike whiich will fall apart if they see any real singletrack use). If you plan to bike on only a rare occasion, stick with what you have. But if you really become passionate about mountain-biking, you'll learn that there really is nothing on that bike that is worth saving for a future build.

    OTOH, I see nothing wrong with upgrading parts on your bike (well, except that its more cost efficient to buy the nicer parts upfront on a more expensive complete bike). You could buy new wheels, fork, brakes, etc., and put them on your Diamondback now, and then switch those parts over to a better frame later. Some people might comment if they see $400 brakes, $400 wheels, and a $400 fork on your $400 bike, but if you don't care, then it doesn't matter.
    Last edited by antonio; 12-19-2008 at 09:55 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    This is a perspective you might need to see. You're mentioning how good your bike is, which I don't doubt, but it's good for a pricepoint, just like cars, watches, or anything else. Then on the other side of the issue, you mention wanting to upgrade all this stuff. Why not buy a bit higher with better componentry? This way you'll invariably get a better frame that could be worth hanging better parts off of when you ride them into the ground.
    That's a good view on it.

    On the other hand, it might be beneficial to ride "inferior" parts first and upgrade components one at a time to see how they affect or don't affect the bike's handling. Then you can truly tell whether or not the bike is limiting you, or whether you're limiting yourself. This will definitely end up being a good learning experience. Just a thought.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99

    IMO, the only thing entry level about an entry level bike is the price. What do you get with a higher end model bike? Less weight in most cases. But less weight also means less durability. You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. It's all marketing. Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.
    With all due respect, I've looked through some of your posts. You appear to be still a newer and less experienced rider. While you are correct with your assertions of skill and fitness being important, there is always a point where one can enjoy their riding level being taken to another realm using equipment. I was going to post some counters to your posts about such things as adjustments and lightness (which is not true with price), along with durability, but we'll leave it at that. Part of what the problem is that there have been a recent wave of new riders coming on the forums, first buying a bike, then registering a username on mtbr and now feeling empowered as being mountain bikers, and with authority, posting advice they are not fit to give to others, even arguing how right they are at many points when it's clear to others reading their (sometimes blanketed) points are based on lack of experience.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    With all due respect, I've looked through some of your posts. You appear to be still a newer and less experienced rider. While you are correct with your assertions of skill and fitness being important, there is always a point where one can enjoy their riding level being taken to another realm using equipment. I was going to post some counters to your posts about such things as adjustments and lightness (which is not true with price), along with durability, but we'll leave it at that. Part of what the problem is that there have been a recent wave of new riders coming on the forums, first buying a bike, then registering a username on mtbr and now feeling empowered as being mountain bikers, and with authority, posting advice they are not fit to give to others, even arguing how right they are at many points when it's clear to others reading their (sometimes blanketed) points are based on lack of experience.
    Forums = opinions. Is that a surprise to you? Or do I have to add some silly clause at the end of my posts that reminds people of that?

    You would have to be extremely silly to take anything anyone says here to be the end all of comments.

    Oh yeah, that's an opinion as well. Mine in fact.

    I'm actually surprised that you're surprised to find beginners in the 'beginner's corner.'

    Maybe you should take this opportunity to take a look at where YOU stand.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Forums = opinions. Is that a surprise to you? Or do I have to add some silly clause at the end of my posts that reminds people of that?

    You would have to be extremely silly to take anything anyone says here to be the end all of comments.

    Oh yeah, that's an opinion as well. Mine in fact.
    Yes, forums are opinions, then there are n00b's portraying themselves as experts to other n00b's as spewing fact, then get defensive while called on their lack of experience and factual posts.

    A forum, such as this one, also exists in building a knowledge base that's good for everyone, which is why there are people out there with more experience to help less experienced riders with valid information. A forum also allows people to figure out who to listen to and who not to listen to. Which one do you fit into? Such comments as "more money equals less weight", especially in the current state of the market where people are going heavier. Perhaps in the 1999 edition of mtbr, that would have been valid. Then comes such comments as the adjustments and not being needed much. That was quite interesting. Perhaps your adjustments aren't effective enough, or you're not riding hard enough, or not discerning enough, or even your terrain is not varied enough, as many possibly experience and require such things as suspension adjustments to tune their bike in for different trails, or even during a ride through diverse terrain.

    edit: my post reflects your original post, pre-edit.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Perhaps your adjustments aren't effective enough, or you're not riding hard enough, or not discerning enough, or even your terrain is not varied enough, as many possibly experience and require such things as suspension adjustments to tune their bike in for different trails, or even during a ride through diverse terrain.

    edit: my post reflects your original post, pre-edit.
    I won't argue that you know your stuff.

    But would steering a beginner to get the next best/greatest/more expensive setup do them any good if they indeed, can't discern subtle differences between good, and better yet? In all practicality?

    I'm just showing my practical side in my posts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio
    And regarding the SID, that is an unfair example, as it's intended application is as a light-weight XC race fork. People that buy them don't do so with the intention of abusing them.
    No that was my point exactly. More expensive is not necessarily better for what you use it for.

    Again, my opinion completely.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    I won't argue that you know your stuff.

    But would steering a beginner to get the next best/greatest/more expensive setup do them any good if they indeed, can't discern subtle differences between good, and better yet? In all practicality?

    I'm just showing my practical side in my posts.
    You're showing your practical side to the point of deception, pretending to be more experienced when you in fact aren't. Thusly, you got called out on it.

    And against your implication that I steer people to the "next best/greatest/more expensive setup", you even cited above a post I made being realistic towards what the OP's wishes were and exposing the reality which is anti to what he believes about the bike business.

    Unfortunately, registration onto a mountain biker's forum doesn't require one know their stuff, nor even be a mountain biker, but it appears to empower some into thinking they are now "MOUNTAIN BIKERS" and ready to give people advice below their level on the knowledge totem pole.

  20. #20
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    I own a $600 GF Marlin that I absolutely love. The frame fits me perfectly, and it is a hoot to ride... if a bit heavy at about 30lbs. I only started mtb riding in the early part of last spring, and by the end of summer I placed first in my division in a race on it. The bike isn't the key factor in this, you are.

    The bike was a gift, right? Assuming that the frame fits you well, get on it, and ride the crap out of it. The reason I say this is because, as of right now... you don't know what you like/dislike about the performance of this ride. Once you find something you don't like... start talking to folks here, your LBS, and those you meet on the trail, and see if the currently attached option can be dinked with to get the desired results, or if you need to move up a notch or three.

    As a perfect example, the bike I bought had OEM SD3 brakes and Tektro levers... which honestly worked fine... until the first time I got in the mud. I, of course, was new and started asking around to see what the alternatives were, and made the decision to go with some Juicy 7 disc brakes. Some would think this overkill for the bike I have, but y'know... It's my bike, and my cash.

    ... even if it's old junk, it's still rock 'n roll to me.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    No that was my point exactly. More expensive is not necessarily better for what you use it for.

    Again, my opinion completely.
    If your point was that you should know what you're buying before you upgrade, I could see why you would select a SID. But what you were implying was that lighter and more expensive = fragile.

    If you'd selected a Reba instead of a SID as an example, then you'd have an expensive fork that is BOTH more durable AND lighter than a fork on an entry level bike - disproving your point.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    You're showing your practical side to the point of deception, pretending to be more experienced when you in fact aren't. Thusly, you got called out on it.

    And against your implication that I steer people to the "next best/greatest/more expensive setup", you even cited above a post I made being realistic towards what the OP's wishes were and exposing the reality which is anti to what he believes about the bike business.
    You're unnecessarily picking at my posts to the point of it getting tiresome.

    I agreed with you that it would be cheaper to get a better complete bike, but I suggested maybe it would help him as a rider to find out how much the ride is you, and how much is from your bike.

    Again, my opinion only. Nowhere have I exerted 'authority' as you have blatantly in the last few posts. Let it go.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio
    If your point was that you should know what you're buying before you upgrade, I could see why you would select a SID.
    That was indeed my main point.

  24. #24
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    Welcome to the club.

    I think your bike is probably a beginner bike, just a very good beginner bike. For what its worth, my parents bought me a 1988 Falcon Competitor(road bike) for my 16th birthday, and I still have it! So this bike may be in your future for some time, if you get really bit by the MTB bug, or worse yet, upgradeitis, you can turn it into a commuter...

    Depending on things about you, the bike may have limitations. From personal experience, my early bikes were often too small. Although I'm not tall, I have short legs and a long torso. I found out, the hard way(by going over the bars alot), that I require a longer eff. top tube length so my head isn't hanging over the front wheel.

    Complicating my going over the bars too much - I'm a bit hefty, some may say big-boned. Cheaper forks, had springs that were way too light for me. Thus when I'd hit a big rock or root, again, the fork would instantly compress and I'd go over the bars. I ended up ordering heftier springs for later bikes or using either air springs or air preload.

    I now have 5 mountain bikes, my 88 road bike and a commuter, so be prepared to get more bikes.

    Take care,
    Ed

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    Wow, this thread got interesting real quick *cough cough*

    Switching to a "higher gear"...

    I recommend Sun Ringle ZuZu pedals. Strong, affordable, good grip.

    I also think that you will enjoy your Diamondback for a good long time. It is entry level, but a decent entry into the sport. Take pride in that and have fun!

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    you guys noticed how many threads are spiraling out of control lately? its the damn weather, we're all stuck inside and cant ride.. makes grumpy mountain bikers

    ive found that i can ride entry level stuff if it has good cables and liners on it, and good chainrings. im really good at absolutely destroying cheap rings. deore stuff might not shift like lightening, but with good cables and a decent ring it'll definitely shift well enough to ride forever. before i sold my last bike it ended up with xt rings, good liners, and deore stuff.. my girlfriends bike has good liners, xt rings, and deore stuff. it doesnt shift as nice as my full x9 drivetrain, but its every bit as reliable! my girlfriend doesnt have the upgrade bug, but im the one whos fixing stuff if it breaks, so i tried to find the most rock solid no frills setup, and i think thats all in the cables and rings (she kinda killed a deore rear d too, but hey.. 10 bucks for an LX fixed that). everyone will notice the difference between a smooth shift and tossing the chain over a bent ring, its not too subtle. im not saying rush out and upgrade, but dont be surprised if you have to after a couple months out of necessity.

    nothing sucks like tossing the chain every mile because your cheap ring kinked. sounds like you've already got the bike, so ride the hell out of it! if/when it shifts funny though, thats where you should start looking to fix it

  27. #27
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    Lighten up, Francis...

    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    You're unnecessarily picking at my posts to the point of it getting tiresome.

    I agreed with you that it would be cheaper to get a better complete bike, but I suggested maybe it would help him as a rider to find out how much the ride is you, and how much is from your bike.

    Again, my opinion only. Nowhere have I exerted 'authority' as you have blatantly in the last few posts. Let it go.
    He's trying to help you gain perspective. There are some people who hang out in the Beginners Forum who are beginners and give Beginner level advice. There are some people who hang out here who have more experience and want to help Beginners avoid mistakes. Some of those mistakes come from taking Beginner level advice.

    You've made several assertions as fact on this post alone that are simply incorrect (lighter = less durable, for example). You've also made several assertions that are partially correct:

    "You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. (Incorrect)It's all marketing.(Incorrect) Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.(Correct)"

    Jerk Chicken's point is that when first time poster come in, they see this Forum as a resource because the people have more experience than they do. And with that comes some level of responsibility to provide factual information. If posters don't provide factual information, then the overall value of the forum is diminished.

    In your case, you've passed on your opinions as "facts" to a brand new rider. Some of those opinions are correct (facts) and others are simply opinions but they're presented as facts.

    There's nothing wrong with stating your opinions but when you're wrong, please don't take offense when someone points that out to you.

  28. #28
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    No, it wasn't what you said...

    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    No that was my point exactly. More expensive is not necessarily better for what you use it for.

    Again, my opinion completely.
    A 5 pound sledge hammer is a horrible tool! Incorrect.

    A 5 pound sledge hammer is horrible tool to fix a watch with. Correct.


    An expensive SID is a waste of money. Incorrect.

    An expensive SID is a waste of money for All Mountain type riding. Correct.

    An expensive SID is a waste of money for anything other than fairly serious, XC racing. Correct.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    You've made several assertions as fact on this post alone that are simply incorrect (lighter = less durable, for example). You've also made several assertions that are partially correct:

    "You might get some more adjustability, but most of that you won't even touch. (Incorrect)It's all marketing.(Incorrect) Companies try to make you buy more expensive bikes by making you feel inadequate about the equipment between your legs.(Correct)"
    So you've never seen or heard of frames prematurely failing when too much material was shaved off for the sake of saving weight? It happens. A little material here, a little material there, nothing anything but proper FEA could tell the difference from right? Maybe I'm skeptical from being an electrical engineer hanging around delusional mechanical engineers during SAE competitions. Incompetent doctors kill people at retail, but incompetent engineers kill wholesale. You're right, light doesn't imply weak with proper design. I didn't word it precisely. Sorry for offending people.

    As for adjustability, would a beginner realistically touch every adjustment on say a fork? Dual air chambers anyone? Pad spacing on disc brakes when they're working just fine? They may not even touch them at all for a long while, maybe even after the parts need to be repaired/replaced Just my 2 cents.

    I've ridden my trek singletrack 930 for a long time without having to touch anything significant. You don't need all the bells and whistles to ride a bike. But that doesn't mean they have no value. It depends who you're talking to.

    More expensive(SID) is not necessarily better for what you use it for(AM/DH).
    The meaning was there wasn't it?

  30. #30
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    I work for the company that sells this bike. It is a SMU which means that it is a special make up bike. That is why you can not find it on diamondbacks website. The bike you got is a solid entry level bike for the price. Honestly i would not rush to upgrade too much yet. Pedals are fine but i would wait to see what type of riding you lean towards as you progress. If you have any questions you can PM me but this thread is getting out of control and not very helpful to the OP.

  31. #31
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    Ok to answer some of the ponderings in this thread, yes the bike fits me ive sat on it but have not had a chance to ride it. My dad wants me to wait till xmas. And also i believe we have concluded by people im guessing have way more expensive bike that its a cheap "beginer" bike, ok i get it. Ive owned very very good bikes in the pas, bmx tho so i understand quality vs price vs reliabality so i dont need any more posts on that. If we can get past all that i just want to know specifics on this bike, has any one rode one? Has any one broke S*** on it? What tends to brake first or need repairing..?

    Thank you again....


    Quote Originally Posted by scoholofo
    I work for the company that sells this bike. It is a SMU which means that it is a special make up bike. That is why you can not find it on diamondbacks website. The bike you got is a solid entry level bike for the price. Honestly i would not rush to upgrade too much yet. Pedals are fine but i would wait to see what type of riding you lean towards as you progress. If you have any questions you can PM me but this thread is getting out of control and not very helpful to the OP.

    Thx man i will pm you.

  32. #32
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    Stop it already...

    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    So you've never seen or heard of frames prematurely failing when too much material was shaved off for the sake of saving weight? It happens. A little material here, a little material there, nothing anything but proper FEA could tell the difference from right? Maybe I'm skeptical from being an electrical engineer hanging around delusional mechanical engineers during SAE competitions. Incompetent doctors kill people at retail, but incompetent engineers kill wholesale. You're right, light doesn't imply weak with proper design. I didn't word it precisely. Sorry for offending people.

    As for adjustability, would a beginner realistically touch every adjustment on say a fork? Dual air chambers anyone? Pad spacing on disc brakes when they're working just fine? They may not even touch them at all for a long while, maybe even after the parts need to be repaired/replaced Just my 2 cents.

    I've ridden my trek singletrack 930 for a long time without having to touch anything significant. You don't need all the bells and whistles to ride a bike. But that doesn't mean they have no value. It depends who you're talking to.


    The meaning was there wasn't it?
    Let's talk realistic: You're making specious arguments and throwing around absolutes to justify your (incorrect) opinions. We can all make gross generalizations and then go back and justify them after the fact. You said: Light=weak. Now you're saying that ME's kill people as your justification to this statement? Get real. Of course there are poor designs that result in failure. There are also proper designs that fail. There are heavy poor designs that fail.

    Let's talk realistic: Other than your analogy, has anyone suggested that a beginner (the OP for example) pick up a high end fork with a bunch of adjustability? No. When they graduate from the Beginner's forum and want non-beginner advice regarding higher end components, they graduate to other forums. But you made a gross generalization by saying that almost no one uses all the adjustments on high end forks. That is absolutely incorrect. Most people spend at least a month (I spent at least 2 months) dialing in a high end new fork using every adjustment at their disposal.


    I've ridden both of my bikes for years without having to touch anything significant. So what does that have to do with anything.

    You continue to overlook the point that Jerk Chicken is trying to help you see.

  33. #33
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    Welcome to the forums and sport. I'll have to go with the ride-the-bike-til-you-wear-something-out or break-something-before-you-"upgrade"-something crowd. As you progress in the sport, if you stick with it, you'll probably just want a nicer bike with nicer components and that's the best bang for your buck really. If you want to take a bike like that and use it for crazy stunts or riding it in other ways it's not intended for, that's not a good idea and "upgrades" won't change that as the frame isn't suited for it for the most part. Ride the bike and work on your skills. Spend money on good accessories and tools that you can use for a long time and on other bikes. Have fun!

    As you can see, the threads here can easily take on a life of their own here, too
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  34. #34
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    I'm slow...

    [QUOTE=PieRow]Ok to answer some of the ponderings in this thread, yes the bike fits me ive sat on it but have not had a chance to ride it. My dad wants me to wait till xmas. And also i believe we have concluded by people im guessing have way more expensive bike that its a cheap "beginer" bike, ok i get it. Ive owned very very good bikes in the pas, bmx tho so i understand quality vs price vs reliabality so i dont need any more posts on that. If we can get past all that i just want to know specifics on this bike, has any one rode one? Has any one broke S*** on it? What tends to brake first or need repairing..?

    Thank you again....

    [QUOTE]

    First: Ride your bike and have fun. Don't upgrade until you break something. What you're likely to break is the derailer because it's a weak part, regardless of model.

    For clarity: It's not a "cheap" bike. It's an entry level mountain bike. You'll get years of riding out of it, unless you really get the fever and decide to buy a more expensive bike before this one wears out.

    I just "got" your username. Very funny.

  35. #35
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    I agree with Ken in KC - I would never call a $400 or $700 bike cheap. I hope you don't think folks here are disrespecting your ride.

    I actually think $1000+ bikes are WAY overpriced, but I'm hooked to the sport and really want and appreciate the sometimes slight performance gains that a grand or two will get ya. My guess is that a lot of us here are addicted in that way.

  36. #36
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    Ugghh.......

    Well tonight i found out from my dad that the Topanga he baught but didnt pick up was deffective and the guy who sold it didnt know. They said they were going to have another one comming last thursday but then they never called and now i might have to get a different bike if i want it on or before xmas.....So the other bike im looking at is the iron horse quantum ii. It seems like a good bike from what ive read, just a re-named bike from their catalog. Im gonig down to Sports Authority tomorrow to see if they got a topanga in or not since they didnt call and to see how i like the Quantum 2.

    Any words of wisdom between the two either way...?

    Thx again guys for the help.

  37. #37
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    Don't go to sports authority.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Don't go to sports authority.
    Thats not helping any.


    This is a present from my parents for xmas. Yes there are some nice bike shops where i live but for a bike with just front suspencion and disc brakes like the ones at Sports Authority they are reaching $1,000 and thats just not in the budget right now. Now i understand there is a quality difference between a bike shop and a sports retail store so i dont need that speach again.

    When fire season starts i will be able to afford to buy/replace any parts on those bikes to improve it if i feel its a weak point or just no up to my par so thats the way im gonna go and if down the road i feel like its becoming a waste i will move on to a more expensive and suposidly better bike.

  39. #39
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    No matter how you try to upgrade parts, you'll still be left with a frame that's not worth upgrading, from geometry to construction, and again, the parts will be worth more than you paid, which in this case is not a smart way to buy. Like having a Tercel and putting 2k rims on it.

    My suggestion is to look for shops that carry Diamondback, Giant, and possibly the lower end Konas. It's not all about what they have in stock because shops can order for you, which is normal practice.

    The other problem with SA is the monkeys that assemble the bikes. THey also aren't a stand-in for an LBS when they need to order parts. I took a class last year where one student bought an IH and had nothing but problems and downtime for this class related to the poor build and not sourcing parts in under 3 weeks.

    But, you can buy low, enjoy the hell out of it, then buy up and keep the bike as a spare or commuter.

  40. #40
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    Agree with the last post - try a shop/store that sells Giant, Diamond Back, Raleigh or KHS.

    A friend bought a 2008 Raleigh Mojave (4 or 5, not sure) for about $400 on sale. The fork is not the best but other than that it works fine for XC. I have read in other posts that Raleigh's paint jobs are not the best, but you can decide if this matters.

    If you get the bike at a non-LBS, a LBS will always be happy to service any problems. Of course they will charge you and will not be able to handle warrenty-type issues. If the bike is free of problems - you made out great. If not, you pay more later. It can work either way.

    Good luck!

  41. #41
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    I'd rather you check out performance bike or even REI before you go to sport authority.

  42. #42
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    Sports Authority is great...

    ...if you're looking to purchase lawn-darts.

    Take a look at used-bikes! The OP states experience as a BMXer and, judging by your occupation, you'd like a 26" bike to ride the very terrain you often see on fire. A bike purchased at Sports Authority is going to fail in that terrain.

  43. #43
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    Dude, it's really this it's this simple:

    -Go to a LBS (local bike shop)

    -Pick out a hardtail for approximately $500 or so (or whatever your price level is)

    -Ride it

    -Learn

    -Have fun!

    Dude, the bike doesn't matter nearly as much as the rider (unless the bike doesn't fit). I, myself, have kept up with riders on new high $$$ full-suspension bike with my fully-rigid mid-range 1990 KHS. Why? Because i'm a better rider. On the other hand, i've been smoked on singletrack by a 60-yr-old on a cyclocross bike (essentially a road bike w/ skinny, but sort of knobby tires). Why? Because he's a better rider than me.

    As long as you get something decent the bike doesn't matter!
    Keep the Rubber Side Down!

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimpee

    Dude, the bike doesn't matter nearly as much as the rider (unless the bike doesn't fit). I, myself, have kept up with riders on new high $$$ full-suspension bike with my fully-rigid mid-range 1990 KHS. Why? Because i'm a better rider. On the other hand, i've been smoked on singletrack by a 60-yr-old on a cyclocross bike (essentially a road bike w/ skinny, but sort of knobby tires). Why? Because he's a better rider than me.
    Yep, there's always someone out there with a better bike or better skills...just not something to worry about. Like worrying about stuff you haven't even got yet!
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  45. #45
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    Ok, so i got the Diamondback Topanga. Good bike. Not too heavy. My only complaints where not really the bike but the monkeys that assembaled it. Both derailers where so out of adjustment that i spend most of xmas day TRYING to tune, them im new to having multiple gears on a bike so it was a bit frustrating....

    So just riding it arround the neighborhodd i see that first off i need better pedals, thats a big duah cheap plastick ones suck, and second ide like to find some better levers, im very picky and like to have the least amount of pull on them as possible (like most people i assume). So tomorrrow its off to the bike shop to pick up a few things and then if the wather stays nice ill take her out for her maden voyage.

    And yes, ive already noticed that my experience BMXing has helped me leave guys on actual mountian bikes when i was riding my moms specialized hardrock so im sure ill have no problem on a nice-er bike.

    Thx for all your posts, negative or positive.....

  46. #46
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    im very picky and like to have the least amount of pull on them as possible (like most people i assume).

    The actual lever doesn't have much to do with that, that's more in the setup. What brakes and levers come on the Topanga? Not all of us want touchy brakes, I like mine to actuate about 1/3-1/2 of the way to the bar.

    For the derailleur tuning go to parktool.com and use their repair help on derailleur and brake adjusting.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    im very picky and like to have the least amount of pull on them as possible (like most people i assume).

    The actual lever doesn't have much to do with that, that's more in the setup. What brakes and levers come on the Topanga? Not all of us want touchy brakes, I like mine to actuate about 1/3-1/2 of the way to the bar.

    For the derailleur tuning go to parktool.com and use their repair help on derailleur and brake adjusting.
    It came with Tektro IOX disc brakes...They seem to be ok but the levers seem to be on the cheap side. Does any one know anything about these, good/bad and also what i should replace first.

    I already did my fist mod if you could call it that, i just got some decient platform pedals from Redline.

  48. #48
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    you should be able to adjust the levers pretty easily on those. check your manual or find the company web site.

    also, you said you rode bmx with clipless pedals? really? iv never heard of anyone doing that... maybe im just outta the loop..
    There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by PieRow
    It came with Tektro IOX disc brakes...They seem to be ok but the levers seem to be on the cheap side. Does any one know anything about these, good/bad and also what i should replace first.

    I already did my fist mod if you could call it that, i just got some decient platform pedals from Redline.
    Well, they're probably on par with the calipers in any case. Try adjusting them first, or if you insist on spending money try getting some Avid levers like the FR-5s or Speed Dial 7s (there's some 08's at very good prices on sale right now, google it). Why just replace stuff? Are you selling what you take off or using that stuff on another bike?
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotfeat1227
    you should be able to adjust the levers pretty easily on those. check your manual or find the company web site.

    also, you said you rode bmx with clipless pedals? really? iv never heard of anyone doing that... maybe im just outta the loop..
    I bet about 50% or more of the top BMX riders in the world ride clipless. There's no way to be faster...I was consistantly faster after getting them. But on the other hand i had alot worse wrecks too...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Well, they're probably on par with the calipers in any case. Try adjusting them first, or if you insist on spending money try getting some Avid levers like the FR-5s or Speed Dial 7s (there's some 08's at very good prices on sale right now, google it). Why just replace stuff? Are you selling what you take off or using that stuff on another bike?
    Meh i just dont like the levers, they feel cheap, and yea ive tryed adjusting them with no real change that i can feel. I also havnt touched the adjustment at the caliper yet either so that will be on my list when i get some tuning time. (in the next couple days)

    Yes i would like to get some avid levers but am not sure if i wan to spend the money on levers when i want to eventually upgrade to hydraulic......

    And as far as replacing stuff, well i dont have any use for the old except for the fact that its always nice to have a spair of everything. I broke a few things on my BMX bike when i was racing and i was glad i had the old stock stuff to quickly replace with.

    Finally, asl alot of you have said to me, why upgrade things on a "cheap bike" well most of the things ide like to upgrade are not perm which means if i upgrade the bike the parts can be put on the new bike if need be...

  52. #52
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    I keep reading this thread and wonder what you want.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I keep reading this thread and wonder what you want.

    I just want to have a nice bike with out spending thousands, not sure how thats hard to understand.

  54. #54
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    Hey Tim,
    I just thought I'd throw this out...
    If you're lookin for a good bike shop (i saw you were dealing with sports authority - even if it wasn't your choice) go and talk to the guys at Sports LTD - they are all chill , know their stuff, and don't pressure you into upgrading or make you feel like a jackass for asking a 'dumb' question.
    I've been to all the shops in redding when I lived there and found them to be the best through trial and error . They can also get you hooked up w/ RMB (redding mountain biking) they meet every sat. @ sunset market.
    just my $.02
    hopefully some (current) redding guys will chime in
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  55. #55
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    Thx for the .02...

    Sports Ltd is my shop, i purchased alot of bike parts form them when i was BMX racing so i am very famailar with them and their shop.

    The only reason i purchased a bike at SA was they happen to have a bike i liked but after the initial purchase i wont go back to them for any more bike stuff.

    When its time for the topanga to get a tune up she will be going to sports ltd. Its nice now, my condo is right down the street from them, but its also bad since i want to stop by there all the time...

  56. #56
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    cool, yeah I didn't know if you knew...now i guess we know
    your bike looks pretty nice
    tear up whiskeytown for me, eh?

    oh, i just had a thought about your levers delema. Is it possible that it could be an issue with the brakes themselves? If you want to upgrade the mechs., BB7's are the way to go as you may already know. I have levers similar to yours (i believe) and I can get my brakes to grab at the initial lever throw. (although i like em at about 1/3 in). They'll keep the cost down on an upgrade vs. hydro's. Just somethin' to think about. Do any of you're buddies got any of them?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  57. #57
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    Naww, as of now im the only one in my "riding group" that has disc's. But after i mentioned i want to upgrade they got in line to buy mine, lolz.

    Well see this summer.

  58. #58
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    hey PieRow
    congrats on your new Topanga its a sick bike.heres my bike, on my balcony in the shade. shoulda shot it in the sun, the camera does not do justice on that metallic orange colour. JUst wondering, if you got a pic of it, cause i have a feeling its the exact same as mine. (Beefy frame and Orange with white writing)

    I was exactly in your state of mind. Get a decent durable bike for something less then a car.
    And i also went to a big sports store, (sportschek) and got my bike there. Yes, LBS are better interms of SERVICE, but the same bike at one store is the same as the other, (just as long as its put together properly-_-). A diamondback topanga is a diamondback topanga people! (just make sure they assembled the bike properly, and didn't forget anything)
    So have you been riding on the single track yet? I really enjoy the Topanga, given that its a hardtail, and it has a so so fork. But it gets the job done. The only weakness on a topanga is
    firstly, the paint chips really easily! make sure you protect frame from the chain smacking it.
    Second, the pedals are crap, get some plat form pedals with some medal nibs on it, huge difference.
    and lastly, the Kenda Klaws it comes with is not for pavement, its like almost for mud slinging. the trip from home to the trails, is not fun..
    .
    And its heavy. But what the hey, it makes up for it in durability, the frame is bullet proof, And Bomb Proof. You got a good frame in your hand.

    Make sure you keep your deraileurs and brakes tuned and tight, They get loose really easily....(especially the brakes..-_-) but if there tight and dialed in, the disc brakes are actually not all that bad. Way better then any calipers i've used..roadie
    don't feel disappointed with the bike, I'm loving it, and rocking it, compared to people on i meet on the trails with two grand fullys on the trail who pedal real slow by me.
    enjoy the bike, ride the crap out of it, cause your gonna get tired and worn down before it does. one strong bike.
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