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  1. #1
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    a question my LBS couldnt answer

    So i went to about 5 different local bike stores today and test road about a dozen bikes ranging from DH to Hardtail.

    the few that i liked and were in my price range were the Diamondback Response sport - $398, Ironhorse Warrior 6.0 - $625, Diamond Recoil Comp - $525, Trek 4300 disk - $599 and a GF i didnt get the price on but was a hardtail.

    Now i was set on a Hardtail to learn from but with some of the prices i saw i could afford a Full Suspension. I am trying not to lean to that side but heres the question i was asking the LBS and they couldnt answer.

    Is it better to buy a Full Suspension with low end parts and build or buy a Hardtail with better parts and learn to be a better rider. Im trying not to be a compleate fool and ask the same question but i tried asking the locals and he said "i dont know man, i just sell them". Needless to say i wasnt happy with them and that was my frist shop this morning. The others got better but i was still in the mood that i was just being sold somthing and non of them cared.

    Im looking for a good learning bike and will eventually be to a all mountian bike, at least that is what appeals to me now, it might change. BTW all the prices were the LBS prices. I road all of them and these were the ones that felt good and that i could ride. Also the frist shop said the size of the bike didnt have anything to do with how tall i was. Im 5'7" and the frist guy was trying to put my in a Large frame, and i dont think that is right. Well i hope i wasnt to much of a tool and im done complaining. Any advice is appricated and very welcome. Is it sad that the best expirence i had today was at performance bike and bike warehouse!

    Thanks
    Gary

  2. #2
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    that's a really tough question to answer honestly. there's pros and cons to both sides. i generally tell people that at least 1/4 of the bike price goes to the rear suspension. riding with crummy rear suspension will make you hate the bike and maybe even mountain biking. On the other hand a good FS even with more basic parts can let you ride further and faster than you could on a hardtail, and when the parts do break, you can upgrade if you want. with your apparent budget(say under $700) i'd go hardtail all the way, FS bikes under $1200 are generally very poorly spec'd and have really cheap suspension parts and/or poor designs. i'd go hardtail and learn to be smooth and figure out exactly what type of riding you want to do, then save save save, and buy a nice all mountain, or trail bike, or whatever.

    //edit: 5'7 sounds a bit small to be on a large, but top tube length(reach) is more important that height for bike sizes, but height is still a factor. i'd probably put you on a 17" or medium, maybe a 16" if such a size is available. but for now ride everything you can and take note of what feels good and what doesn't.
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  3. #3
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    +1 I would advise the hard tail, it will make you a smoother more technicaly advanced rider and will help you decide what kind of riding you will like to do. Then when you save and purchase a better bike you will have a great commuter bike or a bike to let some buddies ride to get them started.

  4. #4
    Rod
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    There's no way you should be on a large frame. I'm 6'0 or 6'1 and I ride a large frame. My lbs owner who's 5'8 or 5'9 rides a medium. Like others said it would all depend on the top tube length, but there's no way my wife who's 5'8 can ride my bike. She's extremely uncomfortable leaning that far forward, but also my is solely designed for cross country racing so it has a longer top tube than other bikes. On my giant yukon I sat more upright so she could ride it with the seat all the way down, but she's much more comfortable on her small giant frame as compared to my large.

    I was in a similar situation you are in and he's what I did and more importantly why. I sold the Giant Yukon so I could have more money for a used bike. I bought the best used bike I could afford. I only had a budget of 600 dollars, but if your budget is more than that you should buy new and it always helps to establish a relationship with your lbs. I wanted the most bike I could get and if I decide I want a full suspension bike later I plan on transferring all of my parts to the fs frame. Later, after I graduate grad school, I should be able to afford a nice fs frame, but until then my hardtail is working great. Since you're not sure what type of riding style you'll grow into you should definitely go with a hardtail and then buy the bike that's designed for the type of riding you want to do later in life.

    What's your budget?
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  5. #5
    The Martian
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    My 2cents of hopefully not completely worthless drivel for you to chew on:

    1) Don't go back to the first shop even if the bike is a "better deal"

    2) I've found Performance bike shops vary by which one you happen to walk in. I've walked in Performances (multiple times, same shop) that were every bit as good as the local bike shops around, had knowledgeable employees, and good service. I walked in one today that I'll never walk back in again (save maybe to buy a tube). If your local one is good then go with it

    3) The bike: My vote at that price point is to get a nicer hardtail with good components and a solid frame. You'll be happier in the long run than with a heavy, cheap, mediocre quality full suspension. And, as Ibis_ripley pointed out when/if you choose to upgrade to a full suspension you'll still have use for your hardtail (My hardtail, Trek 4500, is now my commuter/grocery getter and I have a Yeti ASR, after 3yrs of saving, to play on).

    This will also give you time to decide better what type of rider you are before investing heavily in a higher end bike. Looking at everything from downhill to XC tells me you aren't exactly sure what type of bike you'll really need/want. A good hardtail will help you figure that out.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice!!

    @ ROD - my budget is around $700-800

    @ CougarTrek - yeah im not sure what i will grow to like. The buddy who turned me on to this is riding a 4000 bike (a very heviley modified lefty Cannondale) from when he was sponsered before, not his new sponser. anyway, Im still on the hunt. If anyone is from Oceanside, CA and knows some better shops all help is appricated!

  7. #7
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    Thanks for the advice!!

    @ ROD - my budget is around $700-800
    If that's your budget you should not even be looking at full suspensions. They would be very heavy and like others said a hardtail will help you figure out what type of rider you want to become. If this still fits in your price range you may want to consider an all mountain type of hardtail. That way you could ride xc, am, or possibly even light dh with it. I would ask someone more knowledgeable about using an am rig for light downhill though. I'm an xc guy.

    Maybe something like this would be some middle ground. I'm sure other manufacturers have a similar bike. I have never seen this bike in person. I'm just using it as an example as what I was talking about. Most bikes I saw in this price range only had 100mm of travel and was only designed for xc.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...9_komodo1.html
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  8. #8
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    as others have said, be sure to be fitted correctly on your bike. it's also usually better to be on a smaller bike than a bigger bike. the top tube height also depends on your inseam. for example, i ride a 19" and i'm 6'4 because i have a 33-34" inseam- sometimes the top tube length feels small, but there are things you can do about that with stem and bars.

    i agree with going HT- you can get a decent bike for yoru budget- with decent components and fork, too! i would much rather have a decent (or pretty good) HT versus an okay FS.

  9. #9
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    Again thanks for the advice and the advice has lead me t another question, I could probally find it but i would like to see what you guys have to say.

    What is the difference between Freeride, XC, and AM. What i am looking to ride is some trails on Pendleton, and the local Carlsbad stuff. I have decided on a Front Suspension so thats done. and is there any bike manufacture to stay away from? Sorry for all the questions.
    Last edited by lazebum; 11-30-2008 at 01:55 AM.

  10. #10
    Rod
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    XC is riding from point a to b usually down a trail that's usually 20 inches wide. My friends and I ride on the trails, fire roads, or atv trails. We call a trail 20 inches wide singletrack in the cycling world. Little to no jumps usually and if you do jump it's very rarely over 2 feet high. The bikes aren't designed to be jumped. All mountain is more jumping than xc, but nothing like downhill. Just youtube downhill riding or racing and am is between that and the xc riding I described earlier. That's the best way I can describe it. If you want a FS bike if I was you I would save up some more money through the winter unless you can find an 08 model on sale. If you can save can get your budget up to 1,500 or so by spring you should get a much better bike then. But, you see the dilemma with buying a more expensive bike is you're not sure what style of riding you want to do.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  11. #11
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    if you're not including tax, 800 bucks will get you a giant trance. its not an ok fs bike, its an amazing fantastic fs bike with a premium top shelf suspension.

    the frame and suspension is really the only thing that matters on a bike. dont ever buy a bike based on components. components break or wear out, or get crash damaged.. they're cheap and easy to replace, but the frame and suspension will make or break the bike overall.

  12. #12
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    im going to start with a Front Suspension and work my way from there. Ive been lurking on other forums and this one for a little bit and the want i have is somewhere between XC and AM. I think i need to start in XC. Im wanting to learn this sport and not get lost with the other riftraft. And if XC is what i like then i will be very happy because i got a good bike to start with and im a cheap bast!@d anyway :P

  13. #13
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    I've got a DB Response. I love the bike. I'm 5'5" riding a 16" frame and I like the reach, lean, and overall, the way I fit on the bike. The top tube is a hair higher than where I'd like it to be, but once I'm riding, I'm very comfortable.

    Reviews of that bike indicate that the frame is pretty much bomb proof. I've got the comp, the upgrade over the sport, and it came with a Tora Rock Shox on it. The stock shock/fork on the sport in a spinner edge or something like that and the spring is lighter than on the Tora, meaning it is more likely to bottom out if you take small jumps with it.

  14. #14
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    Ok...

    I like hardtails and love to ride them. I also love FS bikes and love them too. I've ridden a decent range of all of them from full on rigids vs XC bikes, to AM and DH bikes.

    If you're looking for higher quality components and aren't concerned with how the bike itself deals with bumps for that price range go with a hardtail. If you're looking for a more comfortable bike and ARE concerned with overall comfort go with the full suspension.

    Many people will say go hardtail and avoid FS bikes. But that is their preference and ONLY their preference. Needs vary hugely from person to person. I know if I'm going to do some moderate single track and don't mind my ass taking a few bumps on the trail I go with a hardtail. If I know it's going to be really root/rock infested I use my 4" travel FS bike. The bike you use should in most cases reflect what type of track you ride. I wouldn't use a hard tail if I knew I would be sitting and taking bumps a hell of a lot, nor would I use a full suspension bike if I knew the track was fairly smooth.

    Baseline components of course aren't as good as top end components. Just because it's top end **** and extremely expensive doesn't mean it won't work or bust on you really fast unless you're unlucky/reckless/don't take care of your bike. My hardrock has a rock shox dart 2, and a deore drivetain and honestly it performs fantastically for what I ask it to do, but again that's because I know what I want to do with it such as paved trail riding, commuting, and riding fast single track with moderate bumps.

    That long ass rant ended... I suggest a hardtail given what you said you want to do. You're still figuring out what discipline and what terrain you want to ride. If you progress and feel your bike isn't providing you with the adequate comfort and performance you want, then save up and go FS.
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  15. #15
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    I've been riding MTB for almost 18 years now. I just started riding a full suspension this past spring. I think spending so much time on a hardtail has allowed me to be able to pick better lines when riding, as opposed to just trying to blast through everything.

    Before I built my full suspension bike, I rode all different levels of FS bikes. The $900 FS bikes have low end components - shifting is not crisp, brakes are missing something to be desired, the front suspension forks are flexy and don't supply the "feel" I was looking for.

    I ended up picking a FS bike frame based on fit and how the frame felt on the trails.

    Do yourself a HUGE favor and purchase a higher end hardtail, or save the extra 600-700 bucks and get a good FS bike - Mongoose Caanan Elite - full XT components - I would have purchased this bike if I had known it was out there - you can pick it up at Performance for around $1500

  16. #16
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    I'll add in my newbie-ish .02 cents.

    I was about in your position, but unfortunately, with an even lower budget by about $100. So, I was looking primarily at used bikes, so that I'd get a better deal. Componentry was definitely at the top of my list. I had looked at a variety of hard-tails, but then starting looking at intro-level FS's. With your approximate $700 budget, I really think you could look used and possibly find a decent FS bike. However, that's only an option. I'd still think that the Ironhorse or Trek would be a fantastic deal and a great platform to start out.

    About the size thing, unless the frame geometry is really crazy, there is no way that you need a large frame. I'm about 5'9", and even though I can ride a large frame, it is obviously way too big. A 17" or 18" frame should be correct for you.

    When it comes to the FS w/low-end components vs. the HT w/better components debate, if you have the money to upgrade as things break, then FS might be a decent option. But what other FS bikes have you been looking at besides the Diamondback Recoil?

    Another tidbit: I'm not one of those who thinks that you must start out on a hard-tail. I see no reason that a hard-tail will make you a better rider than a full-suspension, other than a FS may increase your comfort level. As long as you're out there riding, you will make mistakes and you will learn from them and thus become a better rider each time out on the trail.

    I agree with a lot of what Cyrix had to say. Figure out what type of riding you'll be doing. I knew that all the trails out here in NC are pretty tame. It's mainly XC. Therefore, I knew that an intro-level FS bike wouldn't be too weak to handle the majority of trails here.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc

    Do yourself a HUGE favor and purchase a higher end hardtail, or save the extra 600-700 bucks and get a good FS bike - Mongoose Caanan Elite - full XT components - I would have purchased this bike if I had known it was out there - you can pick it up at Performance for around $1500
    Today (Sunday, November 30) is the last day for Performance 20% off coupon for in-store purchases.

  18. #18
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    So i found a GF/TREK store kinda local. I went there this morning and test road the Trek6000disk and the GF Piranha. Iliked them both and will deff. be going back to that store for future purchases. They even had a child area with toys for my son!!! though he was more intersted in a bike for himself, just a little to small for the smallest bike. He cant reach the bottom of the peddle range.

    Back to the point. Is there any real difference between the GF Piranha and Trek 6000? other than the GF is over $100 more expensive?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    So i found a GF/TREK store kinda local. I went there this morning and test road the Trek6000disk and the GF Piranha. Iliked them both and will deff. be going back to that store for future purchases. They even had a child area with toys for my son!!! though he was more intersted in a bike for himself, just a little to small for the smallest bike. He cant reach the bottom of the peddle range.

    Back to the point. Is there any real difference between the GF Piranha and Trek 6000? other than the GF is over $100 more expensive?
    Post up the specs, we'll tell ya!

  20. #20
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    OK Here you go the Trek is first and the GF Second.

    TREK 6000 Disk
    Frameset
    Size 15.5 or 17.5
    Frame: Alpha Black Aluminum w/externally relieved head tube, hydroformed bi-axial down tube and top tube, monostay seatstays, forged disc ready dropouts
    Front Suspension: RockShox Dart 3 w/preload, lockout, alloy steerer, 100mm
    Wheels
    Wheels Shimano M475 disc hubs; Bontrager Ranger, 32-hole rims w/eyelets
    Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26x2.2/2.25"; 52/54/27tpi
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X-5, 9 speed
    Front Derailleur SRAM X-5
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X-5
    Crank Shimano M442 Octalink 44/32/22
    Cassette SRAM PG950 11-34, 9 speed
    Pedals Alloy platform
    Components
    Saddle Bontrager Race Basic
    Seat Post Bontrager SSR, 20mm offset
    Handlebars Bontrager SSR Riser, 25mm rise, 25.4mm, 620mm width
    Stem Bontrager SSR, 10 degree, 25.4mm
    Headset VP-A76C-TK, 1 1/8" semi-cartridge, sealed
    Brakeset Avid BB-5, mechanical disc w/alloy levers

    and the GF Piranah
    Frame
    Gold Series 6061 T6 aluminum, G2 Geometry, butted DT, cold-forged dropouts & BB
    Wheels
    Shimano M495 CenterLock disc hubs, Bontrager Ranger disc rims, 32h
    Componentry
    SRAM X.5 front derailleur, SRAM X.5 rear derailleur, SRAM X.5 shifters, Shimano FC-M4428 crank, Shimano M486 hydraulic disc brakes
    Suspension
    RockShox Tora SL Coil, 100mm Travel, Custom Fisher Genesis 2 Geometry 46mm offset crown, Coil Spring w/ Turnkey Lockout, External Preload and Rebound Adjustment, Magnesium Lowers, International Standard Disc Mount

    Im kinda leaning toward the Trek causse of the lower price tag by $100 which would allow me to get my clips and shoes. Also, are those reccomended off the bat? I see a lot of people have them.
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  21. #21
    Rod
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    The front forks are different, but I haven't used the SR Suntour XCR w/preload, lockout, 100mm or the RockShox Tora SL Coil, 100mm Travel. That would be the main difference I would look at followed by the wheelset. Buy which bike you feel the best on and then look at the components. Just to make things more complicated here's a Giant trance full suspension bike that you might want to ride before you make your purchase. The maestro suspension system is suppose to be fantastic. It's also in your price range. I just wanted to put that out there. http://wheelworld.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=4705
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  22. #22
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    nice bike! I want to curse you and thank you all at the same time. I like it and its just a little out of my price range. If the price stays that im looking more towards tax season for that. I dunno. I would want to ride it and see how it fits. Thanks for the heads up and link.
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  23. #23
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    Personally, I think the Tora SL Coil is better than the Dart 3. On that alone, I'd lean towards the Fisher. The Fisher and the Trek both have similiar component sets, otherwise. I'd personally lean towards the Gary Fisher, but really, those two bikes are very similiar. I also like the Shimano hydro discs on the Fisher over the BB5 mechanical's on the Trek.

    Either bike would suit you well. If you can, ride them both and go with whichever ends up feeling better to you. That should be the deciding factor because neither of them really stands out over the other by just looking at the components.

  24. #24
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    Some thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    OK Here you go the Trek is first and the GF Second.

    TREK 6000 Disk
    Frameset
    Size 15.5 or 17.5
    Frame: Alpha Black Aluminum w/externally relieved head tube, hydroformed bi-axial down tube and top tube, monostay seatstays, forged disc ready dropouts
    Front Suspension: RockShox Dart 3 w/preload, lockout, alloy steerer, 100mm
    Wheels
    Wheels Shimano M475 disc hubs; Bontrager Ranger, 32-hole rims w/eyelets
    Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26x2.2/2.25"; 52/54/27tpi
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X-5, 9 speed
    Front Derailleur SRAM X-5
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X-5
    Crank Shimano M442 Octalink 44/32/22
    Cassette SRAM PG950 11-34, 9 speed
    Pedals Alloy platform
    Components
    Saddle Bontrager Race Basic
    Seat Post Bontrager SSR, 20mm offset
    Handlebars Bontrager SSR Riser, 25mm rise, 25.4mm, 620mm width
    Stem Bontrager SSR, 10 degree, 25.4mm
    Headset VP-A76C-TK, 1 1/8" semi-cartridge, sealed
    Brakeset Avid BB-5, mechanical disc w/alloy levers

    and the GF Piranah
    Frame
    Gold Series 6061 T6 aluminum, G2 Geometry, butted DT, cold-forged dropouts & BB
    Wheels
    Shimano M495 CenterLock disc hubs, Bontrager Ranger disc rims, 32h
    Componentry
    SRAM X.5 front derailleur, SRAM X.5 rear derailleur, SRAM X.5 shifters, Shimano FC-M4428 crank, Shimano M486 hydraulic disc brakes
    Suspension
    RockShox Tora SL Coil, 100mm Travel, Custom Fisher Genesis 2 Geometry 46mm offset crown, Coil Spring w/ Turnkey Lockout, External Preload and Rebound Adjustment, Magnesium Lowers, International Standard Disc Mount

    Im kinda leaning toward the Trek causse of the lower price tag by $100 which would allow me to get my clips and shoes. Also, are those reccomended off the bat? I see a lot of people have them.
    1. They're both made by the same company (Trek) but have slightly different geometry.
    2. The bike that "feels" the best during your test ride is the "best" bike for you, regardless of the components.
    3. If both bikes feel the same, then I suggest the Trek for the following reasons:

    - Lower price tag.
    - As others have mentioned, the shock is "better". Keep in mind, you're purchasing a mid-ranged bike based on your budget, so either fork will likely work as you're learning but you're likely to grow out of either fork, should you decide that mountain biking is for you.

    4. Always remember to have fun.

    Let us know what you go with and thank you for asking informed, concise questions.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by holycrikey
    Personally, I think the Tora SL Coil is better than the Dart 3. On that alone, I'd lean towards the Fisher.
    I'm with Crikey. Tora's a better fork, and even low end Shimano hydros are supposed to be pretty nice. I think you'll be wanting to upgrade the Trek pretty quick, the GF is solid as is. A hundred bucks well spent in my opinion.

  26. #26
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    lazebum, a lotta folks here have given you good advice; at that price, forget full-suss unless there's a SMOKIN' deal on last year's model. The hardtail will make you a better rider, challenging you to develop body English to do what the full suss does for you. It's fun! I just wish my bad back would let me back in that arena! (Yup, guys, I know about suss posts)

    Trek HT's have a good rep; I personally like Iron Horse, but you're the one making the call.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  27. #27
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    I know I am outnumbered, but get the Warrior 6. I got it and it is great. It MSRP's at 1200, so 625 is a great deal. I got mine for $820 total.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by holycrikey
    Personally, I think the Tora SL Coil is better than the Dart 3. On that alone, I'd lean towards the Fisher. The Fisher and the Trek both have similiar component sets, otherwise. I'd personally lean towards the Gary Fisher, but really, those two bikes are very similiar. I also like the Shimano hydro discs on the Fisher over the BB5 mechanical's on the Trek.

    Either bike would suit you well. If you can, ride them both and go with whichever ends up feeling better to you. That should be the deciding factor because neither of them really stands out over the other by just looking at the components.
    X2................................................ .................Dart is just an ok fork....Tora is a good step up....but the fit is the most important. I would say a Large may be ok for you or a medium....but everybody has different arm, torso, leg lengths for thier height....so you'll have to use the shops guidance and you're judgement....take a buddy who knows bikes with you can help you too.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  29. #29
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    I really appricate all the advice that you guys have givin me. It has helped more than you guys will ever know. as much as i know the GF is a better bike i think the TREK fits me better. Im going for a final Test ride on next Tues. Wish me luck on making a decision. Both bikes fit me well i think the Trek is just a little better for me. If i make a decision i will soon have my first MTB!!!!
    "There is no death worse than that of hope,
    There is no joy greater than that of love."
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  30. #30
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    so would a 08 Piranah for 629 be a good buy?
    Last edited by lazebum; 12-01-2008 at 10:29 PM.
    "There is no death worse than that of hope,
    There is no joy greater than that of love."
    -UNKNOWN-

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    so would a 08 Piranah for 629 be a good buy?
    I think that'd be a fair price for it. Is it new-old stock? Or has it been used? If it's used, I'd suggest asking a bit lower than that, maybe even as low as $550. But then again, regardless of what they're asking, you should always try and negotiate lower

    I really like the specs on the Piranha for an entry-level bike. Good mid-line Sram derailleurs, good Shimano hydro brakes, and a solid Tora 302 fork. Solid bike!

  32. #32
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    That seems like a good deal for a new '08. Probably could get it at $600 and the MSRP when it came out was $799. The geometry of the frame on the 08 GF hardtails are quite different from the 09, though. As previously stated, go with the bike that is most comfortable. But, from a component standpoint, the Fisher is nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    I really appricate all the advice that you guys have givin me. It has helped more than you guys will ever know. as much as i know the GF is a better bike i think the TREK fits me better. Im going for a final Test ride on next Tues. Wish me luck on making a decision. Both bikes fit me well i think the Trek is just a little better for me. If i make a decision i will soon have my first MTB!!!!
    Does the Trek fit you better because the frame size of the fisher isn't correct? Make sure you are fitted for your size and that the shop wasn't fitting you for their stock. The difference between two frame sizes can be the difference between fitting or not fitting.

    Personally, I'd go GF just for the better components, and I actually did (I have an 09 GF Piranha). Of course I still need to fix some of the minor issues from the LBS The bike itself is great so far though

  34. #34
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    well im headed back on next tues after i get off of a 24hr duty shift to ride both GF. The wife wants to go which means i will probally get one or the other.

    @ holycrikey - yeah it was a new 08.
    "There is no death worse than that of hope,
    There is no joy greater than that of love."
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    Best of luck on the rides!

    Again, I think $600 total (i.e., including tax) for that 08 Piranha would be a great deal. Try for that. If they don't budge, $629 certainly isn't bad for new-old stock.

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    Buy the Diamondback Recoil comp

    I sell this bike and for a beginner it has great specs, alivio 24spd drivetrain, all shimano drivetrain, fox vanilla r rear shock and rock shox tora with u turn and rebound, hayes mech disc. It will be a little heavier but if you want a bike that can handle some abuse and go fast dh then buy it, If you want to save weight stay away and get a hardtail. I have several satisified customers that ride the piss out of it and they love it.

  37. #37
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazebum
    nice bike! I want to curse you and thank you all at the same time. I like it and its just a little out of my price range. If the price stays that im looking more towards tax season for that. I dunno. I would want to ride it and see how it fits. Thanks for the heads up and link.
    I wanted to post that link because you mentioned a full suspension bike and if you could find that same bike at a local Giant dealer I would definitely suggest you give it a ride. Maybe they would even work out a price with you or let you pay what you have and an additional payment. My local shop does that. I didn't mean for it to seem like I suggested for you to buy it from that website. I would never advise anyone to buy a bike that they haven't ridden unless they can compare their current frame to the new one.

    Okay back on your current topic. If you feel better on the Trek frame definitely get it even though some other users have posted the GF has a couple better components. Your comfort level will determine how much you ride the bike instead of a little better fork, which can be argued and has some what in this thread, and shifters or whatever. The bottom line is ride them both and buy the one that feels the best. Good luck.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    I wanted to post that link because you mentioned a full suspension bike and if you could find that same bike at a local Giant dealer I would definitely suggest you give it a ride. Maybe they would even work out a price with you or let you pay what you have and an additional payment. My local shop does that. I didn't mean for it to seem like I suggested for you to buy it from that website. I would never advise anyone to buy a bike that they haven't ridden unless they can compare their current frame to the new one.

    Okay back on your current topic. If you feel better on the Trek frame definitely get it even though some other users have posted the GF has a couple better components. Your comfort level will determine how much you ride the bike instead of a little better fork, which can be argued and has some what in this thread, and shifters or whatever. The bottom line is ride them both and buy the one that feels the best. Good luck.
    This is a great point. I'll also add that its important to remember that comfort is key. Even if you buy a bike that has slightly worse components, remember that components are generally easy to replace. I just bought a mountain bike maintenance book, and it's done wonders in terms of understanding how to fix and replace parts. Not only that, but ebay is a great source for good deals on components. Go with what frame feels the best, and if anything were to break down the line, you can upgrade.

    It'd be much worse to be stuck on a frame that you don't like, but with better components.

  39. #39
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    5'7" 17.5-18 inch frame.... Do not go higher unless you have some ridiculously long arms.

    Secondly... It's important to keep in mind that Buying up front is always cheaper than upgrading... Buying a step down from what you want, planning to upgrade is money thrown away.

    Hardtail vs Full suspension....
    I've rode both, I used to prefer hardtails... honestly, I'll take a hard tail 29er over anything. But currently, I'm riding a xc 26 full suspension. My opinion (and it's just that... opinion) is that a hard tail can be a very effective and fast bike in the right hands. You will learn to be a better rider because you'll have to be and when you do ride a full suspension you'll be that much more ahead of the game. I rode 26 hardtails for 10 years before dabbling with full suspension and big wheels... both are great, but with different pros and cons.
    You mentioned that you looked at a trek/fisher dealer... (I work for one)... the 6 series hard tails are really nice for the money and fisher's Marlin and Piranha are pretty nice rides as well (all those in the around 750-1000 range) but if you're on a budget, the 4300 Disc and the Wahoo disc are great starter bikes. They're relatively tough, but cheap enough to fix if you do tear them up a bit. (a good attribute for a beginner bike, you will tear stuff up until you learn to ride smooth... it's the nature of the beast)

    Anyway, good luck... feel free to ask any questions.

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