Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Tool
    Reputation: StageHand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272

    We the people ... Watch me shop for a bike

    Over the next year or so, I'm shopping for a new mountain bike. If there's enough interest, I'll be updating this thread occasionally with reflections, insights and updates on my bike buying process. I'm not a beginner, but I think this could be useful. It's not the way everyone does it, it's not the way I always do it, but I hope you can learn along with me.

    Broadly speaking, I start with what I know I want, identify what I don't know about, ride as many bikes as I can, and then make the best decision for me. The first time I bought a mountain bike, I got a screamin' deal, but the bike was too small. I still ride some of those original components, but most got replaced bit by bit. I need to replace enough now that I think the best thing to do is to buy a new complete bike.

    What I want: Hardtail 29er from a local shop. These are my only two absolute requirements. I've ridden enough mountain bikes that I have a lot more options fit wise with a stock 29er. I'm a tall guy with quirky preferences. I've ridden a few 29ers and I like the way they handle my style of riding. I've been out of the bike industry long enough that I want to rely on the support a shop can give me. I can find great deals anywhere, but dealing with a shop will give me a bit more confidence.

    I've assembled a short list of bikes that I think are close to what I like. Now, I need to find shops in the area that carry them and will let me ride them. The challenge is that it's rare that shops have an XL available for an off-road demo.

    You might have noticed that I haven't made any component choices yet, or named a price range. I do have rough ideas about both of them. Component choices aren't important above a certain level. Once I get to reliable performance, I'm not going to worry about weight or "race-ready" stuff. SRAM x-7 is fine. Deore is fine. What I end up with, who knows?

    Price: probably under $2500. I'll stay flexible and look for the best deal FOR ME. A bargain's not much of a bargain if the bike is no good for me.

    Next step: research. The 2013 bikes are coming out now. I'll keep an eye out for geometry changes, frame redesigns, component innovations. Ideally, I can take the next year to do a bunch of rides and find a decent deal at the end of the model year.

    I'm happy to talk about anything in here. Critiques, questions and comments are always welcome.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hey_poolboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    570
    Sounds interesting. I'll certainly stay tuned. You're probably talking way out of my price range, but I'm sure there will be knowledge I can gain.

    This past summer I bought my first bike since childhood. (Kona Splice) I am happily upgrading things as I see the benefit in them, or as I break them. Now that I have started riding singletrack a lot more I have come to realize things that I would look for in my next bike.

    Best of luck, and I'll stay tuned.

  3. #3
    Tool
    Reputation: StageHand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272
    I'll update a couple of times while I talk about my background and what led me to where I am today in more detail.

    Current setup: I found a frame that was long enough (24" effective top tube), and everything was OK. I also made the switch from a suspension fork to a rigid fork, mostly because I didn't want to maintain a fork anymore. I set up the new frame with a Surly fork corrected for 100mm of travel (really high). I put a longish (120mm) stem on there, and I found a really nice balance on the bike. It's super easy for me to get behind the saddle, get over the rear wheel on a climb, the front wheel comes up when I want it to. The only issue is that because of the height of the fork, I ended up shortening the bike a little too much.

    In the meantime, I'm getting old, so it's time to switch back to a suspension fork. My wheels are worn out. It's time to retire the 12-year old V-brakes. Given all that, it's time for a new bike. I've done a few demos here and there and I really like the way 29" wheels handle terrain, and the geometries are a lot closer to my preferences than most 26" wheeled bikes (nothing without exception, though). Armed with this information, I think I've got a good place to start.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    12,456
    Why limit yourself. You have the most valuable commodity available for making an intelligent purchase by a beginner--- time.
    People often make what end up being decisions they are unhappy with or that are "redone" at a higher total cost. Why is this? Ignorance(everyone starts with this) coupled with a need to seem in control-- two things that don't mix. Because of your lack of current info you are limiting the probability of the best outcome to stock within a small area. If one thing is the most likely to be gone when it comes time for a real decision, it is that lack of knowledge-- the foundation of your plan limitations. You will know a lot more and probably more specifics for your needs than most at a LBS.
    So list your riding terrain and conditions.
    Ask for bike or frame and component recommendations and where HT design is going.
    By the time everything is hashed out and you know more, bargains will surface.. You can end up with an equivalent 4-6k bike for your 2500, something you won't find at your LBS

    I'll start with something for brakes. 2012 or 2013(unchanged) SLX brakes. Or XT with trail levers from here--
    .Shimano XT Scheibenbremse BL-T785 Modell 2012 - BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE
    Shipping is a fixed amount of about 26 so it's best to order several things at once and even offset the cost with extras for local resale..

  5. #5
    Tool
    Reputation: StageHand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Why limit yourself. You have the most valuable commodity available for making an intelligent purchase by a beginner--- time.
    People often make what end up being decisions they are unhappy with or that are "redone" at a higher total cost. Why is this? Ignorance(everyone starts with this) coupled with a need to seem in control-- two things that don't mix. Because of your lack of current info you are limiting the probability of the best outcome to stock within a small area. If one thing is the most likely to be gone when it comes time for a real decision, it is that lack of knowledge-- the foundation of your plan limitations. You will know a lot more and probably more specifics for your needs than most at a LBS.
    So list your riding terrain and conditions.
    Ask for bike or frame and component recommendations and where HT design is going.
    By the time everything is hashed out and you know more, bargains will surface.. You can end up with an equivalent 4-6k bike for your 2500, something you won't find at your LBS

    I'll start with something for brakes. 2012 or 2013(unchanged) SLX brakes. Or XT with trail levers from here--
    .Shimano XT Scheibenbremse BL-T785 Modell 2012 - BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE
    Shipping is a fixed amount of about 26 so it's best to order several things at once and even offset the cost with extras for local resale..
    I'm not really a beginner. The decisions I've made are based on 10 years of mountain and road biking, 4 years working in a bike shop and 8 years or so of maintaining my own bikes. If the right deal is out there, I'm willing to change my mind about just about anything. The problem is that I haven't been paying attention to mountain bikes for a few years, so I don't really know what's out there, so I'll rely on shops to put me into contact with all the developments - forks, brakes, oversized tubing, carbon frames, oversize bottom brackets, etc. Chances are, I'll also need some maintenance support after I buy a bike, and I like going back to a shop that knows me and my equipment.

    Like I said, this is all just a starting point. Maybe I find after I ride all the hardtails that I really do want a FS bike, but I do have room to make that decision. I like having a definite starting point, and enough time to reevaluate anything and everything. Also, as I go through this process, I'll be able to talk more about specific decisions. The goal is to let folks who are buying their first bike watch an experienced rider go through the whole process.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kamsbry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    89
    Transition TransAM 29er
    Transition Bikes

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.