Beginner, want a FS bike, which one?-
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2004

    Beginner, want a FS bike, which one?

    Im looking to buy the best all around FS bike for trail riding for around the $1K mark. Im a beginner having only had a Toys R Us bike the last 4 years and not really riding it very much. I do know that bob on uphill climbs is something I want to avoid after trying to ride that cheap bike with the cheap front shock uphill. Also I have a 33 inseam and weigh around 180lbs. I know from the work I do the more upright and less bent over riding position would probably work better for my back as well. After doing some reading on the net Ive come across these 7 bikes that seem to fit my price range. One of the problems is that a few of these would have to be online purchases because there are no dealers near me to try them out. Also, I dont really know as far as stock components where my money would be best spent considering these bikes. We have very wet Spring and Fall seasons where I live with very dry Summers so I thought the disc brakes might be important but again I really dont know. Ok now the list by lowest to highest price I can find.

    GT idrive 2.0 - $799.99

    Frame Material:
    Frame Angles: 70.5 head, 73.0 seat
    Sizes: s, m, l, xl
    Fork: Rock Shox Pilot SL 100mm
    Rear Shock: Fox Float Air Shock
    Brake Levers: Shimano Deore Integrated
    Handlebar: Syncros New 6061 Butted Alum Adventure bar with 50mm rise and 7 degree bend
    Stem: GT MTN, Tig welded threadless, 10 degree rise with 4-bolt face plate
    Headset: Tange Zero Stack system for 1 1/8
    Front Der: Shimano Alivio
    Crankset: TruVativ Firex, ISIS driveAlloy Outer, 42,32,22
    Rear Der: Shimano LX
    Pedals: Ritchey 03 Logic v.3 Comp Clipless pedal, with new Shimano 959 system
    Tires: Front Tioga Factory XC Extreme 26 x 2.1 Rear Factory XC26 x 1.95

    Specialized FSR XC - $849.99

    Frame Material: Specialized A1 aluminum, double butted
    Frame Angles: 71.0 head, 69.0 seat
    Sizes: large, medium, small, xlarge
    Fork: Answer Manitou Axel Comp, 100mm travel
    Rear Shock: coil
    Brake Levers: Shimano M420
    Handlebar: Specialized aluminum
    Stem: Specialized riser
    Headset: 1 1/8" threadless aluminum
    Front Der: Shimano Deore, clamp-on/34.9mm
    Crankset: Shimano Hollowtech, 22/32/44 teeth
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore
    Pedals: aluminum platform
    Tires: 26 x 2.00" Specialized Roll-X

    Giant NRS 3 - $899.99

    Frame Material: ALUXX SL double butted aluminum
    Frame Angles: 71.0 head, 72.0 seat
    Sizes: 16.5, 18.5, 20.5, 22.5
    Fork: RockShox Pilot XC, 80mm
    Rear Shock: Fox Float R Air, 3.75
    Brake Levers: Avid SD3 direct pull
    Handlebar: Easton EA50 low riser
    Stem: Easton EA50
    Headset: Integrated Ahead
    Front Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Crankset: RaceFace Ride XC ISIS, 22/32/44T
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Pedals: Shimano M505 Clipless
    Tires: Hutchinson Python Air Light, 26x2.0

    Gary Fisher Sugar 4+ - $949.99

    Frame Material: aluminum
    Frame Angles: Unspecified
    Sizes: 16", 17.5", 19", 21"
    Fork: Answer Manitou Axel Super, 70-100mm travel
    Rear Shock: Rock Shox Bar Adjust
    Brake Levers: aluminum linear-pull
    Handlebar: Bontrager Crowbar Sport
    Stem: Bontrager Sport
    Headset: 1 1/8" threadless Aheadset / Semi-Cartidge
    Front Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Crankset: Bontrager Select, 22/32/44 teeth
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Pedals: Shimano PD-M505 SPD
    Tires: 26 x 2.10" IRC Mythos XC

    Kona Kikapu - $999.99

    Frame Material: 7005 aluminum
    Frame Angles: Unspecified
    Sizes: 14", 16", 18", 19", 20", 21", 23"
    Fork: Marzocchi MZ Comp, 100mm travel
    Rear Shock: Fox Vanilla, 3.5" travel
    Brake Levers: Avid FR-1
    Handlebar: Kona Riser
    Stem: TruVativ XR
    Headset: 1 1/8" threadless Victor VP-A71
    Front Der: Shimano Deore, top-pull/clamp-on
    Crankset: TruVativ Five D, 22/32/44 teeth
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Pedals: Wellgo A9 w/ clips and straps
    Tires: 26 x 1.95" Tioga Terra Firma

    Iron Horse Hollowpoint Sport - $1,079.00

    Frame Material: 7005 aluminum, double butted
    Frame Angles: 71.0 head, 71.4 seat
    Sizes: 15", 17", 19", 21"
    Fork: Rock Shox Duke XC Air, 100mm
    Rear Shock: Manitou QR Air, 4.5"
    Brake Levers: Avid Speed Dial 7
    Handlebar: TruVativ XR-XC
    Stem: TruVativ
    Headset: 1 1/8" FSA, threadless
    Front Der: Shimano Deore
    Crankset: TruVativ Firex SX, 22/32/44 teeth
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore XT
    Pedals: Shimano PD-M520L
    Tires: 26 x 2.35" Maxxis Hansventure

    Cannondale Jekyll 600-disc - $1249.99

    Frame Material: 6013 T6 aluminum
    Frame Angles: 69.5-71.0 head, 72.0-73.5 seat
    Sizes: large, medium, small, xlarge
    Fork: Answer Manitou Black Elite
    Rear Shock: Fox Float RL with ProPedal
    Brake Levers: Cannondale Fire
    Handlebar: Cannondale Earth
    Stem: Cannondale HeadShok SI
    Headset: 1 1/8" threadless FSA Converter
    Front Der: Shimano Deore LX
    Crankset: TruVativ Five D, 22/32/44 teeth
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore XT
    Pedals: Cannondale clipless
    Tires: 26 x 2.00" Hutchinson Scorpion

  2. #2
    There's no app for this.
    Reputation: JimC.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    YES you want discs, in the wet you'll wear thru the walls and pads like mad if you start to ride a lot.

    Next, FIT is key. Sit/ride on as many of the bikes as you can. A poor fit = pain, suffering, wasted money, and you won't ride it. Make sure the cockpit (seat to handlebars) is perfect for you and feels like the bike was made for your pleasure.

    Next, service: if you can't get parts and service and you're wanting to ride, guess what?

    All the bikes are good ones, these days it's hard to buy junk except at dept. stores. Do some homework, and I'm sure you'll find that perfect ride. The only one I'm personally familiar with is the Kikapu, it's a proven design and a good strong ride. Sorry, I don't know the others well, while I have an Enduro, the Spec. you're looking at has no discs, that for me puts it out of the running even if it is a great ride.

    Good luck, Jim

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2004

    My experience with i-drive and NRS

    I had a 2001 GT i-drive 3.0 for 2 years before the frame cracked. I know that the newer GT i-drives have a new frame design with extra supports to prevent the overwhelming number of cracks. The frame was under warranty so they were going to replace it for me. My LBS told me that this crack was a common thing with the i-drives. They said that they still had people waiting on frames for over 10 months, and some waiting longer. I guess that they were just backed up on their orders due to the overwhelming number of cracked frames. I waited 2 months and decided to trade the frame in with my LBS for a 2003 Giant NRS2. The GT was a great bike before it cracked on me. My only complaint was the climbing wasn't very good. The NRS on the other hand is more of a cross country race bike. I bought the bike with intentions of being serious about xc racing. I raced a few times and decided that it wasn't for me. The NRS definitely had a more rigid feel than the i-drive. The NRS was amazing at climbing because of the no-bob suspension. I am more of an aggressive trail rider so the NRS was definitely too rigid for me. I made upgrades to it to make it more of a xc-trail bike. I was able to increase the travel with new rockers to give me 4.5 inches in the rear and bought a manitou black elite fork 100/120 to give me 4-5 inches in the front. I am loving this setup now. It makes the bike so much more plush.

    This is just a little story of my experience with the 2 bikes. You really need to decide what type of riding you would be doing. The i-drive has a slightly more upright position than the NRS. This is because the NRS is more of a xc race bike. Discs are good, definitely get them if it is wet where you are. The $800-$1000 range will only give you entry level components. You can always upgrade components once you get more comfortable with riding. Test ride as many of those bikes as you can. Good luck with your search.

    Hope this info was helpful.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2004
    im selling my FSR Enduro which is full suspension if youre interested, its practically brand spankin new, for 615 dollars.

    i can send you pictures and whatnot. just email me at [email protected]

  5. #5
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
    Reputation: Acme54321's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I have the Kikapu and love it. You might wanna look at the Dakar too.

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