Mountain bike for around $1,500- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mountain bike for around $1,500

    I'm looking to get back into Mountain Biking after several years away from the sport. As a result, I'm looking for a new mountain bike. I'm wondering if there is a bike in existance that will even meet my needs, as they are so diverse.

    First, what I don't plan to do with my mountain bike:

    1) Race
    2) Ride really fast
    3) Downhill (I just don't have the insanity to do this, although I do crazy things on skis)

    What I do plan to do with a mountain bike:

    1) Put a lot of miles on it
    2) Off road touring/camping
    3) Leiserly and slow meandering enjoying the scenery and freedom of a bike

    With that said, I know many of you are going to suggest I get a hardtail. I'll consider a hardtail, but I really have my heart set on a dual suspension mountain bike. Why? Honestly, I'm not the type of person who is going to derive pleasure from going through a technical area taking the best possible line over various obstacles, etc. Secondly, I want to have fun, and it seems like an awful lot of fun to ran over rocks and roots, and enjoy the wonder of the shocks absorbing most of the bumps. Third, I want comfort, and I want to be able to enjoy the sport, and to not have to get off my saddle to absorb the various bumps along the way.

    The fun factor is really the main reason I want a dual suspension bike. I not only enjoy the sport, I very much enjoy the fact that I'm using a machine that I am supplying the power for, and can bring me virtually anywhere I want to go. I don't want to have any limits, I want to feel the freedom, and pleasure from traveling off road, even if I decide to take on some pretty rough trails.

    In the past, I road a completely rigid Cannondale, so a full suspension bike would be pretty new to me. I just have a feeling it would improve my enjoyment of the sport immensly.

    I have a pretty broad budget to work with, although I know my top end isn't very high for a dualie. I would prefer to spend about $500, but I'd be willing to (although my bank account will hate me) go as high as $1500.

    The other interesting information that should help you steer me in the right direction is to let you know how diverse the terrain is this bike will be handling. I will be starting the sport up in New Jersey, where I currently live, so train riding will be mostly flat, with many dirt/mud trails. With that said, my finance and I plan to move to Colorado in a couple of years to be with her family, so I plan to also ride many a rocky, bumpy trail when I get there. I don't want to purchase another bike at that time, and sell my used bike. This is a bike purchase I want to keep for years.

    Am I being unrealistic in my expectations? Can I can a good, durable, realible dualie in my price range? Can a dualie serve my needs as a bike I can use for bike touring? Why are components of a bike so important, aside from weight savings?

    One other piece of information. The store I would probably get the bike from is Cycle Craft in Parsippany. They have been a great help when I had my two other bike purchased from that store. You can check them out at www.cyclecraft.com. They have Trek, Cannondale, and Gary Fisher mountain bikes. I would certainly be willing to go with another brand from another store, however, if it really meant I'd get a better bike, that performs better than what is offered from the three above companies.

    I would prefer a dualie with at least 5 inches of travel, since comfort, and the ability to handle technical trails with ease is a huge desire I have with my bike purchase.

    Sorry for the long post, but I really would like your help, and wanted to give us much useful information as possible. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Will work 4 Fisher's
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    Test ride a dualie first to see if you like it. If yes, Look at Trek's Fuel lineup or a Fisher Caliber.

  3. #3
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    Here are the bikes I've been considering so far from my local LBS:

    Cannondale Prophet 600-

    http://cyclecraft.com/itemdetails.cf...ogId=1&id=2588

    When I was riding around 14 years ago, I purchased a rigid Mseries (I think M-400) Cannondale. I loved the oversized, stiff frame on the Cannondale. At the time, aluminum frames were not a common, and certainly not the thick tubing offered from Cannondale. That was a good bike, although it had cheap components. The Prophet is really a very compelling deal, and I'd have to say right now it's at the top of my list for a bike purchase. My two concerns are as follows:

    1) It doesn't have suspension lock out (at least that I know of), and if it does, it doesn't appear I can flip a switch to turn it on and off. When I ride the bike on the road, suspension will be active at all times.

    2) I weigh 285 pounds at 6' 1", and I'm afraid this bike will have peddle-bob when I go up hills.

    3) Is it just me, or does it seem like the suspension on the Cannondale will require a lot of maintenance? If I'm wrong, please correct me.

    The second bike I'm considering is the Trek EX-7:

    http://cyclecraft.com/itemdetails.cf...ogId=1&id=2643

    This bike is really out of my price range, unless I save more, which is possible. I know it has better components, but it has only 4 inches of travel. I like the idea of comfort, and it would seem that more travel means more comfort, and more capabilities when I encounter obstacles. The Cannondale seems more like an "all-mountain" bike, and the Trek is really for "cross country". Due to my size, I would think I'd benefit more from the 5.5 inches of travel on the Cannondale.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm avoiding Gary Fischer. The conclusion I've read on these forums is I don't get as good of components for the money, as I would with other brands. I know the same is also said of Cannondale, but they are giving a top quality fork and frame for the money, along with decent components (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Cannondale just gives me this psychological feeling that it's reliable, and I can trust it when things get rough on the trail.

    I'm considering other brands along with Trek and Cannondale, so I am open-minded.

    -I've been looking at Ibex, since they offer great prices, and a good 5 inch travel bike for a good price. They scare me a little because I know I'd have to finish up building the bike myself, and figure out how to tune in the suspension on the bike on my own.

    -I know that Kona is considered a great company for heavy riders, and I've been looking at them a lot, although they tend to be a bit on the expensive side.

    -Giant appears to have some interesting full suspension models, but I don't know a lot about them, and they have so many choices it easily confuses me.

    -I've been considering Specialized also, but I would favor them if I was planning on getting a hard-tail. For some reason, their full suspension options don't appear to be a good match for me. For instance, I was thinking of pushing my bank account to the limit and ordering an Epic, but I've now learned it has a very agressive racing geometry, and I know that will not be comfortable for me. Their bikes also seem to be mostly limited to 4 inches of travel, until you get into very heavy bikes that are also out of my price range.

    So you guys are the experts, and I'll take your advice, and I'd appreciate a lot of it. Am I going in the right direction with my purchase? Are my initial conclusions in the right direction? With the Cannondale, am I getting a bulletproof, low maintenance bike, or would I regret the purchase if that's what I wanted?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Businezguy
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm avoiding Gary Fischer. The conclusion I've read on these forums is I don't get as good of components for the money, as I would with other brands. I know the same is also said of Cannondale, but they are giving a top quality fork and frame for the money, along with decent components (correct me if I'm wrong)..

    Fisher is owned by trek.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylejohn4543
    Fisher is owned by trek.
    Jaguar is owned by Ford. What's your point?

  6. #6
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    Point being, that the bikes in the same price range are likely to have very similar componenets, plus the Fisher's got the Genesis geometry. I like it.

  7. #7
    Will work 4 Fisher's
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    and why am i the only other person posting in this thread?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylejohn4543
    and why am i the only other person posting in this thread?
    I don't know, but I appreciate your help. What exactly *is* the Genesis geometry anyway, and do you own a Gary Fisher yourself?

  9. #9
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    This is the genesis geometry First column at the bottom. It's not right for everybody though, test ride it first. Yes, I own a Gary Fisher Piranha.

  10. #10
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    I have long legs, and a short upper torso, so I'm wondering if the Genesis geometry would be right for me or not.

  11. #11
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    If you can, find a fisher in your size that you might consider and take it out for a spin. That's the only way to tell. If you don't like it, then look at the Trek.

  12. #12
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    In any case, test ride as many bikes as possible. Anything that is in the ballpark.

  13. #13
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    When I saw your interests (not racing but fun; you like roots/rocks and 5'' of travel), your weight and your price range, I thought this is a no-brainer: check out the Santa Cruz Heckler. (MBA just did a review this month, calling it the best 1.5K bike you can get -- or something.)

    Only downsides I can see to the Heckler: single pivot rear susp. will stiffen a bit under braking, and it ain't light (32ish lbs). But I like everything else about it. Check it out and good luck, I don't think you'll be unhappy with the SC bike!

  14. #14
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    Is there a vender that actually sells a Santa Cruz Heckler in the $1,500 range? I've read that there is one out there, but I've yet to find it. (not just frame)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGeeSHO
    Is there a vender that actually sells a Santa Cruz Heckler in the $1,500 range? I've read that there is one out there, but I've yet to find it. (not just frame)
    Don't know, but the pre-packaged option is easy to find on the web. Hang on, it's gone! I just looked for the link, and can only find the 2.5K option. ??? Maybe the publicity forced them to rethink that option...

    I was going to suggest you print out the bike you want from the web and take it to a SC dealer, but I think I'd start by calling SC.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkdog
    When I saw your interests (not racing but fun; you like roots/rocks and 5'' of travel), your weight and your price range, I thought this is a no-brainer: check out the Santa Cruz Heckler. (MBA just did a review this month, calling it the best 1.5K bike you can get -- or something.)

    Only downsides I can see to the Heckler: single pivot rear susp. will stiffen a bit under braking, and it ain't light (32ish lbs). But I like everything else about it. Check it out and good luck, I don't think you'll be unhappy with the SC bike!
    I actually read that review, and that is why I put Santa Cruz on my list of considerations. I'm disappointed that MBA didn't also do a review of the Prophet at some point. I'd love to know how they compare. The Prophet is really a compelling offer to me for some reason. I just like the idea of a bike that can handle very tough terrain and make my life easier, and the Cannondale comes across as more of a bike I can count on in tough terrain.

    I know that probably isn't a fair statement at all, and I'm wondering if I'm getting duped by marketing or something. I haven't ridden either of the bikes, so I really only know what I see on paper. Is my opinion at ALL warranted, or am I all wet?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkdog
    Don't know, but the pre-packaged option is easy to find on the web. Hang on, it's gone! I just looked for the link, and can only find the 2.5K option. ??? Maybe the publicity forced them to rethink that option...

    I was going to suggest you print out the bike you want from the web and take it to a SC dealer, but I think I'd start by calling SC.
    It appears that Santa Cruz is currently updating their prices. Right now the price is listed as "currently being updated". I bet they raise the price due to the publicity. Otherwise, they might the updating to a 2007 model.

  18. #18
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    It looks like SC is currently updating the prices on most, if not all of their models. Maybe they are going to release the specs for their 2007 bikes.

  19. #19
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    My .02 worth

    I've never seen this illusive $1500 Heckler and I've looked. Maybe it's like the $1500 Titus Motolite you see advertised on this site from Bob's Cycles I think. You go there (when the link works) and there it is. The only problem is the spec only lists the frame and shock. The image however shows a complete bike. A bit missleading ya think?
    Honestly I like the Prophet the best from your choices. Definately test ride a bunch but for that $1500 target the 600 is a good bike and a solid value. The Only thing I would be the least concerned with on a Canondale is the amount of proprietary parts. Realistically though that shouldn't be a show stopper. As for the weight, for what you descibed as your riding style I wouldn't worry about a couple extra pounds and the Full Suspension is fun to play on, not to mention more comfortable. I'm 40+ and ride my 05 Dawg Dee-Lux alot with my kids and it's every bit as fun for that as it is hammering through a rock garden. Good luck and welcome to the board.
    Try to pick out anything by itself and you find it connected to the entire universe.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardDog
    I've never seen this illusive $1500 Heckler and I've looked. Maybe it's like the $1500 Titus Motolite you see advertised on this site from Bob's Cycles I think. You go there (when the link works) and there it is. The only problem is the spec only lists the frame and shock. The image however shows a complete bike. A bit missleading ya think?
    Honestly I like the Prophet the best from your choices. Definately test ride a bunch but for that $1500 target the 600 is a good bike and a solid value. The Only thing I would be the least concerned with on a Canondale is the amount of proprietary parts. Realistically though that shouldn't be a show stopper. As for the weight, for what you descibed as your riding style I wouldn't worry about a couple extra pounds and the Full Suspension is fun to play on, not to mention more comfortable. I'm 40+ and ride my 05 Dawg Dee-Lux alot with my kids and it's every bit as fun for that as it is hammering through a rock garden. Good luck and welcome to the board.
    Thanks so much for your response, I appreciate it! I was able to configure a $1598 Heckler from Santa Cruz's website before they stopped posting the prices. I have a feeling they are making way for their 2007 line up at the moment, and I'd be surprised if they didn't have the starting price of the Heckler at $1598 again. There's a bigger interested in that bike now that MBA gave such rave reviews for that bike.

    I really *am* considering the Prophet. It does seem to be my best choice. With that said, I'll be sure to try out a few bikes to see which is the best fit. I also hope there is a good match to my needs considering my weight.

    Anybody else have a further opinion to weigh in on this?

  21. #21
    Que pasiones?
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    haro sonix? i had one and is a swet ride. cool suspension and frame. check it out
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    sorry my english isnīt very good, do you speak spanish?

  22. #22
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    Smile Looking for new FS

    I too am looking for a new FS bike. I think you get what you pay for so once I settle on a frame and rear suspension it is the components that make the difference. To get quality components, which to me means no less than LX, I think 1,500 is bottom of the price range and then only if you can find a discount from MSRP.

    I am considering:
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp - 2,000
    Cannondale RUSH - 1,999
    Santa Cruz Superlight - ? (I have heard around 1,500 to 1,600 but have seen MUCH higher)
    Santa Cruz Heckler - ?

    I have also heard some manufacturers are going to SRAM components for 2007, which if they are the right level, I prefer.

    Right now I would take the Cannondale RUSH 800 or 1000 as my first choice but am going to wait to see what 2007 has to offer.

    My advice - do lots of research, read lots of reviews, test ride as many as you can, talk to bike mechanics, and don't compromise. If you do, you will regret it later.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Dog
    I too am looking for a new FS bike. I think you get what you pay for so once I settle on a frame and rear suspension it is the components that make the difference. To get quality components, which to me means no less than LX, I think 1,500 is bottom of the price range and then only if you can find a discount from MSRP.

    I am considering:
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp - 2,000
    Cannondale RUSH - 1,999
    Santa Cruz Superlight - ? (I have heard around 1,500 to 1,600 but have seen MUCH higher)
    Santa Cruz Heckler - ?

    I have also heard some manufacturers are going to SRAM components for 2007, which if they are the right level, I prefer.

    Right now I would take the Cannondale RUSH 800 or 1000 as my first choice but am going to wait to see what 2007 has to offer.

    My advice - do lots of research, read lots of reviews, test ride as many as you can, talk to bike mechanics, and don't compromise. If you do, you will regret it later.
    Believe me, I am doing plenty of research, asking for plenty of advice, and thinking things through. Although, it appears I'm not quite as willing to spend $2k plus for a bike, whereas you will if it means you get LX quality or higher. I'm considering getting a Prophet 600 because I'm starting out with a good frame and fork. I'd rather have a good base, and upgrade the other parts as needed when they fail. To me that seems to make the most sense.

    Since I'm strongly considering Cannondale, and since I'd have to pay about $2,400 to get LX and higher components on that platform, I'm leaning towards getting the lower end Prophet 600 with lower compenents, and as they fail upgrade them.

    I think for my budget, that's the best move I can make unless I can find some deal on 2006 models that will change my mind in some fashion.

  24. #24
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    Me thinks you know about components and such. There are a bunch of Giant, Trek, Fisher, etc out there that are in your price range. Read up on how to take a bike for a test ride (to get the best semblance of trail conditions in a parking lot) and try 'em all. I think you've figured out that at $1500 you aren't getting a piece of crap, but you're not going to get the best. Just go for the best feel, and the LBS you are most comfortable with. My 2 cents- have fun!
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  25. #25
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    IMO the Giant Trance offers you the most bang for the buck, in that price range.

    And where the hell is dogonfr the Ibex pimp? I'm shocked. JK

  26. #26
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    I think your plan to buy a good frame etc. and upgrade components is a good one and makes sense. It is something I will keep in mind.

    My approach has been to look at bikes at shops where I am confident I will get good service after purchase. I also talk to the backshop guys to get their input on how the manufacturer treats them when there is an issue with the bike. That narrows the field somewhat. Customer service to me is every bit as important as getting a good bike.

    I have a good friend who has built his own bike from scratch and knows plenty about bikes so I rely on him to help me understand what is quality and what to avoid. He has had a Cannnodale now for several years and likes it fine although he says there are plenty of good bikes out there. I think the Lefty front fork looks odd but everything I read in professional reviews gives it high marks. I also, after some more reading, am going in favor of the single pivot design since it is lighter and stiffer and if in the right spot, as is Cannondale's, will not have the pedal feedback some might have.

    In my past life I was, among other things, an information analyst so I enjoy the "hunt" and the research. My current bike will keep me going until I am satisfied I've found the right bike for me. I am even considering a front fork upgrade since I plan to keep it as a backup.

    The August Mountain Bike Action magazine has some good information on various issues plus a review of some 2007 products by Fox and others. I get the impression there are some worthwhile refinements coming soon hence my wanting to wait to see what next year's bikes will have to offer.

    So, my focus now is on Cannondale and some off the older and proven Santa Cruz designs because those bikes are sold by local dealers. Iron Horse is another one sold up here but I have not checked it since it is my impression it is too high end. Stumpjumper is also sold here but the multipiviot design to me could mean more maintenance due to its complexity but I have not ruled it out completely.

    I ride for exercise, cardio etc. and fun. During the season I try to ride every other day for at least ten miles if not more. The trails here are a mix of abandon dirt roads and single track and they can be smooth or rocky and rutted. I start off at 6,500 feet and go up from there so it is a good workout. My goal is to make it to the Flume Trail without stopping to rest. Since I am 68 this will probably be my last mountain bike and I want to makeit a good one.

    Oh yeah, I have you taken a look at what is on EBay?

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=Mountain_Dog] Since I am 68 this will probably be my last mountain bike and I want to makeit a good one.

    Was that a typo or you are 68 years old?

    Okay you outrank me by 8

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Dog
    I think your plan to buy a good frame etc. and upgrade components is a good one and makes sense. It is something I will keep in mind.

    My approach has been to look at bikes at shops where I am confident I will get good service after purchase. I also talk to the backshop guys to get their input on how the manufacturer treats them when there is an issue with the bike. That narrows the field somewhat. Customer service to me is every bit as important as getting a good bike.

    I have a good friend who has built his own bike from scratch and knows plenty about bikes so I rely on him to help me understand what is quality and what to avoid. He has had a Cannnodale now for several years and likes it fine although he says there are plenty of good bikes out there. I think the Lefty front fork looks odd but everything I read in professional reviews gives it high marks. I also, after some more reading, am going in favor of the single pivot design since it is lighter and stiffer and if in the right spot, as is Cannondale's, will not have the pedal feedback some might have.

    In my past life I was, among other things, an information analyst so I enjoy the "hunt" and the research. My current bike will keep me going until I am satisfied I've found the right bike for me. I am even considering a front fork upgrade since I plan to keep it as a backup.

    The August Mountain Bike Action magazine has some good information on various issues plus a review of some 2007 products by Fox and others. I get the impression there are some worthwhile refinements coming soon hence my wanting to wait to see what next year's bikes will have to offer.

    So, my focus now is on Cannondale and some off the older and proven Santa Cruz designs because those bikes are sold by local dealers. Iron Horse is another one sold up here but I have not checked it since it is my impression it is too high end. Stumpjumper is also sold here but the multipiviot design to me could mean more maintenance due to its complexity but I have not ruled it out completely.

    I ride for exercise, cardio etc. and fun. During the season I try to ride every other day for at least ten miles if not more. The trails here are a mix of abandon dirt roads and single track and they can be smooth or rocky and rutted. I start off at 6,500 feet and go up from there so it is a good workout. My goal is to make it to the Flume Trail without stopping to rest. Since I am 68 this will probably be my last mountain bike and I want to makeit a good one.

    Oh yeah, I have you taken a look at what is on EBay?
    I have looked at ebay, but I don't trust myself enough to purchase a bike from ebay. Like you, customer service is an important part of my decision making. While I have considered Ibex, I don't know how good the frame and suspension is, and I also have a concern about not having the support of my LBS. My LBS has a pretty good reputation, and really seems to offer a lot of service along with the purchase of the bike.

    Getting the right size will be very important to me. I want to avoid getting a bike too big. When I was young, I purchased a bike with a frame that was simply too big for me, and I think it really impacted my continuation of the sport.

  29. #29
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    Hardtail... 29er maybe?

    I realize you prefer to have a full suspension bike, but I think a hardtail might still be a better choice since it sounds that your mostly interested in cross country riding. BTW, a hardtail will take you anywere that a full suspension bike will, except maybe not off of the 3 foot drops.

    By going hardtail you can get a much better component selection for the same money. Also, your a big guy and component strength might become an issue in a hurry. You mentioned you wanted bulletproof and low maintance. Hardtail is usually better for both.

    If you have not already, you might want to read up on 29ers. With your height you may very well take advantage of them. Also, they are supposed to roll over larger objects easier. The one thing I would look into is wheel choices though. Not sure what all options you would have. Ideally, I would think a 36 spoke 3x lacing on a strong rim would be your best bet. But I doubt your going to find that unless you have a frame built up.

    BTW, I started reading up on full suspension bikes myself this spring. When I realized what my price ceiling was going to be (lower than yours) I started looking at hardtails only. The 29ers caught my attention and I would have likely ended up with one of those, but I found a killer deal on a close out '05 Iron Horse. Now this is my second mtn bike but I had not rode much for the past few years. Once I got on the new bike I knew that the hardtail was best for my type of riding. If I could do it over again and had the money, I would get a nice steel or Ti frame instead but it would still be a hardtail.

  30. #30
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    Older Guy,

    Yup, 68 and going strong. A lot youngr than most friends my age. My best biking buddy will turn 70 this month and he can ride me into the ground. Guess living at Tahoe is good for one. Only problem is we need to drive off the mountain to bike in the winter.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbakercad
    I realize you prefer to have a full suspension bike, but I think a hardtail might still be a better choice since it sounds that your mostly interested in cross country riding. BTW, a hardtail will take you anywere that a full suspension bike will, except maybe not off of the 3 foot drops.

    By going hardtail you can get a much better component selection for the same money. Also, your a big guy and component strength might become an issue in a hurry. You mentioned you wanted bulletproof and low maintance. Hardtail is usually better for both.

    If you have not already, you might want to read up on 29ers. With your height you may very well take advantage of them. Also, they are supposed to roll over larger objects easier. The one thing I would look into is wheel choices though. Not sure what all options you would have. Ideally, I would think a 36 spoke 3x lacing on a strong rim would be your best bet. But I doubt your going to find that unless you have a frame built up.

    BTW, I started reading up on full suspension bikes myself this spring. When I realized what my price ceiling was going to be (lower than yours) I started looking at hardtails only. The 29ers caught my attention and I would have likely ended up with one of those, but I found a killer deal on a close out '05 Iron Horse. Now this is my second mtn bike but I had not rode much for the past few years. Once I got on the new bike I knew that the hardtail was best for my type of riding. If I could do it over again and had the money, I would get a nice steel or Ti frame instead but it would still be a hardtail.
    I certainly wouldn't be able to afford a Titanium-framed bike, even if it was hardtail. I would consider a hardtail bike though. Looking back at my experience with Mountain Bikes, I was tired of bouncing off of rocks on my rigid Cannondale. Sure hardtails will help to an extent, but I am pretty set on the comfort factor.

    I went to my LBS today and tried out an interesting model. The Prophets they carried weren't in my size, so I'll either have to wait until the '07 models come in, or have a more opened mine (or look for another LBS, as there are plenty in my area). Based on what my riding style, what do you think of a Cannondale Gemini 900:

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/06/CUSA/model-6VG9.html

  32. #32
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    By the way, we weighed the bike, and it came in at 38.2 pounds. It's built like a tank, so it'd be able to handle my weight. It has over 7 inches of travel. Am I way off considering a bike like this?

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    The Gemini is a DH bike. They are built like a tank which is a plus, but most likely it would be a very inefficient peddeler. With that much travel, it is bound to have pedal-bob. These bikes are designed for big hits, not long distance riding. BTW, is it not our of your price range?


    Ti is expensive, too expensive for me too but it would make for a sweet hardtail.

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    Based upon your original post of wanting to put a lot of miles on a bike and touring I still think a hardtail is the way to go. But I'm the first to admit that I am not versed in what product is best for heavier riders. I recommend poking around in the Clydesdales forum and see what others are doing. I could be completely off base with the HT recommendation

  35. #35
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    Yeah it is out of my price range, but I have a problem staying within budget when I want something. My understanding is it is really on the lowend of a DH bike, and more like an "All Mountain" bike. Also, depending on future component choices, the weight of the bike could be brought down.

    I like having a bike that's tank. I want the reliability, comfort, and the ability to run over rocks, roots, and small woodland creatures. Also, the travel is adjustable between 150 and 170 mm.

    At the LBS, I was told the shocks were strictly using air, and as a result I didn't need to put in heavier springs for my weight. Is that correct?

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    Most all bikes are using the air shocks. You do occassionally see a coil springs on downhill bikes. They add a lot of weight but should be more dureable.

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    The Gemini certainly wouldn't be great for touring, that's for sure. Hmmmmmm. With that said, I'm sure there would be great mountain bikes for touring. I'm looking at going a distance sure, but I want to do so at a slow pace, and with comfort.

    I haven't given up on considering a hardtail though.

  38. #38
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    Businezguy,

    For what it is worth, I have both a solid frame bike, a 1983 Stumpjumper, and a full suspension GT. Although I on occason ride the solid frame there is a huge difference in the lumps and bumps between that and FS. No way I would personnaly go for a hard tail if comfort is an issue. And, some claim for the normal rider the FS is acutally safer since it is easier to control on the downhill bumps.

    Just my 2 cents.

  39. #39
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    I concur with Mountain Dog that a full suspension is easier to control going downhill but with the following observations:

    1. with a full suspension, you can hold your line better because of the suspension soaking up the bumps - thus you go faster...sometimes more than you care to.
    To an experience rider, this is an advantage for obvious reasons. To an inexperience rider, this isolation from the bumps gives a false sense of invulnerability until speeds get out of hand.

    2. a hardtail however has a tendency to hop all over the place from the very first bump which gives the rider necessary feedback that things are beginning to get out of control.

  40. #40
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    Yeah, I think I would regret the purchase of a hardtail based on what I want from my bike. On the other hand, I'm not so sure the Gemini meets my needs either. It might be too heavy. I'm not exactly in the best shape, although I eventually plan to be.

    While is has tons of travel, it weighs in at a hefty 38 pounds. I was looking at a hardtail from IBEX that weights in at 25 pounds. I should easily be able to get a dual suspension that weighs closer to 30 pounds. That's a big difference.

    On the other hand, I do plan to move to Colorado in the next couple of years, and they offer some of the most diverse terrain there possible. That Gemini could be upgraded on parts to save weight if needed. Also, the bike is a tank, and I shouldn't have a problem in terms of longevity, which is something I very much desire.

    Choices, Choices. This decision is driving me crazy.

  41. #41
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    So I went to my LBS again today (pretty soon I'll be a fixture at that place, it seems), before doing so decided that the Gemini 900 is simply too heavy for my needs. While the bike is a tank, I don't need the extra strength that comes with that bike. Really the Prophet should last me quite a long time. Since the Prophet models are considerably lighter, and they have generous travel, they seem to be a better fit.

    Since my LBS currently only has bikes in XL or M sizes for the Prophet, I had to consider the XL frame. Before trying out the bike, my thoughts were (and the salesman agreed with me) that the large from was the right size for me due to the length of my upper body. I would be less comfortable leaning over, as it would put me in a more aggressive position.

    I test rode an XL Prophet 1000, and I was amazed by the results. I was more comfortable on the XL than I was on the L. It did mean I was in a more aggressive position, but that was actually a GOOD thing for me. With the L I felt like I was pulling back on the handle bars. With the XL, my hands rested comfortably on the XL. My hands and arms actually had to work harder on the L frame to keep me on the bike then on the XL.

    The only annoying thing about the XL was it was a bit harder to mount. Am I being a noob by having a bit of difficulty mounting a bike because of the height of the saddle, or do more experienced riders have the same issue?

  42. #42
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    Going up a frame size makes for a less aggressive riding position. Yes the bars are further forward, but they sit up higher. Since your seat height should be constant (based upon leg length), the lower the handlebars the more you lean over. That makes you more aero and puts more weight over your front wheels. One downside to the larger frame is that you end up having a higher top tube. If the reach on the XL is too long, you could install a shorter stem to make it more reasonable.

    As for mounting the bike, I think it is something you just get used to. IIRC I felt awkward at first but now don't think twice about it. btw, doing some stretching exercises could help that too.

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    Thanks for your help! That really explains why I liked the XL more then the L! I don't enjoy an aggressive riding position, and I thought an XL large meant just that. Since it means the opposite, it actually has clarified why I enjoy it more.

    Why is having a larger top tube considered a disadvantage?

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    Not larger, but higher. Only disadvantage that I can think of for a higher top tub is harder to mount, and less standover. However, the standover is really not much of an issue with the way most frames are designed anymore. My old mtn bike had a horizontal top tube. If I had to dismount in an emergency and did not have good footing, my boys were in danger. But most bikes today have either sloping top tubes or other shapes in which lowers the your standover clearance.


    Here is my first mtn bike which I just recently replaced. Note the horizontal top tube.
    https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y4...le_M500-03.jpg

  45. #45
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    so if you do like to do research
    here is one for ya.
    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/2002_Ful...ct_85288.shtml
    the one i have is a 2000. with rock shoc judy tt forks, xo carbon gripshifters, x9 rear derailer,
    x gen front derailer, mavic rims and irc tires, gusset prision bars,carbon leavers/w hayes disk brakes, and truvativ stylo team cranks. also a 9 speed sram pg990(red annodized) cassett.
    wellgo x-platform pedels. a wtb lazer stealth seat. and more little upgrades stem,grips, ti-sqewers ect.-----now it is used but not much-- maybe 500 miles and most upgrades have less than 100 miles and you could have it for $1300 / some times used is a greater deal.
    lanny@email.com

  46. #46
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    I've made a decision to purchase a Prophet 1000 from my LBS. I hope to make that purchase tomorrow. I'm very excited about my decision, and I can't wait to put MANY MANY miles on this bike!

    I appreciate everybody who assisted me in making the decision. I think the best advice that can be given is to make sure to try a bunch of bikes before you make your decision. I was surprised by the results when I tried different models.

  47. #47
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    Congrats and I wish you the best with your new bike. The Prophet 1000 should be a very sweet ride.

  48. #48
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    can sealer

    thats a nice looking bike

  49. #49
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    Prophet 1000, Baby!



    Rode this baby around the block today. I can't wait to take her offroad.
    Last edited by Businezguy; 08-13-2006 at 08:41 PM.

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