Specialized, Trek, Giant, Gary Fisher, Norco or Iron Horse?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    New question here. Specialized, Trek, Giant, Gary Fisher, Norco or Iron Horse?

    Any opinions and/or advice on these models?

    I've been to few bike shops and I've learned a lot already but these guys are trying to push their stock and are extremely prejudiced against manufacturers they don't carry.
    I also tested a few of them but being an absolute beginner and riding on a parking lot I didn't feel all that much of a difference besides the fact that they felt better than the CCM I used to have 10 years ago...

    Prices are Canadian ($500 CAN = $400 US - that's my budget). I've added few basic specs because Can. models vary a lot from American ones. I know that the frame and things like welds and bearings are very important, too but it's hard for me to compare those because I don't have enough knowledge about them.

    Trek 4300 ($500)
    Forks RST Gila T5
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano CO50
    Shifters Shimano EF-29
    Crankset SR Suntour XCC-150

    Giant Rincon ($480)
    Forks SR Suntour XC-60
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Shifters Shimano EF-29
    Crankset TruVativ ISO Flow

    Specialized Hardrock Sport ($490)
    Forks RST Gila T5
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Shifters Shimano Altus
    Crankset TruVativ X Flow

    Norco Scrambler 2005 ($460)
    Norco Scrambler 2004 ($330) not sure if any stock left
    Forks SR Suntour XC-60
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Shifters Shimano EF-35
    Crankset SR Suntour XCC-150

    Norco Bushpilot ($500)
    Forks SR Suntour XC-60
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Shifters Shimano EF-35
    Crankset TruVativ X Flow

    Gary Fisher Wahoo ($530)
    Forks Rock Shox Judy TT
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano CO50
    Shifters Shimano EF-29
    Crankset Shimano MC08

    Iron Horse Warrior Sport Disc (Hayes) ($500) semi-dept. store
    Forks Manitou Six
    Rear Derailleur SRAM 5.0
    Front Derailleur ?
    Shifters Shimano EF-29
    Crankset TruVativ X Flow

    Iron Horse Desperado ($400) semi-dept. store
    Forks Rock Shox Judy TT
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Shifters Shimano EF-29
    Crankset TruVativ X Forge


    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Giant.

  3. #3
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    they're all OK

    the best combo of performance, value, and service should be your mantra. The IH Warrior with Hayes is perhaps best if you ride in any wet conditions, and will offer more and better control stopping and modulating your brakes than all the others.

    They all fall into a good value, entry level bike group. I'd choose the one where you get the best help from the store and can get parts and advice on a friendly basis after the sale. I know Sportmart doesn't excel there, but that IH bike is a stand out one simply based on the brake set.

    Good luck, Jim

  4. #4

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    If they have one... I would go with the Ironhorse Warrior sport (non-disc). Disc brakes tend to be cheap at that price. However the fork is superior to the other bikes. The fork is typically the most expensive component on the bike, so look at it, then crank, then deraileurs... if not buying disc brakes.

  5. #5

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    It's actually Sport Chek but you're right, they're not the best when it comes to service. That's why I'm a bit reluctant when it comes to buying from them. I've only seen Iron Horse at their stores though and I've been to 6 or 7 bike shops already.
    The bike shop nearest my place sells Giant, Spec., and mid to high-end Konas only.

    You say that Manitou Six is the best. How would you rank those other entry level forks then? (RST Gila T5, Suntour XC-60, Judy TT)

    And cranks: Suntour XCC-150, TruVativ ISO Flow, TruVativ X Flow, TruVativ X Forge,
    Shimano MC08?

    I'm covered when it comes to derailleurs.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Get on them bikes...

    ...and ride!

    Go down and test ride each and everyone of the bikes and then pick the one that feels best. I'm not talking about parking lot parades, I'm talking you take them down to a rough patch of ground and zip around a bit and see what each one feels like. Take 'em up hills, down hills, over bumps and stumps. Don't settle for a ride on a patch of pavement to make a choice for a bike you're going to use on dirt.
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
    Single Track Cycle
    The Bike Shop
    Calgary Cycle

  7. #7

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    I live in the city and all the bike shops I've been to are surrounded by pavement and concrete... I can't really test them that well. Plus, like I said I'm a total beginner and it's hard for me to detect differences. I haven't rode a bike in 10 years (I'm 26 now). I just want to get something with decent enough frame that'll be worth building on if I decide to stay in the sport. The bike won't be taking all that much abuse at first. 1st because I'm out of shape (6', 185lbs used to be 170lbs), 2nd because I won't be able to take it off-road that often due to time and distance restrictions.

    All the bikes that I tested already feel so much better than my old steel piece of crap that I'm really confused when it comes to choosing one.

  8. #8
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    Can't help you there

    not to sound like a snob but my experience is with higher end FR stuff, so I'm simply not familiar with entry level. But as a rule of thumb, Rock shox and Manitou will offer a better technology than RST and Suntour, whose forte is OEM on Cdn. Tire/Walmart level bikes

    Jim

  9. #9

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    I tested a whole lotta bikes today and I've decided on Spec. Hardrock Sport so thanks for the replies!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked
    I tested a whole lotta bikes today and I've decided on Spec. Hardrock Sport so thanks for the replies!
    And here I was ruminating on what to say too...

    Congrats on the new bike. Remember that Specialized has a "lifetime" warranty on that frame!
    If you're ever in Calgary, here are the bike shops I like:
    Single Track Cycle
    The Bike Shop
    Calgary Cycle

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