Which of these is the best deal?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which of these is the best deal?

    Hi, I want to get started at mountain biking (only hard trails for now, no jumping) and I'm on a low budget, below $350. I'm 5:11", 190 pounds. I've been doing some research and came to the conclusion that the Forge Sawback 5xx was the bike for me, however Target is out of stock for the 19" ones (candy blue). I'd be very grateful if you guys help me to choose the best deal out of these 3 other alternatives, or if you know of a better bike for the money (I know about e-bay and craigslist, so suggesting them is of not help).... thanks a bunch...

    PRICE: $330
    MODEL: Schwinn Mesa GSD 2005
    SIZES: LARGE (19")
    FRAME: N'Litened Gold Label Custom Drawn Aluminum alloy Off-Road Ride-Tuned geometry, Zero Stack head tube, 3x gussets, sloping top tube, wishbone Epicenter seat stays, replaceable der. hanger, disc brake mount, rack and WB fittings
    FORK: Answer / Manitou SIX w/ Reverse Arch Aluminum lowers, Coil / MCU spring, pre-load adjust, Microlube grease port and mini-boots, 100mm travel
    CRANKSET: TruVativ Iso-Flow alloy arms, 42-32-22*replaceable Cr-Mo chainrings
    BB: TruVativ sealed cartridge square taper 68 x 113 w/ chainline stabilizer
    PEDALS: ATB Resin body, Boron steel axle, Steel cage, Toe-clip adaptable FRT DER.: SR / Suntour XCC-202 31.8 dual pull RR DER: Shimano Deore
    SHIFTERS: Shimano ST-EF29-8 Easy-Fire
    FREEWHEEL: SRAM Power Glide 8-speed cassette 11-32
    CHAIN: Shimano CN-IG51
    RIMS: WTB SpeedDisc XC double wall disc specific w/ anodized finish, 32H
    TIRES: WTB 26" x 2.1" Velociraptor Front and Rear specific tread pattern FRONT HUB: Quando Alloy Disc double sealed QR, 32H REAR HUB: Quando Alloy Disc Cassette double sealed 8-speed QR, 32H
    SPOKES: Stainless steel black coated 14 gauge
    NIPPLES: Brass CP
    FRONT BRAKE: Hayes MX-2 mechanical disc w/ 6" rotor REAR BRAKE: Hayes MX-2 mechanical disc w/ 6" rotor BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano ST-EF29-8 w/ Jagwire compressionless housing
    HANDLEBAR: Butted Alum. 20 mm Rise, 9 degree bend, 620 mm wide
    STEM: Schwinn Ride-Tuned TIG welded threadless, 10 degree rise with forged front load cap
    GRIPS: Schwinn double density Kraton / Gel
    HEADSET: FPD Threadless semi-integrated Aheadset 1 1/8"
    SADDLE: WTB Speed V Sport w/ Comfort Zone SEAT POST: Forged Alloy Ride Tuned, micro adjust 26.8 x 350 SEAT CLAMP: Alloy Low-Profile QR w/ forged clamp

    *
    PRICE: $305
    MODEL: Schwinn Mesa GSD 2006
    SIZE: LARGE (19")
    FRAME: NLitened Gold Label Custom Drawn Aluminum alloy Off-Road Ride-Tuned geometry, Zero Stack head tube, 3x gussets, sloping top tube, wishbone Epicenter seat stays, replaceable der. hanger, disc brake mount, rack and WB fittings.
    FORK: Rockshox J1, Aluminum lowers, Coil / MCU spring, pre-load adjust, and mini-boots, 100mm travel
    BB: TruVativ sealed cartridge square taper 68 x 113 w/ chainline stabilizer
    PEDALS: ATB Resin body, Boron steel axle, Steel cage. Toe-clip adaptable.
    FRT DER: SRAM 3.0 31.8 top pull
    RR DER: SRAM SX-5
    SHIFTERS: SRAM SX-4 dual trigger control
    FREEWHEEL: SRAM Power Glide 8-speed cassette 11-32
    CHAIN: Shimano CN-IG51
    RIMS: WTB SpeedDisc XC double wall disc specific w/ anodized finish, 32H
    TIRES: WTB 26" x 2.1" Velociraptor Front and Rear specific tread pattern.
    FRONT HUB: Quando Alloy Disc double sealed QR, 32H REAR HUB: Quando Alloy Disc Cassette double sealed 8-speed QR, 32H
    SPOKES: Stainless steel black coated 14 gauge
    NIPPLES: Brass CP
    FRONT BRAKE: Hayes MX-2 mechanical disc w/ 6" rotor REAR BRAKE: Hayes MX-2 mechanical disc w/ 6" rotor BRAKE LEVERS: Hayes HML-2-finger alloy body and forged blade w/ reach adjustment optimized for MX-2 calipers.
    HANDELBAR: Schwinn 6061 T6. 32 mm Rise, 5 degree bend, 620 mm wide
    STEM: Schwinn Ride Tuned alloy threadless,10 degree rise with forged 4-bolt front load cap.
    GRIPS: Schwinn double density Kraton / Gel
    HEADSET: FPD Threadless semi-integrated Aheadset 1 1/8"
    SADDLE: WTB Speed V Sport w/ Comfort Zone SEAT POST: Forged Alloy Ride Tuned, micro adjust 26.8 x 350 SEAT CLAMP: Alloy Low-Profile QR w/ forged clamp
    CRANKSET: TruVativ Iso-Flow alloy arms, 42-32-22 replaceable Cr-Mo chainrings


    PRICE: $350
    MODEL: Motobecane 500 HT
    SIZE: large 21"
    FRAME: Custom 7005 Aluminum Trail-Tuned POWER STAY frame, box section chainstays, bi-axial gussetted downtube, sculpted rear dropouts with replaceable rear derailleur hanger, 2x H2O bosses, International Standard rear disc mounts
    FORK: RockShox Dart ONE Adjustable 100mm long travel
    CRANKSET: TruVativ Isoflow Aluminum Triple 22/32/42T 175mm
    BB: Sealed Cartridge
    PEDALS: ATB Beartrap
    FRT DER.: Shimano Acera top swing
    RR DER.: Shimano Deore LONG CAGE!!??
    SHIFTERS: Shimano ST-EF50BR STI EZFire with Optical Gear Indicators (24 speeds total)
    CASSETTE/Freewheel: 12-28T 8 speed Hyperglide (24 speeds total)
    CHAIN: KMC Z72 Narrow 8 speed
    HUBS: Skye DiscSpecific Aluminum (black) Sealed Bearing mechanism
    SPOKES: Stainless Steel
    RIMS: WEINMANN SP-17 - Double Wall Aluminum CNC sidewalls
    TIRES: WTB Velociraptor Blackwall 26 x 2.10
    BRAKES: TEKTRO IO Mechanical Disc Brakes with Multi Pad Angle adjustments BRAKES LEVERS: Shimano ST-EF50BR STI EZFire with Optical Gear Indicators (24 speeds total)
    HEADSET: Cane Creek Internal Sealed bearing VP A42E 1.125 inch
    HANDELBAR: Skye Comp Aluminum Riser
    STEM: Skye Comp Threadless Aluminum
    GRIP: WTB Dual Compound
    SADDLE: WTB Speed V with comfort groove SEAT POST: Skye Aluminum Micro-Adjust SEAT CLAMP: Alloy w/QR

  2. #2
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    '06 Mesa GSD

    Given your choiuces, I'd go with the cheaper of the GSD models in 19". The MOTO is too large for you at 21"

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Given your choiuces, I'd go with the cheaper of the GSD models in 19". The MOTO is too large for you at 21"
    First of all, thanks for the reply. Now, I can also get the 19" MOTO... Would you recommend it over the GSD's? Not that it'd make a difference but I'm actually 5'(11.5)". Also, how are these bikes compared to the Sawback 5xx? Below are the specs for the latter. Is the Manitou Axel better quality than the Six? Thanks again.
    R

    Size: MATTE BLUE 19'' (STAND OVER HEIGHT 30.75'')*
    Frame: 6061 ALUMINUM, WITH DISC AND RACK MOUNT
    Approv. Weight: 32.7 LBS
    Front Suspension: MANITOU AXEL COMP T80, ADJUSTABLE PRELOAD
    Rims: WTB SPEEDDISC 559X17, 541ERD, 24MM, PRESTA VALVES
    Hubs: JOYTECH ALLOY 32H
    Spokes: 14G STAINLESS STEEL
    Tires: IRC MYTHOSXC 26x2.1''
    Speed: 27
    Shifters: SHIMANO DEORE SL-M511
    Front Derailleur: SHIMANO ALIVIO FD-M410
    Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO DEORE RD-M511
    Crankset: TRUVATIV ISOFLOW, 175MM
    Cassete: SRAM PG950, 34-11T, 9 SPEED
    Chain: SIMANO CN-HG73
    Pedals: ALLOY PLATFORM
    Saddle: WTB PURE V SPORT
    Seat Post: SP65 ALLOY ADJUST 30.8X350, QUICK RELEASE
    Handlebar: MTB –AL ALLOY 600MM
    Stem: MA - ALLOY 105MM
    Grips: WTB MOTO W175
    Breakset: HAYES MX2 MECHANICAL, 6'' ROTORS
    Brake Levers: TEKTRO MT30 ALLOY
    Extras: CATEYE REFLECTOR SET, WATER BOTTLE MOUNTS, STORAGE RACK & FENDER MOUNTS
    *Stand Over Height is measured from the ground to the center of the top tube of the bicycle.

  4. #4
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    Only 5 left in stock--order soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by rod....
    I've been doing some research and came to the conclusion that the Forge Sawback 5xx was the bike for me, however Target is out of stock for the 19" ones (candy blue).
    Get the Forge Sawback 5xx in silver

    http://www.amazon.com/Forge-Sawback-.../dp/B000E3YYJG

    Jake..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Pay
    Get the Forge Sawback 5xx in silver
    The silver one is 17", too small for me.

  6. #6
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    Sorry.......

    Quote Originally Posted by rodpalacios
    The silver one is 17", too small for me.
    Hi rod,
    The Schwinn Mesa GSD 2006 would be my second choice

    Jake..

  7. #7
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    Based on what?

    Thanks for your input Jake.... So now the GDS 2006 has 2 votes and the rest 0... what was the main reason for you guys choosing it over the others? How much better is the sawback? As far as I know the Derailleurs and shifters are better on the 5xx, but what about the fork? How do the MANITOU AXEL COMP, SIX, and Rockshox J1 compare? I know you might think is a waste of time to compare such entry level bikes but I'd really like to learn more about bikes and make an informed decision at the same time...
    Thanks again
    R

  8. #8
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    I'd put all three forks at the same level (entry)..

    Your right the Deore components are the better but if I cant have the Sawback, I'd rather have the SRAM set up on the GDS 2006..Both these bikes would make a decent beginner ride..Reading the specs on the other bikes you mentioned doesn't hold my attention..

    Good luck and happy shopping..

    Jake..

  9. #9
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    Thanks Jake, I appreciate your advice.... Call_me_Clyde any thoughts abut this?

  10. #10
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    hey guys, now I have an extra option...it is a used Cannondale F400, $350...pls tell what you think about it...

    XT 9-speed drivetrain
    XT shifters
    XT front and rear der (new)
    XTR crankset (big ring teeth worn, but works well)
    Panaracer tires
    flat pedals
    New V-brakes
    New Panaracer Fire tires

  11. #11
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    Meh.. its all Xt although used.. v brakes, I think i'd rather have discs.

  12. #12
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    used but quite lighter

    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Meh.. its all Xt although used.. v brakes, I think i'd rather have discs.
    thanks for the input... yes, is used stuff and I still have to see it ... although I was really looking forward to disks I can always upgrade latter... I think that the big difference (apart from the brand) is that (for what I know) the F400 is ~8 pounds lighter than all the other ones...

  13. #13
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    Rod,
    If your not riding in the wet (rain/mud) the V's when tuned properly will get the job done..
    The Cannon sounds good

    Jake..

    PS. XTR rings can be $$$

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Pay
    Rod,
    If your not riding in the wet (rain/mud) the V's when tuned properly will get the job done..
    The Cannon sounds good

    Jake..

    PS. XTR rings can be $$$
    Thans Jake..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Meh.. its all Xt although used.. v brakes, I think i'd rather have discs.
    Disc at that price range are not worth it, in my opinion. I don't know how well that Cannondale bike is in term of use, but if it is in good condition it might be worth it.

    I began on a 04 Schwinn Mesa and liked the bike, so I think that the GSD will be a good option.

  16. #16
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    Thanks rzozya... I guess I can take that as another vote for the GSD 2006.... I'm going to see the F400 tonight after work... what should I pay more attention to? I was thinking about riding it and look for dents in the frame, fork, and rims. According to the guy that is selling it the fork is a DL and works well. Any known problems with this model, things to look for?
    this forum is great, thanks guys...
    Last edited by rodpalacios; 03-12-2007 at 08:01 AM.

  17. #17
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    I'm going to see the F400 right now... what should I pay more attention to? I was thinking about riding it and look for dents in the frame, fork, and rims. According to the guy that is selling it the fork is a DL and works well. Any known problems with this model, things to look for?

  18. #18
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    Watch out for wheel trueness.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Watch out for wheel trueness.
    Thats not hard to find with V's, even a slightly untrue wheel will speak up

  20. #20
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    I saw the F400 today.... see below...
    Last edited by rodpalacios; 03-12-2007 at 10:10 PM.

  21. #21
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    The F400...

    well I took a look at the F400.... I didn't see any dents on the frame or fork, more than a few scratches in the chain region but they don't seem to compromise the integrity of the frame.... The bike is sure light as hell... the back deraulier is new (XT), and the front seems ok. For all I know the fork seems fine, one thing though... in the locked position there is still some small up/down motion... is this the way it is supposed to be?.... when I rode it I had some problems shifting... basically the shifters were getting stuck... the seller told me it was because the lack of use and put some oil on it.. but that didn't solved the issue... he said the shifters might be too old dead... he insisted that he wanted to give me the bike in good working condition so he is changing the shifters (whit brand new deores he had lying around) and doing a gear's tune up.... now... the bigger ring on the crank has a few teeth that are REALLY worn out, I mean there are 2-3 teeth that are barely noticeable... I asked the seller about replacing just that ring and he told me that the original shimano part comes with the complete crank but that is possible to get an aftermarket replacement just for the big ring... however he insisted that (surprisingly) it is working just fine like that... another thing I noticed is that the cassette seems to have some off axis movement, I pointed out this to the seller and he told me that was normal, he seems like a nice guy but I was skeptical about it... I asked if he'd take $300 for it, he said yes .... tomorrow I have to test ride the bike again...
    what do you guys think? thanks in advance for the help...
    Rod

  22. #22
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    Hi rod,

    If it rides nice after all he does the shifters and the tune up I personally would buy it..BUT, that's because I'm a wrench head and haven't let anyone work on my bikes in over 30 years..

    Your should (all at the same time) replace the cassette and chain when you do the chain ring(s)..And new cable housing never hurts..Its to be expected when buying used!!!

    Jake..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Pay
    Hi rod,

    If it rides nice after all he does the shifters and the tune up I personally would buy it..BUT, that's because I'm a wrench head and haven't let anyone work on my bikes in over 30 years..

    Your should (all at the same time) replace the cassette and chain when you do the chain ring(s)..And new cable housing never hurts..Its to be expected when buying used!!!

    Jake..
    Jake, thanks for not giving out on this newbie!.... I'm OK with doing my own wrenching, I consider myself pretty handy and I know that's the best way to learn about bikes (or anything for that matter)... how much would it cost me to make the upgrades you suggest with middle line components?
    Thanks again...
    Rod

  24. #24
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Some options.................

    Quote Originally Posted by rodpalacios
    Jake, thanks for not giving out on this newbie!.... I'm OK with doing my own wrenching, I consider myself pretty handy and I know that's the best way to learn about bikes (or anything for that matter)... how much would it cost me to make the upgrades you suggest with middle line components?
    Thanks again...
    Rod
    (Click>) 2007 Sram 950 Cassette w/ 951 Chain Combo Kit $39.98 Good \ not $$$

    (Click>) 2007 Shimano XT M760 Cassette w/ Shimano XT HG93 Chain Kit $84.98 Sticking with the Shimano theme..

    (Click>) Cassette and Chain combos

    (Click>) XTR chain-rings

    (Click>) Cables and Housing

    Jake..

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Pay
    (Click>) 2007 Sram 950 Cassette w/ 951 Chain Combo Kit $39.98 Good \ not $$$

    (Click>) 2007 Shimano XT M760 Cassette w/ Shimano XT HG93 Chain Kit $84.98 Sticking with the Shimano theme..

    (Click>) Cassette and Chain combos

    (Click>) XTR chain-rings


    (Click>) Cables and Housing

    Jake..
    Jake, thanks a lot for the info!... If it feels right I think I'll go for it...

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