First timer- too many choices!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First timer- too many choices!

    Hi all, first post! I've been riding an old (c. 2000) Schwinn Mesa 19" for about 9 years, and it's time to upgrade. I'm looking to minorly start mountainbiking in the Buffalo, NY area (kinda flat). I dirtbiked for 15 years or so and love singletrack. Not a big jumper, but some air is okay. I posted in this forum because I'm considering a 600ht, 700ht, or 700ht with lockout fork. I'm also trying to work this in as an early birthday/ Christmas present from my parents since I'm in grad school, so the budget is definately capped at $500US. I've read reviews on this site of the components of each bike, and it seems I'll need to replace brakes and derailleurs relatively shortly if I go the 600 route. Do I need a lockout fork on the 700, or can I save $50 and go standard? Is there a way to upgrade with the lockout parts later?

    I'm mechanically competent and enjoy doing my own work (cheaper, rewarding, etc.) so assembly and adjustment are not a problem. Also, in all honesty I probably won't get out to ride as much as I'd truly like to, since it's at least a half-hour drive to any trail. After reviewing my Motobecane options I did some more craigslist searching, and found an '08 Specialized Rockhopper Comp, very little use, for 350. Claims originally bought for 650. If this is the proper size, is it a better deal than the Moto's? Heard the brakes are terrible on these bikes (Avid BB5), and the X5 derailleur is kinda weak.

    So, after all that, what would you do? I appreciate any and all advice, and love the pics of your all's bikes. Awesome stuff.

    Kyle

  2. #2
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    The 2008 Rockhopper Comp is a better all around bike than the Motos you listed. All of the parts are better except for the derailleurs, and derailleurs don't cost too much to upgrade. BB5s are excellent entry level brakes, there is no need to replace them.

    As far as the Motos, buy the best one you can afford. The higher up in the range you go the better value you get. So if $500 is your absolute max go with the 700ht. Whether you need a lockout fork or not depends on your riding style. If you like to "sit n spin" up hills then you do not need a lockout. If you have big hills and you will be standing and hammering away to get up them, then a lockout is a huge plus.

    If it were me, I would save up an extra $100 and get the Fantom Trail. This is what I recommend as an entry level bike to people. Why? It has BB7 brakes, which are the best mechanicals available, in my opinion as good as any hydraulics. It has a nice high end frame, much nicer than the 700ht. If you absolutely cannot spend more than $500 I would get the Rockhopper and use the reamining $150 towards upgrades.
    2015 Niner Jet 9 Carbon
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    2017 Lynskey GR250
    2016 Niner BSB
    1987 Haro RS1

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I'm not dead-set on any one bike, still shopping. I feel like this was already answered, but what about the Specialized makes it better than the Moto's? Components, upgradability, frame longevity/ geometry, customer support?

    Thanks again, I know forums are bogged by these questions constantly.

    Kyle

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