A little input for a newbie on a budget- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A little input for a newbie on a budget

    Hello everyone. I am in the market for a new mountain bike for next spring. I have a 8 month old daughter and I want to get back into riding and tow a trailer behind me so we can go for rides together. I have checked local bike shops and I am amazed at the cost of some of these bikes. Currently I own a FS Mongoose Maneuver that I purchased from ***** sporting goods in the early 2000's. I fell for the "full suspension" craze and bought it, only to realize years down the road that it wasnt really worth it and the fit was definitely not right. My budget is 450$ tops. I am on Bikes Direct and am looking at the 529HT 29er and the Fantom 29 x4. I know I want Hydro brakes, I rode one with hydro at the bike shop and completely fell in love. I was looking at Specialized but I refuse to pay that much for a once to twice a week casual rider. So any input from you guys on either bike would be greatley appreciated. Thank you for reading.

    Mike

  2. #2
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    If I were to buy an intro bike, I'd get the 529. A good bike for the money.

    However, if the main goal is to haul a kids trailer, you'll need a 26" tire. I say this from experience. I put a trailer behind a 26" bike with 2.0" wide tires, no problem. Put it behind a 26" bike with 2.2" wide tires, it would rub every time I took a turn to the right. A right hand turn with it behind a 29er tire would be almost impossible. Some trailers might be better than others, but the cheap ones from wallyworldl/target won't work. The problem is the location the trailer pivots at in comparison to the axle. On right hand turns, it pivots the trailer closer to the wheel.

    Personally, I'd get the 529, because mountain biking is awesome. I'd also go by a thrift store/garage sales and get a mid 90s 26" bike with a rigid fork for $20. Clean it up, learn how to fix it. Worst you can do is completely mess it up, but for $20, you're not out much. You'll also learn very valuable skills fixing a bike and maybe have some quality parent/child time fixing up the old bike.

  3. #3
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    I feel like the Fantom x4 gives you a bit more for the extra 50 bucks. The kinesis frame alone is worth the price difference, and the fork has a manual lockout. Unfortunately it's out of stock in most sizes right now, whereas the 529 is in stock.

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    what is the deal with the Kinesis frame? I am planning and researching now. I probably wont be purchasing until around if not after the holiday season. I like to plan ahead and make sure that my money is spent wisely. I appreciate all the views and responses. I keep checking c-list and find some nice bikes here and there, but people still want a high price. I am drawn to the motobecane for some reason and as long as bikesdirect is good I will be purchasing from them.

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    Actually, I lied about the 529 being in stock. Its the 429 that has stock, but is a lesser trim for the same price.

    I believe Kinesis manufacturers ALL the motobecane (and most bikesdirect) frames. The fantom frame is a little more advanced than the HT series frames, as it has hydroformed and butted aluminum rather than straight tubing. It will be lighter without sacrificing strength. How much lighter? I dont know for sure, but I would guess a pound or two off the frame alone. The fantom frames are pretty well regarded by those who have actually ridden motos.

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    Looks like there's some 19" and 21" in stock in the 529. Had to get there through a google search. Don't know why.
    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 529HT

    The following link has a comparison I made of the bikes along with plus/minus for both. The kinesis frame on the fantom will be better, but I have a non-kenesis frame motobecane and it still rides great. With the other parts that are on the ~$400 bikes, the choice of frame doesn't matter as much unless you plan on upgrading everything.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/motobecane/fa...rt-919977.html

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    I've got the x4. It's a pretty awesome bike for the money.

    Only 3 things I don't like, one unavoidable at this price:

    The fork sucks and is seriously heavy.

    The handlebars are really, really wide compared to what I am used to. 27" wide. I don't think they would even fit down any of the trails I rode as a kid.

    The rear tire inner tube must have been defective, I got a flat literally every single time I took the bike out. All city! I've replaced the tube and so far so good!

    Anyways, love the bike. Will upgrade the fork at some point when I get more serious. Hydro brakes are bad ass. No complaints about the gearing, every combo I could ask for is there. Are there better bikes out there? Yea of course, but this is my first non- department store bike and I'm pretty impressed.

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    UMMDUH - do you have pics of your x4? BD doesnt have a detailed pics gallery for that one like they do all the others. Mainly I want to see the rear dropouts and make sure they arent the "breezer" style so that I can use a trailer on it. If need be I can give you email or phone for text message. Thanks

  9. #9
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    It should have the same dropout as all their other Fanthom 29ers. Same frame and wheel hubs, different name.

    I warn you, not all trailers work with 29er wheels. I have a trailer that fits behind my 26" bike, but when I make right hand turns, it rubs the wheel. Only does it with 2.2" tires. 1.9" tires are fine. It's because the way the trailer attaches to the wheel hub. Turn one way, it swings closer. Turn the other, it swings out. This problem will really show up on a 29er wheel.

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    I contacted Allen Sports, which is the trailer I am going to get and they confirmed through pictures i showed them of the 529ht that it would work and that it will clear 29er and the hydro disc. They said that the only thing that would stop it is a "breezer" dropout which I am not too familiar with.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjmcconnell1 View Post
    They said that the only thing that would stop it is a "breezer" dropout which I am not too familiar with.
    Looked it up. The dropout has some reinforcing ribs around it that definately wouldn't allow trailer adapter at the wheel. Could still use one that mounts to the seat tube though. I've never seen one, so I'm led to believe the "breezer" dropouts are on specialty bikes, ie. tandems, lightweight steel, long haul trucket type bikes.

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