Ready for a New Bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ready for a New Bike

    After not having been on a bike in about 3 years now, it's time to get going and hopefully get into better shape.

    I'm almost 46 years old, am 5'10" and weigh 195 lbs. I have a 1994 Raliegh M50 that needs at least a new chain and new shifters. Was originally thinking of fixing taht up this spring, when I came across the Northrock XC6 at Costco. Then I started looking into buying a new rig rather than fixing up the old.

    Truth be told, I would really like to do some trial riding, and have some excellent trails near my home and work. However, finding someone to ride with has always been a problem, and the one time I took my brother and brother-in-law on a easy-to-moderate trail in the deep woods of northern Michigan, they told me that was the last ride they'd let me pick out! So, if the past repeats itself, I am probably quite fine without a suspension fork at all for my needs.

    So, I have CFO approval to purchase the COstco rig, but after finding this forum and looking into the BikesDirect offerings, I think I'd prefer one of the following:

    a) Windsor Cliff 4700 - $380
    b) Motobecane 500HT ltd - $350
    c) Dawes Haymaker 1500 - $419
    d) Windsor Cliff 4900 - $429

    I've been kicking around the various tradeoffs of these bikes (no, color is not an attribute that matters, really), and I thought I was ready to go woth the Haymaker 1500. Then I started reading some of the reviews here about the various forks on these bikes and realized they are all pretty low end. In fact, the Dart 2 seem to be the more favored (and pricier fork) of the offerings on these bikes, but customer ratings here are pretty bad on them. I am gathering that with any of these, I may be looking at replacing a fork in a year or two, regardless of how hard or often I ride???

    So I saiod to myself, geez, how's the wife gonna handle spending $420 on a bike now and another $100+ in a year or two for a new fork? Maybe I should keep looking and entertain kicking it up a notch to begin with. But to get significantly better would likely be significantly more money, so what's a medium-aged guy to do?

    So here's a few more choices that I might be able to pull off:

    e) Moto 600HT - $499
    f) 2010 Moto Fantom Trail - $599
    g) Moto 700HT - $549

    I may not be able to pull off any of those last 3 due to budget, but the one that stands out in the spec listing is the Fantom Trail. Omce I'm in the $499 range, why not jump another $100 and better everything, most notably fork and brakes, but also a better cassette with hyperglide and 32 teeth.

    Please share your thoughts - which of the top 4, plus which of the last 3, and which one overall, given my situtation (not necessarily what you would do for yourself). I'm guessing there are likely a lot of guys with the same thoughts as mine, so I'm looking forward to seeing the reecommendations and rationale.

    Thanks in advance, and Happy Easter!

  2. #2
    DynoDon
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    Ok, upgrading gets expensive real fast, so spending as much as you can now makes the most Cents,(dollars and sense) you didn't mention 29ers in your post so I dug out a couple of the new Gravity line, #3 is of course the best choice, looks good for the money, #4 is sold out, but if you can rob a bank #5 is a awesome bike.. good luck, Happy Trails

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y/29point2.htm

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y/29point3.htm

  3. #3
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    With bikesdirect you get much more value the more you spend. Upgrading a bike can be very expensive, so its usually better to get what you want from the beginning. Also understand that a good fork will cost you much more than $100. Your main problem is convincing your wife to let you get a nicer bike. Work on that first, and then decide what you want to get. Let her know that you are going to be doing something that keeps you healthy and happy. Also let her know that lower end bikes have cheaper parts which are less reliable and break more often, so can be more expensive in the long run.
    2015 Niner Jet 9 Carbon
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  4. #4
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    It is easy to get worked up over parts. The Dart is an entry level fork....but functional. You will not be upgrading any major componets no matter how good your intentions. For example, you can buy a complete bike for what forks and brakes cost on bikes direct....so aside from a headset or something like that, upgrading is for the birds. Is a thousand dollar bike better than a 400 dollar bike, you bet. Is a 400 dollar bike junk from bikes direct?............ the answer is no.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, everyone.

    Regarding the 29ers, I hadn't thought of those, nor have I ever tried one, and at this point, I think I'd prefer to not entertain that idea as it seems (rightfully so) that a 29er has a premium on it as well, and starting point in cost is really pushing it. Unless there is a functional reason to consider a 29er (better bike for a guy close to 200 lbs, or more comfortable), I'll think I'll ignore those for now.

    With that said, I think I've narrowed it down to the Haymaker 1500 and the Fantom Trail, depending on how much I can pry loose from the checkbook. Based on the responses, I'm guessing that the difference in quality of bike between these two is substantial, but that both will likely serve me well. Since my wife is skeptical that I will actually ride any bike that I buy very often, I am almost ready to concede that the Haymaker is my likely choice. And really, it looks to be a much better bike than any other I've ever ridden on!

    Keep the resposnses coming - I'm hoping to make a decision in the next couple of days, and thanks again for taking the time to write.

  6. #6
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    Get the Fantom Trail....and always remember itís easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to as for permission

  7. #7
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    Don't get your hopes up on the Fantom Trail, as a number of people are saying that most of the sizes are out of stock.

  8. #8
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    Yep - the 18" Fantom Trail is sold out.

    I was leaning to avoid the battle with the CFO anyways, so I guess this makes it an easy choice!

    Well, now I have to decide on color - grey or orange (and that's a bright orange!)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssabin
    I was leaning to avoid the battle with the CFO anyways
    This so reminds me I made the right decision and no longer married.
    Mike
    2011 Moto Fly Pro

  10. #10
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    Actually, this wife is actually pretty great overall - a lot better than my first effort!

    WIth that said, she suggested the grey color since she says I'm too old for the Orange.

    So I think I'm getting the orange (but still haven't ordered yet)!

  11. #11
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    Done deal now - ordered the Haymaker 1500 19" in orange yesterday - that should guarantee steady rain in southern Michigan next weekend!

  12. #12
    DynoDon
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    I'm in S Mi,, Congrats on the new bike, the rain has been bad, but the trails I've been riding are soaking it up ok, The Potawami in Hell/Pinkney,Mi, just avoid the top few miles when wet, Murry Lake and Torn Shirt in Brighton are good, and the rain is supposed to be letting up next week, I'll believe it when I see it.. Happy Trails

  13. #13
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    Thanks! We'll see if I can get some free time next weekend if the weather holds. I can almost ride to Island Lake from my house, so that is likely the first real test. I'll start a new thread to share first impressions and setup progress.

  14. #14
    DynoDon
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    Cool, if you have problems and need a dealer to help you, there are some in the area that just don't like online bikes, but Tree Fort in Ypsi, or Dexter Sport & Bike in Dexter, are great shops that don't mind where you bought your bike, and they get right on it, if its something small..great people in both shops
    I've never riden Island Lk, I mostly ride Maybury, Potawami and Brighton..
    Happy Trails

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the info on the shops. I had a good shop in Plymouth where I purchased a couple M50's for my wife and I beofre we were married, but they closed up, and we moved out further west anyways. The lack of a recommended shop nearby is what got me looking on the net.

    I've never ridden Island Lake either, but several folks at work say it is awesome.

    Happy Trails!

  16. #16
    DynoDon
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    MMBA is why we have sooooo many great trails, here is their link, http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide go to trails, if your a beginner Island lake is a good one, there are plenty of more challenging trails around, try em' all, that should keep ya' busy, Maybury is close to home for me, I rode that quite abit last year, that and Poto, this year I've started racing so I ride the trail the next race will be at, we have 3 races in one week end coming up in Brighton, the Torn Shirt is Expert, but ajoining trail it Intermediate, I'll be riding those until we race there, they are great trials,, then we go to Custer, I won't ride that much before the race, its too far, I'll be riding the Potawami, and Maybury alot.
    I guess you know about REI on Haggerty road, and 6 mile, its a big chain, I'd rather go to the LBS, but they have alot of stuff on hand, and its close by, Tree Fort, and Dexter have alot on hand too.. I have a friend that works at a small LBS near here so I do alot of business there too..
    Good luck with the new bike, PM me if you need help..

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