will ya help a newbie out? Choosing SS 29er MTB- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    will ya help a newbie out? Choosing SS 29er MTB

    Hi folks. I lurked and lurked, and decided to ask for help. They say it's one of the first steps, then admitting there is a higher power... Wait, wrong forum, never mind...
    I am new to riding, and looking to have a pleasant way to stay in shape on the trails in MD and DC. After owning a relatively cheap geared bike that I failed to properly maintain (I think) I want a no-nonsense tough bike with minimum maintenance and that I would not have to baby too much. So, after some research it came down to trying to go with a SS MTB. Looked around a bit, and I think the choices on bikesdirect are the way to go.
    Now noob that I am, it's tough to decide between them. For whomever doesn't know this line-up, I have it narrowed down to:

    - Motobecane Outcast: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tcast29_08.htm
    - SE Stout 29er: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/se/stout.htm
    - Windsor Cliff 29.1: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cliff29_1.htm
    - Dawes DeadEye: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm

    So, can I kindly get some guidance? Things that I don't know, being new to this: is a CrMo frame better than Al for my purpose (sturdy and straightforward)? Do disk brakes make the bike heavier than V's? Are the components on these bikes (cranks, pedals, brakes) comparable, or should my choice be guided by some significant differences you see?
    I will use the bike mostly on trails (some of them get fairly rough) with limited off-roading, and I will also ride it on paved roads. I want something I get on and go, worrying more about my riding than anything else. I do want to stay as light as I can, but I know at this price and for what I want we are still talking about moderate weights. I'm in decent shape, but not a true rider (although hoping to get there).
    Sorry for the lengthy post. Any help will be much appreciated.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    No one? Was the question that dumb? May have been...
    I looked at them more, and I think of the Al frames I would go with the Windsor, and of the CrMo with the Dawes. So really it's between the Cliff and the DeadEye. Then again that means it probably comes down to Al vs CrMo, and initially the disks vs the V brakes that come with these models.
    Thanks folks.

  3. #3
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    rocdoc.....

    It may be that your question is a bit like asking the folks at the next table what you should order.... It depends on a lot of things that only you will know.... some of which you likely don't even know yet.
    You will notice that alot of the bikes here are built by the guy who rides it and it can be a very personal thing. It's also a bit of an art form for many, a thing of beauty, beyond a wonderful mode of transport, an expression of ones self.

    If you haven't nodded off, MY ADVICE.... and it may differ from what many others might say...... Is to take an old mountain bike and toss the cassette and put on a $20. conversion kit and a cheap tensioner, lose the big ring and granny gear, a couple of deraileurs and START RIDING..... experiment with gear ratios on your favorite trails ( keep in mind you will get stronger as you go) and figure out what you like, dislike or dream of and figure out what is really right for you.once you have put some SS miles on... HAVE FUN.

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    Thanks scyule, for the thoughtful reply. It's EXACTLY like asking the folks at the next table what to order. But I was hoping they share a story or two about this flavor of stake or the richness of that desert etc.
    No doubt this being my first foray into the field, this first bike will serve to experiment and teach me what I want and don't want, that's why I don't want to spend too much on it.
    I will likely pull the trigger on one of these and start riding, so that I can then contribute something more constructive to the forum. In the meantime, nothing entertains people like cute animals, so here's a picture of my cat http://www.flickr.com/photos/ondiona...7622833145597/
    Seriously though, in case someone here was in a similar situation at some point, any pointers or shared experiences will be appreciated.
    Cheers

  5. #5
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    If it was me, I would buy the Deadeye. Its the cheapest and is steel (at this price, it is arguable if steel rides better than aluminum). You can add a set of Avid BB7 disc brakes later on with good levers for $125 or so (including good cables).
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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    It's generally accepted that steel is less punishing than aluminum, but either can be manipulated to give similar rides. Having steel, aluminum, and carpet fiber hardtails (I'm gonna piss some people off here), I think tire choice and pressure can have more of an effect than material choice. If you are just trying out the experience maybe try what I did first and consider converting an old geared hardtail if you have one laying around. If you're serious and positive you want one get a dedicated SS frame with a SS specific rear hub. Have fun

  7. #7
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    Thank you guys. Since I don't have a geared one lying around, I'll just have to bite the bullet and get one of these. So it seems that all the signs are pointing toward the Dawes with steel frame. I can probably upgrade the brakes and pedals quickly afterwards as the first improvement if needed, but first ride and ride and ride some more
    Is there any valid concern that steel might at some point rust? Also, I'm not fixated on BD but that's where I found what looked like the best deals. Any other ideas for sources would be welcomed of course.
    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    Thank you guys. Since I don't have a geared one lying around, I'll just have to bite the bullet and get one of these. So it seems that all the signs are pointing toward the Dawes with steel frame. I can probably upgrade the brakes and pedals quickly afterwards as the first improvement if needed, but first ride and ride and ride some more
    Is there any valid concern that steel might at some point rust? Also, I'm not fixated on BD but that's where I found what looked like the best deals. Any other ideas for sources would be welcomed of course.
    Cheers
    rust really is not a worry unless you really treat the thing terribly and live in a bad climate. That said, for peace of mind you can coat the inside of the frame with JP Weigle Frame Saver or Boeshield T-9 to protect against internal rust. I did this for my steel frame

  9. #9
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    I've recently built up both a deadeye and a stout. They are basically the same. I thought the stout was supposed to have a bit higher quality parts but that was not evident to me. The deadeye rides and handles very nice but it is heavy. If weight is a concern, maybe go with the outcast.

  10. #10
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    You can get that same red Stout for $315 at jensonusa.com right now. That'll be the cheapest out the box if they have your size.

  11. #11
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    I think you owe it to yourself to see if any bicycle shops in your area carry the Redline Monocog. It is similar to the Deadeye in that it is steel, SS, disc-ready, but it has quite a following here...I love mine. They can be had for about 4.5 bones if I am not mistaken. It is arguably a bit higher quality than the Dawes and has a proven track record. Hard to beat BDs prices though. Nashbar also sells a SS, same as the Windsor (just a late model SE Stout), price w/coupon should be about the same as BD..different color choice is about all it has going for it. I don't think you are going to see much else in the SS 29er category for under $500 unless you find a used one on craigs/ebay/mtbr classfieds.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  12. #12
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    As TiGeo said, check out the Redline. The good thing about buying local is if you have issues, you can just take it into your bike shop instead of having to ship the bike back to whoever you bought it from.

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    check this out too- http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._10000__200516
    I got this one on a special- paid $280 plus shipping. watch their site for special deals- I was thinking about the Stout until I got this one cheaper.

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    Thanks a lot guys, extremely helpful.
    What about the GT Peace? My LBS (a Performance branch, I like them) carries the 26 version. It seems to be well spec'd, and the sale is for 450. It would help since they would do all the adjustments and safety checks that I would likely end up going to them for any way. What do you guys think of this one? Anyone had any experience with it? I would have liked a 29, but I'll take this one if it's easier (love the convenience of the LBS and makes me feel good to support them, if I can afford to). Do you know if it takes gears if I decide on that down the line?
    Thanks again

  15. #15
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    OK, I done did it! I wanted to avoid slipping into that vicious circle of online measurbation, so after gathering all the info and the really great advice from you guys, I just ordered the SE Stout 29er from Jenson. Thank you for the Jenson tip!!
    I had never been on an SS, I am just so attracted to the idea and the simplicity. I'm the guy who wants the simple camera so I can take pictures, not fiddle with stuff (although I spend a lot to get quality on my cameras and lenses). I figured the same should apply to my new bike and what is becoming a new fun hobby. Today I went to my LBS and rode the GT Peace, a 26 inch and LOVED it. I may be nuts, but it felt a LOT easier than my cheaper, worse components, geared bike. I can't wait for it to get here, and to finish the put-together and take it out and go wheeee!... and maybe never come back - who the hell wants to work for the Man?
    Thanks for the help and the nice welcome everyone. Will keep you posted of course.

  16. #16
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    Rock on rocdoc! Now the really hard part...waiting for the big brown truck. It showed up at my house today with my first SS 29er.

  17. #17
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    YEah dude! I just got an 19" SE Stout last week! I ordered it from Jenson on Monday and got it on Tuesday...how Jenson did it...I'll never know...but I don't care.

    The only complaint is that I am not crazy about the seat...too small for my "wide load" backside...anyway...this is what it'll look like when you get it all together!

    What impressed me was how similar it was to the Redline Monocog in overall frame Geometry.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails will ya help a newbie out? Choosing SS 29er MTB-smallv2.jpg  


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    Now I'm really going to have trouble waiting! Looks awesome. How tall are you? I based my sizing on the measures they give and what others were saying on here and other forums, although I am not used to ordering something designated as "small" at 5'11"!
    LOVE the pup! He doesn't seem all that impressed with the bike though...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    Now I'm really going to have trouble waiting! Looks awesome. How tall are you? I based my sizing on the measures they give and what others were saying on here and other forums, although I am not used to ordering something designated as "small" at 5'11"!
    LOVE the pup! He doesn't seem all that impressed with the bike though...
    I am 6'4" tall. I rode the Reline Monocog in a 19 and it was perfect. I think I need a different stem because the 90 that came on it stock might be a bit short for me.

    Not sure what size you got but I figure for 5'11"...you may be in between sizes...

  20. #20
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    Oh cool. I got the 17, my clearance is 33inch, so it should be good. Thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    Oh cool. I got the 17, my clearance is 33inch, so it should be good. Thanks
    Should be good! Enjoy!!!

  22. #22
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    Hey ROCDOC,

    Coincidentally, I was in the same boat as you! I was in search of a no-nonsense SS 29'er and finally decided on a Redline Monocog 29er SS. I absolutely love it. It's has a steel frame and built like a tank. I am about 235lbs and it has taken everything I have thrown at it. Strangely enough, I am also from MD VA DC area. If you plan to purchase from a local bike shop, I highly recommend A-1 cycling in Va. They stand by everything they sell.

    I also looked at the bikes from bikesdirect.com, however when it came down to it, I wanted a good warranty and a local shop that could do the maintenance free of charge. To me, it was worth the extra $.

    Do your research and at the end of the day, one bike will stand out more than others.

  23. #23
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    Hey, thanks a lot for the tips. As you will see, I have already pulled the trigger on a Stout 29er online. Will have to use an LBS for adjustments anyway though, so I may check A1 out.
    Any recommendations for places to take it out to in the area? I know the obvious ones, the C&O, Capital Crescent, Rock Creek (the nice loop to make of these), not too much beyond. Are there any riding groups that would be tolerant of a noob joining?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    Hey, thanks a lot for the tips. As you will see, I have already pulled the trigger on a Stout 29er online. Will have to use an LBS for adjustments anyway though, so I may check A1 out.
    Any recommendations for places to take it out to in the area? I know the obvious ones, the C&O, Capital Crescent, Rock Creek (the nice loop to make of these), not too much beyond. Are there any riding groups that would be tolerant of a noob joining?
    I'd definitely check out Wakefield in annandale.

    http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/wakefield.html

    I don't know of any riding groups really. I consider myself a true n00b as well, so my current goal is to become comfortable riding singletracks and then see where that leads me.

    Where in md va dc do you live?

  25. #25
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    I think it's not that the pooch isn't impressed, I think he/she is guarding that ride with great determination

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    Hey, I'm in the Bethesda-Rockville area in MD. Can easily get to some of the paved (and crowded!) trails around here, have not yet explored much beyond. I'll certainly start slowly and work up. Thanks for the Wakefield tip. That site looks interesting, but annoying it's a paid thing. Anyone know of any free databases for mtb? My searches brought up a lot of the paved trails in the area.

  27. #27
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    My Stout 29er is in the shop at my local Performance Bike! So exciting! I put it together, but the wheels were out of true and I was not comfortable with the centering of the rear wheel and the chain tension, without a proper stand those are very hard to get right.
    Incidentally, since I contributed to a busy thread on local shops, major props to the Performance Bike shop in Rockville MD. I told them plainly and honestly that I bought a bike online, since they did not carry anything in this range, and they were totally cool with it. Brought the bike in to show them what I want done, it was on the stand in 10 minutes and they are getting it together as we speak. Of course, seeing that I felt comfortable buying a bunch of upgrades on the spot, and they are keeping a faithful customer in me. Good business!
    I hate my work schedule, I'll only be able to take it out later in the week, but looking forward to it.

  28. #28
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    Dude! Sounds nice! What are you planning on doing to it? I am curious because I want to do some things eventually to mine as well!

    POST PICS!

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    By request, pics:

    Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic. I saw a recent thread about carrying one's SLR on the bike, I'm definitely NOT doing that! It costs about 5 times the bike... I'll try to get better shots at home. This is on a quaint little ride nearby, being smacked in the face by fireflies (FYI, they taste nasty...)
    The only thing I changed was the pedals, they were HEAVY... I got a cheap pair of Forte platforms, they should be fine for now. No other major upgrades actively planned. Down the line maybe new breaks and new seat.
    Incidentally, for other owners: where do you keep your tire pressure? The tires say 35-65. I noticed the guy at Performance had actually put them below 35... I put them up to 60 today and it felt like they would pop off the rims. Certainly felt all little bumps or even twigs on the ground. Any thoughts on this?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    By request, pics:
    Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic. I saw a recent thread about carrying one's SLR on the bike, I'm definitely NOT doing that! It costs about 5 times the bike... I'll try to get better shots at home. This is on a quaint little ride nearby, being smacked in the face by fireflies (FYI, they taste nasty...)
    The only thing I changed was the pedals, they were HEAVY... I got a cheap pair of Forte platforms, they should be fine for now. No other major upgrades actively planned. Down the line maybe new breaks and new seat.
    Incidentally, for other owners: where do you keep your tire pressure? The tires say 35-65. I noticed the guy at Performance had actually put them below 35... I put them up to 60 today and it felt like they would pop off the rims. Certainly felt all little bumps or even twigs on the ground. Any thoughts on this?
    depends on your weight, the tire volume, and what you're hitting while you ride, but average pressures are probably between 30 and 35psi. 60psi is unnecessary and as you noticed will ride very rough and jarring. Something in the range of 30psi will absorb a lot of small bumps and vibrations for you and also have more traction because the tire can conform to the surface. I've used those Nano's a lot as a rear tire and generally ran right around 30 and maybe had one pinch flat in all that time on rocky trails and I weigh 195

    The recommended pressures listed one the sides of tires is generally overly-safe hogwash and should be completely ignored

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    depends on your weight, the tire volume, and what you're hitting while you ride, but average pressures are probably between 30 and 35psi. 60psi is unnecessary and as you noticed will ride very rough and jarring. Something in the range of 30psi will absorb a lot of small bumps and vibrations for you and also have more traction because the tire can conform to the surface. I've used those Nano's a lot as a rear tire and generally ran right around 30 and maybe had one pinch flat in all that time on rocky trails and I weigh 195

    The recommended pressures listed one the sides of tires is generally overly-safe hogwash and should be completely ignored

    I wondered about this as well!

    What about when you just do a lot more riding on street instead of off road? I inflated mine to 45psi because the tire being mushy slows the ride down and forces me to pedal more. I probably need road tires but I am thankful that the Nano's aren't REAL knobby.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdoc
    By request, pics:
    Down the line maybe new breaks and new seat.
    Dude...I hated the seat! I got a Specialized Avatar. Way better. It may not be THE seat for me yet but...the stock SE Seat was too weak for my 220lbs. I think I may try to blow it off on Craigslist.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedsA29er
    I wondered about this as well!

    What about when you just do a lot more riding on street instead of off road? I inflated mine to 45psi because the tire being mushy slows the ride down and forces me to pedal more. I probably need road tires but I am thankful that the Nano's aren't REAL knobby.
    you're correct, higher pressure helps a lot on the road

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    you're correct, higher pressure helps a lot on the road
    Thank you for reaffirming this. I feel like the front tire needs to be a little less then the rear because the front fork is rigid and not a shock. Not much but it helps on the wrists.

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