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  1. #1
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    New question here. New riders (and new to Washington)

    Hey everyone,

    Hope this doesn't break too many rules. My wife and I are new to Bellevue/Redmond (coming from the Midwest). Our main hobbies are climbing, hiking, and trail running. So far we've been pretty happy with the change in scenery, it's beautiful here.

    Over the holidays we visited some friends from California and they introduced us to mountain biking. We demoed some Trek Fuels and had a great time. We're sold and are now looking to buy some bikes. Everywhere I've read says you should buy a bike for the type of riding in your area. Thing is, I don't really know what's in the area. I've done some research on bikes, but not really sure on "how much" bike we should get to have fun for a few years.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks and hope to see some of you out on the trails.

  2. #2
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    As a former midwest transplant myself, I think the PNW is one of the few areas where we really do have access to all types of trails. From crazy steep rooty double black (and then some) descents, sandy, rocky, to rolling and smooth fairly flat singletrack.

    If you're just getting into it something in the 4-5" travel range would be my starting point. You can do it on less, or even on a hardtail, but a lot of the trails here seem to have enough roughness to justify a bit of squish to help things out. You have a ton of options out here when it comes to brands too, so the good news is it's fairly easy to demo bikes.

    Tires more than anything will help you enjoy yourself out here (especially this time of year), so I'd recommend checking a few of the recent threads in this forum for ideas there too.
    Tarekith.com

    '17 Specialized Enduro Elite 29

  3. #3
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    C'mon up to Bellingham and demo some Transitions, Konas and Evils. All made here in WA.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to Washington!

    A mid-travel (125mm-150mm) trail bike should serve you both well. 27.5" or 29" is just personal preference. Try both and see what you like.

    I'm a big proponent of buying from a brand whose headquarters you can visit in a day's drive from where you live... Transition, Evil, Kona and Diamondback all fit that bill.

    It really pays off in the long run to have the option of dropping by in person to have questions answered as opposed to sitting on hold on the phone trying to get through to someone in customer service...

    Demo as many bikes as you can, ask lots of questions and educate yourself on the ins and outs of each. Have fun!

    Also, be sure to check out Evergreen's "Visit Washington" page. We're slowly building the page out and updating it over time. It's useful for those visiting WA and also recent transplants new to the area.

    https://www.evergreenmtb.org/visitwashington

    Enjoy the riding!

    -Ian
    Ian Terry
    Community Engagement Coordinator
    Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. Also, in all my other hobbies I join the outreach/stewardship groups so I've already joined Evergreen. Excited to do some group rides here in the next two weeks or so.

    One thing I'm having trouble with in demoing bikes is just generally not really knowing if what feels good vs. bad. Not really having the experience sort of makes all the demos run together a bit. My thoughts are that probably a year into riding I'll have a super solid understanding of what I want to ride.

  6. #6
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    Just starting out, you want a standard trail bike with conservative geometry. Something like a stumpjumper or Fuel EX would be perfect for you out here. All bikes are good these days, just get something affordable and in good condition and start riding! The great thing about mountain biking is there are so many ways you can take it, after a couple years of riding you'll figure out where you want it to take you. Enjoy!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoiledGrape View Post
    Thanks guys. Also, in all my other hobbies I join the outreach/stewardship groups so I've already joined Evergreen. Excited to do some group rides here in the next two weeks or so.

    One thing I'm having trouble with in demoing bikes is just generally not really knowing if what feels good vs. bad. Not really having the experience sort of makes all the demos run together a bit. My thoughts are that probably a year into riding I'll have a super solid understanding of what I want to ride.
    If no one bike stands out and/or they all feel the same, then go to price and value. Compare the specs and get the most bike you can for your budget.

    Specialized usually offers pretty good value. I know Transition has some demos still available. Check with the other local companies to see if they might, too.

  8. #8
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    A lot of climbers ride. Find someone at the local crag or gym that rides and pick their brains would be my advice. Or rent and hit the local trailhead and talk to/observe what other people are riding. If you're fit outdoor enthusiasts I would not agree going conservative or holding back, buy something you can hit the ground running with that will allow you to advance quickly. Add up all your climbing gear and expect to pay that for a nice bike.

    Fazzari is a relative newcomer to the scene offering nice progressive bikes with fantastic value builds at a great price point. If you're a thrill seaker looking to rip it up and want big back country days too give the La Sal Peak a look.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    C'mon up to Bellingham and demo some Transitions, Konas and Evils. All made here in WA.
    They are based in WA. The bikes are made in Asia like most brands.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoiledGrape View Post
    Thanks guys. Also, in all my other hobbies I join the outreach/stewardship groups so I've already joined Evergreen. Excited to do some group rides here in the next two weeks or so.

    One thing I'm having trouble with in demoing bikes is just generally not really knowing if what feels good vs. bad. Not really having the experience sort of makes all the demos run together a bit. My thoughts are that probably a year into riding I'll have a super solid understanding of what I want to ride.
    Hey, welcome! I lived out that way for a number of years . I moved here about a year and half ago (from somewhere else). Which part of the midwest did you move from?

    I was actually just in the same exact position as you are now. I just barely bought a bike last Saturday, and it gets here on Monday.

    I spent months both researching what bikes I thought were good deals for each category of bike, as well as riding my old hardtail on as many trails as I could in the mean time.

    What I ended up doing, was getting a pretty good deal on a Kona Process 153 (2018 model year new old stock, for 33% off MSRP). I have read/heard many times that this area of Washington is one of the areas that can "justify" or "utilize" a larger travel bike like this. I also know that when I asked around at work, and looked around at the trailheads, that most people seemed to be rocking 130mm - 160mm bikes, including a few mountain bike coaches that I have met.

    Because of both of those things (the deal I found + it seems to be a popular category to own in this region), I decided that I would try this longer travel trail/endure bike style out first, and go from there.

    Because like you, I only really knew that I liked the sport, but beyond that, wasn't quite sure which type of bike I'd like best. If I hate it, it seems that because its a popular style of bike around here, it will be easier to sell in the future (than say, a hardtail), so if I don't like it, bailing on it seems easier as well.

    I still plan on going to the duthie hill bike fair in June, to test ride everything I can get my hands on. If you're around, I'd suggest that. It seems like an easy way to test ride a bunch of bikes back to back, on familiar trails.

    If it helps, right now Performance Bike is having a lot of big sales in their stores. I was at the redmond store last week, and they still had a fair number of 2018 Marin Hawk Hill 2's. They were marked down from ~$1800 to ~$1300. It may be a good place to start, as those are both cheap, and a pretty middle of the road geometry.

    Good luck finding something that works for you .
    Last edited by ocnLogan; 1 Week Ago at 11:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    They are based in WA. The bikes are made in Asia like most brands.
    OK, thanks, Captain Obvious. I'll rephrase.

    Come up to Bellingham and demo some Transitions, Konas and Evils. They are designed, tested and (mostly) assembled here in WA and do great on our WA trails.

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