Mountain Biking - Noobie needs advice for first bike!
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08-29-06, 05:07 PM
This is my first ever post so please be easy on me. I have been browsing this site for a couple of days now and I have to say it has a lot of intelligent members! The problem is I want to buy a 06 bike at my local bike shop since they are going to be 15% off come September but I don't know anything about them. I had a base Rockhopper back in 1998. I am looking to spend around 700 Canadian after the 15% discount. It appears as if you can get a hell of a lot more bike for 700 now then back then. I am pretty content on buying from this one particular shop because the service is superb. They carry Cannondale (haven't read much about them...not sure why?), Trek (tons of positive reviews online), Santa Cruz (they look high end?), and Norco (good ol Canadian maker). I am not leaning towards a Cannondale because quite frankly I haven't read much about them on this site. If someone can change my mind I challenge you. So I kind of have it narrowed down to a Trek 4900 or a Norco Rival. I am not 100% if my dealer has the 4900 in my size but he did mention the Rival. The Rival appears to be a level above the 4900. The problem is the Trek 6500 is the next step up (as far as I know) and it retails for $970 CAD and he is sold out! I have to admit I like the idea of buying a bike made in my country. The Rival looks like an awesome bike and if I can find my size it will run me $715 CAD after the 06 discount. I am basically looking for a bike to take on some hilly paved paths to initially get back into shape and then eventually leading to some trail riding. I want to strengthen my legs before hitting the moutains. Once I hit them it won't be too hardcore or anything. What do yall think of the Rival: http://www.norco.com/ts/pass/templates/bike_model.php?lang=en&loc=fs&sloc=ad&tabloc=1&id=rival&col=black
I can't provide a direct link to the 4900 but if you go to trekbikes.com and look under hardtail you'll find it. I read numerous reviews on it and it seems to be a very popular entry level bike. This dealer use to mainly carry Specialized but he said they don't any more due to a business decision. I am not sure if there is a hidden reason behind that. I did like my Rockhopper quite a bit. Maybe the 07 middle level model is comparable to these two bikes? How is the 06? I guess I am willing to buy from another shop. Anyways all of your help is appreciated. Sorry for the length. I want to find a great bike for me.....
08-29-06, 05:37 PM
I knew a guy who went downhilling on a rival, so you can say it's a strong bike and you definately won't break it considering you are doing it just to get back into shape and some trail riding. I have a bigfoot and love it, even after huge amounts of stacks. It got through it all better than I did, hope that helps.
08-30-06, 08:44 AM
I certainly won't be able to change your mind but I'd keep C-dale on the list and take it for a test ride. I've had a C-dale hardtail with hydraulics since '01 and it's still stellar. I've heard the Headshok is even better now than it was. It's the only stictionless shock out there, meaning it won't "match box" on you and bind. I haven't had any problems with it yet.
In fact, I'm going to the C-dale demo days for my area tomorrow and can't wait to try the lefty out.
The only two things I ever hear negative against C-dale is 1) they have some proprietary components and 2) because of that, you can't compare your C-dale shock to your buddy's new shock.
Of course, you can put a traditional fork on, but I've found no need.
Anyway, I'd keep C-dale on the list and see what the geometry feels like to you.
I noticed the same thing...today's bikes offer a better build and frame for less money than 5 years ago, and you're right, theres a lot of choice at $700 cdn.
I was very impressed with the new Marins this year...I have an old Bobcat Trail that has taken a lot of abuse over the last 6 years, and the new ones have a better fork, disc brakes, and that remarkable Marin frame (with a 10 year warranty)
Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Gary Fisher (now Trek) have some great bikes at this price as well...I haven't been too inpressed with Cannondale since they went into Chapter 11, and the low end Konas are definitley low end...both Kona and Cannondale seem to offer a cheaper build when compared to their competition at the same price points
Happy hunting...its always the fun part
08-30-06, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the replies. I guess I was hoping for a bit more information regarding the two models. I am sure some of you have experience with them. I thought someone might have an answer to why my dealer stopped carrying Specialized. I thought they were a popular bike? Can't seem to understand why someone would want to stop carrying such a valuable line. Maybe he wanted to carry Norco and they said to drop Specialized?? Anyways I would appreciate some advice on the 06 Norco Rival and Trek 4900 and how they compare to the 06 or 07 Rockhopper line. Thanks again!
08-30-06, 01:48 PM
the rival doesnt have as good of derailleurs as the rockhopper but id say fork on the rival is is much better than the Specialized or trek. id say it all depends on how much money you want to spend and which one feels better to ride
08-30-06, 02:47 PM
There's a thread in the road forum below that indicates Specialized is a pain in the a$$ to work with. They have certain requirements that its bike take up x% of floor space, backed out of a deal a (notice singular, most likely an isolated incident but who knows) representative made to back a team, etc. Essentially, it's throwing its weight around and some shops don't like it. I think one post said that if Trek and Specialized required floor space was added up, it'd be over 100%.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced.
Oh, BTW, I fail to see what C-dales now defunct motorcycle division has to do with the bicycle division. Oh well.
08-30-06, 03:12 PM
I just called and my dealer doesn't have any Rivals or 4900's in my size. Another shop has the Marin Hawk Hill for 800 Canadian. http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2006/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_hawk_hill_se.html They seem to make a lot of bike models. I really like how the site allows you to scroll over any model and check out the MSRP and quick specs. This looks like a pretty sharp bike. I haven't seen much on Marin bikes in these forums. According to reviews their frames are rock solid. I have almost come to the conclusion that any bike from say Trek, Giant, Specialized, Marin at this price point is of good value.
08-30-06, 05:57 PM
i would go with the marin over the norco rival.
does your lbs have marin bikes cause i they dont sierratradingpost.com has some great deals on marin bikes.
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