Mountain Biking - Caldera vs. Nunu vs. Rainier
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Looking at getting a new MTB bike. I have an old steel(cromo) rockhopper with rigid fork. It will be for all around use, some road, mostly trails, maybe some intermediate stuff. After research here I think a HT makes the most sense though I am feeling seduced by the FS !
Anyways, I like the Caldera over the Nunu due to the hydro breaks (opinions?). I have not ridden the Giant but will this weekend. Thoughts? These are all about 600-800 US ish.
My only real concern is the raised handlebars of the Nunu and Caldera, is this an issue?
Also would I get a much better bike at the same price point if I skipped the disc brakes.
Finally should I say screw it and spend 1200-1400 US and get a FS???
The FS argument is up to you of course. You could always rent a few different bikes, HT and FS of varying designs (single pivot, 4-bar, rocker etc) and see how you like them.
As for the riser, I like risers. However, if you find they aren't to your liking, I can't imagine a bike shop being unwilling to swap it out for a flat for little to no charge. On both the Nunu and the Caldera the hydro discs are pulling the rest of the components down. The Marz EXR is as low as you can go on the Marzocchi food chain (you won't find it on their webpage without doing some digging). And the wheelsets leave a lot to be desired. Konas in general have started to look a little overpriced to me, which is unfortunate as I've always liked them a lot.
On the Giant side you've got the Rainier, which has a wheelset I'm not familiar with, a fork no one seems to like, and avid mechanical disks which everyone seems to like. All this for a little less than the Caldera.
If you're a lightweight you might not mind the fork on the Giant, otherwise you might consider trying to get a different fork on it, or looking elsewhere.
edit: rocker, not rocket
You could also check out the Fuji Tahoe (http://www.fujibikes.com/mountain/bike.asp?category_short_name=mtb&myArray=24,21,22,25,23,26,27,28,29,30,31,33,35,36,37,38,40,41,42,34,32,39&myArrayID=11) We have the Rainier and the Tahoe at my shop and I honestly think the Fuji feels better
thanks for the input.
What are thoughts on the Fuel 80? It appears to be priced around 1600 CDN (1100 US) what would be some comparables in the FS?
I like some things about the Fuel, its comfortable. The fork is a Pilot, which seems fairly nice to me. The suspension is a pretty time-proven rocker setup. Deore drivetrain isn't too bad. My biggest beef with it is the frame. Its pretty delicate (by design, its a race bike).
Rockhopper FSR Comp (http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?san=03RockhopperFSRComp&bl=mountain&my=2003) @ $1140 has a much beefier frame than most others in this category, LX-Deore drivetrain, disc ready hubs, comes with V brakes, uses the infamous(ly disliked) Mani Axel.
Kahuna Deluxe (http://www.konaworld.com/2k3/2k3_kahuna_d.cfm) @ $1199 has a pretty strong frame. Marz EXR air is as cheap as Marz makes, but I've never seen the air variety so I can't comment on it. XT/Deore drivetrain. Shimano Mechanical disks. Same 4-bar/rocker design as the Trek.
Also worthy of note in this price range:
Cannondale Jekyll 400 (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3VN4.html) (pretty nice fork for a $1100 bike)
NRS 3 (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.006.asp?lYear=2003&bikesection=8817&range=107&model=10644)
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