Mountain Biking - First real mt bike choice
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I'm going to be getting more seriously into mountain biking this season, so I'm probably going to get a new bike. (Presently, I've got a $250 dept. store bike which I've had for a few years.) My problem though, is that there's no single style that I want to stick to in particular. No need to warn me that there are no bikes that do it all; I've found that out on my own. Anyway, what appeals to me most is moderate freeriding, singletrack/trail, and once I improve, some North Shore style stuff. But I also want to be able to learn some urban-style stuff. Not hardcore trials, but I really want to learn some technical and balance-based tricks. Also, I'm absolutely certain that I want a hardtail.
I'm from the country and spent most of my time outdoors on a bike, but never took it seriously, so I'm probably biting off a bit more than I can chew. In any case, I've been looking at the GT Ruckus Shore:
I also liked most of what I read about the Norco Sasquatch, but a few people had said that due to the frame geometry, it was difficult to ride uphill.
I'd be glad to hear some opinions or recommendations. If it helps at all, I'm about 6' and 140 lbs, and can spend somewhere around $1000 (give or take, within reason).
03-05-08, 07:32 PM
That going to be tough with only $1G to spend unless you find a good used bike or a clearance bike. $2G seems to be the starting point for most bikes that can handle this kind of riding.
Sounds like you want an All-mountain design.
I don't know too much about GT bikes (looking at their website I would guess the Sanction is the better choice) but I have a Rocky Mountain Slayer (an all-mountain design, not the Slayer SXC) that is good for XC and can handle moderate freeriding. The Specialized Enduro is in the same category, and Kona makes a few good affordable bikes (i.e. the Coiler). But bikes capable of freeriding don't come cheap. I bought the Slayer at 40% off retail as it was the demo at the LBS, which is what made me choose the Slayer over the Enduro.
Anyway do the research, All mountain bikes can favor the XC side of the equation or the Freeride side. In any case you're going to have to find a compromise between climbing ability and Freeride capability.
The only thing is, the ones you mentioned are all full suspension, which isn't really what I'm looking for.
I looked more closely at the Ruckus Shore and Sasquatch, as well as the Specialized P Series All Mountain (which looks pretty good too) but after reading reviews on individual components, all of these bikes seem to come with crappy pieces on them. Do you have to build your own bike and buy all your own pieces if you want decent stuff, or are there pre-built models out there that actually come with decent components?
03-06-08, 11:26 AM
Oops. Missed the fact that it was a hardtail when I checked the link you included. The Ruckus Shore looks good to me. SRAM X-7 is a good derailleur, I equate it with Shimano LX; and the Marzocchi Fork looks like it has good specs. Marzocchi also has a great reputation for building excellent forks. The Specialized P series is supposed to be good and the Haro Escape I looked at last year looked like it could handle the job. The Local Freeride Shop had one of the Escapes on sale for $500 last year. I believe retail was $700. I was considering buying a similar bike that was ridable but also capable of taking to the skate park.
I would concentrate on buying the best frame and fork combo. Drivetrain upgrades are probably the most affordable thing to do.
I've noticed that in general, MTB specs seem to be dropping, especially for hardtails of any sort. For example when I bought my basic Specialized Rockhopper in 2003, the drivetrain was Alivio/Deore, now its Altus/Alivio.
Have fun shopping, buy the most bike you can for the funds you have. Upgrades always cost more that buying a bike already equipped with the equipment you want.
I have a Manik (same as Sasquatch) with a Pike up front. I used to have a 66 which made the front end quite a bit taller. The bike isn't an amazing climber but with a granny ring, you should be able to spin your way up most stuff (I run a 1x9 with a guide so I don't get to spin)...depending on what/where you ride.
But the bike would be great for the riding you described. Sorry, can't provide any input on the GT though.
Check out the Banshee Scirocco.
Hey, thanks for the replies guys.
I'm still undecided, but at least there's a while before the season starts.
Like you said, Never, the Sasquatch or Manik seems really good for the styles I'm looking at, but it was the lack of uphill ability that I read about that really put me off it.
The other thing I'm wondering is: if I get a bit more into trials-type riding, is having too much travel in the fork a bad thing? The models I'm looking at all seem to have between 120 to 160mm of travel.
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