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  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Considering MTB...what to look for?

    I'm thinking of doing some winter trail riding to supplement my winter gym training. This will be trail riding and I have very little experience on anything but a road bike. Just wondering what to look for in a bike and what price range I should expect to be shopping in.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Should have mentioned that I have no idea how to size a MTB. I'm now 5'9" (down from 5'10") and have a 32.5" inseam measured crotch to floor in bare feet.

  3. #3
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    A few questions before I answer. What size is your road bike? What model bike is it? What kind of trails will you be riding? How rough is the terrain? How hilly? What condition is your back in?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  5. #5
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    A few questions before I answer. What size is your road bike? What model bike is it? What kind of trails will you be riding? How rough is the terrain? How hilly? What condition is your back in?
    I ride a Masi Gran Criterium S (2007 model). Perfect road bike size for me is 56-57 cm C to C. The trails are basically wider, grassy trails kind of like a logging road. Moderate hills and my back is fine. Not the same I know, but I've done 1,000 mi. days on my Ducati and can easily do 50 mi. days on the Masi. My back is not an issue.
    Last edited by bruce19; 11-16-11 at 10:31 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Read this but most of it is about higher priced bikes compared to what I'm looking for. I expect to use this bike just to be out in the woods and in no particular hurry. If I go out 12 times during the winter it will be a lot.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    A Hardtail with LX groupset as a minimum-Discs are not necessary but are nice providing they are a known make that works- Rebuildable fork- and preferably wheels that will take the punishment you are going to give it.

    Or for your trails- a 29er with basically the same as above.

    Sizing and you will probably need a smaller frame in comparison to a road bike- but that top tube will be looooong

    I ride a 51 road bike and a 15" MTB. Direct comparison on sizing is not possible between road and MTB but the 15" mtb is the comfort bike for long rides. I also ride a 19" Kona that is faster- more agile and being steel is smoother-but I can't do the milage on it. 40 miles XC is enough on the Kona.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    I ride a Masi Gran Criterium S (2007 model). Perfect road bike size for me is 56-57 cm C to C. The trails are basically wider, grassy trails kind of like a logging road. Moderate hills and my back is fine. Not the same I know, but I've done 1,000 mi. days on my Ducati and can easily do 50 mi. days on the Masi. My back is not an issue.

    YOu probably would do fine with a hardtail, either 26" or 29er, your preference. The more you spend, the better quality. Try to get something with a decent fork, hydraulic disc brakes and SLX or X.9 components if you can, but mechanical discs and Deore are not bad. I am most familiar with Specialized, so I would look at a Stumpumper Comp or down to a mid level Rockhopper.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    YOu probably would do fine with a hardtail, either 26" or 29er, your preference. The more you spend, the better quality. Try to get something with a decent fork, hydraulic disc brakes and SLX or X.9 components if you can, but mechanical discs and Deore are not bad. I am most familiar with Specialized, so I would look at a Stumpumper Comp or down to a mid level Rockhopper.
    I have a 2011 Rockhopper and the drivetrain has issues. I've read reviews where others have had similar problems. Something to keep in mind.
    Last edited by sknhgy; 11-16-11 at 07:58 PM.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    I have a 2011 Rockhopper and the drivetrain has issues. I've read reviews where others have had similar problems. Something to keep in mind.
    What kind of issues. Drivetrains are made by Shimano and SRAM, not bike manufacturers.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    Read this but most of it is about higher priced bikes compared to what I'm looking for. I expect to use this bike just to be out in the woods and in no particular hurry. If I go out 12 times during the winter it will be a lot.
    The op in that thread has a budget of $1500, what's yours? If you just want something cheap to thrash around on maybe check Bikes Direct or Performance or Nashbar for a sale.
    I have a KHS I paid $1k for in 2008 and it doesn't owe me a dime. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

  12. #12
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I agree with the others that a hardtail is probably fine. I would make sure it has disc brakes. Mountain bike frames are typically sized in inches, but it's hard to make direct comparisons - you usually have to get on the bike and see how it feels.

  13. #13
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I agree with most that by far the best mountain bike ever created was the GT Xizang, a hardtail titanium-frame mountain bike. Exceptionally strong, light weight and durable. Corrosion proof, if you're considering rides along the sea shore. GT went broke (probably from putting too much quality into their products for the price) and so the only titanium Xizangs you will find are resale market. There's on on ebay right now...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_500wt_1284

    I'm NOT the seller, and don't have a clue who the hell he/she is. I just follow Xizangs as they come around. If an 18-inch (average size) would work for you, this is the bike that will last you the rest of your life. And your children's, and your grandchildren's...
    Who is John Galt?

  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    I ride a Masi Gran Criterium S (2007 model). Perfect road bike size for me is 56-57 cm C to C.
    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    Should have mentioned that I have no idea how to size a MTB. I'm now 5'9" (down from 5'10") and have a 32.5" inseam measured crotch to floor in bare feet.
    My guess would be you would fit best on a MTB somewhere around 17". I am 6' with a 34.5" inseam (pbh) and I fit best on 18-19" MTBs.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    I agree with most that by far the best mountain bike ever created was the GT Xizang, a hardtail titanium-frame mountain bike...
    I never knew there was such a consensus about this.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
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    bruce19, If I were looking for a mountain bike that was only used a dozen or so times a year I wouldn't go too upmarket with it, also factoring in that it'll also be a winter bike.

    Besides a mountain bike you can also look at CX bikes, city bikes and hybrids if the trails are generally smooth. Hybrids and city bikes often have provisions for mounting a carrier if you ride your bike to the gym and use a bag.

    Brad

  17. #17
    Airborne Marauder Decatur_Tide's Avatar
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    This is one heck of deal right here, especially with all the nice components.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...w_xi.htm#specs
    Last edited by Decatur_Tide; 11-17-11 at 12:39 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Decatur_Tide View Post
    This is one heck of deal right here, especially with all the nice components, and it's made in the U.S.A.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...w_xi.htm#specs
    Not saying it's not a deal, but from Wikipedia:

    "The name Motobécane is also used for bikes of Taiwanese manufacture distributed through bikesdirect.com.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  19. #19
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Decatur_Tide View Post
    This is one heck of deal right here, especially with all the nice components, and it's made in the U.S.A.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...w_xi.htm#specs
    From wiki.."It has no relation to Motobecane USA, which imports bicycles from Taiwan manufactured to their specification by Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd. under the Motobécane trademark."
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  20. #20
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Considering MTB...what to look for?

    I would be looking for elbow pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, a full coverage helmet, and above all a good bone doctor, and osteopath.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    What's with the Wikepedia links? It's not exactly news that Motobecane is a brand name used by Bikes Direct and not the old French company. And the only moderate priced bikes not made in Taiwan nowadays are the ones made in China, no matter who is selling them.

    EDIT: I see now that the post above had originally incorrectly claimed the bike was made in USA.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 11-17-11 at 07:18 PM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    hard to replicate test rides virtually. cruise the shops, ride stuff.

    $500 gets you disc brakes, and a decent Sus fork, and components.

  23. #23
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
    Considering MTB...what to look for?

    I would be looking for elbow pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, a full coverage helmet, and above all a good bone doctor, and osteopath.
    It doesn't have to be a crash fest, Phil. Get some instruction, find some tame terrain, and stay within yourself.
    When I try to talk roadies into trying mtb riding, they picture flying off cliffs and such.

  24. #24
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    It doesn't have to be a crash fest, Phil. Get some instruction, find some tame terrain, and stay within yourself.
    When I try to talk roadies into trying mtb riding, they picture flying off cliffs and such.
    20 years ago, when I was a bit younger and stronger, I used to crash pretty good on my bike while riding near my home in the Colorado mountains. Now that I'm one of those guys who qualifies for Medicare, I've slowed down and am taking the surfaced roads. And my mountain bike, though she's proven herself in the mountains, is happy with road tires on pavement. So a mountain bike and its rider don't really have to act like an 18-year old hammerhead.
    Who is John Galt?

  25. #25
    Icantre Member stonefree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    20 years ago, when I was a bit younger and stronger, I used to crash pretty good on my bike while riding near my home in the Colorado mountains. Now that I'm one of those guys who qualifies for Medicare, I've slowed down and am taking the surfaced roads. And my mountain bike, though she's proven herself in the mountains, is happy with road tires on pavement. So a mountain bike and its rider don't really have to act like an 18-year old hammerhead.
    I am this only substitute the word Texas in place of Colorado without so many mountains. I have found lately though that I like any type of "racing" bike that's somewhat used but maybe not much, simply because the ride is so much better. Frame, wheels and components of racing bikes are most likely to work much better than most bikes (especially MTB's) and you can get a multithousand dollar bike in titanium or carbon for a few hundred if you shop EBAY or CL persistently until you find what you want. I have two current bikes that I found this way.
    "If we don't change direction, we will end up exactly where we are headed."

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