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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike recommendations?

    Hello all. First time posting here. I am looking for decent mountain bike under $300. I am looking at a few models and need your opinions.

    NorthRock XC6 $299. It is a bike from Costco and I've heard it is good quality and has a good frame. Reviewers have said it is not possible to find a better bike for this price.

    http://www.northrockbikes.com/mountain-xc6.php

    Kawasaki DX226FS 26-Inch Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

    http://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-DX226...pr_product_top


    What do you think of these 2 bikes?

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    What are your intentions with the bike? Actual offroad? I myself would invest more money as the low end components really suffer in the dirt.

    Either way, road or trails, I'd pass on the Kawi full suspension. Once the low end rear suspension breaks, it's toast. I've had buds with GT mtb's lose the bike due to lack of hard to find replacement parts. Maybe things have inproved over the last few years though I wouldn't risk it.

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    I wont be doing much off road riding. Just plan to take it to the park or just cruising around the city.

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    I wont be doing much off road riding. Just plan to take it to the park or just cruising around the city.
    Ahh, I'd go for the hardtail myself. I had a Trek 800 years ago, $250 rigid (no suspension at all). It had similar components and it did well in the city. Some light trails but nothing too dirty or wet. I did end up upgrading the wheels to Deore hubs/Mavic rims ($99 sale). Plus some slick tires, ended up being and excellent bike for intended use.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    Hello all. First time posting here. I am looking for decent mountain bike under $300. I am looking at a few models and need your opinions.

    NorthRock XC6 $299. It is a bike from Costco and I've heard it is good quality and has a good frame. Reviewers have said it is not possible to find a better bike for this price.

    http://www.northrockbikes.com/mountain-xc6.php

    Kawasaki DX226FS 26-Inch Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

    http://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-DX226...pr_product_top


    What do you think of these 2 bikes?
    Not the Kawasaki. You can buy something very similar at HellMart for the same or lower and you won't have to pay shipping.

    I'd council against the NorthRock too. It's not a bad bike but, generally, if you can by a giant cheese wheel where you buy your bike, you probably should buy either one there.

    Get thee to a bike shoppe! If you have to ask the question of 'which bike for me?', you probably should be buying your bike (or your cheese) at Costco. A bike shop provides you with more than just a bike. The bike you get is assembled by someone who may actually know what they are doing, rather than the kid that puts out the cheese wheels. They will help you with fit. They will tune the bike in a few hundred miles when everything settles in. You pay a little more but only a little and you get peace of mind.

    You can buy a Specialized Hardrock (without disc brakes) for around $350. If you insist on having discs, you can buy a disc equipped bike for about $150 more. At this level, that's not a real good use of your money. You can also get a Trek 820 for about the same price. If you have a Jamis dealer near, you can get a Jamis Trail X1 for about the same price as the other bikes.
    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
    Senior Member NE Tiger's Avatar
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    Good advice there from Cyccommute, with one qualification: You could, as he says, get the Specialized Hardrock and be fine, but if you want an entry level Trek the 820 is made of steel. For that $350 you can get an aluminum Trek 3500.
    "On a traffic light green means 'go' and yellow means 'slow down', but on a banana it's just the opposite. Green means 'hold on,' yellow means 'go ahead,' and red means, 'where the **** did you get that banana?"

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE Tiger View Post
    Good advice there from Cyccommute, with one qualification: You could, as he says, get the Specialized Hardrock and be fine, but if you want an entry level Trek the 820 is made of steel. For that $350 you can get an aluminum Trek 3500.
    The 3500 is $400 MSRP for a 2011. I suspect that you could find it for closer to $350 on sale but that's would vary from place to place. I suspect that you could find the Hardrock for close to $300 and the 820 for $250, too. But, again, that's dependent on many factors outside our control.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    Thank you for your advice guys. I went to a LBS and they really did not have anything for me. The most affordable mountain bike they had was around 450 and that was for a bike with no front suspension and no disk brakes. The bikes with comparable specs to the Northrock XC6 cost around $600 in the LBS.

    I found a 2010 Trek 3500 for around 360 online. I'd have to put it together myself though. If i bought an assembled Northrock Xc6 and take it to the LBS for a tune up and to make sure it was put together correctly. Would this be a decent option?

    Regarding the Kawasaki dual suspension. I have ruled out buying this bike, however I was wondering if this bike is actually built by Kawasaki? I am guessing there is no way and it is probably just a brand name on some cheapo walmart bike.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    Thank you for your advice guys. I went to a LBS and they really did not have anything for me. The most affordable mountain bike they had was around 450 and that was for a bike with no front suspension and no disk brakes. The bikes with comparable specs to the Northrock XC6 cost around $600 in the LBS.

    I found a 2010 Trek 3500 for around 360 online. I'd have to put it together myself though. If i bought an assembled Northrock Xc6 and take it to the LBS for a tune up and to make sure it was put together correctly. Would this be a decent option?

    Regarding the Kawasaki dual suspension. I have ruled out buying this bike, however I was wondering if this bike is actually built by Kawasaki? I am guessing there is no way and it is probably just a brand name on some cheapo walmart bike.
    Find another shop. No way should a mountain bike cost $450 without a suspension fork. The Specialized Hard Rock is $420 with a shock.

    I would be dubious of any bike that is as inexpensive as the Northrock with disc brakes. Discs usually add about $100 to the price of a bike and if they are selling it for $300 they've made some cuts elsewhere. Discs at this level aren't much to write home about anyway.

    Nope the Kawasaki isn't made by Kawasaki. Probably made in a Pacific bicycle factory in China.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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  10. #10
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    I read a review on another site and it mentioned some of the specs for the xc6.

    Aluminum "lightweight" frame
    Shimano Altus shifters - 24 speeds for responsive performance shifting
    SR suntour XCT V2 fork
    Ninja 26x2.10 tires
    Shimano crank
    Tektro IO Disc brakes with shimano EF50 levers
    KMC Chain
    Acera rear derailleur



    i will also take a look at the hardrock specialized. Will see if the LBS has it.

  11. #11
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    Went to another LBS shop and checked out a few bikes. The Hardrock Disk was around $520, which is a little steep for me. The cheapest mtb with disks that they had was $400.
    Last edited by Spetsnaz201; 05-16-11 at 12:22 PM.

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    I have seen the costco bike and I must say I was intrigued. It looks like pretty good stuff for $300. However, do an online fit calculator and figure on having to fix at least a few things. Sometimes stuff is backward on those things. I would want to go on parktool.com or sheldonbrown.com and make sure all the bearings were set correctly such as the hubs or headset. Improper adjustment can make them crap out quick.

    The rear axle will probably crap out fairly soon if you use the bike a lot because it's a freewheel. However, since it's an 8 speed, you can upgrade to any standard modern cassette hub rear wheel, or you can just learn to change out an axle.

    Do an online fit calculator to see if it's the right size for you.

    It MIGHT fall apart. Who knows. But it looks OK.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wiredfoxterror's Avatar
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    Shop Craigslist and you can pick up a spectacular bike for that money.
    Foxye, the Floribbean

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    Spetsnaz201, I take it that you don't have alot of bicycle experiance and because of that a value v. cost debate is a moot point. Go ahead and buy the NorthRock and welcome to the world of cycling.

    Brad

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    Went to another LBS shop and checked out a few bikes. The Hardrock Disk was around $520, which is a little steep for me. The cheapest mtb with disks that they had was $400.
    Why are you dead set on disc brakes?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiredfoxterror View Post
    Shop Craigslist and you can pick up a spectacular bike for that money.
    That's what I would do but it's harder for a new rider to find a used bike that he will be happy with.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  17. #17
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Nope the Kawasaki isn't made by Kawasaki. Probably made in a Pacific bicycle factory in China.
    Most dept. store and even many LBS are made in this factory.
    To OP: have you thought about going with used model? You can get really good quality mountain bikes for a couple hundred bucks if you search some classified ads.

  18. #18
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    My LBS have these 3 models that fit my budget.

    Trek 3700 Disk - $430

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ies/3700_disc#

    Norco Mountaneer Disk - $375

    http://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/...e/mountaineer/

    GT Outpost Disk - $390

    http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...Disc&Type=bike


    Which one of these would you guys recommend? The LBS said that the GT Outpost is better than the Trek 3700 because it has 23 speeds compared to 21 for 3700. The Norco, which is from another LBS also has 21 speeds. I have basically narrowed it down to these 3. Would like some final input.

  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AltheCyclist View Post
    To OP: have you thought about going with used model? You can get really good quality mountain bikes for a couple hundred bucks if you search some classified ads.
    The main problem with going used is the same problem with going with a bike from Costco...lack of experience by the purchaser. A used bike can have any number of problems that an inexperienced cyclist isn't equipped to deal with. He could actually spend more money on a used bike and making repairs to it than he would on a new bike, especially if he doesn't know what to look for. An experienced cyclists with some amount of mechanical knowledge under their belt can easily assess what is a diamond and what is just rust.

    Once a new rider has a little experience with with bicycles and a bit of mechanical knowledge, I'd say go nuts. But the mechanical section of this forum is littered with questions about bad second hand purchases by new riders. Ya ain't savin' any money if you have to buy the bike twice.
    Stuart Black
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  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    My LBS have these 3 models that fit my budget.

    Trek 3700 Disk - $430

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ies/3700_disc#

    Norco Mountaneer Disk - $375

    http://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/...e/mountaineer/

    GT Outpost Disk - $390

    http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...Disc&Type=bike


    Which one of these would you guys recommend? The LBS said that the GT Outpost is better than the Trek 3700 because it has 23 speeds compared to 21 for 3700. The Norco, which is from another LBS also has 21 speeds. I have basically narrowed it down to these 3. Would like some final input.
    The GT is probably a better choice. It does have a 8 speeds (not that important) and it has an 11 tooth cog for the high gear. That 11 tooth cog, paired with the 42 tooth chainwheel, gives you a higher gear ratio. With a 42/13 or 42/14 ratio, you'll spin out the bike (hit the highest speed you can pedal) at a pretty low speed. The 11 tooth cog also suggest a freehub instead of a freewheel which makes life easier if you want to upgrade or replace the cassette.

    Everything else is equal for the most part.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Why are you dead set on disc brakes?

    I found a few nice trails where I live so I figured why not get the disk brakes right now. It would cost more than $150 to add them later anyway. It is only a slight difference in price anyway.

  22. #22
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    You can do some really nice riding on V-brakes too. The best attribute of disc brake IMO is the smooth power modulation, and I am not sure that entry level disc brakes are noticeably better than v-brakes in that regard. If I had the choice of getting better forks/shifters instead of getting entry level disc brakes, I'd pick the former every time.

    If the wheel is 'disc ready', it's not hard to install the brakes yourself (I installed hydraulic disc brakes on my bike when I was complete novice going through a phase of upgradeitis).

    Does your LBS carry Giant bikes. Usually Giant gives you pretty good value for your money. You should be able to get a Ravel 1 if you stretch your budget just slightly.

    Lastly, the difference between these bikes in the same price range are almost negligible. So stick with one that feel the best, and if they all feel 'good', just pick the one with your favorite paint scheme (I am completely serious). It's more important to get a bike that makes you go 'DAMN that's a sweet looking bike' everyday than to get three extra gears that you most likely will not miss.

  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketJeff View Post
    Lastly, the difference between these bikes in the same price range are almost negligible. So stick with one that feel the best, and if they all feel 'good', just pick the one with your favorite paint scheme (I am completely serious). It's more important to get a bike that makes you go 'DAMN that's a sweet looking bike' everyday than to get three extra gears that you most likely will not miss.
    I agree with you everything you've said. Even on choosing the color that you like. However, the number of gears isn't as important as the range of gearing. At 80rpm a 42/14 is going to top out at 18.5mph. A 42/13 is going to top out at 20 mph and a 42/11 is going to top out at 24 mph. None of them are fast but having to stop pedaling at 18.5 mph is frustrating. It doesn't take much of an incline to get up to that speed. With a taller high gear and a cassette equipped freehub, the GT is a slightly better bike. Not by much but enough that you could overlook any issues with color scheme.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  24. #24
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    I decided not to get either of those bikes. If I was to increase my budget to $500, would I be able to find a much better bike. I am looking at the following bikes.

    Specialized Hardrock Disk
    Giant Revel 1
    Fuji Nevada 2.0
    Jamis Trail X2

    I assume that all of these are not freewheel. Is there one clearly better than the other?

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz201 View Post
    I decided not to get either of those bikes. If I was to increase my budget to $500, would I be able to find a much better bike. I am looking at the following bikes.

    Specialized Hardrock Disk
    Giant Revel 1
    Fuji Nevada 2.0
    Jamis Trail X2

    I assume that all of these are not freewheel. Is there one clearly better than the other?
    Any of them would be good. The Jamis is probably the worst of the lot. I'd probably look at the Jamis X3 for comparison, rather than the X2. Try 'em all.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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