I finally picked up a new bike yesterday, after looking all week.
I went into a not-so local bike shop yesterday, because I wanted to check out the Kona's and Marin's they carried. They were a bit out of the way to get to, but the trip was worth it. I had pretty much settled on a Fisher Marlin or Tass, but I wanted to check out the other bikes first. I had read about the Kona Blast, and really wanted to check that one out.
So I went to this Marin/Kona shop, and started looking around.The Konas are SICK! They have some mean looking bikes. Anyway,this one Marin catches my eye, (Bobcat Trail) mainly because of the color. So I start looking it over, out of curiousity. The bike shop guy comes over and tells me that if I like the bike, they have a leftover '04 in a different color that's way discounted. I'm not THAT interested, since it's not really what I had in mind to get, it was a little lower end. But I go over and look at the bike, and he starts telling me about it. Seems pretty good, and it was pretty light, esp. compared to the Specializeds I had ridden. SO I take it for a ride, and I was impressed! It had a comfy riding position, shifted great (Acera bikes CAN shift good!!), was pretty light, and the fork wasn't too mushy.
Original price of the bike, and the price of the '05, was $499.....I got the '04 for $350. Seemed like a pretty good deal. They have a great trade-in policy, and a 30-day money back guarantee, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I was originally going for something higherend, but I figured that between the good price and money back policy,I couldn't go wrong. The sad truth is that I'll be doing WAY more street riding than trails, so this should be plenty bike for now.
I took it for a along ride today and was impressed. I think I'll keep it, it should make a good city bike. He even said if I want to swap the tires for slicks, he'll do it for me for free within 30 days.
It's got Acera stuff on it, but like I siad, it shifts fine. It also has a low end fork (a Spinner, supposedly a spin off of Rock Shoxs, designed to be a OEM piece only) w/80mm of travel. It seems to do fine on the street. It also has Shimano discs and IRC tires. I think I did okay for the price.
Thier trade in policy is 70% of the msrp within the first year, so if I trade it in, I'll get exactly what I paid for it. Figured I couldn't go wrong.
Oh, and here's the bike. Mine's just silver instead of black.