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  1. #1
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    newbie w/ standard newbie questions. yr patience and tolerance is appreciated...

    -howdy kids...


    so i've been lurking for a while, and reading up on past threads, and i'm aware of the general ire that comes from asking the same questions over and over again, especially really generic ones

    but more or less, i'm looking to buy a bike (yeah yeah yeah, i know. i've read tons of threads w/ the exact same questions - so i'll try and be more specific) -

    i can ride pretty well - i used to race bmx when i was a kid, and then started on the mountain bikes afterwards - but up until recently, it had been about 12 yrs or so since i had ridden. but i've started up, and i've refound my love of biking - and it's call come back pretty quick - however, the technology and such has changed dramatically since i really followed the sport.

    as far as what i know i'm looking for in a bike - i'd like something slightly above "entry level" - but i really don't know the stats for components. i like to ride cross country - mostly single track and carriadge trails - i'm not a tech rider, but i do enjoy having some challenges in the trails that i do ride. but i'm not at the level where i'm going jumping off cliffs, or riding on trail-less paths. i'm looking for a hard tail, and i'd also like something w/ disk brakes (i live in nyc, and good braking in all conditions whilst riding through traffic is a good idea). i prefer flat pedals to clipless, and i like a bike w/ geometry that's easy for me to maneuver (if i have to put a foot down for a sharp turn, or balance, i like to be able to do that comfortably). i'm not looking for pro, top of the line - but i'd like something that's going to hold it's own on the trails and will last (i'm not in the market often enough for a bike - it's hard as it is to get out of the city - and bikes here are stolen constantly) so i'm hoping this one will last me for a while, unless all the sudden i earn tons of money and can afford to ride on a weekly basis.

    i went in to my lbs, and sort of explained this stuff to the chap working there, and his recommendation based on my experience and price point was the marin hawk hill (doesn't have disk brakes though). he explained that he said the geometry of the bike allowed for a more open cockpit (i have long arms and legs) which would be appropriate for my body and experience. been reading up on the marin's here, and there really isn't that much talk of them.

    so i'm hoping to have some of you vets weigh in on all this - i'd like to try as many out as possible (hard to really get the feel of a mountain bike whilst riding around on the nyc streets though).

    so any thoughts or suggestions would be useful - i really appreciate yr patience w/ a newbie such as myself - i'm sure these kind of questions get tedious.


    also - if any of you live in the nyc area and know of some good trails that one can get to w/ out the use of a car - that would be swell. i love it, but it's just a lot to rent a car/hotel everytime i want to ride on something that isn't pavement.


    thanks,



    -joshua...

  2. #2
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    Marin is a fine company and that bike looks like it has good components.

    Marz mz comp 100mm fork is ok

    deore rear derrailler

    a step up from the bottom rung of entry level.

    The website says it comes with disc hubs, even though it had v brakes. That will make upgrading to discs nice and easy later on if you so choose. definately a plus.

    You are buying a 2005 bike if it has no discs though. They should be giving you a good deal on it. The 2006 model has discs (SE, I don't even see the base Hawk hill in their 2006 lineup) , and since the list is $570, I think 450-500 is the range you should pay for it

    Oh almost forgot; Damn noob and your stupid questions. growl

  3. #3
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    A friendly piece of advice. Use compete sentences with proper punctuation and capitalization. Your post is almost impossible to read. You will get many more useful replies that way.

    As for bikes check a few other shops out and try to look at kona's and specialized hard rocks. Marin's are very nice bikes but there are a lot of nice bikes in the same price range.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  4. #4
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Test ride everything! Go to as many shops as is feasible. Try out bikes that are in your price range and above. That way, you can see what you're missing. Get the best hardtail you can possibly afford - it will enhance your riding experience, and you will spend less money than if you upgraded at a later time. You may be better off getting a used hardtail. More bang for your buck, and all the test riding you have done will help you decide whether your "previously enjoyed" bike is working the way you want it to. The Specialized Stumpjumper [any model] is a neutral handling bike that is perfect for general trail riding. Same thing with the Trek 6500, 6700, etc.

    Other things to consider: do you really need disc brakes? Low-end disc brakes are kind of like an on/off switch. It's much easier to lock up the wheels with discs as opposed to v-brakes, which may not be a good thing. Also, looking at the Marin Hawk Hill, it has head/seat angles of 71/74. If you want a more "open" cockpit, look at a bike with a seat angle of 73 degrees. It's kind of splitting hairs, but it's surprising how big a difference it can make. Finally, the shifter can often make more of a difference than the derailleur. You can give a rear der a kick or a tweak to keep it in alignment, but if the shifter won't work correctly, you're boned. I would go with nothing less than Deore for the shifters. LX and XT are much better, but are likely out of your price range.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Callaway's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that around $500 is basically beginner level- so perhaps you should consider bikes up in the $800-$1200+ range? Yes, test ride everything and try different LBS's- some brands to be sure and try if possible- Trek, Specialized, Kona, Giant, Cannondale- do some research on the respective websites and find the bikes in the price range you want and then go in to the shop loaded with questions and a list of what to ride (basically I agree with pinkrobe and I am just saying it a different way I guess...) I most definitely agree with the stumpjumper as to disc brakes, skip getting them stock and put them on yourself- you can get the same brakes, save money, and have a back up pair!
    '83/'85 Shoguns, Ridley Helium, Miyata 600 GT, '85 Peugeot PGN 10, Masi, Giant TCR Advanced (sold), Nishiki Prestige (stolen), Stumpjumper HT (sold) and Trek 830 Mtn XC (traded)

  6. #6
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    I think the long cockpit point was well made, if you were talking xc, it is ridden with the seat higher and body more 'over' the frame. All mountain styles, you sit more upright.
    Upgrade the suspension fork to disc (I imagine it has the disc tab caliper whatever mounts) and use a V-rear. It works fine unless you are a heavy guy.
    To an extreme, for V-brakes, you can sand\etch the rear rim and tar the brake\rim for really good stopping power.
    Often done with a brake booster, a bolted brace connecting the 2 brake bosses on the seatstays.
    Run that setup with a disc front you'll be SET UP!

    http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2..._eldridge.html nice.
    Can't say the hawkhill interests me.
    http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...8&parentid=182 I like this, be a nice bike, last, good parts spread, not too pricey.

    IMO, in XC frame fit is a lot more important, as a poster above said, even headtube angles.
    If you undersize the frame and have too much post showing, you have to ram the seat soo far foreward on the rails and you might not be over the spindles enough.
    Then with the toptube -as you lean foreward, you want the headtube to be not so close as in a allmountain frame -as you are not leaning foreward -rather backwards and leveraging the front up.
    This comes into play as steering, you want the apex not too far back if you are long limbed or an 'areo' position rider.

    O.k...that's enough. Chew on that. Some of my ideas.

    Test ride xc bikes, as many as possible and internet around to find what shops carry what companies.
    Though I don't ride Kona, I would rate them one of the best and buy one if needed.
    I have a fondness for cinder cones.
    Last edited by jeff williams; 10-03-05 at 03:09 PM.

  7. #7
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    I really appreciate all the advice - very helpful. I don't know if i can afford to go much higher then the price point of the marin (listed at 590). I don't need disk brakes per se, but brakes are not something i would want to skimp on. however, many people have said low end disk brakes seem to do more harm then good. I understand that the 500-650 price range is beginner level but considering that i live in the city and that it's rather difficult to make my way out to the trails - i don't know how prudent it would be to drop the cash on something that will only get it's intended use at best, once a month. it also seems to be common practice that if one owns an expensive bike in nyc, they do their best to make it not look so. that and i've been told it's worthwhile to carry two kinds of locks (chain and u-bar). so essentially, one would be riding around with the weight of another bike strapped to them.

    the rockhopper comp seems to have many of the features people here have suggested and while it is a bit more then i'd want to spend, perhaps i could get a deal now that the season is over, and the new models are on their way out. the stumpjumper is way above my price point - but that would serve as the "top end" bike i try out, and then compare the lower end models to that one. one of the big pluses of the marin is that it's disk brake ready - so that i wouldn't have to sit w/ stock parts, and then could upgrade if i felt it necessary, and do it for a bit less. any thoughts on this...? or can you really upgrade the braking system with any decent bike?

    regarding the open cockpit - the fellow at the store didn't explain why he recommended that to me - what advantages would an open cockpit have over a more closed one...?

    hah. now i'm all paranoid about my posting style. i've been posting for years and never had complaints on my "readability". newbie hazing i suppose, right?

    thanks,

    -joshua...

  8. #8
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    CDN $749.00 | USA $549.00
    Europe 675.00 | UK 450.00
    The kona link I suggested.

    "regarding the open cockpit - the fellow at the store didn't explain why he recommended that to me - what advantages would an open cockpit have over a more closed one...?"

    Some points explained in post #6.

  9. #9
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    sorry to double post.

    but using the "deore" shifters and derailleurs as a guideline (as per the above recommendation) - the following bikes fall within my price point:

    -marin bear valley
    -specialized hard rock pro disc

    also, i don't know how this fits in with everyone's recommendations, but a local shop has a rockhopper for sale (a name i've seen tossed around quite a bit on these forums) for 409 - here's the link
    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price


    thanks again,


    -joshua...

  10. #10
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    thanks, just saw that.

    based on the term, i figured an open cockpit would be the opposite - where one could sit more upright. coming from a bmx background, i've always been more comfortable w/ the seat a bit lower. i've never felt quite as stable w/ a high seat.

    "IMO, in XC frame fit is a lot more important, as a poster above said, even headtube angles.
    If you undersize the frame and have too much post showing, you have to ram the seat soo far foreward on the rails and you might not be over the spindles enough.
    Then with the toptube -as you lean foreward, you want the headtube to be not so close as in a allmountain frame -as you are not leaning foreward -rather backwards and leveraging the front up.
    This comes into play as steering, you want the apex not too far back if you are long limbed or an 'areo' position rider."

    this is a bit above my head - could you explain it in layman's terms? i apologize ahead of time for my ignorance.


    thanks,


    -joshua...

  11. #11
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helenforsdale
    thanks, just saw that.

    based on the term, i figured an open cockpit would be the opposite - where one could sit more upright. coming from a bmx background, i've always been more comfortable w/ the seat a bit lower. i've never felt quite as stable w/ a high seat.

    My saddle is level with the bars.

    "IMO, in XC frame fit is a lot more important, as a poster above said, even headtube angles.
    If you undersize the frame and have too much post showing, you have to ram the seat soo far foreward on the rails and you might not be over the spindles enough.

    As you raise the seat, you have to slide the seat on the saddle rails forward to bring the knee closer to the concentic action of the knee\ pedal revotution.
    Other wise you strain your knees.


    Then with the toptube -as you lean foreward, you want the headtube to be not so close as in a allmountain frame -as you are not leaning foreward -rather backwards and leveraging the front up.
    This comes into play as steering, you want the apex not too far back if you are long limbed or an 'areo' position rider."...
    If you have a short toptube and a long stem the steering is twitchy.
    Too long a toptube, hard to leverage the front of the bike as the weigh\ balance is too far foreward.


    If you have long legs, and a saddle lower than the bars -wouldn't you meet your knees alot?
    XC is about travel, distance. The more correct a riding position, the faster you go, the longer you can go without pain.
    An equal ballance of weight on the bars\saddle\pedals is important. In XC, the saddle is level or above the bars IMO.

    Hopefully somebody can provide links to bike fitting.

    All this writing is a 'take' on what i've read on cycling and my personal exp.
    I XC and do light trials riding.
    Last edited by jeff williams; 10-03-05 at 09:14 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ankush's Avatar
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    if you get that rockhopper your size, that is a good buy. if you are not getting one with disc brakes on closeout sale then you can buy a v brake model and also go to supergo.com and pick up a disc brake for your front wheel. (provided the fork is disk ready).

    i live in an area where it rains all the time and although my v brakes are beautiful when it is dry, a little wet mud on the rims and it all goes to moot. if it is wet where you live disc brakes is a good idea. and you dont have to buy a disc brake for both wheels. i dont see the need..

    you can go here to get reviews of bikes you are interested in: http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/xc_hardtail/

    also, i looked at the website you linked us to (im assuming thats your lbs?) and of the bikes they got there i liked these, keeping in the 500-600 dollar range:

    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price
    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price
    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price
    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price

    i like the cannondale and the hardrock pro best of these

    if you want an above entry level bike though you have shell out more dough

    the rockhopper pro or trek 6700 are nice. i think they retail for about a thousand bucks apiece. check page five of your lbs link.

    if that is too expensive then id have a look at these two, cannondale f400 and the rockhopper comp:

    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price
    http://bicyclerenaissance.com/site/i...=39&sort=Price

    both are with v brakes, but you could buy a front disc from supergo or pricepoint or somewhere

    anyway, all this depends on if they have sizes that fit you

    and i have been ranting for long enough. hope you get your new bike soon. have fun!
    Trek 6500

  13. #13
    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    i say save the writing. take a trip down to a respecable bike shop and have them fit you properly, that is what they are there for.

  14. #14
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    I've had both Trek and Kona brands in the price range you're quoting.

    My suggestion would be to look at the Kona Bikes. My 2001 Kona hardtail is still kicking and the frame has taken quite a few good knocks.

    New Kona stuff is hitting stores now, so if you like the geometry/ride of Kona after a test, you could probably get a good deal..

  15. #15
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx108
    i say save the writing. take a trip down to a respecable bike shop and have them fit you properly, that is what they are there for.
    Know what your talking about and challenge the sizing and see if THEY know anything.
    How many posts about incorrect frame sizing do we get on B.F?
    Thanks for your lack of input.
    Did you learn anything from the stuff I wrote? Anything of any tech you can add?
    Geez, I type with 2 fingers. That was a good run.





    .
    Last edited by jeff williams; 10-04-05 at 03:29 AM.

  16. #16
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    is that adressed to me? or the person who posted that posting on here was a waste?

    everyone keeps mentioning the stumpjumper to me - i found one used, and here are the specs. being offered for 300. any thoughts on it...? i still want to try out the kona and cannondales though.

    are there any posts on how to size a bike out? i'm 6", weigh 155.


    thanks again - everyone has been really helpful.


    here's the ad for the bike:

    SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER DOUBLE BUTTED TANGE STEEL FRAME. NEW "BREEZER" URETHANE PAINT JOB WITH PAINT MATCHING MAG 21SL & CRO-MO FORK. THE SEAT TUBE IS 18" CENTER TO CENTER 19" TO TOP, TOPTUBE IS 23" 1 1/8" HEADTUBE.

    NEW PARTS:
    * AVID 2.0 V-BRAKE & LEVERS
    * SR SUNTOUR ISIS 175mm. CRANKSET
    * TRUVATIVE SL ISIS BB
    * SHIMANO FD M750 FRONT DERAILLEUR
    * SRAM PC 48 CHAIN
    * SRAM 9.0 8spd. GRIP SHIFTERS
    * SPECIALIZED TEAM CONTROL/MASTER (REAR KEVLAR) TIRES
    * VUELTA VXC 2.4 RIMS 32h ON SACHS HUBS
    * ALL NEW SHIFTER/BRAKE CABLES & WIRES.
    * NEW ALLOY RISER BAR.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Callaway's Avatar
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    I would personally be a bit worried about a new paint job- what is trying to be hidden?
    Also X"=inches and X'=feet
    '83/'85 Shoguns, Ridley Helium, Miyata 600 GT, '85 Peugeot PGN 10, Masi, Giant TCR Advanced (sold), Nishiki Prestige (stolen), Stumpjumper HT (sold) and Trek 830 Mtn XC (traded)

  18. #18
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    -callaway...

    very good point. thanks for that.



    -joshua...

    Quote Originally Posted by Callaway
    I would personally be a bit worried about a new paint job- what is trying to be hidden?
    Also X"=inches and X'=feet

  19. #19
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helenforsdale
    -callaway...

    very good point. thanks for that.



    -joshua...
    Not so much, the frame is chromoly steel. A small dent is cosmetic.
    And old Alu frame ...no.
    What year? ..sounds worth a look and a feel ride. Is it local?

    If older, maybe the drive ect has been rebuilt. Emial for more info and post.

    ? ...Kona.....

  20. #20
    How do I shot web?
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    I'm surprised I haven't seen this yet, but if you're a tech newbie/veteran rider, there's a good chance you won't need disc brakes in the first place. V-brakes can provide excellent modulation, and generally (in my experience,) stop your wheels to the point of skidding, so no more grip is needed. You can also get these grooved pads now that cut right through water and thin mud. They're so simple they're hard not to find, and AFAIK, don't cost more by any significant amount.

    Also, for such a low price point, V-brakes could be the way to go. I've read a few times on this forum that v-brakes/calipers are often preferrable to a cheap set of discs, such as those that would be used to "dress up" a cheaper bike.

  21. #21
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuchikoma
    I'm surprised I haven't seen this yet, but if you're a tech newbie/veteran rider, there's a good chance you won't need disc brakes in the first place. V-brakes can provide excellent modulation, and generally (in my experience,) stop your wheels to the point of skidding, so no more grip is needed. You can also get these grooved pads now that cut right through water and thin mud. They're so simple they're hard not to find, and AFAIK, don't cost more by any significant amount.

    Also, for such a low price point, V-brakes could be the way to go. I've read a few times on this forum that v-brakes/calipers are often preferrable to a cheap set of discs, such as those that would be used to "dress up" a cheaper bike.
    Good point.

  22. #22
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    man o man. so i've taken everyone's advice, and the bike that i've liked the most is the rockhopper series. feels really nice. so, i go into my lbs, and they're having a closeout on the 05's and the dude tells me they have the rockhopper comp on sale for 425! in my size as well. they don't have it on the floor, so i take the standard rockhopper out for a test - like it, and i'm ready to throw down for the comp - when all the sudden, it's not there. me thinks the dude quoted me the list price and got scolded by the owner. but i was so excited. a 750+ bike for 425. and nowhere else in the city seems to have it in stock. sons of *****es.




    -joshua...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Glad you liked the Specialized, they have some good entry level bikes. This may sound odd coming from a long time Cannondale fan, but if you're new, avoid Cannondale. The service for the Headshok alone will turn off most prospective buyers. I usually point noobs in the direction of Giant, as they offer very good value, as does Jamis.

  24. #24
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    actually, i'm currently riding a cannondale, it's just a really old one. a hybrid, but it's held up surprisingly well. but what's the deal w/ the head shocks...? the whole cannondale proprietary thing?



    -joshua...

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    The Headshok requires service every couple of months, or 40 hours riding time. And it's not something most people can do at home. And if you want to swap stems - ouch! Hurts the wallet pretty badly. Other than that, they're good bikes. Just not something I would point a newbie towards.

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