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  1. #1
    Riding a bitsa
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    What bike best fits?

    I had my mountain bike stolen along with my daughter's road and mountain bikes. After a bit of a search and a meaningless report to the police, I'm ready to replace them. While she's an easy buy, I'm not so much.

    My previous bike was a Cannondale P-Bone suspended mid level bike. It served me well and I'd probably keep it until it dissolved had it not been stolen. I figure to use this loss as an opportunity to improve my situation some.

    1. When I got the Cannondale I thought I was going mostly offroading. That turned out not to be true because I kept crashing and getting hurt. So I rode it mostly as an urban assault vehicle / commuter and lite trail / XC bike. The worst the new bike will ever see is a drop off of a fairly low curb. I didn't like the Cannondale's high mass. Since I figure that mass is a factor of strength and I don't need much frame strength anymore, I'd like a much lighter bike (lighter duty, you see) but still have it reasonable for my 'touring' around on lite duty XC trails / forest roads. Ideally I'd like a bike no more than about 21 lbs or 9.5 kg.

    2. If the front suspension on the Cannondale did me any good, I couldn't notice it. It wasn't a real suspension but just a sponge of some sort. I think I'd be happier with a real suspension which involves coil springs and dampning if this is reasonable given my mass considerations. If I need to stick to the sponges, I guess I will.

    3. What good does a lockout on the front suspension do? I've seen them on even fairly cheap mtn bikes and don't get it.

    4. I don't see any value in full suspension bikes for my purposes even if I can lock out the rear. Do you agree?

    5. I'm somewhat price insensitive, but a visit over the the weight weenies board to find a light bike scared me a bit when I see what those guys shell outf for their bikes. OTOH, they are looking for 8 kg where I am not going for that light.

    6. I'd prefer used because I figure that even though I'm a bit price insensitive (I'll pay for what I want if I get all worked up) I figure I can get better for the buck used than new. Also a few nicks on the paint will make me feel better after I add my own.

    7. I'm frame material agnostic. My Cannnondale was Al and very harsh riding. My friend says Ti is the way to go. My road bike (not stolen!!) is Al and I'm happy with it but it's easy riding (not Cannondale). I'm also brand agnostic.

    Recommendations? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Breitling's Avatar
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    I'd say go with a steel or aluminum hybrid like the trek 7000 series (7200, 7500, etc.)
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live." -Mark Twain

    Orbea Onix (Ultegra/105)

  3. #3
    Riding a bitsa
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    A Trek 7XXX weighs about 20 lbs? I thought they were much heavier.

  4. #4
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    I had a Trek 7200 hybrid. They are heavy (30 lbs +) and the fork is crappy. My advice is if you want a front suspension fork get a mountain bike. A 29 inch mountain bike would be good because it is almost like a hybrid. You could put skinny road tires on it if you were going to road riding only.

    A lockout fork would suit you well when riding on the road especially when climbing hills.

    Titanium is very expensive. You can get a quality ride with any material with the right seat, fork and tires.

    You can get a decent used bike on Ebay but you're not going to buy a quality bike for dirt cheap. Maybe pay half the price on new.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


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  5. #5
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    It’s hard enough putting a guy on the proper bike for him when he is standing right in front of you. It becomes easier when you can ride together and get a feel for his skill level. But with only a few words, no matter how well chosen, to go on, it’s going to be just general advice.

    I don’t mean to be abrupt about this but if you don’t know what the advantage there is in a lock out then perhaps a lot of technical talk is just that.

    Every bike invention and improvement that is of any real utility has been copied in a cheaper non-functional or semi-functional version to put on bikes at the lower price points.

    I would look for a bike that is being sold by a guy your size that is selling to get money to upgrade to a better bike. Someone with experience, not someone who is selling that first horrible first bike purchase mistake. The best used bikes come from bike mechanics. The other side of that coin is that those guys ride the cr@p out of their bikes.

  6. #6
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide
    A Trek 7XXX weighs about 20 lbs? I thought they were much heavier.
    If you are looking for a 20 pound mountain bike be prepared to spend some money, close to $3,000 is a good starting point. I have between $4,000 and $5,000 in mine and it weighs 20.75 pounds.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  7. #7
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    I'll add my 2 cents.

    What's your budget, roughly? That info will get you far better responses.

    No, you wouldn't need, or even want, full suspension. For your riding it wouldn't be an advantage. It would just make the bike heavier, pricier, and less efficient.

    Lockout might be a very good idea. Sounds like you'd make good use of it. But I wouldn't consider lack of it a dealbreaker.

    Buying used can be great, if you're lucky. Unfortunately, used bikes in great shape can be tough to find, especially when you're looking for something specific. And it's always a bit of a gamble. Sellers aren't always completely forthcoming, you don't know exactly what to expect if all you've got is internet photos, and there's a chance the things that are wrong with the bike are things you won't think/know to check until it's too late. After all, there's gotta be some reason a like-new bike is being sold after so little use.

    Your best bet might be to buy new but look for deals on previous-seasons' models at your LBS.

    And if you're looking for something a little more supple, consider a nice steel frame. Not as nice as Ti, but not as expensive.
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member j944's Avatar
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    Try your local LBS and ride a couple of their demo's to get an idea of what you want. Then look on ebay they have any for sale or possibly your bikes.

    Sorry to hear about your loss.

  9. #9
    Riding a bitsa
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    If you are looking for a 20 pound mountain bike be prepared to spend some money, close to $3,000 is a good starting point. I have between $4,000 and $5,000 in mine and it weighs 20.75 pounds.
    Yes. I figure a good used one at roughly $2k. I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't particularly price sensitive. The weight weenie guys spend a heck of a lot more to get 8,3 kg. I can't see bothering because this bike is really to ride and not a project to assemble and then brag at what I have and what it masses.

  10. #10
    Riding a bitsa
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    Quote Originally Posted by j944
    Try your local LBS and ride a couple of their demo's to get an idea of what you want. Then look on ebay they have any for sale or possibly your bikes.

    Sorry to hear about your loss.
    I have looked on eBay finding many different examples, but thought to narrow the selection down by asking here first. I'm uncomfortable shopping my LBS's and then buying on eBay if I had the intent to shop the LBS and then buy elsewhere.

  11. #11
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide
    Yes. I figure a good used one at roughly $2k. I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't particularly price sensitive. The weight weenie guys spend a heck of a lot more to get 8,3 kg. I can't see bothering because this bike is really to ride and not a project to assemble and then brag at what I have and what it masses.
    If you're willing to sacrifice a couple of pounds, you could get a really nice hardtail for $2000. Of course, if your local shops don't carry any brands you're interested in and you have to order or travel anyway, you won't benefit from much of the advantage of buying new (eg., test rides, discounts on accessories, free/discounted maintenance support, etc.)
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  12. #12
    Riding a bitsa
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    I only want to buy used to save money or buy more than I'd get new for the same money. Unlike others, I'm ok with a few scratches, etc. on the finish or a model a few years old if I can save about half (or more). I figure what I want is about a $4k bike initially, but my budget is about half. That leaves me in the used dept.

    My LBS's have plenty of bikes and brands, but no used.

  13. #13
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    If you are willing to spend that kind of money and you want light then check out bikes such as the Specialized S-works M5 hardtail and the Giant XTC. Both awesome bikes and should be in your price range when looking a couple of years back. Just try to get as many pictures as possible if purchasing on-line. Also check out some of the Yeti hardtails, those are very nice as well.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  14. #14
    Riding a bitsa
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    I've seen both and agree that both are good candidates for me. I am partial toward the S-Works because my road bike is one and I'm thrilled with it each time I ride, but I'm not at all brand loyal. If the Giant worked better, I'd buy it. I will surely look for either when shopping. Thx.

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