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  1. #1
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    looking for advice on purchasing a bike..

    hi, i just recently bought a fs bike at costco and fell in love with riding again. however now i want a nicer bike ! ill let friends ride the costco crap heap when they visit hehe.
    anyhow im 6' 200 lbs. 35 year old male i live in the country and ride mostly on asphalt, gravel roads, logging roads, riverbeds.
    i want a bike that is comfortable on the roads for about 3-5 miles each way, that i can also take off road once i get to where im going. i wont be jumping alot but the riverbeds and logging roads do get kind of rough...
    the bike shops in the area have
    trek
    cannondale
    kona
    giant
    raleigh
    specialized

    im looking to spend around $1000 usd with my primary interests being comfort/fit for my size, and starting with a good bike that i can upgrade as time goes on. any suggestions appreciated !

  2. #2
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    If i were you i'd look most seriously at the Trek, Giant, Specialized, and Kona. The fuel 80 is a good starter bike, but it is intended for pretty much XC only and thus at your weight durability might be a problem, but then again it depends on style. The Kona will be the strongest, but weight the most and the suspension won't be that of the Specialized. Specialized offers the best suspension design in the group with it's 4-bar design. It's a great platform to build off of and i believe some of the larger guys in here just recently got Rockhopper FSR's. I have an FSR but am a light guy so i dont know about durability. If you look at giant forget the warp. Those suck. WHich leaves you with the NRS 3. Good bike, the suspension is an inverted 4-bar so it will be the most efficent, but also gives up a plush and supple feel.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Get a hardtail. As I've stated many times before newbies (also defined as those upgrading from X-mart bikes) shouldn't buy a full suspension bike as they tend to develop bad habits as well as a dependency on the suspension. If you were to buy a hardtail bicycle you would be able to learn how to ride smoothly through obstacles (called picking a line) so that if you do upgrade to a FS bike you'll be able to read the section better and be able to just blast through. Riding a hardtail will also allow you to get better components for the kind of money you're looking to spend as well as save you from having to perform the additional maintenance that not every newbie will have the ability to perform. Check out Funbag's post for more info on bikes you should try.

    On kind of a side note / rant: (I'm not attacking anyone in particular) I'm sick of people who can't ride worth dog crap buying $$$ full suspension bikes only to ride them only on paved roads, fireroads, bunny trails and NEVER on the terrain they're intended for. Then they whine and complain about how they don't have the right this, that, or the other, for the kind of riding they ACTUALLY DO. Here's an example:
    (dramatization based on fact) "I've had this insert $$$ bling bling brand / model here bike a whole month and I only ride on fireroads and light trails. The problem is I wore out my insert part here. They must not be very good because I don't feel I got my money's worth out of them. (Never-mind they were used for something they weren't designed for in the first place) Oh by the way is this insert $$$ replacement part also NOT suited for their riding style here any good?"
    [/rant]

    In short buy what is appropriate to the riding you really do not what others deem to be cool.


    edit: Spelling, slight re-wording, more color coding for better point emphasis
    Last edited by Raiyn; 03-20-03 at 01:07 AM.

  4. #4
    Nikon Nemisis Hawkphoto's Avatar
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    Right on Raign. I second your sentiments...

    And, Get a HARDTAIL! Be a MAN!

    I can't believe how many people shudder at the mere thought of riding a hardtail. Gotta get back to the roots man...

    Roots is Fun!

    Mike
    "I WIll Shoot You On Site!" ;)

  5. #5
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hawkphoto

    I can't believe how many people shudder at the mere thought of riding a hardtail. Gotta get back to the roots man...
    I actually went from no suspension at all to full-suspension. I skipped the front-fork upgrade because I felt it would weird out my handling so I just suffered with a hardnose for ten years. Acrtually it wasn't that bad at all. I just couldn't go bombing down trails as fast as people with hardtails and had to pick much smoother lines.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  6. #6
    Nikon Nemisis Hawkphoto's Avatar
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    Yeah Khoun,

    I rode RIGID right up until 1999! I rode everything that everyone else was riding, (and got A LOT more exhileration out of it!) It taught me SOOOO much about handling, finesse, balance, and how to relax and flow with the bike - to let the bike do the work beneath you. I owe all of my current skill (which may or may not impress anybody in particular) to the experience gained riding rigid.

    There is nothing wrong with Full Suspension bikes! They are great, and they enhance performance in many, but not ALL situations. It's just that there is a MUCH STEEPER learning curve for a beginer while riding a bike without suspension! Suspension absorbs and negates all of the information, or feedback, that a trail gives to the bike, and hence the rider, which lets him or her know whether or not they are doing something right or wrong...

    I will ALWAYS have a hardtail in my wheeled arsenal!

    Mike
    "I WIll Shoot You On Site!" ;)

  7. #7
    Part of the furniture math2p14's Avatar
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    I agree with Raiyn and Hawk about the hardtails. Its like wanting to learn how to race-drive on a Ferrari. You will end up picking turns with 50km/h only whereas with a good training-race car you will develop gradually to pick turns at 100km/h (thats advice from a semi-pro rally driver ...not me though ). Anyway as a matter of personal taste i really love the looks of a hardtail over an fs rig.
    Where the skid marks stop...the tree begins....:D:D:D:D:D

  8. #8
    Got Jesus? bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
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    I see your insistance to start with a hard tail like insisting that someone start a home audio system with a good old turntable and vinyl LP because they'll gain a better appreciation for the music, how to care for the LP's and the turntable, etc.

    Technology has advanced. There is still a place for Hard Tails - but why make the beginner suffer? Why recommend something to a beginner that he/she may very well want to upgrade to a Full Suspension bike within a year? A Fully Suspended bike is so much easier on your body, your back, your learning curve...

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    bikeColorada...

    Do you not believe learning on a ht will give them their knocks better. Make them learn to ride smoother...mke the learn how to crash better. I tend to believe this point as (and I will apply this directly to freeriding lets say just because thats where I am headed).

    You learn skinnies on a dually. You are allowed to make mistakes as the dually sucks them up. The drop at the end you can mess up the landing because the dually sucks it up. You move up. You are now onto the 7 ft skinnies. Falling sucks. You suck (not YOU but ... well you understand) you really don't know how to ride. Doing drop must now require SKILL and the bike and you are making mistaks normally left for people riding ht's on smaller hits. But guess what 7ft drop mistakes HURT.

    On a ht you do the same skinnies. You fall it hurts a bit you keep trying. Every landing, Every bump is felt and you learn to bounce you legs and absorb everything with your body. You get skills. Move up to the bigger hits. You know how to land but it hurts a little because of the ht. So you get a dually do the 7 to 10 footers and guess what you have learned how to ride so well you are freaking fast...

    oh and you still have a ht for urban and dj's...I could think up many more example but hey...I don't want to write them all out.

    Oh one caveat...for a beginner never looking to go beyond basic fireroads and nice trails I totally agree with you bikeColorado. A nice dually would be fine and the skills don't need to progress much futher then pedalling and steering...

  10. #10
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    If you are a newbie you really should learn to ride a Hardtail first. I rode one for 4 years(5-9th grade) and they really do help. I learned everything the hard way on the HT and it has helped out a lot. I have an FSR right now but i long for a HT, but not a rigid. My next bike is definately a 29'er. I rode one in a race b/c the FSR was down(my f*ck up) and it kicked ass for the course it was on and the 29" wheels roll soooooooooooooo well in the 2-track and open areas

  11. #11
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    well i appreciate the debate of hardtail vs. FS, however i dig ditches, drive a tractor with no suspension, and do alot of other manual labor all day which leaves me with a sore back quite often.
    while i appreciate the idea of learning better on a hardtail, the thought of beating my back even more after work or on my days off just doesnt really appeal to me too much
    like i say im not going to be bombing off 6' drops anyhow, i really love riding and exploring off road and just want to enjoy it as much as possible, if that means being a newb on a fs bike, so be it !!
    I am leaning towards the rockhopper w/ disc brakes it sure is a beautiful bike...any 6' guys have one? what frame size do you use?

  12. #12
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    ask Raiyn

  13. #13
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    First of all, I usually suggest a HT over a FS to a newbie for some of the reasons mentioned above, but mostly because of value. You'll be able to buy a better bike w/better components as a HT over a FS. The extra shock, the pivots...etc. cost more, and unless you're going to spend over $1,000 the value just isn't there!

    BTW, height of a person doesn't determine frame size. Your inseam (crotch lenght) is the key factor. Get thee to a LBS and do some test riding!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  14. #14
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I'm going to recommend this: A Fuji Tahoe
    as a great value. (I'm seriously considering one for my next bike) Here's the write up.

    Tahoe This is the model that both Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazine called a great bike and a great value. We think all Fuji’s are this, but for this model we spec a Altair 2 butted aluminum frame, RockShox’s new Pilot XC suspension fork, Shimano Deore LX 27 speed drive train, TruVativ 5D forged crank with FSA ISIS bottom bracket and best of all the award winning Avid disc brake system. This reads like the wish list of every enthusiast. USA Suggested Retail Price $949. USD

    My opinion get this with a set of riser bars (for a more upright position which is easier on the back. and one of these: A Cane Creek Thud buster

    and the write up:

    Thudbuster™ Seatpost
    By adding the Thudbuster’s rear suspension, you’ll ride faster, longer and stronger, with better traction and control and less fatigue. The performance and relative low weight and simplicity make it hands-down the most efficient suspension upgrade you can make to your hardtail. And the suspension has been further refined for 2001.

    Construction: Based on a patented parallel-link design, the Thudbuster provides up to 3.9 inches of active stiction-free travel. The Double Barrel elastomers provide the compression and rebound damping and can be easily exchanged to tune the suspension.

    Who rides it: XC riders who go faster by improving traction (spin seated through rough terrain) and reducing fatigue. Also, anyone looking for a softer ride that won’t ruin what’s right about hardtails.

    The better positioning plus the thudbuster should be easy enough on your back to allow you to drop off of a 6" inch curb and not have it go straight up your back

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by reign
    ...snip...
    I am leaning towards the rockhopper w/ disc brakes it sure is a beautiful bike...any 6' guys have one? what frame size do you use? ...snip....
    Well reign (people are going to have to watch their spelling around here from now on. )I'm guessing your referring to the Rockhopper FSR Comp Disc?. Honestly? You'd come out better and cheaper if you were to go with the Rockhopper FSR Comp and had the LBS slap on a set of AVID mechanical discs (I have them they're great.) Or you could order them from Pricepoint for $70 (per wheel) and install them yourself (They come with good instructions that a chimp could follow.) The only difference (other than color) between the $1400 Comp Disc model and the regular $1000 Comp model is the brakes. I'm sorry (no I'm not) $400 bucks more for Deore level hydros? No way! The Comp comes with everything you'd need to convert over except the brakes, cables, and cable housings. It has the mounting points and is equipped from the factory with disc hubs.

    If you want to see what I changed on mine go here .

    I will say this though the Fuji I pointed out to you will be lighter (read easier to ride and pedal) and does come with the disc brakes installed and set up as I showed you you'll get a very nice bike that won't kick your butt yet allow you to grow into the sport teaching you skills that only a hardtail can.

  16. #16
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    thanx for the great advice raiyn, i went to the LBS to buy some stuff to convert my costco special into a commuter and check out bikes. My plan was to look at the exact setup you suggested, however my mind said look at the hardtails, and my body walked straight to the fs specialized bikes hehe.
    anyhow they wanted to sell me a 2002 specialized enduro comp for 1150, is this a good buy? it sure seems like what im looking for as far as comfort, fit & how i ride...yeah i know its not a hardtail but it sure is a sweet bike

    not sure why but man i sure like the fs specialized bikes....

  17. #17
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    Will a locked 0ut FS give the same benefits as a hardtail?
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  18. #18
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Not a bad deal at all. If you can afford it, get it. It's a sweet deal and you will not regret it!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dazco
    Will a locked 0ut FS give the same benefits as a hardtail?
    Technically yes, but if you're going to do that you should have gotten the hardtail in the first place. A good hardtail is going to be lighter than any FS rig lockout or not which is also a key benifit in the learning to manuever department (it's easier to toss a lighter bike around and correct when things go bad.) Also any shock with a "lockout" has a blow off valve to protect the shock from damage should you forget to "turn it back on" which is just one more thing to remember to do.

  20. #20
    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    Look at a 29" hardtail. They roll over everything and those big tires are almost as good as a rear suspension. I am in FL so I do not really need a suspension just the ability to roll over big roots and branches. A Fisher Mt. Tam may be the ticket.

  21. #21
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    29" wheels are way too flexy for my taste. INHO it's another of Gary Fisher's hyped up niche "innovations". That plus the limited tire and fork selection doesn't make for a good choice for someone just starting out. But hey if it works for you great.

  22. #22
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    hey just wanted to follow up and show ya guys what i wound up getting !!! (ordered it today should be here/ built by friday)...

    http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...l=road&my=2003

    yeah its not a mountain bike, i decided they just arent ideal for what i am going to use my bike for...thanx alot for everyones advice, cya on the road !!

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