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Old 12-20-06, 10:26 AM   #1
jpatkinson
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Help me spend $1000 on a new bike

I am looking for any advice on the best way to spend $1000 on a mountain bike for me: 5'-11" and 185#, fit 41yo guy with swimming, running, and road cycling as my 3-5 day/week typical exercise regimen. I will mostly be cycling in the Marin Headlands and the Santa Cruz Mountains. I like the fire-road experience more than the super-technical stuff. I am doing this for fitness and as a great way to spend my weekends [off the busy streets of SF, where I usually use my road bike].

I was originally thinking of spending around $2k, but have decided that I probably won't be able to tell the difference, anyway.

I rented a 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ last weekend, and had a blast on a basic 14-mile loop in the headlands. I don't think I need the full suspension, and suspect would prefer the simplicity of a hard-tail.

To me, the GF Ferrous and Ferrous 29 are almost ideal [though a Niner Sir9 would be my dream bike]. I like steel for the durability and longevity. Looks like the Stumpjumper, although aluminum, would be a good bet in the $1k range, with an upgrade to something nicer in five years, when that frame is shot.

Suggestions?
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Old 12-20-06, 10:38 AM   #2
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For $1000, you'll get a pretty nice hardtail so you are definitely headed in the right direction with your Stumpjumper thoughts. Take the time to look at offerings by Kona, Trek and Gary Fischer at that price point and definitely test ride them. See which feels good to you and come back with your thoughts and findings. We'll offer our 2-cents on component mix et al.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:50 AM   #3
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Stumpjumper is a great choice at that price range. I like that frame a lot. If you like the feel and position on a road bike, Gary Fischer may be a good choice. Specially their genesis geometry. Aluminium hardtails have come a long way and offers good durability, so not much worry there.

Apart from stumpjumpers, I would suggest checking out

Kona Kula (http://www.konaworld.com/bikes/2k7/KULA/index.html). a bit above your price range but this is a great light bike. I dont know why, but I love the way kona bikes ride and handles. They are my favorite hardtails. Also, check with your local Kona dealers they may have a 2006 model and may offer you good discout.

Iron Horse Worrior Race or Expert would also be good choices.

I am not a fan of Trek. some of their bikes are nice, but they are often overpriced (in my personal opinion).
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Old 12-20-06, 12:20 PM   #4
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Have you considered a Used bike. From your post you seem pretty knowledgeable about what you want.

The used market is ideal for an experienced cyclist, that knows what to look for, and can do his/her own maintenance.

A really nice steel frame is a Jamis Dragon. The Comp is close to your price range: http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...ragoncomp.html

Try to find a closeout on an '06 model and you're there!
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Old 12-21-06, 11:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
Gary Fischer may be a good choice. Specially their genesis geometry....
I am not a fan of Trek.
Sounds like you're contradicting yourself, they are both owned by the same company

Just like cars, the best bang-for-your-buck is a slightly used one
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Old 12-22-06, 06:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick_Torch C5
Sounds like you're contradicting yourself, they are both owned by the same company
Owned by the same company, yes. But I believe the genesis geometry on the Fisher is different than the geometry on the Trek, so from that standpoint, they offer different things.
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Old 12-22-06, 09:02 AM   #7
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The Ferrous is $1900. Out of your price range...though it would be a sweet ride, I agree.

If you want a 29'er, the Fisher Cobia is about 1k. If I were you though, the Fisher HooKooEKoo would be a good fit. It's in your price range and would be a good deal lighter than the Cobia.

My HKEK is wonderful. I love it.
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Old 12-22-06, 03:26 PM   #8
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Surly Pugsley $1,000 starting bid looks like a great buy for a Pugsley if you get it for the starting bid of $1,000.
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Old 12-22-06, 06:20 PM   #9
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I would recommend going with a Stumjumper. There are very proven hardtails. The basic stumpjumper is about $1400 so you would have to shell out a lil more. It will come with a race proven fox fork though. You can get really cheap dual suspension bikes from Iron Horse starting around $400 all the way to the upper $3000s. I would still reccomend the stumjumper for $1400 though
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Old 12-22-06, 06:25 PM   #10
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Everyone is going to recommend their "pet" bike. So take recommendations with a grain of salt. Ride a lot of bikes and pick what feels right. I think you are thinking straight when you determined that you won't be able to tell $1000 worth of difference between the two categories. You are probably right. Spend the extra on accessories, etc.
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