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Old 06-13-07, 12:39 PM   #1
xpert008
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Hardtail review - Best picks $500-$800

What is the lowest-priced and best quality hardtail of the bikes that are listed below:

Ibex Alpine 650
Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc
Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc
Giant Rainier
Kona Caldera
K2 Zed 4.0
Cannondale F5
GT Avalanche 2.0

Some things that are important to me are the longevity and quality of the frame, fork, and other main components that are not easily replacable.

Would it be worth getting an Ibex Ignition-3 Full Suspension instead? It is similarly priced and it is the only FS bike that I found under $1000 that even comes close to being quality. Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 06-13-07, 12:47 PM   #2
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All of them.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:49 PM   #3
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I'd say either the Tassajara or the Rockhopper Comp Disc.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:51 PM   #4
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I'd say either the Tassajara or the Rockhopper Comp Disc.
I'm a HUGE Gary Fisher fan, but from those two...I'd say Rockhopper Comp Disc. all the way.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:58 PM   #5
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All good. Not sure of the GT though.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:59 PM   #6
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I cannot say I am even a big supporter of Gary FIsher, but the Tessajara disk has my vote.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:03 PM   #7
trailridebiker
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All good. Not sure of the GT though.
GT makes great bikes.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:06 PM   #8
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Ahhhh...yes! My first "real bike" was a GT Vertigo ST.

I miss it.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Taylor
I cannot say I am even a big supporter of Gary FIsher, but the Tessajara disk has my vote.
Of the Tass and Rockhopper...I think the frames are fairly on par with each other...though the Rockhopper appears tougher.
The fork on the Tass is poop. The Tora on the Specialized is pretty decent.
I prefer the Avid's over the Hayes.


Fisher's Mid-level to upper end stuff is very nice. The lower level (sub-$900'ish) bikes do not impress me too much. Specialized puts the same effort into the entire spectrum to build a reasonably light and durable ride no matter what $$$ level you're looking at.

(IMO)
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Old 06-13-07, 01:39 PM   #10
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I absolutely discourage online bikes. So Ibex Alpine 650 is out. I am no so crazy about IBEX frames.

Rest of the bikes look pretty decent. I have personally riddend/owned a few of them : Tass, Rockhopper, Zed 4.0, GT Avalanche 1.0, and Kona Caldera. In terms of RIDING QUALITY (not spec list) following is my order of preference:

1. Kona Caldera
2. Specialized Rockhopper
3. Gary Fisher Tass
4. GT Avalanche 1.0 (1.0 and 2.0 has the same frame)
5. K2 Zed 4.0 (the sizing and geometry did not feel that great to me)


Now I have ridden the Giant hardtails and if you compare specs, the are a pretty good value. And, I like Cannondales cause they are made in USA. Although the oversized tubing does not suit my weak lower back.

Again, I would strongly discourage you to go with an online bike. The best bike for a rider is one that rides well for him/her, not the one that looks good on paper.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:51 PM   #11
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thanks sherpapeak, that was the most insightful post yet. I like Kona and Specialized myself. Tass is a close 3rd.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:54 PM   #12
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I'll add the Trek 6000. At this price, buy for the frame and upgrade as stuff wears out. The Trek 6000 has the same frame as their $1100 bike does. Whereas the Tassajara for example has the same frame as their $430 bike. (Wahoo) Same goes with specialized. Their bike at this price point shares a frame with bikes that are spec'd DOWN from it. Not up like the Trek.

Last edited by Portis; 06-13-07 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 06-13-07, 02:10 PM   #13
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Thanks portis, i was considering this, but Trek's are designed in a way where its not comfortable for me. I think I'm gonna go with the Kona Caldera. Anyone think I can get this for $700?
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Old 06-13-07, 11:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpert008
Thanks portis, i was considering this, but Trek's are designed in a way where its not comfortable for me. I think I'm gonna go with the Kona Caldera. Anyone think I can get this for $700?
That is the one thing that bugs alot of people about trek. Their geometry is more neutral based, with a shorter top bar than most comparable bikes. I prefer it to many bikes, but it did take me awhile to get used to. As a 6000 owner though, who considered both the rockhopper and the tassajara, i can tell you that it is one hell of a bike. I absolutely love it, but it took me awhile to get comfortable. I preferred the fisher for a long time. Didn't get to ride the specialized as much, but i've heard nothing but good things about them.

You might also consider a raleigh mojave 8.0. it's a little heavy, but has some ass kicking components on it. Just a though...i know raleigh's kind of an underdog brand compared to the names you're looking at, but quality none the less.
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