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Old 07-17-07, 07:19 AM   #1
ShockeyMonkey
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Confused - Help

So here's the confusion, I have decided to get back into mountain biking after about 8 years, and so much has changed, I have no idea what's decent anymore. I used to ride GT, but they seem to have dropped of the map.
Anyway, I can't spend more then 600, and want to get a decent hardtail. I was sold briefly on a Kona blast, but then saw that REI sells a Novara for the same price with better components. I have heard Jamis and Specialized also getting good ratings.
Problem is they all use different components, and I have no idea what the best combo is.
As a side note, Manitou or Rock Shox????

Help - I need an honest opinion of a decent 600 dollar hardtail, and it doesn't need to be one of the ones I mentioned, I am open to any suggestions.

Thanks........
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Old 07-17-07, 07:35 AM   #2
Quick_Torch C5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShockeyMonkey
So here's the confusion, I have decided to get back into mountain biking after about 8 years, and so much has changed, I have no idea what's decent anymore. I used to ride GT, but they seem to have dropped of the map.
Anyway, I can't spend more then 600, and want to get a decent hardtail. I was sold briefly on a Kona blast, but then saw that REI sells a Novara for the same price with better components. I have heard Jamis and Specialized also getting good ratings.
Problem is they all use different components, and I have no idea what the best combo is.
As a side note, Manitou or Rock Shox????

Help - I need an honest opinion of a decent 600 dollar hardtail, and it doesn't need to be one of the ones I mentioned, I am open to any suggestions.

Thanks........
for $600 new you may get an entry level hardtail, but buying used will bring you your best bang for buck. For example, I bought a used Cannondale F/S for that amount. It came with Hope hydraulics brakes, Marzocchi fork, fox shock, shimano XT derailleur, plus more. It had more $$ in parts than what i paid for the whole bike. Look on ebay or craiglists, or your local papers. However, beware of bikes that have been thrashed . Look for derailleur/shifter component names like Shimano LX, XT or SRAM X7, X9(my personal fav).
I have heard of Novarra at REI but have never seen one on trails. I see KHS, Specialized, Cannondale, Treks, and Santa Cruz(mine) around here. For fork, I'd go with a Rock Shox or Marzocchi on your budget. Good luck
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Old 07-17-07, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ShockeyMonkey
Problem is they all use different components, and I have no idea what the best combo is.
It's all about balance...the cost of the bike vs selling price niche vs profit margin

As the $ shrinks against the rest of the world, the off-shore mfg's are using less expensive components to be able to hit the same price points as their competition...almost like a race to the bottom.

The good thing is that there is very little difference nowadays between the expensive and inexpensive components...few can tell the difference between XTR and Alivio if properly dialed in...

So, just a long way of saying that buy the bike that fits, suits your riding conditions, and pay attention to the fork...if the cheap ones worked, it would be a shock.

Personnaly, I like Marin (good build & frame), Specialized (they don't cut as many corners), and KHS (not bad for the price).

Recent disapointments have been Kona (decreasing componenent quality), Trek (very stiff frame and too much Bontranger crap), Giant (but good entry level bikes).

Happy trails
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Old 07-17-07, 09:55 AM   #4
EthanYQX
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If you've got to buy new-Giant Yukon. My favorite "Sport" hardtail in the world, along with the Specialized Hardrock
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Old 07-17-07, 10:22 AM   #5
brew
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ive ridden alot of hardtails in that pricerange. right now im riding a hardrock comp disc and love it, but i have recently been sold on jamis, seems like a great bike for the price.
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Old 07-17-07, 10:26 AM   #6
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Ibex alpine is probably the best equipped bike you'll find in that price range. It's mail order though. I like to support my LBS so that wasn't an option for me.

I did alot of research in this price range and I kinda came to the conclusion that most hardtail mountain bikes in this price range seem pretty similar component-wise(some might have better X just to compromise and have downgraded Y) and none really seem to stand out as a winner(except the Ibex).
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