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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Recommendations Sought

    For a price range of $1500 and mostly under that, what mountain bike brands would be suggested or recommended? My interest is to ride off pavement but not off road, meaning jeep trails, dirt roads and trails, gravel and cinder.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  2. #2
    Zan
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    With 1500$, you could, really, get any bike that will do that sort of job. Are you looking for a HT or full suspension?

    You could get a bike for 400$ that could do that - just choose one that feels comfortable to you. If you're going "off road," your choice may have to be a little more... choice. What you describe seems to me very tame riding - not much abuse on the bike. That's why it doesn't really matter. If you plan on riding more aggressively in the future, you may want to plan it out a bit more.
    -- Zan

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  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    You'd be hard pressed to do better than a Stumpjumper Hardtail



    If you don't like that one, most all of the others in that price range will be very similar. Whatever you get make sure it has a lock out on the fork if you plan on doing any road riding. It makes life easier.
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    Zan,

    Thank you for your response.

    If I can spend far less than $1,500, so be it.

    As for suspension, I am looking for a comfortable ride. Front shocks would probably be sufficient, but I wouldn't necessarily balk at a rear suspension. I don't need anything extreme. At my age, I won't be doing any aggressive biking now or in the future -- strictly recreational biking.

    What I am looking for is: ChromeMoly frame, fenders, lugs for water bottle cages, rear carrier, provision for panniers, elevated seat and handle bars for upright riding, grip shifters, Shimano components, among other features.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  5. #5
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    I will give your suggestion serious consideration. Thank you for pointing it out.

    However, one feature I am seeking is a ChromeMoly frame. Steel has always worked for me, and I really don't see that much of an advantage to aluminum. Carbon fiber and titanium are out of my price range.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  6. #6
    Zan
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    I don't know what chromemoly is? Is that a fancy way of saying "steel?" Never heard of it - forgive my ignorance.

    Well, as you said, you want to save money. Aluminum is cheap - that's an advantage. Many mountain bike frames are made of aluminum. If you want a steel frame (of quality), you're going to have a harder time finding a nice cheap one.

    Those "cheap" 500$ bicycles you see at your LBS are probably aluminum.

    As well, with what you describe, maybe a touring bike will work? It seems like you want to be able to carry around gear. Touring bikes do this well. If you want to attach a rear rack, full suspension is out of the picture (since the back end moves).

    Touring bikes offer that up-right position you desire. The Stumpjumper, for example, requires you to lean forward. It sounds like you don't want to be putting out your bike when you go on long rides.

    Still, if you wish to go with a mountain bike, and want the upright riding position, you may want to stay away from XC bikes. Generally, these bikes require a forward-leaning position. Other bikes, such as freeride bikes offer a more relaxed riding position.
    Last edited by Zan; 01-24-08 at 06:08 PM.
    -- Zan

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  7. #7
    Bicycle Rider & Mechanic Trekbikedude's Avatar
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    I know.

    check out the jamis dragons. They're steel, they rock. I have one and it's great.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...ragoncomp.html
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  8. #8
    lackluster jerk
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    As well, with what you describe, maybe a touring bike will work?
    Better check his sig line...
    Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520
    I second the nomination for the Jamis Dragon if new is what you're after..
    It is a XC bike, if you want a more upright position, get a shorter stem. To me, these bikes already feel relatively relaxed, and would suit the OP's needs perfectly.

    Personally, I'd frequent Craigslist and recycle someone's older steel bike.
    Last edited by paul emick; 01-24-08 at 06:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Zan
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    Word.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

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    Honestly sounds like a hybrid might be the ticket for you. Very comfy and no problem on the off-road you are describing.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member taylor p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper1 View Post
    Honestly sounds like a hybrid might be the ticket for you. Very comfy and no problem on the off-road you are describing.
    I think a garyfisher utopia would fit the bill perfectly
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/utopia
    and here is your under 500 cromo hardtail
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...dtail/820/820/
    Last edited by taylor p; 01-24-08 at 07:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Zan,
    I don't know what chromemoly is? Is that a fancy way of saying "steel?" Never heard of it - forgive my ignorance.
    ChromeMoly is steel that has been alloyed with small amounts of Chromium and Molybdenum. This is the material used for most high-quality bicycle frames and forks.

    A lot of cheap steel is not ChromeMoly. ChromeMoly also requires extra skill in joint and tube welding. Top brands would only use ChromeMoly if they offer steel frames.

    If you want to attach a rear rack, full suspension is out of the picture (since the back end moves).
    Good point. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Still, if you wish to go with a mountain bike, and want the upright riding position, you may want to stay away from XC bikes.
    Upright riding is generally done on flat, easy terrain. With hills, or when I have to lower my center of gravity, I lean into it like everyone else. A seat and handle bar configuration that requires constant leaning even on flat terrain, as would a road racing bicycle, is not something I desire, but I am prepared to customize that aspect if all else is satisfactory with the new bicycle.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trekbikedude View Post
    check out the jamis dragons. They're steel, they rock. I have one and it's great.
    I much appreciate the recommendation.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper1 View Post
    Honestly sounds like a hybrid might be the ticket for you. Very comfy and no problem on the off-road you are describing.
    By hybrid, do you mean less than fat tires? I assume most fat tires are two inches wide.

    Any particular hybrid you could recommend?
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by taylor p View Post
    I think a garyfisher utopia would fit the bill perfectly
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/utopia
    and here is your under 500 cromo hardtail
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...dtail/820/820/
    I much appreciate your recommendations. Both look very promising.
    RJ Emery
    Central NJ - Ride Custom Re-Built Original Trek 520

  16. #16
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    I do not ride one, but would suggest going to your LBS and telling them what you are looking to do and they take care of the rest. Where in central NJ? I am in Monmouth Cty.
    2009 Look 595 Ultra
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