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Old 09-06-08, 11:09 PM   #1
Canadian
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Roadie Shops With $2000ish+ for First Mountain Bike. Seeks Opinions.

I'm shopping for my first mountain bike. It's a good investment; I can get sweet discounts on it while working at a LBS. I'm in the retail range of $2000+ (ish). My coworkers all have strong opinions on what bike I should purchase, but unfortunately they all differ. Looking for some BF expertise.

I'm 5'7", female, and 117 lbs. Leaning more toward dual susp. because though I currently live in the prairies, who knows where I'll end up after I complete my university degree. I want a quality bike without going into superlight stuff; it will never become my life, only an enjoyable hobby.

Brands I need to pick from: Giant, Specialized, Kona. If I go dual, I'm not getting Kona, and would lean more toward Giant (also because they have the biggest discount). I know I'm on the cusp of S/M Giant frames, and would pick small having ridden a small Trance XO on the trails.

Basically, do I get a lighter, cheaper bike that's built for prairies? Or, do I get something that will handle all the types of off-road riding I'll do in case I move to Alberta/B.C., at the expense of extra weight and likely-unneeded (due to my 117 lbs) large travel.

I like the idea of a higher BB with something like Giant's Trance (or Cypher, the women's version) to compensate for my n00b skills with roots and rocks. I like the idea of a lighter bike with less travel like Giant's Anthem because it's lighter and more racy, but am wondering how long it will be before I procure 1337 riding skills enough to handle that sort of bike in Alberta/B.C.

Thoughts to consider?

Last edited by Canadian; 09-06-08 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 09-06-08, 11:15 PM   #2
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Giant Reign or Specialized Pitch. Since you are unsure what type of riding you will be doing I would go with an all mountain bike so that you can leave you options open. Both are good bikes I have a fiend who rides a Pitch and he loves it.
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Old 09-06-08, 11:15 PM   #3
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I'd steer you towards the burlier side of the Giant line of XC - AM rides. The Trance XO stuff looks like a very nice happy medium for what you're looking for. They aren't so heavy that you can't pedal them where you are, and they'll stand you better for burlier riding later. Rather than a lighter bike now that'll be undergunned later one.

Just try to demo and ride everything you can get via your shop hookup, go for the best fitting and feeling bike of all those that fits your budget.

Don't get too hung up on BB height; whatever bike you start with will be an adjustment riding uglier terrain later on, short or tall BB.
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Old 09-06-08, 11:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies--good things to consider.

The other thing is that because I'm from snowy Canada, we won't be stocking 2009 bikes until January, only bringing in customer-ordered ones while we focus on ski/snowboarding. I'll have to keep updated and see what I can at least sit on and get a feel for when we pull in customer-ordered bikes.

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Old 09-06-08, 11:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies--good things to consider.

The other thing is that because I'm from snowy Canada, we won't be stocking 2009 bikes until January, only bringing in customer-ordered ones while we focus on ski/snowboarding. I'll have to keep updated and see what I can at least sit on and get a feel for when we pull in customer-ordered bikes.

Or, don't get an 09. Shop connection + possible closeout deal on remaining 08 stock = screaming deal on a better bike than you'd get for the same budget on an 09 ride... If such is possible for you.
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Old 09-06-08, 11:32 PM   #6
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Or, don't get an 09. Shop connection + possible closeout deal on remaining 08 stock = screaming deal on a better bike than you'd get for the same budget on an 09 ride... If such is possible for you.
It's cheaper for me to get an 09 bike. Weird.



My only concern is my 117 lbs and riding a heavier bike XC in terms of endurance.

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Old 09-06-08, 11:44 PM   #7
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I
It's cheaper for me to get an 09 bike. Weird.



My only concern is my 117 lbs and riding a heavier bike XC in terms of endurance.
gotcha. i guess it all depends on where you really think you'll be living and riding later on. somewhere with beefy enough terrain to warrant 5-6" of bike front and back? burly bike on the plains - toss some lighter/skinnier tires on, firm up the suspension, and pedal away. then you still have the option to undo those alterations when you need to later.

IMO, giant will get you more bang for buck in terms of overall better part specs for the same price vs. specialized, with fewer potential headaches due to proprietary bits.

or take an entirely different tack and go for one of the kona five-0 hardtails. you'd be surprised at the terrain a burly, slack angled hardtail can handle.

either way, if you've got an employee pricing hookup, squeeze as much dough as you can get together to get as much bike as you can now, while you've got the hookup.

Last edited by scrublover; 09-07-08 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 09-07-08, 10:43 AM   #8
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By moving from a road bike, I suspect that you will feel the weight difference regardless of which type of mountain bike you choose. If the difference between a more XC set up and a an AM set up is only a few pounds, I wouldn't let that sway your decision. Your body will adapt. What is likely to kill your endurance more, in my opinion, is the technical aspect of a trail which involves more of your body than a comparable road ride. Again, you will adapt to this, but considering a bike that will help reduce some of that impact may speed that process up a bit.

If you work in a shop, do you have the opportunity to test ride some of these bikes on a short course or trail? That might help you to be more comfortable with how the heavier bike will respond under you and if weight will truly be a factor.
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Old 09-07-08, 11:21 AM   #9
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I would say get the Reign X since you will be getting a discount, great components and I have a lot of riding buddies that use a Reign X, from the X2 up to the X. It is a great climber, very stable at speed, great on the DH. They all say their "X" models are very comfortable on long, 6+ hours in the saddle, rides.

I have also used a friends Reign on a pretty tech Dh trail and it was glued to the ground and railed the corners. It was also pretty easy to launch and control in the air.

So from the options you listed I would say the Reign X as it will do everything well. Specialized makes a good bike but I do not like the business practices and you already stated you do not want a Kona if you get a FS. Also, Giant has one of the best customer service departments and warranties in the industry.

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Old 09-07-08, 11:42 AM   #10
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It's cheaper for me to get an 09 bike. Weird.



My only concern is my 117 lbs and riding a heavier bike XC in terms of endurance.
Going from road and getting your first mountain bike---Go hardtail. Full suspension bikes are heavy- unless your discount would get you a top of the range 24lb team bike.

And on top of that- Hardtails will teach you how to ride- instead of the Suspension getting you through your mistakes.
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Old 09-07-08, 12:00 PM   #11
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Going from road and getting your first mountain bike---Go hardtail. Full suspension bikes are heavy- unless your discount would get you a top of the range 24lb team bike.

And on top of that- Hardtails will teach you how to ride- instead of the Suspension getting you through your mistakes.
My advice would be to ignore this^^

$2000 on a discounted bike will get you a pretty decent fs bike. If you stay at or under 5" of travel, you will have a light, do-it-all bike that will bring you much more pleasure than a hardtail.
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Old 09-07-08, 12:43 PM   #12
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I currently live in the prairies, ?
go prairies!!! where aboots are you? im in sask
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Old 09-07-08, 01:10 PM   #13
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My advice would be to ignore this^^

$2000 on a discounted bike will get you a pretty decent fs bike. If you stay at or under 5" of travel, you will have a light, do-it-all bike that will bring you much more pleasure than a hardtail.
I agree with this guy. The reason most people tell you to buy a hardtail as a first bike is because you get get a much better hard tail for the price of a so so full suspension. But in you price range you can afford a nice full suspension bike and won't have to worry about moving up to it later.
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Old 09-07-08, 01:13 PM   #14
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Think of it this way; a heavier mtb will make you a faster roadie.
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Old 09-07-08, 07:17 PM   #15
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You guys are like my coworkers: all valid opinions, so many different ones.

Does anyone know if they're continuing the Anthem line without the x? The Australian branch of Giant's website doesn't list it as available for them.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:22 AM   #16
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It's a tough one, but personally it seems like a lightish 5 inch travel bike would give you the best balance. Maybe 4. With that setup you can have comfort over long distances and/or go a bit more aggressive than a full on XC bike. It sucks to have too little bike if you get into larger huckin' stuff, but it can also kind of suck to have too much bike, especially if you're not very large, which you aren't.

I beleive the Trance X is 5 inches of travel, no? I get Giant's lineup mixed up easily...they have a lot of full suspension models.

Of course the flip side is that you can ride pretty much everything with a burly all-mountain rig. It's a tough call, and I would try to get as much trail t ime on ANY bike before buying in order to decide what type of riding most appeals to you.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:37 AM   #17
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Well I say Stumpy! Someones got to. When it comes to full sussers, I just like the approach they take. Their geometry fits ME so well, I have to pimp Specialized.
Besides they suck! ( inside forum joke ) just look at that cool Epic below!
He He, I love my XTC too!

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Old 09-08-08, 07:47 PM   #18
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Well I say Stumpy!
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Old 09-09-08, 11:58 AM   #19
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I will 2nd the opinion of going with a lightweight hardtail. If you're new to mountain biking, learn to ride on a hardtail for at least a couple years before moving to full suspension. As they say, habits are easy to make and hard to break.

I would also recommending going with the cheapest model in a hardtail series that has a good frame. Reason being, that extra money is better spent upgrading the components to your own personal preferences. If you work at a bike shop and have a decent discount on components as well as full bikes, then that would definitely be the best bet. You can probably pick up a Giant XTC 2 for a few hundred bucks. Then throw a nice fox fork on there and start upgrading at the wheels and drivetrain. I think your $2000 will get you a much nicer ride that way. You'll also have spare parts left over you can use to fix up other stuff.

Although if you can get a discount on a Surly frame or something of the like, you might go that route and build it from scratch. You should really be able to get some arguments going in the shop over all the details of that one.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:09 PM   #20
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I'll second that recommendation for a Stumpy. That's a great all-around bike trail bike. Depending on what type of riding you're going to be doing I'd also consider an Epic. That bike is a super sweet XC ride. It isn't built for big obstacles but get it on some tight, technical singletrack and I can't think of another bike I'd rather be on.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:03 PM   #21
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If you are coming off road bikes, I would think you would like the Epic better than some of the heavier options, the brain works, and it pedals like a hard tail most of the time. I could't stand most of the full suspension bikes I've ridden because they bob around so much.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:21 PM   #22
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If you are coming off road bikes, I would think you would like the Epic better than some of the heavier options, the brain works, and it pedals like a hard tail most of the time. I could't stand most of the full suspension bikes I've ridden because they bob around so much.
Actually tuning you rear shock can go quite a ways towards fixing that, surprisingly enough.

Canadian: Go big, girl. Slack angled, slightly larger travel bikes are fuuuuuun. Easier to ride XC stuff on one of those than riding uglier non-XC terrain on an XC bike. Go for one of the beefier options with a couple sets of tires for different riding...
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Old 09-14-08, 05:52 AM   #23
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I say buy for today.......
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Old 09-14-08, 12:13 PM   #24
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I've got a specialized enduro and giant anthem, and think the giant is an overall better bike. I got a good deal on it through my team and think it's a killer bike for the dough. I'm about 6', 130-135 lbs, and it never feels heavy to me, even compared to my road bike, just because it works so well. I'd consider the new Anthem, but think about how much you might want to get into the more DH oriented stuff before making the leap, because it's fast in every way, which makes it a bit more of a handful on steep techy stuff.
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Old 09-14-08, 03:53 PM   #25
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Thanks again for all the thoughtful replies.


New recommendation from friend, want to know if this is plausible/possible:

Buy a spec'd out HT, top of the line (for example, a nice Stumpy). The following year, also buy the all-mountain frame from the same line (i.e. the Stumpy FSR frame).

Are those sorts of things totally transferrable to the FSR frame?
Or is the angle of the fork going to be an issue? Can I just buy a frame and a 2nd BB and rebuild the Stumpy HT as a Stumpy FSR if I were to move to a place where such a bike would be useful? 'Cause right now every trail in my area you can do on a 'cross bike, if you're a competent rider, that's how "prairie" I'm talking.

What else would need to be purchased to throw all the parts over to the FSR frame?
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