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  1. #1
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    New to biking. Don't want to cheap out.

    Hey guys,

    I was looking for a bike forum and found this one to be quite friendly and helpful after reading some threads.

    I've been interested in biking for a few years now and every spring I weigh the idea of buying a bike and starting.

    I've finally come to the conclusion that I will go for it this year and would like some of your opinions and advice.

    I'm interested in a mountain style bike because of my interest in off-roading (I enjoyed riding dirt trails as a kid). I have a few friends who bike every year for recreation and exercise and would like to join them.
    I can easily get a $200 bike to start off with since I am only beginning and haven't rode a bike since I was 14 (I'm 24 now).

    However, I don't like to cheap out on things, especially quality. If I buy one, I'd like to buy at least a half-decent one and gradually move up as I become more experienced.

    I checked out a local bike shop and spotted a bike I liked. I would like your opinions, considering the disclaimers I provided, on this bike. I will try to provide as much information as I remember.
    (I would have provided a link to the bike, but I've spent hours on Google trying to find it)

    The brand was Columbia. It's a 2008 model. When I called the bike shop back to ask for the model name, I was told it was "Eruption" (searching for "columbia eruption" yielded only volcano relevant results in Columbia).

    The frame was 24" (I am 5'10"), the bike had suspension in the front (sorry, no brand name recognition) which the store representative told me the fork alone was worth $300 (I'm sure he was a bit biased).

    It had handle-bar gears (rather than the traditional levers that I was used to as a kid).
    It had disc brakes on the front and rear wheels.
    Both wheels were "snap-offs" which attracted me because I drive a small coupe.

    I don't know the weight.

    The sale price was $699 (down from $829) in CDN$.

    The closest match I can find while searching was the "MODEL 5060 THRUST" on this site:
    http://www.columbiamfginc.com/models.html

    I'm just going by some of the description but mostly the picture from what I can see (not very accurate).

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice, can't wait to start riding!

  2. #2
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    I'd go to another shop if you were lied to that badly. There is no way that fork is worth 300$.
    “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.”- Jeremy Clarkson

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ca7erham View Post
    I'd go to another shop if you were lied to that badly. There is no way that fork is worth 300$.
    Hmm..

    There's another bike shop local to me. Here's their site. Can you recommend a mountain bike with a budget of $700?
    http://www.silentsports.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lets_roll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrose View Post
    Hmm..

    There's another bike shop local to me. Here's their site. Can you recommend a mountain bike with a budget of $700?
    http://www.silentsports.com
    The giant yukon is under your budget, great beginner/entry bike.

    Specialized, trek, gary fisher....are My favorites in that price range. I would go to as many shops as I could, learn about the bikes and what YOU want BEFORE buying ANY pricey bike. They will let you test drive them, but don't let them pressure you...

    when your ready to buy. tell them "you'll think about it", then they start droppin the price.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lets_roll View Post
    The giant yukon is under your budget, great beginner/entry bike
    I would check these out before getting a Giant Yukon:
    (not that they're all going to be better, but ride a few and see what you think)

    "Trail Bikes"
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...rdrock&eid=107
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...=38430&eid=107
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/h...ngo2_spec.html
    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/marlin-disc


    "Tough Hardtails"
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/h...9_komodo1.html
    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mullet (MSRP is a little over your range, but may sell for $700'ish)
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...UNTAIN&eid=103


    For starters.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lets_roll View Post
    The giant yukon is under your budget, great beginner/entry bike.

    Specialized, trek, gary fisher....are My favorites in that price range. I would go to as many shops as I could, learn about the bikes and what YOU want BEFORE buying ANY pricey bike. They will let you test drive them, but don't let them pressure you...

    when your ready to buy. tell them "you'll think about it", then they start droppin the price.
    Thanks for the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I would check these out before getting a Giant Yukon:
    (not that they're all going to be better, but ride a few and see what you think)

    "Trail Bikes"
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...rdrock&eid=107
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...=38430&eid=107
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/h...ngo2_spec.html
    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/marlin-disc


    "Tough Hardtails"
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/h...9_komodo1.html
    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mullet (MSRP is a little over your range, but may sell for $700'ish)
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...UNTAIN&eid=103


    For starters.
    Thanks I'll check out these models.

  7. #7
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrose View Post
    Hmm..

    There's another bike shop local to me. Here's their site. Can you recommend a mountain bike with a budget of $700?
    http://www.silentsports.com
    far from being an expert, but having spent a few nights in a Holiday Inn Express, and having bumped around on a bunch of medium grade new bikes along with tire kickin a bunch on Craigslist while recently searching for bikes for a bunch of family members (including myself), I know what I;d do.
    I'd look for the hardtail with the best quality fork, and has mostly reasonable quality for the other components. The shop you noted has a bunch of bikes in your prices range, but almost all with forks which might be consider 'low end' by many here on BF. Maybe they're not the best, but there might be a decent serviceable fork model on one of those bikes. I'd go here, http://www.mtbr.com/, and check he reviews on the forks on those bikes in your price range. You might find one with good reviews.
    All else being pretty much equal, a good fork will give you good service until you have a better idea of exactly what you'd like next...
    I'd prolly prefer disk brakes over V, but not if the V-brake model has much better other components, and the overall bike feels better. V-Brakes are still great and hardly ancient tech.
    Also, patience and daily review of Craigslist can get you some really nice bikes at really great prices, if you don't mind 'used'.
    that's pretty much what I did in the past weeks in lookin for and buyin a bunch of bikes...
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  8. #8
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    Ride some in your price range and some just above, keep some notes on the specs or at least model names and do your research online afterwards. That way you don't make a rash decision and get pressured into anything, you get to find out the difference what a pricier bike can offer (and what similarities the cheaper models have with it), and you make sure that you're not being told that the fork is worth $300 when it can be had new for less than $100.

    A little research will tell you when you're getting ripped off, but it all comes down to the way it feels. If it fits you as a rider and is made with reasonable parts (and is assembled correctly...) it will be worth spending your money on. If not, it probably isn't.

  9. #9
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    Great advice. Thanks.
    A friend of mine works at www.SilentSports.com
    I'm paying him a visit this weekend and have him let me try out some of the bikes.
    Hopefully will get a bit of a deal and I'll be able to get a bit more expensive bike, if it's worth it.

    Out of curiosity, how reputable of a bicycle manufacturing company is Columbia? I thought they made clothing...

  10. #10
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    I have changed direction and am currently looking at:

    http://www.silentsports.com/store/pr...ameleon-3-XXS/

    Keep in mind this will be my first bike in 10 years, and I am planning on riding off-road bike trails.

    Can someone also comment on this bike for my Fiance:
    http://www.silentsports.com/store/pr...Boulder-SE-XS/

    Also her first bike.

  11. #11
    Dropped again guadzilla's Avatar
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    Not mentioned here, but the first bike shop tried to put your 5'10" frame on a fracking 24" bike??? I am 6' with extra long inseam/arms and I fall between a 19.5" and a 21". Run your measurements on the fit calculator at competitivecyclist.com to get an idea of what size you should be looking at. Then try the sizes to see what actually works for you.

    Dont know much about Devinci. Given a choice, I'd go for a proven frame from a brand like Specialized, Cannondale, Trek or Giant. The Specialized Rockhopper may be a bit above your budget but will probably be one of the best all-around options in this range.

    The Boulder should be fine for your fiance.

    V.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
    Not mentioned here, but the first bike shop tried to put your 5'10" frame on a fracking 24" bike??? I am 6' with extra long inseam/arms and I fall between a 19.5" and a 21". Run your measurements on the fit calculator at competitivecyclist.com to get an idea of what size you should be looking at. Then try the sizes to see what actually works for you.

    Dont know much about Devinci. Given a choice, I'd go for a proven frame from a brand like Specialized, Cannondale, Trek or Giant. The Specialized Rockhopper may be a bit above your budget but will probably be one of the best all-around options in this range.

    The Boulder should be fine for your fiance.

    V.
    No wonder I had a hard time getting on and off. I thought I just forgot how to mount a bike after all these years

    This bike shop is seeming less and less reputable.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lets_roll's Avatar
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    That boulder would serve you well @ that price. It will give you the option to test the "sport", without getting in too deep. Many people buy a high end bike an never ride it. If you decide you LOVE the sport, your gonna want a little more. You then will only have a few hundred in the boulder, and it will resale arround $200-250ish. Not a bad price to pay for a season of riding.

    You will not realy need a high-end bike yet, unless you have some skills. If I were in YOUR shoes, I would buy it. If I liked the sport allot, I would save all year to buy the nicest bike I could afford, for the following season.

    If you know you'll love it just buy a 1st)Rockhopper comp , 2nd) trek 4500, 3) Gary Fisher Marlin , or maybe one of those "jamis" whatevers...

    If your going to the mountains, like FOR realz, then none of these bikes are your riding style. You'll need to spend some more cash.

  14. #14
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrose View Post
    I have changed direction and am currently looking at:

    http://www.silentsports.com/store/pr...ameleon-3-XXS/

    Keep in mind this will be my first bike in 10 years, and I am planning on riding off-road bike trails.

    Can someone also comment on this bike for my Fiance:
    http://www.silentsports.com/store/pr...Boulder-SE-XS/

    Also her first bike.
    $1.5K CDN for a bike with a RS Dart 1 fork ??? incredible what they can charge... Many of the NORCOs from your silentsports have better forks for 1/2 the price.
    The other components are pretty much what you'll find on +-$600 US bikes...
    Meaning you should get a much higher level bike for that kinda dough...
    go check out the stuff in-store and do some tire-kickin, then you'll have a better idea of what you'll want to spend.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
    $1.5K CDN for a bike with a RS Dart 1 fork ??? incredible what they can charge... Many of the NORCOs from your silentsports have better forks for 1/2 the price.
    The other components are pretty much what you'll find on +-$600 US bikes...
    Meaning you should get a much higher level bike for that kinda dough...
    go check out the stuff in-store and do some tire-kickin, then you'll have a better idea of what you'll want to spend.
    Your Price: CDN$799.99
    ???

  16. #16
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    The price for the Devinci I posted was $799.99.

  17. #17
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    OK, I guess I didn't scroll far enough...
    so $1499 CDN was a bull**** number anyway, that was obvious.

    OK letz put bikes in perspective. Most branded bikes have a 20 to 24% margin to the LBS. Private label stuff, like Davinci will prolly get up to 30%...
    so the $799 cdn is prolly close to full margin and the MSRP is total bull... number.
    $1499 bikes don;t come with Dart 1 forks, or any of the stuff on that bike, $799 is the FULL price! and may be overpriced...

    so for $70 more you can get
    http://www.silentsports.com/store/pr...rco-Storm-12.5
    which looks like a way better mix of parts. Not disc, but the fork and frame are prolly set to take one easily - possible upgrade down the line.
    seems to get good reviews on MTBR
    and notice, no bull**** made up MSRP... since the Norco site has the 09 disk model listed as $999.
    check them out, and let us know what you find...
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  18. #18
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    About bicycle sizes...don't confuse the department/toy store sizing (tire diameter) with the bicycle shop sizing (frame size/seat tube length). I went to the Columbia bicycle website, and found that they're using tire size. That shop tried to sell you a 24" tire kid's toy store bike for $700?????

  19. #19
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    I never see Cannondale mentioned for good bikes, is there a reason for that or is it that just no one has a Cannondale, because this as far as I can tell the F5 is a fantastic bike, and I know it can be had for cheaper than the $799 they have posted on their website.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    About bicycle sizes...don't confuse the department/toy store sizing (tire diameter) with the bicycle shop sizing (frame size/seat tube length). I went to the Columbia bicycle website, and found that they're using tire size. That shop tried to sell you a 24" tire kid's toy store bike for $700?????
    I'm not even seeing a 24" on that site. Are you sure it wasn't a 24" DJ or 24" BMX cruiser? That's still a little steep for a complete cruiser, but it's pretty cheap for a DJ.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lets_roll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jake View Post
    I never see Cannondale mentioned for good bikes, is there a reason for that or is it that just no one has a Cannondale, because this as far as I can tell the F5 is a fantastic bike, and I know it can be had for cheaper than the $799 they have posted on their website.


    Cannondales are great bikes, just not as popular I think. Prices also seem slightly higher than the compition from what I've seen. At my LBS $520 buys a rockhopper(base), and you get a Dart 3 with lockout.

    If all your and friends,homies, doggs, essays, or whatever wear nike... Chances are you will too.

  22. #22
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    My first two MTB's were Cannondales, my SO rides a Cannondale, they're awesome bikes.

    That said, best bang for the buck bike IMO is a Giant.
    Giant OCR3 w/ Ultegra, D/A, Chris King- Commuter/Road bike
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  23. #23
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    I'm not even seeing a 24" on that site. Are you sure it wasn't a 24" DJ or 24" BMX cruiser? That's still a little steep for a complete cruiser, but it's pretty cheap for a DJ.
    It doesn't matter whether there's a 24" bike on the site...they're sizing bikes by tire size, rather than frame size...and that's characteristic of department store and toy store bikes. Look at real bikes from real bike manufacturers, and you'll see multiple frame sizes within a model, so that they can fit different sized people. The toy bikes tend to come in a single size.

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    The " 24" " bike I tried at the first shop was really big, I had a very hard time mounting it and had to angle the bike almost 45 degrees to get a leg over.

    I checked out Silent Sports today and may have settled on a bike. Will go back Saturday to confirm and buy.

    http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...KE=44&Y=2008#2
    ($799)

    What are your opinions on this one?


    I'm contemplating forking out another couple hundred bucks and getting the Trailhead:
    http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...E=180&Y=2008#2
    ($999)
    Last edited by nrose; 03-26-09 at 05:51 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jake View Post
    I never see Cannondale mentioned for good bikes, is there a reason for that or is it that just no one has a Cannondale, because this as far as I can tell the F5 is a fantastic bike, and I know it can be had for cheaper than the $799 they have posted on their website.
    I just bought my first serious (i.e., non-department store) mountain bike, a Cannondale F7 2008 model. While it is assuredly an entry-level bike at 399-, I'm very happy with it. I preferred it to the Specialized Hardrock that I tried at the same shop; everything just felt a bit more refined.

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