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Old 04-08-09, 06:02 AM   #1
mkwdrs
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Best Hardtail Mtb ($600 budget - need quick)

Best Hardtail Mtn Bike for $600 (Cannondale F7?)

I need the bike for a ride tomorrow, so not much time to shop. No luck with anything used of yet. Would prefer attaching a rear rack via seat stays and some fenders.

I am overweight, but this bike will not get much abuse as I am a more conservative rider. So, good wheels I'm guessing is an important thing. Riding will be 75% pavement and 25% light trails and beginner mtn bike trails.

I work close to an REI with has a Cannondale F7 for $599 (size Large works good for me). Is this the best that I can do for $600 (or under). I do have access to a shop with Specialized, a shop with Trek, and a Performance bike store.

I DO WANT THE SUSPENSION FORK TO HAVE LOCKOUT (or no suspension) as I will be riding it on pavement as much as off-road.

I know that the F7 fits for size Large. Does Cannondale geometry match with Trek, Specialized, etc for comparison purposes. I would also consider something like Specialized CrossTrail if it would hold up for the offroad stuff.

Thanks In Advance
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Old 04-08-09, 08:20 AM   #2
02Pilot
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I can't speak to the options, but having purchased a 2008 F7 recently (very similar to the 2009, but non-disc), I've been very happy with it on both easy to intermediate trails and paved surfaces. I'm sure others who are more informed than I will chime in, but I don't think you will be unhappy with the Cannondale.
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Old 04-08-09, 08:31 AM   #3
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You may want to rent/demo something before you go dropping a few hundred dollars on something you didn't shop around for...wouldn't want to regret it later.
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Old 04-08-09, 08:53 AM   #4
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Rockhopper 09' my LBS has them foor 599.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:18 AM   #5
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You may want to rent/demo something before you go dropping a few hundred dollars on something you didn't shop around for...wouldn't want to regret it later.
+1. Never buy under pressure, man. Seriously.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:37 PM   #6
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Somewhat noob to the forum (mostly lurker coming out hiding) but here goes-

Geometry will be different with each maker so make sure you know the bike you buy is the best fit. Almost all bikes in that price range will be similar so find the one that fits. And like the other said don't buy under pressure. Borrow or rent for tomorrow.

Also this time of year you may still find a left over 08 or even 07 for 20-30% off. I just scored a good deal on a 08 normally 799 for 599. Moved up a whole level for the same price. Its worth shopping for.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:46 PM   #7
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You may want to rent/demo something before you go dropping a few hundred dollars on something you didn't shop around for...wouldn't want to regret it later.
+1. Never buy under pressure, man. Seriously.
+2

If you need it tomorrow, rent one. Then go try all the bikes you can before deciding on one.

FWIW, I got a specialized hardrock last spring for $550 at my LBS and love it. No lockout though.
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Old 04-08-09, 03:38 PM   #8
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+2

If you need it tomorrow, rent one. Then go try all the bikes you can before deciding on one.

FWIW, I got a specialized hardrock last spring for $550 at my LBS and love it. No lockout though.
+++ 1,000,000

If you don't have time to look and learn, you'll be screwed!!!!!
Not all bikes have the same feel. And your missing your chance on finding a good deal.

If you riding conservative. Specialized Hardrock~$370 or Specialized Rockhopper for $520. The shock on the Hardrock will not take alot of abuse.

!!!!!!!!!!! If your needing a bike for a day, RENT !!!! $30-60
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Old 04-08-09, 03:53 PM   #9
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FYI, lockouts on cheaper forks have an odd habit of not working after a few weeks of use. Plus lockout is over rated, at least for front susp.
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Old 04-08-09, 03:58 PM   #10
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I actually was looking at the F7 at my LBS recently. Felt spongy to me (230 lb./6 foot rider). Mind you, I normally ride a FG Origin8 Cykel with mustache bars, so I'm not accustom to any pedal bob, which DOES occur when you're a heavier rider who is going to stand in the pedals for sprinting, uphill climbs, etc.

I'd look for a 29er without suspension. You'll get the benefits of a locked-out feel and some bump absorb-ment out of the larger wheels, perhaps even feel comparable to 2-3" of travel.
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Old 04-08-09, 07:20 PM   #11
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I actually was looking at the F7 at my LBS recently. Felt spongy to me (230 lb./6 foot rider). Mind you, I normally ride a FG Origin8 Cykel with mustache bars, so I'm not accustom to any pedal bob, which DOES occur when you're a heavier rider who is going to stand in the pedals for sprinting, uphill climbs, etc.

I'd look for a 29er without suspension. You'll get the benefits of a locked-out feel and some bump absorb-ment out of the larger wheels, perhaps even feel comparable to 2-3" of travel.

Not a bad idea, going for rigid bike that is.
The lock-out on my bike has serve me well . Just don't go trail riding with it locked. I can't stand to bob-up-and-down when riding while standing, hills, and ect... .

Last edited by Lets_roll; 04-08-09 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 04-09-09, 01:16 PM   #12
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Not to echo for the n'th time to not be in a rush to buy.... but they are right.

Plus for that kind of money I would almost certianly buy used. I just sold a Mint '04 Specialized Stumpjumper M4 with upgraded bits to XTR and a FOX Float fork for $600. I would much rather have a few year old SJ with a good fork over a new HR or RH.
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Old 04-11-09, 03:54 PM   #13
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I paid $630 for a Raleigh 8.0. HT. Good components, disc brakes, decent fork w-lockout, strong frame, looks cool. I love it for the money I paid. I put a Thudbuster seatpost on too which is really working out well.
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