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  1. #1
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    Deciding on my first bike

    So, I wanna buy a bike.



    I've started my search but haven't finished it, but wanted some advice on what I've seen so far.

    This will be my first serious bike. But I've been dying to get into it, just have been too poor as a student. But I graduated, and got a job, and now it's time!

    Two bikes I like so far in my search:
    http://www.devinci.com/11013_an.html ($1499 last year's stock at my LBS)
    and
    http://www.konabikes.co.uk/2k5bikes/2k5_kikapu_dlx.php ($900 used, but in great shape)

    I'm not entirely sure what XC and Trail mean in terms of actual terrain, but I'll be riding trails, twisty windy, in the forest, sometimes flat, sometimes rocks and roots. Sometimes up sometimes down.

    Also, I'm a chick, not sure if that matters with respect to bike advice.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Is that the MEEWN?! greenpeppers's Avatar
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    Both bikes are good. I think the only thing that should hold you back would be your budget. I ride Konas, but I also tend to go for a new bike over a used one. But if the price is right...
    You really won't see any differences in XC vs. trail. It's realy just more of a thing about terminology. There's a new thread in the mountain biking section that just popped up called differences on riding trail and XC. Read that.

    Relatively recently, they've started making male/female frames. I think it's a scam. Just get the ride that feels good.

    Just as a side note, but they stopped making the Kikapu.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    First off, read the trail riding vs XC riding thread. Will answer that question. Short answer, nothing.

    Personaly, I'd go with the Kona. Slightly better components. IMO and many others, buying better quality used it better than buying lower quality new. And if MTB turns out to not be your thing, you only spent 900, not 1500. Is the kona at your LBS too? If it is, go ride it. You'll probably like it. Kona's are nicely made bikes. MAKE SURE IF FITS!!! Have the guys at the shop give you a hand if you need it. If you do go with the Kona, then you have the extra money to get things like helmet, gloves, hydropack and whatnot. Maybe better pedals and shoes if you want.

    But again, make sure either one fits. The best bike will only turn out to be the worst if it doesn't feel right. And then you won't ride it, or spend a crap load more time and money swapping stems, bars and all that jazz, only to still have a bike that doesn't fit. Fit is very subjective at times, thats why I say ride em if you can. Maybe the shop will let you take it out to some trails. A spin the parking lot or around the block can't tell you jack.

    Being a chick doesn't matter. well, maybe when it comes to saddle it does, but nothing else really.

  4. #4
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    Damn peppers, you beat me to it. Damn my slow typing.

    OP: Also, your gonna get mixed opinions here. Take everything for what its worth, advise, not the voice of god. Well, unless Ed chimes in....

  5. #5
    Is that the MEEWN?! greenpeppers's Avatar
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    I'm one up on the Kona too for all reasons stated above by Joe.

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    Thanks for the first few opinions!

    I was wondering about the components... Obviously I don't want crappy components, but I don't really know what qualifies as 'crappy'. The Devinci has mostly bottom of the line Shimano. But does that make it crappy? Or is crappy no-name stuff? Like, if it's Shimano, it's just different levels of good?

    Also, I read the trail vs xc here and elsewhere, and I find they overlap sometimes a bit? Figured it'd be easier to just tell you exactly what I plan to ride.

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    greenpeppers: why do you bring up that they stopped making the Kikapu? Is it because it's no good?

  8. #8
    Have you seen my tractor? mykster's Avatar
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    Would the Kona be from a private party? Kona's are great bikes and I love both of mine, so that opinion is partially bias. If you're not going to work on the bike yourself then maybe a new bike with warranty would be a good idea. If it was me I'd get the Kona then take the rest of difference of the cost of the Devinci and get some upgrades or some gear. Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    Bottom line is not necessarily bad, but better is better for a reason. Deore is nice stuff. Good and stable, and if it goes bad, cheaper to replace.

    They stopped making it for whatever reason. Like cars, bike co's make stuff for a while, different models, then move on. Sometimes for no reason. Sometimes marketing. Sometimes they phase out a particular part of the design, like links and whatnot. Sometimes its like they move backwards too. The Kikapu is a nice bike. Had one in the shop last week for service. Very clean looking bike.

    Trail vs XC... It really doesn't matter. Trails are trails. The outside is outside. Just ride what you like. Either bike will be able handle just about anything you through at it. Just not crazy downhills and insane drops. Ride within your means and your body will tell you when its time to upgrade.

  10. #10
    Is that the MEEWN?! greenpeppers's Avatar
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    No way, it's awesome. That was just for your knowledge bank. I'm glad you decided on some canadian bikes though.
    If you're really worried about warranty, get the Devinci. but I think, even though it's used, the Kona will last you a lot longer. I mean, there must be a reason that Devinci didn't sell.

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    That's what I was wondering too (about why the Devinci didn't sell).

    Is Kona Canadian? I didn't even know that!

    What about hydraulic vs. mechanical brakes? I know there are lots of threads, and I've read them, but the Kona has hydraulic and the Devinci has mechanical. Am I going to have a hard time with the hydraulics? Do they need to be serviced often? I'd like to learn how to service my bike myself, is that a problem with hyrdaulic brakes?

    Also, if I buy a used bike, what should I look for to make sure it isn't broken on the inside or something??

  12. #12
    Is that the MEEWN?! greenpeppers's Avatar
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    Kona's 50/50 with headquaters in Vancouver and Ferndale, Washington.
    On the fact alone that there's hydraulics, I think you should buy the bike. From my personally experience I've found they are A LOT more responsive. They're relatively easy to clean, you just need to change the fluid every once in a while, which you can do on your own. It's like changing a cars oil...
    Look out for any big dents in the frame, you don't know how long they've been there for, and the longer they have been, the weaker the frame. Any knicks and paint chips shouldn't throw you away from the actual ridability of the bike. Look for usage and wearing down of the cassette and chainring, because this may actually bepart of the upgrade mykster was talking about. The forks should still be working fine, you said he didn't even use it that much.
    But get on that, at a price like that I wouldn't be surprised if it was already sold. Goodluck!

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    Ok, big dents on the frame. Usage and wearing on the cassette and chainring - what does that look like? Also, is there a way to know how the other components are doing?

    Oh I'm on it.

  14. #14
    worship satan. johnnytheboy's Avatar
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    If its used, have the person meet you at a bike shop.
    Have a mechanic check over the bike and tell you where it sits mechanically.
    What needs to be replaced, etc...
    While you're there, they can put you on a trainer and see how the bike fits you.
    Whatever they charge you (I'm guessing not much) it will be worth it for your peace of mind.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/johnnytheboy
    ^pedalroom.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    ^^ Good advise. If its a decent shop, they shouldn't mind, and be happy to get someone on a bike. At our shop, we obviously would rather you bought from us, but are happy to help no matter what. We may give you some ribbing, and a joking suggestion to buy lunch, or drinks, or wash the windows...lol.

    We have done this for many many people looking to buy a used bike online or whatever. Its safer to meet in a public place anyway.

    A word of advise, if you do go this route, and buy the used bike from someone besides the shop, throw them a bone and have them do a tune up, and maybe pick up a few things while there, like gloves or whatever. And keep going back to them for service and help.

    And one thats a biggy. Some shops will do the once over and fit thing for free, expecting you to come back in the future. STILL OFFER THEM SOMETHING. Even if its a hand around the shop. Yesterday some guy offered to take the trash to the dumpster for us after we did a little 2 buck brake adjustment. It was a nice quester, and much appreciated as we are swamped with spring tune ups.

  17. #17
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varminter View Post

    I think I just made pie in my shorts....

    F'n SSSHHHAAAAWWWWEEETTT!!!

  18. #18
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    Hello again! So I went to see the Kona finally last night (the guy was out of town before). I really like the bike but I have a couple of questions.

    #1: When I shifted the gears, sometimes they didn't catch kind of. Or they landed halfway in between the gears... Is this bad? Does it mean the components need to be changed? Or is it just that it needs a tune up and some new grease?

    #2: On the bike, I feel super comfy. But standing over the bar, there isn't a lot of room. Is the bike too big?

    Thanks!

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