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  1. #1
    Senior Member cmsuter's Avatar
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    bike

    Alright, I know this gets posted all the time and I hate doing it, but I need help choosing a bike. I'm a teenager making minimum wage so my budget is just under or right at 1000 bucks. I have been riding road pretty much my whole life, but took my bmx bike out to a trail just for fun towards the end of last season. I automatically fell in love with it, and have been saving up all winter. I'm looking to get this bike in the early spring. All of the bikes I have looked at in my price range seem to have the rockshox dart 3 front suspension. I have read some bad reviews about that. Is this something to be concerned about? What are the top few bikes that I should be looking at? Thanks guys, and sorry for this kind of post.

    EDIT: Hey guys, I was talking to my dad and I convinced him to go in 50/50 on this. So in turn, my budget was bumped up to around $1800. Does that get me into the FS range or should I stick to a pretty nice Hardtail? Thanks
    Last edited by cmsuter; 02-09-10 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I would look at a bike like the Kona Caldera, which is specced with a Rock Shox Tora, which is a much better fork than a dart and is in your budget.

    http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=cindercone
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  3. #3
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Fisher Piranha has a Tora.
    Fisher Mullet has a DJ3.
    Giant XtC 1 has a Tora (juuust out of your budget, but if you can stretch it...).
    GT Avalanche 1.0 has a Tora.
    Norco Bigfoot has a DJ3.

    Some of those bikes are spec'ed better than others, and they're not all for the same purpose (the Mullet and Bigfoot are burlier than the others, for example). But it's a selection of bikes either in or close to your budget that have forks that are nicer than the Dart, and I'd suggest you try as many out as possible, since different geometries will fit and ride differently.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cmsuter's Avatar
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    bump

  5. #5
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    You should read, at the very least, the first post in this sticky:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...estion-MTB-FAQ
    It describes the different uses for different types of bikes.
    I could guess that you are more of a Trail bike candidate than XC because of your BMX background.
    I could also guess that you would end up going XC, because most converted roadies do this.
    Why should I guess, though?
    You should read the sticky and learn about the different bike types. It's a bit more involved than hardtail vs. full susp.
    People might be able to give better suggestions if they know more than just your price range.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cmsuter's Avatar
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    Alright, sorry I'm a noob haha. I think I'm looking towards more of a XC bike, but I worry that it won't be durable enough for the "learning curve" so to speak. Because of this, I'm not sure if I should jump into a Trail bike for the added durability just in case I choose to go down a few more technical or serious trails. I guess what I am asking is, what are the limitations of a XC bike?

  7. #7
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    With your BMX background you might like a 4x/four cross style hardtail bike which is setup a little more towards xc... you get the larger wheels(26") and the fork.. but can still jump it because the frame is tough.

    Not sure which brands/products you would start looking at though, sorry.

    Here is an example You can swap some parts out later at that price, see how it goes.. might be worth a spin at the lbs.
    Last edited by electrik; 02-09-10 at 08:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    An XC and 4X/DS style bike will be light years apart, considering they're made for completely different purposes. That Specialized is not a 4X bike. A hardtail 4x bike would look more like this and won't be all that great for XC riding. That Specialized would work for XC riding, but the OP said he was concerned about a Dart, and the fork on that guy is even worse than the Dart.

    An XC bike will put up to most beginner abuse just fine. I learned on an XC bike and I can't tell you how horrible I was to that bike. I jumped off in time and didn't fall off the side of the trail and go bouncing down 20 feet of rocks, but the bike did. It also dealt with overshot switchbacks, slid down rocky hills, was subjected to horrible not-smooth landings, the works. I broke a few components here and there...a cracked shifter here, a bent derailleur hanger there, wheels that needed to be trued after ever ride, etc, but the frame, other than getting scratched to all hell, was fine. Heck, I'm still learning, and my primary ride is still an XC bike (though you do get nicer to the bike and the ways you abuse it changes a little as time goes on. If you're learning to dirt jump or learning to downhill, you'll break it. But if you're learning to XC trail ride, you'll be just fine.

  9. #9
    "STAT" -_RebelRidin'_-'s Avatar
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    Kona Dawg hasn't steered me wrong yet.
    I'm like you, a teenage who makes around min. wage.
    I was able to get a Kona dawg for 1200, and have beeen more than happy for it.
    There are models that are closer to 2 grand, and are specc'd pretty good.
    2007 Kona Dawg
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  10. #10
    Senior Member cmsuter's Avatar
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    Alright thanks for all the advice guys. I have a cannondale caad9 5, and I love it. So I am a bit partial to cannondales. I was looking at their bikes at the shop the other day and was a little skeptical about the lefty technology. Has anybody tested this?

  11. #11
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Lefties are fine.

    And you can definitely get in the door on a FS for $1800.

  12. #12
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    I agree with Zephyr. Nothing wrong with Lefties. You should demo an RZ One-twenty. I think the cheapest one is closer to $2000 than your revised budget 0f $1800. Cannondale's XC line is the Scalpel. Try one of those out too.

    What other bike lines does your LBS carry?

  13. #13
    Senior Member cmsuter's Avatar
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    They carry cannondale, trek, gary fisher, bianchi, giant, specialized, and probably one or two more that I'm not thinking of.

  14. #14
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    An XC and 4X/DS style bike will be light years apart, considering they're made for completely different purposes. That Specialized is not a 4X bike. A hardtail 4x bike would look more like this and won't be all that great for XC riding. That Specialized would work for XC riding, but the OP said he was concerned about a Dart, and the fork on that guy is even worse than the Dart.

    An XC bike will put up to most beginner abuse just fine. I learned on an XC bike and I can't tell you how horrible I was to that bike. I jumped off in time and didn't fall off the side of the trail and go bouncing down 20 feet of rocks, but the bike did. It also dealt with overshot switchbacks, slid down rocky hills, was subjected to horrible not-smooth landings, the works. I broke a few components here and there...a cracked shifter here, a bent derailleur hanger there, wheels that needed to be trued after ever ride, etc, but the frame, other than getting scratched to all hell, was fine. Heck, I'm still learning, and my primary ride is still an XC bike (though you do get nicer to the bike and the ways you abuse it changes a little as time goes on. If you're learning to dirt jump or learning to downhill, you'll break it. But if you're learning to XC trail ride, you'll be just fine.
    Well, the OP didn't say he wanted an XC bike, i figured he might find himself more at home on a 4x since he is already riding trails on the bmx...

  15. #15
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Well, the OP didn't say he wanted an XC bike, i figured he might find himself more at home on a 4x since he is already riding trails on the bmx...
    Whoa whoa whoa

    That link you posted is to an "all mountain" bike, not a 4X bike.

  16. #16
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    ^^ Methinks there are a few expatriots from the "Commuters with Racks and Panniers Forum" who are here now doling out MTB advice.

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