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Old 07-06-10, 11:22 PM   #1
Witterings
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Bike Suggestions for relative Newbie

Hi,
I'm looking for some suggestions for a reasonable bike that's a step up from a cheap 12 year old Mountain Bike I currently have. As I'm new to this I'm not sure what's good and what "features" are important.
I'll be using the bike for riding in gravelled forest trails but have also started riding approx 10 miles on roads 3 times a week.
2 Bikes I'm currently looking at are the Trek 4300 and the Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc as this is the lowest price one in their range that has locking suspension - (how important is that for roads) ??
Also they're both a bit more than I really wanted to spend I was trying to keep it under 400 and they're both 450 (have to draw a line somewhere and it started as a 250 budget ).
The Trek does come with normal brakes rather than disc for less than 400 but again not sure how much of an advantage they are ?
Any help or alternative suggestions appreciated!
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Old 07-07-10, 12:33 AM   #2
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i would go with specialized
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Old 07-07-10, 05:31 AM   #3
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i would go with specialized
Any reasons for that ???

Anybody else any input ???

How important do you think lock out suspension is for road use, if that wasn't to be taken into consideration I'd go for the standard Hardrock which would bring it within my budget as well !!!
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Old 07-07-10, 07:59 AM   #4
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My v-brakes work great, so I'm not sure how necessary discs are for you, especially on the road. Granted, I haven't used discs, but it seems like the main advantage is consistent performance in mud.
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Old 07-07-10, 08:22 AM   #5
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V-brakes are not as bad as people make 'em out to be. Good v-brakes are better than cheap disc brakes. Disc brakes are good when you go really fast and have to stop really quick, and they're great in the mud / wet. The trails you described seem to be "easy riding" trails. The power of disc brakes would not be necessary for these kinds of trails.

Lock-out on the fork is most noticeable when you start riding uphill in my experience. It will allow you to put more power from your body into the rotation of your wheels, instead of your body power going into compressing the fork.

If the trails are indeed easy riding, you might want to look at a rigid fork. Rigid is not as bad as people make it out to be. On gravel paths, suspension would not be necessary. It would add to the weight of your bike and absorb some of your pedal power.

If you really get into the sport, you might find yourself buying two bikes - one for trails and one for road. I started off with a cheap mountain bike that I used for everything years ago. Now I'm riding two riding-style-specific bikes.
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Old 07-07-10, 08:25 AM   #6
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A lot of V-Brakes actually work as well as disc in ideal conditions. I would go with the Hardrock regardless of what you're intentions are with the bikes though. The Hardrock has the lightest frame in its price range & everything on it appears to be just a little bit better than the Trek. It has double-wall rims (less likely to come untrue), Avid BB5 disc brakes, SRAM X4 rear derailleur. Lockout (for me) is essential for road riding. Some people don't care about it (especially only doing 10 miles at a time) but to me I just hate having my bike bob up & down every time I shift me weight.
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Old 07-07-10, 01:00 PM   #7
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Any reasons for that ???

Anybody else any input ???

How important do you think lock out suspension is for road use, if that wasn't to be taken into consideration I'd go for the standard Hardrock which would bring it within my budget as well !!!
ive had no problem with specailized bikes...they are very good quality and worth the money....if your on a budget you can try forge bikes....like the forge sawback 5xx...i have no experience with them but from what ive read for the price its a very good deal...though the front shocks arent too good they can be upgraded. it can be bought at target.com for $380...again i have no experience with forge but from what ive read it might be a good idea for you to check out with your budget.....
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Old 07-07-10, 03:24 PM   #8
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lockout = overrated
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Old 07-07-10, 09:54 PM   #9
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Suspension forks are really nice to have when riding on gravel paths.
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Old 07-07-10, 10:58 PM   #10
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lockout = overrated
I really think this is true to some extent. I've only been riding trails for a few weeks though, maybe my fork will go softer after some major punishment and the lockout will then be required to a greater extent?
I have the Trek 4300 with V brakes. The seem to work fine on the trails (usually dry), apart from the occasional pinch harmonic.
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Old 07-07-10, 11:42 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for their input, I managed to get the Specialized at a 10% discount which bought it down to 405 so went and tried it properly yesterday and picking it up today in time for a weekend in The New Forest - happy days !!
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Old 07-07-10, 11:56 PM   #12
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enjoy your new bike
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Old 07-08-10, 07:12 AM   #13
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I really think this is true to some extent. I've only been riding trails for a few weeks though, maybe my fork will go softer after some major punishment and the lockout will then be required to a greater extent?
I have the Trek 4300 with V brakes. The seem to work fine on the trails (usually dry), apart from the occasional pinch harmonic.
If your fork isn't giving enough, you probably need a smaller spring for it. If it's giving just as much as you want it to, you probably got lucky with the stock spring being the perfect size for you. It seems like most of the bikes I've tried have just a little bit too much give in the stock coil springs for comfortable road riding, but have the plushness I like for the trails. That's why I like lockout.
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Old 07-08-10, 07:24 AM   #14
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^Thanks, that explains a fair bit. I need to ride a few more trails to confirm my suspicions.
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