Ok guys so Im giving myself a christmas present and since I dont know much about mountain bike Id appreciate some input. Basically I need a bike for some winter commuting, trail riding and those rowdy moods when the track bike just doesnt do it.
this is what im looking at right now
stock 07 Gary Fisher X Caliber 29er
stock Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe GS
Klein Pulse Pro SS conversion with DeKerf Ti Fork
Bontrager bars, saddle
WTB Lazer beam rims with SHIMANO silent clutch LX rear hub, Specialized Stout front hub
Radially laced front wheel, 3 cross rear
SCHWALBE 1.5" slick tires (Brand new)
Pure Crankset w/bashguard
Magura Hydraulic rim brakes (Fresh pads and bleed)
ODI Ruffian lock-on grips
Id really appreciate some insight as to what each bike would ride like and what strengths and weaknesses are annnnnd ultimately which one I should go for.
Those are some really diverse bikes you're looking at. The X-Caliber is a 29er hardtail. The HiFi is a full-suspension. The Klein is a singlespeed. Which is most appropriate for your needs? If the store doesn't let you go on an actual test ride, they'll definitely let you at least ride around the parking lot so you can see what fits and what doesn't. Buy the ones that feels best. If they all feel equally good, I'd personally go for the full-susser, but you have to buy what fits. If the bike doesn't feel right, you won't ride it.
A fat tire & a skinny tire & two others I loaned out
I think everyone else is still scratching their heads on how you managed to narrow the list down to such a diverse assortment of bikes. But I think Zephyr's suggestion is as good as anyone's. At least test ride each of the bikes around the parking lot & buy the one that fits best. If they all feel equally good, go with the one that suits the needs of what you'll be doing most.
For city commuting, the SS would probably be the best commuter. For longer commuting, the 29er. For trail riding, the FS. In the end I'd go with the FS, because it's the nicest of all the bikes (& IIRC, it was the lightest frame in the GF FS line, so it would still likely be at least as light as the 29er). If the bobbing bothers you for commuting, the fork & shock likely have lock-outs. If not, you can always just increase the air pressure & rebound.
2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
Yep, when your riding incorporates a lot of different aspects you have to go with either what you do the most, or what you're most willing to tolerate being suboptimal.
I do a lot of riding on the road and a fair bit offroad on muddy trails etc. My bike is a hardtail with front suspension and tyres aimed more at road than offroad use. On the road the bike is great - not as fast as a road racer but good enough. Off the road it's also not bad, although does fishtail a little in the mud and ice. For myself I'd rather live with that than have something that's great in mud but desperately hard work on the road.
In an ideal world perhaps I'd have a full suspension mountain bike and also a road racer but unfortunately budget and storage space make that one tricky to pull off.
thanks for all the input guys! i know its kinda hard to give in put on such wide range of bikes but i just went on my local CL and looked for whats in my budget. im starting to lean towards the 29er for winter and trails. i have a track bike for when the weather is nice
Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600
For the mix of uses you've discussed, a hardtail MTB would suit you pretty well. You can ride technical trails with it just fine, you may have to pick your lines a little more carefully than you would with full suspension. However, it would most likely be somewhat lighter and faster for road riding than a FS bike.
FWIW I have both types, a Cannondale F600 hardtail and a Gary Fisher HiFi Pro similar to the one you're looking at.
The Cannondale is a nice all-around bike for mixed trail and road riding. The GF is tolerable on the road as it has lockouts for the front and rear suspension and is pretty lightweight, but like most FS bikes it's best suited for the trail. It's worth noting that my GF has 26" wheels, the new ones have 29" wheels which would make the bike a bit faster on the road than mine.