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Old 12-30-10, 07:09 AM   #1
bike novice
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Bike Purchase Advice

Hi. I'm looking into purchasing a mountain bike to renew my interest in the sport. I have a 10+ year old Trek 930 rigid, but would like to get something new(er).

I recently went to my LBS to start educating myself. Discussed 26 vs 29, rigid vs full suspension, etc., but I wanted some opinions from here as well.

I'm looking to do some "all-around" riding, so need a bike that will fit that need. That said, my riding WON'T be overly technical, though I will occasionally hit some more challenging ascents/descents.

A new Specialized Camber Elite 29er caught my eye at the LBS, as did a used 2010 Specialized XC Comp FSR on craigslist.

Anyways, any thoughts are appreciated on the various things to consider - price, 26 vs 29 (I'm 5'10" and about 150 lbs), rigid vs full-suspension (price point to avoid with full suspension?), etc.

Thanks.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:27 PM   #2
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Make sure you get one that fits, with the riding style you described, no need for full suspension. Speed the money
on other parts, nice forks, drive train Sram X7 and up, good rims and hubs, brakes, ( disk ), just about anything but
ProMax will work okay for easy riding, try and buy cheap off Craigslist, so when you figure out what you want for sure,
you can re-sale the bike close to what you paid, and then get what you REALLY want. Hard question to answer without
knowing a lot about you or riding style etc....And you have to like it ! Richard
( Here is one of mine, but I ride a 10 mile round trip on the road to the trails. )
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Old 12-30-10, 12:55 PM   #3
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I'm a roadie but I do some MTB with a hardtail and recently posted a questions hardtail vs full suspension.

My choice now, a 29 hardtail with mechanical disc brakes with preferably minimum of Deore as a bottom.

From what I've gathered, though the 29 is heavier than a 26, it rolls over logs easier and it's worth the extra weight of the bike.
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Old 12-30-10, 02:44 PM   #4
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What don't you like about your Trek 930? That will help folks give you some recommendations. Your bike sounds like a great bike for what you want to use it for. Get it tuned up and maybe a small upgrade on a few parts if they need replacing and sounds like you're good to go. It's the engine that makes the most difference. Once you are riding again for a while, you will know better what you are looking for.
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Old 12-30-10, 04:36 PM   #5
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Either of those two bikes you listed will be great. If you're willing to pay for those bikes, you're already into good full-suspension price territory. Some people like 29ers and some hate them. The only way to find out is to get on the bikes and test ride them.
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Old 12-30-10, 06:40 PM   #6
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I really prefer a new bike over any used bike. lt Seems like every time I buy used it just needs more cash in repairs. That being said spend the money, if you buy a cheap bike it's easy to ignore it. If you spend over 1000 you'll probably feel obligated to ride it some. can't really say much on the 26 vs 29 debate, I'm sticking with 26 and no plans to try a 29, I have too many 26 inch tires to jump ship even if I wanted too.
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Old 12-31-10, 09:32 AM   #7
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What don't you like about your Trek 930? That will help folks give you some recommendations. Your bike sounds like a great bike for what you want to use it for. Get it tuned up and maybe a small upgrade on a few parts if they need replacing and sounds like you're good to go. It's the engine that makes the most difference. Once you are riding again for a while, you will know better what you are looking for.
My Trek 930 fell off my bike rack on the highway and got pretty beat up, though it withstood the spill better than I thought. I haven't priced out repairs (need new seat, new handlebars, new rear tire, perhaps more), but I figure I mine as well upgrade given that I'm going to have to spend some $$ anyways.
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Old 01-01-11, 06:16 AM   #8
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Any other thoughts on 26 vs 29 and/or full suspension vs rigid?
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Old 01-06-11, 05:15 AM   #9
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I'm still on the fence on new vs. used. I've spotted a 2002 K2 Razorback 4.0 on craigslist for $450, which, depending on how it's been maintained, seems fairly reasonable. At any rate, any thoughts on K2 as a manufacturer and/or any experiences with this bike? Thanks.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:11 AM   #10
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k,bike novice, Rigid usually describes a bike with no suspension, good for unpaved path riding though some still like them for more aggresive trails. A hardtail has a front suspension that is best in a cross country aggresive to difficult plus situations. Full suspension is best where high speeds are involved on aggresive plus trails. 26" wheels are good for anything with the 29" wheels just as good and better on rutted, tree root infested trails. Full suspension and 29" wheels were developments primarily from the downhill racing folks.

I don't look at the different designs as one being superior to another, but what is best suited to for the rider and trail combo. All of the designs can comfortably overlap.

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Old 01-06-11, 09:39 AM   #11
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^^ Not so sure about some of those statements...

Dual suspension and 29ers were not developed from the "downhill racing folks" and is good just about anywhere. XC Racers are switching to (and winning on) dual suspension rigs and/or 29ers (or both). Dual Suspension designs help keep the tires on the ground for improved traction. 29ers are supposed to roll better over obstacles and maintain momentum better.

I was in a similar scenario a few years ago. I had an older Bontrager, hardtail, and was getting back into MTB riding. Decided to dive into Full Suspension and have never regretted it. Makes trails more fun in some cases, and for long rides made them great as I wasn't getting beat up as much (in my 40's now). Making the move to a 29er this year, but not to replace my existing rides. I say go for the Camber 29er. Compared to your older Trek, it'll be a different universe. Maybe build up your Trek into an SS and really challenge yourself for a change of pace.
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Old 01-07-11, 05:32 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=Jeepnut22;12035891Maybe build up your Trek into an SS and really challenge yourself for a change of pace. [/QUOTE]

What's an "SS" ?
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Old 01-07-11, 07:28 AM   #13
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"SS" = SingleSpeed.

Test-ride your choices and decide further from there; if the shop won't let you test ride, find another shop.

What others have said here is pretty good advice; I personally ride full-suspension due to 3 herniated lumbar discs, and the tendency to get a little silly on the bike with no notice. If a hardtail will fill your needs/wants, then your parts can automatically be better for the price. While "it's not about the bike", better parts can make for a more fun and fulfilling experience.
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Old 01-08-11, 05:50 PM   #14
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Up grade your bike rack! Fix up your Trek yourself, Then you can decide what you want. It my be that you like your Trek, but want a full suspension for certian trails.

Good luck
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Old 01-10-11, 08:19 AM   #15
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I have an aluminum K2 road bike, have about 35,000 miles on it and it's been a good bike though it's heavier than others in it's class.

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Originally Posted by bike novice View Post
I'm still on the fence on new vs. used. I've spotted a 2002 K2 Razorback 4.0 on craigslist for $450, which, depending on how it's been maintained, seems fairly reasonable. At any rate, any thoughts on K2 as a manufacturer and/or any experiences with this bike? Thanks.
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Old 01-11-11, 05:41 AM   #16
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Fix up your Trek yourself
This has got me thinking that building the bike from the frame up might be a fun winter project. I am, however, quite a novice when it comes to bike mechanics. Any suggestions on good resources? Other posts have mentioned some websites, but the posts themselves are pretty dated. Also, would I be biting off more than I can chew, or could I reasonably expect to accomplish this? Thanks.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:05 AM   #17
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There are pros and cons to both 29er and 26ers. The 26 wheeled bikes accelerate faster, usually turns quicker/sharper...handles a little better, and have more years of design behind it for more variety of cockpit builds to fit you in. 29ers once at speed roll better over obstacles as well as just maintaining speed, turning/handling isnt as crisp but you can adjust, and requires more leg power for climbing and getting it to speed...you usually climb in a lower gear (most people anyway). From my experience i had a hard time getting comfortable in a 29er full suspension bike and opted to go hardtail which I seemed to be able to fit in better...maybe i was just to comfortable on my 26 stumpy. So i have a full suspension 26 and hardtail 29er. Taller friends seemed to fit into 29er full suspension and truly like it. When testing riding 29ers found some design quirks on certain bikes...wont name them, like foot hitting front tire when turned specific angle and not clipped in...so make sure you test ride the bike to ensure you do not run into any of these after the fact. Bought a fisher paragon and though i will clip in...do not have this problem when i am on flat pedals with this particular bike. Riding experience on both the 26 full suspension and 29 hardtail are great. I ride the 29 hardtail on more cross country oriented single tracks and the FS 26er in more rocky technical stuff...love how the thing climbs on technical trails.

Whether you chose a hardtail/FS or 29/26er comes down to your likes and where you going to ride. IF you are going to ride aggressive technical trails then the Full Suspension (FS) to me would be the winner. Faster cross country like single tracks then hardtail would be an option as well. 29 or 26 depends on what you feel you fit best on and which pros of the particular bike you like the best...quicker accel/climb, smoothier ride at speed, etc.. Either bike once you get used to it you will develop tendencies specific to the bike and enjoy the heck out of it...with 29ers you learn to feed off the momentum of the wheels and brake less and 26ers you take advantage of the quick burst you can get with that bike...either choice has the potential to be great if you ride and take time to enjoy the bike. To sum it up, cant go wrong either way as long as you ride...both options are great and like in snowmobile forums when you pose the question you will get your artic cat diehards or ski-doo fans telling you one is better than the other...research and ride and determine which one will fit your riding style the best. ENJOY.
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