Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Somewhere between heaven and hell
Bikes: '09 Jamis Komodo, '09 Mirraco Blend One, '08 Cervelo P2C, '08 Specialized Ruby Elite, '07 Yeti AS-R SL, '07 DMR Drone
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Don't stress over the front derailleur. It's usually a part manufacturers skimp on because it doesn't make a big difference in the way the bike rides. You also mention crank...don't worry about that either. The only thing it changes is weight. Nothing actually noticeable in the ride itself.
Your first priority should be frame. Does it fit you? Do you like the geometry? Second should be fork, since that's a pricey upgrade and a good fork makes a big difference in the way it rides. Spec Rockhopper Comp 29er, Jamis Exile I, and Scott Scale 29 Comp have a Suntour POS. Fisher Mamba has a Dart that's not much better. Rockhopper Expert 29er, Fisher Cobia, Exile II, and Scale 29 Team have Toras, which is a nice improvement. I personally don't care about lockout. I never use the lockout on my expensive bike, and I don't think the fork I just bought for my cheaper bike even has lockout (honestly, I didn't even check). Lockout on cheap forks doesn't work. Lockout on expensive forks isn't necessary since they all have ProPedal or something and don't bob much anyway.
Last edited by Zephyr11; 02-06-11 at 02:02 PM.