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Old 01-23-12, 12:12 PM   #1
Carloswithac
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Buying advice $1k~ budget.

Hey guys, roadie here, looking to get into mountain biking. We have some nice trails in San Diego that I want to explore (nothing too extreme, but some technical stuff.)

Anyhow, I want to use part of my bonus this year to buy a mountain bike and have some muddy fun when I don't feel like using the road bike. My budget will be around $1k-1200. I used to have a Giant mountain bike back in the day and liked it.

I prefer a hardtail and I know I use a large frame.

I keep on seeing some good looking ones on dealsites, but am not super familiar with MTB components. I've been eyeing this one that keeps on popping up on Chainlove.
http://www.departmentofgoods.com/foc...x-xt-bike.html



Any recommendations.

Thanks,
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Old 01-23-12, 01:19 PM   #2
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Looks good, though I hate it when a site doesn't have the specs for a bike. Wish I knew what fork that was. Other components look good.
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Old 01-23-12, 02:03 PM   #3
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If you are a large, prefer hardtail and have a grand, I would think about a 29er. I'm like you, don't want to spend a lot but have a lot of fun in the trail when not hitting the road. I own a 26 inch mtb bike and will be getting a 29er when I find a good enough deal. I've ridden both and prefer the 29er in every way over a 26 inch wheeled bike. The biggest difference for me is the climbing ability with the 29er, it just seems soooo much easier.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:24 PM   #4
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Looks good, though I hate it when a site doesn't have the specs for a bike. Wish I knew what fork that was. Other components look good.
Scroll down right below the pictures. Specs are on the right. Fox 32 Alps. Interestingly, it says 100mm fork in the description, but 120mm of travel in the specs. I think that fork comes in 100 or 120, so I wonder which you get...?

Anyway, OP, don't have muddy fun. It degrades most trails if you ride them when they're wet. That does look like a nice bike, though. Do you know what style of riding you plan to do or what type of trails are in your area? That bike is a straight up XC bike, great for fast smooth singletrack. If you plan on riding rocky, drops, jumps, any of that type stuff maybe that bike wouldn't be well suited to it? I'm not quite sure but maybe another more knowledgeable member will comment.

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Old 01-23-12, 05:09 PM   #5
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That bike is a straight up XC bike, great for fast smooth singletrack. If you plan on riding rocky, drops, jumps, any of that type stuff maybe that bike wouldn't be well suited to it? I'm not quite sure but maybe another more knowledgeable member will comment.
I plan on doing mainly singletrack with the occasional rocky trail, but nothing on the extreme end.

Nothing worse than this.


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Old 01-23-12, 09:26 PM   #6
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I'd think that bike should handle that fine.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:38 PM   #7
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see if you can get a felt nine sport. maybe the shop that sold you your z5 can get you a discount for buying multiple bikes. the shops around here do that. instant 10% off.
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Old 01-23-12, 10:44 PM   #8
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see if you can get a felt nine sport. maybe the shop that sold you your z5 can get you a discount for buying multiple bikes. the shops around here do that. instant 10% off.
Never thought of that. I'll ask them. Between those two bikes, which one is better equipped?
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Old 01-23-12, 11:16 PM   #9
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the focus is built up a little nicer but its gonna cost you around $300 more. for that much, you could probably afford to upgrade the brakes and derailers and you would be on a sweet 29er frame. or just leave it stock, it's nice enough to get you by and if you decide in 3 months you want to upgrade (you will probably do this) you wont lose your ass in resale. if you buy it from your local felt dealer, ride it for a few months, they might take it back at an awesome trade in price on your next bike. if you get the focus online, you wont get much help and it will tough to resell.
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Old 01-24-12, 03:22 PM   #10
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I read a review somewhere on the focus that was quite positive. I just spent $1000 on a Specialized rockhopper 29 at a local shop and I love it. It does have way lesser components, (shimano alivio drivetrain, tektro brakes, suntour fork etc...) than some bikes in its price range but I decided on it because I really like specialized frames and I like the company overall. So far it has performed great and as I go on I will just upgrade everything as it wears. I couldint find a shop with a Focus around here but I did want to look at one in person.
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Old 01-24-12, 04:27 PM   #11
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The Focus looks pretty good but I would buy the bike with the best components.
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Old 01-24-12, 05:51 PM   #12
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That site has some pretty crazy deals...
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Old 01-24-12, 06:35 PM   #13
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does anyone know who/where the Focus frame is made? and/or what the quality is? I have looked at many (grey market) type frame builds and it seems to be hit or (hole in one,) there are a lot of outliers these days. ACCESS being one, (I made a post on the composition of the metal previously) Thicknesses and attention to structure is what makes a frame. I noticed that Focus shrouds their aluminum at the joints.. does this mean they are reinforcing welds for just to overbuild?... to hide something? or to make an indestructible frame... I do not know... and I will not know until I can ride/inspect one in person for many miles. Frame builders have been shrouding junctions in chromoly for ages ,but chromoly has different properties. Like I said before, Focus has a good rep throughout reviews, and they seem to be as strong as any other bike. That said... I would love to know the thicknesses at every point in the tube is...knowing this is the truth about frames. However, most of that information is proprietary in every company. All things considered you have to ask.. are you paying for the components of the structural integrity of the frame that holds them. I am sure the Focus would roll over all of the terrain than you posted with ease for at least for a long time I would think.

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Old 01-24-12, 07:16 PM   #14
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Frame builders have been shrouding junctions in chromoly for ages ,but chromoly has different properties
I'm not a frame builder/welder. What is 'shrouding' ?
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Old 01-24-12, 07:28 PM   #15
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I think he's referring to gussets.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:16 PM   #16
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yeah but the focus isn't a 29er...
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Old 01-24-12, 11:02 PM   #17
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I can squeeze some more money due to my upcoming tax return! What do you think about the Nine Series Comp? Do you think it's worth the $600 more price?

http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2012...Nine-Comp.aspx
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Old 01-25-12, 02:34 AM   #18
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yeah but the focus isn't a 29er...
Meh. On the plus side, it is a 26er...
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Old 01-25-12, 01:02 PM   #19
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I can squeeze some more money due to my upcoming tax return! What do you think about the Nine Series Comp? Do you think it's worth the $600 more price?

http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2012...Nine-Comp.aspx
see if you can snatch up a 2011 specialized stumpjumper comp 29er. it has the reba fork, it's supposed to be a lot better than the recon. it retailed for $2050 so it should be down in your price range if you can find one. here's the specs: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...4&menuItemId=0
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Old 01-25-12, 11:52 PM   #20
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I'm going to go ahead and highly recommend the OP go to the LBS and test ride a few bikes. Then come back and get more advice. Ride both 26" and 29". At your size and road bike background, you may well prefer a 29" XC bike, but it's always best to test ride as many different styles as possible to see which you prefer. And I think c_mack9 makes a good point about getting last years model if a LBS has one available. It's a great way to get more bike for your money in MTBing. The bikes don't generally change that much year to year to make much difference, if any at all.
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Old 01-26-12, 07:47 AM   #21
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I plan on next week. The bike shop I use is literally two blocks from my house, I just haven't had the time due to work.
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I'm going to go ahead and highly recommend the OP go to the LBS and test ride a few bikes. Then come back and get more advice. Ride both 26" and 29". At your size and road bike background, you may well prefer a 29" XC bike, but it's always best to test ride as many different styles as possible to see which you prefer. And I think c_mack9 makes a good point about getting last years model if a LBS has one available. It's a great way to get more bike for your money in MTBing. The bikes don't generally change that much year to year to make much difference, if any at all.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:54 AM   #22
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Good plan. Take your time before jumping into a $1000+ decision.
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Old 03-03-12, 02:30 PM   #23
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I got a call from my LBS this morning.

Look what I picked up this morning! Can't wait to break it in on Monday.

Pardon the mess. Spring cleaning.

http://imgur.com/a/Jt4IM#0
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Old 03-03-12, 04:52 PM   #24
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Nice bike.. congrats!
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