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  1. #1
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    $501 to $800-ish MTB Buying Help

    I saw the $500 thread, but am curious about mid-range bikes. I have a more difficult situation because I am a small woman. (5 feet tall). There are a number of choices in general in this price range, but it's been hard for me to find a bike that has good geometry for me AND has good components. Right now I am leaning towards a Gary Fisher Tassajara GS (the women's specific version). The Tassajara has Deore and LX components and is disc brake compatible if I decide to upgrade later. The 2005 model is $600 at my LBS. I am pretty close to buying, but I wanted to know if there is anything else I should consider.

    This bike will be for semi-aggressive trail riding. I will not be racing, but I intend to ride at least 2-3 times a week on trails that are relatively technical (not a Sunday stroll). I am somewhat of a newbie, but not a "I want to replace my dept store bike" newbie - let's just say I am a semi-experienced, informed newbie who isn't quite ready to fork out $1000 or more, but doesn't want to continue riding my '97 Spec Hardrock which is a tank!

    I want that in-between level bike that will help me get better at the sport so that in 3 years, I'm ready for really good one! Suggestions are appreciated!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Trek and Specialized also make Women Specific Designs.

    Fisher, even their WSD, incorporate the "Genesis Geometry". Personally, I don't like it. Many others do, but I don't.

    Before you buy, try out the other manufacturer's bikes.

    Also, check some online classifieds for a Santa Cruz Juliana. It's a lot more than you said you wanted to spend, but you may come across a good deal on a used one.

    Julie Furtado in conjunction with Santa Cruz developed this frame and was the catalyst for the whole WSD bike movement.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I have noticed more questions about buying a bike under 1000 here, somebody should make the under 1000 thread.

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    I have noticed more questions about buying a bike under 1000 here, somebody should make the under 1000 thread.
    Perhaps, but you weren't here before the $500 MTB thread was started. Those threads were CONSTANT and having that thread has really backed down the excessive over posting. The under a G people aren't nearly as prevalent as the $500 people were.

  5. #5
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    What is it about the Fisher Genesis geometry that might not be so good?

    The bad thing about the mid-range priced Trek and Specialized WSD bikes is the components offered aren't as good as the Tassajara AND they are not disc brake compatible.

    Over $1000 is where you start to see the WSD with the better components with most of the other brands.

    Initially, I wanted a Rockhopper Comp Disc. Then I found out they don't make them small enough anymore. On their website it says they do, but after calling around, I found out they don't anymore.

  6. #6
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaian
    What is it about the Fisher Genesis geometry that might not be so good?

    Initially, I wanted a Rockhopper Comp Disc. Then I found out they don't make them small enough anymore. On their website it says they do, but after calling around, I found out they don't anymore.
    Genesis geometry works great for some others like me and A2 hate it. It's based around shorter than normal rear chainstays which sit you further back over the rear wheel.

    I'd believe the website in relation to the Rockhopper. Bike shops can be somewhat lax in regards to ordering small (or in my case larger) bikes if they aren't sure of a sale.

  7. #7
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Perhaps, but you weren't here before the $500 MTB thread was started. Those threads were CONSTANT and having that thread has really backed down the excessive over posting. The under a G people aren't nearly as prevalent as the $500 people were.
    Yes i know it has helped, but a lot of people want to find their second bike and are willing to spend a little more this time because if you are willing to spend 1k you are probably serious about this. Maybe i will start it, i dont know i doubt i will get around to it

  8. #8
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    For real, the Rockhopper Comp Disc and Pro Disc bikes do not come in 13" anymore. I visited 3 bike stores and called 2 others. The three places I went to called reps at the main HQ while I stood there and were told they no longer make them in 13". I expressed that I was going to buy the bike for sure. The fact is they can't order it for me because they aren't able to get them. ????

    So, unfortunately, Specialized is out. The Rockhopper Women's has lower level components than the Tassajara.

    The chainstay is shorter on the Genesis geometry? Forgive my newbieness, but can you explain how that effects you and why you hate it?

  9. #9
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    If you want disc brakes, do not upgrade later, it is so much more expensive, trust me I looked into this. I had a Giant Rincon that I considered putting disc brakes on, it would have cost me about $330 to put on avid brakes(including new wheels) my bike was only worth $350!! It cost me less money out of my pocket to sell my Rincon (for $300) and by my current bike, an 04 Giant Iguana.
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  10. #10
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    it is very costly to upgrade to discs from a V brake bicycle. I did it but i was lucky enough to find good deals on ebay. If you want disc brakes get a bike that supports it initially.

  11. #11
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    Hmm what kind of deal did you get off of ebay for the brakes.(I was thinking of upgrading my Hayes MX2's to Avid BB7's.)
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  12. #12
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well it isnt just the brakes, its the whole package. going to disc brakes was what motivated me to build my first wheelset. So i built a decent quality wheelset for under 150. Using the DT swiss hayes front hub they have on ebay, the shiny one that says hayes on one side in red. ITs a very nice hub and for the price cant be beaten. I used VUelta rims, DT competition spokes and the shimano XT rear hub. As for brakes i got the BB7 for 65 or something close to that from Cambria bike on ebay. Of course i later ifnd i dont need them and i wanted to upgrade my wheels to a cross country oriented set so i sold the whole disc setup. I have no use for them here, there are no downhill courses anywhere near my location.

  13. #13
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    Well, I'm not quite sure how heavy disc brakes are, but if you were to have disc specific rims, wouldn't you save some weight for for cross country?
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  14. #14
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Yep, but when i was replacing my wheelset i figured i mgith as well ditch them, the hubs i was wanting do not support discs. They have a disc version but would cost more, and i talked to my lbs and they agreed that discs are not needed in this area. Most of the stuff here is up and down not very large hills. So i figured i might as well sell the brakes to raise funds for the wheels and now im all set. The V brakes cost me 44 dollars in all

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Ah, I live in Colorado (as you can see) and the races are up near Vail, and one of the races rises 3000 ft. in only 10 miles!
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    yea they would suit you well.

  17. #17
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    Any disc brakes that you would recomend? I need to replace my MX2's.
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  18. #18
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Since you just asked that i bet you after i say Avid BB7 at least 10 people will follow within 4 hours

  19. #19
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    theres just too much to be said, do a search on avid BB7 and you will see, its what unites this forum

  20. #20
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    The Fisher Tassajara GS (Women's) is disc brake compatible already. The only thing I would have to buy are the brakes. The LBS I am planning on buying from said $150 extra to install Avid Mechanical Disc brakes.

  21. #21
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    wait 150 for both of the brakes plus installation? You can install them yourself, avids are super easy to install. The main obstacle with installing disc brakes is aligning the rotor, avid makes it super easy. (Yes Raiyn i know)

  22. #22
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    So the The Fisher Tassajara GS already has disc compatable hubs/rims?
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  23. #23
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    The rim makes no difference, its the hub. You will have a dish which is different, and you will see slots for 6 rotor bolts. I dont know the specs on the Fisher you speak of

  24. #24
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    I guess what I meant by the rims is that by being disc specific they are lighter, they don't carry the extra weight needed for rim brakes.
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  25. #25
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    Yes, the hubs are disc compatible on the Tassajara GS. It says it in the specs.

    I thought $150 was reasonable for both brakes and installation. I've been looking at Avid Mech disc brakes on the internet and I've seen them priced anywhere from $70 on up per brake.

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