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Old 02-07-13, 09:14 PM   #1
krush050
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Help! I'm selecting my first real mountain bike and i'm deciding between three!

I'm trying to decide between 3 bikes: Specialized myka sport disc 29 or 26 inch, trek cali (base model), or trek Skye SL. My budget is between 500-700.

here are the specs for the specialized bikes:

FRAME

Specialized Myka sport disc 29 and 26 (both the same except for size)


FORK- SR Suntour SF13-XCT-MLO 26", coil/MCU spring, 1-1/8" steel steerer, mechanical lock out w/ preload adj., 28mm stanchions, post mount disc, 80mm travel
FRONT BRAKE- Tektro HDC 300, hydraulic disc, dual piston, Lightwave style rotor, 160mm
REAR BRAKE- Tektro HDC 300, hydraulic disc, dual piston, Lightwave style rotor, 160mm
BRAKE LEVERS- Tektro, hydraulic lever, women's shorter reach lever
FRONT DERAILLEUR- Shimano Altus, 8-speed, 34.9mm clamp, low mount, top-swing, dual-pull
REAR DERAILLEUR- Shimano Acera, 9-speed, SGS Cage
SHIFT LEVERS- Shimano Altus, 8-speed Rapidfire plus, SL type w/ optical display
TIRES- Specialized Fast Trak Sport, 26"x2.0", wire bead, 40TPI


Trek Skye SL

Front suspension- SR Suntour XCM w/30mm stanchions, coil spring, preload adjustment, hydraulic lockout, 80mm travel (13"), 100mm travel (16", 19.5")
Wheels- Formula FM21 alloy front hub; Shimano RM30 alloy rear hub w/Bontrager AT-650 32-hole double-walled rims
Tires-Bontrager LT3, 26x2.0"
Shifters- Shimano Acera, 9 speed
Front derailleur- Shimano Acera
Rear derailleur- Shimano Acera
Brakeset- Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes w/Shimano Acera levers
Crank- Shimano Altus, 42/32/22
Cassette-Shimano HG20 11-34, 8 speed


Trek Cali (base model)

Frame- WSD Alpha Gold Aluminum w/internal front derailleur cable routing, G2 Geometry
Front suspension- SR Suntour XCM w/mechanical lockout, preload, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 100mm travel (14": 80mm travel)
Wheels- Formula DC20 LW alloy front hub, Formula DC22 LW alloy rear hub w/Bontrager AT-650 32-hole double-walled rims
Tires- Bontrager 29-1, 29x2.0"
Shifters- Shimano Acera, 8 speed
Front derailleur- Shimano Altus
Rear derailleur- Shimano Acera
Crank- Shimano Altus, 42/32/22
Cassette- Shimano HG20 11-34, 8 speed



I picked ones with disc brakes. what is the difference between mechanical and hydraulic?
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Old 02-08-13, 10:36 AM   #2
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You didn't list the brakes on the Cali, but I looked and it has hydro discs. I only have limited experience with hydro discs, but it's probably a trade-off of maintenance vs. brake performance. Mechanical uses cables (just like standard rim brakes) while hydraulic has brake fluid up near the levers and hydraulic brake lines instead of cables. It's similar to automotive hydraulic brake systems. They might be a little more difficult to deal with as far as maintenance, but you won't have any cable/housing friction issues, cable corrosion, or any of that sort of thing with a hydraulic system. I rode a couple of Trek MTB's with hydro discs during a demo and really liked how they felt.

Note that the Skye SL doesn't even have disc brakes. I personally would rule that one out. Toss up between the Specialized and Trek Cali. The Cali looks pretty hot in white IMHO. I dunno they both do I guess. You probably need to ride them both and see which one suits you better.
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Old 02-08-13, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krush050 View Post
I picked ones with disc brakes. what is the difference between mechanical and hydraulic?
Is there some reason you need disc brakes? For that price point you can get more bike with Vbrakes - lighter weight as well. Unless you know what you are doing stay away from Hydraulic brakes especially cheap ones. Nothing but trouble. I have changed out all my hydraulic brakes (good ones at that) for mechanical. I can maintain the mechanical... I have to take the hydaulics into a shop and they always have more problem than the simple mechanical brakes. Personally I see no difference in stopping power...
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Old 02-08-13, 04:00 PM   #4
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I would take discs over rim brakes any day of the week. I've ridden my MTB through some wet, muddy areas recently and the braking performance of my V-brakes is just AWFUL after I go through those areas.

I would probably agree with the above, though, go for mechanical discs.
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Old 02-09-13, 12:48 AM   #5
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I may have found 2 other options: Marin wildcat or Jamis women's Durango Comp. Any thoughts on these 2 brands?
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Old 02-09-13, 02:31 AM   #6
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Did you look into Scott?

EDIT: Actually, meh. 2-3yrs ago it seems like they had some nice offerings in line with other major brands, and sometimes with a little something that gave them an edge, but I just did a quick check and it doesn't seem like they've got anything any better/different in your price range than what you've already posted(or even as good for that matter). And it's like pulling teeth finding a price on one of their bikes. That just seems stupid and bad for sales. Can't really get interested in buying something if you can't even find out how much it costs.

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Old 02-09-13, 03:31 AM   #7
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Does the skye have disc tabs? Just cause it comes with v brakes doesn't mean the frame and fork cant have disc tabs for future upgrade.
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Old 02-09-13, 10:39 AM   #8
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I have a 2011 Jamis Durango 1.0 Femme and it's a great ride. The disc brakes are mechanical Tektro Novelas and while I wasn't sure if these would work much better than v-brakes, they do. I haven't had any trouble with them in wet and wet and muddy conditions, are quite whether dry or damp outside, and I haven't had to do much adjustment on them. The iffy thing on the bike is the RST gila suspension fork. In a year, I'll get a better fork but for now it'll have to do.
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Old 02-09-13, 10:51 AM   #9
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Scott is also my bike of choice for trails. I do like disc brakes. But Patrick is wise in suggesting a Spec/Trek tossup. Ride em and see what your heart says!
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Old 02-09-13, 08:49 PM   #10
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I want something that is smooth, brakes well, thicker than 1.95 tire, Just something that is better than a walmart or Dicks Sporting goods bike. I understand that these are entry level bikes, and the components aren't top notch, but I only ride 4 days out of the week for an hour or 2.
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Old 02-10-13, 12:55 AM   #11
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I wish I could get out riding that much. Keep it up. The bikes you're looking at will be totally fine as long as you're not looking to start racing or hitting some drops/big jumps.
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Old 02-10-13, 08:50 AM   #12
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What's wrong with hydraulics? You really don't have to service them that often. A top-shelf mech will work better than a cruddy hydro, but we're not comparing top-shelf mechs and cruddy hydros here...it's Tektro vs Tektro.

Don't limit yourself to looking at women's bikes. I ride a men's mountain bike. Tried out a Specialized women's bike and it fit me like crap, despite riding a Specialized road bike. Try a bunch of bikes before you buy, see what fits and feels best. Most likely you'll get a better feeling for 26 vs 29 that way too. And I hate G2 geometry. That's just my preference though. Others love it. But you'll get a feeling for that on a test ride too.

The specs are pretty equal minus the brakes. Pretty lame that an almost $700 bike has rim brakes. If you fall in love with the Skye, make sure it's disc compatible...or save up an extra couple bucks and get the disc version. Specialized is designed around less travel, so if you were planning on upgrading to say, a 130mm fork, probably better to start with one of the bikes that are designed around a 100mm fork, but that's the biggest difference I see.
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Old 02-10-13, 04:51 PM   #13
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The jamis one I'm looking at has better components but with a 26 inch tire. It's retailed at 750. I might get a deal though below 700. Hopefully it follows through!!!
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Old 02-11-13, 09:42 AM   #14
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There is nothing wrong with a 26" MTB and a lot right. I looked, and yes, that Jamis does have better components. It will be a good value for $700.
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Old 02-11-13, 11:49 AM   #15
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I have a Jamis hardtail. A Komodo, not a Durango, but a solid bike, and a 26er to boot (I won't ride anything bigger than 26"...personal preference, riding style, and being 5'3 make it an obvious choice for me). Good bang for the buck with that brand.
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Old 02-11-13, 09:11 PM   #16
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Here are the Jamis Durango Comp's specs:
http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...&cat_grp=fem_1
[TABLE="align: center"]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext, colspan: 2"]
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext, width: 73"]Frame
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]7005 triple-butted aluminum main tubes, over-sized seat tube, sloping radius top tube, S-bend down tube, zero-stack head tube, over-sized stays, replaceable derailleur hanger
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Fork
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]RST Blaze TNL, MCU/coil spring with Turn-n-Lock lock out, external preload adjustor, 100mm travel
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Headset
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]FSA Zero-stack internal cup threadless, 25mm shim stack, 1 1/8"
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Wheels
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Alex TD25 double-wall disc-specific rims with reinforced spoke bed, Formula alloy 6-bolt disc hubs, 14g black stainless steel spokes
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Tires
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Geax Barro Mountain, 26 x 2.1"
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Derailleurs
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Shimano Alivio M430 rear and M390 34.9mm dual pull front
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Shiftlevers
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Shimano Acera M390 RapidFire, 9-speed
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Chain
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]SRAM 951
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Cassette
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]SRAM PG-950, 9-speed, 11-34T
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Crankset
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Shimano M391 Octalink, 42/32/22, 170mm (13-15"), 175mm (17-21")
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]BB Set
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Shimano Octalink
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Pedals
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Flats, resin body/steel outer cage
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Brakeset
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]Tektro HDC-300 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
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Old 03-10-13, 01:05 AM   #17
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i decided on a trek cali! It had the best components in my price range plus it is pretty. It maybe entry level but it does what i want it to do.
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Old 03-10-13, 10:27 AM   #18
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That looks like a great bike, Krush! Congrats!!
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Old 03-10-13, 02:28 PM   #19
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Nice bike and good looking. I think your entry level bike is really nicely equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, a decent shock and the Altus/Acera 8 speed is pretty nice. Ride it hard and enjoy!
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Old 03-10-13, 04:21 PM   #20
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Maybe in time i'll upgrade the shock and maybe go a step higher with the brakes as i get into riding a little more. I couldnt afford the next model up all in one shot
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