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  1. #1
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Trek Mamba as a trail bike for occasional use

    I'm looking for a quality entry-level bike for offroad use. I'm primarily a road cyclist and recently started gravel grinding and have two bike suited to those purposes. I live in beautiful NW Minnesota and there are lots of singletrack trails around the lakes and sandhills in the area. I've been riding my gravel grinder on them (flatbar, 700c x 40mm) and it does great until I get into the loose stuff. I'm looking for a 29er that has a MTB geometry and can take a 2"+ tire. I'm looking at strictly recreational riding so a hardtail with limited front suspension is fine. Budget is a concern.

    My LBS has a Trek Mamba in my size left over from last year. It has a mix of Deore and Alivio components which I am fine with. Anyone have a Mamba or any information on pros and cons for them?

    I'm 50 y/o and 230#. Not looking to go hardcore MTB, just to mix things up and have some fun on the numerous offroad trails around here.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  2. #2
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    A friend of mine purchased a Mamba last year and loves it. He was looking for a step up from his old rigid mtb, and it totally brought a new level of enjoyment for riding off road. Seems to be a solid bike and as parts wear out you can upgrade all you want! So yeah, great bike for the money.
    Traitor Ruben :: Redline Monocog :: Surly Pugsley

  3. #3
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    That's a good bike for your purposes -- and beyond. I believe that's the same frame they use on higher-priced Trek/Fisher aluminum hardtails, so it's certainly "upgradeable". Also, I used to have an XC32 fork and it is pretty good for the pricepoint -- I rode it on singletrack for almost 2 years before upgrading to a Reba recently.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member c_mack9's Avatar
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    A couple of my friends ride them on our rough, rocky, rooty trails. It's a decent overall bike with the main weakness being the fork. At 230 you're going to have a bad time. Scoop it up but ask them if they'll upgrade the fork if you pay the difference. It'll be worth the extra money. I've had a REBA and it was nice. You'll like disc brakes if you dont already have them on your gravel grinders. They come in handy more often when you're on muddy trails, when you pull the levers the bike actually slows down instead of just continuing on.
    2013 Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro w/Zipp 202s
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_mack9 View Post
    A couple of my friends ride them on our rough, rocky, rooty trails. It's a decent overall bike with the main weakness being the fork. At 230 you're going to have a bad time.
    I was over 230 riding the XC32, and I really didn't think it was that bad -- YMMV. To be honest, I upgraded to the Reba more out of upgrade-itis than from any real problems with the XC32.
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